This episode answered a bunch of questions I had and really got the ball rolling. That, and Park Shi-hoo made his entrance, looking quite stoic and hot, completely pleasing my inner fangirl. Okay, who am I joking, my outer fangirl, too. I also got a little word happy on this one. It’s a tad long. Forgive me. Blame it on oppa.
I also have to say that currently, my favorite character is Duk-gil. The actor is completely adorable, extremely expressive and Duk-gil is a heart-wrenching character. It seems as though he is the main character as of right now. Side stories, however, seem to be the ultimate drivers of our mains’ stories so far. It’s an interesting approach.
“Want You” – Connexion (from the How to Be a Perfect Neighbor OST)
episode 2 recap
The white car with Hye-mi and her murderously suicidal boyfriend is slowly sinking in the water. Her crazy boyfriend can’t get out of his seatbelt, but she decides to leave him and save herself. As she surfaces, Professor Baek Soo-chan spots her and dives in to save her. He asks her if she was in the car by herself, they discover they are both Korean and she lies and says she was in the car alone. I should be surprised by this indirect murder, but somehow I’m not.
Meanwhile, Yang Duk-gil is fretting because Soo-chan isn’t back again and he doesn’t exactly have a great track record. His Cambodian bride doesn’t want to marry him if he’s so poor that he can’t get a ring. Her parents also say he lacks manners and don’t like him. Sweet, problem-solving Yoon-hee tries to take her sister’s ring to give to him, but to no avail. The Cambodian bride-to be wants to cancel.
At the hospital, the professor finds out that Hye-mi has miscarried and says she should tell her “husband”. The nurse comes to tell him his phone in the car is ringing. “You’re dead if you show up.” Yoon-hee is on the warpath. I’m getting the mother hen vibe.
Soo-chan shows up in the nick of time and gets smacked upside the head by Duk-gil before the groom bolts to stop his future wife from jilting him. Cue Mi-hee fussing over the professor who whines about getting hit by a crazy woman and then Duk-gil. Yoo-hee snarks, “Maybe you’re just the kinda of guy who asks for a beating.” Heehee.
The wedding goes off without another hitch and the couple actually looks happy. Yoon-hee takes another jab at the professor. You couldn’t put out for a bigger ring while you were at it?
“For someone with nothing but her mouth, you sure have a lot to say,” he snaps.
The celebration is on. Duk-gil is giddily, adorkablely happy, promising to take care of his wife. She reminds him that wants to go to Seoul, which dampens his mood.
Meanwhile, Soo-chan relates his story about saving the mysterious Korean woman. “I heard you studied literature, but you must’ve studied fiction as well,” Yoon-hee quips. Me thinks me likes her more and more.
On the beach, Duk-gil apologized to Soo-chan for hitting him and Soo-chan worries about his temper. “I’ve only used my fists twice, both on you.” Again, Yoon-hee rags on him, saying he must’ve deserved it earning a glare. Duk-gil says that he wouldn’t treat the mother of his son that way, surprising Soo-chan who did not expect that news.
At Mi-hee’s insistence, Soo-chan drives them to the hospital to visit the woman he saved, but it turns out that she disappeared even though she’d just had surgery. “It’s a mystery novel [that you’re writing],” Yoon-hee says, calling him a liar and Professor Baek glares.
Back at the hotel, Mi-hee feigns dizziness and complains of foot pain. Soo-chan steadies her and removes her shoes for a footrub, a particular attention she’d been coveting since she saw him bestow it on the female professor. “Wish granted,” Yoon-hee says with a shake of her head just as an angry female professor shows up. Soo-chan drops Mi-hee’s foot and quickly retreats to his lover’s side, leaving his admirer shocked and hurt (again).
In his hotel room, a teary, sentimental Duk-gil prepares for his wedding night muttering, “I just need to do it…like in the book.” Cambodian wifey is rather impatient and dials the translator to tell him that its a family tradition to remain apart for one month after the wedding. He ends up counting more sheep, poor guy.
