Ex-Girlfriend Club Episodes 5 & 6: Oppa’s here for you

The characters in Ex-Girlfriend Club are smart, good-looking people who would be great catches if not for one small flaw—romance is their kryptonite. Relationships trigger their self-destruct mode. And in episodes 5 and 6 we see that Director Geun is no better than the rest of them. Until now, he’s been enjoying watching everyone else act like idiots, but I have a feeling his new-found crush on Soo-Jin is going to lead him to do silly things too. And all I can say is: Hooray! More silly!

This show continues to offer classic farce, complete with concealed identities, secret relationships and people sneaking in and out of rooms they aren’t supposed to be in. Soo-Jin is trying to convince Director Geun to make her movie. But Hwa-Young doesn’t want Director Geun to know that she’s working on a movie with her ex-boyfriend Myeong-Soo.

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Hwa-Young’s craziness has a way of sweeping up everyone else. Against their better judgment, Soo-Jin and Myeong-Soo end up helping her by pretending they’re dating. When the group goes on a weekend retreat to discuss the script, Director Geun figures out how the four women are related to Myeong-Soo. He even figures out that several of them were hiding under Myeong-Soo’s bed late at night (above).

He threatens Hwa-Young with exposing her secret. He doesn’t want to do the movie because she’s deceiving his friend, her fiancé. Ra-Ra tries to convince the director to change his mind in a hilarious and embarrassing failed seduction. Then Soo-Jin tries (in a more serious vein) and fails. But the director can’t get Soo-Jin out of his mind and he may give in after all (below).

That’s the basic outline. What’s most interesting in these episodes is that we start to get Myeong-Soo’s point of view on his relationship with Soo-Jin. We also get hints of just how close they were three years ago.

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Myeong-Soo acts pleased to be Soo-Jin’s “fake boyfriend.” He flirts with Soo-Jin and wants to make plans together. He also tells Ji-Ah he won’t come by the restaurant for awhile, as if his priorities have changed. Gotta put some effort into that fake relationship!

But things get awkward on the weekend brainstorming retreat. The director, already suspicious of their “relationship,” asks how they met, then points out that the story came from a popular movie. Myeong-Soo and Soo-Jin are embarrassed in front of the exes and Hwa-Young’s fiance. The director makes it pretty clear he doesn’t believe they’re really dating.

Then Myeong-Soo gets serious for once. He tells the story of their “first kiss,” but it’s really the story of a time three years ago when he missed Soo-Jin and spontaneously visited her where she was working on a movie.

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“If I didn’t go into the bar right then,” he says, “we’d always be just friends.”

The story he tells ends with him entering and kissing Soo-Jin, while in the flashback we see what really happened. He watches Soo-Jin through the window as she laughs with colleagues. She drinks a “love shot” with her lead actor, who calls her noona (making it clear they aren’t dating). Myeong-Soo stands at the door a long time. He almost enters a few times, then finally walks away. Is he discouraged because she looks so happy? Because of the good-looking actor next to her? We don’t know exactly, but we can’t miss the sadness on his face as he blinks back a couple tears.

To top it off, when Director Geun teasingly asks Myeong-Soo how he kissed Soo-Jin, the writer says, I’ll show you. He turns to Soo-Jin and leans in. He’s about to plant one on her lips when a wineglass shatters and breaks the mood (above).

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The exes don’t know whether or not to believe Myeong-Soo, leading to their absurd consultation later that night (above). But we’re on the inside and know that it’s a real memory.

Myeong-Soo’s revelation overturns previous versions of the story the way Soo-Jin did in episode 2. Now it looks like it wasn’t a one-sided thing after all. Myeong-Soo did have feelings for Soo-Jin that went past friendship. In fact, as he tells the story in front of an audience in episode 5, he rekindles their old chemistry together. For the length of that scene, we can’t imagine them as merely friends.

