At this point, I can only say that Man of Honor is a bibimbap of awesome. I just love it to pieces, finding so immensely satisfying the relationship between Young Kwang and Jae In, the mystery and intrigue being revealed little by little, and all the fractured souls finding their way to where they ought to go. Episode 9 had so much OTP goodness that was in turns sweet and funny, it just whets my appetite even more until I’m fairly hopping up and down for another episode immediately.
Episode 9 recap:
Jae In finds the door to In Woo’s apartment unlocked so she walks right in. She comes face-to-face with In Woo’s dad, who stares at her like she’s beneath him. He asks who she is, and before she can answer, In Woo nervously interjects to explain she’s the new nurse. In Woo’s dad looks her up and down, asking In Chul why he didn’t say the nurse was a girl, and a short and scrawny one at that.
Jae In politely tells In Woo’s dad she’s not scrawny, she’s relied her whole life only on herself and supported her own way to becoming a certified nurse. She asks In Woo’s dad to modify what he said about her. In Woo and In Chul can only look on nervously as Jae In unwittingly baits a rabid lion. Jae In further asks In Woo’s dad to treat him better, since In Woo is so nervous around his dad due to a desire to impress him. If In Woo’s dad treated In Woo with more warmth and compassion, maybe it will help his medical condition.
In Woo’s dad asks her point blank what her full name is, but before Jae In can respond, In Chul pipes up and says the Chairman can just call her Ms. Yoon. Jae In looks over at In Chul, who subtly shakes his head to alert Jae In to keep quiet. In Woo lets out a sigh of relief. In Woo’s dad doesn’t take kindly to being lectured by a nothing little nurse, and tells Jae In that the way he raises his son is none of her business. When Jae In speaks up again, In Woo’s dad starts raging at her that he does things his own way and she is NOT to tell him what to do again. He leaves along with In Chul, leaving Jae In understandably shaken by the encounter
In Woo grabs Jae In and asks if she wanted to die back there, how dare she speak up? Jae In says she did it for In Woo, but he just wants her never to talk to his dad. If she does it again, she will be out. Young Kwang can’t reach Jae In by phone so he calls a former teammate and finds out where In Woo lives. As In Woo’s dad leaves, he asks In Chul where he found that nurse? In Chul says she helped him once. In Woo’s dad doesn’t like her attitude, but agrees to let her stay on, provided that she keep her mouth shut. In Chul agrees to convey that to Jae In.
Jae In asks In Woo why he’s so afraid of his own father? In Woo changes the subject, asking why she lied to him and told him that she had a father. If she had a father, then why does her resume say that she grew up in an orphanage? In Woo demands to know who she is? Which is when Young Kwang arrives and quietly announces that Jae In is his younger sister.
In Woo scoffs at how Yoon Jae In could be Young Kwang’s younger sister. Young Kwang says only his deceased dad will know if she really is, which is when In Woo’s eyes widen. In Woo flashes back to when he was young and saw his father handing Young Kwang’s father an envelope of money, thanking him for his hard work. He also remembers his father telling him that he won’t see Jae In ever again.
In Woo collapses on the floor and starts twitching. Jae In crouches down to ask if he’s okay, but In Woo’s eyes fill with tears as he stares at her. He yells at Jae In to leave right now before running back to his room. Young Kwang takes Jae In away. In Woo huddles in his closet and wonders how things turned out like this? He’s figured it out, that Jae In didn’t die, and somehow thinks she’s Young Kwang’s dad’s daughter.
Young Kwang grabs Jae In’s things and hurries her home, but she stands there and stares at him. He wonders if she doesn’t want to go home with him? She asks why he revealed her parentage? Young Kwang mistakenly thinks she is embarrassed to be related to him, but in truth Jae In thinks he ought to be embarrassed by her illegitimate parentage.
Young Kwang’s gaze softens as he listens to Jae In discuss how she feels like her existence is a stain on Young Kwang’s life. He asks if she’s stupid or purposely being obtuse? Does having him for an oppa embarrass her? She yells out no, and he says that he has never felt embarrassed by her being his sister. In fact, doesn’t she know how much he likes her!
