Thursday, August 9, 2012

Haeundae Lovers Episode 2 Recap

  This episode was better for me. It had more comedic scenes, and I may actually come to like this drama. We'll see how I feel after a couple more episodes.

Episode 2:
  So Ra tries to kick Tae Sung and he grabs her foot. She gets loose and kicks him in the face before saying that perverts need to be punished physically, and then runs away. Tae Sung  chases after her, yelling "This is the first time I've felt this way!", but gets a call from the cops telling him Boss is heading out the back door. 
  He goes to meet them. They get in a fight and Boss runs out into the parking garage. Tae Sung chases after him. When he finally catches Boss, a car pulls up with a dog in it. The dog jumps out and runs up to Tae Sung. He seems nervous—I'm betting he doesn't like dogs much. Boss kidney punches him and makes his getaway.

  So Ra runs out to her truck, freaking out about the perverts. Gwan Soon is still duct taped. As they drive off, Boss runs in front of the truck, causing them to hit him. They load him in the truck to take him to the hospital just as Tae Sung staggers out. He sees the girls with Boss and assume they're helping him escape, so he memorizes the shop info on the side of the truck.
  The girls run to get hospital staff to help them, but upon returning to the truck, Boss has disappeared, leaving his phone behind. As the doctors and nurses all go back inside, Gwan Soon notices the nail stuck to So Ra's hanbok. So Ra realizes Tae Sung isn't such a big pervert, after all.
  Tae Sung gets reprimanded by his boss and it taken off the case he's been working on—no one is willing to work with him anymore. His boss also tells him to take a vacation. Funny, isn't that what a honeymoon is all about? As Tae Sung leaves, a crowd of his coworkers are waiting for the elevator. When they see him coming, they all move over to take a different elevator. When that elevator comes first, he moves to get on, but everyone else gets back off. As he leaves the building, protesters are outside calling for his rejection (I assume they want him fired.).
  Tae Sung finally makes it to the hospital where Se Na is sleeping, and his father yells at him. "Where have you been?! Your in-laws have been asking for you! You couldn't even catch the criminals after everything, and you made us lose face with the investigators. Nobody wants to work with us now." Dad then storms out, leaving Tae Sung time to have a flashback to when they first met.

  Dad is leaving an orphanage full of boisterous kids while talking on a brick-sized cell phone. We see the adorable little Tae Sung studiously reading nearby. Dad sets up an appointment, but as soon as he hangs up and tries to write it down he can't remember. Tae Sung tells him all the details he overheard and they begin to talk. Dad realizes baby Tae Sung is a smart little guy and asks him what he wants to be when he grows up. Tae Sung enthusiastically replies "Someone who catches criminals!"

  Back in the future, Tae Sung takes Se Na's hand and tells her she has no idea what it's like being an unwanted mutt with no roots. (I might feel more sympathy for him right now if he hadn't abandoned his wife during her surgery. She's the one who gets pity points right now, buddy, not you.) He says he can't lose his father, so he'll be his father's son now and her husband later. She grabs his hand and he tells her he'll be back in 3 days. As Tae Sung drives to Busan, we get a multi-angle slo-mo shot of him putting on his sunglasses. I'm not sure why that warrants a slo-mo, honestly, but apparently sunglasses are important.)
  We next see doctors trying to resuscitate an old man. Tam Hee is standing to the side biting her nails. She goes outside and begins making funeral arrangements, asking for a casket and shroud that look expensive, but aren't. Her grandma comes and gives her a reproachful look, but before she can say anything, the doctor tells them to come back in. Tam Hee: "Did he die?" Nope, too bad for you Tam Hee.
  Grandma and Tam Hee rush back in, and Grandma is genuinely concerned and relieved, while Tam Hee keeps up her pretense of worry. President starts talking about Tae Sung being his son, and says he wants to see him. Grandma says it's been 27 years. Tam Hee goes back outside and vows he will never find his son.
  Tae Sung asks about Uncles Fish Shop and is told about the history of So Ra's dad's old gang, the White Sands Gang and we see how So Ra's father was hit in the head during a gang fight. Also, he's told how the family started the fish shop and how they work all day and night, and everyone is too afraid of them to buy fish from other sources.