And knowing that Myeong-Soo was attracted to Soo-Jin, maybe we have to believe a few of the things he’s said. Maybe he really meant it when he said in episode 1 that he missed the period of his life they hung out, that it was the happiest time for him. Maybe he meant what he said in episode 5, when he compares seeing Soo-Jin again to seeing his ex Ji-Ah again. Soo-Jin is also “someone it was nice to see again.”

Myeong-Soo’s tricky. After he tells Soo-Jin about chickening out three years ago—after he almost kisses her!—he doesn’t mention it again. He doesn’t apologize for saying in episode 2 that they were “just best friends.” He doesn’t tell her that he wants to go out with her now. Soo-Jin asks him point-blank if he has anything more to tell her and he says no.

But everyone can see that Myeong-Soo likes Soo-Jin at the moment. Even Myeong-Soo’s comic writer office-mate thinks he’s going out with Soo-Jin. And Myeong-Soo acts like a man with a serious crush as he sends off text messages to Soo-Jin and agonizes when she doesn’t respond.

Endearingly, Myeong-Soo is waiting for Soo-Jin when she gets home after fighting about the movie project with Director Geun (above). He tries to cheer her up by doing a silly dance and shouting out cheesy inspirational quotes (below). Once they’re home, he sends her encouraging text messages late at night.

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Myeong-Soo’s messing with her mind though. He refers to himself as oppa in a text message to Soo-Jin, which only makes sense if they’re dating or intend to start dating soon (like tomorrow). Unless they’re literally siblings, “oppa” has a flirtatious connotation. It’s the last thing he should say if he wants a Platonic friendship.

The look on Soo-Jin’s face when she gets this “oppa” text suggests she’s been through this with Myeong-Soo before (below). Yikes! Did he do this three years ago? What is this guy’s problem?

Soo-Jin handles his confusing behavior with grace. She continues to be friendly, but you can see how much he’s hurting her. And she doesn’t answer his stupid text messages.

Soo-Jin also handles Director Geun well. In episode 6 the director says he might reconsider quitting the movie if she would beg him, or apologize to him (for telling him he’s rude)—basically, if she’ll give him a little romantic hope.

She shoots him down, partly because she doesn’t take him seriously, but also I suspect because this is her job—and the director’s job too. If he’s going to make a movie, he should do it because he believes in the movie.

One thing I appreciate about Soo-Jin and Myeong-Soo is that as awkward as things get, they both believe in their project together. Neither tries to hold the movie hostage because of personal issues. That’s what the exes do—and what the director’s trying to do. He’s more concerned with figuring out how everyone’s related than with the script.

Myeong-Soo grows harder to understand the more we know about him. Why is he so insecure about Soo-Jin?

I wonder if Ji-Ah is a factor. Myeong-Soo says that he “cried the most” when he broke up with her five years ago. He must have met Soo-Jin not long after Ji-Ah left him to marry a rich husband. He might not have had any confidence when he met Soo-Jin.

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He also doesn’t have much judgment when it comes to love. To think that his first love was Hwa-Young! Even Myeong-Soo admits that he mistook her crazy stalking behavior for love. And his next girlfriend was Ji-Ah, who told him from the beginning that she was continuing to look for an arranged marriage with a rich husband. He really doesn’t protect his own heart at all, does he?

One small mystery in these episodes: what happened to Soo-Jin’s phone? One reason Soo-Jin and Myeong-Soo drift apart is that he couldn’t reach her on the phone that night three years ago. The number he dials is unreachable. When Myeong-Soo finds Soo-Jin, she has her phone and it’s answering to a new number. Does he think she’s ditching him by changing numbers?

To add to my mystification, in episode one Myeong-Soo makes a point of asking Soo-Jin if she’s changed her number since the old days. She insists she hasn’t. The scene where he runs through all the Soo-Jins in his phone ensues. He’s acting like the opposite of that guy who traveled for hours to find her when she didn’t answer her phone. Is Myeong-Soo’s “Oh, I know so many Soo-Jins” act a smidgen of petty revenge for her number change three years ago? And if Soo-Jin did change her number, why does she deny it?

