For a second episode in a row, we have Ki Joon and Ah Jung dating. ‘Tis true, they work and they date like normal people do, at least before the lie scandal explodes for real this time around. Strip away the overarching plot lines of the lie converging with Ki Joon’s business deal merging with Yoon Joo, Lie to Me could be purely about every sparkling interaction between them and I wouldn’t complain one whit. I have never wanted to watch two fictional characters do nothing but hang out all day long.
But I accept the impending angst, because it was built into the drama proper and does serve a purpose to straighten out all the intertwined relationships in this drama. No lie is insignificant, the act of lying itself means that there are tangible consequences in varying degrees. What makes a person lie? Because the deceit is necessary in the face of something more significant. Ah Jung and Ki Joon went along with an accidental lie because her pride and his business deal was more important at that time. So now both have to be ready and willing to face the consequences. I know they will sacrifice for each other, but in the end, it will only make their love that much stronger.
Episode 13 Recap:
Ki Joon, torn between duty and his heart, picks the latter for once. Having broken an engagement for his brother, this time he’s decided to stop sacrificing his own love for some greater good. He heads to meet Ah Jung at their bench. She sees him and runs into his arms for a hug, a kind of reassurance that is priceless and oh so poignant. She cries that she’s had such a hard time. His voice breaks a little when he replies that he’s missed her so much.
Ah Jung steps back from the hug and wipes her tears. The way Ki Joon looks at her with such concern in his eyes, god every woman would kill for a guy like him. He asks what happened, and she says nothing, but then conceding something happened. She explains that the Minister asked her something about Ki Joon having an engagement. So she was worried that maybe Yoon Joo’s dad said something.
Ki Joon asks her to stop worrying about things that don’t matter and just trust him. She nods, and he says more forcefully again “do you trust me” and she nods her head again. He tells her they should get going. She ask where to, and he says some place to relieve their stress. I highly recommend your BED, Ki Joon. Please drive straight there. Best stress relief ever, I guarantee it.
Jae Bum and So Ran are continuing their renewed honeymoon period by having a romantic dinner and exchanging gifts. He gives her a watch, and she gives him a mystery novel. He promises that every day will be like today, as if they are celebrating an anniversary. So Ran heads to the bathroom and Jae Bum thinks that maybe the real gift is hidden in the box but looks and discovers So Ran really did buy him just a book.
On her way to the bathroom, So Ran sees Yoon Joo in the restaurant waiting with her parents and Aunt. So Ran calls Ah Jung from the bathroom asking if Ah Jung is with Ki Joon right now, and if they are really dating? So Ran is happy for Ah Jung, but Yoon Joo’s mom overhears this conversation. Yoon Joo’s mom angrily goes back to the table and drags her husband and Yoon Joo out of there. Aunt does not look happy at all.
Ki Joon and Ah Jung adorably munch on street stall snacks. How do they make the cheesiest date moments seem that sweet and squee-worthy, I simply can’t fathom. Oh yes, because it looks and feels like two people really in love spending time together. They then go play some games – Ah Jung whacks-a-mole while Ki Joon hits a punching board to garner high points. Both of them have a lollipop in their mouth. Okay, couple rings and tees are so passé, I decree that it’s couple’s candy that are de rigeur now.
Ki Joon gets a call and he takes out his phone to see that it’s Yoon Joo. He ignores the call while Ah Jung tells him to answer. She tells him its weird not to answer the phone when on a date. A text follows and he takes out his phone to see that Yoon Joo sent him a message asking that even if he didn’t want to come, he shouldn’t hurt her parents like that. Ugh, girl, you are the one hurting your parents. If you let Ki Joon go, your parents would give a flying fig about him showing up or not. You, it’s all you!
Ki Joon buys them ice-cream cones (okay, they are finally eating ice-cream together after their relationship look a giant leap forward with the ice-cream song? I love it!). Ah Jung asks what is going on with him today – playing way too hard and not answering his phone. Ki Joon initially doesn’t want to answer but Ah Jung pushes him to tell her. Ki Joon confesses that he missed a dinner appointment that was part business and part personal.
