Secret Love Affair Episode 6 Recap

As I watch Hye Won doing the dirty work for and getting humiliated by the Seo clan, I have to ask why. She’s smart, beautiful, talented and fun to be around. Why doesn’t she tell them to get lost? Why does she let Young Woo hurt her? Yes, Seo paid for her schooling, and yes, Young Woo supplied a husband whom Mde Han employed. Some of that debt, however, could have been paid off with five years of indentured servitude. It isn’t a love of control, either. She could to that anywhere. Why haven’t any other schools or foundations scouted her? I think they probably have, actually. Hye Won must know her worth to the family, so it isn’t a lack of awareness about her skill level. Loyalty isn’t keeping her at Seohan. Which of her three bosses could she possibly be the least treacherous with?

Fear is the reason. As horrible as her situation is, Hye Won is afraid to break out, with all its sumptuous trappings and weekly mahjong games with its association with power. Hye Won seemingly thrives in a world full of phony double dealers. Proudly calls herself a Triple agent. The longer she stays, and more deeply she embeds herself into their world, the bigger an uproar getting out will cause. Lee Sun Jae arrives before Hye Won as a pure force without guile. His willingness to take away Hye-won from her husband means he is no innocent. He knows it is wrong, but he isn’t hiding anything.

A persistent voice, whispering now, but gaining volume, calls out from deep deep inside. The voice is telling her to stay near Sun Jae because when she is with him, she is joyful and hopeful. After all her time in the slumlight, she is drawn to this voice like a flower to the sun. Sun Jae’s reality is seducing her. Where people tell the truth. Do what they want. Have no qualms about what others think, but also where people have literally nothing to their name. Does her desire to live happily match up with the courage to let everything go? More importantly, is she strong enough to face the devastation that would should surely follow if she does?

Episode 6 recap:

Sun Jae is walking home down a Seoul Street.

On the ride home, we see more of Joon Hyung’s insecurities and Hye Won’s jealousies. Letting the young man go back to his own house made sense, didn’t it?  It was obvious from Sun Jae’s frequent smiles he was more comfortable with her rather than him. It seems to bother Joon Hyung.

Hye Won freezes. Well, that’s because you’re the Professor.

Joon Hyung wonders, if…he…perhaps…is… rejecting Joon Hyung? Hye Won asks why that would be? Joon Hyung’s plan is to be patient and build up a good Teacher/student relationship with affection and trust so Sun Jae will follow him, especially since Sun Jae hasn’t had that in his life yet. He is curious why his wife was willing to let him leave? Hye Won says it was the same reason, which Joon Hyung likes. “I did well, right? Even if it goes against my wishes, l should know to let him go.”

They bring up the girlfriend. Even though the thought bothers Joon Hyung, maybe the right thing to do is allow it. Invite the girl over for meals so they can socialize. Hye Won hates this idea, but says nothing, wisely. It could have benefits. At his age, Sun Jae is going to be active and sensitive so forbidding things won’t work. In fact, a steady girlfriend will help keep him stable.

As neutral as she should remain on that point, Hye Won overreacts. “I thought you wanted a close Student/Teacher relationship  – make up your mind!”  Joon Hyung senses something is up. “Are you being sarcastic with me?”  He accuses her being less than enthusiastic.

They are in this together. If his method’s not effective, she should tell him what would work.  I love that she makes “Overreact much?” faces he can’t see.

After apologizing for getting mad, he complains he just doesn’t get Sun Jae. Is he grateful to him or not? Joon Hyung has a hard time reading him. Perhaps it’s because of the environment he came from. This sounds a little too snobby to Hye Won, but she doesn’t pursue this. Hye Won suggests he be sincere and open with him. That will win him over.

She asks Joon Hyung to drop her off, and she has plans with her friends. She even invites her husband to go with, but he declines saying they are too noisy.

It turns out it isn’t true. A quick and cryptic call to Ji Soo sets up her alibi for the evening.

She promises to let her friend in on it later.

Sun Jae is chatting with the new owner of his mother’s restaurant. They have a friendly relationship. He shines his biggest smiles when they talk about his public service,

and the side dishes she’ll make him.

He walks out and finds Hye Won standing on his bottom step which surprises him. “How’d you get here?” “Taxi,” she jokes. She has something to tell him and his phone’s not working. Plus there won’t be many reasons to meet in private from now on, so…

He doesn’t agree, “Why can’t he see her?” doing that charming head tilt for her. She doesn’t answer his question, but looks towards his room. Since she couldn’t find any cafes, and wants to sit down…what does he think? He shoots a look to his room. This is getting a little flirty, I must say. “We’ve only got my apartment then.” She uses the old line: “As your teacher, I want to talk to you.” He’s all “Sure, sure, I get it,” shy at first. Then asks coyly, “Are you certain you‘ll be OK with me? It’s dark and dangerous,”

looking her straight in the eye. She looks away, “Go ahead, I’ll follow you up.” He grins and heads up the steps apologizing for the dirty railing. The light in the hall is out, so he uses her cell phone as a flashlight.

He carefully helps her up, and she holds the light as he unlocks the door, laughing as his backpack knocks into her.

Once inside, he tells her to close the door, and she remembers it’s to keep the mice out. He tells her to wait, then rushes to dampen towels and clean the floor a bit. She surveys the small dingy space – boxes piled high tape holding the floor down. As he wipes the floor she peers at his figure from behind.

It is the same regard as when he was trying on clothes at the boutique. An appraising look from a woman to a man. Sun Jae’s mention that his girlfriend came over from time to time to clean gives Hye Won pause, a sad shadow crosses her face. His pantry consists of ramen noodles, instant coffee, a bottle of water and an electric teakettle.

She sighs and tells him it’s clean enough. He sets down a moving box marked “Music” and solicitously wipes the dust off for her. She declines his offer of coffee and wants water instead. He pours her a cup from his one bottle, and hilariously because it is so unconsciously done, takes a swig himself.

His uneasiness keeps him in constant motion, while she watches with a wry smile. His most often repeated phrases is “Wait a minute.” As he plugs in his phone charger, he sneaks a look at her profile.

After delaying it as much as possible, sets down next her on his own box, waiting for her to begin. When she does, he pulls himself up at attention.

She is here to give him advice. To aim high. It’s important that he knows she and the Seohan audition are merely stepping stones to what matters: preparing for and entering international competitions. He can check the web for more info, and get to know Ji Min Woo. Does he remember him from the concert hall? As Sun Jae pictures Hye Won giving Jo Min Woo instructions, she lists all the international competitions: Geneva in November, France in March, and Tchaikovsky later – He stops her.

He struggles with what he wants to say “You told me ‘You’re different from those kids. You’re special.” She gives him her full attention. “I’m not some little kid acting cute in front of you.”

He draws a nervous breath. “No offense, but I’m not insensitive like your husband.” She grins and laughs. She admits she was trying to scare him because he needs to set goals. But Sun Jae thinks she’s overcompensating for something. Acting all adult-like and underestimating him. He’s not easily intimidated. Sure, with her, he is always a hundred percent honest. There is no reason to lie and there’s nothing to be afraid of.

He wouldn’t act like that in front of others, however. He knows the importance of  concealing his feelings to protect her. She considers this. He can do well for that reason alone. Being home boosts his confidence. Here he has nothing to hide. He fidgets a moment with his hair, “Truth is I’m a pretty good guy.” All he needs for her to do is stop worrying and cease playing the adult. He looks earnestly at her, hesitates, and says, “You just need to love me.”

