JoAnne: I'm always down for a little skinship. I wonder if her foundation is going to rub off on everything, though.
Shuk: Coming soon to a bookstore near you:
Shuk: Persimmon is wide-eyed when she makes it to the Jang estate. [Side note: Why do they always have such itty bitty spaces to park their cars?]. Jang Mama graciously welcomes her to their home, commenting on her similarities, but once she’s alone, she lets out a breath, muttering about the obstacles in her path.
JoAnne: She seems nice and then she reminds me she's a bitch.
Shuk: JangOppa escorts her to a guest room to unpack and rest and leaves. Downstairs, he and his mama talk about the situation. She wonders if JangDad’s genes went outside the marital bed, but Ki-hyun assures her that their pet project has been thoroughly investigated and no familial link was found.
JoAnne: So is he hers only and the daughter is hers and the dads? Or is he some kind of foundling? Because I know, I just know, this isn't a straight up family.
Shuk: Persimmon does a little sleuthing and finds her double’s bedroom. She snoops through her cosmetics and looks at her photo. She sees a plastic container marked “Cotton Candy” and pops one in her mouth. It’s actually a cotton ball, and as she tries to hack it up, JangOppa shows up and chases her out.
JoAnne: Who would do that? Who would do something so rude?
Shuk: Makeover Montage and we say goodbye to the orange complexion. I guess she’ll need a new name. We will call her Bubbles. She’s out of the salon and heading over to the clothing store when she receives a phone call but drops her carnelian bracelet. It gets kicked under a planter, but she thinks she might have left it at the beauty parlor, so she turns around and heads back.
JoAnne: So long, Pumpkinhead!
Shuk: FirstBorn is walking into the salon and sees JangOppa on the couch waiting for Bubbles. They have an awkward convo and promise to see each other at dinner.
JoAnne: Even the trees are in on it?
Shuk: Part 2 of Chaebol Training: Identify tableware, glasses, and people. Personally, I start on the outside and work my way in, and watch which glass the waitstaff fills with which libation. Of the people, she recognizes IdolBoy, but only because she’s a fan. JangOppa tells her to focus on the immediate family, and keep her mouth shut as much as possible during the dinner. They also agree to lower their speech patterns.
JoAnne: I like the brother. He's so sad and careful.
JoAnne: Go Bubbles!
Shuk: Everyone is at the dinner table except the fiancée and the younger brother, and FirstBorn offers to escort her.
JoAnne: He does everything he's supposed to do.
Shuk: I don't think he's really forcing himself, though.
Shuk: The chase is on in the hotel lobby, and FirstBorn thinks one of the screaming woman looks really familiar. The two finally fall exhausted in a couple of leather chairs. A loud greeting by IdolBoy alerts her that her fiancé is in the lobby too. Doo-rim grabs Auntie’s wallet and tells her to scram, then feigns a relaxed attitude when FirstBorn makes it to the chair.
JoAnne: She reminds me of Lucille Ball.
Shuk: FirstBorn makes a snarky comment about her missing his entrance party, and she apologizes. He’s not worried, but he wonders about the other person who was just there. Ooh, she’s a lousy liar. This is gonna get fun. They head to dinner. Halfway there he stops and tells her that if she can’t handle her place, she can quit now; there are plenty of woman who want to be by his side. Wait, does FirstBorn have a conscience? Is Jeremy sitting on his shoulder telling him to be a nice guy?
JoAnne: I know we're going to love him, but...
Shuk: In her mind, Bubbles thinks he’s full of himself, but out loud she tells him she’s ready. Then…slip…grab…gasp…kiss!
JoAnne: Starting right about now...
JoAnne: Skinship, lots of skinship, juseyo!
Shuk: Dinner is mostly silent. Bubbles fumes at the lost opportunity to beat Auntie or get her money back. The silence is broken by a KPop ringtone, which surprises everyone (Ms C&C is a classically-trained pianist, whups). IdolBoy pops up - it’s from Monster’s first album - and mentions there will be a fan showcase soon. About that time, the food comes out, so it’s time to concentrate on which fork to use.
