Well fellow k-drama lovers, it’s time for a week two review of Surplus Princess.
The episode begins by backtracking five hours prior to Ha Ni becoming a human. Just when we think Ha Ni is ousted for being a mermaid (and caught! gulp!), here it was all just a nightmare. Phew, major disaster averted right out of the gate.
It was nice for dramatic and comedic flare, but after three watches of the episode, I’m still struggling to find the real importance of it. I’d file it as an “unnecessary scene” because it felt a little… random. Anyone else feel similar? But it did remind us that this is five hours before Ha Ni took the potion, so it does have some relevance.
We forward to Jin Ah and a fellow co-worker chatting as they carry boxes for the big event that was announced last episode. With perfect timing, Team Leader Kim slowly pops out from behind the van, startling them both. Once again, the Attack on Titan fight song is playing in the background. And I can’t help but chuckle. And, also, applaud the writers.
Everyone heads inside, and from a stage, Shi Kyung gives everyone their respective orders. He’s a pretty meticulous guy, so it’s not wonder he’s a stickler for small details. Like a well-oiled machine, the employees dash off to prepare for the party. I have to admit, Shi Kyung definitely commands attention and gets things done with little fuss.
But while everyone is hard at work, Shi Kyung is taking selfies (or selcas) and posting on social media. Yup, I’m not even kidding. But I guess he’s sort of working — or at least promoting work through his post, so I can’t really criticize the guy for working the event to his advantage.
Elsewhere, Hyun Myung is having his interview with Palsung Foods, a major food corporation. He’s in a room with other interviewees,but the men working for the company never ask him a single question. He’s essentially ignored, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why they’d even accept him for interviews if they had zero intentions of interviewing him in the first place.
Bewildered, he speaks up and they shoot him down quickly — saying that his background and credentials are better suited elsewhere. One of men jokingly asks Hyun Myung to draw him, and he obliges. But he draws an upside-down fist on the guy’s forehead that has the middle finger sticking up.
I think you interpreted it wrong.
And this is yet another thing I love about Hyun Myung. He desperately wants to work and he’ll work hard, but the men treat him like a joke because his expertise lies in another area. By interview’s end, he gave them a taste of their own medicine. Too bad that’s the most he can do to those jerks.
Disappointed after the interview, Hyun Myung aimlessly wanders around. It’d be abnormal for him to be anything other than distraught right now. Once again, my heart really feels this character’s pain. Maybe because I understand the struggle of finding a job that makes it beyond the interview stage. Hang in there, Hyun Myung. It’s k-drama land, so it has to get better sooner or later!
We then see a flashback montage of Hyun Myung pursuing art. But at every corner, he’s turned away. He’s told things like his drawing is good, but doing an exposition is too expensive. He’s also filling out student loan applications.
We have Jin Ah asking him if he’s really going to live his entire life poor like Van Gogh. And he asks what he’s supposed to do because there’s no place he can get hired as an art graduate. To which, very tactlessly I may add, Jin Ah tells him to just give up on his art major and focus on getting hired doing any job. She tells him to take a main job working at a conglomerate because he’s smart, and to have a second job doing writing. But I think Jin Ah fails to realize that it’s not really about money with Hyun Myung. At least, that’s the impression I get. He wants to pursue his dreams and interests, and that doesn’t involve a major conglomerate business.
Forward to the present and it’s dark and night. Hyun Myung is leaning against the rails of the bridge to the Han River.
We get another voiceover: The unsuccessful ones are always unsuccessful no matter how they try Hyun Myung? He is absolutely a no-no. You can tell by looking at him. These are Jin Ah’s mother’s words from the first episode that Hyun Myung overheard when he was hiding in the tiny closet. He played off the situation really well then, but mentally it’s eating him alive from the inside out.
Then, his mother sends him a text message asking about his interview and hoping that it went well.
Back at the club, Jin Ah is hard at work preparing for the party.
Team Leader Kim tells Shi Kyung congrats about being promoted to Global Business Director. It’s looks like he’s well up his way on the corporate ladder.
Jin Ah’s fellow co-worker dishes about his very wealthy family, and that they are well-respected in both politics and business. Jin Ah fishes around for details and learns that Shi Kyung is so busy that he doesn’t even have time for a girlfriend.
