Secret Garden Week 4: A Cowardly Oska and his Evil Seul

(lol, I think I love this guy for his very animated reactions to every single thing. lol)

Sometimes, while watching this drama, I feel like almost nothing is accomplished. And what I mean is that in terms of plot development, I feel we aren’t that far off from episode 1. Is this as a result of keeping to the kdrama format where things have to be dragged on for twenty episodes? Or is there not much to this plot in general? We are given fun, enjoyable scenes but overall, where is this story going? And as a kdrama rom-com watcher, do I really care about the actual plot? Or more about laughing at the comedy and squeeing at the chemistry? This drama makes me wonder that a lot. Like if this is a bad drama masquerading as a good one. Because as more and more people fall in love with this drama, I find myself getting more and more detached. I love to laugh and enjoy hi-jinks as much as the next person but I also would like to see that there’s a point to it all and not only because a character tells me, but because I can see and feel it.

Having said that, we did have some development in one story – Oska and Seul. At least, right now, I can tell where this is going, even if it involves us going to the past to understand the present.  As much as I dislike Seul -who for some reason, looked prettier this week-  I root for them and will like to see their happy ending together.

So anyway, Episode 7 began with  Seul barging into Oska’s room. “How did you get the key?” Joo Won asked. Of course Seul couldn’t come up with an answer because perhaps the writers couldn’t come up with one either. See, we just needed to have her barge into the room and catch girly Ra Im and Joo Won in an uncompromising position.

They return from Jeju and while at the airport, Joo Won looks all flustered. He tells us that taking a flight is usually a pain for him but it was especially bad flying coach. Not to harp on this but the Joo Won that had to rush out of the dressing room, the same one who had to pull over after driving through a tunnel cannot take a plane ride without passing out.

Moving on, Ra Im and Joo Won drive over to his place to drop her off but they get to meet his bitchy mother.

I think it was nice for Joo Won to feel what it was like to be at the receiving end of his nuclear family’s attitude  even though as Ra Im said, he’s ten times worse. I wish I could say that the experience helped him curb this tongue a bit but I suppose Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I can understand why the director switches the characters back to their original bodies during their more emotional scenes but it really takes the magic out of it for me because I just feel like the actors switched seats – especially as they are now wearing the wrong clothes. What I mean is that if they want us to “see” the real person speaking, while the bodies can switch back, the clothes shouldn’t. So we’d have Ha Ji Won as Ra Im wearing the suit that Hyun Bin was wearing as girly Ra Im.

Anyway, switching bodies means the characters are forced to spend time together and learn about each other. It’s something that must occur in a romance and it’s something that we welcome.  But it’s also useful when the audience gets to learn about them as well. So Joo Won tells us about the familial relationships we already learned about in episode 4 while Ra Im informs us about not having a family and her father’s death at age 17.

Even though it’s been primarily a comedy so far, the writers are bent on reminding us that there’s some doom and gloom headed our way so after Joo Won arrives at his new home,  Ah Young informs him (while he’s  too busy staring at her figure) that she had one of her predictive dreams and in it, Joo Won was crying while Ra Im was sleeping and she interpreted that to mean that Ra Im would use, abuse, then dump him. Of course the audience knows better since Daddy Dearest already mentioned that he needed to save his daughter from her tragic fate. So what does the dream mean exactly? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

While Joo Won fills in for Ra Im, he catches Secretary Kim visiting Ah Young. The main reason I like this couple is that they are such a cheesy and possibly angst-free couple in the drama. I usually like those minor couples who help balance things a little when the rest of the plot is going to hell. And I like the way they flirt with Secretary Kim calling her pretty and her responding with a “duh.” lol… I guess they are just too cute and harmless so far.

So apparently, co-workers are forbidden to date at LOEL and since Joo Won just loves to torture people, he decides to scare Secretary Kim a little. And while I don’t care for Joo Won’s attitude one bit, I can’t help but laugh at some of the comedy it creates.

Girly Ra Im is a little stressed about leaving Joo Won alone with Ah Young so she returns to give her advice like; don’t touch him, don’t walk around and don’t be too friendly which naturally confuses her and leads her into believing that Joo Won likes her.  Re-reading that sentence makes me realize that she would have come to the same conclusion if their bodies weren’t switched. Okay, moving on before I confuse myself.

Ra Im goes to her new home but on arriving, realizes that she doesn’t know the pass code. So she calls Joo Won for the information but being the jackass that he is, he doesn’t give it to her. What happened to having a good guy that cherishes and treats you right from the beginning of a drama? When the drama began, with Joo Won and his grand gestures, I thought it might be different in this drama but boy did I speak too soon. Why is it always that the nice guy who treats the heroine right from the beginning is the one to always lose in love? And why must the super jerk who’s in his late 20s, acting like a five year old, the one to win in love? POR QUE?!!?  Please give us something new. I know dramas are big on characters changing but jerk-to-loving man can’t be the only change worth highlighting, can it? Even if Darcy was a jerk at first, he wasn’t intentionally being one. But Joo Won finds pleasure in being one? This is not fun and makes it hard for me to root for his stupid ass! If a man likes a woman, why would he derive pleasure from  having her stand out there in the cold unable to get into the house? Why can’t he be like grandpa and put a scarf around her neck instead? WHY?!?!?!

