01 July 2015


My Beautiful Bride - Episode 2 (A ThisKicksAssCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on July 01, 2015
OMG their love story is SO SWEET, it chokes me up - because it's not only sweet, it's also full of heart-wrenching tension because we know that something is awfully wrong. But what? What is it that these two people are hiding? What is going on?!
So you think he's hiding something, too, then? That makes sense. This episode is as solidly entertaining yet mysterious as the first, and yay for that!

Episode 2

Three years ago, at Shin Gook Bank - everything is black and white. It's raining heavily. Kim Do-Hyeong's loud co-worker is chatting up some female employees to go have chicken and beer with him and Do-Hyeong, who is in no hurry. The others leave, he stands there and looks at the rain, saying in voice over: it was summer, three years ago. And as everything turns from grey to color, Yoon Joo-Young comes running from the rain to take shelter next to him.
In Korea, there are two ways to make a man fall in love with you: get drunk and vomit on him then demand that he take you home, OR paste an angelic look on your face and marvel at the rain as if you're seeing it for the first time. You MUST extend your arm, palm up.
She comments on the sudden rain and how it's nice and cool and he has clearly fallen in love this very instance.When she turns her face to look at him (probably surprised he doesn't answer), he shyly looks to the ground. "Is that the first time you met Miss Yoon Joo-Young?" Cha Yoon-Mi asks off camera, but we don't see her.  
His awkward robot thing is absolutely endearing, isn't it?
Overcoming his shyness, Do-Hyeong offers the beautiful woman his umbrella - claiming he likes to get wet. She takes the umbrella and he steps into the rain, his briefcase over his head. (What happened to liking to get wet? No commitment to the lie.) She smiles - and runs after him. She asks the surprised man whether he knows her (he doesn't - but it seems he should?) and then asks why he helped her then. He almost stutters as he says because he likes to get wet - and because she looked like she needed an umbrella. God, he's cute. 
Yup, yup. He's a cutie all right. It never occurred to me that she asked because she knew him and was testing him to see if he remembered her. I thought she had no clue who he was but assumed he knew her from somewhere and that's why he was being polite. You see, I have been quite certain I know who she is since I began watching episode one - and I assumed everyone else made the same connection. I was surprised to learn otherwise!
She takes him for a drink and the day turns to night. And then, the night turns into seasons and a lonely Do-Hyeong passes by the restaurant, looking inside, saying ... "and then, she disappeared". And we're back in his living room, where Cha Yoon-Mi is recording his statement, surprised he used that particular word (not sure which one it is in Korean). What he means is that he didn't get to see her after that, seeing how they did not exchange phone numbers.
No game, player.

But they met again one year after that day. Another rainy day in front of the bank - and she comes to return his umbrella. That was the beginning of their time together. Cha Yoon-Mi wants to know whether she ever went missing before like she did now? He looks at her in his quiet (offended?) way and then says "no, she hasn't". His gaze lingers on the recording device.
Which I thought was kind of dumb, because he JUST SAID she disappeared for a year. It's not quite the same, I understand that, but the reality is that this is twice now she's gone from his life.
I think it would be important to understand Korean to get this. He seems to use a unusal word when he says it because Miss Policewoman reacts to it
