She Was Pretty: Episode 8
As Sung-joon spends more time getting to know Hye-jin, it gets harder for him to ignore the little doubts that crop up whenever she reminds him of his childhood friend. But with the beautiful Ha-ri insisting she’s Hye-jin, it’s no wonder he’s so confused that he starts to fall apart. He’s already carrying some pretty big professional and personal baggage, and his conflicted feelings aren’t making his life any easier these days.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Shin-hyuk spies Ha-ri kissing Sung-joon, and spins Hye-jin around to fold her in a backhug so she won’t see. She breaks his hold right away so he tells her someone is drunk and urinating in the street, and hustles her away quickly.
Meanwhile Ha-ri continues her confession, telling Sung-joon that she wants to be more than his childhood friend – she wants to be his girlfriend. She asks for an answer and he thinks about it for so long, she assumes he’s not interested, but Sung-joon comes to a decision and leads her away.
Hye-jin is still annoyed with Shin-hyuk for letting her think the family dog was a real little sister, but he has more serious things on his mind. He asks if her roommate is the same friend she considers her other half, guessing they must be very close.
Hye-jin tells him that they’ve been friends since birth, because their mothers were friends. She says that when something good happens to her, Ha-ri is the only person who’s truly happy for her. Shin-hyuk just rolls his eyes at that, knowing better, but he looks at the pictures of Ha-ri on Hye-jin’s phone to humor her.
He grumbles that she’s way prettier, only Hye-jin assumes he’s teasing her again. Torn between wanting her to know the truth and not wanting to ruin her image of her best friend, Shin-hyuk lets it go for now.
Sung-joon takes Ha-ri to a wall where he once carved a cartoon of himself and the real Hye-jin. They’d agreed to come back here at junior high graduation, but he’d moved away. Now Sung-joon finds it still there, but Ha-ri asks if they can stop talking about the past anymore — the present is more important to her.
Sung-joon takes out a pen and makes another drawing on the wall, of the two of them as adults, and agrees not to talk about the past anymore. Ha-ri uses her lipstick to draw a heart around his doodle. But when she drives home, she doesn’t look happy, and just lays her head on her steering wheel.
The guy she sometimes dates is waiting for her and asks why she doesn’t return his calls anymore. She tells him he’s out, so he insults the guy she must be dating now, and she nearly knocks his block off.
She rounds the corner and finds Hye-jin, who overheard that she’s dating someone. Ha-ri seems about to come clean until Hye-jin grabs her in a hug, excited for her friend. Hye-jin remembers Ha-ri saying she would never fall in love, because she couldn’t handle a man leaving her like her mother did.
Hye-jin is curious about this amazing man capable of making her friend change, but Ha-ri doesn’t say a single word as Hye-jin chatters. Hye-jin runs off to get some celebratory beers, and calls back to Ha-ri that she’ll be cheering on her love. Ha-ri thinks to her friend that she’s sorry, but she just wants to be with him for the two months that he’s here.
Sung-joon arrives home to have the life scared out of him by Shin-hyuk, who’s let himself in again and is now going through Sung-joon’s closet. Boundaries, dude. He’s here to get the underwear he wore and left here the day he ended up in Sung-joon’s, and I swear I’ll never get tired of Sung-joon crying, “Panty, panty!” in that frustrated tone.
Shin-hyuk asks if he was out on a date, saying that there’s a rumor he’s got a beautiful girlfriend. He wonders how much Sung-joon knows about her — not everything is as it seems. Shin-hyuk admits that there’s something he’d like to tell Sung-joon, but he hasn’t decided if he has the right so for now, he leaves without saying anything. Once he’s out of the apartment his cheerful mood falls, and he seems very conflicted.
Hye=jin catches Ha-ri on the phone with Sung-joon making date plans, and calls out a congratulations for Ha-ri’s new guy to hear. Ha-ri quickly hangs up, and clutches her stomach as if she’s not feeling well.
When Hye-jin gets to work she finds the Most staff frowning at the concept board, unable to decide between two dresses, but they’re interrupted by Chief Editor Kim. She has them quickly pick between two Chinese food dishes on their gut feeling, then has them do the same for the concept. She says that whatever comes out when you’re not thinking, even when your head and heart disagree, is what you really want.
Shin-hyuk helps Hye-jin carry some items to storage when the sole comes off her shoe. He offers her a piggyback which she declines several times, and his pants rip when he crouches down. He tells her to get on his back quick, though I fail to see how that covers up the rip.
On the walk to the storage facility, Shin-hyuk asks if Hye-jin has told Sung-joon the truth yet. She says she was interrupted by him when she tried, but she’s got plans to tell Sung-joon soon. He quietly asks if she’s just looking to reconnect with her old friend, or if she expects something more. Hye-jin hadn’t thought about it that way, but she remembers Chief Editor Kim’s words that what our heart says when we’re not thinking, is the truth.
