Here we recap and discuss episode 3 of Fashion King. Caution, spoilers below. Do not read if you don’t want to know what happens.
Young Gul is, shall we say, less than pleased at Jae Hyuk’s dismissal of him and interrupts his meeting to grab him by the collar. Since he’s in front of clients, Jae Hyuk knows he can’t do anything crazy and tries to calm Young Gul down. Before Young Gul can do anything though, security quickly comes in and drags him away. All is not lost though for our trouble hero as during their little scuffle, Young Gul was able to pick Jae Hyuk’s pocket and steal his wallet, which is full of cash and a ticket to a fashion show. He’s laughing at a picture of Ana when all of a sudden, someone runs by and grabs the wallet from him. Young Gul gives chase, but to no avail.
It is only until later that night when he’s unwinding at home that Jae Hyuk realizes that his wallet is missing. He turns on the TV and of course there’s a news report about how Young Gul supposedly started the riot aboard the ship after his company went bankrupt so he could flee the country. Jae Hyuk then thinks back to how Young Gul mentioned a riot and how he sent one of his employees to this school, and suddenly Young Gul’s story doesn’t sound so far-fetched anymore.
Meanwhile, a starving and homeless Young Gul is wandering the streets. He sees someone leaving a half-eaten burger and quickly devours it before the owner throws him out. We then cut to Ga Young typing out an email to him, saying that she’s sorry for not checking in earlier and hopes his alleged business trip went well. Seems she passed her earlier interview and she says that she’s now attending classes and earning money on the side helping Bong Sook. She says it was the biggest blessing of her life to meet him and says she won’t be able to forget him or any of the ladies at the factory.
Speaking of Young Gul, we see him stealing from a convenience store and he ends up sitting on the same bench that Ga Young sat at in the previous episode. As he’s sobbing to himself he sees an old coat in the trash nearby and goes through its pockets to find, of all things, a $2 bill. He also notices the designer of the coat was the same as the one on the ticket he found in Jae Hyuk’s wallet. He uses the money to go to an internet cafe where he reads Ga Young’s email and tearfully types out a response.
Young Gul then decides to head to the school, since he knows it’s the only place he’ll have a chance to meet Ga Young. Sure enough, she’s stayed late at school to work on a dress, and comes across him sitting on the stairs. He’s so happy to see her that he immediately runs up to give her a hug and starts crying. Ga Young, who has no idea what he’s gone through, just stands there surprised.
As they reach Ga Young’s apartment, she remembers Bong Sook’s rules about not bringing guys over and asks if he’s really staying with her. She tries to discourage him, but he doesn’t care and gleefully charges forward. Young Gul’s ship-jacking incident is apparently a big deal, as we see Bong Sook reading about it as she’s eating her dinner, half joking to herself that it could be Ga Young’s boss. At this point, Ga Young and Young Gul walk in and she introduces him to Bong Sook. She can’t help but notice how much he smells and offers to let him use their shower to freshen up so he doesn’t stick up the apartment.
While Young Gul showers, Bong Sook is talking to Ga Young about how it seems fishy that he’d come all the way here to visit if their relationship is just of a store owner and factory worker. She then mulls over Young Gul’s story and realizes that he in fact was who she was reading about before. Bong Sook then takes Ga Young to the rooftop and tells her that he’s a criminal and they should report him to the police. Ga Young, however, believes her boss’ side of the story and asks if he can stay a few days. Bong Sook says keeping him will bring trouble and wants to kick him out immediately, but reluctantly allows him to stay when Ga Young says she’ll move out soon.
The next day, Ga Young pays a visit to Jae Hyuk and thanks him to helping her get back into the school. She offers to buy him a meal, to which he agrees and his assistant hands her a business card so she can contact him. Ga Young came bearing gifts as well and not only returns the money that Jae Hyuk’s assistant gave her before, but also a shirt with his initials sewn into the cuffs.
I knew Jung Ah was due for an appearance soon. She spots Ga Young sitting in a cafe and says that Jae Hyuk invited her to dinner with them because he felt it would be awkward. Can’t be more awkward that this situation. Ga Young is less than pleased to see her and says she can’t afford to treat Jung Ah as well. Jung Ah then accuses her of trying to seduce Jae Hyuk, who she delusionally thinks is her man. Ga Young surprisingly fights back and says that while she’s not actually trying, that Jung Ah can’t compare to her. Before a full on cat-fight can break out, in walks Jae Hyuk.
