Episode 6 of Man of Honor was like opening of prize box of delicious K-drama treats. More entanglements are revealed between characters while the baseball motif is put on the backburner as the characters turn to the corporate world to settle their claims and make their marks.
The drama remains delightfully charming in parts while tension-laden in others, but balancing it deftly so it doesn’t feel bipolar. The tone shifts here and there but the story remains consistent. Our leads are going to fulfill their destinies, and I’m so thrilled to have gotten on this ride. Six-episodes in, I can feel the exhilaration about to start as this roller coaster finishes its long ascent and crests the top of the ride.
It’s clear now that this drama will be nowhere near the ratings success of the PD-writer’s previous collaboration, with the ratings stabilizing around the early teens. Solid but not spectacular, but gosh darn is it’s just so much fun to watch.
Episode 6 recap:
Young Kwang anxiously watches video footage of Jae In getting abducted. Jae In manages to escape from her captors, only to run into In Chul. They stare at each other, and then In Chul reaches out his hand and grabs Jae In by the nape of her neck. Jae In cries out for help as she quivers with fear.
In Woo’s dad gets a call from the hospital that Jae In’s mom has woken up. He looks shocked and tense, asking if she’s regained all her faculties. The doctor says she’s awake and able to talk, but so far she can only say one thing “my Jae In” over and over again.
Jae In cries out for help, asking ahjusshi (In Chul) to help her. In Chul suddenly collapses while Jae In asks if he’s alright. Clearly In Woo’s dad’s flying vase caused more damage than realized. Jae In notices that his arm is bleeding, then hears her captors closing in. Jae In grabs In Chul’s cell phone and then drags him outside with her.
The lackey walks outside and looks around, but he can’t find them. Except they are hiding right behind the car, and he only peeked inside the interior. I would fire this lackey for being incompetent. As the lackey walks away, In Chul lets out a groan which draws his attention again. He slowly walks to the rear of the car, but before he can see them, the cops arrive. Smart Jae In called the cops first.
In Woo’s dad arrives at the hospital and looks down with ill-intent at the sleeping Jae In’s mom. He whispers to her, asking if she can hear his voice. When she opens her eyes, he asks if she knows who he is? Mom only says “Jae In….has returned, my Jae In has returned.” In Woo’s dad’s widen with fear while the doctor standing behind him explaining that the patient has merely awakened but has not regained all her senses so appears to be babbling nonsense.
In Woo’s dad asks if she will fully recover, to which the doctor doesn’t know since her awakening was like a miracle. In Woo’s dad reaches his hand towards her, as if he’s trying to harm her (did he forget the doctor standing RIGHT THERE), but then stops when the prosecutor lady arrives (who happens to be the good friend of Jae In’s mom). In Woo’s dad stomps out of the hospital, but has some chest pains as he’s walking. He’s told In Chul still hasn’t been located and that makes him even more pissed.
Young Kwang is told that Jae In has been found but is headed to the hospital for injuries. He’s handed her bear backpack which was recovered at the scene. Young Kwang hurries off to find Jae In, asking which hospital she got sent to.
In Chul wakes up in the hospital room with his arm bandaged. He sees Jae In sleeping next to him with her head on the bed. She wakes up and sees that he’s awake. She’s relieved and explains that he lost too much blood and went into shock. He asks her why she didn’t run away? She confessed that she wanted to run but she was too scared. And his injury was too severe so she couldn’t leave him. She thinks those bad guys must’ve injured In Chul.
Jae In asks him to provide a name for his guarantor, and In Chul flashes back to actually overhearing In Woo’s parents discussing how he’s using his body to pay back their taking care of him. In Chul says he doesn’t have anyone. Poor In Chul.
Jae In walks out and thinks to herself that the ahjusshi is just like her and has no one. She sees Young Kwang rushing into the hospital and telling the nurse he is Yoon Jae In’s guardian and asking to see her. Young Kwang turns the corner and sees Jae In standing there. He’s wearing her bear backpack on his back, so cute!
He grabs her and checks her out to make sure she’s okay. Jae In explains she wasn’t hurt, and asks why he came. Young Kwang took an expensive cab to come here because of her. He asks again if she’s hurt, and then gets upset because she didn’t do as he told and stayed put to wait for him. He was so worried about her!