Her eyes widen in surprise.

“You have nothing to lose. It’s obvious I’m the one who loves you more.” She blinks through her reaction, smiling, then laughing in disbelief that he could be this genuine. He’s aware how cheesy it all sounds, but still he means it…. She keeps chuckling and he hides his face ducking his head in embarrassment.

Joon Hyung is home brooding alone. He has an idea and asks the ahjumma to prepare a bag of fruits and snacks for his student. Wait. What? Noo!

Our pair sits quietly, Hye Won boring a hole in the side of the young man’s head with her stare. He actually flinches. She demands “Why are you so stubborn? Do you have any idea how dangerous it is for you show your emotions to the world?” He doesn’t seem to think it is something he can control and doesn’t respond. Instead, he gets up and gives her a box of music books to look at. It is the perfect time to set up his computer. She reproaches him for not listening to her.

Ignoring her, he continues unpacking while she peruses some old music books. Written in on one of the pages is “Make sure to thoroughly watch your peanut and armpits during bath.”   Good advice, sure, but it’s an odd place to write it…

She giggles for an embarrassingly long time before he realizes what book she’s holding. He hurries down to her switches out that book for a better one. “This one’s funnier,” he says, taking the peanut book back up with him. The second book was from a younger Sun Jae who has written in his journal how trying to speak English makes his face turn red.

There is a passage from the young musician about how he and his mother both felt the same about a Mozart piece he worked on all day. “A major chord feels like a minor chord; a minor chord feels like a major chord.” Hye Won is impressed and voices that he must have gotten his sense of music from his mother’s side.

He shows her a picture of Oma from his phone.

Hye Won compliments her on how beautiful she was. Sun Jae says that was her only talent as the world dealt with her badly.

Sun Jae agrees with Hye Won that he was raised well. Better than his friends who always got into trouble, and who use foul language – but he didn’t dare disobey and nowadays lives a clean life. “I love my mom very much.”

Hye Won notices that he speaks of her in the present tense.

He wanted to tell his Oma about Hye Won who disagrees that his mother would approve. He should stop trying to woo her now, his mother would have chased her out for dating a boy 20 years younger and done everything to humiliate her.

He “whatevs” her and changes the subject. He picked out some recordings of his pieces for her to hear, and since the traffic has died down, she can listen without headphones.  Hye Won has lost the upper hand, and this unsettles her a bit.

His first selection is Liszt Rhapsodie Espagnole – probably because he knows he rocks it and it would impress anyone. He stays up at his computer, listening and visualizing the performance, moving his fingers along with the notes.

His virtuosity transports her. It’s all thunderous chords and swirling scales. She keeps her face purposely turned away from him. Lost in the technique of the cadenza, Sun Jae does not see her.

She is moved and misty-eyed.

We hear the pounding notes that run up and down the keyboard to a dizzying effect. Sun Jae leaves his chair and approaches the railing looking down at her. This is the first time he has witnessed Hye Won’s emotional reaction while listening to him. He tucks himself safely behind the bar that separates them, while she focuses on the sound. His eyes lock on to her small figure for a beat or two,

then he closes them and drops into his crossed arms.

He wipes his forehead.

Meanwhile, Joon Hyung, making his way up the stairs, hears the music and walks towards Sun Jae’s door.

Hye Won’s face is obscured; Sun Jae sways his head to the beat of the music. This is how his heart probably feels with Hye Won in his room six feet from him. Loud crashing tones ring out then end. Sun Jae brings his head up and waits for her reaction. Saying nothing, she holds her face in her hands wiping the tears.

Her distress almost brings him to his feet, but the railing protects him from his desire to comfort her. She collects herself and with a low laugh asks, “You place stuff like this, too? That is one of Liszt’s most difficult ones.” He tells her he saw Son Yeol Eum do it, and “Just wanted to try it.” “At the Tchaikov” he begins.

(He is referring to the 2011 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition and the South Korean pianist who placed second and won other awards, as well)   Hye Won asks him why he chops off his words, and he says “Tchaikovsky” bashfully.

The video of her second round performance times inspired him and he watched it many times. Hye Won gets to her feet and turns to face him. She suggests he use that as an audition pieces and he lights up.

Her approval is important to him. He smiles contentedly. Hye Won raises her arms and says, “Come here. I’ll give you a hug,”

With those words, the happy moment is replaced with a much more serious one. Sun Jae’s face blanks.

We see Joon Hyung has been eavesdropping in the hall.

Nervous music begins. Hye Won’s arms fall slowly as she realizes her mistake. Sun Jae shifts his weight from one side to the other. Hye Won lets out a series of dry laughs, looking for a rock big enough to disappear under. “I’ll hug you.” Sun Jae declares.

Joon Hyung remains immobile outside in the hall.

Sun Jae moves down the stairs towards Hye Won, who now begins backtracking: she has to go, but he should take her advice about having clear goals. When he gets close, she freezes – afraid to look up at him.

Reluctantly, as if terrified of the outcome, he awkwardly approaches.

Arms out bear hug style. She steps back when he reaches down to her and squeezes her tight.

At that point, the husband leaves – waiting in his car a while longer. Maybe he is remembering the last time he sat in his car, while they were alone in his apartment.

Jaw clenching and unclenching. The car pulls away.

Sun Jae’s embrace doesn’t relent, and she lets out ragged breaths,

her hands slowly move up his back. He cries, holding her so tight he seems to be crushing her.

His phone rings suddenly and he jumps to answer.

Girlfriend, angry, on the bus, almost home. She tells him he is dead and I wouldn’t put it past her to attempt it.

In a flash, Sun Jae is handing over his apartment keys to the restaurant ahjumma. He wants her to give the to Da Mi and tell her will be right back. Can he borrow the delivery bike for a moment?   The pair escapes out into the anonymity of the night. Hold on he tells her, for safety, and she presses against his back absorbing his warmth. It is lovely watching them enjoy their borrowed time on a borrowed bike, although they do make an odd couple.

Both so contented to be sharing this break from the harsh reality facing them at both ends of the short ride.

It does have to end when they arrive at her house, and he offers to take another spin with her. But she cautions you can’t have too much of a good thing. “Too much candy will rot your teeth. Now go back to your girlfriend,” playfully shoving his helmet back at him.

Not wanting to end this closeness, he tells her he could get back her in 3o minutes if he ran. “I’ll come early in the morning to practice and go quietly.” She pauses, and says she plans on sending him a piano from the school so he can practice at his house. Prof Kang will be getting in touch, so he shouldn’t be calling or texting her. Only she can initiate contact. This doesn’t please him and he drops his head. He watches her go; she fixes her hair before entering the house.

Joon Hyung has planted himself on the white sofa.

Sad thoughts churning through his mind. He barely moves when he hears the door opening. Startled to see him, she tells him she’s home. Joon Hyung asks if she had fun with Ji Soo, knowing full well she’ll lie. I wonder when he plans on telling her he knows.

Cool as a cucumber, he suggests Sun Jae play Liszt’s Fantasie Espagnole for the audition. Hye Won gets away from him as fast as she can, while Joon Hyung creepily comes up behind her and watches after she ascends the stairs.

She breathes deep to calm down. A thought occurs and she looks out the window.

Sun Jae is still there.

Wearing his heart on his helmet. Not ready to cut the connection quite yet. When he spots her, she closes the gap in the blinds and pulls back. She stays near the window on the couch; Sun Jae rides away. Later that night she clutches her phone and remembers how he promised to come by in the morning. She will definitely be there at 6:30.

