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Beauty Inside: Episode 4

True to its genre, the romance and comedy step up a notch, as Do-jae and Se-kye negotiate a contractual agreement about their secrets. The two begin to open up to each other, and their honesty starts to melt their defenses. While the bickering continues, having another insider to their secrets also leads to new aspects of their business partnership, like a reliable speed dial, relatable confessions, and someone who’s got your back.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Do-jae opens the van door and proposes to Se-kye that they sleep together. Se-kye remains calm as she asks why, and Do-jae explains that he wants to witness her transformation again. Since her last transformation occurred while she was sleeping in the airplane, he reasons that sleep must be the mechanism.

Se-kye laughs in relief and amusement at Do-jae’s simple reasoning. Do-jae says he wants to confirm that she’s not fooling him and that he’s not crazy.

Woo-mi meets with Secretary Jung to receive official documentation forgiving Se-kye’s debt, and she finds an error in the spelling of Se-kye’s name on the document. Secretary Jung hands her another document, this time with a new albeit wrong spelling of Se-kye’s name, and Woo-mi almost curses him out. Then, he reveals even more documents with alternative spellings and tells Woo-mi to take her pick. HA!

Secretary Jung warns Do-jae that Woo-mi is on her way, and Do-jae tells Se-kye to decide quickly if she’ll join him. She packs her things and grumbles audibly about Do-jae’s fickle claims about his condition. She complains that nobody knows that she’s this kind, and when Do-jae affirms this, she haughtily claims that she’s always been kind. Do-jae offers his hand, and Se-kye takes it as she steps out of her van.

Driving his car, Do-jae asks about her elbow injury from when he had pushed her out of the truck’s way, and Se-kye amuses him with her exaggerations. When Woo-mi calls, Do-jae turns off Se-kye’s phone and also turns off his phone to make things fair. Se-kye seems content and childishly throws his phone to the back.

Upon finding the van empty, Woo-mi calls Eun-ho, who suggests checking if Se-kye transformed into a baby under the seat. He quickly hangs up, as he’s busy at a confessional. He confesses that he lied to his mother about seminary and ponders which calling to follow. The priest assures him that God will always be with him, and Eun-ho sees that it’s time to follow another calling to his part-time job.

Do-jae brings Se-kye to his company, and he pretends to call Secretary Jung about taking care of Se-kye’s contract so that his employees don’t find them suspicious. In the elevator, Do-jae asks Se-kye if she brought her seal to sign the “big contract” and eyes the crowd around them. Se-kye plays along and offers to sign the big contract with a big signature because she forgot her seal. HA.

In Do-jae’s office, Se-kye explains that her transformation happens once a month for a week without consistent warning. Do-jae decides that their solution is simple: be together from the moment they wake up until the moment they sleep.

Se-kye can’t trust him yet, so Do-jae offers to reveal his weakness first and a contract to keep their secrets. He rushes Se-kye into the contract because she tends to run away in decisive moments, and Se-kye reminds him that she doesn’t like to run away.

Se-kye promises not to run away, and Do-jae makes that the first clause of their contract. Next, Do-jae adds the clause about keeping their secrets, and he tells Se-kye to change his caller ID and her phone password from 1004 (pronounced like “angel” in Korean — what she considers herself lol) to something unrelated to her. Se-kye asks for Do-jae’s birthday and decides to make that her password, since he has nothing to do with her. Petty!

Do-jae adds a clause about picking up calls within three seconds and then one about the termination of this contract upon their end as business partners. He decides that they can decide the matter of sleeping together after Se-kye has grasped Do-jae’s weakness.

He hands her the contract and requests that she respond before her next transformation. With that, he dismisses Se-kye from his office, and she sheepishly leaves without her manager or a car to get home.

When Se-kye arrives at her house, she assuages Woo-mi’s anger by suggesting a peaceful discussion over ddeukbboki. Se-kye shares that she was with Do-jae and asks Woo-mi what it means if a man asks to sleep together. Woo-mi initially reacts with shock but then encourages Se-kye to sleep with him because she’s getting old. Se-kye says that she’ll think about what he meant and promises to not disappear again.

