What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim Episode 12: Never alone

It’s a painful episode for our hero in more ways than one. His valiant effort to protect everyone else finally wears him down and he’s at the breaking point. It’s a good thing he has such a smart, beautiful woman to keep him company on the difficult journey.  

Semi-shacking up together

Young Joon continues his quest to shield Mi So from the trauma and pain he experienced for so many years. How does he propose to do this? He shows up on her front doorstep with a very large suitcase in hand and announces he’s moving in. She freezes in shock so he just shoves past her and starts to make a place for his shoes in the cupboard. After a relaxing foot bath, an expensive bottle of wine that they can’t open, and an embarrassingly racy few seconds of watching the TV in bed together, Mi So decides they should go to his place instead. At least at his house the Vice Chairman can be comfortable and there will be much more space for both of them. (We will later find that she was wrong on both counts.)  At their new location, Mi So starts out alone in the guest room, but it’s obvious that she isn’t quite as immune to her recovered memories as she likes to think. She turns on the light and jumps at the unexpected appearance of Young Joon who declares that he will sleep with her tonight. He says he is only concerned for her well being and has no room for other  thoughts. They sit in tense silence until our adorable genius has a brain wave for how to relieve the awkward atmosphere. Should he sing her a lullaby? Pwahaha. I’m not sure who looks more shocked when the words leave his mouth, him or her. But after a few shaky starts, his sweet and simple song lulls Mi So into oblivion and he gazes in adoration at her sleeping face. He gently kisses her forehead and tells himself that this is enough, but his unconscious secretary tests his resolve when she decides to cuddle up like he’s her own personal cow doll. The look on his face shows that his brain found some room for those other thoughts and it looks like it’s going to be a long night for him. Mi So awakens the next morning with a contented stretch and finds a haggard Young Joon sitting beside her, looking like death warmed over. He warns her as he leaves the room that he can’t guarantee his behavior a second night in a row. Poor guy.

All that’s missing is a black cat

It turns out our stalwart couple is very superstitious. The next morning, Young Joon looks in dismay at his cracked breakfast cup. He believes this is his particular jinx and is a harbinger of bad things to come. Mi So also has a unique belief that when she scuffs the heel of her shoe then things will go wrong. They ride to work with best friend, Director Park, who laughs at their nervous reactions to such small, unimportant matters. But the silly superstitions lead to a very sweet shopping scene where Kim Mi So picks out a new, uncracked, blue mug for her boss with a matching pink one for herself. Young Joon is more than willing to buy the whole dishware set when the salesgirl says it’s popular with newlyweds, but Mi So shuts him down. He then repays her generous gift with one of his own. Young Joon offers to make the whole office wear sneakers or hire a personal driver for her so that she won’t scuff her heels anymore, but Mi So rejects his elaborate suggestions and settles for a new pair of shoes.

I have got to try this!

One of the most romantic gestures in the entire episode actually did not involve the main couple. Manager Bong is still waiting for the heroic Secretary Yang to make his move, but he’s moving too slow for her tastes. She tries to spur him along when she gets a text for a sale and pretends that it’s from someone who keeps asking her out. She wonders aloud whhhhhhhy this man keeeeeeps pestering her! Her fellow male coworkers joke that he must want to sell her insurance, but her intended target doesn’t look quite as amused. Secretary Yang chokes on the cola he is drinking and Miss Bong leaves the office in a huff. He rushes after her with an overblown soundtrack playing in the background and shoves a new soda bottle in her hand. Yang entreats her to drink it alone and runs away to hide around the corner. The object of his affection doesn’t understand his request, but it becomes clear when she takes a sip and some words written in dark marker appear on the empty part of the bottle. As she guzzles more cola, more of the words become visible until she sees a message saying she’s cute and asking her on a date. She burps and squeals in delight, and Secretary Yang quietly smiles around the corner at her reaction. (I am filing this charming little trick away in my brain for later use. It’s brilliant!)

