She Was Pretty

She Was Pretty Ep 9 Recap & Review (and tangled feelings are finally sorted through)

We flashback to the start of Hyejin’s transformation. She gets her tamed tamed for a whopping $700 in total, buys some clothes that are neither brand-name nor expensive (merely prettier than a baggy t-shirt and jeans, though she looks cute in both) and adamantly plants herself on the make-up chair for a transformation. She walks into the office and picks up the phone as we saw last week.

The Most team stares slack-jawed at Hyejin’s transformation. Shinhyuk in particular can’t take his eyes off her. Fashion director Cha and the other ladies congratulate her on her return and the guy Seul was after (whose name I can never seem to remember besides the fact that he’s Park Yoochun’s brother in real life) runs up and hugs her to Seul’s ire. Hyejin’s all cheery as usual. Seul tentatively compliments her on her new look before turning away and muttering that she was worried Hyejin lost her job because of her. At least she’s getting a bit less selfish?

Shinhhyuk, as it turns out, is actually horrified at her transformation and whines about how much he loved her freckles and red cheeks (this man is so perfect!) and she’s all torn between annoyance and confusion which is adorable to see.

Hyejin grins at Mr. Onion and turns to see Sungjoon staring at her. They shyly smile at each other.

Rara Kim catches sight of her and compliments her ‘MOST-like’ look. Hyejin beams in response. Gosh is she gorgeous!

Between badgering her for food, Shinhyuk asks her why she returned, besides wanting to be a long-term employee. Hyejin answers that her goals are simple, to replace her father’s copy-machine, and just work really hard. Shinhyuk says that she’ll need an “excellent shooter” aka him, if that’s the case (swoon) which just gets Hyejin shaking her head.

Meanwhile, Hari sets up a date with Sungjoon and backs out last minute, citing overseas travel. Crying and clutching her stomach, she wanders into the convenience store (in front of which Shinhyuk’s slurping ramyun) and collapses. He takes her to the hospital where the doctor affirms that her gastritis was brought on by stress. Shinhyuk knows the cause and quietly asks her to end it, because the deception isn’t something she can keep up long-term. She isn’t that kind of person and it’s hurting her as well as other people. He reminds her that Hyejin and Sungjoon are each other’s first loves to which Hari sobs that he was her first love too. She acknowledges that she got selfish and cries quietly while Shinhyuk just waits here.

Cut to her waking up at home and finding Hyejin trying to make soup for her. She remembers a time in high school when she was sick and her step-mother simply plunked down a $100 bill and asked her to get her own medicine. She remained huddling in bed until Hyejin showed up having tried to duplicate Hari’s mother’s soup. Eating the soup and crying Hari hugged Hyejin, vowing to stay with her and always be good to her.

Present-day Hari starts to cry recalling this and backhugs Hyejin who adorable says that her heart is fluttering. She asks what’s wrong upon noticing that Hari’s cring but she doesn’t answer, resolutely saying that she’s fine. Sounds like the girl’s come to a decision. Good job, Hari.

Hyejin types away at MOST’s meeting where they suggest ideas for their 20th anniversary celebration. The team throws in ideas like getting a bunch of stars on a cruise ship and getting Super Junior (haha) to sing, at which Shinhyuk gives an adorable smirk to the camera. Both Sungjoon and Hyejin remains quiet despite all the suggestions. When Hyejin’s asked for her opinion, she notes that a huge party doesn’t fit in with their theme of spotlighting the supporting characters to which Sungjoon agrees. They decide to throw a party honoring those who work behind the scenes, which Shinhyuk titles ‘Beauty in the Shadows’. Shinhyuk adorable proceeds to point out that the entire idea was Hyejin’s upon which she gets a whole lot of cheers and a sweet smile from Sungjoon.

Ahran arrives late with her car having broken down in the middle of the street,yet instead of showing concern for her safety Sungjoon launches into stuff mode saying that she should be more punctual (gaaaahh! there you go again Sungjoon!). Hyejin goes to hand-in his meeting notes upon which he welcomes her back with the world’s sweetest smile, waits for her to turn to leave and calls her name again. He presents her with a gift-wrapped box and it’s her employee ID which is such a Sungjoon thing to do. She shyly puts it on and beams. He waits for her to turn around again and calls her name, saying that he’s glad she’s back. Both have the cutest smiles on their faces at the end.

Shinhyuk is horrified to hear that the lanyard Hyejin’s ID is on was a gift from Sungjoon. After throwing a tantrum Oh Rijin would have been proud of (he was definitely imitating Hwang Jungeum there) he pettishly storms off.

Hours later, on the bus, Hyejin is freaked out when Shinhyuk shows up riding his motorbike beneath her window.