Se-kye tries to practice her lines, but she’s distracted by Do-jae’s contract. As she reads the clauses, she adds her own edits — to not run away from questions and to expect retaliation if their secret is leaked. As requested, Se-kye changes Do-jae’s caller ID from “Jerk” to “Uncle” and changes the three-second rule to picking up the phone as soon as possible.

She also adds that the counterpart must cooperate with requests and that they must forget the other’s secret upon termination of their contract. Do-jae receives a delivery from “Aunt,” and he smiles when he finds Se-kye’s edited contract.

Do-jae meets up with agricultural Professor Kang Dae-shik, his stepfather, to attend a family gathering, while Sa-ra prepares with excessive shopping. She runs into Eun-ho, who hands out samples of perfume. Sa-ra suspects Eun-ho is following her, but Eun-ho implies that it’s the other way around because she keeps showing up at his workplaces. He says that he’s used to it and continues to charm other ladies with the samples.

Do-jae’s family gathers for a chef-crafted meal, and Do-jae disapproves of the extravagance. Gramps takes offense to Do-jae’s comment, and his mother quickly assuages his anger. Then, Gramps criticizes Do-jae for failing to recognize his VIP guest at the aircraft launch and knows that Se-kye saved him from embarrassment. But he’s not worried about Do-jae failing because he can trust Sa-ra to run the business.

Sa-ra takes the opportunity to announce that her airline within Sunho Group just won a bid on an aircraft for half the original price. When Do-jae grills her on the aircraft, Sa-ra answers that the aircraft passed the safety exams in one go and that she’ll be using timeslots from Do-jae’s airline. Do-jae snarks that he’s learned to enjoy the act of giving because that’s all he’s ever done for Sa-ra.

Speaking of giving, Sa-ra distributes her shopping spoils and hands Do-jae a fish, since he likes them so much. Do-jae takes that cue to leave and scolds Gramps for wasting money when Gramps reveals he bought more cars. Gramps leaves the meal in a tantrum, and Do-jae’s mother walks Do-jae to his car, leaving Professor Kang and Sa-ra at the table.

Professor Kang tells Sa-ra that she doesn’t need to fight to win and be acknowledged among family, but Sa-ra bitterly says she’s spent ten years as baggage to her father’s marriage. She claims that this is her way of adapting to a family she’s unrelated to.

As Do-jae walks with his mother, he asks if she’s happy with his stepfather. She admits she’s happy, as Do-jae’s father only ever loved pottery. He even gave his favorite piece to Do-jae, and she says that he was a poor husband. Do-jae adds that his dad was a poor father, who tried to alleviate the burden of Do-jae’s birthdays with a mere white porcelain vase. That night, Do-jae glances at the porcelain vase as he looks over Se-kye’s edited contract.

Se-kye participates in an entertainment news interview, and the interviewer spills the rumor about Se-kye reuniting with the director of her debut film. This is news to Se-kye, and she pulls aside Woo-mi afterwards to clarify this rumor. She tells Woo-mi to call Director Lee, but Woo-mi reluctantly shares that the director doesn’t want to see Se-kye.

Do-jae adds Sa-ra’s fish to his tank, and when Secretary Jung learns it’s from Sa-ra, he steps back and asks if he checked for any bombs. He jokingly requests Do-jae to spread his ashes if he dies.

In her office, Sa-ra regrets not adding a wiretapping device on the fish. She hears a voice calling her name outside her office. It’s a deliveryman with a familiar voice.

The helmeted deliveryman insists on delivering the document directly to Sa-ra and barges into her office for her ID. After checking her ID, the deliveryman comments that she’s his noona. He takes off the helmet, and it’s Eun-ho, who assures her that this run-in is pure coincidence. She’s annoyed by Eun-ho’s persistence and comments that he must be busy with all his jobs.

Woo-mi snaps Se-kye out of her misery by giving her Director Lee’s new script, but she says that the cast has already been decided unofficially. Se-kye knows that the director rarely produces films and demands to meet with Director Lee because she wouldn’t be here without him.

Se-kye forces her way into the director’s office, where he’s meeting with another actress, CHAE YOO-RI (Ryu Hwa-young). Director Lee addresses Se-kye formally to create intentional distance, and Se-kye seems shaken by his formality. He claims to not know this Han Se-kye, as she’s changed too much.

