Friday, July 29, 2011

Spy Myung-wol: Episode 3 Mini-recap

I loved this episode of Spy Myung-wol for a lot of reasons, least of which is its seeming randomness. The funnies get funnier and we get to see the beginnings of attraction on Kang-woo's part.

Watch Spy Myung-wol Episode 3 on DramaFever!

Episode 3 Mini-recap
We rewind a bit to find out what really went down in the last scene from Episode 2. Apparently, Myung-wol's meeting with Kang-woo had been set up by Ok-soon so she, Hee-bok and Ryu could watch the confrontation via hidden camera. Myung-wol was wired to communicate with Ok-soon (who fed her the love confession she gave to Kang-woo).

So, Kang-woo kisses Myung-wol as her team freaks out in the control room, and Ok-soon gives her swift orders to retreat. Retreat she does, but not before debilitating Kang-woo by karate chopping a pressure point. He stares up at her from the ground, in pain, and asks, "Isn't this what you wanted?" 

Myung-wol retreats, and In-ah walks up to Kang-woo, not at all buying the act. She tells him she knows he only did it to make her jealous, but Kang-woo doesn't budge and essentially tells her to suck it up.

Ryu rushes into the building and runs into In-ah. She recognizes him from Singapore, when he retrieved her stolen purse. He calls it a coincidence and walks away. Down the hall, he meets Kang-woo as well, and the pair have a mild standoff, though neither is supposed to know the other.

Later that night, Kang-woo sits at home, thinking back to Myung-wol's confession, and asks himself, "What exactly are you?" Pretty soon, he starts seeing her everywhere he goes: as a waitress in a restaurant, as a gopher on the set of his movie, etc. In reality, all these girls are really Myung-wol herself, each time wearing a different wig. Ok-soon assures her this is the best way to make Kang-woo think he can't get her out of his mind, because he's literally seeing her everywhere. The plan actually seems to be working, since even at home, Kang-woo can't get Myung-wol off his mind. He tells himself not to get involved with a crazy girl and tries to focus on work.

Chairman Joo runs a background check on Ryu, who comes up clean. His resume's been padded by the North.

Kang-woo, in possession of one of the Four Books, heads off to meet an old acquaintance, who gives him Hee-bok's Investigative Agency's business card. Apparently, Kang-woo's been on the search for something for ten years, with only the name "Dokkaebi" to go on, and is unwilling to give up in the search, even at the advice of his acquaintance.

In-ah's grandfather calls Ryu to come in for a chat, and it's revealed that the Four Books are quite the mystery. Each one of the books is needed to unlock the others, so one must possess all four in order to make sense of them. Problem is, one of the books went missing from the very beginning, so no has ever been able to unlock their secret. Ryu agrees to help the Chairman sift through any fakes he may come across.

Kang-woo follows the business card to Hee-bok's agency, and the Spy Team takes the opportunity to set him up. Hee-bok sends Kang-woo up to an abandoned house in the mountains, where Kang-woo takes a seat to wait for the homeowner to come home.

Myung-wol arrives soon after, under the pretense of delivering potatoes to the old grandmother who lives in the house. She offers Kang-woo some potatoes, but he refuses the offer and she departs. He grudgingly reaches over to grab a potato, when a voice startles him. Apparently, three of the neighborhood kids are hanging around looking for snakes, which frighten Kang-woo.

A series of snake mishaps later finds Kang-woo landing in cow dung, so he and Myung-wol set off to find a place for him to wash up. They arrive at a lake, and Myung-wol wades in up to her waist. Kang-woo watches her play around in the water, apparently taken by the scene, when suddenly she cries out (upon Ok-soon's suggestion) that she has a leg cramp. He dives in to save her, but gets thwarted by another snake. Myung-wol, noticing he's in trouble, swims over and rescues him… again.

At the hospital, Kang-woo wakes up to find Myung-wol, the village kids and Agent Kyung waiting for him. Agent Kyung takes Myung-wol outside for a word. Apparently, Kang-woo's fans have been upset after finding out that Myung-wol didn't get compensation for saving Kang-woo's life, so Agent Kyung wants to rectify that situation. As such, she hands over an envelope of money.

The Spy Team decides that Myung-wol should ask to become Kang-woo's bodyguard. It's the only way to stay close to Kang-woo. Agent Kyung has no choice but to accept her request, since Myung-wol has the upper hand, what with the press thinking Kang-woo's been putting her life in danger without compensation. Kang-woo grudgingly agrees to let Myung-wol be his bodyguard.

Elsewhere in town, the NSA, a South Korean governmental agency, has been keeping an eye on Chairman Joo, who's been rumored to have ties to North Korea.

Ryu goes over to Chairman Joo's mansion, running into In-ah again outside ("Are you stalking me?"). The chairman shows Ryu some pictures of one of the Four Books, but Ryu tells him it can't be verified as a real book with just pictures. The chairman tells Ryu he should prove himself trustworthy, then.

The NSA has its fair share of daddy-daughter issues. The officer in charge of the investigation on Chairman Joo doesn't want his daughter (also a NSA member) getting involved in the case. The two of them wager her involvement in the case over a Kendo match, which daughter Yoo Dae-hae wins.

Back at the investigative agency, Myung-wol gets another pep talk from Ryu when she tells him she wants to complete the mission and join the Special Forces. Joining is the only way she'll be able to die honorably and join her family.

Myung-wol moves into Kang-woo's house as his bodyguard, taking her job very seriously. From patting down the dry cleaning to beating up high school boys, she attends to his every need.

After schooling the teenagers, Myung-wol comes home and finds Kang-woo hanging out on the deck. A couple of failed attempts to hit on him later, Myung-wol admits she doesn't care if she's crazy in love. All she wants is to be near him and protect him.

Kang-woo tells her he allowed her to become his bodyguard because he feels he owes her a debt for saving his life. He vows to make sure her love for him wears out.

The next morning, on set, In-ah and Myung-wol get into an altercation when Myung-wol bars In-ah from approaching Kang-woo. In-ah makes an attempt to hit Myung-wol and gets stopped by Kang-woo, who grabs her wrist and tells her not to mess with Myung-wol.

By now, I've pretty much decided (like Claire Hellar over at FeverWatch) that Kang-woo reminds me of a better-constructed, grown-up version of Rain's character Lee Young-jae from Full House. He thinks of himself as God's gift to man, enjoys yelling and being mean to the heroine and even has his very own shit eating grin. The key difference between Kang-woo and Young-jae is that Kang-woo doesn't annoy me. Even in his cutest moments, I didn't like Young-jae. (It may have been his ship-jumping personality that did it.)

Kang-woo is awkwardly adorable and not so jerky that I hate him. He has his moments and consciously makes an effort to be a good person when he feels like it. Also, he understands (though he may try to suppress it) that he might be attracted to Myung-wol… he's a caricature, but not in the way that Young-jae was: overly immature and na├»ve. Kang-woo is developed better and has more depth. He's Young-jae with soft edges and more self-awareness and maturity.

This episode was good for setting things up for the rest of the series. Until now, we were kind of floundering, plot-wise and it was unclear how things would progress. Now, we have the involvement of a new party: the NSA, along with North Korea and Chairman Joo.

And with respect to the Myung-wol/Kang-woo romance, we're progressing at a leisurely pace, but the slow uptick in Kang-woo's attraction to Myung-wol is entertaining as hell to watch. What I'm looking forward to, at this point, is to see the two of them falling in love, but also to see how Choi Ryu's interactions with Myung-wol start to change as well. Being witness to Robot Boy fall in love will make the entire series worth watching.


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