Thank you drama gods, for not forcing me to write a scathing recap about episode 5 of Lie to Me, which would have been like stabbing my heart with a thousand needles. This episode was MUCH better than the previous two episodes, and takes the drama forward in ways that suggest we are putting the very middling and mediocre set up episodes behind us as the OTP embarks on a future as Mr. and Mrs. Hyun Ki Joon to the outside world.
While Lie to Me is still not a good rom-com by any measure of quality, as least the trajectory appears to be upwards rather than down, for which I am grateful and relieved. I enjoy watching LTM, regardless of all that potential which isn’t even tapped in the slightest at this point. I woke up still excited to watch Yoon Eun Hye and Kang Ji Hwan, and I think that indicates I’ve hit rock bottom and reached a good place with respect to this drama. If I think this drama sucks but I still want to watch it and manage to find enjoyment here and there, then I’ve made my peace with it and look forward to the entire journey ahead.
Episode 5 Recap:
Ah Jung looks around apprehensively, not sure what Ki Joon wants with her in the middle of the lake. Ki Joon repeats what he said earlier – he agrees to be married to her. Ah Jung looks at him like he’s gone insane. Ki Joon clarified that its not a real marriage, just a one-to-two month pretend marriage.
Ah Jung starts to laugh, and Ki Joon joins in the laughter, wondering if this is so funny to Ah Jung? She tells him that it’s not fair, shouldn’t he let her know why he changed his mind all of a sudden? He already knows about her messed up situation, so it’s his turn to share his messed up reasons with her. He didn’t suddenly agree to be in a pretend marriage with her because he felt sorry for her, so clearly he needs her now to help him with whatever predicament he’s in. She tells him that she’s not an idiot.
Ki Joon tells her to forget it then, and she’s fine with that since getting married should be done under careful consideration. Ooh, I’m loving the I-see-through-you banter. Ki Joon looks annoyed that Ah Jung didn’t immediately jump on his offer. After they arrive back on shore, Ah Jung bids farewell to Ki Joon, telling him there is no need for them to meet again, and he can go ahead and sue her. She walks away, counting under her breath, getting nervous as she reaches the number 12, which is when Ki Joon calls her back.
At dinner, Ah Jung is shocked to discover how important the Chairman is to Ki Joon, who thinks she’s being fake with her shock and she knew exactly who the couple were. Ah Jung confesses that she was not trying to get some leverage on Ki Joon. She wants to explain, but thinks back to how it all unfurled under Sang Hee’s arrangement, and doesn’t elaborate any further. Ki Joon wants her to tell the truth, is she a spy for another hotel?
Ah Jung changes the subject and says they need to write down the contract, to which Ki Joon replies that they are just not going to clear up the misunderstanding for the time being, there is no need for a contract. Ah Jung insists, she refuses to take Ki Joon’s word for it. What if she goes around announcing she is Hyun Ki Joon’s wife, to which Ki Joon says that she’s been doing it already. Ah Jung once again says that was just an accident.
To avoid any future misunderstanding, it’s better if they lay down the ground rules. Ki Joon looks annoyed as Ah Jung writes up the contract, which stipulates that neither is to clear up the misunderstanding until So Ran leaves Korea and Ki Joon has secured the investment. Other than to So Ran and the Chairman, neither is to keep discussing to anyone that they are married. Ki Joon reluctantly signs.
Ah Jung asks what she’s to say if people ask her why she’s not talking about her marriage? Ki Joon tells her to just keep her mouth shut no matter what, which naturally will lead people to assume the secrecy is because his Aunt disapproves. Ah Jung is insulted as to why his Aunt would not approve of her, what is wrong with Ah Jung? She thinks they should let people assume her dad is the one objecting, because Ki Joon is much farther from what her dad wants for her.
Ah Jung puts the contract away, and Ki Joon thinks he should hold on to it. Ah Jung scoffs that since she wanted the contract and she wrote up the contract, the contract is hers. If Ki Joon wants a contract, he should write one up himself. She puts pen and paper before Ki Joon and lets him write another copy of the contract. After dinner, Ah Jung happily runs off. Ki Joon pulls out the contract, asking himself what the hell he’s doing?
Ah Jung is eating ramyun in her room. Her dad comes to tell her that he’s going out, and tells her to go out since it’s Sunday. Ah Jung takes out her contract with Ki Joon, telling herself that she’s a married woman now. She calls So Ran and asks her to go shopping. Ah Jung tells all the salespeople that she’s buying stuff for her husband. So Ran and Ah Jung pretend to get along and they try to one up each other as they try on clothes. Ah Jung keeps pretending to call Ki Joon to get his input on what to buy, thereby annoying So Ran.
Back at the office, Park Hoon reads the contract and congratulates Ki Joon. He tells Ki Joon to use Ah Jung to his advantage now, and bring her out. Ki Joon refuses – he is simply not clearing up a misunderstanding, he won’t perpetrate the lie any further. Hoon says there is no such difference. Ki Joon wants to continue the lawsuit, since the contract doesn’t stipulate that he won’t sue her. Hoon calls Ki Joon’s behavior despicable.
So Ran is picking out shirts for Jae Bum, asking if Ah Jung wants to buy something for her husband. Ah Jung doesn’t know Ki Joon’s size, and she doesn’t even know what 37.5 cm means. Suddenly Yoon Joo, who happens to be at the same department store, speaks up and explains that 37.5 cm refers to neck width. Ah Jung thanks Yoon Joo and leaves with So Ran.
So Ran gives Ah Jung a hair clip that Ah Jung used to like. So Ran suddenly asks why Ah Jung is not wearing a wedding ring, and Ah Jung lies that it’s too expensive so she doesn’t want to wear it. Jae Bum arrives to pick up So Ran, and they immediately do their lovey-dovey routine. Ah Jung watches them walks ahead of her, and So Ran doesn’t fail to look back and give Ah Jung the snark eye.
During the drive home, So Ran criticizes Ah Jung’s shabby dress and cheap car, saying that she understands why Ki Joon’s aunt would object to her. Jae Bum thinks that not every rich person needs to flaunt their wealth. Jae Bum says that So Ran is upset simply if Ah Jung is breathing. So Ran keeps criticizing Ah Jung, and Jae Bum tells her to not see Ah Jung in the future if she dislikes her so much. So Ran thinks Ah Jung is the one challenged her. So Ran keeps hitting Jae Bum and he almost gets into a car accident.
Ah Jung goes to Ae Kyung’s café, asking Ae Kyung if she knows her dad’s size. Ki Joon is golfing when he gets a text from Ah Jung asking him what his size is? Ki Joon is distracted and hits the ball right into the water hazard. The Chairman and his wife tease him that his wife is his lucky charm (and he’s playing poorly because she’s not here).
At the hotel, the manager sees Yoon Joo walking through the lobby. Park Hoon asks Ki Joon why he lost on purpose to the Chairman, and is told Ki Joon did not such thing. Ki Joon blames his miserable showing on Ah Jung. Hoon excitedly asks what Ah Jung did, like a little boy. Ki Joon asks if Hoon knows Ki Joon’s size, and Hoon rattles off an impressive knowledge of all of Ki Joon’s measurements. Ki Joon asks why Hoon knows so much, and Hoon replies that he’s not sure.
Ki Joon is about to text some of the measurements to Ah Jung when he realizes what he is doing and stops. Suddenly he gets a call from Yoon Joo, announcing that she has returned. Ki Joon runs out of his office, and takes the stairs up to the roof. This scene is juxtaposed with a younger Ki Joon running up to meet a younger Yoon Joo. The younger them hug each other in happiness, when Yoon Joo had come to show off the engagement ring on her hand, telling Ki Joon that she accepted his proposal.
The Ki Joon of today runs up to the roof and sees Yoon Joo standing at the same spot. He looks at her hand, and of course she’s not wearing the ring. The greet each other tentatively. He asks when she came back, and she says last week.
Ah Jung sits at the café, bitching that Ki Joon got her text but can’t be bothered to send a response. Sang Hee arrives and sits down, and Ah Jung asks if he knew all long who that Chinese couple was? Sang Hee confirms that he knew the couple was an important investor to Ki Joon. Ah Jung thinks Sang Hee is a spy, and wants nothing more to do with him going forward. She’s a civil servant and can’t do anything illegal. Ah Jung runs out and Sang Hee just laughs at her overreaction.