Jae In starts to cry as she listens to Young Kwang lecturing her. He sees her tears and gets all nervous, explaining that he’s not angry at her, he’s just so worried about her. The nurses pop out since it appears Young Kwang made Jae In cry, when in truth she’s crying because she’s so happy and touched by his concern for her. He apologizes for getting all shouty with her and making her cry.
Jae In and Young Kwang take the subway home, and Jae In sits across from Young Kwang and voiceovers that she cried because she was so grateful. She thanks Young Kwang for caring about her.
Mom yells at the two of them for coming home so late. Jae In tries to take responsibility, saying she got lost on her way home. Mom asks if she called Young Kwang out to go pick her up. Jae In apologizes again but Mom has decided to enact a curfew of 10 pm and will collect money for every minute they are late coming home. Mom tells Jae In to conserve water and not use too much hot water. Jae In just smiles and says yes to everything she says.
Mom walks back to her room, while Young Kwang explains that his mom is really not that bad or weird once you get to know her. Jae In says she already knows, he can stop explaining. They giggle until Mom opens her door again and yells at them to hurry up and go to their rooms. They run upstairs to their rooms. Jae In pours herself a basin of water and cleans her wound on her arm. She flashes back to the face of her abductor and remembers him, leading her to wonder if they will target her again because she can identify them.
Young Kwang stands in his room and pretends to beat up bad guys with his baseball bat. Hahaha, he’s so adorable. His banging leads his mom in the room right below his to wonder what the heck he’s up to late at night thumping on the floor.
In Chul checks out of the hospital while his lackey apologizes for failing in his mission last night. The nurse comes with the checkout papers, asking if they should contact his guardian about his departure from the hospital. In Chul asks “what guardian?” and grabs his file to see that Jae In has signed her name as his guardian. LOL, this is farcical. In Chul remembers his conversation with Jae In last night. After he says he has no guardian, Jae In thinks that is why In Chul tries to endure his injury for so long despite it being a very severe cut. She knows that being alone and lonely is a terrible feeling. She tells In Chul not to try and endure his pain again in the future.
Young Do is playing chess with Dae Sung, who notes that there are currently 1252 applicants for the job openings. Hong Joo says their two problem candidates have not submitted their applications yet, though In Woo is announcing his retirement today so should be submitting his by tomorrow. Young Do smiles and asks how many days are left, and is told two more days. He checkmates Dae Sung and grabs his hat, striding off purposefully.
In Woo arrives at his press conference site which is swarming with reporters. He takes his medication first before stepping out of the car. In Woo tells the assembled media that he is retiring from baseball, while his parents watch the press conference live on TV. His mom wonders why he wore that suit jacket, which doesn’t flatter his complexion.
In Woo’s dad is watching in his office and grilling In Chul on why he didn’t answer his calls last night? When In Chul says he was unconscious in the hospital, In Woo’s dad warns him NEVER to do that again. His calls must be answered, he doesn’t care if In Chul is drunk or unconscious in the hospital, or if the world is about to end. Seriously? In Woo’s dad is so insane he’s hilarious with his over-the-top type of evil.
Suddenly Kyung Joo (!?!?!?) walks in and tells the Chairman that his car is ready and waiting. As they walk out, In Chul pauses next to Kyung Joo before continuing behind In Woo’s dad. Kyung Joo is the Chairman’s secretary! And clearly has something-something going on with In Chul! That was not expected.
In Woo finishes his press conference and is walking out of the building when Young Do purposely bumps into him. Young Do apologizes but In Woo is pissy and asks his lackeys why random folks weren’t barred from this area. Young Do calls him ill-mannered and lacking in decency, to which In Woo looks shocked to be thus lectured by a stranger.
Young Do tells In Woo to submit the application if he’s confused as to what is going on and wants answers. In Woo demands to know which department Young Do works for, but Young Do refuses to answer. When In Woo tries to grab him, Young Do throws one punch that sends In Woo reeling. He lectures In Woo that one should never make the first move unless he knows he will win the fight. Booyah! Love that Young Do, who walks away happy that he’s settled one guy and now needs to work on the other one.
