There are times watching a drama when you can pinpoint the exact moment when you began to care. For the characters, for the story, but most importantly for the organic whole that drama consists of. For me with Protect the Boss it was towards the end of the first episode. It was my second attempt at watching the drama, I had tried once before a week or so back but I was so wrapped up in YFFM at the time that I really didn’t feel like continuing. It was through no fault of the drama itself, just a classic case of it’s not you, it’s me. So yesterday I decided to give it another go and found myself more interested in what was happening, but still, I wasn’t feeling anything too special, nothing really hit THAT spot. And then, just like that, it happened. That smile. Like a benevolent god(yes, that is a reference to future episodes) smiling down from heaven and gracing us (and the unknowing heroine) with his amusement.
Yes, I am that shallow.
But there was something about this guy who had seemed so proper and restrained reacting in that way and in that environment, like a school boy snickering in the back of the class because the teacher had said something silly. Naturally, the fact that the man doing the smiling is hot enough to melt even metal… well… helped. But that same guy had been there before, and his presence hadn’t had that effect (even though the BB Cream thing was hilarious), so I guess to me that moment, that added dimension of warmth, meant the beginning of my transition from laughing at the show to laughing with it. And from then on, things just kept getting better and better. To be honest, it was a little the same way for each character, at one point, they would just do something that would get me rooting for them, that would get me on their side, regardless of the side said characters were finding themselves on within the story. For Eun Seol it was a little later in that same episode, when she asked Moo Won if he hired her for her looks or because she reminded him of his first love, incredulous of the fact that they had chosen her on merit. For Na Yoon it was the epically hilarious ice cream vs. butt thing. As for Ji Sung’s Cha Ji Heon, he’s the one I fell for last (in episode 5, no less), but he’s also the one I fell for the hardest. It took that one “choa” and its delivery – and I was a goner. No, I lie. I actually began liking Ji Heon when I saw his cartoon character boxers, and then I fell a bit more when I saw him looking at Eun Seol at the amusement park. But since “you had me at cartoon boxer shorts” doesn’t quite pack the punch of “You had me at choa”, we’ll just leave it at that.
As for the drama itself, there’s no great mystery here as to where the storyline is heading. We have our A, the anti-boss with the anti-secretary and their unlikely pairing, our A and a half, where their working relationship takes a turn towards the inappropriate, you know, office wise, as a pit stop on the way to the B – blissful ever after. The only questions that remain are basically how this will happen, how many cardboard cutouts will have to suffer in the process and whether or not Jaejoong will take his shirt off.
And while I’m particularly eager to get a positive answer to the last question, I’m more than willing to embark on the ride that this drama promises, and that so far has been like – to inappropriately paraphrase Forest Gump’s mom – an unending box of crazy chocolates, with characters constantly surprising the viewers with their actions, not within the grand arc their character is supposed to draw but in the little bits of in-between that are basically what keeps us coming back for more. To be honest, I am not completely buying the rom part of things, not because I don’t like the characters but because I am not sensing a strong OTP vibe… yet. However, they have the com part completely covered and I’ll gladly tune into this show for some much needed laugh-out-louds.
Where the characters are concerned, to begin with the boss that needs the protectin’ – he’s like the guy from Coffee House with all his public appearance evading tendencies, except instead of being a writer, he’s Hyun Bin’s character in Secret Garden. I swear that made more sense in my head. But seriously, it’s like he’s the convergence of every type of crazy Kdramas have ever produced. It’s not just the panic attacks. He also can’t sleep with the lights off. AND he’s a germophobe. The thing is, though, that even with the “special” aspect of their characters, most kdrama guys find a way to work around it or to even have the crazy work in their favor. Nothing like a little OCD to help you terrorize your staff into unflinching discipline and clockwork precision, right? This guy, however is pretty much a joke around the office, except nobody dares to laugh about it to his face because he is the boss, and, well, crazy. He usually does get to terrorize one staff member, namely his secretary but it’s mostly for coping purposes rather than the good of the company.
But here’s where you get your first surprise – the show begins and you’ve identified the main character, so naturally, you brace yourself for the early portion of the drama where, traditionally you have to deal with the asshole exterior of our leading man before you get to the gooey core, and just as you get ready to deal with an amount of rudeness, arrogance and distasteful commentary at least on par with the character’s level of crazy, you find yourself face to face with this puppy hanging on to our heroine for dear life and speaking to her with the candor of a first grader. But first grader or not, he is much more aware of his emotions than the average kdrama bear. He is quite quick to admit his attraction to Eun Seul and doesn’t take long to even confess it, which is such a refreshing change from the ubiquitous kdrama dilemma, with the character asking himself “what might this pounding in my chest be? Is it a life threatening illness, the chicken I had for lunch, or… could it be… that feeling formerly known as love?” and then reaching for the Pepto-Bismol. OR from the equally frequent “I’m too good for you but I like you anyway, despite this being such a violation of my level, so rejoice!” thing. It’s actually Eun Seol that has to explain to him all the reasons why they shouldn’t be together (and he doesn’t relent regardless). I mean sure, you could chuck some of this up to his being immature and irresponsible, but he’s so adorable about it (not to mention insanely attractive despite the broccoli hair) that you don’t know whether you want to pinch his cheeks or… spank him for being such a naughty, naughty boy.
Ji Heon’s father is the CEO of a top 10 company and has every intention of making his son the successor. He runs the company with an iron fist even though business wasn’t always his vocation. In fact, he had wanted to become a boxer, before his mother forced him to become the head of the family’s business. He’s pretty free with the fist when it comes to his son’s “education” but it doesn’t come from a bad place, or rather it comes from as non-bad places as violence could ever come from. He’s very certain his son inherited his looks from him, but I’m pretty sure he’s to be credited for some of the childishness as well, from what I could see. Thinking about it, the whole family’s idea of bonding includes quite the level of physical violence, and while most of it is imparted amongst themselves, they won’t shy away from the occasional assault on a harmless cardboard cutout. I mean even grandma’s grip is pretty mean for an octogenarian and certainly strong enough for her grandson’s (admittedly feeble) neck. It’s no wonder our ex-bullying legend heroine fits right in.
Speaking of the heroine, not only is she not afraid to use her awesome kick-boxing skills to put a sexually harassing sleazebag in his place and then take on the rest of his goons in a scene reminiscent of Oldboy’s guy with hammer vs. many guys on corridor scene, but she is not afraid to speak her mind when the situation (or exasperation) calls for it. On top of that, she has this natural sweetness and innocence, but not the kind that’s indigestion inducing or inappropriate for her age. But while her outspokenness and cuteness are definite perks, it’s her utter desperation for getting a job that finally lands her one. This particular job – playing secretary to the “special” son of the conglomerate’s owner and God Moo Won’s cousin takes all of her patience and power of endurance at first, but as time goes by, she begins to feel genuine concern and affection, not to mention understanding for him. She’s both very real and very caricatural, but that’s something that could be said about most characters in the show. Apart from some of the features that are definitely enhanced for comedic appeal, the foundation of the characters is heartwarmingly genuine and multi-dimensionally human.
Na Yoon, Ji Heon’s old love and, by all indications, Moo Won’s current one, is probably the less likeable of the foursome, but that’s part of the curse of being the second female lead in a K-drama. However, she is given her fair share of redeeming qualities, most of which aren’t really showcased in her interactions with others(where she mostly comes off as entitled, arrogant or fake) but in the myriad of emotions she tries (and comically fails) to repress. It’s her emotions and her reactions to other people, her own little mental processes that set her apart from a plethora of second female leads that have tried and failed to recapture a lost lover’s heart ever since dramas have existed. I mean really, taking self defense lessons to be able to compete with her boyfriend prospect’s fierce secretary? Or smearing her ice cream on said secretary’s butt out of sheer uncontainable jealousy (masquerading as payback)? There’s gotta be some love to give a girl like this, even if she IS a second female lead, right?
And speaking of love, let’s talk about Cha Moo Won, god, man, hero (Jaejoong). Well, okay, I may have exaggerated a little but what’s a little exaggeration in the face of such hotness? Moo Won is the competent, level headed (unless it comes to childishly competing with his cousin) business genius of the company. He is set to take over the company his father had founded and that his mother is currently running, but his ambitions, and that of his mother extend well beyond that, mostly into taking over the parent-company, which is run by Ji Heon’s father. While he might always seem in control of his job, his emotions, his path in life, it’s the chips in his armor that humanize him. It’s the moments of honesty and vulnerability, it’s the little laughs at inappropriate times, it’s confessing that he’s always done the best he could and that he is scared that might not be enough, confessing or trying to confess that he is not a good man, telling his mother he is ashamed of his actions. That Moo Won is ten times more appealing than the perfect business man he is most of the time. That Moo Won… *heart melt*
I honestly can’t wait to see how all this will play out, and whether the characters will take a more or less traditional route, having some veer towards the full-on evil while others will stay on the side of the boringly good, or if they will mix things up a bit, letting these characters grow in complexity the way it’s been teased so far. I’m really liking the setup and more than anything I’m liking the characters and how honest they feel despite the comedic exaggerations.
The episode begins with the heroine narrating some of her back story. From fighting legend to dedicated student and movement leader (unfortunately at a third rate college, which is why she is having a hard time catching a break), all the while working part time to support herself, things haven’t exactly been easy for her. But she’s perky and hopeful that a chance will come her way if she keeps doing her best. And a job offer does indeed present itself; the only problem is that the employer is far from ideal – unless you like your bosses the sleazy, sexually harassing type.
Enter Ji Sung. He’s taking part in some kind of counseling group for people with panic disorders and seems to be having a terrible time. He finally has enough and leaves when one of the other patients asks: “Mr. Mask(because he’s wearing a mask and shades, not because he’s THE Mask, thought judging by the outfit and gestures, one might wonder), what problem do you have?” You mean, aside from the hair, right? Well, it seems like he went there to get treatment but actually acquired more symptoms of his illness from his fellow patients – which he reproaches his doctor about and then leaves in a huff. His destination – an office meeting where he’s supposed to speak in front of a pretty large audience, just what the doctor ordered, except not. He panics halfway through his presentation and has to bail, to the extreme discontentment of his father, but giving his cousin, Moo Won – soon to be promoted to god but for now a mere mortal, if by mere you mean gorgeous and capable – the opportunity to take over and wow the crowd with his skills. Ji Heon’s secretary nags him about attending a meeting he doesn’t want to attend, but after accidentally running into his father(whom he was trying to avoid) and being brutalized by him in an elevator for being the disgrace that he is, he is forced to go.
Coincidentally his meeting takes place at the same spot where Eun Seol’s new employer is holding an employee get-together (or get-to-grope). The sleazeboss makes a pass at Eun Seol, she accuses him of sexual harassment, he throws a drink in her face, and she follows him to the bathroom to settle the score. He gets beaten up and tied to the sink and she ends up being chased by his goons, just as Ji Heon was finally leaving his own meeting. Thus, he becomes the unwitting participant in the spat and after Eun Seol beats up most of the goons and makes her escape, he is left to face the consequences. A black eye and a popped lip later, he comes out with her shoe in his hand. Just as I’m about to add shoe fetishism to his gallery of crazy, it turns out this is just your trademark k-drama Cinderella reference, I mean, if prince charming had ever wanted to hunt down Cinderella with a rifle and reap vengeance on all of her kin. But you know, at least it’s not the Little Mermaid, which I am thankful for.
