We get a giant game of Hide and Seek in this episode and everyone’s participating. Including us. It’s frustrating and fascinating at the same time.
Do you know who I am?
That’s the million dollar question! Young Joon already declared that his brother was the kidnapped oppa from Mi So’s childhood. So why don’t I believe him? Maybe because so many clues point in the opposite direction. A flashback to their early days in the company (I love these!) reveals that Young Joon didn’t just happen to sit by Mi So in the restaurant where he introduced himself nine years earlier. He stood watching her with an indiscernible look on his face before finally coming over. There was a noticeable, almost expectant pause when he asked her if she recognized him. In fact, he was the one that secretly arranged for Mi So to submit her resume for the secretarial position in the first place. And later in the episode, when he offers the candy to his frightened secretary to calm her down, it mirrors what the boy in the spider house did so many years earlier. This identity mystery adds such a deeper layer to the story which makes the sweet parts sweeter and the funny parts hilarious.
Give me ramen or give me death
Speaking of funny parts. Our hapless Vice President may be clueless to the ways of romance, but he’s no dummy. Young Joon sees his brother trying to horn in between him and Mi So and he will use any excuse, no matter how ridiculous, to keep her by his side. My favorite is when he calls her while she is with Sung Yeon and declares that there is a company emergency. When she arrives, she finds that the big crisis is his desire for ramen. Young Joon insists she make it for him and is quite put out when they end up at a restaurant instead. He declares that THIS is not the ramen he wants. Remember that making ramen for someone in Korea can also be code for hanky-panky. Of course, our two love infants don’t take it this way. Mi So gets quite a shock when she later learns from her co-workers the double meaning behind her innocent offer.
Have you no pride?
Did anyone else ever have a person like them who sent a mutual friend to test the waters first? You gave your okay via proxy, the go between delivered the message, and then you waited around for that person to work up the courage to actually make a move. Even though you already said yes! Just me? *clears throat* Anyway, we don’t have to worry about our adorable narcissist in this respect. He has no pride whatsoever when it comes to Mi So. Even Young Joon wonders how many times he can be rejected by the same woman. My guess is as many times as it takes. Mi So keeps knocking him down and he keeps coming back for more. He’s tried buying her gifts, spending quality time together, asking her to marry him, but this episode he chooses the best attack yet. Honesty. Young Joon admits that his first two proposals were to get her to stay as his secretary. But not anymore. Now he’s sincere. He wants to stop this flirtatious dance they’ve been doing and start dating for real. Someone scrape me off the floor with a spatula! But Mi So manages to steel herself against his earnest confession and decides he’s just jealous and competitive. The woman has a heart of stone.
What rhymes with cupid? Not Mi So
Secretary Kim’s cautious nature may be a barrier to romance but it’s also an invaluable asset. The girl’s no fool. She doesn’t just accept the things that the persistent Sung Yeon or the taciturn Young Joon tell her. You can almost see the wheels spinning in her head when she listens to them. Analyzing and comparing it to what she already knows. Her main impetus for spending time with the older brother appears to be finding her lost memories, not getting to know Sung Yeon “Oppa.” It seems like he truly believes he is the victim, but something doesn’t add up. Well, lots of things. When Young Joon asks if she was told how he abandoned his brother, Mi So quickly makes the excuse for her pensive boss that he must have struggled so much with the memories that he buried them. But what if he isn’t the one that needs this excuse? Sung Yoon doesn’t remember that day either. What if something HE did as a child was too hard to accept and so he chose to forget it instead? Perhaps Young Joon’s refusal to talk about the past is really an effort to protect his older brother from the truth? The childhood Mi So wrote in her diary that she was good at hide-and-seek. She would find her oppa. We can depend on Secretary Kim to keep searching till the end.
The buried tragedy keeps things from getting too fluffy, but we have a host of side characters ready and willing to keep the funny alive. From Young Joon’s best bud who covers his owner’s eyes and blows in his ear to protect him, to the best bud’s secretary who can’t remember what day it is, to the one-suit-wearing Go Gwi Nam who will climb every tree to win a free tablet and a gift card, this troop won’t let us stay mired in the melodrama for long. And may I just say that the male secretary throwing his jacket over the redhead’s lost bra pad to help her save face may be one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in a drama all year. (There’s a sentence I don’t get to type very often.)
Petty, jealous Young Joon is awfully fun to laugh at, but I feel kind of like a proud parent when I see him take such giant, out-of-his-comfort-zone steps toward a mature love. At first, he fights Mi So’s developing relationship with his older brother no matter how many times she tries to reasonably explain why she’s seeing him. But he makes a breakthrough in the end. Standing on a beautiful suspension bridge (whoever found that location should get a raise), he tells her that he wanted to protect her from the painful past. But if she really has to find her memories, then he supports and has confidence in her. The man is smart, wealthy, and gorgeous. But now that he’s added Trust to the mix, Mi So won’t be be able to hold out much longer! Sung Hoon “Oppa” doesn’t stand a chance.
Until tomorrow! Keep the k-love alive.
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi