This episode dropped 5.1% according to AGB Nielsen Nationwide. I totally don’t get it. The show just got cuter. A few not-so-surprising secrets were revealed, but I feel close enough to the characters to let the mundane tropes slide. Hyomin was particularly adorable this episode. (Boo T-ara scandals. Just enjoy the show, peeps). Lee Chun-hee’s smile makes me all giggly and Kang Ye-won has a wicked smirk.
Episode 3 – A woman who lives on death
“Hey Girl” – Instrumental version of B1A4’s song (from the The Thousandth Man OST)
episode 2 recap
Shameless Mi-mo gets scolded by Mi-sun for hitting on Eung-suk at dinner the night before and seriously pissing Mi-jin off. Mi-mo explains it away as survival of the fittest, their family motto, even though she is no longer a gumiho. Besides, Mi-mo points out, humans are worse than she is. Heehee.
Sirens suddenly sound outside and the two former gumihos go to check it out. There’s a heartbroken man (Lee Jae-won) threatening to jump off the building unless someone calls “Hye-young”, the woman who brought him to this extreme.
Mi-sun, the ever-scheming mother, immediately calls Mi-jin who is blow drying her hair. Mom has found Mi-jin’s one-thousandth man and she needs to get down there quick. Mi-jin shows up before her mother is able to count to ten and freaks her mother out.
Man, I wish I had gumiho speed powers…
Mi-sun orders her daughter to get to the roof and make the desperate man fall in love with her before he jumps. Reluctantly, Mi-jin heads up to the roof and surprises the suicidal man by nonchalantly sitting on the wall drying her hair as though he wasn’t about to throw his life away. He threatens to jump and she waves him off because she needs to finish drying her hair. When he doesn’t jump, she calls him a wimp.
It shouldn’t make me laugh, but it does. Lee Jae-won’s face is priceless.
Mi-jin plays games on her phone while the man runs the gamut of emotions before sitting beside her and spilling his pathetic heart out to her. He has no job, no friends and no girl. She was his last hope. Ignoring his sad tale, Mi-jin asks him if he wants to eat.
Of course, she takes him to Last where he snarfs the food like a dying man. Eung-suk is beside himself with annoyance, but Chef Seo is in heaven watching someone enjoy his food so thoroughly.
Eung-suk calls Mi-jin outside for a chat and discovers that she just met the stranger as he was attempting to suicide. Understandably, Eung-suk is disgusted. Is dating all she thinks about? Yes, she replies. He brings up the fact that she’s dying, but cuts himself off.
That must really bug him…
Anyway, she explains that she needs to find a man and tells Eung-suk about suicide man’s reason to die. Eung-suk says that only people with no reasons to live kill themselves. Mi-jin points out that she’s fine because her reason for living is to find a man and is quite serious. This angers Eung-suk who doesn’t take her seriously wonders how she can take death so lightly. There are those who want to live but can’t.
Hrm…sounds like he’s taking this a little TOO personally. What do ya’ll think?
They head inside where Chef Seo has given the suicidal man bouillabaisse, which is so delicious that it makes suicide man cry.
I think everything makes suicide man cry…
Eung-suk kicks Mi-jin and her new man out, pissed that the chef let them in just because Mi-jin called. Chef Seo is, of course, disappointed that Eung-suk kicked out yet another customer.
As they are leaving, Mi-jin and suicide man get stopped by Mi-sun. Mi-sun invites suicide man to stay with them, which surprises Mi-jin, although it REALLY shouldn’t.
At the gumiho residence, Mi-mo has a chat with hottie Nam Woo-hyun (Nam Woo-hyun) from her balcony. He calls her “noona” and she wants to sneak a peek of his body.
YES! This girl is amazing! I cracked up so badly.
So they both pull up their shirts and cover their faces. He admits that he lost the “sexy game” and asks her what she is up to. She’s out to hit on men and he swears to stop her.
You tell her you little noona killer you!
It’s dinner time and Mi-jin is chowing down on some ribs while Mi-sun encourages suicide man to eat but he can’t after seeing ribs; his Hye-young loved them. Mi-sun wants him to give his life up for someone better, someone pretty, like Mi-jin. Suicide man hasn’t caught Mi-jin’s name and is confused at first; then he says she ain’t his style. Pffft. Of course, she ain’t his either.
The gumihos start speaking in what I think is dialect or Korean from back in the day. In any case, suicide man can’t understand them as Mi-sun reminds Mi-jin that she NEEDS to be human soon or bite the dust…er, foam.
