After establishing some characters from Episode 1 and making us love, hate, or pity some of them, it's time for this show to start playing with us and make us regret forming first impressions. Or second. Or third. Really, I wish I can stop forming opinions so I won't have to take them back later, because by the end of this episode, someone's gonna get you good. And I doubt any of us saw that coming.
kakashi: Hehehe. I see what you mean.
becca: I love it when a show keeps me guessing. It means the writers are actually putting some thought into their characters.
This is the episode where you will fall in love with Yoo Na's Street. Otherwise, this show is sadly not for you and you will never fall in love with Yoo Na's Street. Ever.
kakashi: ... said nobody ever.
Let's replay that Gangster Boss and co. strut, shall we?
kakashi: Song Jae-rim! Song Jae-rim! We have a situation!
becca: I think we're okay for now. She hasn't started clutching her kokoro yet.
Hot damn! Me likey that man! (seeeeee?!) Now where were we? Ah, right. The gang barges into Mi Seon's Cafe and make a racket while Gangster Boss goes "Oy, Kang Yoo Na-sshi". But his swag is interrupted when Yang Sun stares him down and asks "Hey, don't you know me?" "Oh... Noona?!" he answers. Yang Sun tells Yoo Na that this Nam Su used to be her gang's "scope eye" (probably a lookout of sorts). She then scolds Nam Su for fighting with Yoo Na. Doesn't he know this is The Yoo Na?
kakashi: Aw, poor boys. This is not going the way they wanted it to go. Cocky-blocked. Look at their faces....
becca: I kind of love them. They're like the Lost Boys. Maybe a little rougher around the edges. Also, why are there all these spaces here? *looks down questioningly*
kakashi: The horrorz! spaces!!!!! *deletes frantically*
"It's because I know who she is that I'm more disappointed" says Nam Su. "You broke my hyungnim's arm" says another lackey. "Is there an issue here?" asks Mi Seon. Everyone surrounds Yoo Na and I giggle at how embarrassed she is. She's such an avoider! Like a cold-hearted chaebol male lead. Except she's not a chaebol. And she's not male. Errr... you get the point.
kakashi: I like how calm she always is, but am certain I will also like her emotional.
becca: Thankfully she's not a jerk like chaebol male leads usually are. Or a psycho bitch like most female chaebols are. Do we just call the women chaebols, too? I've only heard it applied to males, that I remember.
Nam Su and Yoo Na talk one-on-one. He tries to establish a common ground by mentioning family:
"I know you and your father very well."
"Hmph. Why are you bringing him up?" asks Yoo Na.
"I've met your father from my prison stint," adds Nam Su.
"I don't like my father," she answers.
kakashi: He has earnest puppy eyes. He will break our hearts, won't he?
becca: Of course he will! He's a Lost Boy. I'm gonna go ahead and give him a hug."Even if you don't like him, I respect him!" just so he can plow through with the family analogy: families should understand and help each other. His team was there first. How can Yoo Na just walk in and steal from them?
kakashi: *checks the list of favorite K-actors to see whether she has some room for this one*. So cuuuuuute. He has principles!
becca: We find principles adorable.
She scoffs at his sentiments and reminds him that she was there first in the ATM. Nam Su says then she should have signaled that she was onto the target! "I DID give you a sign. In the subway. Don't you remember?" asks Yoo Na. Nam Su gets this funny look when he realizes he's been wrong all along, but Yoo Na isn't done yet, "That day, I was ahead of you twice. How else should I send a signal? Should I shout 'this target is mine'?" she asks scathingly.
kakashi: Poooooooor little gangsterling.
becca: Something tells me this is only the beginning of his (and our) heartbreak. Hug?
Haha. Poor Nam Su is totally defeated. He sags on the couch and sighs "nothing, nothing is going well lately!" Yoo Na asks about his arm and offers to pay for the treatment costs. But Nam Su gets an idea: instead of paying the medical fees, can't Yoo Na just work with his gang while his arm is recovering? She laughs at the proposal, all "don't you know my temper is really bad? I don't work well with others". She takes out a couple of bills and tells Nam Su to accept those instead. She also promises to let his gang have the target next time they cross paths.
kakashi: It is already clear to me that this man will be very much in love with this woman later. He is already looking at her with those eyes.
becca: I hope she works with them. That would be adorable and awesome.
