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Mi Ran (Jang Mi Hee) almost slips on ice outside the café, but Seung Chan (Jinwoon) rushes to the rescue. When he insists on guiding her to the door, Mi Ran can barely contain her eagerness. They both end up on the ground with Mi Ran on top of Seung Chan.
Mi Ran washes Seung Chan’s pants for him, and they share hand cream when Seung Chan squirts out too much. Mi Ran asks Seung Chan to help her buy workout equipment, and they agree to make a date.
Soo Hyun (Sung Joon) asks Mi Ran to join him in observing video footage of his session with Sung Ho (Choi Tae Hwan) at a bar. The session is cut short when Soo Hyun suddenly passes out in the video from his single alcoholic beverage.
Hye Rim (Han Ye Seul) meets the Chairman (Byun Hee Bong) at his vacation home where she reports the love experiment that Soo Hyun conducted in which three different men wooed the subject. Hye Rim has concerns, but the Chairman does not care about ethics, only about the results, which will help guide his company’s marketing of women’s cosmetics. Hye Rim wonders if Soo Hyun might be conducting the same experiment right now. The Chairman acknowledges that it is possible, but he is not interested, and gives her the money he promised. Hye Rim fears that So Hyun has lied to her again.
On her way out of the Chairman’s home, Hye Rim spots a sickly, young woman. When she asks the Chairman’s man who she is, she gets stonewalled.
Ji Ho (Lee Joo Hyung) reveals to Seung Chan that Hye Rim found out about the experiment being conducted on her, and was ready to resort to violence. Soo Hyun lied to appease her, but was affected by her threat to curse him for life if she found out that she was the subject of such an experiment. Both men are surprised at how worried Soo Hyun is, and wonder if he has feelings for Hye Rim.
Seung Chan asks Soo Hyun to be kind to Hye Rim, regardless of the experiment, because he found out from her sister, Yoo Rim (Hwang Seung Eon) that she suffers from an incurable, fatal disease, but is not aware of it. Soo Hyun doesn’t know whether to take Seung Chan seriously or not, and calls Hye Rim for her sister’s number, and casually asks Hye Rim how she feels. She starts listing symptoms that appear to match up to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Unable to reach Yoo Rim, Soo Hyun ends up calling around for more information about the disease.
When Soo Hyun wakes Seung Chan in the middle of the night to report his findings about Hye Rim’s disease, Seung Chan points out that it proves how much Soo Hyun likes Hye Rim, before admitting that he lied about Hye Rim dying. After stopping Soo Hyun from swinging a baseball bat at him, Seung Chan proposes that they stop the experiment since Soo Hyun’s feelings doom it, but Soo Hyun refuses to quit.
Soo Hyun thinks of all his memories with Hye Rim, and decides that he has been compromised as a study conspirator due to his feelings. He removes himself from the experiment, and questions if he should even proceed with the study. He decides to continue to oversee the experiment, but to distance himself from Hye Rim.
The next morning, Soo Hyun announces to Ji Ho and Seung Chan that he is out of the experiment as a participant, and directs Ji Ho to find a male suitor to replace him. Soo Hyun then orders Hye Rim to quit her position in his office, because he will be closing the office when he is done treating Sung Ho. Hye Rim wants to know the real reason for getting rid of her and decamping, but Soo Hyun refuses to elaborate past the need to isolate himself.
Hye Rim refuses to quit, and questions whether Soo Hyun has been lying about his attraction towards her. When Soo Hyun will only concur that they were great partners, Hye Rim angrily admits that they never had anything more than a working relationship, and bids him goodbye.
Yoo Rim is at a jjimjilbang with Ji Ho when she returns with drinks to find him passed out. She kisses him on the lips, and he wakes up right away, and bluntly asks her if she had just kissed him. Ji Ho asks her to do it again so that he may scientifically analyze it more thoroughly. Yoo Rim has to convince Ji Ho to close his eyes before she kisses him again. He acknowledges that it was nice, then runs off to share a kiss with Hye Rim.
Hye Rim is reviewing Soo Hyun’s diary, and amused by it, but becomes angry when she gets to the empty pages. Seung Chan arrives at that moment to propose a basketball game. Though she is initially in a bad mood, the one-on-one basketball eventually cheers Hye Rim up. Seung Chan offers to buy their drinks even though he won the game.
At the pub, Hye Rim has too much to drink, and Seung Chan leaves her to buy some medication to help her sober up. He leaves behind his cell phone so when Soo Hyun calls, she answers, and lets loose with her anger and resentment before passing out.
Seung Chan returns with Hye Rim asleep on his back and runs into Soo Hyun. The brothers argue about how much Hye Rim had to drink, and Seung Chan claims that she was in a great mood while drinking. Hye Rim’s perceived lack of reaction to his withdrawal from the experiment, pair with Seung Chan’s joy, causes Soo Hyun to curse to himself.
Ji Ho presents a candidate to take Soo Hyun’s place: a 35 year old plastic surgeon who plays piano at a nightclub. Soo Hyun turns him down as too much of a playboy.
Mi Ran presents Sung Ho with a sentence completion exercise that he appears to have difficulty with. Meanwhile, Soo Hyun and Ji Ho examines Sung Ho’s apartment for clues into his psyche. So Hyun notices a collection of Star Wars figurines. Later, he asks Sung Ho why he doesn’t have a Darth Vader figurine, and when he refuses to answer, Soo Hyun simply waits until their hour is over. Soo Hyun is about to leave when Sung Ho finally reveals that his father was an abusive alcoholic whose return home late at night he would dread. Since his father would focus on their schooling, Sung Ho grew to hate school. Sung Ho left home as soon as he could.
