Woah, baby. The ending to episode 5 of Protect the Boss was NOT what I had expected. At all. And definitely not this early in the game. Kudos to PTB for continuing to surprise and thrill me. I’m now so fully invested in this story someone will need to chain me to a tow truck to drag me away from the denizens of this off-beat drama.
I simply adore every single character in this drama, including all the secondary and side folks that normally I treat like wallpaper. The storyline to continues to move purposefully ahead on all fronts: work, play, and a four-way love square that everyone is beginning to see coming towards them like a mack truck.
Episode 5 recap:
We go back a little and see how Eun Seol got her brilliant idea to have Ji Heon present via a video conference. She was brushing her teeth in the morning when her dad called her (to ask why she’s on the cover of a newspaper) on a new smartphone that has video conferencing capability. Her mind clicks and she rushes to Ji Heon’s house.
He’s still asleep so she jumps on his bed and rolls him off the bed in one fluid motion. He’s wearing the yellow boxers she gave him and gets embarrassed when she notices it. She tells him not to be embarrassed because she’s seen it before. Eun Seol grabs his clothes and literally drags him out of his room and out of the house, to the shocked expression of the maid.
Ji Heon, hastily dressed in his suit, goes outside to see his former secretary Mr. Kim and Myung Ran in a car waiting for them. Eun Seol shoves him into the car while explaining that she’s found a solution. They head to an office where they set up video conference capabilities, while Ji Heon practices his presentation and Myung Ran listens and gives criticism.
Back to the presentation, Ji Heon discusses that their DN theme park isn’t competing against other theme parks, but against people more interested in computers, smartphones, and video games. The management is happy with the presentation.
Afterwards, the Chairman can’t help but dig into his sister-in-law a bit by gloating about how well Ji Heon presented today. Someone bumps into her and she uses that opportunity to dig right back, grinding her sharp high heel into the Chairman’s foot for good measure. He yelps in pain and asks why she needs to be so immature. She whispers back that this is how she really behaves, so he better watch it before messing with her. Ha, love their bickering.
The Chairman limps away. His secretary asks what is wrong with his foot and gets yelled at by the Chairman for asking. Moo Won gets chewed out by his mom for Ji Heon’s unexpected stellar performance, telling him that she was so embarrassed today that her son got out-performed by Ji Heon. Moo Won can only listen without saying a word.
After the presentation, Ji Heon walks out with Secretary Kim and Myung Ran, who both demand part time job payment for today’s services. Ji Heon mutters that all Myung Ran did was sleep, to which she claims she was crouching to pray for Ji Heon to successfully deliver the presentation. MWAHAHAHA.
Eun Seol happily runs in to join everyone. She gives Myung Ran and Secretary Kim hugs for a job well done. Ji Heon gets ready with outstretched arms for his hug. When she hugs him, both pause and flash back to the night before. They quickly break apart. Eun Seol reminds him that he has to go to a dinner, and Ji Heon agrees reluctantly. Secretary Kim is shocked, because he used to get yelled at by Ji Heon for making him go to events. Yes, the disparate treatment is pretty obvious.
Ji Heon asks if she’s not joining, and Eun Seol says she has to clean up the meeting office. Ji Heon looks concerned that she stayed up all night, using the excuse that her face looks tired so easily so she needs to go get some rest. He tells her to clean casually, don’t go anywhere else afterwards, and quickly go home and sleep. Myung Ran tries to smack Ji Heon for dictating what Eun Seol can do.
While cleaning the meeting room, Eun Seol smiles as she remembers Ji Heon’s successful presentation. Moo Won is not in a good mood and goes to secretary’s office where he overhears Eun Seol singing as she’s washing dishes. She is so damn cute, and even Moo Won thinks so as he stands behind a wall and smiles at her “performance.” Eun Seol turns mid-dance and sees him, which causes her to freeze and she literally breaks the dish she is holding in half in her nervousness.
Moo Won asks her out to dinner using the excuse that he hasn’t eaten. Moo Won picks at his food during the meal, leading Eun Seol to ask if anything is wrong. He confesses that he was scolded. She wonders who dared to scold him? She asks if he wants her to beat that person up? Moo Won says it was his mom. But he was touched she cares, so he wants to share his thoughts with her.
