She Was Pretty: Episode 6
There’s nothing better to spark a romance than a healthy dose of jealousy, and poor Sung-joon never even sees it coming. Even worse when the person making him so jealous wants nothing more than to be his new bestie. He’s also starting to feel that something about this whole Hye-jin situation is terribly wrong, but one person’s bad decision could halt his discovery of the truth in its tracks.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Kneeling in the rainy street, Sung-joon cups Hye-jin’s face gently — and they’re nearly mowed down by a giant truck. Hye-jin hustles the stricken Sung-joon to a nearby bus stop and fusses over him, wondering if she should take him to the hospital.
Sung-joon gathers his wits enough to tell her she can go, but he’s clearly not well enough to get himself home. She notices his balled-up fists and gets him a driver, asking them to take good care of him. Awww.
Ha-ri is still waiting with Shin-hyuk for Sung-joon to show up, so she calls him, but the driver answers his phone and tells her he’s sick and being taken home. She runs out leaving Shin-hyuk complaining about getting dressed up for nothing, but he takes advantage of the moment to take some selfies. Because of course he does.
Ha-ri pounds on Sung-joon’s door, which he eventually answers only to collapse in her arms. She gets him to the sofa and destroys his kitchen trying to make soup, and he recovers enough to join her and ask how she came to be here. He apologizes, looking pitiful and weak, and asks why she wanted to see him. She fibs that she just wanted to return his jacket.
Hye-jin dries her hair, wondering why Sung-joon touched her face and looked at her that way. She gets a little dreamy thinking about it (well, who wouldn’t?) and wonders if she looked pretty. She knocks sense back into herself and wonders if Sung-joon caught a cold, obsessing over whether she should take him some medicine.
She gets a call from Shin-hyuk, who invites his new dongsaeng out. She says she has something to do and nearly asks him a favor, but she backs down, which has him curious. He teases it out of her but busts a gut when she asks him to take Sung-joon some medicine, so she quickly backpedals.
Shin-hyuk is annoyed that nothing is going right today, but he’s mostly frustrated on Hye-jin’s behalf. He mutters to the empty room that even if she goes to Sung-joon, nothing good will happen. He can’t stand it and calls her back, saying that he’s not the kind of person to run other people’s errands, but he’ll do this for her. Okay, you are TOO sweet.
He’s not doing it for free though — he never does — and asks what she plans to do for him, demanding three favors from her in exchange for this one. Hye-jin knows it’s not a fair trade but she hastily agrees when Shin-hyuk threatens to hang up, and he makes her swear an oath. Ha, that’s going to bite her in the butt later.
Meanwhile Ha-ri finishes her cooking, but Sung-joon’s fallen asleep on the couch. She watches him sleep for a moment then leaves, running into Shin-hyuk in the elevator, and they both gape in surprise to see each other here. They’re both vague about why they’re here, and leave each other with an awkward high-five.
Shin-hyuk gets no answer at Sung-joon’s door, though he hilariously tries calling him differently each time he knocks (~knock knock~ “Deputy Chief Ji?” ~knock knock~ “Ji Sung-joon?” ~knock knock~ “Sung-joon-ah!”). He remembers that he still has Sung-joon’s key card and lets himself in, seeing Sung-joon still sleeping on the couch. He notices the puzzle (now unassembled in a glass jar) and figures this is the puzzle that matches Hye-jin’s lone piece.
He tells Sung-joon the truth about Hye-jin even though he’s asleep, then sees the soup that Ha-ri made, on the table waiting to be eaten. It smells completely inedible, so he switches it out with the good porridge that he brought. He gets Sung-joon a cool towel for his forehead, clucking like a mother hen.
Before he knows it, Shin-hyuk is spoon-feeding Sung-joon, grumbling the whole time, which is just the sweetest thing ever. I love this guy.
Sung-joon wakes the next morning and hears someone in the apartment with him, immediately thinking, “Hye-jin!” What a shock to turn and see… Shin-hyuk in his robe. HAHA. He immediately figures out that Hye-jin sent him and gripes about her meddling, but he’s shocked again when he realizes that Shin-hyuk is also wearing his underpants. OMG.
