Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I couldn’t resist having Yo Na headline our post, because she’s just that iconic. I realize that I perk up every time Yo Na shows up on my screen, heh. 🤩
Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:
1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question. We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
There’s one thing that I’d clearly forgotten from my first watch, and that is how Show leans hard into broad, often physical comedy. It’s taking me a while, to get used to this, to be honest. 😅 At the same time, I do remember why this show had grabbed me as much as it did, when it aired. Not only is Ji Sung fantastic at making the various personalities distinct, there’s a whole lot of heart and empathy underscoring our key relationship, that really appeals to me.
All that to say, that post-kiss, I was a little thrown by the Intended Funny around Ri Jin’s and Do Hyun’s aftermath reactions. I don’t want to sound biased, but.. the funny that’s built around Ri Jin is rather too aggressive and vehement for my taste. Maybe another actress might have been able to pull it off in a cuter way; Hwang Jung Eum sometimes makes Ri Jin look borderline mental, with her bug-eyed shocked expressions and very theatrical flailing. However, it’s just as much on the PD, if not more, because it’s the PD who directed Hwang Jung Eum to deliver those scenes, and it’s the PD who ultimately passed those cuts.
I’m gonna try to not harp on this too much, so this is just me going on record to say, I find Ri Jin rather too loud, too theatrical, and too exaggerated, for my taste, whenever the comedy is being served up in earnest.
I also have to confess to being a little bemused at the whole scene of Ri Jin and Do Hyun ducking in and out of the shrubbery, with Ri Jin’s high-pitched squeals peppering the whole thing. I think that Show is trying to bring out the childlike quality of the interaction, especially with that breezy background music and Do Hyun’s amused expression, but I’m gonna hafta say, I wish PD-nim had found a less bizarre way to tease that out. 😝
However, I do appreciate the idea that Do Hyun is so drawn to Ri Jin (and the acceptance that she represents, I believe), that he would try to strike a bargain with Shin Se Gi; that he’d gladly be Shin Se Gi’s shadow in the next life, if Shin Se Gi would abstain from appearing before Ri Jin. That’s a pretty big statement, and that tells me that Do Hyun has definitely moved on from Chae Yeon.
Ri Jin’s back-to-back encounters with the various alters look exhausting (I’m glad that Do Hyun’s paying her well to do this job, at least!), but I was glad to catch a glimpse of the always effervescent Perry Park, and I was thoroughly amused by Yo Na’s half willful, half disdainful interaction with Ri Jin, as well as her starry-eyed decision that Ri On is now hers to claim. Ahahaha. I can already imagine the hijinks that are bound to happen, when Yo Na eventually meets Ri On, yes? 😂
The most poignant interaction, though, has to be with Yo Seob. I appreciate that Ri Jin comes down from her hyperactive high, and talks gently with Yo Seob, as she asks him if he is regretful that he hadn’t died before, when they’d met on the rooftop.
After all that excess of dialed up activity, where it always felt like we were careening in the general direction of a crescendo &/or explosion (you could never be sure which), I find this quiet scene such a welcome respite. And, I love that Yo Seob thanks Ri Jin, not because he hadn’t wanted to die, but because he realizes that all the other alters are probably happy to be alive. Aw. There’s sweetness, empathy and pathos all mixed together, in this statement, and I really do like that.
I was kind of hopeful that Ri Jin working at the company with Do Hyun would necessitate her toning it down, and taking it down quite a few decibels, but it looks like I’m going to have to be content with it only being very mildly diminished.
I did get a small kick out of Chae Yeon getting all up in a twist, because she believes that Do Hyun’s dating Ri Jin, and having her act as his secretary, in order to keep her close to him. That’s a pretty smooth and rather naughty trick on Do Hyun’s part. I like it.
Well, also, now that I put Do Hyun’s relationship with Ri Jin that way, it’s not really that far from the truth, is it? He really is having her work undercover as his secretary, because he wants an excuse to have her by his side, after all. 😆 Because Chae Yeon’s been such a self-absorbed entitled shrew, though, I just like seeing all this stuff ruffling her feathers.
And, I also get some enjoyment, from the tension that this results in, between her and Ki Joon. One moment, she’s refusing to get engaged to him before the stockholders’ meeting, and the next, she’s demanding that they get engaged right away. No wonder Ki Joon’s so perplexed. Muahaha.
