18 vs 29 – Episode 10
We open up where the last episode left us; that is, pinned against the car while the reporters close in with their big boxy microphones.
Sang-young deflects the reporters, promising a formal apology later, and hustles away an uncomprehending Hye-chan. They argue in the car:
[Hye-chan: You’re really terrible. Was it fun watching me make a fool of myself?]
[Sang-young: Do you think it was fun for me? You were so happy, how could I tell you? I’m sorry…I was going to tell you but it wasn’t easy.]
He pushes for them to get the hell out of town, but she is adamant to stay home. She wins, but spends the first hours in her room watching Wood Allen’s movie, tearing apart her script and crying. Even the arrival of her sister and brother in law fail to get her to unlock the door of her self-imposed exile.
Sang-young meets up with Ji-young and Aunt Producer. Auntie accuses him of bankrupting her company, but Ji-young states he’s a victim, too. He apologizes, but there’s not much else to do.
At home, Sang-young tries to entice her out of her room with food: fried rice with banchan, sweet and sour pork, even blowing the scents under the door, but she is too deep in thought. Coming back from the market with another try, Sang-young finds a note from Hye-chan: she’s left for a few days.
Sang-young heads out the door; Kim Noon is wheeling up to the house at the same time. They have an awkward conversation, and Kim Noon promises to call if Hye-chan contacts him. While looking over at the swan boats, Sang-young receives a phone call from his sister-in-law with Hye-chan’s whereabouts.
She is at a monastery retreat, trying to find inner peace, but it’s an epic fail. Her mind flashes to various vignettes: Sang-young going gangster on her with a shovel or trying to blow her up, until she is finally able to clear her mind. Then it’s time for group confession time, and Hye-chan explains how unhappy she is, knowing that she and her suspicions were the cause of her husband’s work woes.
Sang-young arrives at the retreat during her declaration, but quietly leaves, meeting up with her on the retreat grounds. He explains that he reviewed her screenplay and found many fundamental differences between her writing and the movie. He apologizes for not supporting her, and the air clears between them.
At home with the in-laws, they try to figure out what they can do. Sang-young feels that the screenplay was written as a parody of the real film; Hye-won remembers a similar situation when they were in high school. Cue the Shout Out: Hye-chan’s first idea for a story was the idea that parents left their child home alone at Christmas and the child had to fight off burglars [Can I slap my face and scream now?] . Bong-kyu suggests that it’s better for her to write satires, but Hye-chan isn’t convinced that she even has talent anymore.
Outside the house, Hye-won suggests they meet up on Saturday, but Bong-kyu reluctantly admits the Dictator has set up a blind date. Hye-won wishes him luck, but it doesn’t fool him as he watches her leave.
At the house, Hye-chan eventually comes out of her room to find Sang-young reading the newspaper. Doesn’t he have a job to go to? He lies and says he took a few days to keep an eye on her. Manager Ahn calls; the audition info was a fakeout, and casting is closed, plus his CF contracts have been cancelled. He pretends out loud that a director is working for him.
Out of Hye-chan’s earshot, he contacts the director to try again, but no avail. While outside the studio, Ji-young walks by. They chat, and Ji-young announces she’s leaving the series.
Sang-youing berates her: Don’t you know you need to separate your personal life from your professional one?
Si-woo is in the parking lot and headed for the studio when he sees the pair and hustles over for some palm-slapping, gum-smacking face time. The two boys head for tea, and Sang-Woo probes for information on the current scandal. Sang-young deflects the comments, until Si-woo mentions an email Hye-chan sent him a month ago (pre-accident) stating her intentions to go study filmmaking in America. This is, of course, news to Sang-young. Si-woo is matter of fact about it: it’s lonely being the spouse of a famous person, so it’s not surprising that she wanted to so something outside the marriage.
While Sang-young is with Si-woo, Hye-chan and Kim Noon meet up. Kim Noon tries to cheer her up, telling her how much he admires her inner strength. When this doesn’t work, he brings out the big guns: he submitted her documentary on tardy students to an internet film club, where it won a prize. He hands her the certificate and recommends that she read the netizens’ responses to her film, along with a pep talk:
[I don’t know much about what happened but I believe in you. I’m sure you didn’t do that with bad intentions. And the person you are now is more important. The person you are now is confident and tough!]
He then finishes with a serenade: Kim Won-joon’s “After Everyone Sleeps”. [Time for Shuk-endorsements: KWJ paired with Park So Hyun in “We Got Married” and his current stint in one of my favorites bands, M4!] Best noona-killer scene ever! With a little reverse aegyo from Kim Non, Hye-chan agrees to pay for lunch.
While eating, Kim Noon encourages her to tell her woes, but she ends up telling him how patient and caring Sang-young has been. Kim Noon’s face falls as this was categorically NOT what he wanted to hear.
Dessert is interrupted by Si-woo, who finds it amusing that Hye-chan has such a young, high-school age friend. He is currently in charge of a high school quiz show, and asks tht Hye-chan call him before he saunters away.
It’s dark by the time Sang-young arrives home, at the same time Hye-chan and Kim Noon cheerfully arrive home. Sang-young thanks the young man, surprising them both. His only request is that she call next when she’s going to be late. The two males exchange a charged looke, and Kim Noon leaves.
