Our couple is starting to take small steps toward a genuine connection, and are slowly learning what the other person wants in a relationship as they try to adjust their own expectations bit by bit. We see more hilarious antics and priceless facial expressions, but there are also quieter moments of camaraderie and closeness that bode well for the future—if only our hero can find a way to keep his foot out of his mouth long enough to get there.
EPISODE 5: “Just Like Everyone Else: Starting to do things I’ve never done”
A young woman bursts into Da-hyun’s bedroom, startling her awake. She’s looking for a man—Da-hyun’s mother has told her about her boyfriend, and she’s here on Mom’s behalf to make sure they’re not living together before marriage. This is Da-hyun’s friend JUNG HYUN-JIN (Im Do-yoon), and she’s flabbergasted when Da-hyun grumbles that she shouldn’t have let “that idiot” talk to her mother. “You mean you really have a man?” Hyun-jin gasps. Da-hyun admits that does, more or less, and tells her stunned friend to go away.
Jae-in arrives at work, and his grandfather calls him on the red phone on his desk. Grandpa wants to have lunch, but Jae-in refuses and reprimands him for using the Red Line for such a trivial reason. Grandpa says its Jae-in’s fault for ignoring his other calls. Jae-in says he knows it’s not just lunch he wants, and warns that he’s not coming back to the main branch. Grandpa tells him to think of his mother, but Jae-in retorts that Grandpa is the one who made her cry the most. He says he has something very important to focus on these days and hangs up.
Angrily, Grandpa accuses Lawyer Park of being on Jae-in’s side, unlike Employee Kang, who is a mole planted by Grandpa. He rages, asking if Jae-in is really dating Da-hyun, and if so, why she hasn’t taught him any manners yet. Oy.
Over at Da-hyun’s place, Hyun-jin scoffs at the fact that she’s got a dating contract of all things—until she sees whose name is on it. Calling him “that crown prince,” she changes her tune immediately and tells Da-hyun to just live with him. “Trip him, kiss him, and then sleep with him,” she commands. “But make sure you use contraception!” Da-hyun throws a pillow at Hyun-jin and warns her to keep all this a secret from Mom.
Hyun-jin agrees, excitedly asks what Jae-in is like, and if she’s kissed him. Correctly interpreting Da-hyun’s silence, she gasps, “You? Kissed a man?”
Hyun-jin drops Da-hyun off at an orphanage where she helps out and plays with the kids. She apologizes to the director for not having come as often lately, and gives her the good news that Ji-soo has been able to escape from his slave contract. The director has heard, and says that Ji-soo comes by and sends the kids presents, as he thinks of them as his younger siblings. (Ah, so that’s how Da-hyun knows him).
Da-hyun meets Jae-in at an art gallery for their date, but she turns and hides her face when she sees someone with a camera. Jae-in tells her there are no reporters, but she says he can’t know that. And besides, she doesn’t know what he might do after the suffering he put her through at the concert.
He objects to her words, saying they’re too harsh for a teacher—he grew up without hearing those kinds of words. Da-hyun says that explains it; he wasn’t disciplined properly growing up. Her kids would never dream of acting like Jae-in.
He asks if she kicks her students the way she kicked him, but she replies that her students are very well-mannered. Da-hyun sets off on her own, but Jae-in puts his arm around her and says they should walk together. “Right,” says Da-hyun resignedly. “We’re dating, after all.”
Among the paintings is one of a mother cradling a child, and Jae-in stops, struck by it. Da-hyun comments that he only goes to these kinds of events—doesn’t his hotel sponsor dance performances? He tells her he isn’t here for work, but because he knows one of the artists; it’s his aunt’s husband. She asks why he doesn’t just refer to him as his uncle then.
The foreign man we saw in Jae-in’s flashback appears, and Jae-in greets him in English, complimenting his paintings. The man thanks him, and says his mother couldn’t come, but she misses him. Jae-in smiles and says that he understands. Once the man leaves, Da-hyun asks if his aunt remarried (the word used here for “uncle” refers to a blood relation). Jae-in says yes, but Da-hyun wonders to herself at the reference to “your mother,” having picked up on that detail.
