The Thousandth Man: Episode 4 Recap

by: Raine

Feelings are made more obvious and made me all mushy inside. Time is also running out, which ups the ante and heightens emotions. This episode’s potential liver donor explores the kind of men who should only be viewed from a distance because up close they are all sorts of icky.

Oh yeah, we have a slight improvement at 4.6% according to AGB Nielsen Nationwide. I would personally rate this show much higher. But what do I know?

 You’ve also never seen a fox look so sexy. What do I mean? Read on. 


Episode 7Know a fox and you’ll see love!

“Your Umbrella” –  Block B  (from the The Thousandth Man OST)


episode 4 recap

We begin with a very unhappy gumiho lounging by a public pool with her mother. Gumiho’s prefer caves to happy sunshine. But sister Mi-mo is happily splashing in the water doing water aerobics with Woo-hyun. A pair of pretty girls watch in amusement and Woo-hyun is thoroughly embarrassed. Since Mi-mo is playing hard to get, he teases, he needs something to fall back on.

Heh.

Mi-jin has had enough of pools and sun and stands by the pool to call her sister. A few clumsy idiots knock Mi-jin into the pool. W00-hyun and Mi-mo debate whether or not to save her as she kicks and chokes in the very shallow water. (Pfffft.)

But never fear, a man comes to save her, carried by the triumphant Superman theme music. He lifts her from the water and she shakes off like a fox. When she finishes, she glances up at the man who is simply gorgeous.

(If anyone knows this actor’s name, you get a virtual gumiho-shaped cookie. )

After the magnificent rescue, Mi-jin accepts her savior’s card; he is Han Dong-il.

(Her nails have panda’s on them. Shouldn’t they have foxes?)

Mi-jin doesn’t know how to thank him and he suggests that she buy him lunch. Then he speeds off leaving Mi-jin to be attacked by her mother and sister who are ever vigilant for a potential thousandth liver donor.

Eung-suk is at a doctor’s office looking at brain scans. The doctor says that “it” has gotten smaller. (I’m assuming “it” is a tumor.) Doc wonders what’s changed in his life and guesses that Eung-suk has fallen in love making his will to live very strong. Eung-suk fervently denies it but remembers agonizing over whether or not to bring Mi-jin the fruit basket.

Love all you want, the doctor suggests. So Eung-suk contemplates calling Mi-jin with a silly grin on his face.

Secretary Park has prepared a Powerpoint presentation for Mi-sun on savior Han Dong-il. He has nice manners, no grudges, no current girlfriend. But he has had a lot of accidents with his girlfriends: one was attacked by thugs; one was in a car accident. Dong-il took good care of his girlfriends.

Mi-sun doesn’t care about anything about the accidents, only about the fact that he cared for his girlfriends.

Like me, Park says and annoys Mi-sun. She reminds Park that he scared away her last secretary with his ardor for her. Park pulls open his shirt and makes a heart on his chest. “You’re ignoring my feelings,” he declares to which Mi-sun promptly replies, “Your button is loose.” Surprisingly, fastidious Park doesn’t care but his cold love waves him away.

At Last, Eung-suk is making some delicious-looking pickle wraps when Chef Seo comes in. Seo immediately deduces that Eung-suk, who never cooks, is making a meal for a woman. Eung-suk immediately says it’s for a tired friend who needs a boost, but Seo calls him on it, guessing that it’s Mi-jin, the only friend who comes without a reservation (which he says with a ridiculously funny French accent!) Eung-suk reminds Seo that Mi-jin is terminally ill. Seo is guilty for a minute and then makes fun of Eung-suk for admitting it!

Mi-jin is happily primping herself for her lunch with Eung-suk (and it’s a secret from Mi-mo.) Then Mi-sun brings the disappointing news: she has made a date with Han Dong-il for her daughter.

Ruh-roh!

Eung-suk is setting up a beautiful lunch with a smile. He is so cute. Mi-jin appears silently behind him and scares him. She checks her watch as he pulls out her chair for her – he excited beyond belief; she nervous about her double-booking.

The entire meal was planned to help her feel revitalized and Eung-suk is extremely excited to present his delicious (vegetable-based) spread. He’s actually ridiculously cute as he explains each food’s purpose. He first offers her pickle wraps, which she, a fox and a carnivore, attempts to each without gagging. She fails.

