I’m just stepping in for this episode, but I’ve actually been wanting a chance to weigh in on 1% of Anything, which I’ve found to be a zippy and fun way to pass the time each week. Despite the somewhat outlandish circumstances surrounding our main couple, their relationship manages to feel real and grounded, and there’s no shortage of moments both big and small this hour. Jae-in proves that he can be taught, even if it takes some doing—and luckily for him, our heroine is up to the task.
EPISODE 11: “Drunken Confessions: Do you want to see this through until the end, even though it may be hard?”
Da-hyun seems to know that trouble’s about to start when Jae-in sees that Tae-ha brought her home, but her efforts to clear up the misunderstanding are in vain—when she describes Tae-ha as Ji-soo’s sponsor, Jae-in calls him out by name for doing something he’s never done before.
The name “Tae-ha” rings a bell in Da-hyun’s memory, and she asks Jae-in if he’s the same Tae-ha that he mentioned to her before. Turning to Tae-ha, she asks if that’s why he never gave her his business card, and contrary to Jae-in’s efforts to send her inside, she insists that she needs some questions answered first.
After hearing Jae-in’s explanation about the contract and of Tae-ha’s name being in it, she calls Jae-in out for deceiving her, and Tae-ha for only treating her nicely because of the will. She scoffs at both of them, noting the similarities they share as cousins, to which both ask in unison: “In what way?” Hah.
“You two have a peculiar knack for pissing people off!” she adds before stomping off. Jae-in follows, causing Tae-ha to wonder if he actually has feelings for her.
With an arm barring her door, Da-hyun demands to know what else Jae-in lied to her about. She’s more scandalized that he even got poor Lawyer Park to help him lie about the last page of the will, which she worries could get him disbarred.
The fact that Jae-in says he put Lawyer Park up to it is of no surprise to Da-hyun, who adds, “I knew you had this side to you, but you really make me hate you when you act like this!” She hurries into her apartment, slamming the door in his face.
Jae-in calls Lawyer Park over to his place to strategize his next move, though his main concern is gaining Da-hyun’s forgiveness. He throws out all his friend’s suggestions as to what to do (like kneeling and begging, bringing her flowers), so Lawyer Park tells him he’s on his own. Good luck.
Da-hyun picks up when Jae-in calls to ask if he’s reflected on his wrongdoings, but when he stubbornly refuses to admit that what he did was so wrong, she hangs up. The same happens every time he calls, though she always gives him a chance to change his mind.
Thoroughly frustrated, Jae-in seeks some advice from one of his female employees, though it does the opposite of reassuring him. When she tells him of how she broke up with her last boyfriend because he deceived her, Jae-in looks shocked at the idea that breaking up over a lie is a real thing. Aw, poor puppy—welcome to the real world.
For as much as he was against the notion of doing something as cringingly cutesy as bringing Da-hyun flowers and balloons, Jae-in finally resigns himself to doing just that, and waits outside Da-hyun’s apartment with the grand display he’s prepared.
At his call, she looks over her balcony to see a lone balloon flying up, then sees Jae-in holding his colorful bounty down below. She smiles to see him, and he adorably waves back before bringing the gifts up.
She’s delighted over the flowers and balloons, but Jae-in eyes her dubiously when she says she only feels a little bit better because of them. She stifles a laugh when he protests that bringing all this here was so embarrassing for him, and asks him if he’d feel better with only these gifts if their situation were reversed.
Jae-in completely doesn’t get what she means, and thinks that it’s a matter of the expense of the gifts, or lack thereof. He grows incensed when she gets a call from Ji-soo, and even more so when he sees that she’s put the poster of Ji-soo back on the wall.
In his attempt to tear the poster back down while she attempts to straighten it out, Da-hyun ends up falling into his arms. He holds her like that for a second before gently setting her on her feet, asking if she’ll let him off the hook now.