Moo Won says he’s always been the model child, but now he doesn’t know how to keep doing it. Eun Seol suggests he change his life’s structure around. A person who comes home every day at 10, when suddenly coming home at midnight, will be called crazy. A person always coming home at midnight, if one day comes home at 10, will be greeted happily. Moo Won understands – because he’s always so perfect, even the littlest deviation gets him scolded, whereas Ji Heon is such a mess, that even the littlest success garners him great praise.
Eun Seol tells Moo Won not to emulate Ji Heon, but he can engage in a little bit of rebellion. Moo Won immediately stands up and says he wants to immediately rebel now. He rushes off only to pause and ask Eun Seol how exactly does one engage in rebellion? Eun Seol isn’t so sure anymore, it’s been ages since she went out carousing.
Eun Seol takes Moo Won to a bustling entertainment area. Moo Won is nervous about being seen, since he’s the model citizen of the business world and has a bit of face recognition. Eun Seol drags him to another place and he shields his face as he confesses that people call him “the prince of the business world”….at least on twitter they do. HAHAHA. He runs off and Eun Seol thinks back to how both Cha cousins are very uncomfortable in public places.
Eun Seol buys Moo Won funny glasses that they wear to conceal their identity. They go listen to an outdoor mini concert and then sit down to drink some beer. We see someone taking pictures of them.
The Chairman gets drunk at dinner and Ji Heon has to carry him into the house. Grandma helps Ji Heon deposit her son in his room. The Chairman says he doesn’t care about Secretary Kim or Eun Seol, he gives Ji Heon the right to do with them as he wishes.
Grandma makes her son sit up so she can take off his jacket. He proudly tells his mom how Ji Heon performed today, his face showing up suddenly on the monitor. The shock to the room as akin to someone finding out a birth secret like they do in a drama. Grandma tells him to straighten his legs as she moves to take off his socks. Suddenly she sees a bruise on his foot and asks how he injured himself.
The Chairman says it was all the fault of Seok Hee, his sister-in-law, and Grandma asks why they can’t just get along. The Chairman says he’s getting along just fine recently, like with Moo Won and Ji Heon. Grandma mutters that if it’s one’s kid, one has to love and take care of the child no matter what.
Ji Heon wants to text Eun Seol but doesn’t know what to say. Suddenly he gets a call from her. He’s super excited but pretends to be annoyed when he answers. He hears something which shocks him and makes him go running out of the house. Eun Seol is with a dead drunk Moo Won, who pets her and says she did a good job. Ji Heon comes running demanding that Moo Won stop petting Eun Seol.
Moo Won tells Ji Heon to leave now. Ji Heon demands to know why Eun Seol is with Moo Won, and drinking no less. He turns to Moo Won, asking why Moo Won never accepted his invitations in the past to go drinking, but here he is getting sloshed with Eun Seol? He demands to know why Moo Won petted Eun Seol without his permission? Ji Heon asks Eun Seol in an accusatory voice whether she seduced Moo Won?
Eun Seol says she didn’t do any such thing. Ji Heon keeps pointing to her and saying “wah, wah, wah….” Moo Won pukes his guts out, leading Ji Heon to drag his drunk ass back home. Moo Won’s mom asks what Ji Heon did to her son, and Ji Heon tells her she needs to thank him for bringing her drunk son home. Ji Heon asks his aunt to convey to Moo Won these words – do not covet someone else’s things, and if Moo Won tries to take it away, be prepared to die. Moo Won’s mom is shocked by his words and goes to check on her son.
Ji Heon drives Eun Seol home, but first bickering with her that she ought to take a taxi. She confesses to wanting to save money to buy some things. During the drive, she opens the window and he closes it. They engage in a window fight until Eun Seol gives up because Ji Heon is so immature when he’s in a snit. He asks why she’s giving him that look, she betrayed her boss tonight yet he’s still magnanimous enough to drive her home.
Eun Seol says she’s giving him a look of great gratitude. She gets out of the car and Ji Heon follows her. He asks if she’s planning to remain close to Cha Moo Won? She doesn’t answer and he demands to know if she likes Moo Won? Eun Seol finally says she can’t pretend anymore, and asks Ji Heon if he really has her in his brain. Does he like her? Ji Heon looks shocked and asks if he’s crazy.
