Monday, October 22, 2012

Oohlala Spouses Episode 4 Recap

  I'm just going to jump right in to the funny today.

  Yeo Ok tearfully embraces a hotel guest in the crowded lobby. 

  We have a flashback to young Yeo Ok bringing a bag full of abalone and scallops to her oppa. She says they're his favorites and he asks where she got them. She brushes off his question and they cook them there on the beach. We see Yeo Ok's mom come up from diving and she notices that her catch is all gone and there's a hole in her bag. Yeo Ok feeds her oppa, insisting that she's already had lots. Her mother comes yelling at her and they run off hand-in-hand. (Their sooty faces are so cute!)
  Back to the present, the way everyone else sees it, Soo Nam tearfully embraces a hotel guest in the crowded lobby. Victoria interrupts, and Yeo Ok takes a huge step away from the very uncomfortable Jang Hyun Woo. She welcomes him to the hotel. 
        HW: Do you welcome all your guests like this?
        YO: Only our special guests.
        HW, surprised: Do you know me?
        YO: (To herself) I know you down to your bones, you rotten jerk! (Aloud) You've been                        our guest. . . 2 times. 3 times? 4 times?
        HW, touching her nametag: This is my first visit. 
  He leaves to check in and Yeo Ok wonders why she would hug that scumbag. She glares and he turns back and smirks at her. 
  Another flashback, to younger, yet adult Yeo Ok and Hyun Woo eating at a seafood place. She asks him what's wrong and he answers "Let's break up." She laughs and he says he has another woman. She laughs again and says she doesn't like this kind of joke. She asks why he would say such a thing in a place like this, and he answers that he wanted to feed her the skate she loves for the last time. 
  She answers that she actually doesn't like skate, but has always pretended because he loves it. Everything he likes she can like when she's with him. She even kisses him when he gets a cold so she can share it with him. He's her everything. "So please don't joke like that. It makes me shudder." He says he's sorry, and her face falls. She asks if his new girl is prettier than she is, and the girl walks in on cue. Yeo Ok tearfully tells him that personality is more important than looks, and he says they're going to the U.S. to study together. 
  She says this isn't like him, so why is he acting this way. His answer is that they're on different levels. She reminds him that she took a boat from her island to a neighboring island every day so she could graduate from high school. A feat which he used to praise her for. He answers that he always feels suffocated with her and like he's going crazy. Marriage is forever, and if you're on different levels, you'll just make each other unhappy. She'll find a better match someday. 
  She replies that he's always been the only one for her. And even when she's felt inferior because she never went to college and works as a salesgirl, he always reassured her that it was enough for him. He says that although he did say that, he doesn't love her any more. She cries silently and the other girl awkwardly sits through this whole horrible conversation, a look of pity for Yeo Ok on her face. The two leave together while Yeo Ok continues to cry.
  Yeo Ok giggles to herself in her office about how she'll get her revenge on Hyun Woo. And he'll never even know it's her. Victoria comes in and spoils her mood. Yeo Ok yells, asking why she always appears in front of her. Victoria tells her she brought the file on Hyun Woo, and Yeo Ok like she asked, and Yeo Ok shouts back that she asked the employee next to her. Hurt, Victoria asks why she's suddenly acting like this, and Yeo Ok answers that it would take a really long time to explain, so just get out! 
  Victoria is shocked that her lover is acting like this and says "You know I must not be shocked. You said I could relax, and that you'd take care of me. So why are you acting like this now?" She clutches her chest. Yeo Ok asks if she really said that, and then says she doesn't love her any more, so get out. She flings an imaginary arrow (although we see it) and it strikes Victoria in the heart. 
  Soo Nam sneaks through the hotel and sees a distraught Victoria run out of his office. He marches in and demands to know what Yeo Ok said to her. They argue and Soo Nam begs her to act like a manager. Yeo Ok says he may be able to act one way at home and another way at work, but she can't. She wouldn't even be able to cheat because she's so simple. He tells her to keep her ahjumma temper in check and warns her to always keep his phone on and with her. 
  She pulls it out and yells at him again for listing her as Woman. She acts like she's going to hit him and he shields himself with his nameplate. 
  Yeo Ok looks at the camera and says "If you see how a man saves his wife in their cell phone, you can tell a lot about them. So go check now." (Heehee.) Soo Nam uses this break in the 4th wall to replace the battery in the phone. 
  Yeo Ok notices the file on Hyun Woo and asks if anyone recognized Soo Nam when he came. He asks if she knows someone dignified enough to stay at his hotel, and she tries to push him out. He yells and she starts listing all the chores he should be doing. He plugs his ears and fights back as she shoves him out the door. She warns him to check on Ki Chan, and he yells that she needs to keep her phone on.
  Hyun Woo sits in the restaurant and inspects everything for cleanliness. He calls John, who asks him to report on everything, since he's sure there are things he hasn't been able to manage as well as he would have liked. Jin Goo overhears and realizes there's a secret inspection going on. He makes a call and demands that any complaints, no matter how trivial, be reported to him immediately. 
  Soo Nam cleans the floors like he's a speed skater. MIL watches and mentally criticizes her daughter-in-law for being useless and still sticking around, even though she has another man. Soo Nam does the other chores, and at one point asks MIL for help hanging the laundry, but decides to just let that one go.

