Two Women’s Room Episode 1 Recap

Image copyright of SBS

Min Kyung Chae [Park Eun Hae] is the daughter of a wealthy family who works hard in her family’s hotel. As she struggles to keep her family together, she must also fight against another woman determined to steal everything she has.

We have a very dramatic opening to start. It is pouring rain and two women are driving on a lonesome road. One is very nervous and scared wearing a baseball cap while the other is on the phone with her boyfriend talking about how every thing is messed up and how she needs to find Chef Jin Soo Hyuk [Kang Kyung Joon]. Her boyfriend [Kang Ji Sub as Han Ji Sub] promises to ask his friends and call her back. The woman in the truck stops just past a high accident warning sign and unloads the body of a man. He can’t blame her for doing this. He told her that she would never be happy after all. If she cannot find happiness then she will just steal another’s.

Ji Sub calls Kyung Chae back saying that he managed to find the phone number or a friend of Jin Soo Hyuk’s. Kyung Chae is elated and thanks him for helping her. Does she want to write the number down? A smart person would pull off the road to do so, but Kyung Chae just stretches to reach her glove box. She opens it, but the pad of paper falls on the floor. She takes her eyes off the road to grab it. When she finally straightens up, it is too late. She runs something over and slams on her breaks. She asks Ji Sub what she should do. Not knowing what happened and with Kyung Chae in shock, Ji Sub yells at her to get her to come to her senses and tells her to check out the situation. Kyung Chae climbs out and sees the man in the road, blood flowing from his head. She collapses to the ground.

This happens a lot in dramas. Not all daily dramas, but quite a few. Crazy Love had an interesting opening that had nothing to really do with the plot of the drama. This, I am sure is starting more towards the breakdown for our leading lady, but who knows?

We are transported to a bright and sunny day at the Star Hotel. There we meet the calm and polite Eun Hee Soo [Wang Bit Na] who is the crazy lady from the opening. It’s contract renewal time and all temporary employees are nervous if their contracts will be renewed or if they will be promoted to a permanent employee. Hee Soo’s coworker is nervous and thus accepts movie tickets from the head of personnel who has quite the bad reputation. The coworker says it is easy for Hee Soo who is  shoe in and will most likely get renewed or promoted. The coworker’s kitchen buddy was recently fired for ticking that man off, so she doesn’t want to get on his bad side. What an abuse of power, but sadly it is still common in this world.

Meanwhile, Kyung Chae is having lunch in the hotel. This is not her family’s hotel (Mona Lisa Hotel), but a rival hotel. Their customers come to eat at the Staror order food from there even though the menus are identical. Apparently the taste is better at Star, but it doesn’t make sense for guests to get outside food. They continue eating while the assistant bad mouths the guest that always comes to stay in room 1004. Kyung Chae reminds Jin Kyung that it is bad form to do so and they continue on.

Of course, Hee Soo’s path to being promoted is going to hit a major stumbling block. She is called to deal with a guest who is unhappy about the food. Hee Soo is polite and trying to smooth over the situation, but it is done very badly. First she says that it might be possible that the guest checked the wrong food option (such a thing doesn’t work with a woman like that) and then she says the guest was supposed to deliver her order to the kitchen staff, not Hee Soo. Yes, that customer was evil, but such excuses don’t work in that kind of customer service place. So the woman throws a major fit an has Hee Soo get down on her knees and apologize. The woman then tosses water in her face and walks out. All of this is witnessed by the horrified Kyung Chae.

Hee Soo is cleaning up in the bathroom when Kyung Chae comes in. She is very apologetic towards Hee Soo. The customer was really too much and should never have done such a thing. Kyung Chae hands over her handkerchief for Hee Soo to clean off with. Kyung Chae refuses to take it back and leaves. Even though she was kind, I’m not quite sure how Hee Soo took it. She seems to be quite prideful.

Back at the Mona Lisa, Kyung Chae brings the guest in room 1004 the food from Star. Na Hae Geum [Sa Mi Ja] is happy to have good food at last. Kyung Chae assures her the food at Mona Lisa will be just as good if not better as they have hired a new chef. Who? Jin Soo Hyuk. Na does not seem happy to hear this. Does she know the chef? Na quickly says that she would not know such a famous chef. Riiight.