(I included the top picture to show you what “gumihoing” looked like. Yes, she can leap over a tree in a single bound…er, several trees.)

Begging a her leave, she runs to the “bathroom”, leaving him rather flabbergasted. Mi-jin hurries outside and gumihos her way across town to meet Dong-il. He has assumed that because she has a good figure that she follows a vegetarian diet and watches what she eats. She is annoyed. “Grass food again?” But she orders a full course and then heads off to the “bathroom” again, complaining that she’s never been so busier in her 999 years of life.

When she arrives at Last, she is tired and coughing. Eung-suk wonders where she’s been and because she seems sicker than before, he forces her to eat more pickle wraps. She gags again and makes a break for lunch with Dong-il, much to Eung-suk’s exasperation. The vegetarian food has arrived for her and Dong-il. She tries to eat it, but can’t handle it. She makes her excuses and ends the date.

One last trip to Last finds a very aggravated Eung-suk attacking the table with a fork. He glances up and is shocked to find her covered in leaves. And he has to ask:

Eung-suk: Where have you been?

Mi-jin: I’m done. It’s over now.

Eung-suk: Really?

Mi-jin: Yes.

Eung-suk: You’re not going anywhere?

Mi-jin: No.

Eung-suk: You’re done now?

Mi-jin: I’m done.

BWAHAHA! I love annoyed Eung-suk.

Eung-suk shoves all the pickle wraps on the fork determined to get her to eat his healthy, energy recovery food, but she refuses. She hates vegetables. Instead, she grabs his hand and leads him away from the table, much to his dismay.

Annnnd they go for sundaeguk it looks like. (Blood sausages with blood and intestines.) She digs in ravenously and gets all teary-eyed and declares that she feels like dying. Eung-suk is genuinely worried for her, thinking that the heavy food is too much for her sick body. But she clarifies: the food is so good it feels like dying. She smiles adorably, which makes Eung-suk laugh.

As she eats, Mi-jin babbles about foxes. Why is she talking about foxes? he wants to know.

FIELD TRIP TIME!

They go to the zoo to watch the most adorable red foxes. Mi-jin is moved to tears by the sight of the lonely creatures – Eung-suk thinks that they smell. She explains that they are always solitary. They cry to the moon at night and wander during the day.

Mi-mo is fretting over the fact that Eung-suk is no where to be found. She barges into Woo-hyun’s room as he is watching some porn and getting all hot and bothered. He quickly shuts the video but she has him pull it up. Unimpressed, she asks if he has anything racier – he doesn’t. This video was already XXX.

She finds a documentary on animals and a few Fennec foxes appear on the screen. She starts drooling over them much to Woo-hyun’s puzzlement. “That shiny nose,” she purrs. “Those pointy ears.” Then she covers her eyes.

Kekeke. I think she’s a little hot and bothered.

Poor Eung-suk is bored out of his mind. He and Mi-jin have been watching the foxes for two hours as she spouts more fox-y facts. When Eung-suk expresses his desire to see lions and tigers, Mi-jin angrily snaps that they have no class. He needs to know a fox to see why he needs love.

Eung-suk smashes his head against the railing. Yes, smashes. I’m sure that left a welt.

The gumiho sisters are working out. Mi-mo is working off her sexual tension and Mi-jin is working off all the sundaeguk. As they walk on the treadmills, each imagines Eung-suk. Mi-mo imagines him with fox ears and a fox nose while Mi-jin imagines him as a human. The images make the women hot and bothered and they up the speed on their treadmills. But soon it becomes a competition as their images of Eung-suk compete. Finally, imaginary Eung-suk has had enough of  bouncing around and orders them to stop.

Chef Seo wants to use Eung-suk’s untouched energy-boosting meal for Mi-sun. It’s perfect for her because she has two crazy daughters. Eung-suk is reluctant to give it up but finally does so.

Seo flirts with Mi-sun as Secretary Park watches jealously. He adamantly refuses when Mi-sun offers Seo a job working for the Gu family. Mi-sun knows how to get rid of him; she tells him there is a scratch on the side of the car. Park stoicically refuses to leave his post beside her and watches Seo and Mi-sun share a toast. Then Mi-sun wonders if the scratch could’ve been on the front of the car, sending the OCD Park scurrying to find it.