He tells Shin-hyuk to take them off right now, then takes it back when Shin-hyuk is only too happy to oblige. Sung-joon is all Don’t take them off, don’t return them, EVER, hee. Shin-hyuk starts breakfast with a saucy little butt-waggle, while Sung-joon can only stare in horror.
Hye-jin is sneezing at breakfast, and Ha-ri asks if she “also” has a cold. Hye-jin wonders who else Ha-ri knows who’s sick, so Ha-ri fudges that a lot of people are sick right now, and rushes to pack Hye-jin a healthy lunch.
Shin-hyuk texts Hye-jin to tell her that “dongsaeng’s first love” is feeling much better today. At the same time, Ha-ri gets a text from Sung-joon apologizing for falling asleep, and thanking her for the porridge. That’s strange, since she made him soup, but she brushes it off.
Shin-hyuk follows Sung-joon to work, singing the praises of his fantastically comfortable American knickers, even begging for a few more pair. Sung-joon loses his temper, and I’m dying seeing him yelling, “Panty! Panty!” in the lobby of his workplace.
He growls at Shin-hyuk to shut up, and Shin-hyuk whines that they should be closer now that they’ve spent the night together. Sung-joon looks like he’s in a living nightmare as Shin-hyuk chases him (did he just grab his butt?) to the elevator.
Sung-joon ends up following Hye-jin into the office, triggering memories of his panic attack the night before. He only now recalls touching her face and startles himself, feeling awkward in front of her, and covers his nerves by fussing at her for sending Shin-hyuk to his place.
Just as he’s winding up a good rant, Hye-jin sneezes right in his face. She tries to wipe the snot off him with her sleeves and he bats her away, and Hye-jin starts yet another work day in humiliation. Shin-hyuk finds Sung-joon still in the hall and cozies up to him just to see him get nervous, giggling that he’s fun to tease.
Hye-jin sneezes all over her coworkers and they all treat her like she’s plagued — nobody has time to get sick with their looming deadline. Shin-hyuk stands up for her until she nearly sneezes on him, then he hides behind the copier, ha.
Sung-joon hears her sneezing and sees everyone wearing masks and spraying the air, and awwww, he goes out to buy medicine for her. It’s hilarious how he tries to get it to her without anyone noticing him being nice, having to swerve and hide whenever someone comes near.
He’s sniped by Shin-hyuk, who brings Hye-jin medicine, a mask (aww, he drew a puppy face on it), and a cold pack for her forehead. When he leaves, Sung-joon thunders HEY INTERN at Hye-jin, but when she looks at him wearing that puppy mask he nearly loses his train of thought. He sternly asks where those notes are, and Hye-jin wonders what he’s talking about — there was no meeting today. Whoopsie.
He claims he meant yesterday’s minutes and she says she left them on his desk, and it’s hilarious watching him struggle to hold onto his poker face. He finally leaves, and Shin-hyuk comes back to tell her the cold medicine may make her drowsy. I love how Hye-jin smiles that he’s taking care of her now that they’re friends.
Sung-joon heads out of the office and makes it to the elevator when Shin-hyuk coming blazing down the hall, and he quickly pushes the “close door” button, ha. He gives Shin-hyuk a snarky eyebrow and giggles on the way down, then takes a call from Ha-ri.
She tells him to lunch at the same soup place he took her before, since she always feels better after eating there, and he invites her to join him so he can repay her for the porridge. It’s raining again when Ha-ri leaves to meet Sung-joon, and she remembers happily playing in the rain as a child with her mother. Sung-joon finds her and complains about the rain, but frowns when he notices that she seems to love it.
He’s confused, and mentions how she used to hate the rain, and she just says that she feels different now. The light changes and Ha-ri says, “It’s a green light!” and starts across. But Sung-joon is troubled, because he knows that Hye-jin always said, “It’s a go!” when the light changed.
Back at the office, Joon-woo is excited over news of an anticipated new book’s release. They talk about the author, who writes in English but is rumored to be a Korean ajumma. That sparks a discussion about pen names, which seems to make Shin-hyuk thoughtful about something.
