I said in episode 1 of Bride of the Century that leading lady Yang Jin Sung was doing a decent job playing two characters, the optimistic and caring Doo Rim and the self-absorbed and haughty Yi Kyung. That opinion really needs to be dialed up a notch after episode 6 ushered in way more Yi Kyung than I can stomach but allowed for a side-by-side comparison of the two characters. Yang Jin Sung is a very easy actress to watch, she is animated without being overly cutesy as Doo Rim, and she even manages to out-bitch the actress playing Roo Mi when she’s playing Yi Kyung. That’s some fantastic acting going on, especially when as Doo Rim she has mountains of chemistry with Lee Hong Ki as Kang Joo, whereas as Yi Kyung the air is frigid between them. She’s not exactly a budding thespian with acting skills up the wazoo, but her natural charm and decent enough grasp of character emoting helps to really elevate her two-fold performance in BotC in ways that a bigger name actress with lesser talent would have stunk up the joint. Episode 6 unexpectedly brought Yi Kyung back to the fold, allowing the story to take another turn by ending the Doo Rim charade (for now).
This narrative really enjoys taking chances rather than beating a plot line to the ground, and here Doo Rim has stopped being Yi Kyung but it doesn’t grind the drama to a halt. It allows the OTP to split up, her knowingly while he still doesn’t know, but that allows us to really measure how much each has grown attached to the other. Kang Joo is like halfway there in terms of having a personality swap, or perhaps what Doo Rim has done is turned back the clock so he’s finding the real him that has been stashed away since he was betrayed and kidnapped as a kid by his tutor. Doo Rim was the one who I wasn’t quite sure how she felt about Kang Joo, but now it’s clear he’s on her mind and perhaps the reason she wants to go back to Seoul. I’m not sure why Yi Hyun’s character is written as such a cipher still, we see his interest in Doo Rim but how it arose and what’s on his mind remains vaguely laid out. I guess it doesn’t matter since I care next to zero about him, but it would help fill in some blanks because right now he remains slightly squicky that he fell for a girl who looks just like his half-sister. Our favorite matchmaking ghost was missing in episode 5 but makes a very important return in episode 6 to both point Doo Rim back in the right direction as well as lend her helping hand to Kang Joo.
Episode 6 recap:
Doo Rim walks out on stage and looks very hesitant. She sits down on the bench and pauses for a long time before suddenly starting to play beautifully. Kang In starts to sing while Kang Joo stares at Doo Rim who smiles in a very Yi Kyung way. Roo Mi stares in shock that her plan was foiled. Yi Hyun runs in and stares as well before running out.
Quick rewind as we see Yi Hyun having a near miss with Yi Kyung in the parking garage and then Yi Kyung gets a call from her mom to get herself to the orphanage to switch back with Doo Rim who is about to get outed. If that happens then the game is over! So Yi Kyung arrives just as Doo Rim is freaking out and the two girls stare at each other. They switch and Yi Kyung is the one who gets onstage and plays the piano.
Yi Hyun runs around and finds Doo Rim hiding behind a bookshelf. Doo Rim is so relieved to see him and asks if he saw Yi Kyung and whether the performance is over?
Yi Kyung goes home with her mom and oppa. Yi Hyun wants to know where she’s been and what’s she’s been up to and how she knew to go to the performance just in the nick of time? Yi Kyung claims information is on the internet at real time so she knew about it, and lies that she stayed away for so long because she was angry they found a lookalike substitute for her. Mom ends the grilling to take him Yi Kyung to rest since she must be tired.
Doo Rim goes to Yi Hyun and marvels at how amazing it was that Yi Kyung showed up at the perfect time. That really is amazing to Yi Hyun as well but he obviously doesn’t believe in coincidences. Doo Rim is relieved that the substitute game is over and Yi Hyun asks if she’s happy it’s over? Doo Rim is happy not to wear high heels anymore or worry about slipping up. Yi Hyun used to worry every time she went to see Kang Joo but Doo Rim says he can sleep easy from now on.