He refuses to let her go until he gets an answer, and slowly leans in to kiss her as he pulls her closer. He goes in for another, and Da-hyun tentatively puts her arms around his shoulders as she returns the kiss.
As they sit outside later, Da-hyun asks him if he knows why his grandfather is doing this to her in the first place, since she wouldn’t have been used by him and Tae-ha were it not for that will. Jae-in takes offense to this and amends that he didn’t use her—they signed a perfectly valid contract.
She laughs at that, reminding him about that missing last page. But then she asks him to set up a meeting between her and Grandpa so she can finally get some answers.
Da-hyun seems reluctant to send him off, and Jae-in doesn’t seem any more keen on leaving either. He proposes that they go get some ice cream instead even though he doesn’t like it, and Da-hyun’s face lights up like a child’s as she exclaims that she loves ice cream. I don’t know why that’s so cute, but it is.
They walk down the street like a couple thoroughly infatuated with one another, and have a grand ole time at the ice cream parlor. After their date, Jae-in keeps his promise and asks Grandpa to meet with Da-hyun. Grandpa’s answer is for Jae-in to bring her to their anniversary celebration, which has Jae-in blanching.
Jae-in panics about the field day the media will have should he bring Da-hyun as his date to the anniversary party to Lawyer Park, who reminds him that bringing Da-hyun to the party will mean that he’s officially acknowledging her as his significant other.
Meanwhile, Tae-ha’s dad gets after his son for blowing his cover, claiming that the only way for him to recover now is to seduce Da-hyun. Tae-ha amends that it’s not about marriage, at least to Jae-in, but Daddy Dearest still believes the news about Jae-in and Joo-hee’s engagement is real as he insists that Jae-in will never marry “that teacher.” Strangely, Tae-ha hopes he’s right.
Before a meeting, Jae-in takes a call from Da-hyun announcing that she’d like to have dinner with him, since today is the anniversary of her school’s founding. He tells her to wait in the lobby for him before commencing with the meeting.
Since Joo-hee apparently lives in the hotel lobby, she approaches Da-hyun to tell her that while she may have gotten ahead of herself with the engagement news, she and Jae-in were engaged three years ago.
While Da-hyun claims not to care about the past, Joo-hee just rubs in the same old nonsense about how Jae-in won’t be able to fight against the will of her parents’ company, and how Da-hyun should stop clinging to Jae-in because it makes her look pathetic.
Da-hyun just levels her with a look as she calls Jae-in in front of Joo-hee to tell him where they are. She then says that she sees Joo-hee as the pathetic one, adding that these continued encounters with her are really starting to grate on her nerves.
If Jae-in decides to choose Joo-hee, Da-hyun says, then Joo-hee can have him. Joo-hee just scoffs and gets up to leave, but Da-hyun stops her with a hand on her arm, commenting that it’ll look like she’s running away. Owned.
The second Jae-in shows up, Da-hyun tells Jae-in to choose—Joo-hee says that there’s loads she can do for him and that she’ll marry him, so what will he do? Hah, I love that she’s just thrown the gauntlet down.
When Da-hyun says that they’ll end it right here and now if he decides he wants what Joo-hee has to offer, Jae-in asks how she could say that so casually. “What do you want me to do then, have a catfight with her?” Da-hyun snaps back before adding, “I don’t think I’d lose, but still.”
In return, Joo-hee asks Jae-in if he really likes such an unrefined woman as Da-hyun. Jae-in sidles up next to Da-hyun as he says that of course he’d choose her: “We’re bound together legally. And we signed off on it, too.”
Since she’s in full-on business mode, Da-hyun removes Jae-in’s arm from her shoulder and turns back to Joo-hee, saying that she has her proof. In the future, if Joo-hee wants to date Jae-in, she can talk it over with him and not her. “As if I’d ever!” Jae-in says, in regards to dating the wicked witch of the west.
