Watching Bride of the Century is like taking a bite of that delicious mango cake Kang Joo bought for Doo Rim at the end of episode 4. Or any such simple satisfying creamy dessert will do, the delectable softness melting in your mouth as the sweet aroma infuses all the senses. BotC continues to get better and better, and even better than getting better is that I remain totally befuddled as to what I’m watching and what to expect. You think this basket of drama cliches would be easy to predict but it actually isn’t since it’s just so darn wacky. Who could have predicted Doo Rim tracking Kang Joo to a remote mansion, and then a ghostly road sign misdirection to make sure she stays the night. Who knew that Yi Kyung wasn’t just missing with the help of her mom, she was actually still right near the house all the along. I find what passes for plot in this drama so entertaining in its sheer gall, even more so the way it’s executed with deftness and a steady hand. This drama knows its identity and doesn’t operate in a state of narrative confusion. I’m sure we’ll find out more about the ghosts back story along with why she wants to bring Doo Rim and Kang Joo together. The whys are important but how she is doing it is beyond precious with her tricks and boos that make me freak out one minute and then chuckling the next moment.
I’m loving how Doo Rim is so earnest in everything she does in the role as substitute Yi Kyung. She takes care of the Jang family in ways that Yi Kyung never did and never will, and she does so with a heart that touches even the bitchy President Man, and definitely touches Yi Hyun. We learn in this episode that he shares a dad with Yi Kyung (or does he?) but they have different mothers, which explains why President Ma seems to treat him more like a close subordinate. I do like how the two siblings appear to genuinely care for each other, but Yi Kyung is thus far such a shallow self-absorbed snot I really wish she doesn’t get white-washed later on and gifted with her own happy ending. Roo Mi continues to be delightfully easy to hate, and sometimes we need such a villainess around, and what makes her work is that Doo Rim takes no shit from her and isn’t above putting her in her place for hitting on Kang Joo. As for Kang Joo, the boy is so smitten he might as well have Doo Rim’s face tattooed on his forehead, she’s clearly on his mind all the time but he isn’t openly aware of it yet. That’s fine with me, they are already so fun to watch in this current phase I have no problems with continuing the push and pull between them.
Episode 4 recap:
Yi Kyung spies on Doo Rim leaving the mansion to go look for Yi Hyun. Her mom reminds her that this runaway substitute bride secret will go with them to the grave. Even knowing Yi Hyun is very good to Yi Kyung, President Ma still doesn’t fully trust him. Even real siblings betray each other, much less half-siblings.
Doo Rim runs around the neighborhood looking for Yi Hyun and finds him sitting on a stoop. She wants to help him home but can tell he’s very down. She takes a seat and waits for him to talk. When Yi Hyun was seven years old, his mom bought him a cake for his birthday party but forgot the candles. A lot of his friends were invited so he threw a fit about not having candles to blow out. His mom went back to the store to get candles and never came back. When he went looking for her, she was collapsed right at this spot. His mom died on his birthday with the candles held tightly in her hand. Doo Rim takes Yi Hyun’s hand tightly and smiles in reassurance without saying anything.
Doo Rim helps the drunken Yi Hyun home but they stop right outside the house and Yi Hyun calls her name Na Doo Rim and just stares. He then puts him hand on her head and then Kang Joo arrives. He gets out of the car and she asks why he is here? Kang Joo reminds her that she asked him to come to the birthday party and then asks what is going on with the strange mood. Did they fight? Yi Hyun suddenly falls backward so Kang Joo helps Doo Rim take him inside and deposit him in bed.
Kang Joo’s dad looks at the old picture of his first love and remembers her dad asking him to forget her now since 30 years have passed. He moves to rip it up but still can’t do it. The door slowly closes and we see his wife standing outside. She leaves without going in. Kang Joo’s dad gets a call but when he answers there is no one on the other line.
Yi Hyun looks through his birthday presents. Doo Rim’s comes with a note wishing him the best birthday and finding the perfect girl to have a big family with. He notices the flower basket and opens the accompanying note which is from Yi Kyung wishing him a happy birthday. She knows oppa is waiting for her but she can’t come back yet. She is very grateful he is in this world otherwise she would have been so lonely.
Yi Kyung gets a text from Yi Hyun thanking her for the flowers and remembering him on his birthday. She tells her mom that Yi Hyun has been texting her every day. Mom reminds her not to use that phone lest it gets tracked and Yi Kyung is fully aware of that as well.
