Run, Jang-Mi – E01 RECAP

Our sweet and sheltered Jang-mi gets a proposal from the guy she met on an arranged date, Mincheol.  The two families plan the wedding as Mincheol woos over his in-law.  The couple encounters a few hiccups as Mincheol’s mother expects a lot from Jang-mi’s family for marrying her doctor son…But they get through because Mincheol smoothes things along.  However, Mincheol may not be as innocent as he seems and Jang-mi’s father is on the edge with his company.

THE RECAP

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Jang-Mi sits in the middle of a heart shaped by rose petals.  Mincheol comes in to kneel on one leg and propose.  Jang-Mi responds that she likes him more and more as she sees him and believes that he would make a great husband.  However, she’s not sure if that’s enough to get married on…

Mincheol responds that he is confident that he can make her fall in love with him.  He will treat her parents like his own parents and her little brother as his own brother.  He tells her he will regret it the rest of his life if he loses her.

Jang-Mi is surprised and accepts his ring.  He tells her, “I love you,” and she responds, “Thank  you.

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Jang-Mi goes to the fish market to buy some crabs for stew.  At home, she gets right to work cooking.  Her mom comes home during the process from getting her hair and nails done.  Her mom tells her that they should have gone out to eat instead of doing it at home.  Jang-Mi responds that her ingredients are fresher and can make the food tastier.  Her mom tells her that she feels guilty that Jang-Mi is doing everything and her daughter responds happily that her mom gave her the talent to cook and she wants to cook for her parents-in-law-to-be. Her mom responds back lovingly, that she cooked out of a sense of duty but Jang-Mi cooks because she wants to.  Therefore, she’s certain Jang-Mi is a better cook.

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At dinner, the future father in law is impressed by all of the food.  Jang-Mi’s mom tells the in-laws that Jang-Mi’s talent and hobby is to cook.  Jang-Mi’s father gives Mincheol’s father a glass of soju.  He is about to take another glass when Mincheol’s mom jumps in and stops him quietly.  Jang-Mi’s mom jokes that Mincheol must take after his father.  She had wondered how Mincheol became so loving.

Mincheol’s mom snipes back with a smile that marriage must be fate.  So many families offered large apartments or offered to set Mincheol up with a hospital.  However, Mincheol never went on a second date with those arranged dates.  However, she knew something was up with Mincheol kept seeing Jang-Mi.  She tells Jang-Mi almost ominously, “Thank you Jang-Mi for stealing our Mincheol’s heart.”

Jang-Mi’s father goes out to his bedroom to take a call.   He tells the person that he will take care of it.

Meanwhile, Jang-Mi’s mom asks Mincheol’s mom about the wedding obligations/gifts.  Mincheol’s mom responds that they should communicate through Mrs. Oh.  It will be best that way.

Jang-Mi’s mother comes back in and is in a mood.  Mincheol’s father responds that it seems that the dads have an insignificant role in their children’s wedding when Mincheol’s mom responds that fathers need to fund it. Jang-Mi’s mom jokes to her husband that he better be generous.  When he doesn’t respond, she asks again and he drops the glass he was drinking. He ends up stepping on it and the family go to the livingroom as Mincheol looks after his father-in-law-to-be’s foot.

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The next day, the mothers and the bride and groom go look at an apartment.  Everyone seems to agree that it’s a great apartment until the broker tells them to make a deposit if they really like it, since there’s so much competition for rental. [Junsae in Korea is rental system where instead  of paying monthly rent, you pay a large sum of money.  It’s usually near the total sale price.  The owner keeps and uses the amount of deposit money as an interest free loan until the renters leave.  At that point, the owner returns the whole deposit.]

Mincheol’s mom gets angry that it’s a rental and not a sale.  Jang-Mi’s mom is surprised as she told Mrs. Oh that they were going to rent through junsae the apartment under both of the children’s name.  This seems to raise Mincheol’s mom’s hackles as well.

The children go off to talk. Mincheol asks if Jang-Mi can’t just ask her dad to buy it.  Since the price doesn’t seem to be much of a difference.