She hurriedly gets off the bus ready to yell at him only to be gifted with a red leather bag, which he happily notes, is a hundred times bigger than the teeny-tiny lanyard Sungjoon gave her. He also apparently bought for 90% off from a sale. Oh Shinhyuk. Hyejin adamantly refuses to accept it upon which Shinhyuk tries to give it to a passing dog. Mortified, she grabs it and wears it, to his pleasure.

The day of the 20th anniversary celebration arrives (with footage from the MBC Drama Awards used to highlight stars on the red carpet) and there’s a hilarious meta-moment where Siwon Shinhyuk pulls out his pictures with Liu Wen, John Cusack and Gisele Bundchen, but Sungjoon, who’s supposed to give the opening speech is nowhere to be found. A mishap with the non-English speaking MC results in the speeches starting early. Hyejin notes that it’s raining and starts to worry about Sungjoon while the MOST team try to force Shinhyuk into speaking English for the speech. Hmm…something about his refusal to go up there seems suspicious. In the end it’s the outlandish Rara Kim who takes the stage, proceeds to insult everyone and then gives a heartfelt (for her) speech that has the MOST team sighing in relief and happiness. Sungjoon remains paralyzed in his car until the end where he lopes in, wet and worn. Rara dismisses him and he simply sits outside on the bench. Hyejin quietly joins  him where they sit in silence for a long time.

The next day, Ahran huffily imitates Sungjoon asking her to be punctual. The whole MOST team with the exception of Shinhyuk (who doesn’t engage in gossip), Director Cha (who’s just glad everything went off okay) and an outraged Hyejin, join in to coin new insulting nicknames. Hyejin finally blows a fuse and tries to chastise them only to remember that she can’t defend Sungjoon without revealing what happened to his mother. Sungjoon having overheard the whole thing calls Hyejin out and thanks her for defending him but says that the others were right. He failed in his duty and deserves to get ragged on. Gotta admire a guy who can take the heat without making excuses. With a smile, he notes that it’s nice to have someone on his side and leaves Hyejin looking faintly pensive.

Director Cha asks Hyejin to submit an article for the magazine, which she hesitantly refuses, not believing herself up to par.

Shinhyuk proceeds to try and get Hyejin to do it, raising her hand and yelling that she’d doing it. Director Cha asks when he’s going to grow up, to which he hilariously says “tomorrow” with a cheeky grin. Sungjoon watches the exchange before walking away.

Hours later, Hyejin stares at a flyer for a Renoir exhibition featuring the painting in Sungjoon’s puzzle. He stares at it too, before realizing that she’s next to him. He asks whether she’s a fan, which she denies, but says that she’s always like that painting. Sungjoon launches into an adorable dialogue about how Renoir’s his famour artist and sounds exactly like his younger self to the point where Hyejin sees him that way and laughs.

Sungjoon says his goodbyes and Hyejin sits, waiting for the bus, for exactly 20 seconds before Sungjoon returns to sit next to her, saying he’ll wait with her until the bus arrives. He quietly asks if she’s heard of the Greek god of opportunity and shows her a painting of him. Hyejin hilariously says the that the figure has a penis before her verbal filter kicks in. Sungjoon gives her an incredibly awkward look before edging his thumb upwards until it covers the penis. He gently draws her attention to the figure’s hair (a single lock in the front), saying that opportunity isn’t easy to grab and once grabbed and lost will be difficult to grab again. Her bus arrives then and he sees her off, leaving Hyejin wondering how he knows that she takes this bus.

Shinhyuk gives Hari a rideon his motorboke where they both scream to their hearts’ content and Hari thanks him saying that she’s finally letting Sungjoon go. Shinhyuk asks her not to let Hyejin know that he lives in a hotel (Hmm….) to which she assents saying that it’s part of the employee confidentiality clause in her contract. She happily waves goodbye and he smiles.

That night, Hari pens a letter to Sungjoon informing him of everything while Hyejin looks through her old certificates for winning creative writing contests and makes her decision. She decides to write the article and Director Cha, having somehow guessed that she might, gives her a folder of things she already readied for her and tells her to call her sunbaeAww! I love the sisterhood in this show.

Shinhyuk puts his foot in mouth and in mouth in his foot trying to carry her books and get her to buy him food, both of which end disastrously.

Hyejin leaves to interview an author for her article for which Director Cha offers the use of her car. She meets Sungjoon in the parking lot (which by the way IS THE SAME PARKING LOT OH RIJIN AND OH RION WERE IN IN EPISODE 4!!!!!)

and he adorably wishes her good luck and waits for her to leave before pumping his fist and going “fighting!”. Hari schedules a meeting with Sungjoon to give him the letter. Meanwhile, Ahran and Director Cha realize that Hyejin has taken the wrong set of car keys. Given how faulty Ahran’s car is and the fact that Hyejin will be driving on the freeway, everyone gets alarmed for her safety.