Yi Hyun goes to President Ma’s office and flips through her files to look for something he needs at work. He then notices that there are various receipts in the drawer and he looks at it oddly. President Ma comes in and asks why he is here and he explains he needed a contract and then leaves. President Ma sits down and wonders if Yi Hyun saw the receipts and immediately takes it out. Yi Hyun goes back to his office and mulls over what he saw.
Doo Rim walks into a fancy restaurant and consults her phone file of Yi Kyung’s friends to remind herself of the names of the rich girls she is about to meet. She sits down next to Roo Mi and the friends chide her for being MIA for so long. They notice she’s gotten darker and skinnier. They want to meet Kang Joo and Roo Mi goes along and pushes Doo Rim to call Kang Joo out. She calls and Kang Joo of course tells her that he is busy. Roo Mi smirks while Doo Rim apologizes that Kang Joo can’t come. Roo Mi makes a snide remark that Kang Joo isn’t someone Doo Rim has the ability to call out just like that.
As the ladies are leaving to go have dinner, Kang Joo walks in and Doo Rim smiles to see him while Roo Mi looks like she stepped in a puddle of crap is the extent of her dismay. IN YOUR FACE, WITCH!
During dinner, Kang Joo gives his portion of the salmon salad to Doo Rim remembering that she likes it very much. That causes Roo Mi to look pissed as usual. One friend asks if they aren’t being too happy in public but Kang Joo tells them to go find their own someone if they are envious. Roo Mi wonders what will happen if someone stole the other person. Roo Mi feels like the person who was hers got stolen away, so should she wait for him to return or move on? Kang Joo points out that waiting for someone to return is a waste of time. Roo Mi doesn’t think so since who knows when that person will change his mind.
Doo Rim makes a ugh face to hear all this and accidentally drops her cellphone. When she leans down to grab it, she sees Roo Mi caressing Kang Joo’s leg with her feet. That pisses off Doo Rim about Kang Joo and that shameless hussy being so obvious with their flirtation. Doo Rim sits up and suggests she and Kang Joo leave right now since he has to work early tomorrow. As everyone stands up to leave, Roo Mi looks really confused as to where her heels went. After the others all leave, Doo Rim walks past her and then throws her pumps on the seat before delivering the smackdown that the only thing being stepped on isn’t just Roo Mi’s feet, it’s also her pride.
Doo Rim goes home and reports to President Ma and Yi Hyun that Roo Mi has been trying to seduce Kang Joo and those two have a long friendship behind them. President Ma is confident Kang Joo won’t get seduced by Roo Mi. She puts her hand on Doo Rim and says she is counting on her. Yi Hyun watches this scene looking decidedly not pleased. Yi Hyun sits in his room and looks at one of the receipts that he swiped from President Ma’s desk.
Yi Kyung has run out of supplies and heads out to buy something. Yi Hyun and Doo Rim also head out to pick up some items. Doo Rim buys some steamed buns and it so happens that Yi Kyung goes to the same store. As Yi Hyun and Doo Rim are leaving, she starts eating a steamed bun and feeds him a piece. The sales lady comes out calling to Doo Rim that she forgot to take her items. Doo Rim assures her that she got everything which leads to Yi Hyun realizing the items were purchased by Yi Kyung. Yi Hyun starts running around looking for Yi Kyung with Doo Rim chasing after him.
Doo Rim notices Yi Kyung on the other side of the street and the two girls lock eyes. Doo Rim runs across the street to catch her and a car comes barreling towards her. Yi Hyun pulls her to safety and says that Yi Kyung is important but so is Doo Rim. Yi Kyung calls her mom to reveal she had a close call with Yi Hyun and mom orders her to not go to the supermarket anymore and also to not call her for now.
Doo Rim meets up with Jin Joo and hears that Kang Joo and Roo Mi have been working closely together to prepare for an upcoming event. They are even working late and have been staying at a nearby hotel so they can keep working after a rest. Doo Rim and Jin Joo hide behind the car when they notice Kang Joo and Roo Mi leaving the office together, though they get into separate cars and drive off. Doo Rim assumes they are headed to a hotel and decides to follow Kang Joo and Roo Mi.
Roo Mi makes a u-turn but Kang Joo keeps on driving so she continues to follow Kang Joo. He totally notices her follow him and smirks in his seat. Kang Joo drives up to the mountains to a remote mansion. Kang Joo goes inside and Doo Rim sneaks up to the mansion to try and catch him having a rendezvous there with Roo Mi. She peers in the window only to see him stoking a fire and thinks he’s trying to set the mood. She imagines Roo Mi pushing Kang Joo on the coach and then climbing on top of him, though her fantasy Kang Joo is rather passive. She waits and waits in the cold while Kang Soo settles down with a nice book.
