She Was Pretty: Episode 7
Sung-joon and Hye-jin get stuck with some alone time together in the name of business, and the unexpected opportunity alarms more than just the two of them. Everyone’s feelings are starting to get in the way of their rational thoughts, emotions run high, and at least one of the foursome hits a new low.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Hye-jin and Sung-joon are forced to ride to the business meeting together, and the drive is awkwardly silent. Every time Hye-jin tries to make conversation or lighten the mood, Sung-joon shushes her, even shooting looks at her when her stomach growls. She wonders, and rightly so, what happened to the nice guy who gave her the onion.
He does at least stop so she can eat, and he even orders a pricey steak dish. HAHA, the restaurant owner is the same actress who plays Chief Editor Kim. Sung-joon repeatedly assures Hye-jin that it’s okay because he’s paying for the food, but oops, we see that he left his wallet on his desk back at Most.
He’s so fussy that he wears an apron to protect his clothes from oil splattering off the grill, but Hye-jin declines — it’s only her employee ID that needs protection. She just slings it around to the back, and digs in.
Sung-joon belatedly realizes the apron he’s been given has a cartoon body of a woman in a bikini on it, but it’s worth it to keep his clothes nice, hee. Hye-jin can’t stop giggling at how he covers the bosom on the apron as they eat. He gets revenge though, pettily shaking the chilly water off his lettuce at her.
Poor Sung-joon realizes he’s without his wallet, and looks like he’d rather die than ask Hye-jin to pay after insisting on the expensive beef. He finally ekes out the request — but Hye-jin’s account has insufficient funds.
The restaurant ajumma assumes they plan to split without paying, so Sung-joon offers to leave his scarf as collateral and pay when Joon-woo and Seul arrive. It’s a collector’s item worth much more than their bill, but the ajumma only sees a rag like the many she already has, and threatens to call the police on them while Sung-joon calls Seul.
But Seul, sly fox, has been driving in the complete opposite direction by “accident” as a ploy to get more alone time with Joon-woo. She says she’ll turn around, but is obviously in no hurry.
Hye-jin calls Ha-ri to send the money, but her phone goes unanswered, and the restaurant ajumma looks ready to fillet her and Sung-joon. Sung-joon doesn’t have anyone to call for help, which Hye-jin thinks is sad.
Next Hye-jin tries to call Shin-hyuk but he’s away from his desk, so Reporter Cha answers his phone. The restaurant ajumma tells her to send money to cover Hye-jin’s bill, but Reporter Cha thinks it’s a scammer and hangs up on her, then forbids anyone else at Most to answer calls from Hye-jin’s phone.
Left without options, Sung-joon and Hye-jin are forced to don ajumma pants and work off the bill. The restaurant owners also have their own cattle farm, so they’re set to shoveling manure. Sung-joon is particularly prissy about the idea, hee.
The two get in a fight while working over whose fault this is, and they end up bumping tushes and knocking each other into the manure. Sung-joon goes into a full-on freakout at touching cow poop, but he sobers up when he sees the ajumma glaring at him. They’re working so hard, Hye-jin doesn’t notice when her treasured employee ID comes off and is left in the dung.
Back at the office, the Most employees order soondae (blood sausage made with intestines) and Shin-hyuk makes faces at it. He’d done the same when he and Hye-jin ate at that street stand, but remembering how much she enjoyed it, he gives it a try now. And promptly spits it back into the bowl.
Sung-joon and Hye-jin hit their stride and get the whole barn clean, and they even almost high-five, ha. As they rest, Sung-joon asks Hye-jin to keep the fact that he cleaned up cow poop a secret, and she agrees just because it would bother him.
They both lie looking at the sky quietly, then both notice the same pretty cloud and frame it with their hands. They don’t notice that they’re doing the same thing, because the ajumma comes to tell them they’ve paid off their bill. But this is when Hye-jin realizes she’s lost her employee ID.
Sung-joon thinks she can just get another one, but it means too much to Hye-jin to just leave it. She runs off to look, but can’t find it anywhere and dejectedly changes back into her own clothes. But when she comes out, Sung-joon hands her the ID, which he says was on the ground.
That must be a lie, because when Hye-jin kisses her ID in relief, he nearly horks. The restaurant ajumma comes by to ask why Sung-joon ransacked the manure pile, and Hye-jin realizes what he did to find her ID, though he stubbornly sticks to his original story.
On the next leg of the trip, Hye-jin explains that this is her first good job, and that she’s always admired people with an ID like this. Every time she looks at it, she feels thankful and proud, and like she belongs. She figures she’s probably overreacting, but Sung-joon has the cutest grin on his face right now.