They go inside the house, and Hye-chan prepares for an argument. However, Sang-young tells her in a gentle voice that it’s okay to have a friend that makes you feel better, but he follows this up with a question: does she feel lonely being married to him? She manages a quiet “no” before Sang-young’s phone chimes. Cue the danger music; it’s Grandfather, and the Dictator demands the couple show up at the family residence.
A quick scene follows: Bong-kyu on his blind date. She’s a special education teacher, holding up the conversation as he is admittedly nervous. Maybe they should have some water, suggests the extremely familiar waitress. This is followed by the extremely familiar dump-the-water-in-the-lap routine, which never fails to get old.
Bong-kyu and Hye-won take it outside. Bong-kyu is the voice of reason. His date is reasonably pretty and nice, and there are reasons why they can’t be together. Hye-won responds; of course she knows, but he can’t be with that girl either! She storms off, having gotten the last word.
At the house, Grandfather lays it down. There’s a construction job that he intends Sang-young to supervise. Sang-young refuses, and we finally get the backstory on his parent’s disappearance and his grandfather’s illwill towards the entertainment world.
Sang-young’s mother was an entertainer, which was a source of strain between Grandfather and his son. Her free-wheeling lifestyle and binges were the reason behind Bong-kyu’s deafness, her abandonment and the cause of his son’s death.
When that argument doesn’t sway Sang-young, Grandfather pulls out the guilt card. It was hard raising his grandsons, and he only wants what’s best for the both of them. Can’t he agree to an old man’s possibly dying wish? The answer? “I’m sorry”.
Hye-chan is watching Si-woo’s quiz show when she receives a phone call from the man himself and goes to the studio to meet him. He asks her to become part of the production team for the show, and help revamp it to make it more exciting.
Sang-young meets up with the producer of a local theater, a friend and one of the places Sang-young got his start. He’s decided it might be better to start over at the live-stage level. The producer promises to let him know when a suitable production becomes available.
Hye-chan meets up with Kim Noon outside the high school, and the Stalker Girls latch on while they go to halmeoni’s dukbokki shop for snacks. Hye-chan is looking for fresh ideas for the show, and enlists their help. Hye-chan agrees for all of them to come to her house. She calls first and confirms Sang-young isn’t home.
He is actually visiting places from the beginning of his career, arriving at his rooftop apartment they first stayed at. He was discouraged, but her peptalk and cucmber soju cheered him up, as well as her offer to stay overnight.
In the present time, he gets an idea to have a similar picnic at the house, and stops at an all-night grocery store for food, and lots and lots of cucumbers, before heading home. He is, of course, cockblocked by the teen’s brainstorm session.
After they leave, the couple share some quiet time at the kitchen table, and Hye-chan explains the kid’s presence in the house. Sang-young doesn’t like the idea of her working with Si-woo, and leaves the table upset. She chases him into the bedroom to explain her need to work. He understands the need but doesn’t want her working for Si-woo.
She counters that he shouldn’t be jealous over a high-school crush, but he drops the bombshell of the email. Since she doesn’t remember it, she dimisses it, and him. He yanks his hair in frustration.
The next day Hye-chan arrives at the studio, ready to start her new job, only to bump into Ji-young in the lobby. [Honestly, is she the only actress they have? She’s more underfoot than the mosaic.] They share a tense overly polite conversation, and Ji-young warns her that Sang-young is having a harder time than she knows.
At the production office, Hye-chan shows Si-woo the ideas from the brainstorming session, who likes what he sees, but she follows it with a caveat that she won’t be able to work for the show. He offers to use their old high school for the next taping if she promises to stay at least that long on the team. She reluctantly agrees, and he yanks her away to do some scouting outside the building.
Sang-young is turned down for yet another role, and pauses outside the studio, dejected.
Pulling into the parking lot in a snazzy yellow Cooper are Si-woo and Hye-chan. They conveniently pause in the lot, so Hye-chan can put on her seatbelt, and Si-woo leans in to blow a loose eyelash off her face, all witnessed by Sang-young.
The flashback vignette shows our teenaged Hye-chan making a present and leaving it in the multimedia room. She leaves to clean up and comes back to the room to find Si-woo picking up the box. He thinks it’s his, but her face says differently. Her voice doesn’t though, and he walks away, present in hand, just as Bong-man arrives. At the club meeting, he ‘accidently’ knocks the box off of Si-woo’s desk, picks it up, and realizes it was actually for him.
Wow, real life intruded on this recap, causing me to write it over the course of a week, rather than a single day. Still, I think it was a significant one. There is understanding and acceptance on some fronts; Hye-chan realizes her husband ain’t so bad; Sang-young learning more about the strain the entertainment world can put on a marriage; Kim Noon knows that Hye-chan is willingly staying with her spouse. Some thing never seem to change though; Ji-young dispensing marital advice and hoping her actions will bring her closer to Sang-young; the Stalker Girls thinking that any of their actions are cute and endearing; and Hye-chan’s misunderstandings of, well, most of what’s around her
I’m still hoping for a positive outcome for our second couple. The reasons that their relationship won’t work are not stated, but I’m going to assume they are related to the Dictator’s attitudes, and the fact of already being in-laws. But I hope it can be resolved.
There will be a delay in recapping as I will be out of town for part of the upcoming week., but I hope to finish this series soon. Thanks for reading!
Posted on October 5, 2012, in 18 vs 29 (2005) and tagged 18 vs 29, Choi Siwon, kDrama, Korean Drama, Park Eun-hye, Park Min-ji, Park Sun-young, Recap, Ryu Soo-young, sinopsis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.