Secret Love Affair Episode 15 Recap

We have a hard time reading Hye Won since she communicates so little of her schemes and thoughts. Her words are as spare as her sleek wardrobe lines. Nothing is wasted. If Hye Won were a poem, she’d be a haiku. Listening to the few honest words she does speak, I think we can decipher what is in her true heart. Ironically, she reveals herself the most in her unguarded moments as Faux Hyung. Before seeing Sun Jae for his talent, it was a fellow musician’s pain she could not ignore. She cared enough to urge him to treat his tendonitis and provide a reliable doctor’s name. It is fitting she was able to rescue him before he suffered her fate of having to quit a promising performance career.

Her self-deprecating humor won him over –  calling herself a grad school loser.  When he despaired that his goddess suffered and he felt helpless because of it, Hye Won Hyung encouraged him to go for it and contact her despite being afraid. When he was banging his head on the bathroom stall trying to figure out how to approach his now flesh and blood woman, she tells him simply “If you act true to your heart, it will move her.”

Faux Hyung/Real Hye Won, I call on you now to listen to your own words that touched Sun Jae enough that he offered them back to you later: Life is all about being easy-going. You don’t want to work on your career too much. Just feed yourself and enjoy music and life.  Everything will be just fine if you do, really.

Episode 15 recap:

Hye Won contentedly rides on the back of Sun Jae’s borrowed bike. “I asked, where are we going?” “To get caught!” He calls back. This makes her giggle, “That is great!” The delighted look on her face doesn’t match his pensive one as they zoom along through the Seoul streets.

We hear the same warm and hopeful music we heard on their first escape from his apartment. As she snuggles deeper and deeper, he can’t help but smile.

A voice informs Prosecutor Husband that two teams are chasing the lovers now, figuring they’re headed to Itaewon or Sinchon.

Han gives Tangerine Seo a shoulder rub.

He wants to know where Young Woo has been. Seemingly tamed, Han informs him, “There’s nothing she can do. Didn’t she inherit that from you? She controls everything including her husband and me.” Seo’s happy to see his women have stopped fighting. Han pouts that she is the only one left out, and it hurts her that he suspected her. She gets a non-response. He tells her he only believes what he sees.

“I heard you told Director Hong that I was a bag of musk that you can smell ten miles away.” That, he tells her, he meant in a good way. LOL He orders her to go see Kim son-in-law, Prosecutor Husband.  Downstairs, Han interrupts his pacing and he tells her “I think we are going to have to give up catching them in the act.”


“It’s not going the way the veterans expected.”

Han seems impressed with their gall.

Hye Won, wearing Sun Jae’s jacket, holds his hand, strolling down a busy street. They are both subdued.

“I thought we were going to get caught,” she tells him. Sun Jae holds up their clasped hands, saying they will.

She guesses accurately that the Bad Guys expect them to go to a motel and roll round together, but this, he says, is sexier. Plus, they look like they have lived together secretly for 10 years. A concern of his surfaces, “They say if you’ve been together for that long, it’s not exciting at all.”  She uses Jo and Ji Soo as exceptions, and he backs down from his assertion, “I know. It’s just something I heard somewhere…I just wanted to put it out there.”

Playfully, she wonders how the heck they appear to others. Smiling wiiiiiiide, he cooks up a credible story that delights her and brings on the giggles for both. She is the owner of a neighborhood clothes shop, and he is a delivery boy. While both worked hard to make a living, he came along, their eyes met, and they fell in love. Hye Won likes it, but comments that woman couldn’t be half as complicated as she is. With his wisdom and dimples showing, he disagrees. “Everyone has their story.” She peeks around his shoulder to get a look at him, then asks if he is afraid.

His face says he isn’t, not of any of the problems they could run into. Rather than respond directly, he changes the subject, re-energized now, pulls her in closer to walk which will help sober her up.

Silent again, they stroll. “Walking is nice…taking it easy.” It’s something he has wanted to do for some time, and hiding shyly in his shoulder, she admits wanting it, too, the pair enjoying the openness of the moment. They glance around. “Hey,” she says, “Yes,” he responds. “You must really like me. (Don’t you? Say yes.) “Yes, ” he admits. “You must really really love me. (Don’t you? Say yes.) “YES!” he confirms heartily, as if compelled. She smiles, glad to hear it. “That has to be why you are not daunted.” They stop and face each other. Without saying so, he shows maybe a little fear. He envelopes her in his arms encouraging them both with a “Don’t worry about it and just be my girl.”

Ah she likes that, pulling back to look in his eyes,

then she pushes his face away teasingly, “Your girl. Sounds good.” He grabs her for a passionate kiss that turns into a full-blown make-out session in the street. Ay-yai-yaii.

Announcing to everyone watching she is HIS, and daring her to try to live the next 40 years without him.

Team Seo has regrouped with Han, Prosecutor Husband and Ugh Seo.

The Prosecutor will press charges against Hye Won so any information they want to confess to him would make things a lot easier all around. Han says she’s got nothing, and Daddy just want to protects his daughter’s private life. So be it.

