This might be my last recap for I Do I Do since I’m liking it more as a watch than writing about it. This has turned out to be a story without the traditional K-drama hook, when initially I thought it was a story solely about the pregnancy between an older successful woman and a younger professionally-challenged man. IDID doesn’t rely on twists and turns to tell a story, instead it allows the characters to learn and grow through situations all the while never painting things in shades of black and white. We don’t have heroes to root for or villains to root against, nor any pairings that are destined from the get go. All that remains is just a story rooted in the details of people living, working, and falling in love in understandable ways. I like it, but its doesn’t lend me to want to meta-analyze it. And one final thing – I just have to give another shout out to Kim Sun Ah for delivering an extraordinary performance so far as Hwang Ji An. She captures every nuance and emotion brilliantly in the most understated of ways.
Episode 4 recap:
Eun Seong kisses Ji An on the cheek, leaving her flustered. She asks how many women he’s made cry using his sneaky tactics? He says a few dried up old woman so far, but she snerks back that she’s an evolved old fish, whereas he’s no spring chicken himself. He compliments her on being sexy when she’s angry, and vows to awaken her regressed love genes within a month.
When Ji An goes jogging with her friend the next day, they discuss Eun Seong’s interest in Ji An and whether she wants to give him a chance. The friend says Eun Seong sounds so sweet, but Ji An says eating too many sweets gives one a cavity. Friend encourages Ji An to marry this guy, he sounds like a keeper. If she insists on staying single, she’ll find herself old one day with her parents gone and no kids around to take care of her.
Ji An gets winded easily and can’t finish her run, suggesting that walking in heels she can do because there is a purpose, but running aimlessly to lose weight is pointless.
Tae Kang goes to work bright and early, greeting all the cleaning staff on his way in. He proceeds to clean the design department office space from top to bottom. When the rest of the staffers arrive, they are not pleased. One shrieks about why her things have been moved.
Ji An meets with the Chairman’s wife, who asks what Ji An thinks about Na Ri. Ji An says Na Ri appears quite passionate about her job. The Chairman’s wife tells Ji An to prepare for moving up soon, which confuses Ji An since she thought Na Ri has already been tapped as the new Vice President. The Chairman’s wife says she knows how much Ji An has contributed to building the company, and hints that its time Ji An gets recognized, rather than someone born with a golden spoon.
Ji An acts all calm and cool during the meeting, but afterwards when she’s alone, she lets out gasps of happiness and is truly giddy that she’s about to finally make it. It’s so heartwarming to see that inside of this perfect working woman exterior is someone just as thrilled about achieving something as a child would be.
Na Ri meets with the Chairman’s wife, greatly her warmly, but the Chairman’s wife coolly looks her over and asks why Na Ri is like her mother, always overreaching and doesn’t know her place. She thinks Na Ri is the one spreading rumors that she’s been tapped to be the next Vice President.
The design department is working and Tae Kang gets assigned to so all sorts of menial jobs. It ends with him being told to sort crystals for shoes by hand. When folks leave for lunch, he’s purposely ignored.
Tae Kang eats lunch by himself. Na Ri has earphones on as she thinks back to what the Chairman’s wife said to her. Tae Kang sees her looking all sad and he remembers her disappointment back in the stairwell. He thinks to himself that rich people also have their own set of problems.
When Tae Kang goes back to the office, he runs into Ji An there. Ji An brings up Tae Kang’s incident with Na Ri and the dancing at the restaurant, suggesting Tae Kang better start packing soon. Tae Kang says Na Ri seems like a good person, as pretty as Ms. Korea, and not petty like someone else. They start bickering when Ji An keeps insisting Tae Kang is a baby. Tae Kang tells Ji An to touch him on the head to see how big he is now. He pulls her hand up when she refuses.
In their tussling, they end up pressed against each other on the table, which is when the rest of the employees return from lunch and witness this awkward moment. Ji An pushes Tae Kang off and orders everyone to get back to work.
Tae Kang goes to the bathroom and runs into Manager Seo there. They go have dinner at Choong Baek’s restaurant and Manager Seo bemoans working so hard at the company but he’s going nowhere. Today his desk was moved to the corner, almost like he’s being pushed to quit on his own. But he can’t quit, he has a wife and a pair of twins, and it costs money to support a family. Otherwise he would quit. Tae Kang congratulates him on having kids, he thinks it would be wonderful and so boisterous.
Manager Seo says supporting a family is hard work and suggests Tae Kang stay single like Medusa. Manager Seo shares a story about when he and Ji An first started at the company, her boss disliked her and her colleagues ostracized her. Back then Ji An stood up for her beliefs in design integrity and refused to copy other people’s design, directly opposing a request by her superior.