By nighttime, Roo Mi is still not there and Doo Rim actually wonders if perhaps she was spotted but she discounts that since she was so covert. Suddenly Kang Joo shows up holding a shotgun and freaks her out. He claims to have seen movement outside the window and wanted to come out and shoot the wild animal. He takes her inside and gives her a warm drink but then asks if she really thinks to catch him doing something here? She asks if he really does have that kind of relationship with Roo Mi? He asks back if she’s trying to catch him with her and then leak it to the press and then claim to be an aggrieved fiancee who was cheated on.
Doo Rim gets up to leave but Kang Joo pulls her back and tosses her on the bed. Doo Rim warns him to stop and tries to head butt him but he’s not falling for that again. She bites his arm and gets him to release her. She asks how he can treat people with such disrespect! She has done nothing to deserve such shoddy treatment from him. He turns around and says she’s is the same like all the other women. They just see him as the heir to the Taeyang Group and want to be the daughter-in-law.
Doo Rim leaves and drives her car down the mountain. There is some fog and she has a hard time seeing the road so she drives slowly. She suddenly sees the ghost wearing all white standing there and it causes her to brake. She looks up and the ghost is gone so she follows the street sign back to Seoul. We see the ghost was holding the street sign and purposely misdirected Doo Rim to drive right back to the mansion. I wub you, ghost lady! Kang Joo sits in the room and looks at the Doo Rim teeth mark on his arm. Suddenly Doo Rim walks back in and Kang Joo stand up and says nothing.
Doo Rim claims she came back to have some dinner first and goes to grab supplies from the fridge. Kang Joo calls her brave for coming back since it’s not clear what he might do to her. Doo Rim just tosses him an onion and tells him to get working on helping make dinner.
Yi Hyun gets a call from Doo Rim that she’s at the mansion with Kang Joo. He goes to President Ma’s room and grabs her cellphone to dial back a previous number that she dialed often. A ahjumma picks up and Yi Hyun hangs up. President Ma comes in and Yi Hyun informs her that Doo Rim is with Kang Joo at his mansion. He assures President Ma that they will find Yi Kyung soon so she shouldn’t worry too much. After he leaves, President Ma grabs her cellphone and checks the phone record with a smile. We see Yi Kyung has paid an ahjumma to answer her phone at her mom’s insistence since Yi Hyun has been acting weird lately.
Doo Rim and Kang Joo sit down to a fried rice dinner and he complains that she made him work for such a simple meal. He takes a bite and she asks if it’s good. He claims it’s torture to eat like this after they are married, but when she takes his plate away, he takes it right back and claims he’s eating it not because its good but because of her hard work. He asks what she likes and Doo Rim starts listing her favorite seafood…..which she can’t eat at all. She then rattles down Yi Kyung’s favorite foods and literally has to recite it to Kang Joo.
Kang Joo asks why she wears that bracelet all the time and hears it’s a lucky bracelet. They eat in silence though Kang Joo keeps peeking at her. After dinner, Doo Rim hands the dish washing to him since all he did to help with dinner was peel an opinion. She knows he’s the heir to Taeyang Group but he can still wash dishes and pots. He moves to wash it but pours some sauce on her. She yelps and asks if he did it on purpose! Kang Joo immediately goes to wash dishes but after she storms off he totally smiles.
Doo Rim is in the bathroom washing her dress with a towel wrapped around. She suddenly trips and hurts her neck. Kang Joo hears her scream and rushes into the bathroom. He tries to massage her but she yelps in pain. He goes to call the ambulance to come pick her up. He then grabs a track suit for her to put on since she can’t go to the hospital wrapped in a towel, what if another video is posted online. Doo Rim orders him to turn off the light and she grabs the track suit. Kang Joo turns off the lights and goes back to help her and all we hear are her screaming “where are you touching!” and him going “where is your leg!” LOLOLOL.
Doo Rim is laying in the hospital and the doctor has diagnosed a mild sprain and suggests an overnight stay just to be safe. Doo Rim tries to get up but Kang Joo tells her to just remain there. He brings a wheelchair over and then princess carries her over to the wheelchair. He wheels her out of there and complains about her making him do chores.
