I know it wasn’t a simple kiss that got me going from indifferent to insanely addicted to Lie to Me. Lots of dramas have great kisses, but what is different for me is that the kiss at the end of episode 6 emotionally connected with me. It was akin to watching two people crazy attracted to each other give in to their attraction in the heat of the moment. And it’s the possibility of what’s going to happen afterwards between Ki Joon and Ah Jung that has short-circuited my brain’s coherency and left me a gibbering pile of squees.
Episode 7 fulfilled the promise at the end of episode – not only are Ki Joon and Ah Jung really spending time together and getting to know each other, the drama feels like it’s got itself together finally. It’s decreasing the antics and increasing the emotional narrative. I say it’s about time. While having Kang Ji Hwan and Yoon Eun Hye make out seems like a blatant ratings grab for a sinking ship, the result doesn’t feel that way. And I know it’s because the two actors have undeniable chemistry with each other, so every scene between them is simply electric.
Episode 7 recap:
Ki Joon and Ah Jung sing a karaoke duet of the song “Lovin’ Ice-cream”, which is so befuddlingly addicting in its inane charm. Ki Joon looks at Ah Jung, and gives in to his male instincts and grabs her for a kiss. And what it a kiss it is, leaving the other guests gasping in surprise or looking away in discomfort. I’m pretty certain that all future kisses between the OTP in this drama will have the same effect on any viewer – like we’re voyeurs and spying on something meant to be private and intimate between those two gorgeous people.
The kiss tenderly ends, leaving Ki Joon and Ah Jung looking at each other intently, she in confusion, he with an unwavering direct gaze. Suddenly the door bell rings and breaks their reverie. Ah Jung uses that as an excuse to escape Ki Joon’s piercing gaze, running to the intercom to see who the unexpected guest could be. It’s none other than Ki Joon’s Aunt.
Ah Jung freaks out and waves Ki Joon over. Aunt calls Ki Joon, who initially wants to answer and tell Aunt that he’s not home. But it’s too late, so he drags Ah Jung into the closet and tells her to stay put, moving a cabinet over to provide a safer hiding spot. Heh, he hides his fake wifey in the closet, which is just too cute.
Yoon Joo is having dinner with Sang Hee, but she keeps looking at her watch. He asks if she’s waiting for somone, and she says that she’s waiting for Ki Joon to come. Sang Hee asks if he should leave, but Yoon Joo tells him to stay. She confesses that Ki Joon never promised to come, so she’s just hopeful on her own. Sang Hee smiles and tells her to just eat and enjoy the food.
Ki Joon welcomes his Aunt inside, telling her that he’s having some friends over. Aunt is here to give a present that she wants Ki Joon to deliver to the wife of the Chairman from Shanghai. Aunt asks about the friends, saying that she’s never met them before. Ki Joon says these are new friends of his. The friends sit around and wonder where Ah Jung went?
Ki Joon tries to get Aunt to leave, and she’s about to when she looks back at Ah Jung’s friends and gives Ki Joon a narrowed suspicious look. Ah Jung is still hiding in the closet, and she texts Ki Joon to find out what’s going on. He tells her to stay put and behave herself. Next thing we see is Jae Bum, wearing sunglasses and giving an absurdly tone-deaf rendition on the karoake. Aunt and the other ladies love his performance so much they ask for an encore. So Ran shoots him deadly glares, and Ki Joon stares at him with a look of annoyance.
Sang Hee is flipping through old yearbooks with Yoon Joo. He smiles when he sees a picture of her in grade school. She wonders if he’s laughing at the younger her. They laugh about how they’ve changed over the years. Sang Hee asks if Ki Joon has changed any? He smiles and says that he initially was going to keep her company until Ki Joon arrived, but it looks like he’s not coming. Sang Hee gets up and leaves.
Ah Jung has fallen sleep in the closet. We see Ki Joon’s hand reach towards her and brush a hair away from her face. He then leans in and kisses her gently on the cheek. He pulls back and Ah Jung touches her cheek. He whispers to her “you’re so loveable”. Suddenly Ah Jung wakes up from her dream when the real Ki Joon tells her that she can come out now.
