Pretty Man Episode 14 (Screen date: January 4, 2013, Saturday).
The Iron Lady and her son – the dreadful truth.
Na Hong-Ran reveals to a horrified Dokgo Ma-Te he’s the son she abandoned all those years ago. None of her bitter words prior to this had this immense an impact on him. Understandably so since this in effect shatters his whole life.
Incredulous, Ma-Te refutes it as nothing more than Na Hong-Ran’s desperate fabrication. She frankly admits it’s something she too finds extremely difficult to believe that she didn’t sleep a wink the previous night pondering it.
Appearing pained at first, but then rapidly straightening up her stance, she explains the reason she’s revealing to him this truth is so he won’t hear it from someone else then harbor unrealistic dreams of being reunited with her, his biological mother. (I must say this surprised me. My bet was she wanted all the more for Ma-Te to reunite with her and join her team to squash all her arch enemies.)
Claiming absolutely no attachments to this dark past, she maintains to have no regrets and nothing to be sorry about. She hates Ma-Te because he looks just like his biological father (not Park Ki-Suk) who beguiled then abandoned her. (Since Ma-Te’s now confirmed not Park Ki-Suk’s son, turns out he’s not Park Moon-Soo and David Choi’s half-brother after all.)
She goes on to twist the knife by relating to Ma-Te Yoo-Ra’s ultimatum for her to step down from MG Group so she’d not expose this secret. It pains and almost kills Ma-Te knowing his supposed friend and mentor Hong Yoo-Ra’s not only aware of this awful fact but is using it by putting him at stake.
Declaring she’ll never step down from MG Group because she IS MG Group, the evil Iron Lady mother instead gives her poor son Ma-Te two choices:
Option 1: Leave the country. She’ll ensure him a decent livelihood in any country of his preference. Staying on in Korea is not a wise option because she promises to make it a living hell for him.
Option 2: Should he insist on staying, he’s to make himself scarce from her sight forever.
(What a day it’s turned out to be for Ma-Te. He not only finds out this hateful woman’s his birth mother making his whole life a farce, she’s now banishing him from her sight and his home country!)
As a dazed Ma-Te staggers to his car to leave the ill-fated meet-up place, Yeo Mim (Na Hong-Ran’s private investigator of sorts) follows closely merely a few steps behind. Trying her best to feign ignorance, she fails to quell her concern he might get into an accident if he were to drive in such a hapless condition. So she offers to drive with a miserable Ma-Te silent throughout the journey. (What was Yeo Mim doing there? Was she spying on Na Hong-Ran? What for?)
The normal girl’s big move home.
Bo-Tong-ie’s all packed up and ready to leave her big, comfy room at David’s. David of course gives her a ride but the transportation gets a bit sticky when Ma-Te oppa’s larger than life portrait comes into the picture. (It’s funny David had to drive at snail pace for fear Ma-Te’s portrait strapped on top of his car would get blown away.)
When they arrive her family’s new place, Bo-Tong’s pleasantly surprised her room’s been beautifully decorated by her younger brother, Dae-Sik to welcome her “home”.
While Bo-Tong’s up in her room trying to call Ma-Te oppa, eomma and Dae-Sik chat with David and thank him for his help and hospitality. In the meantime, Bo-Tong’s increasingly anxious she hasn’t been able to contact Ma-Te oppa all day. (Little does Bo-Tong know what he’s been through today.)
The Pretty Man and The Fox – another ugly truth.
Meeting with Yoo-Ra at Cafe Droptop, Ma-Te goes straight to the point that Na Hong-Ran’s admitted he’s her son, shocking Yoo-Ra. When Yoo-Ra acquiesces she’d just found this out when she saw his pocket watch on Bo-Tong’s table, the disillusioned Ma-Te questions why she didn’t share it with him but instead tried striking up a deal with Na Hong-Ran over him.
Ma-Te speculates now she has David, the actual illegitimate son, he’s useless to her. She denies this saying she didn’t want him to know because this reality will break his heart.
Finally the truth comes out from Yoo-Ra’s mouth she cooperated with him only because she thought he is Park Ki-Suk’s son. When Ma-Te then queries whether she’ll now want to get rid of him since he’s Na Hong-Ran’s son instead, she hostilely replies she’s only going after her ambition with no luxury to play nice.
Ma-Te’s distraught that people seem to be treating him like a toy to throw around. Yoo-Ra suggests he asks his dead mother, Kim Mi-Sook, who raised him why all this is happening. Knowing his true identity, why did she create a password for him and hint that Park Ki-Suk’s his father. (This woman’s insane! As if we can ask and get answers from the dead. Geez, I think she’s lost quite some marbles.)
