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EPISODE 9 RECAP  

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Yoo Min-hyuk and Han Ji-eun are silent as he drives her home after dinner. It’s a bit awkward with Min-hyuk having just asked her to like him, so she attempts to lighten the mood by telling her usual corny jokes. When that doesn’t work, she tells Min-hyuk that she’ll like him. She says she’ll be there to tell him funny stories, eat with him when he doesn’t want to eat alone, and be his friend when he’s sick or bored. He smiles, but methinks that’s not quite what he had in mind when he asked her to like him. 

Over at Full House, Lee Yung-jae is waiting for Ji-eun to make it home. He’s in the front yard pacing when he sees Min-hyuk’s car come down the street. He tries to hurry inside but the door is locked. He’s forced to run around the back and enter through the sliding glass door. He throws himself on the table and pretends he’s just waking up as Ji-eun walks inside.

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He asks why Min-hyuk called and wanted to see her, and she tells him it was Min-hyuk’s birthday. She also tells him that Min-hyuk asked her to like him. Yung-jae has just taken a sip of water when she says it, and he’s so shocked that water spews from his mouth and he starts choking when he hears what she said.

He asks Ji-eun how she responded to Min-hyuk’s question and she says she told him she’d like him, of course. She says Min-hyuk thinks she’s funny so she promised to tell him jokes and be his friend. She adds that Min-hyuk thinks Yung-jae doesn’t know how precious she is and says she’s a rice cooker to Yung-jae but a gift to Min-hyuk. Yung-jae scoffs and pacifies his jealousy by demanding that she make him dinner, but Ji-eun is (finally) not fooled by his gruff manner and chuckles to herself knowingly.

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The next day, Min-hyuk visits the set of Yung-jae’s latest photo shoot. They sit and chat during a break. Yung-jae asks how Ji-eun’s coming along with her work for Min-hyuk and apologizes for not remembering his birthday. Min-hyuk says Ji-eun has talent, but needs polish, and he brushes off Yung-jae’s not knowing his birthday. He admits he doesn’t know Yung-jae’s birthday either.

Yung-jae brings up Min-hyuk seeing Ji-eun. He tries to play it cool though. He tells Min-hyuk he doesn’t mind him seeing Ji-eun but he thinks Min-hyuk should tell him first so there are no misunderstandings. He says Ji-eun is different, and he tells Min-hyuk not to play with her like he plays with other women.

Min-hyuk says he’s surprised Yung-jae has eyes for any one other than Kang Hye-won and assures him that he never fooled around with Ji-eun. He tells Yung-jae he doesn’t need to explain anything to him or make sure he understands and he’s not going to apologize either. He tells Yung-jae to stay focused and not waver from this point forward and says he also shouldn’t leave any openings for him either. Gauntlet thrown, he then excuses himself and leaves. (Ouch.)

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Back at Full House, Yung-jae stands outside thinking about what Min-hyuk said. He recalls Min-hyuk’s warning, so at dinner, he tries to downplay Min-hyuk’s interest in Ji-eun. He tells her Min-hyuk has always been popular with women so she shouldn’t read too much into his kindness to her. Ji-eun believes she and Min-hyuk are just friends and takes offense to Yung-jae implying otherwise.

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However, Yung-jae tells her she’s naïve, which is why he’s giving her advice. She responds by pointing out the whole country knows she’s married to Yung-jae so it doesn’t make sense for Min-hyuk to like her (aside from the fact that he expressly told her he’s interested in her and asked her to like him.  I guess we’ll ignore those things since she seems to be ignoring them too.). Yung-jae says it may not make sense to her, but it could happen. He says she has a way of making people feel good. Ji-eun doesn’t understand, and he can’t admit his true feelings, so he blusters, “I never gave anyone my rice cooker as a gift, so behave, okay?” then he storms off.

Later, Ji-eun hesitantly cleans near Yung-jae as he watches television. She wants to invite Min-hyuk over to dinner to repay him for treating her to meals and doing nice things for her. Yung-jae refuses at first, but he thinks it over the next morning and gets an idea. He comes down and tells Ji-eun he’s invited Min-hyuk to dinner that night. He has one caveat though, she can’t prepare the jellyfish dish he likes.

