My ID is Gangnam Beauty: Episode 2 Recap

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Maybe things aren’t as great and wonderful for Mi-rae as she thought it would be after going under the knife. She’s at first showered with endless compliments and attention, but things don’t stay that way for too long. She questions the sincerity of those compliments. Did those people mean it? Or were they faking everything the entire time? Everything is a blur at this point and Mi-rae’s uncertain if getting plastic surgery was well worth it or not.

My I.D. is Gangnam Beauty Episode 2 Recap: You Have to Be Pretty From the Start

Episode two begins with Kyung-seok asking Mi-rae if she’s the same person that attended the same middle school as him. She has the same name as someone else back in middle school and he was just curious if she was the same person. Mi-rae panics, uncertain as to what to say or how to respond. Kyung-seok brushes it off though and they walk away.

Mi-rae recalls how popular middle school Kyung-seok was. Everyone at the school knew his name and would watch his every move. It was terrifying and challenging for Kyung-seok and he soon transferred schools shortly after. Although Mi-rae has never forgotten about him, she’s going to pretend like she doesn’t know him and will ignore him. Let’s see how well the plan works.

Mi-rae discusses her worries and concerns about Kyung-seok with best friend Hyun-jung. What if he recognizes her? How should she respond next time if he asks her the same question again? Hyun-jung reassures her not to worry; he probably doesn’t remember her or recognize her face but is talking to her rather because he’s interested. Mi-rae and Kyung-seok had one small interaction at a bus stop back when they were middle school students but that was it. Mi-rae continues to remain worried.

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Kyung-seok visits his friend Woo-jin at the hospital. As he approaches his friend, Woo-jin is accompanied by his girlfriend Ah-reum. Woo-jin has gotten kicked out of his house for wanting to open his own bar business which Ah-reum seems dissatisfied with. What about his father’s inheritance? She storms out of the hospital and into a taxi. She breaks up with Woo-jin and it turns out that she’s just one of the many other girls dating Woo-jin for.. his money.

The two friends head to an abandoned building that will soon be under construction for Woo-jin’s business. Over some alcohol, the two catch up on Kyung-seok’s college career as well as his deceased mom. Kyung-seok is still pursuing chemistry despite his father’s opposition and he also doesn’t care about his mom anymore. She’s dead to him.

It’s entrance ceremony day. Mi-rae greets Hyun-jung’s parents at their house and are showered with compliments as soon as they see her. However, their personalities completely change once Mi-rae leaves the house. They scold Hyun-jung to never get any plastic surgery without informing them first (OMG THEY’RE SUCH SNAKESSS).

Meanwhile, Kyung-seok is also heading to the entrance ceremony. While waiting in the heavy traffic with his dad and younger sister, a deliveryman accidentally crashes into their car side mirror. Instead of getting angry and upset with the deliveryman, Kyung-seok’s Dad forgives the Deliveryman and lets him go without punishing the man. Of course, he has this all caught on camera which he will use to help him with his reputation as a Congressman.

Mi-rae’s parents are also at the entrance ceremony. Mi-rae expresses her concerns about Dad with her Mom on the phone, but Mom tells her not to worry. However, things quickly change once Mi-rae encounters Dad on campus. He at first recognizes her as Mi-rae’s Sunbae who he had a video call with a few days ago, but then Mi-rae breaks it to him. She’s Mi-rae. She’s his daughter. Dad is stunned and shocked, unwilling to believe or accept what Mi-rae has confessed to him. He walks off and despite Mi-rae’s efforts to hold him back and apologize to him, he ignores her. He doesn’t know her anymore. Oof.

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Mom reassures a worried Mi-rae. She’ll talk to Dad tonight at home to make him understand. Kyung-seok is busy taking pictures with his dad and younger sister on campus. At one point, he witnesses a student taking a picture with his mom and is reminded of his own mom.

Mi-rae’s dad is conflicted over the sudden news about Mi-rae and her plastic surgery. He grasps tightly onto the picture of Mi-rae that he has hung up in his private taxi car. That picture of Mi-rae was taken by Dad when he first purchased the taxi. It was a great source of strength for him whenever he would feel tired or exhausted. However, it’s unclear how he feels about the picture now.

