Recap: Advertising Genius Lee Tae Baek Episode 9

Will history repeat itself?


Episode 9

  OK. So Addie demands to know wth Taebaek is doing (ruining his well-planned but lacking confession). Taebaek thinks Jiyoon's silence is answer enough so he continues leading her away. Jiyoon  isn't doing much resisting herself. And Ahri helps out but intercepting Addie.

Once they are outside, she finally flings off his hand in frustration, asking him what he's doing (as though it's not clear enough). And he in turn tells her he no longer wants to be her friend - he wants to be something else (way to be vague romeo).





"WTH are you doing?" is the question of the day. Addie is next to ask that question, to Ahri. And another confession is in order. Ahri confesses that she wants Taebaek and Jiyoon together because only then would she have a chance - to be called Go Ahri by him (he always calls her Team Leader Go). She's interviewing to be his gf much like she did to be his assistant. However she's destined to fail 'cause he rejected her outright.

Our other confession fares slightly better, because Jiyoon gives no reply. The awkward moment is alleviated when the GRC gang stumbles by in various degrees of soberness. Taebaek is to drive and he offers to send Jiyoon home. She wants to refuse but Soran snuffs her weak refusals. So the awkwardness continues in the car ride where neither speaks.

Poor rejected Ahri drives home alone. Hwang calls and requests for her presence in his home. He's found something interesting in her education qualifications. Hah? She faked her degree or something?

Taebaek escorts Jiyoon to her door. Initially they bid goodbye like normal avoiding the great white elephant, but Taebaek is Taebaek after all. He apologizes for confessing so suddenly since she's not ready. He's prepared to accept any decision she makes because he still wants to be her friend if they can't be lovers. More at ease now, she admits she'd never consider him in that light. He could see that but tells her to start considering him for real. And if she finds nothing in her heart for him, he'd accept that and they'd remain at just friends. Put that way, she's less burdened and even smiles when he started chanting encouragements. (for himself?) :)
 



Hwang has checked into Ahri's resume. She never did graduated from UCC and all her accolades were faked too. HUH? Cornered, she asks what he wants. And of course, his target is Addie.


Now that his feelings are out in the open, Taebaek even starts sketching Jiyoon. Meanwhile, Jiyoon is still cracking her head trying to decide what her heart wants.

Next day, at the combined staff meeting, the completed CF was shown to all. Addie asks Taebaek if this experience gave him any food for thoughts. For once, Taebaek doesn't take offense and admits they don't really know much about making CF. He accepts their failings but reiterates that they were dedicated in what they do, both factors which are essential for an ad man. And he ends his speech with a respectful bow. Wow. That's a massive improvement. He made both teams happy or at the very least, grudging approval from the GS team. If Addie was trying to goad him, he should be disappointed. He's got bigger fish to fry right now though - Baek's secretary is on the phone.






Now that their collaboration has ended, it's time for the two teams to part ways. Someone suggests a group photo, and while the GS team was initially reluctant, everyone smiles happily for the camera. Glad to see they have actually bonded somewhat even after all the bickerings. JingGa and Lee are especially cute. Hahaha... Taebaek gets his chance to casually puts his hand on Jiyoon's shoulder too. Hihi.





Baek is aware of Addie's alleged feelings for Jiyoon and asks if Jiyoon feels the same. Addie admits that he doesn't have her heart but instead of being surprised, he just tells him to work on winning her heart...In other word, he has his blessings and approval. Personal matters aside, Baek tells Addie that negotiations have stalled over the takeover of GS Ad (they can't agree financially), so he needs Addie's help.

Elsewhere, Ahri tells Hwang the best way to mess up Addie would be to retain the GRC team. With the JinGa-Rep Kang and Taebaek-Addie antagonistic relationship, they are easy targets for manipulation. And so GRC receives offer for a contract extension, which they gleefully sign. Marvelling at how everything seems to be going smoothly, Taebaek is hopeful of Jiyoon's reply.

 Addie and Rep Kang confronts Hwang about his unusual decision, but since he's got a pretty valid reason, Addie could only relent.....or so we thought.

It's all part of the plan, a trap prepared by Addie and Ahri!! They'd leaked her faked resume on purpose so Hwang would think he's in control. Poor fool. Though I must say the timing is a little off. Addie only knew of Baek's wishes in a couple of scenes back but Ahri was confronted by Hwang way early in the episode. If this is not a loophole, Addie is more perceptive than even I gave him credit for. Had he realized Baek's ambition much earlier and has been plotting for it ever since?



Baek wants to takeover GS Ad at a lower price. For that, Addie plans to destroy GS Ad's credibility from within and GRC is the best candidate. Nothing would destroy an Ad company's image more that to have their employee expose problems with the client's product. Oh dear, it's JinGa's past back to haunting them again. Will history repeat itself?