When she tries to leave, Nam Su stops her and almost pleads for Yoo Na to teach his boys her pickpocketing techniques. (Do eeeettt!) Yoo Na is now pissed off. "Technique is developed by oneself. Do you think athletes get to the top by copying someone else's style?" She orders him to get out of her way. With that, the convo ends. Nam Su doesn't take the money. He and his gang leave after bowing reluctantly in Yang Sun noona's direction.
kakashi: He should probably look for better pickpockets, this Nam Su, if he wants better success. They don't look capable to me!
becca: Yoo Na's argument doesn't really hold water, in my opinion. Yes, it's important to have your own technique at some point, but you have to start somewhere. It's like painting or singing - you start by emulating the people you admire as you get down the basics, then you figure out your own style from there.
Yang Sun waits for them to leave before bombarding Yoo Na with questions. Did she get into a turf war with them? (Yoo Na: Do I have a turf to get in such a war?) Are you doing "this" *rubs fingers together* again? (Yoo Na: Whatever!) She's saved from the interrogation when she gets a call from "Homeless".
kakashi: Ahhhh, I wanna know more about Yoo Na's backstory! Is this like Jang Bori? 36 more episodes until something gets revealed?
"Hello! It's Lee Byeong Hoon, I'm in front of the meeting place." Yoo Na tells him to wait inside first. (It's a different cafe.) He tries to dust off his clothes a bit before going in.
becca: *giggles* You did it again, Mary. Also, these two are so cute. (What did I do? T^T)
*inserts space for becca's hug here*
*is about to hug but stops short in surprise*
*pushes becca away and goes for the hug herself*
*repeats that he's adorable and adds an "I told you so"*
Axe Grandpa is escorted out of the restaurant. He reminds Big-eye that running a business is different from leading a gang. When the customer complains about the taste, one must reflect on how to improve the food instead of how to beat up the complainant. (LOL) Big-eye promises to "keep the knives inside the kitchen" and everyone bows when Grandpa leaves.
kakashi: He really does have a godfatherly vibe, the old geezer (*this last part was whispered because I have seen the end of this episode)
Inside the car, it's a different story. Manbo (that's the gangster nickname of the landlord) scolds Grandpa for talking too much. "Elders should open their wallets and shut their mouths." (so much hate) He mocks Grandpa's stories about Frog and Grasshopper and Masakari. Grandpa apologizes, but Manbo is on a roll. He also scolds Grandpa for inviting random people like Yoo Na to a drink but never offering to do so with Manbo. Grandpa apologizes again and offers to drink with him, but Manbo is in a pissy mood. He jeers about Grandpa's stupid stories while Grandpa just sits quietly at the back.
kakashi: Manbo is always pissy, isn't he? Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. He reminds me of a boss I once had. Short and evil.
becca: Sometimes he surprises me into feeling a little sympathy, but mostly I dislike him, even though he can be quite amusing. So basically, I dislike him, but I also kinda don't. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I always dislike the way he treats Axe Halbae, though.
Chang Man hears about the room from Yoo Na and wonders why the rent is halved and there's no deposit. She tells him about the previous owner who committed suicide. His first concern is if it was a friend of Yoo Na's. (Thoughtful and sweet, no wonder he keeps being hug-attacked by becca. *is startled again by Mary's clairvoyance but still goes for the hug*) "Just someone I know" Yoo Na answers. When Chang Man jokes that the room will give him nightmares, Yoo Na tells him that that abandoned restaurant is scarier than the cheap room.
kakashi: I wondered why she would tell him. She is a nice person too, it seems.
becca: She is! I think she's secretly just as much of a bleeding heart as he is. Now kiiiisssss~!
He cheerily admits that he's not scared of ghosts. Living, finding food, and shelter -- that is far scarier in general. The real reason he's reluctant is because he promised to watch over the restaurant for his former boss. Yoo Na tries to convince him. This kind of offer is sure to be snatched up soon! But Chang Man is very laid-back about it. If someone gets the room before he can contact his boss, then there's nothing he can do about it. *shrug* Instead, what he wants to know is why Yoo Na went to the trouble to offer the room to him.
kakashi: He is quickly climbing the ladder up to that place of "favorite male leads" I have in my house.
becca: Oh, he's definitely going on that list. But seriously, there has to be something wrong with him. He's too perfect. *squinty eyes*
Yoo Na says he looked pitiful (ah, but he doesn't! Great screencap :). He admits being hurt by that answer. "It's a self-respect thing", he says. Yoo Na looks down and apologizes. Chang Man asks her to look him in the eye and be honest: "Aren't you feeling some sort of mental attraction to me?" LOL! Of course Yoo Na denies it while Chang Man just smiles, all, "sure, sure, okay" and drinks his coffee.
kakashi: Uhm .... mental attraction?! WTF?!
becca: No, that's a thing. Like, when two crazies meet, and they instantly know they're kindred spirits.
