What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim Episode 9: A is for ADORABLE

Warning: This episode may cause permanent smile lines.

Have you no shame?

I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but this gold standard narcissist has NO pride. After Young Joon and Kim Mi So take care of that pesky, little no kissing problem, he immediately wants to define the relationship. It’s not just a “Some” flirting thing, right? They are actually dating now, right? Mi So confirms that they are an official couple and tries to act prim and proper as if nothing happened. Of course, this is difficult when Young Joon insists on calling her “my woman” very loud and very often for anyone who will listen. He sees her home and proves once again that he is a deal closer with his next move. Even though the woman just agreed to date him an hour ago, he declares that he doesn’t want to leave her and she will have to marry him as soon as possible. (Is this his third proposal? I’ve lost count.) He reluctantly drives away but doesn’t get very far before he admits aloud that he can’t help it and pulls one of those infamous K-drama U-turns. (I believe my exact response at this point was “Oh my word!”) A confused Mi So asks why he came back and he tells her he needs one more hug. (Are the writers trying to kill us? My squee meter was already dinging off the charts.) He tells her to have a good dream and that he thinks this time he will too.

Nothing like a good night’s sleep

It must be true that love is the best medicine because Young Joon sleeps like a baby with a smile on his face. In fact, his heart is so peaceful that he even dozes off in a morning meeting the next day. His best friend and Secretary Kim sneak up on the VP as he naps on the couch, and Yoo Sik reveals that Young Joon has a habit of answering questions in his sleep. (You can bet THAT’s gonna come in handy later.) The friend leaves and Mi So lovingly covers her boss with a blanket and tries to tiptoe off, but her boyfriend is wide awake and ready for cuddles. He warns her that she has awakened his dormant desires. The racy phrase throws Mi So for a loop, but Young Joon warns her that she should prepare herself. (I think we should ALL prepare ourselves!)

The line is getting fuzzy

Our new couple struggles to define their boundaries at the office now that they are in a dating relationship. Young Joon wants to be a caring, considerate partner and starts making his own copies and getting his own afternoon snacks instead of asking his beloved secretary. This freaks their co-workers out as they wonder why the boss is acting so out of character. They worry he is sending the message that they are no longer needed and layoffs are coming, and they also notice his unusually solicitous treatment of Secretary Kim. Young Joon tries to do damage control by telling everyone that it is Communication Day. He starts giving them each his personal attention as he gazes into their eyes to convey his appreciation, but Mi So rescues him before he gets very far down the line. He gladly takes the out and tells the rest that they will get their one on one attention at next year’s Communication Day. Young Joon’s sweet gestures lead to the new couple’s first fight as he unthinkingly infers that Mi So’s tasks are menial and she takes offense. He then feels hurt that she doesn’t acknowledge the gargantuan effort he was making for her and the two separate on bad terms.

Guess he’s cured

Both parties want to resolve the uncomfortable situation but each waits for the other to make a move first. They leave work with things unsettled, but Young Joon shows up at her doorstep later bearing edible gifts. Mi So recognizes the restaurant name on the chopsticks wrapper and realizes he drove all the way across town to her favorite pig skin place and grilled the meat himself. (Okay. Can this guy get any sweeter? I don’t know how much more my heart can take!) They successfully resolve their first fight and can now enjoy the making up. Once again, Young Joon charges ahead as he invites Mi So to call him Oppa. She almost chokes on the word as she tries to get it out, and finally suggests that they take things a little bit slower. They settle down to enjoy their food when her sisters make an unexpected visit. Our confident VP wants to formally introduce himself, but Mi So isn’t ready for that conversation and forces him to hide in the closet. The talkative Unnies reveal a little too much of their sister’s previous complaints as they list his selfishness and possible sexual dysfunction problems. Mi So finally gets them to leave and timidly knocks before opening the closet doors to find a shellshocked Young Joon. He listlessly tells her they should stop, but he only means the discussion, not the relationship. He doesn’t want to get in another argument, and besides, she’s too pretty to stay mad at. He then proves that their previous skinship breakthrough was not a one time thing as he pulls Mi So on his lap and works on refining his technique. (Just for the record, the boy’s a natural.)


Older brother Sung Yeon senses that there’s a problem when Mi So refuses to answer his calls after his big, public confession. He texts her to meet him at her work and she is considerate enough to check with Young Joon before she agrees. When she sees Sung Yeon, she makes it clear that she was thankful for their past connection but is not looking for a romantic relationship. He correctly deduces that this is because of Young Joon and tries to place the blame on him for all the pain he’s suffered through the years. His brother chooses this moment to show up and take Mi So away from the awkward situation. The two spend the afternoon together, taking a drive and strolling by the water, and Young Joon finds himself yawning. Mi So suggests that he take a quick rest in the car and he agrees. As expected, the sleep talking from earlier comes into play as Mi So replays in her mind the clues she has gathered about her childhood trauma. Even though she had asked Young Joon earlier if he was the boy from her past and he denied it, she can’t ignore the mounting evidence. Mi So remembers his mother referring to the boy as Hyun and calls out to her boss as he sleeps, “Sung Hyun Oppa.” Young Joon responds naturally and then awakens with a start. They both stare at each other in surprise and we are left to wonder what will come next as the episode ends.

I expect that Mi So will play everything off and perhaps Young Joon will think he was dreaming, but this continued deception really bothers me. He flat out said he wasn’t the one, so it’s not a misunderstanding. Why is he still lying to her? It probably revolves around the awful time his family had after the incident and him not wanting to dredge any of that up again. The truth only brought him pain the first time. But Secretary Kim is on to him and he’d better confess before she runs out of patience. It’s that metaphorical underwear that his best friend warned him about. I’m afraid this will drive a wedge between them, no matter how good his intentions might be.

Despite the prevarication, the show still continues to be a joy. Park Min Young’s smart, savvy Secretary Kim is such a refreshing departure from the drama heroines that ball up their fists and make baby noises at the camera. And Park Seo Joon is killing it with his comical reactions and his “eye acting.” He doesn’t need lines to show you exactly what the character is feeling. It’s what separates good actors from the really great ones. No matter where the story takes us in the second half of the show, I am sure these two will continue to bring depth and sincerity. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back and rewatch that kiss scene again.

Until tomorrow. Keep the K-love alive!


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

7 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim Episode 9: A is for ADORABLE

  1. As usual, your recap is spot on! I’m with you on all the theories of what’s really going on. I love, love, love how this relationship is progressing. It really is refreshing to watch an OTP that works through things and Mi Soo acts like a normal rational person.

    • Yes! I love that she told him exactly what she was upset about instead of leaving him to worry and wonder. And then he gave an honest reply about her not recognizing his efforts. I guess it really was Communication Day. LOL.

  2. I’m absolutely not sure he KNOWS he was the one kidnapped. I think he’s been told his BROTHER was the one. He keeps insisting he lost his memory, although he does obviously have flashbacks. He’s got to suspect something of course, & his parents know.
    There’s something deeply troubling about that older brother – the fact that he’s NOT the one taking his father’s place is a huge red flag. Where WAS he up till now, I wonder? One can write when, say, in a mental institution…

  3. This drama is actually refreshingly good. Like im not one for RomCom but I love how realistic it is and how it teaches how to be in a relationship. They communicated and they decided how and when to pick their battles. Then they made out afterwards. Best Part. I’m running out of my monthly quota of squees.

  4. Wow! Way to make quick work of recapping! Call me impressed. I must say though, when you started talking about the underwear of the heart, I thought you were going to say it was going to drive a “wedgey” between them. lol.

Leave a Reply