Ji Heon tells Eun Seol to look at herself, she’s always unkempt all the time. She asks him to just confess if he likes her. Ji Heon says “I like you.” But he doesn’t know how he could possibly like her, so the answer is that he’s crazy. This time it’s Ji Heon’s turn to ask Eun Seol to answer. She holds her heart for a moment, and tells him to please regain his sanity.
She turns to walk up the stairs to her apartment, with Ji Heon chasing her, demanding to know how she can step on his innocent declaration of love so cruelly like this? He asks if Eun Seol has a heart! Eun Seol says that since she can’t accept, so it’s better if she stepped on his emotions. He asks why she can’t accept? She says “#1..” to which Ji Heon cuts her off and is offended that there is actually more than one reason she can’t accept him.
Eun Seol says that number 1, a secretary that seduces her boss is no good. He asks if she’s afraid of what others will think. She says no, but her future career at the company will be buried because people will never accept her. Same with Ji Heon, this will make people further look down on Ji Heon. Second reason, if the Chairman found out his son like a girl like Eun Seol, even if right now the Chairman likes her well enough, that will change and the Chairman might bury her in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Ji Heon asks if she’s that afraid of his dad. She says no, but there is a third reason. She genuinely likes him, but it’s only as a secretary likes her boss. She doesn’t like him beyond that. So all three reasons combined, she wishes for them to please just maintain their current relationship. Ji Heon has no answer for her sincere and honest words. She apologizes to him. She’s also worried that she can’t work for him in the future and will lose her job. She doesn’t want to lose her employee badge.
Eun Seol asks Ji Heon to look at how selfish she is, and to regain his sanity. Ji Heon says no, he doesn’t want to regain his sanity! Eun Seol asks him if he wants her to quit then, she’ll write a resignation letter. Ji Heon asks in shock if she’s threatening him with quitting? She says yes, so can he please stop liking her because she’s really such a bad person. Ji Heon says okay, he’ll consider it. But he tells her not to threaten quitting again, that almost gave him a heart attack.
Eun Seol walks away, and poor Ji Heon makes multiple moves to chase after her. He finally sits down on the steps, taking big breaths to regain his composure. Back home, Eun Seol hugs Myung Ran, asking what will happen to her and Ji Heon? Myung Ran says she would date him immediately if it were her. Ji Heon sits at home and looks at his Eun Seol cut out.
He throws a dart at her, and then says in the cutest aegyo voice that he was just lying to her back there. He will not reconsider regaining his sanity and stop liking her. He. Will. Not. Ji Heon adorably pouts and stands before the cut out. Next thing we see, Ji Heon is putting band aids on the cut out in every spot where he hit it with a dart. OMG, so insanely cute. I LOVE THIS DAMN DRAMA. He tells the cut out Eun Seol that SHE needs to reconsider. He vows to make her reconsider. This I cannot wait to see.
Moo Won wakes up after one night’s rebellion with a hangover and a recollection of petting Eun Seol last night and puking in front of Ji Heon. He lowers his head and sighs. Mom makes him breakfast and apologizes for yesterday, getting mad at him.
“Operation Reconsider” begins the next morning, with both sides getting dressed for battle. Myung Ran helps Eun Seol pick the ugliest outfit ever to make her less attractive, while Ji Heon primps into his most snazzy suit to lure Eun Seol. We see Ji Heon trying to make Eun Seol notice him, while she does her best to look like the cat lady. Everyone at work notices how weird they are lately. Ji Heon and Moo Won run into each other in the lobby with their secretaries in tow. The usual posturing takes place.
The Chairman watches CFs produced by netizens as part of the company’s new outreach towards consumers online, which is getting great feedback. He tells his secretary to contact the media and prepare a picture of Ji Heon for the press. Moo Won’s mom gets wind of it as well. The newspaper ends up carrying a bigger picture of Moo Won on top, with a smaller picture of Ji Heon on the botton, which pisses off the Chairman knowing it’s the handiwork of his nemesis.
Ji Heon hires back Sectetary Kim to work at the company in a marketing capacity on the online smart working project. Eun Seol enters with coffee and Ji Heon purposely says he’s not going to be working recently so Secretary Kim has to handle the project by himself. Once they are alone, Eun Seol asks if Ji Heon’s threat not to work is to get back at her. He says he’s just using her tactic, what with the threat to quit.
