Remember near the beginning of the show when Secretary Kim said her ideal man had three qualities: someone who cares for her, someone who cares for her, and someone who cares for her? I think she found him.
Even as a child he was adorable
The reason no one ever missed young Mi So during the kidnapping is that she was only gone one night. Her parents were away at the hospital and her sisters slept through everything. Good thing she had her own personal nine-year-old knight in shining armor. Crazy lady convinces a trusting Mi So that she is taking her to her mom, but instead brings her to the house where young Sung Hyun (later to be called Young Joon) is tied up. Turns out Mi So mispronounced his name from the beginning. No wonder her older self didn’t remember it properly. Her new oppa comforts her and gives her caramel and distracts her from the fact that her mother is terminally ill. Mi So falls asleep with her head resting on oppa’s bound legs, but he awakes to an even more disturbed kidnapper standing over them with a rope. The genius child has already realized their captor belongs in the loony bin and calls her mother to play into her twisted family fantasy. But even she can’t keep up the pretense forever and has decided to end it all. (I don’t know what was in that caramel, because Mi So sleeps through all the woman’s yelling.) She wants the children to come with her to the afterlife, but Sung Hyun rebukes her and tells her she should forget everything and start anew. He cries and begs her to stop as she quietly apologizes to the children and hangs herself. Sung Hyun has to crawl through the room where the dead woman is still swinging to find the scissors to cut their cable ties as the sound of the rope creaks above him. He releases himself and Mi So and covers her eyes as he walks her out of the house and back to her own home. Before he leaves, Mi So asks him to marry her since he’s handsome and rich and can buy her a Nana Sweet Home toy. She picked the right boy because his father owns all the factories. He promises to come back, but when he returns later with his mother the neighborhood has already been demolished for the new amusement park. (Whoever the child actor is who plays Sung Hyun has a BRIGHT acting career ahead of him. He was amazing.)
Considerate looks good on you
We revisit Young Joon’s early torture of the inexperienced Mi So when they meet again as adults, but the rose colored glasses of his true motivation makes everything more like a love letter. We previously saw a language workbook Mi So had slaved over and wrote in about what a jerk her boss was. Now we learn that he overheard her crying on the phone to her sister about how lacking she was and had taken it upon himself to be her private tutor. When Young Joon saw how exhausted she was from all the work and study, he made up fake project delays so she would go home and rest. He even bought her gourmet cake on her birthday and didn’t yell at her when she clumsily dumped it on the floor. He pushed, and quizzed, and bullied her until she became the first class, second to none secretary that we see today. It was tough love from the very beginning.
This episode is giving me a sugar high
Seriously. How many times can a viewer say awwwwwwwww in one episode? Young Joon keeps the consideration coming as he tries to get Mi So to rest, but she is determined to accept the memories, plow past them, and keep moving forward. Meanwhile, oppa finally fulfills her decades old request by presenting her with the doll house she asked for as a child. Young Joon points out that his family thought he was suffering from PTSD when he, as a nine-year-old boy, requested it. (Haha and awwwwww, all at once.) He’s kept it all this time for her, and he doesn’t miss the opportunity to point out what good husband material he is. (Would this count as his fourth proposal?) Even though Young Joon commands that she stay at the hospital, she sneaks into work and forces him to come up with a new plan to get his workaholic woman to take it easy. So he sends the entire office team to the hotel spa to “review their services” and gives everyone the day off when they return. Their hidden relationship has reaped unforseen bounty for their coworkers. Because of Kim Mi So, they get expensive karaoke, spa day, and even 2 seconds of their VP’s personal attention as he tries to secretly woo his secretary.
Not every love story has a happy ending
Lest we think that the world is full of hearts and flowers, there is the sad, but hilarious juxtaposition of Young Joon’s best friend. He can’t get over seeing his ex-wife with another man and tries to confide in Young Joon who is anything but a sympathetic listener. Or even a present one, since he walks away leaving his friend talking to a wall. Best friend (yes, I really don’t remember his name and don’t care enough to look it up) finally gives up and sits eating a pathetic, lonely meal at his former wife’s favorite restaurant. He wallows in melancholy as he remembers their happier times when who should walk in but the woman herself. Best friend flips out at the sight of the same man by her side. He makes a scene until she rebukes him for his rash assumptions and explains that the man is her cousin, leaving him feeling ridiculous. Later, he tries to rehash what happened to Young Joon and sarcastically uses the word “rash” over and over again. Young Joon has the perfect remedy to cure his constant self-berating. More work! That’ll teach him who to confide in next time.
Back to the important stuff
Okay. I talked about someone besides Young Joon for awhile. Let’s get back to our self-centered swoonboat. He takes Mi So for round two at the amusement park that replaced the neighborhood where they were kidnapped all those years ago. Turns out he researched where everything used to be and found that the house they were held captive in is currently the spot where the carousel stands. Young Joon points out how much happiness is now covering the place that held so many bad memories for them. He wants to take Mi So home with him so she doesn’t have to be alone since he knows better than anyone the kind of nightmares that their shared trauma can bring. But a smiling Mi So declares that she is just fine. Perhaps she spoke too soon when she announced that she was fully recovered because the darkness and unidentified noises cause her to sit sleepless in her bed with the light on. Good thing she’s got a handsome narcissist knocking at her door. She opens it to find a purposeful Young Joon. He declares that if she won’t stay at his place, then he’ll stay here with her. To be continued tomorrow. Thankfully, not a week from now.
If episodes had a sugar content, this one would be at teeth rotting levels. Not that I’m complaining. I expected more angst after Secretary Kim’s big revelation. And there was definite gravitas as more details from their shadowy past was revealed. Yet they still managed to pack the hour with multiple squee-worthy moments. Yes. There is an annoying voice at the back of my mind that asks what is going to fill up five more episodes. But the smarter part of my brain responds, “Who cares!” I always did like frosting. And this Lee Young Joon flavor is especially delicious.
Until tomorrow, keep the K-love alive!