Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Haeundae Lovers Episode 7 Recap

  Another episode full of plot developments and hijinks. My favorite kind.

  We open on what happens to Tae Sung when everyone else goes to the funeral. He drinks by himself and composes drunken poetry. He impresses himself as both a strength stunt performer and a poet. A neighbor lady stops to talk to him about his new "family." They have a habit of bringing on people who owe them money, making them do slave labor, and then selling them off to a shrimp fishery when they're used up. Better to disappear now.
  Suddenly all the strength stunts they had him practice take a sinister meaning. He wanted a small car, not a giant van. Also, having him burn his face was really an excuse to disfigure him so his family couldn't find him. He needs answers.

  He gets to the memorial just in time to see So Ra bashed over the head. He delivers a flying punch to the head thug and joins the melee. So Ra sees the picture of president, and her eyes fill with tears. She screams for everyone to stop, but they either can't hear her or ignore her. She grabs the fire extinguisher and sprays it everywhere. She tells Tam Hee and her thugs that they came to pay their respects, not fight. 

  At the ER Tae Sung demands a plastic surgeon to suture So Ra's forehead. "She's getting married in two days, and if she's hideous, no man will take her. Will you be responsible for her then, doctor?" He tells him how horrible all the uncles are "especially 2nd Uncle. If he gets hungry, he'll probably eat your calf. They're tattoos are so awful, most men pee their pants just looking at them. They'll make you fish without nausea medication for seasickness until you're worn out, and then send you to a shrimp boat. Can you just imagine spending the rest of your life on the wide Pacific Ocean catching shrimp?" 
  The doctor runs over and asks the nurse to call the chief of the plastic surgery department. 2nd Uncle growls at him as he goes by.
  The uncles wonder why he didn't get a job as a lawyer or a judge if he's so eloquent, but decide he must be bad at studying. Which angers Tae Sung. So Ra asks why they don't include prosecutor to the list, and Bandanna responds that that would be the same as saying "enemy."
  Later, So Ra thanks him for looking out for her, and he tells her it's because he wants answers. He won't be sold off as a shrimp fisher by a bunch of former gangsters. She asks why he thinks they left that life, and he responds that he wants to stay out of it. She holds back tears as he walks off. 

  The uncles are too embarrassed to walk around all disheveled, and So Ra takes them to the really nice spa Gwan Soon now works at. Each uncle gets a pool all their own as the other patrons try to avoid them. The uncles admire Tae Sung's butt—I mean his birthmark ("It's not even a tattoo!"), and Maknae mentions that he heard they were looking for someone with a star-shaped birthmark at the hotel.

  Over at the hotel, Grandma is meeting people to see if they are the heir. Joon Hyuk comes to check on their progress, and Tam Hee mutters threats—as soon as they've taken care of So Ra's family, they'll get rid of him.

  Tae Sung goes looking for So Ra at the spa. He doesn't get why she'd want to avoid him after he said hurtful things about her family and makes her stay. She tells him that he's free to leave at any time. They were trying to help him out in his time of need, but she understands why he might think otherwise. She offered him her hand because she imagined how hard it must be for him. As she walks off, he can't help but smile to himself.
  When they get home, a squid-faced man greets them, complete with fireworks, a Ham (or marriage box) and a bow. It's Skeezo, but he might have just earned himself a new name, even the squid mask isn't doing it's job of keeping him away (it's supposed to keep evil spirits from the ceremony). He says he's changed his mind about having a simple wedding and has brought wedding gifts.