GRC team is assigned to produce a CF for a baby lotion. They need to come up with a story board but first they need to see things from a mother and child point of view. But none of them have the right experience and they all turn to JinGa - hinting that Lee would be a good source. Haha.

JinGa tries to "bribe" Lee with chocolates before asking her for help. Lee tells him to turn to Miss Kong for inspiration but he says that Miss Kong is an alien who happens to look like a girl. Muahaha. Anyway, it's still a no from her. As he continues to pester her, Jiyoon comes by. Lee offers Jiyoon instead...cracks me up how they discuss her suitability like she's some sort of product.

Anyway, Lee tells Jiyoon she will join GRC for the baby lotion as part of her final assessment as an intern. Jiyoon is ecstatic and now we're finally gonna see her do some copywriting. I wonder how this latest change will affect Addie's plans. If GRC gets ruined, Jiyoon would be collateral damage!

GRC team welcomes Jiyoon into their fold with a little party but everyone scrambles to work when JinGa turns up.

Meanwhile, Addie is furious and reprimands Lee for not consulting him first. Lee is indignant since she does has the authority to decide an intern's assignment. Ahri firmly reminds him his anger is unwarranted.

The GRC team is in a brainstorming session....by role-playing as mother and baby. OMG Freaking hilarious. Taebaek fidgets awkwardly in Jiyoon's lap, Miss Kong cradles YiChan and JinGa cradles Hatsan. Honestly, the JinGa-Hatsan combo trumps them all. LOL. Hatsan is totally embracing his baby role. Jiyoon is surprised that they always brainstorm in such unconventional way but Taebaek assures her it's pretty useful. But right now it's obviously not working, yet. Hah.



Jiyoon receives a call from Addie. She doesn't answer but goes to his room afterwards. He wants to transfer her back to the team, but Jiyoon prefers to stay because it's her final assessment as an intern. He assures her she'd be accepted as an employee by the usual assessments but she wants to prove her worth by throwing her weight in producing a good ad.

He sighs and wonders why she always chooses the harder option. She replies that it's because everyone else is walking on that path. He remarks that she's not being true to herself. She should openly embrace what she has and can have. It's the biggest indication yet that he knows of her identity but I wonder if Jiyoon realises it. It's also one the rare occasion he's actually lose his temper at her...and the way he dismisses her is pretty cold.


But he's not done trying. He switches tactic...by asking Taebaek out for a drink. He wastes no time in asking him to return Jiyoon to his team and leave GS Ad. It's not merely a request, it's also a warning and he'd do well not to refuse. But of course Taebaek would not agree, threat or no threat. Addie admits that he rates Taebaek highly in certain aspects and if they'd met under different circumstances, they might have been friends or at least good colleagues. Taebaek wants him to treat him as a rival - in ad and love - and challenges him to fight fairly on both fronts.

Addie claims it's not his style for fair play, he'd resort to anything to win. And he reiterates his warning for it represents his first and last sincerity to Taebaek. Taebaek thanks him for the "sincerity" but insists he won't back down. Addie understands he can't change Taebaek's mind and wish him luck.


Ahri is here to pick up Addie. Ah....so Ahri knows he's trying to leave Taebaek out of the crossfire, not that it worked. In that for once I think he's not all bad. In fact his entire conversation with Taebaek leaves me feeling he's not as unscrupulous as he's made out to be. Ruthless yes. But the same can be said for Ahri. Because while she admits she feels a little bad for Taebaek, they can't be blamed because Taebaek was the one who refused their helpline.

Addie is curious why Ahri told him about her resume and how Hwang was threatening her (oh so it is true! She never graduated! Then the loophole is explained.) since he'd undertood if she kept it a secret. She reminds him how he once said he liked her as a business partner. She wants to be a good business partner to him.

Lee brings her precocious little boy, Kim HaRa to help the GRC team. He's a little devil whose hobbies include poking people's butt and lifting girls' skirts. He doesn't take kindly to being pinched and a player to boot. He's also pretty preceptive and notes Taebaek's one sided love immediately and assures him he's not interested in other people's girl. Hah.





He's quite the troublemaker but when the team could not decide their next step, little Hara is the one who suggest that they head to the Jimjibang (korean bath house). Taebaek is amazed and calls him a genius. Story marketing depends on the story which is basically rumours and the source of all that is the Jimjibang where all the ahjummas gather. Put that way, it makes sense and even JinGa approves.


But first everyone gets the requisite fashionable towel headdress. Hihi. Soran shows up, at Jiyoon's request to help out. They would need to approach the ahjummas to marketing survey. Taebaek assigns everyone in groups of two: Yichan-hatsan, Miss Kong-Soran (I smell trouble), JinGa-Taebaek. Jiyoon is in charge of taking care of the samples. HaRa sighs aloud. Hmm....something's wrong?





