Secret Love Affair Episode 8 Recap

I am not sure what to think of Sun Jae. I would hate to say he’s perfect. He is confident, clear-minded, hard-working, and let’s not forget clean. To make it more interesting, let’s compare him to Hye Won. Where she is afraid, he is brave. Where she lies (and lies and lies) to him, he tells her the truth. Where she manipulates, he treats people well whether he wants something from them or not. Where she thinks only of herself, he worries about her. Where she scoffs, he speaks from the heart. Where he sees her as a person worth loving, she allows others to continue to abuse her and thanks them for it.

Where she seeks to put distance between them, he knocks down those false walls at every time. Hye Won has no chance against him, really, because at least for now, he is ten times stronger than her. When she is with him, her smug attitude disappears. Even when spiteful words leave her mouth, the hurt of them doesn’t land on him. He listens to only what counts, and lets the rest fall away. Where does he get this strength? What built up this BS shield? What about her activates it? Her scent? The boy has had to put up with a lot of crazy from this broad. From the beginning, she has attempted to demean him, and keeps treating him less than a worthy partner. Perhaps it was as simple as disarming her the first time with his music.

Whatever that power is, it should be respected. Is it love? Let’s see: He is patient, kind. He does not envy or boast, he is not proud. He does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.  He does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. He never fails Hye Won.  Yep, I have to say, Sun Jae is love.

Episode 8 recap:

Home again after his scholarship award presentation, Sun Jae sits on his steps recalling Young Woo’s insults to Hye Won, as well her bruises. He doesn’t like her being called, corrupt, and someone’s errand girl. There isn’t anyone to talk about her to, so he goes online looking for “Tone-Deaf” Hyung. He wants to tell him how much has happened since they spoke last, and how miserable he is. But it’s not because of how bad she treats him, but how much he doesn’t like that someone is treating his woman.

Hye Won, still at work, picks up her tablet and reads these sad words about her own scrapes and bruises on her face and hand. Sun Jae accuses himself and his love of being useless. Bad Hye Won, as False Hyung notes that the goddess dropped to being a woman, joking she’s human after all. Sun Jae won’t admit that, but says he is angrier because he was there to see her humiliated. Would she be upset if he wanted to see him after that?

She replies, “Well, you are annoying, so just do what you feel like.” along the lines of “It never stopped you before, so go ahead.” They both wait, thinking about what the others said. Wiping his mouth before picking up his cell, he goes for it. Hye Won coolly reads the text, an extremely assertive one. “I need to see you, Teacher,” and he’s not waiting until the weekend lesson, not with the way things are unsettled between them.

Whether it was exactly what she wanted do hear, or whether it was what she dreaded hearing, she closes her eyes and doesn’t respond, but has a wistful look on her face, “I won’t ask you anything, I’ll just be with you. I won’t reserve a hotel room.” He invites her to his house because “Don’t you like it there?” The way she looks at her phone, I’d say she does.

A very large rat, as in Joon Hyung is out in the hall peering in through the keyhole.

I actually LOL’d at this. Slowly and very very quietly, he changes his position to try to look through the crack in the door. If he had a cup on him, he would have put it up against the door to listen.

Sun Jae throws himself down miserable, wiggles his foot in impatience, and checks his phone.

Joon Hyung tip toes down the hall out the stairs, only to run into Da Mi going up, who gets a good look at him and keeps going to Sun Jae’s door.

She wasn’t whom Sun Jae wanted to see; he reminds her she has to call before coming over. Well, if the professor shows up, she can always leave, right?

The panic on his face shows how badly he wants her out of there and they decide to go out to eat.

Hye Won arrives and parks. She breathes deeply a couple times before spotting the young pair coming down the stairs.

They hug companionably. She ducks before they can spot her,

and she is NOT happy with the sight.

Big Rat, Joon Hyung is helping himself to drinks chez Young Woo, who is whining.

“Why are you acting like this? I‘m going out.” He pouts, “Are you going to dance? Go out then, I’ll get drunk alone.” Exasperated, she calls Hye Won demanding to know what the heck is up with her hubby coming to see her suddenly. “You and I both have a marriage of convenience (OH!) But isn’t this a little ridiculous?”

Hye Won tells her over a 25 year friendship, this is nothing but a minor irritation to deal with and hangs up. The call interrupted her jealous glaring, which she resumes, taking some calming breaths.

Sun Jae and Da Mi are gobbling up noodles at a food tent; Da Mi tells him about her self-improvement plan so she can one day measure up to his success.

She talks of going to junior college and maybe university. Being only a high school grad and begging for kisses, that won’t work. She may not be able to become like her adjunct professor in Cosmetology, but she’ll have to make some progress if she wants to marry him. The young man impatient to leave, and checks his phone in his pocket. “Park Da Mi,” he begins, “You…” She is curious, “What?” Whatever he planned on saying, he stops now, “Forget it.”

Hye Won looks off dejectedly; someone scares the heck out of her knocking on the window.

Flustered, she brings the window down. The guy is telling her she has to move her car. Can’t she see she is in a “Residents Only” spot? She apologizes and says she’ll park elsewhere. Dropping polite speech, he informs that the whole place is a fire lane; she’s got no place to park. Of course, she takes exception to his informality. “Are you using banmal with me?” Not impressed with her, he calls her ahjumma, and tells her to hurry up. She is shocked. “What?!” To which he replies. “Move it!” So she does, stuttering for him to get out of the way, then.

With her need to be comforted thwarted, she weeps on the drive home. The tears well up from a source deep within, and they keep flowing. It is as if the well has been there for a while just waiting to be tapped.

The next morning, near her Sun Jae window, she sits forlorn, drinking her tea when the door bell rings.  The maid lets Sun Jae in, and he makes his way to the Piano Room, while Hye Won puts the finishing touches on her make up and gathering her strength.

I think she puts it in her hair. The cardigan of elegance draped on her shoulders, white flowing tunic over soft white leggings, she epitomizes grace as she enters the room. She greets him and stares, grasping her fingers, then…”Did you have a FUN fiery Friday night?” More staring, now with a disdainful head tilt, “Don’t you have dreams? You don’t have ambition? Can you spend so frivolously the talents that other people don’t have?” Each word gets progressively heated. Sun Jae, whose reaction we can’t see, replies. “What did I do?”

She jeers “What did you do? Why are you asking me?” She shoves him onto the piano, “Don’t you know better?”

He stays silent. “Then why do you bother coming here?! Huh?” Second louder crashing shove. Wisely he jumps away from the piano. She continues to rant, and he keeps backing away, trying to read between her lines.

After the third shove and the question, “Why don’t you play around with your girlfriend?” He understands, suppresses a smile, and stops her by holding her arm.

“So you did come, right?” She won’t admit that, she was just passing by and didn’t purposely go there…She struggles with him, yelling about how the two of them were completely grabbing on to each other and having a great time.
He lets her go for a bit, wincing at the heat of the accusations, then takes her by the shoulders and sits her down on the sofa, “All right, Sparky,” he does a little calming squeeze to her upper arm, “It’s fine.”

“What’s fine? What do you know?” She pretends to contain herself. Moving to neutral territory, he seats himself a few cushions away. There are a few good things that happened as a result, actually, she showed up.

She’s jealous, so he is happy, and it‘s awesome. He points to his heart. He feels confident to ask her –  Hye Won has her hands up in her hair.

“What?” not looking at him. He looks down, feeling all the unfairness all over again.

“Who is that woman to be insulting you?”

Those aren’t insults, she tells him, “Don’t look at me!”

Her body is at a right angle to his, gazes not meeting.

Sun Jae tries to obey, and even shuts his eyes tight, but only succeed for a two count, “I felt like a complete fool. In movies, you see the lead male completely flips out in that situation.” He’s so sad. She tells him he must have only seen cheesy movies, which makes him even more of a fool. He wants to know why, and she repeats what she told him earlier, to think of it as learning a life lesson.

He gets mad, “What kind of lesson is that?” She reminds him of how poor he is – Instead of working as a delivery man to pay for his measly cup of noodles, utility bills… He covers his head with his hands, if he plays the piano well, using the scholarship, he could have a better life, right?

Sure, he admits, but not meaning it. Taking a tissue, she tells him not to worry, that he is worth more than that.

But what about her? She seems to want to respond, but stops herself, and bitterly explains, “I help them enjoy spending their money, and I make money doing that. “That’s my job.” He listens, but doesn’t look convinced. “Food chain, social class. Has he heard of these things?”

Yes, he has.

She councils him to read more books, which he understands, “I know, right?” She puts herself in the middle, as an elegant slave. The idea makes her giggle, eyes closed.

“Is that woman at the very top, then?” Sun Jae wonders.

“No, at the top is not that woman, but money, but that’s not it, either. What’s really at the top is something that endlessly whispers you can buy anything with money, a demon.” Her head drops and he watches her sob, which moves him.

Her husband comes home and goes into the garages.

“Are you crying?” she asks. He laughs, “It doesn’t matter if you know this about me or not.” He agrees. Her elegant hair has fallen quite inelegantly, and she puts it back up.

Hubby arrives in the garage, but has an inspiration. He sneaks into her car checking for clues.

He finds a clipped pile of receipts, but nothing interesting. Sun Jae’s sneakers greet him at the entrance, and he goes towards the Piano room door, listening for something.

As if to catch them in the act, he opens the door abruptly, but only finds them sitting quietly, meters apart.

Hye Won pretends she was criticizing him for not working hard enough. Hye Won is so harsh, it makes the Professor feel bad for the kid, “You can’t just discipline him like that.”

Sun Jae makes enough of a repentant figure that it seems believable. Joon Hyung skedaddles. When he leaves, Hye Won falls back to the sofa and returns to Teacher mode, suggesting they prepare and record a concerto.

Rather than respond to this tangent, Sun Jae keeps the subject on music and brings up Mozart’s life. The genius musician who stopped accepting commissions from nobility, but composed only the music he wanted.

To Sun Jae this is one of his options, and results in Hye Won’s surprised response, “He died early doing so. Of course, he fell into debt and illness.” She tells him not to think of useless things. Living off rich people, you can also do anything you want.

Sun Jae’s too smart to believe this and tells her so. She explodes. “I’m saying you can!” His response, silence, makes her hear the falseness of those words. She moves a little closer. Sun Jae, eyes down, hides his thoughts playing with his fingers. Gentler now, she gives him the dates of the Busoni Competition and asks him to get his repertoire in order. Which concertos has he memorized?

Note: A piano concerto is a piece of music written for orchestra with the piano out front on stage. Not every pianist has the skill to hold his own as featured soloist, not to mention the opportunity to have a “back-up” orchestra. There are usually three movements with different moods so there is a lot of music to learn.

He lists three: Schumann’s concerto (Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54), Rachmaninoff and Paganini Variations, but struggles talking. She asks how he memorized them. He tells her how he followed the score, printing out the piano part separately. This is all too much for him and he is weeping. She calls him a crybaby and leaves the room to retrieve sheet music and CDs. This allows him the time to really let the tears flow. Awwww, poor Sun Jae…

Hubby does a walk by out of curiosity as Hye Won opens the door to go back. He picks up on the intense mood and keeps going.

Because she is insane, Hye Won says, “Tell everyone to stop messing around. Music wins all!” putting a CD in the player. They listen together.

Joon Hyung is on the phone with Young Woo, checking on her fun night.

He tells her not to worry about what Hye Won would think or say, and asks for a fortune teller’s name, but not Baek. Not his student’s parent. He gets a name and makes an appointment.

Hye Won and Sun Jae listen and sway to the concerto recordings, Sun Jae following the notes with his fingers,

and Hye Won lets the sound soothe her. They sit apart, but what they hear connects them. It feels like Hye Won is letting go of all the crazy as time passes. She ends up near the window in the sun, and he on the floor in front of the sofa.

She wonders why he likes this one. “Just because there’s something about it that demonstrates perfection.”

He needs to show people that, and not being able to let her point go adds, “That’s how you take rich people’s money.”

They talk about his lesson schedule. He will add time with her three days a week to work on the concerto. He needs to bring the full scores to the office. She looks relaxed and lovely now that the storm has passed. Sun Jae’s full on gazes force her to tell him what he’s thinking, and it’s another doozy. “When I say I’m in love with you, Teacher, it must feel really trivial and baffling to you. You live in a really frightening world.”

“Just focus on yourself and pretend you don’t know,” she requests and leaves, elegant veneer regained. “Be on time.” Sun Jae is left alone, seemingly at a loss, to process all of what Hye Won shared and just how wrong she is about life.

Hye Won ascends to her quarters, Sun Jae is back home printing out all the music she requested one sheet at a time.

We get a montage of the two of them practicing their parts, which brings pain to Hye Won’s hand. Joon Hyung witnesses her dropping the top to a lotion bottle. When he asks what’s wrong, she replies menopause, but he thinks she’s too young for that.

Sun Jae arrives in the office, on time as ordered. After waiting a few minutes, he is sent by Hye Won’s secretary to the practice room in the basement where Hye Won awaits. He just about runs there, but keeps himself outside a bit, putting his head down then carefully opens the door;

Hye Won is on the phone trying reserve a room where the two pianos can face each other, but finds out Cello Snob has rented out the only space large enough to one of her students. Well, Hye Won isn’t fighting this battle and lets it go. She thanks the person on the other end nicely, but she’s pissed.

Sun Jae, who placed the music books on the pianos says he likes being side by side, She complains, “What do you have trumpet ears?” (Poor Yoo Ah In!) Even though it isn’t the optimum arrangement for sound, he tried it out with a recording yesterday and the synchronization works. This seems to mollify Hye Won, “Just flex your fingers.” His steady gaze again forces her to ask, “What?” He doesn’t want to hide his concern, and probably couldn’t if he wanted, inquires if she is better. “Just focus on yourself.” She tells him, again.

She picks up the booklet of music he put together for her and hesitates after reading the cover. He sits down at the keyboard, and we get a glimpse of what made her stop. “Hye Won” is printed on the cover. It definitely affects her. Oy! This boy!

They start, Hye Won using the metronome at first, “Play as if we have the orchestra.” As he did the first time in the piano room, he waits to begin. It is an aggressive powerful piece right out of the gate. His timing is slightly too fast, and she makes him start and restart a couple of times before he gets it.

She requests he play the second variation by himself, which he does well.

Dean Min is on the phone talking politics about amendments related to private institution law. Joon Hyung is asked to put together an ensemble with voice to please an influential Christian group.

The request rolls downhill to his assistant. Even though he tries to make a play for the already busy musicians to get performance fees, and traveling expenses since they have to use a taxi to haul their instruments around – Joon Hyung will not comply. How could it be truly praise music if they make money? As soon as Joon Hyung is out of earshot, the assistant calls him a son of a bit– but gets interrupted by the son of the bitch who commands that his royal car be washed. Aigoo!

Sun Jae and Hye Won play furiously, then she halts, rising to her feet to reprimand him, “Where is the emotion?” He actually appears hurt by this criticism, his eyes wide and head pulled back defensively,

but then, he tells her she looks awesome, like Son Yeol Eum who stood up like that playing Kapustin.

Without as much as a flinch, she tells “Hot-for-Teacher” to go splash cold water on his face, and he goes meekly.

She glances at the door closing unable to respond to this onslaught of Sun Jae. Hiding in a restroom stall, Sun Jae looks for solace in his online Hyung,

complaining she keeps yelling at him while they practice a concerto when she was the one who messed up.

She laughs reading this and as False Hyung tells him he should be grateful that someone is helping him with this at all. Sun Jae admits it is a dream come true, but is concerned he made her reveal too much about herself. It’s suffocating him hearing her self-loathing words. “Food chain” and “slave” pierce him; he can’t imagine how hurt she would be. False Hyung, resting on the practice room couch head on arm, suggests he let her be angry after all she is outed. It is a big fall for her from goddess to slave in his eyes. She bared herself to him. He considers that for a bit and asks for advice on what to do next. ”No need to do anything, if you act true to your heart, it will move her.”

What? Is he supposed to take his heart out and show it to her? The quiet despair of those words amuse Hye Won, but Sun Jae feels frustrated enough to bang his head against the stall wall. False Hyung suggest he considers she may be a desperate older woman, which prompts him say, “Should I just carry her and run off somewhere?”

To which I reply yes, but Hye Won simply enjoys the sweetness.

At that moment, her secretary comes in and lets her know Young Woo wants to see her. She shoves the Ipad into her purse and runs out, instructing that lunch be brought in for Sun Jae.

Sun Jae sees Hyung has logged off and goes back out into the world.

Young Woo throws down a notebook, and tells Hye Won to sit. She heard that Sun Jae would be recording a concerto. In a snub, Hye Won tells her to pay attention to her own business, it’s what the Foundation does every year.

Hye Won gets a call from Sun Jae who is looking for her, so she tells him to eat his lunch and review the part they discussed. Young Woo has her Love radar highly tuned, and says with scorn, “You’re teaching him?”

Hye Won pretends it’s such.a.chore replying, “It’s hard for me, too.” Young Woo wants to know what exactly is so hard about being alone with a fresh young boy in a closed room? Must be suffocating, huh? She mocks her and comments how nice it would be with a young boy not costing her a dime. Ut-oh! Without realizing it, she lands a bulls-eye and sets Hye Won off, “Shut up. I’m leaving.”

Young Woo asks how she dares (talk to her like that) Hye Won, however knows what this game is. “Why would I stay here and put up with the fight you picked out of boredom?”