Ah Jung goes outside and sees that the party has finally ended. She asks if nothing happened, such as So Ran suspecting anything? He says no, and when she keeps looking at him, he asks what else she wants? She says nothing, and moves to clean up the mess. Aunt is driving home, and she looks deep in thought about what she observed tonight.
Ah Jung and Ki Joon are cleaning up the living room. Ah Jung works up her courage and asks Ki Joon why he kissed her? He reminds her that he said that he was a good actor, didn’t he? She asks if he’s saying that it was all an act? He thinks she wants to lie to her friends about their relationship. Ah Jung looks stunned.
She gets up and runs out of the house. Ki Joon chases after her and asks her what’s wrong? She yells at him for acting. It’s her friends, so if anyone needs to be telling a lie, she should be the one doing it. She rushes past him and leaves. Ki Joon turns and looks at her as she runs off.
Outside the gate, Ah Jung lets her tears fall, but she wipes it off and leaves. Ah Jung walks home, stopping to sit on a bench and castigate Ki Joon. She repeats “it’s all acting”. She calls Hyun Ki Joon a bad guy. She cries and wipes away her tears.
Ki Joon gets dressed the next morning for work. Damn the man is gorgeous and his suits are to-die-for. He walks out to see the housekeeper cleaning the living room. He tells her to stop cleaning, it’ll be taken care of later. In fact, he gives the housekeeper the next few days off. Ki Joon walks away with a tiny smirk.
Ah Jung arrives at work, and her co-workers remark on how smelly she is because she’s wearing pain reliever patches. Ah Jung goes to the bathroom to take off the patches, and she thinks back to the kiss with Ki Joon and how he explained that it was an act.
Ah Jung’s friends are at the gym working out. The friends are fully buying into the story that Ah Jung and Ki Joon are married. They awe over how Ki Joon couldn’t keep his eyes off of Ah Jung, and how they’ve never been kissed like that before. So Ran doesn’t buy it, and mentions seeing Ki Joon with another woman. The other friends don’t believe So Ran, who insists the kiss was for show. The friends tell So Ran that she’s been too sensitive, and it can’t be just So Ran who is allowed to be happy in this world.
When So Ron is leaving the gym, Jae Bum’s mistress comes up to her. The cheating hussy looks So Ran over, asking if she’s Jae Bum’s wife. She asks how her husband is doing, and wonders if their relationship is good recently. She leaves, and So Ran’s face freezes as she makes the connection. So Ran goes to Jae Bum’s office and beats him up while he’s in a meeting with another colleague. Hahaha, these two totally deserve each other. So Ran leaves after unleashing a can of whoop ass on Jae Bum, who sits in his office and cries.
Ah Jung is a work but her mind is wandering. She gets a call from Ki Joon, asking her when she’s planning to return his house to its original condition. Ah Jung asks if that’s his only reason for calling, and he tells her that until she cleans his house, he’s confiscating her belongings that she’s left there. Ah Jung’s flustered and tells him that she’ll clean it immediately.
Park Hoon gets called in to meet Aunt. She can tell that Ki Joon is protecting “that woman” because he’s afraid of what Aunt might do to her. Aunt is certain there is something going on between them. Hoon says its Ki Joon’s personal life, and even were Aunt to fire him, he can’t divulge it. Aunt gets worried, and makes the assumption that Ki Joon knocked up Ah Jung and needs to take responsibility for her.
Hoon says it’s not that at all! Aunt shows him pictures of Ki Joon meeting with Ah Jung, and asks if the two of them are in love? Hoon finally caves and blurts out the truth about their contract marriage pretense. He immediately goes to tell Ki Joon that his Aunt knows the entire truth now.
Ki Joon sits on the sofa and reads a book while Ah Jung runs around the living room cleaning up. He’s totally pretending to read because he notices everything she does. He clicks his fingers and tells her that she missed an item. She wants to vacuum and he tells her that he doesn’t like the noise. She ends up wiping the furniture down.
He asks her why she ran out of his house last night? She thinks he ought to know the reason. He says he doesn’t, so why doesn’t she tell him now? Ah Jung says it’s because of the kiss – he kissed her without getting her permission. Ki Joon wonders if perhaps that was her first kiss. Ah Jung says it’s not her first kiss, but Ki Joon doesn’t believe her and says to himself that it must be her first kiss.
