Pretty Man Episode 15 (Screen date: January 10, 2013, Friday).
As Ma-Te quietly watches Bo-Tong struggle to skate herself to his side, an awakening overcomes him. Wondering whether loves means the ability to make someone smile, he recalls a smile never escapes his lips whenever Bo-Tong-ie’s in sight.
The enlightened Ma-Te gently coaxes Bo-Tong to stop struggling and wait a moment for him instead. Bo-Tong, who’s stunned by his warm tone and tender look, stops dead in her clumsy, wobbly tracks. Ma-Te gracefully glides to her and pulls her in for a hug while whispering he’ll go to her from now on.
Ma-Te seems serene and happy to finally realize Bo-Tong’s his love. Her lifetime dream miraculously come true, Bo-Tong is caught unawares. Barely believing this is truly happening, she cautiously hugs him back with a huge smile on her face.
(Though I should be thrilled, I find myself instead disappointed with Ma-Te and Bo-Tong’s highly anticipated first embrace due to its lack of oomph and fireworks between them. They somehow lack the chemistry as lovers but more suited as siblings instead.
Although this is not the first time the song, I Am Nobody by Jung Joon-Young, is heard, I find it highly effective in adding a lot more feeling to this otherwise inadequate scene.)
Back in his apartment, Ma-Te examines Bo-Tong’s blistered foot then tenderly applies medication on it. He then asks Bo-Tong for her red nail polish and paints all her toenails. When Bo-Tong queries if this is revenge, he coolly answers these toes are his. His surprising words render Bo-Tong-ie giddy with glee.
Next morning, aching all over from the rare workout she got the previous day, Bo-Tong’s struggles to get from her room to the dining table. When her mom comments about her bright red painted toenails, she happily states they’re a symbol of love and a reward for all the undying effort she’s invested all these years. Her eomma obviously has no clue what she’s going on about.
While Ma-Te and Bo-Tong enjoy their blissful moment, elsewhere, someone’s heart is irreparably broken. David is distraught after Yoo-Ra divulges his beloved Kim Bo-Tong, who’s got her eyes and heart set only on Ma-Te, is Ma-Te’s desperately-coveted code! Already holding on to the infinitesimal sliver of hope, this of course his dream of winning over Bo-Tong is effectively shattered.
(Recalling Bo-Tong’s frankness concerning her obsessive love for Ma-Te oppa from the start, at least we know she never lead David on. It’s just David’s been unwilling to accept this fact and been hoping against hope to win Bo-Tong over with his love, warmth, and care. He must’ve thought he stood a good chance since Ma-Te didn’t used to look at Bo-Tong that way before.)
Back home, the distressed David’s at a loss while staring at Bo-Tong’s huge photo in his room. He decides he’ll be selfish for once in his life and pretend he never heard the painful truth Yoo-Ra imparted to him.
Wondering where Bo-Tong is but not wanting to call her, David calls her mom instead and says he’d like to eat her food. Although it’s obviously way past dinner time, Bo-Tong’s mom obligingly prepares a scrumptious chicken stew meal for David. Surprised he hasn’t eaten his dinner this late, David lies to her he’s eaten but just misses her delicious food so much.
When David hesitatingly enquires where Bo-Tong is, eomma says perhaps she’s out with a friend. Dae-Shik ruins the cushioning by declaring his sister doesn’t have any friends since Ma-Te came into her life. While about to get into his car to leave, David witnesses Bo-Tong arriving home with Ma-Te.
Once inside, Bo-Tong feels bad to hear David came looking for her on pretense of wanting to have dinner. Instead of giving her a hard time, Ma-Te instead gives her a reassuring smile.
When Bo-Tong gives David a call, David tells her not to feel bad she wasn’t home while he visited since he’d suddenly decided to take up her mom’s offer to eat at their home sometimes.
The pretty man’s sweet success.
During Ma-Te’s photo shoot as Ferrino Outdoor’s new model, Bo-Tong is over the moon when Ma-Te shoots her a wink.
Head above clouds with his newfound love, Ma-Te’s thrilled by Ferrino Outdoor’s resounding debut success on SS Home Shopping, resulting in MG Home Shopping struggling to breathe. Everything’s coming up roses for Dokgo Ma-Te but for how long?
The Father and The Fox.
Ex-father-in-law, Park Ki-Suk pays Yoo-Ra a surprise visit at her Café Droptop. Being a gift from him, Park Ki-Suk’s happy she’s doing exceedingly well in the business saying he’s always been confident of her capabilities.