Eung-suk is on the phone talking to Mi-jin and looking very much like a love-sick teenager. He realizes that foxes have lonely eyes and it saddens him that they’ll die alone someday. As he talks, his shadow moves into the center of the large shadow clock on the wall. Visual metaphor anyone?

If people who are dying console and encourage and love each other, Eung-suk continues until he is interrupted by his phone ringing.

BWAHAHA! Oh you lovesick puppy. Come’ere so I can pinch those cheeks.

The person on the phone is someone Eung-suk hopes to borrow $10 million from. When he hangs up, he flops onto the bed.

What’s he need all that dough for?

Mi-jin is staring at the moon, feeling lonely. She gets a call and jumps to answer it, hoping it’s Eung-suk. But it’s only Dong-il who shows up at the Gu Beauty Salon the next day. All the females swoon over his looks and gentlemanly behavior. He even twirls grandly for them.

He meets with Mi-jin and presents her a contract that says, “I’ll only love Mi-jin forever.” She is confused to he explains that he wants to start dating seriously with a love oath. It’s her turn to agree to it now.

She shows the contract to her mother who latches onto Dong-il as Mi-jin’s thousandth man. Mi-sun has already done research on him and declares him perfect – even Mi-mo wants him. Now all Mi-jin has to do is sign it and add a clause to ensure that he will give up his liver.

Mi-jin agrees to think about it and sniffs Dong-il out. She finds him at a club dancing with beautiful women. She is furious.

Episode 8Love Sale!

Mi-jin won’t stand for Dong-il’s two-timing and marches right over to him. She smacks him, crumples the contract and shoves it in her mouth before spitting it out.

Turns out this was just her imagination. Before she can actually approach him, a young man comes over and Dong-il introduces him to one of the women. Then he excuses himself and Mi-jin goes home to contemplate the contract. After a round of nail chewing, she signs it.

They begin dating and laughing and carrying on while Eung-suk tries to contact her and gets extremely worried when she doesn’t call him back.

Mi-mo shows up to stalk him for hours and to her surprise, he is happy to see here. He demands to know where she’s been and Mi-mo takes this as a bad sign.

She is right.

Eung-suk immediately starts to question her about Mi-jin’s whereabouts and Mi-mo frowns. It’s cruel to do this to her. But he is too worried to care. He knows that Mi-jin only has three months to live and he’s concerned she could be sick or hospitalized.

“She’s dating…” Mi-mo slowly admits.

WHAT?!

Mi-jin and Dong-il are biking through a forest and she’s kicking his sexy ass. When they take a break, he wonders if this is really her first time. She affirms that it is and then asks to do something more exciting.

He takes her riding down hill and when she tries, she falls off the bike and rolls down the steep embankment. Dong-il freaks out…over $10,000.

Hrm, I smell some fishy business. I knew a love contract was a strange thing to ask for…

When she shows up he pretends to be relieved but she ignores him. She is so thrilled that she wants to do it again.

Heh. Don’t mess with a 999 year-old gumiho dude.

Mi-mo tells her mom and sister that Eung-suk knows that Mi-jin has three months to live. They determine that he doesn’t know Mi-jin is a gumiho, though. Just to be safe, Mi-sun orders that neither daughter are to hang around Last or Eung-suk until Mi-jin is human.

But Mi-jin is stuck on a thought: was his knowledge of her impending death why he was nice to her? What is the difference between sympathy and love?

Mi-sun explains it as how Secretary Park feels for her (love) and how she feels about him (sympathy). Mi-mo rolls her eyes. Sympathy can turn into love, she says, horrifying her mother and giving Mi-jin some hope.

Secretary Park has called Chef Seo out in the middle of the night. He preps himself with some meditative breathing before addressing Chef Seo in banmal (and thoroughly shocking him.) Park wants Chef Seo to disappear from his life (and Mi-sun’s.) Seo also discovers that Mi-jin’s family is going to stop visiting Last.

Seo, of course, tells Eung-suk who is shocked. Everyday living is precious – he can’t just watch her dating around.

Eung-suk: Products that expire soon are never chosen because we don’t want to hurt people. Those left would have a hard time once we die. It’s why we can’t pick or be picked.

Seo wonders why it sounds like Eung-suk is the one terminally ill.

Mi-jin and Dong-il go rock climbing and she kicks his ass and still wants to climb a few more times. He’s completely exasperated.

