Winter Sonata – Episode 5

Jealousy and Insecurity. Our lead male and second lead female are both standing on that cliff’s edge, and it’s going to take very little for either to fall into the waters of Assholery. Just who is this mysterious Lee Min-hyung, who looks so familiar but whose personality is completely different from their old classmate?


Our couples meet, thanks to Che-lin’s machinations, and Sang-hyuk now knows who his fiancée is working for. Based on the look on his face, Sang-hyuk’s whole day with Yoo-jin just dropped even lower than it was when they reached the restaurant. Chel-lin has a tiny moment of satisfaction before they join the other two.


Che-lin and Min-hyung talk about how they first met in Paris. Sang-hyuk finally recovers and asks her boss to take care of her. Outside the restaurant, they each go their separate ways. In Min-hyung’s vehicle, Che-lin wastes no time in subtly bashing her friend, calling her a mimic who always copied Che-lin’s clothes and shoes, and who stole her first love. Min-hyung is incredulous; he didn’t sense anything of the sort from Yoo-jin. Che-lin winds down her griping in the face of Min-hyung’s assertions.

In the other direction, Sang-hyuk is silent and cold as they walk to the car. Yoo-jin stops him on the sidewalk and demands he talk to her. All the hurt that was pent up inside bursts out:

“Yes, I’m mad. Do you think I’m mad that you lied to me? That you didn’t tell me who you were working with? That’s not it at all. I’m mad because you still think of Joon-sang!”


Yoo-jin denies it, but Sang-hyuk steamrolls over her objections. She offers to quit if it will make him feel better, and he agrees that it would. In the car, she admits she thought of her high school love and feels sad working with someone who looks like him. After some thought, though, he tells her to keep working the contract, both to save him face and for her exorcise her memories of Joon-sang.

In his hotel room, Min-hyung puts away his coats and finds Yoo-jin’s film rolls in the borrowed coat.

Che-lin asks Yoo-jin to meet her for coffee, and almost immediately ask her if she is quitting the project. She’s shocked when she finds out Yoo-jin is going to continue, especially when Sang-hyuk encouraged it. Che-lin’s second plan of attack – she invites Jin-sook to tea, since she’s roommates with Yoo-jin. When she finds out she doesn’t have a steady job, she offers her a position at the boutique. She celebrates with the good doctor and our affianced pair, and everyone finds out who Yoo-jin is working with.

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Jin-sook gets chatty when she drinks, and starts talking about her new job at Che-lin’s. Dr Yoon tries to hush her, but Sang-hyuk tells everyone it is okay, and that Yoo-jin will continue working with the Joon-sang clone.

At her store, Min-hyuk chooses a less than flattering dress for her, but tells her to be happy with the choice her man makes. During the conversation she finds out that there will be a party for all the companies working on the resort, and she gets one of her evil ideas. She can’t go to the party due to a fashion show, though.

Jin-sook is deep deep deep in her cups and starts yelling at Yoo-jin to quit her job at the resort and stop breaking Sang-hyuk’s heart. She’s a sloppy drunk, but Sang-hyuk still supports Yoo-jin. The two couples go apart outside the bar as the good doctor takes the Drunk One home. Sang-hyuk and Yoo-jin go for a nice evening walk. She apologizes for wanting to do a good job at the resort, and he’s happy. He talks about the good old days when she used to jump on things and try to walk them. He tries it himself on a flower bed retaining wall, and asks for her hand, hoping she will always take his hand and not walk alone.

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There’s discussion about the Marcian party between Manager Kim and Min-hyuk. He hands off the film canisters for processing, and asks Kim to make sure Polaris is invited. Kim mentions how often “Polaris” is mentioned.

Yoo-jin tells Jin-sook that night about the party. The next day, she asks her new boss to borrow an outfit for their friend. Che-lin offers her the same dress that Min-hyuk chose for her. Why would she do that?

It’s a late night at Marcian, and Min-hyuk and Yoo-jin are going over blueprints. He gets a little into her hair, and mentions her hair smells nice. He mentions the party; she says she’s not sure what to wear, but he assures her she looks good in anything.

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The rest of the team shows up, and Manager Kim is all set for a little food and drink action, but Che-lin shows up and everyone scatters. Min-hyuk stops his designer to remind her to show up at the party. Chel-lin is less than pleased. Is that her real hair?  Who knows.  She waits while her boyfriend finishes his review, and coyly asks if she should wear the outfit he picked out.  Good grief, she’s going to play the Suspiciously Similar Outfit card!

Our affianced couple promises to meet up at the hotel after the Marcian soiree is done.  Jin-sook gives her roommate the dress.  It’s just as unflattering on her as on Chel-lin’s.  She ends up in a pair of Jin-sook’s pumps which are the wrong size, so her feet are already hurting when she arrives at the hotel.  She tucks a bit of tissue at the heel.