Joon Hyung drinks whiskey through the night, considering his dumb luck that the very kid who could save his career and bring him the most honor is very likely stealing his wife out from beside him.

The next morning, on time, Hye Won props herself up on the windowsill.

She enjoys her perfect view of the happy jogger grinning up at her as he passes.

Husband tells her he slept downstairs watching soccer. When he asks what she’s doing up there, she stumbles over her fibs about which trees she noticed. “Magnol- no pear.” He’s not fooled and questions her, then peers suspiciously out the blinds while she is in the bathroom.

Grabbing he phone, reads “I’m passing by now.” The horrified look on his face tells us this is worse than he had thought. He shoots a look in his wife’s direction continues to read the correspondence between the cheating pair.

Sun Jae runs home, not a care in the world, now that he’s seen his lady fair.

Hye Won arrives at work. She and her secretary look at a bill for a piano repair. Replacing almost everything in it makes the repair costs six times higher than the purchase cost.

They would be better off buying new. Hye Won reassures her that the chairman has already approved, and she should just draft the lease agreement for Lee Sun Jae to sign.

Sun Jae gets a call while hanging out his laundry. The piano delivery guys let him have a look. He’s delighted that Hye Won purchased the one he had sold month ago.

The tuner does his work while Sun Jae stands by. His texts show how touched he is that she returned the piano he grew up with. Strolling down the hall, Hye Won listens to an MP3 file of his Twinkle Twinkle –  glowing. The memory of them playing duets and hugging in the piano room relaxes her.

Later that day she sees Da Mi at the salon, requesting the younger girl to speak informally.

They talk about her boyfriend who was fortunately released from jail. Hye Won plays dumb and gets inside information about their reunion. Da Mi is very pleased he decided not to stay with his professor’s house but return home. Da Mi paints a future of her and Sun Jae married. This distresses Hye Won. She requests a towel to cover her face.

The salon ladies convince her not to get her hair straightened because it may age her. It’s tough to hear, but Hye Won thanks her for being honest. They bring up the new company Mde Han is in the process of starting.

Da Mi comes in and they smile at each other. It seems that is a no no at the salon for the workers to make eye contact. A cute text from Sun Jae “Press 1 if you’re busy, press 2 if you don’t like me any more” convinces her to NOT have her hair conditioned. Hye Won anticipates her meeting with Sun Jae.

In an unexpected turn-around, Da Mi locks rich bitch in a bathroom stall to give her what for.

We don’t see the event, except that Da Mi is a threat with nothing but a hairpin.

Walking into the ladies restroom as Joo Ra scurries out, hair all over the place, Hye Won witnesses exactly how dangerous Da Mi’s jealous wrath could be.

Needless to say, this gives her pause for one possible outcome of her getting caught with Sun Jae. It is funny and terrifying at the same time. Da Mi coolly puts the hairpin back in place.

Hye Won, Ji Soo and Jo’s wife are having dinner out. Coincidentally, Jo’s wife is insisting that a twenty-year old nowadays is definitely not a kid, not like back when they were young. Seems except for Hye Won, the ladies had a little fun back in the day. Going for trips in the mountains and filming racy videos. When Ji Soo goes to freshen up, Hye Won wonders what she was doing at that age. She thought everything was fine, but looking back now, it was hell. Jo tells her to look at the bright side. She survived.

Hye Won laments that when she should have been falling in love, she spent time on studies. Motivation to get out of her life drove her to mooch on Young Woo in order to study abroad. Jo’s wife congratulates her on making it to today. Hye Won is overcome with misery. “Today” isn’t all that great. She’s not sure what the heck it is. “My body’s drooping everywhere and my heart has shrunk as small as a grain of sand.” She wonders if she’s trying to regain what she missed back then. Jo’s wife hands her tissues, looking concerned.

Hye Won blurts out, “How am I going to win against a 20 year old?” Fortunately Jo’s wife misunderstood. Was yesterday’s alibi to do with following her husband having an affair with a young chick? Hye Won raises her glass instead of replying.

Sun Jae wills his phone to ring. He plays a snippet on the piano and waits. Jumping to his feet, he takes a call, but it’s from Prof Kang checking him.

Getting back the old piano was his idea and he talked the director into renovating it. Sun Jae tells him he’s going to bed and Joon Hyung hangs up. His wife’s words about giving Sun Jae a hug echo in his mind, then, the younger man’s response. “Let me hug you.” He stares out the windshield no expression.

Mde Han gets apprised of her husband’s dalliance with the soup lady. Gross.

Young Woo is trying to convince her father to let her either run the apparel company or get a divorce, but her father chooses a third option. They need her husband since he runs the legal department.

Young Woo whines that she thought he was supposed to maker her happy. His advice is for her to start and grow a smaller company. He’ll even assign someone to help her out.

Dean Min overhears this and within minutes, Mde Han is abreast and ready to negotiate with Hye Won, the prime suspect as far as the Chairman’s “person.” Hye Won gives an update on the finances at Seo Apparel and the funds Baek worked with. Mde Han would like to run a for-profit business in the foundation’s name and dangles that out before Hye Won as bait. For some reason, Hye Won demurs, saying she’s a scaredy cat. Mde Han doesn’t have the same opinion of her right hand man. There is a gift in the drawer for Hye Won – a gorgeous and very expensive diamond necklace and earrings showing Mde Han’s gratitude to how dependable she is.

Hye Won seems pleased, and squirrels it away in her purse promising to wear it at the next occasion that warrants it. They descend to the drawing room to play mahjong after Mde Han pauses for a word of advice, “You can disobey the Chairman, too, as a strategy.” Hye Won understands the message.   The gentlemen who joined them thank her for her gifts from the trip. Seo asks Hye Won to sit at his table. With very little prologue, Seo asks Hye Won to help his daughter, Young Woo, run her a new start-up. She could easily split her time with the foundation.

Young Woo adds that the pay is decent, too. Min butts in that money isn’t everything and makes Young Woo mad. Hye Won is interested in money.

His instructions are to create a business plan and do it up. They are all surprised when Hye Won accepts immediately. Since her goal is to end up full time at the Arts Foundation, she has a condition – complete control over the responsibility she oversees. Young Woo is flabbergasted; Mde Han smirks. Things escalate quickly with Young Woo whipping mahjong tiles at Hye Won’s face. WTF?

They don’t stop the adult brat until after she has also smacked her with a vase and calls her a shrew. Seo succeeds in having his daughter pulled out. Hye Won is cowering with her hands over her nicked face, with Mde Han cradling her head. “Horrid bitch” and other nasties come from the departing Young Woo. Ji Soo is putting a bandaid on her friend when Mde Han compliments her on a job well done. The Chairman won’t be able to refuse her. After all he saw his crazy daughter in action. Hye Won holds an ice pack to her bruised forehead and settling her nerves.

The Chairman will want to speak with her alone which is a good sign. Taking a breath, Hye Won thinks about what this means to her.

Sun Jae is washing dishes. He’s a clean boy, isn’t he? We hear a voice over of his texts as he brushes his teeth, “I’m curious and worried. If you’re not busy or not interested, why won’t you answer?”

The camera pans down to the street below his apartment. Hye Won sits in the front seat looking miserable. Sun Jae’s phone rings as he spits out the toothpaste in haste. “Yes, Teacher,” he answers.

Hye Won pauses “Son Jae-ah,” using the familiar form of his name,

“Do you know how to drive?” He brags that he does. “I need a driver who’d keep me safe,” she requests and she has him running out to her in seconds.

