My Beautiful Bride 아름다운 나의 신부 ~ Ep 2
Detective Cha Yoon Mi conducts the difficult task of interviewing Do Hyung about Joo Young’s disappearance. His answers appear as flashbacks from 2012.
On a rainy afternoon, Do Hyung stands outside his office. A woman takes cover from the downpour. She is drenched. He offers her his umbrella. “I like the rain,” he says, and holds his briefcase over his head as he walks away. She follows him and asks why he lent her his umbrella. “Do you know me?” she asks. “No,” he replies, and they end up having drinks at a cafe. It is a romantic meeting on a stormy day. Time has passed: Do Hyung gazes through the same cafe window as if he is looking for her.
“And then she disappeared.” Yoon Mi asks what he means by that, didn’t they exchange phone numbers? So, then how did they meet up again? Do Hyung asks if she has to record this interview. She guarantees confidentiality and continues to record their conversation.
On that same day one year later, she appeared in front of his office with his umbrella, he tells Yoon Mi. They started seeing each other. He gave Joo Young a ride home from work on his bike every day. It wasn’t long before he bought a very nice apartment near her office. It was for both of them – he wanted to be with her. They’ve lived together ever since.
Yoon Mi fires a battery of questions: Has Joo Young ever gone missing before? How long have they been living together? When did he find out she was pregnant? Is that why they decided to get married after living together all this time?
The pregnancy issue is touchy. Do Hyung explains that Joo Young was going to tell him that very night, she asked him to pick up chicken and said there was something she wanted to tell him. Then she went missing. The questions continue: What about friends? Acquaintances? “I don’t know,” he answers. Finally, Yoon Mi asks what he did for three days before he reported her missing at the police station. “I did everything I could. Please help me.”
None of the signs point to kidnapping, yet if Joo Young left on her own, she would have likely taken her clothes and personal items. The engagement ring on the counter and the food left mid-preparation indicate she left in a rush, perhaps involuntarily.
The detectives stop by the chicken place to question the owner. He recognizes the picture and definitely remembers the gloomy guy on the bike who picked up chicken last night. He even asked him if he graduated from Young Jae High School, thinking he was a classmate, but the guy said no, he didn’t. Is Do Hyung lying and if so, why?
Flashback: Do Hyung and Joo Young meet at the apartment parking lot. He hands her keys to a car. She protests – it’s too expensive – but he tells her it’s okay, he wants her to have it. Before meeting her there was no meaning to his life, and he is grateful. She hugs and thanks him.
Do Hyung sadly drives the car he gave her, lost for what to do next. He opens the compartment, her phone and slip of paper with a phone number fall out. He calls the number, and who should answer but loan shark Park (although Do Hyung doesn’t know who it is).
The detective team views Do Hyung carrying in the baby crib on the CCTV. The recorded date is the fourth day after she went missing, the day he stopped by the police station. They wonder about the timing of it all, and Detective Kim, who has been suspicious of Do Hyung from the start, paints a speculative picture that the baby’s father might not be him. Whoops, Do Hyung has come to the station and overhears the conversation. Yoon Mi follows him out to the hall and tells him it is common practice to review the people close to the missing person – they are possible suspects – and to not be upset. By the way, she asks, where did Joo Young work prior to her telemarketing job of two years? He says she lived abroad, and returned three years ago.
Cha Yoon Mi knows otherwise. She wonders if Joo Young lied and how well Do Hyung knows her, after all. Joo Young has covered up her past. Yoon Mi meets up with her former police partner, Park Hyeong Sik, who is working undercover these days. She asks about jail-bird Song Hak Soo. When he asks why she’s bringing him up she tells him there is an informant from back then who is missing.
Flashback: Yoon Mi meets with Joo Young, who hands her a drive with a list of numbers from Song Hak Soo’s phone. Yoon Mi asks why she suddenly decided to cooperate as an informant. Joo Young tells her that she’s met someone (else). Apparently, she is ready to lose her sleazy, underworld lifestyle with Shadow Boss, Song Hak Soo, and break free from whatever ties she has with him for whatever reasons.
It was informant Joo Young, Yoon Mi tells Hyeong Sik, that gave them the tip that day when they arrested Song Hak Soo. She promised her anonymity. Now, three years later, she’s gone missing. Hyeong Sik is worried that Yoon Mi is too close to the case, and tells her to hand it over to her juniors. Yoon Mi goes over the details of the story that Do Hyung told her and talks it through with Hyeong Sik. There is more speculation. Is Do Hyung her first love, the one she mentioned back then? Yoon Mi admits that she gets a bad vibe from Kim Do Hyung. (That makes me nervous to hear her say that.)
