Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Secret Hotel ep 10: Game Over?

Well, howdy folks! And how are y'all doing? Ready to jump into another exciting episode of My Secret Hotel? Let's find some clues, some answers and some love along the way!

Now, go with me for just a moment here. Let's pretend that Hae Young and Sang Hyo are not destined to be together. I know, I know - that's like drama blasphemy, but just indulge me for a minute if you will.  I'll keep it short and, hopefully, pain-free for you. Ignoring the whole OTP idea, one would have to admit that in this episode, Director Jo kinda really shined as a man. Let's see things from his perspective, shall we? He just accidentally found out that his new girlfriend remarried her ex-husband. Not only that, but stumbled upon them on day 3 of their honeymoon. Now, it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination as to how things could have gone in that scenario. Their brand-spakin' new relationship could have easily been over right then and there and who could blame him? Instead of running away in a snit, however, he sticks around. He talks to her (are you taking notes dear Hae Young???). He listens to her. He trusts her. He acknowledges his feelings and hurt, but he doesn't punish her with them. He really is pretty amazing through the whole thing. I am frankly quite impressed with his maturity and handling of it all. Now, the one downside to seeing things from his side as he is being all awesome and stuff, is that it kind of makes our sweet Hae Young look a little, well, loserly, at times. There are scenes in this episode where, forgive me for being so cruel, he kind of looks like a loser ex that can't, or won't, take a hint and move on. There were moments in this episode where I had to pause and remind myself that he is actually a fabulous guy and worthy catch, and isn't really the creepy-deadbeat-lame-loser-that-won't-accept-that-his-girl-is-no-longer-his-girl that he sometimes appears to be.

Now, before you completely tune me out for being all pro-Jo/anti-Hae, the reason I bring this up is that I felt that this episode was meant to make us feel this. I think that they are trying hard right now to build up our new love interest and make the old one seem doomed. I just do. I think this one was the Director Jo Hour. We are meant to love him. We are meant to be touched and impressed by him and his heart and his obvious affections for Sang Hyo. He had to really shine bright in order to get there in our hearts. We aren't meant to hate him. We aren't meant to totally hate him with her. This is a drama - it's not supposed to be easy, right? Love has to work hard to overcome obstacles and trials in order to prove itself. And these two have quite the history already working hard against them, so their struggle to get each other back has to be all that more difficult. Seemingly insurmountable challenges have to be placed before them, like, say, a really amazing new boyfriend that is already the kind of man that she needs him to be. I have faith in our Hae Young though. I still think he's going to wow us all when he comes out victor in the end. He just has to grow and morph first. Drama 101 kind of stuff. The stuff that Second Lead Syndrome is made of. If the 2nd lead was not enough of a threat, then the 1st lead's triumph wouldn't mean so much, right? Right.

Okay, now that I have pontificated and once again jumped way ahead of myself, I'm ready to hop into the actual recap of this episode.

We start with a kiss. A kiss and a promise. A promise that her wedding and husband mean nothing to her and were done solely for the sake of the hotel. A promise that says there are no longer lingering feelings on her part towards to Hae Young. A promise that I know she meant when making it, yet, she starts to question no sooner as she walks in her door and is alone. She remembers back to when HY claimed that he married her for genuine reasons. Suddenly he is there with her as she is trying to turn her heart to Director Jo. She's back and forth, fighting the ghost of Hae Young, until the real him shows up drunk as a skunk at her door, literally falling inside when she opens the door. He's in no condition to leave on his own accord, and she can't physically kick him out, so she lets him collapse on her couch where he spends the night. Of course we have to get an awkward boyfriend call in there where he almost tells her that he loves her, until he decides to do so in person (good boy!). Upset and conflicted, Sang Hyo does what any self-respecting young lady would do if her new/ex-husband was passed out on her couch and grabs her eyeliner, aiming to use his face as a canvas.

The next morning, we get to see her creation. 

