We finally found out more about how Shin Ae background story during a conversation between Jang Go (hero) and a drunken Mi Poong (heroine).
On the night when Mi Poong's family is about to embark on their dangerous escape from the North, they were forced to take Shin Ae with them when she threatens to expose everything if they didn't let her come along. Resolutely abandoning the very family who had saved her from starvation when Mi Poong's father and brother were shot, Shin Ae runs off without a backward glance. Grieving and exhausted after their tragic escape from the North, Mama Kim and Mi Poong lose all of their money they needed to buy safe passage to the South (from China) after Shin Ae steals them away while they slept. Breaking down in sobs when Jang Go softly inquired how they were able to pay the Chinese smugglers if they were penniless, Mi Poong shakes her head and drunkenly mumbles "I must never tell."
Determined to get herself a rich husband no matter what, Shin Ae rolls her eyes with disdain when she meets the geeky Jo Hee Dong and assumes that he is just another poor nobody who is impressed by her beauty. Stunned once she finds out from the neighborhood ajummas that Hee Dong actually has a super rich grandfather, an overjoyed Shin Ae changes her attitude immediately and sets her sight on Hee Dong as her man.
Setting off happily on her first meeting with Hee Dong, Shin Ae's luck finally runs out and she is caught by a furious Mama Kim. Scared and angry to realize that Mama Kim actually lives around her work place, Shin Ae promptly gets herself transferred and becomes even more determined to make Hee Dong fall in love with her.
Becoming drinking buddies with Lee Jang Soo (she has no idea that he is Jang Go's brother), Hee Ra starts to doubt her womanly charms when nothing happened between herself and Jang Soo even after they ended up spending the night at the hotel in two separate occasions. Overwhelmed with emotion when Jang Soo confesses that the only reason he didn't touch her those two nights were because she is too precious to him, Hee Ra decides that Jang Soo is her true love.
Ready to take their relationship to the next level now that they have confirmed their love, Hee Ra and Jang Soo goes to the hotel a third time...sober for once. Remembering to exchange names finally, Hee Ra declares "Now that we have learned everything that is important to know, then..."
I thought this couple would be too annoying to watch, but they are such ridiculous characters I actually find them amusing now.
Unbeknownst to the two love birds, their respective mothers have gone from friends to enemies after the failed marriage meet between Hee Ra and Jang Go.
Completely putting themselves in the tragic roles of Romeo and Juliet the moment Mama Jo tries break them up, our two young love birds decide to get married after Hee Ra manages to escape her house under her mother's watchful eyes.
Convinced that he is completely alone in this world, Grandfather Kim was ready to formally adopt his nephew (Daddy Jo, Hee Ra's dad) until he finds out from his friend that someone had not only seen his wife alive years ago but had noticed that she was pregnant. Happy for his uncle, Daddy Jo readily agrees to Grandfather Kim's request to start searching for his family once again. Wishing with all his might that he might be able to meet his family before he dies, Grandfather Kim is clueless that the waitress (Mama Kim) he has so kindly hired out of pity is actually his daughter-in-law.
Trying hard to squash her growing feelings towards Jang Go, Mi Poong tries to distance herself from him but that proves to be difficult especially when an ignorant Jang Go sees her cold attitude as a signal to figure out why she is angry.
Reminded once again of the hopelessness of her one sided crush, Mi Poong sits in the darkness of her room and remembers how Jang Go's acquaintance laughingly told her "Oh, you are from the North! Is that why he won't date you?! He is so old fashioned."
Nervous yet hopeful as she starts her first day of work, Mi Poong's new co-workers welcomes her warmly...until the inevitable awkward pause that shows up when someone asks about her accent and she honestly admits that she is from the North.
Unwilling to let people's prejudice influence her, Mi Poong holds her head up high and forces herself greet everyone at work brightly no matter what they are saying behind her back.
As if our poor heroine needed more proof of the distance between herself and her Jang Go oppa, a very elegant and pretty female classmate of Jang Go shows up towards the end of episode 12. Careful to keep her expression blank as Jang Go introduces her as "my friend's little sister" once again, Mi Poong can't help but stares forlornly as Jang Go turns to walk away with his pretty classmate by his side.
I have been trying to make up my mind if I want to recap this one or not for the last two weeks... than this smile showed up
Sigh...who cares that there are way too much time devoted to annoying and/or silly secondary characters. With two such cute leads I guess I am in this one for the long haul.
We are over 10 episodes in now and while I have been pleasantly surprised that some of the side characters haven't turned out as annoying as I first feared, the writer have also introduced a truly villainous character with Shin Ae. I have a suspicion that the writer might end up white washing Shin Ae at the very end, but for now, in a show that had no real villains up until this point she is definitely taking the crown on the evil scale. I am not holding out a lot of hope that Shin Ae's storyline will be interesting but since the writer has been able to make silly characters such as Hee Ra and Jang Soo tolerable then maybe there is hope yet for Shin Ae's story.
Onto the juicy romance between our two leads...I am starting to wonder if there is something wrong with our hero.?? Not only does the man seems to be completely determined to put our heroine squarely in the "sister" category but it doesn't look like he has shown much interest in any other girls either. Someone as proud as Mi Poong is definitely not going to stick around if she can see that her feelings will not be reciprocated. Oh, well, I guess it will be fun when Jang Go finally realizes his feelings for Mi Poong goes way beyond "my friend's sister."
Speaking of our heroine, I really like all the contrasting character depths the writer has given her. Mi Poong's privileged upbringing and smooth sailing early life had allowed her to built a foundation of inner self confidence that has managed to stay intact even during the worst of times. I had always liked Mi Poong's character right from the start but I am starting to really love her now that she is showing her strength by standing up against all the prejudice against her at work.
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