A young man who has been watching them for a few minutes comes over to say hello to Da-hyun. She greets him brightly as “Sun-woo Oppa,” and he asks what she’s doing there. Jae-in says stiffly that he brought her. Da-hyun introduces him as Hyun-jin’s older brother, and at Jae-in’s baffled look, Sun-woo clarifies, “My younger sister is Da-da’s best friend.” He nudges Da-hyun and says the two of them have a pretty special relationship too. She smiles uncomfortably.
Jae-in puts his arm around her and says their relationship can’t be that special since Da-hyun hasn’t mentioned him—and besides, he won’t acknowledge any male friends of his girlfriend. Sun-woo counters that it looks like they haven’t been dating long, and obviously, Da-hyun didn’t fall for him first. Jae-in says that time isn’t the important thing between a man and a woman, and it’s not only love at first sight that counts as love; he and Da-hyun have already started. Flustered, Da-hyun denies that it’s love.
As they walk to the car, Jae-in reminds her that she can’t see other men. She says Sun-woo is just her friend’s brother, but Jae-in says he won’t allow it, and that she must ignore him. Da-hyun replies that it’s not something he has the right to allow or not; she won’t ignore someone she’s known for over ten years. He grabs her arm and asks if she’s still going to see him, and warns that it’ll be a breach of contract if she does. She protests that he’s just an oppa she knows, but Jae-in bristles at the word “oppa,” leaning in closer until she agrees to rethink it. He backs off, and she mutters that he’s the king of devils.
In the art gallery, Jae-in’s uncle’s daughter asks him where Jae-in is, and is disappointed to find out he just left. Elsewhere, Tae-ha meets his father, who is seeing off a Chairman Han; the latter asks Tae-ha if he’d like to become his son-in-law, and Tae-ha’s father seems very agreeable.
Once the chairman leaves, Tae-ha’s father asks if he’s found out anything about Jae-in’s girlfriend. Tae-ha says that all he knows is that she must be out of the ordinary, since Jae-in has blocked any media coverage of her. His dad deduces that Grandpa must also know about this, and tells Tae-ha to put a tail on her so they can find out who she is.
In the car, Jae-in asks about Hyun-jin. Da-hyun tells him they’ve been best friends since middle school and were neighbors until college. She starts to mention Sun-woo Oppa, but then remembers Jae-in’s objections and grumbles to herself. Jae-in says that she doesn’t need to see him or talk about him, leaving Da-hyun to just shake her head at him in exasperation.
When they get to Da-hyun’s home, all of her neighbors are standing outside because all of the apartments in the building next door got robbed. Her neighbor says that of course Da-hyun doesn’t need to feel unsafe since she has a reliable boyfriend. Jae-in follows her up to her door uninvited, commenting on every detail as if he’s never seen an apartment building before, even asking if she double-locks her door.
He follows her in and looks around, checking her window and telling her that she’ll have to install some bars on it. He checks the back window too, saying someone could climb up to it using the gas pipe, and she peers over his shoulder. Feeling her behind him, he turns with a slight smile on his face and she backs away, sitting back on the table as he comes closer. She asks hesitantly if he’s going to leave, and he puts his arm around her waist and pulls her close, saying he will. “What are you doing?” she asks nervously.
“Kissing you,” he says with a smile, and moves in. She stays still, but pulls away awkwardly at the last moment so his lips land on her cheek. He stands up straight again, looking disappointed. She asks again if he isn’t going to leave, and he tells her to lock all the doors after he goes, and to call him if something happens. She nods slowly. He pauses before he goes and tells her with a sigh to remove “these weird things” from the walls, referring to all the pictures of Ji-soo. Ha.
Once he’s gone, Da-hyun drops to the floor, eyes wide, and lightly slaps her cheeks as she tells herself that she did well. She puts both hands over her heart. Jae-in smiles to himself as he drives away.
Lawyer Park tells Jae-in that Grandpa has accused him of being a double agent. Jae-in scoffs at this hypocrisy, since he knows Employee Kang is Grandpa’s spy. Lawyer Park has a message for Jae-in: stop taking Da-hyun to concerts and art galleries and date like everyone else. Jae-in says that’s what he’s doing, but Layer Park says that’s business, not dating. Jae-in remembers Da-hyun’s words to the same effect on their first date.
