Here we recap and discuss episode 4 of Fashion King. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
After his successful meeting with Michael Lauren, Young Gul is all smiles and accidentally bumps into a crying Anna. He offers to buy her a drink, but she ignores him. On his way back to the apartment he picks up some groceries and some wine to celebrate the occasion with Ga Young.
Jae Hyuk is holding a meeting, but he’s clearly bored, when it’s interrupted by a call: he has a visitor from the consulate. Before he leaves, though, he says to fire the presenter that’s talking right now. When he meets his visitor, Jae Hyuk is asked if he knows the whereabouts of Young Gul. He says that he doesn’t know anything about him, which is technically true I suppose. His visitor then says that he only asked because he wanted to clarify things before he met with Ga Young, who Jae Hyuk helped. After his visitor leaves, Jae Hyuk quickly pulls out his phone and says to ready his car.
Later that night, Ga Young is walking from school, warily checking her surroundings before going into the apartment. Super spy Ga Young is not, as Jung Ah has successfully managed to tail her. When she gets up to the apartment, she finds that Young Gul has prepared a romantic candlelight dinner for her. He happily tells her that Michael offered to either make him a designer in Michael’s own label or to help him make his own line. However, their happy dinner is interrupted by a knock on the door. Young Gul gets up to see who it is and sees Jae Hyuk through the peephole.
Young Gul first checks the hallway for people before closing the door behind him to talk to Jae Hyuk in the hallway. Jae Hyuk asks what his relationship with Ga Young is and barges into the apartment before Young Gul can stop him. Jae Hyuk asks Ga Young what her relationship with Young Gul is, and completely ignores Young Gul’s attempts to learn more about what Ga Young and Jae Hyuk’s relationship is. As he stands up to leave, he tells Young Gul to leave before he ruins Ga Young’s career. Young Gul has had enough and goes after Jae Hyuk, but gets met by a right hook. And just to add insult to injury, Jae Hyuk thanks Ga Young for the shirt she gave him earlier and proudly shows off the initials she stitched into the cuff. After Jae Hyuk leaves their apartment, he’s passed by two surly looking men in the hall that pique his suspicions.
Back in the apartment, Young Gul decides to chase after him but comes face to face with the two men that Jae Hyuk passed in the hall: 2 of New York’s finest. As they’re led into police cars, they see Jae Hyuk in the street watching them and immediately suspect that he’s the one who tipped off the police to them. Jae Hyuk, of course, is innocent and wonders to himself how they got found. He gets his answer though as he looks around and spots Jung Ah watching the scene as well.
Back at his apartment, Jae Hyuk is trying to relax for the night when Anna decides to pay him a visit. She asks him if he has soju, but when he doesn’t, instead asks for something stronger. Anna tells him that she’s reconsidered his offer to join the company and if he actually still loves her. Jae Hyuk says nothing and answers by kissing her passionately. They’re interrupted, however, by Jung Ah who has just returned home. Jae Hyuk then offers to give Anna a ride home and tells Jung Ah that she should move out immediately. Jung Ah is decidedly displeased by this development.
Jae Hyuk apparently does actually care about Ga Young and has bailed her out of trouble once again. After his assistant drops Ga Young off at her apartment, she sadly walks up and sits at the table starring at the food that Young Gul prepared. She thinks back over what’s happened in the last few hours and cries as looks at the Polaroid pictures that they had taken earlier.
Back in Korea, news of Young Gul’s capture is being broadcast on the news. When the news report says that he was helped by a beautiful lover, Tae San immediately thinks that they’re talking about his ex-girlfriend, but then they clarify that the lover was a student at New York Fashion School. Tae San then thinks that Young Gul abandoned her for another girl and gets angry again.
We now cut to Young Gul’s trial where the court admits that they don’t think that Young Gul meant to steal the ship, but the fact of the matter is that he did and entered the country illegally. They also knowledge that he did contact the embassy regarding this issue, but because he didn’t turn himself in immediately, they find him partially guilty and sentence him to a year in jail.
We now cut to Jae Hyuk introducing Anna as a new designer to the board of the New York branch of his company, much to the displeasure of his assistant. We then see Michael holding a photo-shoot where he’s looking around and wondering where Anna is. Someone then whispers something into his year and he turns around in shock. We then cut back to Anna working with the other designers of Jae Hyuk’s brand which eventually culminates into a small fashion show of their own. A reporter interviews people outside and the comments are generally that it was okay, but lacked some variety. Michael was also attendance, and says that it was terrible.