  He collapses on the floor of his room, and a phantom Soo Nam shows up. He reminds real Soo Nam that he used to always say housework was no big deal, and now he's exhausted after doing so little. Real Soo Nam climbs on the bed and begs his phantom self to unhook his bra, since it's so uncomfortable. PSN reminds him that he insisted that Yeo Ok always wear one, and that he hates droopy breasts. PSN pulls a Fonz (the only bit of Happy Days I remember, oddly enough) and unclasps it with one hand. 
  Soo Nam flops down on the bed and PSN reminds him that he still has a mountain of work to do. He says it's hard being a woman, and PSN asks if he's like this after only a few days. If he hadn't had an affair, this would never have happened. 
  Soo Nam explains that it's not like he even had a real affair (I beg to differ), it was just like he was struck by lightning. PSN said he shouldn't have started, and he answers that he endured for a long time. But Victoria slowly made her way into his heart and he couldn't push her away. She'd always say things like "Your hair is nice today." "Your skin looks so healthy." "Yesterday was hard for you, right? You always look so cool when you're a little cranky." "The way you handle complaints is really something. I'm so happy to work for you, Manager." He says that hearing those things always made him want to hug her. She made him feel confident and that he was a great man. 
  PSN reminisces happily with him and then says that all wives talk about is money. And ask if they're their husband's slave. They don't treat their husbands well at all. And the #1 thing the husbands of Korea hide from their wives? Loneliness! PSN (with Soo Nam nodding on) breaks the 4th wall and says "Don't treat them like money-making machines! It would be nice if you realized that your husbands are lonely! Please realize they're lonely! They're lonely!" They then do a high-five chest bump combo.
  PSN says that men also cry because they're lonely, but their wives don't realize they're lonely, so they can't talk about their emotions. Soo Nam says that dating is just a way to find an emotional resting-place, but it's hard to rest when your wife is so cold. He says that while some people say they want to get rid of everything except their wives, he wants to keep everything except his wife. PSN asks how he can say such things after doing so little housework. He pesters him until Soo Nam throws him on the bed and gets ready to go out, complaining that Yeo Ok has nothing to wear. 
  But he doesn't mean it the way you'd think, since we next see him in an old t-shirt and flannel top and pants. Haha. He shows up at some kind of shrine, where Wolhwa sits fanning himself, looking like he's napping. He sits down and Moo San appears behind him. Wolhwa snaps his fan shut, surprising Soo Nam, and says he already told him that these methods won't switch them back. 
  Soo Nam begs, and Wolhwa asks why he even got married. (I've been asking the same question.) He answers that it's because this woman got pregnant unexpectedly. Wolhwa snaps his fan again, making Soo Nam fall back. He notices Moo San and looks around to see where she came from. (Good luck with that.) "She got pregnant unexpectedly because you got her pregnant, you jerk!" Wolhwa asks Soo Nam to lean closer and inspects him with a magnifying glass. He says that getting someone pregnant is a bigger connection than he realizes. 

  Moo San says that an affair is also love, and thus a connection, so it's okay. That's how the world is nowadays, and she should know, since she's a rising sun, but he's a setting sun. This makes Wolhwa angry and he storms off. But Soo Nam grabs his leg and begs to be changed back. Wolhwa tells him that if he can find his connection to Yeo Ok, then he'll find out how to change. He says it can't be done, and Wolhwa tells him to just live like that, then, as punishment for his sins. 
  Soo Nam walks by a cafe where Lawyer Lee is playing odds or evens with a pretty young woman. On her next win, he steps in and instead of the flick Lawyer Lee expects, he gets whacked hard on the forehead by Soo Nam. He sputters to see who he thinks is Yeo Ok and says he's in a divorce consultation. Soo Nam asks if he wants to turn out like him.
  They leave the cafe and Soo Nam tries to convince Lawyer Lee that it's him. He talks about his many affairs and his passing the bar exam at the very bottom on his 13th try. Lawyer Lee gets mad that Soo Nam would tell Yeo Ok those things, so Soo Nam finally says that he knows his deepest, darkest secret. He yells for everyone to hear that Lawyer Lee had 2. . . personal cosmetic surgeries. 

