Yay, gamechanger. Boo, this took way too long to arrive. Yay, more funny is back. Boo, the drama is still so schizophrenic with the transitions. Yay, Koala picks a ship. Boo, instead of Kang Woo, Koala ships a tightly wound North Korean spy with limited acting skills but a whole lotta hidden sweetness and charm. Yay, this might be the best episode of Spy Myung Wol since the first episode. Boo, not feeling the OTP or the mission, just want Myung Wol and Choi Ryu to go on dates all day long, make gorgeous North Korean babies, and run away to Hawaii together. See, this crazy drama is turning me rather crazy as well.
Episode 8 recap:
The “Kang Woo sees Myung Wol everywhere” visual conundrum continues for the poor dude. He does yoga and imagines that she’s his instructor (please drama gods, I never ever ever want to see Eric doing yoga ever again, m’kay). Kang Woo closes his eyes and averts his head to get rid of the unwanted vision.
He goes to the museum to clear his mind (in yet another random scene purely for emphasis purposes) and has to blink twice when he sees Myung Wol Lisa and Myung Wol With A Pearl Earring instead of the actual famous paintings themselves.
He even sees The Thinker Myung Wol sitting on a bench. Thinker Myung Wol turns to give Kang Woo a sly smirk.
Myung Wol sits on the roof and mopes. Choi Ryu asks her how long she’s going to keep sitting here feeling low? Myung Wol holds the key to her comrades lives, but she can’t see a way to get Kang Woo to open his heart to her. Choi Ryu challenges Myung Wol to fight, reminding her that with her soft attitude, how can she expect to succeed?
Myung Wol asks what he wants her to do? Choi Ryu wonders if Myung Wol was upset about failing the mission, or was it something else that upset her? Myung Wol quickly says no. Choi Ryu reminds Myung Wol that her weakness is acting before thinking. He needs her to refocus right now. Hee Bok shows up happily waving a newspaper.
Kang Woo drives home in a snit after seeing Myung Wol everywhere all day, thinking that compassion is a type of feeling and can lead to his imagining Myung Wol all around him. Uh, are you like 5 years old, Kang Woo? You are even denser than the North Korean spy who has limited emotional range. He thinks that with distance and time this will go away, which will happen since he has no reason to see Myung Wol again.
Kang Woo is oblivious to the fact that Myung Wol’s rescue of Kang Woo (after Kang Woo’s failed rescue of Myung Wol) from the gangsters is now front page news. The Chairman gets briefed that Choi Ryu is seen frequently at the investigative agency, which is owned by Han Myung Wol’s parents.
This time the kidnapping scandal bodes well for Myung Wol’s mission, because it means Kang Woo is in need of a genuine bodyguard, and she’s the perfect candidate after demonstrating firsthand her fighting skillz. It also helps explain why Kang Woo was a no-show at his own showcase.
Kang Woo is headed to Singapore to film a CF (and to allow the production to use all its pre-filmed Singapore footage) and Myung Wol joins him at the airport. Kang Woo refused to answer Agent Kyung’s calls so she wasn’t able to inform him that she re-hired Myung Wol. She tells Kang Woo to endure it for his career and safety. Myung Wol is ordered to stick to Kang Woo’s side at all times.
Ok Soon tells Myung Wol this is the perfect opportunity. A visit to a foreign location might make a person’s heart flutter. Myung Wol needs to use this trip to break through to Kang Woo. He thinks to himself that he will never be moved by Myung Wol. Hallyu star Kang Woo will never fall for Myung Wol.
In Ah arrives at the airport, with her bodyguard Choi Ryu in tow. She’s in a snit (as usual because today is a day that ends with “day” so that means In Ah is in a bitchy mood) about Myung Wol’s presence. Kang Woo says Agent Kyung re-hired Myung Wol as his bodyguard so that’s the end of that convo.
Dae Kang doesn’t go to Singapore with Kang Woo and is instead loafing around the agency during his rare time off. He’s watching a movie about spies, which causes Hee Bok to almost choke on his tea. Dae Kang wonders if there are real spies around nowadays. If he caught a spy, he would turn the person in and change his life.
