Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who Are You: Episodes 5 & 6

Who Are You? continues to be more endearing than expected. It’s one of those dramas I didn’t think I’d really love — just something to watch casually for lack of something better — but I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed the latest episodes. I did try to go back and watch more of On Air, even though the first three episodes did nothing for me — and I can only say that On Air grates on my nerves on every level, so I’ve given it every shot and it’s just not for me.
Past experience has shown me that even when I take to a series immediately like Who Are You?, lots of dramas take a downturn after episodes 5 or 6. So I’m still treading cautiously; after next week, I’ll have a better handle on what kind of drama it’ll turn out to be.

Who Are You OST – “Merry Go Round” [ Download ]


After Young In runs away from the gangster, she’s caught by the subordinate and brought back. Sobbing at the feet of her would-be rapist (Ara does a pretty convincing job of cowering in fright), Young In begs for mercy, but the pissed-off gangster grabs her and rips the front of her clothes roughly. At this point, Yong Deok drops by and immediately launches himself to her defense.

It’s to the scene’s credit that Yong Deok arrives in his chicken costume and yet the scene is in no way amusing. He’s no match for two oversized thugs, but he yells for her to run away. Immobilized with fear, however, she passes out.
Some time later, the thugs are gone — perhaps they figured it wasn’t worth it, perhaps they got tired of beating up defenseless people — and Yong Deok tries to console Young In. Emotionally raw, Young In reacts much in the way a victim of domestic violence would — she puts up a wall in self-preservation, and defeatedly rejects the suggestion to file a police report because that wouldn’t stop the thugs anyway.

Seung Hyo has a recurring nightmare of Il Gun’s last moments of being run off the road. (As he fell from his motorcycle, Il Gun lay dying, begging an unseen stranger for help — evidence points strongly to the unhelpful stranger being Jae Ha. More on that later.) Interestingly, Il Gun currently has no memory of his final moments, because the Reaper erased them — but for what purpose, he doesn’t reveal. The Reaper also reminds Il Gun that 7 of his 49 days have elapsed.
Here’s the situation with the artwork:

Il Gun has been trying to sell his paintings for years, but not very successfully. Just before he died, one of them sold for $500,000 at Sotheby’s in New York, but the art gallery didn’t tell him. The gallery owns the claim to his paintings until April 15, after which the unsold paintings revert legally back to the artist (therefore Young In).
Jae Ha’s gallerist girlfriend is the least guilty of wrongdoing. She suggests they look into Il Gun’s will for clues on where to find the unclaimed paintings. Jae Ha’s mother, the gallery boss who dislikes the girlfriend’s poor roots (classic snobby mom syndrome), is slightly more guilty — she says she told Il Gun about selling at Sotheby’s when it’s obvious she deliberately didn’t. Jae Ha knows the most but is conflicted about his choices — while everyone believes Il Gun’s death was a suicide, he’s the only one who knows it wasn’t. 

Today’s body possession comes unexpectedly, during a business conference in which Seung Hyo makes cold-hearted decisions with no care for the local residents or economy, despite his advisors’ appeals for him to reconsider. Il Gun can’t believe Seung Hyo’s assy decisions, and takes control — SeungHyoDad immediately revokes the decision and hops up and down, gleefully shouting, “Everyone, I’m trash! Trash, trash, trash!” He tells his man to find a new plan that’ll save the local residents and economy instead.

Needing to clear out of her home, Young In sorts through her father’s things and burns most of them. As Jae Ha helps, Young In asks him for a favor — to read her father’s will for her, because she hasn’t been able to bring herself to do it. (Jackpot! Just what he’s been after.) But when she goes to retrieve the document, it’s nowhere to be found. Young In shrugs, figuring it’s probably better that way, but Jae Ha tries to hide his urgency in finding it.
Hearing that Young In doesn’t have anywhere to go — she won’t stay with her friends, because that would entangle them with the gangsters — Jae Ha offers his place. He has plenty of spare rooms.

Today, Il Gun uses The Body to visit his girlfriend. SeungHyoDad appears at Young Ae’s window performing his goofy rendition of the Tell Me dance, and introduces himself as a friend of Il Gun. She’s wary of him, though, and bewildered when he presents himself as her dance partner at the ballroom dancing class they’d attended together before his death. Unfortunately, his time runs out in the middle of the lesson. Somewhat fortunately, he’s able to run away before he reverts back to cranky Seung Hyo.
It does, however, leave Seung Hyo alone in the middle of the street, missing a shoe and wearing a hideously frilly ballroom-dance-inspired man-blouse.

