The Virtual Bride – E10

Sigh, I was avoiding this episode because of the inevitable angst in a comedy drama but here we go! Inyoung and Myungsuk wander around dejectedly like the lovesick teenagers that they are. Meanwhile, Se-Mi and Dongsuk bring the academy head to the police and Mi-Hee gets back together with her ex-husband.

THE RECAP

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Inyoung tells Myungsuk that they live in different worlds, she has to focus on her career and they are just too different. She turns to get into her manager’s car without another word. As they drive off, she sees Myungsuk go into the house without looking back.

Myungsuk finds Choonja waiting for him in the courtyard. She asks him worried if he had been with Inyoung this whole time. Myungsuk answers that they broke up so she does not have to worry.

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The next morning is a calm affair. Choonja seems calmer and more peaceful than normal as well. She gives over the responsibility of cooking for the family and taking care of the finances to Soonhee. She even asks Soonhee to take care of preparations for the upcoming memorial dinner. Soonhee happily agrees.

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At the same time, Inyoung asks Junsu to fill her schedule up. She lies that she’s completely fine but then uses her hairspray as a face mist…and walks off to show that she’s wearing two different shoes.

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Back at home, Soonhee and Choonja seem to bond a bit. Soonhee asks Choonja about whether or not she would consider Haji a good mate for Myungsuk and Choonja angrily snaps her head off. Choonja even adds that they can’t house Haji forever and will need to send her out. Haji sees this exchange and runs off. She runs off before the conversation is over so she doesn’t hear Choonja explain to Soonhee that Haji is particularly talented and will benefit by going to a renowned Korean food preparation place in the countryside.

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Dongsuk gets worried about Se-Mi and goes to the academy to check on her because she’s not answering her phone. As he walks in, he hears the other teachers gossip about how Se-Mi got defrauded. His expression freezes and he barges into Se-Mi’s office demanding to know what happened. He tells Se-Mi that he can help her out since he’s been defrauded so many times that he knows how to deal with this kind of situation…

Se-Mi tells Dongsuk to leave her alone since she doesn’t need his help. In response, Dongsuk angrily tells her that she’s San’s mother and his wife. He asks her how does she think he can leave her alone when she’s in a situation like this? Oh! Points scored!

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Meanwhile, Inyoung goes off on a emotional episode while hearing about a new commercial because each scene reminds her about her own dating history with Myungsuk. Junsu eventually kicks her out and she goes off to a photoshoot.

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Young-Ah is working diligently when her coworker slips her a piece of paper. It’s a citizen complaint accusing Mi-Hee off breaking the law…playing favorites and the like. Young-Ah asks Mi-Hee about it and Mi-Hee vehemently denies it.

Dongsuk brings Se-Mi home and gets caught by Choonja. Choonja first yells at Se-Mi for coming home but San comes running out crying. So, Choonja relents and let’s Young-Ah go into her room.

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Then Choonja goes into the room and kicks Dongsuk out to speak with Se-Mi privately. She asks Se-Mi if something did not work out the way Se-Mi planned. Se-Mi’s eyes brim with tears and she answers haltingly that she tried her best to succeed but it did not work out…

Choonja answers that it’s expected that transitioning from just taking care of the household to working professionally would be difficult. She also adds that even though she knows her son can be frustrating, she hated to see Se-Mi look down on Dongsuk. She explains that she wanted to teach Se-Mi a lesson but realized when Se-Mi was gone that Dongsuk and San just need Se-Mi to be with them… She tells Se-Mi that everything is fine now that Se-Mi is back, effectively forgiving her for leaving the house.

Choonja then goes to check on Myungsuk who is studying. He tells his mother that he’s fine and he does not blame his mother.

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At the same time, Inyoung downs shots of soju. Sanshik sits next to Inyoung to tell her to stop drinking. But when Inyoung turns to him, she sees Myungsuk and grabs his face. Sanshik runs away when Young-Ah comes home letting her take care of Inyoung.