Jang-Mi shoots this down and says that she doesn’t want to burden her father anymore.  Rather she asks if Mincheol’s family can pay the difference between the sale/rental price.  Then they can buy it.  Mincheol quickly backs off and tells her that they can just rent it.

The mothers are talking. Mincheol’s mom states that she is shocked and can’t believe what is going on.  She does clarify to Jang-Mi’s mom that it’s not against her specifically, but against the middle-woman, who failed to communicate things clearly.  Jang-Mi’s mom promises to talk to her husband because she doesn’t touch the money.

Mincheol comes back and interrupts to tell the two that they should just rent.  His mom looks at him angrily and tells him that Jang-Mi’s mom was going to look into it further.  Mincheol responds smoothly that it doesn’t matter if its rental or sale.  What matters is that they are in love.  He also adds that the apartment should be under Jang-Mi’s name.  His mom is aghast.  Jang-Mi’s mom is sold.  She tells them that the apartment should be under his name and Jang-Mi looks a bit worried.  However, Mincheol just states that it’s fine either way as long as Jang-Mi and her mom are happy.

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At Mincheol’s house, his mom is PISSED.  Mincheol asks her to let it go.  She tells him that they just lost over six figures of money!  He responds how could he just let the wedding be canceled because they weren’t going to buy the house.

Mincheol’s dad asks why it should matter.  The most important thing is that they love each other.  Mincheol’s mom throws a cushion at him and tells him in English, “Shut the mouth!”  She states clearly that if he’s not going to help pay for his wedding, he should keep his mouth shut.  At this point, Mincheol’s dad weakly asks if what he has earned so far hasn’t been money.  Not one to lose, his mom responds to ask if he’s forgotten how much money they spent to get him a professorship at a private school?  His asks how long the mom is going to keep bringing that incident up and why is she so obsessed with money.  Mincheol’s mom gets in the last word to say she wouldn’t be so obsessed if he earned enough.

Mincheol gets up to go into his room, frustrated.  His mom asks why he doesn’t just get married to the last girl he saw; they offered to buy him a hospital!  Mincheol responds that he’s a lover.  The last girl was so plastic, she looked like an alien.  He wasn’t attracted to her at all! Whereas, Jang-Mi…There’s chemistry.  He also adds that if his mom continues this and makes a big deal out of his, he won’t get married and live as a hermit.

Surprised, his mom asks since when was he a romeo?  Mincheol responds that they shouldn’t lose sight of the war to win the battle.  Wouldn’t it be better to keep the family happy so that they happily give everything rather than just be focused on the house and car at this stage?  His mom looks surprised…

We turn to America, where Taeja is golfing.  We don’t see where the ball went but we are to assume it went well from the clapping.

A girl hits next and she hits it into the woods.  Taeja offers to set her up again and she asks that he help her look for the ball instead of letting the caddy go look for it.  Behind the woods, she hugs him.

Taeja asks if she hit it into the woods on purpose.  The girl responds that she did hit it into the woods on purpose and they kiss.

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A girl (Minjoo) walks into the apartment to see a girl’s shoes and clothes everywhere.  Looks like the girl slept over.  She turns the music up loud until the two wake up.

Taeja asks how she knew the passcode when she changed it.  Minjoo responds that he’s in the palm of her hands.

The golfing girl asks who Minjoo is and Taeja respond that Minjoo is just a girl he knows…at the same time Minjoo states, “Wife.”

Minjoo continues on, “Isn’t she just a one night stand?”

Taeja mouthes, “No.”

However, Minjoo continues on that she answered “wife” because she assumed he wanted her to get him out of a sticky situation.  The golfing girl, asks if he’s a player.  Taeja tries to explain that this is a misunderstanding when Minjoo interrupts again.  She tells the girl that if she has figured it out, to get out, this isn’t the first mess that she had to clean up.  Minjoo throws Taeja a jacket and tells him to get ready to leave.

In Korea, Mincheol’s mom tells Taeja’s mom that she convinced the unwilling artist to sell.  Taeja’s mom calls her Teacher Choi and Mincheol’s mom asks her to call her Professor Choi, now that she’s become a professor.  Taeja’s mom apologizes saying that she’s so used to saying Teacher Choi, she keeps forgetting.