He reveals that Congressman Park is Yoon Joo’s stepdad. It’s Ki Joon’s turn to ask Ah Jung how she knew of the Congressman? She won’t answer, so he pushes her ice-cream cone into her face, smearing it over her nose and mouth. She gets incensed and turns to grab his neck and probably shove his ice-cream in his face. Or make out. We’ll never know because all we see is Ki Joon turning kinda red and telling her to stop, and then the scene cuts away. I am officially lodging a protest with SBS. That scene was of vital importance to the plot.
Ki Joon gets chewed out by Aunt the next day for knowingly missing the dinner date to go meet his ladybird. Aunt is pissed that Ah Jung is more important to Ki Joon than his business. She wonders where the old Hyun Ki Joon went? Ki Joon says that he will apologize to Yoon Joo’s parents, but he’s not sorry about refusing to use Yoon Joo’s stepdad to get to Chairman Chen. Ki Joon vows to convince Chairman Chen on his own and asks Aunt to trust him.
Ah Jung’s co-worker Hyo Joon (the big guy) gets chewed out by the boss. Everyone heads out to lunch except Ah Jung and Hyo Joon. Ah Jung talks on the phone with Ki Joon. Ah Jung discusses working on a China-Korea Cultural Festival, which made her think of Chairman Chen. Ah Jung suggest holding the festival at the World Hotel. She giggles with Ki Joon, and all of this is overheard by Hyo Joon.
Ki Joon heads to meet with Chairman Chen. Chairman Chen is playing mahjong with Congressman Park and two other men. The Chairman asks Congressman Park if his daughter was once engaged to Ki Joon? Park confirms the engagement was broken, but he had hoped it could work out. But he didn’t realize that Ki Joon has a new girlfriend now.
Chairman Chen says that it’s Gong Ah Jung, whom he’s met a few times. When asked if he’s planning to invest in Great Hotel, the Chairman says he hasn’t decided yet, but he doesn’t want to invest in World Hotel. Congressman Park excuses himself and leaves.
Congressman Park runs into Ki Joon. The Congressman tells Ki Joon that he had an enjoyable dinner the other night, and Ki Joon replies that he is glad to hear this. Congressman Park laughs and leaves. Ki Joon pays the doorman money to go inside and meet with Chairman Chen. Once inside, Ki Joon first apologizes for coming,
Chairman Chen asks Ki Joon not to apologize and play mahjong with them. If he won’t play, then he should leave. Ki Joon sits down, confirming that he doesn’t know how to play, but he’s going to play because there is something vitally important he has to play for. Chairman Chen tells him to stop being a kid and go home. Marriage is as important as business, yet Ki Joon treated it like child’s play, the Chairman can’t work with Ki Joon because of this.
Ki Joon accepts responsibility, but explains that lying that he was married to Ah Jung, and then telling the truth about their non-marriage, it was because of his love for her. This is the first time Ki Joon discovered that reality and the truth may not be the same. Because of one lie he may have lost a lot, but it allowed him to discover that he’s willing to give up everything for that one person.
Ki Joon tells the Chairman that there are no lies in the way he does business. He asks the Chairman to further investigate, and the Chairman agrees but tells Ki Joon that unfortunately there is more competition for his investment now. Ki Joon leaves.
Ah Jung is discussing the Korea-China Festival and she gets a call that the World Hotel has been selected to host. Hyo Joon notes that there are many bidders for the hotel business. Hyo Joon calls their boss out to relay his suspicion that Ah Jung is getting lobbied by World Hotel. The boss tells him to stop conjecturing and go back to work.
Ah Jung is asked if another location has been selected for as another venue for the event and she replies that it’s still between World and Great Hotel. Suddenly she gets a call from Ki Joon so she walks away to take the call, but her boss and Hyo Joon overhears that it’s a call from Ki Joon. He tells her that he’s coming back from a meeting. She sasses that he went to see a woman, but he tells her that he went to see Chairman Chen. Ki Joon tells Ah Jung to head straight home after work and not get nabbed by random guys. Ah Jung smiles and ends the call.
Suk Bong calls Yoon Joo to remind her of an outing they’ve planned. Yoon Joo tries to back out but Suk Bong convinces her to attend. Together with Sang Hee, they head to the river banks to sketch. Okay, this is a lovely scene, the three art school friends heading outside on a nice day to draw.