Ah Jung gets defensive, asking Ki Joon if it’s that amusing to tease her. She tries to walk past Ki Joon and leave, but he grabs her hand and pulls her back down to sit on the sofa next to him. Oh jeez, even these newly touchy feely gestures by Ki Joon makes my belly curl. He tells her that it wasn’t an act.
Ki Joon tells her that he lied when he said it was an act. Ki Joon puts his arm on the sofa back and leans closer to her, telling her that even though he was pretending last night, the kiss itself wasn’t acting. Ah Jung asks him what the kiss means then? He asks himself that.
Before they can discuss further, Sang Hee arrives to witness this scene, asking them what is going on? Ah Jung immediately scoots away from Ki Joon. Sang Hee gives them a hard look. He’s brought people over to take away all the clothing and accessories that were brought over to put in the closet. Sang Hee asks if Ah Jung is planning to stay longer, and she says that she’s not done cleaning. She asks if he’ll help her, and he curtly asks her why he should do that.
Sang Hee walks away, but then comes back and drags Ah Jung out of the house. Ki Joon watches them leave, with Sang Hee telling Ki Joon to finish cleaning up himself. Outside the house, Ah Jung finally shakes off his hand and asks him what he’s doing. Sang Hee asks Ah Jung if she wants his help? She says yes, and he tells her that she appears to be mistaken. Sang Hee walks away and the hotel manager sees him crossing the street.
Ah Jung is tossing and turning in her bed that night. She thinks back to what Ki Joon said to her about the kiss not being an act. She smiles and gets all nervous. Ki Joon sits on the sofa and thinks about Ah Jung asking him why he kissed her? He asks himself “if it’s not an act, then what is it?” Oh Ki Joon, don’t be so dim-witted at this juncture.
Ah Jung heads off to work in the morning. She opens her front gate and trips over a box left right outside. She opens the box and discovers it contains the belongs still left at Ki Joon’s house. She looks up to see Ki Joon’s car driving off. Ki Joon arrives at work and runs in the manager in the parking garage.
They take the elevator up together, and she asks him about Sang Hee. She saw Sang Hee yesterday, and he has changed so much and looks like a man now. She remarks that Ki Joon is still acting like Sang Hee’s father instead of his brother. Ki Joon is reminded that he made a promise to always take care of Sang Hee.
Ah Jung’s co-workers are discussing how it’s rumored that one of their colleagues is supposed to be married to World Hotel’s Hyun Ki Joon. They go down the list of the unmarried co-workers to try to determine which person it is. Ah Jung is working through lunch again, and when her female co-worker brings her a sandwich, Ah Jung asks her for advice.
What does it mean if a serious and straightforward person starts behaving differently – calling her over to clean his house, or dropping by her house to leave her belongings. Ah Jung is told that such behavior indicates the guy likes her. Ah Jung laughs and discounts it, but then can’t help but feel pleased and giggly at the possibility.
Ae Kyung is at the park with Suk Bong and Ah Jung’s dad. Suk Bung can’t believe that Ae Kyung and Ah Jung’s dad were once in love, since their attitude now is so cool and calm with each other. Ae Kyung thinks their story was like a tragedy, in love but cannot be together. Ae Jung’s dad says that their love has never ended, even though now they can be friends with each other.
Ah Jung is at work, but she keeps looking at her phone. She finally picks it up, initially wanting to text Ki Joon, asking him what’s he’s doing after work. She wonders if that’s too obvious, and changes her text to asking if he has time. She ends up calling him.
She asks him where he is, and he replies that it’s none of her business. Oh, and Ki Joon is wearing a black shirt and looks so fine my heart beat skipped about five beats. Ah Jung uses the excuse that she lost a very precious pen at his house. Ki Joon looks around the closet for a minute, before realizing that it’s an excuse. He smiles to himself.
Ki Joon meets Ah Jung at the movie theater. She’s dressed very nicely, and he’s changed back into a three-piece suit to go and meet her. He shows her a handful of pens, asking her which is is the missing pen. Ah Jung quickly grabs a pen, saying its her lucky pen and she can’t do anything without it. When he moves to leave, she tells him that she’ll treat him to a movie to thank him for finding her pen. She drags Ki Joon into the theater, and it’s just so adorable how since he met her, she’s pretty much led him around despite his reluctance each and everytime.