The young detective with the weird face (name? I don't like him) (He's not listed on anything, no clue.) reports that he has found no traces of anybody breaking in. Which means she left of her own free will (her clothes are still there, though, as they remark later, which is weird if she left voluntarily). Yoon-Mi tells him to get the video files from the elevator. The female detective (played by Lee Sun-Ah) has looked at her browser history, which reveals nothing special. Well, the only special thing is that she has no personal email in her mail account and no social networking accounts. When Yoon-Mi enters the bedroom, she notices the crib standing there and looks at it several times. 
As soon as she's back with Do-Hyeong, she asks him about it. Don't people usually wait until they have the baby? (No. Well, not here, anyway. But the drama is set in Korea, so...) He doesn't answer. They go back to recording and she asks when they started living together. He is very uncomfortable about the recording, but Yoon-Mi swears it will be kept strictly confidential. 
I wondered why he was so uncomfortable, really. Didn't you? Also noted during the interview:  he's got PERFECT shoulders.
I think it has to do with who his parents are. The being uncomfortable part AND the perfect shoulders.  
He continues to tell his love story. They ended up at a bus station ... where she simply never got on any of the buses. Haha. She informs him that the next one is the last - and he says "you will have to get on it then". Oh, boy .... so clueless. She looks disappointed. The last bus arrives and ... she doesn't get on. "It left", he remarks dryly. Okay, and then, it does strike them as funny that they are unable to part and they laugh together. He then offers her a ride on his bike - and did it every day after that, taking her home on his bike. The moments of joy on his face when she puts her head on his back ... so sweet.
That IS sweet. I assumed it would be that they went back to his place. I liked this much better. His face when she rested her head against his back. I want one! I want an awkward robot!
We get to see how he showed her his new apartment a while later. She thinks it's much too big to live in alone - but he won't be here alone, he says He chose it because it's so close to her work. For himself: because he wants to be with her. OMG HE IS SO CUTE (and completely guileless), I'M DYINNNNG.
Because his face at rest is stern and serious, when he smiles like that it's wonderful. His smile uses his whole face. He's adorable and a fitting Mr. Panda!
Cha Yoon-Mi asks why they didn't get married. They were going to, he says. Soon. He needed time until now. For work and stuff (I'm sure the "and stuff" has to do with his parents) (At the very least. I learned my lessons in Cruel City.) Yoon-Mi asks whether he wanted to get married because of the pregnancy. He knew about it, didn't he? (Damn, this interview is uncomfortable!). She wants to know when he found out about the pregnancy and though he clearly does not want to have to go into all those personal details, he does tell her: it was that day; the day she went missing. (Which makes it clear to the police that he lied about this to her brother. Who wouldn't have though! I would be much too proud to admit that I had no clue)
Poor guy, huh? First he's worried out of his mind and then a bomb gets dropped on him. I assume it would have been a happy bomb under different circumstances, but now it's just a blurry knife in a KDrama wound.
Hm, but now she wants to know why he waited three whole days before reporting her missing. Because he thought she would return, he replies. What did he do during these three days? Did he just wait at home? Oh no. He did "everything that he could". He quickly adds that that's why he went to the police. Hmmmmmmmm... Yoon-Mi asks about her friends, and we get another flashback. He overheard her talking to an "unni" about money. Afterwards, she lies about it and says it was her mother. In the present, Do-Hyeong says he doesn't know any of his fiance's friends' contacts. He doesn't know about any friends full stop. 
I wondered about that, too. Doesn't it seem more likely that people would maybe wait until next morning, but then go? Not wait three days. Then again, that flashback taught us that he knew she was withholding information from him... maybe he knows more about her past than we realize.  He seems like the kind of guy to want to have details.

