Secret Love Affair – Episode 4 Recap

Episode 4

This dramda is assured in it’s material and in it’s actors, so it tells the story at its own pace. Thankfully that pace while not sit at the edge of your seat fast, it’s in constant movement, and we do see a change overcome our characters as they interact with each other.

As the kiss winds down, Hye Won still in shock tells him to follow her inside. Once inside she tells him to stay in the piano room.

As she’s heating up water for tea, the live-in housekeeper walks out of her room and asks her if she’s just arrived and if she had company since she’s preparing tea. Hye Won denies that there’s anybody with her and tells the housekeeper to go back to sleep.

Before the housekeeper goes back to her room she tells Hye Won that her husband called and is coming back early from the get together.

When Hye Won calls her husband and tells him that she had thought he’d meant to stay at the team building get together he practically blows her ear drums out as he complains to her.

Hye Won gathers her wits together after talking with her husband and goes to face the music, or in this case Sun Jae. She tells him she doesn’t remember what happened, and he should leave now sisnce he shouldn’t be at her house this late at night.

He looks at her incredulously and tells her that he’s really sorry to Professor Kang, and that this is the first time he’s ever coveted someone else’s “woman.” (Sunjaee!! she’s nobody’s but her own! nobody can own another human being!) She slaps him lightly (it almost seemed like a caress really) and tells him to refer to her as teacher, not a woman.

To drive a nail into Sun Jae’s heart she tells him that he should leave and only return if he’s willing to have music lessons, if he isn’t then he shouldn’t appear before her. She only liked him for his talent on the piano, nothing more.

Just as Sun Jae leaves in his government issue truck, Kang Joon Hyung arrives and starts blustering that he came back since it would be sooo awkward to stay with the children when he’s the academic chair, but soon that quickly turns to complaining how Jo In Seo shows off and he can’t stand it. .

Hye Won has a hard time sleeping and keeps rethinking about what happened and she vows that she’ll never “remember” what happened. Sun Jae is pretty cut up and throws out the book Hye Won sent him.

The next day he is still brooding about what Hye Won said about not remembering and is on the brink of breaking out in tears just with the mere thought of Hye Won.

Hye Won’s isn’t any better but she’s better at withholding and hiding and stoically keeping her feelings in check, so instead she throws herself into the constant drama between her bosses.

Lily calls Hye Won to tell her about how Young Woo had arrived with her husband to have breakfast with her father but had soon dismissed the husband and had broken down in tears in front of her father and requested a private chat with him. Lily is dying to know but only overhears a small portion of the conversation.

Inside Young Woo is upset at being grounded in Korea without a passport, but with a few tears, a mention about how she wishes she could visit her two!! children!! who live abroad more often, she manages to get her father to agree to let her travel abroad.

Lily is dying to know about what went on between her husband and Young Woo and as a thought she asks if Hye Won can’t plant a bug in her husband’s study, Hye Won laughs the idea off saying that she can’t do that since Chairman Seo would notice right away.

Just as they’re going through Lily’s itinerary for her upcoming travels to France, a rich looking lady comes in with Director Min. She immediately grabs ahold of Hye Won and asks if she can’t get her husband to overlook her daughters lack of discipline and let her graduate so she can become a music teacher, Hye Won tries to gently extricate herself from the awkward situation by claiming that her husband doesn’t really listen to her regarding the school issues.

Lily gets impatient and we soon find out that rich lady is probably a highly respected fortune teller since she starts to do a reading for Lily. Fortune teller lady tells Lily that there’s two women under the same roof and she better do something to change that since they are harming each other. hmmm

Hye won leaves in the middle of the session and texts Sun Jae but he ignores it and continues working, but things look hazy with him. He’s unfocused and upset and continues to ignore Hye Won’s texts.

Then to make matters worse he’s right next to a place where there’s a lady playing the piano horribly and he can’t stand it… he dropped the shovel and raced inside the building,

Honestly what follows seems like an episode of acute psychosis. As soon as he’s inside the room where the lady is the accompanyment for ballet students, he starts shouting at the lady and telling her that if she has to play to at least play well! and after screaming at her that she’s driving him crazy with her bad playing he proceeds to make a grab at her which honestly if I’d been her I too would be freaked by this stranger who started shouting at me and proceeds to try and grab me.