Hye-jin finds an onion on her desk, which Shin-hyuk claims is a million-won Italian onion they’re going to use in a photo shoot. Hye-jin falls for it and he laughs at her gullability. Hye-jin takes Sung-joon’s mail to his office (why is it always so dark in there?) and notices the website he’s got pulled up on his computer, which outlines a folk remedy of leaving an onion nearby when you’re sick to lesson the severity of the illness. She realizes Sung-joon must have left the onion, and smiles.
The office is empty when Sung-joon returns, but he sees the onion in a glass of water on Hye-jin’s desk, complete with a cute smiley-face drawn on it. He smiles at it, but frowns again when a flash goes off in his face. It’s Chief Editor Kim, crowing that she’s finally seeing his beautiful smile for the first time.
She asks what happened to make him so happy — is he dating? He denies it but she’s not buying it, and he just coughs nervously and flees to his office, denying that he smiled. Ha, he points to Onion Head and warns him not to smile, either.
Everyone heads home at the end of the day except Hye-jin who, despite being sick, is given a project to complete before morning. She remembers the medicine from Shin-hyuk and takes some, and soon she’s nodding off at her computer. I know that feeling.
She tries chewing gum to stay awake, which works for about five seconds, and Sung-joon leaves his office to see her head lolling back and forth. She starts to tumble out of her chir and he catches her head on reflex, holding veeery still so as not to wake her.
Ah-reum comes in wearing a skin mask like something from a horror movie, and when she speaks it scares Sung-joon so badly he drops Hye-jin. He whirls around and sees Ah-reum, gets scared a second time, and sits in Hye-jin’s lap. He swears he wasn’t scared at all, and Hye-jin has to poke him to get off her, hee.
Hye-jin heads home, nodding off again while waiting for the bus. Sung-joon sees her from his car, struggling to stay awake and coughing miserably. Her bus arrives, but she falls asleep again on her seatmate’s shoulder.
She gets a new seatmate at the next stop, and her head rolls onto his shoulder too. This time there’s no objection, because it’s Sung-joon, here to make sure she gets home safely. She never realizes it’s him, and she makes her drop off while he wonders where he is.
On his way home Sung-joon makes a call to what sounds like a therapist in the States. He asks about old trauma returning under stress, and is advised to avoid the stress at all costs.
He mentions that a stranger seems to keep overlapping with someone he used to know, while the person he thought he knew feels like the stranger. The therapist says it’s normal for a person to change as they get older, while we’re treated to a broody shower.
The therapist says that being hung up on your first love is a form of Zeigarnik Effect (experiencing intrusive thoughts about something gone unfinished). It’s not Fate, or because he still loves her, but just that he never got to see the relationship through to the end. He’s advised to move out of the past, and live in the now.
Ha-ri finds Hye-jin resting on a swing at the park, and the two friends get a little exercise. Hye-jin tells her friend the secret about Most, that it may be discontinued in a few months if they can’t raise their sale numbers. Ha-ri asks what will happen to Sung-joon but Hye-jin doesn’t know.
Shin-hyuk snacks on sausage sticks and beer, staring at his phone, wondering if he should call Hye-jin to check on her. His beer is swiped right out of his hand by Ha-ri, and she sits and tells him that she needed his help because she’s been lying to someone. It’s someone she shouldn’t see, but she’s falling for him.
Shin-hyuk asks if he’s married or a convict, or maybe underage? Ha-ri denies that so Shin-hyuk doesn’t see the problem, and tells her to just keep seeing him. Love is crazy, so don’t make it so complicated and just go for it.
Ha-ri goes back to work looking for her discarded metaphor shoes, and luckily (or unluckily) the maintenance woman rescued them since they were so new. Ha-ri thinks to herself that she may get hurt, but she wants to give this a shot.
At home Hye-jin contemplates her puzzle piece, and we see that when Sung-joon caught her head when she toppled over, she’d woken and seen his face reflected in her mirror. She’d feigned sleep to avoid an awkward moment, and now she presses her hand to her chest, feeling her heart pound.
