Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who Are You: Episode 7

The rules are changing!
The series is still funny and enjoyable, but now we get more into the mystery aspect. Plus, Seung Hyo’s hard, cold exterior starts softening, which continues through Episode 8. Aw. Perhaps proportionally, Yoon Kye Sang’s really growing on me too, not just as an actor but as fangirl eye candy. And he sings! (Just barely, but that might be enough to excite G.O.D. fans anyway.)

Lucite Tokki – “Disco” [ Download ]


Seung Hyo offers his hand to Young In, but his OCD kicks in at the last minute and he recoils from her touch. That sends her flying into his arms for one charged, tense moment, after which he pulls out a white handkerchief (symbolism!) and offers it to her as a compromise. She thinks he’s incredibly weird, but gratefully takes the handkerchief as he leads her down the steep cliff.
With shaking legs, she has a hard time making it to her father’s death site, but Seung Hyo prods (pulls) her along. He asks for a photo of her father, and recognizes Il Gun as the man from his recurring dream (of the accident), and suggests that there might have been another explanation for his death. That question triggers a memory in Il Gun (who’s watching nearby) and he remembers being accosted by three gangsters one night — the two who’ve been harassing Young In, and a third, Seung Hyo’s (probable) gangster brother.
Seung Hyo asks if anyone’s shown an interest in her father’s art, and she mentions Shin Jae Ha — which triggers Seung Hyo’s Spidey sense. 

Seung Hyo gives Young In a ride to U Gallery, where she lights up at seeing Jae Ha. It’s becoming more clear that Young In is developing a crush on him, of which Jae Ha must be aware but doesn’t necessarily discourage. It doesn’t make Seung Hyo or Ha Young (Jae Ha’s girlfriend) happy, though — the girlfriend finds their living situation inappropriate, and even offers to take the girl in herself to keep them separate. On this score, she’s not jealous so much as she’s concerned about the problems that could arise.
Seung Hyo asks probing questions about the painting he bought: the conditions of Sohn Il Gun’s contract, who receives the rights to the artwork now that the artist is dead, etc. Seung Hyo’s sharp mind makes him more suspicious the more he learns (i.e., U Gallery was planning an exhibition of Il Gun’s work), and mentions that it’s strange that an artist who was about to make so much money would kill himself. Ha Young doesn’t quite know what he’s driving at, but she’s smart enough to be on alert, and gives politely vague answers. 

While Seung Hyo discusses the painting, Young In and Jae Ha chat outside. Jae Ha promises to do his best to get her father’s case reinvestigated — making sure to tell her to sit pretty and not worry about it. Young In interprets this as kindness, although Jae Ha’s just ensuring that she stays in the dark.

Their cozy familiarity rankles Seung Hyo, and upsets Il Gun as well. He nearly dives into Seung Hyo’s body so he can protect his daughter from the predatory male, but stops himself, remembering the Reaper’s admonition — he’s borrowing Seung Hyo’s body and shouldn’t use it for personal situations. Il Gun holds back, but luckily Seung Hyo reacts anyway. Irritated at the sight but not really aware of the reason for it, he goes out to interrupt.

Seung Hyo’s reaction is kind of adorable — he doesn’t have a good excuse for his intrusion, so he fumbles for one. “Hey, you!” he blusters at Young In. “If someone gave you a ride here, you should thank them!” He follows that up with more excuses, saying he heard she ran away and that the landlady was worried. He loiters some more, then asks where she’s staying.
Jae Ha — who understands Seung Hyo’s behavior — tells him she’s staying with him, and not to worry. They exchange some thinly veiled words in some kind of manly power struggle, with Seung Hyo questioning Jae Ha’s “kindness,” and Jae Ha calling Seung Hyo cold and calculating. But Seung Hyo has the last word — he tells Young In he has her father’s will, which makes Jae Ha visibly nervous. (Feeling the pinch, Jae Ha swoops into action, calling the two gangsters to find Il Gun’s former orphanage friends in order to locate his paintings..)

Seung Hyo brings Young In to his house to retrieve her father’s will (it’s really more like a letter, since I doubt it’s legally binding), but tells Young In to stay outside. His excessive fastidiousness prevents him from inviting in people to his anti-bacterial, germ-free kingdom of cleanliness.
But, just at that moment, Il Gun takes over and tells her to stay for lunch. (Meanwhile, his assistants go crazy trying to locate him because he’s ignoring the huge Fujimori deal while he’s SeungHyoDad.)

SeungHyoDad orders a ton of food, and once again Young In is struck with the similarities in the way SeungHyoDad and her father talk, the familiar phrases he uses, the things he shouldn’t know but does. Everything he says is classic Il Gun-speak, and unnerves her.
For instance, he brings up “the best-tasting liquor in the world” — liquor poured by his daughter’s hand — which reminds Young In of all the times she refused to pour her father a drink. This time, she takes the bottle and pours for him, and both are moved at the gesture.