  Lawyer Lee finally believes him and they grab at each other and hug a few times. Il Ran misconstrues things as she passes by with her blind date and is enraged to think that her sister-in-law is having an affair with Soo Nam's best friend. Lawyer Lee recommends a hypnotist that can help him remember his past lives. They hug again, and Lawyer Lee starts feeling Soo Nam up. Soo Nam's as grossed out as I am. I'm also creeped out by Soo Nam leching after every woman he lays eyes on.
  Il Ran runs home to tell her mother the news and MIL decides they need to get Yeo Ok out of the house. Il Ran asks how Lawyer Lee could do that to his best friend, and MIL decides that Yeo Ok did the seducing, since she's no regular fox, she's a sly red fox. 

  Hyun Woo goes for a swim as Yeo Ok does her rounds of the hotel. At one point she prances through the hallways eating shrimp. Jin Goo stops her and she offers him some. She also momentarily forgets her situation and heads to the women's restroom. After much screaming ensues, she runs out and tries to avoid looking at anyone or anything in the men's room.
  She gets a call from Victoria and screams "What!" A very surprised and hurt Victoria tells her she needs to go to the pool because Hyun Woo has lost his locker key. She goes up and stares for a moment before reminding herself to have some pride. Hyun Woo demands to know if she's going to keep a wet guest freezing in this weather, and she retorts that if it's so cold, why is he swimming. She continues that he needs to take care of himself first. If he gives himself a cold by swimming in cold weather, he can't really blame the hotel, can he? She remembers back to nursing him when he had a cold long ago. 
  She reiterates her point about caring for himself first and pats his chest. He wipes his chest and heads off toward the locker room. But she didn't bring the master key. "Aren't you the manager?" "Yes. It says so right here." She points at her nametag, haha. Victoria runs in with a robe and Yeo Ok tells her to go open the locker. Victoria points out that it's the men's dressing room and hands Yeo Ok the key. Yeo Ok heads off, hand shaking and eyes glazed over.

  And immediately runs out screaming like a little girl. She hands Hyun Woo the key and tells him to go open the locker himself, since it's too disgusting. In the middle of her freakout, she notices something glinting at the bottom of the pool. "Isn't that your key? Are you trying to cause trouble?!" He argues that it couldn't possibly be his key, and she says they'll see when she pulls it out. 
  She takes of her blazer and tie and throws them to an apprehensive Victoria. She then stretches and pushes Hyun Woo out of the way so she has room to dive. She confidently jumps into the water and we see it intercut with clips from when she rescued Soo Nam. She butterflies out to the middle of the pool, dives under, and starts flailing around, panicked (and we see cuts of Soo Nam drowning now). 

  Victoria jumps in after her and, while able to swim, she isn't experienced enough to keep Yeo Ok's head above water and get them back to the side. Hyun Woo to the rescue. He helps carry Yeo Ok back. Yes, the water is shallow enough they could easily stand and walk out. Try convincing a person with a water phobia about that, though.
  Yeo Ok comes to in a bed with Victoria hovering. She asks if Victoria saved her and feels a hint of kindness toward her. Victoria asks her to get checked for memory loss from the accident, since her usual manner of treating guests is like an art form, but she was talking to Hyun Woo like a neighborhood ahjumma. Harhar. 

  Also, she's been treating Victoria strangely, and Victoria tests her memory by asking about birthday gifts. She reminds her of the lingerie set Soo Nam bought and shows the bra strap for good measure. Yeo Ok goes from furiously fanning herself, to collapsing on the bed, to finally screaming in Victoria's face that she doesn't remember. Victoria starts crying and says that she'd been resenting her love because she didn't know. She hugs Yeo Ok and promises to protect her oppa. 

  Yeo Ok laughs at this and decides it's better to pretend, since she has to see Victoria every day. Besides, she's seen enough dramas. She can fake it. 
  Yeo Ok is called to MIL's room that night. MIL demands that daughter-in-law be kicked out of the house. At first, MIL refuses to say why, and Il Ran keeps insisting. Finally, Yeo Ok demands to know why, dropping her voice to try to seem more normal. They say she's cheating with Lawyer Lee, and Yeo Ok laughs hysterically. Il Ran insists she saw them, and Yeo Ok explains that no matter what she saw, it's not what she thinks. She leaves the room laughing, and Il Ran and MIL start crying. 
  Il Ran makes an anonymous call that night to tell Ae Sook that Lawyer Lee is cheating. 
  In the middle of the night Yeo Ok gets a call from the hotel to come deal with Pearls in Denial. The employees explain that there's a guest sleeping in her favorite room and they don't know what to do. A disgruntled Yeo Ok finds her asleep at the bar and yells at her to wake her up after her first attempt doesn't work. 
  PiD complains about her husband and Yeo Ok points out that the first time he's caught is the time to teach your husband a lesson, but PiD has already missed that opportunity. She explains that rapists have an ankle monitor, but often offend again before they're truly caught. The only thing that makes Chairman different is his money, so he can buy women who don't love him. 
  She explains that cheating is an incurable disease and the only thing to do is amass what money you can and live a life of freedom. And PiD should get some plastic surgery while she's at it. PiD demands to be shown to a room and Yeo Ok shushes her the whole way there.
  The next morning, Yeo Ok asks Soo Nam about PiD and he explains that she had her honeymoon in room 307, so she always wants it when she fights with her husband. Yeo Ok says she called her strange and Soo Nam screams that the Chairman is an important guest. His screams bring out the rest of the family and since Soo Nam can't exactly explain what's going on, he storms out. MIL asks Yeo Ok again to get rid of "that woman."
  Yeo Ok reluctantly goes to a meeting with John and Jin Goo—and Chairman, who rebukes her for first calling him a rapist and then not greeting him. Chairman storms out and Jin Goo gloats that Chairman is taking all his future events to another hotel. 