Young Kwang watches In Woo’s retirement conference on TV but turns it off when his mom comes home. She asks Young Kwang what he’s planning to do now, just sit around the house watching TV all day. He smiles and says he has a plan, one that is well thought out. She tells him to find a high paying stable job, that is most important. Mom wonders where “she” went, and hears from Grandma that Jae In left early in the morning for her part time job.
Jin Joo wanders out of her room all sleepy despite it being so late in the morning. She really is useless, isn’t she? Jin Joo says she stayed up late preparing for her audition. Mom says Jae In left bright and early for a part time job and here Jin Joo is a lazy ass. Jin Joo is pissed her mom got angry with her because of comparing her to Jae In. Grandma says Jae In even did all the laundry in the morning before leaving the house. Grandma tells Jin Joo to be more mature. Jin Joo says once she becomes an actress, she’ll repay Jae In the money in a jiffy.
Young Kwang goes to the coffee shop and peeks around the door to watch Jae In work. She’s as perky and cheerful as ever, and Young Kwang watches her with a smile that turns into worry when he sees that she’s making mistakes. He vows to earn the debt money back soon so that Jae In doesn’t have to suffer working so hard.
In Chul arrives at the coffee shop. Jae In accidentally spills juice on a customer who is not going to let it go. In Chul walks up and hands the man money to buy a new suit, asking if that will suffice. The man scurries away. Ggggrrr, I hate spineless bullies. Jae In smiles at In Chul for helping her.
Young Kwang visits his dad’s memorial and bemoans his inability to do more for Jae In. He’s never felt as useless as he does right now. He holds the application and grumbles that he doesn’t want to go work for that horrible company. It’ll be a blow to his ego to work there. He asks his father what he should do? Young Do says that one needs to go into the tiger’s den to bag the tiger.
He walks up to Young Kwang and calls his pride a piece of dog shit. Young Kwang has nowhere to go, his first priority is to find a stable place. Young Kwang asks is Young Do if speaking to him, and Young Do says of course he is, he’s not speaking to the ghosts here! When Young Kwang demands to know who he is, Young Do says Young Kwang hasn’t earned the right to know yet.
Young Do grabs the application and says he’s taking it back now. Young Kwang gets upset and tries to grab it back, but Young Do manages to elude him each time. Young Do crumples one piece and puts it in his mouth. When Young Kwang protests, Young Do takes that paper out and asks if Young Kwang wants it now because it’s no longer his? Does he only want things when it doesn’t come easily? Treasure things after he loses it, but doesn’t cherish it when he has it?
Young Do calls him a useless tool and tells him to regret it his entire life then. He tosses the paper at Young Kwang before walking out. Young Kwang follows him and finds Young Do, who holds out another application for him. Young Do says he’s giving Young Kwang one more chance. If he hears Young Kwang calling the company “a crappy company” again, he will personally rip Young Kwang’s mouth apart. Young Do leaves and Young Kwang actually looks chastened.
Young Do gets into the car and Dae Sung asks how it went? Young Do thinks Young Kwang probably absorbed some of what he said. Dae Sung wonders if that guy was worth Young Do going in person. Young Do isn’t sure, but he’s tired now since he’s rarely had to raise his voice like he did today.
Jae In sits with In Chul at the coffee shop and says she has a ten minute break to chat with him. In Chul confirms he got her number from the hospital form and called her cell and her boss picked up. He asks why she wrote herself down as his guardian? Jae In thinks it was nothing, while In Chul wants to thank her. Jae In doesn’t want his thanks, and he already helped her pay off that man’s suit money. She promises to pay him back in a few months for that amount.
In Chul asks if Jae In is a nurse, and offers her a job taking care of a sick patient. We see In Chul partying the night away at clubs and making out with girls left and right. Jae In declines since she works at hospitals and doesn’t take on personal nursing assignments. In Chul says the duration is two months and offers a huge salary for the job, plus a ten percent bonus when she’s done.
Jae In sits down and asks the name of the patient. She’s not ashamed that the amount is something she can’t say no to. In Chul says the patient is Seo In Woo, former #4 player of Dragons. After In Chul leaves, Jae In grumbles to herself, wondering why it has to be THAT guy! She takes the subway home and continues grumbling about the high salary versus taking care of that annoying and rude dude.
