Fashion King: Episode 2 Recap

by: Raine

This episode takes the crazy amalgamation of loan sharks, replica fashion, impoverished heroines, chaebol second leads, evil mothers and one ups it. It was sort of all over the place. We have too many different elements floating around that I’m not sure where they came from. But I do know one thing – EVERYTHING is connected. How they will manage to do it in a believable fashion, I do not know. Or maybe they won’t.

That said, it was entertaining. Yoo Ah-in was hysterical/heart-breaking. Yu-ri finally made her appearance, albeit briefly. She was pretty good actually! *thumbs up* Ga-young’s character got WAY more interesting and I’m falling in love with actor Je-hoon. Waiter, bring me one of those.

“Dreaming of you” –  Instrumental of the Lee Jin-sung/Monday Kiz  song (from the Fashion King OST)

episode 2 recap

Aboard the Midas, the Korean captain berates his crew for taking a break: no work, no pay. Work, work, work. One man says they need a rest to which the captain replies, “You know ‘shut da mouth’?” Then he proceeds to beat the sailors. Young-gul intervenes and asks the captain to use words and not fists. Captain Shut da Mouth decides that Young-gul wants the beating in place of his shipmates and gives it to him.

In his bed, Young-gul flashes back to the time when his father left him and his sister, Yong-sook, with their aunt. His father wanted to look for his mother who ran away to the U.S. with another man. Even though Young-gul’s aunt didn’t want to take them, his father leaves him and his sister with her anyway.

(Jae-hyuk admires himself in the mirror dressed to the nines. I would admire myself, too, if I looked like him. Even though he’s a douche, is it sad that I still really like him? His boredom and snark amuse me.)

Assistant Kim explains to a bored-looking Jae-hyuk that the company wants a great designer on a minimal budget and it’s also beneficial to the school to get a donation. So let’s go to a planning meeting! YAY! Well, Jae-hyuk just says nothing and looks bored. I think “Yay” is more exciting.

After hearing the startling news that she rejected her admission to the New York School of Fashion (NSF), Ga-young runs into Jung-ah, Madame Jo’s daughter, who smirks in evil satisfaction. She feigns surprise at their meeting and mentions how she was admitted: she’d been on the waiting list and another student who’d received a full scholarship rejected the admission. Whoever it was, Jung-ah is thankful. But oh, she has to go, a car is waiting for her. Toodles.


After the disheartening news and the infuriating meeting with smug Jung-ah, Ga-young wanders around the City for a bit. Then she calls Young Girl and asks for the president. However, he’s not there. (He’s busy sailing the high seas.) Dejected, she wanders around and gets chased off a bench by a scary homeless lady and intimidated by a pair of bickering black men.

She’s at the end of her rope when she finds a motel for the night. It is then, at the end of a trying day that she is able to put the pieces together: Madame Jo had hidden the mail from her and her daughter, Jung-ah, had smugly wanted to thank the “person” who rejected the admission so she herself could be admitted.

Then come the tears and my wish for the plucky heroine to now surface.

Young-gul is rudely awakened by the crew who has decided to mutiny and get rid of the Koreans on board.

Let’s throw them into the sea. It is green.

Please, take a moment to ingrain that gem of a quote into your memory.

*Pauses for a moment of silence*

They throw the captain and two other Koreans overboard before turning on a fearful Young-gul. He quickly recalls the time he pedalled fake watches to a pair of tourists and cries that he has a Rolex! Of course, he sounds like he’s saying “Lorax”. Oh Dr. Seuss…

Gosh, all these non sequiters. Anyway, they don’t care about a Rolex and get ready to chuck that beautiful piece of man into the ocean when he screams that he can help them get to America. There are more Rolexes…in America…with…his friend?

Back in New York, Ga-yong sees an article in the morning paper featuring a Korean man, Jung Jae-hyuk, handing the dean of the NSF, Tory Burch, a sum of money.

Jae-hyuk is in a meeting for J FASHION looking so bored that he wants to melt into the carpet. How much is the New York Branch’s annual revenue? Well, the branch focuses more on research and development. So how much is the budget? Just enough to run NSF.

This doesn’t please Jae-hyuk who wants to make profits right for banking. He suggests launching a brand, which makes the board uneasy. That requires a lot of capital and New York markets aren’t easy. With a syrup-y sweet smile, Jae-hyuk suggests to begin meeting at 7 AM tomorrow. He leaves an astonished board behind. Hahaha! Take that!

When Assistant Kim tries to dissuade him, one look from laser-eyed Jae-hyuk makes Kim squeak, “I’ll be there at 6:30!”

They step into an elevator where Ga-young is waiting. Her eyes nearly pop out of her head when she sees Jae-hyuk and she immediately introduces herself. Apparently he used to visit Jo Boutique in Chung Dam Dong with his mother. Doesn’t he remember her? He doesn’t and leaves.

