More than just a crazy narcissistic Acting Eunuch, HaeSeong is shown to be just an insecure child, vulnerable to other people’s disappointments and harsh remarks like everyone else. But he’s not the only one in need of consolation and we delve further and find out that life has more surprises than we expect sometimes.
Fantastic Episode 2:
SoHye recognises Seol in the car and they all scream for her. While she’s carted away into the ambulance, from a short distance away in his car, Seol’s husband puts in a call to Seol’s phone and acts shocked when SoHye tells him of the accident. He doesn’t appear before them though. HaeSeong attempts to make SoHye stay and take responsibility for his car but SoHye chooses her injured friend, and together with MiSun, they leave with the ambulance, leaving HaeSeong to deal with the mob of fans who’ve now recognised him.
At the hospital, Seol’s husband is there to act as the loving partner, though when he says that Seol’s not good at driving and is even a coward as explanation for her unexpected crash, SoHye can’t believe her ears since she was a girl who would daringly ride a motorbike with one hand. MiSun thinks that Seol must have acted coy in front of her husband.
When Seol appears in a wheelchair, they’re both there for her. They see her husband tuck her into bed and tell her sweet nothings but while MiSun gets mildly envious over his ways, SoHye clocks Seol’s disgusted reaction, though she doesn’t say anything.
She takes MiSun out of the room and the moment they’re out of earshot, Seol starts throwing everything and screaming at her husband. The damned idiot defends his actions as lack of judgement due to liquor and then turns it around on her by hitting where it hurts – she’s infertile, her dad’s in debt and her mother’s bedridden. Damn, I hate him.
Ultimately, he agrees to speak to his mother to let her rest, and when a call comes in, she’s a little taken aback to hear that he’d asked for her mother to be sent to a better health-care facility, one that’s nearer to Seoul where they live, and tended to by a good caregiver.
SoHye almost makes it home but she’s interrupted by HaeSeong’s manager, who brings her to the car workshop HaeSeong’s at. Hah, he makes a huge fuss over the repair fee, refusing to settle through insurance because he’s a “universal top star” and doesn’t want the media fuss that he’s sure will happen. She therefore takes on the task of asking Seol to pay for the damages, but even then, he’s not done with her, because he gets all up in her face to remind her of the “multi-dimensional” character he’d requested of her.
She reaches home, seething and complaining about him, but she suddenly has an evil idea and cracks her knuckles.
The day of the script reading comes and he decides that he needs to be completely prettified for his character. Therefore, when SoHye steps out of the life, she’s met with the barrel of his gun. He shoots, it, heh, and a red flag with the words “Bang” pop out. Pffft.
That’s not all, because he’s brought two whole racks of his clothes for their “style meeting” after the reading. He’s full of confidence then, but after reading the script, he’s freezes. They start the script reading with him and his leading lady and as expected, HaeSeong doesn’t do so well. It doesn’t help that his co-star actually cries as per the script and when it’s his turn to do the same, his manager offers some tear drops.
A particular scene lays all his acting faults bare and even though he repeats it over and over again, he doesn’t get better. Another scene requires him to yell “Stop!”, all angsty, but he’s so bad at it that SoHye bursts out laughing. Oof, girl… He looks like he’s on the verge of tears, but he never lets one fall.
After the reading, HaeSeong’s co-actress walks with SoHye and laments about having to work with HaeSeong. They laugh over it, and HaeSeong, who’s seen it all from behind them, gets visibly affected.
Even in his sleep, he’s taken to muttering “Stop”. His manager, who was driving, ends up being the brunt of his frustrations and has to pull over when he starts grabbing the wheel and endangering them both. HaeSeong runs to the Han River, and lets out a roar like that of an anguished beast. Alone in his car, his manager tears up to see his charge so hurt.
Morning comes for Seol and she starts to type a message to her friends, requesting that they come. Of all things though, that Assembly-snake appears before her, acting like a queen here to offer her apologies. She acts nice and even dares to go towards Seol for a hug but when Seol rebukes her and calls her crazy, she slaps Seol across the cheek and reveals her true colours, threatening Seol to keep her mouth shut about what she saw that day. Then she walks out, tending to an elderly patient on the way. Urgh, I have gooseflesh up my arm and my heart breaks for Seol who can’t hold in her tears any more, after this latest insult.
HaeSeong himself isn’t doing well emotionally too, unable to forget the harsh disappointment of his director, SoHye and his co-actress.
When his manager calls him out for a schedule, HaeSeong stalks toward him, upset. His eyes red-rimmed, he scares his manager with just how angry he looks. But he laughs that it was all acting, proving therefore, he’s not an Acting Eunuch.
He heads over to visit JinSook, who’s just finished creaming a new writer for her less-than-stellar work. He notes how much she loves filing lawsuits, but tells her to act moderately now. He’s not impressed when she offers to have SoHye replaced if he doesn’t like her and threatens not to do any of his overseas schedules in the coming year if she meddles with his latest drama, including demanding for PPL footage.
She gets to the reason she called him over for – his car accident – and he tell her to just mind her own business because he’s taken care of that with his own money. She knows for sure that he’s acting all protective because of SoHye and now that she knows his weakness, she threatens to file a lawsuit against SoHye, should he go rogue.
SoHye herself thinks of HaeSeong while taking a walk, bursting out in laughter at his bad acting but then wondering if she was too harsh when she remembers his hurt reaction. He doesn’t let her wonder for long though, because he sends her a message right there, which she spits “universal dummy” at, haha.
The hooded man who just jogged past her backtracks and it turns out to be HaeSeong, here to bug her for the repair fees. It seems like he’s doing all this just to have a reason to keep meeting her because he refuses to give her his account number when she offers to pay him first. Instead, he changes the topic to his “romantic melodrama” and then demands for taxi fare, pfft. She gives him $10, but he insists on more because he only takes luxury cabs as a top star. Ha, he totally plays kiddy spy as he creeps all over the playground while getting away.
SoHye heads to a travel agency and books tickets to Salar de Uyuni for the next month.
That’s her dream vacation location and when she sits in on an informational video about that place, she bumps into her doctor, Hong JunKi. Salar de Uyuni is his dream vacation location too and he drags her off afterwards for some time together.
While they walk, they find out that they have the exact same wallpaper – of Salar de Uyuni – and when she starts talking like she’s dying soon, he surprises her by informing her that he’s a survivor of lung cancer too.
He takes her to his favourite spot in Seoul, a little place with a hammock and a glass ceiling, where you can see the clear blue skies. Now relaxed, she frankly says that she’s glad to know that he’d had cancer like her, because it gives her hope. Seeing how he’s sitting right before her, she wistfully asks that he didn’t have end-stage cancer, right? But he tells her that he had stage-four cancer, that it had metastasized everywhere and that he only had a predicted time of one year to live. It’s been five years since then, but he’s still alive.
He doesn’t deny how hard it was dealing with it at first, but over time, rather than become a fearful thing, his cancer just became part of life. That experience taught him that no one can control when they live or die and so instead, he’s concluded that one should be thankful for each day and live happily. After all, everyone has a deadline.
That gives her hope that she can go on her trip to Salar de Uyuni and he pipes in that she has to go with her doctor, aka him. He doesn’t know what to say though, when she wonders whether she will live long enough to see that day.
She wonders just what symptoms she’ll have to deal with in the future and JunKi answers that frankly, bringing in pneumonia, high fevers and coughing up of blood. That bleak forecast makes her turn talk to their trip to Salar de Uyuni and his replies as to what she should do to prepare for it is to eat, eat and then eat more, haha.
Seol disappears from her hospital bed, a fact that her husband sees for himself. He fends off a nurse’s curious questions and requests for Seol to be discharged. To his bodyguard, he orders for Seol to be found, without anyone else finding out.
In her office, SoHye takes a break and listens to the playlist JunKi had prepared for her. Her assistant writer notes that she’s looking a lot happier, prettier and ironically, healthier, as if she’s dating someone.
Seol’s husband gets news that she’s still nowhere to be found and has to fend off his mother and sister’s heartless remarks. He sarcastically asks them if Seol’s their slave and JinSuk has the gall to get offended. He gets disgusted by her and just leaves the table right there and then. JinSuk wonders why he’s defending his wife all of a sudden and their mother scoffs that he must have done something wrong.
SoHye heads to a small restaurant/bar, as requested by her director. She’s under the assumption that she’s there for a script meeting but he actually called her over to cheer HaeSeong up. Erm…
Of course she’s not interested in doing anything of the sort and the director calls her out for writing a script so hard just to screw HaeSeong over. He’s so insistent that she gives in and the moment she walks through the door, HaeSeong bolts up and makes her accept a drink from him.
Pfft, she can’t win, especially not when her director silently mime-begs her to play nice with him. Heh, he brings up the repair fees that she hasn’t paid (because he hasn’t let her pay it) and makes her so angry that she storms off to withdraw that amount in cash right away.
HaeSeong’s manager chases after her and cancels her withdrawal, telling her that HaeSeong had already settled it. He laughs that HaeSeong’s just playing a joke, but she sees it differently and assumes that he’s trying to cheat her of her and Seol of their money, assuming that HaeSeong settled it with insurance money already. Oops.
She stalks towards HaeSeong and confronts him. When she feigns ignorance of their verbal contract (she has to pick up his calls all the time), HaeSeong tells someone on their team to send him a text.
“I’m sorry, I’ll apologise.”
That’s his notification ringtone, haha. The director recognises that as SoHye’s voice and HaeSeong teases her that he’s got an even longer ringtone for calls. He keeps the phone out of her reach when she makes a grab for it and enraged and impotent, she ends up head butting him. PWAHAHAHAH.
She head butts him so hard that his nose breaks, which is disaster for their director since title shoots are tomorrow. Heh, she blames her rash act on alcohol and then watches on as JinSuk tears HaeSeong’s manager into shreds for letting her talent get hurt.
If she felt any sort of guilt, SoHye doesn’t get to linger on it for long because she’s called to a police station to bail Seol out. It hurts her to see Seol in the cell, hugging herself and miserable, but she collects herself and calls out for her friend.
Turns out, Seol had stolen a motorbike and had remained quiet the whole time the police was interrogating her. In the end, she’d called SoHye, who now asks for the contact of the motorbike’s owner.
Both ladies head out for a meal and make small talk about MiSun’s life, acting like they’re both fine. Seol starts to explain herself, saying that she doesn’t remember anything after seeing that motorbike. SoHye understands and feigns ignorance, though she does tell Seol to talk about her troubles. After all, SoHye is a famous writer who can “do anything except for things I can’t do”. Heh.
The façade soon fades and Seol cries into the dinner. Seeing her friend cry makes SoHye cry too and soon, both ladies are just openly sobbing.
That irritates the men at the other table but when one complains that “women should be at home”, Seol’s badass side returns and together, both ladies take those chauvinistic idiots down. Ha, Seol hops onto a random bike and with SoHye sitting behind her, they peel away from the dusty streets of town into clear, refreshing greenery.
As if like a girl again, SoHye hugs her friend from the back as SoHye rides them somewhere far.
Once they disembark, Seol feels guilty for stealing the motorbike again. But SoHye plucks the keys out and gifts it to Seol. This motorbike is a gift she bought for Seol, in return for the laptop Seol gave to her when they were high schoolers.
SoHye laments that she should have contacted Seol earlier, but Seol now smiles that SoHye should come to her if she has troubles too, because she’s going to become SoHye’s bodyguard.
Deciding that she’s run away long enough, Seol has her husband come for her. He just hands her a dress to change into and doesn’t help things when he brings up her meeting with the Assembly-cheater-bug. He even pities that woman, to which I say he has rocks for brains.
Seol demands that they not talk about her and he lamely tells her to put that all behind her, before ordering her not to “act out” again.
Back at manor de hell, Seol greets her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Monster-in-law mutters that her son had it hard while she was away. “A wife needs to be healthy for her husband,” she mutters.
Back in her slave-hanbok, Seol prepares to do her daily chores. She gets a call from her mother and learns that her husband had sent her mother a new humidifier. Her mother feels guilty for accepting things from Seol’s in-laws and tells her to be good to them. They have a pleasant conversation, before Seol is called way by her mother-in-law.
SoHye sees her assistant writer sleeping at the desk and tells her to just go sleep in a bed. She refuses her assistant’s offers of coffee and instant food and instead, brings the girl out for premium beef.
They run into a sunbae of SoHye, and now that she feels like she doesn’t have enough time, she requests her sunbae return her all the money she “borrowed” over the years, which adds up to a total of $580. Her sunbae tries to weasel her way out of it but SoHye plays hard and even eyes her expensive bracelet, heh.
HAHAHA, SoHye’s assistant writer starts to feel nervous about SoHye treating her so well and wonders if this is some kind of consolation before she gets fired. She gets a call from her boyfriend of 300 days, asking to celebrate their the milestone but she brusquely rejects him.
SoHye tells her to just go and “do it”, a lot, and even gives her stacks of $50 notes so that she can wear something pretty and go somewhere nice with her boyfriend. Her assistant writer encourages her to date too and suggests JunKi.
After a relaxing bath, SoHye stares at herself in the mirror and sighs over her beautiful body, sadly riddled with cancer.
She picks a bottle of water from her fridge, but then decides to go with her gut and replaces it with a can of beer. She sits in the dark and watch people kiss on her television. Like something out of a romance tale, JunKi texts just then and even though they talk about nothing much, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they flirt.
And then HaeSeong sends a very blunt picture message, complaining about his broken nose, HA. Is this your new way of keeping you in her thoughts?
He reads through the script she’d written and takes issue with the way she wrote a kiss scene.
He gets a text from her, not to apologise though, but to command him to send her his bank account number. That doesn’t appease him and looking at the script again, he has An Idea.
SoHye grouses about HaeSeong, then thinks about the sweet nothings JunKi messaged her. She heads out to his favourite spot and basically glows to see him lying there at the hammock. Her fantasy breaks though, when a lady comes along with mugs and even shares his hammock. Without even alerting them to her presence, she leaves.
HaeSeong is still hung up on his broken nose and takes a stream of pictures to put on his social media account, just to get the expected coos of pity from his legion of fans.
He ambles out into this living room and sees his manager. They live together?
Hee hee hee, he creeps the poor man out by requesting for a kiss then heads into his walk in closet to try on outfits he thinks would be great for the kiss scene.
A certain jacket makes the smile on his face melt though, because it’s the very one SoHye had bought for him years ago, when he was an actor in her very first drama. They’d been very friendly and comfortable then, and she’d warned him not to throw her aside the moment he becomes a big star.
That unfortunately melds into another flashback, when HaeSeong had overheard her insisting to a director that he doesn’t even have the acting basics and that he’ll be a flame that’ll extinguish soon. Oof, that hurt.
In the present, SoHye walks back home, staring up at the stars in the sky. She finds HaeSeong waiting for her and the moment he sees her, he confidently walks over, and pulls her in, as if meaning to kiss her.
He doesn’t though, because that was his way of making his point. Kiss scenes should be like this! Romantic! Melodramatic! Pfft.
He scorns her kiss scene – “may I kiss you?” – which is when SoHye suddenly kisses him. Whoa.
They stand like that for a good while. His eyes close as he gives in and returns it. Her eyes open, in surprise.
Well now, we’re a little fast here, aren’t we?
Clearly there are some very unresolved feelings between them but they’ve been torn apart by some kind of misunderstanding and kept apart by her refusal to listen to any kind of explanation. If I may hazard a guess, from that last flashback before they kissed, he heard her put him down harshly and he ended up skipping off to China or something from the humiliation and shame, leaving her in the lurch. I’m not even sure if I can label what he felt then as anger or not. Yet, from what I see of her demeanour in that scene, it looked like the director was furious/ terribly worried over something regarding HaeSeong and she was trying all sorts of means to appease his anger. If she really meant what she’d said, there’d have been scorn in her voice, but her hands were put together, she had a desperate smile and… she just looked like she was desperately trying to make light of something.
Yet the way SoHye treats HaeSeong in the present is unnecessarily harsh, and if I didn’t know that she felt betrayed by him, I would have labelled her as a mean girl, through and through. HaeSeong himself is no better when he becomes a total man-child whenever he’s around her (or even when he just thinks of her).
But between the two, the one whose personality (demeanour) interests me the most is HaeSeong. Clearly he’s been hurt terribly by remarks regarding his inability to act (which is his freaking job) and to me, his over the top, narcissistic ways is his defence mechanism. It’s like he suffers from a lack of love from the acting side, so he purposely basks in the love that his “idol” side gives him. I do actually wonder how he’s so terrible at acting even though he’s been in the industry for so long. Maybe it’s Joo SangWook over exaggerating HaeSeong’s lack of ability in acting OR, HaeSeong, burned by SoHye’s remarks, never really gave acting his all because of the fear of crushing disappointment should he fail when he gives it his 100%. I mean, SoHye picked him when he was a rookie. He feels stuff. Surely, with a combination of the two, there must be some acting ability hidden in that ripped body!
On Seol, I truly wish that she escapes her poisonous in-laws. You know what, I actually think that Seol’s husband actually once really loved her and was a good-ish person to her, with how she trusts him enough to ask for time off and with how he sort-of defended/ got angry for her this episode. I know that a huge part of that is him wanting to keep his public image, but it doesn’t seem to be just that, because if so, he didn’t have to leave in anger when his mother and sister were deriding Seol without even a housekeeper in sight. He also seems to treat Seol’s mother well. However, it seems like he fell for his mother and sister’s poisonous demeaning of Seol the moment she fell from grace (or was it from before) and Seol, because she doesn’t have the wealth and the power that comes with it to back her up any more, gave in to the abuse, leading him to take her for granted. I was disgusted by his fling with that assembly-snake and his “all men do it” remarks though, and while divorce should absolutely be the very last option, I am just hoping for her to divorce him and skip already. I understand why she doesn’t though.
So it’s adorable and heart-warming to see how SoHye is there for her, and to help her through her difficult times, even though she was several years late. But between her and MiSun, I think that SoHye is the friend Seol needs right now. It’s not that MiSun makes a bad friend, but because MiSun’s so loved (for that I adore her husband), she doesn’t see more than the surface declarations of love that Seol’s husband pours on her when people are around. Being single and more aware (and maybe more critical, because she’s a writer), SoHye is the one who’s able to see through the façade and really reach out and touch Seol.
Speaking of SoHye, I think that it was a little odd not to see her reactions to her diagnosis. I mean, learning that you only have several weeks to live, when you thought you had your whole life ahead of you, should shock anyone to the core. I expected to see her to go through the five stages of grief, from denial, anger and all the way to acceptance. But then we just went like a freaking bullet train and she skipped denial (her doctor didn’t even confirm that she only had a few months/weeks to live), made a pit stop at grief and then suddenly reached acceptance. Even if she does know how bad her cancer is just because she’s studied up on it, emotionally, her reactions don’t make much sense.
It was a surprise to learn that her doctor was a victim of stage-four cancer too and now a survivor but maybe that was the story’s way of telling real cancer victims that there IS hope and to hang on. It also has the added advantage of giving SoHye someone whom she can commiserate her worries and feelings with. I’m not really sure where they’re going with the “let’s go to Salar de Uyuni together” plot because even if they’re friends, he must know that offering/insisting to go alone together, one man and one woman, is going put ideas in her head. I’ll laugh if the lady he was sitting with on that hammock turns out to be a sister or relative of some sort.
Directing wise, there is nothing much to write about, mainly because there’s nothing too bad nor was there anything stellar. It’s just… average. Like any rom-com there are funny little sound effects that lets you know when “this is a funny moment”, and wonderfully, they’re not used to excess. The only time I was bothered was during HaeSeong’s “hulk scene”. That was just a bit too over the top for that moment. I feel like this kind of directing should be used only when HaeSeong acts and not when Joo SangWook is acting as HaeSeong. The guy may be a little nuts, but that was a moment of real anguish for HaeSeong. The hulk effect just took that away and turned it a little ridiculous.
Overall, it was an okay pair of episodes. I can’t say that I’m in it 100% now, but I’m interested enough to watch more. You know what, I’d be more interested in watching this if someone could just let Joo SangWook’s hair be free!