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I hope the missed signals between Myeong-Soo and Soo-Jin won’t turn out to be the result of a simple wrong number. I don’t think that’s the only thing that went wrong. A lot happens beneath the surface here, and the misunderstandings grow out of real personality issues. I’m looking forward to this show more and more every week!

One clever development here is that the exes are acting more than ever like a team of conspirators. Ra-Ra and Ji-Ah are like naughty best friends when they crash the retreat together (above). When the three sit around the bar in Ji-Ah’s empty restaurant, they really do look like a kids’ secret society plotting in their clubhouse—a real ex-girlfriend’s club.

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These episodes had so many funny moments, but my personal favorite might be the love scene that Soo-Jin interrupts between her sister and brother-in-law (above). These two are so weird, they’re made for each other. And the backdrop of kids’ coloring on the wallpaper says it everything we need to know about romance while raising small children. I knew Soo-Jin’s sister had more to her, underneath all those worries about money! ♥

Is Myeong-Soo spineless or is something else going on? Does anyone think Director Geun is a better match for Soo-Jin? At least he says what he’s thinking….

14 thoughts on “Ex-Girlfriend Club Episodes 5 & 6: Oppa’s here for you

  1. You raised some pretty good points in ur uncap Odessa. I’m kinda at a loss for words cuz u touched on so many topics. But i’ll start with Myeong Soo. I watched ep 6 three times and MS is seriously such a mystery. He clearly likes Soo-Jin but gets very defensive abt it. We see how he ran to her to drink with her, couldn’t seem to leave quickly enough at Ji-Ah’s place, how he seems like he’s on cloud nine with her. So what gives MS? What gives?!
    When Soo-Jin saw that text from MS where he called himself “oppa”, my interpretation is kinda different. I didn’t take it seriously and just saw it as jest. I was thinking that perhaps he’s just saying that in reference to their fake relationship. And Soo-Jin’s reaction was due to stress re: the movie’s cancellation. MS is so confusing right now. At that last scene in ep 6, we see how angry and jealous he’s being. But he hasn’t really staked a claim on SJ. Why is he so afraid to admit that he likes her, when any fool can see that he’s falling so hard?
    Throughout ep 6, we see SJ’s confusion as he says various things: from her denial of him being glad to see her again, to her reaction when he asked her to drink with him, to her seeing him come to pick her up at the end scene. He’s just sending so many mixed signals with her.
    And don’t let me get started on Ji-Ah right now. I don’t know if she likes MS or if she’s just being possessive bc she’s used to having MS in her palms. Since MS started to distance himself from her, we see her reaching out. She does everything to keep him at her place. She even ends up arguing and admonishing the ex’s for messing up MS’s movie. Then, she insults SJ as if SJ is not up to their standards and not good enough for anyone. That scene had me angry. How dare they insult my Soo-Jin-nie?! Anyway, thanks for the uncap, girl! Its so difficult to find these. I wonder why. You can see hw much im enjoying this. It’s like KMHM days. I was so obsessed…

    • I’m so glad you’re watching this too, Camille! I can’t stop trying to figure these people out. I like your point about “oppa”–that makes sense. The fake dating thing gives him lots of room to joke around. I was soooo mad at him when he sent that text, though, even if he and Soo-Jin know it’s part of the whole “joke.” For me, the look on Soo-Jin’s face said, Hey, this isn’t really funny. How do you not get that, Myeong-Soo? Is it possible he’s someone who only thinks about the next two minutes? He can be passionate one minute and get suckered into fixing drainpipes the next, like he’s focused on getting through the present social situation in the least awkward way possible. Since saying No is awkward, he can’t say it and gets dragged this way and that.