Dae Kang wonders what spies would do? Perhaps listen to late night radio, or plant surveillance cameras, or have strange visitors. All of which Hee Bok thinks back to doing. Dae Kang looks at Hee Bok, saying that all the signs would mean Hee Bok was a spy! But then Dae Kang laughs, no spy could be as beer-bellied as Hee Bok. If Hee Bok was a spy, then Dae Kang would be Hallyu star Kang Woo. Chairman Joo arrives just then, and Dae Kang explains to Hee Bok that the Chairman is Joo In Ah’s father
Kang Woo and In Ah film a CF while Myung Wol watches from the side. Choi Ryu walks over to stand next to her, which draws Kang Woo’s attention. In Ah can see Kang Woo distracted and calls time out. She tells Kang Woo to focus on her during work even if he’s falling in love elsewhere. Kang Woo apologizes and gets back in the action.
In Ah asks Kang Woo if he really wants to keep using Myung Wol. Is it because she keeps saving his life that he feels moved by her? In Ah thinks it’s odd that Myung Wol is always conveniently around to save him. She tells Kang Woo not to be lured by her tricks. Kang Woo thinks back to Myung Wol confessing that she really likes him.
Hee Bok sits down with the Chairman, who apologizes for coming unannounced. The Chairman cuts to the chase and discusses how he’s taken care of Kang Woo for so long, and Hee Bok’s daughter Myung Wol has saved Kang Woo’s life multiple times now. He’s here to say thank you in person.
The Chairman brings up how Choi Ryu has been by recently, trying to dig for information. Hee Bok almost lets slip but says he’s known Choi Ryu for quite some time. The Chairman keeps trying to trip up Hee Bok, who does a horrible job of staying consistent with the backstory and stammers around a bit. The Chairman hands Hee Bok some money as a form of gratitude. The Chairman leaves and tells his assistant to investigate this investigative agency as well.
Kang Woo tries to sneak out of the hotel and Myung Wol stops him because she’s under orders to stick to him like glue. Kang Woo pulls Myung Wol into the cab and they take off. They walk through the street market. Kang Woo takes a mask and tries to put it on Myung Wol’s face but she quickly ducks.
Okay, I have to let off some steam on this continuity gap here. First, all the scenes in Singapore show Kang Woo with his episode 1 red hair, and I find it a stretch that his darker hair color in recent episodes morphed back to red the moment he landed in Singapore. Secondly, Myung Wol wears a t-shirt, vest, and pants combo when she goes strolling with Kang Woo, and then she suddenly is wearing a lovely short print dress when they take a double decker bus. This isn’t even bad editing, this is criminally bad editing. Someone needs to be sacked at KBS for this.
To preserve my own sanity, I’ll just assume Kang Woo bought Myung Wol a dress and she changed into it, but we never got to see said clothes-changing scene. Everyone cool with that? During the bus ride, Kang Woo puts his hand around the back of Myung Wol’s seat. He buys her flowers, and they sit in a bike pulled rickshaw and have snacks.
In Ah gripes to Choi Ryu that she can’t find Kang Woo. He wonders why she is so upset? The Kang Woo she knows is not someone who would pity or be compassionate towards someone else. But he appears to have these feelings for Myung Wol, and that really worries and upsets In Ah.
Myung Wol and Kang Woo sit in front of the wharf and talk. He takes her hand and says that she’s really strange. She’s so strange that she makes people feel confused. He asks if there isn’t another reason, and she just wants to stay with him because she loves him?
Myung Wol leans in to kiss Kang Woo. She draws back, which is when Kang Woo pulls her in for a deeper kiss.
Kang Woo and Myung Wol head back to the hotel. They walk up to his room to find In Ah and Choi Ryu waiting for them in the hallway. In Ah confronts Kang Woo, asking where he went and demanding answers. Kang Woo goes to his room and ignores her. Choi Ryu stops In Ah from confronting Myung Wol and leads In Ah away.
Up on the roof, Choi Ryu warns Myung Wol to be careful and not make In Ah more nervous. He asks if any progress was made. Myung Wol lies and says they just walked around and came back. Choi Ryu reminds Myung Wol that the heiress of the Galaxy Group is obsessed with Kang Woo.
Myung Wol goes back to her room and thinks back to the kiss with Kang Woo. Clearly it affects her. Kang Woo takes a shower and asks himself if he really likes Myung Wol? How can it be, when he doesn’t even know who Myung Wol really is. He tells himself it needs to stop now before progressing any further.
Myung Wol and Kang Woo return home to Korea, and Kang Woo’s hair is back to being light brown. They are suddenly awkward with each other, with Kang Woo being especially jumpy around Myung Wol. She mentions yesterday and he quickly tells her to forget about it. He was curious what “it” (the kiss) would be like with her so he just tried it out. He says it wasn’t anything special, to which Myung Wol concurs as well. She leaves and Kang Woo looks a bit miffed.