She moves over to the passenger side, her hair covers the gash from Young Woo. “Just drive anywhere for two hours,” she commands, “without talking.” “Yes’m,” he replies, “I’m good at being quiet.” He starts the car.


Sun Jae has been instructed not to touch Hye Won; he understands that whatever joy he has being near his goddess will disappear in a heartbeat if he goes too far with her. With the two of them, there is no such thing as an innocent embrace. They know full well that only disaster will result in them giving in to temptation.

What Sun Jae clearly understands, as well, is he doesn’t need physical contact to affect her. It is not how they connected originally. When she goes up to his room, his domain, he fails using words to please her. So he goes back to the one thing he knows she cannot resist, his music.

In the Lizst scene, there is too much going on for me to get it on one pass. Five or six dynamics jump out at the same time. All of them heartbreaking. The percussive music of thick chords mix in with the pretty high chiming notes the scene unfolds. He looks at her, he loves her. He feels rather than sees her. The beauty of the music and of the player just by itself is touching. The connection between the pair – musical, soulful – whatever we can agree on. His pitiful situation of being poor and motherless and frustrated. The pain she carries everyday while showing a fake carefree attitude and living a life that doesn’t belong to her. The unfairness, maybe, that they met when they did with to fulfill their reciprocal desire to stay together. I am willing to give up a kidney if it would make things better, but I feel as helpless as they do.

She is his Guinevere to her Lancelot in Seohan’s Court. The white knight whose arrival heralded a bright future for Arthur. Hye Won and Sun Jae are blessed and cursed by this passionate, pure and precious love. Unless they resist, their betrayal of Kang threatens the destruction of the very place Sun Jae was sent to save.  As they get drawn inevitably towards each other, I cover my eyes in fear, and peek out through my fingers in hope.


Secret Love Affair Episode 6 Recap — 85 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the recap. You express my feelings so clearly. I’m emotionally invested in this drama, and I wonder how this happened. Maybe, the music is part of it. Whatever the outcome, I’m along for the ride.

    • The music is something.
      The motorcycle ride with the strings supporting the simple piano melody, then swelling out by themselves, then the piano comes back so hopeful that it hurts. It brought tears to my ears! My friend forecasts this happy moment will be brought back later to annihilate us.
      I want to think it’s a hint of a possible happy ending, but then again, I am delusional. 🙂

      • I loved that scene esp it starting with the noise of the world and the motorbike and that all fades out and suddenly its just the two of them in their isolated happiness and contentment. And the music that comes in and swells up. I always tear up at that scene.

        Also the hug scene, when she tries so hard to suppress her overwehlmed feelings of, i dont know relief to be able to accept that hug, that it comes out as racked sobbing to me. I just want to sob along!! Gahhhh

      • I dont know affistar but its recurring in many scenes but perhaps different portions of it. I think its the same one when they kissed in the garage too. Can anyone confirm? I have rewatched many ties and am still unsure!!

      • It played too when he was reading the book she gave him and he broke into tears.

  2. We aren’t going to ask how they managed to get the piano in his room, aren’t we?

    LOVED the scene in his humble adobe. Acting, timing, music, breathing, things said, things not said.

    This show has got everything one could look for in a drama. Will I be able to watch ‘simple’ Kdrama again afterwards? Right now it’s impossible for me to watch anything else. Am I ruined? Lol.

    • Newbie, if this drama descends into the ordinary, i swear i will have to do something crazy!!! Like backhugging myself for a week!! Haha

      • Me too. This show raised the bar sky high.

        Do we have any information on how far the script is already written? The details they present us with, it’s hard to imagine someone writing it ‘live’. Everything fits. Which reminds me a little of Nine: Nine Times Time Travel, which was an equally thought through show.

      • i dont know how many eps are already written, but the PD and writer have been working on this drama since 2009

      • That is excellent news. Thank you. Now I’m sure they will not disappoint. Yeah!

    • OMG I’VE BEEN THINKING THE SAME THING. how can i go back to watching cheesey rom coms and get excited over a hand hold. this drama has me so invested!

      i know i’m being naive but i really want some kind of happy ending for them TOGETHER in the end. i can’t survive on angst!

    • Oh, and another thing. Both hurt their forehead at the same place! Lol. He’s hurt by Do Mi, she by Young Woo. This show knows exactly what it does.

      Btw does the forehead have a special meaning in Korean medicine? Some background knowledge we Westerners could overlook?

  3. Thanks jomo for another wonderful recap. It seems i cannot watch enough nor read enough of secret love affair. I just want to devour all writings on it as every bit helps me to read the characters a little better.

    Its really hard waiting for the next episodes but i am kind of enjoying the pain at the same time. Its exquisite pain, it is. I cannot wait to see how the story will unfold. Its been so beautifully crafted that not only do i watch to understand better but i also rewatch for the pure appreciation of a perfect scene.

    • Wow, I am totally ruined like the rest of you. The fact that I love classical music does not help. I am okay waiting for future episodes because to me they are ruined any way and I just want to enjoy their love story NOW rather than later. To me, I think SJ does not care about international recognition or the money and fame which it will bring. He just wants to play for his own goddess. I think it is going the way of Chopin, where he has his own love to play for. Chopin’s woman told him he is too good to just play and that he should compose for others to play. I can imagine those two by themselves and just play, play and play music together. Time will just past and they would be happy without any recognition. Meanwhile, I am ruined by this drama.

      • Isnt it totally like being in love ourselves? Its crazy.. The first few episodes, i felt like both HW and SJ.. Like my life was thrown off balance, no longer the routine. Replaying images and scenes like our characters, reliving the feel of that moment and anxious and breathless for the next encounter.

        I just felt like i was embarking on an affair myself. It got exhausting coz if i woke up in the middle of the night, i thought of the drama. So, i am as ruined as y ou are is what i am teying to say docster6!

      • Wait! Someone has replaces JIW? Or Eric? I would never have guessed YAI had it in him to do this to me.

      • haha Jomo, I am exactly like a person in love ! I refuse to believe that I have ever loved quite so deeply or felt so much exhiliration AND turmoil from a drama before. in addition, I shan’t feel this way ever again… until the next drama makes me a liar. but honestly, this one, as newbie says raises the bar really high. this is the first time that I became intolerant of some of the dramas I was following on account of my love for this one. I k ow I sound mad now so I shall stop

  4. Enz describes my feelings exactly. While I can’t wait to devour this drama, the pain of waiting is exquisite. I’m about Hey Won’s age and this story is making me think and feel….and what feelings they are. This is how a story should be told.

  5. It seems I am the only one who cannot connect with HW. 🙁

    Smart- check, quietly brave – check, grew out balls of an elephant to play with big boys and mean girls – check, beautiful – check, sensitive – check, sexual – check.

    And creepily manipulative, just like her husband. In fact, I see the pair as two thieves joined by a mutual enterprise.

    SJ discovered a way to enchant and play with HW’s emotions through music but she plays with his heart. Both games are dangerous – at some point the power of the music drives the artist crazy, and HW’s awakened heart will drive her mad. She thinks she is in full control and dictates the typical affair conditions, do not contact me, do not call me, etc. She is so delusional.

    I think the cheating couple would have been safe and could have managed to survive if they did not have music to draw a magic circle around them, spinning their hearts in furious ecstasy. At this point I don’t even know what they want the most – play together all night long or embrace each other in a desperate hug. Anyway, this dark, forbidden circle is bound to be broken and it will be a tragic, epic end.