      But that doesn’t explain why he’s afraid for anyone to know he likes Soo-Jin! Even in episode 1, he was mean to her when they ran into each other (are you meeting a man, the phone number thing), as if he was already defensive and trying to prove he doesn’t like her. I feel like there’s still a bit more to the story. Did Soo-Jin do or say something to inadvertently suggest she’d never be interested in him? What gives, Myeong-Soo?!? I don’t want the show to get too psychological on us, but I hope they keep doling out bits of back story. The exes are also a clue to the things going through his head. You “learn” lessons when you break up, and often they’re totally the wrong lessons to learn. What did he learn from Hwa-Young and Ji-Ah? Ji-Ah really evil right now! So possessive! I was so psyched when MS leaves her at the restaurant and says he can’t come by for awhile.

      At the end of ep 6 I was sooo mad at the three exes. It was the first time I felt like their meddling had become really cruel–because now they’re messing directly with Soo Jin! I hope Soo Jin lets everyone have it in episode 7. This is my favorite show on right now, the one that I wonder about all week. We can’t be the only ones, right? This script is so on point and unusual. (Though the no-Baeksang for Ji Sung yesterday made me think “unusual” might not be an adjective everyone likes as much as I do. T_T I’m a rational person, except where everything KMHM is concerned! KMHM is love!)

  2. ok so I know I am way way over thinking this. But I am hoping this is a judgement free zone and shall post my over analysis and multitude of questions for pondering. But first of all thank you Odessa for the excellent recap as usual. I had to force myself to not read it before I had a chance to watch the episodes. It was hard.

    Right off the bat I need to agree with Camille. I think he was being playful with the “Oppa” and that she got his joke. But I also think that joke was meant to hide the fact he just really wanted to talk to her.

    What is the timeline of the girlfriends? I thought Ji Ah was his first love. I’m guessing Ra Ra is the most recent. But I am confused where Soo Jin and Hwa Yeong fit in.

    I have re-watched a few scenes over and over. Interestingly they all seem to have the same music which I really love. In episode 5 at about the 15 minute mark they are eating at a cafe and she is trying to figure out who the main character is. he is steadfastly maintaining that it is all three of them and then she asks who has remained in his heart Richard Burton like. He responds

    “There is one. Even if it concerns her only this much. My heart sinks with only the thought of running into her. If I pass by her neighbourhood I cover my face in case I run into her. But my eyes look for her with my antenna straight up. I think to myself that it felt awkward to throw our couple ring away, so I just roughly pushed it into a corner, but honestly …I store it away quite well”

    Who is this? this description does not seem to fit JA or HY to me. Anyone think otherwise? We have not seen as much interaction between him and Ra Ra but I don’t really think it is her, although that would be an interesting twist. He has clearly stated that there are only 3 exes and I tend to believe that despite the hint of a buffalo girl. That would leave SJ but then the description can not be literal. Could he be talking about hiding from her emotionally? If so then the “ring” will be meaningful too and something that shows up later. Perhaps the matching sunset flip book to the one he gave her? Next she asks why the first place is in first place. He says he was special at that time. Now this really is sounding like it could be SJ to me.

    her response is that this makes her more confused. Perhaps she is speaking for all of us here!

    In episode 6 after he has run to meet her at the park (same nice music) SJ is incredulous he only fixed a drainpipe in Ji Ah’s house given she was the one he cried the most over. He says “I have no lingering affection”. And yet we can see there is something unresolved between him and JA. He hung out at her door just a few episodes ago. She was looking for him over her balcony and when he is describing his trip to Chungmuro to see SJ, Ji Ah’s face is fallen and she looks to be near tears. I think she recognized the truth in his words. Perhaps the reason for the divorce is that she never stopped loving Myeong Soo. the exchange ” are you okay living alone?” — “I am living alone to be okay”
    was very telling.

    I was proud of Soo Jin for bravely asking him why he did not tell her that he came to see her in Chungmuro. But here I think you are incorrect. When she asks if there is anything else he has not told her he does not say no. He simply shrugs and smiles cutely.