The love triangle.
Listless, David misses Bo-Tong’s presence in his house. Just then, as if telepathically reading his thoughts, Bo-Tong checks up on David via text message, cheering him up immediately.
Meanwhile, Bo-Tong continues to worry about Ma-Te oppa whom she still hasn’t been able to contact. Arriving back at his apartment, Ma-Te dejectedly collapses onto his couch clutching his mom’s picture taken with Park Ki-Suk.
The spy with a heart?
Yeo Mim, the spy, is seen writing an expose involving Na Hong-Ran and Dokgo Ma-Te, including pictures from their meeting earlier in the day. Having bugged the private room they were in, she also has a recording of their whole conversation.
At one point, she mutters to herself now Na Hong-Ran’s come clean, she’s got no one to sell her information to. Having done this countless times, somehow this particular expose bothers her as she appears to take pity on Ma-Te. Seeming to have a painful past too, she mutters for him to just go on living and eventually everything will get buried in the huge pile called “past”. (Once again, Ma-Te’s charms has won another heart.)
The icy cold Iron Lady mother.
In her study, Na Hong-Ran agonizingly drops her pocket watch into the trash bin as hubby Park Ki-Suk walks in just in time to witness it.
When he asks his wife if she’d met her son, Dokgo Ma-Te, Na Hong-Ran simply answers yes. He goes on to say all this is happening because of how they forced things to happen in the past and now it’s time to right the wrongs.
Blaming everything on Park Ki-Suk and Hong Yoo-Ra, Na Hong-Ran quizzes why he allowed his mistress, Kim Mi-Sook to raise her son and now brought him to her. He explained he was trying to understand why she couldn’t tell him about her son but instead arranged to send him overseas for adoption. Initially intending to bring him back to her when he thought she missed him immensely but it took longer than anticipated. (Obviously Na Hong-Ran never really showed signs of missing her son.)
He questions whether she would have protected the child when Na Hong-Ran argues she should’ve been told about hubby’s arrangement. (I think he knows very well his wife was in no way interested in protecting her son. She might’ve strangled him to death with her bare hands if pushed. All for chasing her crazy ambitions, motherhood was not in her vocabulary. But why has she been holding on to the pocket watch all this while?) He coaxes her to look into her heart; why she always winds the pocket watch backwards. His advice – for her to let go of the pain and live looking forward from now on.
Embittered and with cheeks drenched in tears, Na Hong-Ran refuses to back down ranting that Ma-Te reminds her of all the pain: how her own siblings fooled her after she put in her all and Ma-Te’s father who abandoned her. When hubby says to let bygones be bygones, Na Hong-Ran turns her anger at him stating their marriage, merely part of a merger and acquisition, has also been a farce and it’s time they ended it. After she’s stormed out of the room, Park Ki-Suk sadly picks up the pocket watch from the bin.
(So Park Ki-Suk’s the one who arranged for Ma-Te to be raised by Kim Mi-Sook. Then why the need for a password for him to accept Ma-Te as his son?)
The Pretty Man and his dedicated normal girl.
Next morning, still unable to reach Ma-Te oppa, Bo-Tong arrives at the office disappointed to find he’s not there. Telling David she’s going to look for him at home, she gets even more worried when Ma-Te oppa’s not there either. At a lost initially, Bo-Tong then gets a hint of where he might be after seeing the picture of his mom with Park Ki-Suk and the pocket watch on his coffee table.
Ma-Te’s seen at his mom’s niche begging her to shed light on why all this is happening. If he’s not her son, then who is he; who is she? Bo-Tong arrives in time to hear this and questions Ma-Te what he means. Ma-Te sadly shares with her the crazy fact that his beloved mom he’s known all his life is not his mom, but Na Hong-Ran is his birth mom.
Concerned that Ma-Te oppa must not have eaten anything for awhile, Bo-Tong takes him to a restaurant and encourages him to eat and cry together with her. Likening his life to The Truman Show, the disoriented Ma-Te questions what’s real. Bo-Tong attempts to comfort him by saying he his Dokgo Ma-Te, his mom, Kim Mi-Sook’s son and that’s real. She elaborates she’s a witness to how much his mom loved and adored him.