No one more so than Shinhyuk who gets more serious than we’ve ever seen him and jumps on his motorbike (which is really not a good idea in rainy weather). Waiting for Hari at a cafe, Sungjoon calls back to the office on a whim, hears of what’s happened and takes off immediately, even though Hari’s standing at the entrance.
Despite the rain, he speeds through remembering all the times Hyejin was there for him and all the little moments they shared (I love that there aren’t big romantic moments but just quiet things that you would do for a friend). Both he and Shinhyuk burn rubber but he gets there first and goes bonkers, asking where the car’s driver is. We hear a surprised “Deputy Chief Editor” and it’s Hyejin! Sungjoon stares before rushing towards her and hugging her tight.\


I know that everyone loves Shinhyuk and heaven knows I adore him to high heaven but this episode solidified that he’s really everyone’s fairy godmother. But the problem with fairy godmothers is that they don’t get much character development. I love him, and love him, but I want for his character to go somewhere. I want him to go places and be more than a warn, supportive, caring best friend. This isn’t about him getting Hyejin because I actually think those two are better off as friends. I feel a spark between them alright but it isn’t that incredibly, deep, magnetic sort of spark that say Shin Segi and Oh Rijin had (I WILL GO DOWN WITH THAT SHIP). I want there to be more to his character than honest, straightforward fun. As a person, he’s perfect, I couldn’t ask for anything more. But as a character in this show with 7 episodes left to go? I want to see more for him. The episode preview shows him having injured himself in trying to get to Hyejin and beginning to turn serious in asking her to go out with him but I hope that isn’t the be all end all to his character. It’s fun because I usually don’t like it when the girl’s entire universe is nothing but a guy, but we’ve the reverse here. Hyejin has a life and a goal, but he’s all about her. That’s my only complaint there.

I know Hari gets a lot of hate but I really do like her. What she’s done is utterly, utterly wrong but I understand her and I respect that she’s acknowledging what she’s done wrong and moving forward to correcting it. There’s a cute, fun side to her and you can see why Hyejin’s friends with her. It’s a shame that the letter-giving was delayed but when you’ve got 7 more episodes to go, something has to give. But I’m glad about the delay because I really just want Sungjoon to confess to Hyejin before knowing the truth. That’s what’ll take their love beyond first love cliches and ‘meant to be’s but there’s no need to worry from the looks of this episode and the preview, because we’re 99% there.

This isn’t a deep, dark melo-style romance like Secret, or a tortured healing romance like Kill Me Heal Me so if anyone’s here for the big guns in romance you’re watching the wrong show. This is one of those quiet things, love that starts in friendship, and I really, really like that about this show. All those moments that Sungjoon kept flashing back to when driving? Those are really nothing special when compared to a kiss in a carriage under fireworks (*squeals* I love you Shin Segi) but they’re important to him. They’re worth more to him and the memories of his treasured first love and he’s finally realized it. For all his stuffiness (which had  better be addressed, show!) Sungjoon is honest with himself. He was just too confused between ‘Hyejin’s and had past and present far too tangled to realize it until now. And the moment he does? He went straight after Hyejin. I only hope that Hyejin faces him with similar conviction. She’s already mentioned having seen him as a man, and I hope that she’ll take some time to think if he does ask her out but I would hate to see her say no for the sake of preserving the memory of his first love. Noble idiocy really has no place in a drama that’s been so honest with us so far.

And I love how well Hyejin’s transformation was handled. They complimented her but that was it. They all went back to work and treated her as they always did (with the exception of Seul). Sungjoon didn’t even comment on her transformation which I LOVE. Like us viewers, like Sungjoon and Shinhyuk, they fells for the person as opposed to the transformation. And if there’s anything this show has been trying to teach us, that’s what matters.


4 thoughts on “She Was Pretty Ep 9 Recap & Review (and tangled feelings are finally sorted through)

  1. Really nice recap and review!
    I really adore Shin Hyuk. I really do. But I’m starting feeling that yes as a character he hasn’t progressed so much but I feel there’re are more from him to see.
    And also so glad that Hye Jin’s makeover was handelt so good. It was for her and only her and I liked that the others didn’t pay that much attention to it! And of course that the boys like her for who she is and not waht she looks like.
    Lastly in the end it was Sung Joon’s memories that helped him overcome his fear of driving in the rain and it just shows that it’s not the grand actions that help us but the small moments.
    So far this drama is handling the whole story really well I think.
    Can’t wait for next week’s episodes! 🙂

      1. Ohh that’s so nice! 🙂 Well I like reading them so.. I just watched the last episode! Really sweet! I’ve been so buzy lately with uni and hadn’t had time to read reviews and stuff but I’m getting back in the game from next week!
        Are you watching anything else this days?

  2. Hello guys, I have a really important question : Does anyone has an idea about the brand of the bag shin-Hyun gave hye -Jin ? It’s really beautiful, I fell in love. I really want it

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