I am so sad. This episode dropped 3.9% according to AGB Nielsen Nationwide. Why? WHY?! I honestly believe this is due to the T-ara debacle. The cast is doing a stellar job, Hyomin very much included.
The beauty of this show is that it takes the same old story and portrays it in a way that gets me RIGHT THERE. It’s very intimate, mature, and addresses real issues while also having some very well-timed humorous bits and realistic family dynamics.
Episode 5 – Introduction to Love: Chapter 1
“Tell Me Now” – G.NA (from the The Thousandth Man OST)
episode 3 recap
Mi-jin watches over Eung-suk as he sleeps. He is covered in sweat and his brow is furrowed. As she dabs the sweat from his face, she remembers doing the same for his Goryeo Dynasty doppelganger, the general.
At that time, her mother and sister sought to kill the general and they have a sweet gumiho battle. Mi-jin beats them into angry submission. They don’t understand how Mi-jin could protect humans. But she wants to become human her way.
Mi-jin wonders why Mi-mo wants to be human. “There is no mating season. Humans love all the time.” Heh. She basically doesn’t want to be lonely. As for Mi-sun, she wants to be human because they rule the world. Killing men and eating livers pleases her just fine as long as she becomes human. Mi-jin doesn’t understand this: she believes in love and humans can die for someone they love. She’ll only eat the livers of such men.
So she only takes them willingly, I suppose that’s a valid reason to kill someone…one thousand someones…
At Last, Eung-suk recalls all the peculiar things he’s learned thus far about Mi-jin. She wants to be human; she likes men who died for love; she’s a woman who lives on death. Chef Seo comes by and notes that Eung-suk has been often lost in thought as of late – he should just call whoever it is. Eung-suk denies it but the chef knows better.
A forty-something (Jo Duk-hyun) comes in wanting to eat alone for his birthday. But he will bring his laptop so he can show his wife and his kids who are abroad that he is doing well. The man leaves and passes Mi-jin on the crosswalk and stares after her in awe.
Mi-jin pops into Last to bring Eung-suk herb tea that’s good for the body. Eung-suk nervously wonders if he looks sick and the memory of last night comes to Mi-jin’s mind. As she cared for him, she smelled sickness on his breath. She also remembers that his lips were warm when she kissed him so he must be passionate. With a smirk, she comments that he also looks skinny and even dares him to show her.
Then Chef Seo ruins the moment by calling him away. Man, I wish that had gotten farther…
The gumiho leaves and runs into her sister who is immediately jealous. She orders Mi-jin to sniff out Eung-suk’s location when Chef Seo steps out of nowhere and jokes that humans can’t find people by sniffing – only dogs can. The gumihos, of course, take this comment as a total BURN and glare. The chef bows in apology.
At the gumiho’s shop, the forty-something sells Mi-sun insurance and is escorted by Secretary Park to finish up the paperwork. Well, he is supposed to be escorted. Instead, the anal-retentive Secretary Park spots a stray hair on the insurance salesman’s shirt and struggles to keep from bothering him. In the end, Park’s compulsion wins out and he declares that he “can’t hold it any longer” and tackles the poor, unsuspecting man to the ground. The man fears he is being sexually assaulted and I don’t blame him. The look on Park’s face when he retrieves the hair is disgustingly ecstatic.
As the freshly assaulted forty-something is leaving, he passes Mi-jin and Mi-mo and calls Mi-jin’s name. But she doesn’t recognize him.
Forty-something flashes back his college days when he was an adorable kid (Jinyoung from B14A). He is late for class and sent to sit in the hall beside Mi-jin and immediately falls for her. He is checks her out as he attempts to make his pen work. She lends him hers before the professor comes out and assigns them to work on a project together.
SCORE for adorable kid.
Back to present. The man chides himself because this can’t be the same Mi-jin he remembers, especially not when Mi-sun emerges and Mi-jin calls her “mom”. Mi-sun wonders why he’s still there and he stammers that Mi-jin looks like someone he used to know. She says it happens all the time.
I bet it does, you ancient gumiho, you.
Back at Last, the forty-something sits forlornly at the table and Eung-suk serves him chicken soup that was made to alleviate his loneliness. The man opens up his computer to Skype with his wife. He discovers that his kids are studying at a friend’s house and his wife is off to a school meeting, but not before she asks for more money and nags him about his appearance. Eung-suk offers the man the main course in an attempt to make him feel better.