Okay, we are done with the interview from hell - Yoon-Mi summarizes that it doesn't look like kidnapping, but that they will continue the investigation, since he thinks she had no reason to run away. She's being a little scumbag about this! She clearly knows WHAT could be going on, but she is keeping him in the dark, what is more, treats him like a suspect?!
No, she has no idea what he knows or who he is, really. She knows what kind of life Joo Young was living and what kind of people she associated with in the past, so it's reasonable to think she'd have some doubts about this guy no matter what he looks like. Alternatively, she has to wonder if he knows anything at all - and would it be a good idea to blow Joo Young's cover. We have to remember she's not in this to help him, right now. She's doing this for Joo Young.
After leaving his place, they go check out the chicken place (probably to see whether DH has been lying or not). The guy there has a very good memory of that night - because he thought he recognized an old school buddy in Do-Hyeong. Actually, he is quite certain that it was him (he used to ride his bike back then as well), but DH simply lied about it. The chicken guy also says that DH looked incredibly gloomy, like he fought with someone. Hmmmmmmmm.
He did seem upset when we saw him at the chicken place (Yes!), but the bit about the chicken dude recognizing him, and him lying... okay, that was unexpected.

At home, Do-Hyeong has another flashback: when he gave her a nice white car. She didn't want it because she thought it was too expensive, but he tells her that there was no meaning in life before he met her. She is why he lives now. She hugs him, in tears.
*melted puddle of goo*
And more beautiful memories of him and her, as he sits in the car which probably smells of her.  He opens the glove department and takes out a sunglasses case ... and notices a note. With a phone number on it.
Do you know who Charles Bronson is? I get a BIG whiff of him and his movies in this.
I only know Charles Manson. (No, bad joke. Actually, I do know Charles Bronson) 
It takes some courage, but he calls that number, all determined. I'll be damned: It's Park Joon-Beom's phone. Do-Hyeong demands to know who's at the other end but doesn't give his own name - but Park has his number now. He calls him back. DH doesn't pick up. Park panics, thinking it has to do with his lady love and some guys from her past trying to scare him.
I can't wait to meet this lady love, really.
Do-Hyeong takes the new piece of information straight to the police station. There, they are looking at video files of Joo-Young in the elevator. And of Do-Hyeong in the elevator. Dumb Face thinks it is very suspicious that he bought a crib on the same day he reported her missing. He also thinks the baby might have been somebody else's. And he thinks Do-Hyeong is basically lying about everything, there is no way that a guy like him would get an insanely beautiful woman like Joo-Young. Oups. Do-Hyeong is standing right there and has heard everything.
The crib is a thing I thought about a lot. I had seen your recap for Episode 1 before I watched the show, and reading it gave me a different sense of what was happening. At first I thought he was a putz who was too clueless to realize that the child might not be his. Watching him, I understood that he has been aware of that from the very first moment. Buying that crib was an expression of faith, just as lying that he was aware of the pregnancy, to her brother. He is choosing to believe in her, despite the uncertain circumstances. I thought it was lovely. Of course, it would look different to the police. Very calculated.
Yoon-Mi runs after him and tells him that it's normal for all the people close to a missing person to be possible suspects. She asks him whether he knows where she worked before joining the telemarketing company and he does: he says she lived abroad. Nope, dude. Clearly not. Your beautiful bride lied to you.
The only unbelievable point to me is that he had no idea of her life prior to him - who doesn't know the other partner's friends?
Well, either he knows something and tries to protect her (he would!) or she took great care to keep her past hidden from him completely. It's probably an and, not an or
All of this seems to make Yoon-Mi quite emotional and she goes and drinks alcohol in the middle of the day. Her partner Park Hyeong-Sik joins her just for one drink. And Yoon-Mi asks him whether he remembers their Shadow case from three years ago. There was an informant who gave them the crucial information who now went missing. Flashback to Joo-Young changing her mind and agreeing to "do it" (= be an information) because she "met him", as she tells Yoon-Mi smiling. Kim Do-Hyeong? And more flashbacks, showing her betrayal of Song Hak-Soo, whose bed she shared. Park Hyeong-Sik thinks Yoon-Mi should stop handling the case - she's too emotional about her informant.
Does Korea not have a Witness Protection Program? If Song Hak Soo was such a badass, wouldn't Joo Young have qualified for that? Now that she's disappeared, why isn't that the first angle they approach?
Another flashback... from whose perspective? You're really clever, show! In any case, she is at the bank and Do-Hyeong walks past her, on his way to have lunch. She looks after him and says "he is my first love". She watches him standing there under the roof, looking out into the rain - then, she throws her umbrella away and runs to him "for shelter". That year during which Do-Hyeong had no news about her at all was probably the time during which Song Hak-Soo's case was processed, the two detective guess. And it seems plausible she got in contact with Do-Hyeong again right after Hak-Soo got 10 years in prison. The time lines match. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm is RIGHT.
It makes all complete sense to Park Hyeon-Sik this way, but Yoon-Mi thinks that something is strange. Why did she call him "first love"? They must have known each other before. Only Do-Hyeong has no recollection of it. (Hmmmmmmmmm .... why?! Does he have amnesia?) Yoon-Mi confesses that she doesn't like him - she thinks he is hiding something.
Well here's the thing. If they knew each other as kids, it's not so strange that he doesn't remember. People change. Also, KDrama has a patient for first loves being completely unknown to the object of that love. The only thing that makes me wonder is him possibly lying to Chicken Guy.
Do-Hyeong meets with his bank colleague (I'm not yet sure about this one: do we like him? Sort of, maybe), but does not tell him what's wrong. But poor DH who never drinks downs soju like it's water. He still doesn't want to tell the friend what's going on, but he asks him to find out whose phone number was in Yoo-Joung's glove department. Friend seems to be a friend, because he does try to find out for him.
This scene made me feel better about him, which means we should probably be suspicious. Plus his face.
Yoon-Mi is still troubled the next day, thinking about Song Hak-Soo ... and finally decides to go see him right now. Only: he has been released on parole a week ago. Yeah, SHIT. What about checking on stuff like this FIRST the next time?!
DUH. But even if he WERE still there, he'd still be my first thought. It's not like he can't get stuff done.