Young Woo and Boy Toy are mid knock-down-drag-out brawl in her love nest.

Pillows, lamps, clothes and hair in disarray. She’s in his face about his spending and his ex-girlfriend who must be also asking for a hand out now. They struggle mightily, and shout recriminations about their infidelities. She yells that her being extra nice just made him take more advantage of her. Not completely convincingly, she tells him she was getting bored with him anyway. He wants to end it.

It culminates in her telling him to get the F out and the two fall into the sofa when the doorbell rings. They stop cold. What the? or more, Who the? Only Hye Won knows about this place… Not bothering to brush the hair from her eyes, Young Woo goes to the peep hole. What she sees sends her in a panic – waving him away and running to straighten up the mess. Plopping a bent light shade over another lamp. He ducks into a back room. Taking a few seconds to compose herself and her next lie, she opens the door, hand on pained forehead. Her headache made her lie down for a while. Prosecutor Husband isn’t buying what she is selling.

He even comments that about an hour ago there was a big commotion coming out of there. She offers him a drink. He reminds her they are in the middle of a war with Oh Hye Won who can very easily turn his wife’s behavior into a weapon against them.

“That guy you have been partnering with can go to Hye Won’s side.” Her feigned ignorance falls apart when she defends the kid, “He’s not like that.” Prosecutor Husband tells her to be careful, and puts his shoes on to leave. Young Woo’s misery and loneliness becomes apparent. Her husband’s indifference to the fact that she has a lover hurts. “Would it kill you to get emotional and curse me? You never like me, not once?” A glance at his watch, rather than his wife’s pitiful face, contradicts his apology. He walks out, Young Woo crumbles into a bar stool.

Still on the street, Hye Won, with Sun Jae over her shoulder, read a text from Han, “A search and seizure will start soon. Of course you have a copy (of the USB) right? Make sure it doesn’t go public.”

Hye Won doesn’t make any promise to do so. Han laughs at Hye Won’s bravado.

Sun Jae is putting his lady love into a taxi, “Don’t let them intimidate you. “I’ll take care of my part. You take care of yours.” He repeats her words: “’I’ll take care of my part. You take care of yours.’ Just saying that calms your nerves and makes you feel better, right?” He has that right, she confirms. His chick is leaving, and he hugs her again infusing his embrace with all the good feelings.

When she tries to return his jacket, he protests. “Take it with you.” “It’s too cold,” she says, pressing it back onto him before she departs. Forlorn watching her leave, he closes his eyes.

Back in his home, he plays a warm, pretty Mozart tune, a Rondo.

It feels like a warm summer day at the park where a carousel turns lazily and escaped balloons rise to the clouds.

Hye Won, dressed in a dark grey hooded jacket- spy style, enacts a plan, placing an Ipad and notebook carefully on her desk. She sneaks out the back door, backpack slung over her shoulder. Ahjumma just catches her back as she goes. The calm Han river reflects the pink tinged sunrise as Hye Won walks alongside. She sits gazing out a moment before taking her notebook then Ipad out and sliding them into the water which we hear lapping against the concrete bank.

The barely audible splash is the happiest sound I have ever heard. Hood secured over her eyes, she gets up and leaves.

The mess of smashed cosmetics from Joon Hyung’s tantrum is still on the floor and Hye Won separates out the trash from the salvage.

Hubby out cold on his bed. Back into her uniformed elegance, Hye Won packs some cosmetics into a small pouch and goes out. She is reading the morning paper at the kitchen table when Joon Hyung joins her, “Have you decided?”

Turn herself in? Why when it’s shameful? The doorbell rings. Huh? Hye Won instructs Ahjumma to let the guests in. What guests? Who is it? Ahjumma asks. “Police.” Leaving Joon Hyung to freak out.

Sun Jae is prepping to leave for the day. He takes Hye Won’s phone and places it back in the bottom drawer.

Nervous music accompanies the thorough search through Hye Won and Joon Hyung’s bedroom and Piano room. The investigators use maglights to peer inside the piano holes,

pull all binders from shelves, empty the vases of the drift wood. Joon Hyung’s freak out escalates when they remove his things, true to cowardly form, he says the corrupt one is his wife, not him.

Charging into the living room, he takes Hye Won’s purse away. Using Ahjumma’s phone, she reports in to Nice Secretary. “There will be changes. Just do as you’re told for now. As far as all the documents the chairwoman and Young Woo approved and signed, and the history of Young Woo’s use of the corporate card, keep them separate.” Will do, she replies.

Sham Min bemoans that the timing has passed for things to go smoothly. Joon Hyung wonders what would happen if he moves forward with Mission Penal Code 241.

Min says there’s only one way to find out. It depends on if Hye Won has what the prosecution wants. It doesn’t change anything except Han may cooperate more now. No matter what, though, Joon Hyung will have to start divorce proceedings. It is a prerequisite to making an adultery accusation. Sham Min suggest Prosecutor Husband could help if he has any  questions and Gilligan Joon Hyung goes off to do the Skipper’s bidding.

