Side dish: It’s going to take something delicious to compensate for this head slapping episode. We’re going to comfort ourselves at La Cubana with a Pressed Cubano Sandwich and some rum cocktails. Once we’ve had our fill, maybe, just maybe, we will understand the reckless behaviour of Hye Won and Sun Jae.
Piano prodigy Lee Sun Jae’s (Yoo Ah In) first concert is coming up and the whole of the SeoHan Arts College is abuzz with the news. Professor Kang Joon Hyung’s assistant puts up posters around the campus, while worst student ever Jung Yoo Ra (Jin Bo Ra) sends a text to her boyfriend about it.
Joon Hyung (Park Hyuk Kwon) goes to visit the evil cello teacher. As he comes in, he mentions her earlier problem with the cello student, which she dismisses. Instead, she notes how proud he looks of his star pupil. Evil cello teacher won’t let Joon Hyung have his moment, and reminds him that Sun Jae is actually his wife, Oh Hye Won’s (Kim Hee Ae) student. Joon Hyung denies it, saying that Hye Won is merely supporting him. Joon Hyung asks the evil cello teacher to make sure her department attends the concert, and after some convincing, she agrees to send them, though she has other plans herself. He thanks her and leaves, and she goes back to torturing another student.
Dean Min (Kim Chang Wan) and Joon Hyung admire the concert poster, but Dean Min points out that they have little time before the competition, for which this concert will be recorded as an audition. He had hoped that Sun Jae would already have some results, but Joon Hyung protests that the concert was better than nothing, considering the events of the year. Joon Hyung is sure that Hye Won will make sure Sun Jae is successful. Dean Min approves, pointing out that the partnership of Joon Hyung and Hye Won has finally borne fruit. Joon Hyung laughs, but he doesn’t look amused.
Hye Won, meanwhile, is drinking tea with the SeoHan Group’s Chairman (Kim Yong Gun) at his house in Hannam-dong. The mood is sombre, as the Chairman recounts his meeting with his in-law (his daughter, Young Woo’s father-in-law), a prosecutor, who warned him that he may soon face investigation. His in-law mentioned Young Woo during the conversation, and the Chairman appears to have taken it badly, since he’d already paid so much to keep Young Woo’s husband from divorcing her. He finally gets to the point of the conversation, which is to ask Hye Won to manage some money for Young Woo he’d already put aside for an emergency. Hye Won reminds him that President Seo is coming to Korea the following week (Oh? New person?), and asks for instructions. The Chairman tells her to cover up everything, since he’s now on a blacklist. Hye Won reassures the Chairman that his in-law was just talking and probably won’t go ahead with anything, but the Chairman is still nervous. Hye Won is right not to have children, he says, since the current situation is Young Woo’s fault.
Sun Jae comes in to Hye Won’s office, to find only the assistant there. She informs him that the Chairwoman of the SeoHan Arts Foundation, Han Sung Sook (Shim Hye Jin) needs him to go get measured for a suit for his performance. He reluctantly goes to Sung Sook’s office where the tailor measures him. Not surprisingly, he does better than Hye Won when Sung Sook baits him about his relationship with Hye Won, falling back on the old standby of playing stupid.
In the practice room, Sun Jae plays his concert repertoire, with Hye Won accompanying, for Joon Hyung. Joon Hyung gives his stamp of approval, complimenting Sun Jae’s progress. He departs, leaving Sun Jae and Hye Won alone and sweaty from their musical exertions. Hye Won remembers to give Sun Jae a handkerchief for the performance, asking if he’s nervous. He is, since he’s worried that he’ll waste her efforts of working at her horrible job. She tells him not to worry and leaves.
The next day at the concert hall, Joon Hyung, his assistant and Sun Jae rehearse Sun Jae’s concert entrance and exit, making sure that he thanks everyone and takes his bows. Professor Jo In Seo (Park Jong Hoon), and his star pupil, Ji Min Woo (Shin Ji Ho) come by to give their encouragement for the performance.
Hye Won stands at attention in Sung Sook’s office. She’s disappointed that neither Sung Sook nor Dean Min will be at the concert, but they don’t show up to anything without cameras present. Hye Won points out that she won’t be doing any PR for him until after he passes the first round of judging for the competition, but looks nervous when Sung Sook gives her credit for making Sun Jae what he is.