Yes, it is your fault

Young Joon’s parents arrive at work because they heard from his brother that he never lost his memory as a child. They sit in his office, shaken but determined, as they ask him to tell them what really happened. He relives the day when Sung Yeon took him to the empty development and then left him there, claiming he was going to get drinks. While he is gone, the nutcase in the red heels appears and steals Sung Hyun away. Who knows if his hyung ever planned to come back, but when his father tries to find out where he left his young brother, it looks like he refuses to answer. He suffers from a well deserved guilt trip after Sung Hyun is recovered and he learns what his brother went through. His feeble brain can’t handle the truth and he literally takes over Sung Hyun’s room, wears his clothes, and attacks his brother repeatedly for leaving HIM to be kidnapped. His younger brother feels all the injustice of the situation, but he overhears his mother breaking down when her husband suggests they send their oldest son to a psychiatric hospital. (That sounds like a fabulous idea to me! Why did no one listen to this man?) To save his mother any more pain, Sung Hyun fakes selective amnesia, claims he doesn’t remember that day, and even APOLOGIZES to his older brother for doing that to him. (I just can’t. Yes, his older brother was only a child, but what were these parents thinking?) The counterfeit peace that follows after Sung Hyun’s memory loss convinces them that they should play along with it and just sweep everything under the rug to protect both sons. All these years later, they finally realize what a monumental mistake this was and his parents apologize. Young Joon is finally free from the burden he carried alone for so long and breaks down weeping. Can someone please give this man a hug? You would expect his mom to hold his hand or pat his head or something, but no. Both parents sit across from him unmoving, probably frozen by their own crippling guilt. Young Joon says that he understands, but his mother gives him permission to hate and blame them because it’s all their fault. He learns that Sung Yeon is leaving for France and might not be back for a long time. Young Joon then drives to his parent’s home to face the other son so deeply affected by the tragedy. The brothers’ confrontation is not the loving reconciliation we might hope for as Sung Yeon is still wallowing in self-pity and blames Young Joon for arrogantly taking the burden of the past on himself. He thinks his brother should have trusted him to overcome it. (You mean trust the one who stole his room, wardrobe, and even his very memories for himself? It’s not hard to understand why Sung Hyun didn’t have much hope.) So what does Young Joon do? He apologizes to him and says there’s nothing to forgive! Young Joon wishes his brother a chance to find some peace and starts to walk away, and FINALLY Sung Yeon apologizes for his own part in the whole mess. But after all that Young Joon has been through, it really feels like too little, too late.

Honesty is the best policy

Even if Young Joon’s family is a constant disappointment, there is one person he can always count on. The same person that shared the tragic events of his past is ready to share the pain of the present. Mi So stands waiting for him after the agonizing conversation with his brother. She gives him an understanding smile and they return to his home. The two sit together on the couch and Young Joon admits that he thought revealing everything would be uncomfortable, but the truth has actually been liberating. Mi So agrees that honesty is the best way to go and Young Joon asks if he can honestly tell her how he feels then. But our genius doesn’t use words. Instead, he lays her back against the cushions and proceeds to prove that the pesky kissing phobia he used to have is completely cured. He tells her that he doesn’t want this night to just pass by and Mi So looks nervous but says nothing. We will have to wait a week to find out her response since there isn’t even a preview to give us a hint.

No wonder Young Joon almost lost his mind when Secretary Kim told him she was quitting. As we learn more about his messed up family, we realize she is the only one he can truly trust and depend on. The only one who never let him down and can relate to the trauma he experienced. It’s sad how many years of repression and guilt everyone experienced because they weren’t honest about their feelings. But it looks like Young Joon refuses to make the same mistake with Mi So. He keeps opening up to her more and more, trying to meet every one of her needs, and he never forgets to tell her how he feels about her. (Not to mention proposing on a regular basis.) He’s all in, but Mi So still holds herself a little apart. Her pace is slower than her confident boss. But no matter how long it takes, we know that these two were meant to walk the road that’s left, side by side.

Have a fabulous Friday everyone. Keep the K-love alive!


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