Hell hath no fury like an agent scorned by her cash-cow top star. Hae-sung’s career could be in jeopardy as Jin-sook begins her revenge, and it’s to no one’s surprise that she doesn’t exactly play fair. Jerk-face lives up to his name, and Sul reaches a breaking point (finally!). But will it be enough to say “goodbye” to this terrible family forever?
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Hae-sung quietly and tenderly watches So-hye sleep on the sofa before carefully carrying her to bed where she can be more comfortable. In the morning, she wakes up to a note from him (on one of his photo cards, ha!), asking if she slept well and telling her to make sure she eats breakfast. He even includes a nicotine test as proof that he’s really given up smoking.
As So-hye goes to get breakfast, she finds little notes from him, telling her to only eat healthy food. Aw, he keeps calling her “princess.” She also finds the books Joon-ki gave him, and it’s clear he’s been reading them and taking copious notes to know not only how to best care for So-hye, but what to expect as the cancer gets worse.
If So-hye is a princess, then Jin-sook must be the evil witch, and she walks into his dressing room, sweetly requesting to speak to Hae-sung in private. She tells him she has a coffee truck outside for the crew — the first time she’s ever done anything like that, apparently. Then she apologizes for her actions previously (when he kicked her out of his house), explaining that she was just concerned for him because he’s like family to her. Suuuuure.
Then she quickly turns it around, acting worried about his future since he’s no spring chicken anymore and there are tons of rookies who are ready to take his place. She suggests that they become business partners to secure their future together, but Hae-sung’s made up his mind. He won’t be resigning with her agency, and will make a new start as an independent actor.
That’s not what Jin-sook wanted to hear, and she calls up one of her contacts, ordering them to release the file they have on Hae-sung. This can’t be good, especially since she does a classic villain laugh afterwards.
Mi-sun arrives at the house to find So-hye making a total mess and burning things as she tries to make Hae-sung a birthday cake for a belated celebration. After all, it could be the last birthday they celebrate together. Mi-sun orders her to stop talking like that, and when So-hye worries that she made a mistake moving in with him, Mi-sun reminds her that they have a long history together, having spent twelve years apart, so they should just enjoy the moment now.
So-hye admits that whenever Hae-sung is around, she forgets about her cancer. Mi-sun points out that’s the best kind of treatment, since the more you love, the more your immune system grows. Just more excuse to be cute’n’lovey! Just then, So-hye suddenly feels dizzy, and when Mi-sun realizes she has a fever, they rush to the hospital.
Hae-sung’s makeup artist is gossiping with a few of the other staff about a rumor, but when Hae-sung enters, they suddenly clam up. He points out that it will be hard for her to fix his makeup when she can’t even look him in the face, and she hesitantly tells him that there’s a rumor going around about a sex video of him with a non-celebrity.
He laughs it off, reassuring her it’s not true, but the word is out, anyway. All the news reports are maintaining the facade of anonymity by referring to him just as “R,” but suddenly the entire staff gets a message with a screenshot from the video. His face is blurred out, but it’s a naked man (except for a scarf) that looks an awful lot like Hae-sung — not the least because the man in the video is wearing the exact same scarf Hae-sung is wearing right at that moment.
Manager Oh tries to laugh it off as he discretely removes Hae-sung’s scarf, but the rest of the staff still seem to think its real. Hae-sung insists that it’s not true, and aw, his makeup artist defends him, saying it could be anyone with a similar hair and scarf. Except it’s already the number one trending topic, and the Pandora’s box that are celebrity sex scandals are impossible to close.
Worried, he calls So-hye, but Mi-sun answers, letting him know they’re at the hospital. It’s nothing major — just the flu (which is still a serious concern, though, given her compromised immune system). Mi-sun says So-hye didn’t want him to know and instead should just focus on his filming. This means she probably hasn’t seen the scandal yet.
Sul is working in the kitchen late at night, but she keeps daydreaming about Sang-wook. At least, until her husband enters, grumbling that she’s staying up too late and should come to bed. Later, she quietly tip-toes into the bedroom and tries to steal a pillow from her sleeping husband. Or at least she thought he was sleeping, but as she reaches over him, he suddenly grabs her and throws her down on the bed.
She screams out as he tries to force himself on her, but she keeps yelling that she doesn’t want to and for him to let her go. He reminds her that if she keeps withholding sex from her husband, its grounds for divorce. She wrestles him off her and he rips her pajama top. At least he seems shocked by that action, but she instinctively jiujitsu’s him across the bed and onto the floor.
That crybaby freaks out when he sees he’s now got a bloody nose, and all the noise causes his sister and mother to rush over to see what’s happening. Mom is furious that her daughter-in-law has harmed her precious son, and she gets in some blows as she pulls Sul’s hair and slaps her face.
