The King of Dramas: Episode 4 “The Art of War”

It’s time for our hero to discover just how much trouble he’d be in without Go Eun to act as his moral compass; and oh boy, is he ever in trouble…

Nutshell: Jin Wan receives word that Anthony now has both the broadcasting slot and Hyun Min; he isn’t pleased by this news and informs Hyun Min’s manager that he’ll have no further dealings with Empire – Jin Wan will see to that. Omo! Does Hyun Min’s poor assistant – Kwang Soo, for those who’re interested – have a split lip? Poor woobie.

Elsewhere, Anthony and Hyun Min toast as Anthony wonders what changed Hyun Min’s mind. The what – or rather, the who – is Go Eun; it seems her words about making him shine were just the ticket, though to Anthony, he insists that he was merely taking the time to read over the script, not reconsidering. He does ask what sort of person Go Eun is, namely: does she keep her promises?

You betcha! Go Eun is, as they speak, working on the script… and surrounded by images of Kang Hyun Min, like a fangirl’s shrine to her oppa. Hee.

At Empire, Jin Wan, despite having apparently lost, is far from cowed and ploughs through with his plans to broadcast Elegant Revenge 2. He vows to turn the tables on his sunbae, when he least expects it. Yikes.

And now it’s time to meet Hyun Min’s current ladylove, Bit Na (coordi-noona, from You’re Beautiful), a female idol whose speaking voice is so incredibly off-putting that her management has forbidden her from talking to the group’s fans. Hyun Min seems unfazed by this flaw and, as she’s (also) the shallow, materialistic type, offers to buy her a car to sweeten her up. Mission accomplished. She coos that she loves him and has poor Kwang Soo cringing and covering his ears.

Anthony meets with the chairman of S Broadcasting and is told that although Go Eun has done well thus far for a rookie, they can’t continue with her; soon they’ll be into the live shoot and will need an experienced writer at the helm. He’s told to have her finish the script she’s currently working on, then axe her. Eek, you can’t do that to Go Eun! She’s awesome, and the only reason you’ve got as far as you have.

To his credit, Anthony doesn’t seem to want to do it, but that doesn’t stop him from firing Go Eun. She calls him the scum of the earth and threatens to complain to the broadcaster; he agrees that he’s at least the biggest scum in Korea, if not the earth, and drops the bomb: it was the broadcaster who demanded a new writer in the first place.

Incensed and filled with righteous indignation, she storms the castle and confronts the ki- er, chairman. He coolly tells her that it’s a simple business decision and that due to her lack of experience and accolades, if she’s part of the team, the broadcasting war can’t be won. With a quiet vehemence, she asks if he can guarantee the win even without her. She doesn’t think so and tells him, “You can only excel if given the opportunity.”

She bows and leaves the room and though the chairman splutters at her insolence, he’s given pause when one of his producers – Producer Nam – voices his agreement with Go Eun. Hm, could he be a possible ally? I hope so; poor girl needs all the help she can get.

Neither Go Eun nor Anthony are having that great a time: Anthony, despite his bluster about the cutthroat nature of the business, can’t seem to sleep; and Go Eun, unable to tell her mother the truth and break her heart, merely watches her work from across the street and silently weeps.

Anthony finds Hyun Min in the gym, not working out so much as showing off (though why is his shirt on? I… I don’t understand…). They sign the contract, with Anthony promising to deposit the money into his account in a little over two weeks.

And money seems to be on everyone’s minds, as the chairman of S Broadcasting wants to see proof of the drama’s financing before issuing them a broadcasting certificate. It’s a catch 22 situation for Anthony, though, as Watanabe will only release the funds once he’s seen the broadcasting certificate, and the chairman will only give them said certificate once the money’s in the bank.

Watanabe won’t budge, so Anthony gatecrashes the chairman’s dinner with his producers and somehow manages to both offer him a bribe for the certificate, and subtly threaten him into accepting the bribe at the same time. It’s… quite masterfully done, I have to say.

Anthony gives Dong Suk a bag full of money and the chairman’s locker combination at the golf club, but tells him to swallow the paper the combination’s written on so as to leave no trace behind. “Unless they cut open our guts,” he says, and Dong Suk obediently puts the paper into his mouth… and promptly chokes on it. Ha.

The broadcasting certificate is stamped and issued and the chairman heads off to the golf club for his reward, only to find there’s nothing there. Anthony calls Dong Suk in a panic and discovers that Go Eun found out about the bribery and hid the money before it could be delivered. I love her.

He demands to know where she hid it and tells her that without that money, the drama, her words, will never be produced. She replies that if this is the way it’s put on the air, she’d rather it was never seen.