Back at Hye Won’s, the driftwood gets placed back into the vases. We are reminded just how alive this home is not. Out from the strange speakers, Hye Won pulls out the pretty pink flash drive from its plastic bag.

The Misfit 5 rehearse their Trot Dvorak

until Cello Snob comes in find out if he had heard the good news, or at least hints to Sun Jae “Should he have more important things to do?” Sun Jae is not impressed with her.

That’s your dean?” Suddenly a thought occurs and he quickly goes out, telling them to practice without him. In the hall, he makes a phone call. Getting no reply, he runs to the elevator, out of breath from panic. As he goes in, Hye Won and Jong Soo come out. “Where are you going?” she asks calmly.

Sun Jae agrees to escort her the practice room and wants to know why she didn’t pick up his call. Well, she was talking to Jong Soo, and didn’t have her phone. Exasperated, he sighs, then takes her arm. She worries that people at the school will see, but he tells her it’s fine. Neither So nor Joon Hyung are there now. Hye Won laughs at Sun Jae’s refrain of: “That’s a relief.”

The kids stop playing when the pair come in. “These are my friends.” Sun Jae introduces “Teacher Oh Hye Won” and she calls herself their Sunbae. They are awed, and she admits with a smile she is that Oh Hye Won. Sun Jae gets her a chair, and she tells them to sit. They say it’s an honor and she reciprocates.

He gets her a drink and I die how happy and proud he is to be there with his (See! She’s my) girlfriend.

She tells them she likes the Dvorak, specifically the Scherzo movement, which brings on a big braggy smile from Sun Jae that they are good at it, too. They agree to play the whole piece from the beginning. The rich cello starts it off, then they all join in for a bright, interwoven melody.

Jong Soo is informing Nice Secretary in that he had a lengthy conversation with Hye Won and the fact that Joon Hyung was heard talking to a lawyer.

Mahjong comes in with her overdramatic self-important demands to clean off Hye Won’s desk. She is the new Sheriff in Seohan town.

The school bulletin board confirms Hye Won’s dismissal from the Planning department and Mahjong Wang’s appointment. Nice secretary says Wang’s nameplate can be ready in a day.

Hye Won listens to the final notes of the Scherzo, grinning. Sun Jae walks her out to the parking garage. “How can you just come here like this?”

he asks, worried. “What is happening. Is there something wrong?” “It’s just a continuation of the old something wrong.” He gives her the keys to his apartment. (NO! Too risky, guys!) so she can retrieve her phone. He commands her to stay there until he gets home. I am just about ready to explode from tension, and I think I spot someone off in the shadows more than once. “ARE YOU WATCHING?!” He cries out, startling Hye Won.

She laughs, getting into her car. “Don’t overdo it.” She pauses and asks if all of the quintet is quitting school. Yes, they are; he lists where they are each headed, Russian, the army, Overseas, and cello is changing her major.

“Why do you want to know?” he wonders. “Just, because.” Her response leaves out everything. He objects when she reaches to touch him intimately on the cheek. “Geez!” His hand goes to where hers was and he has to turn away to hide his reaction. She steps towards him provocatively. “You want me to scold you?”

They laugh and he puts her in the car, and they share a smile, waving until they lose sight of each other.

Hye Won goes home to chez Sun Jae. Pulling her phone out from the drawer, she reads something that pleases her.

We pause for music piece identification: Piano Quintet. Op 81 (Scherzo (Furiant) Molto vivace. She texts him. “Today’s piano music was nice.” Sitting at his low table, she eats bibimbap from a metal bowl,

helps herself to his toothpaste –  clearly feeling at home there.

Baek and Han gossip about Hye Won and her boldness. All the students know, even her Yoo Ra, who only goes to school once a week.

That isn’t the point, Han says. They have to find evidence on Hye Won. The search through her house, orchestrated by a friend of Prosecutor Husband, was only to scare her, and came up with nothing. Baek reads some fortune teller sounding words pronouncing something big is coming. Han Lady MacBeth’s her hands.

The phone rings with news of said the foretold event. Han hopes Prosecutor Husband doesn’t screw this one up, too.

Hye Won is passed out cold in Sun Jae’s comfy bed under her jacket. She opens her eyes to Sun Jae’s adoring face.

He’s surprised she slept so soundly and didn’t lock the door. When she asks why he’s there, he reminds her he said he’d come home for dinner. She confesses she finished the rice. He decides to go downstairs and eat. He is blocked from leaving by Joon Hyung shoving the young man back in and shouting, “Look, Here. Oh Hye Won!”

He’s holding her heels and struggling with the Sun Jae while Hye Won looks on in alarm.

“Teacher, I’ll do the talking. I’ve been to the police station a few times so I know.”

“This is low, Kang Joon Hyung!” She yells. Yes, it is, even for him.