Young Woo shows some vulnerability, “You’re supposed to be helping me here. That is why you have the Vice CEO title. Why are you doing other projects?” Hye Won looks her in the eye and says good-bye with more finality. Right before escaping, Young Woo brings up Mde Han buying up shares. Hye Won feigns ignorance, and suggests she ask the older woman herself. Young Woo loses this round by tossing the dossier at her, giving Hye Won the chance to return it, leaning in and taunting, “Use your brain for once.”

Young Woo is all, OK, I’ll use my brain, lady…but Hye Won walks out without a look back, “Looking forward to it,” leaving the Princess to throw a mini tantrum in her leather skinny pants.

Joon Hyung meets with the shaman, handing over birth information for the husband, wife and student. Shaman is curious why include the student?

Is there a chance of an affair? For some reason, Joon Hyung poo poos the idea. It’s because the boy is talented but grew up in such poor environment he’ll need extra nurturing. “Is he a good fit for my wife and me?”

Just then, Young Woo sends him a gossipy text: “Practice Room #3. Lee Sung Jae and Hye Won are alone. Aren’t you pissed?” Irritated, he replies, “Just sleep if you have nothing to do.” LOLing here.

Hye Won and Sun Jae are playing through the Tchaikovsky and it is truly lovely. Pretty, dramatic, a little melancholy…She gives him the adoring look he never sees.

Shaman gets a few things right. This guy is not ordinary. He is extremely valuable – calling him a tree in a bare mountain, rice in an empty storage AND a magic stone. Wow.

Hubby wants to know “What about my wife?” The shaman shares more: “I see four ranks. All government positions at that. She’s the type of person who puts work and honor before men.” This I believe the Shaman gets slightly wrong. Hubby has to admit their marriage isn’t comfortable, but never considered divorce, but what about his wife and the student? Scolding him for not listening, Shaman repeats it isn’t her fondness for him, but in her temperament with her personality such a thing would NEVER occur.

Oh Lordy. Not only should he trust and keep the wife, but never send the guy anywhere else. His overflowing positive energy is keeping the bad from affecting Joon Hyung. He should use him as a stepping stone to advance himself. As a result of this kid, he will go even higher than he is now.

The very small world Hye Won lives in shrinks a little more. At the salon, Da Mi returns something to Baek, and over hears cello snob complaining about how Prof Kang’s is allowing Lee Sung Jae to take the concert hall.

They admit his pretty good, but allude that there must something else to the story. It is enough to get Da Mi on the phone with Jang Ho. She doesn’t feel too good hearing about Sun Jae and the wife. Get Yoo Ra to dig up some info.

Hye Won and Sun Jae finish up the concerto piece. She tells them they are done for the day. They both look rather exhausted. She holds up her name on the music and asks if he’s kidding. He knows she actually likes it, and says he did it to please her. At this rate, she says, he’ll be using banmal with her soon, dismissing him with a command to turn out the lights.

Speaking to her back, he tells her he wants her to be more considerate of his feelings.

He quotes back to her from his conversations with Hyung online. “You don’t need an impressive CV. Just live enjoying music.” He gives her his idea of love. It’s work, practicing until his arms fall off and trying to figure out the rhythm in tiny measures of time, and makes him pissed off from the details, but one day, it all works and that makes it all worthwhile. That is what loving is in the best possible way. Rachmaninoff and Paganini would even be happy to see that. That’s “jang tang” or all that matters. Forget the food chain, slave or whatever. She won’t reveal if his words mean anything to her, and tells her she’ll see him Thursday and departs. He is left again, alone with his giant heart with nobody to take it.

We see, however, how those words touched Hye Won as she stops right inside her office.

As she puts on her elegant sweater, she notices his jacket on the sofa.

Meanwhile, Sun Jae makes his way home in the rain lost in thought. At the foot of his stairs, he remembers he forgot his jacket, and calls Hye Won. He tells her he’s in front of his house. “What? Now?”

Tearing up the steps at first, but pauses to collect himself, makes his way up his tower to his lady. Once inside, he hears her tell him not to fix their shoes. Hye Won is sitting on his bed, hair down, “I’m going to hang out here for a while today.” She thanked his mother for raising him so well before, and that makes him glow. She is wearing some of his clothes, “What do you think? Cosplaying your girlfriend?”

But he says the last time he saw DM, she was wearing his mother’s clothes, so that makes her family, not a girlfriend after all, Hye Won tells him she’s right. Playfully, he warns if Da Mi catches her, Hye Won will lose. Hye Won, well aware of the danger, whispers, “I already got the escape route figured out.”

“You’re hella sexy” he grins like his face will split. She vamps it up a little, asking why he’s standing so far away.

But the boy’s got his tidy habits, and needs to wash up and brush his teeth. She smiles a big happy smile and he.just.adores.her. It almost alarming how just being near her lights him up.

Now Hubby is still tracking the pair and finds out from Security they left hours ago. He grabs his tablet and puts on his glasses, examining the audition tape. This time, he blows up Hye Won’s face and sees her reaction. “She fell for him early on.”

In the bathroom, he takes some pills, and goes to bed alone recalling the Shaman’s words that his wife would never cheat on him, and he needs the boy to get ahead.

Back chez Sun Jae, we hear Sun Jae and Hye Won talking, but don’t see them.

Sun Jae confesses, “I might not be that good.”

Hye Won gives him back his words about enjoying life and living to the fullest. “You said that’s love.”   Sun Jae realizes how corny he must have sounded. “Seriously. Why did I even say that?” LOL

Hye Won asks if it’s really his first time, and he confesses that something may have happened when he hugged her last time after listening to the Liszt, he’s sorry.She jokes that he must have had an inkling back then, that she wasn’t exactly experienced with men, and she could be worse than him.

The intimacy of the conversation we hear differs with the series of images of his tidy apartment.

Seeing the sound-proofing, which insulates them from the world, the shelves and shelves of music, his belongings, arranged neat and orderly. His piano, and her “outside” clothes put away temporarily. We understand why this place is the lovers’ haven. Far from the luxurious chaos of her life, she is safe with him.