Finally Ma-Te expresses his disappointment with Na Hong-Ran. Thinking she should at least apologize to him, she instead told him to leave the country and never to appear before her again otherwise she’ll make life a living hell for him. Hearing this, Bo-Tong can’t help but shed tears and apologizes for not knowing how to comfort him. Looking warmly at her, Ma-Te tells Bo-Tong she’s the one thing that’s remained consistent in his life.
As Ma-Te drives Bo-Tong home, she announces she’s moved to live with her mom and brother again. Looking at the forlorn Ma-Te oppa, she says she wishes he’ll quickly revert back to being the prickly, pretty oppa she used to know. Although it’s hard, he should realize he’s achieved a lot in life so far and should be proud of it.
(Luckily Bo-Tong’s always there for Ma-Te.)
The Fox’s agenda…continues…
Meeting ex-hubby, Park Moon-Soo in his office, Yoo-Ra expresses relief Na Hong-Ran didn’t succeed in getting rid of him this time. When she cautions him this is just the beginning and Na Hong-Ran will surely strengthen her resolve with a vengeance, Park Moon-Soo assures he’ll do all it takes to defend himself.
Yoo-Ra then instructs him to ask David, his newly discovered half-brother, to join forces with him. When Moon-Soo says he doesn’t want to drag David into this family war, Yoo-Ra reveals Na Hong-Ran has a son and she’s just found out it’s none other than Dokgo Ma-Te. Positive Na Hong-Ran’s going use Ma-Te to put Moon-Soo’s position in peril, Yoo-Ra figures it’s imperative they strengthen their defence by having Choi Joon-Ha (aka David) on their side.
The two half-brothers.
Right after hanging a huge photo of Bo-Tong (in place of Ma-Te’s) in his room, David receives a call from older brother Park Moon-Soo inviting him to meet.
Having drinks at a bar, David tells Moon-Soo not to worry or feel threatened as he’s got no interest in MG Group. Admitting he’s always felt guilty about being a weak son, Moon-Soo then requests they band together to protect their father, Park Ki-Suk. Divulging he’s never known a father’s love, David has no interest in finding out now, indirectly indicating he’s unwilling to consider Moon-Soo’s suggestion.
When David further states he’s never been happy owning MG Group shares, Moon-Soo argues he was able to protect the girl he loves with it, and therefore now’s the time to take advantage of his birthright and protect his beloved girl. David then sarcastically questions whether Moon-Soo was able to protect his love and goes on to say the girl he loves doesn’t care for such privileges.
David finally declares he’s happy being Team Leader at Normal Company not just because the love of his life is there but because it’s a healthy, clean company. David then stuns Moon-Soo with his reason for hating MG Group – its viciously corrupt practices!
The Pretty Man and his consistent normal girl.
Still at a lost in his home the next morning, Ma-Te receives a video message from Bo-Tong-ie to cheer him on. It did finally put a smile on his face and spurred him in a direction to deal with Na Hong-Ran’s ultimatum.
Na Hong-Ran is seen opening a little gift box. She’s shocked to see THE pocket watch inside. Beneath it is a note handwritten by Ma-Te stating he’s decided not to take up either of the two options she’d given him. Instead, he’s returning the pocket watch to her as an indication to sever all ties with her. She tears up the note, sweeps them off her desk, then bawls.
The Pretty Man and the one who’s not his brother.
Back in the office, when David diligently updates Ma-Te thoroughly on the latest developments in their company, Ma-Te expresses his sincere gratitude and appreciation. David then proposes Ma-Te should be their model for outdoor apparel suggesting “hot-blooded youth” as their tagline.
As David’s about to walk out of Ma-Te’s office, Ma-Te asks him why he joined Normal Company. David initially joked he was scouted by the company. He then states he likes the president for his good looks and his unexpectedly strong character. (Another warm moment between these two guys. Though Ma-Te now knows David’s not his brother, David doesn’t know this yet.)
The confident CEO.
Dokgo Ma-Te returns to face the SS Home Shopping board with a vengeance. This time fully prepared and confident, Ma-Te presents his ingenious and fresh business plan to revamp SS Home Shopping as a luxury brand and thoroughly impresses them.
Bo-Tong-ie and the one who only has eyes for her.
When Bo-Tong goes over to David’s unannounced to conduct a spot check, she’s disconcerted to see the huge portrait of hers hanging in his room. She then declares she’s made up her mind to continue looking forward (meaning towards Ma-Te oppa) leaving David clearly distressed. Although David’s a nice guy and to be able to accept his love would be like a dream come true, she can’t stop looking toward Ma-Te oppa.