Everyone is returning to Seoul. Yoon-hee watches the professor with the female professor and mutters, “He was born to [be a jebi/player]. Up all night with no eye circles.” LMAO.
Back in the homeland, Mi-hee is a barfing machine. But that doesn’t stop her from talking about the professors. Yoon-hee wonders about the poor dongsaeng who carried her bags and bought her liquor; Mi-hee worries even more about the professors.
The female professor’s husband comes to greet her as Soo-chan and the sisters watch.
PARK SHI-HOO TIME!
Yoon-hee spots Yoo Joon-suk (PARK SHI-HOO), her employer’s son. He is greeting a line of businessmen with a professional, but cold, demeanor. She trots on over, muttering apologies about his ill father and gets the “chaebol stare” – a cold look that is proceeded by stalking off in the coolest of fashions.
Joon-suk is stalking off to see his father who has collapsed because he overworked himself to open his resort.
Now we get the “chaebol walk”, which is the walk of glory through a chaebol’s kingdom. In this case, it’s through the new resort. We get to see Park Shi-hoo from many wonderful angles. (Check my screencaps page for all of them!)
Finally home, Mi-hee and Yoon-hee tell their mother and Ye-seul (Mi-hee’s daughter) about their trip. when Mi-hee runs off to the bathroom, their mother asks if there was bad water. You could call it a type of water, Yoon-hee muses as Mi-hee worships the porcelain god and swears revenge on the professor.
Ye-seul asks if Yoon-hee liked Cambodia. “All I did was wash clothes.” Heehee. Her mother comes in demanding for her to get her sister medicine and Yoon-hee rightfully refuses. We discover she’s a secretary at Yoo Joon-suk’s company and that she owes her family money.
When Duk-gil’s son Go-ni meets the new bride, he says he should call her noona and not eommoni. BWAHAHA! But he bows and greets the unhappy woman. As she washes in a basin outside, both father and son watch her, smiling.
Joon-suk goes to see his mother and it is obvious why he is so uptight. She barely acknowledges him. He asks if she stopped by the hospital; there wasn’t even a nurse. “He is not in a condition to be visited, she coolly replies. Would he even know if I did?” Ouch, mom. Ouch.
“You’re still the same,” her woefully serious son replies. She walks away leaving him looking disappointed and hurt.
Duk-gil is back to counting sheep when his kid comes out to go to the bathroom and they have a cute father/son chat. Daddy chides Go-ni for letting the dog run away.
“I couldn’t stop him. The neighborhood ahjummas say that a wandering mutt can’t be stopped by anyone,” Go-ni sagely replies. Be careful with your new wife cause she’s pretty.
HA. I love this kid.
And we’re back to the running professor, drawing the stares of the neighborhood ahjummas. We are treated to images to unsatisfying home lives: one is married to a slob with ungrateful children; one whose husband’s eyesight is going; and one whose husband is an emotionally controlling and miserly bastard.
To make matters worse (or better), Soo-chan has brought back perfumes for them, each scent matched perfectly to the woman it was chosen for.
The newlywed ahjumma is jealous that he’s not paying more attention to her and quickly says her grass needs tending. While he is tending her perfect grass, newlywed brings him juice and Yoon-hee’s eomma brings him chong gak kimchi…again. While this is going on, a mysterious photographer with long, manicured nails snaps shots of him.
Duk-gil’s small town has thrown a country-style bash to celebrate his wedding. It’s a beautiful day, ahjummas are gossiping and quibbling with the ahjussis, Duk-gil is smiling from ear to ear and there is plenty of good food to go around. The only person who isn’t happy is Wifey who keeps demanding to go to Seoul.
But we see a bit more to her as they head home and little Go-ni takes her hand. She smiles down at the child and Duk-gil gets adorably jealous, shoving his son out of the way and offering Wifey a piggyback ride, which she accepts. AW! Finally, the man scored ONE point.