Given that this is Ri Jin’s first day on the secretary job, and given how much she’s had to deal with lately, I’m pretty impressed that she remembers to make it a priority to rescue Do Hyun from Chairman Gran’s company. I mean, Do Hyun himself seems to have forgotten, judging from his confused reaction to her rescue attempt. So much for staying on top of things, pfft.
I’m intrigued by Ri On’s decision to reveal his identity as Omega to Do Hyun, since that’s a secret he’s guarded so fiercely for so long. Clearly, this has a lot to do with Ri Jin, since he makes his third condition for the deal, a chance to meet with Ri Jin. He’s definitely going ham with the Protective Oppa act, isn’t he?
I’m also thinking that the story that Ri On tells, about the boy in the basement, is about himself and not about Do Hyun. After all, in his story, the whole reason the boy acts scared of the basement, is because he loves the girl and can’t bear for her to be scared and alone. I really think Show is laying it on suuper thick, in terms of Ri On’s feelings for Ri Jin. At this point, it’s landing more as an obsession than anything else, honestly.
(Also, my goodness, the jumpy screeching in the cafe, which ends in a headlock where Ri On basically drags Ri Jin back into the cafe by her neck, is way too over the top for my taste. But I suppose this reminds us that our story world is as far from the real world as can be, since an interaction like that in the real world, is more likely to result in the calling of the cops?)
Ah, thanks to Mom thinking about the past, we get confirmation that Ri Jin is Min Seo Yeon’s hidden child. I had to think about this carefully, to determine that this doesn’t indirectly make Do Hyun and Ri Jin some kind of siblings, since they don’t share a parent, in that complicated family tree.
I feel sorry for Do Hyun, who’s having nightmares about his lost memories, after his conversation with Ri On, but I’m more alarmed at the arrival of Shin Se Gi, because Shin Se Gi sees the one thing that he never wanted to see: Ri Jin lying in Do Hyun’s bed. Uh oh. 😬
This episode, I remember all over again, why I’d been so entranced with this show. This was absolutely Shin Se Gi’s episode, and Ji Sung delivers him with so many layers, the most surprising of which, are pathos and sadness, mixed in with all the fierce badassery. I couldn’t look away, and I couldn’t get enough. Shin Se Gi is simply mesmerizing, in all his angry, damaged, miserable glory.
The fury that we see from Shin Se Gi, arriving only to realize that Ri Jin is in Do Hyun’s bedroom, and on his bed, no less, is infused with a deep sense of betrayal which, honestly, is what makes his blazing rant pop so much. It’s not just about him being at odds with Do Hyun, and it’s not just about Do Hyun ignoring his warning; this is about Ri Jin betraying him, and he’d wholeheartedly believed that Ri Jin, being his first love, would always be on his side. There’s something quite pure about that, isn’t there?
The thing that gets me every time, this episode, is when Se Gi tears, in the midst of his anger. It’s not only dissonant and incredibly hard to do (and therefore makes me rather starry-eyed at Ji Sung’s acting prowess), it gives a whole different flavor and dynamic to the anger that Se Gi displays. Now, besides outrage and fury, there’s also a whole lot of betrayal and hurt mixed in there, and it’s altogether complex and compelling, and so very good. 🤩
I find it pretty thought-provoking, to realize that Se Gi goes over to Chae Yeon’s place, not so much to do anything to Chae Yeon because Do Hyun’s overstepped the boundaries around Ri Jin that Se Gi had laid out, but more to help Ri Jin understand how he feels, kept in the dark with his imagination running wild about what Do Hyun and Ri Jin might be doing behind his back.
I mean, it’s a perfect way of driving his message home. After all, you understand someone best, after walking a mile in his shoes. Upon having to bite her nails and wait on tenterhooks, until Se Gi emerges from Chae Yeon’s home, Ri Jin’s able to understand Se Gi that much better, isn’t she?
I find it so interesting, that Se Gi’s actions are so much more about wanting Ri Jin to understand him, than about taking revenge on Do Hyun. It makes Se Gi feel so much more sympathetic and interesting, honestly.
Also, it occurs to me that the thing that Se Gi keeps doing this episode, where he flicks Ri Jin’s hands away from him every time she touches him, saying, “If you’re not going to have me, don’t touch me,” is SUCH a hurt lover sort of thing to do. This IS the kind of thing that a hurt boyfriend / significant other would do, isn’t it? Which means that he totally doesn’t mean it; he just wants to make a point. And deep down, he really does want her to keep reaching out to him. I think?