Mincheol’s mom changes the subject to tell Taeja’s mom that they set the date for Mincheol’s wedding.  She notices that Taeja’s mom doesn’t even open the invitation, but just puts it into her purse.  Mincheol’s mom adds, without being asked, that the bride-to-be is the daughter of a stable middle-sized business.

Taeja’s mom asks if Minjoo will come in for the wedding and Mincheol’s mom responds that Minjoo can’t make it due to her final papers.  Taeja’s mom notes that she should be happy that her children are so smart.  To this,  Mincheol’s mom responds that she heard that Taeja is also studying well these days.  Taeja’s mom gives the credit to Minjoo.  Taeja hadn’t been doing so well until Minjoo came to study abroad as well.  It’s interesting to hear Mincheol’s mom’s thoughts…she pauses to think, “Well to catch a tiger, you have to go into the tiger’s den.”

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Meanwhile, in America, Taeja shows Minjoo his new car.  She asks if he isn’t interested in learning how to drive sinec he loves cars so much.  Taeja glares at her and she apologizes and promises not to bring it up.

At that moment, Mincheol calls Minjoo and asks her to turn it into a videoconference.  She tells him that she’s in the library…she hasn’t showered or put on makeup.  So she would rather they just talk instead of videocall.  Jang-Mi and Minjoo exchange greetings as Minjoo apologizes for not being able to make it to the wedding because she’s so busy with her papers… Taeja gets tired of waiting and honks the car’s horn to interrupt.

When Minjoo gets in, he asks her why she isn’t going to the wedding.  Didn’t she mention that she finished her papers last week?  Minjoo responds that he must have misheard.  She still has one left…but thinks to herself that Taeja is such an idiot.  She’s not going to her brother’s wedding because of him…

Mincheol and Jang-Mi are walking together… She tells him that she thinks she’s so lucky.  She used to think that love-marriage seems like a redbrick house but an arranged marriage is more like a sand castle.  You have less time to get to know each other and you can never be certain if the other side is marrying for the partner or for the partner’s specs [wealth, education, etc.]  Mincheol pauses and asks if she thinks that way still…

He has to control his face but smiles when Jang-Mi responds that he has helped her change her mind.  He and his family treats her so well that she’s so thankful.  Mincheol pauses and tells her that he will make her happie rafter they get married.  Jang-Mi responds that she will also try her best and they hug.

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The next day, Jang-Mi’s mom begs her husband to be more generous.  Why can’t they just buy the kids an apartment?  She asks that they get a reverse mortgage to buy them a house, if necessary.

Jang-Mi comes along at that point and tells her mom to stop bugging her father.  She mentions that Mincheol has already agreed to a rental.  Her mom responds that Mincheol’s attitude makes her want to buy them a house more. Afterall, to be honest, he’s specs are better than her own daughter’s.  She teases Jang-Mi that she’s only a grad student in name; she stays at home all the time to play.  Jang-Mi grabs their father and they seek refuge in the bathroom.

In the bathroom, Jang-Mi washes her father’s injured foot.  She asks if he’s okay since there’s so much money being used on the wedding.  He tells her that it’s fine; she shouldn’t worry about finances.  The reason that he’s working so hard is so that his wife, Jang-Mi and her brother can live comfortably.  He also tells her a secret…they are in the middle of closing a deal with a food company and if they do, the value of their company will double or triple!  Jang-Mi jokes to her dad that he can’t take this offer back in the future and they laugh.

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Meanwhile, Joon Hyuk gives a presentation about SL Food.  He wants to take their ricecake/ rice treat foods global.

At the same time, Taeja has a nightmare about being in a car accident.  He wakes up screaming, “No, DAD!”  He takes a shower in his clothes to wake up… The poor kid continues to cry in the shower, “Dad…I’m so sorry…”

The CEO of SL Food gets out of the presentation when a secretary tells him that Taeja has tried to contact him.  He shouts at the secretary, why he didn’t interrupt the presentation.  He gets anxious and asks Joon Hyuk when was the last time he talked to Taeja. Joon Hyuk responds that he talked to Taeja yesterday, which calms the CEO down a bit.  He mutters to himself that nothing big could have happened within a day…but one never knows.