He says that everyone has something like that, that has special meaning only to them. She asks what his special thing is, and he tells her that it’s “the thing you broke,” meaning his framed puzzle. He holds out his hand, and she tentatively takes it, thinking they’re having a moment… only for him to demand money for the broken frame. HA.
She starts to write down his account number to send the money later, and Sung-joon grins that she’s so gullible. She insists on paying, until he tells her it’s worth about a thousand dollars, then she’s all I’ll take it as a joke, sir! We all saw that giant smile, Sung-joon, don’t try to hide it.
Joon-woo and Seul also stop to eat at a food court, where Seul claims that all the (immaculate) chairs are dirty so she can sit next to Joon-woo. She thinks over her plans to pretend her car has broken down, fake calling for a mechanic, and canoodle under the stars after dark. The heir to Jin Sung Group will be hers!
Sung-joon and Hye-jin arrive at their destination, and Hye-jin goes flying across the beach excitedly, before catching sight of Sung-joon and remembering his admonishment that they’re not on vacation. Awww, he flings his arms out like she did and calls, “Ah, it’s nice!” in this awkwardly adorable voice.
Hye-jin offers to have some money transferred ahead of time for dinner, worriedly asking Sung-joon if he’ll pay her back and causing him to offer an annoyed IOU. HA, this time she was pulling his leg.
Sung-joon takes a call from Ha-ri, but he reminds her he’s on a business trip. She gets a call on the other line from Hye-jin asking for a money transfer which she easily agrees to, but she’s not happy to hear that Hye-jin is on the same business trip with Sung-joon.
Joon-woo is starting to catch onto Seul a bit, wondering why they’re just driving on country roads, when she gets an upset stomach. They see an outhouse in the middle of a field, and Seul about dies of embarrassment to have this happen in front of her conquest. It’s even worse when she has to ask him to bring her some toilet paper.
She finishes up and determines to make the best of it, except that Joon-woo decides to use the restroom before they go and is bowled over by the odor. She tries to run back to the car and trips and falls, and by the time Joon-woo gets to her, she’s having a meltdown. She also hurts her leg which renders her unable to drive, and Joon-woo doesn’t have a license.
Joon-woo gets a call from Shin-hyuk and tells him that they’re stuck, and that they haven’t caught up to Sung-joon and Hye-jin yet. Shin-hyuk realizes that this means Sung-joon and Hye-jin will be spending the night alone together, and doesn’t like the sound of that one bit.
Sung-joon sits at the beach and makes some concept sketches while Hye-jin watches, seeing it come to life on the beach in front of her. His concept is of a single-person vacation, and Hye-jin suggests adding some paper on the table — when you want to share the feeling of this place with someone, you’d want to write a letter.
We see it play out as if Sung-joon were the lonely traveler, sitting on the beach near a bonfire and drinking tea. He writes a letter to the person he would have liked to bring here with him, saying that next time he’ll bring her. Hye-jin says that by adding a connection with someone else into the concept, it would make the vacation idea seem less lonely.
She snaps out of her reverie, but Sung-joon just smiles. He says that he’s had times like that, when a letter excited him, and we see little Sung-joon in America, being bullied by bigger kids. But he’d always gotten letters from a friend in Korea, and being able to write to her had given him the strength to endure.
He says that eventually she stopped writing, and he had a hard time for a long while after that. But he thanks Hye-jin for her good idea, and gives her a real high-five this time. She runs off to play while Sung-joon takes photos, and he smiles every time she’s not looking his way.
At sundown, Sung-joon says it’s time to go, and Hye-jin suddenly stares at him strangely — he called her by name for the first time. He realizes that he’s always called her “Hey Admin,” but asks if that’s not better than how she’s called him “Bullshit Sung-joon.” Touche.
At dinner, Sung-joon fussily picks the peas out of his rice, and Hye-jin laughs, remembering little Sung-joon doing the same thing. She plays with a Rubik’s cube that’s on the table and crows when she gets one side matched, so Sung-joon takes it and says he’ll solve it in thirty seconds. His hands fly, and he slams it down — completely undone, HA.
He says he’s usually great at games, especially Tetris, and he and Hye-jin go nuts together over how much they love it. They get into a good-natured argument about how the music in the game goes, and suddenly the conversation flows easily.
They talk about everything from music to dramas, discovering that they have nearly identical taste (they both love You From Another Star, hee) until the restaurant closes and they have to go. They head to their hotel, both walking as slooowly as possible.
Sung-joon realizes that he never thanked Hye-jin for saving him when he had his panic attack in the street, and tells her about his mother’s death, unaware that she already knows. He wonders why he’s telling her all this, and doesn’t see how deeply moved she seems.