Ji Heon says he was fooled by her, she would never quit because she wants this job so much. Ji Heon says that until Eun Seol goes crazy (like him), he won’t work and he won’t make her a permanent employee. Eun Seol almost punches him but restrains herself. Ji Heon takes it one step further, reminding her that she hates to see him being useless.
Secretary Kim runs into the Chairman at the company. The Chairman remembers that he’s the guy who told the media about the violence incident. The Chairman chases after Secretary Kim but loses him in the elevator. Ji Heon explains to his dad that he got permission from his dad to bring back Secretary Kim.
Ji Heon says he wants to clean up the company’s back taxes situation before taking over, remembering Eun Seol saying she doesn’t want to see him becoming a chairman in trouble with the law. The Chairman thinks Ji Heon is ridiculing him right now. Ji Heon asks for some time off recently in order to recharge. Before his dad can get mad, Ji Heon runs off, but promises that he’s doing something more important than his job.
We see the other director secretly meeting with Moo Won’s mom to deliver a report to her on the stock ownership information of the Chairman. Moo Won’s mom suddenly sees a whack-a-mole game on the street and pulls over. She calls the Chairman a sly old fox and pretends that she’s whacking sly old foxes on that game. The director reminds her that it’s a mole, not a fox. Heh.
We see someone secretly taking pictures of Eun Seol’s daddy hunting in the forest. Turns out it’s a private eye hired by Na Yoon’s mom to find out all about Eun Seol’s real family background. She shows the pictures to Na Yoon, who asks why her mom would do this. Her mom says that it doesn’t matter whether Na Yoon ends up marrying Moo Won or Ji Heon, these picture may come in handy. Na Yoon’s mom suggests her daughter change her hair salon, since her hair looks exceedingly flat. Na Yoon immediately plumps up her hair, asking her mom whether she’s informed Moo Won or Ji Heon’s parent about this.
Her mom says she’s headed to tell Moo Won’s mom right now, to warn her to keep an eye on her son. Na Yoon tries to dissuade her mom, explaining that this will only make Na Yoon look pathetic. She grabs her mom’s arm and accidentally jerks it. Na Yoon apologizes, she’s been taking self-defense classes lately. Her mom asks why she needs to learn self-defense, and Na Yoon thinks back to the bottle to the head moment in the last episode, muttering that the world is dangerous and she needs to protect herself. Na Yoon asks her mom to not get involved, and let her handle the situation herself.
Na Yoon calls Eun Seol out and explains that she and Ji Heon wasn’t just an arranged married, they liked each other, but circumstances forced them to be apart temporarily. Eun Seol is happy and asks Na Yoon if there is a chance for them to rekindle their feelings for each other. This catches Na Yoon of guard. Eun Seol asks what she can do to help. Na Yoon says stay away from Ji Heon.
Eun Seol says she can’t do that, since she’s his personal secretary. She promises to stay away outside of work. Na Yoon says she’ll help Eun Seol look for another job, but Eun Seol declines. She likes her job and finally her colleagues have stopped discriminating against her. Eun Seol thinks Na Yoon must know how she feels, but Na Yoon is insulted to be thus lumped together as someone without ability getting a job.
Na Yoon is fuming as she drives off. She calls the Chairman and puts on her cutest aegyo voice and asks the Chairman if he has time to talk. She finds him scraping gum off the street as his community service for today. Na Yoon crouches down and asks the Chairman to step forward and get the kids marriage situation settled. The Chairman says he hasn’t forgiven her. She was the one who left without saying anything, and because of her, his Ji Seok……
The Chairman stops and concedes that was indeed just an accident, and he shouldn’t blame Na Yoon. She in turns says she does feel guilt about it. She asks the Chairman to let her prove her sincerity now. The Chairman explains that he made a promise to Ji Heon that he will stay out of their situation and not interfere. Na Yoon then asks if Eun Seol can be switched, suggesting a male boss with a female secretary may cause gossip. The Chairman yells at Na Yoon for interfering in company business now, and tells her to leave rather than bugging him when he’s doing community service.