ZOMG, I can’t believe Young Kwang just blurted that out. And neither can he, because he just looks gobsmacked for a few seconds there digesting the enormity of him confessing his feelings to his supposed half-sister. Jae In stares at him as well, and I swear I almost dug a hole in the ground and shoved the two of them in it so they can just snuggle together all day long and avoid these whole messy revenge and redemption story.
Young Kwang starts stuttering and explaining that he meant he likes her so much as his sister. Yes, as his sister, and she also happens to be a fan and saved his life. Yes, that is what he meant by “likes her.” LOL, riiiiiiiight, Kim Young Kwang. Plus she’s so pretty and cute, and when he looks at her smile it just makes him happy.
Jae In smiles and says she feels the same way. Young Kwang pauses for a second, but then his face falls when Jae In explains that she likes him as an oppa as well. Poor guy says “ahhhh, I see…..”, and confirms again that she likes him as an oppa. Jae In nods her head with a doofy smile. He grabs her stuff and hurries off, telling her they need to get home since it’s so late already.
As he turns the corner, he mutters to himself, asking what the heck he said back there? He bangs his head against a pole and stops only when Jae In walks up asking what the heck he’s doing? Young Kwang adorably says he’s not doing anything, and tells Jae In to hurry along.
In Woo tracks In Chul down at a bar and demands to know if In Chul knew exactly who Yoon Jae In is and purposely sent her to In Woo? In Chul says that running into Jae In was a coincidence and destiny, she helped In Chul when he was hurt. In Chul reveals In Woo’s dad is looking for Jae In, and if he finds her, she’ll never be seen in Seoul again.
In Chul owes Jae In because she helped save his life, so turning her over to In Woo’s dad is not something he can do. He leaves it up to In Woo to decide whether he wants to tell his father. When In Woo rudely calls In Chul by his full name, In Chul reminds In Woo that he is older than him. In Woo needs to mind his manners. In Woo suddenly remembers his childhood kidnapper saying the same thing to him. He starts twitching. In Chul reminds In Woo to decide within the week what to do about Jae In.
Young Kwang’s mom wakes up the next morning to find a full table set for breakfast. Jae In runs out of the kitchen and greets Mom, explaining she made breakfast already, all the favorite foods Mom likes. Mom wants to yell at Jae In some more, but Jae In explains that she got fresh squid and made a salad for Mom already. Jae In rushes off to get ready for work. Upstairs, Jae In tells Young Kwang that she did as he told her. She’s nervous as heck, not sure if it worked.
Mom sits down and drinks some soup, finding it to her liking. She tries a slice of squid salad, which is when Grandma arrives. Grandma asks what all this food is? Mom explains Jae In made it all. Grandma is surprised and Mom is surprised that Jae In’s food tastes just like Grandmas. Turns out last night the two kids begged Grandma for help. Grandma tells Jae In to never leave again since this is her home, and to let Mom get mad and just let it out. Mom is a softy and doesn’t really want to kick Jae In out.
Grandma tells the two kids to go to the fish market and buy two fresh squid. Young Kwang and Jae In go to the fish market and have fun goofing off to pick live seafood. Jae In grabs Young Kwang’s arm to drag him around, and he stops to look at her tenderly. Grandma and the two kids spend the night cooking secretly, though they are nervous for a moment thinking Mom might wake up and catch them. Turns out Grandma did make the squid salad.
Grandma tells Mom to just let it go, since is Jae In is so hardworking and young. Mom needs to act like an elder now and be mature. Mom keeps eating and is pleased the food tastes so good. Grandma smiles and looks up towards the staircase, where Young Kwang and Jae In are peeking down at them. Young Kwang turns to look at Jae In and he stares at her smiling lips. He quickly excuses himself and runs back to his room.
Young Kwang asks himself if he’s gone crazy? He needs to focus and clear his mind. He goes to do sit ups, but stops when Jae In asks from outside the door if he’s asleep? She thanks him for coming to get her last night. Someone coming to find her, and is worried about her, and says that he likes her, other than the sisters at the orphanage, Young Kwang is the first such person.