They go see Jane Eyre, the same melo-movie that Ki Joon watched with Park Hoon the other day. Ki Joon smiles as he sneaks a look at Ah Jung, especially when they reach for popcorn and their hands brush. After the movie, Ki Joon casually says that she ought to treat him to a round of drinks. Since it’s such a lucky pen, she can’t just expect a movie to be sufficient to show her thanks. Ah Jung quickly agrees and hurries after him.
At the bar, Ki Joon asks if she has any siblings. She says no, just her dad and her. Ah Jung asks Ki Joon why he became a hotel president. He doesn’t remember, but it always felt like he ought to do it, and he wants to do his best. Ah Jung quietly says that Ki Joon is very kind.
Ki Joon asks Ah Jung why she became a civil servant. She says there were a lot of reasons initially, but now she wants to prove herself as part of an organization. He doesn’t think she appears too trustworthy. She asks him whether it’s lonely living alone, and he says no. She asks him if he likes girl pop groups, and when he doesn’t answer, she asks him if he likes girls. She then teases him for liking guys.
She wants to ask him about if there is something secret he doesn’t want people to know about, and he wonders why he would tell her if he doesn’t want anyone to know. But then he blurts out that he likes making miniature models. He scoffs that at his age, to be liking such a hobby, but Ah Jung immediately says that she wants him to show it to her. He looks at her, and she says next time, when the opportunity arises.
Ah Jung and Ki Joon walk in the park, passing by their bench where the almost-kiss happened. Ah Jung looks at it and smiles. She thanks Ki Joon for walking her home, and for finding her pen, and rushes off to go home. He murmurs to the departed Ah Jung that she’s being too presumptuous. But then Ki Joon takes one more look at the bench and smiles towards the direction where Ah Jung scampered off. He turns and walks the other direction.
Ki Joon is at a work meeting when his phone pings with a text. It’s from Ah Jung, and Ki Joon reads the text and puts the phone back in his pocket. But a minute later he asks the other folks to wait for a moment, and he responds to Ah Jung’s text. Everyone looks around in surprise, especially when Ki Joon turns back to the paperwork and has forgotten where he left off. Ki Joon texts Ah Jung that he’s in the middle of a meeting, and she wonders why he hasn’t eaten lunch yet.
Yoon Joo walks into Ki Joon’s office to say hi. They head out to the park for a walk, where Yoon Joo takes her shoes off to walk barefoot on the grass. She’s just gotten back from Busan and visiting various department stores. He tells her to stay home and rest, but she says that she misses him. She wonders if he’s so busy that he can’t answer her calls. He apologizes, but Yoon Joo just blurts out that she’s seen Sang Hee. Initially she thought it would be awkward, but once she saw Sang Hee’s smiling face, she couldn’t be angry at him anymore.
Yoon Joo cuts her foot on a piece of broken glass. Ki Joon runs to the pharmacy to get some first aid supplies. He runs back to the park, but can’t find Yoon Joo anywhere. He tries to call her, but she doesn’t pick up her phone. He ends up running around the park looking for her. Finally Ki Joon spies her sitting on a bench. He walks over and tells her in a very stern voice that he told her to stay put, why didn’t she stay where he left her?
Yoon Joo notes that once Ki Joon couldn’t see her, he went around looking for her. Clearly he will look for her. Yoon Joo asks Ki Joon if they can start over again, they never really ended. Ki Joon doesn’t answer. Yoon Joo says that Sang Hee is fine now. Ki Joon ignores her and bends down to tend to her wound, but she won’t let it go. Ki Joon screams at her that she is hurt. She yells back that this wound doesn’t hurt. Ki Joon gets up and walks away. Ooooooh, I love this.
