Side dish: Sure, you could eat for less than $5 at a convenience store, but is it healthy? If Ha Won and Ji Woon want to keep that dewy skin, they might benefit from Healthy Dinner Recipes That Serve 4 for $5 or Less.
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After using her savings to pay for the reinstatement of her mother’s ashes, Ha Won (Park So Dam) attempts to borrow money to pay for college. She is nastily rejected by both her stepmother and her convenience store boss. Ha Won is resigned to putting school off for a year when she is contacted by the Chairman’s right hand man, Yoon Sung (Choi Min).
Impressed and amused by Ha Won’s manhandling of his grandson at his wedding, the Chairman presents her with a proposal. He invites her to live with his three grandsons at their home, Sky House in order to transform them into decent human beings. In return for three months of her time, the Chairman will pay for Ha Won’s college education. She deems the task impossible and respectfully turns the Chairman down.
The Chairman finds no more success in wheeling and dealing with his grandsons. His response to Hyun Min’s (Ahn Jae Hyun) hi-jinks at his wedding is to send him on a blind date with an actual potential fiancée. When his date begins business negotiations, Hyun Min cuts the conversation short by grabbing his childhood friend, Hye Ji (Son Na Eun) as she is walking by, and engaging her in a kiss. Hyun Min appears to be as deeply affected as Hye Ji by the skinship, but claims indifference. Hye Ji refers cryptically to a momentous event 10 years ago, and reiterates her belief in his basic decency in spite of his current lack of it.
The Chairman is also unsuccessful in getting his other grandson, Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo) to move back into Sky House. Ji Woon remains resistant even after he is kicked out of his hotel room and cut off from his funds. When Ji Woon attempts to find refuge with his former employer and colleagues, he discovers that the Chairman has bought their friendship. Ji Woon is sent away by his so-called friends and told never to return.
Meanwhile, Ha Won discovers that she has accidentally swapped phones with someone who she cannot reach, and she comes under public scrutiny when the media identify her as Hyun Min’s supposed fiancée. Hyun Min uses his financial influence to remove Ha Won’s photo from the leading portal site. However, the damage is done; Ha Won’s jealous stepsister throws her out of the house.
In the midst of their unrelenting troubles, Ha Won and Ji Woon find themselves repeatedly drifting into each other’s lives. Shortly after the wedding, they exchanged threats while taking turns throwing each other against a wall. Later, Ji Woon takes pity on Ha Won and helps her to track down the school uniform she left at the wedding, though this friendlier moment also descends into threats and disrespect from him, and head slapping and name calling from her.
While wandering around homeless and penniless, Ji Woon runs into Ha Won at one of her many part-time jobs. He desperately asks if he can borrow the equivalent of $10 to feed himself, and after mocking him, Ha Won uses the $5 in her possession to buy a meal for both of them. They have a hilarious moment of fighting over cheese before Ji Woon suddenly disappears for another meeting with his grandfather.
After successfully retrieving her phone from the Chairman’s third grandson, Seo Woo (Lee Jung Shin), Ha Won learns that her father has come home. Her stepmother and stepsister invite her to return for dinner to maintain the sham of a happy family. It becomes the meal from hell when Ha Won confronts her father about failing to pay for the housing of her mother’s ashes then the removal of the ashes after Ha Won had used her savings to pay for their reinstatement. The stepmother’s mistreatment of Ha Won comes to light, but Ha Won’s father calls her a liar before announcing that Ha Won is not his biological daughter. Ha Won ends up on the street with nothing more than her mother’s ashes in her possession.
With a subordinate keeping Ha Won under surveillance, Yoon Sung swoops in with the Chairman’s offer at the perfect moment. Ha Won has no choice, but to accept the opportunity to have a roof over her head and the promise of college tuition.
Ha Won arrives at Sky House at the exact same time as Ji Woon, Hyun Min, and Seo Woo after the grandsons are texted with the promise of change at home. As the three eligible bachelors approach, Yoon Sung belatedly mentions to Ha Won the one condition of living at Sky House: dating is strictly forbidden.
The character of Ha Won remains highly likable, especially after undergoing the gauntlet of melodrama in this episode. For a girl who gets kicked out of her home, needlessly loses her savings, and is disowned by her father, she maintained her cool until only a torrent of tears made sense. Then, even when she was at her lowest point, Ha Won maintained her dignity without hysterics.
In the same vein, I like that Ha Won is not suffering threats and manhandling by Ji Woon. It is such a relief not to have a Kdrama female lead silently suffer abuse from the male lead, or be easily swayed by cavalier gestures. In one hilarious scene, Hyun Min cannot stop singing his own praises over his ability to wipe the internet clean of Ha Won’s identity simply by calling a portal site. Ha Won can only marvel at how corrupt the system is to allow anyone to have such power.
Ji Woon is not undergoing his trials and tribulations with as much grace as Ha Won, and his bullying tactics with Ha Won should kill his appeal, but his chemistry with Ha Won is promising. Given how quickly Ji Woon and Ha Won have warmed up to each other, I credit Jung Il Woo and Park So Dam for having such good rapport. They have a spark that I can easily see transitioning into romance. In the meantime, their comedic moments have been quite fun. There appears to be an ongoing joke about how broke Ji Woon frequently is when he comes face-to-face with Ha Won.
One final thought: I love how shameless this show is about presenting money shots: slowing down the scene so viewers can ogle the eye candy. The Chairman’s video presentation of Sky House and his grandsons for Ha Won was especially ridiculous. Let’s keep the money shots coming, and hopefully, the story continues to develop in a brisk fashion.