Once alone, Yi Kyung freaks out now that she’s forced back and can’t use Doo Rim anymore. President Ma assures her that they are still in control of the situation and she will find a way to bring Doo Rim back. Ugh, these two.
The Choi family is enjoying some tea and this time Kang In is home as well. He complains about the taste of the tea and Kang Joo calls him an elementary school student with lowbrow tastes. Dad is just happy to have some energy around the house with Kang In home but Kang In points out that once Yi Kyung noona marries in the house will be full of energy all the time. Kang In pulls up the selca Doo Rim took with Kang Joo’s face after their face was all inked from playing baduk to chuckle over it.
Dad wants to invite Yi Kyung over for dinner tomorrow and asks Kang Joo to call her. Kang Joo’s mom asks why invite her over and says there is no reason to invite her over just to have dinner. Kang Joo stares at her so she quickly claims the younger kids don’t like coming to spend time with the elders before marriage. Whatever.
Doo Rim goes to Yi Kyung’s room and the bitch immediately asks if Doo Rim is here expecting to hear her thanks for what she did? Doo Rim isn’t but she does marvel at how identical they look in person. Yi Kyung asks if Doo Rim saw her picture in the papers as Kang Joo’s fiancee and went to get plastic surgery to look just like her? Doo Rim obviously didn’t since she has no money for that. Yi Kyung does wonder how they happen to look so identical to each other without surgery? Doo Rim thinks it’s really amazing since they don’t have any relatives or blood relations.
Doo Rim is happy she’s back but Yi Kyung isn’t since it was Doo Rim who helped her preserve this engagement. Doo Rim tries to explain that Kang Joo isn’t a bad guy, he’s just got a sharp tongue is all when he talks. Yi Kyung tells Doo Rim to marry Kang Joo herself then, a guy who can’t tell the difference that his fiancee got switched isn’t a guy she wants. Doo Rim changes the subject and hands over a cheat sheet of all her interactions with Kang Joo during the period Yi Kyung was gone. It’ll help Yi Kyung not make any mistakes when she goes back to her position. Doo Rim also hands over the cell phone when it happens to ring from a call. It’s Kang Joo and the real Yi Kyung answers it. Doo Rim looks so sad to see Yi Kyung talking to Kang Joo.
President Ma hands Yi Kyung an envelope with money and some extra for all her hard work. Doo Rim doesn’t want it but President Ma tells Doo Rim to see it as a mom giving her extra spending money. She sees Doo Rim as her daughter since she played her daughter. Doo Rim invites President Ma to Namhae to visit her and she’ll make her the tastiest seafood. President Ma smiles awkwardly and then brings up whether Doo Rim wants to come to Seoul? She’s found a great store to open a restaurant for Doo Rim. She is happy about the offer but isn’t sure what her halmoni will think but she agrees to talk with her about it.
Doo Rim packs up all her belongings and looks around the room. She leaves behind the pretty Yi Kyung style clothes and then finds Kang Joo’s coat that he covered her with hanging there. She grabs it and stares, thinking back to him putting it around her. She sets it down on the bed and adjusts it before staring at it and smiling. You are so falling for him, girlie! Don’t let him go! Doo Rim thinks back to waking up in the ER and seeing Kang Joo sleeping in the adjoining cot.
Doo Rim leaves the next morning with Yi Hyun walking her out. Yi Hyun wants to drive her back but she declines since she needs to go pick up her cat from a friend. She bows and says goodbye to President Ma. Doo Rim stops in the yard and looks around one more time. Yi Kyung is staring at her leave from the balcony and thinks to herself that Na Doo Rim won’t be able to escape this easily, she won’t let her.
Doo Rim waves goodbye to Yi Hyun on the street and gives him a bow before turning to walk away. Yi Hyun goes home and enters Doo Rim’s empty guest room. He stares and thinks back to meeting Doo Rim for the first time and hanging out and Doo Rim putting on his tie for him and giving him food and comforting him when he was sad about his dead mom. Yi Hyun turns and starts running, fairly sprinting out of the house and down the street to catch Doo Rim. He arrives at the bus station out of breath but Doo RIm is already boarded the bus and left.
