I continue to like I Do I Do, and it continues to be tres mellow and leaves a lingering aftertaste. It stills feels more like a J-dorama than a K-drama, but that’s good in my opinion because I’m in the mood for a slow-paced rom-com that takes time to develop its characters, which is what is happening here. Dr. Mommy is starting the steal the show (like, really stealing the show), and is a truly viable choice to win the girl. What’s nice is that I’m really liking the entire story beyond the romance element, and find Ji An such a well-written character that her life becomes interesting enough to ground the entire drama. It’s been a long time since I’ve like a drama from both the Mon-Tues and Wed-Thurs batch, so here’s to hoping my Big + I Do I Do one-two punch will be sustainable through the entire run.
Episode 3 recap:
Tae Kang is announced as the winner of the design reform contest and he goes up on stage to accept his award. Ji An hands it to him but then doesn’t let go, leaving the two of them to engage in a mini tug-of-war. They are forced to take a very awkward picture for the cameras.
Ji An finds Tae Kang enjoying the celebratory feast and finds out he applied to work at Jinny Kim. She asks if he’s gone crazy, but he says giving up a chance to work here would mean he’s crazy. He ignores her when she demands to speak with him outside privately, leading her to purposely pour water on him so she can drag him outside.
Inside Ji An’s office, she demands he withdraw his job application, snerking that he’s clearly not qualified anyway. He says that any failure and embarrassment is his choice, she shouldn’t butt in. When she keeps badgering him, it leads him to asks why she care so much about him working here? Is she interested in him? That triggers a nerve and Ji An raises her hand and hits him on the shoulder.
When she calls him a pipsqueak and tries to hit him again, he grabs her hand before she lands a punch. When she raises her other hand, he grabs that as well. He pulls her close as he holds her hands tightly between them. He asks if there is a pipsqueak in this world as big and strong as he is? Er, that would clearly be no.
Tae Kang asks if they can be honest with each other for just one minute. He asks if she really believes nothing happened between them that day. Is she being honest, that what happened meant nothing to her? Ji An calms down and there is a frisson of tension between them, until she knees him in the groin. Oof. She tells him that this is her answer.
Ji An goes back to the banquet but Tae Kang follows her and loudly calls out “noona!” The entire room stops and stares at them. Tae Kang walks over to Ji An and sniffles, acting all sad and aggrieved, asking if this is really the end between them? Is he really that embarrassing to her? He admits he’s not someone worthy of noona, so he won’t impede her future anymore. He hands her something and wishes for her to be happy, turning around and limping away.
Ji An looks down and sees that he gave her a button, which fell from her shirt. Tae Kang has an sly smirk as he leaves. Everyone is atwitter about what could have happened between Ji An and Tae Kang.
Na Ri and her uncle go to meet with the Chairman’s wife at a gallery opening. Na Ri greets her and apologizes for not coming earlier to say hello. She asks if Na Ri is getting used to the company and uncle says she’s doing well. The Chairman’s wife asks about the hand over of management at the company and suggests that Ji An do it for the time being since the shareholders are anxious if not done right. Na Ri calls her “mother” and tries to butter up to her.
When Na Ri goes back to the office, she slams her bag down and huffs angrily. Na Ri is told about the gossip surrounding Ji An and Tae Kang from the awards ceremony. She looks through a list of candidates to the company and sees Tae Kang’s application. Ji An looks at her picture with Tae Kang at the awards ceremony and she crumbles it up, tossing it away.
Tae Kang goes to interview with Jinny Kim, facing Ji An, Na Ri, and other executives of the company. He’s nervous but answers all the questions with sincerity, saying the company’s designs are an inspiration to him and he wants to work there. He admits he doesn’t have the educational background, but he has the creative drive. Ji An asks him if he knows what imitations are?
Afterwards, the executives are deciding on who to hire and Na Ri picks Tae Kang. When Ji An questions her, Na Ri throws Ji An’s words back – that a qualified candidate builds their own experience rather than being born with it.