They marvel at the stars, and Hye-jin thinks to herself that he hasn’t changed as much as she originally thought. But her old friend is still in there, and now she regrets hiding from him that first night when they were supposed to meet. She thinks that today, she could maybe tell him the truth.
Joon-woo checks in with Sung-joon to let him know that he and Seul won’t make it to the meeting. When he hangs up, all of Seul’s antics during the day come back to him and he smiles, thinking that she’s kind of cute when she’s off-balance.
Hye-jin decides to come clean and warns Sung-joon that this may shock him. She mentions the saying that memories are more beautiful when left frozen in time, and that she believed it until today. She starts to tell him —
— and hears Shin-hyuk’s voice hollering, “HEY DONGSAENG!” He saunters up to them grinning ear-to-ear and playing Hye-jin’s recording promising to do three favors for him, and demands she produce her promised dinner of sea snails. Okay normally you’re a cutie-pie and I love you, but go away.
Shin-hyuk claims he’s here to take Joon-woo’s and Seul’s place since they couldn’t make it, and Sung-joon doesn’t look happy, he’s allowed to stay. He growls that he doesn’t drink when Shin-hyuk wants to go back out, but when Shin-hyuk says he’ll just drink with Hye-jin, suddenly Sung-joon is all Non-alcoholic drinks are pretty good these days.
They sit on a gorgeous balcony, and Shin-hyuk says that he had to come so fast, he didn’t pack any underwear — does Sung-joon have some he can borrow? HAHAHA. Shin-hyuk whines that if he has to wash and dry his overnight, he’ll have to sleep in the nude… is that supposed to be a bad thing?
Shin-hyuk makes a point to call Hye-jin “dongsaeng” and himself “orabeoni” as often as possible in front of Sung-joon, and Sung-joon gets so flustered he downs a real alcoholic beer. He turns a bit mean again, saying that Hye-jin makes a habit of pretending to be close to people.
Shin-hyuk casually hands Hye-jin the fake spider he’s been trying to scare people with all day, and she finally give him the loud reaction he’s been looking for. He takes it back and holds her hand a lot longer than necessary, until Sung-joon gets fed up and conks him on the head, hard.
They realize that Sung-joon is starting to droop and slur his words, after just a few sips of beer. He mumbles that Shin-hyuk looks sleazy, then nearly topples right out of his chair and they’re left to carry him to bed, again.
Shin-hyuk fixates on Sung-joon’s “sleazy” comment, but reassures his reflection that he’s every handsome, yes he is. He looks through Sung-joon’s camera to see what work ideas he got today, but he frowns at the pictures he sees of Hye-jin. Many pictures of Hye-jin.
When Hye-jin arrives home, Ha-ri wastes no time asking if anything happened with Sung-joon. Hye-jin smiles that it wasn’t uncomfortable, and in fact they became closer because of it. She rushes off to work, saying that there’s a deadline this week and she’ll probably not be around much.
On her way into the office, Sung-joon makes a point to greet her with a smile and call her by name. He seems a friendlier with the rest of the Most team too, even giving them a Fighting! and making them wonder if he’s getting scarier. Hye-jin is all smiles as she greets Onion Head, completely unaware of Shin-hyuk scowling at her.
Sung-joon is too busy to talk when Ha-ri calls him and practically blows her off, but he sends Hye-jin the cutest smile when she leaves food on his desk again. And again, Shin-hyuk sees their silent exchange and looks disappointed and confused.
The Most team works through the night, but in the morning just as they think they’re finished, Sung-joon announces that there’s been a schedule change and the cover shoot will be moved up. Later Hye-jin brings Sung-joon his mail and asks him for some time after the cover shoot — she wants to buy him dinner to pay him back for the broken frame, and she has something to tell him.
She takes Shin-hyuk out to the pojangmacha for dinner, and he asks her what she talked to Sung-joon about earlier. She tells him about the dinner, and he stares at her unnervingly. She assumes she’s reminding him of his little sister and he goes with it, saying how similar they are.
As he’s paying, Hye-jin sees a picture of an adorable poodle in his wallet, and Shin-hyuk casually tells her that that’s his little sister. What now?? Oh you are in so much trouble, mister. Understandably, Hye-jin is not pleased that the “little sister” she so closely resembles is a dog. He defends himself saying he never actually said his “little sister” was a person, so Hye-jin goes nuts and tries to bite him. HA.
She’s calmer later, and asks why he lied to her about his little sister dying. He thinks about it for a long time, then says all confused, “Jackson. I think I like you.” He explains that he didn’t like it when she said she’s going to tell Sung-joon the truth, that it made him worry they would like each other.
He’d wondered why he was acting like this, but now he knows — he likes her, a lot. Hye-jin looks into his earnest eyes for a long time, then cracks up. She almost fell for it! Shin-hyuk swears up and down that he’s dead serious, but she just storms off, angry at him for teasing her that way.