JoAnne: She's very forgetful, our Bubbles.
Shuk: Thankfully, that’s all that said about that. ChoiDad wants to start the wedding plans immediately. JangMama wants her son-in-law to be more acclimated to his new position first. And the parties separate. Yay, all done! Except the adults leave with the extra kids. JangOppa flashes her a look and suddenly our pair is alone.
JoAnne: Too much to hope for more skinship?
Shuk: FirstBorn crowds in. There’s something different about Yi Kyung. Maybe she’s feeling guilty about something, like yanking on his tie like a leash? Or the kiss? Anyway, he’s leaving for the office. They why did he tell their parents they would spend time together? He stayed behind so his parents wouldn’t worry. Or does she really want to be alone with him? Bubbles spits her denial; FirstBorn is not impressed with the saliva-sharing.
JoAnne: Oh, but he will be, later. *rubs hands together in anticipatory glee*
JoAnne: They really shouldn't leave her alone if they aren't going to prepare her well.
Shuk: Her lack of response makes the older woman wonder if she is the person she previously met. Happily, JangOppa arrives on scene, passes a few nihongo pleasantries, and hustles Bubbles away.
JoAnne: Come on Oppa, do better.
[ShukNote: Thanks to Mary of kdramalaw fame, I learned that the Japanese actress is the wonderful Takashima Reiko.]
Shuk: She’s grateful he came back for her; he’s just happy it’s over. She muses out loud that she made a lot of mistakes, but that her fiancé was completely uninterested. No wonder his sister is unhappy; it’s just like those arranged marriages in KDramas!
Shuk: Bubbles collapses on the bed, then goes over the night’s activities, from finding Auntie to the kiss. The two Jangs are talking downstairs. She comes back down and overhears JangMama state that she couldn’t afford the housekeeper anymore.
Shuk: The next morning Bubbles greets everyone. She’s made breakfast and promised to take care of the chores as well while she’s in the household. JangMama is unsure about it, but her cooking skills get approval. But after breakfast, the real training starts.
JoAnne: I appreciate the willingness to pitch in but at least negotiate for better terms, Bubbles!
Shuk: Writer-nim makes sure the two girls are polar opposites: Doo-rim loves what Yi-Kyung hates: seafood, sweets, etc etc. Princess C&C likes organic chocolate, handcrafted coffees, and the only fruit is mango. On a positive note, she’s good with wine for three or four glasses.
JoAnne: Ensuring Bubbles is always hungry and drunk sounds like a really great plan. What could go wrong with that?
|Here's a Man With A Can Instead of a Plan|
Shuk: Through this all, Bubbles is staring at JangOppa. It seems by the way he talks that he loves his sister very very very much. He freezes for a moment, then the lessons continue. Her new phone rings – it’s ChoiMother!
JoAnne: Yeah, we've been picking up on that too, Bubbles.
Shuk: Next thing, she’s being led through the estate, gawking as usual. ChoiMother hands her the clothing-to-skin deets on her son, and a schedule of upcoming events that she’s expected to attend without fail. Also, she’s not to do anything to embarrass or jeopardize her son.
Shuk: She’s in his bedroom, waiting for dinner, and you know she can’t stop from snooping through his things. She finds a couple of rapiers and a fencing helmet. She immediately puts the mask on and starts play-poking until she falls back on the bed and accidentally activates dramatic music. And right on the musical cue, the owner shows up in her limited line of vision. Whups!
JoAnne: Since all the engaged people in KDramas still live at home, I have a hard time reconciling the rule I grew up with - no member of the opposite sex in my bedroom, ever, or even on the second floor for that matter - with their willingness to let people just hang out without even the room's owner being there.
JoAnne: I am not prepared for the twinges of sexy coming from HongKi, to be honest.
JoAnne: Really not prepared. But willing to go along with it. Very willing.
Shuk: Only not to happen. She pushes him back hard enough to slam him against his fencing table. He's wide-eyed and scared as she puts her fist in his face. She suddenly realizes what's she's doing, and steps back. They are old enough to control their urges, and there will be no ding-ding without the ring-ring. Poor guy.