Relating to her that when his son, Moon-Soo first brought her home, Park Ki-Suk thought an angel had descended upon his home, he advises her never to change from the beautiful, kind-hearted woman she truly is.
He then stipulates it’s time she put her faith in Moon-Soo and allow herself to rest. Yoo-Ra then frankly asks Park Ki-Suk why he’s suddenly bringing Choi Joon-Ha (aka David) and Dokgo Ma-Te to the surface now when they’ve been kept secret all their lives. Smiling, he simply answers there comes a time you realize there isn’t enough time as it waits for no one. (This somehow hints to me he’s dying.) In conclusion, he beckons her to live out her life with love rather than hatred and vengeance.
The Pretty Man and the mysterious Yeo Mim.
Yeo Mim visits Ma-Te at his office to properly introduce herself. Yet another person who seems to know everything about Ma-Te’s life, Yeo Mim reveals she gathers and sells information for a living.
Admitting she’s disappointed Na Hong-Ran spilled the beans before she could sell the sizzling story of Dokgo Ma-Te being her son, she claims she’s come to give him advice on how he should deal with Na Hong-Ran. Her words of wisdom – do not provoke Na Hong-Ran! She recommends Ma-Te run away as Na Hong-Ran instructed, for if he doesn’t, the people he loves most will end up getting hurt too.
When Ma-Te questions who she is to give him such advice, she explains she empathizes with him since she and Ma-Te are very similar. The product of rape, she too was despised by her mom.
Finally she cautions him against attending the corporate sponsor event being held that night.
The Iron Lady’s wrath.
Na Hong-Ran’s disconcerted with sensational news Dokgo Ma-Te’s successful and glaringly publicizing himself, blatantly disobeying her orders. When her Mr. Secretary comes into her office to alert her it’s time they depart for the corporate sponsor event (uh-oh, that’s where Ma-Te’s headed too!), she directs him to obtain the list of companies Normal Company’s targeting next plus to monitor all that piques Dokgo Ma-Te’s interest.
Excitedly attending the event with Bo-Tong, Ma-Te bumps into Na Hong-Ran at the entrance. When Na Hong-Ran blatantly confronts Ma-Te on why he’s defying her, Ma-Te confidently retorts it’s not his fault he was born and she can’t destroy the lives of others willy-nilly. Disbelieving his audacity, she must’ve about exploded.
The Fox and her loved ones.
Ex-hubbyPark Moon-Soo pleasantly surprises Yoo-Ra by bringing daughter Sool-Ri to meet her. Announcing their daughter will be living with him from now on, Yoo-Ra’s free to visit anytime.
When he adds he intends to pursue Yoo-Ra once more, she declares she’ll never set foot in that household again. Going on to say she didn’t go through all this strife to reinstate her rich daughter-in-law status, she’s satisfied as long as Sool-Ri is safe and happy. Reiterating that Moon-Soo must ensure this, he confidently assures her he’s no longer cowardly and promises to never allow Yoo-Ra shed another tear.
(Turns out Hong Yoo-Ra is Woman #8: The woman who stands by her loved ones.)
The Pretty Man’s password.
Ma-Te buys a diamond proposal ring for Bo-Tong. (What? So fast? How about dating first? I feel it would be much more meaningful if he’d proposed to Bo-Tong for them to start dating by presenting her with the matching pendant and chain set Bo-Tong was interested to buy. It would totally surprise her that he remembered her intention to get something matching his so that they’ll appear to be like a couple.) Na Hong-Ran’s spies send her pictures of this and she’s happy to confirm this is her weapon against Ma-Te whom earlier declared he’d nothing to lose. (Uh-oh… But then again, we all knew it was too good to be true. Distress has got to follow happiness.)
Ma-Te goes to Bo-Tong’s house and chats with her eomma while waiting for her to get home. She’d apparently rushed out of the house to get roasted chestnuts when Ma-Te told her he’d like to have some when he called earlier to announce he was coming over. When her eomma lovingly complains Bo-Tong always makes excuses whenever she tells her to buy something, Ma-Te jokes she should marry Bo-Tong off. He then asks eomma what type of son-in-law she’d like.
After initially joking about it, eomma affectionately says all she wants is someone who’ll make her daughter happy. Eomma goes on to say that must be what Ma-Te’s mom wants for him too – a person who can make a mother’s child happy is a rare and precious person. Hearing these words, another revelation hits Ma-Te.
