Not much changed in this episode. Secretary Kim is still quitting. Her handsome boss is still freaking out. And the show is still hitting a sweet spot. Let’s talk about why.
You’re so vain, you prob’ly think this post is about you
Young Joon can’t believe Secretary Kim turned down his marriage proposal! Is she even human? For the man who thinks it would be a waste to give his perfect self to any woman, he’s awfully invested in getting a “yes” from her. What exactly is his end game? To get her to stay, or to get her to marry him?
When his friend asks Young Joon why he can’t just get a better credentialed secretary and if it’s because he like-likes Kim Mi So, the frazzled Young Joon says more than once that he “needs” her. He decides to slow down from matrimony to just dating, but he is once again rejected by her and kicked to the curb with a long, ranting text. He finally capitulates and accepts Secretary Kim’s decision to leave . . . or does he?
It’s all part of the plan
Young Joon starts making the necessary changes for a life without his faithful sidekick. He stops accepting her assistance with his ties, directs all his questions to her replacement, and even closes the window blinds to shut her out. Secretary Kim should be jumping for joy. But she’s not. Quite the opposite, in fact. Mi So was in such a hurry to leave, but now she’s looking a bit put out at being so easily replaced. Score one for the boss. We learn that it’s all a new tactic for getting her to stay, and it looks like his crafty plan is working.
How do you really feel?
A photo from nine years ago reminds Secretary Kim of the early days of their relationship. She was the gauche, inexperienced newbie stationed with Young Joon in America. She made countless mistakes and had to endure his overbearing scolding. But Mi So gave it right back, and wasn’t afraid to swear at him and quit on the spot. She regretted it later when she thought of her family’s debts, but the man who claims he never gives second chances was remarkably forgiving before she even apologized. All these years later, Mi So can laugh at the memory.
Everyone else cowers in fear at the Vice President’s displeasure. But she comes across as his equal. She lets out nine years of frustration in a texting conversation with Young Joon, but later regrets it. She resents him for asking so many ridiculous things of her, but he rightly points out that she never refused. If she had, he would have accepted it. We’ve already seen that she wasn’t afraid to stand up to him. Did a part of her like being needed that much? The more we see of their relationship, the more codependent it appears.
Murky memories for everyone
Mi So’s childhood diary makes another appearance. It’s obvious that the “oppa” in the drawing is not a real brother, since she wonders if now is the time to try and find him. But she isn’t the only one with a shadowy past. Young Joon suffers through a disturbing nightmare of being trapped in a dilapidated house. A house with a shadowy woman in red heels. And lots of cobwebs. Hmmmm. I wonder if there were any spiders in those cobwebs. The kind that Mi So is so inexplicably scared of. The significance of these memories has yet to be revealed.
What’s in a tie?
The simple act of putting on his own tie reminds Young Joon of the first time the young Mi So tied one for him on the morning after their fight in America. The younger version of himself looks a little gobsmacked at the gesture. And the older Young Joon pulls the tie from around his neck in frustration and goes to work without one. Again.
I love how this show keeps a running theme throughout the episodes. First it was the use of Mi So’s name, but episode two was all about the tie. Young Joon emphatically rejects his new secretary’s willingness to help him with it. And when Mi So offers him a red one, she seems shell shocked at his refusal. This is the moment where he “lets her go” and you can see her conflicted emotions.
This show has a lot going for it. Great acting, funny character moments, beautiful lighting, and stylish settings are a few of it’s strengths. The story manages to keep the romance fun and fluffy, but there’s an undercurrent of genuine emotion that keeps it from being shallow. Viewers who want big plot points and lots of forward movement might feel frustrated. But I’m enjoying the slow reveal. I hope you are to.
Until next week. Keep the K-love alive!
Dramas With A Side of Kimchi