On his way to a date with Ha-ri, Sung-joon sees Shin-hyuk piggybacking Hye-jin slowly down the street. He’s so busy looking at them that he rear-ends another car, and it makes him miss the movie. Ha-ri makes a big deal about the accident, worried that he could have gotten hurt, and Sung-joon pulls her into a grateful hug. He apologizes for doing things that could worry her, and promises to get his head on straight.
Back in his office Sung-joon goes through his photos from the beach trip, and pauses when he comes to the ones with Hye-jin. She brings him breakfast but he’s short with her, and tells her to take it away. Hye-jin is confused, but gives Sung-joon space. He sees Hye-jin looking at him sadly through his window, and he looks purely miserable — but he shuts the blinds against her anyway.
That night Sung-joon surprises Ha-ri by taking her to a small theater that’s still showing the movie they missed. But he’s distracted during the show, not even responding when Ha-ri locks arms with him. Ha-ri can feel his distance, and after the movie he doesn’t even remember a key scene, and it’s obvious he wasn’t paying attention.
Hye-jin buys the latest edition of Most just to see her name on the credits page, and her family are so proud. In the morning she ends up at the crosswalk near Sung-joon again, and her signature, “Oh, it’s a go!” catches his attention. He runs to her and grabs her wrist, with an unreadable expression on his face.
Oblivious, Hye-jin reminds him of their dinner plans tonight and chirps happily over her name in the magazine, then runs off to work. Sung-joon gets a call just then from Ha-ri, but he’s still frozen and doesn’t answer.
This month’s edition of Most has catapulted them to second place, but Sung-joon is reminded that they need to get to first place with only two months left. Hye-jin sees Sung-joon looking stressed out and asks if he’s okay, but he just ignores her and leaves.
At the cover shoot, the Most staff is going gaga over a James Taylor original dress, but Sung-joon suddenly hollers at them to delete the pictures they’re taking immediately. He’s correct that they can’t risk this design being leaked before the twentieth anniversary edition, but he’s unnecessarily mean about it.
When one girl tries to take the dress to the dressing room, Sung-joon snatches her hand away and yells at her for wearing dangling accessories that could damage the clothing. He kicks her out, and again he’s not wrong, but he makes her cry.
Shin-hyuk and Hye-jin observe Sung-joon’s meltdown, and Shin-hyuk says that today isn’t really a good day to talk to him. She’s given the job of taking the dress to the dressing room and watching over it, but Seul pulls rank and sends her to move her car.
Ha-ri gets stomach pains again at work, and doesn’t notice Shin-hyuk glaring at her in the lobby. He finds her in her office and gets right to the point: “You stop it first.” He admits that this isn’t his place, but he can’t stay silent anymore. He tells Ha-ri that Sung-joon and Hye-jin are meeting tonight and that Hye-jin plans to tell Sung-joon the truth.
He points out that if she’s going to be found out, wouldn’t it be better to tell the truth herself, first? That would cause the three of them the least hurt, and allow them to manage the fallout.
Hye-jin comes back from moving Seul’s car with her hair even fluffier than usual from the rain. She makes her usual “viciously curly hair” joke which Sung-joon overhears, and this time he can’t deny that she’s the one who said it. That, along with the other clues like her “It’s a go!” joke and the way she sheltered him from the rain with her jacket, all fall into place and he stares at her, incredulous.
But as he’s having his epiphany, the model comes out in the James Taylor dress and a snag is discovered. They can’t do the cover shoot with a torn dress, and Sung-joon can’t take any more. He screams out a demand to know who was in charge of the clothing.
Hye-jin comes forward and Sung-joon just gives her this… look. He asks, “You again? Why is it always you?!” In front of everyone he yells that she’s always getting on his nerves, looking like he could burst into tears at any moment. We know that it’s because he finally realizes who she is and that she and Ha-ri have both been lying to him, but she doesn’t, and she’s humiliated.
Hye-jin apologizes for not being careful, but Sung-joon growls at her to get out. He’s going nuts with her always around, and tells her never to show up in front of him again. She’s fired.
After she leaves, another model comes to Sung-joon and tearfully confesses that she tore the dress. Sung-joon wearily lets her go, but Reporter Cha asks what he plans to do about Hye-jin. He doesn’t answer, but sends everyone home.
Ha-ri leaves work in a rush and tries to call Sung-joon, determined to tell him the truth before he hears it from someone else. He sits at the studio in a daze, ignoring her calls. Hye-jin calls Ha-ri to tell her that Sung-joon fired her, so Ha-ri rushes to meet her.
Hye-jin tells her friend that during their trip she and Sung-joon became closer, which made her think he was still the same boy she knew. She was going to open up and tell him everything, but today she learned that to him, she’s just someone he can fire without a thought.