Jae In is really touched and just wanted to say thank you again. Young Kwang runs to open the door, but he stops himself. Jae In walks away, and Young Kwang leans his head against the door with a sigh. He says to himself that he really has gone insane. Jae In goes back to her room and thinks back to Young Kwang’s confession last night. She smiles, but then stops smiling to remind herself that he’s her oppa.
In Woo is zoning out during breakfast at home, and his mom call him a few times to get his attention. In Woo’s dad wants him to move back home, get ready for work, and prepare to get married soon. In Woo’s dad is negotiating a marriage with the KMP group’s daughter. Mom tries to say that In Woo is just 27 years old and too young.
In Woo gets up the courage and asks his dad if the other side knows about their family situation. The fact that their ownership of the company is not all theirs. Some of the shares still reside with Chairman’s Yoon’s wife who is currently at the hospital. In Woo asks what his dad plans to do if the Yoon family comes back to reclaim what is rightfully theirs? Will his dad resign? In Woo’s dad rages and says that Geodae belongs only to him! No one can make him give up his place at Geodae. In Woo’s dad walks away and In Woo almost collapses at the table. He stares at In Chul, who looks right back at him with a daring expression.
In Woo’s dad storms into his office only to suddenly grab his chest in extreme pain. His phone rings and he can’t even answer it. In Chul walks in and sees In Woo’s dad is in pain. In Chul answers the phone and In Woo’s dad insists on taking the call, which is from the doctor at the hospital explaining that Jae In’s mom is undergoing physical therapy.
In Woo’s dad watches as Jae In’s mom undergoes painful physical rehabilitation after being in a coma for 17 years. Afterwards, he tries to talk with the prosecutor about her treatment, wondering why she’s bothering when Jae In’s mom still had not regained full mental capacity.
The prosecutor says she’s looking for a miracle. Jae In’s mom pretends to be slightly catatonic in front of In Woo’s dad. In Woo’s dad reminds the prosecutor that he is the guardian for Jae In’s mom and not to do any new medical procedures without getting his consent. After In Woo’s dad walks away, In Chul notices that Jae In’s mom is clearly fully aware as she grips her wheelchair arm tightly. Jae In’s mom vows to cut her rehab time in half and be fully mobile within one month. In Chul sits in his office and thinks about what he just learned.
In Woo returns to his apartment is told someone is waiting for him in the lobby. He walks over and doesn’t see anyone, but notices Jae In’s beat up old backpack with the bear sewn on the front. Jae In runs up and In Woo asks why she carries such a kid backpack. Jae In says that bear was a purse she had with her when she was left at the orphanage. She hopes that someone may remember it one day.
Jae In asks In Woo if she should come by tomorrow morning. In Woo looks torn, finally telling Jae In not to come anymore. He doesn’t want her here, at the company, or anywhere near him. In Woo fires Jae In, who asks why. He lies that she’s annoying and always getting in his way. He wants her to scram and never enter his world again.
In Woo leaves Jae In looking confused. He goes back to his apartment and screams in frustration, throwing things around. Turns out that bear purse was his birthday present to young Jae In many years ago. In Woo looks torn until he finally races down to the lobby, but Jae In has already left. In Woo calls out forlornly for Jae In.
Jae In asks Young Kwang’s mom if she can get a part time job at the restaurant. Mom correctly surmises that Jae In got fired. Jae In thinks it’s a good trade off, she can order Jae In around anytime. Jae In starts by cleaning the restaurant right now. Mom makes fun of Jae In for smiling all the time and always being so cheerful. Jae In just wants to thank Mom for taking her back, otherwise she has nowhere else to go. Mom gruffly tells Jae In to keep cleaning.
Kyung Joo hands In Chul the files he asked for, which indicate that In Woo’s dad is planning to transfer all his shares to In Woo. This explains why he’s forcing In Woo to retire from baseball and join the company. Neither can figure out why In Woo’s dad is in a rush. OMG, it’ll be hilarious is evil daddy is sick and going to die. It’s like karma already bit him on the arse.
