We believe Strong Girl Nam Soon doesn’t have a plot anymore. How many weeks did it take for the people to realize that Nam In had taken drugs? And it took ten episodes for us to see a minuscule development of the love story. Finally, we still have no idea what the angle is with either of the projected villains, be it Ryu Si-O or the unfortunately named Bread Song. Mostly, when watching the episode, it feels like we are engaged, and time just passes. But when you look back at it, you realize that it was a whole lot of nothing, and there is no real pull towards the next episode. Perhaps the real question to ask is whether anybody would be excited about Nam Soon and Hee Sik’s cameo in a different show in a few years. That is the level of iconicity Strong Girl Nam Soon‘s writers should have aimed for, yet here we are, stuck with this recap of the episode.
What is Geum Ju’s plan?
The writers simply can’t convince us that Geum Ju’s reckless confrontation with Si O was a strategic move. What is the point of provoking him and then putting him at ease when she could have done that, to begin with? It is not as if she got a substantial amount of information from him. But whatever floats the writer’s boat, Geum Ju had told Nam Soon that she should be prepared for something of that sort to happen, which is why Nam Soon is not in tatters when Si O tells her that Geum Ju might be dead.
Geum Ju doesn’t even pretend to be dead. She simply pretends to be hospitalized with a stand-in, but the news that goes out is that she has sustained severe injuries. Nam Soon wants to get back at Si O, and the only way to do that would be to work harder on her mission. The only people who know about Geum Ju being fine are her family and, by pure chance, Bread Song. Jeong Gan admits her husband is in the hospital, and he has to get emergency surgery for his fracture. That happened when Jeong Gan threw him across the airport. Once he is healed, he tells his children that he initially left home because he was looking for Nam Soon. Since Nam Soon liked high places, he simply started going higher and higher until he reached the mountains of Tibet, where he met a guru who gave him a spiritual awakening. That is why he spent so many years of his life up there. But he decided to come back home when he got indigestion and realized that, at his advanced age, he needed home-cooked Korean food for his health. We believe that Jeong Gan should have flung him out two or three times more. Luckily, Jun Hee tells her that he won’t let go of her so easily and will stay by her side, waiting and fighting the matter with her.
Coming to Bread Song, he visits Geum Ju in the hospital because his secretary tells him that he may be a suspect in her accident since he was rude to her and banished her from his office. Bread visits her for the safety of his business, but he immediately knows that she isn’t Geum Ju because of her nostrils. Apparently, that is the thing he observes in women, and that was his clue to her identity. On the other hand, Bread might actually be shady. The secretary says something about it being a delicate time for their business. Also, he pieces together the photograph he had torn of him and Ryu Si O, so there is a lot more going on than we know.
Does Ryu Si O like Nam Soon?
Nam Soon got what she wanted through the sheer force of flattery. She kept complimenting her colleague’s looks and slowly got information about the shipments. Then she went to the warehouse, found where the stuff was being sent, and hid in the van. The police followed the tracker on her, and they caught hold of the van as well. The thing is that we quite like Hee Sik. Ong Seong Wu, the actor playing him, has these eyes and a way of holding himself back that really conveys the depth of the character in the limited time he has been given on screen. Had they just given him more to do, the whole fandom would have been dying to ‘protect him.’ We get that he may be baby-girl-coded to an extent, but was this really a funny gag to have him dress up as a woman every chance they get? That is how they get Nam Soon out of the truck, and probably some of the goods as well.
Meanwhile, we cannot believe that the trope of a girl behaving informally was the key to melting the ‘cold and distant’ Ryu Si O’s heart. He asks Nam Soon to dinner, and they go for Mongolian food. He tells her that he grew up an orphan and was adopted by someone in Russia when he was five years old. Si O is warming towards Nam Soon in an unexpected way, and when she tells him that he is capable of being a ‘good light’ if he tries, we are sure that was the moment he fell for her. Unfortunately, that is also the day Nam Soon and Hee Sik’s relationship moves a centimeter forward, so Si O has no luck.
At the end of Strong Girl Nam Soon Episode 10, Bong Go is taking care of Nam In. He looks up at what his son may have come down with, and when he googles his symptoms of drinking too much water, he understands that he needs to go to the police. Bong Go takes the weight loss pill to Hee Sik and tells him what happened to Nam In. When Hee Sik had that analyzed, it was confirmed that it was the drug. The moment he tells this to Geum Ju, she is fraught with worry. She had ignored Nam In so far because she was too consumed by other things. We can see the guilt coming in the next episode. Luckily, they are aware that there is an antidote to the drug, so perhaps that will be their next mission. Meanwhile, Si O has asked Nam Soon to date him, and considering that her brother’s life is on the line, she might just agree.
If Nam In’s healing arc becomes an excuse for more fatphobia, we would be even more done with the series than we already are. It is our singular prayer that we don’t be put through that, and we will be happier if the show keeps up this standard at least.