Doo Rim goes to Jin Joo’s place and her friend is so happy Doo Rim’s substitute princess gig is done. Doo Rim hands the money President Ma gave her to Jin Joo and tells her to pay off the debt first. Jin Joo looks like she will cry but Doo Rim thanks Jin Joo for taking care of Coco for her and she can use the money first.
Doo Rim sits at another bus stop and looks at Kang Joo’s coat in the bag. She heads to Taeyang Department Store and tries to hand the coat to the concierge employee to pass along to Kang Joo. Suddenly Kang Joo and Secretary Kim walk by and Doo Rim grabs the bag and tries to run away. She trips and hurries to hide behind a post but leaves Coco’s cat carrier behind. Kang Soo sees it and opens the car carrier to take out Coco. He puts Coco in his arms and spots Doo Rim hiding behind a pole. He smiles and walks over.
Kang Joo sits down beside Doo Rim and scares her when he asks if she’s playing a hiding game? Doo Rim claims she’s not wearing makeup so she didn’t want him to see her. He asks if Coco is the same cat from last time and Doo Rim confirms she’s moving her from one friend to another. He plays with Coco and reminds Doo Rim not to be late for tonight’s dinner. Doo Rim promises she won’t be late she just needs to drop Coco off first. Kang Joo hands Coco back to her and says he’ll see her at the house later today.
Doo Rim hands him the coat back but he wonders why she didn’t just bring it tonight? He takes it and leaves while she stares longingly at him walking away. She thinks to herself that at least she got to see him one last night and hopes he lives well.
Kang Joo sits in his office and takes the coat out of the bag before discovering a bag of roasted sweet potatoes inside. He smiles and takes one to eat. Suddenly Secretary Kim comes in and Kang Joo hides his sweet potato and tries to get rid of Secretary Kim but is spotted eating it. Kang Joo is so embarrassed he offers one to Secretary Kim, and then when Secretary Kim stares longingly, Kang Joo hands him a second one and sends him off. LOLOLOL. Kang Joo resumes happily eating his sweet potato with his feet up.
Yi Kyung is cooking with the Choi housekeeper who hands her a whole fish to prep like she did at the memorial last time. Yi Kyung touches the fish and screams which is weird to the housekeeper since last time she was such a pro at prepping fish. Yi Kyung claims she is tired from the performance and her hands hurt. The housekeeper apologizes for asking her to help and Yi Kyung leaves the kitchen.
Yi Kyung walks by the living room and looks at family pictures on the stands. She sees an older group picture and then flashes back to the ghost in black warning her that she’s dead if she marries Kang Joo. Before Yi Kyung ran away, she saw the same family portrait and saw the ghost in the picture. She finds out from Kang Joo’s dad that this picture is taken at the wedding of Kang Joo’s grandfather. Yi Kyung points to the ghost and asks who she is but Kang Joo’s dad doesn’t know since they have so many relatives. President Ma met with the fortune teller who confirmed the Choi dead first bride legend is true even if it’s not something that can be proved. President Ma asks how she can get proof and the fortune teller says “only by turning back time can you get proof.” Yi Kyung wonders what that means?
Kang Joo finds Yi Kyung staring at the picture in the living room and asks what she is looking at so intently. He thinks she misses him and wants to keep looking at him even in pictures despite the fact that he saw her earlier today already. If she wants to see his face so much, she shouldn’t just try to placate him with a bag of sweet potatoes. In fact, his injury that was because of her might actually leave a scar. But since she came to his office today then he’ll be the bigger man and let it go. Yi Kyung just stares at him while he asks if she shouldn’t be saying thanks? She tells him to go see his dad and Kang Joo heads off.
During dinner, Kang Joo’s dad notices that Yi Kyung is daintily picking at her food and asks if she’s not feeling well. Kang Joo’s mom explains that she must be nervous with the wedding coming up. Kang Joo’s dad asks Kang Joo to take better care of Yi Kyung. Dad asks Yi Kyung to come to the study after dinner and heads out.
