Here we recap and discuss episode 14 of Fashion King. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
After the end of their…let’s be generous and call it “successful” fashion show, Young Gul has a party in his factory with all this workers. During the party, Il Gook asks the question we’re all wondering about in what “GG” stands for. Please don’t be as cliché as I think it will be. Young Gul however turns sour and asks him why he wants to know that now. He then proposes a toast to their new brand and down goes the drinks. Anna pulls him to the side and tells him that the reporters want to interview him. She’s curious as to what “GG” stands for to and asks if it has to do with Ga Young. He just smiles at her and walks away without a word.
Meanwhile, Ga Young is still in a daze about what happened and she and Jae Hyuk ride back to Bong Sook’s place in silence. At first Ga Young is intent on getting back home, but changes her mind and asks Jae Hyuk to take her out for drinks. Oh this will not end well. After a couple shots, Ga Young is drunkenly complaining to a sober Jae Hyuk about her relationship with Young Gul. He decides he can’t stand listening to him without being drunk as well and tries to take a shot himself. However, Ga Young keeps interrupting him, and he eventually snaps at her since he’s had to listen to her for the last two hours. Jae Hyuk gets up to leave, but Ga Young wants to stay because they haven’t finished their alcohol yet. He doesn’t really care and drags her up since she can’t stand on her own. Oy oy, that’s a party foul, guy.
Back in the car, Jae Hyuk tries to get directions to Bong Sook’s place, but Ga Young is pretty much passed out at this point. However, since he couldn’t get directions from Ga Young, he opts instead to bring her back to his place and puts her in his bed. He brushes her hair off her face and then turns off the lights for her. We then cut to Young Gul returning to his new apartment in Jae Hyuk’s building. Rather than celebrate his brand launching, all he can think about is Jae Hyuk grabbing Ga Young’s hand. As he sits in bed, he looks to the side and next to him is the bear pillow that Ga Young used to hug when she slept at the factory.
Ga Young apparently moves around in her sleep and has turned counter clockwise 90 degrees overnight. She wakes up upon hearing Jae Hyuk’s voice and immediately sits up in bed to wipe away her drool. Jae Hyuk gives her an amused smile and drops off some clothes for her to change into.
We go back to Young Gul’s place and see that with his new-found wealth he’s gotten himself a pretty nice collection of clothes and watches. Of course they could all be knockoffs, but still. As Ga Young waits for the elevator with Jae Hyuk, she asks him if she did anything inappropriate last night. Jae Hyuk teases her and says it’s too embarrassing to say what she did with his own mouth and then says that he really likes women dressed like she is now. Considering she’s wearing a bright yellow one-piece dress that kind of reminds me of a poncho, I have to once again question his sense of fashion.
The elevator doors then open and they see Young Gul standing there. Both are surprised, to say the least, and almost let the doors close on them without getting in. Jae Hyuk demands to know what Young Gul is doing there, and Young Gul replies if that’s anyway to treat a neighbor. He then pointedly looks at Ga Young and asks if they’re living together now. Ga Young, who still address him as President, tells him it’s not what he looks like, but he doesn’t quite believe her.
Young Gul apparently has a driver now and thinks about them getting on the elevator together as he drives to the factory. As she’s working to launch her YGM brand, all Ga Young can think about is the moment she saw Young Gul when the elevator doors opened. Of course, Jae Hyuk is fixated on the fact that Ga Young tried to clear up the misunderstanding with Jae Hyuk. His musings are interrupted though by Anna coming into his office.
He asks her how long she’s been working with Young Gul, and Anna says he’s just helping him out. Jae Hyuk tries to guilt her into stopping, but Anna says that as long as it doesn’t interfere with her work, she’s going to help out her friend. He questions her judgment for calling Young Gul a friend, and Anna hits back with she must’ve lost her mind because of Ga Young. Hah, point to Anna. Jae Hyuk flips out and says if Anna had any talent, Ga Young would never have become an issue. She’s crushed by this and says that unlike Jae Hyuk, Young Gul appreciates her, which of course leads to Jae Hyuk telling her to go work for Young Gul. If she quits before the Fashion King competition, she’ll be less hurt than waiting till the end to lose. Anna decides she can’t take it anymore and decides to hand in her resignation. Jae Hyuk does still care somewhat about her though and allows her to keep her car and apartment.