We learn more about Seung Hyo’s biological family (the relationship hasn’t been explicitly confirmed, but it’s clear enough) — the vulgar parents and the troublesome son who’s been thrown into jail for assault. The mom blames gangsters (the same ones harassing Young In) for leading her son astray. She also finds a magazine profile on Seung Hyo that her husband has been reading.

Young In accepts Jae Ha’s help, but with a condition — she’ll store her things at his apartment, but won’t stay there herself. After all, he’s still a relative stranger, and a single man to boot. She appreciates his kindness, but is aware that his explanation (that it’s all because he respected her father) doesn’t quite add up.
While trying to find cheap lodgings, she comes upon a restaurant looking for help. She eagerly takes a job serving and cleaning tables, and is so hungry that she even sneaks a few pieces of leftover meat from the grill. Meanwhile, Jae Ha looks through her things to try to locate the will, to no avail.

That night, an increasingly troubled Seung Hyo tries to put together the clues of his alter ego. The only thing linking all the weird occurrences is that they’re all connected to Sohn Il Gun or his daughter.
Young In staggers out after an arduous first day, weakened from stress and hunger, and just barely keeps from collapsing in the street. She manages to phone Jae Ha, and winds up in the hospital. 

In Episode 6, Jae Ha assists Young In from the hospital and convinces Young In to stay at his apartment. If she’s uncomfortable living there, it can be just until she finds a new place. Without an alternative, she accepts.

Young In and Jae Ha leave the hospital, barely missing Il Gun and Seung Hyo, who are there because Seung Hyo wants a full-body checkup to find what’s wrong with him. The doctors conclude that there’s nothing medically wrong, and recommend he look into psychological factors. (Horrors! Seung Hyo doesn’t want to believe that he might be a head case.)
Il Gun deals with his growing suspicion that he was killed over his paintings, having just learned about his success at Sotheby’s. He asks the Reaper why he was killed, but the Reaper merely shows him clips of his daughter — Young In being scolded by her boss, Young In sneaking food from someone else’s leftovers — to remind Il Gun that he wasn’t given his 49 days in order to live, but so he could die in peace.

Il Gun takes Seung Hyo’s body to visit his friend out in the countryside, where we learn Il Gun has been storing his rather large stash of paintings. SeungHyoDad says Il Gun wanted the friend to give his daughter the paintings after April 15 — but to discuss them with nobody else.
He then goes to visit his daughter, only to find out that Young In has vacated the house. With no way of getting in touch with her, SeungHyoDad looks at the things she left behind and cries over his poor daughter’s fate. 

As he sits dejectedly, the two gangsters stroll by, and their conversation catches his attention. The younger thug says that the older one went too far with Young In — there was no need to attack her and rip her clothing.
He realizes what they’re discussing, and, immediately in a fury, attacks the gangsters. SeungHyoDad is weaker and outnumbered, and takes a beating. But he’s so filled with self-loathing that he’s more focused on what a poor excuse for a father he is, leaving his daughter in such dire straits.

Il Gun is ejected from The Body after the beating, at which point an angry Seung Hyo accuses the gangsters of attacking him. The gangsters — more bemused than irritated — tell Seung Hyo HE was the one who attacked THEM. But they quickly run away when Seung Hyo recites all the laws they’ve just violated and dials the police on his cell.
He notices a shoe (which he’d been clutching as SeungHyoDad) on the ground, and reads the name written on it — again, Sohn Young In! 

In a nice moment, Young In sees a man eating alone at the restaurant wearing a “quick service” deliveryman’s uniform, and is reminded of her father. Surreptitiously, she brings him an extra portion of meat (“on the house”) and refills his plate, serving him in the way she never did for her father. It’s a small gesture but really sweet. 

Seung Hyo runs into Young Ae, who recognizes him from dance class the day before. He doesn’t recognize her but soon realizes she’s yet another connection to Sohn Il Gun. Young Ae is startled to hear (for the first time) that Il Gun’s death was ruled a suicide, but doesn’t believe it for a minute, knowing Il Gun’s life-loving personality.

Young In continues to ignore phone calls from her friends. While Ji Sook grows increasingly frustrated and worried, Yong Deok tells her quietly that if Young In is avoiding them, there must be a reason. He thinks back to Young In’s near-rape, which he hasn’t told Ji Sook about, and suggests they be patient until Young In contacts them.
While she doesn’t make direct contact, Young In does upload a new drawing on her mini-homepage, a picture of her observing her father’s memorial rites, with the caption: 

“Here in front of his picture are the things I hadn’t done for him. Belated regrets… a belated confession… I love you Dad!”