When Yoo Na makes it back to her unni's cafe, Yang Sun is already gone. Mi Seon laughs at Yoo Na for bothering to help find a new tenant for the 2nd floor room. She also chides her for causing such rowdy guys to drop by and drive away tonight's customers. Yoo Na claims they were strangers who keep bugging her to work with them. (Haha, technically, this is true again. What a smooth-talker our Yoo Na is.) Mi Seon then admits that what she hated more was Yang Sun in her cafe. She feels scared that the ex-pickpocket is stealing from her customers everytime she brushes by them. Yoo Na defends her unni: Yang Sun is someone who's trying to live straight now.
kakashi: Does the café unni actually ever sleep at the house? I still don't like her.
becca: Hold onto that feeling. Nurture it. Someday soon, it will bloom into a great flower.
(Y'know, I don't remember this scene. I realized there are blocks of Yoo Na's Street I haven't seen at all because when I was editing for Darksmurfsubs, I'd just skip to the parts that aren't subbed yet. LOL)
((oh. I hope that doesn't mean Yoo Na's Street isn't good at all and you just thought it was good because you watched the best scenes, because the scenes that are best get subbed first?))
(((I never skip through, so I can definitively say the first four eps are the bee's knees. The rest I can't speak for but assume is equally wonderful.)))
Gye Pal and his noona (Manbo's wife; they call her Madame/Lady) are in the yard. One is making dog biscuits while the latter is hanging the laundry. That kinda says a lot about Gye Pal and how he lives his life, huh? They watch guiltily as Grandpa hobbles back to his room. Then Madame orders Gye Pal to tell Grandpa to move upstairs. He tries to beg off, wanting Byeon Chil to do it instead. But Madame is sure that Byeon Chil will be drunk when he gets home, and they need to tell Grandpa today.
kakashi: So cruuuuuuuuuuel. And yes, poor Gye Pal. He is very lonely. People-lonely. It's not enough to be loved by dogs.
Gye Pal drops by Grandpa's room and asks about his knee, which of course hurts a lot. (Haha! Wrong topic, man.) He massages Grandpa's leg before telling him that this room is going to be rented out. Grandpa needs to move to the dead teacher's room. "I don't like that room. Tell Manbo I don't want to move", he answers. Gye Pal is frustrated and reminds him that he isn't paying anything, so if they tell him to move, he has to move. "You brat! You might as well tell me to go away", says Grandpa. He drives Gye Pal out and seems genuinely hurt that Manbo would treat him this way.
kakashi: I feel sorry for Gye Pal but don't like him. He reminds me of this guy who fixes stuff in the house I currently live in. Too subservient.
Manbo drops by Da Yeong's (his daughter's) school. She's not there. She's out drinking with a friend (Dong Ho) because she was scolded in front of the whole class and ordered out of the stage. She asks for her friend's honest critique, insisting she needs the truth and won't get mad. Dong Ho carefully points out that she does have a habit of talking more affectedly when she's delivering lines. "You mean... like overacting?" asks Da Yeong. He nods, the idiot, and tries to soften it with, "if you can just fix that, you're good!"
kakashi: Hahahaaaaa, that didn't go too well, Dong-ho.
becca: Poor guy. But seriously, it's hard to be comforting to someone who can't even take constructive criticism from a friend. Being called out in front of a class (and ordered out!) is embarrassing and super upsetting, so I understand her problem, but pouting about it does not endear her to me. Get off your pity-pot, Nancy!
Of course the drunk daughter of a mob boss didn't like hearing that. She slurs insults at him and pelts him with popcorn. "How can you critique an acting performance? Huh? Huh? You're just a stage hand!" *throw throw* This is the scene that Manbo walks in on. When Da Yeong notices him, she doesn't even hide or anything. She just burps and asks, "What are you doing here, daddy?"
kakashi: I am too lazy to google, do we know her from somewhere? She looks vaguely familiar.
becca: I didn't recognize her at first, either, but she's Jung Eun-ji's friend from Answer Me 1997. I don't like this character. She's a brat. *waits for Huggable Ahjussi or Lost Boy Oppa to come back*
In the car, Da Yeong tearfully recounts how the professor humiliated her in front of everyone and said he'd give the role to someone else. Manbo helplessly watches his daughter cry and promises to "talk" to her professor to "settle" things. Da Yeong doesn't want him to do so, but Manbo insists he'll fix this for her... looks like we've found Manbo's weakness, eh?
kakashi: Mortifying. Your daddy, the gangster, wants to go "talk" to your teacher to "fix" things.
becca: I mostly feel sorry for her teacher. Worse than her being (apparently?) talentless, she seems pretty unteachable, too, if it got to this point.