  By the river, Soo Nam complains to Lawyer Lee and says that Chairman is worth a huge amount of revenue for the hotel, and he's not the type of person to just let this go. His dream of  becoming General Manager is over now. Lawyer Lee puts his arm around Soo Nam's shoulders to comfort him, and Ae Sook spies on them from the trees. 
  She freaks out at the thought of her husband cheating with her best friend and decides that Yeo Ok helped her get rid of the mistress so she could step in. She runs down and starts pulling Soo Nam's hair. Lawyer Lee gets an elbow to the nose trying to pull them apart, and is out due to nosebleed. "BLOOD!" Ae Sook and Soo Nam grapple and fall off the wall into the river.
  What is the deal with kdramas and nosebleeds? I mean, I get that they're often symbolic of other things, but in fight scenes or accidents, everyone freaks out every time they see a little blood. Even big, strong, virile men are brought low by a tiny nosebleed. I wouldn't really describe Lawyer Lee as any of those, but still, it's one of the kdrama mysteries that greatly amuses me.
  I'm excited to see how this near-drowning scene will play out, since we already saw the very capable Yeo Ok overcome by her current body's aversion to water. Also, I'm happy to see Soo Nam suffer some ahjumma smackdown for cheating, even if it's not from the party he actually betrayed.
  I really like that Soo Nam knows that the way to switch back is to understand their connection from the past. I love how they're doing the whole walk-a-mile-in-each-others'-shoes thing, because it's going to give them a new perspective on their relationship. Plus, I see how Yeo Ok is heading down the Road of Major Personal Growth, and it's only going to bring good things to her life. (I'm not so sure about Soo Nam, but I'm sure they're going to develop that, too.)
  I find it sad that Yeo Ok has never been loved for who she truly is. She's always tried so hard to please her man that she's never been comfortable about herself, and has never bothered to discover her own personality. Which she possesses, but she seems to have never explored it or owned it. I'm loving this trajectory of truly coming to know herself and becoming more assertive in her own life. No more Doormat Yeo Ok for her! I hope she recognizes new talents also in this new endeavor as hotel manager. And not for Soo Nam's sake, but for hers.
  I find it interesting to see how Soo Nam got started on his affair. Lawyer Lee is a chronic cheater. As is Chairman. But Soo Nam was enticed by someone making him feel special. It also shows a different side of Victoria. So, while I occasionally sympathize with her hurt feelings over her lover's sudden coldness towards her, I really hate her for her calculating way of seducing a married man. Because it was very deliberate. 
  Anyway, I feel that there is maybe some redemption available to Soo Nam—after plenty of suffering and some huge changes in his life. At this point, I'm not sure I really want Yeo Ok to take him back, but I feel that the story will make me come around. I sure hope so, if that's the end goal here, but I'll be pleased if Yeo Ok strikes out on her own, too.
  Another thing about the acting. I feel that Kim Jung Eun is doing a great job of portraying the character of Soo Nam. Shin Hyun Joon seems to be doing more of a stereotypical woman version of Yeo Ok. Which is still hilarious, but it doesn't seem to be Yeo Ok, exactly. Also, some of his facial expressions and mannerisms didn't seem to match as well (especially in the scene where Yeo Ok imagines herself biting Victoria), but I've decided to view it as Yeo Ok dealing with a completely different facial structure and body. So the facial expressions especially would have a twist to them. Anyway, that's how I've decided to justify it, and it's really helped me stay in the moment more.
  (I'm going to say here that my very favorite kdrama bodyswap acting (maybe of any movie/series, actually) is in Who are You? Not because I loved the show all that much, but because Yoon Kye Sang was incredible at taking on the persona not just of Son Il Gun, but also various characteristics of the actor Kang Nam Gil, who is very idiosyncratic himself. And those idiosyncrasies are often evident in his characters, so it was especially delightful to see Yoon Kye Sang pick those up. It was a bit of acting that gave me chills, even if the drama overall was only okay.)

No comments:

Post a Comment