Secret Love Affair Episode 4 Recap

[There are multiple layers to experience Secret Love Affair, from auditory to emotional to a sensation of peeking via corners and doors or even cameras. The characters are living in their world and we’re just glimpsing at a mere sliver. The kiss at the end of episode 3 encapsulates that, with the camera choosing to have Sun Jae and Hye Won’s head turned so all we see is the act of a passionate kiss without actually seeing the very form of the kissing via their joined lips. It’s clear they both affect each other, but it’s hard to separate what the longing means.

Likely both a musical transcendence as well as physical desire, and for Sun Jae’s return back into Hye Won’s world, it reminds of a longing he knows cannot be whether for her or for the piano. The drama doesn’t explain why he gave up on music after his mom died, guilt that her death arrived when she was anxiously trying to support his dream, or an acceptance that the dream needs to end now because he has reality to face. Hye Won knows exactly that it means to keep the dream of music and the reality of living it alive, a constant and never-ending giving of her mind, body, and soul to Seohan. Will Sun Jae be willing to go down that same road if only he knows what is to come? ~ Koala]

There is a French word I love that describes how Sun Jae has affected Hye Won’s life: She is bouleversée. Upturned. Knocked over.  While it was nothing expected, his arrival had to be well timed with her willingness to be upended. Sun Jae didn’t implant the passion, he uncovered it.  The beehive she has busily constructed over the years, churning out honey and more bees has been there, but under her complete control. It is profitable, and reflects well on her. People think she’s cool, and she enjoys hearing that about herself.  The bees, meanwhile, are starting to sneak out, one at a time. The harder she tries to keep them trapped, the more they struggle for release. They are bees, after all, not sheep. To quote my favorite scholar, Winnie the Pooh, “You never can tell with bees.”

Episode 4 recap:

Hye Won brings Sun Jae into the house through the kitchen – making sure nobody is around. As they walk down the halls, both unsettled. He is nervous.

She is unreadable. She puts him safely away in the music room telling him to wait and goes into the kitchen.

 What follows is Hye Won deliberately, evenly, removing her coat and scarf. She appears to be regaining her composure in the mondaine. Preparing a cup of tea. (I actually went back to make sure I was watching the correct episode because of her non-reaction.)  Her superficial calm is shattered when the Ahjumma’s voicmakes her jump.

This woman usually sleeps very soundly, but Joon Hyung has been calling all night looking for his wife.Hye Won remembers she turned her phone off.  Ahjumma lets her know the husband will be home soon, and seeing the teacup out asks if Hye Won has a guest. Hye Won lies “No,” and the ahjumma offers to make the tea herself. Hye Won’s false confidence is wearing thin, but she manages to sound in control. After Hye Won asks her to go back to bed and to Hye Won’s great relief, she finally leaves the kitchen.

Her husband has left a series of texts.

Where is she? Why isn’t she answering? Is she still with Young Woo? His last one is that he is coming home now. As in, the clock is ticking and the boy’s got to go. She remains maddeningly controlled, only a raised hand to her face denotes any nervousness. Sweetly she calls and asks where he is, and gets a ear-splitting response, so loud she pulls the phone away looking at it guiltily.

Her excuse is he said he wasn’t coming home. That is why she didn’t pay attention to his calls. Anxiously, she runs back to the music room. Worried. Thinking fast. Planning. Machinating. And pauses outside to prepare.

A decision is made and she goes in. Sun Jae in all his little boy glory rises to his feet facing her with a small smile. She closes the door and turns to him.

“What are you doing here?” She asks. “You didn’t leave? I wouldn’t have let you into the house at this hour. I don’t remember. I get drunk quickly and sober up quickly.”

While it certainly wasn’t what Sun Jae expected to hear, he’s listening, trying to assign some sort of meaning to the words. What is she actually saying? Is this their cover story they will laugh about later? Then she tells him to go, which startles him. If he is going to start piano again, contact her, otherwise, don’t. She only likes him for his talent.

By the time she offers to call him a taxi, he has figured out where he stands and what her game plan is. With steely control, he responds “No.” He can barely speak though his clenched jaw that he is driving a government truck. Humiliation, anger, confusion take turns on this face. Hye Won tells him pleasantly but firmly to go quietly.

You can see he is trying to regain some emotional footing here. With a bitter smile, he apologizes. “I’m not usually interested in another man’s woman.”

She slaps him, but softly, on the same cheek she pinched. “Another man’s woman?” Nope, not that. Searching for what she is, she chooses, “Teacher.”