The next morning, Doo Rim wakes up and sees Kang Joo sleeping in the adjoining hospital bed. She turns to watch him sleep and smiles. Doo Rim quickly feigns sleep when Kang Joo stirs. He gets up and sits down next to her bed to check on her by feeling her forehead. Doo Rim pretends to wake them and asks if he slept well? It must have been uncomfortable here. Kang Joo says no, he slept well….or was she expecting him to say that? Ha! He goes to check her out of the hospital.
Kang In goes to show Roo Mi that his antis are accusing him of cheating on Leann with a noona by giving her a flower hair accessory. Roo Mi is pissed and says it has to have spread because only Doo Rim saw Kang In give it to her. She places a call to find out who spread the rumor.
Kang Joo brings Doo Rim back to the Jang mansion and Yi Hyun runs out worried to see her with a neck brace on. Yi Hyun notices Doo Rim holding onto Kang Joo’s sleeve and when she sees him staring she quickly moves over to grab Yi Hyun’s arm. That gets Kang Joo to stare and he politely hands Doo Rim back to Yi Hyun. As they walk back to the house, Kang Joo murmurs to himself “half-siblings with the same father and different mother…”
Yi Hyun puts Doo Rim in bed and asks if she is alright. She had followed Kang Joo to prevent anything from happening with Roo Mi and then assures Yi Hyun that nothing happened at the mansion. Yi Hyun tells her to rest up and after he walks out, Doo Rim remembers the kiss with Kang Joo at the concert and how he princess carried her in the hospital. She smiles and then has to shake herself to stop thinking nonsense.
Kang Joo goes back to the family compound and the butler and housekeeper notice that he seems especially in a good mood. She supposes he’s in love and happy to be a marrying a beautiful bride. Kang Joo says love who? After Kang Joo walks away, the housekeeper worries about Kang Joo marrying since after his dad married his first love she died and he was so sad over it. Kang Joo’s dad overhears this conversation.
Kang Joo’s dad joins Kang Joo outside and mentions how he knows Kang Joo has been hanging out with Doo Rim a lot lately. Kang Joo knows that his dad played baduk with her and that makes him dad chuckle. Dad wants to say something but decides against it. He tells Kang Joo to go inside and rest but stays outside looking sad.
Kang Joo’s dad flashes back to his first love in a white wedding gown but then suddenly blood is pouring down her head. Kang Joo’s dad wakes up from the nightmare. Kang Joo’s mom must be used to it already because she just gets out of bed and brings him a glass of water. Kang Joo’s dad candidly admits that he once thought his wife orchestrated the accident because there are so many question marks around the accident. She calmly says this was their fate that did that to his first love and brought them together. Kang Joo’s dad says he’ll believe it was a simple accident. He wants her to quickly set the wedding day so that Kang Joo can settle down sooner. She agrees as well.
Doo Rim is cooking and welcomes Yi Hyun home. He asks if her neck is better since the brace is off and she confirms she’s fine now. Doo Rim gets a call from Kang Joo to invite her to dine with him and the Japanese businesswoman. Doo Rim begs off using her neck injury since she can’t speak any Japanese. She gets a call from Jin Joo and goes over to her place to drink with her.
Jin Joo and Doo Rim are happily drinking soju and she likes it so much better than that weaksauce wine she’s been drinking as Yi Kyung. Jin Joo reveals that she went by the new French restaurant that opened near the department store but it was so expensive she just looked at the menu and left. The price of a lobster there was what she pays for her monthly rent. Doo Rim doesn’t care since she would rattle eat meat and drink soju than dine on lobster and wine. Conversation turns to whether men like sexy women? Doo Rim reveals Kang Joo has been insulting her as having the figure of an elementary school student. Jin Joo says that’s not untrue.
Jin Joo decides to makeover and school Doo Rim on how to turn herself sexy. She dresses Doo Rim in a tight little black dress, gives her a long wig, and plenty of eyeliner. Suddenly two guys come by demanding Jin Joo pay back the debt she owes to them. Doo Rim tries to help Jin Joo as the men are dragging her away but gets shoved for her trouble. Doo Rim screams and grabs the frying pan before launching an attack on them.
Roo Mi follows her cellphone GPS and arrives at Jin Joo’s apartment. Doo Rim is currently fighting with the two gangsters and succeeds in sending them scurrying away. Roo Mi arrives and Doo Rim immediately keeps her head lowered and takes her leave and Roo Mi doesn’t see her face. Jin Joo sheepishly asks Roo Mi what she is doing here.