Young Kwang walks home, grumbling about his pride versus working for that company. Jae In continues her grumbling as well, and it’s so darn sweet to see them mirroring each other’s situation. They run into each other outside the family restaurant, and the way Young Kwang looks at her just makes my knees weak. He asks if she’s eaten, and both confirm they’ve eaten.
Young Kwang looks at the restaurant and asks her if they still have some time until curfew. He asks if she wants to eat a bowl of super duper spicy noodles. She happily accepts.
Young Kwang prepares them each a bowl of spicy noodles that looks sooooo delicious. They sit down to eat, with Jae In thankful and thrilled with the food. They each take a bite and start fanning their mouth from the spicy. But they keep eating happily because it’s so good. These two need to eat noodles with each other for the rest of their lives.
Grandma asks Mom what’s going on and finds out that their landlady wants to increase the rent. Mom doesn’t want Grandma to go beg, she’ll be the one to lower her head and ask for some leeway. Otherwise they will need to come out with another huge amount soon. Mom makes Grandma promise not to reveal this in front of the kids, and Grandma confirms she won’t reveal anything. Except Young Kwang and Jae In are outside Mom’s room right now and have overheard this. Oh my poor babies! Jae In turns to see Young Kwang look depressed again.
Young Kwang sits down in his room and takes out the job application for Geodae Industries (the company). Jae In goes to her room and takes out In Chul’s business card. Young Kwang takes out his pen and starts to complete the application. And OMG PIE is a lefty! I never knew that. So cool. Jae In calls In Chul and accepts his job offer.
In Woo’s mom goes with her driver to pick up the drunken out of his mind In Woo, deciding to drop him off at his own apartment rather than taking him home and risk being seen by his dad. Too bad dad is already at In Woo’s apartment waiting for him. Drunken In Woo is being propped up by a few guys but he manages to look scared to see his dad there. Mom thinks In Chul told In Woo’s dad about tonight, but In Woo’s dad tells everyone to get out.
He starts slapping In Woo around, grabbing his collar and asking why he’s destroying himself just because he can’t play that stupid baseball. Is baseball more important than his dad or the company? Dad warns In Woo that if he sees In Woo act like this because of baseball again, he will destroy In Woo. Finally In Woo asks why his father is torturing him like this? What can he do to make his dad happy?
In Woo starts twitching again in fear. Dad yells that In Woo just needs to do half of what In Chul has done, that is enough! The reason he wants In Woo by his side is to force In Woo to learn from In Chul. In Woo blurts out that the company should be given to In Chul then! Why does he want to give the company to an idiot son like him?
Dad says even if In Woo is a moron, he is still his only son, the only blood line he has in this world. Mom watches this and silently cries. In Woo’s dad grabs In Woo again, this time a little more gently, asking him to please just do half of what In Chul does. If In Woo disappoints him again, he will remove In Woo from the family registry. In Woo lowers his head and cries.
In Woo’s dad walks out to see In Chul waiting outside for him. When asked if Yoon Jae In has been located, In Chul lies and says he’s still looking for her. In Chul says he found a nurse for In Woo, someone reliable and trustworthy. In Woo’s dad wants someone who can handle In Woo and won’t quit, someone gutsy and stubborn. In Chul confirms he found someone that fits the profile. In Woo’s dad dismisses In Chul for the evening,
In Chul, wearing a robe and holding a glass of wine, says that the girl is indeed guts and is stubborn. Plus she owns 50% of the shares of Geodae Industries and is the only person who can hold a theoretical knife to In Woo’s dad in the future. Only Yoon Jae In. We hear a woman’s voice say “Yoon Jae In, so she is the daughter of Chairman Yoon.” In Chul confirms that, and says he needs Jae In on his side.
A woman, also wearing a robe, walks up behind In Chul and wraps her arms around his waist. She asks why In Chul is going up against In Woo’s dad. In Chul says he’s just taking precautions. The woman says In Woo’s dad is not easy to deal with, and In Chul might get hurt. In Chul tells her not to worry, he has an ace card.