Now with false sincerity, he admits to making a big mistake, and he wasn’t even drinking.

He doesn’t have to tell her that, since she doesn’t know what he is referring to. He watches her walk to open the door, thereby ending this and reluctantly leaves. She doesn’t look at him.

Sun Jae’s truck passes Joon Hyung’s car in the street.

Hye Won calls out “You’re home?” from the shower. She just got home, too, she tells him.

He explains why he came home her before he was department chair, he would stay up all night with the students at team-building events. Now, instead, he just bought them beer and left them to their fun. He would just make them uncomfortable. It bugged him that So was showing off, too.

Hye Won follows her nighttime skin care routine. Her husband wants her to make a call about monitoring the traffic in the neighbor. Some crazy truck driver blew by him earlier. Probably a nut job or thief.

Hye Won smoothes in her face cream, thinking about the nut job/thief…

Who drove himself home in a confused fog is dejected, frustrated, but resigned to the situation.

Hye Won stands in the kitchen before her jar of tea and calls herself pathetic. I agree.She sips her tea lost in thought.

By the time Sun Jae gets home, it is time to work. He changes into his uniform. Seeing the book from Hye Won upsets him and he tosses it into the trash.

Da Mi and Sun Jae speak on the phone. She waited for him where did her go? “To do useless things,” he admits. He goes back to work mopping the floor.  Sun Jae, recalling the kiss, and Hye Won’s traitorous denial that it happened, makes him want to explode in frustration.

She was in his arms, then, poof. Gone forever.

Hye Won drives to work forcing herself to never remember. She doesn’t look too convinced that will work.

Mde Han calls to report on Young Woo’s odd behavior.  She showed up with her husband for breakfast, then broke down in tears. The Chairman has been with her in the study for the last thirty minutes.

Young Woo plays on the Chairman’s guilt and sympathies. Young Woo likens herself to the sacrificial goat.

Ever since she was born she has been treated poorly.  Mom blamed the Chairman’s infidelities on the baby, treating her like a curse. Barely acknowledged her daughter with a hug or even a glance before disappearing. It is an old conversation; Chairman offers to recite the second verse. Young Woo is just so sad. Her father tells her to grow up, being a mother herself, why does she keep bringing up her childhood? And, if she did have a bad childhood, she should do everything in her power to be a good mother to her own kids.

She spots her opening, angling for a relaxation of the travel ban to see her kids. Despite the fact that she causes trouble every time he gives in and lets her go, her pitiful expression seems to move him.

Mde Han listens up to this point at the door, and leaves non-chalantly when someone walks by.

She reports to Hye Won how tantalizing it all is and thinks about wiretapping the room.  Why doesn’t Hye Won plant a bug in there while Mde Han is away? She could pretend to renovate.

Hye Won tells her she didn’t think she could pull that off. Ah, so there is something Hye Won cannot do, eh?  Chairman is a tough one to fool, and Mde Han agrees.

Over tea, Hye Won helps Mde Han decode Young Woo’s actions. Does she want a divorce?  What about that boyfriend? Didn’t Hye Won tell him to disappear? Maybe he broke up with her. Hye Won notes  Young Woo’s love was stronger than his. Mde Han declares she should never have let that happen. Once you do, you give up all the power. And to whom? Not even a decent man but a mere bar boy. As critical as Hye Won has been in front of Young Woo, she defends her with Hye Won.

Young Woo Is lonely. Mde Han has no understanding. Giving up your pride in exchange isn’t worth it. Buying a boyfriend never works. How irresponsible is she to be seen as a source of money rather than a woman? Mde Han managed to keep her lady-like disposition at her age. It works as a weapon to get what she wants. Her Husband even paid for the chocolate. Of course, she paid for it emotionally… Hye Won acknowledges Mde Han is amazing.  As far as Young Woo, Mde Han decides to let her go embarrass herself in front of everyone. Unfortunately, as one of Hye Won’s duties is to manage Young Woo’s personal life, she can’t risk getting fired. Mde Han apologizes to Hye Won for making her play a double agent.  It’s the least she can do since the Chairman paid for her studies abroad. Mde brings up that Hye Won is also in debt since Joon Hyung’s professor position is because of her. This makes Hye Won a triple agent, to repay that favor. Mde Han tells her she’s even foxier than her.

Mde Han’s travel itinerary gets reviewed. Paris, Berlin, Zurich and Mde Han wants to make changes and leave early Berlin, but Hye Won insists she has to attend the concerts there. Since nobody from the office will accompany her, a local security team has been hired. She shows how the chocolate money has been distributed so far, but the final changes will be made after talking to the financial Seer, Baek.