The cafe closes up for the day and Yoo Na watches as Mi Seon prepares for an "overnight date" with President Jeong. Yoo Na asks her unni if she's in love with President Jeong? Of course not, unni answers. She doesn't need love to have sex. What she wants is money. "No matter how handsome a guy is, if he has no money, he's no good." Only money can feed her and buy her the things she wants in life. Yoo Na stares at her unni, weighing her words, until Mi Seon tells her to go home.
kakashi: Ah, honesty. Sometimes you're darn unsexy.
becca: Like boobs. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.
Wait--- I wanna talk about the "Is Mi Seon Sexy Or Not?" thing. She IS sexy. Statistically speaking, if you poll her "target audience" aka men in 30-50s, they WILL find her looks and manner of dress sexy. My use of "sexy" to describe her does not reflect purity of soul, kindness of heart, smartness or some such thing us ladies like to add to the definition of sexy. She fits sexy in this world. She invites lust. She attracts men who will follow her whims. She is that kind of sexy.
Outside the cafe, President Jeong intercepts Yoo Na and gives her an expensive scarf and perfume from Paris. He tells her to keep this a secret from Mi Seon, since she already got her share. Yoo Na doesn't accept. If he wants to give her a gift, he should give it through her unni. They hear Mi Seon going down the steps so President Jeong hurriedly agrees and hides the gift again. Yoo Na refuses a ride from them and leaves first. President Jeong eyes her as she walks away. Tsk tsk tsk... I smell something fishy about this President Jeong.
kakashi: Oh dear. I laughed and cringed and started to look forward to where they take this.
becca: I do not like this, no. He's skeevy, and I foresee a world of hurt. *sets up protective shield around Yoo Na Unni*
At home, Grandpa climbs the steps to the second floor room. He barely makes it upstairs, panting from the effort. He checks out the room and seems resigned to transferring there when Yoo Na spots him leaving the room. She asks if he was already ordered to move? Grandpa says he's not sure what's gonna happen either. He bids her good night and Yoo Na watches sadly as he hobbles back downstairs.
kakashi: Impassive rather than sadly, I'd say. Something is wrong with her emotions. I think she suppresses them.
becca: She seems kind of shut down. All her emotions are muted, like she's spent a lot of effort trying not to feel things deeply. I want to hug her, too.
(I just chose a really unfortunate screenshot. The one below is when she saw Grandpa exiting the room. Hehe. Sorry. She has a sadder look when she finds out Gramps was already asked to move.)
Next day, Yoo Na visits her dad in prison. He jokes that he's feeling sick due to the stress of applying for early pardon. She tells him not to bother, with his record. (Hehe) He asks after her health and her current job and Yoo Na answers with the usual "working at the cafe of an unni I know". Dad asks if that's it? No more stealing? Yoo Na refuses to answer, which obviously means she's still running the family business, so to speak. Dad becomes agitated and begs her to just stop it. He laments the kind of life they have, "When the father gets out, the daughter is locked in. When the father is locked in, the daughter gets out." He calls her by her real name, Chun Ok, begging her to change her life, find a good man and settle down. Yoo Na sulks and refuses to look at Dad during his whole wishful lecture.
kakashi: Oh, her real name? Why did she change it? Is Yoo Na her gangster name? Why is her father so old? What has she experienced in prison? Is there a pre-quel?
Nothing special. She's a pickpocket. You're in and out of prison in their line of work. Her dad mentioned it during this visit. (kakashi, are you watching this with subs???)
becca: These two break my heart. She's obviously been hurt by him a lot, and he knows it. He's genuinely trying to be a good dad now, but she doesn't seem ready to listen.
kakashi: Da-yeong is the worst actress I've ever seen. Who ever accepted her at a drama school? Or is she not going to a drama school? I guess some bribes might have been used.
becca: Maybe they didn't have enough applicants and had to accept anyone they could get for classes to make or for the school to be eligible for certain grants/statuses or something? That's a thing, right?
Dong Min (Manbo's son; played by Little Kei! *snickers*) comes up to call his noona for lunch. He stays behind a bit to chat with Yoo Na and brag about his school activities. They have a much closer vibe and Yoo Na treats the kid well.