Next we see Young Gul in jail cleaning the toilets and the floor, as well as doing shirtless pushups while stewing over all his interactions with Jae Hyuk. One shirtless scene down, one more to go for this episode if they hold to their pattern. Jae Hyuk and the other prisoners are then seen sewing stuffed animals when he’s told that he has a visitor. Il Gook has decided to check in on him and to let him know if anyone is giving him trouble. He also says that his boss is counting down the days till Young Gul’s release and says that Young Gul is safer in jail. Il Gook then offers to send some guys to the US to beat up Jae Hyuk for him, as long as Young Gul pays for the airfare of course. Il Gook brings up Ga Young but visitation time ends and he has to leave before he can say much else.
Apparently Jae Hyuk just kept the criminal charges off her, but Ga Young was also deported and has decided to work for yet another factory producing knockoffs and is asking the manager for her pay. Instead, the manager decides to fire her because she’s not working fast enough to meet their demand.
Back in jail, Jae Hyuk is sewing the stuffed animals again and he has a flashback to his visit from Il Gook. Apparently, Tae San wants Ga Young brought it and Il Gook asks Young Gul if he knows where she is. This of course angers Young Gul and he starts to hatch a plan. He goes up to one of the guards who just had a baby and hands him a little suit he made from the extra fabric. The guard happily takes it and walks away. Meanwhile, Ga Young is wandering the streets again and finds herself in front of Young Gul’s old factory, which is all locked up now with notices all over the entrance.
We go back across the ocean again and see Jae Hyuk stewing over the mediocre reviews his fashion show got. He then receives a call from the chairman and goes in search of Anna, who is lying on the couch contemplating her failure. She tells him to leave her alone, but he instead says that his father wants to see him and that she should come with him. Anna agrees to go back and while they’re on the plane, Jae Hyuk asks her if she’s nervous and tries to hold her hand. She nods in agreement, but pulls her hand away.
Young Gul is busy once again making stuffed animals when a guard comes up and asks him if he can make a coat similar to the one in the picture he’s showing him. He says of course she can as long as he has the material, which the guard has already prepared. As Young Gul looks at the picture closely, he realizes that it’s one of the designs that he sold to Michael Lauren and smiles. Ga Young, who is sitting in line at somewhere, also happens to see the design in Michael Lauren’s fashion show which is being broadcasted on the TV.
The line she was in was for an interview at a designer store in Dongdaemun. However, she’s dismissed when she says that she hasn’t graduated yet. The next place she goes to has the same reservations and declines to hire her as well.
Meanwhile, Anna is looking over the apartment that Jae Hyuk has setup for her. She thinks it’s too much, but he says it’s the least he can do for her deciding to leave a world-renown fashion label to join his company as well as to come back to Korea. Jae Hyuk then tells her that he needs to meet with his dad first and starts to leave, but Anna stops him and asks if they’ve really started over again. Kind of an odd question considering she pulled away from him on the plane, but he says that of course they have and leaves.
Next we cut to Jae Hyuk’s mom who is meeting with Madam Jo. She apologizes half-heartedly for Jae Hyuk’s actions towards Jung Ah and bluntly asks what Madam Jo wants. Madam Jo mentions that she needs help getting a new spot next to a boutique, but Jae Hyuk’s mom says that another department handles that and she can’t help her. Madam Jo then brings up Anna and says that she’ll go talk to the other department head. Not the best idea if you’re trying to get on her good side lady.
Back in her apartment, Anna, who has just come out of the shower, is smirking at Michael being interviewed about why his fashion changed for the latest show, knowing full well that the items are based off Young Gul’s design. She hears someone enter the apartment and goes to investigate when she comes face to face with Jae Hyuk’s mother. They both know why she’s there but skirt around the question. Anna then calls security on her and tells her to reflect on what she put Anna through in the past. Jae Hyuk’s mother tells her she’s made a big mistake today and leaves. After she leaves, Anna breaks down and goes back to the bathroom to take some pills.
Meanwhile, Jae Hyuk is meeting with his father and telling him he intends to continue what he started in New York. His father then asks him if the girl he brought back with him is the same one as before. Jae Hyuk says he has no feelings for her and that she’s just someone with skills. His father doesn’t believe him and starts beating him for wasting $5 million dollars on the project. He doesn’t care what he does with Anna, but he better not make another mistake with his money again or else.