Once alone, Jin Ah receives a frantic call from Hyun Myung’s friends housemates. Here he never came home after his interview, and they’re worried that his interview didn’t go well and that he was probably drinking at the Han River again. Apparently, Hyun Myung’s pride had been hurt once before and he jumped into the Han River.
Jin Ah leaves the party preparations in a rush and dashes off to Hyun Myung.
This is where the events of this episode start to fall into place. Hyun Myung’s failed interview brings him to the shoreline of the Han River – where he’s quietly thinking, drinking, and brooding all on his lonesome.
He takes off his socks and shoes and gets to his feet. It seems like he’s ready to jump into the river again.
And bam! Ha Ni’s zapped onto the grass behind him.
You just know that things are about to become very awkward and crazy, soon. Ha Ni dances around crazily saying, “I grew legs.” Under the influence of alcohol, Hyun Myung blinks and slowly walks closer towards her. He reaches out a finger to touch her to see if she’s real or not, but Ha Ni freaks out and punches Hyun Myung. He flies to the ground, noticeably dazed and confused as he’s out cold for a good twenty seconds.
Ha Ni tries to pull off Hyun Myung’s pants so she can cover her human bits, and a freaked out Hyun Myung tries to get her off of him. I’m not sure if it’s just comedic timing or really sad timing, but a group of older ladies happen to walk by and see them together. They instantly think Hyun Myung is a pervert, and in the situation, there’s literally nothing he could do or say to sway any of those women. Unfortunately, Jin Ah is in that group, and she thinks that he really might be a pervert.
Never fear, because Witch Ahn also shows up and covers Ha Ni’s body. He plans to take her back to his house, but Ha Ni has other plans that include the likes of Shi Kyung. She plans to hit up the club and find him, but she needs something to wear. What Witch Ahn brought her isn’t good enough, so she makes him give her his shirt so she can turn it into a dress.
Ha Ni arrives at the party and is all smiles. She’s on her way to finally having her chance with Shi Kyung, so I can’t blame her for being excited.
Outside the club, Hyun Myung confronts Jin Ah about what happened at the Han River earlier. But Jin Ah doesn’t really seem to give a crap what Hyun Myung has to say.They share a few words where Jin Ah says that her mother was right about Hyun Myung and that because he was unsuccesful, he would stay that way no matter how hard he tried. Ouch, I find that she was pretty darn ruthless about it, too. My heart really breaks for Hyun Myung.
A strong part of me believes that it’s something she has been thinking about for a while because she’s a little too eager and cutthroat when she returns to the party. The way that she rolled with the lie to Shi Kyung also filled me with disappointment. Couldn’t you go about it fairly, Jin Ah? Really?
On the dance floor, Ha Ni daydreams of meeting Shi Kyung and telling him all about her. As everyone else in the club freezes, Ha Ni and Shi Kyung slowly move closer to each other while romantic music plays in the background. They embrace and share an almost-kiss, which is the same almost-kiss you see in my “episode 2” graphic at the beginning of this post. But the k-drama world is never that easy.
Unlike her daydream, her first meeting with Shi Kyung at the party goes terribly awry when she drops his phone somewhere on the dance floor. While this happens, Jin Ah sees the phone, picks it up, and realizes that she can spin a story about the phone to bring her closer to Shi Kyung. Unfortunately, as Ha Ni doesn’t have the phone, her persistence comes off as pure craziness. She attacks Jin Ah and Shi Kyung intervenes by grabbing Ha Ni’s arm and yanking her off of Jin Ah.
It becomes clear that the open door she had to Shi Kyung has just slammed closed.
Will it ever open again? Or is Shi Kyung just not that into her? I guess we’ll all have to stick around to see how things develop or stay at a standstill between them.
Ha Ni vents to Witch Ahn. She’s essentially given up on Shi Kyung and wants to become a mermaid again.
The rather unfortunate part is that Ha Ni discovers she has 100 days to fall in love. And if she doesn’t, that’s it. No more time. No more chances. Ha Ni drank the last potion and watched Frilia, a mermaid who became human, disappear before her very eyes. If she doesn’t fall in love within 100 days, she will turn into bubbles and be no more.
