The Virtual Bride – E05

Inyoung saves the day with her impeccable taste. We get a first kiss between Inyoung and Myungsuk. Choonja shows us her soft side. And, the political race is on between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law!

THE RECAP

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Choonja walks in to see Myungsuk under the covers. He pokes his head out and pretend do to be completely half asleep and reassures his mother that the head of his department changed recently, which is why she got the weird call.

The next day, Se-Mi asks Inyoung to attend the parent day for her. Inyoung happily agrees to get away from Myungsuk after being embarrassed from the other night. Except, Myungsuk shows up in class as well. Dongsuk had asked Myungsuk as well.

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At the same time, Choonja suggests that Soonhee goes on a blind date with this old widow…

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Back in the classroom, the parents are supposed to kiss the child on the head every time certain words come up in a song. Everything goes peacefully until San leans over to pick up a ball and the two end up kissing! Awkward!

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When Inyoung and Myungsuk come home, Inyoung gets caught by Choonja because of her father-in-law. To calm Choonja both promise that the other is not their type.screenshot_2015-09-01-21-16-31-resized-640

As for Se-Mi, she and her Academy head come out of a rival academy. As Se-Mi checks a text from her husband, the head pulls her out of the way of a bicycle in a hug… Se-Mi feels her heart pound.

Se-Mi comes home to get yelled at by Choonja and get jumped on by Dongsuk asking her to buy him a new suit. Se-Mi yells at him for not having his life straight compared to the academy head.

The next day, Junsu fawns on Inyoung because she’s a hit with several commercials. Junsu tells Inyoung that she can replace any of her stylists or even her manager if she wants.

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Inyoung then goes home to give all of the family members a new cell phone. She thanks them for helping her succeed and even notes that they’re the closest thing to a family that she knows. The topic changes saving one’s significant other as speed dial one and the family jokes about the grandfather. Choonja grumbles about Soonhee spreading rumors. When asked, she reassures everyone that they did not fight, she set Soonhee on a blind date.

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Next, there’s filming for the next episode. The two are supposed to pick peppers and Inyoung wonders if she should use scissors instead. Hearing this, producer runs over and stops her. He reminds her that the viewers have more fun if the celebrity has a difficult time. Then he agrees that Inyoung can use scissors if she accidentally cuts her shirt in the middle of picking.

Myungsuk gets angry at the thought of Inyoung cutting her shirt into a crop top and invites Inyoung to a bet… The losers in rock-paper-scissors has to pick the whole field! They play and he loses twice.

From the side, Inyoung’s manager wonders if Myungsuk likes Inyoung since only an idiot would lose to her… If you noticed, she played rock and scissors… In Korean, the game is called rock-scissors-paper.

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We turn to Young-Ah’s story. Mi-Hee finds out that her competitor is winning in the polls by a large margin and asks Young-Ah to get her mother’s signature to approve her development plan. Young-Ah apologizes that she cannot convince her mother to sell their family’s home.

So, Mi-Hee takes matters into her own hands. She goes off to convince Choonja herself! Before Mi-Hee can say anything, Young-Ah bursts in and steals the papers.

Mi-Hee stalks home and complains to Junsu and yells at Young-Ah. Junsu tries to stop her but then pretends to be just as angry when his mother protests in anger that he’s protecting his wife in front of his mother. This all gets interrupted by a visit from Junsu’s dad…who gets kicked out by Junsu.

At the same time, Inyoung happily coos over pictures of Myungsuk in her bed before falling asleep.

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The next day, Choonja leave a Inyoung hanging blankets to dry. Myungsuk steps in to help Inyoung and the two share a moment under the blanket…

Choonja interrupts by yelling at Inyoung for ordering Myungsuk to do housework. Myungsuk distracts her by asking her for a drink.

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But! Time for another crisis! Haji runs out with the bad news that the Internet is full of complaints that their kimchi taste horrible! The secretary comes back to inform the group that the culprit was Dongsuk.

Side Story! Among romantic music, the grandfather runs into the cafe where Soonhee is having her blind date. He yells at her and drags her out after declaring that she is his woman (and apologizing to the man for being rude on their first meeting). Back in Soonhee’s restaurant, he tells her to trust him as he will protect her from now on. (Did anyone else see how the actor playing the grandfather was smiling the whole time? Hahahha! I bet they had fun filming this classic kdrama scene!)

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When we return to Inyoung, they are at the restaurant that is causing the problem with the bad kimchi per Inyoung’s plan. They begin filming another episode where Inyoung tastes the kimchi with her husband. Looking surprised, she declares that it’s not her mother-in-law’s kimchi. She goes around tasting the kimchi on other people’s tables and announces that it’s all not her mother-in-law’s kimchi.