Young Do asks In Woo’s dad for 11 safes. He assembles his crack team and hands them the next assignment for tomorrow’s second round interviews. Hong Joo realizes the team will be asked to participate as well. Morning arrives and all the remaining candidates arrive at Geodae.
Young Kwang enters the elevator and who should stand next to him but the loan shark gangster who terrorized their family a few episodes back. Both recognize each other, and head up to the roof for a pow wow. Don’t they have an interview to go to? Gangster tries to posture with Young Kwang, but finally just kneels down and begs Young Kwang for forgiveness. He’s given up his former profession and asks Young Kwang to not reveal it and let it go. He promises to be Young Kwang’s lackey from now on.
Young Kwang asks why he needs to be kind to a guy like him, who terrorized his family. Gangster cries that it was his lifelong dream to have a white collar job. To get married, have kids, live a normal life. He grabs Young Kwang’s leg and begs him to go forgive him. Can’t a toad like him dream of becoming a swan. Young Kwang asks if he’ll do whatever he asks of him then.
Mom, Grandma, and Jin Joo are at the restaurant when suddenly the gangster pack returns. This time they all get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness. Mom’s phone rings and it’s head gangster, who cries into the phone begging for forgiveness and screaming that he loves her. LOL, I’m dying here with the ridiculousness.
Young Kwang grabs the phone and tells his mom that he did as he promised, he got the gangsters to beg forgiveness from her. He laughs and feels all proud of himself now. Head gangster asks if Young Kwang will keep his past a secret from now on? Young Kwang asks why gangster is still using banmal with him, if he’s agreed to treat Young Kwang as his older brother? Gangster switches to jeondaemal quickly. Young Kwang smiles and tells him to get up, they have an interview to go to.
In Woo walks up to the interview room and sees Jae In there. He walks up and demands to know why she is here? Jae In says she’s here for the second round interview, which is important because she’s recently unemployed. In Woo grabs her arm, asking if she wants to get hurt? She can’t be here. Jae In asks why not? In Woo grabs her arm to explain that he wasn’t trying to be condescending, but Young Kwnag arrives and grabs In Woo’s hand, pulling him off Jae In. Young Kwang reminds In Woo that he’s rich and doesn’t know how people feel to work hard for things.
The remaining 11 applicants stand before Young Do and his team. He asks them all to forget their previous work experience, none of that matters to him. All that matters is what they do today! Young Kwang turns to look at Jae In, and he flashes back to last night. Jae In and Young Kwang sit outside and she explains she wants to keep going with their job interview.
Even though she’s a nurse by training, she wants to keep going. For some reason, the company feels familiar to her. Young Kwang wonders if maybe their dad took her there when she was a kid? Jae In smiles, hoping maybe she will regain her childhood memory if she is around the company more. Young Kwang smiles back at her, hopeful as well.
Suddenly Jae In puts her hand down and it rests on Young Kwang’s hand. They look at each other before she quickly pulls away. They just gaze out at the night lights enjoying the view.
Back at the interview, Young Kwang is staring at Jae In while smiling like a doofus. Young Do walks up to him asking what he’s smiling at? The smile immediately leaves his face as Young Do yells at him to be serious and pay attention! Young Do explains that the next test will enable the ones who pass to open the locker with their name on it, which will contain the question for the third round.
There are boxes placed in the front of varying sizes and everyone is asked to pick one. The small ones go first, until there are only three left. Young Kwang takes the largest of the two boxes, leaving the final two for Jae In and In Woo. He smiles at Jae In as he walks back to line up. Everyone opens up the boxes to find it contains an item of clothing. Young Kwang has a parka, Jae In and In Woo have hiking boots, and the others who all picked the smallest boxes appear to have gloves.
Young Do says their mission is to sell their item, which is one of the new Geodae products, to one of the three team members. Since the combination to the lockers are only known to the four team members, that means the first four to sell their item will get the combination and pass this round. Gangster says it’s not fair that most of them have a small box and the same item to sell. Young Do asks if he’s being accused of setting up an unfair exam? He yells at them to hurry up to do their task. They have 5 days! Everyone looks worried.
