The Secret Garden, the 7th & 8th episodes

Just because this drama heralds from a fantasy genre, I know it doesn’t mean that the writer can hear my thoughts, but oh, what a difference an episode makes. After trying our patience with awkward goofiness of gargantuan proportion during the soul-switch, the writer comes back with a vengeance. He gives us, albeit temporarily, the original characters back through a magical veil. Yes, some people hate the veil, but I embrace it with gratitude.

And our prince charming has come back. And I don’t just mean from her body. I mean he is slowly, at times painstakingly so, but surely going from Mr. Hyde to more Dr. Jekyll. The baby steps notwithstanding, JW is becoming a man RI could love “with all her heart.” Oh, he still has his moments of petulance and immaturity, but lest we forget, life is more about process than destination.

The Second Encounter with the Witch of the East

In episode 7, 02:35, airsick JW* tells off RI’s boss again in the airport terminal, “… temporarily I can’t come to the Action School, just so you know.”

RI* leans over to JW*, “Hey, are you crazy? What do you mean you can’t go?” RI* straightens up and in docile manner to the director, “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure she gets to the school in time tomorrow.”

The director is not pleased and to JW*, “Why do you keep doing this? You have to talk (to him) now?”

JW* looks at him defiantly with a tad of condescension, “Yes, because my life depends on it.”

Worried RI* barks at JW*, “It sounds weird if you say it like that.”

Annoyed, JW* says to RI*, “Then, are we normal right now? Let’s go.” JW* grabs RI*’s wrist as the others and the director can only shake their heads. The one (the same one who tricked RI into calling JW in the earlier episode) can’t help but marvel at RI, “Wow! Gil Ra-im is impressive. Her life is intermingling nicely with the chaebel (the rich guy). Ah, should I just become her chauffeur?”

JW* brings RI* to his house, and RI* asks him, “Why did you bring us here?”

“This is the safest place to avoid prying eyes. Get out.” As JW* gets out of the car, “We have to discuss what we need to do from here on out.” JW* closes the car door and looks down at RI* who’s still sitting in the passenger side, “The simplest solution is for you to come here.”

RI* is shocked, “You mean live together?”

“Do you think I’m crazy? I mean for you to work here as an employee.”

“You want to die? What about my action school?”

“Of course you have to quit. Or you’d rather I quit the department store?”

“Why can’t you quit? You think only your work is important, and my work is nothing?”

Derisively, “How can you deign to even compare the two? If I quit, do you realize the potential negative impact it would have on the Korean economy…” JW* senses his mother and looks up, “Uh? When did you get here, mother?”

Seeing JW’s mother in front of them, RI* hurriedly gets out of the car, but his mother has only JW* in her sight, who calls her, “Mother?”

JW* realizes his mistake, but his mother is relentless, “Who exactly is your mother? Who? To you, everyone is a mother after the first meeting?”

RI* tries to help, “Mother, why don’t you calm down a bit…”

Mother expends her anger onto RI*, “After all you have done, now you’re trying to help her? Why is that hussy getting out of the driver’s side of your car? So this is not money receiving relationship, but she must not have qualms about receiving a car. I’ve heard you went to Jeju island, you didn’t go with that hussy, did you?”

JW* tries to calm her down, “Look here, mo…” Catching himself, addresses her instead by her name with a fancy title, “Madam Moon, however displeased you may be, calling someone this hussy and that hussy is not very (appropriate) …”

His mother is horrified and can only stammer, “What? What? Are you trying to educate me right now?”

RI* tries a different tactic, “I’ll send her away. I will. Please calm down.” To JW*, “Hurry and get in.”

Calmly, JW*: “You have to come to this side in order to drive, sir. This is Mr. Kim Joo-won’s car, after all.” Emphasizes to bewildered RI*, “You definitely did not give me this car, you know.”

His mother gasps toward JW*, “You’re something else. When we first met, that wasn’t the first time, was it? How many times has it been?” Now screaming, “How long have you been coming here?”

As JW* looks up at the sky to find patience, RI* tries again, “It’s not true. Absolutely not. She has never been here before.”

His mother turns her fury onto RI*, “You shut up. I’m angrier at you than at that hussy.” Screaming again, “If she has never been here before, how can her clothes fill up the closet?”

JW* realizes at once what his mother is talking about.

The scene changes to the inside of his house where our lovebirds are waiting for his mother to come down from upstairs.

JW* tells RI*, “What are you doing? Hurry and go on upstairs. It’s not like I can go up.”

RI* looks at JW* like he is not as smart as he lets out, “What exactly do I say to her when I’m upstairs?”

At that moment, his mother comes down the steps and throws all the clothes at JW*’s feet. Like mother, like son. “You’re still going to deny that you came here? Did I misunderstand? Did I make up everything?” The verbal bombing – apple certainly doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

JW* thinks to himself as he picks up the clothes from the floor, I’m going to go crazy here.

When RI* asks JW*, after she realizes where the clothes came from, “Why are these here?” JW* is not helpful, “You don’t need to know that.”

His mother is now perplexed, “She put them there without your knowledge? You really didn’t buy them for her?”