Dean Min brings in the aforementioned Baek, delighted to be able to talk future success of her pianist daughter, who hasn’t actually been attending classes.

Mde Han wants to know what she’s doing if not attending classes. Baek is as frustrated and hopes Hye Won can use her influence on her husband professor to appease him. Han honestly admits nothing bores her more than other people’s children, and they get down to business.

Chairman Seo did capitulate and tells his secretary to let Young Woo go abroad, let her have her passport back. Perhaps Mr. Young Woo will believe the Chairman has sent his daughter on an errand, as transparent as that is.

Young Woo gets the good news during her foot massage and immediately calls Boyfriend, still angry that Hye Won told him to get lost. How about some shopping in Paris?

The Seer Baek confers with Mde Han on finances, but her advice seems to hit personal matters.

She reads from the Chinese characters that her current situation of two women living under one roof and harming each other needs to change.

They should invest their money in futures, as that risk will pay off.  It will prevent rumors and result in profit when she returns from the trip. At that moment, Hye Won excuses herself to take care of something urgent. Mde Han lets her go, but urges her to come back quickly.

Sun Jae is moving a pile of dirt into a wheelbarrow in the plaza outside his workplace.

We see Hye Won’s urgent matter is to send him a friendly text “I hope you got home safely.” Considering how they left each other, his WTF reaction makes sense. He shakes it off and puts the phone back into his pocket.

Hye Won, meanwhile, is pacing and waiting for him to respond.

After thinking for a moment, she sends another. Sun Jae is in the process of getting his work gloves back on when his phone buzzes. He takes the phone out and reads, “You can answer my questions.”

He shakes his head in exasperated disagreement, and then throws the phone down into the dirt, getting back to the job. He seems to be keeping time to his thoughts with each thrust into the ground and toss into the wheelbarrow. Dig…2…3…4…Toss …2…3…4…A bright yellow bus arrives at the ballet school, and soon we hear the class accompanist he complained about in Episode 3 playing. Apparently, she is nerve-rattling sub par.

With each note, and toss of dirt, Sun Jae gets more irritated. Dig…2…3…4…Toss …2…3…4…

His shoveling gets more aggressive. Dig…2…3…4…Toss …2…3…4… He closes his eyes and smiles disgustedly. Dig…2…3…4…Toss …2…3…4…

Finally, he jerks his head towards the window,

pulls off his gloves and runs up the stairs through the door. The last part is witnessed by his boss who yells, “Where are you going?!”

Although he was thoughtful enough to remove his outside shoes before entering the classroom, the next thing we hear is him shouting, “Stop tormenting me, really!” The little ballet girls scream and rush out the door. “I can’t stand it anymore!”

He is yelling at the cowering piano player how can she not improve at all?

She calls him crazy. And replies that listening to her every day is making him crazy. As afraid as she is, she is more insulted, “What do you know? I played the Czerny 50 Piano Etudes! If you don’t like it, don’t listen.”  But he can’t close off his ears. Plus he hears her every single day at the same time he gets tortured the same way.  Accompanist tells the to call the police and report this psycho. The ballet teacher runs about looking for the phone.

Sun Jae doesn’t care about anything but couldn’t she just listen to him and do it the way he tells her to? He grabs her begging her to listen to him. Even while two cops are dragging him down the stairs, and she’s describing how he threw the piano chair, he breaks free from them so he can pull back her shoulders and improve her posture.

They pull him away finally to her continued cries that he’s crazy.

He winds up being questioned down at the station, ballet ladies watching and commenting from a safe distance.

The officer describes the crimes in a dry voice: “A public duty personnel, beating up a private citizen even though he was arrested on site he continued to show hostility…” The plaintiff chimes in. “Kids crying and racing out…”  His boss defends his normally calm and sincere personality, the detective questions his psychiatric history, the pianist wants them to lock him and throw away the key.  It looks very bleak. He has no money to reach a settlement, and the fact that he is a public worker multiplies the seriousness of the crime. He doesn’t have a guardian – Nobody, he insists.


Da Mi and Jang Ho arrive because the cops checked out the names on his cell phone. They have already heard from the plaintiff who was obviously faking – even eating fried chicken and beer. Jang Ho can’t believe she’s demanding compensation for psychological damage. Da Mi decides he’s just going to have to beg.