Recalling Park Ki-Suk told him his mom insisted on the password for Ma-Te’s own happiness, Ma-Te realizes that’s the reason his mom brought Bo-Tong and not him when she met with Park Ki-Suk that last time before her death.
Ma-Te’s then seen coming out of the apartment (I’m assuming to go in search of Bo-Tong) when he bumps into Bo-Tong arriving back. She cheerfully explained she got delayed having to go a distance to get him the roasted chestnuts but managed to keep them toasty under her coat. Reminiscing all the sacrifices Bo-Tong’s made for his happiness, Ma-Te realizes his mom’s password for him is none other than Kim Bo-Tong! He affectionately pulls Bo-Tong in for an embrace. (A tad more convincing hug. Ok, so Ma-Te’s found his password but Na Hong-Ran’s going to make sure she gets hurt.)
The Pretty Man and The Fox – closure.
Driving home, Ma-Te receives a message from Yoo-Ra inviting him to her cafe the next day. When he goes there, he’s surprised to see a sign Yoo-Ra’s café is closed for the day. Finding the door unlocked, he goes in and is told by the staff to make his way upstairs.
Having left little notes for him all along the stairs, Yoo-Ra details her motives so far and apologizes for making things tougher and more painful for Ma-Te with her scheming. However, he has through it all proven to be a formidable, impressive man. She stresses she’s sincerely sorry for putting him through such troubles. (She’s seen sitting in her home, dressed up, luggage packed. She’s leaving?)
Protecting her daughter being her main aim, having seen her daughter happy with her dad, she realizes her fight is over. Unfortunately, it’s not so for Ma-Te and for this she feels truly sympathetic. Having witnessed him time and again rise from the depths of despair, she now comprehends why his mom left him that password. She then asks him if he’s found it yet. Under the last note is a photo of Kim Bo-Tong.
At the airport, just when Yoo-Ra’s about to leave, she hears daughter Sool-Ri calling out to her. Supposedly going to rest and spend time with her sister in the U.S., ex-hubby Moon-Soo says to call him if she misses Sool-Ri or him and they’ll run to her. This makes Yoo-Ra beam with joy. (First time I’m seeing Yoo-Ra’s truly happy, contented smile. So it is her mission’s accomplished. Time for rest and relaxation. I suppose she felt the least she could do is to sincerely impart to Ma-Te his precious password.)
The great password mystery – solved!
Sitting at the cafe after gathering all the notes and Bo-Tong’s picture Yoo-Ra had left him, Ma-Te finally understands Yoo-Ra’s motive – not revenge or greed but a loving mother wanting to protect her daughter. All she covets is her daughter’s smile and hubby’s dignity. Having succeeded in protecting her loved ones, she’s now able walk away from the feud in peace.
Ma-Te calls Park Ki-Suk to beamingly inform him he’s discovered the password and will be taking “her” to see him soon. Once off the phone, Park Ki-Suk updates Mr. Secretary he’s confident Ma-Te’s got it right. Mr. Secretary Jung then suggests it’s time Park Ki-Suk checks into the hospital but he refuses. (So this confirms Park Ki-Suk‘s still ill. Is he dying? And therefore desperate to set things right before his departure?)
At home looking at the diamond ring he’d bought for her, Ma-Te instructs Bo-Tong to meet him for an important dinner the next day. Of course he didn’t even hint he’s planning to propose!
The Iron Lady’s vicious foreboding.
Next morning while picking out clothes to wear for dinner with Ma-Te oppa, Bo-Tong thinks to herself what the excitement could be – perhaps he’s found the password? She’s delighted with this thought.
Just then she receives a text message supposedly from Ma-Te oppa instructing her to go meet him at a place as he needs help. She’s to go alone and not tell anyone. She’s also not to try calling him as he’s unable to pick up calls. In actual fact, some high-tech baddies, obviously hired by Na Hong-Ran are behind this. Typing on a computer, they made the message seem as if it came from Ma-Te.
Fearing Ma-Te’s in trouble, Bo-Tong naturally rushes out and catches a taxi to the place which turns out to be an abandoned amusement park. There the baddies capture Bo-Tong, lock her up, and takes her mobile phone away.
At work, David wonders why Bo-Tong hasn’t shown up yet. His call and message to Bo-Tong go unanswered causing David increased bad feeling about Bo-Tong’s whereabouts. Later in the day, when Do-Hwe (one of Normal Company’s other staff) tries calling Bo-Tong but finds her phone’s switched off, she checks with Ma-Te (who’s based himself at SS Group the whole day) and finds out Bo-Tong’s not with him, David fears the worse as he knows something’s horribly wrong.