Looking cautiously at JW*, RI* replies, “No, of course not. She must have brought them herself.”

JW* cannot believe the story RI* is weaving and is speechless.

His mother is not, “This is why you shouldn’t even have pity for the poor.” Looking viciously at JW*, “Especially someone like her whose only asset is her body.”

RI* gulps in silence, and JW* can’t take it anymore, “How can you say something like that…”

His mother interrupts JW*, “If you don’t want to hear something worse, listen carefully. Is there any reason why we should meet again? Do I have to see you again to splash water in your face while handing you an envelope full of cash?” The ugly truth of what kind of person his mother really is begins to dawn on JW*.

Joo-won comforts Ra-im

They are both eerily silent in the car as JW* drives RI* back. As ninji so aptly put it in the response section of SG, the 5th & 6th episodes, not being able “to feel the characters any longer” was cleverly solved by the magical veil special effect restoring temporarily the original characters in the car. I know some people don’t like the special effect, but to me, I can better appreciate this way the intensity of morosity RI is feeling as she sits on the passenger side while JW glances at her sympathetically. JW, referring to the pile of clothes on her lap, tells her softly, “You should’ve have worn them when I asked you before (then this wouldn’t have happened).” Typical guy logic. “I am … sorry about my mother. Because her words are so crass, even I get hurt at times.”

RI finally talks, “How can a human being be like that?”

Thinking she’s talking about his mother, “Don’t you think that’s too harsh even in this situation…”

She turns to look at him, “I was talking about you. What your mother told me is nothing compared to the pain your words caused me. Think about that.”

Softly he tells her, “Even so, it’s fortunate… that you were spared the onslaught.” Because she was in his body. She turns and looks at him differently. He goes on, “For the first time, I was glad that our bodies switched.”

When she continues to look at him, he turns and says to her matter-of-factly, “You don’t have to look so moved, because the society leaders’ conscience is typically like that.”

She loses the look, “You jerk.”

“What?”

“It’s refreshing, isn’t it? The society bottom-dwellers’ defiance is like that.”

“I have always felt it, but I didn’t realize the societal differences would be this severe.”

“Think of it as cultural exchange.”

He looks at her as if to say something inflammatory, but ends up smiling at her affectionately while she’s looking the other way – still morose.

Getting to know each other better

As they sit under a tree, they exchange family information in episode 7, 09:50. His maternal grandfather’s present wife is his 4th, while Oska’s mother is a product of his 2nd wife, and his mother sprung from his 3rd wife. JW* is cute when RI* gushes about how pretty Oska’s mother is, “Issh. (typical Korean grunting expressing displeasure) My aunt has had work done (on her face), while my mom is all au naturale.”

But the most surprising info for JW* is to find out that RI* has no family.

In episode 7, 15:57, it’s a cute scene in front of RI’s house. This is the first time JW* had to think about actually living in her house, and the aesthetics of the house not to mention the trash bags lined up in the front is not inviting to him, “You have no plans to move?”

Smiling as if almost enjoying his dilemma, “None.” Becoming more serious, “And don’t even think about doing anything untoward to Ah-young…”

Offended, “What does this woman think I’m…You try to contain yourself around Choe Woo-young (Oska) and not do this kind of thing,” as he imitates her coquettish behavior.

Calmly, “It depends on your behavior. Just give me the key.”

JW* still looks at her mistrustingly as he slaps the key on her palm, “I hope you always remember just how expensive of a car you’re driving.”

Smiling playfully, “Since I have such a bad memory (I can’t give you that assurance).” Repaying him for always questioning her I.Q.

JW* yells at her as she bounces toward the car, “It is my most favorite car.”

As she gets into the car, with maddening calm, “I like this car, too. See you.”

He still glares at her, and as she guns the car, she yells through the car exhaust, “Hey! Drive carefully.”

Ra-im finds out about the bet

In episode 7, 31:24, after RI* made a dinner for Oska, Oska is relieved that there is no poison in the food, but he still can’t relax. He asks RI* if he’s going to sue him. RI* is completely taken back, “Sue you?”

Oska doesn’t buy it, “Wow, you should’ve been an actor. Of course, I’m sorry that I couldn’t do the romantic vacation thing. I had all the intention of going through with it. And I liked the fact that the winner was Gil Ra-im. But…”

Lightening up, “Really?”

“What?”

“You said you liked the fact the winner was Gil Ra-im.”

Sizing him up, “What is there to not like? She’s smart, pretty, has good body… and she likes me.”

Beaming, “You’re right.”

Giving RI* a disgusted look, “What is this? You got tired of her already? But then, I thought for a woman with 300,000 Won (300$) rent, this was lasting quite a long time.”

RI*’s expression changes, but Oska doesn’t notice, “Regardless, whatever is your situation, a bet is a bet. Whatever I do with Ms. Ra-im, you butt out of it.”

Perplexed and slowly, “What do you mean, a bet?”

Oska yells, “Hey! I’m not going to be duped. Hurry up and eat.” He wants to make sure he’s not being poisoned.