Sung-joon takes Ha-ri out and starts to tell her about the cow poop, but stops himself. When she pushes, he tells her about the intern who shares her same name, and his face lights up when he talks about how fun she is.
Ha-ri turns serious and asks him right out if he’s only hanging out with her because they’re childhood friends. She wants to know why he hangs out with her, and how he feels about her. Sung-joon looks taken aback and starts to speak, just as Hye-jin walks nearby with Shin-hyuk hot on her heels.
Ha-ri steps in close and kisses Sung-joon, and Shin-hyuk just happens to see them from the corner of his eye. He remembers Ha-ri talking about the shoe that doesn’t fit, and Hye-jin telling him that Sung-joon thinks someone else is his Hye-jin.
He groans as he suddenly understands the full situation, and Hye-jin turns to see what he’s looking at. To stop her, Shin-hyuk whirls her around and into a back hug.
Well, that escalated quickly. A lot has changed in the last few episodes, but since it felt for a bit like the plot was spinning its wheels, I’ll take quick forward movement over brooding at angsty shoes any day. And I’m glad that Sung-joon finally got a chance to get to know Hye-jin, the real Hye-jin, before Ha-ri pushed him into physical contact. It was sweet to see them connect so quickly, which actually makes sense now that Sung-joon is loosening up around Hye-jin. I think he’s already feeling his connection with Hye-jin and I definitely think he knows that Ha-ri isn’t all she claims to be.
Can we all agree that Nice Sung-joon is absolutely precious? I knew he would be, but the way he was so hateful early on, I was worried. He was so cute, making sure Hye-jin had a nice meal, then shoveling dung and finding her lost ID card despite having a complete meltdown about the dung earlier. His teasing her and wanting to spend as much time talking with her as possible was really sweet, and I’m glad he’s relaxing around Hye-jin so soon after seeming to give up on his interest in her. I was worried that would drag on for a few episodes, but this show is getting better at not lingering on anything for too long. Seeing Sung-joon relax and do nice things for Hye-jin, just to see her smile or get a rise out of her, is making me feel better about him and their potential loveline. I do still hope he explains himself for the horrible things he said about her when they first met at work, though, because they were pretty bad and I don’t think he should get a pass just because he eventually came around to liking her. Just making a point to call her by name isn’t enough — he owes Hye-jin, and the rest of the Most staff, a huge apology.
But it’s even more telling that he’s starting to open up to her, and tell her some pretty personal things. I think that deep down, she at least reminds him of his childhood friend, and the only person he’s ever been close with. He feels safe with her, and therefore he’s able to be vulnerable with her. That’s even more important than the jokes and smiles, because it shows that he feels a true sense of connection. A connection that he doesn’t feel with Ha-ri, and is coming to realize more and more, though I expect him to be stuck in his Zeigarnik Effect for a while longer yet.
On the other hand, I don’t really feel, yet, that Hye-jin’s interest in Sung-joon is romantic. Or if it is, it’s still buried underneath her desire to just have her old friend know her again, and I think she doesn’t even let the possibility of romance with Sung-joon enter her head at this point. She may be spunky and smart, but I don’t think she sees herself as someone a man would find attractive. I’m sure she’s feeling something, especially when Sung-joon told her about his mother and his childhood best friend as if it were the first time and she seemed very touched. But I think that right now, Hye-jin would just be happy if he knew who she was and they resumed their friendship. I think she’s going to be as surprised by her own romantic feelings, as she will be by his.
I can’t quite figure out Shin-hyuk, because he’s such a joker all the time, it’s hard to figure out what he’s really thinking. I think he does like Hye-jin a lot, but sometimes I wonder if that “like” is really romantic at all. He really is very older-brother-like with her, the way he follows her around pulling her pigtails, but I’m not convinced that he truly has romantic feelings for her. But for now anyway, he thinks he likes her, and that’s going to complicate everything a lot. Hye-jin still doesn’t even know if she likes him as a friend all the time, much less as a dating prospect. But I will say Shin-hyuk has an edge over Sung-joon in one way, and that’s that he’s liked Hye-jin from the moment he met her. As mentioned, Sung-joon still has a lot to make up for, and I hope he doesn’t get a pass from Hye-jin just because he’s her old friend. That doesn’t excuse some of the things he said about her.
But regardless, once both men realize their true feelings and recognize each other as rivals, I have a feeling the resulting competition is going to be fierce. These are two very strong alpha-males, and neither of them is going to give up without a fight. Though I can’t help but hope that they manage to end up friends in the end, because the few little hints of bromance have been so cute. Let the games begin!