Since girly Ra Im couldn’t get into Joo Won’s place, she decided to find Oska instead. You know that scene where a hot guy plays the piano and your heart just melts as he coos a sweet melody? That just happens to be one of my top 5 romantic fantasies.

So there was Oska my fantasy bad boy singing and playing the piano and even when he started to speak, he kept tickling those keys (this really gets to me!). So girly Ra Im walked in as she lived my fantasy and her heart melted just as mine would have  and she complimented him and he teased and asked if she wanted an autograph and of course she said yes. And they moved to his apartment and she decided to cook for him (this is where our fantasies diverge) and Oska watches in amazement because the Joo Won he knows would never cook for him.

So it was time for bed. After some shenanigans, Ra Im managed to get into Joo Won’s place and saw that he’d picked up her bike key. Something I would have found touching if someone else had thrown it in the pond in the first place. She took a tour around his place and saw that he was living like a prince.

For Joo Won, bedtime meant he got to share a bed with a woman with his previously dream physique. It’s quite funny that girly Ra Im got all worried about them sharing a bed but what exactly was she scared would happen? But it was an opportunity to have some comedy so we got some. Comedy and fan service. Is it just me or are the Secret Garden clan milking their opportunity to place a lot of  Ho Yay in this drama?

Joo Won sure has a way of making me like everyone.  Now, he’s got me feeling bad for Jong Soo. ARGH.  So he’s got a thing for Ra Im, something that at this moment he feels might be short term insanity. He doesn’t intend to have it be permanent but he decides to cockblock Jong Soo and tell him never to confess to Ra Im. Now, it’s not even the selfishness that gets to me. It’s this scenario playing out from poor Jong Soo’s perspective. There he goes, thinking the girl he loves is acting weird because she thinks he’s got feelings for her. Then she rejects him harshly by asking him never to confess. How hurtful is that? My poor sometimes bespectacled Jong Soo.

Oska goes to some golf resort place and reminisces about this relationship with Evil Seul. We see how they interacted back in the days when Evil Seul was Cute Seul. Naughty Oska offered to teach her to golf with a method that consisted primarily of him cupping a feel. But Seul didn’t seem to mind.

Oska stays out of contact with his manager because he needs a few days to himself, but apparently, that’s totally unacceptable for a Hallyu star. Joo Won decides to find him by reporting his car (which Oska borrowed from Ra Im) missing. This means that cops can find him and bring him back. But Joo Won had a different reason for getting Oska locked up – he lost the bike race which meant that Oska “won” Ra Im but Joo Won had no intention of playing fair and backing off. So he planned on throwing him in jail as a means of getting him to give her up. It’s funny cos 95% of the time, Joo Won doesn’t act like he actually cares about Ra Im but then boom, at random times, he’s jealous. What exactly is his issue and what does he want from her? For him, “liking” someone means what exactly?

Anyway, since Seul was also present and Oska’s only interest in Ra Im is as a tool to irritate her, he refuses to give her up. Till she leaves and he confesses his real motives towards her. Then all is well and Oska is released. My only thing is that shouldn’t the police have charged them a fine for misuse of their time, filing a false report and all of that? But I guess rich people get away with everything. So anyway, they go out, Oska can’t believe that Joo Won had pulled that stunt so he puts him into a headlock and then Ra Im who unfortunately bears the brunt of this abuse, tickles him to get free. But I’m thinking that with the stuntwoman skill she used to Bruce Lee those guys in the first episode, should she have needed to resort to that? Granted, she’s in a different body but Joo Won’s body can’t be that useless, can it?

Anyway, that leads to the fanservice-y kiss. I must say that I do enjoy Joo Won as a pseudo gay incestuous character. lol. I really wish I knew what exactly was going through Oska’s mind as he watched his cousin getting all shy and tapping his toes after that awful kiss.

Of course Joo Won was horrified when he saw his body engaged in a kiss with this cousin and in general, the dude is just angry so he decided to leave Oska at the station. When he and Ra Im arrive at the resort, he asks her why she’s so interested in Oska. She quips back by asking if he’s jealous. He denies this of course but says that if believing he’s jealous is what it would take to keep her away from Oska, she should believe that. She then explains that she does like Oska as a fan because at her darkest moments, his music was like medicine. And that the only reason she’s glad for the switch is that now she’s in a position to help him. On hearing this, a normal person would back off and understand her POV but since Joo Won is a jerk, he still finds a reason to be mad at her and declares that he’s going to make her regret finding any positivity in their switch.