Joo-won’s Dream Bod

JW* refuses to give RI* the passcode to get into his house in episode 7 in retaliation for warning Ah-young about him, but Oska comes to her rescue, reminding her that it’s his “dream bod” measurement, 36-24-34. When RI* finally settles in his bed in 43:55, she can’t get what Oska said out of her mind, But then, I thought for a woman with 300,000 Won (300$) rent, this was lasting quite a long time. She bolts up in a restless fit and checks her cellphone for messages when she notices the motorcycle key in a bowl on the nightstand. Uh? This is… Did he really fish this out… Her thoughts are interrupted by his text message: I’ll give you a hint. The passcode is 4-digit number.

With a venomous look, she thinks, That jerk.

Fireworks continue even in a swap state

In episode 7, 44:50, he (JW*) is not happy that she (RI*) drove the motorcycle instead of his car, “Why did you drive this instead of my car?”

Changing the subject while smiling and pointing to the motorcycle with her head, “This key, how did you get it out? Did you, by any chance, fish it out yourself?”

Contemptuously, “Do I look like the kind of guy who would do that?”

Playfully, “Then how did you get it out?”

“I asked you first. My car… what did you do with it?”

Can’t look in his eyes while lying, “I ran… out of … gas.”

Surprised, “All three cars?”

Slowly it dawns on her, “All three cars are yours? They aren’t employee cars?”

“Unless they are crazy, what employee would dare park in front of my house?” Suddenly checking her out, “And what kind of ensemble is that? That necktie doesn’t go with the suit.” Looking at her wrist, “And why are you not wearing a watch? To a man, a watch is…”

Interrupting him, “Okay, I got it. Hop on, we are late.”

But suddenly remembering, she gets out a memo and gives it to him, telling him it’s an instructional list for the apprentices at the Action School.

He (JW*) hits the note with a hand, and the note flies out of her (RI*’s) hand onto the street, “Are you crazy? You want me to go to the Action School right now?”

“If 님(Nim – Madam) doesn’t go there, then wouldn’t I also not go to Madam’s department store?” 님 (Nim) for a woman means Miss, Mrs., or Madam depending on the age and status, but it is also used to address someone you love. I think it’s used here as a double-entendre.

She gives him a stern lecture, “Let the one who has most to lose learn how to crawl appropriately, okay?”

She (RI*) picks up the note, and he (JW*) speaks through clenched teeth, “Wait here. I’m going to go change.” He (JW*) then turns back, “How did you figure out the passcode last night?”

She’s as proud as a peacock, “A blindingly bright star made an emergency stop, why?” Then she turns her fury on him, “What? A four-digit number (네 자리)? It’s more like a sleeping place (잠자리).” 네means four, and 자리means digit, but 자리 can also mean a place and 잠 means sleep. So, RI* means that the bust size of 36 is cushy enough to sleep on, adequate replacement for a bed, or something to that effect.

Getting excited (not that way), “36 means …” And as she demonstrates with her hands, she also gets angry, “You pervert.” She’s not talking about me.

He (JW*) calmly looks at her own (RI’s) chest and asks RI* almost tauntingly, “I can see why you’d be sensitive. You want me to get surgery?”

She (RI*) screams at him.

In the next scene, episode 7, 46:25, she (RI*) is shocked at his (JW*’s) attire, “Do you want to die? Take it off right now!” JW* is wearing a fancy dress with stylish red coat.

Nonchalantly, “I don’t want to. I like this kind of style.”

RI* tries her usual tactic, “That’s right. You usually don’t understand verbal instructions.” And she raises her arm as if to strike JW*.

JW* resorts to feminine wiles, “Ah? Help! This tall and handsome man is trying to hit me, a woman. Help!”

A couple who happened to walk by is not sure whether to help. RI* denies the accusation by hugging (more like mugging) her saying, “Me hit her? It’s because she is so pretty, from head down to her toes.” JW*’s face is buried in RI*’s chest, thus rendering him mute while his arms are flailing about widely.

When the couple is still indecisive, RI* helps them by making a menacing face at them, which prompts the woman to make the most commonly used phrase in New York City while steering her man away, “Don’t meddle in other people’s business. Let’s go.”

While still holding JW*, RI* gives him a simple instruction, “Going to the Action School, raise your right hand; will just die like this, left hand.”

JW* flaps his right hand, twice for good measure, while grunting incoherently, and RI* lets him go.

While JW* tries to catch up breath, RI* makes dust-off motions on her chest and calmly gets on her motorcycle, “Get on.”

JW* gives her a searing glare while still panting, “You. I’m going to get my revenge.” Then abruptly JW* smiles, delighted by the new revelation, “By the way, my chest is pretty wide.” Talking about his chest he was just smothered in. Ah, male vanity lives on… even in a woman’s body.

How to annihilate your opponent

In episode 7, 50:25, the director admits to JW* that she’s right about his feelings for her, but he tells her that the script she rejected shouldn’t be based on personal reasons. While saying this, he offers her the script she threw on his desk back. At this point, JW* makes an insightful observation about the director, He doesn’t just like Gil Ra-im, he loves her.