The owner accuses her of defaming his restaurant and Inyoung tells him that she can recognize her mother-in-law’s kimchi. They commence a blind test on the grounds that if Inyoung cannot correctly pick out her mother-in-law’s kimchi, she will pay for everyone and take care of the restaurant’s marketing. In return, the owner promises to acknowledge that he has been using other kimchi, formally apologize and pay for everyone if Inyoung gets it right.

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Inyoung does the tasting and gets it correct. True to his words, the boss kneels in front of Choonja. He apologizes that he tried so hard to find the perfect stew… But then his restaurant went belly up…he had so much debt that he didn’t know what to do… When he saw Choonja’s kimchi on the television, he thought it could help his restaurant and it worked… Yet, when he started making money, he got greedy and thought he could pay his debt off faster by using cheaper kimchi.

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Choonja sighs that her son is no better off than him. When her husband asks if they should call the police and file a claim, Choonja answers that she will give kimchi to the man… For free temporarily. She wants him to call all of the customers who were fed the cheaper kimchi and let them taste her real kimchi. When he pays off his debt, he can pay for her kimchi again.

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As for Mi-Hee, nothing is off bounds for the writer! The drama harpoons the political system with Mi-Hee getting a call from someone. He tells her that the higherups pressured her competitor who has decided to drop out of the race. So, she’s the only one in the election and a de facto winner. When a coworker comes in to congratulate Mi-Hee on the news, she pretends to be demure and extols the value of a democratic system.

Young-Ah walks over to ask if Mi-Hee no longer needs her family land now that she’s basically won. However, Mi-Hee answers that her program is more important than ever if she’s elected.

Back at home, the manager tells Inyoung that the company is willing to get her an apartment… And he found a vacancy in the building she likes. To his surprise, Inyoung seems less than enthusiastic.

As Inyoung leaves, we hear about the latest family crisis! San is missing because Se-Mi forgot to pick him up. (This was the week that the school bus was suspended temporarily.)

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Everyone starts to go looking for San who isn’t at the school. Even as Inyoung is being driven away, she remembers how San liked the stray dog near his school and always fed it. She makes her manager drivers her to the school, arriving a few minutes before Myungsuk. She runs in the rain toward the playground to see San sitting on the slide with a dog. Inyoung envelopes him in a hug as Myungsuk arrives.

Back at home, Choonja yells at Se-Mi for forgetting to pick up her son. Not one to take a beating lying down, Se-Mi points out that San has a father in addition to a mother. Dongsuk’s only excuse is that he had been kicked out due to the kimchi incident… Choonja fumes when he turns to her and blames her for Se-Mi being disappointed in her.

Meanwhile, Inyoung receives begrudging praise from Choonja for saving San. Peace has returned to the family.

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It doesn’t last long as within minutes the grandfather walks in holding Soonhee’s hand.

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Junsu’s life is just about to get more complicated as he has a congratulatory wine with his mother. She gets a call that another competitor entered the race. As she asks for the identity, Young-Ah walks in and announces that it’s her.

MY TWO CENTS

This drama continues to feel like a Korean live action of an animation. It’s light, fluffy and fast-paced. You get the conflicts that are written well enough that it triggers your empathy and within the same episode you get some catharsis as the problem is resolved.

Additionally, I’m satisfied to see several characters getting development. Within just a few episodes, we have been introduced to Young-Ah, who is pretty successful as she became a competent government employee with a guaranteed lifetime pension. We see how she’s trying her best to gain her mother-in-law’s acceptance, probably a result of her always being praised as she grew up.

So, she even gets tempted to take her mother’s signature stamp to approve Mi-Hee’s plan. (I couldn’t tell if it was approving the sale of the land or just approving the plan to build a new commercial complex on the land of her family’s house.) As cheesy and cartoony as it was for Young-Ah to show up as the new competitor in the local elections, the story was written well enough that I had been wondering why Young-Ah doesn’t just run if she would be better suited for the post.

Another notable character revelation seems to be Choonja. She stated that she was the one who developed the famous kimchi. In addition to her soft spot for Inyoung not having parents, she also handled the fraudulent kimchi ordeal with grace. So, she becomes this complex character who seems generally fair and proud of her accomplishments with a few blind spots – Myungsuk being one of them. As such, i don’t actually hate her regardless of blind love of her son or her treatment of Young-Ah which seems to be stemming from the insecurity triggered by Dongsuk…

One character that still needs development – Myungsuk. I get the cute romance and his being Inyoung’s knight against the hardships of celebrity. Yet, there’s something still missing. Myungsuk just elicits a reaction of “Oh, that’s cute.” The squeal-factor is not there… And I would love it if the drama could add that it. (Not a parodied squeal factor but a real squeal-factor.)

Final note. Did anyone else notice that both Young-Ah’s and Mi-Hee’s hair got revamped? The hairstyles in this episode was much more flattering! Kudos to their respective stylists.

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