Misaeng Episode 4 recap

Side dish: My father makes an amazing curry cow tongue, but he is not very clear about the recipe. For now, I’ll suggest this African curry cow tongue recipe.

Episode Recap

Oh Sang Sik (Lee Sung Min) gets his chance to speak with the executive director, and shamelessly requests the favour of saving his assistant manager, Kim Dong Sik (Kim Dae Myung) from disciplinary action. The executive director departs without a word, and Dong Sik witnesses the entire incident. Later, he apologizes, knowing that Sang Sik is at odds with the executive director.

Meanwhile, Jang Geu Rae (Im Si Wan) and his presentation partner, Han Suk Yool (Byun Yo Han) just had their fisticuffs interrupted by a text message. They find out that for the second part of their presentation, the challenge is to sell something to your partner. Suk Yool instantly declares that he will not buy whatever Geu Rae decides to sell.

Misaeng 4.2

The interns all work late into the night to strategize for the second challenge. Geu Rae knows that Suk Yool has a bias for site work over office work. When Sang Sik stops by the office to pick up his bag, Geu Rae asks him how to counter Suk Yool’s opinion. Sang Sik points out that both site and office are needed and dependent on the other. This gives Geu Rae an idea that sends him running frantically around the office, looking under people’s desks.

On the morning of the presentation, Geu Rae’s mother admits to feeling ambivalent about her son passing the challenge. His hiring would mean that she no longer qualifies for public assistance. However, throughout the day, she wonders about how Geu Rae is doing, while having faith that Geu Rae will not be nervous, because he is used to being tested.

Misaeng 4.3

The interns’ presentation is quite the event with all of management in attendance, including the executive director and Sang Sik. Just as they are about to start, Suk Yool is distressed to discover he has forgotten something. Geu Rae is concerned, but Suk Yool refuses to elaborate.

The presentations become a massacre as intern after intern falls under questioning and scrutiny from the executive director and management. However, everyone is impressed by lone female intern, An Young Yi (Kang So Ra), as well as Jang Baek Ki (Kang Ha Neul) who is known to be a whiz at presentations. Only Sang Sik scoffs at the lack of heart behind Baek Ki’s precise pitch.

Misaeng 4.4

When Geu Rae and Suk Yool’s turn comes, Suk Yool is a nervous wreck. Suk Yool finally admits he forgot his medication, and Geu Rae is forced to take over the presentation, because no extra time will be allotted to them.

While listening to Geu Rae flounder, Suk Yool remembers his father and all the site workers who support him, many of whom are calling Suk Yool’s office and cell phone at that very moment to remind him to take his medication. Suk Yool gains strength from representing the blue collar workers he knows, and ends up delivering an eloquent and professional presentation.

Misaeng 4.7

After a break, the presentations move onto the sales pitch challenge. Interns cannot reject what their partner sells them without reason. Baek Ki is surprisingly vicious as he attempts to sell a mirror to his partner to help him develop some originality. Young Yi is humiliated when her partner tries to sell a memory to her then screens secret video footage of her.

Suk Yool decides to sell the fabric made at the Ulsan plant as well as valuable site information. Geu Rae counters by offering instead to work with Suk Yool, since he is the source of the site information, and fabric can be bought elsewhere. Cornered with the question of whether he would work with Geu Rae, Suk Yool deflects by asking to see Geu Rae’s product.

Misaeng 4.8

Geu Rae reveals Sang Sik’s well-worn work slippers. He uses the opportunity to praise the hard work of office workers, which causes Suk Yool to reveal his anti-office prejudice in a room of white collar workers. Geu Rae then echoes Sang Sik’s words by claiming that both site and office work together towards a common goal. Everyone is stunned silent by Geu Rae’s clever strategy of touting cooperation, and even Suk Yool can only laugh in admiration.

As the interns wait for the company’s hiring decision, Geu Rae returns to doing menial jobs. Geu Rae is missed by Dong Sik who has gotten into the habit of relying on him. Sang Sik is literally screaming for additional staff, though he voices his preference for Young Yi.

As expected, Young Yi is hired along with Baek Ki, Suk Yool and exhausted young father, Kim Seok Ho. To everyone’s shock, so is Geu Rae. On the morning of his first day as a contract employee, his mother lectures him on how men should know how to tie a necktie as she does the job for him. This tender moment is interrupted when Geu Rae realizes that his mother does not know what she is doing, and is left with a neatly folded disaster around his neck.

Misaeng 4.9

After getting a neighbourhood barber to do his tie, Geu Rae arrives at work where he is greeted with happiness by Suk Yool, and has an inside joke with Young Yi. Only Baek Ki seems troubled by Geu Rae’s hiring, and his easy camaraderie with the aloof Young Yi.

Despite being one of the select few who was hired, Geu Rae is subjected to the humiliation of being passed over by the executive director during his meeting with the new hires. When he is assigned back with Sang Sik, Sang Sik is upset at not getting Young Yi, and loudly denies requesting Geu Rae, causing Geu Rae to giggle. The mood sobers instantly when the executive director walks by, and compliments the tightly knit team, attributing it to Sang Sik’s prostration on Dong Sik’s behalf.

In private, Sang Sik bluntly tells Geu Rae he is not happy about his hiring, since he would have preferred someone with multiple skills like Young Yi. Unaware of Geu Rae’s history with Go, Sang Sik uses a game analogy to advise Geu Rae to aim for a complete life.

Misaeng 4.12


This was a slower episode, with the majority of it focused on the presentation interviews. Again, it was good to see Geu Rae demonstrating his strategic mind, even if he is still suffering occasional humiliation.

Understated and proper Geu Rae serves as the perfect foil to Sang Sik’s random outbursts, which appear to be a common enough occurrence that his co-workers hardly have a reaction other than shaking their heads. One of the best scenes to demonstrate this is when Sang Sik advises Geu Rae to get some satisfaction should he fail by tripping up Suk Yool, and Geu Rae is dumbfounded by the petty suggestion.

Misaeng 4.5

What is unexpected is the slow transformation of Baek Ki into a villain. Baek Ki started out showing pity towards Geu Rae and helping him out in small ways. He even provided clarification in a misunderstanding between Geu Rae and Young Yi. Yet, after repeat failures to ingratiate himself with Young Yi, and noticing a growing camaraderie between Young Yi and Geu Rae, you can practically see the jealousy set in. Whereas once he looked uneasy when Geu Rae was being humiliated, now he is snickering in delight. Having Baek Ki as Geu Rae’s nemesis should provide plenty of entertaining drama.

Misaeng (미생)

misaeng 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 || series review


  1. Thanks for the recap, this episode was indeed slow compared to the last one but i really enjoyed. I really like the “selling” scene where Geu Rae showed the importance of site and office work not putting one over (as better than) the other. I also like the scene where GR call his mom to tell he got the work, while the others seemed happy i don’t think he was expecting to hear he passed the test.
    I don’t know if i understand the complete/incomplete life Chief Oh and GR were talking about, maybe they’ll explain it later?


    1. To clarify, I really enjoyed this episode, too. It said a lot about Geu Rae that he was able to out manuver his partner with such a positive message. Especially compared to Baek Ki.
      I am also hoping they explain the incomplete life analogy. I thought maybe it was just a bad translation.


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