JW* takes the script from his hand, “Then, I’ll make one request. I’ll forget about knowing how you feel about me, if you never make a confession to me as long as you live.” JW* just made sure his competition never even gets off the ground in pursuit of his woman.

A Small Tidbit

An interesting little tidbit about preserving the original character’s attributes occurs in episode 7, 50:00, when Oska’s manager asks JW* how she knows so much about where Oska may be hiding, JW* without thinking, “That’s because…” Then, JW* recovers, “(Because) I’m his fan. I even wear his socks, so that he can put food on his table.”

RI* looks at JW* funny, while the manager replies, “Thank you. The socks sales were phenomenal.” Because the camera zooms in on RI* and JW* while the manager talks, it’s hard to tell whether the phenomenal socks sale was said in earnest or in tongue-in-cheek fashion. My guess is in earnest, because so far the manager has not shown me that he’s capable of humor.

What is the interesting tidbit? Do you remember when RI was swooning over Oska at the Jeju island resort, and she told him that she was his loyal fan? When she was RI, she pronounced “fan” with typical Korean pronunciation, which is with “p” sound as in “pan,” but when she is JW* her pronunciation of “fan” becomes perfect. I think it’s a small reminder that the writer or the director is paying attention to even a seemingly minute detail.

My second most favorite scene thus far

In episode 8, 25:15, the magical veil occurs and we have the temporary switch-back to our original lovebirds, as they are sitting by the fire outside. RI takes a swig right from the bottle, and JW raises both his eyebrow and his blood pressure, “How can a woman… It’s not like you have no cup or a glass? Why do you drink like that?”

“Because whether I drink from a glass or straight from the bottle, I would still get drunk the same way.”

He is still irritated but he doesn’t say anything because he senses her melancholy. They look at each other, and she offers him the bottle. When the Mr. Uptight uses the straw to drink from the bottle, she gives him a mild sneer and an irritated look.

Apparently not noticing her stare, he asks her, “How was the sauna?”

Sarcastically, “36-24-34. How does it feel to bathe together with your dream bod?”

Without any hesitation, “It’s been a long time since my ideal has changed, you know… to a woman who can’t enter the Miss Korea contest.”

RI can’t help smiling, but tries very hard not to show, “It’s not that I can’t, I decided not to enter.”

“I know, because you’re dark and ugly.”

Fire in her eyes, “Issh. And this from a guy with uneven buttocks.”

Incredulously, “Wow. You have a serious defect in your character.” Because she either looked or felt his buttocks without his consent. Pointing his fingers at her now in indignation, “You are (this woman is) incorrigibly sly and cunning.”

Enjoying the rise out of him, “You didn’t know?” And she takes another drink from the bottle.

“You’re (doing it) again…” Meaning drinking out of the bottle.

Tiredly, as she wipes her mouth with the sleeve, “Go back to sleep. And stop bothering me.”

Totally calm now, “I was all ready to sleep. You know, usually I have no interest in other people’s affairs, but I was suddenly besieged with curiosity about why you don’t have something that everybody else has.”

“I can’t imagine what that could be because I lack so many things, but what specifically? Money? A house?”

Looking serious and staring right into her eyes, “A family.”

She looks at him for a long time before she relents, “I was told that my mother passed away when I was very young. My father always told me that my eyes and the way I smiled reminded him of her. My father was a firefighter, and when I was 17 years old, he died on the job. Up until then he had rescued many people, and (to me) he was a wonderful and courageous man.”

Serious and with unmistakable concern in his voice, “Then who raised you?”

“I grew up on my own,” Faintly smiling, “as a poor and alienated neighbor.”

“What about living expenses?”

“I had government welfare money coming in.”

Nodding, “My enormous tax must have all gone to you.”

Frowning, “Do you regret that it was wasted (아깝냐)?” 아깝 means the feeling of regret that the money was spent wrongly or wastefully.

“I should’ve paid more… if I had known that I was raising you.”

Moved, “At a time like this, you’re not a total jerk.”

Playfully, “I’m really not.”

They look at each other for some time, both wearing a faint smile.

Okay, why did I like this scene enough to rank it my second most favorite thus far? Because, JW confessed three times that he likes her. First, he liked her enough to have insomnia with unquenchable thirst to know why she has no family. Second, he unabashedly admits that his ideal woman is now her. And third, he has earnest and genuine regret that she had to grow up so deprived and that he wasn’t there to help her. And, this time, he didn’t mess up the chance to let her know how he really feels about her.

Another Encounter with the Witch

In episode 8, 44:30, JW’s mother finds out from one of the housekeepers that JW and RI left the house together and didn’t return yet. The mother comes to a conclusion that they must have spent the night together and tells her secretary to find RI’s cell phone number.

In the mean time, JW* and RI* are walking out of a store, and JW* is wearing his favorite tracksuit. RI* is incensed that he wants to wear that on her body to go the Action School, “Why are you embarrassing me like this? Do you really think this tracksuit is something a sane person should wear to the school?”