Lawyer Park tells Jae-in that there are lots of things for a man and women to do when they’re dating. “You mean sleep with her?” asks Jae-in. He thinks it’s early for that, plus, Da-hyun’s a hard girl to seduce. (I swear, this guy has a one-track mind.) Lawyer Park says no, he means dating. Have they even seen a movie together? Does Jae-in text her, or buy her flowers? Have they walked together holding hands? At his friend’s silence, Lawyer Park shakes his head and calls him pathetic.
Once home, Jae-in looks at his stuffed piggy keychain, fingering her initials (aw, he put his car keys on it!). He glances at the model set Da-hyun bought for him, and picks up his phone. Da-hyun is tracing Jae-in’s initials on her own keychain when her phone rings, but it’s Ji-soo, asking for tutoring help. So when Jae-in calls, he gets her voicemail, and he wonders who she’s talking to at this late hour. When she’s done, Da-hyun’s phone rings again, and she answers it, expecting Ji-soo again.
It’s Jae-in, and he’s not happy to be called by Ji-soo’s name, or to realize he’s the one she’s been talking to until now. He asks suspiciously if she’s dating him. Da-hyun laughs and asks why she would date him; he’s only twenty-one, and she’s just his fan club president. Besides, she can’t let her “Ji-soo-nim” be caught up in a scandal. Jae-in rolls his eyes.
She asks why he’s calling at this hour, and he says he wanted to date like other people. He reminds her again that he’s not okay with her having any other men in her life, no matter what her relationship is with them. “Do other people date with these kinds of restrictions, too?” asks Da-hyun. “I wouldn’t know. It’s my first time talking on the phone this late,” says Jae-in, with a laugh that seems both shy and proud. She smiles on the other end. (Okay, that’s really cute.)
Midnight passes with the two still talking, Da-hyun lying on her bed and Jae-in sitting on the floor. He asks if she wants to go to a movie next time, and she asks if it’s hosted by his hotel again—or does he know one of the actors? He says exasperatedly that that’s not it; he simply wants to go to a movie. Da-hyun smiles wide. He asks her if she locked her doors, and she says yes, but suddenly she hears the sound of someone trying to open her front door.
She tells Jae-in, and he says to call the cops—he’ll be right over. But it’s just Hyun-jin wanting to spend the night, and Da-hyun tells him so before she says goodnight. Jae-in grumbles his annoyance at Hyun-jin and all her family members. Hyun-jin asks Da-hyun if she was on the phone with Ji-soo again, and tells her exasperatedly that he’s just her student. Da-hyun says that she wasn’t and reminds Hyun-jin that she’s dating, which she says with a big smile and in a singsong voice. Hyun-jin delightedly teases her.
As the night wears on, Jae-in works on the model Da-hyun bought for him. Hyun-jin (having taken over Da-hyun’s bed while the latter sleeps on the floor, heh) tells her friend that she heard about Jae-in from Sun-woo. Da-hyun tells her to make sure Sun-woo keeps his mouth shut about it. Hyun-jin asks if Da-hyun still has feelings for her brother, but Da-hyun says that was ten years ago, when she didn’t know Sun-woo was a player.
Tae-ha’s mother wonders to her husband why Grandpa isn’t saying anything even though he knows Jae-in has a girlfriend, especially after the big fuss that happened when Jae-in rejected Chairman Han’s daughter and moved out of the house.
That weekend, Da-hyun watches Ji-soo dance at his studio, and he tells her happily that the lawyer has sorted everything out and will find him a new agency; he’s even going to an audition next week. She squeals excitedly and gives him a hug, but then backs up, saying she shouldn’t do this to Ji-soo-nim.
He pulls her back into his arms, hugging her tight and thanking her for everything. She pats his back encouragingly, but then remembers Jae-in telling her she can’t have any other men in her life and pulls back, telling Ji-soo it was due to his own efforts and those of “that ajusshi.” He thinks she’s referring to Lawyer Park, but she says it’s another ajusshi—the Psycho Devil King, who she’s meeting a bit later.
Lawyer Park drops by Jae-in’s office to ask if he has time for lunch, but Jae-in has plans already with Da-hyun. Lawyer Park asks what kind of woman Da-hyun is, and Jae-in says he can come with him if he’s curious.