Ji-eun is surprised and a little peeved that he sprang the invitation on her with so little notice, but she starts preparing for the dinner. She decides to call Mother to ask her how to make japchae (stir fried glass noodles), but Mother is out for the day. Grandmother invites her to Ilsan anyway and says she’ll teach her how to make it.

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It turns out Grandmother doesn’t know how to make japchae either. She has the recipe tucked into the pocket of her apron and sneaks a peek at it whenever Ji-eun turns her back. She fusses at Ji-eun to divert attention from her own ignorance whenever Ji-eun has a question or wants help. In the end, the japchae doesn’t taste good and Grandmother blames Ji-eun for not following her directions. However, she adorably calls Mother to chide her for disappointing Ji-eun. Ji-eun finds the recipe while she’s gone and confronts Grandmother for lying to her.

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Grandmother pretends she’s sick and Ji-eun offers to carry her to her room. Grandmother is not going through that again though, ha!, and she goes to her room on her own. She explains that she was the only daughter of a rich family and never had to cook. She faux-cries that Ji-eun made her look foolish, but Ji-eun turns the table on her when she starts to cry for real. She says she likes Grandmother and doesn’t understand why Grandmother hates her. Grandmother has to sing the Three Bears song to cheer her up. Father and Mother come home as she’s singing and are shocked at the sight of her dancing along too, lol.

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Across town, Yung-jae and Shin Dong-wook are at Hye-won’s shop. Dong-wook stands outside talking to Yang Hee-jin on his cell. He’s complaining about work and Hee-jin decides to go to Full House to have a talk with Ji-eun about it.

Hye-won asks about Dong-wook accompanying Yung-jae everywhere he goes now, and he says they’ll have to put up with it for the time being. Hye-won asks if they can have dinner and says she doesn’t mind Dong-wook joining them. He tells her Min-hyuk is coming over for dinner, but they can have dinner together next time.

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Back at Full House, we see that Mother has saved the day and sent Ji-eun home with galbi and other food to serve at dinner. Yung-jae is excited when he sees the spread. He tells Ji-eun that he’ll give her a signal and she has to pretend to gag when he does so.   She wants to know why and he just yells at her to do what he says.

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On his way to Full House, Min-hyuk sees Hee-jin walking to get there too, and he gives her a ride. During their conversation, Hee-jin tells Min-hyuk that Full House belonged to Ji-eun and Ji-eun lived there alone ever since her parents died in a car accident when she was in middle school. She says the house belongs to Yung-jae now and it’s because of Dong-wook and her that Ji-eun entered a contract marriage with Yung-jae.

Min-hyuk is shocked and asks her what’d she just say. Hee-jin then realizes her mistake and refuses to repeat herself. She’s so embarrassed and scared that when Ji-eun answers the door, she thrusts the watermelon she brought into Ji-eun’s hands and rushes away.

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At dinner, Yung-jae puts a lot of effort into convincing Min-hyuk that he and Ji-eun are a loving couple. He compliments her cooking and emphasizes that “their” father designed and built Full House. He even calls her yeobo and puts his arms around her shoulder a lot. The pièce de résistance is when he kicks Ji-eun to get her to gag and pretends she may be pregnant. When Min-hyuk leaves, Yung-jae dopily smiles to himself, assured that Min-hyuk finally “knows whose rice cooker is whose,” lol.  Ji-eun is pissed though and yells at him for his antics. But he just gets mad, demands that she cleans up, and storms upstairs.

Min-hyuk is pensive and dejected when he returns home. He eventually calls his secretary and asks him to look into something for him. Meanwhile, Yung-jae basks in his triumph. It’s quite comical to watch as as he spreads out and rolls around in his bed with a huge smile on his face. His good mood is so obvious the next morning that Ji-eun asks what’s the cause. He claims there’s no reason but smiles to himself then asks Ji-eun to have dinner with him that night.

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Later that day Ji-eun goes to see Min-hyuk with her latest synopsis. He’s cold and distant and tells her to leave it on his desk without looking up from what he’s doing. She’s confused but complies with his instructions and leaves.

Unfortunately, she just leaves one disappointing experience for another because Yung-jae ends up standing her up again. Hye-won calls when he’s on his way to meet Ji-eun for dinner. She is upset because she met Min-hyuk and finally gave him up. She wants to commiserate with Yung-jae so he meets Hye-won instead of going to dinner with Ji-eun.

