Archidamus: She’s out?
Portia: Like a light.
Archidamus: Cool, let’s get cracking. Portia, you continue to keep watch. Signal if you hear anything.
Portia: How? I refuse to lose more bodily parts for this drama. I already lost one…
Archidamus: Just shush. You know it’ll grow back. Guard her closely and click or hiss if you see her stirring. Donalbain, you control the mouse.
Donalbain: Why do I always get assigned the most boring task?
Archidamus: Gertrude can’t possibly type and move the mouse at the same time. You know she’s petite.
Hortensius: What about me? What do I do?
Archidamus: Rifle through that thesaurus and keep tossing words at Gertrude so that she doesn’t run out of…
Gertrude: That’s not going to happen. You know I’m the most erudite in this house. Anyway, this recap is going to be so good the judge will keel over reading it. Put away that thesaurus, Hortensius, and go find us some plump and juicy sustenance. I would like mine pan-fried and drizzled with…
Donalbain: Wait. Run it by me again. Why are we doing this?
Archidamus: To help HER. And to help us. The sooner this gets written, the sooner we get to watch Episode 4. She’s been so absentminded lately she won’t know she didn’t write this. She’ll wake up, see the draft, and weep for joy that she somehow managed to write it in her sleep. And the judge’s not going to be any wiser. He’s only read one recap and even then he was half-asleep and only woke up for the Moo-won scenes.
Gertrude: Weird judge. Ji-heon’s so much cuter than Moo-won!
Portia: Did you see the way Moo-won bit his lower lip? Cute doesn’t even cut it.
Hortensius: I have an idea. Let’s stick a bunch of Moo-won screencaps early in the recap. That’ll please the judge and he won’t read the rest.
Gertrude: Hey! It’s my first recap! I want him to read everything. He’s going to have such a change of heart about Ji-heon when he’s done reading, I tell you. The guy just brings out every maternal instinct in me. Seeing him afraid of the dark and all curled up in that fetal position, it just reminds me of my poor little Aegeon…
Archidamus: There, there. Let’s not rake up painful memories at a time like this. It was an accident. Aegeon’s in a better place now.
Donalbain: For Aegeon’s sake and ours it’d better be a cat-free place. Did you see how Ji-heon jumped when he saw the cat in the alleyway? Ugly thing.
Gertrude: Extremely nasty-looking. No wonder Ji-heon freaked out. But then again his emotions were in such turmoil then. Imagine finding out that Eun-seol was Poophead!
Portia: What I don’t understand is how the other shoe, the one in Ji-heon’s possession, landed back in Eun-seol’s house. She took it without his knowledge? But how?
Gertrude: I think he asked her to use it to find Poophead. Can’t quite remember. I was laughing so hard in Episode 2. This drama just cracks me up. But Episode 3 was even funnier. That whole opening scene was priceless, with Ji-heon discovering her shoes and Eun-seol frantically trying to hide them beneath her body.
Portia: But the way he used his foot to try and turn her over was condescending. Served him right when Myung-ran came in and showed him no one messes with her best friend Eun-seol and gets away with it.
Hortensius: Myung-ran’s my favorite character. When she rolled off the bed and fell on Ji-heon, how I wished at that moment I was him!
Donalbain: Are you crazy? You’ll be so flattened there’s nothing left for us to bury!
Archidamus: Stop it. You’re going to set Gertrude off again if you mention burial and stuff. Shouldn’t we hurry with the recap? She’s going to be awake at this rate. So Gertrude, are you going to do this in a linear manner with the scene in Eun-seol’s house first? I was thinking maybe we could switch things around and recap the most meaningful scenes first. Like the one between Ji-heon and his father in the garden.
Donalbain: I just knew that would be your favorite scene, Archidamus. You always have a weak spot for the tough-on-the-outside-but-soft-on-the-inside father archetypes.