After Anna cleans out her desk and runs into Ga Young in the hall. She tells her that she’s going to work for Young Gul and what she thinks about it. Despite her face saying otherwise, Ga Young says it’s none of her business and Anna walks away. Later that night in Bong Sook’s apartment, all she can do is complain about how bossy Anna is and how much Young Gul listens to her. Bong Sook then asks where Ga Young was all night and suspects she was with Jae Hyuk. She’s not wrong… Ga Young, however, does not want to answer and heads out.
She immediately goes to the factory and is surprised that her bed is no longer there. She then heads to Young Gul’s office where she overhears him talking about Anna to someone on the phone. Young Gul then walks outside and is shocked to see her standing there. Ga Young makes an excuse that she just happened to stop by and makes some small talk before getting around to explaining her side of the story from last night: that she got angry after watching her show and had too much to drink. Young Gul is looking at her with hurt in his eyes, and Ga Young asks him why he’s looking at her like that to make her feel guilty. It’s not like they’re dating or anything. Young Gul tells her that he’s about to leave and doesn’t have time to talk to her.
That’s the last straw for Ga Young and she slaps him. She asks him if he’s really that mad that she’s working at J Fashion and that he shouldn’t be since he got the $5 million in exchange for her and the YGM brand. Young Gul tells her that if she has nothing else to say to him, she should get out. Ga Young is in tears at this point and tells him to give the others her regards before storming out. To try to calm herself down, she goes back to Bong Sook’s apartment and starts sewing while thinking of the good times she’s had with Young Gul. Helped with the anger…not so much the sadness.
When Young Gul introduces Anna as their new employee, Il Gook and Chil Bok are excited. The women in the factory…not so much. We then see a brief montage of both Anna and Ga Young going through their respective days at work. Later that night, Young Gul is once again alone in the factory thinking about the decisions he’s made.
We then see Jae Hyuk’s assistant giving him a briefing on the differences between the GG and YGM brand. He says that GG’s biggest strength is its ability to adapt and get its clothes out to vendors quickly. Though YGM was once like that, because it’s been integrated into J Fashion, that has been compromised. He tells Jae Hyuk that the public loves the GG brand and Young Gul is reaping in profits. After his assistant leaves, Jae Hyuk leans back in his chair and thinks back to his first meeting with Young Gul when he came to ask for money. He’s interrupted by a call from dad. Uh oh, someone’s in trouble now…
Oh look, mom’s there too. This will be fun for you, Jae Hyuk. Dad immediately starts off with saying that he liked Anna and asking Jae Hyuk if he made her come and leave again out of spite. Mom, however, approves of his decision to get rid of Anna. Dad tries to find out where Anna went, but Mom says it doesn’t matter since she’s a gold-digger. Dad then asks Jae Hyuk what he knows about Young Gul. This time the sides are flipped and while Dad is dismissive of Young Gul’s lack of a degree, Mom calls him good looking and the degrees are worthless these days. When Dad tells Jae Hyuk that he wants to have dinner with Young Gul, he tells him they’re not friends like that. Dad, however, isn’t really listening and says Young Gul seems to have a knack for business and will be useful to have around in the future.
We now see Young Gul sitting on the couch in his apartment with a sleeping Anna under his arm. From the look on his face though, she’s not exactly the girl he wishes was actually there. Greedy, this guy. We then cut to Jae Hyuk preparing a bento box in his relaxation room waiting for Ga Young. However, she decides to decline his invitation via text. LOOL, owned.