The info queen, Yeo Mim is seen mumbling to herself having told Ma-Te not to mess with Na Hong-Ran. She goes on to consider whom she should call to rescue Bo-Tong – Ma-Te or David?
Locked up in a cold basement, Bo-Tong’s sorry she failed to make it for dinner with Ma-Te oppa yet again while Ma-Te’s seen patiently waiting for Bo-Tong at the restaurant.
Anxiously awaiting news from Bo-Tong, David receives a text from Yeo Mim informing him Bo-Tong’s whereabouts for him to go rescue her.
Driving in his car, Ma-Te’s seen muttering to himself where Bo-Tong could be since she didn’t show up for dinner (and hasn’t been answering his calls). He tries calling her again but fails to get her. Suddenly his face turns sullen and he calls her brother Dae-Shik to find out if Bo-Tong’s home.
David races to the address given by Yeo Mim and hurts his hand while breaking the lock to get to Bo-Tong. Bo-Tong passes out upon seeing David. Frantic, he hurriedly carries her out. Dae-Shik updates Ma-Te David’s found Bo-Tong and rushing her to the hospital.
Seeing it’s late and Bo-Tong has yet to come to, Ma-Te volunteers to stay with her and asks David’s favour to send eomma and Dae-Shik home. Distraught about Bo-Tong, David tells eomma he intends to go back to the hospital but eomma advises him not to worry since Ma-Te’s there.
At the hospital, Bo-Tong finally comes to to find Ma-Te oppa by her bedside. The first thing she does is apologize to him for not being able to keep her promise yet again. When Ma-Te asks her why she went to such a place, she doesn’t answer. Realizing the message was made to look like it came from Ma-Te and therefore might implicate him, she insists for him not to report the matter to police. With this, Ma-Te confirms his worst fears. Making an excuse he’s going out to get her some water, Ma-Te leaves Bo-Tong and makes a call to Na Hong-Ran.
When confronted if she was behind Bo-Tong’s kidnapping, Na Hong-Ran coolly replies seems like Ma-Te’s self-assured declaration of having nothing to fear because he’s got nothing to lose is not true after all since he now sounds fearful. This serves as a confirmation he does indeed have something precious to lose. She reminds him of her warning she would make his life a living hell. Ma-Te’s crushed.
Back in her room, Bo-Tong’s fallen fast asleep. Ma-Te sadly takes the ring out to put on Bo-Tong’s finger but stops and cries. Next morning, as he comes out of Bo-Tong’s room, Ma-Te finds David slumped in a chair, obviously been there the whole night. Staring at each other, Ma-Te seems to be saying he finally knows what love is while David’s saying he knows the time has come for him to let go of this love.
David, Dae-Shik, and eomma are sitting by Bo-Tong’s bedside. Dae-Shik and eomma advise David to go eat some breakfast, get his wound looked at, cleaned up, or just rest but he refuses to do any of those. He insists on staying by Bo-Tong’s side. Ma-Te comes back and chooses not to enter the room but looks on from the doorway. Once he’s ensured Bo-Tong looks fine, he turns and leaves.
At home, Ma-Te takes out the gift given by electric fairy which she’d told him to open only when faced with dire difficulty in controlling his heart. Finding it’s a button, he knows his own button is Kim Bo-Tong. He wants so much not to control his heart and keep her by his side (but this is impossible since Na Hong-Ran would cause Bo-Tong more harm if Ma-Te continues being with her).
The heartbreaking break-up.
On Bo-Tong’s first day back at work since the incident, Ma-Te acts icy cold towards her. Ma-Te stays late in the office then arrives home to find Bo-Tong waiting for him because she’d brought food her mom cooked for him. Ma-Te feigns anger and asks that she never show herself to him henceforth.
When Bo-Tong guesses correctly his intention to distance himself so she won’t get hurt, Ma-Te denies it. Instead he lies he’d given it careful consideration and decided to reunite with Na Hong-Ran, his birth mom and lead a life of luxury. To stress his seriousness, Ma-Te tears the precious picture of his mom with Park Ki-Suk to bits, claiming he’s tired of crying over these two people whom are not even related to him.
Finally, he pleads with her to get out of his life…
Stay tuned for…the finale…Episode 16 (Screen date: January 11, 2013, Saturday).