What an enjoyable, fun-filled episode! There’s bouts of randomness, but some real good tender moments too. It’s been a while since a drama made me laugh this much, and I definitely can’t remember the last time I cried from laughing! HOTS continues to maintain the insane factor, but we see pieces of an overall story arc begin to emerge. Can I also say just how much I love all the characters, who continually pique my interest. Not one is dull. Though this may be a little early, seeing as how it’s only our second date and all, but I gotta say, I’m in love with you, Show!
Episode 2 Recap:
It’s the night of Chun Ha’s special BB Project dinner event, and the company hopes that the revelation of their new drug will lure in an adequate number of investors. It’s an extravagant party, with guests strictly invited by invitation only.
Chairman Jin is getting final touch-ups before showtime, and of course his beloved pet chicken, Geum Ok, is faithfully by his side. With minutes to go before the dinner event begins, the chairman instructs his staff to treat his prized possession with great care, just as Gabi steps in to relate the news of what had happened to Yeo Chi earlier that day.
After the fountain fiasco, video clips of Yeo Chi going berserk immediately go viral online. A few of the hotel employees amuse themselves with the clip when Yeo Chi arrives at the lobby, soaking wet and her makeup running. Everyone rushes to greet her, including Gabi, who’s sincerely worried for her. When Yeo Chi’s asked about what happened to the man who did this to her, it’s clear that his punishment wasn’t the one Yeo Chi had in mind.
Which is when we cut to Yoo Bang in a jail cell, down on his luck and wondering how in the world a pretty lady could have such a rotten temper. Poor guy.
Squeee! Hang Woo arrives at the event wearing his Sunday’s best, prepared to shatter some hearts — er, destroy Chun Ha’s game plan for the night. Chairman Jin greets Chairman Oh, but before the two get into a public catfight, Hang Woo steps in and introduces himself as Jang Cho Group’s new head director. Chairman Jin advises him to serve Chairman Oh well, and takes a quick jab at his rival’s hot temper. He leaves, and Hang Woo vows to his boss that Jin will soon have his blood boiling.
In Yeo Chi’s dressing room, a curious Gabi notes that the jacket lent to her was not only expensive, but handmade. We rewind back a few hours, when Yeo Chi was helped by a stranger. Coincidentally-but-not-so-coincidental, the stranger is Hang Woo, who lends her his coat and escorts her into a taxi. He curtly rejects her offer to return the jacket, though more for his benefit than hers — he hates being caught between awkward situations. Before she can get another word in, he stops her (using her signature wagging finger too!) and says, “Ah, you’re about to thank me, right? Yes, that’d be the proper thing to do.” And promptly leaves her with a smile. Hang Woo: 1, Yeo Chi: 0. Booyah!
Reverie over, Yeo Chi instructs Gabi to trash the jacket and leave her side. Alone, she reminds herself that her grandfather always taught her “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Uh oh. Looks like she’s about to get her hands dirty and Grandpa will have to bear the brunt of whatever she has in mind. Since Yeo Chi mistakenly thinks he was the one to send her boyfriend packing, she wastes no time to retaliate.
Yeo Chi heads over to find Geum Ok, where the chicken is attentively guarded by three attendants. She intimidates them, threatening to terminate their jobs if they don’t hand the chicken over to her. Of course, they have no choice but to do as they’re told. Next, Yeo Chi stops by the kitchen (oh nooooo!), where she hands over Geum Ok to the head chef. She tells the chef that this chicken is to be used for a special order that the chairman personally requested. Oh. Frack.
As if sentencing her grandfather’s pampered pet to its doom wasn’t enough, she decides to make a fool out of herself, after Chairman Jin’s big opening speech. He had just introduced “Eternal Youth”as the anti-aging drug that will make everyone’s dreams of longevity become reality. Yeo Chi decides that as this party’s hostess, she should entertain everyone. She feigns drunkenness and starts belting out a song in front of everyone onstage.
Her irreverent, inappropriate behavior is put to a stop by Ho Hae, who berates her for shaming the family. He adds that her violent actions earlier that day have already made internet headlines, but Yeo Chi retorts that if they searched his name online, they would find all sorts of dirt on him. Like “womanizer,” for one, and “pervert,” another.
After Yeo Chi is carted off, Chairman Jin gets right down to business to talk about investment plans with some of the targeted investors around him. When asked about the clinical results, he doesn’t give a straightforward answer, opting to relate that it will soon be approved by America’s FDA. He’s then abruptly interrupted by Hang Woo, who boldly declares that the trial had failed, having participated in the experiment himself. While Hang Woo announces that he experienced the severe side effects himself, Hang Ryang, his older brother, smiles at him proudly, confirming my earlier suspicious that he’s a spy in Chun Ha Group.