He goes in search of her and sees her busy working on her latest design while chowing down on bread she bought. Jae Hyuk asks why she’s too busy to have lunch with him and she points out that she’s preparing for the Fashion King competition, along with doing her normal work. He figures out the general idea of what she wants to do and decides to help her stick in the pins. This doesn’t last very long as he quickly pricks himself. To hide his embarrassment, Jae Hyuk asks her to come by his apartment at 8 for dinner, and requests that she dress up for him. He also tells her not to decline by text like she did before. LOL, whatever, he deserved it.
Back at Bong Sook’s apartment, she’s complaining about Young Gul and Anna while Ga Young decides what she’s going to wear. Ga Young sees the ugly dress that Young Gul made her and decides to wear it. She shows up to Jae Hyuk’s apartment with a bouquet of flowers and asks if she can help him with anything. Jae Hyuk is more than happy to accept her offer and tells her to start chopping some vegetables. As they’re cooking, Jae Hyuk talks about how he learned this recipe in a small Italian village that he stayed at for half a year because he liked the food so much. Ga Young teases him by asking if it was actually for a girl, and Jae Hyuk smiles and cops to it. He tells her he’ll take her there if she wins the Fashion King contest. Surprisingly, Ga Young actually smiles after hearing this.
They’re interrupted by the doorbell ringing, and Jae Hyuk tells her to go open the door. Ga Young hesitates at first, but Jae Hyuk assures her it’s not his mom since she’s out of the country. She opens the door and surprise surprise, there’s Young Gul and Anna. Young Gul is not happy to see her there, and especially displeased that she’s wearing his dress. Apparently, Jae Hyuk invited the two of them there to talk. Oh good, another tense dinner with just the four of them.
It’s just as awkward as it was last time, but at least they get to eat this time. They make extremely tense small talk to pass the time and Jae Hyuk eventually asks Young Gul what GG means. Of course, Young Gul remains tight lipped about it. He then asks what Anna’s role in the company is and she turns to Young Gul to have him explain. Not only is she chief designer, she’s also head of foreign business affairs and marketing. Busy girl, that Anna. To get some measure of revenge on Young Gul and Anna, Jae Hyuk turns to Ga Young and wipes some cream that she still had on her lips with his hand. Ga Young is embarrassed, Anna is angry, etc etc.
More tense small talk ensues and Jae Hyuk eventually gets around to telling Young Gul that his dad wants to see him. Young Gul has a message for his dad: “forget it, you jerk”. Obviously, Jae Hyuk takes offense to this, but Young Gul quickly finishes his meal and tells him to relay another message: if Dad wants to see Young Gul, he has to come to him. He then stands up and walks out. Anna quickly follow him, but not before telling Jae Hyuk that he should learn some new recipes and asks if this is all he learned from the Italian village by the sea. LOL, props to Anna for calling him out. He’s reeling from this and turns to Ga Young and thanks her for staying with him. However, she tells him that it’s time for her to go as well. He tries to stop her, but she just says she’ll see him tomorrow and leaves him all alone.
After Ga Young leaves, she starts to take the elevator down to the lobby and suddenly thinks about how Young Gul made her breakfast on her birthday and about the night she walked out on him. The doors to the first floor open, but Ga Young stays inside and heads back up to talk to Young Gul. With tears in her eyes, she tells him that she loves him and that if she didn’t tell him now she thought she’d regret it for the rest of her life. She then apologizes and asks if she can come back to the company. Anna decides to poke her head out and see what’s going on, but goes back inside when Young Gul tells her to. Ga Young takes Anna being there as Young Gul’s answer and says she’ll leave. Like an idiot, Young Gul stays there and decides not to chase her even. She eventually makes it back to the elevator, but her legs give out on her and she holds on to the rail inside while crying her eyes out.