Ji Heon gets home to an apologetic dad, but when the dad realizes his son had been beaten up by someone other than himself, he springs into action and teaches the goons a lesson. Unfortunately, the press gets a whiff of this occurrence by way of Ji Heon’s secretary who was lamenting his bleak fate in a bar, unaware that the press’ ears were upon him. News breaks out that Ji Heon’s dad is something of a mob daddy, which gets him in trouble with the law, which he weasels out of by taking a community service sentence, which, in turn gives way to many a hilarious scene.
Turns out, when all is said and done Ji Heon is in need of a secretary and Eun Seol is in (even more desperate) need of a job. She has now been reduced to applying randomly, but this randomness brings her to God Moo Won’s doorstep, err… company. The interview isn’t as smooth as one would wish, and she is gulled by the blatant discrimination that is shown throughout. She thinks back to other instances of humiliation and can’t keep quiet about it anymore. Her little furious monologue is what gets Moo Won’s attention and a few days later she gets news that she’s been hired. She’s confused as to the why of the situation, wondering if somehow her deadly charms had done it again or if in fact she reminded Moo Won of a long lost love, but as it turns out, he saw in her the one thing the others didn’t have – a sort of fearlessness that stems only from her kind of desperation, and that’s just the thing Ji Heon’s secretary has to possess in order to put up with him. Not to mention the fact that gratitude towards Moo Won would make her a most valuable spy. She’s overjoyed, but the other members of the secretarial pool aren’t, looking at her as if she hadn’t earned her way in. But nobody is as displeased to see her as her new boss, Ji Heon. He doesn’t remember her from the other night, thankfully, nor does she remember him, but the antipathy is there. What next?
Ji Heon makes it evident that he dislikes his new secretary, from her poop-hair do to everything else, and claims that she is a spy sent by Moo Won. Excellent point, but as Moo Won puts it, what is there to spy on, since all he does is goof around all day and do no work. Ji Heon claims that’s a cover up, to which Moo Won retorts he can just go ahead and keep up the act, that way his spy will keep being misled. You know guys, one day when you decide to wrestle it out, I hope you get to do it in a mud pool and that there is a camera around.
Ji Heon refuses to acknowledge Eun Seol as his secretary at first, which makes her want to quit, and regret not being more specific in wishing for a job, since she was granted this guy for a boss, but then she decides to stick it out, and eventually Ji Heon decides it’s better to have someone to torture, even if it is her, so he proceeds to instruct her in the ways of being his secretary, which basically consists of being at the beck and call of a prissy pants chaebol heir with abandonment issues. Her resilience to his constant torments is almost fascinating to him, but despite the obedient smiles on display, it makes her think happy murder thoughts about him.
Seeing the complaints from employees piling up against Ji Heon’s… inconsistency, daddy Cha asks Eun Seol to get him to work no matter what, adding that her job is on the line. Eun Seol agrees, however she asks that she is given a month to complete the project and that she even be allowed the use of physical force. Daddy agrees, figuring that she couldn’t have much physical force to employ anyway. Oh daddy, if you only knew. Regardless, she gets permission to come by their house every day and drag him to work if necessary, which gives Eun Seol access to the Cha household and front row seats to the unveiling of Ji Heon’s Dooly shorts. And by unveiling I mean pulling off his covers and ogling his butt – it’s okay, Eun Seol, that’s how I’d do it too. There’s no judgment here. No judgment at all.
We also get our first shower scene, and far be it from me to complain, but why do we only get visuals of the shoulders? Cause, I mean, we all know Ji Sung has it in him. So really, why discriminate from drama to drama? Maybe somewhere in some k-drama framing guide, there is something that states full abs shot is only to be used for brooding showers, while spazzy my-secretary-saw-my-Dooly-shorts showers only get shoulders. Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.