Mi-jin chews on her pen as she tries to recall where she has seen the man before. Her mother comes in with juice and wonders why she still chews on pens – she’ll ruin her teeth. The mention of the pen makes Mi-jin flash back to the time when she and the adorable young version of forty-something were studying. He’s checking her out as she is musing that the sign explaining the history of the park is wrong. Adorable wonders why she chews the pen. Apparently, her teeth tickle and it keeps her sharp teeth occupied.
He says chewing on pens makes his nose tickle and they both act all cute and chew pens together.
Flash forward where Mi-jin runs downstairs for the forty-something’s business card. He is Kim Min-gyu.
Min-gyu the forty-something is waiting for a call from his family and looking absolutely dejected. He heads to the bathroom and Chef Seo is pissed he hasn’t touched his food. But Eung-suk pities him. Suddenly, Min-gyu’s phone rings and Eung-suk answers it hoping it’s his family. But it’s a woman asking for Min-gyu and she isn’t his wife.
Hrm…I wonder who it is.
Woo-hyun is playing basketball as Mi-mo divines for love. If he makes a basket, all will work out with Eung-suk. Woo-hyun misses several times and Mi-mo is sorely disappointed.
Hyomin is particularly adorable in this scene. Yes, I like the word adorable.
Anyway, Woo-hyun notices what she is doing and makes a little wish of his own. He makes it and grins while saying that his wish will come true, but not hers. She has to make her own basket. Angry, she storms after him, but not before slamming the basketball against the ground. It flies into the air and into the basket.
Mi-jin shows up at Last.
An aside, have you guys noticed that every time she shows up there, she’s dressed really grungy. Actually, she dresses grungy all the time.
Min-gyu is happy to see her and she explains to Eung-suk that Min-gyu handles the shop’s insurance and Eung-suk explains to Min-gyu that Mi-jin is a regular customer.
The lights go down as Chef Seo brings in a birthday cake.
Another flashback. Young Min-gyu is having a birthday and Mi-jin is there. She tries to leave but Min-gyu’s friends call her back and she joins them again willingly.
In the present, Min-gyu comments that Mi-jin looks so much like the girl from his past and Eung-suk wonders if she was his first love. Min-gyu explains with embarrassment that it was one sided and that she probably didn’t know. Mi-jin quickly correct him: she KNEW.
Memory: Adorable and Mi-jin are riding the bus after the party and she’s sleeping with her head lolling from side to side with the motion of the bus. Min-gyu tries to get her head on his shoulder but he can’t manage it. Instead, he tries to kiss her reflection and the bumpy bus smashes his mouth against the glass. She startles awake, but soon settles back into her bobbing sleep with a smiling Min-gyu watching over her.
The birthday meal is over and Min-gyu leaves with a smile and a thanks to everyone for being with him on his birthday. Mi-jin tries to follow him but Eung-suk stops her with tears in his eyes. “Don’t go.” He knows it was her on the phone and thinks that “this” is wrong. She’s confused and Eung-suk begs softly, “Just stay with me.”
Aww, he’s so cute. Aww. *Squee* Aww.
Eung-suk mentally beats himself up and wonders why he tried to stop her. She had wrenched her hand from his, telling him that it was not what it seemed. The chef then emerged and started singing a love song in French. HA!
Alone, Min-gyu heads home to his one room place and gets ready for the night as Mi-jin watches him.
How depressing. Poor Min-gyu.
Episode 6 – Introduction to love: Chapter 2
The professor praises young Min-gyu about his report: it read like it was written by someone who lived there. But his partner isn’t in class.
After class, Min-gyu heads out and sees Mi-jin. They walk together and she is an absolute vision, smiling as they walk. She says that it was too sunny to go to class and Min-gyu informs her that the professor declared their paper worthy of publishing.
Then Mi-jin asks him about his dream. It is a simple one: to live well with his family.
In the present, Mi-jin cries remembering how beautiful the young Min-gyu was with his dreams.
The gumiho sisters are in Mi-jin’s room. Although Mi-mo is human, she still dreams of being a fox. She even wants to wear sunglasses to hide her fox-y eyes. Mi-jin thinks Mi-mo is more like a fox now than she ever was. Heh.
And Secretary Park is being scolded for attacking Min-gyu. Out come the sunglasses to hide his tears and he hurries from the house. On his way, he passes Mi-mo who has chosen to wear the exact same sunglasses. She pitches a fit as Mi-sun asks Mi-jin to deliver her seal to Min-gyu so they can sign the insurance papers.