He reassures her “I’m the one who’ll decide that. It’s fine. Let me know if it’s uncomfortable.” His words don’t make for unbridled pillow talk, but they do reflect his protective feelings towards her. Hye Won catches her breath a few times, but that is all the passion we hear.

Our tour of his small space ends with them sitting up near his bed talking about his drinking education back in high school. He asks about hers, and she tells him she did all the proper things, like a fox. She was born 40 years old, and when Sun Jae’s her age,

she’ll be 60. “Wow.” It’s tough to imagine. He pulls out a music book of Maria-João Pires, “You’ll end up like this.”

Hye Won hopes to have as pretty a facial expression like that at the age of 60, and considers how does one need to live to achieve that?

He flirts, “You’ll be prettier.” She tries to pretend he didn’t say that.  With a lot of expensive pampering, maybe, but what really shapes the face is you inner thoughts and sensitivity.He charms her, “I still think you’ll look gorgeous. Even your brain’s sexy.”

Hye Won calls him out on these brazen comments, doesn’t’ he get goose bumps?  Her reaction puzzles him. Why is that so weird?  She tells him they feel like lies, but when he spoke truthfully – Here she mimics his relaxed speech yelling at her, which makes him beam, and then cover his face in embarrassment. That felt real.

“Then how about this?” He leans over towards her and in a low voice says, “Hye Won-ah.”

I just about die of feeling many things all at once, but she shoves him with her foot. “Oh yeah?”

He confesses female feet weaken him, but more specifically, Oh Hye Won’s feet.

He grabs her and dumps her on the bed, and they have a giggle fest. OMG I love them here and now. The camera pans away, but returns to him playing softly for her while she lies in his bed, her face all pink and relaxed from…joy.

She gets changed while he sleeps, takes her stuff, puts on her shoes and leaves without saying good-bye.

Immediately out the door, she is on the phone with Mde Han.

Sun Jae wakes up with a start to find her gone and accepts this fact glumly.


My Thoughts

This was a darkly funny episode. The writers took pity on us and gave us some time to enjoy their characters that we love as much as they do. Hubby, unfortunately, seems to bear the brunt of most of the humor. His self-image of a powerful, influential professor who has every right to be rude and condescending to those who serve him gets shattered in the face of his wife’s indiscretion. But he’s so dumb in how he reacts to this affair. Shouldn’t he jealously confront her and ask what is going on? Isn’t their marriage meaningful enough for him to fight for her? No, instead he creeps around looking for evidence like he’s some brilliant detective, then consults a fortune teller. What? We really are transported back to a Joseon court where the cowardly trusted superstition and trickery over what was right in front of their eyes. The Shaman confirmed one of his biggest fears. He can’t upset his dazzling future just because his unloved wife fell for his hidden gem of rice and trees on the mountain. Putting up with it seems to be his only choice. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Hye Won’s layers and layers of self-inflicted haughty varnish get chipped at big time in the last few episodes. It isn’t just Sun Jae and Young Woo who are conspiring to unmask her. The Soup Ahjumma and Street Parking Attendant couldn’t care less about who she is and what brought her to them. Her puffing and sputtering don’t stop them from wanting her to just get out of their way. Her rage with Sun Jae was so cute. It felt like I was watching a 16 year old pretending to be a 40 year old ahjumma as she finally finally admitted her jealousy. I am so relieved on Sun Jae’s part, that Hye Won accepted him. I don’t know if I could have endured another week of his intense and unrequited adoration getting thrown away.

Their sex scene that wasn’t makes sense in the context of how their relationship began. The passion they share above all is with the music. We already witnessed their orgasmic coupling at the piano, and his excitement before his Liszt hug. Alone, in his clean, insulated tower, they can share quietly romantic moments that wash away the dirty fake goings on of reality. They deserve at least this much. Things will only get louder and more foul in the days and weeks to come.

Lastly, I would like to officially and belatedly thank Koala and everyone who has given me support over the last couple weeks. Your insights and interest are wonderful; your comments make all the time and effort worthwhile.


Secret Love Affair Episode 8 Recap — 57 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recap! I think jomo has fallen for SJ too, not just HW :D. I adore his honesty with HW, but he needs to come clean to Da Mi too and quick. But of course, there would be no drama if he did right?

    And I’m glad for the “sex scene that wasn’t”. It was the loveliest of love scenes! I appreciated it more after hyperventilating and needing a moment or two to recover. The intimacy of their conversation–CHILLS!!

    • I have been anticipating the blowing up since DM asked HW for help when SJ was in lock up. However, I can understand SJ’s hesitance. How to tell DM such that HW can still be protected from her wrath? To me, DM is one fierce person. She struck me as someone who is capable of screaming adultery at HW at her workplace.

  2. Thanks jomo for the recap! I dread the coming episodes of their relationship being putted. I just hope they still get plenty of time for themselves and enjoy their music than deal with all the BS around them.

  3. Wow jomo, you are waxing lyrical over him. I wasn’t even reading the recaps or watching the show. But ended up reading it after your prologue. Have you ever fallen so hard for a character before? Not fallen… but maybe admire? His attributes. And I don’t mean the physical ones. You really did list down a lot of really great points about this character.

    • I stole, inappropriately enough, the “Love is kind…” from the Bible, and it just happen to fit him.

      SJ isn’t perfect, of course, but I think the writers aren’t even trying to make him real. Like one someone out of a myth or fable, he represents all the good that HW has been ignoring. Maybe he represents how she used to feel about herself, or how she one day will feel about herself?

      More than anything, he is relentless, which usually reads as kind of annoying, as she pointed out to him when she was “Hyung.” LOL

      • Using that Bible verse and applying it to SJ was inspired writing, jomo. Lovely and so appropriate!

  4. Your recaps are necessary component of watching the show. I don’t feel like I’ve watched the episodes until I read them. Thank you for doing them.