Last is closing for the night and “the bold one” Mi-mo shows up to heckle Eung-suk to go out with her. But he has no time for girls. Instead of turning her off, he has piqued her fancy and she swears to follow him for two hours every day until he decides to go out with her. As she leaves, a dumbfounded Eung-suk decides the whole family is weird.
If you only knew…
Woo-hyun walks Mi-mo home, delighted that she got turned away. Even though she likes the challenge, Woo-hyun tells her to stop wasting her time and just go out with him. Mi-mo scrutinizes him a moment and then decides to keep him around. Maybe they can retire together.
Then they go for chicken and beer. I think they should go for some old-fashioned baby-making. They would make beautiful babies.
Secretary Park is lying prostrate on his balcony, sadly recalling Mi-sun’s request to allow suicide man to sleep at his place. Park never let’s anyone stay at his place – he’s too fastidious. Mi-sun’s face is embedded in the moon as she begs him to do her this favor, and although he struggles, he will do as she wishes because she is his love.
When suicide man comes out to ask for a blanket, Park again sees Mi-sun’s face in the moon, pleading with her best aegyo face for this favor. He forces himself to forgive suicide man who is incredibly confused.
In his apartment, Eung-suk stares at a tray with water and bottles of medication on it. His head is aching and his vision blurs as he tries to look at a bottle: dexamethasone.
Now good little Raine googled dexamethasone. It can be used for obstetrics, high altitude illness and cancer. As this is k-drama, I will give you all one guess what it’s for. Not like we didn’t see this wrench coming, but it’s still a poignant wrench nonetheless.
Eung-suk remembers his conversation with Mi-jin and how he said that people with something to live for never kill themselves. Then, he lies down, refusing to take his medication. Mi-jin’s earlier words come back: she’s fine because she her goal is to find a man.
With a laugh, Eung-suk sits up and decides to take his medication.
I guess he has something to live for.
In her room, Mi-jin crosses another day off of her calendar, musing that 1,000 years is too short. A call from Eung-suk sends her out to meet him. He apologizes for overreacting earlier, but she knows that not what he’s really there for. Eung-suk barrels forward, incredulous that she could date a man who tried to kill himself. He understands wanting a man, but this is too much.
Here’s the kicker: Mi-jin tells Eung-suk the truth. Her mother forced her and she hates it. In fact, she hates how whiny humans are. Foxes, er, animals, get hurt and tend to their wounds alone. Humans, however, need to publicize their pains. Eung-suk is surprised by this information and wonders if he’s more animal than human. Mi-jin is on a roll and in gores him. Humans are weak and need rely on each other.
This gives Eung-suk pause. Then, what kind of woman is Mi-jin? A woman who lives on death, she replies with a smirk.
Digest that one Sukkie.
Secretary Park is sitting on his rooftop meticulously ironing a pair of jeans. Suicide man comes up and notes how crazy it is for Park to iron jeans. He’s also come to beg for food, which starts Park’s temper simmering. Then suicide man declares he’s hungry to death and Park explodes. He hates when people talk about dying – it might actually happen. This declaration scares suicide man to death and Park quickly dons his shades to keep his emotions in check.
It’s time for a counseling session – suicide man and Secretary Park have gone to Mi-sun to air their grievances. Park declares suicide man “infected”. Suicide man thinks Park is only capable of telling him what he can’t do, like a nagging ahjumma. Park’s temper immediately jumps to boiling but is cooled by a curt order from Mi-sun.
Mi-mo puts a plaster on Mi-jin under their mother’s orders. Mi-mo takes the time to grill Mi-jin about her relationship with Eung-suk. Although there’s nothing going on, Mi-jin did test him because he looked familiar to him. But there was nothing between them and she should know; she’s had thousands of men. Mi-mo isn’t sure because she isn’t human, and leaves Mi-jin to remove the plaster alone. Hehe.
Suicide man and Mi-jin wait awkwardly at a coffee shop. She keeps looking around and he’s confused until a really scary woman appears. It is none other than his infamous ex, Hye-young (Shin Bong-sun). Mi-jin gumiballs her and wonders why she feels like tearing this woman apart.
Across the street, a little interaction between Mi-sun and Secretary Park explains it: an animal faced with competition for it’s prey will scare the competition away or eat the prey first.
Suicide man wonders how she could leave him – he almost died. Hye-young is tired of listening to him talk about death. She wonders why Mi-jin called her and is shocked to hear Mi-jin ask for permission to date him. Shocks the hell out of suicide man, too.