  Gwan Soon gets a threatening call from her boss. She now owes $5,000. Her dad Bandanna (Soon Shin, but I'm going to call him Bandanna) comes in and wonders why she's there. Cut to Bandanna yelling at Gwan Soon while the other uncles watch, and So Ra running in. Tae Sung is spying on them from the bushes, and thinks White Sands Gang has joined forces with Boss. Bandanna says that since they don't know what'll happen, they prepared some equipment—baseball bats, natch. Keke. (Busan is famous for its baseball-loving populace.)
  Tae Sung chooses that moment to walk in and ask for an empty room. At first they think he's there to collect the debt, but he convinces them that he just wants to stay for an unspecified amount of time. He tells them he's a stunt strong man, so his work is irregular. They ask him to prove it by bending a metal tray, ripping a phone book in half, and kicking a bat, which he successfully manages, to the amazement of all. The uncles say he can stay, as long as he's not a prosecutor. Anything but a prosecutor. He tells them his name is Nam Hae, a name he got off boxes of anchovies across the yard, and he's there to look for a job. 
  So Ra thinks the real reason he came was to be close to her, and confronts him while showing him his room. She tells him she's getting married and he has no hope, so just give it up. He thinks her engagement must be to Boss, and that he can use her assumption of his motives to catch Boss.

  At Haeundae Hotel Tam Hee yells at the chef because all their live mackerels are dying, and they have a special guest coming. She tries to fire the chef, but Joon Hyuk steps in and says he's now in charge of the special event. He asks the assistant to have Uncles Fish Shop deliver fresh mackerels—and make sure they're delivered by So Ra, with her needles. (Side note: the assistant is Joo Hee, Se Na's friend who confronted Tae Sung at the wedding. She's also apparently So Ra's friend.)
  In a phone call between Joon Hyuk and So Ra, we find out that the special guest is a Japanese man dying of cancer who tasted fresh Korean mackerel sashimi 20 years ago. Only her dad knew the special method used, and he only passed it on to her, so could So Ra please help out and fulfill a dying man's wish to share that taste with his family?
  As Maknae Uncle helps So Ra load the truck, he tells her she might as well go on a date with "him". Tae Sung assumes they're talking about Boss and jumps in the truck to help with the delivery.

  When they get to the hotel, the service elevator is out of order, but they have to go up 19 stories to the restaurant. They decide to take the guest elevator, but are stopped by Tam Hee, who forces them to use the stairs. (Joo Hee comes just as Tae Sung and So Ra leave, so she doesn't see him. Dun dun dun!)

  The stair-climbing scene is pretty hilarious, as Tae Sung tries to go fast, but has to rest. So Ra plods steadily up the 19 floors, and he wonders if she's Superman. When she catches up to him, he hurries ahead of her, proud that he's left her in the dust. He soon needs another break, however, and she passes him, much to his chagrin and frustration.

  Joon Hyuk thanks them for helping him out and asks So Ra to put on a show of reviving the fish from their sedation. She does, and the Japanese guest is pleased with the taste of her mackerel. He says he can meet his dead wife happily now. Tae Sung translates, and So Ra learns that he speaks Japanese, which I think might come into play later.

  When they leave, So Ra sneaks up to the roof and revels in the view. She tells Tae Sung that she used to live up there when she was little and her dad owned the hotel. He cutely imagines young So Ra happily playing on the helipad. She then pulls up a bucket that contains a time capsule she left. In it she finds chalk and her special rock, with "King So Ra" engraved on it (because she used to be tall). She makes a hopscotch grid and asks if Tae Sung wants to play. He doesn't know how, so instead he watches her while imagining her younger self playing with her dad. Awww, it's just so cute.

  He asks about her other job, you know the one in the night club with the hanbok. She tells him that it's supposed to be a secret from her uncles, since they wouldn't like it. She can make a lot of money on a good night. While he imagines her Eoudong Show, she is actually referring to making sashimi in a hanbok for private rooms—fully clothed.
  So Ra gets a call from her fiance and they agree to meet up. Tae Sung thinks it's for something to do with the gang. So Ra drops Tae Sung off in the red light district to look for work. He thinks she's trying to get rid of him so he doesn't know about the secret deal that's about to go down. So he hires a passing deliveryman to follow her truck on his scooter. Keke.

  Okay, Tae Sung slowly started to grow on me in the last half of this episode. If you can ignore his incredibly patient and forgiving wife, or the fact that he's married, it's not so bad. The stair scene and the rooftop scene were funny and cute, and I'm still willing to let him win me over. We did flash back to the behind-the-door scene way too many times in this episode, but at least the music track this time was less "let's get it on" and more "here we have a funny awkward moment". 
  I also loved the hospital scene, where Tam Hee is ordering a casket for her dearly departed husband only to find out that he's still in the land of the not-yet-dead. The birth secret came out pretty early, but we know Tae Sung will eventually have amnesia, so he'll take longer to discover his true parentage. I'm a bit amazed that all those head wounds haven't taken their toll on his brain capacity yet, to be honest.
  I'm waiting for more hilarity from the uncles. They had a touching family scene, but the scene I really liked was when they were ready to fight off debt-collectors and putting Tae Sung through his paces. 
  Also, I could do with more scenes featuring Joon Hyuk. What? I know I'm being a little obsessed. It's perfectly normal for someone to fangirl over someone that really really good-looking, okay?

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