She screams at her to get out. Still in her torn PJ’s, a traumatized Sul hurries out of the house and into the night, shoeless and weeping.
Hae-sung’s video will be posted soon, and his poor manager quietly tries to confirm that it’s really not him. He didn’t drink too much one night and make a mistake, right? Annoyed, Hae-sung chides him for not being on top of scandals like this before they happen, and he leaves in a huff.
He goes to the hospital, where Joon-ki tells him that there was no reason for him to come. Maybe so, but he was totally anxiously waiting for Hae-sung to arrive. He reassures Hae-sung that what So-hye needs right now is rest, and Hae-sung cautiously peers into her room where she’s sleeping. He then asks Joon-ki to do him a favor — he needs him to keep So-hye from finding out about his scandal.
Manager Oh calls Hae-sung, letting him know that the chief producer and director of the network are at the set, and he needs to get back ASAP. Sighing, Hae-sung calls Jin-sook, demanding to know if she’s responsible for the video. She just laughs it off, telling him she’s not the kind of person to hold a grudge like that (LIES!), but had he stayed with her agency, she would have been able to handle it, no problem.
He doesn’t care where the video came from, warning her that he’ll reveal the truth. But she reminds him that no one cares about the truth — the public only cares about the sensational aspect of scandals. She predicts that the drama executives will arrive on the set, worried about how it will affect filming. He’ll then be swarmed by reporters who will write scandal-filled articles as long as they are popular, and the netizens will destroy him. His charming and perfect image he’s built the past ten years will be ruined.
But she can make it all go away if he signs another contract with her by tonight. After he hangs up, Hae-sung screams out in frustration. But it doesn’t seem like there’s much choice, especially since his full name is now attached to the articles — no more chance of anonymity.
While So-hye is sleeping, Joon-ki sneakily steals her phone and then puts up a sign, letting the rest of the hospital staff know that she shouldn’t be disturbed.
Hae-sung hurries back to the set to meet with the executives, and he reassures them that he’s requested a formal investigation into the situation and will be giving a statement soon. They remind him that it won’t look good for their leading man to be caught up in sex scandal while the drama is airing, but they’re confident Jin-sook can handle it (since they still assume he’s with her agency).
After they leave, Manager Oh pleads with him to re-sign with Jin-sook. He knows that this scandal will only be the start of whatever Jin-sook’s got cooked up, and Hae-sung won’t have the time to focus on both the scandal and So-hye. Clearly it goes against everything Hae-sung stands for, but he’s between a rock and a hard place.
Sul’s at a late-night restaurant, which seems more like an excuse to drink copious amounts of soju than actually eat anything. Sang-wook gets a call from her (or maybe from a worried restaurant ajumma since Sul’s been there for a few hours and is alone), and he hurries to the restaurant where he finds Sul slumped over with her head on the table. He marvels at the amount of empty bottles on the table, and then tries to gently wake her.
In doing so, he sees her black eye and the defensive bruises on her wrist. Concerned, he piggybacks the unconscious Sul to a nearby hotel where he requests the best room they have. He’s shocked at the nearly $5000 cost, but hands over his credit card, anyway. After gently carrying her into the room and getting her settled in the bed, he watches Sul sleep as he studies her bruises.
Hae-sung’s hard at work the next morning, but he can’t seem to focus as keeps messing up the elaborately choreographed fight scene. He can’t stop thinking about all the negative netizen comments. Manager Oh goes around to all the reporters, giving them health tonics and reassuring them that it’s not Hae-sung in the video. But he’s up against Jin-sook’s assistant, who’s also doing the same thing, but with the netizens in order to make sure their comments stay negative. Ugh.
So-hye wakes up and searches for her missing phone. Joon-ki is the worst liar as he tells her that he hasn’t seen it and she must have left it at home. But So-hye is worried that she hasn’t been able to contact Hae-sung, who must be concerned about where she is. Joon-ki reassures her that everything is okay as he scurries out of the room so she can’t see through his terrible lies.
She flags down a nurse who’s busy staring at her phone, and she glimpses the headlines about Hae-sung’s scandal. The nurse happily lends it to her, sighing that she’s a fan of Hae-sung and is disappointed by the scandal. No celebrity is perfect, but Hae-sung had at least carved out a clean image for himself to make up for his lack of acting skills.
That at least solves the mystery of her missing phone, and she confronts Joon-ki, demanding he hand it over. She tells him she’s already seen the sex video, so there’s nothing he can keep from her now. He sighs, telling her he failed his one task, and she grumbles that she should have been told earlier — she’s no delicate flower. But Joon-ki jokingly says she just forget about Hae-sung and instead get together with her “number two.” Aw, I’m not sure how much he was really joking, but at least it made her smile.