Kang Woo goes to the kitchen to get water and he sees Myung Wol drinking milk and licking her mouth. He stares a little too hard. He tells her to never eat anything in front of him from now on. Myung Wol goes to tidy up the living room and Kang Woo finds himself staring at her exposed clavicle.
He tells her to scram because she’s distracting him, to which she points out the TV is not even on. She walks away and he stares at her bottom. He asks her what kind of clothes she’s wearing and tells her to stop wearing such short shorts since she’s not even an actress. Myung Wol leaves and Kang Woo reminds himself to snap out of it.
Hee Bok and Ok Soon discuss this mission and their spy careers. Ok Soon initially came here without much of a dream, except to serve her country and comrades. Thirty years passed in a blink and here she still is, no longer even sure of what her purpose is. Hee Bok comforts her and says she will be able to go home soon.
Hee Bok tries to tells Ok Soon that it’s their shared destiny and they ought to spend their remaining time together in love. He leans in to kiss Ok Soon and she smacks him in the face, chiding him for taking advantage of her every chance he gets.
Kang Woo deposits some clothes on the table for Myung Wol. He reassures her that he was selected by the top three fashion magazines of 2011 as the top fashion eye so these outfits are perfect for her. He makes her put it on immediately, and all of them are ugly ahjumma outfits. He tries to make up shit like ahjumma peasant outfits are en vogue right now.
But when Myung Wol poses in the outfit, he finds himself still affected. He says her hair is all wrong and gets up and ties her hair into various mis-matched pigtails. That doesn’t work either because Myung Wol then pulls an aegyo routine with him (in his mind).
He turns her around and takes out the pigtails and messes up her hair. To which he then imagines Myung Wol playing with her hair in a sultry way. Finally he covers her face with a shirt and says this is perfect, the problem is with your face.
Kang Woo walks back to his room with the realization that Myung Wol has bewitched him. The only solution left is to avoid looking at her. To treat her like she doesn’t exist. Next we see Kang Woo purposely closing the elevator door so Myung Wol misses it. In the dressing room, Kang Woo purposely avoids Myung Wol, even telling the director that Myung Wol isn’t around right now.
Chairman Joo treats the cast and crew to a meal after the shoot for the day wraps up, thanking everyone for making his granddaughter so happy. Everyone agrees to party the night away. Suddenly Dae Kang arrives having brought Myung Wol to the party.
Everyone toasts and Kang Woo turns to In Ah and asks her to do a love shot. Everyone cheers as they do a love shot, with Kang Woo purposely giving Myung Wol a pointed stare. Choi Ryu walks the Chairman out and he asks Choi Ryu to stay and bring In Ah home after the party ends. He asks why Choi Ryu lied to him about not being close to Myung Wol, and he says he didn’t want In Ah to get upset. The Chairman doesn’t care, but merely wanted Choi Ryu to let Myung Wol know that if she did anything to upset In Ah, he’s not going to let it go.
Kang Woo purposely engages In Ah in conversation and drinking, but he keeps staring at Myung Wol. Dae Kang drags Myung Wol up to sing. Myung Wol ends up singing a very old-fashioned song, likely the only type of music she grew up with. Kang Woo looks at her singing and suddenly everyone else falls away and Myung Wol is bathed in shining light.
Kang Woo looks totally enchanted and he finds himself standing up suddenly and staring at Myung Wol with his mouth wide open. Everyone stares at him so he decides to scream at Myung Wol for singing such a horrible song and ruining the mood. He stalks off and Myung Wol has to chase after him.
Myung Wol asks Kang Woo outside why he’s treating her this way. Can he please explain? He tells her to stay away from him because seeing her just pisses him off. Myung Wol informs the elder spies that Kang Woo is avoiding her and mistreating her, and it’s gotten worse since they got back from Singapore.
Love-expert Ok Soon thinks this means Kang Woo likes Myung Wol. When a guy likes a girl, he’s likely to torture her. Ok Soon suggests putting their theory to the test. They want Choi Ryu to pretend to be a couple with Myung Wol to see if Kang Woo gets jealous. Choi Ryu wonders why it has to be him? Ok Soon thinks there is no one else who can play the part.