During dinner, Jung Ah pretends to feel sympathetic about Ga Young’s situation and grills her about her living arrangements. She even offers to ask her mom if she’ll help chip in for some rent for her. Ga Young jokingly agrees and a flustered Jung Ah can only smile and laugh. Jae Hyuk then asks him if she knows Young Gul and if he’s really her boss. Jung Ah tries to butt into the conversation, but the two ignore her. When Ga Young confirms that she does know Young Gul, Jae Hyuk tries to get his location from her, but Ga Young smartly says that he’s not staying with her. She then asks him if he knows anyone at the embassy to help Young Gul out. Jae Hyuk doesn’t take kindly to this request and storms out, a smirking Jung Ah close behind.
Back at the apartment, Young Gul is a hit with Bong Sook’s female clientele. She then receives a call from the police and says that there’s nobody like that here. Next, we travel back to Korea where an investigator is asking Young Gul’s factory workers if they’ve heard from him. He then asks about Ga Young, saying that she’s been keeping in contact with him. The factory workers mention that they had been staying together at the factory, but don’t know her contact info.
Guess Ga Young decided to move out after all as we see her talking to an apartment manager, who hands her the keys. Young Gul apologizes to her for making her spend money, but she says that the school gives her money for living off campus. However, she doesn’t make enough for living expenses for the both of them. Young Gul then tells her he got an idea living on the streets and we see them decorating their new apartment, as well as working on various clothes.
Later on, we see Bong Sook visiting their little love nest. She tells Ga Young that her clients have been complaining ever since she left, and that she has a proposition for her. Bong Sook will take care of the business end and get the materials, and Ga Young does the sewing and designing. She also tries to split it the profits 80-20, but Ga Young counters with 50-50. After some bargaining, they agree on 60-40.
Meanwhile, Young Gul is peddling his knockoffs in the streets when he comes across someone who says that the jacket that he’s trying to sell is actually his design. The man puts a business card in Young Gul’s pocket and walks away. Right… Later that night, Ga Young decides to ask Young Gul if he knows Jae Hyuk. She says that he knows a lot of people and says he should go see him to try to get him to help sort out the situation. Young Gul lashes out at her, his pride hurt, and even goes to so far as to suspect that she’s dating Jae Hyuk. As he’s in the bathroom mulling things over, he remembers about the business card in the coat and goes out to get it, with Ga Young glaring at him from the side.
The next day, Young Gul decides to pay Michael Lauren, the designer a visit. Once again, the directors seem to be targeting Yoo An In’s fan girls and decides to have him take a bath? That already makes two this episode, which seems to be the average for this series. As he’s relaxing in the tub, in walks Anna with clothes for him to try on. He’s embarrassed to see her, but she immediately asks him to stand up so she can take a look at him. As she’s taking notes on his measurements, she mutters to herself in Korean that all the good looking guys are gay. Young Gul immediately clarifies that he’s not gay, but Anna doesn’t believe him at first. She eventually realizes that there was some kind of misunderstanding and tells him to leave before walking out.
As Young Gul is leaving, he notices Anna in her office putting on a dress and zips up her dress without being asked. He asks to see Michael Lauren, but Anna says that he’s busy today with a party. Young Gul doesn’t take no for an answer and says that her boss recognized his talent and that’s why he’s here to see him. Anna is surprised by the statement and sees the tag on his clothing does actually belong to her boss, even if the design has been altered. Guess she decided to take him after all as we see her driving in a fan to the party, with him in the back seat. He’s chatting non-stop about how he’s proud to see a Korean behind the label of a famous designer and about how she looks familiar, but is stopped by her making a sudden swerve.
At the party, Jae Hyuk is being introduced to Michael Lauren as the successor to Korean’s most successful fashion line, but he doesn’t seem impressed and walks away without even taking Jae Hyuk’s business card. Jae Hyuk then happens to spot Young Gul and asks him why he’s here. While they’re arguing, Anna walks up to them and says that Michael will see him now. As they walk over, Young Gul finally realizes why he recognized Anna when she asks him if he knows Jae Hyuk.