Good, you douchebag.

Mi-mo is determined to go to Last, but Mi-sun forbids it. So Mi-mo comes up with a plan…

Secretary Park heads to Last much to Chef Seo’s chagrin and exchange a few words. (Park relieves the “C’est qui?”/”Seki” misunderstanding with a smirk). Park hands Eung-suk a paper with the desire reservation.

Of course, it’s for Mi-jin and Dong-il – a dinner designed to make Eung-suk lose interest. Mi-jin can’t be “making friends” right now. She will have time for that after she becomes human.

At Last, Mi-jin sits nervously at the table, but she doesn’t look nearly as nervous as Dong-il, who is glancing around with shifty eyes. He also has a bandaid on the corner of his mouth. When Eung-suk serves dinner, he shoots Dong-il the evil eye and Dong-il won’t look at him.

In a flashback, Eung-suk meets with Dong-il in a coffee shop and informs Dong-il that Mi-jin only has three months to live. Rather than seem worried, Dong-il is relieved. He has only deposited $30. He calls up to cancel an insurance he recently applied for. Eung-suk pleads with Dong-il to take care of her and Dong-il promises he will. He’s had a lot of experience breaking up.

(How sexy is Eung-suk sticking up for his woman? RAWR!!!)

This sets off alarms in Eung-suk’s mind and when Dong-il heads off to the little boy’s room, Eung-suk snoops through Dong-il’s bag. He iis livid to find a folder full of insurance offers. Dong-il catches him and decides to come clean: the love declaration is a prerequisite for lovers’ insurance.

Eung-suk punches Dong-il in the face. SUCKA!

In the present, we now understand why Dong-il is so jumpy. With a glare from protective Eung-suk, Dong-il rips up the love contract and declares that they are over. She wonders what she did wrong. He mumbles, “Easy come, easy go,” until a glare from Eung-suk prompts the truth. It was a requirement for lovers’ insurance.

Eung-suk sits outside and Dong-il trips over himself to escape the restaurant. His shirt is in disarray and the gumiho music accompanies his flight. Inside, Mi-jin sits with her head on the table. When Eung-suk tries to comfort her, she shrugs off his hand and runs home.

Mi-jin sobs on her bed. How could a man sell love? Mi-sun comes in and comforts her daughter. Love is like a product on shelves these days. Mi-jin is terrified she won’t meet her thousandth man and her mom holds her tightly, promising that they will find him.

A sour Mi-mo appears in the door to announce a visitor. It’s Eung-suk who has made fettuccine for the most beautiful woman in the world. Mi-mo wonders if he has a dish for a woman green with jealousy. Ha! He digs in his pocket and fishes out a piece of gum. “Chew on it and imagine it’s me.” She looks less than thrilled.

Mi-sun presents Eung-suk’s meal to Mi-jin who looks depressed until she repeats Eung-suk’s words: A meal for the most beautiful woman in the world. Mi-jin hurries outside and scares Eung-suk, who was not expecting her to appear (gumiho-style.)

He confirms that she is okay and she tells him not to apologize because he saved her time. She also knows how he feels.

Then he asks the question neither wants to hear: Will she be meeting other guys again?

With no small amount of guilt and regret she nods. He sighs with disappointment and puts up a strong from before brushing past her.

Mi-jin turns to gaze after him and thinks:

To be honest, I don’t want to see another man. You’re all I need. I wish you could stay by me like him in the olden days. But I’m running out of time.

As Eung-suk runs away he thinks:

Mi-jin, I want to stop you. Not because I want to live but because I want to die happily.

 Comments:

Oh man, this episode really hit me hard. And there is so much more to explore and so many questions I want answered! We’re half way through the mini and I’m drooling!

First of all, I’m so glad to see uri Eung-suk teach nasty ol’ (HOTTIE) Dong-il that he can’t treat women like that. Dong-il chose Mi-jin because of her seemingly accident-prone behavior at the pool, but did he choose WRONG or what?

Anyways….

At first I didn’t take this drama that seriously. I thought it would be fun and frivolous, but its cooky exterior belies the real issues.

Not only does every episode explore a different kind of love:

Episode 1: Self-serving love with a man who wanted to marry for appearances.

Episode 2: Insecure love with a man who didn’t have the strength to love.