Joon Hyuk respectfully tells the CEO that Taeja is also an adult.  He will be fine.  The CEO responds that if Taeja were even half of Joon Hyuk, he wouldn’t be worried.  He regrets not forcing Taeja to come back to Korea when Joon Hyuk came back and leaving him in New York alone.

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The CEO speedwalks into his office to get to his computer.  Turns out the CEO is his grandfather.  He asks why Taeja asks his grandfather for more money… His grandfather asks why he needs money to move.  Taeja answers that his house is haunted.

The CEO tells him that he was fine when he lived with Joon Hyuk.  Taeja agrees and asks his grandfather to send him Joon Hyuk.  Isn’t the company going to open a branch in America? Open a branch and send him Joon Hyuk.  After all, his grandfather does everything that he asks.

The CEO responds lovingly, “Taeja…” before yelling, “STOP DRINKING YOU IDIOT. THAT ‘S WHY YOU’RE SEEING THINGS!”  He turns around and tells his secretary to turn the monitor off.

Taeja screams his grandfather’s name into the webcam but his grandfather doesn’t turn around.  Taeja tells his grandfather that he has something to say… He tells his grandfather that he hates him.  The CEO winces.

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Joon Hyuk is working hard when a girl comes in with congratulatory flowers.  He asks why she did this and the girl unveils one of the labels…It’s their 100 day anniversary.  She asks him to buy dinner as a celebration.

Joon Hyuk gets up and tells her (Tae Hee) that they should stop.  Tae Hee begs him to wait another 3 months.  There is another 3 months left!  Joon Hyuk tells him that he only accepted her offer to date for 6 months because she begged him.  However, it’s been three months and he still only sees her as a little sister.  Tae Hee refuses to accept this and begs him to reconsider, things might change in three months.  He can’t predict the future…She looks and sounds like she’s on the verge of tears.  Joon Hyuk sighs and tells her that they should eat.  This girl isn’t going to be determined, she confirms that Joon Hyuk will continue to see her for another three months.  Joon Hyuk nods.

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Mincheol falls into bed and exclaims that it finally feels like they are getting married now that they have their first apartment furnished.  Jang-Mi tells him that she chose the furniture based on her tastes. He tells her that he doesn’t need anything as long as she’s there.

Jang-Mi responds that he sounds like a player, telling her only things that women want to hear.  Mincheol picks her up and asks if she feels like she’s floating.  He will make sure that she always feels like she’s floating and flying after they get married.  He twirls her around and shouts, “THIS WOMAN IS MY WIFE!”

Jang-Mi’s father comes outside to meet two loan sharks.  They tell him that they came to check his address.  He tries to rush them out when Jang-Mi comes home.  She walks up to the three calling out for her dad and asks who the two men are.

MY TWO CENTS

I was worried about this drama before I watched the first episode.  The concept is extremely hackneyed and can be tiring.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The thirty minutes went by quickly!  It helps that the execution was done well. We have the bright colors and pretty people.

The execution of the introductory episode was pretty good.  Thanks to our ability as an audience to hear both sides and the character’s thoughts, we know that Mincheol’s family is a house of cards.  They are middle class, wanting to move up into upper class.  They see the marriage to Jang-Mi and hope for a marriage to Taeja for the purpose of gaining access to more capital.  I must clarify that I don’t think Minjoo is as calculating as her mother and brother.  She truly seems to have a crush on Taeja… She must take after her father, while Mincheol takes after his mom…

Thanks to the summary on the official website, we already know that Jang-Mi’s father will die and Jang-Mi will be tossed by Mincheol’s family like a sack of coals.  This episode did a good job in explaining why Jang-Mi fell for Mincheol in the first place.  Mincheol definitely laid it on thick, making it seem like he was a love-sick-romeo who doesn’t care about material aspects.  It would be difficult for anyone to see through that during the short period of the arranged dating before marriage.

Let’s hope the solid execution continues through Jang-Mi’s fall and her journey back up.

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