As mentioned in Part 1, Do Joon Young and Ji An spend a lot of time together. For someone who says, “What man would eat and drink with a woman he doesn’t like?” he meets up with her quite often. He even has her over to his house a couple of times. If only the Managing Directors knew about that!
Tracing the progression of Do Joon Young’s relationship with Ji An, we see how and when things start to turn against him. At first he believes (understandably) that Ji An is working with him to fire Park Dong Hoon. Then as he attempts to use her to trap Dong Hoon further, he starts observing troubling things about her — she seems to have feelings for the loser engineer! Suspicion turns to confirmation, confirmation turns to fear as Ji An starts working against him, and finally what he thought was a win-win situation crumbles.
By the end, Do Joon Young is our disgusted shipper in the show, the one that drives Ji An more into Dong Hoon’s orbit and then names the love between them. He had tried to pair them off to create a scandal….but his plan comes back to bite him.
Let’s take a look:
In Episode 2, Ji An comes up with the plan to get both Park Dong Un and Park Dong Hoon fired. At this point Do Joon Young can trust her because she’ll do anything for money.
Director Park Dong Un is disgraced and demoted by Episode 4 and Ji An takes her first 10 million won payment. Do Joon Young seems alarmed at how quickly and brutally she can do the job. He intructs her, “Discuss it with me before you do anything, and only move after I give my permission.” He feels he can still control this; he can still control her.
In Episode 5, Ji An experiences Dong Hoon’s kindness to halmeoni and later watches Dong Hoon get humiliated at the company dinner. After the dinner, she asks Do Joon Young why he’s having an affair and records his answer. She is still on his “side” — she did tip him off about the phone records earlier in this episode — but we can see she’s growing attached to Dong Hoon.
Do Joon Young talks to Yoon Hee In Episode 6 and we see how callously he’s using Ji An:
When Yoon Hee is worried that Do Joon Young hired someone so dangerous to do the job, he replies:
SCHEMES AND SUSPICION
In Episode 7, Ji An meets Do Joon Young in his car and plays a recording of Dong Hoon asking the phone company to remove the phone booth. She says Do Joon Young missed his chance to fire Dong Hoon and asks, “So is the scam over now?”
He tells her to keep listening:
She balks at this. “Must I sit around listening to this ahjussi’s daily life all day long?” It seems Ji An is ready to stop plotting against Dong Hoon, but Do Joon Young gives her an envelope of money and promises to keep giving her one million won a week to keep up the wiretapping. He knows she needs the money.
Then suspicion enters his mind for seemingly the first time. He questions why she hasn’t mentioned overhearing the fight at the campsite. She responds she didn’t want to embarrass him. He also questions why Ji An didn’t tell him Dong Hoon was researching payphones. When she says she didn’t know Dong Hoon would be waiting in front of Yoon Hee’s office all day, Do Joon Young gives her a look and says: “You’d better be more careful.”
He’s not too suspicious to stop using her, though. Episode 8 is key as Do Joon Young has the brilliant idea to pay Ji An to date Dong Hoon. “Keep wiretapping him. Monitor who he meets, who he speaks to, what he speaks about. And you date him, too.” He’s doggedly determined to keep Ji An in Dong Hoon’s orbit, which, looking back, is ironic and very funny.
Ji An is disbelieving at first: “What man would be crazy enough to like someone like me?”
“Just eat and drink with him.”
“Eat and drink. Does that mean he likes me?”
“Yes. It means he does. What man would eat and drink with a woman he doesn’t like?”**
Ji An isn’t convinced:
Earlier we established that Do Joon Young and Dong Hoon have a history of over 20 years. Because Do Joon Young knows Dong Hoon so well, Ji An takes his next words seriously:
“Not Park Dong Hoon. If he eats and drinks with you, he likes you.”
He finishes with, “And he also can’t deny it, either.” Do Joon Young is that certain about what he’s saying.
A new idea is introduced in this episode. Do Joon Young is consistently baffled that women like Dong Hoon. It seems Dong Hoon is an affront to his own standard of masculinity and ambition.
Dig at Dong Hoon #1: “A lot of girls used to like him. It was so weird. I didn’t know what they saw in a guy like him.”
Ji An leaves the bar in a daze, shocked that her feelings for Dong Hoon could be reciprocated since they’ve already eaten together a few times.
She subsequently misses her metro stop in Episode 9. Dong Hoon waits for her. As they walk toward Jung Hee’s bar, Ji An is adamant that Dong Hoon get promoted as she wants to see Do Joon Young collapse in misery. As she says this the 10 million won Do Joon Young just gave her is in her very pocket! But her loyalty seems to have entirely shifted after getting to know both men better, and because ahjussi hates Do Joon Young she hates him, too.