RI* gets a call from JW’s mother, and as she’s getting the phone from her pocket, she vents, “I’m going to kill that Italian seamstress!” In episode 1, JW tried to tell RI that the tracksuit is made by hand in a painstaking fashion by a famous Italian seamstress, even though she wouldn’t listen. I guess she did listen.

RI* answers the phone, “Hello. Hello.” JW’s mother doesn’t say anything initially as she expected a female voice, but finally, “Hello? Isn’t this Ms. Gil Ra-im’s cell phone?”

“You’re correct, but who is this?”

Venom showing on her face, “Are you, by any chance, Joo-won?”

Panicking, RI* stammers, “Ah… Well… Yes… I mean, no…”

His mother lets him have it, “You must really be crazy. You’re answering that hussy’s phone now, too?” She barks at him, “Put that hussy on right now!”

Panicking and while covering the phone, tells JW*, “What should we do? I think it’s your mother. Your mother said to put me on.”

“It’s my mother? How could you answer that?”

RI* implores JW* silently, and JW* relents, “Hello?”

His mother’s not happy at so many levels, “How can you let an elder’s call wait so long? It’s not necessary to beat around the bush, I want to see you right away.”

JW* meekly replies, “Yes, I understand.”

Despite RI*’s yelling questions as to what his mother said and what he’s going to do, JW* ignores and leaves her.

In episode 8, 46:08, his mother and JW* are sitting at a table in an apparent internet café. And the fact that JW* is wearing the tracksuit doesn’t escape her eyes, “Did you two, by any chance, go to Italy together, also?”

Pointing to the tracksuit, “Ah, this? Last year, it was launched in Korea.”

Disdainfully, “So, are you saying it’s a coupling wear?”

JW* just looks at her with a discerning look.

She goes on, “Does someone like you even know the value of that wear? I thought I distinctively told you not to see each other ever again.”

JW* is now playing with her, “Aai. And yet you’re the one who called me out here first.” Aai is an expletive used to voice dissension in Korean.

Shocked, “You must think this is funny (you must find me comical). Okay, you got the car, the clothes, now I’ll give you the final prize I’m sure you wanted so badly.”

She plops an envelope full of cash on the table, “Even for someone with only a high school degree, I’m sure you know the significance of this.”

JW* gives her a flat expression.

She goes on, “Let’s settle this unequivocally with this.”

With that, she produces a letter with the content:

Memorandum

The said person, Gil Ra-im, as of December 5, 2010 will cease all contacts and calls to Kim Joo-won, and if she were to break the above stipulation she will not object to or cause problems with any measures or punishment levied against her by Kim Joo-won’s party.

And she tells her, “Stamp this. (And) if you don’t…” In Korea, stamping is equivalent to signature.

JW* already knows, “You’re going to splash water on me.”

With a crazed frown on her face, “You don’t think I could do it?”

Sighing, “Okay. But let me take a look at it first.”

His mother is shocked that JW* has the gall and impropriety to look at the actual amount in the envelope.

JW* after peeking in the envelope, playfully verbal jabs his mother, “Eh-gae! You have an unexpectedly small scale.” Eh-gae is an expression that usually precedes a declaration that something is much smaller or less grandiose than expected. It’s one word we guys fear the most from women.

His mother is beyond shock, but her son isn’t done yet, “Ah! Maybe you meant monthly installment?”

“What?” Appalled, she raises her hand to her face, but her son is faster.

He grabs the water-filled glass in front of her and puts it away from her reach.

A thought crosses his mind, “By the way, besides me, have you ever treated another woman like this before?

Her lips quivering like an insane woman, “You really think there wasn’t?”

A light goes off in his brain, and we find him in front of his personal psychiatrist in her office.

The Doctor and the Water

JW and the doctor must have been a romantic pair in the past. The doctor (Ji-hwyen) asks JW*, “I’m correct, right? (You’re) the one who came with Joo-won?”

JW* nods yes, while pulling on the zipper of that ever-present tracksuit.

The doctor asks him, “How did you get here?”

“Via taxi.”

The doctor smiles, “You are an interesting person.”

Hesitatingly, JW* asks her, “Could I have a consultation with you?”

“(Well,) since you have registered and paid in advance… have a seat.”

After they both sit, the doctor starts first, “Do you have any problems? Even though I can guess what it may be.”

“I have met this rich guy a few times, but his mother came to see me and gave me an envelope full of money.”

Looking at her intently, JW* goes on, “You know what that means, right? Take this and get lost.” Slowly, “Is that what you would’ve guessed?”

Looking at JW* very calmly, “Did you meet Joo-won’s mother?”

Then more to herself as she avoids the eye contact, “Does she still go around doing that?”

It dawns on JW* that his hunch was correct, and that his mother did offer money to the doctor (Ji-hwyen).

The doctor looks at him, “Please continue.”

“If I were to continue to see this man, what do you think will happen?”

The doctor contemplates for a few seconds before answering, “You’d probably feel like you’re all alone on the face of the earth. Don’t see that man again. He probably won’t be able to protect you.”

JW* is shocked to hear that from his friend.

She goes on, “Because there is no reason for him to protect an ordinary woman.”

JW* looks very reflective here. It almost gives you hope that this experience would serve as a springboard for him to grow up as a person and not do the same thing he apparently did to the doctor but didn’t even realize he did.