Young-Ah asks Inyoung what is going on. Inyoung cries to Young-Ah that she feels like hundreds of needles are constantly stabbing her heart…and she sees Myungsuk everywhere… Especially when she closes her eyes, she sees Myungsuk so clearly…

The scene returns to Choonja’s place. Haji asks Choonja whether it’s true that Choonja is going to send Haji away. Choonja smiles that Haji needs to find her own path and a nice man to marry. Haji takes thus ad wanting to send her away because she’s a burden and runs into her room. After throwing a small tantrum, she calls someone to let them know that she’s changed her mind and wants to take them up on their offer.

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The next day, Inyoung walks along the campus and hides behind a tree to spy on Myungsuk. She sees him teaching an outside class and sighs that Myungsuk looks completely fine. She puts her sunglasses back on decides to leave.

Myungsuk sees Inyoung’s retreating back and runs after her. However he loses her among all of the students and tells himself that he must have been mistaken.

Another professor runs over and tells Myungsuk good news! An university in England has an opening and they asked for Myungsuk specifically because of one of his papers. The other professor reminds Myungsuk that if he goes for a temporary position abroad, he will automatically be guaranteed a tenure position at the university when he returns. Myungsuk answers less enthusiastically that he will think about it.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah goes to speak With Mi-Hee separately. She hands over a piece of paper and explains that she invested the bribery allegation to help Mi-Hee but found the opposite. Mi-Hee looks nervous. Instead of confessing, she yells at Young-Ah to stop trying to win the election with lies like this and walks off.

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But, the words weigh on Mi-Hee as she goes off to down a few drinks by herself. Her ex-husband shows up again and they drink to old times. Mi-Hee gets completely wasted and her ex-husband has to carry her home… After which, he gets into bed with her.

Se-Mi comes home to a worried and supportive Dongsuk. He tells her that he found out that the scoundrel academy head has tons of debt from gambling; he’s going to need money again soon. He has a plan and enlists his dad to play the role of a rich country man.

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Then Mi-Hee wakes up abruptly to Junsu’s voice as he returned home early. Mi-Hee comes out into the living room to find Junsu and Young-Ah waiting for her. Young-Ah explains that Mi-Hee should know what Young-Ah is here about… Mi-Hee shouts that it’s defamation but gets pulled away when her ex-husband drops something.

Mi-Hee goes into her room to find her ex-husband jumping around anxiously because he needs to go to the bathroom. Mi-Hee tells him to hold it and goes back out. But within a few minutes her ex runs out and straight into the bathroom.

Junsu sees his father and declares that he’s incredibly disappointed in his mother. He furiously turns to his wife and demands to know what she had to say but Young-Ah demures that she will tell him next time.

When Inyoung comes home, she just about faints because she hasn’t been eating or sleeping. When she gets back on her feet, she sees some encouraging words from fans and declares that she will do better for her fans. Then she looks down to see a scribble from an anti-fan who wrote that she’s a crazy idiot. Inyoung asks Sanshik to erase all of the graffiti and goes inside.

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However, peace is not waiting for Inyoung in her room. She sees Myungsuk at her desk… And then in the kitchen…she decides against sleeping and asks her manager for her script to memorize.

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Young-Ah finds Inyoung completely dazed from not sleeping the next day. She sits down next to Inyoung to check on her when she gets a call from her mother to tell her about Myungsuk going to a professorship abroad. Inyoung gets to overhear everything.

Back at home, Dongsuk’s dad gets a call from the scoundrel who starts asking him about why he wants to invest in the academy. Dad does a great job and convinces the scoundrel to meet at a cafe.

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The scoundrel sits down and starts to ask Dad about his academy… About the teacher that he knows… Dad falls for it and the scoundrel calls him out.

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All of a sudden, Se-Mi appears to declare that Dad is her father-in-law. The scoundrel runs but Dongsuk grabs his ankle. Not one to let the scoundrel leave quietly, Se-Mi grabs a tray and knocks the scoundrel out by hitting him in the head.

They bring the guy to the police and find good news; since Se-Mi didn’t apply for the loan herself, she will be able to get out of the $100,000 debt. Se-Mi, Dongsuk, Choonja and the dad celebrate the good news when Soonhee runs in anxiously asking everyone to follow.