Her two underlings are watching Do-Hyeong in the meantime and Dumb Face goes on about how suspicious it is that he seems so fine. He gets on my nerves, this one! But there is trouble at the bank that Dumb Face gets to witness up close. Remember the guy whose factory is in trouble? He screams for Kim Do-Hyeong (and decks him one), whom he blames for the fact that his daughter is gone.
I love that little guy. He reminds me of a cartoon animal. Maybe a short chubby bear.
Seeing that poor man so desperate burdens Do-Hyeong even further, but Friend has news for him. The name of the guy he is looking for is Moon Duk Goo and he has the address too. That information takes Do-Hyeong straight out of the office and to a not-so-well-off neighborhood, into a run-down building, and to a shabby door. He takes heart and is about to knock when the door begins to open. Do-Hyeong sprints up the stairs and hides - out comes one of Park Joon-Beom's underlings.
That place is naaaaaaaaaaasty.
Do-Hyeong follows him! And finally gets on an elevator with him. WTF, haha. Not very subtle. He keeps following the mountain of a man through a narrow corridor full of game machines after he gets off the elevator and even overtakes him, when Mountain bends down to tie his shoelaces. Well, the dude just got suspicious, of course. He is now walking behind Do-Hyeong right until he reaches the door to Park's office. Do-Hyeong continues walking for a bit (I'm sure he thought about whistling innocently) and then jumps behind a few boxes to hide.
Way to be low key, guy.
He sees how Factory guy is led outside by Park (he went to ask about his daughter but was assured that they had nothing to do with her disappearance) - and Do-Hyeong recognizes him as the guy he gave cake to. When he hears him speak, he also realizes that he was the person who picked up the phone when he rang the mystery number.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm again.
Park has disappeared into the elevator though and Do-Hyeong, who is trying to catch up to him on foot, misses him by seconds downstairs. Park drives away and Do-Hyeong follows him in the car. His friend calls him (his name, we learn, is Shim Han Joo) because he should have gone drinking with their boss. Like Do-Hyeong cares about that right now... Park Joon-Beom has stopped at a fancy hostess place and Do-Hyeong follows him in. Before he can open the door behind which Joon-Beom disappeared, it opens ... and Shim Han Joo steps out. HA!
As my Italian grandfather used to say: Summabeach!
No idea how Do-Hyeong is able to keep a straight (though very gloomy) face all the time, but he gets through the evening with his revolting boss and the much more revolting Park. But as soon as he is alone with Park, he grabs his arm ... but only briefly. All politeness again within seconds, he asks to go drink some more. But Park doesn't want more. He promises to call him next time though ... what's his phone number again? And BAM. He realizes that this is the number that called him earlier.
Oh wow. Loook at that bad guy face. I love it, LOVE IT, when someone you view as a joke character turns it on like that.
Well, I'm not sure why Park thinks Do-Hyeong called him (must have to do with that thing he was expecting instead of cake), but he has no clue who Joo-Young is. Or so he claims. Park goes from being very weary to all smiley again when two of his cronies appear - and he gives them the order to take care of Do-Hyeong.
Here's what I think: EVERYONE knows more than Do-Hyeong about his love life. Park knows he's with Song's ex-woman, but he doesn't know she's going by Joo Young, maybe. Or perhaps Joo Young is her real name but she used a different name with Song. A bar girl name. So all this time Park's been dealing with Do-Hyeong at the bank, SORT OF on the level - we are in agreement that he's laundering money through that bank, right, but that Do-Hyeong isn't aware of that part of the business? - there's also been this other side layer of that sort-of connection to Song.  Which may not turn out to be as coincidental as we think. And then there's always the chance that Do Hyeong is an undercover fed getting ready to expose the bank and he's aware of all of it, all along.
Our police woman is currently looking for Do-Hyeong quite desperately - she has not found Song Hak-Soo, but she thinks DH might be in danger from him. Ah, says Dumb Face, but she does not need to worry about DH. Does she not know what military branch he was in? Well, it's a special ops unit, trained to fight 17 men simultanesouly (= extremely badass and cool). He overpowers Park's minions within seconds and Park turns into a whiny, scared shit of a man. As soon as he gets the chance, he jumps into his car and flees.
That's it. He's an undercover Fed.
Do-Hyeong goes after him once more, illegal U-turns and all. Unfortunately, Park reaches a police post and screams at them to "get" Do-Hyeong - who backs up and drives away. Uhm - that wasn't very smart, dude. Now, he has the police following him, sirens blaring. Quick thinker that he is, he calls Cha Yoon-Mi for help though. She isn't far and she gets to where Do-Hyeong has stopped his car for the police very quickly.
I love how he just sits there silently.
She identifies herself as detective and tells them it's alright, this man is working with the police. "Mister, open the trunk", says the second police officer. Do-Hyeong does. The reaction is very strong. They drag him out of the car and handcuff him right away. In his trunk ... is a very dead and quite naked Song Hak-Soo. In voice over, Yoon-Mi tells us that she knew nothing about Shadows. She thought Song Hak-Soo was the end - but he was only the beginning.
I really, 100%, absolutely expected it to be Joo Young. *golf clap* Good job, Show.  


Foooook me, this is good. Two episodes in and I have NO CLUE what's going on. I just know that something is not quite right with our sweet, shy Do-Hyeong. What marvelous writing this was again, casually deepening the secrets (special op? wow. First love? hm...) while revealing more and more.
In other hands, we'd be laughing about the geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenius secret agent guy and bemoaning the first love as fated love trope. Just goes to show what a good story, well-handled, can accommodate.

Their incredibly cheesy love story was so beautiful! I wonder whether this is just how he remembers it, though. The drama does this clever thing with lots of flashbacks, but we are never really sure whether what we are seeing actually happened or whether this is just somebody's interpretation of the truth. 
I do love that unreliable narrator touch. Very much. Always. Can't wait to watch more!

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