Episode 4 – How to handle fragile love
Hye-young is baffled by Mi-jin’s desire to date suicide man. Is she desperate? Nope! Just running out of time. But Mi-jin looks fine. Well, Mi-jin explains, I’m a lot older than I look and very hairy.
She’s also not human. Hye-young doesn’t take her seriously. Suicide man doesn’t know what to do about this situation and asks Hye-young what to do. His incessant need for others to tell him what to do drives her nuts and she hollers that Mi-jin can have him and stomps away. Suicide man cries; Mi-jin comforts him.
Eung-suk has a camera and is going to head out to do something meaningful. Chef Seo is confused because Eung-suk never does anything out. When Eung-suk leaves, Chef Seo gets a call from Mi-sun.
Outside, Mi-mo surprises Eung-suk by making good on her promise to follow him for two hours every day. Even though he’s rather disgusted by her stickiness, she is titillated by the fact that he is hard-to-get. He wonders if she has any pride so she throws her $5,000 purse onto a truck – a purse is a woman’s pride.
Mi-jin and suicide man are in a field on a date and at an impass for what to do. So she pulls out the oldest trick in the book: catch me if you can! He is no match for her gumiho powers. She is literally bounding from tree to tree and he is left huffing and puffing, unable to find her at all.
In fast, Mi-jin has left him entirely to play hard to get like the girls these days do. Her mother thinks she’s an idiot.
In an empty elementary school, Eung-suk is visiting his old classroom. He is interrupted by his stalker who follows him to a restaurant that obviously holds some meaning for him. He enters and recognizes the pregnant waitress as a sixth grade classmate. They smile at each other and Eung-suk refuses to introduce stalker Mi-mo.
A trio of school kids come in for some chow, but Mi-mo shoos them away, promising Eung-suk’s classmate to buy everything. Her efforts for privacy are thwarted as Eung-suk admits that he used to have a crush on his classmate – it’s nice to see someone he used to like.
Mi-mo reminds him that he will like her and then realizes it’s four and rises to leave. But she can’t. She has to pay. With a mischievous grin, Eung-suk waves goodbye and leaves Mi-mo to pay – but she threw her $5,000 bag into that truck. Ha.
At the gumiho’s clinic, Mi-sun sees suicide man getting a massage for his aching muscles. Mi-sun is angry that Mi-jin put him through such trials but is quickly distracted by the arrival of Chef Seo. Secretary gets very jealous of how excited Mi-sun is.
There is a montage of food porn as Chef Seo prepares dinner for flirty Mi-sun. They flirt shamelessly as Secretary Park eavesdrops with barely contained fury. Chef Seo needs a helper so she calls Park. “C’est qui?” Seo asks, which to Park’s Korean ears sounds like “seki,” an insult. He bursts forth from his hiding place and Seo has to explain the misunderstanding much to Mi-sun’s embarrassment.
Ever so seriously, Secretary Park locks himself in the bathroom and calls the French embassy to confirm the translation. BWAHAHAHA!
Mi-jin comes to save Mi-mo at the restaurant while Mi-mo complains about Eung-suk’s desertion. Then Mi-jin follows her gumiho nose to Eung-suk where he is happily sipping coffee and staring out over the city.
This brings back a memory of his doppelganger from the Goryeo Dynasty, the general. He is washing in a stream and she alarms him by throwing large rocks in the water and splashing. Turning, he sees her and yelps in surprise, falling into the water. She laughs and when she reaches out to help him up, he pulls him in the water and they play. It’s nice to see them both smiling. Then he wonders how she got there.
In the present, Eung-suk wonders how she got there. Nice transition.
Mi-jin makes up an excuse and he invites her to sit. He was just thinking about her, about how urgently she had to find a man. It made him wonder what was urgent in his life. He wants to save all his good memories. After making fun of the fact that he’s only lived thirty years, she comments that he’s acting like he’s going to die tomorrow.
Slick, writer-nim. Slick.
Eung-suk shows her that the neighborhood before them holds lots of memories for him, even after things have changed. She tells him that there used to be mulberry fields there that were watered by clear streams. (Ah, that’s where her memory came from.) He thinks she’s kidding and she awkwardly agrees that she is.
They head to the restaurant so Eung-suk can make up interrupted meal to suicide man, but he can’t find Chef Seo. It turns out he is at Mi-jin’s house with suicide man.
Secretary Park is being a pain-in-the-ass about helping Chef Seo. As he squeezes the life out of a helpless bottle of ketchup and declares that no on in this world can boss him around, Mi-sun enters and barks an order. Park immediately obeys and Seo is creeped out.