Sun Jae’s head is spinning –  how is he supposed to know what to do next? He has no options to pay $7000.  It’s hopeless trying to get someone to rent out his last apartment to get the deposit back, too. His friends conclude he should ask the music professor who found him impressive. He offered to support him the past. He was even going to pay for college. Sun Jae blanches at the suggestion and refuses.

“NO!” he cries and recalls himself talking about stealing Kang’s woman and shrinks -twice – at the memory of Hye Won slapping him – covering his cheek where she hit him, then becomes frantic in his insistence.

“Don’t do it. Don’t ever do it. Really don’t.”

His friends don’t understand what he thinks he has to lose.

Poor Sun Jae replies that a person could actually die from humiliation, being annoyed and being angry. In fact, he would rather go to prison.  What?! They yell in unison.

He’s better off, he maintains. His friends start to convince him that prison is not actually good place, and that bad people doing bad things live there, but he claims he’ll just stay still.  At this point, they are sure he has lost his mind, and beg him to snap out of it. He tells them he is being sincere, which actually is the problem.

Young Woo brings her boyfriend up into the airport CIP lounge – (VIP for CEOs) room where they get special treatment for check ins and everything. Disaster looms ahead because Mde Han and Hye Won are already there chatting before her flight to Paris.

It seems the Chairman usually takes Hye Won out for a special meal when his wife is away, just to make sure her affection hasn’t cooled.

Mde Han states he is interested in her other pocket, but Hye Won contends that he still loves her. The wife’s not buying it. He still goes after the ladies from time to time, and so Hye Won needs to keep watch. The women he chooses are unique and Hye Won inherited that strange taste.

Speak of the daughter – Mde Han spots Young Woo with her boyfriend and Hye Won darts over to contain the damage. She tells Hye Won to pretend Boyfriends is a business partner.

Neither lady is happy to see the other. Hye Won introduces him, and we have a name: Shin Woo Sung. Hye Won helps with the cover story – He’s a dark horse in the fashion world. They realize, of course, they’re both booked on the same loooooong flight to Paris. Hye Won asks Woo Sung if he could wait a moment. Mom and Daughter negotiate which needs to change flights. Young Woo believes the person who has a problem should alter plans not her but Mde Han has engagements she cannot miss. Young Woo counters that she does, too.

Mde Han pulls rank – Mom beats Daughter. She really doesn’t want to have to share the small First Class section with Young Woo getting all cozy with her boy toy.  Young Woo’s avowal that he’s a business partner, and that Mde Han is weird for thinking otherwise falls on deaf ears. What if Mde Han leaks a photo of the lovebirds? In ancient times, she would have had a son his age – she would have been stoned for dating him.  Hye Won looks over at SW waiting by himself, looking indeed very young and closes her eyes. Does she see Sun Jae imprinted there? She shakes her head  – is it to what she is hearing or what she is remembering?

Young Woo goes on that her young face would be fine in the pictures; she’s not scared of being exposed. She makes a rather funny cute face –like a blowfish. Mde Han looks to Hye Won for a little help here. A truce is called, as it is time to board.

Hye Won and Han’s secretaries are chilling out happy to have the bosses gone for a little while. “We’re free!”

Sec picks up Hye Won’s call from the car. They try to figure out how they all missed the mid-air collision of flight plans. Hye Won decides that they are all should stay in contact with her 24/7 and lets them know she’ll be back later.

Han’s nightmare comes true. She has to sit all flight pretending Young Woo and SW aren’t there behind her for the entire flight.

Chairman thinks it’s funny  – it’s not like you can jump out of the plane. He maintains Young Woo is just going to have lean to deal things and watch her temper. Hye Won really does try to bolster Young Woo in front of her father. While she lets on that Young Woo is traveling with a lover, she also tells him about his daughter’s business plan for the trip. The Chairman thinks all she is capable of is losing money and disagrees with Hye Won’s assessment that actually giving Young Woo a real responsibility would help. Well maybe it could work if Hye Won assisted her, but the lady demurs. What does she know abut business?

Chairman declares Han wouldn’t let her go anyway. Although, he warns that staying under Han will keep her at director level forever. Hye Won expresses gratitude that she gets to work at whatever level they decide.