Ice sculptures, classical music and lots of schmoozing are underway.  Min-hyuk is also having problems with his suit, at least with his strangling tie, but he’s happy to see Chel-lin show up, in that dress, of course.

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Then Yoo-jin shows up in the dress, and Chel-lin’s acting becomes Daesang-worthy.  She breathlessly says she’ll leave so no one gets embarrassed.  Now Min-hyuk thinks his Polaris connection is a hussy, and Chel-lin puts the icing on the whiny-cake: Yoo-jin may mention that he looks like her first love, but it’s just a pickup line.

As Che-lin leaves, Sang-hyuk arrives.  Min-hyuk bumps into a limping Yoo-jin and dashes off a snarky comment that the clothes looked borrowed; he leaves, but not before Sang-hyuk gets a little jealous flame at his fiancee’s outfit.  He comments in the taxi that the dress is new, and doesn’t really suit her.

At Polaris, the girls collect their stuff to head out to the job site in the morning.  Sung-ryung, their partner, as usual grouses about the work.  Boss Lady Jung is playing with a set of Tarot Cards, but apparently her prince is nowhere to be found within the Major or the Minor Arcana.  The three decide to go out, and Jung-ah ends up three sheets to the wind.  They go bar-crawling to the next place.

At Marcian, Min-hyung reviews the photos from the film, and is shocked to find a lot of his own face staring back at him.  Different conversations go through his head: Che-lin’s warnings, Yoo-jin’s honest thoughts.


Min-hyung and Manager Kim are talking about Yoo-jin over a piano version of “Oh Shenandoah”.  He’s confused over what she says and what she does, so Kim tells him to get to know her better.  The Polaris gang end up at the same place, of course.  Remember, this IS a Korean drama.  They are playing Truth or Dare, and it’s Yoo-jin’s turn. She gets asked the question: Did she have a first love?  Or has it always been Sang-hyuk?  The discussion catches the eyes of Manager Kim, who pops on over to say hi.  Now the party is on!!

The table fills with beer bottles as they continue the game with the new participants.   What, no soju?  Maybe this isn’t a Korean Drama.  The discussion is still on first loves, and Min-hyung scoffs. After all, isn’t your current love more important? Yoo-jin sinks a little bit more with the conversation, until it comes back around to her first love.  Min-hyung wonders out loud if she’s had too many to name just one.  That’s it for Yoo-jin, who downs an entire glass of beer rather than answer it.

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It’s finally the end of the evening, and everyone leaves except Yoo-jin and Min-hyuk.  Yoo-jin is still drinking, and asks a question of the man across the table while staring owlishly at him:  “Director Lee, are you a person who never makes the same mistake twice? Or do you keep making the same mistake, knowing that it’s wrong?” He is curt when he replies that he rarely makes mistakes, and never repeats them.  Her next drunken question: If you promise not to see someone, but you really miss them, would you stick to your promise, or go see that person?  Min-hyung would stick to his promise.

Yoo-jin launches into a drunken monologue: “But how can they look so similar? You look like someone I know.”  Min-hyung knows where this is going, based on his conversation with Che-lin.  Yoo-jin continues: “The first person I ever loved.” She looks up earnestly at him as he snorts in disbelief and gets up, prepared to leave.

He tries to get a taxi but she’s a big ol’ floppy doll. She starts mumbling the last conversation she had with Joon-sang:  Your favorite color is white, your favorite season is winter, etc.  Since he can’t get any useful information from her, he ends up piggybacking her to his hotel room.  Once there, he dumps her on the couch, whips his glasses off, and grabs a glass of water.

Yoo-jin slowly wakes up, and see Min-hyuk without his glasses, looking even more like her lost love.  She calls out Joon-sang’s name, and the man in front of her turns and answers.



Min-hyung is definitely intrigued by the seeming contradictions that Yoo-jin is showing.  He’s begun to pay attention to his interior designer’s moods and behavior.  It’s not quite attraction, since he is also repelled by the belief she a lying liar who lies.  But his interest is piqued.

Che-lin, on the other hand, is Lady Deceit for real.  Her need to be in the limelight overshadows any friend-feeling she has. I can’t help but wonder if there are blonde roots in there – after all, she introduced Min-hyuk to her circle of high school friends knowing that they would be fascinated by his resemblance to their dead friend.  The fruits of her labor are not at all what she hoped, but, really, she only has herself to blame.  And the lies will only weigh down her relationship.

For Sang-hyuk, he is already sensing the undercurrent and Yoo-jin’s ambivalence to the lead engineer, but I don’t think he believes anything is being reciprocated, at least not yet.  But, oh the shades of green we will see when it does!!




About Shukmeister

I have a great fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough, 80's science fiction movies, and thunderstorms.

Posted on January 12, 2014, in Recaps, Winter Sonata (2002) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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