Hee Soo is on her way home and finds her mother, who runs a bar, vomiting outside. She rubs her back and Gong Madam [Kim Chung as Gong Bok Ja] turns around and asks who it is. Kim Chung can have such a grating and annoying voice and she usually plays characters where this annoying voice is played up. Hee See doesn’t like her mother drinking, but Gong Madam cannot not drink since she is a bar owner. How about drinking less? Gong Madam then says she needs no one else, just her daughter. Hee Soo calls her out on this lie and then asks if she should quit her job at the hotel. Gong Madam reminds her that they need Hee Soo’s paycheck to survive the quagmire of debt they are in. This does nothing to ease Hee Soo’s mind.

The next day Kyung Chae goes to her father’s office where he asks how her first official job after promotion to vice president is going. Kyung Chae says they have signed the contract with the chef and when he comes from Italy, he will go through the formal process. Her father [Jan Jin Hee as Min Dong Chul] then urges her to accept a blind date with the son of a prominent businessman. Kyung Chae says she cannot since she’s still getting used to the new position. Nope. She’s in love with the general manager of the hotel. Their relationship must be kept secret for now, but Kyung Chae wishes to tell her father soon which pleases Ji Sub. Honestly, I don’t think he’s 100% a social climber and does have some genuine feelings for Kyung Chae. I just don’t see her father accepting their relationship for whatever reasons, but I could be wrong. In dramaland, though, even if the person is good, if their background isn’t the parents always oppose.

Ji Sub and Kyung Chae are eating lunch together in the cafeteria when she spots her father’s driver and invites him to sit with them. Driver Han [Im Ha Ryong as Han Byun Gook] initially refuses, but Kyung Chae won’t let him escape. His presence really makes Ji Sub agitated. Kyung Chae feeds Driver Han and asks him to take good care of her father again. She then feeds Ji Sub by putting a mushroom on his spoon of rice. Ji Sub freezes. Driver Han quickly says that Ji Sub cannot eat mushrooms and takes it from him. This horrifies Ji Sub even more. When Kyung Chae asks how Driver Han knew of the allergy, the driver just laughs it off as having overheard it one day. Nope. It’s a big secret that Driver Han is the general manager’s father. Shakes head.

Outside, Kyung Chae talks about how reliable Driver Han is and how she imagines he is a dependable father at home. Ji Sub looks away as if he’d disagree if he was actually acknowledging the relationship between his father and himself. He then asks Kyung Chae if she wants to go on a drive with him later. She can’t as today is Wednesday. She has to go to the Center to pick up her sister Eun Chae [Kim Da Ye].

I don’t know how old Eun Chae is, but her mental faculties do not match her age. She acts like a young child when she is at least a teenager. Kyung Chae treats her sister as if she were perfectly normal which is good. Eun Chae tells her unni that her friends’ mothers come to pick them up. Is Eun Chae sad that Kyung Chae is picking her up? Eun Chae is sad their mother isn’t there, but it is okay since their mother is sick. Plus, Eun Chae really loves her big sister.

At night, Eun Chae is in bed reading a children’s book upside down when Kyung Chae comes to tuck her in. The older sister just gently turns the book right side up and instructs her sister that is how you should read it. Eun Chae says her friends’ mothers read them bedtime stories. Does Eun Chae want their mother to read to her? Yes, but since their mother is sick, she gets a pass here, too. Kyung Chae says that when their mother is better, she will love Eun Chae. The younger girl repeats this and snuggles into her bed while Kyung Chae looks sad. You know something is going on with their mother and her treatment of Eun Chae.

The next morning Kyung Chae goes to get her mother for breakfast. Yeo Ok Sun [Lee Hwi Yang] is quietly reading a book and doesn’t look sick at all. Kyung Chae is bright and bubbly which seems to vex her mother. When Kyung Chae says all daughters are kids in front of their mothers [even when they are adults], Ok Sun says having Eun Chae as a kid is enough. Kyung Chae ignores this snide remark and wheels her mother out. You couldn’t tell from the start, but Ok Sun is in a wheelchair. At the breakfast table, Eun Chae and President Min are already there. Eun Chae looks nervous at Ok Sun’s arrival. They sit down to eat and Kyung Chae announces she is the youngest and only female VP of a hotel and gets Eun Chae to clap for her. She then asks for encouragement from her mother as well as a visit to show her mother around her new office. Ok Sun makes no replies and only warns her daughter to be wary of the jealousy of others.