Do Hyung meets up with Manager Han Joo Shin (talk about not liking someone) at a bar. Manager Shin is perplexed and rather impressed that Do Hyung hasn’t been in the office for several days. It is unprecedented. After a few shots, Do Hyung hands him the piece of paper with the number from Joo Young’s phone and asks him to track down the account, name and address.
Back at the bank, General Manager couldn’t be happier with Do Hyung’s numbers and job performance. They will be having dinner with a big client after work, he informs him. Manager Shin has found information on Do Hyung’s request. He will be meeting that person for lunch.
Very bad news #1. Yoon Mi finds out Song Hak Soo got sprung from the slammer a week ago on parole after three years. She’s on it stat and makes a call to find out his whereabouts since the day he got out.
Very bad news #2: President Kang, the factory client with whom Do Hyung met a few weeks earlier, causes a scene in the bank lobby and has to be restrained. He shouts that Kim Do Hyung and the bank are leeches for taking everything he dedicated his whole life to – his factory, his house, and now his daughter, Ha Eun, is missing. Do Hyung fires back that a bank is not a charity; they stand by their promises, and expect clients to do the same. They break it up and go separate ways. In addition to his own woes, President Kang’s story is taking a toll on Do Hyung, too. Manager Shin has found out the name and address on that account: Moon Duk Goo. Do Hyung follows the lead to a shabby apartment. Just as he is about to knock on the door, it opens. Do Hyung jumps out of the way and hides. He follows that person – a hit man we’ve seen before with loan shark Park. It is dicey as Do Hyung tails him to a warehouse where, sure enough, loan shark Park is doing his usual dirty business. He overhears President Kang – whose loans have come due and whose factory has failed – threaten loan shark Park over his daughter’s disappearance. Park doesn’t even give him the time of day, but ushers him out the door laughing, and tells him to work hard so he can pay him back. President Kang is a broken man.
Something clicks. Do Hyung realizes that the loan shark is Park Soo Beom – the guy he gave the cake to – from Seryo Construction. He recognizes his slangy speech habit of using the word like. It was him on the other end when he made the phone call from Joo Young’s phone.
There’s more – stay with me – Do Hyung follows loan shark Park to the Cupid Room at a restaurant. As he is about to barge in and take him down, Manager Shin opens the door. The bank dinner party is in full blast with General Manager, party girls, and Seryo Construction client loan shark Park. Do Hyung composes himself, makes business talk, and doesn’t let on about anything. After everyone else staggers home, Do Hyung confronts loan shark Park and asks if he knows Yoon Joo Young. Just then, the goons show up. “Get him,” Park orders.
They didn’t count on Do Hyung being a UDT branch of the Korean Marines* – those who can fight 17 to 1 and win. Yes! With fallen bodies cluttering the lot, Do Hyung asks Park again, “Why did Joo Young have your phone number?” Park jumps in his car and takes off with Do Hyung on his trail. It’s a speed chase, complete with the kdrama u-turn across six lanes. Yoon Mi has set up a police blockade, Park is stopped, but the police are in hot pursuit of Do Hyung.
He makes a call to Yoon Mi to get him out of this jam as he is pulled over by the cops. When she shows up, she flashes her badge and says she’ll take it from here. The police want to check the trunk. She vouches for him. Looks like she may have spoken too soon – there’s a dead body in his trunk. It’s none other than Song Hak Soo.
- *Korean Marines UDT – Underwater Demolition Team, something akin to the Navy Seals. Nice.
- I have to say, there is no lost love on Song Hak Soo’s body being the one in the trunk.
- This story is complicated, but in a good way. Having said that, it does make it difficult to recap clearly.
- I really feel sorry for President Kang, who is the scapegoat example in this story. The money is so tangled: legal in one hand, illegal in the other. He can’t win for losing; business is bad and he can’t pay the bank loans. He digs his grave even deeper with the loan sharks. Although the methods vary, President Kang despairs equally over owing the bank and the loan sharks. In his mind, both have caused him grief beyond imagination, and his missing daughter Na Eun is the last straw.
- Do Hyung is hard to read, but in a good way. I like how the layers of his personality and background are peeled back slowly, and just at the right moments.
- Cha Yoon Mi is the master puzzler. She has the ability to put together pieces of the past and present. I am not really crazy about her, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt to make good of her promise to protect Joo Young.
- Second episode in, and I am feeling this is a pretty solid story.
- Wait a minute, what is Kim Do Hyung hiding that he keeps lying?