When she arrives, she calls him “Min-gyu ssi,” surprising him. In Korean, it is rude to address a stranger by his first name and he thinks they’re strangers. She immediately switches to his title and they proceed with business. But he becomes distracted by the fact that Mi-jin is chewing on her pen. Mi-mo interrupts them with a “Hey fox, come out,” and drags her sister off.
Min-gyu flashes back to the time his friend told him that Mi-jin had a reputation for devouring guys, which Min-gyu doesn’t believe. That is, until he sees her driving up on a motorbike with another guy. Min-gyu is so hurt, he ignores Mi-jin when she calls to him and runs away.
In the street, Mi-jin sees Eung-suk who nervously waves.
He’s so adorable now that he’s more aware of his massive crush.
Eung-suk asks her if she wanted to go somewhere with him and she’s confused. Mi-mo runs up and confesses that she invited them both to catch him.
Eung-suk: Are you cheating now?
Mi-mo: Yes. Cheating and lying. I’ll do anything until you go out with me.
Have I mentioned how much I love her? HAHAHAH!
When Eung-suk pulls away from Mi-mo, Mi-jin wonders if he dislikes her sister than much, which sends him into a panic. He fervently denies it and explains that he’s just not interested. This, of course, excites Mi-mo who loves the situation.
Mi-mo takes them to her sister’s “favorite place,” which is a nursery. Mi-jin is staring at the babies with tears in her eyes and a trembling lip. Eung-suk feels terrible and tells her that she can have another baby. But that’s not why she’s crying. Babies become human so easily. They just have to wait nine months. Why can’t she become human? She envies these babies.
Eung-suk is speechless. Mi-m0 explains this is how Mi-jin de-stresses and asks him if he has a special place like this.
Hello casket store. Yes, Eung-suk likes to check out death paraphernalia. Mi-jin is absolutely delighted by the soft clothe of the death clothes. Mi-mo reminds her that she has three months left but Mi-jin is too excited. Does he come here a lot? He doesn’t; it’s not a park. But Mi-jin wants to come back during a sale.
Haha. How queerly and amusingly morbid.
Mi-mo decides it’s time to go where she wants to go.
And this is my favorite scene in the whole episode. No, the entire drama thus far.
They’re at a bar and Mi-mo claps for beer. The other two are less-than-enthusiastic and don’t want to drink. So Mi-mo decides to create her own company. She has an entire conversation with herself, pretending to be Eung-suk and Mi-jin, playing out her fantasy. Konbae! Fantasy Eung-suk is only interested in Mi-mo and fantasy Mi-jin doesn’t want to drink with them. Fantasy Eung-suk would’ve regretted not drinking.
Meanwhile, real Eung-suk and Mi-jin struggle to contain they’re laughter but cannot.
Shoot, I was cracking up and then I rewound and cracked up some more! Hyomin powah!
Alone in his small living space, Min-gyu pulls out a pen in a plastic baggie and compares it to the one that Mi-jin chewed on earlier.
Flashback to when he drank alone at a bus stop, wallowing in heartbreak. He passes out on the bench with an empty bottle in his left hand. Mi-jin finds him and sits beside him. He’s clutches the pen in his right hand. She brushes his hair off of his forehead and the touch startles him awake. He imagines returning the pen with a cool air. But in reality, he admits that he missed her and that he was dying to see her.
She wonders if he has something to tell her when the guy on the motorbike shows up. He’s been looking for her; he even checked her house. This depresses Min-gyu more and he tells her to get lost.
In the present, Min-gyu is at a bus stop, wallowing as he’d done in the past.
On a bus, Eung-suk and Mi-jin are chatting. She wonders why Eung-suk tried to stop her going after Min-gyu at Last. Flustered, Eung-suk explains that she can date whoever she wants, but a married man is not okay. Mi-jin assures him they’re just acquaintances, but Eung-suk points out that she looks like Min-gyu’s first love. She smiles mysteriously and gets off at the next stop where Min-gyu is. Eung-suk can only stare incredulously after her.
Min-gyu glances up at Mi-jin with tears in his eyes. He confesses he doesn’t want to lose her again and she realizes that he’s drunk. Sobbing he tells her the same thing he did twenty-seven years ago at a bus stop,
Min-gyu: Mi-jin ah. I missed you. I was dying to see you. For twenty-seven years I’ve wanted to say that so often. So here I am.
Mi-jin cries and puts her hand on his shoulder as he grieves.
She lays him on his bed at his lonely apartment and he regrets leaving her like that. She asks if he still loves her and he reaches out to take her hand. Then the question we knew was coming: Can you die for me?