Sang Hee, Suk Bong, and Yoon Joo discuss how the scenery has stayed the same despite the passage of time. People, things, love, it all changes. Sang Hee asks if Yoon Joo is very down lately, he heard she wasn’t feeling well. She says she’s fine now. Sang Hee says loving someone else can’t be considered a crime. He says that with respect to his love, why does it always seem like a crime?
Yoon Joo says that she used to hate Sang Hee, blaming him for the end of her engagement. But now she’s realizing that the end of the road for her and Ki Joon can’t be blamed on Sang Hee. Maybe he was a test of their love, and they didn’t pass the test. Yoon Joo thinks that everyone is changing but her. Sang Hee tells her to change, to become more beautiful. Yoon Joo vows to change, she doesn’t want to stupidly be in pain all alone.
Ki Joon heads back to work and asks for a pile of documents from Park Hoon. As they are working, Manager Park arrives and informs Ki Joon that World Hotel got the right to hold the cultural event. Ki Joon tells them both that they have a lot of work to do since Chairman Chen has agreed to reconsider their proposal.
We see a montage of Ki Joon and Ah Jung both hard at work, respectively. Ah Jung texts Ki Joon, telling him that she went straight home because she was afraid of being nabbed by other guys. She adds a few hearts to her text message for good measure. Ki Joon reads it and smiles, then looks around furtively.
Ah Jung is told that the event schedule sent by World Hotel doesn’t match with theirs. Ah Jung calls Ki Joon on his cell, but speaks formally with him, introducing herself as Gong Ah Jung from the Ministry. She says that the event schedule his hotel staff sent doesn’t match at all. He tells her to stop joking around and she says that she’s not. Ki Joon asks Ah Jung if she had lunch but she says she doesn’t have time for lunch since his side isn’t doing their work properly. She tells him to bring the correct event schedule himself right away or else she’s leaving out the World Hotel from the event. Hahaha, way to leverage your position to get your boyfriend to come see you. Love it!
Ki Joon requests that the schedule be brought over. Ki Joon is dropped out outside the Ministry. Park Hoon hands him the documents and confirms that Ki Joon is delivering it himself. Ki Joon says that Ah Jung requested that he bring it himself. Hoon grumbles at how strict Ah Jung is with Ki Joon, especially if they are dating.
Ki Joon walks into Ah Jung’s office and marches right up to her, dropping a pile of paperwork on her desk with a bang. He tells her that he brought the correct paperwork like she requested.
Ki Joon and Ah Jung sit at a conference table and go through the paperwork. All her co-workers are listening in on the conversation, which Ki Joon and Ah Jung keep purely professional despite the fact that they are totally making out with their eyes the entire time. I have a new visual model for eye-sexting during a meeting. Omo, they are SO CUTE.
Afterwards Ah Jung and Ki Joon sit outside and have some lunch. She apologizes for making him come since he’s so busy. He tells her that she’s abusing her power, which she says she’s happy to do if it means she gets to see him.
He wonders if she’s keeping their relationship a secret at work? She confirms that no one needs to know, which makes him jokingly upset that he’s the only one who’s gone public with their relationship at his work. Ah Jung’s co-workers spot them so she quickly gets up to leave, bidding goodbye to Ki Joon in a formal manner.
Ah Jung and Ki Joon are both working late. He texts her and asks if she got the food he had delivered to her, and whether it was to her taste? Seriously, best boyfriend ever. Ah Jung texts back that she wanted to eat something else actually.
She walks outside and finds Ki Joon waiting for her. She’s surprised to see him, wondering why he didn’t go home since he must be tired. He says that he is tired because of someone, but if he goes home he’ll miss her, and that’ll make him even more tired. He asks her to go somewhere with him.
Ah Jung is taken aback, but Ki Joon puts his hand on her cheek and gently caresses it. He says that he wants to spend today with her. Ah Jung is embarrassed and Ki Joon laughs that he just wanted to relax with her.
Ah Jung calls her dad from the car and tells him that she needs to work late. Dad says he’s also busy tonight and will likely sleep late as well. Ki Joon wants to know why she didn’t tell her dad the truth that she was with him? Maybe cuz daddy will rip you apart, Ki Joon, especially if he knows half the kissage you two have done already.