    The other exes are so forceful and seem to have taken the lead in their relationships that perhaps he simply does not know how to deal with SJ who was not taking the lead. they are clearly missing each others signals in the present so there is no reason to think that did not happen in the past as well.

    Okay so going out on a limb I am thinking he was very clear in the past on his feelings for her and thought there was something between them until that trip to Chungmuro. For some reason her phone was not picking up his calls (by design or otherwise) and he saw her doing the love shot and quasi embrace with the other fellow and figured he had misunderstood. Or perhaps that other mutual friend encouraged the misunderstanding. That the reason for firmly stating he did not date her is that he wished he had and to say they did would be a painful lie for him to tell.

  3. Ok, count me in for “the cofused club”.
    Several episodes back I thought MS has some lingering feelings for JiAh, but his action towards SJ in the last episodes says differently. So what is this?!

    My only explanation is: We will get an explanation! 🙂
    I guess so, because the drama is showing us some old interaction between MS and SJ. Showing us more of the story…and also, as @erin noticed, MS answered very vaguely when SJ asked him if he told her everything…

    As for the ex-girlsfriends, I think JiAh either has some feelings for MS, or cant stand to see him happy with someone else…maybe she doesnt really realise it. Im not a psychologist, but maybe she is hurt after the divorce and needs to “heal her wounds”. MS always loved her unconditionally and she needs that kind of love now. You know what I mean?

    And I like the director! I hope he wont add too much drama to the story later. I want him to stay cool and silly (as Odessa mentioned he will probably be). Not a typical second lead character, please drama!

  4. @ Erin: Ah, you’re right! I rewatched and Myeong Soo just shrugs and smiles when she asks him if he has anything else to say. Darn that cute smile! I love your theory that “the reason for firmly stating he did not date her is that he wished he had and to say they did would be a painful lie for him to tell.” That would make sense. I also got the feeling that when he described someone still special to him (a la Richard Burton) it didn’t sound like Ji-Ah. But it also didn’t give me a clear Soo Jin vibe either, which is driving me nuts!

    I think you’re on to something about MS thinking his feelings were obvious in the past–that would explain some of the stuff he says. And one thing Soo Jin has mentioned is that she thought it was a “bad time” to get involved with him back then. She may have purposefully ignored his feelings.

    I’m not sure on the timeline. He broke up with Ji Ah five years ago. And he met Soo Jin four years ago, I think? And they stopped hanging out three years ago? Are Hwa Young and Ra Ra girlfriends from the past three years? I’ve also seen speculation that Hwa Young was after Ji Ah. Maybe after the cool, distant Ji-Ah, the stalking from Hwa-Young seemed like a positive thing?

    I’m glad I’m not the only one spending all week trying to figure these people out!

    @ Murrcat & Erin: I think Murrcat’s right about Ji Ah wanting comfort from MS, especially because of the divorce. Even though it was MS who broke up with her, she was “the boss” in their relationship. I get the sense she was counting on finding him single when she came back to Seoul. (Possibly Erin’s right and she realized she loved MS after getting married?)

    MS and Ji Ah…I get the impression he’s really lonely. That could explain why he was making puppy dog eyes at Ji Ah when they first met up again. I also get a feeling of unfinished business between them. But I don’t know if that’s lingering affection or something simpler, like he wants to know her side of the story now that she’s read his version in the comic. Or he wants to know if she’s ever regretted leaving him to marry wealthy. Even if he might not have feelings for her, it’s still clear that she hurt him.

    And I can’t wait to see what happens to Director Geun next. I love that Ra-Ra and Ji-Ah both could potentially fall for him. Director Geun’s scenes with Ra-Ra in the last episode were so great–first I was soooo embarrassed for her, then darned if Jo Geun didn’t look really sexy despite (because of?) his hilarious smack-down of Ra-Ra and her harasser at the club. Since it was Ra-Ra, I know she’ll bounce back stronger than ever.