Sun Jae is holding them back at the threshold and says, “I know I’ve done wrong. Let’s talk a moment.” Joon Hyung seizes this, “He’s confessing! You heard him, right? There’s no need for evidence the. You guys heard him.”

Hye Won is mortified on the other side of the room, hiding her face behind her hand.

Booyah saunters down to the practice room and gleefully lets the Misfits know about Sun Jae being arrested. All four are shocked. “For adultery.” She is so very helpful. “Don’t pretend to be naïve. You can find it on the internet.” She appropriates Sun Jae’s spot at the piano, “Should I play the piano in his place?”

She does try, doefully poorly. (Which I love because the actor is actually a superstar Jazz pianist in SK.) For someone who is supposed to be a snob, she sure looks like she wants to be there with them, and I feel sorry for her.

The Lovers and the Cuckold reunite in front of the detective’s desk,

Joon Hyung harping on what Sun Jae said when they broke into the apartment, “What use is the evidence when he confessed already?” It doesn’t count, though, since it was in private. This frustrates him. “Hey! You definitely said that you were wrong before, didn’t you?” Sun Jae and Hye Won remain silent, ignoring the Rat. For some reason, he thinks his wife will corroborate his story, but she doesn’t reply to his shouting. Off to the side on the phone is Prosecutor Husband’s assistant, waving away Joon Hyung’s request for help. The detective shuts down Joon Hyung’s interrogation, beginning his own questions. “Kang Joon-Hyung, shi. Please describe in detail what you saw at Lee Sun Jae’s residence today at 17:04.”

He begins to answer, but then changes tactics, “Wait, whether I saw directly or not is not important here. He admitted his own guilt.”

Civil Law, we learn, is different from Criminal when it comes to adultery. Sure, he can file for divorce with that information, but not press criminal charges. Clear evidence of adultery needs to be present. “In other words, both the man and the woman need to have their lower bodies or genitals in contact…” Hye Won stops him there, “Wait a minute—“ Sun Jae tells her to keep still, but Joon Hyung encourages her to keep talking. “Can I call a lawyer?” The cop doesn’t believe it is necessary, but agrees. The Rat forces her to make the call in front of him calling her a flight risk. LOL

She stands to make the call to Prosecutor Husband, who answers from his car and remarks snidely that he didn’t think she had anything to discuss with him. “I was waiting for my value to increase but a problem came up as you probably are aware.” He’ll be there in 30 minutes. First he calls the Police Commissioner to pull some strings.

Sun Jae is curious whom Hye Won contacted, and she tells him it is a lawyer, her friend’s husband. While he thinks things would have worked out anyway if they just hang on a little longer, she disagrees. “I don’t want to.” Always chivalrous, he swaps places with her.

When Rat points out the switch, Sun Jae apologizes politely and patiently. The detective gives the loud husband some advice, “If you speak too much, you put yourself at a disadvantage.”

Young Woo is sipping coffee at her apparel shop when she finds out Director Shin, aka, Boy Toy, just left with a bunch of loot. He’s not a director anymore, Young Woo says, sadly, looking more upset over his betrayal than his thievery. The only thing that can cheer her up is news of Hye Won’s arrest – which she gets from Mahjong Wang.

“THIS is how true love shatters to pieces.” She runs out to witness and rejoice at Hye Won’s misfortune.

Hye Won is in the hall secretly cutting a deal with Prosecutor Husband.

What if she shares the Hannam-Dong couple’s files with him? He wonders if she means to put them on the list of the accused? He marvels how they are on the same side suddenly, but she won’t agree with that completely. It’s only only with this incident. The prosecutor apologizes on Kang’s behalf. He offers his hand to shake and to make this charge go away.

Sun Jae witnesses the reluctant handshake between the enemies. He looks troubled, then fades back to stay unnoticed.

Nice secretary, Ji Soo and Young Woo have gathered at the station by now.

Prosecutor Husband requests the police close the case for lack of basis of adultery. The detective readily agrees. Joon Hyung is all, “but I filed for divorce before coming here.” By all means, he can continue, says Joon Hyung.

Young Woo is totally disappointed in this outcome. “Why is it all so simple? They’re not going to jail?” While Nice Secretary is relieved, Young Woo complains, “How boring!”

Ji Soo observes the true power dynamic before them. “Is it your hubby or Hye Won that’s the strong one here?” A strange parade of disappointment, smugness, relief and hope leaves the station to the parking lot. Joon Hyung is confused by the reversal, “According to Min…” Prosecutor Husband stops him saying the Dean doesn’t know everything. Young Woo pours salt in the wound, “How embarrassing for you.” Sun Jae is suspicious and wants Hye Won to tell him what occurred in that short moment in the corridor. She replies only vaguely and acknowledges she had to shake his hand to retain power. This concerns Sun Jae, “This brings us back to square one. Money, power…in a world surrounded by them.”

He so fervently wants Hye Won to stop needing those distasteful things “That is not quite true.” Sun Jae, however, knows enough that there‘s no such thing as a free lunch. Prosecutor Husband tells everyone to go home – to their places, to consider this event a flash in the pan and forget it.