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They meet at their usual bar where Hye-won shares her news while Ji-eun sits at the restaurant waiting. Dong-wook calls Ji-eun and tells her that Yung-jae is with Hye-won, but she refuses to confront them at the bar and insists on waiting at the restaurant. Yung-jae takes Hye-won home, and they sit outside her house in his car because she doesn’t want to go inside.

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Ji-eun remains at the restaurant until all the patrons are gone and a staff member asks her to leave. She returns to Full House and eats dinner alone as tears stream down her face. She wakes up in the morning to discover Yung-jae never came home.

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When he does arrive, she’s livid.   He doesn’t even apologize though. He merely asks if she waited long. She wants to know why he treats her this way and why he keeps making her wait for him. He just says if she’s waiting and the person doesn’t show up, she should leave. He asks if she foolishly waited, but she turns it on him saying he’s the fool for liking Hye-won and not being able to admit it.

This sets Yung-jae off, and he asks why he has to hear that from someone like her. He tells her she’s nothing to him and she’s teary-eyed, but firm, as she admits that she waited for him at the restaurant and at home last night. She says she won’t wait for him anymore though.  She knows she’s nothing to him and from now on he’s nothing to her, she says. With that she wipes the tears from her eyes and turns away.

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The next morning, Yung-jae wanders the house and panics as he notices Ji-eun’s suitcase is not in its usual place. He visibly relaxes when he spots it in a corner, but he worries about her all day. She’s at a park thinking about her memories with him. It starts to rain and she takes cover in a phone booth while we see that Yung-jae goes out to look for her in the rain.

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Ji-eun ends up calling Min-hyuk, and he arrives at the park with an umbrella. She’s crouched down in the phone booth with her back to him when he arrives. He spots her first and stops and just stares at her before he slowly approaches.

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He takes her back to his place, and she falls asleep on his sofa while he’s making tea. He brings her a blanket and, as he covers her with the blanket, a tear falls from her eye. He wipes the tear away and says aloud, “This is a real dilemma,” as he sits and looks at her. He asks what she wants him to do.

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Later, Min-hyuk calls Yung-jae to let him know Ji-eun is safe at his house. Yung-jae wants to come get Ji-eun but Min-hyuk says he’ll bring her home when she wakes up. Then he tells Yung-jae that he’s done thinking things over and he’s decided to take Ji-eun away from him.

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MY THOUGHTS

I loved this episode the first time around.  It’s hard not to fall under the spell that is Min-hyuk, especially when his full assertiveness was on display as he stood up to Yung-jae and declared his intentions toward Ji-eun.  At this point, Yung-jae just isn’t a valid option as the one to end up with Ji-eun.  Aside from the way he treats Hye-won and the hints here and there that he’s not as big of a jerk as he appears, there is still very little to like about him. And that falls squarely on how poorly he treats our heroine. We are getting a glimpse here and there that he’s starting to develop feelings for Ji-eun though. If he could stop hiding those feelings just a little bit more, he’d be much more likeable. But every time he taps into his budding feelings for Ji-eun, he follows it by being a total jerk to her. She has a short memory though and accepts every nugget of niceness he doles out only to get beat down again when he tries to gloss it over.

Luckily, Min-hyuk has no such qualms. Even when he was cold to Ji-eun, I couldn’t help but respect his struggle. In real life, I wouldn’t condone anyone making a decision to actively go after a married person, but this is dramaland so I am Team Min-hyuk all the way. Although I’m perennially disappointed when the second lead doesn’t get the girl, one thing I’ve always adored is the look of love that (the good) actors often show when they look at the female lead. When Min-hyuk showed up at the park and just stopped and stared at Ji-Eun—that was one such moment I enjoyed.

I also enjoyed Song Hye-Kyo’s performance at various points throughout this episode. There was a particularly poignant moment when Ji-eun spotted Min-hyuk at the park as she crouched in the phone booth. The viewers could see her struggle to put her normal smile back on her face and try to pretend that nothing was wrong when he approached. This isn’t a heavy drama and even the melodramatic aspects have a bit of ridiculousness to them, but it’s nice to see attempts at heavier moments to ground the drama a little more. And it’s absolutely lovely that the actors here are able to pull those moments off.

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