Episode 3: First love with a man who never overcame it and was unable to forget.

Episode 4: Manipulative love with a man who used love for profit at the expense of his partner.

Each of these both hurts and teaches Mi-jin something. It’s as though her impending death casts love in a different light than she had viewed it for her past 999 years. She is discovering that modern society is not friendly towards the development of love.

I think she craves it so much that she falls into pitfalls even though she’s got nearly a thousand years of dating experience. And her now-human mother and sister aren’t helping. Despite the fact that they are human, they really don’t seem to know much about being human. It’s like they’re gumihos without their fangs and tails. Their knowledge comes from observation.

At first it really bugged me that Mi-jin wanted a man to love her to sacrifice himself for her, and it still does, but now I see she truly understands her situation. She really is a “woman who kills to live”. Finding a man to love isn’t just a way to assuage her guilt. She craves it so badly that I think she wants the man to feel it just as strongly as she does and therefore not die with any regret. If she just stole the liver, perhaps she thinks the man’s life would be in vain.

Random question: How long are the gumihos human? Do they live the lifespan of a normal human?

This show explores female sexuality the way that My Girlfriend is a Gumiho did. The gumiho as a mythical creature is a woman who preys on men. She is overtly sexual. Gu Mi-ho in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and the three gumihos in The Thousandth Man show no shyness in the face of sexual situations. They treat sex as a fact of life. On occasion it can be a bit awkward (like when Mi-mo doesn’t care about Woo-hyun’s XXX porn) but mostly it’s refreshing (at least for little ol’ Western me) to see them address sex as a part of life that is not shameful. Also, Mi-jin knows how the men feel about her. That’s refreshing, too. No idiocy. And I can’t help but love Mi-mo’s request to check out Woo-hyun’s abs. Nom nom nom.

Eung-suk. Man, he carries so much punch in this show.

  1. Borrowing money, eh? Surgery for the tumor? Gift? Traveling the world? Wedding?
  2. He brings a fresh face to death that we don’t often see. Despite the fact that he has a very dire and real threat on his life, he is still a dreamer. It makes him such a beautiful character.
  3. The development of his love is so pure and sweet. *squee*
  4. He is the doppelganger/reincarnation of what seems to be Mi-jin’s first love, the Goryeo Dynasty general. (Lee Chun-hee in saguek attire…nom nom nom.) Now is he the reincarnation? Does she like him because he looks/acts like the general? Does it matter why she likes him?

And death. We can’t ignore it. It hovers over our heads in every episode. Mi-jin may turn into foam. Eung-suk may die of cancer. A man may lose his liver. Not only do we have exploration of love in this show, but of the different types of death. Mi-jin can choose to die to save another from giving his life to her. She could take Eung-suk’s liver so that no other man dies; but then she’s living at the expense of the man she loves. She could take another life, but can she do it while loving Eung-suk? Her rule IS to only take the liver from a man who loves her. Can she do that with Eung-suk in her life? Is she going to have to rethink killing for livers? Is it worth living after she’s killed so much? Can she be like her mother and sister and live happily as a human?

Of course I hope that no one dies and everyone lives forever happily ever after. But I’m not that much of a drama idiot.
What do I think will happen? I think either or both Mi-jin and Eung-suk will die, but not without either learning something big.

(I know the last episode airs today. PLEASE DO NOT SPOIL IT IN ANY COMMENTS. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! However, I do like comments. So you can leave those! CHEERS!)

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Character introductions.

The Thousandth Man Episode 4 Screencaps.


3 thoughts on “The Thousandth Man: Episode 4 Recap

  1. Kwhat?! says:

    Love your analysis of the different types of love each episode explores. I didn’t think of things in that way, but it’s spot-on!

    I’ve always seen a few outcomes for this show. Mi Jin could learn that love is sacrifice, and decide to somehow sacrifice herself for Eung Suk (this would be cosmically and karmically balanced, since he died for her once already). Or he could sacrifice for her, in an expression of his love, but die in the process. Or they could both die, but enjoy their remaining days together, making the other happy.

    I too would love sunshine and rainbows, and I would be pleasantly surprised if this drama could pull that off (because I feel they WOULD manage to have it make sense within the story if they ended that way), but I also understand that that’s not really the way of dramas. 😦

    Thanks for these recaps! They’re always so great to read, and I love getting to relive each episode.

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