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Laya

Please bear in mind that I am not Korean, so a lot of the stuff dealing here with Korean culture are based on my own deductions from the drama itself, or research, and it may not be totally accurate, although I learned a lot about their culture just from this drama. If you're a Korean reading this blog and I might have misinterpreted or misread some cultural nuance, please feel free to explain it to me nicely.

Episode 5

The ninny duo! 


We left Eun Sung at the end of Episode 4 gaping in surprise when Butler Pyo brings her to a big house where Granny awaits her. Granny now invites Eun Sung to breakfast while Jung and Young Ran are bursting with curiousity as to how and why she is there and who she is. Eun Sung is also bewildered how the old peasant woman she rescued turned out to be rich. Granny now offers her a proposition: if Eun Sung comes to live with her, she will initiate a search for Eun Woo. Which causes Eun Sung to give her a weird look and ask whether she's all right.
You okay, Granny?

Hwan meanwhile is having breakfast with Young-Suk, and orders him to find Eun Sung. He aims to leave for the States soon, as soon as he smooths down Granny's ruffled feathers, and he can't bear to think that she got the better of him.

As soon as Eun Sung leaves, mother and daughter start in on Granny, asking why she has to have Eun Sung live in the house. If she owed the girl a favor, why didn't Granny just give her a lot of money and call it quits?

Just about this much, Granny! A whole lot!
(This in Jung's typical shallow childish talk complete with exaggerated gestures. Honestly, I wonder Granny hasn't slapped her instead of her brother.) Granny gets mad at her though; it isn't even their own money they're talking about, but hers. She orders that the third floor be cleaned and prepared for Eun Sung without any more back talk.
Seung Mi, why so pretty.
Seung Mi tells her mom she has been accepted to Jin-Seong Foods. Sung Hee asks her to type up her application for a Jin-Sung franchise as well, causing Seung Mi to ask where her mom was going to get the money to finance it. Sung Hee says she borrowed it from someone.

Granny asks Director Park if the list of accepted applicants has been finalized, and tells him to add another name to the list. Director Park queries this on much the same grounds as Jung and Young Ran did, and of course gets a scolding from Granny as well. He muses that something must have happened to Granny in the week she was away, and she agrees: she "grasped a wire from Heaven."

Eun Sung tells Hye Ri about Granny's proposal. Of course pragmatic Hye Ri is all for it, but Eun Sung has reservations; she thinks she doesn't deserve it. Hye Ri tries to convince her to do it for Eun Woo's sake. Meanwhile, the people at the orphanage are worried about Eun Woo, who is being difficult. And Eun Sung, walking down the street, sees that some of her flyers have been torn down. She comes to a decision and runs off.
Oh no!

When Sung Hee comes to visit, Young Ran tells her that her mom-in-law is driving her crazy; she's actually letting a stranger live in their house because she owes that person something! (I wonder how long it will take for Sung Hee to find out who that stranger is? Seeing that she's often at Granny's house their paths will be bound to cross sometime.)

Meanwhile, Eun Sung receives a visit from In Young, who found out about Eun Woo's disappearance and traced her through Hye Ri. She tells Eun Sung that Seung Mi has been looking for her. Hyeong Jin as well. She also finds out that Eun Sung is going to move into a nice granny's house. (Uh oh, I sense major fireworks coming up. What will happen when...)

...and sure enough, Hwan pulls up in his car just as Eun Sung comes through the gate of Granny's house. They catch up with each other on the front steps, and major major argument ensues, with Hwan grabbing her arm. Jung and Young Ran come running out to see what the commotion is all about; Jung and Young Ran tell him Eun Sung is coming to live with them, and Hwan tells them that Eun Sung is in fact the one who "stole" his bag. Which of course get the mom-and-daughter ninny duo into a tizzy; they all yell at Eun Sung to leave. She tells him that if she'd known it was his house she'd never have come there, and storms off...

...only to run right smack into Granny as she arrives. She tells Granny that she cannot come live with them after all, and leaves, crying. Granny goes off to confront her family. She tells Hwan to go and fetch Eun Sung back; if he can't or won't, then he should leave. Eun Sung, still seething, goes back to the room she shared with Hye Ri. Then she receives a call from Jin-Seong Foods. Hrm.

Seung Mi realizes why her mom had her type her franchise application; she has to memorize whatever fibs Sung Hee told so that their stories would be the same. In the application Sung Hee says that Seung Mi's dad is dead (he's alive, but she would rather be a widow than a divorcee) and that her second husband is alive although out of the country. She says that although she and Young Ran were friends in school, they moved in different social circles, and that she is ashamed of what her own life later became; in effect, she has to hide it so that Seung Mi would be "good enough" to be Young Ran's daughter-in-law. Seung Mi observes "Again, it's because of me" and changes the subject: the next day is the 49th day after her stepdad's death, and what's her mom going to do about it? Sung Hee hasn't planned on doing anything; he's not Seung Mi's dad so why
is she going on about it? Seung Mi intends to go even without her mom, and the two quarrel about it.

You are both so PWND.

Hwan tells Granny he's off to buy his ticket back to the States. She tells him he isn't going back. In fact, he isn't going anywhere if he is not self-supporting. Hwan whines, what is he going to do then? She tells him to make a plan about what he wants to do with his life, since he hates beef soup, and to bring that plan to her in a week's time. Jung chimes in with her usual bird-brained comments, and Granny tells her to do the same thing. Haha. PWND.

Eun Sung, looking a bit like an OJT student in ballet flats, a short black skirt, and a loose white jacket, arrives at Jin-Seong. [Contrast her clothes and Seung Mi's... Seung Mi is always well-dressed, fashionable, in heels; Eun Sung seems to go more for comfort in a sort of street style and flats. I dress like her most of the time though I wish I were more like Seung Mi, lol.] She grasps her necklace for courage, and goes in. And the interview is conducted by...

...Granny! No surprise there. Eun Sung now learns what we've all known for a while: Granny is the president of Jin-Seong, the same company she prevented Eun Sung from getting an interview at when she pretended to have a tummyache. Granny gets Eun Sung's side of the story on the bag debacle, and they end up more of having a conversation over cups of tea instead of an interview. Granny convinces Eun Sung to come live with her even if Hwan doesn't want her to.


Omo, who's this coming into the building but Sung Hee? She sees Eun Sung walking out with Granny, and recalls Young Ran's words. My my my, the lady's quick on the uptake... she puts things together immediately and realizes that Eun Sung is the stranger Young Ran was talking about.

Be still my heart!

...and we have Hwan and Seung Mi playing squash. Seung Mi slips and falls and Hwan tries to catch her. Anyway, he breaks her fall by landing beneath her so that her head is cushioned by his arm and shoulder. Awwww. The kid has a streak of chivalry beneath that tough facade. And I have to admit, they look so good together I wish they were the main couple. They reminisce a bit; apparently Seung Mi, without naming names, has often told him about her "evil step sister" who was always the center of attention in the family, so that the whole family neglected Seung Mi's own high school graduation to attend hers when both were on the same day. So Hwan took Seung Mi off and taught her to play squash instead, to vent her anger. She chides him and tells him not to call the other girl her "evil" sister, because she is not evil, nor is Seung Mi good. She then
asks why he wanted to play squash now, and he vents about the girl who stole his bag. LOL, they don't even know they're talking about the same person.


Eun Sung goes to Jun Se's restaurant and finds it almost a shrine to Eun Woo with flyers everywhere. Jun Se comes out to find her there, and they banter a bit. Eun Sung asks him if the flyers are okay with the restaurant owner (she still thinks it belongs to Hyeong Jin) and he says it is. She ends up telling him about Granny and her strange proposal. He almost gives himself away by worrying that Hwan will make things difficult for her, but turns that around by saying that he thinks so based on what Eun Sung told him about the other guy.
So do we wear coordinated outfits again tomorrow?

LOL, what a tangled web we are trying to weave, and all with good intentions, eh, Park Jun Se? (why the matched clothes lol). Anyway, she thanks Jun Se for steering her in Jin-Sung's direction. Jun Se sees her off to the bus stop...


...just as Seung Mi and Hwan arrive, and the two couples barely miss each other. And the first thing Seung Mi sees is Eun Woo's flyers, with Eun Sung's number on them.

Mom, what'll we do?

While Granny goes to meet Eun Sung with all her luggage, Sung Hee agitatedly paces the floor of her apartment thinking over what she has discovered. Then Seung Mi comes running in to tell her about Eun Woo's disappearance.
His Royal Highness likes this not at all, no.

Hwan and the ninny duo have just gathered in the family living room when Granny brings Eun Sung home and lays down the law that she is to be treated as a family member. She says maybe Eun Sung can be friends with Jung since they're the same age, but as for Hwan, she can "call him Oppa a little later." Oh, Granny, what is this. Hwan objects of course [muhahaha resistance is futile, my boy. Just grin and enjoy it, eh?] but Granny silences him, and Young Ran, if a little coldly, bids Eun Sung welcome. Granny personally takes Eun Sung to her room and tells her to rest for a few days afterwards because she's lived a hard life up to then. She warns Eun Sung though that she may become "mentally disabled" living with them... well, if the ninny duo are an example, Granny... Eun Sung prepares to relax in her simple but cosy room before going down to dinner.

Then we have Seung Mi in her pretty room, unfolding Eun Woo's flyer. She picks up her cell phone and dials a number... but Eun Sung has left her cellphone in her room and does not pick up. She's gone to the bathroom, only to find brother and sister waiting for her when she comes out. Both are still fixated on the bag [enough already about the bag, although it's laughable that both are just after the expensive stuff in Hwan's bag, while Eun Sung's bag contains her memories of her family]. Anyway, Eun Sung gets the better of Hwan by telling him he must've been switched at the hospital because she can't believe Granny has a grandson like him. Har har de har! Hwan goes off to fume.


Hyeong Jin comes home to find Jun Se talking on his cellphone to Eun Sung, which elicits a barrage of questions. Is she that Eun Sung? How had they gotten in touch? Why hadn't Jun Se told him? Why indeed, says Jun Se, after the way Hyeong Jin treated her? Which of course leads Hyeong Jin to ask if he's dating her, and say he should be careful. He narrowly misses another fist in the jaw from Jun Se: how could he say that Eun Sung's after his money when she thinks that Hyeong Jin owns the restaurant and that Jun Se is not rich?

Eun Sung on the bus and Seung Mi and Sung Hee in their car are off to the same place, carrying flowers for Mr. Go's 49th day. Seung Mi wonders why her mom has a change of heart, as they might see Eun Sung there. Which is I think what witch mama wants to happen, exactly, in view of everything she's learned, although she tells her daughter the day is so long they would tend to miss each other.

Yeah, just about illustrates this family.
But o, why trust in the vagaries of chance when there are scriptwriters and directors? As Seung Mi and her mom arrive, Eun Sung, who has visited her dad and talked to him a while, is leaving. Eun Sung sees she had a missed call and calls the number. Seung Mi answers just as they turn the corner, and oops... they run into each other. Mama witch thinks fast; she swoops down on a bewildered Eun Sung with some song and dance about how she's been looking all over creation for the girl, as Seung Mi stares skeptically. I love Sung Hee as a villainess; she strings both girls along. Well, Seung Mi wouldn't be that much of a stooge if her mom didn't keep her innocent. Anyway, on the way home, Seung Mi goes on and on about EunWoo's disappearance and asks if they can take Eun Sung home now, and witch mama suddenly stops the car. OUCH. She then tells Seung Mi that Eun Sung is living... in Hwan's house... and working at Jin-Seong. Double OUCH.

OMGMOMWHAT?
Seung Mi instantly thinks about what would happen if Hwan found out how they really treated Eun Sung, but witch mama just tells her to act shocked when she runs into Eun Sung at Jin-Seong. Seung Mi wants to back out of working at Jin-Seong for fear people would find out about her and Eun Sung being stepsisters, but again witch mama knows how to manipulate her: if she can give Hwan up, why sure, she should back out. Jin-Seong's not the only place she's bound to bump into her stepsister. Whereas they've already half-convinced Eun Sung they didn't really abandon her; if Seung Mi goes along with her mom's plan, it will be all right. Gotta give her points for cold-bloodedness. That night, Seung Mi moons over photos of her and Hwan while witch mama tears up her application letter.