A shaken up Jae Hyuk walks out of his office when he runs into the designer that he tried to fire in the first episode, who rubs it in his face that he failed. Jae Hyuk makes it back to his office and angrily throws his nameplate to the ground. He then gets a call from Anna and immediately rushes back to her apartment. Anna still hasn’t moved from her bathroom and emotionally breaks down when she sees Jae Hyuk. She tells him that she can’t take it anymore and is going back to the US. Man, wonder what mom did to her in the past that was that traumatic.
Young Gul has apparently been released from jail after only six months and he’s greeted by Il Gook with a block of tofu, as is tradition for Korea. Knew he wasn’t going to stay the whole duration; he probably got released early for good behavior. Il Gook and his minions then grab Young Gul and he’s sorry but he has to take Young Gul to Tae San. As they’re driving, Young Gul jokingly asks Il Gook if he’s gotten English lessons for the minions so that he can send them to the US. Il Gook then tells him that no need any more as Jae Hyuk is back in Korea. Upon hearing this, Young Gul opens the unlocked door and makes a break for it.
Jae Hyuk has decided to install additional security for Anna’s apartment, and managed to get her dressed. While they’re in the car driving, Anna apologizes for making things complicated, but Jae Hyuk says it’s fine. When Anna gets to her office, she’s met by the designer that Jae Hyuk tries to fire. He makes some veiled insults about how she got here and says that he’s only tolerating her because he knows how hard she’s worked to overcome her past.
Somehow, Young Gul knew that Jae Hyuk would be watching a movie and finds him in the theatre that he rented out. They immediately start arguing and a Jae Hyuk starts to leave, Young Gul asks him to apologize for having him deported. Jae Hyuk, who had nothing to do with it, says he has nothing to apologize for and get punched again by Young Gul. Jae Hyuk finally snaps and handily beats up Young Gul.
Now we see that Ga Young has been evicted from the apartment she’s staying in. She picks up all her belongings and once again is left to wander the streets. As she does, she once again sees a flier for Young Gul’s factory and decides to head there again. She goes in and meets with the boss to see if she can get a job, but when the boss realizes who she is, Ga Young is immediately met with angry accusations by the other workers.
Young Gul just happens to be wandering by the factory at this time and sees the commotion. A taxi stops in front of the store and he quickly hides as it’s Tae San’s lover who he was with before. How she found out so quickly about Ga Young’s reappearance, we’ll never know. She immediately goes in to confront Ga Young as well and gives her a hard slap to the head. Ga Young doesn’t even try to fight her off and just takes it all in silence. Young Gul sees her and seems like he’s going to intervene, but Il Gook and his goons show up and he’s forced to run away.
As the episode ends, we see him thinking about Ga Young being manhandled at the factory and being angry at himself for not being able to do anything.
While this episode started out well, I felt the transition back to Korea was rather rushed. For example in Ga Young’s case, we find out that she was deported, but only after-the-fact when we see her working in a factory again. Jae Hyuk supposedly helped her, but I guess that was only to drop the criminal charge? That I felt could use a little more detail about whether she was kicked out of school or if she was forcibly deported or what exactly happened to her in the six months that Young Gul was in jail. I can understand why they didn’t spend more time on Jae Hyuk and Anna’s failed fashion show, but again felt rather incomplete.
The one biggest thing that bothered me about this episode is the relationship between Anna and Jae Hyuk. She seemed like she really couldn’t stand him so what prompted her all of a sudden to change her mind about working for him. Is it because she couldn’t take working under Michael anymore? That would be the most plausible answer considering she apparently didn’t even bother to tell him she quit. Talk about burning bridges. Anna also seems to alternate between wanting to get back with Jae Hyuk and at the same time trying to pull away from him. I guess it could be the director’s way of showing that she’s conflicted about it, but to me it just comes off as confusing.
I’m also wondering what happened to the Ga Young that was willing to put up with all of the adversity of the world, but still willing to fight for herself. I guess after a while, she just finally couldn’t take it anymore and just decided to accept her fate. It’s the only reason I can think of for why she just meekly accepted the beating at the hands of Young Gul’s lover and the factory workers.
On a happy note, with the story shifting back to Korea, we can say goodbye basically to Jung Ah’s character since she’s still stuck attending classes in New York. Hopefully they don’t bother bringing her back as I felt she brought nothing to the story. If they want a character that the audience can love to hate, they already have that role in her mom, Madam Jo.