He tears the office apart but still can’t find it… until he realises that she’s been standing in that same spot, in front of an electrical panel, the entire time. He shoves her aside and, sure enough, the money-filled bag is there.

The money is delivered safely and in a pojangmacha somewhere across town, Go Eun drinks. And drinks. And then drinks a little bit more, just for luck. She drunk-dials Anthony to tell him what a horrible person she thinks he is and asks if he’s happy. He doesn’t understand; what use is happiness when it means living as she does, being trampled upon and torn apart?

They end the call with her in bitter tears, and him even more determined to triumph over the ‘dirty’ world.

Go Eun stumbles off to see Hyun Min, who’s about to go out for the night – presumably to meet with Bit Na – and asks him to take care of her ‘baby’, as she won’t be able to anymore. He figures out that she’s been fired and, cynically, guesses that she’s come to ask him to get her her job back. His words stoke her fiery temper and she bursts out that all she wants is for them to respect and love her work, the way she does – why is that so hard for everyone to understand?

Though he pretends nonchalance, Hyun Min is not unaffected by her words and when he happens to drive past her and sees that she’s surrounded by teen hooligans, he decides he has to do something. So… he calls the cops, then watches from his car as Go Eun proceeds to give the hoodlums a beatdown. When she glances in his direction, he hurriedly reclines his seat to stay out of her line of sight. Ha! She. Is so. Awesome.

Unfortunately, his act of ‘kindness’ results in her being picked up the police for beating up the teens – who, of course, won’t admit to their behaviour – and as her cell phone’s call history indicates that Anthony is the person she’s been in the most contact with, he’s the one they call to pay the settlement fee.

Then, trouble: the chairman has been arrested for accepting bribes related to issuing broadcasting slots and, with a start, Anthony remembers his own bribe, probably still in the golf club’s locker. Eek.

The head prosecutor in charge is a sunbae of Jin Wan’s and has taken on the case as a favour to him; Jin Wan lets him know that there’s one last place he should check…

The race is on to see who’ll get to the money first: Anthony, or the prosecutors’ office. Anthony gets there first but the club is closed, so he resorts to breaking and entering (though, technically, the door was open, so I suppose it’s just ‘entering’. Er, illegally, but still.). He grabs the bag just in time, but then finds the investigators are blocking his exit and is forced to jump from an almost impossible height to the ground below.

One of the men catches sight of him and alerts the others who rush to apprehend him, but are moments too late; Anthony takes off in his car, brow dotted with sweat and in some pain over his jump-related leg injury.

Now, the next order of business is: who’s going to take over now that the chairman’s gone? Both Empire and World hope that it’ll be someone who’s sympathetic to their side… Fortunately (or unfortunately?) it’s Producer Nam – an honest man who can’t abide corruption, he’s also the man who agreed with Go Eun… and the man who’s outright declared his hatred for Anthony and his crooked business dealings. Um. Yay?

Anthony asks him for a chance to prove himself but is denied so, forgoing pride, gets down on his knees to beg.

Musings: Personally, I’m pretty impressed with Siwon’s performance so far. He’s bringing the character (vain, silly and materialistic as he is) to life, but is also showing us unexpected… well, I wouldn’t call it ‘depths’, exactly, as Hyun Min is about as deep as a kiddie pool, but each episode does seem to reveal hidden flashes of sympathy (if not empathy), mostly for Go Eun.

Speaking of… as of episode 4, I’m officially conflicted as to which man I want the heroine to end up with. Granted, it’s early days yet, but the chemistry between Go Eun and the boys is fantastic — just the way I like my triangles, with sparks on both sides and a stable leading lady holding it all together.

Side note: if you were at all curious about the title of Go Eun’s screenplay – Morning in Kyeong Seong – and what its relevance is to the occupation-era drama they’re attempting to produce: ‘Kyeong Seong’ was the name for Seoul during the Japanese occupation, thus, the title. 🙂

6 thoughts on “The King of Dramas: Episode 4 “The Art of War””

  1. Awesome recap, Jules! Recap…not nutshell. LOL.
    Seriously, though, I am now tempted just to skip watching ep. 4 because you did such a great job.
    Decisions, decisions…yeah, I should use the time to watch Jeon Woo Chi, right? 😉

  2. Thanks for the recap Jules! Siwon is a hoot! I’m enjoying KOD so far, especially for all the meta and its abilities to poke fun of itself xD

    1. He is, isn’t he? I kind of love how willing he is to put his ego aside and just be an ass (er, as far as his character goes, at any rate).

      KoD is probably my favourite drama on air at the moment – nothing compares. 🙂

      1. Does this include Jeon Woo Chi? I’m hoping to get started on that later this week…must catch up and recap. 🙂

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