Gye Pal comes out of his rooftop room to feed his dogs and Yoo Na asks him if Grandpa is really moving to the second floor. Gye Pal says of course! Gramps may have threatened to leave, but it's not like he has anywhere else to go to. Gye Pal dismisses talk about Grandpa and tries to borrow money from Yoo Na instead to feed his "babies" aka dogs. (Hmph. I like dogs and all, but if you care more about them than an actual person, there's something wrong with you.) Good thing Yoo Na doesn't lend him any dough.
kakashi: Absolutely. It's creepy.
becca: Oh, I'm so glad you both think so. I was afraid of being called heartless by crazy dog-lovers. Normal dog-lovers are fine, but there should be limits.
Later, Gye Pal updates Manbo about Grandpa's answer. Manbo says he doesn't care if the old man leaves. The Madame thinks otherwise. Wasn't it Manbo, three years ago, who was insisting on taking in Grandpa so he'll gain "respect" from the other thugs for sheltering The Axe? Gye Pal says it's ok to kick the old man out now. Thugs these days don't know who The Axe is anymore. Heck, they don't even know who Manbo is! Gye Pal is saved from Manbo's hate when Da Yeong calls her father aside to talk.
kakashi: hahahahaaa, awesome scene. Little Manbo all fired up is very entertaining to watch!
She tells her dad to keep her school issues a secret and to stay away from her professor, knowing full well what Manbo means by "having a talk". Manbo insists his way is better. "Rather than you begging 10 times, let me go just once and everything will be settled" he says. She pouts and protests shrilly (so shrilly! >_< I have trouble believing this girl is out of high school), and Manbo sighs and agrees to let her settle the problem by herself.
kakashi: Ouf. Another teacher saved. You did well, kiddo.
becca: Oh, you really think he's going to let it be?
It's market day for Yoo Na! She strolls around checking out the food... and the customers' wallets. Hehe. She finds a well-dressed man with a lot of money and moves in on him when a hand grabs her out of nowhere and drags her away. It's Dirt-rag Bong! He warns her that the place is swarming with undercover cops. Yoo Na denies that she's up to her "hand tricks" today but Dirt-rag Bong informs her that there's a crackdown on pickpockets, just the same.
kakashi: That's kinda nice of him.
becca: I find it amusing how she always protests that she's gone straight, and no one ever believes her. It's kinda sad that she's not trusted, but since she really is up to her old tricks, it's funny.
He was hanging out at the marketplace, hoping to find Yang Sun there because it used to be one of her hangouts. Yoo Na insists that her unni stopped stealing when she got married. Thanks to Bong, Yoo Na doubted her unni. Now she won't answer Yoo Na's calls anymore. Bong looks guiltier about that, because the noraebang client who lost his wallet just called. That damned guy dropped his wallet in his own car after all! *facepalm* *headdesk* *throws up hands*
Bong is begging Yoo Na to help him look for his wife when her phone rings. It's Chang Man! He was able to contact his boss and say goodbye. Now he's outside Manbo's compound, wanting to check the room.
kakashi: hot neighbor alert! It beginneth!
becca: The sequel to Flower Boy Next Door: Hot Namja Next Door.
Since Yoo Na is outside, Chang Man is given a tour by the landlady/Madame. He seems charmed by the room, praising everything in it. The Madame asks if he'll use it alone. She complains that the cafe manager from the other room also said she's renting alone, but later on another girl came to live with her. Chang Man doesn't know Yoo Na worked in a cafe, prompting the landlady to wonder how they can be friends without knowing that. (LOL, if you only knew what Yoo Na's real job is.)
kakashi: I like him. Look how interested he is in Yoo Na .... awwwww.
becca: Cute, isn't he? You want to hug him, don't you? *poke poke*
Just then, Byeon Chil walks out of the other room. Chang Man calls out to him, "Painter hyung!" They clasp each other's hands and smile and catch up on news. Really, it's funny how giddy they are. Byeon Chil tells the landlady that Chang Man used to assist him with some of his paint jobs. (I must be missing WTFParis. For a split second, I thought you said "hand jobs.") (It felt weird using "paint job" too. I had to rethink my word choice thrice before assuring myself that it's perfectly innocent.) Chang Man says that since hyung is here, he's now sure he'll rent the room. The landlady also looks glad that at least the new renter won't have trouble fitting in. When Chang Man asks after Byeon Chil's wife, he learns that Manbo's family owns a colatec (a sort of dancing club) and employs Byeon Chil's wife as part of the staff.
kakashi: That's better than a nightclub owner. "Better" in the sense of "less illegal". Not that owning a nightclub is illegal. But they always do very illegal things in nightclubs!
