Scent of a Woman, episodes 5 and 6

Stunning, gorgeous, takes my breath away. The acting: dear LORD the acting. The look: I actually changed up my usual routine to view this in HD so that I could properly bask in the rich colors and blow-my-mind shots.

Something about the combination of Lee Yeon-jae and Kang Ji-wook compels me to make grabby hands and sigh wistfully. It’s fascinating to see Kang Ji-wook so defensive about his societal status, which is an easy observation to make about the wealthy and powerful, and twice as fascinating to see Lee Yeon-jae not give a hoot.

More after the cut on Kang Ji-wook and his chaebol-y ways.

I find Kang Ji-wook super interesting — my Lee Dong-wook love not withstanding — because he’s so lazy and apathetic. I like this general trend of lazy, beta-male chaebols (second great example, Ji Sung in Protect the Boss) being schooled by women who know more and who know better. I think it’s because I’m generally tired of spiffy chaebols and male characters who come from well-to-families that a somewhat defective chaebol, a Kanye-shrug kinda guy is actually more interesting to watch.

I think chaebols by nature possess certain characteristics that we’ve come to expect. There are the hard traits: they run businesses and they are potential heirs to businesses, so they have to act a certain way. Then there are the softer traits: because they have a relative amount of wealth and power, they grew up a certain way, they were taught to view the world in a certain way, and they were taught to treat people in and outside of their circles a certain way.

So I feel that right now, Ji-wook is a product of his environment in that he has been trained to be defensive of his societal status, even if he really isn’t a condescending person at heart. When Yeon-jae tells him about her plan to seduce him, he is so naturally adverse to the idea that someone of a different status could get something out of him, a person of high status, that his ego is bruised by the thought and gets confrontational about it.

Even more interesting was his meet-up with Yeon-jae at his house. Ji-wook rushes to change into the right clothes, fusses with how to make his place look presentably smart, all to have his plans ruined when Se-kyung shows up early at his house and stays.

Fascinatingly, he gets super angry about it, and seethes all through the opera show he has to watch with Se-kyung before leaving abruptly by himself, and then seething some more on his way home.

When he sees that Yeon-jae was waiting in front of his house all along, he just short of blows up on her when she tells him about how her accounts are frozen because of the pending lawsuit. I think it’s a reminder to him how much out of his wealth circle she is, yet that wasn’t what made him angry to begin with.

What made him angry is that he has to do what he doesn’t want to (go out with/marry Se-kyung) for something he doesn’t even care about (to advance his father’s company). What he does like and care about is Lee Yeon-jae, but he’s at that new discovery-of-feelings phase where he doesn’t really know what to do with them. So while part of him acknowledges his feelings, the other more chaebol-y part of him rejects it because she is so unconventional a match that it hurts his pride to like someone “below” his status, so he very easily uses that as a method of attack when he’s angry. That or her being there reminded him that Se-kyung ruined his night, and he couldn’t do what he wanted, that he just got bitchy and pissy, and took it out on Lee Yeon-jae and her kindness, her lower economic status, her not showing interest in her the way he is with her (although that’s mostly internal).

I just can’t wait until she gives him the smackdown and makes him work for it. I guess from this narrative point of view, the problems that Ji-wook thinks he has are really not problems at all. Yeon-jae’s problems on the other hand…those are actual problems.

  • f.

    Oh no! I’m such a sucker for good quality camera work in dramas (bonus points if the drama is actually AMAZING). I’m very, very tempted…

  • falsteph

    I watched this scene on repeat like 10 times. That moment from Screencap 2? Heartbreaking and beautiful. Jiwook has this brief look in his eyes right before he gets defensive and huffy, and it’s like pure happiness over Yeonjae’s confession. And the contrast between the emotions on his face and the crap that comes out of his mouth afterwards, I love it. And Yeonjae in Screencap 4, and the way her face falls after her “congratulations,” makes me weep. In conclusion, <3.

    • Amy

      And the way one tear falls out of Yeonjae’s eye as she smiles wistfully. Fucking slayed.