    • I am not sure she is brave.

      There is a parallel with DM I noticed.
      Both DM and HW are bullied by rich bitchy women with more power.
      DM refuses to take it, and despite having her employment put at risk, she stands up for herself. She dares Yoo Ra to mess with her again. Like most bullies, YR backs down. If HW had balls, she would be able to stop YW’s abuse and keep her position. It isn’t a question of her knowing what battles to pick, either. She has never fought back so she doesn’t even try.

      • HW plays a long game. She is not as reactive as DM. She finally provokes YW on purpose, losing one battle to win the war. Incorporating herself in business, making herself irreplaceable, having the balls to take the abuse and not bend, keeping her hatred in check, smiling, always smiling that fake smile that YW hates so much. HW is a lonely, insane warrior.

      • All of those strategies belong to the weak.

        Why resort to subterfuge and manipulation when she is capable enough without it? Rather than rely on her skill and charm, HW chose to play it this way. Who is to say she couldn’t have made herself irreplaceable honestly?

        In any other drama, her actions qualify her as the second lead girl. Because we see her through SJ’s enchanted eyes, her badness stays just out of focus for now.

      • She is dealing with the culture of manipulation, nepotism, and humiliation of the weak. To succeed in this type of culture, she has to play by its rules, which she has perfected.

        As I said, I cannot really stand HW’s lying, manipulate nature. It’s revolting to me to watch her indulging with SJ on a side and orchestrating the moves of others according to her ambitious plans. At some point, she will have to choose between life-long labor of climbing up the ladder of power and the passion of her heart.

      • I saw your exchanges, Kngdrama and Jomo, you are two very excellent writers and analysts. Unlike Kngdrama, I do like Hye Won a lot; she has a real cool head for business and she usually makes the right decisions (except she was thrown off by a young man with huge talents). I think she was tough at the club where Young Woo was trying to make her into a bad girl by buying her young men to play with. She broke a wine bottle and threatened the boy toys that they shouldn’t mess with this scary Noona. So I think HW just picks her fights at her own choosing, so losing a battle to win a war is her game. At the start of the initial “audition,” HW stated to SJ that there are so many kids just like him and she doesn’t have enough time to deal with all of them, so he’d better start playing soon. But SJ is not like any of them, he has a soul and material things do not impress him. HW is in deep trouble, she has now met her match and then some.

  6. I am so loving this drama and weirdly, I get this feeling that if the hubby is insensitive, that somehow it’s the heroine’s doing. Not that hubby is perfect but I suspect her being a hollow shell didn’t help matters. And yes, Enz, totally exquisite pain.

    • But Carole, she never was a hollow shell. He just always failed to really see and understand her. He is a first class Narcissus and I have yet to find any redeeming value in him and his behaviour.

      Which jealous husband, only seperated by a weak door, would leave the second his wife hugs another man? He doesn’t care about her, he wants Sun Jae for the improvement of his reputation. That’s what he cares about, just as he wondered about Sun Jae’s reaction to him during the car drive in the beginning.

      • In that car ride didn’t she seem to scoff when he mentioned that he didn’t know anyone from such humble beginnings? Ever since it was mentioned in a previous recap that we are not sure of anyone’s backgrounds, I’ve wondering just how far she really had to climb to reach where she is. She is so extra nice to wait/service staff, comfortable in Sun Jae’s home and so desperately clinging to this life. I’m so curious it’s driving me crazy!

      • Now that you say it, it seems there was a reaction by her in Sun Jae’s place, that made me think ‘Hm? Seems like she came from a similar place.’ Guess I have to re-watch. Hurray!

  7. That hug in his apartment was full of desire, anxiety, emotion. I am not totally convinced that the husband feels jealous because of ‘another man’ but maybe he feels jealous because HW connected with his student.
    Whatever the outcome, I am along for the ride.

  8. Thank you so much for this wonderful and nuanced recap and I agree that watching a regular old kdrama is proving hard for me after this show. I was enjoying Bride of the Century but my enthusiasm for it has now waned. My responses to this show shifted a bit in this episode. I had the first feeling of how much that age difference is and why that probably matters. Prior to this, the coupling felt a little odd to me but not really forbidden except from a social perspective. But here, in that scene, in his room, with all those references to his dead, music-loving mother, I suddenly began to feel that perhaps there is a strong mother-child dimension to this relationship on both sides. This feeling first started during the second piano playing episode where the mood was somehow different but I also saw something between Da Mi and Sun Jae that told me perhaps his feelings for her (Da Mi) is also complicated. Anyway, something about this episode made me say, Wow, I guess she is old enough to be his mother! Did any of you feel that way or am I responding in this way since I am the music-loving mom of a piano-playing daughter?

    And please, what does the korean title – Milhwae – literally mean?

    • I believe it means secret meeting/rendevous/tryst.

      The mood definitely felt different to me. But I think for me it was because she had started lying just to spend time with him. So for me it wasn’t so much that she is old enough to be his mother as opposed to she is actively lying and hence the start of the affair

    • @Mohini’s Mom:

      Some things you made me think about – more like a jumble of thoughts that a clear point! And yes, there are a lot of complicated feelings and motivations on display in this episode.

      While watching the spirited and fun duet scene, I thought how nice and simple it would have been for everyone if instead of a young man, the genius music student was a girl. Their connection would have been as strong musically, HW would have been equally impressed. HW’s heart would have gone out to her over the loss of her mother, and they probably would have formed a life-long mother/daughter friendship.

      But it isn’t just that he’s a boy. She taught Ji Min Joo, too.
      This connection has to be beyond musical, beyond spiritual for both to have become so attached this quickly. She may remind him of his mother, but I don’t think she is a substitute, per se. I base this on the fact that he fell for HW while his mother was alive. Do I think the loss of his mom has moved HW into a more prominent place in his life? Yes, I do. I also think the fact he had a loving relationship with his mother means he doesn’t need HW to make him feel loved. You know how we often see wounded empty souls who yearn for another human’s love because they never had it? I don’t think that describes SJ. He is more of a person who feels he is a pretty good guy and thus, has no problem asking for love. His confidence in himself is what makes him more appealing and dangerous to HW than a wounded soul would. Does that make any sense?

      • great points! I also think that HW tries to trivialize their relationship by acting sometimes mom-ish to him, or play the adult-child card – to probably remind herself that he’s old enough to be her son (kind of emphasizing at times the absurdity of their growing infatuation).

        I wish there was a viewer that was really great at tracking the music cues and tracks that come in and out of scenes. I feel like there may be a story or theme woven in the music throughout the drama. Just a hunch.

      • And he also refers to his mother in the precentense. I really don’t get the vibe that his replacing one love for another. Because remember even though he’s a virgin (by his own admition) he is very mature in his pursuit for her. He’s passionate but cautious.(at this point)

      • wow — that point about what if he were a girl is wonderful.

        i think you guys make a most excellent point about how his love for his mother is secure and so he is not confounding HW for his mom. i completely agree. i also agree that when HW tries to play grown-up with him, she is kind of faking it and he always calls her out on it. at the same time, though he is blunt and outspoken, there is an innocence to him – stressed by the many references to his virginity — i wonder what you guys think of that — that makes his persona child-like. i mean, in the sense of how children just speak their mind. also, i find childlike the way he tries to please HW by playing for her everytime she tries to put some distance between them.

      • Mohini’s mom.. That he gets music to say for him what she refuses to hear cerbally from him is not child like. Its that he reads her well and knows that when it comes to his music, she will listen. Hence that scene of setting up the computer and then again, when she was saying things he ddint want to hear, starting up the music. Thats how i read it. He knows her instinctively.