I won't ask how you knew that.
We cut to the colatec itself, where Hye Sook (Byeon Chil's wife) works as a "helper". The club is full of oldies and the band plays Trot, I think. Hye Sook's job is to hook up people (they call it "booking") who may want to dance or chat with each other. A grandpa enters alone and gives an extra tip to Hye Sook so she can hook him up with a pretty 50 y/o lady who can dance well. Heh. Hye Sook runs off to fetch the ladies to recommend to grandpa when a trio of thugs enters and demands to see Manbo.
kakashi: Is that grandpa important for later? I don't know with this show. It's way of storytelling is so different, I'm unsure what I need to focus on and what is just there because it's there.
She escorts them to Manbo's office and they introduce themselves as Hammer's men. "Who's that?" Manbo asks Gye Pal. Gye Pal recalls Hammer as "that kid" who used to work under Steel Frame (LOL at the names, really). The thugs take issue at "that kid" and say Hammer is a "Hyeongnim" now. Manbo tells Gye Pal to go out and he hilariously puffs out his chest and talks big against the thugs, all while trying hard to keep as much distance as possible.
kakashi: And suddenly, brutally, I am reminded of Age of Feelings! Dog Nose! Dog Nose, where are you! And I don't even remember what happened to him in the end ...
becca: Pretty sure he died? He sacrificed himself or something... I don't know. I only watched the first week, then just skimmed recaps/squeecaps for Mo.
Don't you remember? He ran away with Baek-san when the Inspiring Youth Curse was lifted.
The thugs demand 300,000 Won a month (around $300) from Manbo's business. It's discounted. Others are paying 500,000 Won. (Pffft. Like that's a comfort at all!) They talk politely about the economy and feeding their families, etc. but there's a rude slant to it as they sit on the desk and dust off their shoes in front of Manbo. He can't believe they'd have the gall to walk into his place and extort money from him, but the thugs aren't scared of his posturing. They remind him they're not the same "kids" he used to know.
kakashi: He was ready to explode. Any minute.
becca: This is where I started to actually sympathize with him a bit, even as I enjoy the irony of him being ignored/dismissed by the youngsters when he's been doing the same thing to Axe Halbae.
Manbo is demanding to talk to this "Hammer" guy when Hye Sook runs in and calls for help. Gye Pal is lying on the corridor outside. One of the thugs beat him up "to teach him respect". (Gye Pal hilariously makes punching motions to make up for the un-coolness of being down and bloodied on the floor.) Manbo is almost speechless with rage that this gang dared beat up his brother-in-law in his own club. The thugs say goodbye for now since it's obviously pointless to negotiate after what happened.
kakashi: Shit. Will people die in this drama? Mary?
becca: Double shit. I hadn't thought of that. And now I'm convinced that someone will die. Thanks, kakashi. :(
I have the right to remain silent. Although at this point in the drama, I won't shed a tear for Manbo, Gye Pal, the Madame, or Da Yeong at all.
Aaaand just like that, Chang Man is moving into his new room. *cackling* (Wheeee!!!) Dong Min and his friend, Sae Gi, greet Chang Man. He's great with the kids (isn't he great with everyone, though? But it's extra adorable with the kids!) and treats them like people instead of talking down to them. The kids help him move his stuff in, making a game of it. And I find myself smiling at them. Kids are really the best! :D Not for child labor! Just, they really tackle everything with a lot of energy. Like they're a fangirl/boy of life itself.
kakashi: That is true! They actually like to be given tasks. It makes them feel important.
becca: *nods* And they respond well to people who treat them with the same respect they'd give an adult. Have I mentioned that I love Chang Man Ahjussi? I do, and I squeeed so hard during this scene.
*cough* Anyway, Axe Grandpa greets Chang Man and says that if he wants to live well in this compound, he should get along with Grandpa. Chang Man good-naturedly agrees and promises to drop by after he fixes his things. Yoo Na walks in on him setting up his room and he thanks her for helping him find such a sweet deal. He promises to treat her to some rice cakes. She passes on that, "I don't like rice cake". "Then, what about rice?" says Chang Man. Yoo Na just smiles at him and tells him to enjoy the food himself. She leaves in time to see Gye Pal being escorted by his noona upstairs.
kakashi: Awww, that's cold, woman. Give the man a chance!
becca: She'll be worn down by his sweetness. You'd have to be crazy not to love this man.