Midway through their survey, Taebaek and JinGa notice HaRa is missing and scour the place for him. He's found soon enough when a parent gets angry and hollers at him for hurting his son. When asked for his parents, he answers that mum is working and he doesn't have a dad. Aw..,poor HaRa cries while he says this and I guess this is a classic case of a child hungering for the adults' attention.

The parent gets a little worked up and harsh so Taebaek stands up for HaRa as his guardian. But he doesn't condoned HaRa's actions. He gently tells him that everyone makes mistakes, and it's what people choose to do afterwards that is different. It gets to HaRa and he apologizes to the boy. It's a nice little ending for the incident and brownie points to Taebaek for handling it well. I'm sure Jiyoon notes that too.



Later, Hara complains mum seems to love ad more  than him. It's sad how he says that he's accustomed  to being left alone. Jiyoon commiserates with him, sharing her own experience. She was left alone all the time too since mum was busy at work and dad is not there. She rebelled and got into many troubles, but now she regrets it. She doesn't tell him the part where mum died, with the excuse he's much too young to understand even if she explains. One thing is for sure, his mum loves him very much. It's probably the first time Taebaek hears her speaking about mum...





There's a singing competition going on at the jimjibang and the impish HaRa tries to guilt Jiyoon into joining the competition, saying how he wish to ride that bike (third prize) to his mother who loves him. Won't she grant his wish? LOL. He really could be a genius. I can't tell if he's sincere or manipulative. LOL. Anyways, Taebaek encourages Jiyoon to give it a go. Everyone else is pretty excited about it too. Even JinGa is no match for little HaRa's pleas.  Jiyoon-Taebaek-Hara sings and dance a cute little number.



When the results is announced, everyone is bummed they didn't win the third prized bike. Hatsan is runner up but Taebaek and family is first! Note that the emcee announces the winners as Lee Tae Baek's family! They accept their price but the emcee remarks that they look pretty young and ask Jiyoon when she had HaRa. Jiyoon is too embarassed to reply but HaRa declares that his parents were too busy dating and neglect their studies (She'd have to conceived him rather young since he's probably about ten and should be still in highschool).

Later they manages to exchange prizes with the third placed winners. Pleased, HaRa praises Taebaek for being a good man and encourages Jiyoon to hold on to him. Haha. Playing cupid now.




HaRa is really taken with Taebaek who plays the father figure to him. He even asks for him to visit the Jimjibang together in future. Taebaek agrees readily. After that, Taebaek even applies the lotion for him.

They return to the company all worn out. HaRa is already asleep. Lee returns to her boy but gets alarmed to find rashes all over his face. Taebaek rushes HaRa to the hospital, everyone else follows. Addie and Ahri sees the commotion but Jiyoon is also rushing off so she promises to report later.

The doctor thinks it's something they applied on his skin - the baby lotion (not that we didn't see this coming). Mum blames herself for being a terrible mum. She used to be so passionate about ads that she neglected HaRa. However, recently she's lost the passion but still stick to it to ensure their livelihood. It's kinda sad seeing her beat herself up.


Jiyoon reports to Addie about the lotion being the culprit and suggest that the company drops the project. Addie promises to look into it (Would you really?).He is thinking about it...but Ahri tries to persuade him it's not their fault. But if he wants it, they can push the blame to someone else. He thinks it's too late for that, so they should just proceed.

Taebaek wonders if it's a good idea to discuss the matter with Hwang. Ahri gives him a call but we don't learn the content of their conversation yet.

In the next scene, Taebaek, JinGa and Jiyoon inform Hwang about the lotion's side effects and ask that he notify the owner to look into the matter. Hwang is incensed because the owner might decide to retract their request for an ad and blames them for unproven accusation. Urg,are you deaf? Did you not hear that the doctor already diagnosed so? Taebaek is already getting impatient but JinGa tries to convince Hwang to reconsider. Hwang is not listening, instead he gives them a choice. To produce the ad or compensate according to their contract.




Ahri later approaches Taebaek with the contact number of a researcher. Taebaek assures her that the company would not be dragged through the mud no matter how things turn out. AhRi worries (I can't tell if she's sincere!) and tells him not to get involved and leave the matter to JinGa. But he doesn't listen and it really seems like she's sincere. Arg...

Taebaek rejoins JinGa and Jiyoon and Addie sees him showing them the contact. Ok if you have any shred of conscience left, now is the time to show us.