Teary-eyed, Ha-ri lays her head on Hye-jin’s shoulder and says she’s sorry. Hye-jin teases her, thinking she’s crying because she got fired, and says that this is a good thing — she won’t have to keep feeling so conflicted when she sees Sung-joon.
The next morning, the Most team are very vocal about how much Hye-jin is missed — they only now realize how much work she was handling. Even the managerial team, Hye-jin’s original department, wishes they could hire her back for themselves but they don’t have the authority.
Sung-joon is back to his old grouchy self at the next staff meeting, angry that nobody has a good concept for their twentieth anniversary edition. Shin-hyuk finally suggests a movie theme with a twist — focusing on the supporting characters, like the Broadway show “Wicked” did with the wicked witch.
The team take this and run with it, excited about the idea, and Sung-joon starts to roll up his sleeves like he does when he likes something. He suggests they broaden the concept — if you change your point of view, the world looks different. Shine the light on the supporting characters, and the story can completely change.
Later Shin-hyuk brings Sung-joon a notebook full of movie-twist ideas, and Sung-joon realizes this whole concept was Hye-jin’s. Shin-hyuk respectfully suggests that if theyr’e going to use her concept, they ought to bring her back.
Apparently Reporter Cha already asked Hye-jin back and was refused, but Shin-hyuk thinks that if the person who fired her asked, she would return. But Sung-joon balks at apologizing to an intern, and Shin-hyuk notes that Sung-joon seems awfully emotional when it comes to Hye-jin. Almost as if he feels something for her?
He has one more question for Sung-joon: If a different intern made the same mistake, would he have reacted the same way? He insists on an answer when Sung-joon hesitates, and repeats Chief Editor Kim’s words that when your head says one thing and your heart another, that’s when you hesitate.
That hits a nerve, and Sung-joon demands to know why Shin-hyuk is getting so involved in Hye-jin’s life. Shin-hyuk says honestly that it’s because he likes her, and leaves.
Shin-hyuk hangs around Hye-jin’s house, pretending to just be in the neighborhood, and begs her to come back to Most. She declines so he offers to hire her as his personal assistant for a day… but she refuses that too, and he uses his second request to lock her into it.
So she follows him around while he takes pictures, her only job to hold his water bottle, hee. They stop at a flight of stairs and Shin-hyuk tells her she gets a wish if she can hop all the way down the stairs on one leg, so she does it, shrieking her wish to get a job with every hop. Of course Shin-hyuk takes pictures, and dies laughing when she realizes he was teasing her again.
They ride out to the country on his motorcycle and take goofy selcas together, but Shin-hyuk looks at Hye-jin sadly when she’s not paying attention. They go for a walk and Hye-jin admits that Shin-hyuk was right when he asked if she was thinking of reconnecting with Sung-joon as more than a friend.
But she says it’s like there was a one-way mirror between her and Sung-joon, because she could always see him but he never saw her. That’s why this has been so painful for her, but she thanks Shin-hyuk for his help getting through it. He just grins that if she’s so thankful she should go out with him, making her smile.
Sung-joon finally looks through Hye-jin’s concept book, reading one passage she wrote as if from the Little Mermaid’s point of view. She wrote that she only saved the prince because he was in need of help, and she never lied on purpose. He reads further mini-stories from the less-famous fairy tale characters and smiles, enjoying the different point of view.
Hye-jin’s old managerial department supervisor calls to meet with her, and he offers Hye-jin a job at a relative’s company. She happily accepts and heads home, unaware that Sung-joon is trailing behind her carrying her notebook.
He’s so nervous that he jumps like a cat when her phone rings, and ends up hiding in the jungle gym. He’s forced to climb through it to avoid her seeing him, and embarrassingly slides down the slide headfirst to land right at her feet.
He tells her he’d like to use her idea for their anniversary edition and asks her to come back, and she gives him permission to use her concept but turns down the job. Sung-joon admits that he was too sensitive the day he fired her, and went too far. He apologizes quite sincerely and asks her again to come back, but she declines again. Hye-jin says that it’s uncomfortable working with him, but she does thank him for coming to talk to her personally.
The next day, the first thing Sung-joon notices is Hye-jin’s Onion Head on her desk, which has now sprouted. Hye-jin waits to hear about the new job, but when she calls her old manager, he tells her that there’s no job after all. She thinks back on Sung-joon’s offer, but she’s determined not to go back.
She goes to her dad’s print shop to see him but he’s out, so she decides to hide and scare him. But instead she overhears a conversation between Dad and a customer, where Dad’s late on an order because his machine is broken again. The customer says to ask his big-shot daughter with the fancy new job to buy a new machine, and Hye-jin starts to rethink her refusal to go back to Most.