Jang Ryang demands proof of the side effects, and it’s soon given to him.
Thanks to Hang Woo’s special gadgety glasses (and his inside connections at Chun Ha), everything that occurred during the trial was recorded. Bits and pieces of it are broadcasted in that banquet hall. Yoo Bang’s cackling laughter echoes throughout the room, most likely reducing Chun Ha’s chances of getting any investors that night.
Everyone looks to Chairman Jin, who unexpectedly howls with laughter. He asks his guests, “Do you know how many years a chicken lives?” He speaks of Geum Ok, of course, the first trial subject of “Eternal Youth,” and how his special chicken is laying fertile eggs at her old age. He orders that Geum Ok be brought out for all to see, as evidence of the anti-aging drug’s longterm effects.
And the head chef enters, rolling in a big chafing dish!
Chairman Jin is completely bewildered. Where is Geum Ok, his pet? But he’s about to find out!
It’s Geum Ok, alright. No longer alive, that is, but cooked to a golden crisp. Ahahaha!
Also, how appropriate is it that the chefs had the word “gold” labeled onto the chicken. (Because Geum Ok means “gold jade” in Korean.) Too bad these folks are oblivious as to just how much gold this chicken is worth.
Chairman Jin looks like he’s about ready to keel over and have a heart attack right then and there. His execs don’t look good either, and Jang Ryang actually starts crying! *excuses self to cry too, but from laughter!* Beom Jeong tries to salvage the situation by announcing that Geum Ok had to be rushed away to lay her eggs. Of course, Chairman Oh doesn’t buy it and suspects that it’s the revered hen itself, especially after observing Jin’s reaction. I don’t blame him — who would start tearing up at the sight of seeing a roasted chicken unless it wasn’t treasured? Chairman Jin responds, “Chairman Oh, what kind of madman would cook a two million dollar chicken?” Oh Yeo Chi, I love your insanity but you’re so dead after this!
To cast off all suspicions, Beom Jeong tears off a drumstick and hands it to his boss, telling him to eat it. I’m sure that the chairman would rather have his granddaughter offered to him on a platter in place of his pet at this point. Still, understanding that his reputation is on the line and needing to prove that this roasted chicken is not the one worth millions of dollars, Chairman Jin painstakingly takes a bite. And proclaims how delicious the chicken tastes through his tears. He urges his guests to try it for themselves too. Oh God, this is so hilarious!
Later that night, Chairman Oh and Hang Woo celebrate their success in thwarting Chun Ha’s plan to entice investors. Even though Oh is deliriously happy, Hang Woo thinks it’s still too early to say that Jang Cho Group is safe. He has a stratagem in mind, called “killing with a borrowed knife,” borrowing one of the thirty-six stratagems famously passed down in the course of Chinese history.
Basically, Hang Woo plans to use a third party to infiltrate Chun Ha Group, so that Jang Cho Group doesn’t have to use its own strength. It will be a surprise attack on Chun Ha, since they’ll be unaware that one of their allies is actually an enemy. And he knows just the perfect person for the job.
Back in his prison cell, Yoo Bang unfortunately starts laughing maniacally again, due to the side effects that haven’t worn off yet. The prison’s gang leader is chagrined, and erroneously thinks Bang is being disrespectful on purpose. The leader was just in the midst of relating to his underlings how their hyungnim (older brother) passed away when Bang started laughing.
Thankfully, Bang is released before the gang can do anything to him. He taunts the gang’s boss because he can’t lay a finger on him, riling up the leader and his minions. To his dismay, the police officer who released him moments ago comes back, this time to discharge the entire gang, who smile in anticipation.
The next thing we know, our hero is kneeling and begging for his life on the river shores. The leader of the gang is thinking up of all the number of ways to kill him off, when the doors of a familiar van open. It’s Han Shin (Yang Hyung Wook) to the rescue! He sends the gang packing, therefore rescuing Yoo Bang, who thanks him profusely.
Although Yoo Bang doesn’t know Han Shin, who we all know as Hang Woo’s subordinate, Han has dug up Bang’s personal background information. He shows off his fake National Intelligence Service (NIS) agent badge to Bang, who’s envious that the man gets paid regularly. Knowing that Bang’s greatest ambition is to enter Chun Ha Group, and that he takes and fails the employment entrance exams yearly, Han offers to help him get into Chun Ha. There’s a catch, of course: he’ll have to “serve his country” and double as a spy once he’s in.
