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My Ajusshi: Episode 2

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Something interesting is beginning to happen between Dong-hoon and Ji-an, though it’s hard to say what that is at this early point. They barely know each other, and have only spoken a few words to each other, yet they’re each sticking their neck out for the other without really knowing why. No matter what the nature of their relationship is now or may be in the future, they seem to sense a kinship in each other that promises to be very interesting to watch unfold.

EPISODE 2 RECAP

The morning after stealing the bribe money, Ji-an goes to her loan shark’s office to pay off her debt. He counts the money then calls Kwang-il, the guy who beat up Ji-an for accusing him of liking her, to tell him that the debt is paid. Kwang-il instructs him to accept the money, then report it as stolen and have Ji-an sent to jail. While she’s locked up, he plans to increase her interest rate until she’s on the hook to him forever.

He says he’s on his way and has his guy stall Ji-an. She demands her receipt, and when the shark tells her to stay for coffee first, she tries to grab his receipts from his desk. The shark confesses that Kwang-il doesn’t plan to let her go so easily, then wrestles her purse from her and finds the rest of the stolen money. Unfortunately, it’s still in the original envelope with Dong-hoon’s name on it.

Just moments before Kwang-il returns, Ji-an slips out, managing not to let him see her. She notices a truck piled with crates parking next to the loan shark’s fancy car, so she pulls up her hoodie, marches over, and pulls several crates over to smash the windshield. Awesome.

The shark blames the truck driver, but Kwang-il senses that it was Ji-an. He races back upstairs to the office, but she’s already gone back in and taken back the money, then called her friend Ki-bum to have him bring her grandmother to his place. Kwang-il is angry, but he also looks a little impressed.

While all that’s happening, Dong-hoon is blamed for taking the bribe (which was originally meant for Director Park) and escorted out of the office. Ji-an ignores him when he yells at her on her way in, and she stays calm at her desk as his office is taken apart by security officers. She slips the envelope the bribe came in into a pile of discarded papers and carries them downstairs to the janitor.

Dong-hoon tries to call his wife Yoon-hee, who’s an attorney, while he waits to be questioned. But the security officer interrupts his call and confiscates his phone. He shows Dong-hoon the CCTV footage of him accepting the delivery, and Dong-hoon says truthfully that he doesn’t know who sent it. The officer obviously doesn’t believe him and asks where they money is now.

The janitor seems to know everything about Ji-an’s circumstances, and he warns her that Kwang-il won’t stop coming after her, and that now he’ll also target Dong-hoon. He has her put the envelope in the garbage, then takes it to a security officer, saying that he found it.

Director Park goes over the CCTV footage of Dong-hoon from the day before, including his return to the office late that night. They discuss the blackout, and check the number the courier gave when he signed in, but it’s not in service. Director Park wonders out loud if the bribe was solicited.

The envelope is brought to the security office, and strangely, it still has all the money and the original note inside. Director Park guesses from the note that the bribe was unsolicited, and he warns his assistant to keep it a secret that they have it.

He asks to see the email reporting him as having taken the bribe, and a few minutes later, Director Yoon releases Dong-hoon. He’s escorted to his office to get his personal things, and Ji-an ignores him again as he tries to get her to talk to him. The security officer makes Dong-hoon hand over his key card, promises to return his phone when they finish the investigation, then leads him out.

Outside, Dong-hoon can’t even get his lighter to work so that he can smoke a cigarette — ouch, that’s adding insult to injury. He remembers his older brother Sang-hoon telling him that he has to keep his job, or he’ll become like him.

He goes to Yoon-hee’s office and tells her the whole story. He’s confused as to what happened and where the money went, but he’s certain that he was targeted for some reason.

He decides he needs to get the money back in order to defend himself, and he tells Yoon-hee that there’s someone he suspects who might’ve taken it. He asks her to hire someone to look into it, but she advises him to wait and not do anything hasty.

After Dong-hoon leaves, Yoon-hee calls Joon-young, CEO of the company and her lover, to ask if he did this. He just says that it wasn’t his intention intially, then hangs up when Yoon-hee gets upset.

There’s a board meeting to discuss the matter, and Director Park advises patience while they figure out who sent the money. Director Yoon vehemently disagrees, arguing that Dong-hoon is clearly guilty of taking this and probably other bribes (even though he’s the one who sent it, intending to frame Director Park).

Director Park reminds him that it was his name, Park Dong-woon, not Park Dong-hoon, on the report of bribery. Director Yoon stammers that the names are easily confused, until Director Park points out that it also said “director” instead of “manager.” Oops.

That shuts up Director Yoon, and Director Park says that he’ll personally find out who sent the money and ask them who it was meant for. As they leave, Executive Director Wang says that if they play their cards right, they can get both Director Yoon and Joon-young fired.

In the privacy of his office, Joon-young asks Director Yoon if the company that sent the money will stay silent. Director Yoon assures him that they’re trustworthy, and he decides to make Dong-hoon resign so that there’s no reason to investigate further.

