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Coffee Prince: Second Cup
Jul 3rd, 2007 by javabeans from dramabeans

EPISODE SUMMARY

Han Gyul asks Eun Chan if she wants to work for him acting as his boyfriend. He can see Eun Chan needs money but doesn't trust her enough to just lend it to her, so he'd rather hire her.

All he wants her to do is show up at his matchmaking blind dates, and she figures it sounds easy, as long as she's getting paid. They argue over price, and Eun Chan has to settle for far, far less than she's hoping (about $100 each time), but says she'll charge him for all the extras — clothing, food, and each instance of physical touching on an “a la carte” basis (charging per each touch to the face, shoulder, waist, etc). Being in a money crunch, Eun Chan asks for advance payment, which he gives.

Despite Han Gyul's fussiness over his car, not allowing her to touch anything, Eun Chan raises the convertible top and enjoys the ride. Han Gyul, initially annoyed at her antics, smiles to see her having so much fun.

Eun Chan runs into Han Sung in their neighborhood, and let me take a slight detour to profess how much I'm digging Lee Sun Kyun.

For those of you who have yet to watch the show, and don't get what all this gushing is about his voice — it really is wonderfully deep, warm, and soothing. Here's a clip from Episode 1, when he first meets Eun Chan (she introduces herself as the delivery person, and they mostly talk about the dog, as Eun Chan learns it's a boy. Right before she's called away, she asks him, “What's more important to you, money or pride?”):

(The actor reminds me of a mix between Kim Dong Wan and Uhm Tae Woong. Sigh. I know I'm in trouble when I'm more a fan of the second male lead than the hero.)

 
Back to the episode. We learn she's 24; he's 31. He asks how her money-versus-pride issue turned out, and she says she keeps going back and forth, wondering if he's ever felt that way. He starts talking about his “friend,” but stops himself, causing her to ask him to finish what he was going to say.

Han Sung explains that his “friend” once loved a woman who left him two years ago, who's reappeared wanting to start over, and the “friend” is now in a dilemma over what to do. Eun Chan asks if the guy still loves the girl, and he answers that the friend doesn't know that yet.

 

When Han Sung arrives home, Yu Ju's waiting to tell him she broke up with some guy whom we can assume is the reason she left him. He answers tersely, “I know. You're famous, I read about it in the paper.” She wants to start over with him, but he gives her a cold stare and leaves her outside.

Han Sung walks inside his home, but pauses, thinking things over, then turns around and goes out again, where Yu Ju is waiting. He grabs her and leads her back inside, and they kiss. Sorry for the bad screencap — the lighting is horrible in this scene.

They spend the night together, and in the morning, Yu Ju finds Han Sung brooding in the backyard. She asks what he's thinking about, and he answers that she must find him really easy, jerking him back and forth — when she wants to end things, they do. When she wants to start again, they do. But he's changed since they were first together, and tells her, “Just go. Let's not see each other again either.”

I'm vastly relieved at this. I was disappointed when he took her back, figuring they'd be back on track immediately (like in My Girl and My Name Is Kim Samsoon) before running into the inevitable troubles later on. But here, Han Sung's kiss (and their night together) is treated like a lapse in judgment, a moment of weakness, and in the light of day he can still see things for what they are.

 

Han Gyul takes Eun Chan shopping for proper clothing, and we can see he's quite the narcissist — if he's going to be dating a man, he wants someone just like himself.

Anyway, midway through the date, they put the plan into action, pretending to kiss so they can be “accidentally” caught by the woman… which is a procedure they repeat date after date after date. Their victory handshakes evolve into more and more complicated gestures with each successful encounter.

On the last date, Han Gyul is so thrilled at chasing away the woman successfully that he plants a kiss on Eun Chan, causing her to react in mild distaste. She says it was her first kiss, and he says it was his first too — with a man.

They go out to lunch, where Eun Chan calculates how much he owes her. She mentions needing money for her house deposit as well as her sister's school fees, and he asks how much her deposit is. Eun Chan: “Why, will you give it to me if I tell you how much it is?” and answers that it's approx $5,000.

Han Gyul takes back the watch he'd bought for Eun Chan (she calls him cheap, since it's a fake anyway but he still won't let her keep it). We find out that Eun Chan has a keen nose, smelling coffee outside the restaurant, and she even tells him she could tell what he ate for breakfast when he kissed her. Ha. Still, we can see Han Gyul's already warming up to Eun Chan, smiling at her antics and bickering back and forth.

They get their cups mixed up (hers has liquor, his is water) and he (already established at having low tolerance) gets drunk.

He completely passes out, and Eun Chan drags him home, but can't figure out a way inside. Although she tries leaving him there, her conscience won't let her so she carries him piggyback all the way to her neighborhood, where she puts him at the Taekwondo studio overnight.

In the morning, Eun Chan goes to her sister's school to take care of a problem, as Eun Sae has been caught running a minor moneylending operation of her own. The teachers caught her accounting information in her notebooks, and Eun Chan scolds her sister, who insists she's going to keep doing it and earn enough money to start training as a pop singer.

When Eun Chan arrives back at the Taekwondo studio, she finds Han Gyul tied up with the kids' belts, completely at their mercy as their toy.

 

Eun Chan lets him borrow her father's shirt, and he takes a moment to look around her home. Seeing her chart of daily activities, crammed full hour by hour, he remarks that his grandmother was right in calling him lazy. He sees pictures of Eun Chan as a young kid (looking like a boy even then) and smiles.

He drops by to watch her teaching the kids, and leaves her a note on the door, along with the watch he'd taken back. The note says he's lending her the entire amount ($5,000) for her deposit fee. $1,500 is payment for her work, and the rest is a loan.

Loveholic's “화분” (flowerpot) plays in the next scene, while Han Sung despondently thinks back to happier times with Yu Ju. (As much as I love Loveholic, it doesn't really seem to mesh well with the tone of the series, at least in my opinion. But it's a nice song, so I can enjoy it for that.)

Han Sung arrives at Yu Ju's sprawling apartment (just how rich are all these people, anyway?) and flatly notes how she can continue doing her work, while he finds himself unable to get any done. He's a mess, but she's getting along just fine. He asks if she knows how much she hurt him, how much he struggled after being left behind.

He tells her no matter what, even if he tries to hurt her, she's unaffected — there's no use in him trying to play the game. As he turns to go, she grabs him from behind in a back-hug.

(They sure aren't wasting time burning through the list of well-worn kdrama conventions, are they? I wasn't expecting the back-hug for at least another five episodes or so.)

She tearfully tells him, “Thanks. I didn't think you'd come.” He tells her, “I want to hurt you.” And so do I. Not for any reason other than she's wounded the heart of Mr. Soulful Voice.

 
Eun Chan has a hard time working up the nerve to call Han Gyul to ask when he needs his money back. When she finally gets up the courage to call, she interrupts his dream:

Hahahahaha. At the last moment, his blushing (female) bride is replaced by the suit-wearing Eun Chan.

Han Gyul's grandmother forces him to come with her as she visits the Coffee Prince cafe, which she owns. The manager she put in charge (also the friendly ajusshi with whom Eun Chan is close) isn't that worried about making money, and thus the place is in horrible shape. No customers and awful conditions.

Han Gyul asks what they're doing there, and his grandmother introduces him to the manager, telling Han Gyul he'll be working there from now on: “Say hello to your new instructor.”

 
At the same time, Eun Chan finds out that the owner of the Taekwondo school has fled without paying her, and cleared out his studio…

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