Now, she only has 99 days left and the pressure is on.
Eventually, Witch Ahn brings Ha Ni to the shared house. Yes, we’re talking about the same house that Hyun Myung and his friends reside in. While living there, she will assume the alias of Kim Ha Ni, since her real name isn’t going to work in the human world. She will play the part of a college graduate that majored in business administration and that she’s heading towards employment.
At first, Ha Ni is a bit nervous around all the humans, but at least she gets an opportunity to settle in without another blowout with Hyun Myung because he hasn’t returned due to the colossal fail of his job interview and the situation with Jin Ah.
Ha Ni getting situated wasn’t really anything special for me. I felt it was the bulkiest part of the episode, and I wasn’t as engaged as I was elsewhere, but it still felt like it was a mandatory part of the episode.
Nonetheless, I got a few laughs out of the boys trying to teach Ha Ni the rules of the shared house. Also, when she ate everyone’s share of ramen? Forever laughing here. I hope her addition to the shared house won’t be a major disaster due to her rough start with Hyun Myung.
We forward to Hyun Myung and Jin Ah having another conversation – this time outside her place. Hyun Myung wonders if she doesn’t really know him after 3 years of being together. He continues to tell her that he wasn’t taking advantage of Ha Ni. The problem is that Jin Ah wants to break up with him. She doesn’t care about him whining about love. She said it was a hard thing for her to do, but she made it look pretty easy in my opinion. For some reason, she thinks he’s lying and says that he can’t even lie well. Ouch. Three years of being together and Jin Ah can’t even tell when her own boyfriend is telling the truth. That’s really harsh.
As Ha Ni settles in at the shared house after a failed phone search for “true love,” she takes time to explore her newly-acquired human bits. I had such a good chuckle at her reaction that I had to find a gif to do the scene proper justice.
Also, this is nothing new, but Jo Bo Ah has a really, really pretty smile.
Hyun Myung finally returns home. His friends fill him in that they have a new roommate, but Hyun Myung really doesn’t care. He’s a little surprised that it happened so soon, but other than that, he shows little interest. Instead, he decides to go to his room so he can be alone.
(As you’ll come to know, I’m a huge fan of parallel scenes between two characters. Case in point: the gif above. They both lean against the door, looking defeated. They both go to the window. And they both walk onto the balcony and look out into the night. Both characters have a lot on their mind.)
Hyun Myung and Ha Ni spot each other from their respective balconies, and I feel like it’s a given that things are about to get pretty explosive between them, fast. Nonetheless, I’m curious if she’ll slip up and Hyun Myung will find out that she’s a mermaid early on. I’m finding it unlikely, but I wonder how he will process all of the strange behaviors and things that come out of Ha Ni’s mouth.
Fun note: when we saw Team Leader Kim of JH Food appear in slow-mo, the Attack on Titans Theme Song by Shingeki no Kyojin played. This was from episode one, but it was too humorous of a find to leave out. They used the song again in this episode. I think it could be fun to keep track of how many times they play the music when Team Leader Kim is sneaking up on Jin Ah and the other employees of JH Food.
Here’s the first scene from the first episode because it was too fun not to mention again:
Additional note: I already have a slight preference between the male leads, so I will do my very best to be objective. You might notice that I used Shi Kyung and Ha Ni as the episode two cover for this review, so I’m trying. 🙂
One more note: I realized that some of my caps still have the play button visible. Sorry, guys! I’ll have them switched out as soon as I have a chance to edit again!
1. What events led to this potion being created by Witch Ahn in the first place?
2. What really happened to Frilia? Did she change back into a mermaid or is she really gone?
3. Will Hyun Myung ever catch a lucky break and land a job that utilizes his passion and college major?
4. Was Jin Ah ever sincere with Hyun Myung? And if she was sincere but gradually lost interest in him, what’s the whole story? Shi Kyung? Her mother? The drive to live in a wealthier life with a wealthier man by her side?
5. Will Shi Kyung figure out that Ha Ni’s a mermaid early on? He does have her scale in his possession after all.