Seo assesses his current feelings for Han in a rather crude way, “She’s great, having big boobs and all, but her other packet has grown too large. I think I’ve left her seated in that position for too long.” I am pretty they are saying that she has accumulated too much money, right?  Hye Won, being the true triple agent she is, admits that according to her rules, she will have to report that comment to Han. Seo good-naturedly calls her the big fox, by threatening him now. After she apologizes, he tells her it’s a compliment. He expresses how highly he thinks of her by saying if she were a man, he’d want her as his son-in-law. The ahjumma brings their ox bones soup. An odd interaction between the restaurant owner and Seo occurs. He eyes her with interested and describes her as sorrowful. “I’m going to have to hold her at some point.” Hye Won’s eyebrows go up “So noted.” There is a brief interlude where while Hye Won hands over an extra tip,

gets the woman’s work schedule while the Chair man waits outside to say goodbye

Lazy, rich piano girl, Jung Yoo Ra, runs out into a white sports car. Her practice partner telling her to take responsibility for the F she’ll get since they never actually practice.

Jang Ho is driving the fancy car, surprisingly, and she complains that the girl annoys her.

Cello Snob tells Joon Hyung she cannot ignore Yoo Ra’s lack of attendance. When he suggest she could find a way to make it all right, we find out she hasn’t shown up for one class. LOL

He pretty much tells her it doesn’t matter how bad she is. After some hinting at someone making a little something on the side she agrees to help smooth things over with the dean.

Cello snob shows us what a horrible person she is by insulting one of her students in German and making her cry. This is the girl that Yoo Ra has been blowing off. Again, she shows disdain for the student’s cheap instruments.

Her coaching style includes “Don’t torture my ears anymore.” I don’t like her.

Jang Ho kisses Yoo Ra on the cheek and says goodnight. She doesn’t want to go home so early. JR asserts he has a firm curfew set for her. As she gets out of the car, he asks her if she knows anyone with power that could help out his friend who had s little trouble with the law. But Yoo Ra is not the one to help, she worries that her mother might be sent to prison one day. That was not what Joon Hyung wanted to hear.

It turns out the car belongs to Woo Sung who is in Paris right now, and Jang Ho gets reprimanded for taking it out without permission.

Da Mi calls in and they meet. They worry about Sun Jae and his situation. There doesn’t seem to be a way out.

Sun Jae is sitting on the floor in his cell, unable to sleep because of a snoring man. He covers his hears and tells himself to concentrate on good things.

He cheers himself on. He can do it. Think about good things. Good things. Slowly he brings his hands down, imaging the Schubert duet with Hye Won. The warmth of the room, the comforting music, the feeling of Hye Won by his side. We no longer hear the snoring as the camera pans over his face.

Hye Won gets out of bed to see if “I’m a Genius” is online. No go.

The next day at the salon, she requests Da Mi to give her a shampoo massage to help rid her of her pounding headache. Da Mi covers the necklace ashamed that she is wearing it, but Hye Won tells her she is pleased that Da Mi likes what she used to wear.

They will be even if she can make her headache go away.

As Da Mi does her magic, memories of Sun Jae come unbidden into her mind.  Her first meeting with Sun Jae, his explanation of how he arranged the duet for one, his musical education, him carrying her down the stairs and washing her foot. His nervousness talking to her at his apartment, but then his strong opinions on not having Joon Hyung as teacher but wanting her. The goddess confession and kiss, which makes her unravel, she gasps. Da Mi peaks under the towel covering Hye Won’s face and asks if she is OK.

Da Mi finds the nerve to ask Hye Won for help. After speaking emotionally in the hall, Hye Won suggests they go into a room to talk. Slowly, Da Mi describes her unfortunate boyfriend’s arrest situation. They haven’t slept together, but she is going to marry him. One step at a time, each subsequent point confirms they are talking about Sun Jae. Piano player, mother died…The supervisor checks in to see if Hye Won is bothered, but gets sent away.

Hye Won gets more info. He’s really good. A professor was interested enough in him that he offered a scholarship, and he and his wife visited his home. “If I don’t do anything, he’ll go to prison.” The young woman begs for help and she’ll pay her back for the rest of her life. Hye Won can’t make any promises, but she offers to look into it, and tells the young girl to hang in there.

Hye Won calls someone to check out Sun Jae’s circumstance. Later in the office, the secretary lets her in on the details of his arrest. Charged with assault, making threats, vandalism and obstruction of justice. Including the fact that both civil and criminal suits have been brought against him.

Hye Won immediately goes out and drives to see him. At the station, she peers in from outside and sees him sitting on the floor through the bars.  He is running through a musical piece singing and playing with his fingers. He looks so tired and miserable, and puts his head back against the wall.

Hye Won stays a while, drinking a coffee, reviewing the situation and making a plan.

Finally, she comes to some decision and leaves, seemingly on mission.

The next morning at breakfast, Joon Hyung throws a tantrum when he finds out Jo landed a position he wanted. Hye Won calms him down, then hands over a ringing cell phone.

