My Thoughts — Strongest Deliveryman— Episode 2
Choi Kang Soo (Go Kyung Pyo) returns to his room above the eatery expecting to sleep well instead of the eatery chairs the previous night. He’s stunned to see his room clutter with clothes, handbags, cosmetics and a smiling runaway rich girl Lee Ji Yoon (Go Won Hee). She’s giddy that she has a job and will only need to stay for 1 month. Kang Soo tries to kick her out but her pitful tears break his resolve. Fellow deliverywoman Lee Dan Ah (Chae Soo Bin) finds all the women’s items in Kang Soo’s room and wrongly assumes that he’s hiding cross dressing. She blackmails Kang Soo for 100M a month which is the exact amount her landlord jacked up the rent. Unable to admit he has a woman living in his room, Kang Soo can’t deny Dan Ah’s incorrect assumption.
Lee Ji Yoon (Go Won Hee) begins her first part-time job at the local coffee shop. Her boss admonishes her NOT to anger customers and be polite. But things don’t go as planned when spoiled rich Oh Jin Gyu (Kim Sun Ho) orders a coffee and recognizes Ji Yoon as the woman in the cross walk the previous day that literally run over his car followed by a gaggle of men chasing her. Jin Gyu demands that she admit she’s the crosswalk girl. Ji Yoon hold steadfast to the lie that she doesn’t know him. At an impasse, Jin Gyu drinks his coffee and fumes. When he finds Ji Yoon’s earring at the bottom of his cup he freaks out. He calls to his table and rips into her. Knowing this could get her fired, Ji Yoon deliberately agrees with everything Jin Gyu accusations while cowering and in tears. Her boss sees Ji Yoon cowering and apologizes while Jin Gyu yells that she’s faking it. The boss and the coffee shop patrons are behind Ji Yoon and kick Jin Gyu out.
Meanwhile Ji Yoon’s rich controlling mother, Jung Hye Ran (Kim Hye Ri), decides she must marry her daughter to a man of her choosing. She invites Jin Gyu’s mother, Jung Sook, who is even richer, to lunch. She proposes their son and daughter marry. To her credit, Jin Gyu’s mother declares her son looks better on paper than he really is. Ji Yoon’s mother is unfazed and declares she’ll make a business man out of slacker Jin Gyu in no time. His mother doesn’t believe it can be done but agrees to consider the match.
To get leverage on Jin Gyu, Hye Ran orders her henchman take video footage of his illegal night racing on the outskirt streets of Seoul. Jin Gyu races and wins. He is unaware the video footage of his illegal activities has been taken. When Hye Ran sends the video to Jin Gyu’s father, he realizes the bad publicity could lower his company’s reputation. Enraged that his slacker son’s action could affect his business, he beats Jin Gyu and cruelly tells Jin Gyu to kill himself.
Meanwhile Kang Soo chides his friend to see his mother knowing that having a caring mother is better than having a mother that left her family behind. But his friend gets hit by a car and is badly injured. Things get worse when the road to the hospital is blocked Jin Gyu’s illegal street race, delaying life saving medical care. Kang Soo rushes to his friend’s side hoping he’ll get there in time.
Dan Ah has her own cross to bear when her mother and brother beg her for money to restart his college career. But Dan Ah refuses to dip into her savings. She tells her brother his bad behavior lost his scholarship and if she helps him financially they’ll both fall into the quicksand of debt. We learn that Dan Ah is also working as a janitor for free tuition at an English College pursuing her dream to leave the restrictive Korean social economic tiers that limit success for those of her status. We also learn that her father’s large debt has been assumed by Dan Ah. This was the catalyst why she moved out and eschews her family.
The episode ends with Jin Gyu trying to ignore his need for self-preservation as he perches on a bridge poised to fall to his death. But Dan Ah sees him and pulls him back. Unfortunately Jin Gyu loses his footing and they both go stumbling into the river.
Terrific second episode. Writer Lee Jung Woo gave more depth to each of the primary characters. This isn’t going to be a light and fluffy show. I’m loving that fact. The epilogues are not throw away moments, they enrich understanding about a core character. The first episode centered on Kang Soo’s despair at the desertion of his mother and death of his father. This episode focused on Dan Ah’s despair in assuming the family’s debt and her resulting estrangement from them. The fact both Dan Ah (fleeing her family) and Kang Soo (fleeing his former home town) were on the same bus to Seoul was perfection. Writer Lee mixes a humor and drama with a deft hand. This was a strong two episode opener for this series.
Choi Kang Soo (Go Kyung Pyo) had to remain silent about his secret roommate. Kang Soo tried to kick Ji Yoon out but her tears undid him and he relented allowing her to stay. That meant more chores for him courtesy of Dan Ah and a monthly $100M due bill. Kang Soo correctly reminded his friend that having a nagging mother was better than not having a mother. The tie-in that his friend’s grandmother owns a neighborhood eatery that rich developer Hye Ran wants to gobble up was excellent. I’ve got a suspicion who Kang Soo’s mother might be. Do you?
Lee Dan Ah (Chae Soo Bin) has a big debt to repay which drives her focus to earn money and her disdain for her family. Yes, debt is a kdrama cliche. But Writer Lee used this debt to shape Dan Ah into who she’s evolved to be and what the basis is of her desire to leave Korea. I loved her blackmail of Kang Soo. Her willingness to pull Jin Gyu from the brink of suicide was admirable. The flashback that she too had stood on that bridge ready to jump, explained her fierce refusal to let Jin Gyu jump. Considering she’s a core character, I’m betting she and Jin Gyu will survive their plunge into the river.
Lee Ji Yoon (Go Won Hee) isn’t the vapid rich girl. She’s clever using tears, pleading, to get what she needs. This may sound weird but I applaud her ability to lie and stick to it when Jin Gyu pressured her to cave. I love the idea of Ji Yoon realizing that part-time work won’t cover the bills. She’s not a horrible rich girl that needs a wake up call, she’s a nice rich girl that is pursuing a wake up call.
Oh Jin Gyu (Kim Sun Ho) may be a rich, spoiled second son but he has his burdens too. When his father got out the golf club and Jin Gyu realizes he was to be the golf ball, it was jarring. Jin Gyu’s temper comes directly from his father. Little does he know that his mother is considering arranging a marriage to the very girl that effectively lied to his face…twice. I wasn’t impressed with this character in the first episode. Now I see potential.
Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as terrific. My episode ranking chart is below.