Back at their apartment, Ga Young is snacking on bread and milk when Young Gul walks in with Anna. He chides Ga Young for not cleaning up the workspace and starts bragging about how he has a factory back in Korea and that this is just a small part of his company. He also introduces Ga Young as a scholarship student at New York Fashion School and asks her to demonstrate her sewing skills for Anna. Ga Young isn’t happy with him, but does as he asks. Anna stops her though and says that since her boss is interested in him, she’ll take some samples. When she asks for his number, Young Gul asks her to wait and quickly runs outside and jots down the number of the payphone outside the apartment. As he’s running around outside, Anna asks if Ga Young’s dating him, to which she emphatically denies. When Anna leaves, Young Gul is excited and says he’ll treat Ga Young to meat every day from now on, but for now…he needs to borrow money so he can have a drink.
The next day, Jae Hyuk is running through the park when he contemplates everything that Young Gul has told him, confused as to what the real story could be. As Anna walks out of her apartment, he’s standing there waiting for her and asks if she’s had breakfast. During their meal, Jae Hyuk says that he’s grown up since they broke up and can protect her now. Anna doesn’t trust him and asks if he’s willing to take a picture with her to prove it to his mom. He calls her bluff and prepares to take a picture, but Anna decides not to in the end and gives him back the contract that he gave her before. He then asks about how she knows Young Gul, but Anna tells him to ask Young Gul himself if he wants to know.
Later that day, Young Gul’s assistant shows up to Anna’s office and reiterates that Jae Hyuk’s family is against her meeting him or working for their company. Considering her position in the world, wonder what she did to piss off Mom so much. After he leaves, Anna gets angry and knocks all the papers on her desk to the floor.
Back in Korea, the investigator is interviewing Madam Jo about Ga Young. When the investigator mentions that Ga Young could be arrested and deported for aiding and abetting a criminal, Madam Jo perks up and gives a call to Jung Ah. Unpredictable, this drama is not.
Surprise surprise, later we see Jung Ah acting chummy with Ga Young and offers to give her a ride back to her apartment so that she can find out where she lives. Ga Young distrusts her and leads her to Bong Sook’s apartment instead, who is surprised to see her. Jung Ah immediately insults the place and starts investigating. She comments that it’s rather small for two people to be living there and that there’s only one toothbrush. After she leaves, she tries to listen in on the door, but Bong Sook catches her and drives her away. Bong Sook feels sorry Ga Young and says she can stay at her place for a while, but Ga Young says it’s okay.
Meanwhile, Young Gul is waiting by the payphone for a call. Of course, right when he leaves to use the restroom, the phone starts ringing, but he’s able to make it back down in time to answer it. At the photo-shoot, Michael is having a hissy fit with the models and angrily disapproves of Anna’s choices. She can only apologize and goes to get a different set of clothes. Young Gul watches this happen and seems to feel sorry for her. He then calls out for Michael, who immediately calls for a break.
As the two meet, he apologizes for the misunderstanding earlier and says he was impressed with the samples he sent earlier. When Michael asks him where he studied fashion, Young Gul lies and says that the district that he had his shop in was the #1 fashion district in Korea. Michael then offers to buy the designs, which Young Gul doesn’t understand at first. When he does though, a smiles creeps up on his face and the episode ends.
First off, I’m so very glad that they used American actors for the New York scenes. There’s far too much English there to have to listen to it in with a broken Korean accent. Don’t get me wrong, I give all the actors and actresses here credit for learning the lines in English, but it’s still a little off-putting to hear it sometimes.
That being said, this drama so far been pretty much what I expected. It’s pretty much the tried and true romantic comedy script: soft-spoken idealistic heroine, temperamental male lead, and your usual host of supporting characters. I am pleasantly surprised though that Ga Young is actually rather smart for a female lead. She picks her battles well and doesn’t accidentally reveal information that she shouldn’t. Take, for example, her decision to take Jung Ah to Bong Sook’s apartment instead of her own. I was fully expecting her to accidentally lead her to Young Gul and fall right for Madam Joo’s plan. To me, it’s refreshing to see a female lead that is idealistic, but still pragmatic about the world.
I’m still hoping they transition away from Madam Joo and Jung Ah from seemingly being the main antagonists. Every time they hatch one of their schemes, I can’t help but roll my eyes and hope that it doesn’t take up too much screen time. Let the competition between the four leads be the driving point of the drama, not this outside source. This would allow more time for character development. Jung Ah has no shot at Jae Hyuk anyway short of an arranged marriage, which Jae Hyuk’s mom seems like she’d be against anyway.