Director Lee scolds her for rudely interrupting the meeting, and Se-kye explains that she was rushed because she didn’t want to lose this opportunity. He calls her efforts futile because she had no chance to begin with. Director Lee tells her to leave, and when she hesitates, he assumes that she only leaves and runs away on her own will.

Se-kye bites her tongue and kneels in front of the director. She accepts the criticism but explains the change wasn’t her choice. She asserts that she’s the best actress for this role and promises to work hard. Seeking validation, Se-kye insists that Director Lee should know her best, but he says that he was mistaken.

Director Lee returns to his meeting with Yoo-ri, and Woo-mi helps Se-kye back on her feet. Before she leaves, Se-kye leaves her portfolio with the director, but he doesn’t give it a second glance.

Se-kye drinks soju with Woo-mi and Eun-ho and admits that she was super pitiful earlier. She’d always thought that people had wrong perceptions of her because they didn’t know her, but today, she wondered if the people’s perceptions were the true her. Eun-ho assures her that the Se-kye he knows hasn’t changed and reminds her that she has other opportunities. Se-kye agrees, and they all cheers to the movie’s ruin, with Eun-ho hilariously asking God for forgiveness before raising his glass.

Behind them, the pojangmacha ajumma asks a group which soju they want based on the model: Han Se-kye or Chae Yoo-ri? Woo-mi and Eun-ho loudly praise Se-kye’s generous donation and her kindness, much to Se-kye’s embarrassment, but they successfully convince the guys to choose Se-kye’s endorsed soju. Se-kye raises her arms in a heart and treats the guys to an extra dish.

That night, Do-jae receives a video call from Se-kye and reluctantly answers after glancing at the contract terms. Drunk Se-kye sobs to Do-jae about being rejected from the movie and cries that it’ll probably go to Cannes — she’s always wanted to go. She explains the movie is about clones and proceeds to act out her interpretation for Do-jae. Using her dog as her counterpart, Se-kye switches from weeping lover to gun-wielding gangster and adorably looks to Do-jae for approval.

Do-jae commends her acting in hopes to hang up, but Se-kye continues on about the director being the person who created her, referring to him as the father she never had. Se-kye says that she feels like she’s just been abandoned by her father and asks if Do-jae understands the feeling. He says that he does, but Se-kye begins to wail that he couldn’t understand.

Then, suddenly Se-kye wipes away her tears and compliments her own ability to cry. Do-jae hangs up on her, and drunk Se-kye falls asleep calling Do-jae a jerk.

Do-jae goes on a run the next morning and smiles at the sight of a dog similar to Se-kye’s dog. He calls to ask for a favor of Secretary Jung, who’s eating breakfast with Sa-ra. She tries to bribe him to work for her airline, but Secretary Jung remains loyal to Do-jae. He just came for the free food from his school sunbae.

Se-kye wakes up to the memory of her drunken call with Do-jae and cringes in mortification. He summons her to the mall with her passport and reminds her of the clause she added to the contract about being cooperative. So she peels herself off her bed to meet him in her hungover state.

Se-kye notices that the mall is empty, and Do-jae says that he had the floor cleared out for him. A worker greets Do-jae, and he chooses to buy the whole season collection. Se-kye attempts to follow suit, but the worker informs her that she needs to make an appointment. Do-jae says that she won’t have time and hands her a plane ticket to Paris. He says that it’s for the same flight as Director Lee and clarifies that he’s just helping her as business partners.

Se-kye immediately runs out of the mall and catches a taxi to the airport. On the plane, Director Lee’s ticket upgrades to business class, where he finds Se-kye waiting for him. He finally talks to her informally, and she insists that she’s the same person that Director Lee knew in her early days. Se-kye asks him to trust himself because Director Lee created her. Director Lee says that if he created this Han Se-kye, then he’s disappointed in himself. He walks back to his economy class seat, leaving Se-kye speechless.

In Paris, Se-kye sulks alone in defeat, and a group of touring Korean ajummas recognize her. They ask if she ran away again, and she responds that she’s come to catch someone who’s run away. The ajummas claim that her reputation has caused people to run away from her, and they advise her not to run away next time. But Se-kye knows that isn’t possible.