Meanwhile, our CEO has a lot of faith in his plan to have Ji An date Dong Hoon. He tells Director Yoon, “I think if we just let those two be, something will come out of it.”
However, suspicion fully blooms in Episode 10 as Do Joon Young learns just how close Ji An and Dong Hoon have become.
First, he’s surprised Ji An doesn’t know how many times she has met with Dong Hoon.
He pressures her to have some results in two days.
This leads Ji An to confess her feelings for the first time to Dong Hoon.
Second, the photos from the private detective show Dong Hoon fought Kwang Il and offered to pay back Ji An’s debt. There’s also a photo of Dong Hoon carrying halmeoni down the stairs. The detective says their relationship is extraordinary.
Do Joon Young meets with Ji An later. “You already knew, right?” he asks her.
Ji An hid from Do Joon Young the extent of her friendship with Dong Hoon and he knows it.
Ji An tries to talk her way out of it, saying that because he and she lived in the same neighborhood, compassionate Dong Hoon took pity on her and halmeoni. She says, “He’s never called me before, and we’ve never texted each other. So what kind of relationship do we have? Did we hold hands? Did we hug each other? How are you going to twist this?”
This makes Do Joon Young even more skeptical. “Why are you talking so much today?”
“Did you develop an affection for him after wiretapping him every day?”
This is the first time he’s using a term like affection. We know she admitted to liking Dong Hoon back in Episode 8 because we heard her own words to Kwang Il, but Do Joon Young can tell just by observing her. Ji An tries to play off her answer, but Do Joon Young is too keen to buy it. He paid her to date Dong Hoon, but he sees the friendship they share and the sincere admiration she has for Dong Hoon.
In Episode 11, Do Joon Young summons Ji An to his house and forces her to share the wiretap of her confession to Dong Hoon at the train tracks.
He hears Dong Hoon hitting her, which I assume makes him suspect even further that Dong Hoon has feelings for her. And he realizes Ji An really does like Dong Hoon.
Dig at Dong Hoon #2 : “Why do women like Park Dong Hoon?”
Dig at Dong Hoon #3: Among men, he’s really nothing much.
Then he asks Ji An:
It’s the first time he’s asked it so clearly. Previously Ji An had played things off, but now she has to lie to him, saying she wants to ruin good people like Dong Hoon. Do Joon Young is the only one she lies to when asked about her feelings for Dong Hoon.
Yoon Hee confronts Do Joon Young on the rooftop in Episode 12 and tells him to stop scheming against Dong Hoon. She brings out Ji An and instructs her to stay away from Dong Hoon and quit her job. Ji An refuses, saying it would put Dong Hoon at a disadvantage.
Once Ji An leaves them, Do Joon Young plants a seed of truth in Yoon Hee’s mind:
He also throws in Dig at Dong Hoon #4: “Why are all the women around Park Dong Hoon all like this?”
(Does anyone else think the petty way he insults Dong Hoon is obnoxious but so hilarious?!)
After this conversation Yoon Hee calls Ji An and hears for herself that Ji An likes Dong Hoon.
So far, then, Do Joon Young has:
- Paid Ji An to keep listening to Dong Hoon, monitor him, and date him.
- Told Ji An that if Dong Hoon eats and drinks with her it means he likes her.
- Heard the extent of Dong Hoon’s actions and suspects he might have feelings for Ji An.
- Pressured Ji An to make something happen with Dong Hoon within the following two days, leading to her first confession.
- Implied to Yoon Hee that Ji An likes Dong Hoon.
A short time later, Ji An is interviewed for Dong Hoon’s promotion and our CEO knows definitively he’s been screwed over by the love this girl has for Dong Hoon (feelings Ji An admits herself during the interview).
In Episode 13 Ji An and Do Joon Young openly fight for the first time. He sees Dong Hoon walking Ji An home and he asks her:
“So he even takes you home? That’s the kind of relationship you two have?”
Then he hits her*** and uses the phrase love games.
He says he’s a victim.
Ji An challenges him by playing a recording of his plotting back to him. Then she says:
Her true colors are out. She wants Dong Hoon promoted and Do Joon Young fired.
His true colors come out, too. He threatens her.
Then we see two showdowns in Episode 14, one with Ji An and one with Dong Hoon.
Ji An runs away but visits Do Joon Young’s house, saying she’ll keep running until he’s safely fired. However, if she happens to get caught she won’t tell the cops about the affair.
Do Joon Young is struck by this.
Exposing the affair is better for him after all, because:
(Did we mention that Do Joon Young really hates Dong Hoon?)