Back at his apartment, Young Gul just stares blankly out the window and is approved from behind by Anna. She asks him what they talked about for her to be crying like that. Anna then asks if she confessed to him, to which Young Gul says nothing. She tells him that she realized that the reason why she followed Jae Hyuk back from the US was because she was in denial about being cast aside. Anna then asks Young Gul to promise not to abandon her and lays her head on his shoulder. Though all this, Young Gul still stays silent.
The next day at the factory, Bong Sook is telling the factory ahjummas that Ga Young came back with her eyes swollen from crying and refuses to eat. All throughout the night, all Bong Sook heard was Ga Young mumbling to Young Gul that she was wrong. Of course, Anna has silently come up behind them and heard everything. She eventually decides to make her presence known by dropping off some work for them before going into Young Gul’s office.
When she goes in, Anna sees Young Gul sitting in his chair with his eyes closed. Anna tells him that he’s more than welcome to bring her back, but she’s quitting if he does. He asks her if he really has to choose between them, and she tells him yes. She then says that he should think about which one of them can best help the company grow and succeed. Young Gul just sighs and turns back around, leaving Anna worried about her future.
Back at Bong Sook’s apartment, Ga Young wakes up and cleans the towel that Bong Sook left on her head. She lays back down to get some rest and when she wakes up, Ga Young is surprised to see an IV attached to her arm and Jae Hyuk sleeping while sitting beside her. Oh dramas and their IV drips. She wakes him up and he quickly brings over the porridge that he’s made her. Ga Young just stares blankly at him and Jae Hyuk decides to take matters into his own hands and feeds her a bite. Ga Young says that he didn’t have to do all this, but Jae Hyuk says he did this because they need her for an important meeting tomorrow. He then says that even though he’d like to stay and watch her eat, he’s a busy guy so he has to leave now. As soon as he’s out the door, Ga Young checks her phone and sees a bunch of missed called from Young Gul.
Meanwhile, Young Gul is once again sitting by himself in the factory drinking soju. He thinks about Ga Young’s confession as well as his last conversation with Anna. He then gives Ga Young Another call, which wakes her up. She’s not sure what to do at first, but eventually picks up. When he asks how she’s doing, Ga Young smiles and says she’s okay now. After a long silence, Young Gul tells her that he thinks it’s better than she not come back and apologizes. Not exactly the answer Ga Young was expecting and a tear escapes he eye as she comes to terms with what she just heard.
Wait, what? Young Gul finally gets Ga Young to admit she was wrong and say she’ll come back and he turns her down? Especially after her confession, it definitely seems like a curious move to me. The only reason I can come with for why he did this is because he wants her to have all the opportunities at J Fashion that he can’t provide her. Though his GG brand is growing, he is pretty much a small fry in the world of fashion. At J Fashion, their global presence isn’t very big, but domestically, they’re one of the biggest fashion companies out there. And given the Fashion King competition, she’ll be able to improve her talent by going against the best and the brightest.
That said, in terms of his fledgling business, Anna actually is more beneficial to him than Ga Young is at this point. Ga Young is far superior in terms of talent, but Anna is equally superior in terms of business. All the contacts and experience she gained while working for Michael Lauren, while working for J Fashion, can now put to use for Young Gul. Not that he’s not a good businessman himself, but as he said himself: she’s lead designer, head of foreign affairs, head of marketing. All the stuff that he had to do himself, he can delegate some of it to her so that between the two of them they have the time to come up with enough decent designs to put out for their brand. On the flip side, Ga Young is more beneficial to Jae Hyuk because she can design all she wants and he has the money and infrastructure in place to actually get it done.
This is the first episode in a long time that I actually liked. There was very little of the wishy-washy feelings BS that’s plagued the series forever and you actually sympathize with each of the characters. Well, except for Young Gul, but we’ll excuse him given the quality of the rest of the episode. I especially liked that Madam Jo and Jung Ah weren’t there to cause unnecessary issues. Let Anna or Jae Hyuk’s parents play the villain roles, why give unnecessary characters screen time when you can develop the real plot more?