Na Ri calls Ji An out for coffee, wanting to hang out it seems. Ji An is impatient and dismissive of Na Ri’s overtures. Ji AN shares a story that when she was 21, she worked part time at a shoe factory and was kicked out of her house. A sunbae was nice to her but Ji An later learned the girl had ulterior motives. She pays Na Ri for the spa coupons from last time and for this coffee, saying she doesn’t believe in free lunches.
Ji An tells Na Ri to use other ways to try and win Ji An over. Na Ri knows Ji An to loyal to the Chairman’s wife, but warns Ji An that who runs the company remains in the hands of the Chairman. Ji An ought to pick the right side to back. Ji An says if she switched sides depending on which was more winning, and people did that, this company would go bankrupt in no time.
Tae Kang celebrates his new employment with Choong Baek and his dad. He admits luck probably got him this far, but he’s told luck is a skill, too. Afterwards dad and Tae Kang are drunk and stagger back to their old house. They reminisce about living there, but Tae Kang says the jjimjalbang is fine for now and he vows to buy them a new house in the future.
Tae Kang wakes up in the jjimjalbang and frets that he’s late for work. He scrambles to get dressed while dad tries to feed him some breakfast. Oh I love dad. Tae Kang rushes off to work and arrives all excited, staring at his new employee badge and bowing to everyone.
He runs into Ji An in the elevator, but she ignores him. In the design department, some employees are gossiping about Ji An and Tae Kang, saying he’s her little lover. One employee stands up for Ji An, saying she’s not that kind of person.
Tae Kang walks into the department and is introduced to everyone. Ji An arrives and everyone sits down for a meeting. Too bad Tae Kang sits down in Ji An’s seat so Ji An tells him to move it.
Dad is at Choong Baek’s restaurant pacing, worried about Tae Kang’s first day at work. Tae Kang calls his dad from the inventory room and asks for help. Dad gives him a quickie tutorial on shoe jargon, and we learn Tae Kang is so clueless about shoes he doesn’t even know the sizing system. Another employee arrives and Tae Kang quickly hangs up. The guy says Tae Kang must be special so he gets to chat on the phone on his first day of work. He asks about Tae Kang and Ji An, and Tae Kang says there is nothing going on between him and Ji An.
Tae Kang heads back up and sees Ji An again in the elevator, though this time they are alone. Ji An wonders how he could spend the entire day cataloging the inventory. She calls him a fly and tells him to start talking to her politely and formally since she’s his boss. They start bickering again but then Ji An doubles over with stomach pains. Tae Kang looks worried when Ji An appears to be in severe pain, but she shakes off his help.
When Ji An gets back to her office, she flashes back to the moment in the office when Tae Kang grabbed her hands and pulls her close. She gets a call from a wedding planner who heard she’s going to be a bride and asks if she needs help with the wedding. Ji An calls Eun Seong to find out what’s going on. Eun Seong smiles to see her call, but this time its he who answers and hangs up on her.
Eun Seong is nonchalantly waiting outside his office for Ji An when she pulls up. She walks up to him and demands to know what he’s doing? Is he a stalker? Eun Seong just smiles at her and tells her that her parents have already been by to see him.
Her parents are very satisfied with him and even had their birthdates checked against each other. Ji An apologizes and says she’ll take care of her parents so they don’t bother him anymore. She wants to tell her parents the truth but he doesn’t want to since it’ll be embarrassing to him. When she leaves, he follows her into her car and refuses to get out, saying they need to talk.
The Jinny Kim employees are at dinner and gossiping about the next president of the company. Some think it might be Na Ri, while others say the wife of the Chairman is backing Ji An. Tae Kang arrives with beer but he’s not invited to join the talk. He sees the one design department employee who stands up for Ji An drinking alone and wants to join, but she glares at him, blaming him for the gossip against Ji An.
Tae Kang walks out to the stairwell and overhears Na Ri on the phone. She’s trying to assure her dad that she’s getting used to the company and asks if they can have lunch next week. She also wants to talk about company matters with him. She sounds disappointed to hear he’s too busy to find time for her. Na Ri sadly sits down on the stairwell and Tae Kang notes that he’s not the only one disappointed and tired with life.