Just because I’m a hopeless romantic

Even though I’m not a fan of Ms. Plastic and certainly not very fond of her character, I can’t deny the cuteness of her past romance with Oska. Besides, choosing between the evil witch of the east and Ms. Plastic to end this recap, it was no contest.

In episode 7, 57:40, Oska is in the same golf course he has fond memory with Seul. He reminisces…

Seul is delighted, “Really? You reserved three tee times in a row?” So that there would be no one in front or back of them.

Oska: “Only dim guys date in a car parked in a basement parking lot. You like it?”

“Yes. The air is sweet, my eyes are refreshed,” And while eyeing Oska suggestively, “And no one is around. It feels just like a deserted island.”

Oska smiles, “Let’s come here often.”

Seul nods yes, and demurely, “I don’t play golf very well. I didn’t take any lessons, because I wanted to learn from oppa.” Oppa meaning Oska.

“Don’t worry. If I wasn’t good at singing, I would’ve turned pro.”

She smiles at that, and he tells her to come where he is standing. He proceeds to show her that the power in golf comes from the hip and the thighs. He then tells her to let it rip. When she hits her driver long and straight, he begins to applaud her, then he realizes it wasn’t because of his instruction, “You said you don’t play.”

Bubbly response, “I didn’t say I don’t play. I said I don’t play well.”

He is flabbergasted, and smiling she tells him to come where she is standing, all ready to give him a lesson in golf, “Come here. The game of golf is…”

When he just stands there, she asks him, “What’s the matter?”

He smiles, “Because you’re cute.” She smiles back.

Still standing, he asks her, “Can I be bad for a minute?”

She is clueless, and he walks over to her and gives her a long and steamy kiss.

In episode 8, 03:54, the cutest past moment of Oska and Seul’s courting occurs in a golf course when Seul is kneeling on the grass reading her putt, Oska comes behind her and writes on her back with his finger, “사랑해 (I love you).” Smiling Seul makes a heart sign with her fingers and mouths to him, “Me, too.”

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21 thoughts on “The Secret Garden, the 7th & 8th episodes

  1. Thank you for this, I enjoy your asides and comments very much. This has become my favorite site for episode recaps. 🙂 Thank you again for all your hard work.

  2. Hi Michael!
    I’ve been a silent admirer of your recaps for Secret Garden and I can’t stay silent no more. Your recap gave me so many insights into Secret Garden that I just had to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Being a romantic myself, I love your take on SG. So bring on the romance!
    BTW, how awesome are Binnie and HJW in their roles? They’re truly rocking it!
    Again, muchas gracias, arigato, maraming salamat po!

  3. “Eh-gae is an expression that usually precedes a declaration that something is much smaller or less grandiose than expected. It’s one word we guys fear the most from women.”

    Hahaha! Classic! I’ll keep this in mind.

  4. woot. thanks michael. another great and very romantic recappy thinggy.
    the eh-gae remark is soooooo funny. def. a classic. and so glad i don’t use that word at all.
    ms. plastic. kim sarang. she’s not pretty to you? i think she looks natural? and pretty. at least in the caps. now, mama witch is the one that looks plastic to me. also cheoro too for some reason. though i loved him in taewang.

    the writer is a woman. sounds like she has a great imagination.

  5. I noticed the fan/pan difference also and pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail. I happy to see someone else did also!

  6. Oska is such a cool oppa! ❤
    (No, seriously, he's the only man alive who makes me want to scream ''oppaaaaaa!'' in a really nasally way. And I'm not even ashamed, thanks to the OPW queen HJW making it cool again.)

    @dramaok
    Does that mean I'm the only one watching who actually likes Kim Sa-rang? Yay!
    I don't know, Seul makes things fun and entertaining, plus her and Oska-oppa make a pretty, pretty pair.
    Though I must admit that above scene at the golf course made me want to barf. It was just THAT bad.
    ''Can I be bad for a minute?'' Ugh. Only Oska-oppa.

  7. Alright… I think I will have to stop watching SG’s episodes BEFORE your translation comes out michael lol The dialogues are so layered and witty.

    This might be the 1rst time that not speaking korean feels such a barrier in order to enjoy a drama… I feel like I miss most of SG’s charm because of it : especially when it comes to RI’s character.

    That said, I’m still against the magical veil because this is where I can’t feel the characters anymore ^^;;;. They initially sold SG based on the body swap concept so I was expecting them using it with its full potential (and not the comical one). To me the magic veil totally defused that device : what was the point of the body’s exchange then ? Show ? Writer ? Anyone ?

    At this point, JW* makes an insightful observation about the director, He doesn’t just like Gil Ra-im, he loves her.

    Ok, this confirms my hunch : JW does know what love is since he can identify it in such way. Which means that toward his relationship with RI, he really chose to be an Os about it. His vision of the Little Mermaid quite speaks for itself : it sounds like someone had a major disappointment before and I really wonder what that is about. Just like during their first kiss : JW* was the one to pull it out while he is the pursuer… Mmmm ~ *sound of my brain wondering*

    The doctor contemplates for a few seconds before answering, “You’d probably feel like you’re all alone on the face of the earth. Don’t see that man again. He probably won’t be able to protect you.” […] “Because there is no reason for him to protect an ordinary woman.”