She sneaks out and calls her dad, and he lies and says that everything is going well. Hyejin starts to choke up and ends the call, pretending she’s hard at work. She steels her nerves, berating herself for turning down Sung-joon’s job offer, but before she can call him she gets another call from her old manager. The job offer with his family member is back on the table.
She gets a text from Sung-joon just then with a picture of Onion Head, now with tears drawn on his face, and asking if she’s going to leave him there alone. It’s not hers, which Sung-joon has left untouched, but she doesn’t know that.
The next day the phone rings at Most, and a strange woman answers the phone. But she introduces herself as Kim Hye-jin, and the whole office looks up. It’s Hye-jin, back to work with a brand-new, very Most-like look.
Well, I’m conflicted about Hye-jin’s makeover. One the one hand, she looks amazing. On the other hand, I didn’t think she looked bad before, just a bit unkempt at times. But the curly hair wasn’t so terrible, other than needing a bit of styling, and her freckles and rosy cheeks were downright endearing. I’m sort of frustrated with her for buying into the whole makeover idea, though I can’t really fault her for it, because people weren’t taking her seriously. She never required them to, and just let them walk all over her, but that’s a different complaint. I suppose I just should wait for her explanation as to why she did this now, since I don’t really understand what motivated her to do it at this point in the story. But… she does look gorgeous.
More than that though, I’m getting really frustrated and I’m ready for people to start talking. Thank goodness Shin-hyuk is an open book or I’d be ready to give up on all of them, because there are so many secrets being kept for no good reason. I don’t mind when a character holds back information for a valid purpose, like that the truth would put someone in danger. But just keeping vital information to themselves for no reason other than that it’s awkward (or let’s be honest, to prolong the story) is frustrating. It’s downright infuriating that Ha-ri was ready to tell Sung-joon the truth until she found out about his and Hye-jin’s falling out. Just when I thought she was going to do the right thing, she got an excuse to keep doing the wrong thing and ran with it. I used to really love her character, but now, I’m just glad that Sung-joon’s figured out the truth, because it’s clear that she was never going to tell him on her own.
On the other hand, my favorite thing about Shin-hyuk is his to-a-fault honesty — if he has something to say, he says it, and if he has a question about something bothering him, he asks. He may be a jokester, but he doesn’t mess with a person’s feelings. I liked that it was Shin-hyuk who confronted Ha-ri, and he did it so gently. He did it mostly because he doesn’t want to see Hye-jin hurt, but he’s also compassionate to Ha-ri’s feelings, and gave her a chance to end this in a mature, adult way. And I love that he’s willing to help Sung-joon and Hye-jin mend their friendship, even though it means he’ll probably lose her. He’s really the most mature, honest character in the show, despite his initial goofball impression.
I’ve been frustrated with Sung-joon for some time now, because you know he felt something wasn’t right with Ha-ri. He’s known something about her was off for a long time. When she told him she didn’t want to talk about the past anymore, that should have been a huge red flag, because someone you knew as a child wouldn’t just say, “Let’s never mention our childhood friendship ever again,” for no reason. I would find that extremely strange at best, a giant flashing neon SOMETHING IS WRONG ABOUT THIS PERSON sign at worst. And yet Sung-joon didn’t even question it, and just went along with her. At this point he’s actively sabotaging himself, because that should have caused him to start asking questions about her again like he did before. Even his own therapist warned him against this, but he’s just going against good advice and his own instincts. Being tricked and lied to unknowingly is one thing, and I’m sympathetic to him on that front, but willful ignorance in the face of some pretty glaring inconsistencies is another thing entirely. All for the sake of a memory.
On the other hand, he’s under a tremendous amount of stress, which would be hard for anyone. But we know that Sung-joon isn’t eating properly on top of facing responsibility for how many hundreds of jobs among the Most staff, not to mention his own. It’s not the time to be thinking about dating at all, much less when you suspect that the woman you’re dating may not be the person she claims to be, literally. But at least he finally figured the truth out on his own and didn’t need someone else to tell him, and I’m glad the story let him put the clues together himself. He’s too smart of a man not to know, in the face of so much evidence. So I’m torn between being very frustrated with him, and sympathizing that he’s trying to do the best he can under the weight of so much professional pressure. I don’t even blame him for firing Hye-jin, because allowing a one-of-a-kind designer dress to become ruined is something worth losing your job for, in their precarious situation. But Sung-joon reacted emotionally, and fired her in the most humiliating way possible, and Hye-jin didn’t deserve that.
I just hope that this new, repentant and apologetic Sung-joon sticks around, because now that he knows, he needs to show Hye-jin how very sorry he is. In this sense I wouldn’t mind if he kept it to himself that he knows she’s hisHye-jin, because it would be nice to see him make it up to her without her thinking he’s only doing it because she knows who he is. She deserves to be treated well for who she is, and not for who she was — so I do hope Sung-joon keeps this to himself until she forgives him.