Sul wakes up in her fancy hotel bedroom, confused as to where she is or how she got there. She finds a pile of gift boxes on the table and opens up the accompany note. It’s from Sang-wook, letting her know he picked out a few outfits since he wasn’t sure of her size.
This reminds her of a vague memory of Sang-wook coming to the restaurant, and when she sees her tattered reflection in the mirror, she gasps in horror. There’s no way he didn’t see those bruises.
She opens up the boxes, which have a variety of outfits and shoes and handbags, plus toiletries and medicine. This boy thought of everything, and apparently he spent his evening running from one store to the next, doing his best to guesstimate her size with the help of the sales staff. Aw, he even tried measuring her foot by comparing it to one of his slippers.
She starts to cry due to his thoughtful generosity, then goes to meet him at a cafe next to the hotel. Wow, the boy has good taste, and even thought to include a scarf and sunglasses to help conceal her bruises. Who knows how long he’s been waiting, but he looks up from his book, happy to see her.
Sul quietly thanks him for everything he’s done, and feels apologetic that he had to go through such trouble. Hesitating, he tells her that if she’s having problems, then he can help her, but she reassures him everything is fine and that she’ll find a way to pay him back.
But what he wants most is for her to take care of himself. He passionately tells her that she’s the most important person in the world and she should protect herself from anyone who’s mistreating her, even if it means asking for help. He promises that he’ll always be there for her. She just leaves him without another word, but as she walks away, his words resound in her head.
Manager Oh and Hae-sung are still trying to figure a way out of their predicament, but Manager Oh has the added stress of letting Hae-sung know that no one else wants to sign him right now, and that he’ll likely lose his CF deals, too. Once again, Manager Oh suggests that sign with Jin-sook, but Hae-sung just angrily tosses the contract aside.
So-hye arrives home, and Hae-sung springs up to greet her, concerned for her health. She’s more worried about his scandal, telling him she’s been in the industry for a long time so she’s seen it all, but she needs to know the truth.
He insists that it isn’t him in the video, but the larger problem is that this is only the beginning of Jin-sook’s revenge. He doesn’t have the time to deal with that — not just due to the drama filming, but also because of the limited time he has with So-hye. She tells him that he should refuse to back down, since they can fight Jin-sook together.
Since Jin-sook didn’t reel in Hae-sung with her video, she decides to release the original video that clearly shows it isn’t Hae-sung. Making sure she doesn’t lose money on the drama is more important than taking down Hae-sung right now, and besides, she still holds the trump card — that mysterious envelope from America.
At work, Sang-wook apologizes to Jerk-face for missing the morning meeting — he had something important to take care of. Yeah! Like your boss’s wife! Who suddenly shows up at her husband’s office. OMG, are Sang-wook and Sul going to find out the truth about their identities? No — he’s got his head buried in a file and they walk past each other, unseeing.
Haha, Jerk-face is worried she’s going to flip him over again, but instead she sits down with him and the assemblywoman. She takes off her sunglasses, and at least Jerk-face seems shocked by her black eye, although he tries to explain it away that she fell down yesterday. Ah, yes, the classic abuser excuse.
But Sul is there for practical matters, and asks the assemblywoman and Jerk-face if they want to be with each other. She demands an answer, asking her husband who will it be — the assemblywoman or his wife? He hesitates a second, then says of course it’s his wife, because that seems like the proper answer. However, it’s not the answer the assemblywoman wanted, and blames Sul for wasting her precious time as a public servant.
Offended that Sul’s accused her for having an affair with Jerk-face, the assemblywoman reaches out to slap her. Sul grabs her wrist, warning her that she’s not going to take it anymore. She orders her husband to take responsibility for his choices, just like she did ten years ago. He can start by not bringing the assemblywoman into their house any more.
Sul returns to her in-laws, and Jin-sook and her mother are relieved to see her because who else will they get to run the household (or tolerate their terrible ways). Jin-sook warns her it’s the last time they’ll be so lenient on her, but Sul also says it’s the last time for her, too. Jin-sook assumes it must mean the last time she’ll spend away from the household, but I’m hoping it’s Sul’s last stand in tolerating their horrible behavior towards her.
Hae-sung’s still in the top of the news search list, but this time it’s about articles complaining that how the media spreads thoughtless, career-destroying rumors so easily. Oh, how the tide has turned. But it also goes to show that Jin-sook can indeed fix the scandal (that she started, but still).