The entrance ceremony finishes and it’s the first anticipated day of college. Mi-rae is greeted by two other friends from the same major as her and together they head to class. Once inside, Mi-rae is quickly welcomed by many of the students who all greet her cheerfully and excitedly. She’s unfamiliar with all the attention and she goes to sit down with her friends. However, Chan-woo – the upperclassmen who had expressed his interest in Mi-rae during orientation – is also in the classroom and urges Mi-rae and her friends to sit with him. He’s already taken the class, but he’s in the classroom so he can interact and talk to Mi-rae (ew). After some small talk, he encourages Mi-rae to eat lunch with him (NOOO MI-RAE, NOOOO. RUN AWAYYYY).

Mi-rae and Chan-woo eat some lunch together, but she hurries to the restroom when Chan-woo asks her for her response to his love confession. While she’s in the restroom, Soo-Ah approaches Chan-woo and swiftly also confesses to him. This throws Chan-woo in surprise and he’s in disbelief that someone like Soo-Ah would like him. Meanwhile, Kyung-seok who’s eating lunch not too far away is approached by the same lady who also tried getting to know him during orientation. Just like before, he’s not interested in her.

Mi-rae returns from the restroom and has her final answer with her. But before she can even inform Chan-woo of her answer, he relays to her first that he’s no longer interested in her as he’s moved on to Soo-Ah. He walks away with his tray of food, but falls onto the floor thanks to Kyung-seok who trips him (KYUNG-SEOK TO THE RESCUE AGAIN!). Chan-woo is bewildered and furious and tries to get his revenge on Kyung-seok by throwing punches at him, but he fails and only ridicules himself in the process. Unsuccessful at punches, Chan-woo grabs a chair and prepares to hit Kyung-seok with it, but Mi-rae stops him. She’s pushed by Chan-woo and she slightly lands on Kyung-seok who prevents her from falling using his body and arms to hold her. AHHHH. Chan-woo is finally stopped and walks away in anger. Kyung-seok checks up on Mi-rae and then cleans up all the mess with the food. Mi-rae runs away in shock and embarrassment.

Soo-Ah discusses the incident with peers Jang Won-ho and Kim Sung-woon. Chan-woo’s reputation at the school isn’t too great and everyone is aware of how bad of a reputation he has. The two guys warn Soo-Ah to be careful of Chan-woo. At that moment, Chan-woo enters the room and asks to have some time to talk to Soo-Ah. She agrees, but it’s obvious where her heart lies. She finds Kyung-seok adorable after the cafeteria incident.

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During their talk, Chan-woo proposes to Soo-Ah that they get to know each other better. Since they both have some feelings towards each other, they can move forward with dates and spending time together. However, Soo-Ah is uncertain as to how she feels so she asks for more time to think about it.

Mi-rae spends time alone reflecting on the cafeteria incident. She’s soon joined by Soo-Ah and the two quickly become acquainted with each other. Soo-Ah reassures Mi-rae that she’ll protect Mi-rae if Mi-rae suffers from another incident with Chan-woo again in the future. Soo-Ah is an angel in Mi-rae’s eyes and she’s happy with to have befriended her.

Soo-Ah and Mi-rae hurry to class. Their chemistry lab is taught by Teacher Assistant Yeon Woo-young (Kwak Do-yeon). The class is randomly divided into smaller groups. Our three first years are in the same group together along with Won-ho and Sung-woon and another classmate. Kyung-seok volunteers to be the team leader so Soo-Ah will be responsible in helping plan for the team. They each sort out their roles for the group work and then leave class. After class is over, Woo-young watches his students leave. He has his eyes on Mi-rae in particular.

Kyung-seok grabs himself a can of cider from a soda machine. Soo-Ah approaches him and attempts to converse with him, but he’s not interested. It’s not until he catches Mi-rae passing by with her friends that he starts to pay attention to his surroundings. Outside on campus, he hands Mi-rae back the perfume bottle she had dropped earlier that day in the cafeteria. He then checks up on Mi-rae one more time to ask her if she’s the same Mi-rae from his middle school. Mi-rae confirms it by pleading that Kyung-seok not reveal to anyone about her old physical appearance and how she used to look like.