In his suite, Sung-joon makes his own Onion Head, grinning at it adorably. During the meeting the next day he can scarcely concentrate for staring at Hye-jin, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Shin-hyuk.
Sung-joon finally snaps out of it and asks about an upcoming business trip, which was supposed to be prepared by him, Reporter Cha, and Ah-reum. Ah-reum has to bow out for a photo shoot, and Seul doesn’t want to, so she suggests sending Hye-jin. But Cha decides to take Joon-woo, and suddenly Seul wants to go too. You’re so not subtle.
Ha-ri sees the puzzle piece that Hye-jin left on her dresser, and remembers the night she met Sung-joon when he mentioned the puzzle. She recalls how emotional it made him and contemplates the puzzle piece, and don’t you even dare. She and Sung-joon have a date that night, and Ha-ri’s stepmother happens to see them and wonder why that man calls Ha-ri, “Hye-jin.”
Ha-ri shows Sung-joon the puzzle piece, saying that she just found it, and the umbrella on the back proves it’s the same piece. Sung-joon is stunned, having just started to suspect that this isn’t his Hye-jin, but the puzzle piece seems to contradict that. He actually looks a little disappointed to see the puzzle piece in her possession.
Ha-ri is confronted in the restroom by her stepmother, who comments on her lying to a man about her name. She asks if she’s lying about anything else, and wonders what kind of man Sung-joon is to necessitate lying.
Ha-ri just says there’s a good reason for it, and to pretend she didn’t see her. She even begs, and we don’t hear Stepmom’s answer, but Ha-ri suddenly runs out and asks Sung-joon to come with her, now.
Stepmom is right behind her and cryptically says to Sung-joon that they seem to suit each other, and that she’ll see him again. Ha-ri storms out with Sung-joon chasing her, and he asks who that woman was. She tearfully tells him not to call her “Hye-jin,” resting her head on his shoulder and asking him to just stay here for a minute, and not to ask her anything today. Sung-joon feels awkward, but pats her back sweetly.
The real Hye-jin is at home, daydreaming about catching Sung-joon staring at her during the meeting, when Ha-ri comes home. Hye-jin fusses over her like a mom, which makes Ha-ri smile at the same time as she feels guilty over what she did tonight.
At bedtime Ha-ri asks to sleep with Hye-jin, and they end up in a cute tickle fight. Later Ha-ri asks Ha-ri why she’s more quiet than usual, knowing her well enough to know she has something to tell her. Ha-ri admits that she does, but says she’ll tell her everything later.
That night Sung-joon puts his puzzle back together and reframes it, but he no longer looks happy about it. He throws away his Onion Head, and goes to bed.
He storms into the office the next morning all business, and Chief Editor Kim makes her daily Grand Entrance after him. Hye-jin takes her some papers to sign, and Kim asks her how long until she becomes more Most-like. Ha. Hye-jin says she’s been making an effort, but Kim tells her to have a better sense of style.
Shin-hyuk decides to use one of Hye-jin’s promised favors today, saying that he’ll go easy on her for this first one. He wants dinner tonight, to which she readily agrees… I KNEW he was going to use this to wrangle dates out of her.
Something comes up for Reporter Cha, so she tells Hye-jin to go on the business trip in her place. They’re meeting right now to leave, but Hye-jin didn’t pack anything and she’s completely unprepared. Reporter Cha gives Hye-jin her suitcase and sends her off (with Shin-hyuk calling weakly after her about his whelk dinner, hee).
Seul talks Joon-woo into riding alone with her, which makes him wary but he complies. It also leaves Sung-joon to ride alone with Hye-jin. Sung-joon takes the situation with a resigned air, but Hye-jin is horrified to be stuck in the car alone with him.