Whatever Hye Won did after leaving the station, helped her husband find out about Sun Jae’s plight. I think the police got his name as Sun Jae’s guardian. The next scene, Joon Hyung shows up at the jail with a sob story to melt hearts.

He describes Sun Jae as the student he cares about the most who broke while preparing for an international competition and lies that he is currently undergoing psychiatric care. The plaintiff falls for the story and offers to drop her suit. He apologizes on his behalf, the cop tells him there are still criminal charges, Joon Hyung makes a phone call and….

Hye Won has lunch with her secretary who reveals that when they first started working together, she made Hye Won her role model. After a while, though, she realized she would never match up to this super lady. She asks about the “friend” from the other day, and Hye Won confident it’ll all work out for him.

Sun Jae comes out of the cell, free, to his loving teacher who dramatically greets him with a big embrace “Just look at you.After disappearing without a word… I’m sorry about what happened to your mother.”

He really does put on a performance that surprises Sun Jae. He does understand that he should go along with it if he wants to get out.

Sun Jae falls asleep in the car as an elated Joon Hyung carries him off back to Seoul.

They arrive at Joon Hyung’s house and Sun Jae wakes up in the garage and the scene of the kiss. He looks around in alarm as Joon Hyung asks if he slept well. He has to get back to his post or he’ll be AWOL.

But Joon Hyung informs him he’s a patient now. Sun Jae panics. Joon Hyung is serious about his condition. Sun Jae has to admit that attacking someone because they made awful noises isn’t normal. Joon Hyung can get him a discharge from the military with a doctor’s letter because of it.

But it’s not right, Sun Jae  declares. He should have declined the settlement money but after being locked up for days, he gratefully accepted it. And because he is a decent human being Sun Jae adds that evading military service by this method is not right.

It really is as if they are speaking two different languages.  Joon Hyung can’t understand at all where Sun Jae is coming from. Read my lips: I got you out of military service. Sun Jae is about to say that he is not trying to get out of military service.

At that moment, however, Hye Won’s car pulls into the garage. Sun Jae braces himself for seeing her, giving his true feelings away with his “tell” of wiping his mouth with his hands.

She coolly approaches them. Balls o’steel in the house, er, garage.

“Honey, look who is here.” Sun Jae stares at her and asks if she has been well.

Hye Won pretends to not know what’s happening.  When Joon Hyung starts to answer, Sun Jae interrupts saying he’ll tell her, which makes Joon Hyung laugh.

He calls him a punk and praises his bravado.

Sun Jae shoots him a “You have no idea” smile and laughs looking down, saying there’s more to the story so he’d like to explain.

She doesn’t look him in the eye.

It is fitting that since we are all at the scene of the kiss, that Hye Won repeats the words. “Go inside.” to him. Hubby keeps talking but as her words echo in that split second, they both remember. The sheer hunger on Sun Jae’s face when their eyes meet makes me stop breathing.

Hubby touches Sun Jae by the shoulder offers him a drink. Sun Jae looks over his shoulder at Hye Won before leaving the garage. She follows the boys in with a book of feelings hidden behind her eyes,

knowing full well what this close re-encounter will mean.


Hye Won and Sun Jae work really really hard in this episode at cross purposes. After the kiss, Hye Won needs to regain control.  First, she contains Sun Jae by hiding him in the music room. He has already breached her fortress there – putting him back can’t hurt. Once out of sight, she starts a lengthy process of burying deep and covering up. Each step and movement works to put distance between them literally and figuratively.  She removes the scarf, burying feelings, takes off her coat, burying feeling, folds the coat over the chair, walks over to her bowl of tea, gets out a teacup: burying all the while. By the time she gets back to him, she is able to convince herself that not only did nothing happen to them, but the thing that didn’t happen, didn’t matter.

Sun Jae is a smart person and figured out pretty quickly what Hye Won wanted from him. She wanted him to follow her lead and suppress, conceal, and obscure.  All actions he has never ever thought to or needed to do in the past. Everything about him is impulsive and open. As hurt and humiliated he is that she cruelly discarded him, he tried it her way. It is fitting, therefore, that his total rejection of this idea occurred while literally digging things up.

I have to say, the absurdity of Sun Jae’s ituation and the set up made me laugh out loud. It could have been a Monty Python comedy sketch. The idea that a public works person is such a musical snob that he criticizes a professional pianist is genius. After all, she performed the 57 Czerny Etudes! The little girls screaming, his outrage and all the while he only wants to correct her posture. I loved it.

Click here to watch Secret Love Affair.