Tae Kang goes back inside and another employee asks to talk with him. He commends Tae Kang for making it onto Ji An’s team. He calls Tae Kang the parachute employee, and also Ji An’s boy toy. He offers to share some work pointers with Tae Kang to survive at this company.
Ji An drives back to her parents place and Eun Seong gets out with her. He frets about coming empty handed, but she asks if he thinks he’s here for a nice visit? Eun Seong greets Ji An’s parents as “mother” and “father”, and is warmly invited to join in the gathering of friends of her parents. Ji An tries to get rid of him but he says he has nothing to do tonight and can stay.
Dad calls Eun Seong “son-in-law” and he warmly greets them back. The elders are happy to see Ji An with a nice man, and tell them to hurry up and get married. The elders want the kids to sing a song and Eun Seong complies.
Eun Seong pulls Ji An up to sing for the elders. Ji An is irritated but goes along once she sees how happy this makes her dad, who smiles and claps.
Afterwards, Ji An is cutting apples and sees her dad happy outside as Eun Seong gives him a piggyback ride. She remembers a scene from her childhood when her dad was painting and she accidently spilled ink on him and the painting. Instead of getting angry, he put more ink on his face and then chased her around like a cat.
Her mom joins Ji An and remarks that it has been a long time since her dad has been this happy. The last time was when Ji An graduated with top honors from college. Ji An cuts her hand on the paring knife and Eun Seong comes to bandage her up.
She shares with him the feeling of watching her father smile, which he rarely ever did, not even when she gives them money, presents, trips overseas, etc. Yet Eun Seong made him smile today. Eun Seong assures her that his own dad rarely smiles either, and perhaps its just a family thing.
Tae Kang talks with Manager Seo and the other employees wonder why he’s talking with that guy. Apparently he’s known as the ten thousand year manager, since he’s been with the company fifteen years already but is still just a manager level employee.
Tae Kang finds Na Ri and sits down to talk with her, not realizing who she really is. He thinks she just started at the company like him and offers her advice he just learned. The key is to get in the good graces of Yeom Na Ri, the Chairman’s daughter. But sadly he heard she has a weird personality, He suggests they work together to identify her first.
Tae Kang mistakenly assumed another female employee is Na Ri and Na Ri doesn’t correct him. He pulls her up on the dance floor to boogie when that employee is singing, and it’s hilarious how over-the-top he is and Na Ri is like his puppet doll. After the dance is when Rae Kang learns Na Ri’s real identity and he looks stunned and bows in profuse apology to her. Na Ri laughs like she rather enjoyed that embarrassing display.
Ji An drops Eun Seong off and hands him a bag of food her mother packed for him. He notes that Ji An’s mom is a very kind hearted gracious person. Eun Seong invites her up for tea but she declines, showing him her cut thumb. He accepts that as a credible excuse for her to go home and rest.
Ji An reluctantly thanks him for today, and offers to let him call once in awhile to talk. Eun Seong laughs, teasing if she’s proposing to him? Ji An sputters and denies it, which is when Eun Seong steps forward and kisses her on the cheek.
Thoughts of Mine:
I like IDID a lot, but it’s yet to hook me right and proper. But that is rather apropos for the mood of this drama, which feels like a leisurely journey rather than a rush to reach certain goal posts. I’m almost not caring about the ending, such as who gets the girl, and am content to watch how the characters grow after meeting each other and interacting in different situations. It’s a testament to the writing that I’m being told to be patient as a viewer, and I’m am actually okay with that. Because the story feels sophisticated in treating the characters and subject matter, it ups my appreciation for its storytelling pace.
Eun Seong is really shining more and more with each episode, his character just so droll and understated, his humor mature and charming. He feels like such an approachable guy, and really Ji An is lucky to have run into him as a matseon date. This isn’t saying that Tae Kang isn’t equally interesting in his own way, but he’s like a work in progress while Eun Seong is a completed picture. Maybe Ji An needs a guy with rougher edges, but then this story will take us where it needs to go and the ending ought to feel like it was well merited. Either way, IDID continues to keeps me onboard as it slowly builds its narrative.