Ki Joon asks what her dad thinks of him? Ah Jung says he thinks Ki Joon is so-so. Ki Joon thought he was the first guy to meet Ah Jung’s dad, and she laughs that it was just his assumption that he was the first. Ki Joon gets upset and Ah Jung says she’s teasing him. She keeps teasing him by saying that her dad doesn’t like him, and when Ki Joon gets upset, Ah Jung laughs that he looks so cute when he’s in a pique.
Ki Joon and Ah Jung go wherever any Korean needs to go late at night and nothing else is open – the 24 hour jjimjalbang (spa). Ki Joon chose the place because he wanted to come here with Ah Jung. They wear matching towel heads and Ah Jung breaks an egg on his head and feeds him. Ki Joon thinks he should take off his head towel because he’s worried someone will recognize him.
As they are headed to an ice room they walk past Ah Jung’s dad who is laying in Ae Kyung’s lap getting a mask put on his face. Ah Jung initially wants to walk away but she decides to confront her dad, both of them accusing the other of using some work excuse. Dad asks Ki Joon how dare he take her daughter out all night. If anyone heard then she’ll never get married.
Dad says Ah Jung is his precious daughter, and Ae Kyung speaks up in defense of Ki Joon. Ae Kyung then bonds with Ki Joon, saying that Ah Jung and her dad are just so difficult and want to make Ki Joon and her suffer. Suddenly they see the jjimjalbang hold a drink chugging competition. To which Ki Joon asks Ah Jung if it’s just like drinking coke? Ah Jung blushes and tells him to shush it.
Ah Jung’s dad looks at Ki Joon and suddenly the two guys are participating in the competition. Ah Jung and Ae Kyung cheer on their guys, who are the final competitors left. Too bad Ki Joon buckles at the last minute and dad wins the competition. I’m not sure why Ah Jung grabbed a giant bear before running off behind Ki Joon, but it was cute.
Chairman Chen is leaving Korea and Ki Joon goes to deliver a revised business proposal. Ki Joon tells Chairman Chen that even if World is not selected this time, he believes the Chairman will one day invest with him. They shake hands and Chairman Chen leaves. Park Hoon doesn’t think the atmosphere bodes well for them.
Next up for Ki Joon is a meeting with Congressman Park. He apologizes to the Congressman for standing him up for dinner. The dinner was his Aunt’s idea, not his. He wants to get the Chairman Chen deal on his own terms. He’s ended things with Yoon Joo three years ago. Congressman Park says that because Yoon Joo is not his blood daughter, he’s extra protective of her.
He thinks one day Ki Joon will be calling him father-in-law, to which Ki Joon says that a withered branch can no longer flower. Congressman Park laughs and says that it’s no wonder Yoon Joo likes Ki Joon so much. Aunt meets with two directors who have gotten fired by Ki Joon. Aunt doesn’t rescind the decision, saying they should be happy the company is not pressing charges.
Ki Joon arrives and passes the fired directors on his way in to meet his Aunt. He informs Aunt that he’s headed to China on a business trip to find new investors. Aunt is not happy but tells Ki Joon that he got himself into this mess and to get himself out. But he doesn’t have much time.
Ah Jung and Ki Joon are sitting on the steps outside her office. She chides him for coming by so often, what if people find out? Ki Joon says he should just tell the world, and then asks if she’s embarrassed by him? He’s upset since before she boasted to her friends that she was married to him. Ah Jung says that it’s not the right time to reveal their relationship.
Ah Jung reminds Ki Joon that if their relationship were revealed, it’d get in the papers since Ki Joon is a public figure. Ki Joon sighs and says that he’s in trouble because he misses her, then letting her know that he’s headed to China on a business trip. He teases her that he’s gone for a year. Ah Jung says she’ll start dating other guys then. He tells her not to dare, but he’ll be back soon. Ah Jung says she can’t even hug him since it’s outside of work. He walks away, but turns back to look at her one more time.
Ki Joon is getting ready to depart, but he checks his phone one more time, looking like he wants to call Ah Jung. But he puts his phone away and walks to the departure line. Suddenly Ah Jung pops up in front of him, darting into the line to surprise him. Lord, the smile of happiness that lights up Ki Joon’s face is brilliant.