It has to be a man that is worthy of Kang Woo accepting as a genuine rival. He still demurs until Ok Soon pulls the “for country and comrades” card. She asks Choi Ryo to practice being loveydovey since he’s usually so stiff around Myung Wol. They ask him to put his arm around Myung Wol, to which Choi Ryu holds it around her shoulder stiffly and won’t touch it.
When Hee Bok pushes him into her, he quickly gets up and walks out for some air. Myung Wol laughs and says Choi Ryu clearly doesn’t like her. Choi Ryu goes up to the roof and takes out his frustrations on the punching bag.
The first step is to make Kang Woo aware of their romantic relationship. Myung Wol and Choi Ryu sit on a bench within Kang Woo’s line of sight and pretend to laugh, lightly touch each other, and flirt up a storm. Dae Kang tells Kang Woo that recently Myung Wol parents mentioned that she’s acting weird with Choi Ryu. Maybe they are really dating.
When they get home, Myung Wol moves to go to her room since Kang Woo wants her out of his sight. He makes her get him the script and casually asks if she’s close to In Ah’s bodyguard. Myung Wol starts part 2 of their plan to get Kang Woo even more jealous, which involves complimenting Choi Ryu as a great guy.
She calls Choi Ryu oppa and shows Kang Woo the cell phone accessory her oppa just gave her. Kang Woo wonders why she goes around calling all guys oppa. He grabs the accessory and it tears off her cell phone. He thinks as his bodyguard, she needs to carry around accessories that are worthy of being seen around him.
He chides Myung Wol for treating the film set as her date place, and wonder if she wanted to get re-hired just to stay near Choi Ryu? He stalks off, and once again, berates himself for behaving so immaturely. He tells himself to give his blessings to her and be gracious. But he then kicks the door and hurts himself. Heh.
Myung Wol and Choi Ryu drive in uncomfortable silence heading towards a one night, two day trip the very same resort where Kang Woo happens to be filming a CF. Myung Wol can’t imagine that Kang Woo could possibly like her? Myung Wol wonders what if Kang Woo really misunderstands her relationship with Choi Ryu.
He asks if there is anything wrong with that? Is Myung Wol worried about this mission, or worried about Kang Woo’s feelings? He reminds her to focus on the mission and she says yes.
Kang Woo is filming his CF on the beach when Myung Wol and Choi Ryu casually stroll up and sits down to watch the filing. Choi Ryu puts his arm around Myung Wol and Kang Woo immediately gets a pissy expression on his face. Myung Wol puts her head on Choi Ryu’s shoulder and that wipes the smile from Kang Woo’s face again and he has to force himself to smile.
Choi Ryu and Myung Wol get up and walk over behind a boulder and out of sight. Kang Woo asks for a break and walks down the beach. He sees Choi Ryu and stops to talk. Kang Woo thinks he’s misjudged Choi Ryu as a good guy, since he appears to be fooling around with an innocent girl.
Choi Ryu throws it back to Kang Woo, telling him to stop messing with Myung Wol. Kang Woo asks if Choi Ryu actually thinks Myung Wol likes him? Or is Choi Ryu using Myung Wol to upset Kang Woo. Choi Ryu says that while he doesn’t know what Myung Wol thinks, he’s absolutely serious about her.
In Ah accosts Choi Ryu later that night and demands to know how his relationship progressed with Myung Wol. Choi Ryu says it just happened. In Ah tells him to end it otherwise she’ll fire him. Choi Ryu asks why In Ah cares, since she likes Kang Woo. Isn’t it to her advantage that Choi Ryu and Myung Wol gets together? In Ah says yes but still looks disturbed. He leaves holding a bottle of wine saying that Myung Wol is waiting for him. In Ah wonders why she’s in such a bad mood.
In Ah finds Kang Woo drinking alone at the bar. She thinks it’s very odd that Kang Woo has been played by Myung Wol. She reveals that Choi Ryu took a bottle of wine and went to Myung Wol’s room. She tells Kang Woo not to fall for Myung Wol’s tricks. Kang Woo looks into his whiskey and sees an image of Choi Ryu and Myung Wol kissing. He calls Myung Wol and can’t reach her, so he runs off.
Choi Ryu pours Myung Wol a glass of wine and tells her to drink. She wonders if Kang Woo really will come. He asks if it matters, and whether she’s regretting it. She asks if he regrets it. He says he regrets it constantly, every time he sees Myung Wol. Kang Woo starts banging on the door and Myung Wol goes to open the door.