Kang Joo’s dad congratulates her on finishing the performance well and hands her an envelope of money for her to use since he sees her as a daughter-in-law already. He then admits that he really called her here to play baduk and today he’ll use white and she can use black. Yi Kyung has no choice but to agree to play.
Doo Rim is on the bus home to Namhae with Coco when she suddenly realizes that she forgot to write down the baduk game for Yi Kyung. We see Yi Kyung with her face all covered in ink leaving while furious at what Doo Rim did in her place while she was gone.
Halmoni is outside waiting for Doo Rim to come home and they happily hugs her.
Yi Kyung is complaining to her mom about all she needs to learn to do know because of Doo Rim. She also senses that Kang Joo has changed, she can’t explain how he’s different but knows he’s changed. President Ma needs Yi Kyung to hang in there now that the wedding date is set.
Halmoni and Doo Rim are sleeping side by side and halmoni is so happy she’s back. Doo Rim promises never to leave her again but halmoni says she needs to get married one day and asks if she met a nice guy in Seoul? Doo Rim did meet a guy who was picky about a girl’s exterior and interior. They settle down to sleep but Doo Rim remains awake and sad.
The housekeeper goes to the side residence and freaks out when Kang Joo walks out of the altar room. He laughs asking if she expected to see a ghost? The housekeeper wonders how he can sleep there without freaking out and why he sleeps here and not here room. He finds it peaceful and quiet here. The housekeeper wants him to marry Yi Kyung but part of her is worried. She then stops herself but Kang Joo knows what she’s worried about and assures her that what she’s worried about won’t happen.
Kang Joo’s mom arrives and the housekeeper quickly takes her leave. She tells Kang Joo to never discuss such matters again. Later Kang Joo’s mom chews out the housekeeper for saying things that might affect Kang Joo with the wedding so close. She warns the housekeeper to never mention the side residence to Yi Kyung. Later the two scheming moms meet to discuss wedding details and Kang Joo’s mom wants it low key and Yi Kyung’s mom readily agrees.
Doo Rim sits by the beach and stares at the lucky bracelet before throwing it into the ocean and feeling stupid for believing in it. She gets up to leave and hears the ghost yelling angrily “You think you can just throw this away?” The ghost climbs up the rocks and asks how she can throw it away when she was specifically told to take this seriously! Doo Rim tells her to take it back and the ghost asks if she’s not happy with the present? Doo Rim asks why she gave it to her and the ghost knows she’s curious so tells Doo Rim to get closer and she’ll tell her.
Doo Rim storms over and the ghost tells her to get even closer, and when Doo Rim gets close the ghost whispers “I’ll tell you if you kneel down to me.” LOL love her attitude. Doo Rim yells back that she needs to leave her alone and she’s a freak! The ghost promises that whatever Doo Rim desperately wants, this bracelet will make happen. The moment she takes it back, something she wants will happen.
She offers the bracelet again and Doo Rim stares before taking it back. Doo Rim claims she didn’t do it because she believes the ghost but she’s just investing in the chance. Suddenly Yi Hyun arrives and calls out to Doo Rim. The ghost tells her that whatever she wants will happen, but she will need to handle the consequences at such time. Doo Rim stares at the bracelet and runs off to greet Yi Hyun.
Halmoni sets down all sorts of seafood before Yi Hyun and stares at how handsome and nice he is as he thanks her for the food and digs in. Halmoni grabs him some fish like Doo Rim did before and he says they are so alike. Halmoni is happy that Doo Rim got Yi Hyun fish before since people get closer when eating together.
After lunch, Yi Hyun hands halmoni all the presents he bought for her such as vitamins and a new fur stole. She laughs and asks if this isn’t like a pig wearing a pearl necklace but Yi Hyun says halmoni looks very nice. He asks if he can come visit in the future and she will give him fish. Halmoni says of course and Yi Hyun tells her to stop speaking in jeondaemal with him in the future.