JoAnne: Funny but I'm still grumbling.
Shuk: Back with JangOppa, Bubbles is amazed at all the gatherings and events; this is more than she ever agreed to originally. Oppa dangles the ultimate bait: he will set up a store for them if she continues to cooperate. Yes, she can be bought!
JoAnne: Yeah, when FirstBorn discovers the store he's going to feel very betrayed because by that point he'll be in love, of course.
Shuk: At the Choi patriarch's death anniversary, she gets introduced to the Geriatric Triumverate, include a loopy grandmother playing Anipang (veteran actress Kim Young-ok). She formally bows, and Granny freaks, calling her a wench and yelling at her to leave. The housekeeper pulls her out.
JoAnne: The video game bit was hilarious and I love that actress anyway.
Shuk: Bubbles is carrying out the trash when Flunkette stops by. She can't remember who she is, so she stays silent while Roo-mi heaps verbal abuse on her. The moment ChoiMother shows up, though, she's all sweetness and light. Bubbles checks her people list and finds out they are friends.
JoAnne: That skinny bitch, I do not like her.
Shuk: While checking this, FirstBorn shows up, wondering how she can help do anything when the only things her hands know to do are eating, shopping, and applying makeup. She warns him that he is emotionally distant, to the extent that she'd rather love a dog. She stomps off, leaving him flustered.
JoAnne: I think what I love is that she was under his skin from like, minute one. It won't be long before he's completely smitten.
Shuk: In the kitchen, she shows Ahjumma how to prepare fish. She covers up her cooking knowledge by stating she had cooking lessons. Kang-joo stops by the office, and see her interacting in the kitchen, and hears the praise his housekeeper gives her.
Shuk: The hen conference around the cooking pots turns to the family, and they freely discuss the death of the current Chairman's first wife. She was killed in an unsolved hit and run accident on the night of their wedding. Bubbles overhears and sidles up to hear more, but ChoiMother shows up, and the convo is done. She warns her future daughter not to get too friendly with the staff.
JoAnne: Not gonna lie, that's generally a good rule...but she needs the dirt!
JoAnne: That was a bit much, honestly.
Shuk: Bubbles cleans her up and puts her in bed. She decides to snuggle for a moment, wondering how her own grandma is doing. We get a sad sad shot of Grandma eating alone with just Doo-rim's picture for company.
JoAnne: That is sad. But also, eww, she cleans Grandma but not herself. You gonna tell me that none of that pee got on her?
Shuk: I'm thinking happy thoughts here. She had double-stitched Scotchguarded Anti-Urine slacks bought at a nearby Lotte store. #MysterySolvedNowLetsMoveOn
Shuk: Kang-joo steps into Granny's room and finds his fiancee asleep. He sits on the bed and stares at her as she snores. He shakes her awake, she claims he's pervert, he claims her snoring rattled the rafters. It's almost time for the memorial. She smooths the blankets before leaving.
JoAnne: Tell-tale sign of smittenness: watching people sleep. Unless of course you're a murderer or something.
Shuk: It's a very formal affair, with priests and chanting. FirstBorn's eyes look a little bruised as he stands and watches.
Shuk: Bubbles is doing the final cleaning when the lights flicker and go out. She gets spooked in the pitch darkness, but manages to light a match. A face looms out of the dark, and she screams and falls.
Shuk: The lights come back on to reveal Doo-rim top of Kang-joo, both covered in matches just as Flunkette steps in. She is appalled. FirstBorn flips Bubbles off him and stammers an excuse with a match hanging off his lip. He accuses her of doing it on purpose and chases after his assistant.
JoAnne: So does he like that skinny girl?
JoAnne: Hmmmm. I'm assuming she wasn't a ghost at the time? Or was she?
Shuk: At the Jang house, JangMama pulls a charm out of her daughter's bed-pillow. Did she steal it from Kim Bong-do? But, he's already made it to 2012 before going off to the army... JangOppa is there too, and Mama wonders how her daughter is doing in the cold cruel world. It's a wedding charm, and foolish of Mama to buy. She crumples it up.