      • that is a great point….enz. thanks. waiting for monday is unbearable.

  9. Thanks jomo, for another detailed recap. I especially liked your analysis of the music played before the hug. Just want to bring up a discussion that’s been cautiously going around in SLA related forums about the rather prolonged moment before SJ hugs HW. That in that moment she was a bit affected by the visible physical excitement she could see on Seon Jae (if you know what I mean). Nothing to take seriously, but I think it’s a pretty convincing interpretation of the scene.

    • I didn’t notice, so I went back and checked.
      The hug would have confirmed any visuals. DM’s phone call was timed perfectly or the whole situation would have escalated.

  10. Newbie here. I really enjoyed your synopsis. As Misty mentioned above, I am also emotionally vested into this show; however, I know how it happened. The Music. The Actors. The story line and how the writers and the Director approach and presented to us.

    I can not wait until Monday.

  11. This episode gave me so many feels!!!!!

    That hug scene had me hold my breath. And then wondering what was wrong with me afterwards. The music was beautiful, I could feel the tension between them, and I believed that the hug was much more than just physical contact. The ragged breaths and him crying totally made sense.
    I couldn’t understand why she lied to her husband afterwards. Never lie unless you have to! She could have said she changed her mind about meeting up with her friends and went to see SJ to reassure him about everything.
    I couldn’t understand why Prof Kang didn’t confront her. If I catch my husband in a series of lies, especially about the same person, we will clearly be having a conversation or two.
    And those texts need to stop now. Why would anyone leave behind evidence of the crime? Are you begging to get caught?
    DaMi was scary. YoungWoo was hateful. HyeWon at dinner with her friends was pitiful.
    The affair has clearly begun. After a disastrous dinner and assault, HyeWon went to SunJae for emotional support. He is her rock in stormy times.
    Good Lord, this show is sooooo good.

  12. Wow. These two are just a train wreck waiting to happen…albeit a beautiful train wreck done in slow-mo to astounding piano music, yet a wreck nonetheless!

    I have no problem with an older woman/younger man trope (I’m older than my husband), but the age gap is too obvious. And I am not sexist, a man 20 years older than the heroine would bug me too. Not sure if I’m feeling the chemistry between our OTP, beyond the orgasmic piano duets…lol. Great acting, directing and music though.

    Thanks, Jomo for the recap. Didn’t realize you were filling in for Koala!

    • We are co-recapping and it’s fun.

      Did you see Harold and Maude (1971)? Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. That was a hella age difference! 60 years, I think. I loved that film.

  13. Thank you for the recap.

    It was beautifully written.

    I think I might be reading more that watching Secret Love Affair, because that way I can enjoy the story without having to deal with the characters I find annoying.

    • It is hugs, plural. That back-hug in the piano room was really intense too and you get to see both faces clearly. These two actors are superb. I am glad the “boy wonder” is so different from the “flower boys” in other shows. SJ’s lousy kicking of the punching bag, or the awkward way he jogged, showed a very ordinary person, not a super hero. He is just a captured soul, spending all his time waiting for a call from his goddess. I am anxious to find out what a two-hour car ride with his love without saying a word would do to him.

      • I never noticed.
        You are right!

        What do you think all his cleaning is supposed to mean?

      • Jomo, I am so honored that a great writer like you would want to know what I think about the cleaning scenes. I appreciate so much you service to the rest of us, but I do know you are hooked just like the rest of us. To me (I am a guy), the cleaning means that HW knows he is different and special. She also noticed he cleaned up the piano room after his “wining” with her husband during the day. She applauded him for doing the right thing, not waiting for the Ahjamma to do it. The cleaning also means she is fine meeting him in a dirty place, not worrying about mice and sitting on cardboard boxes. She even respected the box because it was marked “music” on it. She was the one who asked to go to his dirty apartment, the site of her washing her feet. SJ also washed dishes and cleaned her hand from the dirty railing. To HW, none of the high society trapping means anything, she is 100% smitten by this boy. I was surprised by the scene of her failing to fall asleep after that first audition, she said, “he’s so beautiful.” I thought that scene was out of place at that time, but she had feelings for him really early. But that Internet chat with SJ as Hyung was my favorite. She was checking her feet and scent as she responded. The finally line when he viewed her as a goddess did her in, she couldn’t continue with the chat. Wow, this drama should be given an award for we have watched already.

      • Great writer, thanks, but I will go with compulsive fan writer.

        I think she was flattered by him but still didn’t take him seriously as a possible lover until after the kiss.
        The “beautiful” comment could have been about the playing only.

  14. When something out of the norm (for KDramas that is) unfolds in unexpected layers, it literally catches my breath and I struggle to sleep at night because my soul is still buzzing from the artful story-telling. YAI has been one of my favs ever since Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and SLA is allowing him unleash his unbridled talent (thank you writers and directors!).

    His searing scenes with KHA leaves me SQUEEING and I find myself replaying those segments again and again… with a silly grin still plastered on my face. 20 years age gap? I see the meeting of kindred souls, an unconscious meeting of passion that feeds their inner being. Age is literally nothing but a number in their private sphere.

    I am rattled by this drama! 🙂

    Miss Koala & Jomo, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for making time to recap this gem. You are doing a marvelous job!

  15. One of the most touching scenes in this episode is when Hye Won having dinner with her girls and she cries thinking when did all her youth gone while she was doing her best to be number one. I feel the symphaty towards her, because it is something I can relate with. When she smiles listening to Sun Jae’s Twikle Twinkle Little Star at her office, it is the prettiest smile of her I’ve ever seen.

  16. Koala and Jomo thank you for the awesome recaps. Jomo- I loved your recaps of What’s Up Fox. It was like you were in my mind when I watched it. It is one of my favorites. I love your comments and glad to see you recapping this drama!
    I read this website for years but finally commenting. This drama caught me off guard. It isn’t something I usually would watch. The raving about it caught my attention and the screen caps were what sold me. You can see the artistic quality (that art house style that everyone is talking about) coming through the screen caps. (Great selection as always!) I just had to watch it. I then realized I was watching something special. I don’t watch a lot of dramas anymore because I don’t have the time. I end up reading about them or “watching” through reading recaps. This one I am actually taking the time to watch each episode more than once. I love the discussions because I like going back to certain parts to re-watch because of what someone said. I am so glad I have a place to go to discuss this drama. Thank you so much! Can’t wait until next week. I love that I have no idea what will happen next.

  17. Loved the insight on how Sun Jae went to connect up his computer to use his music to ‘attack’ hye won because it’s his weapon. I never thought of it that way but i can so see it now.

    I think this drama is immersed (or more correctly i am immersed) in a swirl of emotions that sometimes my head cant stay clear to think about why things are happening. I kind of just sit there and let all the emotions hit me.

    This was a drama that i didnt want to get into because of the inevitable angst and probable tragic ending. More than that, i really dont like (and still dont like) how adultery is being glorified in this drama. It’s not the typical type of adultery that’s found in usual kdrama but nonetheless it paints adultery in a light which i dont like and is unhelpful. This is the reason that this drama is getting criticism as well.

