Side dish: I have no idea what Yi Seok was cooking at the end of this episode, but it looked like a simple pasta. Here’s a recipe for another simple pasta, cacio e pepe from Mario Batali that may tickle your taste buds.
We’re in the future again, with police detective, Jang Doo Soo (Lee Jae Yoon) begging severe anthrophobe, Cha Hong Do (Choi Kang Hee) not to leave, as Ko Se Ro (Ahn So Hee) looks on sadly.
But, before we get here, we’re back in the past, where Hong Do has just been found out as Young Rae, the old lady persona she uses to go to work, by her boyfriend, obnoxious psychiatrist, Ko Yi Seok (Chun Jung Myung).
Unfortunately, they’re in a restaurant where Yi Seok’s grandfather, the Chairman has just asked Young Rae/Hong Do to live with him. The Chairman returns to the table from the washroom, preventing Yi Seok from saying anything, and then shoos him away. Young Rae/Hong Do is frozen as Yi Seok angrily leaves, but finally works up the nerve to turn down the Chairman’s proposal, and run after Yi Seok.
Young Rae/Hong Do manages to catch up to Yi Seok, who quickly pulls her into the car, and drives away to prevent the Chairman from seeing her again. They don’t get far before Yi Seok’s anger boils over, and he immediately jumps to the worst explanation, namely that Hong Do is a swindler who targets rich, old men. Hong Do apologizes repeatedly, but Yi Seok is too angry to listen.
Back at the house, the Chairman speculates on whether it was the small size of the ring that put Young Rae off. Instead, his jealous housekeeper explains that no woman would want a smelly old man.
Back at Yi Seok’s apartment, Hong Do showers off the disguise before they sit down to have it out. Yi Seok, it turns out, is angry, because her dishonesty casts doubt on her feelings for him, but Hong Do explains that she was too embarrassed to reveal that she had to resort to such a lame method to be able to leave the house. Regardless, Yi Seok is too angry for forgiveness, and tells her not to see the Chairman again, and that he no longer needs her to come to the hospital.
Back at the police station, Se Ro visits her crush, Doo Soo. Bluntness must run in the family, because Se Ro asks an amused Doo Soo about his relationship with Hong Do, whether it was always a one-sided crush. Rather than answer, Doo Soo wonders at Se Ro’s optimism that things will work out between them. Se Ro explains that it’s the first time her heart has been moved by anyone, so she wants to work things out. Doo Soo looks tired as he tells her that he needs to eat.
Back at the Chairman’s house, Yi Seok’s mom, Hwang Moon Sun (Jin Hee Kyung) is in good spirits, and has a nice chat with Butler Ahn (Choi Moo Sung). Their laughter is shortly interrupted by the arrival of her husband, Ko Jae Woong (Uhm Hyo Sup), who is moving back into the house.
Doo Soo waits outside of Hong Do’s house for her return. When she arrives, he explains that since he’s realized his feelings are a problem for her, that he will try not to like her or be concerned with her. Doo Soo kisses Hong Do goodbye and leaves.
Back at the Chairman’s house, Yi Seok comes home to find Se Ro using a hula hoop. He sits her down to warn her off of her interest in Doo Soo, but Se Ro is surprisingly crafty. Having already discovered that Hong Do is Doo Soo’s first love, and Se Ro expects it to go badly for him.
Meanwhile, the Chairman is in bed, reliving his happy memories with Young Rae. He pretends to be asleep when Yi Seok comes in, and counsels his grandfather not to be so upset, since Young Rae must have reasons for turning him down.
Hong Do, meanwhile, is at home, wondering whether it would not have been better to stay safely in the house than cause all the damage she did. By the next morning, however, realizing that she has nothing further to fear, Hong Do decides to return Yi Seok’s clothes to him so she can see his face.
Yi Seok sits in the office of his mentor, Uhm Gi Choon (Seo Yi Sook), and explains the situation. Rather than commiserate, Gi Choon can’t help, but laugh at the comic possibility of Yi Seok losing his girl to his grandfather. While Yi Seok tries to reconcile himself to the possibility that Hong Do may just like him as a doctor, Gi Choon struggles to keep a straight face. She finally gives up, and sends him out of the clinic to a seminar.
Hong Do arrives at the clinic moments after Yi Seok leaves, and sits in his office to await his return. When Yi Seok doesn’t respond to her calls or texts, Hong Do resorts to hanging around outside the Chairman’s house until Se Ro comes out. The two of them go out for coffee, and Se Ro asks if she can call Hong Do “eonni”. In return, Hong Do asks Se Ro to pass on to Yi Seok that she loves him.
On her way back, Se Ro calls Yi Seok to inform him about this conversation, and Yi Seok realizes for the first time that Hong Do has been trying to reach him. Yi Seok congratulates himself for being so awesome that Hong Do can’t live without him.
Back at the clinic, Hong Do is skulking about, when Gi Choon arrives. Gi Choon lures Hong Do into her office with the promise of giving Hong Do the address of the seminar Yi Seok is attending. Gi Choon spills the beans to Hong Do about Yi Seok wearing a mask (metaphorically) to cover his inferiority complex. She explains that the timid Yi Seok has taken on the persona of his dead older brother. Gi Choon is convinced that all of Yi Seok’s problems can be solved by the unwavering love of Hong Do (what?!).