So just as he did with poor Jong Soo, he uses the rare opportunity he has occupying Ra Im’s body to destroy the pleasant relationship she has with Oska. But then Ra Im fights back by flirting with Evil Seul, which of course, offends both men for different reasons.

Now mad, Oska drags Evil Seul to a private area and wonders what her issue is considering she was the one to dump him. Then she wonders if she really did right before we are taken back in time. So apparently, there was some Hot Jealous Hater (HJH) who seemed to have a problem with their relationship. From all indications, he was her ex and Oska’s friend, which is why people shouldn’t engage in these Beverly Hills 90210-style friends-sharing-lovers relationships. So we get to see the scene where HJH (who was less hot without his hat) tells Oska that Cute Seul is easy and instead of Cowardly Oska defending his woman, he doesn’t. This was the incident that turned Cute Seul into Evil Seul. Now, here’s my thing. Yes, Cowardly Oska was a coward, but considering that he didn’t take HJH’s words to heart and then proposed to her, shouldn’t that be clear that he was being sincere? Also, when he proposed, why didn’t she then clarify things with him? Instead of saying hurtful words, why not throw what he said back in his face, thereby giving him an opportunity to both explain and apologize? Yes, what he said was wrong, but his actions after that contradicted them, especially as he proposed marriage to her. Plus she must have an inkling that he sincerely cared about her, otherwise, why would she think that dating his cousin would matter to him? Why would she think it would torture him? And why is she still willing to reconcile with him? Also, what’s with her Cleopatra hair?

Anyway, our grown characters turned into tweens and played silly games where they both tried to frustrate and irritate one another. Stuff happened like girly Ra Im fainting at Oska’s nakedness and Joo Won bragging about Ra Im’s body. At the end of it all, Ra Im and Joo Won got to have a private conversation where Ra Im told him more about herself. It was one of those 5% moments where Joo Won said that if he’d realized that his tax dollars were helping to raise Ra Im (who was on welfare), he would have paid more.

There’s some stuff about Oska’s new song being leaked on the internet that I don’t care about but somewhere in there is also another layer to the Cowardly Oska and Evil Seul relationship. On hearing about his song’s scandal, Oska jetted out of the resort to find the person he believed was behind it. That led to him and Evil Seul riding in a car together where she then mentions that it was their first time riding together. And that he shouldn’t even claim that it never happened before because he was trying to protect her because all he ever thought about was himself. Then Oska pulls over and tells her to get out of his car. That he’s not stranding her since Joo Won will be picking her up shortly – he’s leaving her because having her in a car with him is distracting because all he can see is her – not the road and not the traffic lights.

Seeing Ra Im at Joo Won’s place a second time clued in his demonic mother that they were in some kind of relationship. And Demon Mother just couldn’t stand to watch her son involved with trash. So she decides to call Ra Im for a private chat where she then proceeds to offer to pay her off to stay away from her precious son. But since we are in the middle of the switch, that means that she really got to see Joo Won, who in turn, got to see just how much his mother meddles in his life. One thing he might not be aware of is that in some ways, looking at his mother is like looking at his reflection and I hope this leads him to reflect on his attitude. I think he’s changing a little… just a little but he still has a lot of work ahead of him.

With this new information in hand, Joo Won then goes to speak to his doctor/friend to get further info on just how much his mother meddles into his life. It seems to imply that they once dated and not only does his doctor/friend confirm that his mother meddles, she warns Joo Won in Ra Im’s body not to count on getting protected by Joo Won since she’s not one of the elite. I liked this scene because I think it’s great for him to hear what people think of him. If that matters to him is another issue.

From episode 1, we all know that even though Ra Im doesn’t seem to mind taking abuse from Joo Won or directors, she can’t stand to watch others suffer like that. So when some old perv gets into an altercation with a LOEL employee, she decks him. For me, the best part of this isn’t that she fought for the weak and gave that old nasty guy some bruises. No. The best part is that she landed Joo Won in jail because not too long after being handcuffed at the station, our couple switched bodies back. If switching bodies didn’t teach Joo Won a lesson in humility, perhaps a stint in jail will do the trick. But I’m not holding my breath.

For me, the switch was anti-climactic. We got hilarity but nothing much happened, did it? A few things happened – they’ve gotten to know each other’s backgrounds a little better, Joo Won now knows how much of a bitch his mother is, Ra Im’s wardrobe and probably home got upgraded (I actually don’t like this) and our couple got to spend a bit of time together. Perhaps I was hoping for too much but Joo Won is still the jackass he’s always been – he finds pleasure in Ra Im freezing her butt off and on hearing that she’s in jail, instead of trying to protect her, he scolds her for not thinking about him because he would have handled things differently. Maybe they will show another scene in a future episode where it’s made clear that Joo Won really didn’t plan on having her languish in jail but till then, that just showed us how much of a moron he still is.