“I thought I’d witness the love of the century wind up in prison,” Young Woo whines to Joon Hyung’s disgust.

“Sorry, folks,” Hye Won announces. “I’ll throw a party instead, to celebrate Kang Joon Hyung/Oh Hye Won’s divorce.” Young Woo’s shock deepens. “What?”

Hye Won lovingly adjusts Sun Jae’s sweater. “Go home,” she tells him. The adults look away in embarrassment. But there is more to see. He pulls her in to his wonderful hug in front of god and everyone; all five adults are suddenly witnesses to their genuine affection.

“I know I am strange to them, but still let them see.” The young man closes his eyes and holds her closer. Young Woo is transfixed by the pair, “They must really love each other,”

she breathes. Prosecutor Husband pulls her away, clucking at her sentimentality. Ji Soo watches, also moved.

Hye Won is home throwing down a beer like it’s water.

Joon Hyung is talking on the phone as if he had the whole divorce situation under control. “I did as the bible suggested.” ORLY? He gets a tip about something from the person on the phone. Some loophole I fear. “Can it really be applied like that?”

Hye Won comes in and we see again how he wouldn’t be the Rat if he didn’t try to weasel. You know, his mother with her bad heart and all, took the news badly. He wants alimony, and compensation for his suffering. Hye Won immediately agrees to it “within in the confines” of what she makes. No, no, not that, he wants everything, and he is willing to sue.

“Kang Joon Hyung- shi. Your clothes and shoes cost $3o,ooo annually, and it’s been like that since we have been married.”

What money is he talking about? He insists she could still make money in the future. She just has to “join hands” with Prosecutor Husband. The expression hits a sore spot, “Don’t say ‘join hands.’” We don’t see her face as she leaves, pausing at the door before slowly sliding it open. Joon Hyung is mystified that yet another plan of his fails. This guy will never learn. Inside her office, she leans against the door, reaching deep inside for something. Strength. Wisdom.

She recalls Sun Jae’s questions about what happened in that short moment in the hall. She phones her secretary. The replacement tablet that replaced the one at the bottom of the Han needs replacing since the cops took it. It’s her turn to rub her hands nervously. At home, Sun Jae seems to be despairing

– pacing, then sitting at his piano. Usually his spot of solace, his spirit is too weak even to play. He closes his eyes, then tries again, stubbing his finger doing a glissando. Ut-oh Bad Omen. He pulls out some ointment from a drawer.

Prosecutor Husband is telling the Seo clan that Oh Hye Won controls their fate.

They play dumb. (It is not difficult.) Prosecutor warns that the discovery of additionally embezzled funds will not help with the reprieve of his sentence, and Han’s arrest could happen as well.

They need to appease Hye Won now, not stir up her bees. Young Woo, dressed ultra conservatively unlike her wild past, gloats, “I guess Hye Won will become Chair of Seohan Foundation.” Han isn’t ready to play someone’s fool, but she notes that Young Woo will also have to answer to Hye Won. Seo remarks that he is curious about many things, but he’ll keep them to himself for now. After he leaves, Young Woo wants to know what her husband’s game is. She’s no dummy. He claims he is the guardian of her father’s wealth and social standing and she’d better not spread any rumors.

Nice secretary accompanies Hye Won down the hall to the office.

They plan an after hours event to explain what happened and normalize things for the staff. Mahjong Wang gets caught red handed at Hye Won’s on-again desk. Grabbing her newly minted desk plate,she hides it behind her back.

She stutters a little, before leaving with her tail between her legs; the two ladies laugh at her departure. The desk from whence she came is a lot smaller and insignificant, and she squirrels away her desk plate in dismay.

Hye Won promises Han on the phone to take care of everything. (It’s not as if she wasn’t doing that all along.) She should rest well.

Young Woo is eating a meal across the table, listening to the conversation. Young Woo supposes Han passed the blame onto Baek. Something occurs to Han who gets up and walks away. Even the ahjumma never saw her this discombobulated. “Sucks for her.” Young Woo sympathizes, sort of.

Han’s call to Baek, who has flown the coop via Korean Airlines, is unanswered. Booya sitting in First class with her mom laments that a fun semester was just starting.

They’ll be back in two months, Baek soothes and orders champagne. Sun Jae reads a text from the brat: “This is Jung Yoo Ra. So random huh? I’m running away with my mom. Oh Hye Won advised us to get out. She’s a really scary woman.“ Any calm Sun Jae and I have in that instant deserts us. He stares off, imaging the worst, and I help him.

Hye Won texts Prosecutor Husband alerting him actually Baek left at her insistence,

thus tacitly admitting guilt. Headlines the next day read all about how it was Baek who managed the corrupt slush fund. Hye Won’s name is notably absent this time.