At this point Ji An starts looking around the house, focusing on the knives in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Dong Hoon has been searching for Ji An, saying goodbye during their phone call, and downright missing her. When he learns of the wiretapping, one of the first things he does is confront our CEO in the parking garage.
Interestingly, at this point Do Joon Young knows more about Ji An and her whereabouts than Dong Hoon does, and he is a key player in helping Dong Hoon make sense of what’s happening: “She’s going to run like crazy. Because if she gets caught, she will have to explain what started it all, and you will be humiliated like a dog. And she knows that is what you fear most, so do you think she will tell?”
Once again Do Joon Young nails it. That’s exactly what’s happening with Ji An, and Dong Hoon realizes the depth of Ji An’s love for him.
Do Joon Young continues:
An emotional Dong Hoon hits Do Joon Young multiple times in the garage over Ji An. (He only hit him once over Yoon Hee.)
Hearing Do Joon Young explain the truth – that Ji An started out against him but ended up for him – plays directly into Dong Hoon’s own confession in the shack: “Thank you….you listened to my miserable life and still ended up on my side.” Things were more insidious than Dong Hoon could have ever imagined, yet Ji An loved him so deeply she was willing to give up her livelihood and go into hiding to protect his promotion and his reputation.
By Episode 16, Ji An has re-appeared and is under the cover of Yoon Hee’s legal help. During police questioning, Do Joon Young ridicules Ji An:
As always Ji An is the master at challenging him:
The Netflix subtitles say, “I guess you act really cheap when you like someone. Do you even know how it feels to like someone?”
We’ve come to the end of their interactions together, but I think this whole exchange with Ji An in the police station is crucial to understanding Do Joon Young: he thinks of love as a weakness. As Yoon Hee asked him in Episode 8, “What have you risked? What dangers have you endured?” As we know, he didn’t endure any hardships in liking Yoon Hee nor did losing her affect him all that much.
Contrast this with Dong Hoon and Ji An, who act for the good of each other, readily sacrifice and fight for the other, and are in anguish when they lose each other. When Do Joon Young sees the pure love between them, he mocks it because that kind of thing is foreign to him.
Nevertheless, he recognizes and calls out what he sees even if it’s so different from himself; he names the love Dong Hoon and Ji An share. He’s not a happy shipper but he’s true to what he perceives. Without him, Ji An wouldn’t have known that eating and drinking together was significant, and Dong Hoon wouldn’t have known how far she was going to protect him from humiliation. Our CEO doesn’t realize his words actually confirm to Dong Hoon and Ji An that their love for each other is evident — and real.
Also, scheming with Do Joon Young proves to be deliverance for Ji An as she can finally pay off her debt.
To review, then, during our story Do Joon Young:
- Pays Ji An to keep listening to Dong Hoon, monitor him, and date him. This money fulfills her debt, freeing her to live a stable and comfortable life.
- Tells Ji An that if Dong Hoon eats and drinks with her it means he likes her.
- Hears the extent of Dong Hoon’s actions and suspects he has feelings for Ji An.
- Pressures Ji An to produce results soon, leading her to make her first confession to Dong Hoon.
- Implies to Yoon Hee that Ji An likes Dong Hoon.
- Tells Dong Hoon about the original plan to fire him, and about Ji An being on the run so Dong Hoon won’t be humiliated. This leads Dong Hoon to keep looking for Ji An and make his own confessions. He’s also willing to expose his deepest secret (his wife’s affair) to save Ji An from a lifetime of hiding.
Look at the active role Do Joon Young has taken in bringing Ji An and Dong Hoon together! If he were an actual matchmaker, he would be overjoyed and proud of himself.
@actionscript from Soompi writes, “It was his money that paid off all of Ji An’s debt. We shouldn’t really be hating him, no? Imagine if not for his 10M advance to Ji An to date Dong Hoon, Dong Hoon might have paid it on Ji An’s behalf… And should Dong Hoon pay a portion of it, the more he would feel it inappropriate to pursue a relationship with Ji An. Joon Young is in every sense indeed the ‘master of the ship!’ Now the more I look at it, he’s slowly turning into a hero in my eyes.”
Kudos to Kim Young Min, who does a fabulous job playing Do Joon Young. His subtle facial expressions make Do Joon Young’s smarm, anxiety, and pitifulness all come through. He plays the role to perfection.
* Thanks to Soompi My Mister veterans for coining the phrase “Captain of the Ship” to refer to Do Joon Young :).
**Note that almost every time Ji An and Do Joon Young meet up, whenever Ji An is eating, Do Joon Young is not. Whenever he’s drinking, she is not. In their final showdown at this house, neither is eating or drinking.
*** Kwang Il, Dong Hoon, and Do Joon Young all hit Ji An. It’s disturbing to think about.