Yi Hyun and Doo Rim walk on the beach and he asks if she discussed going to Seoul to open a restaurant? Doo Rim hasn’t because this place is her halmoni’s home and the sea is where her parents are resting for eternity. Yi Hyun asks what happened and hears that her parents went out to sea when she was 13 and never came back. Doo Rim heard that is a couple is too much in love they die together and likely that is her parents. Yi Hyun takes her hand and she smiles because oppa’s hand is so big and warm like her dad’s hand. They stand there staring out at the sea.
Roo Mi changes tactics and gives the Choi housekeeper new cosmetics from the department store before digging for information. She hears the housekeeper has been here for over thirty years even before Kang Joo’s mom married into the family. Roo Mi asks about the weird rumor that the family was cursed, that can’t be true right? The housekeeper says it might be since Kang Joo’s grandmother left a will before she died about it and it involved the side residence. She whispers it to Roo Mi and says the servants are told to maintain the side residence in pristine condition. Roo Mi thinks back to how Kang Joo’s mom told her that people need to know their place.
Yi Hyun brings back food from Doo Rim and his mom acts like she’s happy to receive it but she really wants to know if Doo Rim is coming to Seoul? Yi Hyun explains that Namhae is their home and it’s hard to just move to a new place. President Ma claims she grew close to Doo Rim and now really wants her around. She asks Yi Hyun to go convince them.
Halmoni wishes that Doo Rim can end up with a great guy like Yi Hyun and she can see he likes Doo Rim with the way he came to visit. Doo Rim asks halmoni about going to living in Seoul. Halmoni isn’t against it other than not having money to live there. Doo Rim reveals that Yi Hyun has offered to open a restaurant for her in Seoul.
Yi Kyung goes to get Yi Hyun for breakfast and sees him putting on a tie. She thinks it doesn’t suit him and grabs another but Yi Hyun likes the one he’s putting on. She tells him to find a girlfriend since she won’t be around after she gets married. Yi Hyun tells her not to worry, he has someone to play with him. Yi Kyung makes the connection with the new tie he’s wearing and asks if that girl gave it to him. Yi Hyun smiles and says he’ll tell her at a later time.
Yi Kyung goes ring shopping with Kang Joo’s mom who hands over the heirloom ring that Kang Joo’s grandmother has handed down. It’s been sized for Yi Kyung already and she tries it on. Roo Mi walks past the jewelry section and sees them trying on rings.
Roo Mi hands Yi Kyung an early wedding present and claims she’s given up since Yi Kyung is picking out rings already. She was just upset because she felt Yi Kyung shouldn’t be the person but now she’s figured it out and will go her own. She apologizes to Yi Kyung for the past and asks if she can catch the wedding bouquet? Yi Kyung says of course and as Roo Mi walks away she wonders if Yi Kyung can wear this wedding lingerie on her wedding night safely?
Yi Kyung sits with Kang Joo who looks at Roo Mi’s lingerie present and wonders that it doesn’t suit her. He teases her not to wear this and put on her weird make up to scare him. He asks why she’s suddenly not wearing her lucky bracelet anymore and Yi Kyung lies that she’s gotten tired of it.
Yi Kyung gets in her car to leave the department store and calls Kang Joo to schedule tomorrow’s wedding dress fitting. She pulls out of her space and almost hits another oncoming car. She screams and the line goes dead which freaks out Kang Joo and he runs out of his office to the parking lot to look for her. Kang Joo finds her safe in her car and asks how she could have scared him like that with the screaming and then not answered her phone? Yi Kyung processes how Kang Joo is so worried about her and wonders if……but tells herself it can’t be, Choi Kang Joo cannot feel that way about that girl.
Halmoni is certain that Yi Hyun likes Doo Rim which is why he offered to open a restaurant for her. And Doo Rim can’t sleep every night since she got back because she misses Yi Hyun. Halmoni decides to play matchmaker and tells Doo Rim that they should go to Seoul.