He won’t lose her again, even if he dies.
Mi-jin releases his hand and gumiho-fies herself. Her long, pointed fangs are out as she hovers over his abdomen, excited to finally become human. But then she sees a picture of his family, smiling happily. She remembers young Min-gyu talking about his dream and her eyes change back to her human color.
She whispers that his dream was beautiful, but his reality is even moreso. Then she leaves.
At Last, Eung-suk is brooding on the stairs again. Chef Seo tells him to just call the woman out. Eung-suk asks for the date and the chef gets annoyed – stop asking the same question over and over!
Eung-suk wonders if he’s getting worse. It’s long overdue.
Uh-oh. No, no, no! I love uri Eung-suk!
Mi-jin is sick in bed but won’t go to the hospital. Mi-sun sends Secretary Park to fetch her medicine – from a veterinary hospital.
The vet is annoyed that Park didn’t bring the bet, but he was just doing as he was told. What kind of pet is it? A mammal. Pfft. The vet goes to get some general medication and Park simmers. How dare the vet boss him around? No one can boss him around except for his beloved Mi-sun. He decides to forgive the vet.
Moments later, the vet comes in with the pills and informs Park that he’s sitting on a doggy cushion. Cue Secretary Park cleanliness flip out!
Woo-hyun brings Mi-sun and Mi-mo food. Mi-jin comes downstairs, feeling better thanks to the medication from the veterinary hospital.
Yes, this confuses Woo-hyun.
Mi-mo shoves a cookie in his mouth and quickly covers for her sister with a word that sounds the same: Not 동물 병원 (dongmul byung-won/veterinary hospital), but 동문 병원 (dongmun byung-won/alumni hospital). Heehee. Nice coverup, Mi-mo.
Woo-hyung whines that she’s cutting his lips by shoving cookies in his mouth and it’s her loss because his lips belong to her!
Mi-sun hands Mi-jin a package and it’s the pen.
He’s letting her go! Hooray! Good for him. It did take forever but at least he did it.
Mi-jin goes outside, feeling the weight of her lost opportunity. But she finally flings the pen away, also letting go of Min-gyu. The pen hits Eung-suk who is lurking outside Mi-jin’s house with a fruit basket. She smells him and watches him from a tree.
Eung-suk is torn between heading to her home and just leaving. Each time he turns towards the house, Mi-jin smiles. Each time he turns away, she pouts.
Eung-suk is in serious mental agony. “What am I doing?!” He finally leaves to Mi-jin’s extreme disappointment. She jumps down from the tree, picks up the pen and flings it angrily after him.
Let me just say how adorable I find Jinyoung! I will watch B1A4 videos just for him! *squee*
I’m really enjoying this mini-series because while it is quite episodic, it also slowly builds on larger plot ideas and themes. It allows for some great cameos, different writing vehicles and fun for the viewers. It’s a clever way to pack a lot of stuff into only eight episodes.
As for the pen, I’m really glad they had her chewing her pen in earlier episodes. Yay for writing foresight. Also, when she tosses the pen after Eung-suk at the end, it’s kinda like the pen is finding a new owner.
I also have to say, I really love Secretary Park. His neurosis is so much fun and he’s a plot mover as well as comic relief. It’s fantastic. Chef Seo serves a similar function. This episode he helped reveal Eung-suk’s increasing inability to keep track of time.
Speaking of, I looked up dexamethasone again and it is used to treat dementia patients. Perhaps the cancer causes some kind of dementia? His character is really breaking my heart. He wants to live so badly and has finally found love. I hope he can at least live the rest of his life to his fullest. Or maybe the gumiho can help him out and I can get a happy ending…
And we have Mi-jin. I’m warming to her reason for waiting for love to kill. She is a gumiho and in this drama world, they are killers. But they also become human. It seems like she’s trying to reconcile the two to the best of her ability. She yearns for the love that humans share and wants to create it as best she can as a gumiho.
I wonder what result will come of her search for her thousandth man. I think it’s obvious who her thousandth man will be. It seems as though she really loved Eung-suk’s doppelganger, the Goryeo dynasty general. I’m wondering if she loved the other nine hundred and ninety men she killed. I also wonder how her developing relationship with Eung-suk him is affecting her. I hope they focus more on that the next episode. She seems to feel really comfortable with him and seeks to be in his presence.
It’s cool how the show is exploring love in all its facets and how Mi-jin has experienced them all and still doesn’t truly understand it. But do we as humans really understand it either? Interesting question.