  They all go inside, and Squid-face opens the gifts—wedding bands, a kid's slap-watch (I'm sure it's some famous character), which is water-resistant up to 50 meters!, and an empty suitcase. (Wow, Squid-face, you went all out, there, didn't you?) So Ra tries to make the best of it, but Gwan Soon complains about not getting a bag. Tae Sung snickers in the corner, saying that a kid's watch is perfect for 3 Palmlengths (his nickname for So Ra).
  Squid-face finally notices Tae Sung and wonders who he is. Gwan Soon explains that he is the pride of their store. Good Body, Good Face. And, he's also a temporary guest. Squid-face demands his SSN so he can do a background check. Tae Sung gets defensive but says he'll restrain himself today. He leaves and Squid-face gets a call from his loan sharks. Bandanna makes him answer it, and they tell him to come outside, or they'll come in and mess up Uncles Fish Shop.
  Outside, Tae Sung sees Squid-face get dragged away by the loan sharks. Tae Sung comes up behind and hits the loan sharks in the face with fish. He confronts them and asks what Squid-face meant when he said he was earning money to pay them off? Squid-face says they are good friends, just punching each other for fun. So Ra and Bandanna come to greet his "uncle" and take them inside.
  Tae Sung keeps So Ra back and tries to explain that Squid-face is a fraud. She refuses to listen to him slander the nice, warm government employee who fishes with her dad. She asks if she needs to give him taxi fare, since they can't get along if he's going to be like this. He goes and gets drunk on soju instead.
  So Ra tries to help her dad sleep. He brings up her mother, and she finally remembers to wonder about seeing her mom's photo in Joon Hyuk's wallet. Dad has a moment of lucidity and apologizes for the way he raised her. She sings him a lullaby and wonders again if she should really marry Squid-face.
  Tae Sung comes in saying he can't sleep because he drank too much. He asks So Ra to press his finger to help him sleep again, but she snaps that it's none of her business whether or not he sleeps. He goes to bed, but can't sleep and keeps thinking of So Ra.
  During the storm that night, Dad freaks out and throws all the fuses in the neighborhood, worried about a fire starting.
  The next day the uncles are punishing Tae Sung by making him load all the fish and swab the deck, while they relax and drink cold drinks. Tae Sung decides to show them and starts throwing the fish over the side. Maknae grabs him, but just then the neighbors come demanding So Ra do something about her dad. He unplugged all their filters, and all their fish died overnight. They want him sent to a mental hospital, since this isn't the first time it's happened. 

  So Ra confers with the uncles, but they don't have any money left, after cell phone bills, hospital bills, not getting their catch, "and now that fool has thrown today's fish overboard!" They all stare accusingly at Tae Sung, who ducks out of sight. They decide to use the money gifts from the wedding, and arrange with the ahjummas to pay them back the next day. One ahjumma already brought a contract and makes So Ra stamp it. If they back out, Dad has to go.
  As So Ra cleans Dad up, she gets frustrated and yells at him. She gets tired too, you know! She's wanted to run away so many times. Tae Sung stands outside and listens to her cry before coming in and offering to take care of Dad for the day. He says she needs to take care of her looks before the wedding, but she tells him not to worry about it and leaves. 

  Tam Hee is sneaking out, but Joon Hyuk catches her and asks about the annex in So Ra's neighborhood. She tells him she doesn't know anything about it, so he calls the police and says that there's someone committing fraud in the President's name. She grabs the phone from him and goes to hang up, but he didn't really call. He tells her his suspicions are confirmed. He has files about recent board meetings, and warns her he'll use them.
  2nd Uncle takes So Ra to the spa for skin treatment. Joo Hee shows up, and 2nd Uncle gets flustered. After sending So Ra away, he tries to flirt, and tells Joo Hee he's So Ra's unc—oppa.
  So Ra goes into the massage room and sees Se Na. She tells her that she's getting married, and Se Na orders a full treatment, her treat. So Ra notices that Se Na knows a lot about getting married, and she answers that she got married recently, but her husband left and never came home. He was a prosecutor who was working even on their wedding day. He must have sent So Ra to take care of her on the day she collapsed. She asks to be invited to the wedding.
  At the wedding, Tae Sung is conscripted to perform manual labor while the uncles help Dad practice his role in the ceremony. Tae Sung complains about having to wear a bowtie and combing his hair. Bandanna goes through their jobs, and realizes no one has been assigned to drive So Ra from the salon. 

  She pulls up in the decorated van and almost hits Tae Sung. He yells at her but goes slack-jawed when he gets a good look at her in her gown. Gwan Soon wonders if his memories came back, since he can't talk and just stares and smiles like a dolt.

  As the girls run to the wedding hall, they're stopped by a group of Tam Hee's thugs. They tell her that since her family made a mess of President's funeral, they'll do the same for her wedding. As they surround her, Tae Sung notices and prepares to intervene, but a knight in a shining white car pulls up just in time. It's Joon Hyuk, and he scares the thugs off, threatening that they will go down with Tam Hee if he can prove that they're involved in her evil schemes.