    I’m not comfortable with the all “my ex is my therapist” situation here but I couldn’t help but love this exchange between her and JW*. She speaks from her own experiment which totally get into JW*. He keeps telling to RI that she can’t think about him even for 5 minutes but while he’s in obsessive mode, how about caring for the other person ? As long as JW has to hurt RI in his all growing process, he is condamned to be stuck in M. Os territory I guess…

    But still : 김똘추, 사랑해 ~

    • Alright… I think I will have to stop watching SG’s episodes BEFORE your translation comes out michael lol The dialogues are so layered and witty.

      I told Michael the same thing in an email today. I get so much more from an episode AFTER reading his fabulous translation!

  8. **“Eh-gae! You have an unexpectedly small scale.” Eh-gae is an expression that usually precedes a declaration that something is much smaller or less grandiose than expected. It’s one word we guys fear the most from women.**

    LOL!
    I thought it was, “oops, I took the car for a spin and some crazy person scratched the paint. It barely shows, I swear!”

    Fabulous translations Michael and much more insightful! And I barely scratched the surface for the “sam jeh” part, I have a long post pending once I’m in one place for more than a week!

  9. Awwwww…. no mention of the incestuous kiss, Michael? And I thought nothing could beat the Britney/Madonna one …..hahaha j/k……Thanks for another recap, and also for pointing out the pan/fan difference. I don’t know Korean so I think I miss a lot of the speech nuances in the drama, unfortunately.

    I actually like the use of the magical veil by the writer.

    car scene: RI tells JW his words have hurt her far worse than his mother’s (i.e., she’s finally telling JW how she feels). JW replies that he’s glad for the first time of the soul switch b/c he bore the brunt of his mother’s anger (JW showing RI that he’s capable of being sensitive to her feelings).

    after the sauna scene: RI tells JW about how tough her life has been ever since her parents passed away (she’s finally talking to him like a friend). JW says his ideal woman has changed to someone who can’t compete in the Miss Korea pageant (he can’t be any more obvious in saying that he likes her) and that if he had known his taxes were subsidizing her, he would have paid more (JW confessing how much she means to him).

    Up until the soul switch, there have been plenty of hilarious moments, but I feel that JW and RI’s relationship was stuck at JW following/stalking/belittling RI and RI constantly telling JW to get lost/kicking him/treating him like a psycho (that he is…lol). With the soul switch, they’re finally having some heart-to-heart conversations. JW and RI’s relationship has moved onto a new phase…..although to be fair, the progress isn’t that much. While I don’t doubt the acting abilities of Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won, I still don’t think these important moments would have the same dramatic impact w/o the magical veil. I think that’s what the writer was going for so I’m OK with that.

    And I like how the writer deals with the second leads. Unlike the usual K-drama plot where the second male & female leads want to separate the main couple b/c each likes the main girl/guy (yawn~), here we have Oska who’s only fighting for RI because he wants to piss off Seul and JW (yes, Oska oppa is that petty and I love him for it b/c he never fails to make me laugh). Same thing with Seul, she’s only interested in JW to piss off Oska and because JW would make a really good trophy husband. The more I know of Oska and Seul’s relationship, the more I feel bad for them. I hope they can patch things up and have a happy ending.

    Looking forward to another awesome recap, Michael^^

  10. Hi Michael, Thanks for this and your other recaps. I have been following them avidly. (I’m still loving/hating SG – I think it’s uneven and squanders potential for reflection, but at the same time I can’t stop watching!)

    And I think you have hit upon the real purpose of recaps! This may seem a strange thing to say for someone who has recently burned huge tracks of her life writing recaps, but I’ve never been fully convinced of the PURPOSE of recaps. If I tell it like it is and accurately replicate the episode, what would the recap add to actually watching? If I want to give my critical comments, shouldn’t I write a review? I’ve frequently gone the way of a creative re-telling – but that seems to me to be more about me and less about the show, so again what’s the point and isn’t that a little self-aggrandizing? (Yeah, I think too much. Don’t mind me – I agonize like this on a regular basis.)

    But with your focused recaps and your insights into culture and language, I suddenly see the Value-Add! Well done and thank you!

  11. Thank you, martha. I’m tickled that this has become your “favorite site for episode recaps.”

    Thank you, mamaj, for not being silent any longer. I love to hear from other romantic souls. I know, aren’t Binnie and HJW great?

    Hi, blue. Thanks for reading.

    No, no, dramaok, Kim Sarang is very pretty and natural. It’s her character that’s not very attractive. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: you are a human encyclopedia. I didn’t know that the writer is a woman. How sexist of me. 🙂

    Thanks, joonni. I was having doubts about whether to mention the fan/pan difference or not.

    Supah, I like Oska, too. Just not as much as JW’s character. “Can I be bad for a minute?” says it all. 🙂

    “I think I will have to stop watching SG’s episodes BEFORE your translation comes out,” “I get so much more from an episode AFTER reading his fabulous translation!” choufy and thundie, you guys are so sweet, but you’re going to make my head swell. 🙂

    choufy, I know what you mean about missing “most of SG’s charm because” of not speaking Korean. Long ago I decided to translate “Lovers in Paris” in part because I wanted the challenge of accurately transferring the nuances of so many funny and moving dialogues, and I learned a lot from that experience.

    I thought it was, “oops, I took the car for a spin and some crazy person scratched the paint. It barely shows, I swear!” HaHaHa. You’re right, bella, of course. Eh-gae is an expression used to convey a surprise of something unexpected in general. My definition of eh-gae was never intended or professed to be all encompassing and comprehensive. 🙂 And I’ll be eagerly waiting for your long post on “sam-jeh.”

    While I don’t doubt the acting abilities of Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won, I still don’t think these important moments would have the same dramatic impact w/o the magical veil. I think that’s what the writer was going for so I’m OK with that. Well said, lidge_fan. That is exactly my sentiment. And I also hope (and expect) a happy ending for Oska and Seul as well.

    Thank you, Lucille. And thanks for your opinion on the switch back.

    Wow, Serendipity, I think you should definitely “agonize” more often, because I love it. 🙂 But, while I understand and am really touched by your point, in order for such “focused” view to work, it needs its counterpart overview to provide the background. The depth and color from the focused recaps complement worker bee mentality of the overview recaps, but one doesn’t shine as brightly without its counterpart.

  12. First of all, talk about being surprised when I saw my name in the recap. Heh. But I’m honored that I could bestow you in some way to your awesome recaps/analyzing.

    Also I enjoyed the body swap shenanigans, but now there’s gonna be some advancement in the emotional area – and that’s what caught me about this drama in the first place – Ra-Im and Joo-won being who they are, slowly changing and finding love and something special in each other.

    But Seul and Oska, I never felt them, not in the present or in the flashbacks, it truly bothers me how Seul is styled to look so much like a sweet innocent little school girl with ponytails and bangs. Gosh, seriously that does not suit her at all. I prefer her looking all plastic, since she’s way better at being the one I love to hate.

    Explaining the korean expressions is wonderful, just like the others said. Makes it easier (for us non-koreans) to interprete the meaning/feelings behind the words. And the magic veil, I’m not sure what I think about it. In some scenes I like the veil, but in other scenes it feels like it’s really unnecessary.

  13. Sorry, ninji, for surprising you. I tried to give a warning, but I guess you missed it.

    Regarding Seul and Oska, it really is difficult for me to feel them as well, especially after watching the episodes 11 & 12. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding is their basic problem, but Seul doesn’t seem to realize that she doesn’t have to react so viscerally insensitive and stupid.

  14. dear michael.. i’ve been marathon-ing your reviews and i just wanted to tell you how much i LOVE them!!! (I started off with ep9&10… loved it, then read them in chronological order :)) I find them captivating, smart, refreshing, detailed and educational!!!

    that tidbit about pronouncing fan as fan/pan… AWESOME! really didn’t notice it!!

    thanks thundie for this blog, and thanks michael for your writings (and future pieces)!

  15. Thank you, ItadakimasU. I’m quite honored that you not only loved our recaps enough to marathon but also for you to describe our recaps in such glowing adjectives, in all seriousness I can’t help but feel quite dizzy. So thank you again.

    Regarding being a guy, yeah, I get that a lot. 🙂 I initially thought about going incognito, but I wanted to come out of the proverbial closet and show the kdrama world that orange juice is not just for breakfast anymore – well, you know what I mean. 🙂

  16. first of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

    @Michael: I’m glad you came out of that figurative closet. Some K-dramas (SG especially) deserve appreciation from both gender^^

    And at times.. I do appreciate the opinion/thoughts of the male over female 😉 😛

  17. Quote: She turns to look at him, “I was talking about you. What your mother told me is nothing compared to the pain your words caused me. Think about that.”

    Softly he tells her, “Even so, it’s fortunate… that you were spared the onslaught.” Because she was in his body. She turns and looks at him differently. He goes on, “For the first time, I was glad that our bodies switched.”

    Hi micheal this is my second time watching and this is the scene in the car where JW* tries to comfort RI*. JW mother had earlier accuse RI for lying that it was her first time in JW place and threw a pile of clothing as evidence.

    What had JW* said that caused her so much pain.

    Is it because earlier JW* was surprise at the clothes that his mother found in his cupboard and ask RI* who tells him off that it was “none of her business” why the clothes were in his cupboard. (He had earlier on bought the clothes she refused to try)

    This careless reply comfirm JW* mother impression of RI that she deliberately left the clothes in his cupboard and that his son did not buy the clothes for RI.

    Thanks.

    • Hi, natale2. RI is referring to the scene in the episode 5, 47:35, when JW wants RI to be his Little Mermaid, stay invisible by his side, and eventually disappear like bubbles. He also tells her, “That is the wisdom by which guys like me live by.” She slaps him for that remark and deservedly so, but his comments must have really hurt her.

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