Sang Hee chases after Ah Jung, telling her that he’s not impressive enough to be a corporate spy. He tells her to think of the easiest answer, repeating “Hyun Ki Joon, Hyun Sang Hee”, and sighs when Ah Jung still doesn’t make the connection between the two brothers. He follows her, and she tells him to stop annoying her. He congratulates her on becoming a married woman.
He tells Ah Jung that she owes him a meal for what he did. Ah Jung accepts that Sang Hee is pretty shameless and the two of them go to a noraebang. Sang Hee watches Ah Jung sing, and the more she sings the more melancholy she gets. He wonders why she’s not happier that matters have been resolved with Ki Joon? Ah Jung confesses that being married is not what she expected.
Sang Hee asks her what she imagines a married woman to look like? Ah Jung thinks a married woman meets with her girlfriends to discuss married life. She can also boast that her husband takes out the trash on time. She’s the first to leave a gathering because her husband is home. She can go shopping for her husband because she knows him the best. Sang Hee is intrigued to discover that this is Ah Jung’s vision of married life. He thinks Ah Jung’s friend’s marriage isn’t as perfect as she makes it appear either.
So Ran is doing laundry and discovers a lipstick mark on Jae Bum’s shirt collar. She’s so upset she pours an entire box of detergent into the washing machine. Jae Bum gets up from his nap and can’t find So Ran anywhere. He goes into the laundry room to find soap suds overflowing from the machine. So Ran is driving erratically and raging at Jae Bum.
Ki Joon and Yoon Joo catch up on the past three years. Yoon Joo confesses that she purposely avoided hearing about Ki Joon, and just found out he became President after she got back. She asks how he likes it, and he says that it’s the same level of responsibility. Yoon Joo teases him, and Ki Joon laughs and mentions that she’s just like Sang Hee. Yoon Joo asks about him, and is told that Sang Hee just returned to Korea a few days ago.
Their happy banter is ruined and they walk in silence. Yoon Joo suddenly stops walking, telling Ki Joon that she wanted to find a better man than him. But she looked everywhere and can’t find such a guy. Yoon Joo puts her hand on Ki Joon’s cheek, lightly caressing it. Which is when So Ran, who is standing on the bridge above them nursing a beer, sees this scene. Her face lights up and she says “Gong Ah Jung….”
Ah Jung is busy at work, and is told that she can calm down and not work so hard. So Ran calls Ah Jung, asking to meet her after dinner. Ah Jung wants to blow her off until So Ran suggests meeting her at home (i.e. Ki Joon’s house). Ah Jung meets So Ran, who immediately hugs her and tells Ah Jung that she’s here for her. So Ran tells Ah Jung that she can be upset knowing that Ki Joon is having an affair. So Ran says she saw Ki Joon with another woman here, being very intimate.
Ah Jung goes to the hotel to see Ki Joon, barging into his office. She starts talking without realizing that Ki Joon is meeting with the Chairman. Ah Jung excuses herself, but Ki Joon grabs her before she gets into the elevator and drags her off to the stairwell to talk. He wonders if she’s gone insane to come to the hotel. Ah Jung apologizes, she was simply too angry.
Ah Jung then accuses Ki Joon of being the person at fault here, so why should she apologize. She asks if he simply can’t stay away from women, telling him that So Ran saw him with another woman and now thinks he’s having an affair on Ah Jung. She tells him not to look at another woman, because he’s married to her (or the world thinks he’s married to her). Ah Jung leaves and Ki Joon is exasperated at the situation. He thinks he should just sue Ah Jung instead of whatever the heck he’s doing with her.
Ah Jung is in the elevator and assumes that all men are the same with the affairs, except for her sunbae Jae Bum of course. Which is when Jae Bum walks into the elevator with his hussy mistress, leaving Ah Jung stunned by what she is seeing.