Sun Jae sits gloomily with Prof Jo, who has heard all the gory details. The teacher wants to know, above everything, what is giving him the most trouble? Sun Jae pauses, hesitant. While he finally gained what he had wanted all along, the way it happened upsets him. He is not at all happy with the outcome. He’s trying really hard to understand Oh Hye Won unconditionally, but he can’t. Struggling to keep his composure, his voice shakes. “When you know how the person you love feels, how her heart…is torn between two desires.”

He breaks down, recalling her ominous deal with devil Prosecutor Husband, but also their bold embrace in front of everyone. Jo put a comforting hand on his shoulder, “Let’s go see your friends. I have a present for them.”

Sun Jae pulls himself together.

In the rehearsal room, the four Misfits dismiss any of Sun Jae’s apologies. Jo puts them at ease and tells the story of his friend, Prof Kim Eun Soo, who always had the cheapest instrument in the school. One that he played for auditions and in competitions. His friend sent an email to them, which he reads over the music of their performance.

“To my young friends, a musical instrument is nothing until you make a sound with it. There was a time where I yearned for a good musical instrument, and the yearning sickened him. But if the instrument doesn’t carry your soul, it’s just an object.

Likewise, no matter how cheap the instrument is, it is able to express and carry you. Love genuinely what you have now. Cherish it.”

Hye Won sits with Prosecutor Husband, who outlines what her next steps are: “One, share the information. Two, clearly divvy up the stake.” It was a brilliant move to have Baek flee, but it doesn’t make him feel so good.  Hye Won thinks it’s a little too early for both points.

She leans forward assertively. Spreading vicious rumors and trying to smoke her out only succeeded in rescuing her from a difficult situation. For some reason, this surprises him, “Didn’t you first request my help in banding together?”

She wants to know what he wants first. He tells her she can have the foundation, but he wants the school. With a confident smoothing of her already smooth hair, she tells him they can’t be separated, financially or systematically. Well, he says, since his sister is the main stakeholder…Hye Won realizes they must want to groom her to become president. It was just yesterday they shook hands, but now he’s declaring war. He acknowledges it.

She looks him comfortably in the eye and tells him she won’t give up the school.

Sun Jae plays on.


My Thoughts:

I barely survived the tension building to the adulterers’ arrest. All through the drama we felt as hounded and hunted as Hye Won and Sun Jae. What a relief that all the fuss was simply “sound and fury signifying nothing.” The Rat’s ruckus at the door, especially when he was holding up Hye Won’s shoes made cringe, but I was also laughing. The police, it turns out, don’t seem to share the same awe for Penal Code 241 as we would expect. It probably disgusts them to have to get in the middle of such a deeply private event.  The scene in front of the detective’s desk called back Sun Jae’s first arrest, with all the same dark humor. The cop reading off from rote exactly what constitutes evidence horrified me. I can’t imagine how icky he felt. Hye Won really didn’t need Prosecutor Husband after all, but I think she just wanted the whole charge to go away already, so they could all move on with their lives.

What I loved loved about this episode, and every one earlier, is the precious stolen time Hye Won and Sun Jae have just being themselves and enjoying each other. Rarely do they waste it squabbling over trivial matters. Despite the age difference, despite the chaos surrounding them, they just work so well together.  Whether playing music, chatting, or just being beside the one they love, their delight with the other is obvious. Sun Jae gets more attractive as he matures, continuing to demonstrate he can and will withstand whatever trouble is headed their way. Hye Won adores his warmth and cherishes him, seemingly more than her beautiful dead wood filled house. Still, I cannot guess if it is enough to give up the career that she has worked so hard to build. Would Sun Jae accept her if she cannot? Something tells me he won’t play second fiddle to Seohan. He is someone who gives all to love. It is only fair that he wants her undivided heart in return. It tears me up that just like the poem I linked above, giving his all may mean letting her go to choose him or…not.


Secret Love Affair Episode 15 Recap — 24 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recap. I was biting my nails thru this. I don’t understand how the prosecutor could give HW legal advice, or show up in the police station in her behalf. (or for that matter be the family solicitor). Love HW/SJ love story, and waiting patiently for your analysis of EP 16. God, I love this drama, but so thankful they did NOT extend it.

  2. Watching ep 15 my fears grew again. It felt like Sun Jae knew the end was near and when he said ‘I wanted to do this at least once’ walking with her hand in hand through the streets was like an omen of impending separation or doom. I hated that feeling.

    On the other hand them kissing passionately on the street – there is a place for them in this society and nobody’d turn their head.

    Young Woo and her boy toy represent the truly awful affairs in this story. Calculating, money hungry, without real feelings, looking only for some carnal pleasure. The complete opposite to Hye Won and Sun Jae’s ‘affair’.

    Hye Won destroying evidence. When will she wake up and realize that Sun Jae will leave her should she continue on this path?

    Hiding the USB stick in the loudspeaker? She really believes music conquers it all!

    Can the Rat think on his own at all? With every little thing he runs to someone to get an advice. Dean Min is the one to decide over his marriage and he doesn’t hesitate even a split second to question his advice. Poor creature. And Min was always Han’s lapdog, he carried out her orders. But Han is not as clever as one could think in the beginning. So they start making mistakes, like Min believing, that Kim would help them in case of the adultery charge.