Afterwards Ji An sits in the bathroom and cries, signing her name on a design she created herself. Manager Seo says that to be successful, one must be like Medusa and ignore everything other than her job, such as even ignoring her parents. Tae Kang stands up for Ji An and tells Manager Seo not to spread rumors about how cold and heartless Ji An is.
We see Ji An sitting at home as she looks at the same design from years ago. She smiles, thinking back to all she has accomplished and endured to get to this point.
Manager Seo asks Tae Kang about rumors with Ji An and Tae Kang brushes it off. Later when Choong Baek comes by, his loose lips let slip that Ji An and Tae Kang got drunk and slept together.
The next day, Manager Seo tells everyone about it, and this news gets posted on the company electronic bulletin board.
Tae Kang is going to work and he has a copy of Ji An’s original design which he is taking to the factory so it can be made into a sample shoe. He places it in his purse, but the purse gets stolen when he’s crossing a six-way intersection. Tae Kang chases after the thief but loses him. He files a police report, stressing how valuable the stolen items in the bag are.
Ji An gets called into a meeting with the executives to discuss the recent rumors at the company. Ji An thinks the rumors are about her being a lesbian, but Na Ri says these are specific and detailed rumors about her and Tae Kang.
Manager Seo is called inside and asked if he is the one spreading rumors about Ji An. Manager Seo looks chastened and said he shared the news because it was amusing. He apologizes for it, he didn’t mean for it to cause such a ruckus. Na Ri says this can’t be resolved simply by an apology, Ji An is the face of the company and they will sue Manager Seo for defamation of Ji An. Faced with being sued, Manager Seo says he heard this first hand. Ji An is asked if this is true, while Na Ri snickers.
Ji An goes back to her office and confronts Tae Kang. She slaps him, asking if he thinks spreading news of his sexual conquests would make him a man and noticed by others? Tae Kang is confused and says he didn’t do any such thing. Ji An is nearly in tears, asking why she has to be dragged down by a piece of trash like him.
Ji An blames it on the alcohol otherwise she would have never had anything to do with a guy like Tae Kang. He asks if she really feels this way? Ji An nods. Tae kang says that whether he spread the rumors or not doesn’t matter since she thinks he’s someone who would do this. He’s just an imitation shoe maker piece of trash to her. She tells him to scram but he refuses to quit on his own, telling her that even trash wants a chance to succeed.
Tae Kang tells her that what happened between them, she sees it as a horrible mistake she wishes she could take back, but he doesn’t remember it that way. He’s never done anything he feels ashamed about, it was his sincere feelings at that time. Oh swoon.
The Chairman’s wife talks with Ji An about the latest rumors. She offers to take care of it by having Manager Seo and Tae Kang fired tomorrow. She won’t let Ji An be taken down by these such matters. Ji An looks stunned, but then thanks the Chairman’s wife.
Tae Kang goes home and runs into his dad who wants to know why he’s home so late. Dad is so excited because their old house is back on the market since the family suddenly immigrated. They can use credit to take out a loan to buy the house since Tae Kang has a steady job now at a big company. Tae Kang, who knows he might be fired, doesn’t want to commit to buying back the house. Dad thinks Tae Kang doesn’t want to use his salary to pay the monthly mortgage. Tae Kang can’t bring himself to tell Dad the truth so he agrees to buy back the house.
Ji An has dinner with Eun Seong but her mind isn’t quite there. When he asks, she reveals that there are two people who might get fired because of her. She knows this makes her underhanded, but Eun Seong says people are underhanded when it comes to protecting themselves. Ji An agrees but it still doesn’t make her feel good about what she’s done.
Eun Seong takes her to the baby nursery, saying it’s a good way to calm a person down. Ji An looks and says the babies look like larvae, all the same. Eun Seong comes here to look at the babies when he’s tired, and they give him his energy back.
Eun Seong then takes Ji An to the neo-natal unit to look at pre-mature babies. He tells Ji An to touch one baby’s hand and Ji An reluctantly does, but then you see her smile and soften up. He tells her this baby may be pre-mature, but he’ll make it one day and become a big strapping man. At which point, he’ll be no different than the babies born full term.
Ji An goes to see the Chairman’s wife and tells her not to fire Tae Kang and Manager Seo. She does not want to step on others to get to the top. Those two employees also have things in their life they want to protect and achieve, she doesn’t want to use her seniority to step on them. She’s not so weak that she will need to step on them to succeed.