The camera pans over and we see the woman is Kyung Joo! He says his ace card is Kyung Joo, and then leans down to kiss her. Wahhhh, Kyung Joo isn’t such an emotionless freak. In Chul tells Kyung Joo to be prepared, a great show is about to commence.
It’s morning time and Mom calls all her kids to come eat breakfast. Everyone arrives but Young Kwang and Jae In. Jin Joo is told to go get them, but she finds both of their rooms empty first thing in the morning. Jin Joo informs the rest of the family that those two left the house already. Everyone wonders where they could be, but Kyung Joo says they are adults and can take care of themselves. Kyung Joo takes a bite of rice and wonders if In Woo will let Jae In stay by his side?
In Woo is awoken the next morning by repeated knocks at his door. He opens the door in a rage to find a smiling Jae In outside. In Chul voiceovers that In Woo will keep her, the In Woo he knows won’t be able to cross the gate that is Yoon Jae In (i.e. he won’t be able to reject her presence). Jae In introduces herself as his new personal nurse.
Young Kwang drops off his application at Geodae, though he is reluctant to hand it over for a moment. He tells himself that he needs to earn back all the money from this company and then he can quit. Hong Joo watches him from above and smiles. She places a call to Young Do that Young Kwang has arrived. Young Do looks down at his watch and murmurs that it’s almost time to begin now.
Young Kwang tells himself that this is merely life and he can handle it. Jae In asks In Woo if she can go inside now. In Woo just stares at her. Oh shit, I’m loving all these complications.
Thoughts of Mine:
Wow, that was like a twelve-course meal of new plot directions and hidden plot reveals all shoved into sixty minutes. There is a lot to digest, so I’ll take it one at a time. In Chul is clearly an integral character to this drama, and not just as the Chairman’s abused and silent lackey. I’m not sure if he always intended to use Jae In and not turn her over to In Woo’s dad, or he changed his mind after she saved his life. Either way, he’s clearly not going to harm her, yet he’s not above using her for his own needs.
I knew there was more to Kyung Joo than meets the eye. Strange how the entire Kim family is so easy to read on the surface except for her, and she turns out to be harboring tons of secrets from her family. Looks like she’s been with In Chul for some time, but I’m not yet feeling the love between them. They could really love each other, or simply using each other. That remains to be seen. But now Kyung Joo knows that Jae In is not her half-sister and is in fact the daughter of Chairman Yoon. I’m sure her knowledge will come in handy later. Hopefully she’ll be able to tell Young Kwang and Jae In soon before those two keep growing closer and closer.
I continue to just feel dreadful for In Woo, though my sympathy rests on his plight and not really on his personality. I like how his character has much to learn and just as much to prove as Young Kwang, and am looking forward to both of them getting their asses whipped into shape by Jedi Master Young Do. I find his character so fascinating because he’s unpredictable and very difficult to read. The drama is doing a great job of creating interesting side characters, with Young Do and his team of misfit overachievers all quite eye catching.
I like that this drama isn’t aiming to make me over think or make meaningful and deep observations about life. MoH is the embodiment of dramatic entertainment, part engaging visual stimuli and part intriguing narrative construct. It’s not low key or realistic, but it’s touching and addicting in its own way. I can’t heap enough praise on the pairing of PIE and Park Min Young as the OTP, which is just all sorts of awesome my heart does little twirls of happiness when they are together in any scene.
I don’t normally recap previews, but the preview for episode 7 looks jaw-droppingly good I couldn’t help myself and clicked some screencaps to share.
Jae In vows to not give up on any patient.
In Woo decides to torture Jae In by driving like a madman with her in the passenger seat. Poor Jae In crawls out of the car when it finally stops.
Jae In runs into Young Kwang in the lobby of Geodae. Both are surprised to see each other there.
Young Kwang, Jae In, and In Woo hold out their identical employee badges.
Jae In makes a funny face at Young Kwang, who responds in kind.
Time for some new employee interviews and tests.
Young Kwang voiceovers that he won’t leave Jae In alone with that Seo In Woo, as the preview shows us In Woo kissing Jae In! Nooooooooo……, get your grubby paws off Jae In! I can’t believe I have to wait another week to get more of this drama.