Young In: “Why aren’t you drinking it?”
SeungHyoDad: “Because I want to save it. I want to drink it slowly. It’s too precious to waste. Just looking at it, it’s delicious.”
Young In: “Who are you? Who are you really? Do you know my father well? How do you know him? Why do you keep talking like him? Why do you keep reminding me of him?”
SeungHyoDad: “It’s Dad. It’s me, Young In. It’s Dad, kiddo. Look closely, it’s me. I wanted to see you so badly, I missed my daughter so much, I came back.”
Young In: “Say something that makes sense! My father wasn’t rich like you, or as good-looking, or as smart. My father was a person with lots of debts, tears, and laughs. He was a truly good person.”
They both sob quietly for a while.

Young Ae, meanwhile, is still having a difficult time coping — she obviously loved Il Gun a lot, and is taking his death very hard. She sees that Young In’s birthday is coming up, and remembers recently suggesting that they live together. Geez, their similar names are confusing, aren’t they? — okay, The Daughter (still bitter and antagonistic) tells The Girlfriend not to worry about her, because she’d rather live with gangsters than with her. But The Girlfriend bursts out that she’s not saying that because she feels sorry for The Daughter.
Young Ae: “It’s not because of you, it’s because of me, Young In! I have no one to talk about your father with. I want to talk about him, but there’s nobody to listen. I’m so afraid that your father will disappear, day by day. Let’s live together. I want to live with you. I couldn’t live with your father, but I want to get on well together with you.”

A while later, Young In and SeungHyoDad have gone off separately, both drunk and melancholy.In a quietly lovely scene, Young In sits at the table, softly singing a song her father used to sing, whose refrain goes, “Because I’m happy now.” Sitting in the next room, SeungHyoDad joins in, and both of them sing the song together (but separately) for a while. Tipsy, while Young In continues singing, SeungHyoDad says:
“Your dad’s going to send you to college. And buy you a new house… with a garden, and trees, and flowers. I’ll buy you a pretty house with birds flying around, and a 50-inch television. I’ll buy you everything. So just stick it out two months. If you can make it two months, your dad will make it so you’ll never have to suffer again. So even if it’s hard, just wait it out. Got it?”

Some time later, Young In gets up from the table — totally drunk — and sees Seung Hyo sleeping on the floor. She tells him to wake up and sleep elsewhere, but he doesn’t respond, so she takes him by the ankles and drags him across the floor, through the hall, and into his room.

Ji Sook (Sooki) comes up with a new idea to help Young In — kick Deok out and give his room to Young In. Sooki tells him that he’s a guy, so he can handle living outside more easily. They have a cute dynamic, where most of the time he’s treated as one of them (“just one of the girls”) but to gain his cooperation, Sooki calls his masculinity into question. Heh.

In the morning, we find Young In and Seung Hyo sleeping off their drunkenness in bed. Together.In his sleep, Seung Hyo maneuvers so that they just barely touch lips — which succeeds in waking both of them immediately.

Without immediate recollection of the night before, both accuse the other of inappropriate conduct. Seung Hyo sees all the food and jumps to the conclusion that she took advantage of him, while Young In calls him a pervert and says she’s sick of his mood swings — inviting her to eat one day, then getting angry over it the next.

Seung Hyo busts out the CCTV footage, and both are convinced the other will be proven guilty. Young In says if he’d carried her into the bedroom by force, she’ll make sure he pays. Seung Hyo counters that if she was responsible for all the food, she’s in trouble.
First, the footage looks bad for Seung Hyo — he invited her in and seemingly made the advance. Young In fills with righteous satisfaction, and says, “You like me, don’t you? Since when? You went about it all wrong, you know. This isn’t how you act to someone you like.”

Seung Hyo denies it, and just then the footage shows Young In dragging Seung Hyo across the floor into the bedroom. Ha! He says, “Look! You were the one who dragged me while I was drunk into the room. Looks like you’re the one who likes me. What did you do to me? Tell me.”
With both embarrassed and uncomfortable, Young In hastily leaves for work, and Seung Hyo finds a note he’d written while drunk. The words read “Future art show = U Gallery” and are written in strange handwriting, which matches the writing of another note he’d written as SeungHyoDad. Handwriting that matches the writing in Il Gun’s will.

And then, as he’s about to leave for work, SEUNG HYO SEES IL GUN and demands to know what he’s doing in his house.
Il Gun points to himself (“You mean me?”) and is overjoyed at this new development.

Like I said, the rules are changing. Not clear yet just HOW, or more importantly, why, but I’m glad to see some development — an entire series of the same old body-possessing shtick could get old, no matter how well Yoon Kye Sang manages the physical comedy. But the rules of Il Gun’s life-after-death are slowly shifting, just as the relationships are.
For instance, although Jin Yi Han is still an actor I love to watch, that doesn’t blind me to the fact that his character is steadily crossing over into Bad Guy territory. I think he does feel protective over Young In, but his own selfish motives are ultimately his priority. Likewise, Seung Hyo’s character is changing, but in the opposite direction: He may still be brusque and impolite, but he’s starting to seem like not such a MEAN guy. I think part of why I enjoyed his assholery in the earlier episodes was in anticipation of this turn in his character.

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