Secret Love Affair Episode 4 Recap — 30 Comments

  1. WOW.. just awesome recaps. the way you put words for the expression is AWESOME.. i’ll surly count on you to read more recaps

  2. This drama is moving very fast, plot-wise. I have doubts that there will be a happy ending. It is clear HW needs SJ in her life because it is devoid of any romance and passion. Her marriage is so boring that unless there is a huge arrogant, it will always be the same unless someone speaks up.

  3. Thank you Jomo for a beautiful recap….

    This drama is my weekly drug… It’s simply a masterpiece: the acting, the direction, the cinematograghy, the pace…It’s like watching a movie…a piece of art….

    Bravo JTBC!

    And Yoo Ah In!!!!!! Enough said.

  4. i love your way of recapping it. not just a summary but with interpretations of what each scene meant.

    and we all know with this show, the devil’s in thr details… or Seo
    Young Woo.

  5. Commenting as I would if I had just watched this show and did not recap it – because I have been very very mature and such—

    Wasn’t YAI in his black uniform and shoveling in the dirt completely mesmerizing and very hot? The camera stayed on him for a full 2 minutes, which is a long time on the screen. No voice over, no OST singing to us about burning desire or longing love and tragic separation. Every thought and emotion he experienced was right there.

    That is what they are getting right in this show…Let the story unroll, let the actors live as the characters rather than act lines. By letting us fill in what they aren’t saying, we get pulled into their world a lot more.

  6. Reading only the recaps made me experience all the nuances that the lead characters are experiencing. what more if I actually watch the series! It would be AWESOME!

    Being a classical music addict, I am so looking forward to watching the series and hearing each piece. It would be an auditory and sensory experience. JUST LOVE IT.

  7. Oh lovely recap… Thanks ever so much!

    For me this episode was all about the horribleness and shallowness of the world that surrounds HW.

    That comment by the Chairman that he might have to ‘pum-da’ the ajumma is just so disgusting. Chickens are supposed to ‘pum-da’ their eggs but when powerful men use that term in that way, it’s basically an euphemism for benevolent rape.

    My favorite bit on the other hand was wen the sub-par piano lady was all how dare you, don’t you know I played up to Czerny 50?! Usually, in the old days at least, when nice girls from nice Korean families come to uni and go through the social positioning shenanigans, a question that is always asked is “how far did you play Czerny?”. C 100 means you basically stopped playing the piano, 30 is nothing to be ashamed of, 40 is well done, but if you played up to 50, wow. So when the said what she said, my first reaction was to be properly impressed amidst all the chaos. But then what does that mean when ones playing is shite. And that’s why this drama is so brilliant.

    • Thanks for the Czerny 50 explanation. I knew it was meant to be impressive, but not the details.

      I got bad feelings from Seo when he gave the Soup Lady that look. Benevolent, indeed. He really thinks he is some sort of modern day royalty, doesn’t he? With the decadance that goes with too much power.

      • I was quite taken aback when HW asked the seollungtang lady about her days off. I knew HW managed Seo’s affairs (pardon the pun), but it didn’t dawn on me that she actually set up women for him. However much I like HW, this aspect of her was icky.

      • It’s what the job demands and it is fundamental to see it, because we will root for her later even more to let go of the whole art center world. This pimping, the fake accounts, she is deeply involved with all of that out of gratitude. Such a situation doesn’t build up within a couple of days, it takes years and gets increasingly difficult to leave behind. Even her husband is entangled in this web. I’m sure she is disgusted with herself.

  8. My heart broke for SunJae this episode. Such a pitiful character. To come so close to enrapturement then have it yanked from you. Then at the very end when he is “rescued” by the spouse of the source of his torment. Poor baby.

    as always, your recap was divine. many thanks!

  9. I thought it told us everything about Hye Won’s character when her reaction to Sun Jae’s predicament was to check things out and pull some strings and get things done in the background. Quietly manipulating behind the scenes is her whole forte.

    The story really does have the feel of some sort of story about royalty, with the servants, their favorites, the things they can get away with, etc. Even the Dowager Queen and her relationship with the step-princess who is being trained up to take over the kingdom.

  10. Reading recaps because they express what is going on so well. Koala and Jomo….simply awesome!

    This show is a gem, subtle and layered. I’m glad I picked it up.

  11. I laughed like crazy when SJ is trying to improve that poor lady’s posture just like what HW did to him before. It’s so hilarious!