In Woo’s dad sits in his office, wondering what the heck is inside the 11 lockers? In Chul says everyone has a different question waiting for them inside the locker with their name on it. In Woo’s dad eagerly awaits the next round of tests. Young Do sits in his office and takes out a bloody paper with some numbers written on it, and the broken watch Young Kwang’s dad used to wear.
Turns out on the night of the accident, Young Kwang’s dad had called Young Do to meet with him. When Young Do arrived, he saw In Chul there directing his goons to catch Young Kwang’s dad. Young Do races to save Young Kwang’s dad, but he arrives too late and poor dad has already been mowed down by a car. The goons run back to report to In Chul, who is sitting in the back of a car waiting for them. Most likely In Chul didn’t mow daddy down.
Young Do accompanies Young Kwang’s dad to the hospital, crying for his hyung to be alright. Young Kwang’s dad gestures for a pen, and he writes down the letters and symbols in Young Do’s notebook. He asks Young Do about that child….before passing out. His watch falls off his wrist and Young Do picks it up, crying out for his friend. Back to the present, Young Do places the watch and the note inside Young Kwang’s locker. He tells Kim Young Kwang to hurry up and come to him.
Young Kwang walks around looking for Jae In. LOL, he can’t stay away from her, can he? He runs into In Woo, who asks to speak with him. Jae In walks around, looking for the file room on the 8th floor. She senses something and walks to a different room, remembering that this company feels familiar to her. It’s a storage room where a picture of her dead daddy hangs on the wall.
Jae In walks up to that room and tries to open the door, which is locked. She turns to leave when suddenly she hears someone whispering her name. She turns back to that room and sees the door handle turning. Young Kwang asks In Woo what he wants to talk about? In Woo says he wants to talk about Yoon Jae In. The door opens and Jae In stares in shock.
Thoughts of Mine:
What another rollicking and satisfying episode, just the right amount of forward momentum on Jae In’s identity getting revealed and finally clueing us in on mysterious Young Do’s connection with Young Kwang. So he’s clearly a good friend of Young Kwang’s dead daddy, and perhaps mistakenly thinks dead daddy wants him to look out for Young Kwang (as opposed to Jae In). Either way, I’m glad to know he’s not some fantasy figure but is simply a larger-than-life character. I love his random tests for the applicants to Geodae, which might feel manufactured and outlandish, but isn’t completely pointless. He’s testing people on values, self-confidence, and ability, all important traits in a business setting.
I like how the drama is at times goofy (like the reformed gangster begging Young Kwang and his mom for forgiveness) and then goes crazy over-the-top, which is any scene with In Woo’s dad at this point. I think Jae In’s mom’s laughable attempt to pretend to be feebleminded was rather hokey, but In Woo’s dad bought it so that is all that matters. It’s interesting to see In Chul continue to absorb new information as he plots whatever it is he’s plotting. He really is a touch cookie to crack, and I still don’t know if he’s good pretending to be evil, or evil wanting to topple In Woo’s daddy so he can be head honcho.
I’m glad Jae In’s run in with Young Kwang’s mom was resolved quickly, which makes sense since Mom is just a big ole softie wrapped in a tough outer shell. It’s clear she’s quickly accepting Jae In, though she’ll continue to love pretending to be gruff with her. As for my precious Young Kwang and Jae In, every interaction between them had me cooing to the screen and making incoherent nnnngggg noises during this episode. I love how their reluctant fauxcest isn’t accompanied by lots of moping and grand gestures of pretending NOT to like each other. They are so freaking honest with each other it makes me wanna cry sometimes from the happiness of seeing two people dealing with every situation in life in a direct way one step at a time.
Young Kwang’s inadvertent confession of his feelings for Jae In was beyond adorable, and so sudden even I was taken aback. That boy is just one big walking open book. I’m glad that Jae In also clearly has feelings for him back, but it makes sense for both of them to try and keep it under control for now. I love how the drama continues to let them have cute moments together that aren’t overtly squicky with the romance since they think they are related, but more just moments of quiet connection that reinforce the fact that they are just perfect together.