Are you sensing a pattern in his behavior?

Here’s where the plucky heroine’s pluck shows up.

(Bad time to point this out, but her shoes are so sexy.)

She follows him down the hall while Assistant Kim tries to block her. Honey, go play football ’cause that shit don’t fly with a female lead.

Ga-young explains that while reading the paper, she saw that he knows the dean of NYF. That’s why she came to meet him. She was accepted to the school with promise of dorm and money so she only bought a one way ticket. But something went wrong and she doesn’t have the money to go back.

He is unmoved by her story and tells Kim to give her money before brushing past. Kim is extremely annoyed by her supposed “racketeering” for airfare.

Finally, she can’t take anymore B.S. and storms into his office. HOORAY!

Doesn’t Jae-hyuk realize that she knew he wouldn’t remember her? When did she ever ask for a plane ticket? Rich people like him never waste a dime on people like her. She’d heard he donated money and knew the dean so she came to ask what went wrong with her admission.

She thanks him for the money Kim had handed her and promises to use it well before SHE leaves. Now, the bozo is intrigued and asks Kim to find out if she is really Lee Ga-young.


Jae-hyuk is at a party at Jo Boutique. Rich Lady is there, too. Jae-hyuk sees a school-aged Ga-young piling food onto a plate and sneaking off, so he follows her, curiosity piqued. When she leaves, he enter the room and finds the food laid out for memorial ceremony. A crash brings his attention to the next room where Madam Jo is scolding Ga-young for leaving the party, even though it’s her parents memorial day. Why didn’t Ga-young respect the day of her opening ceremony when she raised her? Madam Jo forbids her from attending the party.

A phone ringing alerts Ga-young to Jae-hyuk’s presence. He answers, “Yes mom,” and motions for Ga-young to remain silent.


Jae-hyuk smiles to himself as he realizes that Ga-young was telling the truth.

Wait…he smiles for real? He may be a jerk, but…y.u.m.m.y.

A landlady is screaming for rent at a door and cursing Asians when Ga-young arrives, looking for a room. When the landlady walks by, in the worst acting EVAR, she grumps, “Oh great, another one!”

Dear World, All Americans don’t suck that much. I promise.

Anyway, Ga-young knocks on the door of the harassed tenant and it swings open to reveal…a fortune teller! Or at least she should be with that hair and make-up and crazed expression on her face. She is actually a woman renting a room, Designer Bong Sook who has three rules.

1) Never bring a man in here. (That one is broken by the LAWS of dramaland.)

2) She has to eat by herself.

3) Cleaning is to be done each day and they take turns every other day.

Secret rule number 4: Rent is due two months in advance.


Ga-young asks to pay after and even when she promises to cook and clean, the woman asks her to leave. But then, lo and behold, ANOTHER bad actor pops out to complain about her dress ripping. And she’s gonna SUE if it’s not perfect. Ga-young seizes the opportunity to demonstrate her wicked skills with a sewing machine.

The mutineers paint over the Midas sign on the ship while Young-gul haggles with a gang of skinheads for passage into America. It’s $5,000 plus the boat. Trusty Lorax Rolex comes into play. It’s worth $5,000 and Young-gul ain’t giving no discounts. With a fancy magic trick, he makes it disappear and reappear on the leader baldy’s wrist. Duly impressed, Young-gul has earned passage for the mutineers.

They’re taken by truck through the dessert. On a pee break, the lead mutineer wants to know where Young-gul’s friend is and if he’s not there, Young-gul will die.

Time to come up with an escape plan.

Somehow, Young-gul sneaks off the truck and starts walking along the road, hitching hiking and failing. He finds a payphone and calls the Korean embassy, but the woman on the other line has no pity. He needs to call the police, not her. Everyone died but him! She still doesn’t care. Actually, she only cares that he cut to banmal…

Loan shark Tae-sun and his gang of lackies (including Il-gook) are watching the news. The captain of the Midas was found at sea. A Korean named Kang Young-gul had led a mutiny against him and although the others had been arrested trying to enter the United States. Kang had not yet been apprehended. But he was bankrupted after selling clothing on Dongdaemoon and entered the boat in hopes of mutiny and turning the boat for profit.

Tae-sun asks Il-gook about the process of stealing a boat for profit. He also asks if his woman, Soo-ji, has been found and muses that she may be meeting Young-gul in the States.

A phone rings and it’s Il-gook’s phone (with the same cheesy opera ringtone as Tae-sun…yes, I should know the opera but I don’t. So sue me.) It’s Young-gul calling in a panic. No money. No passport. He has no idea where he is. Tell me what to do? Hurry! he begs as the payphone phone beeps for more money. Il-gook tries to tell him that the news says he stole something, which shocks Young-gul but gets no further as the time runs out.