Hye Sook tells Yoo Na about the visit from Hammer's men. Yoo Na is surprised that someone dared mess with their landlord, who's a known gangster himself. Hye Sook fears that this Hammer guy is even more of a bigshot! Chang Man watches all of this blankly from the doorway and I just cackle at him. Oh dear, you have no idea what you've gotten yourself into, Chang Man-sshi. Huehuehahahaha!!!
becca: Orrrr does he??? I'm more curious about this guy than anyone else in the whole drama. And they're a curious bunch!
Manbo drops by Big-eye's restaurant. He needs to borrow some men to teach Hammer a lesson for insulting his family at his own club. Big-eye tells his hyung to calm down. This Hammer guy is big trouble. These new crop of gangsters don't respect seniority anymore so it's better to pay up and just think of it as "protection tax". He guiltily admits that he pays Hammer's fees too. Manbo feels betrayed and vows not to bow down to Hammer.
becca: I love you, kakashi.
That night, Chang Man drinks downstairs with Grandpa. He is pleased at Chang Man's cheery aura and outlook in life. Grandpa shows him the picture of his great hyungnim, Hwa Ryeong. A leader among leaders. It was while being Hwa Ryeong's second hand that Axe Grandpa met "Han Man Bok" aka Manbo. He brags that he took good care of his hoobae, which is why Manbo feels indebted to him and let him live here. Chang Man asks if Grandpa doesn't eat with Manbo in the main house?
kakashi: Chang Man keeps a remarkably straight face during all this.
Grandpa deflects and says they don't really eat together. He can just cook or buy... or freeload sometimes. He becomes more dejected as he says food is the least of his worries now. What with his deteriorating health. Chang Man cheers him up by praising how good-looking Hwa Ryeong hyungnim is, and Grandpa is happy to talk about his hyung again.
kakashi: Aw, it's a sad character, somehow, this old gangster.
becca: It's because he feels so irrelevant. He's become an old man, and he's all alone. No one listens to him or seeks his advice. It's only human to want to be needed by someone.
Later that night, Manbo drinks alone in the dark. "Very well, let's have at it, guys." He says to no one in particular.
kakashi: Yikes. Gang wars!
Now for this random bit: Grandpa greets Chang Man the next morning. He wasn't able to sleep well because of the change of place. Grandpa tells him it's the lady's ghost causing his discomfort and that he should rub his butt on the floor to appease her. LOL. He even pats Chang Man's butt using his cane.
kakashi: Uhm. Uhm?
becca: LOL. I don't know, if I were a ghost that might do the trick. I'd be laughing too hard to haunt the guy!
Manbo comes out just then and Grandpa introduces the new tenant. He kind of ignores them because he's busy calling up his mob contacts. Grandpa eavesdrop on his call and hears Manbo borrowing men from someone and arguing about payments and such. When Manbo comes back, Grandpa calls him using his gangster nickname. "Don't call me like that, so early in the morning!" shouts Manbo. But Grandpa is not in a complacent mood today. "I said come here, you punk." That gets Manbo's attention.
becca: That's right, show him who's the Hyungnim!
He tells Manbo not to gather the boys and carelessly start a war. Manbo is pissed and tells him to stay out of it. But Grandpa has a plan: he will deal with Hammer himself. "Hyungnim, do you have dementia?" asks Manbo. Grandpa knows it looks silly, but "The Axe hasn't lost it's teeth yet. I'm still alive. Leave Hammer to me." Manbo keeps asking what the plan is. Does Grandpa even know who Hammer is? "I don't. But the Hammer can never beat the Axe." LOL Oh dear...
kakashi: pppffffft, stop this! Not a good idea!!!!
becca: Nooo, kakashi! Let this awesomeness happen!! Go, Grandpa!!
Next thing we know, Chang Man is in a thrift store and Byeon Chil is helping him pick out a suit. He wants a bluish-gray one but Byeon Chil insists that it has to be black. Chang Man asks where he's escorting Grandpa, is it a funeral? *cackling* (oh dear NO) (oh dear YES) Byeon Chil doesn't know either. Byeon Chil watches him tie the necklace at home (um, Mary? do you mean necktie?) (Yep, but now I can't correct it!***) and Chang Man proudly recites the different types of knots he learned online (cute cute cute). Byeon Chil cuts him off: hurry, Grandpa is ready to leave.
*** as per kakashi's "Thou shalt not delete" rule on this blog. I'm sorry. I promise not to write recaps at 6am again while checking out Rim's butt in another tab...