    Anyway, it is hard to keep from watching because of so many things. This drama doesnt really feel like a drama. I feel like i’m watching a very extended movie. The acting is crazy (unbelievable how convincing Yoo ah in is as a piano player – really crazy especially in the extended piano playing scenes and where you see his face with his hands playing), the pace is so tense, the plot is unpredictable, the music (no words, it’s so magnificent how it’s being used), all the thought provoking themes intertwined on multiple layers, camera and light techniques (i’m no expert but the way it’s shot makes me feel i’m watching on as someone in the story – doesnt feel like the drama is presented in a way to explain to the audience which engages me so much more because i feel like i’m peeking at their lives through a peephole)…. i wont keep going but i dare say this is the biggest surprise in kdramaland for 2014

    • I am with you on adultery. But sometimes things just happen, even to the best people. SJ was captured by HW, her feet, her scent, her collaboration at the keyboard. HW is the savior of his soul and he was reborn. According to HW’s best friend, SiJoo, HW’s husband has seen quite a few “chicks” on his own. I am not justifying HW’s action, but sometimes things just happen. Since I have re-watched some of the scenes, I can see that HW was actually scheming to get herself in a better position. Getting her hair washed by SJ’s girlfriend and spied on her intentions. She also feels inadequate because of her age, that SJ’s mother wouldn’t have approved of her and that she cannot match up against a 20-year old DM no matter how much she tries (crying at the dinner table). What she wants is to have SJ love her, not the way Young Woo does it, buying her boy toys. HW, hwaitin’, I am rooting for you. (Sorry about using the hwaiting word for this drama, but I need to keep sane by convincing myself that I am still normal.)

      • While HW is flawed, we are allowed to love her.
        There is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes with saying “I would never do that.”
        but we have to be careful not to judge. I like the saying “There but for the grace of God go I.”

        The uncontrollable attraction to a hands off person devastates lives. It is no joke and I don’t think this show will let any of the participants get out unscathed.

        In fact, a good English title for this would be “Scathed.”

      • That “scheming” part of HW is quite ugly. SJ continuously challenges HW to be honest.
        She has to stare at her own hypocrisy with SJ.

        You can’t play beautiful music with a lying soul. SJ umasks HW every time they play together.

      • Hi docster6! May I ask which episode it was mentioned that HW’s husband had chicks of his own as affirmed by Ji So? I didn’t notice this as I watched so I was puzzled which particular episode was that? Would appreciate your response 🙂 thanks in advance!

      • Hi docster6! Can you tell me which episode was it mentioned that HW’s husband had his chicks of his own as affirmed by Ji So? I didn’t get to catch this after watching the episodes, would appreciate your response and thanks in advance 🙂

  18. I re-watched episodes 1-6 and they left me breathless and brought tears to my eyes. This show moves me constantly. The music, YAI, and KHA are incredible.

    Thanks Koala and Jomo for these recaps… they allow me to experience the show from other viewers’ eyes and enriching this wonderful ride.

    • I am with you. I watched the Beethoven Appassionata scene over and over and I cried. I was late for my class (as a professor) because I didn’t want to leave my office. I convinced myself that I have been a good professor for 37 years, I should be allowed to be late…I am as bad as Hye Won now, starting to deviate from my normal structured routines. Young Woo showed up at Hye Won’s house while Seon Jae was “auditioning” and Appassionata was being played at that time. HW was so pissed that she locked her boss out of the room. I would have done the same thing…SJ, play it again…play it again starting from the coda. I am a total mess because of this show.

      • Can you even imagine if that face, in all seriousness and sincerity told you, “You just have to love me.”

        She is being held back by all of her ties to a settled life. She cannot predict the outcome of what happens next.
        I laughed when he said “You have nothing to lose because I am the one who loves more.”

        His innocent choice of words completely underlines exactly how impossible their situation outside that room is.

      • Oh, HW has way more to lose than SJ, from the monetary standpoint. But I can see that in a short time from now, HW will abandon all that she has for her true love. He is still naive but he is right that HW should let go of her acting like a grown adult if she were to love him the way he loves her.

  19. Like Anya, I would love to have more insights about the musical cues in the scenes that I am surely missing. Also, more than any other, this drama makes me wish I could understand the nuances of the honorific and banal used. I would guess the leads are speaking Jondaemal…but what nuance might I be missing?

  20. Did anyone else notice that in the “wiping floor” scene, HW seems to get teary-eyed? Him bringing out the box of music for her to sit on seems to really affect her. I don’t know whether it’s a subtlety that is meant to be there or whether I’m seeing things, but… If she really is teary-eyed, that has to be my favorite scene in the drama so far, because in just a few minutes we get a range of HW’s emotions towards SJ; first the physical attraction, then the sadness/shame that comes when SJ mentions his gf, and finally her emotional appreciation of him. I noticed that this is the first time we see someone put HW’s needs before theirs who isn’t paid to do so. He also treats her like a lady – SJ’s whole genuine, fumbling demeanor reminds me of what HW could have experienced on a date in her 20s. I’m just imagining how overwhelming it would be for her to be in the presence of someone so warm when the rest of her life is so cold. Does this strike a chord with anyone? Pun intended.

    • Yes, thank you for pointing out those “small” yet significant variations of HW’s emotions. I thought HW really lost her confidence and became vulnerable in that tiny apartment. After seeing SJ’s mother’s picture, she went on and on about how SJ’s mother would have kicked her out or humiliated her. To me, there should not be such fear because she is mighty and powerful in the corporate world, but the fact she in love with this young man, she felt inadequate. It was sure awkward when she extended her arms to offer a hug to SJ and he responded slowly, I felt so bad for her. HW wanted to make it appeared as if she were just congratulating a young pianist, but her pretense was so weak that she knew it herself that she was seeking affection from SJ. I admire Kim Hee Ae so much for her performance, I was captured by her emotions. Unlike many other KD characters who used their strength to dominate situations, HW showed her vulnerability. I am anxious to see SJ respond to her needs even more the next few episodes, she really needs some reinforcement.

      • I like how you highlighted her vulnerability, because I feel like that’s not only a very relatable aspect of her personality, but also a driving force in the plot. I’m looking forward to what SJ can provide her as well! To be honest, I’m still a little wobbly at grasping his character; he loves so fast and so furiously, I just… there are so many reasons for HW to be unraveled by SJ, but is understanding and a shared passion for music all that it takes to unravel SJ? I can’t help thinking he’s merely intensely intrigued by her. Kim Hee Ae is wonderful in this part – I’m not sure if you’ve seen episode 7 yet, but her performance there just brings HW to life for me.

      • great point. i also saw quite a bit of gender inversion in that scene. the way he makes the room nice for her and his attentive hospitality is a trait that we tend to associate with women — especially in kdrama world where we can see so many instances of the rich guy coming into the shabby apt of the girl and the girl quickly trying to make it comfortable. here — he is in that position and the way the camera tracks him from her POV (standing up) is also very affecting somehow.

      • Thank you both; I’m glad my ramble made some sense lol 🙂
        @Mohini’s Mom – That’s a really interesting observation. I wonder if their relationship is going to keep playing on gender roles, because I’d totally like to see HW lead in their physical relationship if they go there!

  21. First of all, much thanks to jomo for another superb recap! Brilliant points you bring to your recap, written in a lovely style 🙂 I enjoyed reading all the comments from other SLA lovers, too. This drama really does take your breath away, literally!

    I’m actually glad there are only 2 episodes per week because it gives me time to watch and rewatch (and rewatch) to try to grasp all the subtleties and the beauty that is YAI and KHA.

    Others have noted how SJ is such a clean and neat person. We see him tidying, washing his socks and blankets, washing the dishes, and of course wiping the floor. The first time HW came to visit SJ’s apartment, he very neatly placed her coat and scarf on his arm before bringing them to her. We also get to read his hilarious note to self: Make sure to thoroughly wash your peanut (“pepper” would be the Korean word here) and underarms in the shower.