He asks why she came, and she hands him their “lucky pen” so that he can sign his contract in China using it to bring him luck. The airport announcement indicates that Ki Joon’s flight is about to depart so he reminds her that he’s not going abroad to study like they do in the dramas. He’ll be back, and he wants her to call him since his phone roams.
She softly strokes his suit lapel, and he gently holds her hand. Both are reluctant to let go, leading Ki Joon and Ah Jung to naturally change places so he’s heading towards the front of the line but still holding each other’s hand. Ki Joon backs up gradually so only their one finger is interwined, until finally their fingers break apart. Ki Joon turns back to look at Ah Jung one more time, lightly biting his lower lip as he holds up the lucky pen. She smiles and waves goodbye.
The World Hotel directors meet with two reporters and hand them the scandal on Ki Joon. Ah Jung checks online and is dismayed to discover Shanghai is so far away. Ah Jung lays down to bed and checks her phone to see if Ki Joon called. She says she misses Ki Joon so much.
Yoon Joo and her mom are watching TV when the news breaks about the president of the World Hotel Hyun Ki Joon lying that he was married in order to land a China investment deal. Yoon Joo asks if her parents leaked the information but her mom says that they would never have. Mom says that even though they are not pleased with Ki Joon, they would never do anything like this. Yoon Joo asks if she can see her dad today.
Aunt is upset and demands to know from Park Hoon and Manager Park whether Ki Joon knew about this impending scandal before he left for China. Manager Park says no, he went to survey the opportunities. Aunt wants to know when he’s coming back and Park Hoon says he’ll be back when he’s done. Aunt wants Ki Joon called back immediately.
Ah Jung arrives at work to find everyone crowded around a computer reading the latest breaking scandal about Ki Joon. She tries calling Ki Joon but he doesn’t pick up his phone. Ah Jung leaves work in shock and hurries to Ki Joon’s office. Park Hoon calls Ki Joon for her and leaves a message.
As Ah Jung is leaving Ki Joon’s office, she runs into Yoon Joo who is just arriving. The two women sit down and have a discussion about the current situation. Let me preface by saying that no matter what Yoon Joo says, even if it makes sense, she totally has no right to say it because Ah Jung and Ki Joon are adults and are in a relationship of their own volition. Ergo, Yoon Joo can be saying the Earth is round and I’d still be telling her to shut her mouth.
Yoon Joo starts off by saying this has never happened to Ki Joon before. So what, Yoon Joo? Maybe you’ve never been crapped on by a bird, but shit happens, people deal with it. Ah Jung can’t process everything right now, and Yoon Joo speaks for her and says Ah Jung must be feeling guilty and hurting. Ah Jung says no, all she feels is sorry, very sorry, so very sorry.
Yoon Joo ups her guilt trip and asks Ah Jung if she’s ever considered what it means to be Ki Joon’s woman? Since he was young he’s carried a huge burden around, never once complaining, just running the business and giving up on so much of what he’s wanted to do. Since meeting Ah Jung, Ki Joon is looking at his world differently. Perhaps Ah Jung has pulled Ki Joon out of his insular world. Why yes, Yoon Joo, ding ding ding, you just won a prize for the correct observation. Now come here so I can shove you in my closet.
Yoon Joo continues telling Ah Jung that it’s not so simple being with Ki Joon. Ah Jung has to potentially give up everything (why?) and Ki Joon has also potentially lost a lot to be with her. Yoon Joo asks Ah Jung to think carefully about what’s best for Ki Joon. Why don’t everybody let Ki Joon decide what is best for Ki Joon.
Ah Jung gets a call from Aunt and goes to meet with her. Aunt is cordial and polite, but asks Ah Jung to please give Ki Joon back to her. This is a very important time for his career, and she can’t allow Ki Joon’s future to be ruined at this critical juncture. Aunt asks Ah Jung for help, she needs Ah Jung to help Ki Joon stand up straight again and salvage his reputation. Ah Jung apologizes for telling the lie. Ah Jung’s dad reads the newspaper and finds out about Ki Joon’s situation.
Ah Jung sits on their bench and thinks back to the conversations of the day. She starts to cry, and cry some more, sobbing her guts out on the bench of tears, almost kisses, and no more cherry blossoms. Later, Ah Jung sits in her room and calls Jae Bum, who is sleeping in bed with So Ran. Jae Bum answers his phone and goes out to meet with Ah Jung before the sun has even risen. She asks him for help. She knows what she wants to do, but she needs a lawyer. She asks Jae Bum to be her lawyer.