Grandpa is dressed in full-on The Axe mode today. Manbo waits worriedly outside the car. When Chang Man comes out and tries to sit in the back with Grandpa, Manbo just stares at Chang Man and he meekly runs around to the passenger's seat. I dunno why I found it funny. I just find most of what Chang Man does funny.
kakashi: Mary, this was one of the funniest bits in this episode indeed! It cracked me up as well!! !
On the way there, Manbo asks about the price of the suit. Chang Man proudly tells him how they haggled it down from $20 to $16. Manbo isn't pleased at all because apparently, Byeon Chil charged him for $20 anyway. Chang Man good naturedly admits it must be the price of the udon. Manbo goes into this rant about the price of udon when Grandpa shuts him up. It's not the time to worry about $2 udons when they're on their way to meet Hammer! Manbo grits his teeth and apologizes. And Chang Man, oh dear, he pats Manbo's arm and tells him it's okay, udon really costs $2 nowadays. Grandpa shouts at him to shut up too. Hahahaha!
kakashi: So random. So good.
becca: I could watch this car ride forever. Does Chang Man even realize what's going on? Does he know he's about to become the most adorable henchman ever??
They arrive at the meeting place, Seom Cafe (Mi Seon's cafe). Manbo instructs Chang Man to escort Grandpa to the "meeting" while Manbo waits for them outside. After Chang Man gets out of the car, Manbo hurriedly tells Grandpa that he changed his mind. Instead of being aggressive, Grandpa should just talk to Hammer and negotiate down to 200,000 Won.
kakashi: Ah, someone is getting nervous.
Just before entering the cafe, Grandpa warns Chang Man about what's going to happen. Chang Man becomes more agitated with everything Grandpa says. It's too precious to summarize. So here's part of the convo:
Grandpa: If words don't work, I might have to beat that guy up a little.
Chang Man: No, you can't do that, Grandpa. Your leg is in pain.
G: Don't be scared.
CM: I'm not scared for myself, I'm scared for you.
G: I said don't worry about me! There are two guys inside. I'll beat one of them up, and you just hold on to the other one and make sure he doesn't interfere.
CM: No! No! You can't do that, Grandpa!
G: Why not? When an older guy hits, the young ones will just take it in stride.
CM: No! No! Youngsters these days don't act that way!
CM: No! Grandpa!
G: Don't be scared. Let's go in.
becca: I love them so much.
As "luck" would have it, Yoo Na is the staff on duty today. She greets Grandpa and Chang Man. The dork lights up to find out where she works. (Awww!) Then a second later he stage-whispers to her. "Leave! Leave! Now! It's not safe!"
kakashi: Awwww, he wants to protect her. Awww. He is so sweet.
becca: *nods furiously because she's too busy cooing over the cuteness* Look at that SMILE.
Grandpa walks into the private room and asks which one is Hammer? Hammer and his lackey laugh at "the goofy old man". Grandpa ignores the insult and calmly orders the lackey and Chang Man out of the room. Once they're alone, Grandpa asks, "Did you just call me a goofy old man?" He distracts Hammer by asking about something else then stunning him with a punch. (HAHAHAHA! GO, GRANDPA!!) The lackey runs back inside after hearing his boss cry out, but Chang Man is right behind and holds him back very politely, all "just a moment, just a moment".
becca: He's so polite, even in the midst of a fight. Adorable.
*giggling* That cracked me up too! "Just a moment" for what? To let Grandpa beat up Hammer? hahahaha
Yoo Na runs inside too, just in time to witness Grandpa grab Hammer and pin him down on the coffee table. Then Grandpa takes off his fedora and head-butts the guy.
kakashi: Fight! Fight! Fight! Buahahahahaaaa.
becca: Take him down, Grandpa! *wild cheering and laughter*
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh gods. Who knew Grandpa still had it in him? (once a head-butter, always a head-butter) We don't know yet if Grandpa escapes unscathed, but it was very satisfying to see him proving that "The Axe isn't dead yet". It was a perfect end to this episode which started out with Grandpa being ordered this way and that, and the old man himself starting to be depressed about where he ended up in life.
kakashi: The axe is stronger than the hammer. He said it and it's true.
becca: This show's alternate title was "How Grandpa Got His Groove Back." I'm loving it.
I'm glad Chang Man moves in quickly into Manbo's compound, because Chang Man + crazy things happening = gold.
kakashi: Cohabitation is one of the GOOD things in Kdrama, yes.
becca: And the more people cohabiting, the better, I say.