A study in contrasts.

The next morning Seung Mi sets off for Jin-Seong and accidentally on purpose bumps into Eun Sung just to act surprised the way her mom told her. That afternoon, when Eun Sung comes out after training, she gets a call from her stepmom and they meet at a restaurant. Sung Hee now asks for Eun Sung's help regarding Seung Mi, and tells her about Seung Mi and Hwan. However, Hwan doesn't know that Eun Sung and Seung Mi are related, and Sung Hee asks Eun Sung to keep it that way, as it would make things difficult for Seung Mi. Even if she can't forgive her stepmom, Seung Mi hasn't done anything to her. Eun Sung gets flashbacks of the way Sung Hee treated her after her dad's death, but agrees to keep quiet.


Meanwhile, Mr. Go is still trying to locate his wife. He remembers her usual schedule, and tries to track her down by calling her favorite spa and asking what time Sung Hee has an appointment there. [Uh, I don't know about you but would people really give out their clients' schedules like that?] He arrives, sees her drive by in her flashy car, goes down to the car park after her. When she comes back after her appointment...


...her supposedly dead husband is waiting for her.


End of Episode 5

Notes and Violent Reactions:

Eun Sung and the ninny duo are always a wee bit exag here. Eun Sung is like she's making her mind up how to react, then reacts. She is too much the wide-eyed innocent for someone who's studied in New York. Hello, New York; a few years in Manila gave me some street smarts but apparently Eun Sung is so invulnerable the Big Apple didn't affect her that way. Haha. Jung figures prominently in the screenies because she's so LOL. She and her mom are like two Stooges, they're so unreal. Not that I haven't encountered people that shallow in real life, but still.

Hwan is still such a shallow jerk I'd like to smack him upside the head with a palu-palo, but... that scene on the squash court was so sweet. Awww, can't blame Seung Mi. He is always sweet where she's concerned, except when she tries to talk about, you know, serious love. Then he gets deaf all of a sudden. Still, the instincts seem to be there.

More on the clothes here... Seung Mi is always so dolled up while Eun Sung is kind of bohemian and casual. I LOL'd when I saw Eun Sung go to the interview in what she was wearing... fortunately Granny doesn't care much about clothes! I wear that sort of stuff to work myself, but not when I want to make an impression. Later on, the two girls are juxtaposed the morning of their first day of training. There's Seung Mi all correct in office attire, fashionable jacket and all... and there's Eun Sung in... sneakers? LOL. While Hwan is always dressed up; even at home he wears this striped sweater and black vest. Then loses his verbal duel with Eun Sung... who's wearing what's essentially a t-shirt and sweats. We also have a nice little bonus: Eun Sung and Jun Se wear matching outfits in their rooftop conversation. But then Jun Se's style is also more like Eun Sung's the way Hwan's style complements Seung Mi's.

I got confused over the religion. Eun Sung's mom gave her kids cross pendants and she was buried in a graveyard; was she a Christian? While their dad was cremated and Eun Sung came to visit his ashes and pour tea on his 49th day; was he a Buddhist then? Or did they just practice both the way we take a lot of customs from all over and adapt them? For that matter, Filipinos do remember their dead on the 49th day, but it's more of a "babang luksa" or end to formal mourning, right?

Seung Mi seems to be not entirely bad here; she defends Eun Sung to Hwan when he calls her the "evil sister" and goes to visit her stepdad on his 49th day. She does have a serious weakness though: Hwan, Hwan and always Hwan. Witch mama just threatens to take away Hwan, and voila! Seung Mi obeys her. Tsk tsk, my girl.

So many coincidences and discoveries! Sung Hee finds out at once about Eun Sung staying at Hwan's... and about her husband being alive. Hwan and Eun Sung come into proximity [sparks! give me sparks! but poor Seung Mi...] and Seung Mi and Eun Sung also work together. Jun Se is also putting pieces together while keeping Eun Sung ignorant of many things... shouldn't surprise me if he ends up being the one to put the whole puzzle together.

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