Oh Ha-ri, I truly thought better of you. I’m genuinely shocked that she would steal the puzzle piece and use it to prove she’s the real Hye-rin. I can’t believe she would throw over her lifelong best friend for a man she just met, not to mention a man she knows her friend has a past and a present connection with. It’s awful enough that they work together, but this is someone that she knows has a “first love” experience with Hye-jin, and yet she’s willing to lie, and even steal a treasured possession, to get what she thinks she wants. I still don’t believe Ha-ri has any malicious intent, and that she truly loves Hye-jin. I don’t even think she’s genuinely falling for Sung-joon, but is only being swayed by the attention of a man who seems to really care about her, which is a novelty for her. But she’s forgetting the part where he doesn’t actually care about her, he cares about the real Hye-jin.
I do feel badly for Ha-ri and her loneliness, but I also feel that it’s mostly self-inflicted. She chooses to only date shallow men (I have a hard time believing that no man of quality has ever been interested in her), which is nobody’s fault but her own. And yes, she has a sucktastic home life, but she also has a wonderful second family who considers her a daughter. But again, she’s just going to risk all that for this man she’s known for what, a month at most? And it’s not as if this can last, because she is lying about who she is, and eventually she’ll have to come clean. She’ll lose Sung-joon then, anyway. I do hope she spends more time with Shin-hyuk, and soon, because he may be weird but he speaks the honest truth. He’ll tell her what’s what, once he learns what’s happening, and make no bones about it.
I love the ongoing rain motif as a catalyst of emotional forward motion, because everyone in the drama reacts to the rain differently. To Sung-joon, obviously, it’s a reminder of the most traumatic days of his young life — but also one of the most meaningful days, when he made his first friend. Hye-jin doesn’t like rain either but to her, it’s a reminder of her childhood, when life was easy for her and she was able to give comfort to someone in need, something that is an innate part of her personality. And to Ha-ri, it reminds her of her lost mother, which must be a bittersweet feeling… she had a good relationship with her mother, but for some reason, she lost her. I feel sure the rain will come to mean many more things to our lovers as time goes on.
I’m growing to love Hye-rin more and more, the more we see her interact with Sung-joon. He brings out the caretaker in her, who sees what he really needs and makes sure he gets it, even if she can’t do it openly. She sees him not eating and gets him a sandwich… honors his wish for her to leave after his breakdown but makes sure he has a safe ride home… sends someone to bring him porridge and medicine when he’s sick. It kills me that she has to do these things from the shadows, but it makes me love her even more, that she prioritizes his comfort and well-being even if she can’t do it herself. It’s a good lesson to Sung-joon that I hope he realizes at some point — true caring for a person doesn’t need recognition, just seeing your loved one safe and happy is its own reward.
I’m so glad that Sung-joon is finally softening towards Hye-jin, because their interactions are just so cute. We’re finally getting that chemistry we all came here for, even when they aren’t onscreen together, which bodes well for the future when they do finally start spending time together. Just seeing Hye-jin worry for Sung-joon’s health, then him grouchily returning the favor, is so sweet. The whole bit with the onion slays me, because with him leaving it for her, then her decorating it, they’re beginning to see that the other just might be someone who regards them as worthy. They could even get along and actually like each other. It’s cute that each knows exactly what’s going on with the other, but still denying it when face-to-face, like nervous teenagers with their first crush. Which makes sense, since they are each other’s first crush, though only one half of the pair knows it.
Though I appreciate, for once, the drama addressing the whole fated-first-love trope and how it’s really not Fate, but unfinished business. How refreshing to see a show take the scientific approach, using the overdone trope to spell out that there’s really no such thing as first loves being fated to be together. Especially since the misguided belief is getting poor Sung-joon all twisted up, since he feels that something is off but he just can’t let go of the idea of belonging with “Hye-jin,” even when it feels wrong. Conversely, he’s feeling himself drawn to the real Hye-jin and is struggling with wanting to get closer to her, but being held back by the notion that he should be feeling this for the woman he knows as Hye-jin. Of course, we know that the person he’s beginning to feel attracted to IS the real Hye-jin — but for once it’s not because of a trope, or because he thinks Fate has decreed it, but because he truly finds her compelling. He’s meant to be with her not because they knew each other as children, but because they care for each other as mature adults. Of course we know all this, but it’s going to get so much better once Sung-joon figures it out for himself.