  5. oh the embarrassment factor is way too high for me. I feel like I am 10 and watching I Lvoe Lucy. I had to hide behind the couch and just listen because I was embarrassed for her. this is a problem now because I have to actually watch the subtitles and sometimes I have to simply skip a scene. Director Geun’s penchant for making the rest of them twist is very hard on me. If it were not for that I might like him. he is smart and I think fully aware of most of the situation. I think he has figured out what none of them are able to. I do think this show is mostly about communication styles and the resultant problems of miscommunication.

    And the “Richard Burton” comment does not seem to describe any of them. The only way it could be SJ is if it is not literal. I mean she would remember if she got a couple ring. It would be interesting if it were Ji Ah and they get back together and Sj gets together with the director after finally putting her feelings for MS aside. Then the story becomes a lot more interesting than the standard Korean romance story arc which would require SJ and MS to get together in the end after possibly dating Ji Ah and JG for a brief bit.

    I am with Murrcat in hoping for not too much drama from the director and expecting an explanation at the end. I just hope the explanation matches what we have seen. Nothing disappoints me more than an ending where the denouement fails to match up with what we have seen up to that point.

  6. Im re-watching the previous eps because I feel like if I go back I’ll find something. So ive seen ep 1 and half of ep 3 so far. In ep 1 where SJ and MS meet up again, I get the feeling that MS is putting on this false happiness bravado. There’s that one moment where he gets serious and says that the time with her was the happiest for him. And he says that he’s never had as much fun since then. And then he just switches the topic, and asks her if she’s there to meet a guy. I felt like he was gettimg defensive there. But I agree with Odessa that he might have been acting petty with the whole “I kno so many Soo-Jin’s”. I think he was really calling her old number. But when she doesnt get even a ring, it gets even more questionable.

    Just what happened those 3 yrs ago? Is he afraid of getting hurt, does he feel like she’d do well w/o him or what? Seems to me like his whole world is revolving around Soo-Jin. Look at all the stuff he’s done. He sacrificed his movie so that she would cheer up and he’s just always around her. I doubt that he really knows what love is, if his relationships with Ra Ra and Hwa Young are any indication. Argh! Cant wait til friday! Did anyone see the preview for ep 7. Noble idiocy is on the way guys…

    • Grr – to noble idiocy. I am not a fan. I will go watch the preview if I can find it with English Subtitles.

      I also went and rewatched that scene yesterday and I agree with your take on it being false bravado. I do wonder about the phone number thing. I think that will be the thing that will explain it all.

      if you are still rewatching can you keep your eye out for clues as to the timing of the gfs?

      • Sure thing Erin. I’ll keep an eye out for that cuz im confused abt the order of the gf’s too. Didn’t he say Ji-Ah was his first love? He dated her 5 yrs ago. We know that SJ and MS were separated for 3 yrs which then means that they spent 2 yrs together. Not sure where Hwa-Young fits in. She might have been before or after MS. Ra Ra is probably the newest as i recall her saying in ep 1, “I’m a newer version of you!” to Hwa-Young. Ep 7 is today, so im off to watch that raw. EEEEKK!

  7. Aaa! Episode 7 subs at 97% now and I’m off to watch. I’ve been worrying about all these questions and I hope we get some hints this week, not just idiocy, if idiocy has to happen.

    @Erin: I Love Lucy always drove me to hiding behind the couch too!

      • I will most definitely be returning to hear ur thoughts on ep 7 & 8. Your thoughts are always so introspective. I’m especially eager to hear what u have to say re: ep 7. Ep 7 was amazing! We got some insights into MS’s feelings and his take on their “relationship” this hour. It truly was his hour this ep. Odessa, can it get any better? Did u see the preview for ep 8? EEKKK! Things are going to get so much more interesting tomorrow. MS and SJ might be my most fave OTP. They’re so perfect for each other.

  8. Looking forward to the uncap. But just wanted to say within the first 1.5 minutes the Director had made me change my mind about him. I had to rewatch it to be sure but he was actually thoughtful even if he hid it.

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