Myung Ran and Eun Seol are laying outside their apartment enjoying the night view. Myung Ran asks “ice-cream?” To which Eun Seol answers that she thinks her Moo Won God must really like Ice-cream Girl (Na Yoon). Mwahahaha, oh god, her nickname for Na Yoon is priceless. Eun Seol vows to support her Moo Won God.
Myung Ran draws four cartoon figures to illustrate the love lines – Moo Won God likes Ice-cream Girl, who likes Ji Heon, who likes Bun-head Girl. Myung Ran shows Eun Seol that she is ranked #1 in this love line, and suggests that if Eun Seol liked Moo Won, she can turn the love line into a complete love circle. Eun Seol says she likes herself. You go, girl! Suddenly cartoon Ji Heon pops up in Eun Seol’s mind and she closes her eyes to make him go away.
The Chairman calls Eun Seol in to ask about Ji Heon and whether she has an “understanding” with him. She’s relieved to hear that he wants to know about their working compatibility. He tells her to continue to support Ji Heon, and he will help her succeed. But if she fails, she’s out. He sighs and asks her to just consider this a lifesaving gesture on her part, assisting crazy Ji Heon, and the being driven crazy by community service Chairman. She has to help turn Ji Heon into an adult, the Chairman quietly asks Secretary Noh, he’s putting his faith in her.
Eun Seol walks out of that meeting sighing. Moo Won sees her walking away. He makes a move to follow her, but decides against it. His secretary asks if his plan to use Eun Seol to keep an eye on Ji Heon is not working. Moo Won says that plan failed a long time ago.
Eun Seol takes a bus and thinks back to the Chairman’s sincere entreaty that she help Ji Heon. Suddenly Eun Seol’s face freezes into a grimace as a man walks up behind her. It’s clear he’s groping her, and Eun Seol gives him an elbow to the stomach. Ji Heon is trying to keep himself busy at home but failing. He gets a call from Myung Ran.
Eun Seol is at the police station, where she’s sitting next to the beaten up pervert. Myung Ran walks in asking if both sides can settle this. Ji Heon comes barging in demanding on the top of his lungs, asking who dares to touch Eun Seol’s butt! Outside the police station, Eun Seol asked why Ji Heon settled. She was the victim even though the guy got beaten up pretty bad.
The pervert walks out all smug. Ji Heon stops him, telling him that there is no such thing as a free lunch in this world. The reason Ji Heon gave the guy extra money to settle, was so that Ji Heon can punch him now. Ji Heon throws a punch, and the pervert returns one back to Ji Heon. Which is when Eun Seol steps forward and punches that guy who is down for the count.
Eun Seol tells Ji Heon that she will reconsider, so will he please come back to work now? He says sure. She says that she is only considering it, and will not promise to like him anytime soon, or see him as a man. He’s fine with her just considering it. Eun Seol says she has a new tactic for the Cha Ji Heon Makeover project per the Chairman’s request. She wants Ji Heon to prepare for it, asking if he can handle it. He says he can handle it. Eun Seol says she won’t go easy on him.
Grandma is informed that her car is missing. She wonders how a car can just run off by itself. Then she makes the connection, and we see Ji Heon happily driving off in his grandma’s car. Ji Heon calls Moo Won just to happily inform Moo Won that he is about to undergo extensive training by Eun Seol. Ji Heon warns Moo Won not to bother Eun Seol since she’s going to be busy with Ji Heon going forward. Haha, they are totally boys fighting over their favorite toy. Moo Won hangs up the phone and rolls his eyes.
Eun Seol comes home from a jog to see Ji Heon waiting for her outside her apartment, posed all cool looking next to the car. He tosses her the car keys and tells her that this car is hers to use for work purposes. Myung Ran goes over to admire it, and Ji Heon tells her that she can’t ride in the car since it’s for Eun Seol’s work. Myung Ran correctly reminds Ji Heon that he needs to treat her better. Having Myung Ran on Ji Heon’s side will only be in Ji Heon’s best interest.
Eun Seol tosses the keys back at him, telling him she doesn’t want it. She feels safer taking public transportation. Myung Ran and Eun Seol keep bickering, until Myung Ran takes the car keys and makes the decision for Eun Seol. Ji Heon asks if her makeover plan is ready, because he’s ready. He takes the keys back from Myung Ran, explaining that he needs Eun Seol to drive him home now. Eun Seol drives him home and tries to return the car keys. Ji Heon tells her to come inside, he wants to share information he’s gathered on his phobia problem.