  12. after all, this drama is not my cup of tea, coz it contains what shouldn’t happen in a good society; look how every body is cheating on his/her spouse. there is no commitment in marriage.

    and im is just surprised how everyone enjoyed the act it self ie. cheating *facepalm*

    • Pretty sure there is no kdrama that is your cup of tea then as in my many years of watching them, i havent seen one that is completely pious. Perhaps another website, say a proselytizing one, would be better suited to your tastes

  13. Watching and reading Secret Love Affair, really remind me with some historical stories about royalties. The scandal, affairs, politicking, backstabbing, backstabbing, and of course passionate love…

    Surprisingly, its not jarring to watch it in modern drama. The premise itself is making some eyebrow raised, but believable. Good writing, directing and of course acting. In the end, when I watched this, its not about HW and SJ passionate secret love affair only, but how their relationship will effect the whole world of those around them who busily making plot here and there using HW and SJ.

  14. Great recap. Thank you.

    Random thoughts:

    Hye Won is this close to using the ATM machine and get the money to bail him out. She stands in front of it a long time and ponders what to do. She is like a very smart chess player and she decided to do it differently. The breakfast scene is so telling. I’m sure she timed the discovery of the news on her husband’s competitor to make hubby agitated and to think of the lost opportunity with Sun Jae. Right at this moment he gets the information about the arrest and storms away to solve the problem. She just sits at the table and gives a small smile. Everything is running as planned. Oh, this woman!

    Loved, that hubby said he might have seen a thief. If only you’d know.

    Hye Won’s house looks like a prison from the outside. Only high concrete walls, no window visible.

    For those interested about the German part I’ll quote my post at Outside Seoul’s blog. Cello snob said in flawless German: ‘Das kann ich mir nicht länger anhören. Wie konntest Du hier überhaupt rein? Muss ein Fehler gewesen sein. Die blöde Sau!’ Which translates to: ‘I can’t listen to this any longer. How could you get in here at all? It must have been a mistake. This stupid sod.’ (Referring to the machinations of one person of the director’s board.)

    What a compelling drama. We get a slice of life, real people are dealing with real issues and yet it appeals to the romantic in us. I’m sure many people will re-evaluate their own life watching it. The viewer has to keep firmly to his brain watching this show, which is a breeze of fresh air in Dramaland IMHO.

    • I didn’t even think of the timing of the news being connected. Excellent point!

      The fact that the German words were as insulting as that – does it make it worse because she knows the girl couldn’t possibly understand? Really don’t like her.

  15. I enjoy reading all recappers and reviewers for this drama because there is so much to absorb and digest and feel in every episode and eceryone’s take on it adds to it. However, i have to say that reading your recaps jomo, in particular, is the closest to being awash in the feels of the show. You capture the mood and tone of the show so well. Thanks.

    There is so much to love about this show and everyone has covered everything. I love how the director allows a scene to just linger and ‘be’ – it just makes it so powerful and stirring. And i love it most when he shuts out the noise of the world and its just a scene of them, be it together or apart but always thinking of the other and that soul stirring music comes in. In those moments, i am either close to crying or crying.

    Thanks everyone for the thoughts and comments. I just hope it stays this good till the end.

  16. Once again, superb recap, comments and reviews. Just one detail that struck me as lovely symmetry, like a dance almost: DM approaches HW to rescue SJ. HW moves behind the scenes quietly so that Hubby is approached to rescue SJ.

    I haven’t completed this drama but each and every scene where ethics, morality, “sticking to the rules” is mentioned just reeks of foreboding.

  17. Great metaphor, her burying secrets and him digging them up. And Hye Won, hehe, something many wives have done over history is getting their husband to do something she wants by making him think it was his idea. To the tenth power here as JH is clueless that HW initiated it. Well done HW, child spouse puppet master!

    Seon Jae as thief – he is working on stealing Hye Won’s heart, so JH thinking man in truck was a thief was apt.

    As many have said I enjoyed the humor in SJ’s breakdown trying to correct the piano player’s posture, he stays true to himself even in this rare burst of anger!! I admire Seon Jae’s calm composure and can see how Hye Won’s cruel rejection could cause him to explode.

    At the end, in the garage, Seon Jae tries to give himself courage to meet Hye Won again, rubbing his mouth and taking a deep breath. He can’t look at her directly or say anything until he notices that she won’t look at him at all, her eyes are turned away. His eyes widen, he stands up straighter, and asks her how she has been. It looked to me like he understood her nervousness in refusing eye contact to mean that she was as affected as he was, that she did indeed remember their last time in this same place, their kiss, and he gathered his confidence and hope that she returned his feelings.

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