I know that he will eventually change because this is a kdrama after all but in my opinion, it’s illogical for her to fall for him.

In other notes, it looks like Secretary Kim now knows that Joo Won and Ra Im switched bodies. Will this mean something in the future, like him telling Ah Young and her finally understanding girly Ra Im’s warnings or not? Now that the entire company watched “Ra Im” sign Joo Won’s signature, will that mean that Director Park will later frame her for forging a signature that he had? What about Ra Im’s “protection?” Did the switch achieve that? I don’t think that it’s been made clear that Ra Im was unable to attend the Dark Blood audition. If anything , I think that the switch does allow her to pass the first stage. But I guess we’ll get the answers to these questions soon enough.

8 Comments

  • eatnsnooze says:

    If Daddy indeed the one one pulling the strings behind the switch, then perhaps the switch-back was only a temporary measure to get his beloved daughter out of jail (b/c JW probably capable of digging himself out of the hole). Maybe they’ll go back to the switched-bodies once JW frees himself from jail.

    btw, loving your “nicknames” for the characters :p.

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      Very good point and very much within the realm of reason. It’ll be interesting if Ra Im switches bodies every time she gets in trouble.

      Glad you’re enjoying the nicknames 😀

  • mskololia says:

    I’m impressed that RI-him did not try to escape from the plane midair……I’m looking forward to watching epi 8 ‘cos RI’s cry for help at the end of epi 7 in the way of a preview caught my attention.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with that one….. 🙂

    • mskololia says:

      I meant cannot wait to read your comments re epis 9-10 and beyond…

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      LOL. I think it would have been hilarious if Joo Won had tried to jump out of the plane. LOL…. I just like consistency. A man can’t be in an elevator for like 10 seconds but can ride a plane for 1 hour. Yes, an elevator is more claustrophobic but give me a break!

  • Khin Nwe Aye says:

    Thanks for your take on Eps. 7 and 8, msclockwatcher. I totally agree with your opinion tha JW (in RI’s body)being such a jerk in demanding JSoo to never confess his feelings for RI. First, he doesn’t intend to have any meaningful relationship with her, except as a kept woman, probably hidden from view, and then he expects her to just disappear into thin air once he has satisfied his itch about the “strange” woman. He’s really selfish as his attempt to knock off a rival is not based on his desire to keep RI for himself because he has deep feelings for RI at all. Or maybe he’s just not aware how deep are his feelings for RI? He does seem clueless and naive most of the time. Is this due to his selective amnesia, as Oska mentions in Ep. 7? Is there something mentally wrong with our JW so that he’s acting so abnormally like this? Stalking the poor RI relentlessly while in the same time spewing his verbal abuse at her for not having the high standards he envisions for his perfect partner in life? If I were RI I would steer clear of his split personality person; how a sane woman would like to spend her life with a man who openly tells her she’s not marrying material and is a little less above mistresss level? Maybe JW will have time to reflect on what people, even those close to him like his psychiatrist and maybe his ex-girlfriend/lover, think about his personality: someone not willing to protect the woman he loves if she is a commoner. I wonder when will we learn more about Jw’s past medical problems leading to his amnesia and claustrophobia, so that we may be feeling more favourable towards him. I love Hyun Bin as an actor for his acting skills and his handsomeness. But I still can’t feel much sympathy for JW as the drama character because he is still lacking in “human touch”, or human heart. RI also needs to recover her feisty character as exhibited in the earlier episodes. I’m missing her strong-willed and independent character in the later episodes. I’ll be waiting for your remarks on the coming episodes.

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      Thanks for your comments!

      Ra Im’s feisty character has really disappeared but this happens a lot in kdramas. The girl then later becomes a doormat for the guy. But I guess that if she still had her feisty character, there would be no way she’d even consider a guy who spoke to her in this manner.

      Yes, he does seem very clueless and naive but maybe he’s been living in a bubble because if he likes her, he should say nice things to her and treat her with care. And I don’t understand where all his anger comes from – maybe they’ll explain it later.

      lol… maybe he does have some mental problems and possibly a chemical imbalance. Then perhaps it will all make sense.

      Right now, JW is my least favorite character – even less than Director Park and his mother. Because his mother does these things because she doesn’t like Ra Im. On the other hand, JW likes Ra Im yet he finds pleasure in having her stand in the freezing cold? This makes no sense at all.

      Some people find romance in this but I’m finding it hard to feel the same way. If he cleans up his act, I will root for them.

  • zoe says:

    The actor (Oska’s rival), who made them break up was in I Am Legend as the hot single rocker dad <3. His name is Lee Joon Hyuk.

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