At the café, Suk Bong watches Ae Kyung reading and drinking her coffee. Sang Hee arrives and asks for food, sitting down at the same table as Ae Kyung. She also says she’s hungry, so Suk Bong happily makes food for both of them. Ae Kyung compliments Suk Bong on being a good cook and artist. Sang Hee wonders why Ae Kyung never married, since she’s so beautiful. She confesses that fifteen years ago there was a man she wanted to marry. But the man had daughter, who refused to agree to the marriage.
Ae Kyung is about to explain what Ah Jung did to prevent the marriage, when Ah Jung’s dad arrives. Ae Kyung leaves with him, and Sang Hee tells Suk Bong that his love rival is strong indeed. Ah Jung sits and thinks back to seeing Jae Bum in the elevator with his mistress. Ki Joon is leaving work when he sees the manager. He tells her not to work so hard, as a friend. She asks how he’s doing now that Yoon Joo is back?
Ki Joon goes home and thinks back to when Yoon Joo touched his cheek last night. Suddenly he gets a call and it’s from Ah Jung. He wants to ignore it, but end ups answering. She asks him what he’s doing. He can tell that she’s drinking, and she asks him to come out right now. He asks why he should, and she reminds him that he’s her husband.
Ki Joon arrives at the restaurant, and Ah Jung makes him sit down and orders more beer. Ki Joon asks if she knows how poorly she’s been behaving? He drinks and then asks her to apologize for this morning. She says he should apologize because he was in the wrong. Ki Joon says that he’s not having an affair, and Ah Jung clarifies that she’s talking about another man.
Ki Joon asks which guy, and she confesses that she saw another man at the hotel having an affair. It wasn’t even her husband, it was someone else’s husband. So why is she in such a terrible mood. Ah Jung wipes away her tears, telling Ki Joon that she’s so laughable right now, isn’t she? Ah Jung staggers outside, pointing to Ki Joon and telling him that he can’t have an affair. Having an affair is a bad thing and he’ll be punished.
Ah Jung suddenly staggers into the street and Ki Joon grabs her out of the way of oncoming traffic. He asks if she’s doing fine, and Ah Jung pukes on Ki Joon. Ki Joon goes to the bathroom to clean up, after depositing Ah Jung in the backseat of his car. Ah Jung wakes up and remembers the embarrassing scene she caused earlier. She’s appalled and tries to run away. Ki Joon catches her and tells her not to dare run away.
Ah Jung runs into a pharmacy asking for a hangover tonic. She’s about to drink it when she sees herself in the mirror looking like a fright. She cleans up and staggers over to a bench in the park. Ki Joon walks up to her and sits down. She asks why he hasn’t left yet? He’s worried about something happening to her, in which case he would be the prime suspect.
The sit back and enjoy the falling cherry blossoms. Ki Joon asks Ah Jung is she really likes that guy so much, the guy who had an affair. That’s why she cried earlier, right? Ah Jung says she was very disappointed in that guy, which is why she cried. People change, some for the better, other for worse. This guy was Ah Jung’s first love, and now she can’t preserve the memory of how awesome he was in her mind.
Ki Joon says “no, sometimes that is painful as well”, with respect to preserving the image of a past love. They smile and look at each other. Ah Jung thinks to herself that today, her first love has officially ended. Ki Joon looks at Ah Jung, and leans ever so slowly to kiss her. If this scene wasn’t so random (in terms of emotional buildup from Ki Joon’s end), it would be perfect, because it’s so damn gorgeous and romantic in terms of execution.
Ah Jung closes her eyes in anticipation of the kiss, but opens it and makes eye contact with Ki Joon. They both snap out of it and pull back, pretending to brush cherry blossoms off themselves to avoid the awkwardness.
Ki Joon wakes up in bed the next morning, tossing and turning because he can’t believe that he almost kissed Ah Jung last night. The phone rings and it’s from Ah Jung. He asks her what she wants, and she asks to meet. He complains about how she dares to just summon him. He arrives at the café, Ah Jung noticing that he came pretty fast.
She offers him coffee or a macaron. He thinks she’s here to apologize, but instead she whips out the amended contract stipulating that Ki Joon can’t be seen with another woman during the period of their marriage. He realizes that this is why Ah Jung wanted to see him, and looks a little taken aback that she wasn’t still thinking about their almost kiss.