Yoo Bang thinks he’s joking at first, until Han takes out a copy of Chun Ha’s upcoming entrance exam. All he’ll need to do at this point is to memorize the answers. Once he’s admitted, he’ll not only be paid a high salary, but he’ll be a NIS agent too. The so-called “NIS” wants to be perpetually informed of when conglomerates abuse their corporate power. Yoo Bang buys everything, hook, line, and sinker.
While studying for the entrance exam, Yoo Bang reminisces back to his father’s death, when he had received the news that his father died from an accident at work. His mother tearfully hands him a gift from his father never gave to him. It’s a pair of nice dress shoes. His father had hoped to present it to him when he was admitted into college, but that day never came. Along with the pair of shoes, his father wrote him a congratulatory letter.
“This is your college admittance present. On the day of your graduation, I’ll buy you a suit. You buy the necktie with your own money, you brat. Bang, I could only give you a life of hardship. Don’t you dare live as unfortunately as your father. Get into Korea’s biggest company, wear an expensive suit, and be successful. Ok?
Aww, there, there. Bang continues to wail his father’s name, apologizing for his failures. The present-day Yoo Bang vows to not lose this opportune moment, and to successfully gain admission into Chun Ha to repay his parents.
Yeo Chi is happily at the airport, ready to flee from the country when she spies a few of Chun Ha’s bodyguards at the airport. She attempts to dodge them to get to her boarding gate, where she finds Beon Kwae (Yoon Yong Hyun) waiting for her. He’s there to tell her that all of her credit cards have been suspended, and on top of that, she’s been declared bankrupt with bad credit. If she wants to depart to the States with absolutely no money in her pocket, she’s free to do so because they aren’t going to stop her.
I love how she resorts to petty threats to get her way, like saying that she might get shot at Harlem selling gum, or be deported off to Mexico. Pfft. You gotta hand it to her for having a great imagination. An indifferent Beon Kwae only encourages her to get on her flight, or else she’ll be late. LOL. Yeo Chi can do nothing but follow and swear at him.
Chairman Jin and his executive staff at Chun Ha meet to discuss about Hang Woo. Jang Ryang leads the presentation, gathering that there are no records of Hang Woo until he was twelve years old, when he was adopted into an American family. Then he graduated from Stanford and worked as a fund manager at another top company, before landing the job as Jang Cho Group’s head director.
The chairman finds it highly suspicious that Hang Woo was able to discover their top-secret drug project without some help from the inside. Jang Ryang agrees, concluding that there must be a spy hidden among their midst; the only ones who had access to all the information regarding the “Eternal Youth” project are sitting in that very room. For a fleeting moment, the camera focuses on Hang Ryang, who looks a bit uncomfortable at hearing this. Chairman Jin orders that the traitor be found.
Huh. I’m guessing that Hang Ryang and Hang Woo were separated when they were young, adopted into two different families, then later reunited. It would explain why their relationship remains an obscurity, but that’s just a speculative theory on my part.
The meeting is halted when Yeo Chi barges into the room. With her best pout and wiggle, she kneels in front of her grandfather and asks that they eat together. Lesson #1 from Yeo Chi: If threats don’t work, practice your pout and wiggle! They work on oppas AND grandfathers!
Yeo Chi promises to study abroad for two years as long as her grandfather releases the hold on her credit cards. But Chairman Jin has something else in store for her — he wants her to take the upcoming Chun Ha entrance exam. No work, no pay. She won’t be given anything else other than her salary. Yeo Chi can hardly believe it, never having to limit or care about her spendings in her entire life. Her grandfather also tells her that from that moment on, she won’t be allowed to come into his office or dine with him. He tells her to do as she wishes, and leaves.
Later that night at the office, Hang Ryang secretly enters Yoo Bang’s name into the list of applicants from the company’s computer. The real battle has begun!
Yoo Bang is the first to finish his entrance exam, bubbling in his answers at lightning speed. (Oooh, I hear Leeteuk and Key singing in the background!) Also present is Yeo Chi, who’s taking a nap. Hey, don’t judge! Beauty sleep for divas is of utmost importance, y’know.
Next up, interviewing time! It can’t be more than obvious to the executive panel that Yeo Chi is indifferent to this whole examination, with her languid body language and flippant replies. For example, when she’s asked about her skills and talents, she lists off helping the needy (her idol ex-boyfriends), drinking alcohol, and swearing as a few. What’s even more amusing is that she starts directing questions to Beom Jeong, as if she’s the interviewer! Hahaha.