Citing a verse from his mom’s favorite novel, David states finding someone worthy of loving is extraordinary and asks if he can be that person for Bo-Tong, rendering her speechless. David then thinks to himself it isn’t impossible and he’s willing to wait for Bo-Tong’s change of heart.
The father and his wife’s son.
Park Ki-Suk finally requests to meet with Ma-Te and enquires why he hasn’t brought him the password yet. When Ma-Te questions the use of the password when Park Ki-Suk isn’t even his father, Park Ki-Suk starts to clarify certain things.
Park Ki-Suk likens the mother who raised him, Kim Mi-Sook, to the sun. She was kind, deeply caring, and looked only toward Park Ki-Suk. That’s why he chose to leave Ma-Te in her care. When Park Ki-Suk wanted to take Ma-Te away from her a year after she’d taken care of him because he felt it was wrong since she’s unmarried, Kim Mi-Sook refused to let Ma-Te go as she’d already regarded him as her own by then. In deciding this, she’d renounced her relationship with family and friends for the sake of her precious son, Dokgo Ma-Te.
Apparently his mom was the one who required the password to ensure his happiness although she’s gone. Park Ki-Suk concludes by advising Ma-Te to strive to look for the password or his mom’s life spent caring for him would be for nought.
Ma-Te then questions Park Ki-Suk why he brought up his wife, Na Hong-Ran’s child without her knowledge. He answers it’s because of his love for and desire to take care of her. When asked what him mom, Kim Mi-Sook meant to Park Ki-Suk, he answers she’s the woman who loved him. (So Kim Mi-Sook is the woman who loved him whilst Na Hong-Ran is the woman he loves. How about David’s mom? And Park Moon-Soo’s mom? What do they mean to Park Ki-Suk?)
More curveballs for The Iron Lady.
A fuming Na Hong-Ran storms into Park Moon-Soo’s office demanding to know why all her directives to interfere in Normal Company’s business has been overturned. Park Moon-Soo confidently replies he found nothing wrong in all the documentation plus the business is doing well. He aspires to monitor their performance and take action as appropriate.
He concludes by stating he owes his newfound confidence to the realization that Na Hong-Ran is someone who even abandons her own son, so he no longer feels bad for not being accepted.
(Na Hong-Ran’s head must be spinning like a top thinking how her best laid plans have been suddenly turned upside down. On the other hand, Park Moon-Soo must’ve felt really good to finally hold his head up high and stand up to his deranged stepmom.)
The Pretty Man and his normal girl – the awakening.
While doing work in his office, Ma-Te’s saddened recalling Na Hong-Ran’s malicious words. In the meantime, Bo-Tong’s saddened watching Ma-Te and David’s saddened watching Bo-Tong. (Ah, the distressing love triangle.)
David then receives a message from Yoo-Ra requesting he meet her one last time.
Apparently after David has left to meet Yoo-Ra, Bo-Tong persuades Ma-Te to go out with her. They end up at the skating rink where the two of them and Dae-Sik used to enjoy going when they were younger. When Ma-Te says he’s not in the mood, Bo-Tong requests he gives it 30 minutes to see if he’ll loosen up and have some fun to take his mind off his troubles. Realizing Bo-Tong’s skating skills have remained stagnant, Ma-Te decides to be nice and let her hold onto his hand while he glides them around the rink.
Elsewhere in town, David meets with Yoo-Ra who tells him to leave Normal Company because there’s no future for him there, not even in love. When David furiously questions what warrants such a careless statement, Yoo-Ra reveals Kim Bo-Tong is Ma-Te’s password!!!
Back at the skating rink, Ma-Te’s taking a break on the side while coaxing Bo-Tong to continue practicing. With a huge, warm smile, Bo-Tong tells Ma-Te oppa she can be his skates so he can whiz past all his problems. Just then something happens to the quiet Ma-Te and he finally gets a revelation of what love is. Since a smile never fails to settle on his face whenever he sees Bo-Tong, he figures this must be love. He then skates to her then hugs her. Surprised at first, Bo-Tong then happily hugs him back…
(Ma-Te’s finally beginning to realize his love for Bo-Tong-ie but he still doesn’t know she’s also his password, making her all the more important in his life. So his mom could see only the sweet Bo-Tong can make her precious son, Ma-Te happy. That’s why she made Bo-Tong promise to stay by Ma-Te’s side should anything happen to her.
As expected, there’s absolutely no chance for David to win Bo-Tong’s heart over now. Poor David.)
Stay tuned for…Episode 15 (Screen date: January 10, 2013, Friday).