Eung-suk and Mi-jin are in front of their house and they come across Mi-mo and Woo-hyun. Mi-mo isn’t happy to see them together. She begins to hit on Eung-suk who doesn’t’ reply because a headache has suddenly struck him behind the eyes. He quickly leaves as the gumihos watch him with worry.
As soon as Eung-suk is alone, he passes out from the pain. Mi-jin finds him and frets for a moment before grabbing him in her arms and bounding up onto the rooftops. The motion wakes him and he begins to come to. She panics and kisses him.
That’s one way to distract him…hmmm…
Eung-suk wakes up on the roof of a man in the midst of a drinking session, touches his lips and wonders if the drinking man kissed him. HA!
Mi-jin is talking to her mother. She just wants to become human – the stress is getting to her. She’ll be taking suicide man to Mount Jiri to end this early.
On the mountain, suicide man is having a hard time keeping up with her. They stop for water and I noticed how she’s dressed in shorts and he’s covered from head to toe. Heehee. Oh the little things that make her a gumiho. Anywho, Mi-jin wonders if he’ll die if they break up. He hates hearing about it – it makes him feel like he’s gonna die. Mi-jin jumps on this and points out all the ways he can die on the mountain. Pfffft.
Thoroughly freaked out, suicide man starts to run away but trips and hurts his ankle. Mi-jin has a very long moment of indecision. Kill him or not? As she swings between each option, her eyes change color from normal to gumiho green and back. Meanwhile, suicide man is holding his hand out for help and watching her strange, twitchy behavior. He is thoroughly creeped out by her behavior.
On the roof of Last, Eung-suk tries to sort out the events of the previous night as an amused Chef Seo acts as a sounding board. Eung-suk can’t figure out how he ended up on a roof and kissing someone. Chef Seo is tickled pink because girl-avoiding Eung-suk is dreaming about kissing. Or was it a dream?
Mi-jin carries suicide man who tells her that he was frightened by her expression earlier. He thought she was going to leave him like last time. Then he thought, anyone can leave me, but I have never done anything about it. He should never have let go of Hye-young and been a stronger person. Suicide man hobbles off with a thank you to get his woman.
I guess she ain’t eating fresh liver tonight.
Eung-suk is lying in bed and remembering the kiss, wondering what’s wrong with him. A giant clock is projected on the wall. Nice imagery. A little while later, he falls asleep and a shadow comes over him. He opens his eyes, sensing something. But after a moment, he turns over and goes back to sleep.
At the top of the stairs, Mi-jin is huddled and staring at him with hungry eyes.
What a cute episode! I really love the chemistry between Lee Chun-hee and Kang Ye-won. They have such delightful conversation and their reactions to each other make for great t.v.
I also really like the more adult take on relationships in the vain of My Name is Kim Sam-soon and What’s Up Fox? People aren’t shying away from sex and adult relationships like twelve-year-olds.
The set-up from the first episode was made obvious: Eung-suk’s comment from the first episode about cherishing what time a couple has rather than worrying about how much time there actually is and his desire to enjoy the beauty in life rather than meet women. Then we got the headaches, the medication and the passing out. Eung-suk is most likely sick with cancer. Perhaps the plane flight from the first episode was his return from a doctor’s visit or a vacation he’d always wanted to take before he died.
So Eung-suk seems to have a limited time to live as well, maybe three months, the magic number in Korea. The infamous one hundred days. When he and Mi-jin discover each others’ secrets, who will sacrifice? Could her liver perhaps save him? Will she, for once, choose the non-selfish path and give up something for her beloved rather than taking from him? And is he an incarnation of his Goryeo Dynasty doppelganger?
There are few things I want to note. Hyomin is really killing this part and I really hate that this news fiasco with T-ara is affecting the ratings and viewership. GRR. I really think she adds to the very strong cast.
As for Kang Ye-won, I’ve never seen her in anything before and I think she’s an effective actress. But there is a strange lacking in one area. When she is delivering lines, she is amazing. Her whole body is engaged and it’s as though she is Mi-jin. But when she reacts to someone else speaking she is very wooden. I hope to see her relax a bit.
Secretary Park is a great comic relief character as well as a decent plot mover without being to obnoxiously obvious about his role as plot fodder (and as a foil for the selfish Mi-sun.)
One last parting thought: the gumiho will disappear into foam if she doesn’t eat one thousand livers in a millenium. That’s kind of like what happens to the Little Mermaid. That seems to be a favorite fairy tale of reference in k-drama. They used the tale in Secret Garden and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.