    Hye Won listening to the quintet. Music is the haven for those two. At this moment she lost her position and she is still able to calmly sit, listen to and appreciate the little concert.

    The first thing smug Secretary Wang asks about is the name plate. Of course.

    Hye Won waiting at Sun Jae’s place, it really feels like their home now, doesn’t it? Again she’s able to eat well when he is close. Her breakfast at her place was the usual veggie sticks and juice.

    At the police station. The officer’s advice to Kang that it’s to his disadvantage if he talks too much. Yep, that pretty much sums the whole man up.

    Hye Won’s making a deal with the devil. Kim is the perfect opportunist. He changes his color like a chameleon. Whatever serves his purposes best. Sun Jae witnessing this deal distances him more from Hye Won. I hated that feeling.

    And Kang learns, that he bet on the wrong horse.

    ‘Kang Joon Hyung ssi’ – loved that. And would have loved to see her take off the wedding ring.

    Ji Soo once asked Hye Won what is the most difficult thing in her situation (learning how much she misses him and his humble home), now it’s her husband’s turn to ask Sun Jae what is the most difficult thing in his situation. Try as he might he’s still unable to understand her. He can’t get, why she is seduced by power and money again and again.

    Hye Won should listen to the poem, too.

    ‘I cannot give up the school.’ – So, can you give up Sun Jae?

    • Thanks for the recaps, ockoala and jomo. Thanks for the comments Newbie to which I respond –

      Sooo MATURE this “before-the-kdrama-lovers-separation” scene. No playground, amusement park, bicycles, plush toys. Just the joy of walking hand in hand in public, in each other’s company. What a concept!

      Actually, I thought HW’s destroying the “evidence” was a wise move. After all, the damning accounts are on the USB copy(s) and what Prosecutor Hubby really wants (and what Han and Seo persist in hiding, even from each other)is that information to extort with later. At least in that instance, HW was one step ahead.

      Thanks for pointing out that symmetry again that this team uses throughout the drama (JiSoo asking HW; then Prof. Jo asking SJ). Although I agree SJ might not understand HW’s motives, I thought his main concern – and what hurts him so much he clutches his chest and sobs – is HER pain. Gotta love this SJ’s pure heart.

      I have not watched the finale, but I think HW won’t give up the school precisely because of SJ and the students like him. Those who earnestly want a musical education, without having to endure bribes, marketing or diva professors looking to gain from a superstar students.

      I’m looking forward to the way the team finishes this CRACK drama!

  3. Thank you for the recap.

    I think I will wait for 16 to read. I don’t think I’ll have the patience to read 15 then wait for 16. I kinda/sorta watched 15 and the last 10 minutes of 16 without subtitles. But now I’m waiting for your recap to know if it is safe to watch with an open heart.

  4. Thank you for the recap! I love the scene in Hongdae so much. HW looks so relax for the first time after their first night. She looks so pretty and they are so happy! Do you realize that during their walk in Hongdae it’s a one cut/one shot scene? They are really talking, not just acting! I don’t think anyone besides KHA and YAI is able to do this magnificent scene! Now off to read 🙂

    • I didn’t notice, wow!
      The bystanders were very thoughtful, then.
      I know I have a lot of favorite scenes with this pair, but this was in the top 5.
      When he was making up that story about the clothing shop, I suddenly realized that the OHW/LSJ pairing could have and would have happened no matter what jobs or incomes they had. Their eyes could have met at a bank, in a restaurant, on a street corner – and something would have flipped on between them. The music brought them together, but it wasn’t why they lingered.

      PS, YAI with his attack kisses but I love the director who keeps letting us see that. Reminded me of QIHM and Nine PD in that respect.

      • So spot on! This scene just reminds me of Before Sunrise~ Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy did a marathon conversation in one cut scene. I think the bystanders are mixed of extras and real people. They were shooting this scene around 3 AM Sunday morning. Talking about favorite scenes, I think my most favorite scenes are always the ones when they do the warm long conversations like this.

      • Yes, I definitely think the bystanders included extras because there were a few couples kissing passionately as HW/SJ walked past. Aw, this team and their details. Just love ’em!

  5. thanks,as always, for a brilliant recap and your thoughts.

    i didnt think it before but you are right! seohan and her desire for that life is the real competition to SJ for HW’s heart. that’s why he used the word seduced when he was having that heartfelt talk with JIS. and later, when she was struggling with that choice and she went to the chairman’s office, she seemed like she was entranced and being seduced by the room itself.

    i think SJ would have liked to be unconditional and accepting in his love for her but i thought that when he was talking about wavering in the talk with JIS, he was referring to himself. it seems, though, he was referring to HW. does anyone know for sure? was he referring to his heart wavering coz she was making deals with the devil (and therefore isnt the love he thought she was) or that he was referring to HW’s heart being seduced by more power?

    hope someone can clarify that scene for me. thanks in advance 🙂

    • Thank you!
      We can’t talk about everything yet, enz, but we will in the last recap. I promise. I want to keep 15 free from spoilers for the people in the future who want to follow along as they watch.
      I do that with old shows often.