The police comes to the lady’s rescue but Sun Jae still manages to grab ahold of the lady and tries to straighten her back and telling her that she can’t play correctly without good posture… honestly his thoughts and words are so disorganized and random, it’s like everything that’s happened to him has to get out or when it does it might be even worse than this outbreak.

He gets taken to the police station and charged with assault and battery, one of his public service bosses is there to vouch for him as a guy who is normally not violent, though he does ask him if he’s had psychiatric problems in the past. When they ask for someone that can be responsible for him he tells him that he has nobody. Next thing we see is his friends talking with him and tring to come up with a plan to help him out but he rejects the idea of asking for help from Hye Won and Kang Joon Hyung. He says that that would be humiliating, he’d rather just go to prison. His friends think he really has gone around the bend to prefer prison.

As a stark contrast to Sun Jae’s situation is Young Woo and her loverboy  going on a shopping trip to Paris. Unfortunately for her it’s in the same flight as Lily’s flight. They argue about who should give up the flight and change it for another flight time, but since they’re both too proud and entitled they both decide to ignore each other in the plane. Hye Won is stuck in the middle trying to diffuse the situation, saying that loverboy is really a business partner, But Lily is having none of it and clearly knows that it’s the lover but let’s it go after a snide remark to Young Woo.

We also learn that Lily is wary of her husband (Chairman Seo) and that she knows he’s interested in her “other” pocket and that his love for her is past it’s expiration date. She asks that Hye Won monitor him and report everything she hears from him during the lunch that she’ll have with him. Hye Won tells her that she will though she is also very grateful to Chairman Seo since he’s the one that helped her through school. Nevertheles Lily asks that she also watch him and find out about his other women.

Hye Won goes off to lunch with Chairman Seo and he’s all laughing at the coincidence of Young Woo and Lily sharing the same flight. As they keep talking he does mention that he thinks that Lily has a lot in her “other” pocket and that he’s left her too long in the same position. Hye Won tells him that she’ll have to report what he’s said to Lily. He laughs and then tells her that if she’d been a man he’d have her marry his daughter.

As they’re talking the restaurant ahjumma serves their food and immediately his eyes stray. He matter of factly says that because of her sad eyes he’ll have to take her in his arms soon. Dude he’s such a lech.

The rich fortuneteller’s daughter skips school yet again and leaves her music partner in the lurch. And she gets dissed by the teacher in German. What a horrible day for her.

The rich fortuneteller actually goes on a date with Sun Jae’s friend who picks her up in a sports car that he took from work. As he drops her off at home he asks if she knows of any contacts her mom might have to help out a friend who is in trouble (Sun Jae) but she ignores him

Sun Jae meanwhile is having a hard time going to sleep and calming down in the holding cell. He tries to think of only good things and the first thing that pops to mind is the time that he and Hye Won played the duet on the piano.

Hye Won connects to the music page where Sun Jae talk to her and she pretends to be a 25 year old unemployed music grad. He isn’t on, for reasons we know but she doesn’t.

Hye Won goes to the hair salon that Da Mi works at and requests Da Mi since last time she’d felt much better after Da Mi massaged her head while washing her hair. Before the massage Da Mi shows Hye Won that she had saved the necklace she’d dropped before and that she wears it now. Hye Won doesn’t get angry and tells her to keep it. Da Mi happily starts massaging her but even the massage doesn’t stop her from remembering all her encounters with Sun Jae and even Da Mi notices that she’s upset.

Before Hye Won leaves Da Mi takes a risk and asks her if she’ll help her ‘boyfriend’ out, since he’s been arrested for assault. Hye Won is very kind and as Da Mi breaks down crying she holds her hand and goes to sit somewhere else to listen to her story. Da Mi starts telling her about Sun Jae and Hye Won immediately recognizes the background story of the boyfriend as Sun Jae’s. Shocked, Hye Won promises to look into the matter.

Hye Won immediately calls her assistant to investigate the situation Sun Jae is in. When she hears the details of the charges against Sun Jae, she leaves for the station.  Without speaking to anybody she she peers at Sun Jae through the jail bars and notices that with his eyes closed he’s playing the air piano.  She goes out and stands outside for a long while, everybody at the station leaves and then as if an idea has popped into her mind she walks out of the station in a fast stride.