The incursion into Ji Heon’s room gives way to another revelation, as in Eun Seol finding her missing shoe and realizing she’s in fact the mystery poop head woman (Pooperella?) who had caused much mischief to both Ji Heon and chairman Cha. Seeing her fiddle with the evidence shoe, Ji Heon comes up with the brilliant idea of having her find his nemesis – since, due to his status, he can’t. She half-agrees and they head to the office, where they arrive late enough for daddy Cha to get pissed off and administer another one of his fatherly elevator beatings. However, in the heat of things Eun Seol steps in front of Ji Heon, trying to stand up for him, and daddy punches her by mistake, thus causing a huge shift in the dynamics between the three. For one, daddy was caught on surveillance tape punching an employee, so he hands a check and an apology to make it right. Eun Seol would rather take a raincheck on whatever daddy owes her, thinking it’s just a matter of time till he finds out she’s Pooperella and that she’ll need all the benevolence she can get when that happens. The more surprising development, however, is Ji Heon’s reaction to the whole thing, from surprise, to gratitude, to the beginning of attraction and trust in the person he has finally gotten… protection from. Aw, poor lost puppy.
First, he gets annoyed when he sees the other secretaries take advantage of her so he tells her never to take orders from anyone but him. Then he has her clean the drawer where he keeps his first aid kit, not before taking out the bruise cream and placing it on top of it. THEN he decides she can’t even apply it properly so he offers some assistance, bringing forth the budding-attraction-facial-proximity scene that happens to most drama couples, but usually not this early in the game.
But what happens when the old secretary comes back in need of a letter of recommendation and willing to bargain for it with the info he’d gathered on the mystery woman? Well, the heroine has to spring into action and use her fighting skills to threaten her way out of the sticky situation. Ji Heon is not pleased that the old secretary fails to show up with the evidence he’d teased about, but there’s little he can do about it except throw his recommendation letter away for Eun Seol to find.
Ji Heon has to go on an inspection for one of the company’s stores but refuses to, until EUn Seol persuades him to do it saying that she’ll be by his side. However, when she goes to get him some water and he finds himself alone, he gets a panic attack that makes him crouch to the ground, until she finds him and hugs him until it passes. Of course, after the big moment of closeness comes the big push-away and the big denial of feelings, but fortunately, it’s short-lived.
That day, Eun Seol and Moo Won share just enough of a moment for him to give her some encouragement and for her to let the cat out of the bag on Ji Heon’s condition. In consequence, Moo Won comes up with a plan designed to put Ji Heon on the spot and shares it with the administrative board. Ji Heon refuses, papa gets mad and reminds him that he’s the only one for the job since his brother had passed away. Ouch. Multi-sting.
Ji Heon tells Eun Seol that she shouldn’t come to work for the following days because he won’t be going in either. Thinking he’s up to his old tricks, Eun Seol goes to his house to check on him, but finds him preparing for the task he had been assigned. She falls asleep at his door, he catches her and they end up preparing together, except on the day of the speech, someone shows up, causing Ji Heon to have a panic attack and leave the speech-giving to Eun Seol. The someone in question is Ji Heon’s ex, Na Yoon, and her being there was arranged by chairman Cha’s evil sister-in-law, Moo Won’s mom. Ji Heon’s disappearing act does not go down well with daddy Cha, so he gets kicked out of the house. With nowhere to go, he ends up at Eun Seol’s house, where he sees the evidence shoe had found its pair and realizes his secretary is the dreaded Poop Head he had been searching for all along.
Ji Heon can’t believe his eyes, but when he finally realizes what happened, he begins questioning whether this was just a coincidence or if Eun Seol had planned it all along. He doesn’t get a chance to take his paranoia to extreme heights because Eun Seol’s roommate comes home and mistaking him for a robber, she picks him up and throws him across the room. Oh my god, I know Eun Seol’s roommate is a wrestler, but Ji Heon is such a wimp. I love it. The revelation that instead of a robber he is in fact Eun Seol’s boss doesn’t really pacify Myeong Ran, since she recalls them vowing to kill him together if ever the chance presented itself. He protests the situation but that only irks Myeong Ran into… facilitating another close meeting with the floor for him. Ouch, that would have felt painful to watch if it hadn’t been so funny.