JinGa wants Taebaek to confirm if HaRa's illness is truly the result of the lotion. As for the researcher, they can just ask for a general idea. Taebaek is unhappy with JinGa's apprehension (please use your brain instead of your heart once a while) thinking he's afraid of the consequences. And he declares in his usual gungho style that he'll bear all the consequences (no you idiot!). Thank god for Jiyoon who warns him not to act on his own, though no one is sure he'd listen.

The researcher explains that the product is not 100% organic and there was slight trouble during the allergen tests. JinGa is curious why he'd never exposed this matter if he'd already known. Yes, he's on the something! The researcher gets a little indignant at the implication and Jiyoon quickly smooths things over. At least Taebaek looks like he understood something.

Rep Kang receives notice that Chairman Baek and GS's Vice President are heading here. He lashes out to Addie since it's the first he's heard that BK is planning to takeover GS Ad. But Addie denies any knowledge of that too (oh he's keeping daddy out of the loop).Meanwhile, Hwang and his lackey is frantically looking for JinGa. The GRC trio is checking the source of something on the net. Somebody leaked something.

Later, Hwang joins Rep Kang and Addie. He's more concerned about the rumours on the internet. Somebody has posted about a child developing reaction to the lotion!

When they reach the office and learn about the rumours, JinGa asks Taebaek about it but he denies having anything to do with it. Hwang and Rep Kang confronts JinGa about it, thinking it's his doing, like again. Everyone in the office is like watching, with accusing eyes.



Ahri and Addie watch  from afar. When Taebaek meets Ahri's eyes, she avoided her glance. Yes, think!!! But they have other problems, Baek is here with his entourage...




Thoughts:

Ok, so they didn't betray their client. I'm thinking the researcher did it, and since they did meet up with the researcher, I'm worried that they might be implicated all the same. But I'm hopeful, especially with that look in Taebaek's eyes...who seems like he's on to something. Surely you can sense something is wrong. With Addie and Ahri already given you fair warning, don't tell me you don't suspect a thing. And even if you do feel agrieved, please oh please solve this well.

I have my own theory for the ending at this stage...err...actually it's like my wish list for the ending. I am hoping that these four people will finally join forces for a really really inventive ad. For that we'd need a common nemesis. Hwang and Chairman Baek maybe? And of course for Jiyoon to be paired with Taebaek and Ahri with Addie. Of course JinGa gets Team Leader Lee. They are pretty cute too. Honestly I don't care much who YiChan ends up with, at this rate, maybe both or none. Heh.

4 comments:

  1. I actually wasn't surprised with Ahri's lack of credentials. Throughout the show she has always tried to do things the easy way -- through bribing and blackmail. Nothing through honest hard work. It's actually a bit surprising that Addie puts up with her -- well maybe because she's hot and she's a decent manager. But I can see him being more attracted to someone creative like JiYoon.

    Like I said earlier, I expect a Taebaek vs BK ad in some david/vs goliath ad campaign idea competition, where the winner gets Jiyoon's hand and possibly more. I expect Addie to use top notch creative people and Ahri to use some underhanded skills to isolate Taebaek. I see Taebaek doing something silly like eating tons of ramen or some sort of physical privation that allows him to get that brilliant idea -- somehow related to Jiyoon or maybe because of Jiyoon. She may actually be the muse for both Addy and TaeBaek at the end, it's hard to say.

    Also, if BK does take over Geumsan Ad, there's a good chance that Hwang will be out of a job and won't be there at the end to compete with Addy and company. Like you said Maymay, they always show the 4 at the end of each cliffhanger, I think that's what we'll see at the end of episode 16. As long as they don't get lazy and do one of those silly time slips that dramas are so fond of.

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    1. I do realize that Ahri has always done things the dishonest way but she did seem competent with the planning stuffs so I thought she was just more preoccupied with winning than actually coming up with an idea. As for Addie putting up with her, I don't really see Addie showing any notice of her hotness actually (LOL) but I think he's more intrigued with her ambition(which is similar to himself. Plus, her "skills" are pretty handy in HIS ambition.


      I actually think your prediction is not wide of the mark because it's what's been done again and again thus far, and though I admit it's just so.... predictable, if done right it can be engaging stuff as well. But just like the other GS Ad team warmed up to GRC team, I do wish (fervently I might add) that Ahri and Addie will eventually come back from the "dark side" and help the good guys as part of their final redemption arc.

      To be honest,this is a show where there is no clear cut villains, so it wouldn't surprise me if everyone makes peace towards the end. Hwang is an incompetent villain at best so I'd be satisfied if he's kicked out. And unless something major happens, I don't think a time slip is necessary...although they might just include one at the end, yunno just to emphasize how each have come a long way since then...

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  2. anyone know the music playing when ji yoon is reassigned to the grc team and walks into the room all partied up? the song goes something like "ibggi obgi geuroke"

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