Choi Ryu pulls her back and tells her than initially everything he did was for country and comrades. Implication being that now it’s for something else. Choi Ryu pulls Myung Wol in for a kiss just as Kang Woo barges in. Kang Woo pulls Choi Ryu off Myung Wol and punches him. He pulls Myung Wol to leave but Choi Ryu returns the punch and the boys fight.
Hee Bok and Ok Soon are discussing the mission and Hee Bok points out that Choi Ryu is a bit odd lately.
In Ah witnessed the two guys fighting over Myung Wol and she walks back all pissed off that all the guys seem to like Myung Wol. She sees Myung Wol and Choi Ryu sitting in the garden and she heads in another direction. Choi Ryu tells Myung Wol that it’s all done, and his role in this play is finished.
Choi Ryu congratulates Myung Wol on having confirmed Kang Woo’s feelings for her. Myung Wol touches his cheek and asks if he’s okay. He pushes her hand away and says he’s fine. He asks her to answer honestly – has she genuinely fallen in love with Kang Woo? She says no, she just wants to marry him for her mission. He says that’s a relief, and wishes her success in this endeavor. He gets up and leaves.
Myung Wol sits in her room and thinks back to her kiss with Choi Ryu and Kang Woo barging in. She shakes her head to clear her mind of these images. She remembers to be patient and wait for Kang Woo to make the next move. Kang Woo walks around throwing things and generally being really upset.
Choi Ryu sits in his room and thinks about his kiss with Myung Wol. He closes his eyes and meditates to clear his mind. But it doesn’t work and he remains unable to let it go easily.
Myung Wol gets a text from Kang Woo asking her to meet outside. She goes outside and sees Kang Woo waiting for her on a park bench. Hee Bok and Ok Soon are hiding in the bushes watching this encounter. Kang Woo says he’s been thinking a lot and figuring out his feelings. He tells Myung Wol that he thinks he’s fallen in love with her. He takes out a ring and asks her to marry him. Ok Soon and Hee Bok happily congratulate each other.
Kang Woo leans in to kiss Myung Wol and she closes her eyes. He stops inches from her face and asks Myung Wol if she thought that was what he would say to her. But why would he say it since he’s not crazy. He takes out his cell phone and shows her a video of Myung Wol talking with Choi Ryu on the park bench where she confesses that she doesn’t really love Kang Woo and only wants to marry him for her own goal.
Myung Wol’s eyes widen in shock. Kang Woo looks at her, asking if she shouldn’t be leaving right about now.
Thoughts of Mine:
I don’t think this gamechanger was THE gamechanger in that Kang Woo found out that Myung Wol was a North Korean spy. I think he found out she’s been playing him for her own goal, which he’s likely going to attribute to her being a golddigger wanting to marry him for wealth and fame.
Did you guys realize that suddenly the North Koreans in Korea and the NSA in South Korea have been missing for the last two episodes. I sense the drama is really trying to downplay the politics, the intrigue, and spy shenanigans in order to focus on developing the inter-personal relationships between Myung Wol and Kang Woo. I’m not bemoaning such an emphasis, but merely pointing out that it’s execution is a little too obvious, as well as might cause problems later on when the drama scrambles to resolve the mission and political stakes.
But this episode was all Myung Wol + Kang Woo + Choi Ryu. The love triangle is finally here, and I’m completely on the side of second lead shipping. You all know I love Eric, and think Lee Jin Wook can’t act his way out of a paper bag. The fact that I ship Choi Ryu and Myung Wol rabidly is purely a reflection of how I connect with the characters, the relationships, and the story. And it’s not because Kang Woo bitchslapped Myung Wol and never even apologized. It’s because his character is just odd and not very compelling for me. In short, I don’t “get” him or what his dealio is.
But I get Choi Ryu loud and clear. Like a billion trumpet blast actually. I love his precision efficiency and spy skills. Furthermore, I love how he’s slowly becoming aware how Myung Wol affects him, and yet he tries to suppress it or ignore it to get the mission done. How many second leads have to assist the heroine he’s in love with to seduce, sleep with, and marry another man? It sucks to be him.
Now that Kang Woo knows Myung Wol is trying to marry him for some sort of goal of her own, it’ll be interesting to see where the drama goes from here. I’m bored by the Myung Wol as Kang Woo’s bodyguard routine, and their living together really hasn’t been as fun as the situation could have been, so the drama taking a new plot direction in the second half is something I welcome. Good or bad, at least it’s trying something new. Now if only Myung Wol can end up with Choi Ryu somehow….. Eh, I can hope, can’t I?