He leaves Eun Seol’s house, feeling hurt and betrayed more than physically in pain and refuses to accept Eun Seol’s apology, but as it turns out, he’s still penniless, phoneless and courageless, so when Eun Seol goes after him, he agrees to come back inside with her. Their little doorstep discussion, however, makes Eun Seol understand Ji Heon a lot better, helping her catch a glimpse of how lonely and scared he must be feeling.
Back at the Cha household, grandma Cha admonishes daddy Cha for always using physical violence as a means of communicating with Ji Heon, but not before administering some violence of her own to her son. I swear, someone should tell this family you catch more flies with honey than with a baseball bat. Still, it’s hilarious to witness daddy’s self reflections and the way he claims to be more handsome than his competing companies’ CEOs. Towards the end of his monologue it’s obvious that he worries greatly about Ji Heon, not understanding the reason why his son is so afraid. Cause, I mean, always getting punched is such a courage boost.
The next day at the office, they run into Moo Won on their way in, and Ji Heon doesn’t hesitate to say that his attire is the way it is because he spent the night at Eun Seol’s. She tries to explain the situation, making Ji Heon feel excluded and therefore bringing forth some more childish behavior, such as jumping in the elevator before they get a chance to and then poking out his tongue at them. He’s 7 and he doesn’t even try to hide it.
Later, Moo Won reminds Ji Heon of Na Yoon’s return, but Ji Heon doesn’t seem too concerned about it, something that puzzles Moo Won by the look of things. He and Na Yoon had met a few days back and she had made her intentions of winning Ji Heon back very clear to him, so Ji Heon’s disinterest is at least intriguing. We flash back to when Na Yoon had left and Ji Heon was supposed to see her to the airport, but just as he got there, he received a phone call bearing terrible news and the two never got to meet. The panic attack Ji Heon suffered when he saw her again during his speech seems to be related to the memory of receiving that news rather than to her, because thinking back, he gets a panic attack again. Eun Seol walks in carrying a tray and seeing him in that state, she rushes to help, only instead she drops the hot coffee on his lap, proving once again that there’s nothing like a burning sensation on your privates to take your mind off other things. This causes the two to get into an argument in front of the bathroom about how she is the cause of all the evil that had befallen him, his father and their company. When she retorts that she knows all his dirty secrets, ergo his underwear preferences and his sleeping habits, he threatens to expose her as Pooperella, naturally, without any intention of doing so. Their banter is overheard by the company’s other secretaries and within minutes, everything is public news.
Eun Seol thinks Ji Heon had made good on his promise to expose her, but doesn’t get a chance to confront him about it because grandma Cha had kidnapped him. Later, after getting scolded at the office and having a phone conversation with Ji Heon that deepens the misunderstandings, Eun Seol decides to leave and goes to visit her father in the mountains.
Turns out that her father had taught her kick-boxing and that he is living in the mountains as a hermit of sorts, after failing as a businessman in Seoul and having to skip town. Her father gives her a training/anger release session where she gets to vent the anger she’d built up against the people at the office and most especially Ji Heon, while he vents his anger at her cardboard cutout. Ji Heon then remembers the way she’d cared for him while he was at her house and how they’d fallen asleep facing each other as he lies on the bed imagining her sleeping next to him, just as his father walks in and catches him talking to himself. Aw man, this is funny on so many levels. Turns out Eun Seol was thinking about Ji Heon all along too, because she bought her dad the kind of underwear that he wears. Hilarity amplified. Seems like it’s fatherly discussion day because Ji Heon’s dad also has a heart to heart with his son and they seem to come to some sort of agreement about one using less violence and the other being less of a disappointment.
The next day, Eun Seol returns to face the music and impart some wisdom on her fellow secretaries with the help of some martial arts moves. She also drops by Moo Won’s office to give him a good bye gift, except he’ll have none of that. Instead, he advises her to seek out the chairman and apologize, saying he’ll handle the rest. And that, dear Moo Won, is how you get to be called God(even if you are one with ulterior motives). You know, aside from being gorgeous and brilliant.