While Gi Choon shamelessly breaks doctor-patient privilege in the name of playing cupid, Yi Seok repeatedly checks his phone for Hong Do’s messages, blatantly ignoring the seminar he’s attending. Luckily, he’s rescued shortly by the arrival of Hong Do, who texts him from outside. He runs out happily, and instantly forgives her when she apologizes again. The two of them make up, as Yi Seok warns Hong Do that the real Yi Seok is not that cool. Hong Do reassures him that she never thought he was cool. They kiss while my head explodes into hearts and flowers. The two of them drive back together, all lovey-dovey.
Se Ro proposes a farewell party, since her research at the police station is now over, to Doo Soo and his partner. The idea is shot down by Doo Soo, so she bribes his partner into tricking Doo Soo into coming along. Later that evening, at the local eel restaurant, Se Ro “coincidentally” runs into Doo Soo and his partner, and sits with them. Se Ro looks at Doo Soo adoringly, while he drinks his misery away. When his partner leaves them alone, Doo Soo and Se Ro start talking about Hong Do and Yi Seok. Doo Soo admits that he knew Hong Do’s feelings for Yi Seok were sincere, but he didn’t trust Yi Seok’s weak heart, and he didn’t want Hong Do to get hurt.
Doo Soo drinks himself into a stupor, so Se Ro ends up giving him a ride (after making his partner carry him to the car then take a taxi). Carried away with the memory of him singing to her when she was drunk, Se Ro returns the favour to the unconscious Doo Soo.
Yi Seok drops Hong Do off in her neighbourhood, then immediately calls, because he misses her, as she walks home. Se Ro, meanwhile, gets lost looking for Doo Soo’s apartment, but spots Hong Do walking around. When Se Ro stops to ask Hong Do for directions, Doo Soo wakes up at the sound of Hong Do’s voice, and steps out of the car to beg her not to leave. We’re back at the beginning as Se Ro comments on how complicated the situation is. Doo Soo goes home, and collapses drunkenly on the floor, tears tracking down his face.
Back at the Chairman’s house, Yi Seok gets an update about the Chairman’s condition from Butler Ahn. The Chairman is not eating, nor getting up, and Butler Ahn speculates that his friend’s death hit him hard. Yi Seok asks Hong Do if she can come back the next day as Young Rae to make the Chairman feel better.
When Hong Do does returns as Young Rae, the embarrassed Chairman just wants her to take her severance pay and go away. Young Rae refuses to accept it, since she learned so much from him, but the Chairman insists that she take the money, since she made him feel better when she was around. Young Rae refuses again, thanks him and leaves. On the way out, she runs into Yi Seok, who wants to take her home, but she shoves him away and leaves, neither one aware that the Chairman is watching this exchange.
Bursting with curiosity, the Chairman goes up to Yi Seok’s room later, and overhears the entire story as Yi Seok asks Hong Do about it. When he discovers that Young Rae is a disguise and Yi Seok appears in on the deception, the Chairman clutches his heart and stumbles away. Back in his office, the angry Chairman tasks Butler Ahn with investigating Young Rae.
Doo Soo wakes up to a call from his partner, having spent the night where he collapsed in the doorway. He tells his partner that he’s taking the day off, then puts his mitts away in his box of Hong Do keepsakes.
Hong Do, meanwhile, is at Yi Seok’s officetel, watching him make her pasta. When Yi Seok wonders why he forgave her so easily for the situation with the Chairman, Hong Do confesses that she feels very apologetic to both Yi Seok and the Chairman, and wonders how the elderly man is doing. She’s distracted by Yi Seok’s awesomeness as he cooks for her, but their moment is interrupted by an angry phone call from the Chairman demanding that Yi Seok come home and explain. Uh-oh.
This is not one of the more tightly written episodes of this show, and it occasionally felt like a sloppy transition, though I’m not sure I know where they’re going. I can think of a few issues, but I’ll concentrate on my major quibble with this episode: Gi Choon’s explanation to Hong Do about Yi Seok’s masks and inferiority complex.
First, even if Hong Do agreed to protect Yi Seok for the rest of her days, spilling the beans about issues that have come out in counselling seems pretty unethical, even by the low standards for ethical psychiatry laid out by this show.
Second, I didn’t need Gi Choon to literally explain Yi Seok’s issues, given that we’ve already had a ton of hints, in Yi Seok’s back-and-forth behaviour, and in the knowledge that he had a loudmouth twin brother that everyone liked more than him. Having all this stuff laid out explicitly, when it’s been amply explained in implicit terms, just felt clunky, as if they were treating the audience like idiots. I hope this doesn’t signal a transition to dealing entirely with Yi Seok’s issues from now on; not every K-drama has to be about the guy in the end, right?
Also, Yi Seok makes a good point: why did he forgive Hong Do so easily? He barely listened to her reasons before letting it go, since he was so moved by her presence at his seminar. I mean, I love my significant other and all (I can say it, because it’s Valentine’s Day), but even I would have needed more of an explanation before dropping something that bizarre. That said, I don’t know that anger would have been my first response. Probably something more like shock, followed by hunger, since it was obviously lunchtime.
Anyway, since there’s no doubting Hong Do and Yi Seok’s fantastic chemistry, here are some bonus shots of their super cute reunion: