Pretty Man Episode 7 (Screen date: December 13, 2013, Friday)
The power of networking
It’s the second and vital broadcast on MG Home Shopping for the Amazing White Cleaning Socks, now attractively repackaged as Bo-Tong Company’s Cleany Socks. With high stakes on the line (Ma-Te having accepted Iron Lady Na Hong-Ran’s challenge to achieve 4 billion won sales), our team’s understandably anxious when by half time, performance proves paltry. Not achieving even half their previous figure, they might not even earn enough to pay Four Limbs Walking factory (for manufacturing the new stock), let alone scale the mountainous target. Ma-Te will not only end up deeply in debt, he’ll need to concede defeat to the Iron Lady and withdraw from this business forever.
Hyperventilating and despairingly in need of salvation, Ma-Te receives a timely call from Yoo-Ra reminding him to connect with the Networking Queen, Kim In-Joong and experience her miracle-working wonder firsthand. When Ma-Te calls Kim In-Joong and goes straight to the point begging her help, the irritated Networking Queen imparts Networking Golden Rule #3 – Never use your connections to sell products. (Ouch! That’s got to hurt his pride! How to get through to her now when she seems to be Ma-Te’s only hope?)
Out of desperation and recalling Electric Fairy extolling his power to control others’ hearts, Ma-Te decides to trust his instinct and try his luck by promising to be Kim In-Joong’s lover. (Oh, I see you’ve decided to assume loneliness as Kim In-Joong’s button? Is this wise Ma-Te? Do you really want to play this kind of game with her? But then again, I suppose this is the only button you can think of right now?) After a moment’s thought, Kim In-Joong requests five minutes…
Moments later, when all hope seems lost, the numbers miraculously begin escalating at breakneck speed with all telephone lines jammed resulting in a miracle landslide sell out. Alas this is no miracle but the power of networking at its most awesome.
(So the loneliness button did indeed move the Networking Queen but at what expense Dokgo Ma-Te? Remember you’ve been warned she’s no simpleton. Are you willing to keep your promise? Perhaps it won’t be a problem considering you led the life of a gigolo not too long before?)
The mystery connection in this round’s marvel – world renowned actress, Myo Mi. Hugely popular with an obsessive fan base, she supposedly creates a stir by merely breathing! Much to her manager’s chagrin, she’d uploaded a photo of herself brandishing Bo-Tong’s Cleany Socks (Hmmm, how did she get her hands on them so quickly?) and lo and behold, the world scrambled to get their hands on them too. (So what’s the catch? Is Myo Mi such buddies with Kim In-Joong that she willingly and instantaneously endorses a product as lame as cleaning socks to please her? You and I know it cannot be this easy…)
The bane of networking?
Just when Ma-Te is about to head out to celebrate with his team, he receives a text message from his new lover requesting their first date. (It’s payback time Dokgo Ma-Te. Let this be a lesson to all – beware what you say for you might end up having to eat your words.)
Seated in a quiet, discreet corner of a hotel lounge with Kim In-Joong sensually wine-toasting his success, Ma-Te’s visibly displeased with his current predicament. Having been separated from her husband for over three years, Kim In-Joong’s therefore spent many a holiday all by her lonesome self. (I suppose even though you’re the Networking Queen doesn’t mean you have bosom buddies to spend time with huh? Such a shame, isn’t it?) But now with Ma-Te in her life, she’s looking forward to sunshiny days. (Uh-oh… But can you blame her? Loneliness feels awful so of course she’s right to feel uplifted having such a Pretty Man willingly pledging to be her lover.)
Ma-Te’s panic alarm sets off when she produces a hotel room key card suggesting they should retreat and get cosy. (Ma-Te’s facial expressions here are priceless!) Just then, Ma-Te notices a call on his silenced phone and hurriedly answers. It’s none other than a very drunk Kim Bo-Tong. While out celebrating with David and Radish Kimchi oppa (Bo-Tong’s nickname for Jang Deok-Saeng because he loves kimchi), she’d gone soju-silly due to anger and disappointment Ma-Te oppa isn’t with them. She’d called Ma-Te out of anguish intending to give him a piece of her mind but ended up rescuing him from Kim In-Joong’s grip. (At least for now…)
(What I don’t understand about this part is how Ma-Te handled the Kim In-Joong situation. He didn’t even attempt to hide his misery when meeting her. No trying to humor her. He’d promised to be her lover on condition she help him sell his socks. She kept her end of the bargain and now it’s his turn. Perhaps he didn’t think she would take his offer that seriously? If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have helped him out of the desperate situation in the first place right?