Da-hyun takes this as her cue to leave, and Joo-hee questions Jae-in on what he just said about being legally bound, because that sounds suspiciously like marriage. Jae-in basically tells her to butt out and to stop bothering Da-hyun, making thoroughly male noises of frustration as he goes to chase after his girl.
His employees watch as Da-hyun repeatedly fends Jae-in off with her purse as she stomps through the lobby, commenting amongst themselves. When Jae-in finally does catch up to her, she blames him for not drawing a line with Joo-hee sooner, since it made her look petty to be there for their argument.
He decides that now’s a good time to bring up the company anniversary party that Grandpa’s invited her to, and she says that they’ll go separately. No one would recognize her besides him and Tae-ha, so the solution is easy. It’s better than having rumors spread about them, she says, and it’ll give her an opportunity to speak with Grandpa.
Jae-in interjects to say that Grandpa seems to know her very well, and leans in to ask what the real relationship is between them. At the insinuation, Da-hyun stomps on his foot as she reiterates for the last time that she doesn’t know his grandfather.
Despite their ongoing tiff and constant bickering, Jae-in volunteers to help Da-hyun prepare for the party, since he doesn’t trust Hyun-jin’s taste in dresses (hah). Cue makeover scene, though Jae-in keeps sending Da-hyun back whenever she comes out in a dress he feels is too revealing.
The final choice is a rather conservative dress, but Jae-in seems to like that one the best. Hyun-jin still suggests a little black dress, only for Jae-in to quickly shoot that down—he doesn’t need her looking that sexy, and besides, he says the steep V-neck won’t take into account Da-hyun’s meager chest size. Hyun-jin can’t help but agree. LOL.
Da-hyun finally gives up on the both of them and says she’ll pick her own dress, thankyouverymuch. Afterward, Jae-in comments about that earlier conservative dress being a nice choice, to which Da-hyun shoots back that she looked like a nun.
Jae-in brings up Maria from The Sound of Music as a positive example, but Da-hyun just uses the opportunity to point out how old Jae-in is, since she wasn’t even born when that movie came out. He just moves his lips soundlessly, mocking her chatter. (*grabs popcorn*)
Tae-ha’s waiting when Jae-in brings Da-hyun home that night, claiming that he’s come to apologize to her. Da-hyun relegates Jae-in to watching from the sidelines while she speaks to Tae-ha alone(-ish) to hear him out. Tae-ha explains that this all stemmed from his curiosity, since he wanted to see the girl who seemed to be changing his cousin for the better.
Da-hyun explains that Jae-in’s not as bad as Tae-ha might think—he’s just stubborn, and no one’s perfect. Unlike Jae-in though, when asked if he’s acknowledging that he did wrong, Tae-ha fully admits it and apologizes. With that, all is forgiven.
In exchange, she asks if he might be inclined to invite Ji-soo back to sing at his department store. Tae-ha agrees to that and future arrangements, earning Da-hyun’s gratitude. Jae-in sees this display and steps in, eyeing both her and Tae-ha’s retreating back suspiciously.
When he asks why she gave him such a hard time when she accepted Tae-ha’s apology so easily, she responds simply that it’s because Tae-ha’s better at dealing with people than he is. Plus, she doesn’t foresee ever running into him again, so it only figured that she should accept his apology.
Grandpa’s overjoyed that Jae-in’s coming to the anniversary party for the first time in three years, which he takes as affirmation that Da-hyun is really doing good things for him. But then he falters at his desk, which is never a good sign.
Da-hyun and Jae-in prepare for the party separately, while Hyun-jin helps Da-hyun with her clothes and makeup before giving her some friendly parting advice.
Jae-in arrives at the party, and since Grandpa is only coming for a concluding statement, Jae-in’s mother tells him that he’s the host for now. Tae-ha’s mother doesn’t like that one bit, and neither does Tae-ha, since he clenches his fist in silence.
Joo-hee’s there as well and lays it on thick with Jae-in about them both coming to the party alone, but he removes her hand like he’s swatting away a mosquito.