Ah Jung is at work, but keeps checking her phone. Ah Jung heads to Ae Kyung’s cafe. Sang Hee arrives and sits down to join the conversation. He asks Ah Jung how the housewarming went? She says it went fine. Ah Jung asks if Ki Joon is busy recently? Sang Hee doesn’t answer, and she assumes he’s very busy. Sang Hee tells her that his brother is very busy, and tells her NOT To bother him anymore. He then gets up and leaves. Suk Bong tells Ah Jung that the woman Sang Hee wants but can never have is back, which is why Sang Hee is in such a bad mood.
Ah Jung’s friends are talking about how So Ran hasn’t been out with them recently, and they wonder what trouble she’s plotting. At the department store, So Ran sees Yoon Joo walk into an elevator and she rushes to get into the same elevator. Yoon Joo looks weirded out that this woman keeps looking at her. So Ran hides behind a beam and sneaks more looks at Yoon Joo.
Park Hoon hands Ki Joon a jewelry present the Chairman from Shanghai asked to be given to Ah Jung. Ki Joon wants Hoon to return it, but Hoon thinks that would be rude. Hoon offers to give it to Ah Jung.
Ah Jung is at a departmental meeting. They discuss the upcoming International Tourism Exhibition, which is the biggest project of the year. Ah Jung is given the lead by request of their superior. Another co-worker grabs her special pen to scribble something and Ah Jung freaks out and screams at him.
When Ah Jung gets back to her desk, she looks at the pen carefully and finally notices that it says World Hotel on it. She realizes that Ki Joon saw through her ruse. She puts the pen in an envelope and into her purse. Ah Jung gets a call and goes to meet Park Hoon. She’s stunned to receive such an expensive gift, a thank you for taking the couple out sightseeing last time.
Ki Joon talks with the manager, who tells him that the Chairman wants to go to Cheonchu tomorrow and asked them to arrange a tour. The manager switches to banmal and says that Ki Joon has changed recently, and is sending text messages all of a sudden. She asks if he’s gotten back together with Yoon Joo. She remarks that Ki Joon and Yoon Joo are a great match, but then what about Sang Hee? She tells him that if he needs a friend to talk with, she’s there for him.
Ki Joon goes to the bar to drink by himself. He walks by an indoor squash court, where he takes off his coat and goes to smash squash balls. He thinks back to his past with Yoon Joo and his present with Ah Jung. He ends up tiring himself out and he collapses on the floor in exhaustion.
Ki Joon comes home and walks to the kitchen to get a drink of water. He looks inside the fridge and discovers that Ah Jung actually made food for him on the day of the housewarming, which she had put in the fridge. She leaves him a note thanking him for lending her the house. Ki Joon takes out the food and eats it.
Ah Jung comes home and sees her dad reading in the living room. Ah Jung goes inside and puts on jewelry. It’s gorgeous, but her face falls a little when she sees it. She calls Ki Joon, asking where he is right now. She heads over to his house. Ki Joon opens the door for her, and she stands in the doorway and hands him the jewelry box. She explains that it’s too expensive and she can’t accept it. Which is when Ki Joon collapses on her.
Ah Jung calls a doctor who comes over and puts Ki Joon on an IV. Ah Jung is told that even though it’s a stomach ache, it was made all the worse because he’s so stressed that his immune system is weak. She calls home to make excuses to her dad, as she’s decided to stay the night and take care of him. She walks over to the sleeping Ki Joon, asking him why he ate the food? Because he kinda can’t get you out of his mind?
Ah Jung puts cold compresses on Ki Joon and ends up dozing off on his bed, curled up next to him. She wakes up the next morning and touches his forehead. His fever has cooled, so she puts on another compress and gets up to leave. She turns around and apologizes to the still sleeping Ki Joon that it’s all her fault. Which is when Ki Joon’s arm shoot out from under the blanket and grabs her wrist.
She turns to look at him, and he loosens his grip slightly. Ah Jung moves to leave again, and Ki Joon’s grip tightens once more. She turns back and they stare at each other.
Thoughts of Mine:
This was the best, most substantive episode of LTM yet. It’s not saying much, considering the first six episodes really weren’t very good. But like 49 Days, each successive episode gets better so I take that with some happiness and consolation. It’s reassuring that the production has finally tinkered enough with the drama (toddling between slapstick comedy and plodding romantic developments) and discovered that the audiences don’t want either of that, but instead want a bona fide love story that is high on the romance and low on the comedy.