In contrast, Yoo Bang takes his interview very seriously. He’s recognized instantly as the trial subject from the video Hang Woo presented a while ago. Those on the panel also pass down the message via the telephone game that Bang was the top scorer in their written portion of their entrance test.
With Hang Woo supplying his answers to each interview question — though Bang doesn’t know that it’s Hang Woo that’s the voice speaking to him — Bang’s interview is off to a smooth start. The interview takes an interesting turn when one of the execs challenge him with a question in English. When he’s able to supply an answer in completely fluent, (but badly accented) English, thanks to the guidance he receives through his hidden earpiece, he amazes them all. Then he’s given questions in Chinese and Japanese, continuing to blow away the panel with his pitch-perfect replies. Hang Woo speaks my mother language? Swoooooooooon.
Even Hang Woo is impressed by Bang and says, “Well, not too shabby at all for such a shabby-looking guy.” WHOOPS. Bang accidentally repeats Hang Woo’s side comment out loud. An awkward, silent beat passes when Bang realizes his mistake. Make that two.
“That’s what you’re all thinking right now, isn’t it? Come on, I see it written on all your faces!” Whew, but he manages to save himself in time with that clever comeback, inciting laughter from all the execs in the interviewing room.
Bang stops by his mother’s house and tells her the news that he’s been offered a job at Chun Ha Group. It’s really a dream come true for the both of them. And what a lovely, touching moment it is to see mother and son so joyous as they embrace.
Bang is assigned to the strategy division, where he’s a part of the special affairs team. The strategy division is only one level lower than the executive offices, too. The special affairs team encompasses individuals with unique talents and exceptional skills. He’s told to apply and stick with the special affairs team after his probation period is over.
Led to his desk by Beon Kwae, Bang isn’t exactly welcomed with open arms by his superior. Beon suspects that he got in through connections, for he doubts that someone who participated in their trial could get in with a such a top score. He adds that the previous owner of the desk scored the second highest, but was fired due to his poor academic credentials. He bets that with Beon’s poor university background, he’ll never survive in the corporation.
A fellow co-worker tries to explain to Yeo Chi that she must go through training as a new employee. During the probation period, new employees must build character through background knowledge on the company, business etiquette, and even a section on physical training! Yeo Chi’s interest piques when she hears that there’s a physical training room, smiling slyly as she demands to be taken there at once.
Next thing we know, she has all the male members on her team dressed in martial art uniforms. She makes them do physical exercises until they’re weary, making sure that they understand she’s the one in charge here, not the other way around. She heads outside after the torture session, wondering to herself why she’s even there.
Beon Kwae and Yoo Bang come to check on the guys, only to find Yeo Chi missing. She’s outside talking on the phone when Bang spies a piece of cloth caught dangling from the doorway and goes over there to wipe his new shoes with it. Only problem is, it’s not a random piece of cloth but Yeo Chi’s skirt, caught in between the door. When Yeo Chi starts to move away from the door, she takes Bang right with her, shredding the bottom half of her outfit in two. LOL!
Both recognize each other, with Yeo Chi thinking what in the world she’s done in her past life to have him embarrass her for a second time.
As payback, she pits Yoo Bang and Beon Kwae against each other, ordering the latter to break Bang’s bones. However reluctant he is to hurt a newbie, his job is on the line and Beon Kwae asks Bang whether he prefers judo or taekwondo. Bang tells him that he doesn’t specialize in any particular martial art, but in practical fighting. Has the man ever fought against seventeen people? “If each person hits you three times, how many times do you get hit?”
Heh. The result? Kicking his superior where it really hurts, when his attention is momentarily diverted. Bwahahaha.
Bang turns to Yeo Chi, telling her that this is what “practical skills” really are. She’s impressed, and he tells her he’d be happy to teach her more of his moves. She doesn’t know much about taking on seventeen people at once, but she can take on three.
Yeo Chi: “If three people hit you six times, how many times would you be hit in total?
Bang: “Come on! Three times six is –“
With a swift kick, Yeo Chi does likewise damage to Bang, who goes down. As fast learner, she is. He and Beon Kwae writhe in pain as Yeo Chi does a little congratulatory dance.
Hang Woo gets a call from his hyung, who warns him to be careful. Chun Ha is cracking down on security based on suspicions that there’s a spy within the company. Investigators are called to inspect everyone involved with the “Eternal Youth” project, as well as those on the senior staff. Hang Woo tells Han Shin to have Bang report to them everything he sees and hears at Chun Ha.
All this pent-up stress from work must be getting to Hang Woo, or the drama gods needed an excuse to show off Jung Kyeo Woon’s hot body. Regardless of the reason, we’re given a random Muy Thai boxing workout, followed by a gratuitous angsty shower scene! Heh. My prayers were answered, yay!