Jae-in rushes out when Da-hyun’s carriage arrives, and she emerges in a pretty white number that brings a goofy smile to his face. “You look pretty,” he says, causing them both to grin.
He leads her into the event hall, making Da-hyun nervous as all eyes swivel in their direction. She knows it’s the first time he’s been to this event in three years and urges him to greet all the necessary people, so Lawyer Park steps in to be her escort in the meantime. He apologizes for deceiving her, but she tells him not to worry—it wasn’t his fault, but Jae-in’s.
At least Lawyer Park is a soothing presence, as he reassures Da-hyun that Jae-in will come running should anything happen. Joo-hee spots Da-hyun with a sour expression, and Da-hyun’s soon left to her own devices when even Lawyer Park is called away.
She sneaks out of the venue to nurse her aching feet, and Joo-hee is all too happy to remind her of what she’d said once about ill-fitting shoes. I just want to hit this girl with a rolled-up newspaper.
Now that Joo-hee’s found out about the will, she decides to rub that in Da-hyun’s face, claiming that it all makes sense now—Jae-in wouldn’t have dated a girl like her if money weren’t involved. “Isn’t it a bit immature to cling to someone just because of a will?” Joo-hee asks snidely.
Da-hyun takes the path of least resistance and simply replies that Jae-in is clinging to her over something so inconsequential, to which Joo-hee remarks, “This is why people like us shouldn’t mingle with poor people like you.”
The only times this drama tends to feel dated are when Joo-hee’s in the picture, because while her type of distinctly hatable, living-in-her-own-reality second female lead hasn’t gone extinct, they’re a rarer breed nowadays. Her type was always the hook in older trendies—if we didn’t have what was usually an unhinged second female lead meddling in the main couple’s affairs, we didn’t really have much of a drama.
So while that episode cliffhanger leaves a sour taste in my mouth, what helps to bring this drama into the year 2016 are Da-hyun’s reactions to Joo-hee, which have been pretty priceless so far. The bedrock of this kind of meddling used to be that the female lead would accept the lies told to her by the Wicked One, leading to misunderstandings aplenty, but I absolutely love that Da-hyun just isn’t having it. It not only makes Joo-hee look crazy, desperate, and pitiful, it makes her almost something of a comic relief character, like she’s a parody of every awful second lead ever.
I’ve no doubt that this has to have happened before, but it was beyond refreshing to have Joo-hee lie, only for Da-hyun to bring Jae-in over to clear the air once and for all. It was made even better by Joo-hee’s attempt to run away before she could be confronted with her own crazy, and Da-hyun’s to-the-point attitude felt like a referendum for every single time a heroine has blindly accepted what a jealous ex has had to say. If only every drama heroine could be so blunt and ready to tackle the issues, dramaland would be a much happier place.
I feel like this episode could’ve worn out its welcome with the constant bickering, but strangely enough, it all felt nicely grounded. And when it wasn’t, it was clearly played for laughs, and that sort of winking acknowledgment to both themselves and the audience definitely saved the back-and-forth exchanges from getting too serious (or worse, too pointless). Da-hyun was on a mission to make sure that Jae-in admitted his wrongs, and it was funny to see her approach it the way a teacher would—she didn’t want to spell it out for him, but rather, she wanted him to figure it out on his own. Besides, seeing Jae-in plow through things he really doesn’t want to do is half the fun of watching this show, because it does feel like we’re watching an imperfect person learn, grow, and fall head over heels in love.
As for Tae-ha, I do think I believe in his sincerity, and am so far grateful that he seems to be quite the gentleman. He seemed to be telling the truth when he admitted that he was just curious to Da-hyun, because that does seem to be what’s driving him—for now. If his family has anything to say about it, things might take a darker turn, but I’d like to believe that Da-hyun’s right about Tae-ha just knowing how to deal with people a wee bit better than someone else she knows. But, as they wouldn’t say in The Sound of Music, how do you solve a problem like Jae-in?