I know I, along with a good portion of the folks newly addicted to LTM, am projecting somewhat when we watch the developing love story between Ki Joon and Ah Jung. Because the chemistry between Kang Ji Hwan and Yoon Eun Hye is so intense, and because the writer really hasn’t done a good job fleshing out their characters, as the viewer we naturally fill in the blanks. It makes the viewing experience so much fun, even if chances are the two of them are simply the world’s best actors in pretending to be so attracted to each other.
So let’s talk about the drama itself, shall we? Ah Jung and Ki Joon are the textbook example of two people falling for each other at the same time. Their interactions are tinged with visible awareness from both of them as to the unshakeable attraction and curiosity. It’s tentative but obvious from her side, it’s restrained yet palpable from his side. I love how his attraction to her doesn’t have anything do with Yoon Joo – whether as an attempt to get over Yoon Joo or as a deterrent to Yoon Joo trying to get back with him. It’s simply two issues heading towards a collision in his heart.
Ki Joon may ask himself rhetorically why he would kiss Ah Jung, but he’s not being purposely dumb. He’s question is tinged with a genuine “why” as to the reason, not a why as to what it means. He knows she interests him, but he’s doesn’t have concrete reasons yet, or even if it means anything more.
What’s adorable is how much he allows himself to be led around by Ah Jung. It’s like he’s incapable of saying no to her, of being his usual cold self with her. It’s all a pretense, one which she pierces right through. When Ki Joon explained to Ah Jung about how he accepted his responsibility in life to be a hotel president and actually wants to do a good job, and she remarked that he was so kind-hearted, we get the first full view of the real Hyun Ki Joon.
He’s a genuine good guy, not that we ever thought otherwise, but it’s only fitting that Ah Jung sees this about him. And when Ki Joon opens up to her, it just makes their relationship feel like its developing in such natural ways, despite its completely unnatural start. Ah Jung, on the other hand, is an open book. This marriage lie may be the biggest fib of her life, but she’s naturally someone who says what she’s thinking without any artful pretense. She’s the exact opposite of So Ran in that respect.
For someone like Ki Joon who keeps his emotions closely held, to meet a woman like Ah Jung who lets every feeling out, that is the attraction point for him. She is living the life that Ki Joon hadn’t the luxury to experience. He allows her to turn his life upside down because deep down, he’s likely tiring of keeping himself tightly restrained. She drives him slightly batty, and he in turn awakens her heart that has been lying dormant since she lost a chance with that douchebag Jae Bum.
This is the first episode since episode 1 where I actually liked Ah Jung the character. We see her working hard, a reminder that she is a successful and capable civil servant. We see her adorably trying to create reasons to see Ki Joon, and tentatively try to get to know him better. She’s not some brassy loudmouth character nor is she shy and too scared to take any action. Her quirkiness is finally being developed, not at the expense and mercy of continuing the lie, but in a realistic setting of falling for a guy like Hyun Ki Joon.
I think the future obstacles for our OTP are pretty clear now. Really the lie about the marriage has no weight (it’s a plot set up device but has no consquences beyond embarassment if it were to be discovered), so it’s all about the emotional threads to create conflict and angst. Sang Hee wants to get Yoon Joo and Ki Joon back together, and I see him as obstabcle #1. He’s still in love with Yoon Joo, whereas I can safely say that Ki Joon is not any more. If Sang Hee realizes right away that Ki Joon doesn’t want to get back together and he backs off, then it should be fine. If he tries to break up or create problems for Ki Joon and Ah Jung, then he and I are going to have words.
Yoon Joo remains a very tragic and passive character. She is the ultimate plot device, and I feel bad because she’s nice enough and never annoying. I don’t even find her existence annoying, because Ki Joon knows she’s around and yet he still takes Ah Jung’s calls and bothers her when she feels like it, while ignoring Yoon Joo. I think episode 8 will point us clearly how this whole thing might play out. Who knew one magical kiss can resurrect a drama? Perhaps it’s not the kiss, but the two people kissing as if they were caught up in their own world, and we are all peeping toms like the guests at the party watching Ki Joon and Ah Jung kiss. No wonder we’re addicted and no one can look away anymore.