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Watching Secret Love Affair the second time around in its entirety (I’ve lost count of mini re-runs of specific episodes when SLA was on-air) gave me much deeper appreciation of how this drama became an artful piece of literature.
Yes, there were many flashback scenes included in the last quarter of its run as part of character insight, but the breadcrumbs were already thrown at us from the get go.
The “ehrmerhgerd” moment slammed onto me when I was paying attention to Dami’s monologue during the scene when Seon Jae gently let her know she was not a woman in his eyes.
I had to pause the scene to allow the furious synapse action that just made me realize Jung Sung Joo is a Scary MotherFather Genius of a writer.
In just that monologue, Dami painted SJ & HW’s odyssey in the nutshell:
I know that you didn’t do anything to me, and it was all me who threw myself at you, but still, thanks to you, I was able to wash off my gangster past.
HW was the “other-worldly” being who pervaded his soul through their love language of music. When SJ was on the verge of leaving behind what meant to him the most, HW somehow could sense his despair, and reached out to him in a way only she could have made the most profound impact: Music. Despite knowing HW was “taken,” he could not help but love her with all his heart, and earnestly pursue his one-sided adoration of his goddess.
In the alleyway, next to Dokdae Restaurant, while I was beating up on kids, when our eyes met… phew
As SJ waits rather nervously in HW’s house in Episode 1, viewers saw that first acknowledgement in SJ’s eyes that the goddess was standing before him. Fast forward to Episode 16 during HW’s flashback scenes on SJ in her house, I swear the exact same scene was played out about 10 seconds longer. And THAT LOOK in his eyes! PHEEE-EWW!
BTW, this “meeting-of-eyes” motif was also brought up during SJ & HW’s walkabout date in Hongdae.
Back then, I thought I was going to die of embarrassment. I yelled at him to go away and threw things at him.
Yet, he still didn’t leave, holding tightly onto his metal food carrier.
After the goddess fell off the pedestal and pride spilled all over the sparkling marbled floor of Seohan Arts Center, HW pulls up her flimsy armor and tries ineffectually to push SJ. “I am this kind of woman. An elegant slave ”. And we have seen how time and time again, SJ does not leave her despite his growing sense of dread and discouragement from his well-meaning friends. He believed that living honestly is the only way to truly enjoy living.
It was tough times then. Hey, do you think it’s easy being #2? The gang leader, that skank, had taken to spending money.
HW may have lived a luxurious life thanks to her innate capabilities of running an Armada for the Chairman’s family. Perhaps the Son-In-Law Prosecutor may think he is the Chairman’s go-to-guy in times of crisis, but really, HW is the Admiral of his fleet. She knew where the boot-legged treasures were kept and the strategies that would come to play in the battlefield.
At any rate, I erased my gang tattoo the very next day.
HW thought she could have it all: The Foundation, continued income streams, and the Love of her Life. Alas, after experiencing the Joy that poured out from the Quintet’s Farewell performance and questioning herself if SJ will continue to happily stay by her side despite all the tainted wealth from the Foundation, she chose to follow her heart. There was NO Way she could live the next 60 years of her life without love. T_T
Truthfully in life, is it easy to meet someone who changes you? I won’t be able to repay you my debt even if I tried all my life. This is the only guy for me.
I bet she had been thinking about life without SJ every single day, but was afraid to take that big step without seeing a relatively-safe path to follow (and still have the security trappings that money can buy).
SJ was the only person in her life who always took care of her needs before anything else. My heart swelled at the scene where he diligently wiped the floor in his house before allowing her to step foot. And dusted off the box filled with revered music sheets with his sleeves. He just “loves her more”.
HW has created her world (and wealth for others) with her own hands, and intelligence. But SJ is the only man who dared to hold hers and bring her towards a path where wealth is about infinite love and immeasurable joy of just being.
“Lee Seon Jae” is the only guy for me too!