Kang Joo goes to a cake store and picks out a cake. Doo Mi buys some sweet potato and is running home with it when Kang Joo’s car pulls up and almost runs into her. She is about to yell at him when he steps out and glances at her. She quickly keeps on walking and then hides behind the wall without Kang Joo seeing. Kang Joo calls the house and hears from President Ma that Yi Kyung is out right now.
Doo Rim wonders what Kang Joo is doing here at such a late hour. She gets a call from Yi Hyun that she is stuck outside and can’t get inside since Kang Joo is right outside the door. She decides to climb the wall into the yard and can’t believe today is like making an action movie. Kang Joo suddenly makes the connection between the girl who just yelled at him and Doo Rim. He walks over and sees Doo Rim climbing the wall. He asks if she’s done everything so now she’s climbing walls? He yells at her to get back down NOW and she tries but falls and he rushes forward so she lands on him and he breaks her fall.
Kang Joo yells at her to get off and then shows her that he’s injured with a bloody hand. She’s more worried about her sweet potatoes and rushes to pick it up. They sit in the park and he demands to know what she is doing! First she declined his dinner and claimed to be sick but she’s out dressed like this. He asks if she went to a nightclub and she has to make up an explanation that she was cosplaying manhwa characters with a friend. Doo Rim asks if she looks sexy and he says he’ll get nightmares from this. She brings up that he was the one who said she was the opposite of sexy but Kang Joo says not every dog and cat can look sexy.
Doo Rim then wonders why he is here and Kang Joo tries to say in a very blase way that he bought her mango cake because he heard from Roo Mi that she likes mangoes. He claims it was on his way home and totally an easy thing to do. She takes out the cake and immediately digs in and offers him a bite. He declines because he doesn’t like sweets so she takes out a sweet potato for him. She peels it and feeds him a bite and says sweet potatoes have to be eaten when it’s warm and soft.
Doo Rim takes a bite of the sweet potato and then goes back to eating the cake he brought. He asks if she’s planning to eat the entire cake and she is since he came to give it to her. He wonders how a woman can eat like this in front of a man and Doo Rim says she doesn’t see him as a man. She suddenly remembers his injured hand and grabs it to blow on it and tend it gently. Kang Joo pulls his hand away and tells her to wipe the cream off her lips. Doo Rim wipes the cream and licks it from her fingers in an unwittingly sexy way.
Kang Joo stares at her and then reaches out his hand around her neck before pulling her in for a kiss.
Thoughts of Mine:
I wonder if BotC is trying to break some sort of drama kissing record. Four episodes in and the OTP have kissed three times already? I love it and am hoping this plot device continues. I don’t care if it involves mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or sleeping kissing or whatever the heck other cliched kissing situations are available. Throw it all at the OTP and give me a smile, will ya? Doo Rim continues to cement her awesomeness by taking no crap from anyone. She acts like an employee to President Ma and is willing to help ensure Roo Mi doesn’t seduce Kang Joo, but she’s not a push over willing to bend over backwards to earn her keep. She’s got a steady head on her shoulders, and so much of the situations she gets herself into are amusing but never all that bad. I’m loving how Doo Rim is pretty much giving Yi Kyung’s reputation a once over and Yi Kyung can’t do anything about it. Of course, Doo Rim is also stealing Kang Joo’s heart, and that is a much bigger problem for the Jang’s marital plans than Roo Mi trying pathetically to claw her way close to Kang Joo.
I wish Kang Joo would put Roo Mi in her place even more forcefully, but I don’t think he needs to lower himself down to her level. I’m still confused about Roo Mi and Kang In’s relationship, is it platonic, he nurses a crush on her, or he’s simply a super sweet dongsaeng? I’m not confused about Yi Hyun anymore as all signs point to him falling for Doo Rim, and if the drama heads there then clearly Doo Rim is not related to Yi Hyun even if she ends up being twins with Yi Kyung. That would just mean Yi Kyung and Yi Hyun are not even half-siblings. Normally this would be icky for Yi Hyun to fall for a girl that looks just like the girl he considers a sister, but this drama has a freaking ghost wandering around directing the plot so I’ll let this one fly as well. I want to see that fortune teller come back and reveal more secrets of the Choi family curse. I hope Kang Joo’s mom had nothing to do with the death of the first wife because I like to think she’s calculating but not a murderer. Plus it’s rather sad Kang Joo’s dad has nursed a first love for 30 years and treated her simply like a housekeeper. At least Kang Joo has a chance to marry for love and I hope he wakes up and fights for Doo Rim down the road.
Click here to watch Bride of the Century.