The professor has another admirer in the botany class he teaches.
Detective Kim of the fluffy hair tells Detective Kang Yeok-gae that the lab has results on the identity of the murder victim. When Yeok-gae complains that CSI does things faster, Fluffy comments that he should work in America. He gets smacked upside the head.
Yeok-gae recognizes the name Yeon and Fluffy snaps that the name is all over the news. There were only three numbers attached to the identity of the woman and at the look on Yeok-gae’s face, Fluffy teases him about getting a ‘gut feeling’ about the numbers. Apparently, he’s an old fashioned detective who goes by his gut and often gets teased because of it.
At the crime lab, Yeok-gae finds out that the victim was in the final stages of lung cancer with only two months to live. He thinks it looks like an accident because why kill someone who was going to die soon? He also thinks that she looks really sad in her picture and the lab rat scoffs. Again, people are hating on his instincts. So he retaliates: “You look like you’re going to live a long time.” HAHA!
We get a nice peek into the real stalker who is petting the picture of Soo-chan on her screen. Ick.
Speaking of the devil, he’s walking with his lady professor and they pass by a student who looks longingly after him. Jump to a balcony where the student, a lover of his, is whining about his relationship and vacation with the female professor. He is worried, too, about the identity search results.
Ah ha! Now we know why he’s with this one: daughter of the director. She erased the search results without the director finding out. Baek Soo-chan is an ex-convict! She asks why but all he says was that it was a different part of his life and he’s sorry to have had her to that.
Behind a secretary’s desk, Yoon-hee is playing a game of go-stop on the computer. Another secretary, who I have named “Scarf”, says she has it easy since the president got sick since Yoon-hee can play go-stop all day long. She also informs her that the president’s son is going to be the planning manager and they are having a board meeting soon. Yoon-hee blinks in shock.
After the board meeting, Yoo Joon-suk and the board members take a dignified walk down the hall past Yoon-hee and Scarf. They bow, but he doesn’t accept their greetings prompting Yoon-hee to call him cold-hearted. Scarf feels bad for whoever becomes his secretary. He also seems to have lost weight after the scandel with Lee Mi-ran, which got him sent to us.
Aaaand, Scarf gets picked to be his secretary to which Yoon-hee says, “Too bad.” *snerk*
Mi-hee orders asks Yoon-hee to pick up an outfit that was on hold with strict orders not to try it on, so of course Yoon-hee heads straight to the dressing rooms. Meanwhile, in a different part of the same shop, the professor is buying his student a dress as a suck-up gift – it works. His phone rings twice: first from a desperate Duk-gil wanting Soo-chan to pay back the money; second from the bank to say that he’s overdrawn.
He returns to the to tell the student that she looks pretty in whatever she wear and opens the curtain only to find Yoon-hee changing. They are both shocked but Yoon-hee recovers quickly, shoving him away and calling him a pervert. His student lover comes out indignantly, asking if he has another lover.
Duk-gil sells his house in order to move to Seoul. He looks crestfallen and his son is far from happy.
Back in Soo-chan’s neighborhood, he sees a local ahjumma walking with her daughter. Upon closer inspection, he realizes it’s the woman he saved from the crash – she stares at him in shock and her face falls, riddled with guilt. They end up by a river where he asks if she’s alright. She would like for him to forget what happened in Cambodia and he agrees, looking rather worried. It’s the second time that we’ve seen this truly vulnerable side of Soo-chan and my heart aches for him and the kind of life he’s led.
During lunch time, Yoon-hee, Scarf and their friend, and office lady #3 (who will thus be known as Tall Chick), are gossiping about Yoo Joon-suk and his polished but cruel tendencies. In reponse to everything, he says, “kurundeyo?” or “kuraeseyo?” – “so what?” in English. (These are my rough spellings based upon what I hear. If you know the real spellings, please let me know. I want both because there are two options in Korean as opposed to one in English. I’m betting it’s going to be a pervasive detail so I want it in here.)