In her own office, Hye Won looks thoughtful as she relives Sung Sook’s last words, but her thoughts are cut off by a text from Sun Jae, who is wondering where she is.
Back in the dressing room, Sun Jae nervously looks at his phone, and clutches the handkerchief that Hye Won gave him. When the door opens, instead of Hye Won, it’s his ex-girlfriend Da Mi, who snuck out of work to come by before his performance. She compliments him on the suit, then stops him from taking the jacket off so she can take a picture of the two of them. He turns down her offer to put wax in his hair, since it stings his eyes. She clearly hasn’t gotten the message that they are not dating, since she hugs him, and tells him to throw away any flowers he gets from other women.
Hye Won opens the door as Sun Jae agrees to Da Mi’s request, and looks stricken at the sight of the two of them hugging. She discreetly shuts the door and stands in the hallway, then goes to the AV control room.
Da Mi leaves shortly after to go back to work, but runs back into the concert hall lobby when she spots Sun Jae’s friend Son Jang Ho (Choi Tae Hwan). She greets him, but is brought up short when she realizes he’s with Yoo Ra, the rich bitch whose head she dunked in the toilet at the salon where she works. Jang Ho tries to introduce them, but the two women are practically hissing at each other like angry cats. When Yoo Ra is surprised at their friendship, Da Mi gets angry, pointing out that they both went to a vocational high school together. Jang Ho tries to shut her up, but she merely tells him to come by to Sun Jae’s apartment after to celebrate. She leaves after making sure to threaten Yoo Ra one last time.
After she’s gone, a disgusted Yoo Ra turns on Jang Ho, contemptuous that he attended a vocational high school. He tries to smooth things over, but she leaves in a huff, with Jang Ho chasing her. On their way out, they pass Hye Won’s crazy boss Seo Young Woo (Kim Hye Eun), and her boyfriend Woo Sung (Kim Kwon). Woo Sung goes chasing after Jang Ho, calling him Justin, the name Jang Ho used as a gigolo in Woo Sung’s stable. Young Woo calls after him to come to the office and goes inside to find Hye Won. She checks Sun Jae’s dressing room first, where Sun Jae is doing breathing exercises with Joon Hyung. Sun Jae stops Joon Hyung to take a message from Hye Won, who tells him that she’ll be watching.
And, it’s time for the show! Sun Jae comes out on stage, and takes his seat at the piano, placing Hye Won’s handkerchief inside it. The orchestra begins playing, and the concert is underway. In the AV control room, an entranced Hye Won watches, while in the audience, Joon Hyung, his assistant, Professor Jo, and Min Woo are equally rapt.
The concert ends to thunderous applause. As he claps, Joon Hyung is reminded of the words of the fortune-teller he visited, who told him that Sun Jae would be the making of his career. In the AV booth, Hye Won barely stops herself from crying, as Sun Jae is called back for an encore. She leaves the AV control room to go out to the lobby, where she watches Sun Jae play on the tv screen. She’s reminded of him dedicating his encore to her, then walks away, smiling to herself.
Back in Young Woo’s office, Woo Sung points out that Sun Jae doesn’t seem like a good match for Hye Won, but Young Woo points out that it’s easier to see when they’re together. She asks him to go to the concert after-party with her, but he refuses, since he won’t belong.
In the dressing room, Joon Hyung accepts flowers and congratulations on Sun Jae’s behalf, while in the AV control room, Hye Won’s assistant finishes up. Sung Sook’s assistant walks in, and asks about Hye Won’s whereabouts, only to be told she’ll be at the after-party.
Hye Won, meanwhile, is lying down on the couch in her office, when Sun Jae comes in, smiling in the knowledge that he’s done well. Hye Won tells him that she could hardly breathe while he played. Sun Jae replies that he didn’t miss a note, because he thought of her. She invites him to sit so they can watch the recording of the show. It’s a totally different atmosphere from the last time the two of them sat on a couch, as they cozy up to each other, laughing at his funny expressions during the concert. They look very sweet as they hold hands and exchange looks, but I can’t forget that they’re at her workplace, so I can’t enjoy it.