Am I the only one disappointed that she went nice on him and just gave him a cute little mustache? No? I was hoping for so much more, but I guess I'm just a cruel brat that way. ;)  Anyway, he wakes up, sees her there, first assuming that she is at his place until she points out that it is most definitely the other way around, and then is all touched by the fact that she made him ramen. Drunken frat boy hangover food of choice? No. No, in this case, it is a symbol to him that she remembers all these years later that he likes ramen after drinking. Cut to a flashback from their happy days, and we see the two of them, feet locked under the table like the sweet lovers they were back then, having a little post-drunken bowl of ramen. And a sweet kiss across the table. So happy and in love they were. Breaks one's heart that it could all go so wrong, doesn't it?

Sang Hyo takes off for work, leaving Hae Young alone in her apartment. Ruh roh! (*Scooby Doo voice*)  He's adorable as he bounces around her place, checking everything out, relishing the fact that she made him ramen. Apparently, when you're Hae Young, ramen equals love rekindled. Hmm. Interesting. Director Jo interprets ramen as "sexy timez" and Hae Young as "she loves me still". Both boys sure put a whole lot of stock (pun not intended, yet still enjoyed) into a simple noodle soup.

At work, Sang Hyo (and Director Jo for that matter) finds out that Young Mi is actually really dead. One would think maybe that a little heads-up before she returned to find an empty desk and a replacement employee would have been in order, but no, I guess that was kind of forgotten somewhere along the way by her crappy coworkers. 
First, do you see how her eyes are not even? Please tell me you see that and it's not just me. That's the reason I call her Ms Picasso, because her face looks oddly uneven to me. Second, doesn't she look just a little too happy here, telling SH that Young Mi is dead and the new guy is there to replace her? Also, was anyone else singing "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" anytime they showed the two empty desk spots? No? Just me? I'm sure someone else out there was doing it. I can't be the only twisted one ;)
Go ahead, sing it now. "Empty chairs at empty tables..."

And since now we're on the subject of the dead girl, let's address the whole mystery side of our mystery romance. Without going into every little detail, I'll surmise by pointing out that the necklace we have been seeing is significant because it apparently is the solid evidence that would prove who killed Director Jo's dad. Young Mi ended up with it and tried to use it to blackmail some folks which ended up making her dead. Whoopsie. Looks like our little blackmailer went too far. Should have just stuck with threatening bimbo brides with photo evidence of her lover-on-the-side, I suppose. At least that one didn't land her dead in a tub. Before dying though, we find out that she was the one to send the mysterious "your dad was murdered" note from the beginning. Not only that, but she met with Director Jo and told him about the necklace. There was an ominous "someone else knows and is looking for it too" thrown in for good measure. You know, right before we cut to General Manager Lee Moo Yang, top of the suspect list as far as I am concerned. That he is suspect is too convenient. He was there at the hotel when the "accident" happened and he directly benefited from it in that he was promoted to fill the dead manager Jo's spot. Mystery aficionados would probably scream at me for daring to be so stupid to believe the "easy answer", but he is definitely acting suspicious. He and that security guy both. Speaking of the security guy, there is that weird moment when Ms Cancer Lady Who Cries a Lot breaks down in front of him basically saying, "how could you have done it?". Seriously, what is going on here? What does she think he did and why does she think he did it?

Well, I'm not going to worry my poor little brain over it all right now. Nope. The mysteries are slowly being revealed, so I will just wait patiently until it all makes sense. Frankly, I am not all too concerned with who the killer is since, at this point, he/she/they has/have only done us all a favor and taken out a couple of unsavory characters. So, on that note, enough with that - back to the lovin'!