Archidamus: Chairman Cha’s a softie inside and out. Okay, so he’s a little physical with his son sometimes, but it’s not something that’s going to scar Ji-heon for life. And he’s always sorry as soon as the deed is done. I think he steals into his son’s room when the latter’s asleep and sits and watches him.
Donalbain: I bet the grandma does it as well. Both are them are so worried about Ji-heon’s perplexing behavior, how he seems so easily afraid in public situations and so on. But funny how her preferred modus operandi for communicating her concern is to kidnap him. Or at least that’s how he interprets it. Whatever it is, the grandmother rocks.
Portia: Wasn’t Ji-heon acting like such a spoiled baby in the car? When the grandma said she was going to help him turn over a new leaf by seizing his credit cards and all, he pouted and winced and made these kitten-like mews.
Gertrude: I thought he was altogether adorable when he did all that. Deep down he’s just a child. Aren’t we all the same? I mean, if you look at his dad in the presence of the grandmother, don’t you see the dad behaving just like a kid who was caught with his fingers inside the cookie jar?
Donalbain: You know the funniest scene in this episode? When we all thought the grandma was going to save the chairman from self-mutilation but she actually finished the deed for him. I think I developed an aneurysm from laughing. And did you see her rolling her eyes when the chairman was going on about being the best-looking man in his age group? I just love how grounded she is despite her son’s success and social standing.
Archidamus: The chairman’s grounded, too. Look at how much he enjoyed being a street warden for the school kids. Bet you he’s going to ask for the community service sentencing to be extended so that he can continue hanging out with the children. He’s a total natural.
Gertrude: Wait, wait. Are all of you suggesting that this episode belongs to the chairman? I agree that scene in the garden was very moving when he and Ji-heon apologized to each other (for hitting and such) and when the father told Ji-heon that he would never allow anyone to take Ji-heon away from him.
Portia: Yes, that was very sweet. The story of the lions and hyenas and who’s the real king of the Serengeti. Still, it’s a stretch trying to picture Ji-heon as a lion cub. I mean, how old is the guy? Late twenties?
Hortensius: If the chairman is the lion king, who’s the one trying to snatch the cub away? Moo-won?
Gertrude: But Hortensius is right. The chairman announces to his innermost circle—mom, sister-in-law, Ji-heon, Moo-won—that he wants to appoint Ji-heon as his successor. See how Moo-won’s face changes as soon as he hears the announcement. And indeed after the meeting he comes up to his cousin and tells him that he wants that position.
Portia: And how does Ji-heon react? Most childishly! Declaring that Moo-won is the sort who will embezzle money and be guilty of tax fraud…
Donalbain: If you ask me, both cousins are equally childish. It’s a perpetual game of one-upmanship with each other, as if they are still eight-year-olds fighting over the single swing in the playground. The way they were pushing and shoving each other in the office. And one of them is going to be the DN Group heir? God have mercy on the company.
Hortensius: I thought that scene was funny. We’ve watched more than a hundred dramas with her, right? I don’t recall ever seeing a scene like that one. Fighting without coming to blows; letting off steam but no one getting hurt. It gives me a good feeling about Moo-won, actually. I don’t think he will do anything malicious to Ji-heon.
Portia: Come here, Hortensius. I feel like smooching you all of a sudden.
Donaldbain: Run, Hortensius, run!
Archidamus: Stop it, all of you. You’re going to wake her up. Back to the recap. Are you taking notes, Gertrude? You know she doesn’t take notes and that’s why her recaps are all over the place.
Gertrude: Don’t you worry. The judge’s going to look at this recap and pronounce it flawless. Every important scene in its place; every irreverent and inconsequential remark relegated to the bin. No warped sense of humor, no parentheses like she’s wont to do (those drove me batty). And no meta-references sailing over people’s heads.
Donaldbain: I always got her meta, no matter how inane they were, like when she called the lead guy in Strike Love “A Dish Called Wonder”; that one’s from the movie “A Fish Called Wanda.” But then again I’m not your ordinary kdrama viewer…
Portia: Your humility slays me, Donalbain.
Gertrude: Nobody else caught that Wanda meta so it sank like a basket of dead fish.
Archidamus: This recap is going to meet the same fate if we don’t hurry. Let’s get us an outline of the key scenes here. Chairman Cha and his son agree to a truce. Setting: A moonlit garden. Mood: Inspiring. Truce terms: The chairman will forgive Eun-seol for all the trouble she caused the company if his son agrees to try his best at learning how to be a worthy DN successor.
Hortensius: You forgot the dog. Leashed and lonesome.
Portia: I don’t understand why dogs don’t get to roam free in kdramas. They’re not cats; they don’t kill innocent little creatures like…
Gertrude: Waah! My poor Aegeon! Waa…
Archidamus: Shh! Quiet!! Portia, I’ll have a word with you when we’re done.
Donalbain: Don’t forget we have consecutive garden scenes. Ji-heon and his father looking up at the moon. Eun-seol and her father looking up at the moon. The symbolic parallelism there. The moon as a benign but unifying force. They’re apart yet under the same sky. She’s thinking of him; he’s likely thinking of her.
Archidamus: Impressive, my friend, If Gertrude does not pull herself together soon, you write the recap.
Gertrude: No, no, I’m fine. See, no tears. I’ve always wanted to write a recap so don’t rob me of this opportunity, please. Every time I saw her writing one, I knew I could do better. I would never sit and stare into space like her. Or spend five hours changing her blog background color just because she was trying to kill yet another harebrained idea.
Portia: I saw that. The colors she chose. Good lord, I was going dizzy looking at them. And in the end? Back to the original. So much ado and nothing to show for it.
Donalbain: She’s a nervous one. Totally unsuited for recaps. Just sit down and write it, what’s so hard?
Gertrude: Exactly. And she takes way too many screencaps. Imagine, 870 for Episode 3 alone! She has Ji-heon screen-captured from practically every angle! Not that I’m complaining, of course.
Archidamus: All right, let’s not be discourteous. Wouldn’t our lives be so dull if she didn’t get addicted to this whole kdrama business? I would have missed seeing a lovely actress like the one who’s playing Moo-won’s mom. So spirited, so…
Hortensius: Not superficial in the least. She seems pretentious but is actually totally authentic. She gives as good as she gets; there’s no need to second-guess. I like her almost as much as Myung-ran. She’s third after Myung-ran and Eun-seol.
Archidamus: I think every character in the drama is likable. I even wish the ex-secretary will come back in some form. He and the chairman’s secretary were in What Happened in Bali, remember? As Ha Ji-won’s brother and boss, respectively.
Portia: We’re going off-tangent here, Archidamus. It’s already four in the morning and Gertrude hasn’t written a word.
Archidamus: Mea culpa. Us oldies tend to get nostalgic. Right, Gertrude?
Gertrude: Don’t lump me with you. I don’t feel a day older than a hatchling. And speaking of that…
Donalbain: Don’t you start bawling again, Gertrude.
Gertrude: I wasn’t done speaking! When I think hatchling, I think of that scene in Eun-seol’s house. After running off in a rage and meeting that alley cat, Ji-heon is brought back to the house by Eun-seol. He stays the night but can’t sleep at all, blaming a noisy fan for his insomnia. Myung-ran is about to kill him for being such an obnoxious grump, but…
Hortensius: Myung-ran won’t hurt a fly, you know that.
Donalbain: And what’s wrong with those who do? Specifically those who feed on that very species? Don’t be shooting your own foot now, Hortensius.
Archidamus: Boys. Guys. Is this a time to be arguing about staple diets? What are we, a contentious lot? Gertrude, continue.