In a hilarious bit, Secretary Yeo (I love her) briefs Seung Hyo on the preferences of Yoko, his business contact’s Japanese girlfriend who loves all things Hallyu. Knowing that pleasing Yoko is the key to winning over the businessman, they’ve gone out of their way to buy her ridiculously expensive handbags, designer gifts, and lots of Bae Yong Joon DVDs. Secretary Yeo recites a litany of things he can mention to Yoko, such as his favorite parts of Winter Sonata, and re-enacts the entire sequence where Choi Jiwoo’s snowman kisses Bae Yong Joon’s snowman.
But when they open Seung Hyo’s car trunk to retrieve the luxury gifts, they find instead… root vegetables received from Il Gun’s farmer friend. Somewhere out in the countryside, an aging farm wife twirls her new luxury handbag with glee.

Young Ae calls Young In to try to convince her that her father would never have committed suicide. Young Ae was there when her father revised his will last year (after a hospital stay when he was in an accident) and asks to see the will. When she hears that it’s been lost, Young Ae presses her to find it — there’s something in it that her father was insistent that Young In read, although he didn’t reveal the secret to Young Ae. 

A letter is found in clothing sent to be dry-cleaned, addressed to Young In from her father, which Seung Hyo reads:
“How are you? I’m doing fine. If I’d know this would happen, I would’ve made our Princess a sibling. I’m sorry for making you an orphan. I’m sorry for being an orphan, and for being poor, and for being such a horrible dad most of all. When I was alive, all I said to you was ‘I’m sorry,’ and I guess it’s no different now that I’m dead.”
He follows with a list of things she should know — like his emergency credit cards and insurance funds. He closes with the most important bit, that she’ll hear from his friend after April 15: “I love you, my daughter Young In.” 

Perhaps starting to reconsider her assessment of her father’s character, Young In asks Jae Ha what her father was like. She admits that her whole life, she disliked him and tried her best not to be like him: “Why did I never think to ask him what his problems were, what his dreams were? If he was happy, sad, content?”
In response, Jae Ha shows her the videos he saved from the fire — home videos of her father doting on her as a child.
Jae Ha has told Young In her father owes the gallery some paintings, and she’s narrowed down the possibilities of where they might be — most likely with one of her father’s orphan friends. She also asks Jae Ha to accompany her on an errand — she wants to visit the site of her father’s accident. Guilty and uneasy, Jae Ha makes up an excuse not to go. 

So Young In goes alone. As she walks to the accident location, Seung Hyo drives by on his way to the art gallery (where he’d bought Il Gun’s painting, not knowing who the artist was), sees Young In, and pulls over.
Although they’re on strained terms, Young In’s nervous enough at the idea of confronting her father’s death site to ask Seung Hyo for help down the steep slope. Seung Hyo hesitates, because his extreme OCD makes him dislike touching anyone else — but finally, he extends a hand.

Just as she takes hold, Seung Hyo’s automatic reflex is to recoil, and he grabs his hand back — unsettling her and landing her right in his arms.


My theory on Il Gun’s death is that Jae Ha driving behind Il Gun’s motorcycle on the highway, on his way to the gallery, and witnessed Il Gun swerving into a roadstand. When Jae Ha saw that Il Gun was dying, he chose to extricate himself from the situation rather than try to help and be implicated. Thus he knows the death wasn’t suicide but can’t come forward about it. (I may be projecting a desire to keep Jae Ha from being too evil, but his guilty conscience points less to murderous intent and more to accidental involvement.)
But now another element complicates the matter, because for some reason, Seung Hyo is having nightmares of Il Gun’s death. Which means there’s somebody, other than Jae Ha and Young In, who has a connection to this locale.
Whatever the case, I’m eager to see how this scene plays out in Episode 7, because this will be the first “real” (i.e., voluntary) interaction between Seung Hyo and Young In. Time for the real romance to begin, right?
And also: Both Young In and Seung Hyo have lost their parents and been led by life into very diverging paths. Seung Hyo has grown up in what may be perceived as the “best case scenario” — his brother acts as a cautionary tale of what might have been, had Seung Hyo not had a way out of a wretched life with wretched parents. Brought up in luxury, he’s one of the “lucky ones.” Yet he’s at the core a miserable person — he may gain satisfaction from his work but no true contentment. On the other hand, Young In has had a rocky relationship with her father, but there was warmth and love at the very root of their relationship. And now that her father’s gone, Young In can be honest with herself and admit that she loves him. 

No comments:

Post a Comment