After amending the contract, they leave the coffee shop and Ki Joon watches Ah Jung get into her car, still a tiny bit affect that she’s not lingering around him for another reason. Before driving off, Ah Jung rolls the window and tells Ki Joon that she’ll forget what happened last night after they went drinking. So Ran is informing all the friends that Ah Jung’s husband Ki Joon is having an affair, pretending that she feels bad for Ah Jung.
Sang Hee is waiting for Ah Jung at the mall, she’s asked him to go ring shopping with her. She wants to buy a honking ring to stun So Ran. Sang Hee asks why Ah Jung doesn’t just inform So Ran that Jae Bum is having an affair, which would end So Ran lording her marriage over Ah Jung. But Ah Jung refuses to stoop down to So Ran’s level.
Sang Hee makes a call and the best baubles are bright out for Ah Jung to look. Ah Jung is worried how she can pay for it, and Sang Hee says not to worry, they have agreed to let Ah Jung borrow it. He puts the ring on Ah Jung’s fingers, and she says it’s weird that he’s putting the ring on her.
Ah Jung arrives at So Ran’s house, wearing the ring and showing it off when she hands off a box of desserts to So Ran. All the friends are there, and most of them haven’t seen Ah Jung in awhile. Jae Bum comes home with flowers for So Ran, and the friends are envious. Jae Bum looks shocked to see Ah Jung, who doesn’t make eye contact. Jae Bum excuses himself, but plasters his ear against the door to try and hear what the friends are talking about.
The other friends notice Ah Jung’s wedding ring and are complimenting her. So Ran suddenly asks when Ah Jung is planning to have a housewarming party? Ah Jung’s face freezes.
Thoughts of Mine:
Rom-com 101 dictates that the OTP is the King, and everyone else it’s servants and retainers. The failure thus far of Lie to Me is the writer’s decision to expand the court to add so many retainers it takes away from the time spent developing the OTP. I could care less about the older folks and their love triangle, So Ran and Jae Bum failed married is about as interesting as watching paint dry, and Yoon Joo and her doomed brotherly rivalry barely registers any depth.
Which makes me relieved that little by little, I see the writer starting to put her OTP front and center and upping their interaction with each other. This was the first episode where Ki Joon and Ah Jung had a real, genuine conversation with each other. Not a discussion about lies, misunderstandings, and confusion. They are also beginning to resemble real people, albeit still overly dramatic and written with big brush strokes. I am a little worried that the writer doesn’t even know how to properly develop the growing emotional awareness and attraction between Ki Joon and Ah Jung. I thought the cherry blossom scene was just so out-of-the-blue, and Ki Joon’s attitude towards Ah Jung went from annoyance to inexplicable interest on the turn of a dime.
LTM is shaping up to be a drama where I honestly think I, and probably most general drama watchers, can probably write a damn better story than when has transpired so far. I want to reach in there, add moments and delete scenes here and there, knowing that it’ll just be so much more satisfying than what we’ve been getting. The untapped potential KILLS me.
This was the episode that set the stage for all the main characters involved, now that Yoon Joo is officially back in the mix. First off, I hope to god the writer doesn’t make Sang Hee like Ah Jung, because their friendship and alterna-bromance is one of the shining examples of a relationship being developed properly and logically. I also don’t like the prospect of a re-play of three years ago where the two brothers fight over the same woman, this time being Ah Jung. It’s too heavy-handed and uninspired.
Poor Yoon Joo, relegated to being passed from brother to brother, and being such a wallflower of a character. I have no opinion of her, and hope that she gets together with Sang Hee purely for narrative payoff purposes. And so she can leave Ki Joon alone and let the man develop his new relationship with Ah Jung. Speaking of which, Ah Jung is such a bipolar character for me. At times I find her refreshing, adorable, and interesting. Other times she annoys me and I want to smack her. Ki Joon I’m liking more and more as his character gets developed further.
I’m peeved that the writer continues to let her plot devices dictate the narrative, and her characters progress because of how they behave in one scene to another. I’ve never liked Jae Bum, and am not surprised to find out he’s such a douchebag. But I am glad Ah Jung knows his true colors and have finally put that first love of her life in the grave where it belongs. What lies ahead for her is Ki Joon, and I am excited to see the two of them fall in love.