Completely overwhelmed by his situation, Young-gul sobs. then he pulls himself together and tries for hours to hitchhike before a nice guy in a pick-up truck stops. Hooray!

Ga-young phones Jo Boutique and Miss Go sounds happy to hear from her. Bitchy Madam Jo is not and refuses to talk to her. Miss Go hangs up and informs Madam Jo that Ga-young is doing well in America and asked after the shop. With a smirk, Madam Jo says she should just worry about herself.

Rich Lady walks in and Madam Jo hands her ANOTHER outfit she made for her wondering if she solved the “problem” she mentioned last time. Rich Lady did, thanks to Madam Jo’s connections. Not one to let an opportunity slip, Madam Jo asks for a favor. her daughter got into NSF and has no place to stay but at a hotel. Can she stay with Rich Lady’s son until her house in Jersey is renovated? Although she looks burdened, Rich Lady agrees.

And WHO in the world could that son be? I should get money for all of my correct predictions…

Jung-ah moves into Jae-hyuk’s New York City apartment. He can’t remember her name and also hopes she won’t be uncomfortable. How long is she staying anyway? She doesn’t know.

I do! As long as she can milk it for!

When she rises to leave, he asks if she knows Lee Ga-young, since they both got into NSF. HA! He remembers HER name. Jung-ah wants to know why, but he tells her that she doesn’t really need to know. “Think of it as your house and rest peacefully,” he says as he breezes by an extremely pissed off Jung-ah. That’s what happens when you’re a scheming two-faced dog of the female persuasion.

Jung-ah calls mommy dearest who tells her not to think of Ga-young as an easy opponent and to learn from her.

How did Ga-young get to Jae-hyuk, too? Madam Jo calls Rich Lady, who will NOW be known as Mommy Jae-hyuk, for a favor. But Rich Lady is busy…trying on more clothes. She must own two houses: one for her; one for her clothes.

Mommy Jae-hyuk is annoyed by the call. Then, her seamstress mentions that Jae-hyuk’s ex-girlfriend, An-na, is a famous designer in New York now. Mommy Jae-hyuk’s face turns stormy and she snaps at her seamstress.

And now for Yu-ri’s big appearance as Choi An-na!

She’s working on a shoot and putting together the total looks with the artistic director when her phone rings. He shoots her a dirty look and she ignores the call. After the shoot, she is on the phone, yelling at someone in English. Jae-hyuk is waiting for her in front of her door. Her attitude is still the same.

It’s been a while, is she still mad?

Death glare.

I’d say she is. In fact, while he pushes his way into her apartment, takes a seat and tells her that he missed her, she just wants to know what the hell he’s doing there. He notes she’s successful now but it must be difficult with all the racism. Hey! Why don’t they work together?

I’m giving Yu-ri mad props. Her facial expressions are dead on.

Jae-hyuk hands her an envelope. It is the best he can do. Why is he doing this? Because she’s talented.

When he leaves, she opens the envelope and in it is a contract for a freelance designer with J FASHION.

Jae-hyuk broods at home. No shower scene. No screencap.

At the office, Assistant Kim explains that he doesn’t think a world famous designer will come to their company. Although they’re huge in Korea, they’re not that big in the world market. And what if his mother finds out about An-na’s contract? Jae-hyuk is annoyed and demands to know what the drawings on his desk are. They are from an talented new designer…who’s not An-na.

The conversation is interrupted by Assistant Kim’s phone. Lee Ga-young has been found. Suddenly, Jae-hyuk is no longer bored and smiles to himself.

At Bong Sook’s apartment, the bad actress badly acts like she’s happy with a really ugly dress (which is different than the blue one she threw at Bong Sook earlier.) They haggle and the Americans promise to spread the word because soon Bong Sook will be a world famous designer!

The Americans leave and Bong Sook suggests they break for a meal, which Ga-young offers to make. Then Bong Sook thanks God for sending her such a talented roommate for now her woes are over!

NSF calls for Ga-young and she goes before the committee, minus Tory Burch. Someone in the higher-ups calls upon her behalf for this interview. They normally don’t give interviews. Shes ecstatic.

Young-gul finally makes it to the City. A chicken truck drops him off in front of NSF and he gets laughed at because he’s covered in feathers. He also gets avoided ’cause he smells like chicken poop. In a bathroom, he asks a guy who is shaving to borrow his razor. “Would you please…rental?” HAHAHAHA.

Needless-to-say, the guy just gives him the razor. Then, Young-gul spies a rack of men’s clothing and puts on the most heinous, pimp-tastic suit to inquire after Ga-young. The same blond witch of a receptionist tells him that Ga-young doesn’t exist in their school, just as she walks behind them, smiling at her good fortune.