Dokgo Ma-Te, what were/are you thinking? Very irresponsible of you. You should at least try to sweet-talk your way out of this plight. But then again this does add a riveting, speculative edge to the plot.)
Pretty Oppa and Assistant Manage Choi
After Ma-Te visited the knocked-out Bo-Tong in her room, he and David have a confrontation on who allowed or caused Bo-Tong to get herself so drunk. (I always enjoy watching the animosity between these two guys since it has an entertaining comic touch to it.)
In addition, David also expresses his curiosity with regards to Pretty Oppa’s connections. He’s bewildered why a hugely popular and influential actress would get herself involved with lame cleaning socks. (Little do you know David Choi, what Ma-Te oppa has gotten himself into, all for the sake of the people who have struggled with him, including you.)
When shown a picture of her drawn-up face (Ma-Te oppa’s prank) the next morning, Bo-Tong’s so ecstatic to know he’d dropped by. Relishing the thought of how much he must’ve brushed her face while adding his artistic touch, Bo-Tong refuses to wash it. Seeing how easy Bo-Tong’s anger and frustration towards Pretty Oppa dissipates leaves David beside himself in disbelief and disappointment. The heartbroken David decides he’s got to give up on Bo-Tong but his struggle to get over her only results in him being ever more blue. (Aw, I feel for you David! Should I even attempt to root for David to be with dearie Bo-Tong? That would be foolhardy right?)
The Fox’s agenda
Yoo-Ra is seen on the phone with someone whom we can safely assume to be a private investigator. Clearly hired to dig up dirt from ex-stepmommy-in-law Na Hong-Ran’s past, he reports she’d given birth to a child while concealing herself in New York for three years. (Ooo, the Iron Lady has an illegitimate child?)
Yoo-Ra deduces the reason the Iron Lady’s been adamant about getting rid of her stepson Park Moon-Soo – to crown her own flesh and blood as the heir to the MG Group throne. (Ah, the plot thickens. The next questions are who is this child, where is he or she hidden, and when is the Iron Lady planning to play this trump card?)
Bo-Tong Company – the set up
With profit from their recent landmark success, it’s time to set up the Bo-Tong Company through and through. Noting Kimchi Oppa’s a non-contributor while Ma-Te Oppa’s a company president only in name (because she doesn’t see or realize the work he does in the background), Bo-Tong badly needing someone to aid her in groundwork proposes they “scout” David to join them.
Now how to lure David into leaving his Merchandising Director job at a huge corporation that is MG Home Shopping, to join a small startup out of his own free will? By pressing his Kim Bo-Tong button of course. (Such a sly way of using the Button Technique Ma-Te! But it worked like a charm.) And so it goes…the Normal Company (with the name seen so prominently displayed in their office) is born.
When Yoo-Ra drops in to congratulate Ma-Te, David who’s visibly shocked and disturbed to see her, even has to retreat to the restroom to regain his composure. (How are David and Yoo-Ra acquainted? Perhaps it’s because he used to be a MG Group employee and Yoo-Ra is an ex-daughter-in-law? If that’s the case, why does she have such a strong, adverse impact on David? I’m drowning in curiosity here!) Bo-Tong, on the other hand, is disdainful and not at all thrilled to meet the Pretty Fox again but she remained civil. Unknown to Ma-Te and Yoo-Ra, the last time she saw the Fox was when she caught them in an emotional embrace at Ma-Te’s door. She must still feel bitter about that upsetting incident.
Playing cat and mouse
Continuing to avoid Kim In-Joong’s advances, he receives a warning text message in Yoo-Ra’s presence. Networking Golden Rule #4 – Do not make enemies. Admitting it’ll be difficult for him to get out of Kim In-Joong’s web, Yoo-Ra reminds him of a likely weapon against her – gossip. (There’s got to be a better way to handle this than avoidance and trickery. Won’t you be digging your own grave Ma-Te? This must be what Electric Fairy meant when she warned Yoo-Ra things might get treacherous for Ma-Te once Kim In-Joong’s involved.)