That evening, Dong-hoon waits for Ji-an to leave work to follow her, but two of his team members exit right after her so he has to keep his distance. They stay between Dong-hoon and Ji-an all the way to the subway station, but Dong-hoon eventually maneuvers until he’s standing next to her on the train.

He tells her to get off at the next stop and asks if she took the money and where it is, but Ji-an just says she threw it away. When the train stops, Dong-hoon tries to pull Ji-an off the train with him, but she yells, and another passenger who thinks Dong-hoon is a creeper shoves him off the train.

He calls Ki-hoon from a pay phone and tells him he lost some money. Ki-hoon bellows when he hears the amount, and he runs out to meet Dong-hoon, while Mom pushes Sang-hoon out to follow him. Dong-hoon tells his brothers what happened, and that he thinks Ji-an took the money.

Ki-hoon wants to call Ji-an, but Dong-hoon’s phone has been confiscated so he can’t even call around for her number. Ki-hoon starts yelling at Dong-hoon for losing his job when he just told him not to so he could pay for Mom’s funeral, and Dong-hoon yells back that his family is why he was going to keep the money. They shout at each other childishly as Sang-hoon starts to laugh, clearly drunk.

Once they settle down, Sang-hoon says that they’ll be fine without that money, but Ki-hoon just turns his anger on him. He snaps that it’s not the money they want, but to turn it in and salvage Dong-hoon’s job. He shrieks that he’s sick of his brothers, so Sang-hoon yells, “Then don’t be our brother anymore, you bastard!” It’s not funny, but this is so funny.

Dong-hoon’s brothers offer to watch the exit to the subway station for Ji-an, though they mostly end up lurking at the top of the stairs, staring at all the women like weirdos. Ki-hoon has a cop friend search for all of the Lee Ji-ans in Seoul to find her address.

At the same time, Dong-hoon goes back to the grocery store where he ran into Ji-an before, but she’s not there. She’s at her friend Ki-bum’s place with her grandmother, and she feeds Grandma the food she took from her dishwashing job before nodding off sitting up.

Dong-hoon meets up with his brothers again and tells them to go home. Ki-hoon thinks they should go to the police (Dong-hoon: “To report stolen bribe money??”) and as they’re discussing it, Director Yoon screeches up in his car.

He takes Dong-hoon to a private room at a club and pours him drink after drink while claiming outrage at the way Dong-hoon was treated today. Once Dong-hoon is thoroughly drunk, Director Yoon tells him that he should quit, promising to find him an even better job.

Yoon-hee tries to talk Joon-young out of framing her husband, saying that she intends to divorce him. Joon-young says that it would be best if she divorces Dong-hoon after he’s fired, but the thought of doing that to Dong-hoon upsets her.

Dong-hoon finally catches up to Ji-an the next day outside the office. He asks where she lives, and at her silence, he threatens to tell the company that he suspects that she took the money from his desk. She just keeps walking until he’s blocked from entering the building by security.

He’s allowed in after explaining that he’s under investigation (he hasn’t been fired, just had his key card temporarily confiscated), but Ji-an is already downstairs with the janitor, whose name is Choon-dae. She asks if Choon-dae took the money, since Dong-hoon thinks it’s still missing. But he tells her to let things be or she’ll end up fired, too.

Director Yoon tells Director Park that he talked to Dong-hoon, who confessed to everything. But he makes the mistake of saying that Dong-hoon probably kept the money, unaware that Director Park has it in his possession. Director Park shows him the envelope, which was found in the garbage with the money intact, and Director Yoon starts to sweat.

Director Park tells him that it was found before the start of the day, which means Dong-hoon threw it away yesterday, the same day he received it. He asks why Director Yoon wants Dong-hoon fired, adding that he’s sure Director Yoon isn’t working alone.

Director Yoon gets worked up, Director Park asks if this is about more than just the upcoming election. He believes that Joon-young is kissing up to the ailing company chairman in order to obtain his shares, which would make Joon-young the main shareholder. But since there are a lot of people in his way, he’s trying to take out his enemies — except, something went wrong with this scheme.

He even correctly assumes that Director Yoon and Joon-young are planning to fire Dong-hoon and let the bungled bribery scheme blow over. He says that he won’t let that happen, and he gleefully takes in Director Yoon’s pinched expression as he guesses that Joon-young promised him the CEO position once he’s chairman.

Director Park growls that no matter how nice a person is, there’s one thing he can’t stand to see — someone who should be below him, getting ahead of him. He says he’ll get rid of anyone who doesn’t know their place, and when Director Yoon stammers that he’ll tell Joon-young he said that, Director Park whispers, “Please do.”

Joon-young runs downstairs to the company coffee shop, where he finds Executive Director Wang buying an elderly man in hospital scrubs a drink. The man is Chairman Jang, who’s been ill lately, but who came to see how the company is doing. Executive Director Wang tells him about the bribe and Dong-hoon’s involvement, and that Dong-hoon threw the money away.

Chairman Jang asks why they’re even considering firing Dong-hoon. Executive Director Wang vows to discover who sent the bribe and make sure it doesn’t happen again, and Chairman Jang asks them to pass a message to Dong-hoon (whom he remembers as “that pitiful-looking guy,” ha) that he’d like to share a meal with him.

On his way back inside, Joon-young runs into Director Park and asks him to speak privately. Ji-an is in the elevator with them as they go upstairs in tense silence, and Director Park looks puzzled when Joon-young takes a phone call, but another phone starts ringing and nobody answers it. It begins to dawn on them that Joon-young has a second phone, but before Director Park can confirm it, Ji-an casually pickpockets the phone (an old flip phone) and declines the call.

Once in his office, Joon-young asks Director Park about the found money. He says that the chairman wants the situation to blow over without repercussions, and Director Park agrees to spare Dong-hoon and search for the source of the bribe.

Joon-young goes out into the office, where he sees Ji-an looking at his phone. He gets a message from her telling him to order her to buy him a sandwich after his secretaries leave. He leaves the office to call Yoon-hee from a payphone, and he tells her not to contact his personal phone or accept calls from it.

Throughout the day, Dong-hoon keeps a close eye on Ji-an, and eventually he follows her to the copy room to tell her that he’s going to tell the truth. He confesses to Director Park that he accepted the money but wasn’t the one who kept it, and he’s shocked when Director Park shows him the intact envelope.

Director Park gently fusses at Dong-hoon for throwing the money out instead of turning it in, then tells him that Chairman Jang intends to forgive the entire incident. Dong-hoon says that he didn’t think they’d believe him, and Director Park tells him that he’s sure Director Yoon was behind this. He asks Dong-hoon if he has any guesses as to which company may have helped Director Yoon.

As he goes back to his office, Dong-hoon realizes that it must have been Ji-an who put the money in the trash for someone to find. Security returns the things they confiscated from his desk, including his cell phone, and although his team members are clearly dying of curiosity, Dong-hoon doesn’t tell them anything (ha, they keep rolling over in their chairs, and he just rolls them away again).

The first thing Dong-hoon does is to charge his phone, and he gets a call from Ki-hoon right away saying that his cop friend found Ji-an. Ki-hoon yells in frustration when Dong-hoon whispers that the money was found, and after Dong-hoon hangs up on him, he and Sang-hoon bemoan the fact that their brother is so careless. Mom kicks them both out of the house.

News travels fast, and during a break, Dong-hoon’s team members ask if he really threw away such a huge sum of money. Inside, Ji-an sees Dong-hoon’s phone light up with a call from his wife, and she recognizes the number as the same one that called Joon-young’s extra phone. She pulls out the phone and sees that that’s the only number that ever calls it.

She watches Dong-hoon carefully after he returns to his desk. He sneaks glances at her too, and at the end of the day, they’re the only two people left. Dong-hoon gets ready to leave, and he asks Ji-an to have dinner or a drink with him, but she turns him down.

He leaves as Joon-young enters the office. Ji-an tells Joon-young that she has his phone, but she can’t just hand it to him because of the cameras. Joon-young gives her money to buy him a coffee, and she says she’ll get herself a sandwich because she hasn’t eaten.

She brings back Joon-young’s coffee and leaves his phone on the desk with it, then takes a look around his office. He compliments her nimble hands (heh) and asks what other jobs she’s had, and she says she does anything that makes money.

She tells him that she meant to ask him why he was so desperate to fire a simple manager, but then she figured it out after seeing Dong-hoon’s wife’s number on his phone. Joon-young lies that Yoon-hee’s just a colleague, but Ji-an asks slyly, “Why are you dating an ajumma?” and Joon-young goes still. She confirms that he’s having an affair and begins to leave, but Joon-young stops her.

The brothers meet for dinner and soju, and Sang-hoon confesses that when he was bribed, he took the money before he got fired. Ki-hoon thinks that Ji-an stole the money then threw it away because she likes Dong-hoon and wanted to save him. Dong-hoon decides they’re both nuts.

Later, Ki-hoon tells Dong-hoon that Sang-hoon is leaving next week for a job and that he’s making a movie soon. He instructs Dong-hoon to keep any bribes over a certain amount, and to stay away from young girls like Ji-an.

As he rides the subway home, Dong-hoon gets a text from Ji-an asking him to buy her a meal. He impulsively gets off the train at the next stop and goes to where Ji-an is waiting for him, and she requests that he buy her something expensive.

They eat together in silence, and in a flashback we see that Ji-an told Joon-young that she’s not blackmailing him—she’s going to work for him. She offers to make sure that both Director Park and Dong-hoon are fired, promising to do a better job than Director Yoon. In return, she asks for ten million won (just over $9000 USD) for each of them.

As they ride the subway together after dinner, Dong-hoon offers Ji-an a simple, “Thank you.”