Ah Jung goes to work before any of her co-workers arrive. She steels herself and types up her resignation letter, leaving it on her boss’ desk before she leaves. Ah Jung goes to the World Hotel and walks to stand before all the reporters congregated outside of Ki Joon’s office. Manager Park runs up to her and tries to stop her, but Ah Jung goes forward and makes her announcement.
She gets the media’s attention by announcing that President Hyun Ki Joon did not tell a lie. She continues by announcing that she was the one who told the lie. Because she told the lie, everything happened. We see Ki Joon arriving at the airport, finally back in Korea and headed right into this mess. Park Hoon tries to shield him and get him out of the airport.
Back to the impromptu news conference, the media asks Ah Jung to identify herself, and she takes a deep breath and says that she is an employee at the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and Sports, and her name is Gong Ah Jung.
Thoughts of Mine:
Let’s refresh the inception of the lie and then discuss the fallout from the lie, shall we? First off, the initial marriage rumor between Ki Joon and Ah Jung was a simple mistaken assumption by a third party mushrooming into a scorching rumor that wouldn’t die. Ah Jung lying to So Ran and Jae Bum that she was married (but not to whom) was a private lie that has no greater consequence. But merged together with Ki Joon’s deception to Chairman Chen, it becomes something else.
The critical key to the lie is Sang Hee. He arranged it all by telling Chairman Chen that Ah Jung was Ki Joon’s wife, thereby pushing Ki Joon into a corner so that he either had to continue with the lie or risk losing the investment. So while Sang Hee was the tie that binds, both Ah Jung and Ki Joon did in fact actively continue the lie after its initial mistaken inception. This is where Ah Jung and Ki Joon are both stepping forward and taking the fall for their own behavior.
Ki Joon did it first by telling Chairman Chen the truth, since the lie from his part was intended for the Chairman’s benefit. Ah Jung is doing it now for Ki Joon’s benefit, since Ki Joon wouldn’t have agreed to lie with her had she not let Sang Hee know that she wanted Ki Joon to pretend to be her husband until So Ran left the country. This is not noble idiocy like taking responsibility for something she didn’t do, Ah Jung genuinely feels culpable for the situation being spun against Ki Joon.
Yes, the lie really isn’t all that scandalous or salacious. All Chairman Chen can do is refuse to do business with Ki Joon going forth. The problem with the lie is that coupled with media spin, it’s being turned into a smearing of Ki Joon’s reputation, that he would lie for a business opportunity. And if his reputation goes down the drain, so does the World Hotel. Someone is fanning the flames and turning this lie into something much more malicious and greater than it ever was.
So while the consequences of the lie to the people lied to (Chairman Chen and So Ran) wasn’t all that serious, the problem is that it’s being spun into something dastardly and malicious by the media (and whomever leaked the lie to the media). With that said, no wonder Ah Jung feels the need to step forward and protect Ki Joon. But just like Ah Jung wants to protect Ki Joon, he would have never allowed her to do this if he wasn’t out of the country. I’m dying to see how he turns the situation around.
I love how the drama just allows Ki Joon and Ah Jung to go on with their lives even after they start dating. I love the scenes of them working and calling or texting each other, exactly how an in-love power couple behaves. I really can’t fully describe how magical each interaction between them is, because it has to be watched to be fully appreciated. But I have this gut feeling that so many tiny little gestures and moments continue to be ad-libbed between them.
My favorite OTP scene in this episode was the airport farewell. It’s as good as the airport farewell scene in Sunny Happiness (where Yong Yong sends Yun Jie off to China). When Ah Jung suddenly runs into the departure line in front of Ki Joon and his whole face lights up. She happily gives him their “lucky pen” so he can sign a contract with. How she lightly strokes his suit lapel, and he gently holds her hand. How they do a pas de deux and turn around each other so that Ki Joon can go through the gate. How their hands pull apart until just the fingers linger. How Ki Joon ever so slightly bites his lower lip as he walks away looking at Ah Jung that one last time. Guh, so completely and utterly in love are these two.