    Sun Jae’s flaw is that he can be an impertinant little shit at times. For example, when he said it was good that Hye Won is jealous, I was scoffing in unison with Hye Won. LOL what a thing to say. Nevermind the fact that it’s a totally honest and valid reaction (cause Hye Won is buttoned up all the way, so it is good to see that she cares enough to be jealous) but who says those things? I want to push down the back of his head sometimes. That punk.

    Also I’d really like to see Da Mi be let go. The only reason why maybe it’s not a good idea is that a breakup seemingly out of nowhere would make Da Mi dig deeper to find out things out. And then cue that Hair Pin threatening scene take 2…

  5. This was a very telling episode and I think that the next episode is going to be very stressful for us viewers. When DaMi finds out it’s going to be explosive, don’t know what she’ll do. I think HW will bear the brunt of it. My favorite scene was the jealousy confrontation. HW can’t hide from her feelings anymore.

  6. As usaual by now my random thoughts:

    This episode’s invisible love-making scene will get a special place in Kdrama history, I’m sure. Breathtakingly beautiful, intense, sensual, perfect. (Btw she took her wedding ring off while she stayed in his apartment.)

    I’m so happy, that they decided to show their first time like this. It is a refreshingly different approach to all those over-sexed blunt stuff, we are used to now. I’m no prude, but this showed how sexy taped linoleum can be if it gets the right background score. Loved how they managed to make us care about the love and not the sex in this Secret Love Affair.

    There are lots of discussions going on on the net about did they do the ‘deed’ or not. Everyone who is still in doubt or denial (even after the confirming twitter of a production staff) doesn’t know how to watch a story told in visuals. All the details! Her shoes (no high heels anymore, she reached his level) looking like shoes from a young girl (emotionally they are same aged) pointing inwards. The moment we are to assume, that he entered her, they showed the music scores, the piano, the egg cartons, before that we saw the domestic stuff like e.g. the bowls (so couply).

    I’m in awe of the execution of this scene. All scenes showing both of them in his home are the highlights of each episode for me.

    How he waited before he started to go upstairs knowing that she would be there. He knew exactly what was going to happen. That’s why he wanted to brush his teeth, I think.

    And a naughty question. Are we now supposed to think Sun Jae came in his pants during the Liszt hug as it was his ‘first time’? 😉

    What about the fortune teller? Are we to take him seriously? Or was he briefed by Young Woo who started her own little revenge game against Hye Won? Because Young Woo witnessed endless times, that Hye Won was unwilling to sleep around and always resisted temptation very firmly.

    Rat(ty) husband (I had the same association seeing him sniff out Sun Jae’s apartment!) has really no redeeming virtue whatsoever.

    And finally Hye Won’s elegant jacket. Her world is not upside down, but front to back, as the buttons were positioned there. No, I’m not going to start to talk about her hair in this episode…

    • Not finished yet!

      During the tickling session on his bed (which definitely lead to round two) he asked ‘Are you OK?’ amidst the laughter. How can a woman not fall for this guy!?

      And the lengths he goes to to simply say or write her name…

    • Yes, Newbie, I noticed the shoes too!! No longer high-heeled ones… Ok, I must admit I’ve watched ep 8 TOO MANY times that I’m dissecting every scene and why certain shots were included to convey messages 🙂 LOL!! This drama is my undoing!

    • Nice oberservations!

      In the Piano shoving scene, her cardigan falls off while she is wrestling with SJ. He picks it up, and neatly places it between them on the sofa. As long as she is wearing it as a shield, she thinks she is safe from him and from anyone else trying to uncover her true self. A Cloak of Insincerity, perhaps?

  7. Thanks Jomo for your insightful recaps. Always looking forward to it every week. It really helps me understand a lot of the scenes better. This drama is so refreshing!

  8. Thanks again for the recap. I would say SJ isnt perfect for one reason only at this point. He continues to allow DM to have hope. It makes me really uncomfortable when she told him of all those plans and he couldnt bring himself to tell her.

    I felt so sorry for HW when she was outside his home, spotted them and had to hide like that. I can imagine how mortified and pathetic she must have felt to have to be in that position. To catch yourself, at this age, irresistably drawn to someone and yet have to sneak around in this manner must be awful. Of course, that is not even taking into account the self loathing for cheating.

    I was one of those who loved the way the director chose to ‘show’ the sex scene. I watched live and surmised then that “well, they have showed every part of the house, they must be in bed”. Then, to have the subs in and get to listen in on the conversation that they were having, made it beautiful, intimate and erotic.

    By the way, did anyone notice that her bra was hung on the hanger too? Partially hidden by her top. They really were good with details.

    I cant wait for monday again. The staff from SA tweet suggested that epi 9 is going to be awesome”

      • Its just a strap of black that you see with her top hanging off the hanger :). I am pretty certain.

    • Enz – Good eye. I didn’t notice until I was doing the screen caps, I had to pick between the top and the bottom shot of her clothes. It is definitely neatly hanging there. 🙂

      • Yes, my husband and I noticed the bra, too! But my naughty husband said that if the bra is off, then the panty must be off also. Haha. What touched me about that scene (Hye Won’s clothes and underwear neatly hung) was that I thought that Sun Jae must have hung them so neatly there. I got that idea because when he entered his apartment and saw her shoes, he moved to fix them to face out the door so that she won’t have a hard time when she leaves, which is a very very considerate act for him to do. Anyway, like all of you, I really feel for Sun Jae and his big heart. Hye Won is so lucky to have a guy like him.

  9. Thank you for this recap! I’ve been refreshing like crazy waiting with bated breath for this upload. I must’ve replayed episode 8 hundreds of times, and to my astonishment, I still shed tears during the scene where SJ plays that beautiful piece for HW at the end. That particular piece literally encapsulated how much SJ loves her.

    The “love scene” was tastefully done, and all the shots chosen specifically during this scene was apt! Omo, I am ALWAYS left breathless after his piano performance for HW (fanning myself like crazy!)