Our young Casanova spends his day running around happy as a lark - convinced that the art on his upper lip is a sure sign that all is well in his marriage. Poor, poor sweet boy. There's the funny scene at the office as, yet again, everyone is sitting around discussing his love life, or lack thereof. The current theory is that he likes men. I mean, it's obvious right? He did spend his whole honeymoon bunking up with dudes instead of his lovely lady love. Just as everyone has been effectively convinced that this a legitimate theory, in saunters Casanova, who immediately begins smacking butts ever-so enthusiastically in greeting, thus increasing their looks of horror and conviction that they've hit on the real deal here. 

Shi Chan of course is convinced that Hae Young is specifically in love with him, which of course makes this scene even funnier when Hae Young starts grinding on him in his office and talking about how he's fallen for him. These coworkers/employees/whatevers of Hae Young entertain me very much in their over-concern for his sex life. They just do.

Cat Fights and Pissing Contests
I loved the scene with Soo Ah and Joo Jung Eun that ends in a cat fight with two soaking wet cats sitting in a police station. Jung Eun has decided that, while she's not so super, Soo Ah is at least better than Sang Hyo and therefore needs to reinsert herself into the Hae Young picture by spilling the beans about the wedding. Words are exchanged, juice and water tossed, and hair pulled. Before long, both women are sitting at the police station waiting for Hae Young to come bail them out. The police just sit there in awe of the man Hae Young with all these women fighting over him.

This next scene is more painful to dissect. The pissing contest between our two suitors of Sang Hyo. Director Jo has just heard distressing news about his father's case when Sang Hyo finds him. I loved how she thinks he's upset about her and he jokingly accuses her of having a "Princess Complex". He then invites himself over for some ramen, assuring her that he will only be eating ramen and not putting the moves on her in her apartment (remember how he equates ramen with sexy timez?). She's all flushed and excited to have him over. 

Meanwhile, Hae Young, still proudly wearing his mustached badge of honor/courage, is excitedly running around buying her flowers with the intent of proposing to her. 

As luck would have it, he's standing outside her apartment when the two lovers pull up. Director Jo drops Sang Hyo off with the promise of returning in half an hour, considerately giving her the opportunity to clean up her place and giving himself the time to go buy her flowers. Undaunted, or more accurately, determined to win her back, Hae Young rings the doorbell as she is frantically cleaning up after the mess he left that morning. Note to any potential male suitors out there - if you want to win a girl's heart, don't trash her apartment. Bad move there, dude. No sane woman wants a slob. Being a pig in your own home is bad enough, but trashing her place? Nuh uh. Not attractive. Anyway, doorbell rings, door is opened, flowers shoved in face. She's all giddy and giggly and happy, until she sees the man behind the flowers. Then it's all panic and trying to drag him out before boyfriend gets there. Too late. She tosses him out the door and right at Director Jo. To his credit, the man (Director Jo) handles it superbly. Again, this is his episode to shine as a man, and shine he does. 

All three go back inside and awkwardness ensues. Hae Young claims the couch, forcing Director Jo into the floppy goofy bean bag chair on the floor. Both flowers, identical bouquets, sit on the table. And then the pissing begins. Hae Young staking his claim as victor since he is the husband, Director Jo staking his claim as victor since she still agreed to date him even though she is married. So many hearts breaking. Hae Young leaves, brokenhearted and sadly wipes the mustache off his face as he sits crying in his car. It is painful to watch. Director Jo, losing his appetite, leaves as well, leaving a conflicted and emotionally battered Sang Hyo all to herself. With those darn flowers sitting sadly on the table.

The next morning, Director Jo surprises her by being outside of her place. He tells her that if she is serious about being over Hae Young, then he is going to help her rebuild her life and heart. He maturely acknowledges that there is obviously something special between the two of them as it is not normal to marry the same person twice. But instead of bowing out, he vows to be her knight in shining armor and rid Hae Young from her life. Step one is announcing to the office that they are dating. As they go to work together and sort of walk hand-in-hand (he holds on to her while she bashfully tries to pull away), he's all smiles and excitement, as is she. 