Shuk: FirstBorn and Flunkette are in a Gazebo of Griping. She demands to know if he's going to marry Yi-kyung. It's his parent's choice, he says, and it doesn't matter if they chose her. Flunkette cries that he shouldn't marry without feelings. He scoffs that they don't really exist, and warns her not to overstep the boundaries. After all, he never asked her to stay by his side. She asks, if it doesn't matter who he marries, why can't it be her?
JoAnne: Well I do have to admit that it's refreshing to have at least one 'assistant in love with the boss' who isn't hiding her feelings and silently suffering, but...
Shuk: He just tells her to stop. She jumps up and backhugs him, riiiiight about the time Doo-rim sees this. She runs away, but they both see her. Flunkette takes umbrage at the expression on his face, interpreting it as worry for his fiancee. He tells her to mind her own business, and leaves her crying.
JoAnne: Well what do you EXPECT him to do, silly Flunkette?
Shuk: Bubbles wonders about their relationship, but who cares, that's for Yi-kyung to figure out when she comes back. Just then the ghost slides by, dressed like one of the staff. She follows her to the shrine just as a living being comes out. Bubbles finds it strange that the other person didn't see her, and decides to go check things out.
JoAnne: Of course she does.
Shuk: Inside she hears a cat and starts searching for it. The ghost peeks around the corner just as Kang-joo walks in. He also follows the mewling, and finds Bubbles in a shallow pit. She pulls out a fluffy white loud kitten and all but tosses it to him. She reaches back in and pulls out the body of its mama.
JoAnne: Why does there have to be a dead cat? Couldn't it just be a lost kitten?
Shuk: The next thing we know, she holding the kitten waiting for FirstBorn to dig a grave. (Oh this is why.) Clearly he's never used a hand tool of this nature, so she thrusts the kitten at him, and digs it herself, all the while insulting him. After all, his hands only know how to hold a pen and wipe his butt. After finishing, she takes the cat back and promises it that she'll be its mom. He's moved for a moment, but then she just walks away, telling him she's leaving and he can do midnight exercise if he wants.
JoAnne: How old is that shoe by now, and do they really just leave it hanging out? Or was that vignette we saw at the beginning First Born's DAD..and not the first one to experience the curse, as I had thought?
Shuk: FirstBorn is driving Bubbles home; she has fallen asleep in the car. She wakes up when he hits the brakes. He tells her to clean off the drool and wonders why she is staying silent about the tete-a-tete she saw. She gets distracted by the cat, and he gets annoyed and shushes her out of the vehicle, yelling at her not to be late for the television interview tomorrow.
Shuk: JangOppa tells her his sister is wildly allergic to animal fur; did she not read the dossier? She tells him it should be okay, but he points out that her behavior is already off, and she needs to remember that she is not his sister and Kang-joo's fiancee, but Doo-rim. She apologizes for not thinking things through. She promises to do better in the future.
JoAnne: First Born already knows something's up though.
Shuk: ChoiDad is at a frozen lake, by a balanced frame, remembering his first love. He bows formally to an older man - his first father-in-law?
JoAnne: I think so.
Shuk: Bubbles catches up with FirstBorn in the mall lobby. He gives her a quick scrutiny, and tells her to remove the carnelian bracelet. She refuses, but pulls it up under her sleeve.
Shuk: They are crossing the main lobby, when the fired receptionist calls his name. His entourage comes to a halt. She pulls out a tomato and throws it.
Shuk: In slow motion, everyone watches the tomato come closer, but Doo-rim pushes him aside and takes the hit on her head. He stares at her, covered in tomato pulp.
JoAnne: Of course she's that kind of person.
Shuk: In two episodes, he's gone from cold and emotionless to having all sorts of emotional upheavals, and I can't help but enjoy the roller-coaster feel of it all.
JoAnne: Very much enjoying the vague WTF feeling.
Shuk: We still lots of missing facts: what happened when he was a child? Who knows what about the family curse? How many supernatural being are there? Was Do Min-joo in the portrait?
JoAnne: I keep thinking about him too so I'm laughing.
|Why yes, Min Joo really was there!!|