As they eat, Eun Chae tries to feed her stuffed rabbit. The more Eun Chae talks and tries to feed the toy, the more vexed Ok Sun looks until she yells at Eun Chae telling her to stop the ridiculousness before wheeling herself off. This has Eun Chae bursting into tears and President Min looking very angry. While Kyung Chae comforts her little sister, President Min confronts his wife. Shouldn’t she pity their youngest child? Ok Sun says she deserves the pity because if it wasn’t for “that girl” she wouldn’t be like she is today. President Min says other parents walk through fire for their children. Can’t Ok Sun let it go?

President Min leaves the room in frustration telling his daughter that he doesn’t know what to do about his wife. This worries Kyung Chae and she tries to think of a way to help mend things between her parents. She asks her assistant Jin Kyung about her own parents. Whenever Jin Kyung’s parents have a fight, they watch a comedy movie. A movie! Kyung Chae purchases tickets for her parents for a movie that stars her mother’s favorite actor. This surprises President Min, but he readily agrees. Even though things are bad, there is still affection for Ok Sun and a willingness to try to make things work (on his end at least).

Madam Gong is at the theater when she spies President Min waiting. She uses a cheap trick (rolling her soda to his feet) to get close to him and then starts talking incessantly trying to pick him up. He finally coldly tells her that he’s waiting for someone. He gets a call and says it looks like Ok Sun isn’t coming. He didn’t think she would, but he held out hope. Ok Sun is lying in bed reading and refusing to go. What a woman. Madam Gong’s date shows up and she is displeased. She spends the movie watching President Min instead. He’s just her style.

At the Han household, Driver Han and his wife [Seo Kap Sook as Ki Chan Sook] are talking about today’s incident. The president kept waiting until the very end. Chan Sook just doesn’t get Ok Sun. If it had been her, she would have definitely gone. Enter the surly Ji Sub who barely greets his parents and heads in the house after rejecting watermelon. Chan Sook asks if her husband acted like he knew him at work. Driver Han quickly refutes this. While he cannot help his son advance in this world, he won’t hold him back either. He then works Chan Sook to make sure Ji Sub doesn’t find out she works as a maid in the Min household. Since Ji Sub has no reason to go to the Min household, she should be safe. Technically, but you know her son will find out if Kyung Chae brings him home as her boyfriend. Ah, we also learn that Driver Han is too trusting and has been stabbed in the back and left holding the bag after co-signing loans for friends.

Inside the Han’s house, their youngest son is studying [Lee Yong Joo as Han Pil Sub]. When Ji Sub comes in, Pil Sub teases his hyung about now being in charge of making deliveries to the hotel. Should he try out the food at the Mona Lisa? Ji Sub is not amused. Why is everyone acting like this and causing trouble? He warns Pil Sub to just make his deliveries and keep his mouth shut. Pil Sub does not like this attitude of his brother’s. Does Ji Sub treat their father this way at work, too? Silence. Pil Sub knows this is confirmation and is unhappy. He is a deliveryman and studying for something. I do not know if he’s tying to get into college or planning on taking something like a civil servant exam. Anywho, his hyung belittles his job and then demands Pil Sub turn off the lights. Looks like Ji Sub is king of that household and Pil Sub mouths off under his breath that he’s still trying to study.

Hee Soo goes to work the next morning as usual only to find her coworker from earlier has taken her locker. What is going on? Looks like that customer from the other day wrote a letter of complaint against Hee Soo. The woman is in shock. She got down on her knees and got a face full of water and the woman still complained to management? She reminds the head of personnel about how good she is hardly taking sick days an always being on time. She was also employee of the month before. He knows of her situation. Is there no other way? We end this episode with him saying there is a way. Since he is a sleezeball, I’m sure it’s not good.

I think Park Eun Hye was an innocent and optimistic woman in Pink Lipstick to start as well. What is it with her and roles where she gets everything taken away and seeks out to regain and get revenge on those who betrayed her? I have some pity for Hee Soo right now, but for her to go as far as she does at the beginning of the episode, I’m sure that won’t last long. Ji Sub’s attitude towards his family is annoying. Compared to some really bad families in other dramas, his isn’t bad at all. At least Kyung Chae is nice to everyone in her family and tries to bring them together while Ji Sub insists on walling himself off from his family. There is nothing wrong with wanting a better life, but how you get there is important, isn’t it?

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