They really are so very cute. I'm sorry, I just can't hate them together. At least not now. I think he's good for her. Don't hate me, please. But anyway, they are about to announce their relationship, which sends Ms Picasso into a frenzied fit. She storms off to Hae Young's office, accusing him of not getting the job done as a man. Again, poor, poor Hae Young and everyone's focus on his "manhood" and supposed problems in the bedroom. Ms Picasso informs Hae Young that the two will be making an important announcement to the staff tonight and that he needs to intervene and do something to stop it.

Cut to the club later that night.

 All the staff is gathered around. Director Jo is about to announce his relationship with Sang Hyo, when the lights go out and there is Hae Young on the stage, singing to Sang Hyo. He really gets into it too. Dancing and stripping (ooh! man shoulder!) and the whole bit. 
Probably not the reaction he was going for from her.
At the end, he asserts that his woman was stolen from him and that he is there to get her back. What is Director Jo's response? Well, he keeps his cool, since that's kind of his thing, picks up the mic and sings his own quiet song for Sang Hyo. We are reminded of the significance of this act by a flashback to him telling her that he can't sing in public - that his voice freezes up and he breaks out into a cold sweat. She's all worried about him and tries to get him to stop, but he pushes forward, and sings her a sweet love song. By the end, he's teared up and confessing to her that he loves her, she's visibly touched and all into him, and Hae Young stands there, dumbfounded and the apparent loser in this battle for her heart.
See, this is more the reaction you probably want to get after serenading someone
Our two losers in the moment they realize that they have lost. Please tell me you see the eye thing too with her. And now you will never be able to unsee it. You're welcome.

Do not fret dear Hae Young and all the Hae Young/Sang Hyo shippers out there - the battle may be lost, but the war is not yet over! Our story does not end here. We still have six more episodes to go. A lot can happen in six episodes. Director Jo could end up being a murderer for all we know. So let's not lose hope, okay? Instead, let's eagerly wait to see what happens in the next episode and anticipate some major growth in our characters that lead to an even happier life together in the end. Until next time, goodbye and may your week ahead be filled with wonderful drama!

and for those unfamiliar with the painter Picasso and some of his work...  See it now?


  1. It still bugs me that the writers just seemed to have dumped the whole reason for the fake marriage. Why even make them get married if they were going to just jump in with a openly dating Sang Hyo. Feel sad for poor Hae Young but agree that he is definitely in loser stalker territory. I just want to like these characters so so much, but I just don't... Am wishing I felt differently. Great recap. Made me think even though I will never be team director.

  2. Because the original writer died, a new writer is picking up the slack, so I hope they get Hae Young back on track, because in episodes 9 and 10 he still hasn't changed his heavy-handed ways and it seems as if he really lost Sang Hyo to Dir. Jo, but I feel like Dir. Jo is too shady anyway. Also, Sang Hyo needs to have a chat with Hae Young if she really doesn't want him to hang around anymore. This, of course, would be easier if she didn't marry him a second time. Thanks for the recap! I'm really entrenched in this drama. hehe :)

  3. "And now you will never be able to unsee it" is my favorite line of this very funny and apt recap. Thanks!

  4. i wonder why people don't like Dir. Jo... I am Director Jo's team... If you really loves each other, even though there were misunderstandings which caused you apart, seven years were not a small time to find each other even after that... I really hate when people get over emotional after seeing her/his EX after years and years... if they apart because they had problems but with the time their hearts must have known what they need really... But, until seven years to pass and living like nothing happened and they don't need them anymore and seeing them one fine day and feeling so emotional afterwards do not sense to me... because time let our hearts died for them during those 7 years.... we take decisions and conclusions during those 7 years... just because we found the reason we apart, can someone get back like that??? in my case, I will not... If my heart has gone to someone else after these years, if I let that new person to hold me and kiss me, if that new person understands me and listens to me maturely I will not turn back to EX whatever the reason it would be... because once a goner is forever goner to me...
    Dir. Jo, that's why I always in your team...


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