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They run over to the storage room to see that it’s a mess. And the jerks took the aged house secret soy sauce! Soonhee carefully adds that she went to get Haji but her room was empty, too.

Choonja refuses to believe it. She runs to Haji’s room to check for herself. Except she sees that Soonhee is right… Everything is gone.

The family wonders if it should call the cops since the priceless family sauce was stolen. But, Choonja tells everyone to wait. If it was Haji, she would have a good reason and would bring the sauce back.

Meanwhile, Inyoung is at her breaking point and faints in front of her door. Young-Ah sees this and calls Myungsuk.

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Later, Mi-Hee sees Young-Ah bring something into their boss’ office and grabs the paper. She runs out to read the paper and sees that it’s Young-Ah’s resignation letter, taking responsibility for all of the bribery allegations against Mi-Hee. Young-Ah runs out and grabs the paper back. In answer to Mi-Hee’s questioning look, Young-Ah tells her mother-in-law that she doesn’t want her husband to be more disappointed or hurt… To him, his mother is everything and she has always been a just person.

At the same time, Myungsuk decides not to ring the doorbell and leaves. But minutes later, Inyoung decides that she cannot sleep and walks out. A few steps out the door, she faints.

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Myungsuk comes running back and carries her to the hospital. However, when Inyoung wakes up only Sanshik is by her side. He tries to distract Inyoung by showing her some fan videos.

The first video shows someone filming a group of girls gushing over her and Myungsuk asking those girls to give Inyoung a bottle of water. Then the nurse comes to ask for Inyoung’s guardian. Sanshik says that it’s him but the nurse responds in confusion as there was a different guy there earlier… With glasses…

Sanshik realizes that there’s no way to lie about the situation and tells Inyoung the nurse is right. Myungsuk carried her here and Myungsuk was actually the one who erased the graffiti on her apartment wall… He has been buzzing around her background this whole time.

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Inyoung runs out to see Myungsuk’s retreating back. She panics and tosses a slipper to get his attention. It hits Myungsuk and he pauses which gives Inyoung enough time to run up to him and hug him angrily.

MY TWO CENTS

I wasn’t really feeling the angst in this one. But once I thought of it more like a movie than a drama and assumed more time was passing, it seemed more believable. With those assumptions, the story becomes incredibly romantic between the young idol star who has to choose between her career and what seems to be her first love. Inyoung portrays the highly emotional first real break up symptoms well in that she has no interest in the real world anymore… She tries but she keeps getting things wrong because her brain is filled with memories.

The writers appear to have tried for a daddy-long-legs scenario with Myungsuk but the episode was too short for it to be successful. Rather, Myungsuk’s character is helped by the fact that he was in the right place at the right time and was able to carry Inyoung to the hospital.

Turning to side characters and storylines, Dongsuk’s sweetness and kindness really shined in this episode. I had to sigh when he couldn’t beat up the fraud-committing scoundrel but had to resort to grabbing his heel. Yet, even though it looked less than Hollywood-heroic, the facts of the matter stand that Dongsuk is still trying his best for a woman he loves even though she made it clear that she was tired of him. That kind of love is amazing by itself; it was also that kind of love that helped Se-Mi find the scoundrel (with the help of Dad) and clear her name of the $100,000 debt! Hopefully, the writer gives him a break and he can get a job in the last episodes.

Finally, Young-Ah quietly showed us how mature she is in this episode. The elections faded into the background as we wondered about whether or not the bribery allegations were true. Before we have a chance to really get disappointed in the childish and selfish Mi-Hee, our attentions are re-directed to Young-Ah who decides to sacrifice her career for her mother-in-law. My jaw almost dropped and I almost cussed!

Young-Ah has made it clear through the previous episodes that her work is important to her and that’s why she’s not quitting. So, we know what an important decision this is to her. Yet, once I had time to digest it, it made sense and seemed commendable instead… The two things Young-Ah wants most right now is to get her husband back and her mother-in-law’s approval. Since her husband has basically chosen his mother over her, she decides to do what she can to protect him. Pretty darn amazing for a side character.

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