  10. Homagaaaah the last scene! My heart went dugun dugun and I think I bit my nails. Too hot to handle! And it’s just because of the “sound”!!

  11. Thanks for the recap and insights, jomo. I love the way YAI and KHA act together and the way the drama has rekindled my interest in classical music. Had to immediately play the Rachmaninov Rhapsody after I heard it. The Not So SLA is still holding my interest, hope it continues.

    • Misty –
      Rachmaninoff!! That’s who that was.

      I put in Tchaikovsky as a place holder and forgot to go back and put in the real composer.

      Love that piece. What a heart starter.

      Whomever runs Arts Events in Seoul should definitely plan a SLA concert for when this is over, or even before. It would be great to take advantage of people’s new or renewed interest in these classics.
      Ooooh! Espcially if they had a couple of special guests perform.

      Can you imagine seeing YAI and KHA all dressed up in their finest on stage? I would pay a lot! They could play Heart and Soul!

      • I can see it! Heart and Soul! (Lol). Yes, it would be worth a trip to Seoul. Heard anything about who is performing the music? YAI and KHA are doing a great job with the fingering, but I’m assuming they are substituting pros for the sound.

      • @Misty
        I found somewhere she is 김수현 (yet another Kim Soo Hyun) who is playing and could also be the music playing coach.
        It was probably on soompi, but for life of me, I cannot find it!

        The google won’t show me anymore. 🙁

  12. Hi, and MUCH THANKS Jomo! That was an insightful commentary = loved reading your interpretation of what everything seemed to symbolize.

  13. I enjoy your recap Jomo . It was refreshing to see a drama portraiting love instead of sex. The way the sex scene was done will draw ones mind to how much love they felt for each other and that it is not a lack of control passion that brought them to this point but pure love . I always hate the way most drama sell sex as love . I hope all shows would borrow a leaf from this . I wonder when DaMi finds out how explosive it going to be. My heart beat in pain about the outcome . So far so good the drama is doing a great job. Thanks to Jomo for without your interest in this show and recapping it in such a beautiful way many of us will not have been aware of it and come to be so invested in it. I appreciate your hard work.

    • The oohlala scene was nice but I wonder if the PD made a conscious decision not to show any make out scenes because of th actual 20yr age gap between the 2 actors just like Prime minister and I.

  14. Thanks for your lovely recap.

    I’m very interested in the story but there are certain type of oppression and social cruelty that are difficult for me to watch.

    Your recaps capture the story and the mood so well that I feel I can follow along without missing anything.

  15. Thanks Koala and Jomo as always for recapping this show. Jomo, what you said about Sun Jae really resonated with me. You call him love and I see all the reasons why but it also makes sense that your quote is from the Bible (which I do not know well at all) since I see a sacred aspect to his love that is struggling perhaps against its more secular expression. In a sense it is like the history of Western classical music itself that began in the church and then became secular. He is taken with her as he is taken with a goddess — a form of adoration. It is only when she hugs him back, that he reacts like a “man” and realizes that she is woman.

    Other than his behavior towards her — which is perfect because she is a goddess – we do not really see too many other dimensions to him and what we do see is normal and not even necessarily that special (behavior towards Da Mi for example — not bad but normal for his age, circumstances etc). In contrast, Hye Won is shown in a full range of interactions — needing to balance so many aspects of her life.

    He is only 20 — he has not had to make any important choices so where is the chance of making any bad ones whose consequences you have to spend a life time dealing with?

    I hope to become a totally great show — it needs to give him some choices as well.

    • MM –
      That is some pretty deep thinking up there. Wow. Great point on his relationship with HW vs the rest of the world.

      What if he is Love and she is simply Music? Fighting to make herself successful, having to make all kinds of compromises in order to remain in the forefront. And by doing so, is self-destructing.

      He comes along to remind us that the pureness of it, the joy, the reason the composers suffered to make themselves heard IS all we should be paying attention to, not just exploit music for the money.

      SJ will be facing some harsh realities and choices coming up, and so will HW. Up to this point, she has done little to protect him. She has done nothing outside of her Elegance Zone in front of anyone else.
      If he starts to be threatened, I fully expect HW to come out and to come through for him. It may not be until the bitter end, but ONLY HW can protect him, and there will have to be an element of sacrifice on her part. I just hope nobody dies.

      • Jomo, unlike you, I expect HW to betray SJ and break his heart. She has too much fear of poverty to get off her hostile but cushy ride. And with fake hyung act, I expect her to manipulate SJ behind the curtains, play with his naiveté and trust.

      • @kngdrama
        It will be interesting to see if the writers go with bitter reality and have her destroy him, or if they want something more hopeful.
        There have been hints from the writers that they like happy endings over devastating ones.
        Oh, and I am willing to bet that YAI, having suffered through Fashion King does, too. He prolly requested to see the last page of the script before even agreeing to talk to them!

      • Jomo, your detailed and eloquent recap is a pleasure to read. Regarding the bitter reality, HW already started to teach SJ that he could live off the rich and have what he wants if he plays by the rules. Those life lessons are poisonous but what if she makes his ACT like she does? Sucking up, getting hit, etc. The boy would probably do it out of love. I hate to think of it.

        She lies, and lies, and lies and she will make him lie. Not only HW took SJ’s physical virginity, she is attempting to groom him and take the virginity of his heart.

  16. Thank you Jomo for a great recapp…

    All I can say is that I’m deeply invested in this show…

    I am experiencing a similar situation: Having an intense relationship with someone younger than me.

    He’s as beautiful and caring as SJ and it’s mindblowing how the writer perfectly captures the feelings of HW…

    The insecurity will always be there because of the age gap…even when she “knows” that he loves her…and she will always long for his love without actually asking for it because she feels that she does not have the right to ask for it…again because of the age gap.

    But she will always be happy like a little girl when they are only the 2 of them…and be a woman and let him be the man…

    and those moments are those that count because they deepen their connection at a level that no one can understand or explain.

    In short, these 2 characters are both real to me, and the actors portraying them are absolutely amazing.