  As they run off, Joon Hyuk asks So Ra if she's scared, since her eyes are thiiis big. He tells her that he couldn't miss her wedding, since her shop and his hotel are now family. She asks if she can talk to him later, since there's something important she needs to find out. Tae Sung watches everything and wonders why she's suddenly so cold to Joon Hyuk when she always lit up when she saw him before. He gleefully chalks it up to a woman's fickle heart.
  Joon Hyuk notices Tae Sung is working as a waiter, and ribs him about it. Tae Sung tells him some vital information about women—they're fickle, and that fickle woman is about to become a married woman. Joon Hyuk doesn't seem worried, and tells Tae Sung to earn his keep.

  Just as Tae Sung leaves to wait another table, Joo Hee and Se Na sit down next to Joon Hyuk. Joo Hee acts like it's a coincidence and tries to strike up a conversation, but Joon Hyuk gives her zero encouragement. He does talk to Se Na, however, and she notices Tae Sung across the room, but Joo Hee distracts her. Some friends come by and yell at Joo Hee for giving them bad directions. They almost missed getting to catch the bouquet. Curious. Se Na calls her out on her fib that she was confused, and Joon Hyuk smirks. 
  One of the girls bumps Se Na and spills her wine. Joo Hee, realizing that Joon Hyuk is watching, reluctantly offers to help her clean up, but Se Na goes alone. Yet another opportunity for her to miss Tae Sung.

  The uncles are fretting that Squid-face hasn't shown yet, and they haven't even seen any of his family there. Gwan Soon brings up the time she met him at the apartment, and Maknae runs to bring him forcibly to the wedding. He's not there, and they realize they've been scammed—he even took all the new appliances they bought. In shock, So Ra wonders what they should do now, especially with Dad. Gwan Soon apologizes, but Bandanna swears he's going to have to bury her today. 2nd Uncle reminds him that the person they need to bury is Squid-face.
   Tae Sung fends off the ahjummas, and then goes to investigate why the ceremony hasn't started. The uncles tell him what happened, and he tells So Ra that he warned her Squid-face was a bad seed.

  He comes up with a plan to get any guy to stand in as a fake groom, since they can't admit that they, the great White Sands gang, have been scammed. Also, they have to protect Dad. The uncles agree with him and start closing in. Tae Sung asks So Ra why they're being so weird, and she just lays her head on his shoulder. 

  The ceremony begins, and 2nd Uncle apologizes for the hold up. He announces the groom, and out walks Tae Sung. Joon Hyuk drops his glass, the uncles smile nervously at each other, the ahjummas freak out, and Joo Hee makes connections. Meanwhile, Se Na heads back to the wedding hall.
  Wow. They went there. Already. This show is just clipping along on it's merry way. I guess I knew something like this would eventually happen, but it seems really soon. I mean, Tae Sung and So Ra haven't really acknowledged/sorted out their feelings for one another, and now they're getting (fake) married? Plus, there are at least 3 guests at this wedding who can stop things from progressing. 
  I guess I just don't feel that at this point there is enough to make Tae Sung stick around once he finds out his identity, and that discovery seems imminent. I could be wrong. I mean, they did a psych out before at the cliff, so they could do something else here, but I think having 3 possible objectors means something big is going down.
  I'm beginning to feel that the whole Tam Hee/hotel thing is a bit superfluous, which I didn't feel before. It just doesn't have the gripping story to keep me invested in that part of this drama. And I also wonder if Joon Hyuk really is just interested in getting to know his sister. I swear he was flirting and jealous before, but in this episode, he seemed pretty even-keel about So Ra's marriage—until he saw the groom, that is. So maybe it's not a fauxcest plot line after all.
  I love how this show plays with the cliches of the whole amnesia genre. This episode continued the tension of almost-encounters with people from Tae Sung's past life, and it's really done in quite a comical way. Also, I loved when he started spouting his drunken poetry. And every time he relearns a skill/talent. 
  Also, he's so persistent at insisting that So Ra isn't that pretty, yet he couldn't stop drooling when he saw her in her wedding dress. Even then, he found fault with her looks. It's quite obvious that he says one thing and feels another. Heehee. 
  I did miss Tae Sung's identity crises this episode. And he didn't mention never feeling this way before. :(

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