Soo Hyun tells Sung Ho that he must meet his father in person to overcome the trauma. They go to a medical facility where Sung Ho’s father is dying. He apologizes to his son, and Sung Ho breaks down at how pitiful his father is, while vehemently refusing to forgive his father.
Hye Rim is sad to see Ji Ho start packing up the office. Remembering moments with Soo Hyun, she starts to cry. Later, she watches a horror movie with a deadpan expression, and Yoo Rim is amazed since Hye Rim usually only watches romantic movies. Hye Rim freaks out at Yoo Rim when Yo Rim digs repeatedly into whether she has any interest in Ji Ho, and at her perceived criticism of romantic movies.
Ji Ho presents the next candidate to replace Soo Hyun, a games developer (Shim Hyung Tak in a cameo) who is now a CEO. Ji Ho finds him refreshingly accessible, but Soo Hyun considers him fake and insincere. He is quickly rejected.
Yoo Rim approaches Ji Ho to gleefully confirm that he has not kissed her sister. Ji Ho says he is about to do it, and Yoo Rim comes up with numerous excuses why he can’t. Finally, she claims that Hye Rim only likes full-on kisses, as opposed to chaste pecks, and offers to teach Ji Ho. Yoo Rim drags Ji Ho to a secluded corner and launches right into a kiss. Ji Ho appears to be struggling to keep up until he finally allows himself to be caught up in the experience, and to Yoo Rim’s surprise, he reverses their positions, pushing her up against the wall.
Ji Ho and his swollen lips present a third candidate to replace Soo Hyun: a mechanical engineering professor, Jo Won Gook (Lee Seung Joon). Won Gook is interested in participating in the experiment since his own work coincides with the subject matter. In terms of personality, looks, and character, he meets all of Soo Hyun’s requirements, and Soo Hyun invites him to join the experiment.
Won Gook arrives at the café and asks Hye Rim to have his fortune read. Hye Rim resorts to her usual random French phrases, but it turns out, Won Gook speaks French. Since Won Gook also speaks Spanish, Italian and Japanese, Hye Rim settles on German. Otherwise, Won Gook and Hye Rim seem to have a good rapport, which is repeatedly interrupted by Soo Hyun’s texts demanding updates from Won Gook. Before leaving, Won Gook invites Hye Rim to join him for a movie premiere, and when Hye Rim hesitates, he leaves his business card with her.
After viewing Soo Hyun’s termination letter, she decides to accept Won Gook’s invitation. The next day, she submits the signed termination letter to Ji Ho who reports to Soo Hyun that Won Gook may be more skilled than they expected since Hye Rim already has a date with him.
Soo Hyun learns when and where Won Gook and Hye Rim are meeting. He shows up at the movie theatre wearing sunglasses and bundled in a scarf, and kicks Hye Rim’s seat repeatedly when she and Won Gook find out they have much in common. Later, Soo Hyun shadows them at the restaurant where he pushes the waitress so that she spills coffee on Won Gook.
Soo Hyun just misses the couple as they leave in an elevator and he rushes to catch up. He follows them until they disappear inside a police station where Soo Hyun waits outside like a shady character until he is confronted by a pair of policemen as the couple make their escape. When he is finally released from the police station, Soo Hyun angrily calls Ji Ho to say that he is resuming his role as participant in the experiment, and orders him to find Won Gook and Hye Rim.
Soo Hyun pops up before Won Gook and Hye Rim, ordering the professor to unhand her. While Soo Hyun is dragging Hye Rim away, Won Gook addresses Soo Hyun by name, and an incredulous Hye Rim screeches to a halt to ask if the men know each other.
Ever since Hye Rim started spouting random French phrases during her fortune telling session, I have been wondering when she would encounter another French speaker who would call her on her huckster ways. After all, she’s speaking French, which is hardly an obscure language. So, I laughed out loud when Won Gook caught her in the act. Luckily for her, he seemed ready to overlook it in order to score a date.
This episode was not as well paced and consistently hilarious as the previous one. I found Soo Hyun’s attempt to distance himself from Hye Rim clumsy and more complicated than it needed to be. Their paths crossed so many times that I frequently forgot that Soo Hyun was supposed to be avoiding Hye Rim.
Still, this episode had great moments. I loved Seung Chan’s casual deception regarding Hye Rim’s health to gauge Soo Hyun’s interest in her. Soo Hyun’s insane stalking of Hye Rim and Won Gook was entertainingly over the top. I also applaud Yoo Rim for taking charge of skinship with Ji Ho in a way that Kdrama characters rarely do.
However, the problem remains that Soo Hyun is not a viable love interest. In fact, the introduction of nice and normal Won Gook just serves as stark contrast to Soo Hyun who sends mixed messages and regards his growing feelings for Hye Rim as a chemical imbalance. Again, this makes Soo Hyun hilarious and entertaining, but just not romance material. And, as much as I have enjoyed the comedy in this Kdrama, I am ready for it to fulfill the romantic component of the romantic comedy. Maybe, we will finally get there when “Madame Antoine” reaches the halfway point next week?
Madame Antoine (마담 앙트완)