Sa-ra receives a telemarketing call about a loan, and she hangs up saying that she’s young and rich. She receives a consecutive call and answers saying she’s rich, but it’s a different caller who already knows this. It’s Eun-ho, who got her number from the delivery service, and he tries to ask for her help in desperation. Sa-ra hangs up in annoyance and comments that he keeps acting cute.

Eun-ho’s sister, Aram, sits up in surprise when Eun-ho admits that he was calling a woman. He says that he needs money, and she lies back down, not surprised by his motives. Hm, curious.

Do-jae picks up Se-kye from the airport, recognizing her with her clothes and gait. He asks about the meeting, and Se-kye shares that it failed. Regardless, she’s glad she saw it through and thanks Do-jae, who brushes it off as another contribution to her debt.

He hands over their finalized contract to sign, and Do-jae asks why Se-kye continues to act despite her condition. Se-kye answers that she acts to not forget herself, so that she doesn’t lose herself entirely.

It’s Se-kye’s turn to ask, and she makes Do-jae pull over to watch a movie to confirm his face-blindness. They sit in an empty movie theater, and as Chae Yoo-ri’s movie starts, Se-kye asks if she’s better than Yoo-ri. He closes his eyes, and Se-kye wonders if he’s sleeping. Do-jae explains that it’s easier for him to listen to the actors’ voices, since he can’t distinguish them onscreen.

After a moment, Do-jae says that Se-kye is better. She asks why, and he says, “Han Se-kye is better because she’s the only actor I can recognize.” Se-kye seems satisfied with his response and closes her eyes to experience Do-jae’s movie-watching perspective. Do-jae looks at Se-kye as she admits that solely listening to the movie is difficult. She says that he’s sick and hurting just like her.

Se-kye dozes off from jetlag and leans her head on Do-jae’s shoulder. She promises to repay this debt and she continues to borrow his shoulder to sleep on. Do-jae continues to listen to the movie, and we see him nervously tapping his fingers.

When Se-kye and Do-jae exit the theater, they’re coincidentally met by reporters, who immediately recognize her. As clamoring cameras flash at them, Se-kye turns around and puts on her sunglasses. Do-jae says that standing in front of cameras seems to be Se-kye’s fate and asks if Se-kye has a plan. She remains silent in panic, so Do-jae wraps his hand around her waist and pulls her close.

Do-jae pulls off her sunglasses, and the reporters ask if they’re confirming the dating rumors. Se-kye looks concerned, but Do-jae holds her hand and tells her to smile like she’s happy. Do-jae flashes his smile, and Se-kye looks at him in shock.

 
COMMENTS

There’s nothing like a good contract relationship to blur the lines as business partners, and I’m delighted that Do-jae made the first move. Though Do-jae’s prickly personality takes the limelight, I think the show has given us a few hints of his nervousness in intimate moments with Se-kye. It may still be pure fascination or innocent admiration now, but I sense that Do-jae’s cold exterior is starting to melt as he relates more to Se-kye. Her sense of abandonment from her father figure director reflects his own experiences, and I’m interested to see how this white porcelain metaphor pans out.

I’m amused by Se-kye’s duality as a thick-skinned troublemaker and sensitive marshmallow. She’s unafraid to cross boundaries and step on people’s toes to get what she wants and to pursue what she believes. She’s stubbornly unapologetic upfront, but then crumbles into her feelings when she’s alone. Her drunken wailing over video call to Do-jae was the highlight of this episode, and I applaud Seo Hyun-jin for her adorable portrayal of this tantrum. She’s a comedic goldmine, and I’ve got to give some credit to deadpan Do-jae for elevating that scene.

Eun-ho and Sa-ra’s encounters felt delightfully random, and I enjoy them on screen together. I’m preempting giggling at the growing web of misunderstandings between the two, which seem so trivial but perfect for the tone of the show. Eun-ho’s multiple part-time jobs is a bit curious, as he seems to need to money for a “good cause.” If it has anything to do with funding his priesthood, I’m already cracking up. I pray to the pagan gods that this pairing is as amusing as our main one and that Ahn Jae-hyun only plays these characters for the rest of his career.

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