Scarf forgot to remind him of an appointment and was effectively shunned by him. He did all of her duties and made sure she watched – this is very insulting to a secretary. Tall Chick heard rumors confirming the facts from Young-suk, a man working for Yoo Joon-suk. Then, Yoon-hee gets distracted by an ahjumma janitor who is having back pains and runs over to help her. The other two say that she always does things like that but she never gets anything in return. It’s called being a good person.
In a meeting, Joon-suk rips three employees to shreds in the most polite of ways with a “kurundeyo” and a “if you know the problem, you should be working to find the answer. If you have a solution, shouldn’t I see results then?” One man is a stutterer and is extremely nervous while the other two barely manage to eek in a word.
Once in the hallway, the three men immediately start talking smack. One of these is Young-suk, the gossiper that Tall Girl mentioned. Although Joon-suk wasn’t incorrect, he still infuriates his employees.
Kim Dae-shik, the right hand man of the president and Yoo Joon-suk, is visiting Joon-suk’s mother, Han Ok-geum. Dae-shik assures her that Joon-suk is doing well and she replies that once he is done with his work at the company, she will marry him off to stabilize him.
They also discuss Hye-mi’s return. (She is the woman who was in the car crash.) Ok-geum wants her to learn the ropes of the company because in this day and age a woman needs to learn how to work outside of the home to be of assistance. (IE good wife material.)
Park Shi -hoo Oppa Pretty Yoo Joon-suk shows up as Dae-shik is leaving.
Dae-shik: Why did you leave your reunion party early?
Joon-suk: They were drinking and since I can’t drink it was boring.
Dae-shik: You stopped drinking entirely.
Dae-shik: Just think of it as a hard time passing by.
We have a mysterious, tragic back story to guess at!
Before he takes his leave, Dae-shik says quietly, “To a fearsome leaders, the soldiers are loyal. But to a gernous leader, the soldeirs will offer their lives. Become a bit more generous.”
Joon-suk watches him go, masking his emotions.
On the bus to Seoul, the same ahjussis from the first episode strike up a conversation with Duk-gil who is going to Seoul to look for houses. He looks quite worried.
At a bus stop, we discover that Yoon-hee and Stutter went into business together, investing into a bit of land. It is going to close and Yoon-hee gets dizzy. She had invested her marriage money into it so she says all she has to do is not marry. The consequences are more dire for him. Wow, she is really nice.
When they arrive at work, a notice on a bulletin board says she’s been assigned to be Joon-suk’s secretary because Scarf asked to be transferred. Instead of being upset, Yoon-hee says, “I guess I can’t play go-stop anymore.” Not only is she nice, but she’s pretty darn funny.
Yoon-hee gets to work and Joon-suk comes into work, barely acknowledging his secretaries. Kim Dae-shik informs him that Yoon-hee was a favored secretary but Joon-suk merely goes into his office. Moments later, she brings him coffee.
Joon-suk: What is this?
Yoon-hee: I thought you would like a morning coffee.
Joon-suk: Please don’t do anything that I don’t ask you to do.
She awkwardly waits, wanting to say something to him. When he finally looks up she begins to babble.
Yoon-hee: Do you have anything for me to do?
Joon-suk: I don’t.
Yoon-hee: For today’s schedule, since it’s my first day…
Yoon-hee: It’s true. I heard “kurundeyo” is your habit. (Giggles.)
He shoots her glare of death that says he wants to say it but he’s clearly self-conscious. She babbles a bit more and he cuts her off with a distinctly annoyed “kurundeyo”. Heehee. He just can’t help himself.
“It must really be a habit,” she says while chortling.
“What is this now?” he snaps and she takes a hint and leaves…still laughing.
