Misaeng Episode 13 recap

Side dish: Geu Rae advises all of us to be absorbed, and at the moment, I’m absorbed with finding new uses for my muffin tins. Here are a few suggestions from Chow.com.

Episode Recap


As the group of executives arrive to be briefed on Sales Team 3’s proposal, the executive director wishes deputy head, Oh Sang Sik (Lee Sung Min) good luck. As the meeting begins, the mostly negative atmosphere is interrupted by the arrival of the CEO, who decided to sit in.

Newbie contractor Jang Geu Rae (Im Si Wan) is nervous as he watches the presentation, but Sang Sik starts out on the offensive, detailing a list of occasions where One International lost large amounts of money to other companies after giving up profitable businesses due to past malfeasance. The comparison to Mr. Park’s used car deal is obvious, and it sets the executives in an uproar.


Having set the cat among the pigeons, Sang Sik returns to the usual presentation format, and details the Jordan used car export business. With the help of Mr. Kim, the branch manager in Jordan, the executives are mostly won over. The CEO singles out Geu Rae, and asks why Geu Rae came up with this proposal. Geu Rae responds with: “Because, it’s our company.” Impressed, the CEO gives them the go-ahead, and everyone applauds; Sang Sik’s risk paid off and the proposal is a raging success. Geu Rae is a nervous wreck at his point, and almost faints from relief.


Back at the Resources Team, former superstar intern An Young Yi (Kang So Ra) finally gets acknowledgement from the team leader regarding her work, and is given responsibility to handle by herself. Her happy moment is interrupted by the arrival of Fibre Team contractor Han Suk Yool (Byun Yo Han), who loudly describes the cold atmosphere prior to the proposal meeting to the amusement of her colleagues.


Suk Yool, meanwhile, has dragged Geu Rae up on to the roof with Steel Team contractor Jang Baek Ki (Kang Ha Neul), and Young Yi to discuss his triumph at the board meeting with the CEO. When Baek Ki congratulates him, Geu Rae thanks him, despite flashing back on an earlier slight. On the way back to the office, Young Yi tells Baek Ki that, given his specs, he shouldn’t be jealous of Geu Rae, and that the circumstance that led to Geu Rae’s team’s triumph was actually a bad one to begin with. In the meantime, Geu Rae tries to escape as Suk Yool gives him a congratulatory hug.

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Back in the office, Baek Ki attempts to ask his boss, Assistant Manager Kang (Oh Min Seok) out for a soju, and fails to even get the words out. On his way home, he fails again, and ends up drinking beer by himself, while reminiscing about every slight he’s ever thrown at Geu Rae. Predictably, he sleeps in the next morning, and runs out half dressed to get in to the office on time.


Back at the office, Suk Yool is ready to take on his boss. His excitement is interrupted by a frantic call from Baek Ki for a favour; to give his team the appearance of simply being away from his desk. Suk Yool leaves his jacket at Baek Ki’s desk, and turns on his computer.

When Baek Ki finally arrives, all of 10 minutes late, Suk Yool meets him in the elevator. He asks Baek Ki why he doesn’t ask his supervisor for help, but Baek Ki doesn’t have that kind of relationship with him. Apropos of nothing, Suk Yool counsels Baek Ki not to go to a sauna with Assistant Manager Kang until they’re closer, since it would be awkward to be naked in a tub with him.

An already confused Baek Ki is completely thrown when the elevator doors open, and Assistant Manager Kang is standing there. As Baek Ki is scolded by the chief of the Steel Team, he looks sadly at Assistant Manager Kang, who has clearly snitched on him.


Sang Sik brings over the sales manager for the Jordan used car deal to meet his team. The sales manager shakes hands with everybody, and Geu Rae is sent to make coffee for everyone. In the staff kitchen, he runs into Young Yi, who makes the coffee for Sang Sik as congratulations for his earlier promotion. Just as she points out that Sang Sik may possibly get another promotion, the acting department head, Mr. Ma enters the room. He’s clearly angry, and when he finds that Young Yi will be handling a particular case on her own, Mr. Ma tells her supervisor to leave her out of the briefing.


Everyone’s having a bad day, as Suk Yool goes back to the Fibre Team, only to have to take responsibility for his supervisor’s mistake. When he tries to protest, his supervisor dares him to find out what taking responsibility means.

Geu Rae has become a company celebrity, and is being invited to meetings he has nothing to do with. Unfortunately, Young Yi has no such advantage, as the rage-filled Mr. MA later hunts her down to scold her, and then her whole team, in front of the entire office.

Baek Ki, Suk Yool and Geu Rae take Young Yi to the roof to comfort her. Their commiseration is interrupted by the leaders of another team, who stop to ask Geu Rae’s advice on doing business in Iran. He’s unable to answer, but the rest of the group are shocked to see his newfound popularity. A jealous Baek Ki abruptly leaves to sort samples, but his team leader sends him to a sauna to relax a bit, since Assistant Manager Kang has already gone for the day.


At the sauna, Baek Ki is deep in his own thoughts as he undresses, but he’s snapped back to reality as he looks up to find a naked Assistant Manager Kang a few lockers away. I’m laughing too hard to really listen, but Suk Yool’s earlier warnings about saunas replay in Baek Ki’s head, as he awkwardly hangs out in the tub, waiting for Assistant Manager Kang to get out first.

When they go to the showers, the awkwardness gets worse, as Baek Ki can’t figure out which stall to use, not wanting to be too close or too far from Assistant Manager Kang. When Assistant Manager Kang gets up to dry off, there’s soap on his back. Suk Yool’s warnings about looking at his boss’s naked body prevent Baek Ki from pointing it out. Instead, he pretends to spray the Assistant Manager accidentally with the shower head to get the suds off.

The awkwardness fades away as the two of them dry their hair. Baek Ki finally manages to find the courage to ask Assistant Manager Kang to go for a drink.

The two of them end up drinking beer on a park bench, where Baek Ki confesses his feelings of being left behind by his colleagues with flashier projects. Assistant Manager Kang points out that he’s not a temporary worker, like Geu Rae. He explains that working for the Steel Team is unlikely to garner accolades, but it’s important to the company, and brings in a lot of money. He tells Baek Ki to find a way to motivate himself, and they part on a friendly note. Awwwwwww.


It’s Christmas! Suk Yool asks each of the contractors about their plans for the New Year. As they’re chatting, Geu Rae gets a follow request on Twitter from the friendly teacher at the daycare centre. Baek Ki and Young Yi laugh as Suk Yool steals Geu Rae’s phone and writes back to her. They all leave the elevator in a good mood, and Geu Rae goes to his desk, looking relaxed. They send him for coffee, and while he’s there, he’s brought down to earth with a thud, as two workers dismiss him as a temp.


He goes back to the office, where he, Dong Sik, Mr. Chun and Sang Sik start addressing personal Christmas cards. Sang Sik gives the first one to him, and Geu Rae goes up to the roof to read it. The message from Sang Sik is: “It couldn’t have been better. Yes!”

Geu Rae imagines the card being taken away by the wind, and flying through all the past moments of his life. In voiceover, he says that you should always be absorbed in whatever you think is worth being absorbed in, and when you can’t be absorbed, ask whatever is around you to help you find it again.


The episode ends with a montage of Baek Ki giving a Christmas gift to Assistant Manager Kang, Young Yi drinking at home by herself while looking happily at her bank book, and Suk Yool addressing cards on a big pile of Christmas gifts.


I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at “Misaeng” as in this episode. Having spent the past couple of episodes ramping up the tension for the proposal meeting, “Misaeng” finally gave way to some fun, with Suk Yool’s antics, and Baek Ki’s incredibly awkward sauna encounter with Assistant Manager Kang. If you’re wondering why I described that scene in such detail, it’s because a) it’s hilarious, and b) two hot, naked guys are in it, and I’m only human.

But, with that, it was great to see that this completely awkward encounter led to some progress between Baek Ki and Assistant Manager Kang. Their slow, but steady progress is a nice contrast to the quick rapport that Geu Rae had with his team, a working relationship built with very little in the way of dramatics.

Aside from that, I can’t even tell you how much I love Suk Yool and Geu Rae together. Between Geu Rae’s disdain, and Suk Yool’s persistent idiocy, they’re a match made in comedy heaven. Also, whatever actor, Byun Yo Han does next, I’ll be watching it. In the meantime, for your watching pleasure, here’s the sauna scene:

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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. Even the fantastic sauna scene was made better by Suk Yool’s voiceover. I love that guy; I just hope he figures out how to beat his boss or makes peace with the fact that he’s not going to.


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