Ji An arrives at work the next day wearing a fantabulously sexy outfit, a white sleeveless dress shirt with a red flowing skirt with a slit up to her thigh and red heels. She joins in a group of male employees talking about her, and who all cower when she arrives. She says if they are so curious about her love life, they should ask her now since she’s right here. Everyone scampers.
Ji An goes to see Na Ri, telling her that she’s accepted the Chairman wife’s nomination to be Vice President. She tells Na Ri to stop backstabbing people and compete head on. Na Ri fumes after Ji An leaves. Ji An runs into Manager Seo and clicks her fingers to make him scurry over. She tells Manager Seo that he’s not getting fired, telling him to stop wasting his time on gossip and he could actually get somewhere at the company. Manager Seo reveals that he found out about the drunken night not from Tae Kang, but from Choong Baek.
Ji An goes back to the design department sees Tae Kang making coffee. She looks like she wants to talk with him but he ducks out, thinking she’s still mad. Ji An calls Eun Seong and apologizes for being so distracted on their date. She offers to take him out, but he suggests she come over to his place.
Ji An calls her friend who says the third date at his place will obviously lead to more than just dinner. Ji An goes to buy new lingerie. Eun Seong gets another doctor to cover for him by promising to take on even more of the guy’s shifts, he’s so excited about his date. The guy asks if Eun Seong is seeing a girl, but Eun Seong days its more than that, he’s going to get married. Eun Seong goes shopping for groceries and flowers to prepare for the date.
As Ji An is leaving work, she sees Tae Kang sleeping at his desk. She covers him up with his suit jacket and notices lots of rough shoe sketches on his desk. It’s so childlike it’s adorable. Ji An remembers Tae Kang saying that their night was sincere for him. Tae Kang wakes up and sees her there, shooting up all freaked out.
Tae Kang admits that no one will even have lunch with him, much less show him how to correctly sketch a show. Ji An shows him the correct way to sketch a shoe, finally ending with a quiet “I’m sorry.” Tae Kang asks what she said, and she is forced to repeat it again. She asks if he’s satisfied now and he just laughs. They have a quiet moment of détente.
When Ji An asks about where her original sketch went to make the sample shoe, Tae Kang has a small smile and a laugh. Next thing we hear is Ji An screaming and then she starts throwing things at Tae Kang as he runs around the office. Ji An takes off her shoes and is about to chase after Tae Kang when she suddenly doubles over in stomach pains.
Eun Seong has set up his apartment for his dinner date with Ji An and he smiles, waiting for her to arrive. He’s purchased a pretty shoe necklace for her.
Tae Kang accompanies Ji An to the hospital in the ambulance, holding her hand the entire way. When Ji An wakes up in the hospital bed, the doctor comes by and tells her that they were worried it might be a miscarriage but luckily its not. Ji An looks confused until the doctor tells her that she’s pregnant.
Thoughts of Mine:
I really appreciate how mature and non-saccharine this drama is turning out to be. It’s not cutesy and doesn’t try to manufacture heightened emotions. Situations elicit reactions but it feels sincere and honest. People make mistakes, cut corners, try to take advantage of others, lament their lot in life. Ji An feels so three-dimensional, neither so cold and unfeeling in achieving success at all costs, yet she has found validation and worth in her career that makes her eschew other forms of human interaction because it takes up time to be spent on professional growth. The one time we see that she lowers her guard with Tae Kang ends up with them in bed, and despite acting like it was a mistake, it’s clear she did feel a connection as well.
Eun Seong is just marvelous, as a character and Park Geon Hyung’s performance is sooooo arresting. He is content just to take his time to draw Ji An out, never forcing her to do anything, but always pushing her just a little bit more. They are like two equals in maturity and intelligence, and what makes them so cool to watch together is how they spar as adults with all the witty banter and none of the cutesy silliness. Eun Seong also sees Ji An’s loneliness and looks beyond prickly shell and sees a great woman inside with lots of compassion and honesty. He beams like he’s found this treasure no one knew about and wants to keep her for himself, and for that he’s such a winning character to root for.
After a great introduction in episode 1, Tae Kang’s character is really not shining as much as Ji An and Eun Seong. There are great moments when he really rises above his age, but most of the time he still acts like a kid. I like that he is taking his job seriously, and I love that he tries to stand up for Ji An in moments when he feels like she’s misunderstood. When she’s down and out, he always seems to be there and sees it. Perhaps there is a relationship built on shedding all their outer layers (literally and figuratively), until they face each other without any pretense and see where it goes from there. So far this drama is really flying under the radar which is such a shame, because it’s genuinely one of the better dramas out there and has the potential to be a real winner when all is said and done.
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