Gertrude: So Ji-heon’s wide awake and Eun-seol sees he’s struggling to sleep. She climbs down from the bed to where he’s lying on the floor and she asks him to curl into a fetal position because that was how she was able to sleep after her mom passed away. It was soothing and comforting somehow. Then she takes his hand and massages it. In the process she falls asleep and he lies there with her head on his hand and looks at her. It’s very sweet.
Archidamus: That’s like a scene in Secret Garden. You know, the one where…
Portia: Archidamus! You’re doing it again!
Donalbain: If you think about it, emotionally he has already withdrawn into that fetal state. An adult curled into that position. Doesn’t that suggest extreme withdrawal or fear? Ever since his brother died, he has not been himself. He’s been frightened and panicky.
Gertrude: Precisely. But what Eun-seol is offering to him is the warmest kind of comfort—the maternal kind. That fetal position is a safe position; it doesn’t have to be fear that’s forcing him into that curled state but a releasing of that fear. He’s still jumpy when he goes to the office with her the next day still wearing the same clothes, but at the same time observe his sense of bravado in front of Moo-won.
Portia: He was totally gloating about spending the night at Eun-seol’s house! Like that gave him an edge over Moo-won or what. Of course Moo-won responded with gentlemanly finesse and did not even pry. He even smiled with bemusement when Ji-heon stuck his tongue out at him in that juvenile fashion!
Hortensius: I actually think their boyish behavior is an expression of their ease with each other. They must have played together as kids; they know each other very well. So Moo-won’s been slightly brain-washed by his mom over the years and has come to view Ji-heon as a usurper or competitor, but deep down they know they are still family.
Donalbain: But didn’t Na-yoon imply in this episode that she and Moo-won have had a physical relationship? All that talk about estrogen and testosterone and whatnot. So Na-yoon is Ji-heon’s ex-girlfriend who also happens to be more than cozy with his male cousin. Which makes for an interesting entanglement of the scandalous kind. And Moo-won’s mom wants Na-yoon and him to get hitched? What’s really the backstory here? Which guy did she go out with first? And if she wants Ji-heon back, why isn’t she dousing the marriage talk and expectations?
Portia: I think you’re just reading too much into things. I like Na-yoon. She’s funny and cool. Girl needs to invest in some waterproof mascara, though.
Archidamus: I wonder what the chairman thinks of Na-yoon. Was he privy to the fact that she dated his son? After all, he said Ji-heon looks at all women like they are rocks.
Portia: I just remembered something. The yellow kiddy boxers that Eun-seol bought as a farewell gift for Ji-heon! Poor guy thought he would be getting a cell phone or better since that’s what she bought for Moo-won. Hahaha.
Gertrude: Only a woman who’s really close would buy something so intimate. Plus she knew exactly the kind he wore. Even got the size right!
Portia: What is his dad going to say about that, huh?
Hortensius: Unless Ji-heon washes his own underwear and hangs them up to dry in some secret room, wouldn’t everyone in his household know what kind he wears?
Donalbain: I bet you five mozzies his grandma is the one who buys them for him. Which makes me love her even more! What a wicked sense of humor!
Hortensius: Yes, I just love that mischievous twinkle in her eyes. And the way she tries to hide from Eun-seol every single time!
Archidamus: Speaking of Eun-seol, what do all of you think of that flashback scene at the amusement park? I thought it was another great father-child scene. The drama really shines in its portrayal of the paternal figures. You could see how much he loved her and how sorry he felt about not being able to afford the rides she wanted.
Gertrude: Besides that, what really stood out for me was Ji-heon’s mixed feelings of unease and wonderment. To be in that crowded place surrounded by strangers. Yet feeling at peace somehow because he’s with Eun-seol and she’s waving at him from the Viking Ride every time she catches his eye. I can’t wait to see him discard his fears and go up there with her soon.
Archidamus: Okay, I think we have enough to start writing. You ready, Gertrude?
Portia: Will the judge flip if he finds out? You know he specifically said no lizards in the recap.
Archidamus: We’re not in the recap, we’re BEHIND it. Big difference.