Back at her desk, his other secretary, Mi-na, asks if she’s okay and Yoon-hee looks surprised. Apparently, Scarf used to come out feeling bad but it’s no sweat of Yoon-hee’s back. She’s fine AND she gets to drink his coffee.
Hottie female professor is watching Soo-chan play soccer and calls him during break to tell him how sexy he looks. The student from his botony class makes a pass at him but he rejects her, muttering that he doesn’t think of students as women. Hrm…
Duk-gil has had a hard time looking for houses and checks up with his son at the hotel before getting ready to settle in for the night. Wifey asks if he has the money and he shows her that he has it and pats his bag. Uh-oh. Bad feeling.
In the morning, Wifey fakes a stomachache and when Duk-gil runs to get her medicine, she jacks the money and goes to meet Duk-gil’s translator, Bong-suk, the mastermind behind the scam. But Wifey doesn’t want to go through with it. She likes Duk-gil and his son and wants to make a life with them. She tries to take the money back but the translator runs away.
She gives chase and gets hit by a car. (WHOA!) As she lies bleeding on the road, she smiles and remembers the few, but very poignant good times she had with her new family.
With the help of an insightful hotel desk clerk, Duk-gil discovers he’s been duped and runs to the police station, crying and devastated. He married a con-artist and was robbed of everything he had.
Who does he get to take his case but Yeok-gae! And now the random side stories are lining up. Yeok-gae calls him foolish and is embarrassed when Duk-gil kneels at his feel, crying and begging for help.
Duk-gil takes his son to Seoul without nary a goodbye. He is grim and determined but because of his depression, he’s barely able to assuage his son’s sadness and confusion.
In Mr. Soo-chan’s neighborhood, where it’s a lovely day in the neighborhood, Soo-chan is taking Yoon-hee’s eomma, newlywed ahjumma and older ahjumma on a shopping spree. Before they can get into the car, an ominous wind blows, and we see Duk-gil and Go-ni appear at the end of the road.
Soo-chan: Hyung, why are you here?
Duk-gil: To live with you.
Soo-chan: (Shocked.) Hyung!
Duk-gil: Where’s your house?
I’ll try not to go too long here. I just couldn’t help myself.
This shocked me and now I hate her character. I’m sure there will be more information given on her reasoning, but as for right now, murder really isn’t in my aresenol of dealing with people I don’t like.
First things first, even though Hye-mi’s boyfriend tried to kill her, leaving him down there was not cool. Send the sucker to jail. I’m sure we’ll find out more behind her reasoning.
We don’t really know much about any of our mains. The side stories are the ones that are really getting fleshed out. But our supporting characters will have important roles to play methinks.
Soo-chan’s actions are rather foul, but Seung-woo is a masterful actor and wrenches pity from us. I want to really delve into this man’s background and see why he is the way he is. But even more, I want to see how he and Duk-gil are going to get on living together. Do I smell bromance?
Yoon-hee. Oh Yoon-hee. She is spirited, quick-witted and kind. But she has a weakness about her that lets her be pushed around. But because she has a buoyant personality, it doesn’t seem to bother her much. This is what will DEFINITELY allow her to get close to Joon-suk. Her laughing at his “kurundeyo” and his reactions MADE MY DAY!
And Joon-suk. First of all, Park Shi-hoo, you look fabulous with that hair and the scruff. Thumbs up, oppa. Second, it’s strange not to see that million-watt smile. But he has a brilliant broody aura and a piercing death glare. As for the character, we know there’s something behind the stiff-as-a-board demeanor that causes him to lock everything up, leaving him a shell of a man. What is it?! It better be good and not some itty bitty reason he blew up like Hyun Bin’s character in Secret Garden.
The big shock for me was Wifey’s death. Totally makjang. But I’ll deal. I truly wanted to see a marriage come together. But, the bromance to come is a better plot mover. I really shouldn’t have been so shocked. In hindsight, it was obvious. But that IS hindsight.
I’m excited for next week’s installments!