Author: Diana Higashiyama Trudnowski from ECI
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WARNING: If you haven’t watched this episode, please be aware of spoiler from reading this article.
Episode 5 finds Hong Yoo Ra trying to influence Mate with her sob story about her daughter being sent abroad. Mate seems concerned but not fully sympathetic, does he suspect something? Bo Tong sees the embrace between Mate and Yoo Ra and questions her relationship with Mate may be more like friends than romantic. She goes home, gets drunk and has a conversation with her mother that makes her mom think she has a job and a dorm to stay in, when actually she takes David up on his offer to stay at his house. David of course is thrilled to have Bo Tong close to him and meets her wacky family when he comes to pick her up and help smooth over the lies Bo Tong has told them. Bo Tong beating up her Karate Crazy brother is hilarious! You’d think he’d be a good fighter by now?
In the mean time, poor Electric Fairy has admitted to falling in love for the first time with Mate. She totally thinks he is pure and without an agenda (haha!), so she helps him by diverting Na Hong Ran by thinking instead of destroying Mate she needs to protect herself instead. Electric Fairy also finds out that Na Hong Ran was behind the attack on her parents food stand.
Bo Tong moves into David’s house and their chemistry together is so cute and quirky! David is trying to get air time for the socks with his manager and puts his job on the line if they don’t sell out. His manager is a hoot, really obsessed with his hands and a drama king! Mate meets Bo Tong and David for a meeting and wants to know why she didn’t answer her phone. He finds out she spent the night at David’s and gets put on the spot for assuming the wrong thing when he should know Bo Tong’s character. Mate is really unbalanced by this turn of events! When Bo Tong tries to explain later Mate is totally involved with how he is going to convince David’s manager to sell their socks, but tells her to move back home. So, of course she thinks he’s jealous-that’s our girl (in full Bo Tong mode)!
Mate goes to Electric Fairy for advice on his sock problem. Electric Fairy confides in Mate that her childhood was difficult because of her parents’ disabilities and that this is what made her develop her skills in reading and manipulating people; to find their “button”. While trying to figure out what the button is, Mate is wondering if Bo Tong has gone home or still at David’s house-and tries to convince himself he is not curious, hahaha! Bo Tong has not gone home and is having dinner with David. In his charming way he tells her she doesn’t need to watch her weight when she says she should. She’s so in love with Mate she doesn’t realize yet how sweet David is.
There is a cute scene with Electric Fairy waiting (just like a girl) for Mate’s call and she’s playing with her dancing monkey props. He calls and they arrange to meet at a cafe to work on finding a person’s button. Bo Tong calls Mate who immediately asks if she moved back home, kkk! This is a funny conversation, he is in total Mate mode and she is in Bo Tong mode!
While at the cafe, Bo Tong shows up after doing a stalker search. Electric Fairy sees “buttons” all over Bo Tong and leaves the two of them alone. Bo Tong actually has a reason to see Mate, she’s found out where the home shopping manager goes the same time every week. So Mate goes only to find out it’s a nail salon and has his first manicure.
In true eel form, the manicurist is of course wearing a leopard print top and going gaga over Mate’s beauty. She accidentally puts too much lotion on his hand. During this time Mate has been observing the manager enter and assumes he is gay by his actions. So Mate walks over to “share” his hand cream with the manager by intertwining their fingers and sliding them back and forth.
Mate is embarrassed as the manager says he has different taste and likes girls (Though he obviously enjoyed the hand action with the handsome Mate). This is the funniest and sexiest scene!
Mate reeling from his embarrassing encounter is at home with his friend Jang Duk Saeng who is looking to stay with Mate. Mate has a better idea and brings him over to David’s house as a helper for Bo Tong (more like spy I think!) Mate then goes to see Electric Fairy and says finding the button and doing the right thing is difficult for him. He wants to know if she can see his button and she replies yes. If she pushes his button he will want to kiss her. Electric Fairy calls Kim In Joong, the woman with connections, who will be Mate’s third challenge.
Mate and Electric Fairy look like they’re going to kiss but end up rubbing noses. Actor Jang makes this so sexy! Though it isn’t a kiss, it is still a very intimate scene. Eels all want to be in Electric Fairy’s shoes for that moment; OK maybe not the male eels-hehehe!
Electric Fairy and Yoo Ra meet again and Electric Fairy warns Yoo Ra that Mate’s path could be dangerous and that he seems to be her “soldier”.Electric Fairy also tells her that love/affection is more important than any message from the gods and will protect her daughter.
Mate sends Bo Tong to Kim In Joong with the socks, who agrees to register them and thus able to sell them on MG Home Shopping network.
In a funny exchange, Mate and David make snippy comments at each other because Bo Tong is unloading boxes by herself. Mate picks on her about a water can she is carrying around. David says that obviously it’s a purse. That amazes Bo Tong that he gets her style. Bo Tong and Mate share a close moment when she sees he is nervous just before air time.
Mate ruins David’s plan to have Bo Tong breathe on the socks as a good luck charm and does it instead! When the socks start selling Mate sees Bo Tong is crying and she said she was worried if the socks didn’t sell it would be difficult for Mate-so sweet! He was so touched he said he give her 10 pictures of him! Mate steps out of the studio for a few minutes to contemplate the end of this obstacle and reflect on his emotions of pride and self-worth in accomplishing this task and actually earning money and has feelings of thankfulness to Bo Tong. When Mate comes back to the studio he finds David and Bo Tong hugging and grabbing each others hands in the excitement of the moment. Watching them, Mate realizes Bo Tong is David’s button.
In conclusion, I see Mate using Bo Tong in the same way Yoo Ra is using him. We also see an awareness of feelings growing in Mate for Bo Tong. We see progress in Mate’s journey with each challenge. I begin to understand why JKS wanted to do this project. The experience and progression in Mate’s life is similar to what Actor Jang has been doing for 20 years to achieve his goals, so he understands and is able to give a genuine portrayal of Dok Go Mate. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share this episode with you!