Meanwhile, at the after-party, Young Woo betrays her ignorance of music to Professor Jo, Min Woo and another piano professor by asking if Sun Jae is any good. The other professor mocks her, saying she should have majored in drama instead (good point), and Professor Jo dismisses Min Woo so they can gossip, properly. Once Min Woo leaves, Young Woo asks if Sun Jae is better than Min Woo (ha! Already causing trouble), and the other professor notes that Sun Jae sounds like Hye Won. Professor Jo tries to be tactful, but the other professor points out that they can speak freely in the absence of Joon Hyung. They all wonder where Joon Hyung and Hye Won are.
It turns out that Joon Hyung is wandering the halls of the Foundation, while Hye Won is still on the couch with Sun Jae. It looks like they’re about to be caught, as Joon Hyung hesitantly walks in to Hye Won’s office, but luckily, they’re nowhere to be found. Joon Hyung goes to the security office to check the cameras.
Little does he know that Hye Won and Sun Jae have taken refuge backstage of the concert hall, in the cameras’ blind spot. Sun Jae pulls open the curtain to show Hye Won the stage, recounting the first time he saw her. They reminisce about how their relationship has changed since then, and the curtain falls as Hye Won caresses Sun Jae’s face.
Joon Hyung continues to look for them, but they’re absorbed with each other, kissing passionately in the backstage area. I’m flabbergasted as they lie down amongst some equipment, unaware that Joon Hyung has entered the concert hall looking for them.
Back at the party, Young Woo and the other professor are arguing like long-term acquaintances, when Young Woo gets a text that makes her drop everything, and run out. Outside the party, Hye Won’s assistant is about to leave to go find Hye Won, when she’s stopped by Sung Sook’s assistant, who insinuates that it is time that Joon Hyung saw Hye Won and Sun Jae in action. As Young Woo gets into her car, she tries to reach Hye Won by phone, to no avail, so she tries Joon Hyung instead.
Joon Hyung gets the message that Hye Won is needed at the Chairman’s house, where the prosecutors are descending. With no time to continue his cat-and-mouse game, Joon Hyung screams the message out into the concert hall then leaves. A startled Hye Won pulls herself together and runs to her office, leaving Sun Jae to take care of himself. She finds message after message on her phone. She pauses to take a long last look at her office, then leaves. As her car drives away, it’s followed shortly by Joon Hyung, who was obviously waiting for her to go.
There are a lot of men in dark suits at the Chairman and Sung Sook’s house as Hye Won arrives. Upstairs, Young Woo castigates her husband for allowing the Chairman to be arrested. He’s not listening, and merely reminds her that her company will also be part of the investigation, before walking away.
In the Chairman’s bedroom, Sung Sook fakes tears as the Chairman gets prepared to leave, and he compliments her on her dramatic use of a handkerchief. Equally dramatic, he instructs Hye Won to take care of Sung Sook if he ends up staying in jail. Hye Won, looking abashed, reassures him that he likely won’t be there for too long.
Sun Jae walks up a hill to the Chairman’s house. Meanwhile, Da Mi unsuccessfully looks for him at Hye Won and Joon Hyung’s house. She looks worried as she watches Joon Hyung pull in and park his car.
Back at the Chairman’s house, the Chairman is ready to make his dramatic exit. A tearful Young Woo clings to the Chairman, as he asks his son-in-law (Young Woo’s husband, and the head of the company’s legal department) to take him to the police station. Sung Sook continues her dramatic turn as the suffering wife, as Young Woo breaks down entirely, and Hye Won looks worried. Sun Jae peeks at Hye Won from behind a pillar, as the men in dark suits drive away with the Chairman.
Hye Won goes back inside to find a screaming Young Woo being dragged away from Sung Sook, who calmly sits in a chair and ignores her. Sung Sook complains about Young Woo’s hysterics, then admonishes Hye Won for being out of reach earlier. Hye Won gives the lame excuse that she fell asleep in her office, but Sung Sook is too busy coldly calculating how to turn this incident to her advantage. She sends a surprised Hye Won home, since she must be tired after organizing Sun Jae’s concert. This sounds a little like a dismissal to me, and Hye Won has no idea how to take it.
Back at home, Joon Hyung is having a drink in the living room when an exhausted Hye Won drags herself through the door, looking shell-shocked. He asks what happened, and she informs him that the Chairman was taken away. Clearly uninterested in the Chairman’s fate, Joon Hyung asks how Hye Won knew she had to go to Hannam-dong. Too tired to think of a convincing lie, she tells him she got a call, then walks up the stairs. Behind her, he flings his glass at the wall, but she barely pauses and keeps going.
The next morning, Sung Sook regally walks in to work with her assistant by her side. She instructs Hye Won to tell the employees to keep calm. Hye Won reports that she has provided Young Woo’s husband with the Foundation account books at his request, and Sung Sook curses at this news. She orders Hye Won to call him, but Hye Won asks if there’s anything she should know before calling. Sung Sook gives her a look, asking if there’s anything Hye Won doesn’t know.
Hye Won puts the call through, assuring Young Woo’s husband that the Foundation is not related to the Chairman’s personal assets. He wants to see them regardless, and Sung Sook takes it badly, assuming that he wants to know how much she took from the Chairman. Hye Won reassures her that those transactions are only stored on USB keys, but reminds her to stay away from Ms. Baek, the fortune teller (who I’m guessing was giving them inside information rather than telling anyone’s fortune).
Apparently, Sung Sook can’t resist taking a shot at Hye Won, and asks her why she hasn’t changed her business card to reflect her new job title of Vice President, wondering if she doesn’t expect to keep it for long. Hye Won quietly suggests that Sung Sook get herself in order instead of unloading on Hye Won, but Sung Sook just dismisses her, asking her to let Wang (finally! A name for Sung Sook’s assistant!) in.
Hye Won leaves the office, telling Wang to go in on the way out. Sung Sook immediately gets to the point when she comes in, and asks Wang whether Hye Won is having an affair. Wang pauses, then throws Hye Won under the bus. Sounding like she’s about to relate a particularly juicy piece of gossip, she tells Sung Sook that Hye Won is known for being “romantically incapable”, but lately she’s been acting differently.
Unaware that she’s just been sold out by her friend, Hye Won pauses outside her office door, deep in thought, and the episode ends.
Only 만: WHAT ARE SUN JAE AND HYE WON DOING??!???
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: That was the most physically intimate that we have seen Hye Won and Sun Jae. Yet, I derived no pleasure from it, because Joon Hyung was hovering on the periphery.
만: It was a bit like watching a ballet on a mine field. The dancing may look nice, but you know it’s going to end badly.
중국어 캐나다: Well, reality came crashing down on them. Joon Hyung is no longer willing to turn a blind eye, Da Mi is still hanging out with Sun Jae like nothing has changed in their relationship, and we now know that Sung Sook’s assistant is aware of the affair.
만: And, she’s making sure that everyone else knows, too. I was surprised by this, because I would have thought she’d warn Hye Won first. They were friends.
중국어 캐나다: I am surprised, too. I don’t know what drives Sung Sook’s assistant to derive entertainment from Hye Won’s downfall.
만: Maybe she’s angling for her job? If that’s the case, Hye Won has made herself a pretty easy target. However, I have the feeling that being fired is not the worst thing that could happen to Hye Won.
중국어 캐나다: No, at this point, I think what she cares about most is Sun Jae and his future. Her downfall would negatively affect him.
만: Aside from Hye Won and Sun Jae’s scandalous misbehaviour on stage, the most notable development in this episode was the Chairman going to jail. The balance that Hye Won maintained has been completely thrown off now. The Chairman can’t protect her, Young Woo is no longer a player, and all we’re left with is scary Sung Sook.
중국어 캐나다: Yes, that’s very perceptive. I was just happy to see the old lech get shipped off to prison.
만: Well, I wasn’t sad to see him go, but he was Hye Won’s protector. Without him, she’s at Sung Sook’s mercy.
중국어 캐나다: Speaking of mercy, Da Mi showed none when she ran into rich bitch, Yoo Ra. I might just enjoy it when she uses her blunt honesty on Hye Won.
만: I don’t think she’ll be using blunt honesty on Hye Won; maybe more like a blunt instrument.
중국어 캐나다: Ha! That’s something to look forward to. Or, do you think Hye Won has already been jolted awake from her daydream?
만: I think so. If she didn’t get jolted from what happened in the episode, surely she heard me yelling at the screen.
Please enjoy these Joon Hyung-free photos of Hye Won and Sun Jae:
Secret Love Affair (밀회)