  6. Thank you Jomo for your recap – I certainly gained a few more insights after reading your recap (and newbie’s). One of the most wonderful things about this drama is its subtlety and elusiveness. So many ways to interpret a conversation (or lack of), a flicker of emotion, eye contacts etc etc. Boy I don’t know about you but I rely a lot on (and LOVE) the music in this drama. I can’t recall the number of times my heart and mind just soar or drop depending on the tone and flow of the music piece. Absolutely masterpiece don’t you think whoever arranged them in the first place did a marvellous job!

  7. jomo….once again…thank you so much. words are not enough to describe how i am feeling right now after reading and rereading the recaps

  8. Besides the lovey dovey and sweet moments that I adoooored so much here, what I like the most from this episode is that SJ finally witnesses HW’s divided heart with his own eyes. Love is not enough for her goddess because she’s been living in the war of power for a long time. SJ is idealistic while HW is realistic. One of them should give up and make a choice. Take it or leave it.

  9. yoora has Sunjae’s phone number, who the hell has been distributing his number?! Justin!! i kinda feel sorry for her.. in time when she was about to try to fit in the gang, she had to flee the scene. yoora hwaiting!..

  10. I love reading your recaps, thanks so much for doing them. The little side comments make it fun! I always get a better understanding of what has been going on in the story. Sometimes I have misunderstood things, and you clear them up.I thought that the chairman’s son-in-law was a lawyer, and head of his legal department, and that the son-in-law’s father was the prosecutor. You are saying that the son-in-law is a prosecutor.

    I thought that Hye-wan’s maid was hiding her phone for her, but you said Hye-won borrowed the maid’s phone. That clears that up. I wondered why she didn’t have a phone when she went to the school.

    This is certainly a wonderfully well done show. I have been enjoying it so much. And the music is so awesome. Not just the classical pieces either, but the background music done by the drama staff. But having the actors play it so well is a gift in and of itself.

  11. This was a tense and deliciously difficult episode to watch. jomo, your recap is, as expected, so well written, so detailed, so funny (Gilligan and Skipper!) and so infused with your appreciation and enthusiasm that as I read it, I immediately want to re-watch the episode. Thank you!

  12. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful recap.
    Absolutely loved the scene of just the 2 of them in hongdae being so happy. It broke my heart and lightened my load at the same time

  13. To be absolutely realistic and honest, do you all think SJ and HW would be so attracted to each other physically for their emotional love to reach this level, for example, if SJ were to look like his friend Jang Ho / ‘Justin’, and HW were to look like the ahjumma who has taken over his mother’s restaurant?
    In the end, does it mean that superficial looks still determine attraction and love?

  14. The nighttime walk to get caught – another of my very favorite scenes from SLA!! KHA and YAI look so natural here, and the camera angle made me feel like I was on the street with them. Seon Jae’s playful inflection when he created their imaginary backstory. And just walking outdoors holding hands! Major moment for the two of them. That kiss!! Gaaahhh! Sekshi Yoo Ah In/Lee Seon Jae strikes again! I had not noticed this was a single cut scene until someone pointed it out in the comments – thanks for that; highlights their acting ability even more. Several minutes of HW and SJ simply walking and talking… captivated me. I think I read somewhere that Yoo Ah In is phenomenal in how quickly he can memorize and perform multiple pages of scripts after a very short time reading them. He also did a fantastic job playing the challenging piano scores in SLA. He is very intelligent.

    When Hye Won visits the practice room to hear the quintet I loved how proud and happy SJ was to introduce “his girl” to his friends. He demonstrates his love for her with his smile, getting her something to drink, and running his hand along the back of her chair, probably lightly touching her back. Hye Won enjoys the music and watches all 5 students play but her eyes continuously drift back to Seon Jae. He draws her in like a flower to the sun.

    I had an awwww moment seeing that SJ sleeps with HW’s phone by his pillow. When waking he starts his day by putting her phone back in the drawer. This and her handkerchief gift are all he has of her to hold in her absence. SJ demonstrates his caring nature in so many little ways. Keeping her phone charged, sending her a song on the day she was headed to retrieve it, opening the car door and closing it for her and waiting to see her off with a wave. He watches adoringly as she sleeps on his bed. He is happy she is there but concerned too because he knows how seldom she gets any real rest.

    At the police station. The little man child can’t stop talking and is so presumptuous, as if HW would really try to run away leaving SJ there! Though that is likely what he himself would do if roles were reversed. Seon Jae changing seats to place himself between the little man and his love, to protect her, he is the actual adult man here!

    And finally the hug in front of everyone. I would wait in line for an Lee Seon Jae hug!! His honest loving warmth amidst his worry that she is headed right back into the fire. Hurting for her. Unafraid to show how much he loves her.

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