    He says he’s a pretty decent guy and HW rightly responds that that is due to his good upbringing by his mother. I think this emphasizes that SJ really is a good and decent person, and that good and decent people sometimes do fall into affairs. I certainly do not condone extra-marital affairs, but the way it is portrayed between SJ and HW puts a “human” face on it so that we may understand, even if we do not agree, that two people can be in love in an affair. And, as jomo pointed out, it’s more of a “There but for the grace of God…” rather than, “How could she?” Of course, it would have been a lot more palatable if HW had divorced her husband and then started the relationship…

    After seeing the photo of SJ’s mom, HW thinks aloud that she would have been very upset that her son liked a woman 20 years older and that she would have tried to humiliate her. I think this would definitely have happened. Although HW’s wealth, education, elegance, connections would have all been beneficial to her son, SJ’s mother would, I think, have wanted to slap/splash water on her face, pull her hair and otherwise humiliate her. (I know this drama trope seems so over-the-top and laughable, but the hair-pulling catfight in PD Ahn’s A Wife’s Credentials was done so realistically and “naturally” that it really showed how some Korean women duke it out!)

    When SJ stated how it was obvious that he loved HW more than she loved him, it reminded my of an adage my (Korean) mother always told me: In a relationship, the man should love the woman (a little bit) more than she loves him.

    After being moved by the recording, HW says “Come, I’ll give you a hug” in a mother-like way. I love how SJ pauses a moment before responding, {Viki translated this to “I’ll hug you.”} “I’ll be the one to give you a hug.” {my translation} I think SJ wanted to emphasize that he is an adult and wanted to be on the giving rather than receiving end of that hug.

    And what a hug that was! When HW responds and her hand travels up his back, the look of sheer joy on SJ’s face was intense. That was one sexy scene! Their tight bodies so close together…yes, I imagine that SJ would have been aroused and the phone call came just in time to prevent them from going any further.

    Okay, looking forward to episode 7!

    • Thank you very much for translating his remark! This sheds a slightly different light on the scene. Please continue to do so for the future eps! There must be so much lost in translation for non-Korean speakers especially in this show. Hopefully the DVD will have really good subs.

    • birdscout, thanks so much for your enlightening thoughts.

      yes of course ideally HW should divorce first before starting on another relationship. I think divorce was something she never thought of in all her years of marriage. I felt that she didn’t even know she was missing anything. perhaps she thought, like many others do, that most marriages are like this. LIFE, is like this. it carries on, one day to the next. problems come and go. time carries on regardless. she might not feel
      much passion for her husband but its a union that has ‘worked’

      IMO, she was truly blindsided by the emotions that SJ awakened. and until
      now I imagine there is a disbelief that she could be. wouldn’t anyone in their 40’s be scoffing at those feelings?? I know I would, even when I was younger. I would not trust, firstly that it’s even plausible to suddenly feel so much for someone, let alone someone this young. and then you think, even if those emotions are there, what on earth are they?? could his really be love ? could this really be something real that lasts?

      at this point, I don’t think he thought of divorce would even cross her mind. there is so much that must be going through her head that she can’t even comprehend!! she prob cannot believe or trust in any of those feelings so why should divorce enter her head.

      those are my thoughts on that. Lordy, I wrote an essay

      as for the part about the hug. my thoughts mirror yours ( but it took a few sessions of thinking!!) in that he didn’t want to accept that kind of a hug from HW. and he made clear what kind of a hug he wanted from her. and when she accepted, hesitantly initially but then more and more ( which I thought led to her emotional response), his response as you pointed out, was very intense. ah that whole scene was so intense.

      anyway that’s all from me 🙂 … for now

  22. wow.. Jomo.. it’s a very well written recap… thanks for recapping this drama.. you really know how to tell a story.. cant wait for the next episode.

  23. Thanks a lot jomo and koala for this avenue to discuss drama watch. Though am not a supporter of adultery which the show is painting. It show that good people could commit it if not careful . She could have avoid it if she has divorce her husband having find out that he has been with other women and that he felt nothing emotional toward her. Why did they remain in such relationship which starve them emotional . Sleeping in separate bed only discussing business matter . A marriage that have gone to such level open room for she to be like her husband . Having affair. Can any explain why they stay married. I enjoy the show so much and the comment made by others. I believe there are moral lesson to be learn here. Do not remain in a marriage where ur mate commit adultery and have no feeling for you .You might turn out to be like him/ her. It will then be like pot calling kettle black . One will not be able to resist the temptation . Her relationship with her husband fuel SJ to pursue their relationship that why he said am not as insensitive like your husband and felt the need to shower her with kisses and hugs and others . He won’t have gone that far neither she if there have been love in her marriage not at this rate .Rather it will have been a one side secret love which will have turn to everlasting friendship

  24. Well, today is the 15th of march and Jim asked me if we could be back together this morning. Of course I said yes. Thanks to you Esango priest , thanks to the spirits, thank you God. I cannot thank you enough Esango for bringing him back into my life. I didn’t think it was never gonna be possible possible after all i did to him, I had lost my hope and most of any little faith that I had to begin with, but thanks to you, I have my love and my life back. Thank you. God bless you many many times over for all the help you give to people, you have a beautiful gift to humanity, his email is contact him on relationship or life issues.

  25. the part where the husband was eavesdropping outside the house didnt seem to make sense. could he really hear what was going on inside? i thought it was soundproofed with egg cartons. if “let me give you a hug” sounded this loud and clear i cant imagine what piano must sound like.

  26. I very much appreciate your recaps, both of you! One comparison here was especially awesome, the similarities to Camelot! Only thing I wish was possible here like at DB would be to like comments. People have posted so many insightful observations and thought provoking ideas I wish I could acknowledge them with a like.

    The flirty conversation on the stairs; it’s dark and dangerous! Fun and playful. The imagery here of him being her place of safety no matter the dangers ahead, comes up more than once in this drama. Seon Jae industriously cleaning his floor for her, her teary awe-struck look, we know later on how much this meant to her, a pivotal moment in her life. Powerful.

    I love how well Seon Jae understands Hye Won. He deals with her attempts to create more space between them with her words by playing music. This shared connection always brings her back to who she really is and what she truly feels, and he knows it! He also recognizes how well she understands him when she put so much effort into finding, reconditioning and returning his piano to him, the one he learned on and played with his mom. How did she know what he had done with his piano? Though I don’t like how she laughs at him when he’s being sincere; you just need to love me because it’s obvious I love you more. I get that she’s startled and in disbelief by his honesty but she goes too far and embarrasses him.

    That hug!!! Wow. So tight and all encompassing, their ragged breathing, soft sobbing, they cling to each other as tightly as they can, trying to get as close as physically possible while standing and fully dressed. Passionate yearning, intimate, the feelings here, just wow.

    Hubby child man, why did he just stand there even after the music ended, several long seconds when he could have knocked before anyone spoke inside. He’s more concerned about HW stealing his star student/property than SJ stealing his wife. Petty little man.

    Hye Won’s contented smile listening to Seon Jae’s Twinkle twinkle recording on his returned piano. Sigh, happy moment!

    I find it difficult to get my mind off of this drama, despite being the second time through it. Love replaying scenes once to read subtitles and then again to pay closer attention to body language and facial expressions. Then over and over if I just really like a scene, which is pretty much every scene w/ SJ & HW together!! 

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