The task of receiving forgiveness from the CEO turns out to be less difficult than initially thought, though largely because of a misunderstanding. No matter, Eun Seol is back in the game, even if the entire office is against her. But just as the chief secretary is giving Eun Seol an earful, Ji Heon walks in and rather dashingly puts him in his place. He then goes on to say that the only one who gets to abuse her is him. How… magnanimous of him (and also sweet in context). But when he hears that she has already submitted her resignation, he rushes to take care of it, only to run into Moo Won who had already handled the matter. Hah. The race is on.
Later that day, Moo Won and Na Yoon meet to discuss business but end up discussing their romantic past, or rather, their hormone-induced… encounters. Apparently they had gotten involved because he was too attractive to resist, or something to that effect. Either way, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. Really, who COULD resist? But there’s obviously more there than meets the eye, since their exchange wouldn’t be half as snarky if there weren’t any residual feelings.
Na Yoon then goes to meet Ji Heon, but is stopped by Eun Seol, who doesn’t let her go into his office without an appointment, to Na Yoon’s shock. Na Yoon turns to Moo Won’s secretary, but she’s not about to cut her any favors either (uuhh, tension).
Over at the meeting, the chairman announces his intention of making Ji Heon his successor, to his sister in law’s complete and voiced disapproval and to everyone else’s quiet dissatisfaction. Ji Heon however, seems the most burdened by this situation, but as he walks the corridor lost in thought, Moo Won intervenes and tells him the decision to make him the successor makes no sense since Ji Heon has no interest in the company, unlike himself. Ji Heon retorts that he may have no interest in the company but he’s not about to let Moo Won have it, and accompanies saying that with the appropriate (if you’re in kindergarten) gestures, and walking away. But Moo Won proves he’s not above the neener neener mindset and pushes him as he passes him by. Ji Heon runs to catch up and pushes him back, and so on until they get to their office. Guys, did you happen to hear me mention something about a mud pool? And shirtlessness? Cause, you know, I’d be totally supportive of that idea. Just sayin’.
Back at the conference room, it’s time for a sister in law vs. chairman face off, where each is supporting their own offspring, or rather using them to fight a much older-seeming argument.
Elsewhere, Na Yoon is fighting the urge to throw her coffee in Ji Heon’s face, infuriated by his indifference to her return and to her attempts to rekindle their past relationship. I absolutely LOVE the fact that he’s so open about it, that there’s no ambivalence or residual feelings like in most cases of returning past lovers. He’s simply over it and tells it to her face. Way to go, Ji Heon. You do the cartoon dinosaur on your boxers proud.
Na Yoon goes to cry in the bathroom, Moo Won’s mother cries in the elevator, and Ji Heon thinks back on his time with Na Yoon. His reverie is interrupted by Eun Seol however, who had come to find him seeing as it had gotten late. They go back to his office and talk about what it would be like if he became the chairman. Aw, it’s so sweet that she’s becoming his confidante.
Eventually, daddy CEO finds out about Eun Seol’s involvement in the nightclub incident and the plummeting of their company stocks and confronts Ji Heon about it, asking him to fire him, Ji Heon refuses so his father makes him responsible for making up for the loss by becoming the successor. Wow, daddy Cha, that’s why you are the CEO, aren’t you? Way to turn the situation in favor of getting what you want.
The next day, as part of his taking charge of things, Ji Heon visits the company’s amusement park to assess the situation. In a quieter moment, she reminisces about her first and only amusement park experience, and while the experience itself was bitter-sweet, she says the memory is a happy one. She doesn’t remember which rides she took though, so Ji Heon offers to treat her to the ones she’d like to go on today.
Nearby, sister-in-law is trying to set up Na Yoon on a date with Moo Won, being very transparent about her intention to get them married. The two cool the act as soon as she leaves, however and decide to go for a walk, where else but at the amusement park, where they see Ji Heon looking at Eun Seol as she is taking one of the rides. Hello jealousy, my old friend.