In the elevator, Lawyer Park asks Jae-in if this time feels special; Jae-in says it feels normal, but his friend says he’s changed. Jae-in’s been seeing her for a while—doesn’t he have some feelings for her? Jae-in replies that she’s just not bad, that’s all. He describes her as a typical teacher, tacky and old-fashioned, but who surprisingly has lots of men around her. He calls her a player, and his friend smirks knowingly.
They exit the elevator, and it empties out behind them to reveal Da-hyun standing in the back. She glares after him. “Not bad? Tacky? Old-fashioned? I’ll show you what a real fox looks like. You’re dead meat,” she promises. She marches into the clothing store where Hyun-jin works, and her friend helps her pick out an outfit.
Arriving at a restaurant, the two friends sit down, and Lawyer Park remarks that this is the most Jae-in has ever told him about a woman. Jae-in says she’s the same now as she was when he met her, and he has a feeling she’ll be the same in ten years, and that’s what he likes about her.
Jae-in just starts to say that she’s late and probably lost again when she walks in, sporting a fancy dress and hairdo. He stands up and stares at her in shock.
We saw some strides in this episode from both Jae-in and Da-hyun, steps toward each other that bode well for an actual relationship, and hopefully one that will last beyond the end of their contract. On Jae-in’s side, he’s starting to figure out (with much help from the people around him) what it means to really care for someone, instead of the shallow interactions he’s had with women in the past. It’s a bit of a running joke in the show that his first thought when someone talks about progress with Da-hyun is always sleeping with her, but it also illustrates the sad lack of intimacy in his life. His distance from his biological mother and her family, whether it’s true abandonment or a case of her stepping back from her son’s life because she thinks he’s better off without her, has left him with a lack of maternal affection that his adoptive mother couldn’t make up for. Perhaps her guilt at having taken him away from his birth mother in order to heal from her own loss is the reason why Jae-in was never really disciplined growing up. She clearly loves him, but it’s just as clear that he had a very lonely childhood, and even as an adult, he’s isolated from almost everyone in his life.
That’s why it’s lovely to see him opening up to Da-hyun and making an effort to “date like other people,” even if his boorish ways still drive me a bit crazy. He’s totally fallen for her, even if he’s so emotionally stunted that he’s unable to admit his feelings out loud—and she’s definitely going to make him pay for that in the next episode. But I feel like we’re basically in Lawyer Park’s position as viewers, watching Jae-in fall in love without even realizing it and steadily cheering him on. I liked this episode’s almost-kiss even more than the earlier kiss because there was real feeling on both sides, but my favorite moment was actually at the end of the episode, when Jae-in told his friend what he likes about Da-hyun: She’s consistent, and he has the feeling she won’t change even after ten years. That moved me, because it implies both the abandonment he’s felt from people close to him all his life, and the hope he’s starting to feel that she’ll stay with him for years into the future.
Da-hyun, on the other hand, was as adorable and spunky as usual, and yet with an added layer of feeling underneath her snark that was really well-acted by Jeon So-min. You could see her awareness of him slowly blossoming over the epsiode—and I loved that the first real romantic tension on her part came during a moment when Jae-in was expressing his concern for her well-being. She’s clearly a person who values sincerity, and who requires trust in order to become physically affectionate with a man. That moment in her apartment was the first time she moved close to him of her own free will, and it was clear that he noticed that as well and was moved by it. And despite her dismissal of him after the near-kiss, she’s obviously starting to feel at least the stirrings of physical attraction, judging by her week knees and racing heart.
I also really liked the nighttime phone conversation between the two of them, in which Jae-in finally made some concessions to dating like real people—the implications of which didn’t seem to be lost on her, judging by her huge smile. As we were reminded in flashback, she told him during their first date that his combination of their dates with work was a clear indication of his lack of interest in her, and the change now means he really is falling for her. Even their bickering is falling into more of a comfortable banter and losing the hostile edge that they started out with when they first met. All of which makes her angry reaction to Jae-in’s insults in the elevator all the more understandable. I’m not quite sure what her new outfit is supposed to accomplish, but I’m certainly looking forward to Da-hyun making him eat his words—and maybe even admit his feelings.