    And the writing as well as the directing are spot on.

    • This story makes me very very happy.
      We have our own Noona-Dongsang here in the house!
      I love that you have someone to cherish you and that you realize what a gift that is. Sending you positive waves to keep it that way
      ♥ ~~~~~~~~ ♥

    • That’s so sweet! I knew some people out there have the same experience as HW-LSJ do, because I’ve seen this kind of couple before too. Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

  17. i didnt underestand the last part of this episode, did that conversation mean sleeping together? did they have sex or not?

  18. Jomo! SJ replaced the king in white pajamas waiting for the dead girl for show up?!!! (The Moon/Sun reference).

    Thank you for the recap. The Bible reference is sweet if only he did not covet his neighbor’s wife.

    As you wrote, unmasking HW to the core continues but I cant’s see anything in the “core.” Youth wasted on kissing up to rich and powerful, absence of love and care, she seems cold and tough with friends and there is no sign of her family. Her world is tiny like a mouse trap. With all the masks off, she is pretty much a wounded narcissist with unrealized ambitions and secretly harbored hatred for the ones she serves.

    No more virgin SJ! Their physical intimacy is sweet and carefree. She probably got more touching in one evening than she had during the entire marriage with the Rat.

    Physical aspect of sweet love is very healing for the soul. A well-loved woman is happy and glowing. So far, I haven’t seen anyone in the drama being truly happy. Time for HW to shine (even more now).

    I am probably the only one who feels sorry for the Rat. HW was his partner in the rat race and now she is slipping away. I despise Rat’s choices but feel pity for his feelings – to see a young, talented lover being brought to his house, to watch them together everywhere, in school, at home. His insecurity and quiet despair coupled with cowardly spying are painful to watch. Whatever shaman says, the Rat knows the truth – it is written on his wife’s face.

    • That Rat is a coward! Instead of reacting like a normal husband would — with jealousy and rage — he has chosen to keep quiet. Why? Because he needs both Hye Won and Sun Jae for his career! He is not pitiful at all, but deserving of contempt. If he is suffering now, he deserves it because he has chosen career over self-respect and love.

      • I agree that the husband (I think of him as The Weasel, rather than The Rat) does not deserve our sympathy. I laughed at his expense and did not feel bad about it when he went to the fortune teller. What a predicament! Lol

        The actor is doing a fantastic job portraying Joon Hyung. He was also really good playing a jerk of a husband in A Wife’s Credentials. I wonder how one would feel as an actor when you keep getting asked to play a weasel-looking character? Lol

  19. Thanks Jomo! I have actually been waiting for your recaps on this! As each episode goes by HW wall of coldness is slowly melting away by SJ. Honestly, things that she say to him and the way she acts sometimes – if he didn’t love her the way he did, I believe that kind of behaviour would have made him just desert any kind of romantic feelings of her. I knew from the get go not to expect much for the sex scene because it is a Korean drama. It was quite beautiful the way they shot the and that conversation filled with so much sexual shade.
    Right now I have no idea where this story will take me. Will their affair become more intense? Can SJ have the strength to keep it a secret and ignore the fact that she is a married couple? Will HW put her feelings of happiness before her want of power and money?
    We still have a fair bit to go with in this drama. Though every small happiness that our OTP is experiencing now is preparing us for that chance that everything is going to fall apart.

  20. Every scene is so full of details and when we come back rewatching it we find something new. I love you, show! 5here are lots of favorite scenes~ their discussion in the piano room and he cries because he feels sad about her life, the texting moment from the toilet which is so cute, the poetic and mind blowing love-making, their SO natural conversation after that. I effin love them all! I love how you describe SJ by borrowing 1 Cor 13, Jomo. Seon Jae is love. This show is love.

  21. Thanks Jomo for the recap. Love your insights. I really enjoyed and appreciate the parallels and differences that you have pointed out. I can see SJ’s relentless and almost obsessive pursue of HW, knowing that she is married, is from another social strata (he has steered clear from them, HW is the only exception) and is his teacher not to mention his professor’s wife. I am curious where SJ gets his courage from? On top of that, like you have pointed out, it is not like he was encouraged by HW right at the onset. How is it like to love without constraints? I am curious as to the ending and what the author wants us to know and understand from this narrative.

    • I would say that Seon Jae doesn’t pursue Hye Won but only after their first kiss. Up until then, he adores her but I doubt he even thought of stealing her from her husband. But after that first kiss, when he knew she somewhat reciprocated, he no longer can ignore his feelings for her. As what he said to Hye Won, he can’t forget that kiss even if his afraid.

    • I hope you dont mind me sharing my thoughts on this. To me, when they met and had that musical connection, beauty, adoration, music, sexual excitement all collided into one being for SJ and that being was HW. He has since then just acted on the force of those feelings, completely uncalculated in his actions and prob because of his age, uncalculating of the possible fallout for them too. ( although aware enough to know it should be kept hidden to protect her)

      It would be really interesting when, as mohini’s mom pointed out, he has to make real choices with full consciousness of consequences instead of just acting on the force of his emotions.

  22. I just want to say that I love this show. Please be a good show till the end! And thanks for the beautiful recaps, Jomo & Koala ♥

  23. Just caught SLA n watching 2nd rd.. Aft this ep revelation that SJ may ve came in the hug in ep 6 hug, re watching ep 6 u c great hints of that – HW widened eyes when she caught his enlarged member.. The super tight squeeze of a hug fr SJ possibly to crush his erection n HY near tears fr shock she can still command that reaction at her age? Or is it her inability to hide her own arousal by that hug n hence the comment in this ep that he might ve an inkling she’s nt a player..

    Anyway their chemistry is so gd I’m hot n bothered whenever they r on screen..

  24. 5 years later I’m watching SLA for first time… actually the third time thru in one week. Thank you everyone for your comments, I must watch it again with all your insights in mind!
    How can I own this exquisite show? I need subtitles, though. Inspires me to learn Korean just to watch this authentically.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.