Young-gul is deflated, but I’m too distracted by the suit. A pair of gay men come to reclaim the suit, now, and assume he’s trying to steal. He has to strip in the stairwell.

Why are all these actors sooooo terrible?

Take off the pants! they order. Heehee. These boys at least know where it’s at. Young-gul strips with embarrassment. As he’s leaving, he sees Jae-hyuk and ethereal music plays in the background. Jung Jae-hyuk! Young-gul calls as though he were calling a lover! He is ecstatic to see him and envelops him in a tight hug – still smelling like chicken poo.

Jae-hyuk is less than pleased to see him. Young-gul lies that he had a show in Vegas and his employee is here at the famous NSF school. But Jae-hyuk is incredulous that someone from Dongdaemoon would come here for shoes, which angers Young-gul.

He tries to check his Rolex, but it’s no longer on his wrist. Young-gul lies that he has a meeting with that manager Jae-hyuk mentioned last episode. If he came to see the manager about business, Young-gul should go ahead, Jae-hyuk says and walks way.

But Young-gul isn’t about to let the only person he knows in the United States walk away that easily. He tries for several minute to get Jae-hyuk to agree to a meal or tea. Finally, he tells his story but Jae-hyuk looks bored. He’s a master at looking bored. Or maybe he really is bored.

Young-gul asks for some money to eat for a few days and he won’t forget it for the rest of his life. Jae-hyuk leans forward and say nastily, “I told you before. I don’t have any money to lend YOU.” Then he brushes by him.

No more Mr. Nice Illegal Immigrant. He storms into Jae-hyuk’s meeting with Tory Burch, hauls him up by his collar and “asks” him to come outside. Jae-hyuk tells him to stop because it’s embarrassing.

‬Embarrassing? Should I show you what that REALLY means?


I know people are not happy with this drama, but I’m having a blast ’cause it’s so psycho.

I have to address this issue first ’cause I’ve been reading reactions to it. The hyperbolic representations of all the nastiness of Americans were so ridiculous that they were funny. Are we really that bad, world? I don’t think so.

Now if you mean bad as in bad acting, I agree. Those American actors were terrible. The cruddy English dialogue was laughable. In fact, I laughed a lot.

I think my main complaint, as is that of most opinions I’ve read, is that there is no central pull to the story. All of the characters are somehow ambling towards each other through a crazy quagmire of randomness. A mutinous sailing crew to a snazzy New York fashion school.

Also, there seems to be a lot of camera work for the sake of fancy camera work rather than letting the camera function as a story teller. Example: Young-gul is wandering the dessert…and wandering the dessert…and wandering the dessert. It’s beautifully shot, but doesn’t really GO anywhere. Or Ga-young wandering around cities.

We did see more of Ga-young and the heroine advertised. The desperation of her situation makes it come out. I kinda like that she was meek in the beginning and we get to see her bad situation drawing something out of her being.

Young-gul’s situation is so nutty…I’m not going to even go there. Yoo Ah-in is brilliant in dealing with it. Period.

Jae-hyuk is human now! Hooray! Yu-ri’s An-na was well-portrayed, but I don’t have anything more to say yet.

Please don’t give us too many evil stepmothers. We have Madam Jo, Mommy Jae-hyuk and potentially Young-gul’s nasty aunt. Pick one…not three…or I keeeeel you show!

I’m seeing more meetings between our main characters next episode, what do you think?

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 78, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Character introductions.

Fashion King Episode 2 Screencaps.

5 responses to “Fashion King: Episode 2 Recap”

  1. thanks Raine for your madcap recap. yes i’m watching the drama because it is as you say psycho but i love the madness and hey the leads are all eye candies. totally missed tory burch who played the fashion school’s president?! that’s why i read recaps.

    • @Ginger – Thanks for reading! It is so psycho and I have all these things to say, but by the end of the day, I’m watching it TWICE, screencapping and recapping. I can’t HATE it that much….
      And yes, she makes a few cameos. I read the only other one she ever did was in Gossip Girl or smg

      @qwerty8 – I totally know wht you mean. Yu-ri is actually doing a decent job. I’m proud. And yay for yummy men…

  2. Thanks for the recaps! The storyline still not makes me interested… but I just love the cast so much. Especially Lee JeHoon and Yoo AhIn. And I’m a SONE so rooting for Yuri is given… although I worry about her acting a lot lol, but glad she’s not embarrassing so far. Heh.

  3. New York cliché side.
    I think i missed the direction sign to Makjang Land, Crazyville Capital City. But OK. Sometimes when you’re lost in a country you make worthy discoveries… And the journey can be more interesting than the destination.
    Thanks for the recap Raine!

    • Makjang land seems to be the final destination…although I hope it’s not. Ya, super NYC cliche. This journey is interesting. It’s always easier to criticize, so Imma wait to see how it panned out. Ratings drop to 8.9% tho…eep

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