Kang Joo’s dad gets a background report that the crank calls have originated from a number belonging to the driver of Kang Joo’s maternal grandmother. Kang Joo’s dad follows his wife as she heads to the side residence. Kang Joo’s mom reads a diary written by Kang Joo’s dad’s first love who knew she was taking a risk marrying him but had no regrets because she loved him more than herself. Kang Joo’s dad storms in and sees her trying to hide the diary and shoes from him. He asks why she is keeping this place like an altar and Kang Joo’s mom says its at the request of his dead mom. Kang Joo’s dad wonders if his wife has the same idea that his mom did.
When he brought back his first love to marry her, his mom didn’t object and immediately agreed to him marrying a poor girl raised by a single dad. She did it because she believed in the curse. So is his wife the same, she picked Yi Kyung because of the curse? He warns her to not play games using Yi Kyung, if she does then he won’t let her get away with it!
Kang Joo’s dad storms out and we see Kang Joo has been outside and overheard this whole conversation. When his mom walks out, Kang Joo confronts her and asks why his mom believes the curse is real? Is that why she picked Yi Kyung and not Roo Mi as his wife? His mom tries to explain but Kang Joo storms off.
Kang Joo goes to the family altar memorial and laments that he really thought he didn’t have a heart anymore and had nothing to give. But in his life, this is the first time he’s given his heart. He turns and walks away when suddenly a ghostly light appears behind him and the ghost shows up in white. Kang Joo stops and then says “You came.”
Thoughts of Mine:
So the ghost of the Choi clan is not an unfamiliar spectre to Kang Joo? I’m not surprised and am thrilled we see this new development in the story to bring Kang Joo to the forefront as someone who controls his life rather than have everyone around him manipulating him. I think he just stopped caring so long ago he let his family decide things for him, but his falling for Doo Rim and her safety will be the catalyst to push him to start being proactive in his life. I wish Roo Mi wouldn’t have learned about the Choi curse so early, I would have loved to see her marry Kang Joo and be offed. Since this story is so silly, I hope wanting to see Roo Mi swim with the fishes isn’t very bloodthirsty of me. Kang Joo’s mom is selfish and diabolical, but she’s hinging her plan on a curse involving ghosts and dead first wives, so I’m not quite sure how that first in the greater scheme of murder and mayhem. She’s right in tossing back that this whole thing involves curses and legends so how can she be plotting anything related to it? I guess the worst that can happen for Kang Joo’s mom’s grand plan is that Yi Kyung survives and ends her her daughter-in-law for life. Same thing goes for President Ma and Yi Kyung’s grand plan, which involves sacrificing Doo Rim and still holding onto the Taeyang Group daughter-in-law position. If Doo Rim marries Kang Joo and survives, not sure how they are going to switch Yi Kyung back.
I loved this episode’s separation for Doo Rim and Yi Kyung. Kang Joo needs to sense that Yi Kyung is different than the one before and figure out the switched girls bit, the way he didn’t know the first time around when Doo RIm arrived pretending to be Yi Kyung. Doo Rim needs to leave Seoul and process everything that happened. It’s clear she has grown fond of Kang Joo, but there is still a long road ahead for them so I expect way more falling in love and angst before they start solving the curse mystery together and finding a way to be together. This episode showed us Kang Joo remembering every detail about Doo Rim and even letting down his guard to enjoy life a bit such as munching on the sweet potato and playing with the kitten. Too bad he didn’t immediately spot that Yi Kyung is a phony for the fun loving girl he’s been hanging out with this whole time. I also enjoy how the nice folks such as Kang Joo’s dad, Kang In, and halmoni, are so down to Earth and brighten up the screen with any scene they are in. It helps cut down on the rage factor anytime President Ma shows up with her plotting face or Kang Joo’s mom tries to look all elegant but instead comes off as scarily remote. It was super satisfying to have Kang Joo’s mom start to hit a bumps on the road when Kang Joo and his dad both figure out what she’s been planning with the Yi Kyung sacrifice and Roo Mi back up plan. This drama continues to be interesting and entertaining with a side of sweet potato sweetness.
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