That next morning she looks over at her husband with a glint in her eye. As he’s ranting at her betrayal and constant preferance for Jo In Seo, and how if Sun Jae had been Jo’s student she would have done more to keep him. She calmly drinks her tea and tells him that of course that’s not it. Just at that moment the phone rings and she passes it on to Kang Joon Hyung.

Kang Joon Hyung had apparently gotten a call about Sun Jae since next thing we know he’s lying through his teeth about Sun Jae being his personal student who he’s preparing to compete on an international level. that Sun Jae was under a lot of stress and had enlisted without telling him, and his psychiatrist. The ahjumma who was pressing charges immediately changes her tune and tells the officer that she’ll settle and drop the charges.

Sun Jae is called out and he’s greeted with an awkward clinging hug by Joon Hyung.

Joon Hung solves the issues and soon he’s taking Sun Jae to his home and telling him to live there for a while. He even tells Sun Jae that he’ll get a psychiatrist to write up a report to take care of the rest of the time Sun Jae needs to fulfill of military enlistment. Sun Jae says he can’t agree to it, but Joon Hyung bulldozes his way. As they’re discussing the issues Hye Won drives up from work and we’re treated to an awkward conversation where Sun Jae notes that she’s doing extremely well and she’s all  cool about it.  But as Joon Hyung takes Sun Jae inside their house we see that she is definitely NOT cool inside, and seems to be filled with trepidation.


I’ve actually taken quite a while with writing this episode’s recap not only because of hospital work, but because I have to think about what’s going on in this drama.

During the promotional work for this drama there seemed to be a focus on the racier side of an affair, but as we’ve now finished the second week of drama, I’ glad to say that that isn’t the focus, our characters don’t immediately dive into the sexual side of the affair. We get to see why there is a connection between Sun Jae and Hye Won, why there’s more to them than sexual attraction… and I’ll have to argue that for Hye Won I think it’s everything else before his physicality that interests her. She’s more attracted to his talent, to his passion than she is to anything else. Of course he’s good looking, but I think if he didn’t have his talent, she’d never look twice at him.

I think what I’m most glad about this drama is that it isn’t glorifying an affair, it does well in making the most adult of the two involved naturally conflicted, and unwilling to completely fall into the affair quickly and without second thought like her frenemy boss Young Woo. Hye Won has her own set of values that she would completely betray if she becomes entangled with Sun Jae. She’ll need to work them out and decide what her next move will be, because the next move is hers, Sun Jae has already laid out before her all his cards, she has to decide if she’ll also lay out hers or fold.

The scene that most gripped me is the one where Hye Won is sstaring out in space right outside the police station, while Sun Jae is inside playing the air piano.  i could almost feel that he’s playing the music that is Hye Won’s background as she’s thinking and pondering the situation, the music is connecting them even as they’re apart,

 I must again admit that I do have issues with adultery, but in literature it never stopped me from enjoying a good story and so that’s why among my favourites you find Anna Karenina (this one has the grand prize of being my favourite story of all time), Wuthering Heights, the Crucible, and The Awakening. They were the reasons for why I didn’t dismiss this story and decided to weather through it. And thankfully this drama is, I believe, a work of art. And I am glad I decided to watch it because with it I hope I can grow to be more understanding of other’s problems and struggles.


3 thoughts on “Secret Love Affair – Episode 4 Recap

  1. Thanks again, Min, for your effort on the recap. I honestly was enjoying reading your Notes more than the recap itself. Episode 4 was more like a ‘aftermath of the kiss’ + ‘building up the cohabitation’ for me. We get to also see the preview for Episode 5 and omg, the laughters shared while playing duet & the backhugs is totally mindblowing.

    Like u said, SJ has laid out all his cards, now’s her turn to lay hers or fold. But what is at stake for her is SO MUCH more than what SJ has. We also don’t know what SJ can do for her is what she needs or want from him. He can continue to love/adore her in his own way but I don’t think he considered what it brings to her. I hope he understand that acting on JUST his own feelings isn’t enough to take this ‘relationship’ anywhere.

    • okiejune says:

      I agree – she’s going to have to spell things out for him, though, because there’s no way he’ll understand what’s happening otherwise.

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