Although Se Gi’s antics at the office absolutely wouldn’t fly in the real world, I did get a kick out of him swanning into the building and acting like a total celebrity, shooting off finger hearts and receiving all the adulation with an “of course I deserve it” air. 😆
And while his incompetence at work is absolutely not helpful at all, it is still rather gratifying to see everyone gawk at how bold and brutally honest this version of Cha Do Hyun is.
I do wonder if Se Gi’s learning anything from walking in Do Hyun’s shoes.. When he remarks to Secretary Ahn that he doesn’t understand why Do Hyun takes all this terrible treatment from people like Ki Joon, Secretary Ahn’s words – “That’s what you call responsibility. He’s got people to protect and things to do… That’s why he took it. Only irresponsible people can say such things.” – do seem to strike a brief chord with Se Gi. Or maybe I’m just hoping that it strikes a chord with Se Gi. 😅
That said, Se Gi does manage to protect Ri Jin from Mom, once he realizes that Mom’s asked to see Ri Jin. The way Se Gi stares down Mom, as he tells her never to call Ri Jin out like this again, is, once again, full of hurt and fury – so much so that Mom wonders if Do Hyun’s regained his lost memories. Beautifully controlled delivery there, by Ji Sung. He’s SO GOOD. 🤩
Another thing that strikes me about Se Gi, this episode, is how he’s really not all anger and violence, unlike the first impression that he gives.
When he’s dragging Ri Jin off to the car, with eyes blazing, he still remembers to shield her head with his hand, as he puts her in the car, so that she won’t be in danger of hitting her head. Of course, this could also just be Ji Sung being a gentleman and making sure that his co-star doesn’t get hurt while filming, but I just like the idea that Se Gi’s more caring and more tenderhearted than people might immediately guess.
Also, what does Se Gi mean, when he condemns Mom for being a bystander? Had she stood by and watched her own son being abused, back in the day? If that’s true, I’m sure it would have torn her apart, as Do Hyun’s mother.. I find it hard to imagine that a mother would willingly see her child abused, just to be able to use that information as blackmail fodder?
For the record, I’m not liking Ri On very much, this episode, even though I’m admittedly pretty fond of Park Seo Joon himself. I just find him too controlling. It’s as if he thinks he has the right to tell Ri Jin what to do.
It’s not cool, that he threatens to reveal Do Hyun’s secret, in order to get Ri Jin to cooperate with him. I get that he’s worried about her, and doesn’t want her in any danger, but it still comes across as really highhanded and quite unpleasant, honestly.
I mean, he even goes so far as to instruct her to beg their parents for forgiveness, but not mention Do Hyun’s identity, nor Seung Jin Group, while doing so. And when she asks why, he simply tells her, “Just do as I say.” Ugh. That rubs me the wrong way, and I want her to defy him, just to show him that she doesn’t have to obey him. 😤
I have no expectation that the conversation between Professor Seok and Ri Jin has any roots in real medical science, but I get the idea, that Do Hyun will have to be the one to overcome the pain of regaining his memories, and that it’s only when he’s overcome it, that he’ll be able to come back.
The thing that blows me away, is Se Gi’s words to Do Hyun, as he talks into the mirror.
His words may be taunting, but the way that tear rolls down his cheek, as he jeers at Do Hyun for being too weak to come back, says so much. It tells me that Se Gi actually wants Do Hyun to come back, despite his words to the contrary. How.. fascinating and moving, at the same time.
Considering how cold and disdainful Chairman Gran has been towards Do Hyun all this time, I have to confess that I got some perverse satisfaction from seeing Gran appear a little bit nervous and worried, when facing Se Gi.
Also, how interesting, that Gran lashes out at Se Gi for threatening her, and Se Gi clarifies that he’d only been making a request; that if she’d felt fear when he’d made a request, then she’s the one who’d made it into a threat, since fear comes from within. I’ve.. never thought of it that way before. That’s a pretty fascinating thought, isn’t it?
We get another nugget of information, when Se Gi goes to visit Dad, and tells him that Dad’s the reason that he had become a monster, and it would have been better if Dad had never saved him. Ahh. So.. Dad had gotten hurt trying to rescue Do Hyun from the basement, and Do Hyun had developed DID from the trauma and the guilt? At least, that’s what it sounds like right now.
Will Se Gi succeed in pulling the plug on Dad’s respirator, and if so, will that end up being on Do Hyun’s head? 😱 Or will Dad survive Se Gi’s effort to let him rest in peace, and maybe-hopefully eventually set the record straight?