The unexpected visitors
Unknowing to Bo-Tong, her mom and younger brother’s made arrangements with David to come visit. Mommy’s upset with Bo-Tong for not answering her calls since the morning Bo-Tong went home to pick up the blood sausage soup requested by Ma-Te oppa (but eomma thought was meant for David). This is why eomma ended up calling David instead.
While an unamused Bo-Tong looks on, David praises the scrumptiousness of eomma’s blood sausage soup and suggests a brilliant idea for her to open a blood sausage soup restaurant in Seoul. This sounds so appealing since her galbi meat restaurant in her hometown isn’t doing well. (Does this mean Bo-Tong’s eomma and namdongsaeng may be moving to Seoul? Will they live at David’s too? Or will they live at the restaurant like they do now and Bo-Tong will have to go live with them?)
Eomma is shocked to find out Bo-Tong’s working for Ma-Te and not a large corporation or David Choi’s company as she was led to believe. Just when eomma’s questioning Bo-Tong further, namdongsaeng Dae-Sik uncovers Ma-Te’s gigantic portrait hanging in Bo-Tong’s room. (Aigoo! Aigoo! Aigoo!)
Oh yeah, earlier that night, a slighted Ma-Te upset from peeping at them having rapturous fun while tucking into eomma’s delicious cooking, calls the cops on them claiming he’s a neighbour who’s disturbed by their boisterousness. He then heads home to begrudgingly eat a pack of cup noodles for dinner. (Poor Ma-Te oppa feels so left out. But Bo-Tong had nothing to do with it, you know?)
The new product proposal
David and Bo-Tong present their new product proposal in the form of a whimsical parody. Ma-Te’s not at all impressed and in fact gets such a headache from it.
1. Sink noodles.
Staying true to Bo-Tong Company’s original concept – create something new by altering the usage of an existing product.
2. Handphone sets to be thrown when angry
3. The Reusing Restaurant
(Though rather amusing, I seriously think this part is in here just for laughs because I must say even I’m disappointed in Bo-Tong and David for coming up with such absurd ideas. Back to the drawing board guys.)
Out of the frying pan into the fire
Intending to crush Kim In-Joong’s demands on him once and for all, Ma-Te decides to use the gossip weapon on her. Intentionally arranging their long-delayed date where members of the Cheongdam-dong Ladies Club are convening, Ma-Te causes Kim In-Joong to lose a large contract due to the client company president’s disgust at presuming she’s having an affair.
A furious Kim In-Joong has only one thing on her mind now – redemption! She demands Ma-Te do her a favor in order to redeem her righteous standing. Curiously, her idea is for Ma-Te to play the lead in a scandal with…Myo Mi! (What? How would a scandal between Ma-Te and Myo Mi save Kim In-Joong’s reputation?)
(To a certain extent I can empathize with Kim In-Joong. She’d only agreed to help Ma-Te with the allure of him becoming her lover. Now that he’s got what he wants, Ma-Te’s not only shirking responsibility but also causing her major grievances by slander. If it were me, I would be mad too. This is not the way to repay someone who’s done you a huge, life-saving favor Dokgo Ma-Te. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.)
The question still remains what the connection is between Kim In-Joong and Myo Mi? Why does she want to harm Myo Mi’s reputation? Myo Mi reportedly has not been involved in any scandals over her ten-year career.)
January 7, 2014, Tuesday update:
I left out a wee bit which I feel is rather important. In this episode 7, Yoo-Ra finds out through online news report that MG Group President and ex-father-in-law Park Ki-Suk has left for New York for surgery. Turning pensive upon reading the news, Yoo-Ra mutters to herself the President’s got to recover well from surgery and uphold his seat a while longer. (What does this mean? So that she and Ma-Te can swoop in and take over? Or does she mean for her husband Park Moon-Soo to take up the position?)
Sharing this bit of news with Ma-Te when she visits him in his new office, she cautions him should anything go wrong with Park Ki-Suk’s surgery, then it’s doom for them. She reminds him to stay focused and hasten the execution of their plans. (This woman is definitely scary. Can’t she even spare a thought for Ma-Te who must be worried sick to be told his father’s gone for surgery? Instead she adds insult to injury. She’s just determined to achieve her goals and Ma-Te’s just her means to an end.)
Stay tuned for… Episode 8 (Screen date: December 14, 2013, Saturday).