Na Yoon’s mom meet with Moo Won’s mom and dumps a bag full of pictures on the table showing Moo Won out with Eun Seol. There are also pictures of Ji Heon and Eun Seol hitting the pervert. Moo Won’s mom looks like she has a sneaky idea.
Moo Won joins Na Yoon for drinks. She thanks him for coming and hands him the surveillance pictures that were shot of him and Eun Seol. Na Yoon says these pictures are going to be shown to his mom soon. Na Yoon thinks Eun Seol lied about her family background, but Moo Won knows that Na Yoon likely just misconstrued what Eun Seol said. Na Yoon sarcastically concedes she’s at fault for misunderstanding then!
In fact, she’s like a sagging ball that everyone can kick here and there. Moo Won says he doesn’t think of her that way. He doesn’t think she’s laughable. She says he also kicked her when she was down, by rejecting a possible marriage with her off the bat. Moo Won says he simply doesn’t want a loveless arranged marriage. If Na Yoon will bring her heart into it, he will reconsider. Na Yoon thanks him with her usual mopey expression, not sure if he’s being sincere.
Moo Won drives a weepy Na Yoon home. She wonders how she got to this point. Moo Won grabs her head and she pushes his hand away. He sighs and says people like them have so many considerations when it comes to their future spouse. Moo Won asks Na Yoon – when she can let go and give up (on Ji Heon), she can come over to him. He leans over to kiss her.
Ji Heon dumps stacks of books in front of Eun Seol and suggests that she stay here and read it. She asks if he hasn’t tried to overcome the problem. Ji Heon tries to milk it further and says it’s not so easy. Eun Seol is reading with Ji Heon sitting right next to her. She looks over at him, which is when he leans in and kisses her.
Thoughts of Mine:
I’m beginning to wonder if the writer of PTB purposely infused almost every single character in this drama with an extra shot of immaturity, which somehow made them all come alive as vibrant characters. Na Yoon is an immature snot who is so filled with FEELINGS that you can’t help but just want to pet her. She has exhibited no backstabbing tendencies or even passive-aggresive whining. She’s doing everything she can, out in the open, to get back with Ji Heon. I find nothing wrong with that, and am thrilled because it gives me more chances to see her fail in the cutest fashion. Knowing she’s taking self-defense because Eun Seol kicked a can into her forehead? She’s just too precious. I’m looking forward to her picking herself up and go running into Moo Won God’s arms.
Moo Won’s mom, when she grounded her heel on Ji Heon’s dad’s foot and when she went to whack-a-sly-fox, turned her from amusing to downright hilarious and relatable. Moo Won has a supermodel’s appearance but is secretly kinda dorky and juvenile. I can go on and on, but it’s these little character reveals that add such enjoyment to this already fun drama.
So now we officially start the “love” aspect of the drama, though I foresee all the romantic angst will not overwhelm the entire story, to the point where substantive issues as such Ji Heon’s maturation into the heir of the company and Eun Seol finding validation by succeeding in her first real job will not get properly dealt with.
I loved their scene at the stairs when Eun Seol and Ji Heon talked at length about how they feel, and what they think, and what they want to do about it. There is no beating around the bush with either of them, and Ji Heon’s growing feelings for Eun Seol doesn’t appear to risk undermining their unique friendship at this point. Ji Heon and Moo Won are both little boys at heart in their big boy bodies. I’m surprised that Moo Won may really have some feelings for Na Yoon, but I’m wouldn’t be surprised if Eun Seol continues to make him curious about her.
I like the fact that this drama knows it has four very well-written characters, with boatloads of flaws and undeniable charm. It makes sense to have two sets of OTPs, and I would be thrilled to see some cross-angst but ultimately having both couples realize their feelings for the right person. This drama doesn’t like dropping hints like anvils, instead allowing plot to reveal itself effortlessly so that we learn new things without ever feeling that we are being force fed information. I can’t wait to see how Na Yoon and Eun Seol deal with the sudden kiss. A slap? Or a kiss back?