So-hye rubs medicated lotion on her arm where a rash has broken out due to her treatment. She remembers that she was going to fulfill Hae-sung’s “wish” tonight — which sounds like he wanted some fun sexy times. Hahaha, when they get home, Manager Oh tries to blend in with the wall as Hae-sung eagerly greets So-hye, before Hae-sung orders him to skedaddle for the night.
Trying to hide her rash, So-hye admits she’s not feeling well and asks to postpone. That immediately makes Hae-sung concerned, but she reassures him she’s just tired and needs to finish up a script. Hae-sung is disappointed that she won’t even cuddle with him, but he respects her decision and promises to wait for “his princess.”
It’s a struggle, though, because it’s about all he can do to keep himself from barging into her room. To distract himself, he does about a million pushups, reminding himself he’s a better man than that. But he’s delighted and surprised when So-hye hesitantly shows up in his room, admitting that she thought she’d regret not being with him.
He’s eager to make space for her on the bed, and she explains that she originally resisted due to her rash, since she knows it makes her ugly. Aw, Hae-sung is ready to take her to the hospital, but she reassures him it’s a common side effect of the treatment. He’s more concerned whether it hurts her than about how it looks, insisting that she’s pretty since it’s proof that her body is fighting off the ugly cancer cells.
He reminds her that they’re a team, which means that he’ll carry her burden, too. So she needs to be honest with him, too, and tell him when she’s having a hard time. Then he offers to rub lotion on for her. He also asks if it’s “all over,” offering to rub it on her back or wherever else she needs. Rawr!
He pulls her down onto the bed so they can snuggle, reassuring her that they’ll do everything together from now on. She likes the sound of that, wondering what they should do together first. Hae-sung comes up a list of items, mostly things he remembered her mentioning, like wearing couple outfits, riding a tandem bike, going to the salt flats, and camping. But she’s already asleep in his arms, and he gently kisses her forehead as he holds her close.
So much to love about this episode. For starters, Hae-sung is such a keeper. He’s worked diligently to make sure everything is set up as best as possible for So-hye, and is willing to drop whatever he’s doing to rush to her side the moment he’s worried for her health. I love how much he respects So-hye — the juxtaposition of him agreeing to wait for their sexy fun times versus Jerk-face’s attempted rape of his wife couldn’t be more jarring. I love that Hae-sung doesn’t shame So-hye or judge her for being embarrassed by her rash — instead he kisses it, knowing it’s because her body is fighting against the cancer. Supporting someone with cancer is no picnic, yet Hae-sung is determined to do it as selflessly and as light-heartedly as possible, and I love him for it.
The same goes for Sang-wook. First, let me do a happy dance that Ji-soo is officially back (yay!). I think the show has done a good job reintegrating him, and if I wasn’t aware that the actor had to take a break due to health reasons, I don’t think I would have noticed (and I’m assuming those super long shots whenever he has to carry Sul or walk somewhere is due to using a stand-in, otherwise I’d be worried they’re taxing him too hard after his surgery).
Even though I’ve thought that what Sul needs most is to gain her own confidence and freedom, ideally one that doesn’t rely on anyone else (or romance), suddenly I’m all aboard the Sul/Sang-wook ship. He’s just so adoring and will spend thousands of dollars on her without batting an eye because he knows she’s worth it. He doesn’t seem like the type that will lord it over her, either, like any of her in-laws would (because they refuse to even let her have leftovers — that she made!). Even though the truth about who she really is will likely be revealed soon, I can’t imagine him holding a grudge, especially since he has an idea of what hell she must be going through after seeing those bruises. I can understand Sul’s desire to not be beholden to anyone, though. She knows the terrible payment that comes when you’re obligated to someone, such as being treated like a slave by her in-laws in order to provide for her mother’s nursing home and care.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this episode, though, was the fact that the classic “protecting you for your own good” set-up was quickly resolved. I loved that So-hye immediately found out about Hae-sung’s video, despite his desperate attempt to keep it from her (and I choose to believe it was more concern due to not getting her too upset for her health than worried about how she’d react to a sex scandal). But as she pointed out, they’re a team, and if they’re going to work together and be together, they need to be honest with her. Her body may be failing her, but her spirit is as strong as ever, and Hae-sung needs to trust her to be handle something like that.
Couples trusting each other and supporting each other as equals are such a weakness of mine, and often so hard to find in Dramaland because, well, there’s not much drama when that happens, is there? Which is why I have no problem with the show leaning on outside-induced drama to keep things going. Clearly this won’t be the last we hear of Jin-sook’s attempt to ruin Hae-sung (and what, exactly, is in that envelope that is so terrible? Did he murder his adopted parents or something?), but I’m in such a heady “love solves everything” rush from this episode that I believe So-hye and Hae-sung can withstand anything. Including cancer.