We finally get a look at Hang Woo’s past and his reasons to ruin Chun Ha. It’s a personal grudge — his father had committed suicide while serving under Chairman Jin and ever since then, Hang Woo has vowed revenge against the man who caused his father’s death. (His mother must’ve also died sometime after that, too.) Hang Woo promises his father that Chairman Jin will have a downfall ten times worse than his.
Back at the experiment facility, an unknown intruder goes into the inner storage room of the anti-aging drugs. He (or she) manages to enter the passcode correctly, successfully stealing a sample of the drug.
In a bar, Bang and Beon Kwae are monitoring Woo Hee, making sure that there’s no suspicious activity going on. Beon Kwae leaves early, though he instructs Bang to stay until she leaves. Bang notifies Han Shin that all is clear, and is ordered to come out so that Hang Woo can go in without being noticed.
Hang Woo sits down and introduces himself as participant number twenty-two in the clinical trial. Totally wasted, Woo Hee mistakens him as her unfaithful ex-boyfriend. She promises to find a much better man in the future, ’cause after all, she’s got a great body and academic credentials. Hang Woo only laughs, which Woo Hee finds insulting. Does he think she’s ugly? She shoots him such a long, pitiful look that he relents, calling her beautiful. Whoa, was that a small flicker of attraction right there? Or was it the oppa-pout-wiggle at work again?
Ironically, Woo Hee sobs instead of being pacified. Hang Woo then drops a sleeping pill into her drink and has her gulp it down. On his count, she falls asleep in three seconds. All is according to plan for Hang Woo’s next Big Scheme.
Yoo Bang is worried over Woo Hee’s safety, so he heads back to the bar, against orders from Han Shin. He stops when he passes by Hang Woo, recognizing him as his bunkmate from the clinical experiment. Hang Woo lies and claims to be Woo Hee’s boyfriend, but Bang doesn’t believe him one bit, knowing that the trial was only weeks ago.
Resigned, Hang Woo drops Woo Hee off on a nearby bench, ready to set things straight. Hang Woo asks Bang whether he knows how many bones there are in the human body. Omg is this another tactic to “practical fighting?” Bang smiles, countering with his seventeen people multiplication problem. Who’ll make the first move and win?
Dun dun dun…
First things first — I totally forgot to mention an important reference in my last recap. But hopefully most, if not all, of you know that all the characters in HOTS take after the story of the Chu-Han contention in ancient Chinese history. I really enjoy seeing each character take after their historical namesake, particularly between the two chairmen, as well as Hang Woo and Bang. I absolutely love the rivalry going on with the two older men, who revert back to little boys fighting over a piece of candy whenever they’re in each other’s presence.
Now that we know Hang Woo’s backstory, and the reason why he wants to see Chairman Jin’s downfall so badly, it all makes sense. It’s ironic that Bang’s motivation stems from the same source, and that they both have Daddy Issues. Though they have similarities, the two are striving towards different goals, which is in line with the historical figures they take after. While one wants revenge on Chun Ha, the other wants to succeed in the company. It’s too bad that Bang has no idea he’s being used as a pawn, nor does he know he’s doing all the dirty work for Hang Woo. It doesn’t bode well for him, especially if we remember the opening sequence in episode one.
I’m hoping that it won’t take ten episodes for Bang to realize that something’s amiss. After all, Bang may be clueless and dim-witted at times, but he’s not entirely without his wits. More than anything, he’s got a stubborn personality, and is also unafraid to question others when he wants his curiosity satiated. Perhaps he’ll put two and two together, but it might be take a few more episodes in before we get there. I certainly wouldn’t complain if this drama threw an early curveball at us, even though it’s already keeping me on my toes!
Yeo Chi’s such a shrew, but a hilarious one at that. She almost has no sense of shame. IIt’s hard to hate her when you know she’ll be tamed eventually. This episode was as much about her as it was about Yoo Bang and Hang Woo. Now that she’s entered the ranks of the salarymen, it’ll be interesting to watch her mature. At least I hope she’ll mature. I also can’t wait for the moment when realization sinks in that her grandfather won’t relent and let her get away with everything.
I can’t wait to see what’s next, and I’m dying to know who the other spy is. I’m positive it’s the same person who affixed the wad of gum to the toilet, so they must be hired by Ho Hae. But who could it be? Hmm…..
Until next time! For now, I’m going to enjoy my screenshots of yummy Jung Kyeo Woon. Yowza, his hairstyle is killing it in the sexy department!
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