Before he can comment any further, he leaves school with Woo-jin and they head off to the location of Woo-jin’s new bar business. Mi-rae ponders over her conversation with Kyung-seok and is reminded of a time in middle school when Kyung-seok had questioned her if she was wearing perfume in which she responded that she was frustratingly. Things might not go so well for Mi-rae in college either just like middle school. But wait, how does Kyung-seok still remember what type of perfume Mi-rae wears?

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Kyung-seok helps Woo-jin set up for the new semester party that his college major is having at Woo-jin’s bar company. Woo-jin asks Kyung-seok who he was talking to earlier, but Kyung-seok stays silent. Instead, he reflects on Mi-rae’s response to his question and tries to deconstruct what she meant when she said to not tell anyone about her old face.

Mi-rae feels anxious over her interactions with Kyung-seok. Maybe she should skip the semester party at Woo-jin’s bar. Maybe she should just ignore Kyung-seok. But Hyun-jung encourages Mi-rae to be brave and stay strong. He’s probably not interested in her. Mi-rae cheers herself up by reminding herself that even if something was to happen to her, she’d at least have not only Hyun-jung but Soo-Ah by her side to support her.

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It’s the night of the semester party. Everyone from the Chemistry Department who can make it to the party convene at the table. They have some small talk and then move on to playing a drinking game. Of course, Mi-rae gets picked on so she has to take shots. At one point, she’s had a little too much to drink so she’s unable to take her shot. Kyung-seok willingly drinks her shot of alcohol for her and even some of his own too. A few seconds later, Soo-Ah falls into the same situation and hopes for Kyung-seok to take a shot of her alcohol too, but he doesn’t. Instead, Won-ho volunteers himself to drink her alcohol for her and confesses his feelings to her after. However, he’s rejected (and the drama starts to play iKon’s ‘Love Scenario‘ hahaha). Best friend Sung-woon scolds heart-broken Won-ho for his sudden confession. He should have been more prepared. However, he cheers Won-ho up and will offer him his support next time so that Won-ho’s next confession to Soo-Ah will be successful.

After the sudden confession, everyone resumes to talking and complimenting Soo-Ah’s beauty. However, she feels uncomfortable with all the attention and shifts it to Mi-rae. Mi-rae’s the beautiful one; she didn’t get any plastic surgery or anything on her face done. Mi-rae stares at Soo-Ah in shock while everyone hesitantly agrees. Kyung-seok confronts Soo-Ah about her pretentious attitude so she begins to cry. She storms out of the restaurant and is followed by a few friends and Mi-Rae. Meanwhile, Kyung-seok also leaves the restaurant, but is confronted by Won-ho and Sung-woon. They want to have a talk with Kyung-seok.

Mi-rae checks up on Soo-Ah in the bathroom, but Soo-Ah is soon called out to talk to Chan-woo. He wants to know her answer towards his confession, but she reveals that she doesn’t feel the same way about him that he feels towards her. It’s just not possible especially considering since Mi-rae likes him. How can she date the same man that her friend likes?

Won-ho remains competitive with Kyung-seok. He wants Kyung-seok to stop pursuing Soo-Ah and if he does anything harmful or hurtful to Soo-Ah, he won’t hesitate to confront Kyung-seok about it. Kyung-seok doesn’t say much other than question Won-ho for referring to Soo-Ah as if she’s some type of object. HMMMMM. Kyung-seok is likable.

Mi-rae heads back home early that night. While the rest of her peers continue spending time at the bar, she has a talk with Chan-woo about Soo-Ah. He blames her for Soo-Ah’s rejection to his confession, but Mi-rae has no idea what he’s referring to. He adds that he and Mi-rae would never have a chance with each other; she looks just like all the other plastic monsters roaming around in Gangnam. Mi-rae – angry and upset with Chan-woo – hits him with her purse and then storms away. As she marches back home, she walks past a drunk Won-ho as well as Kyung-seok and Sung-woon helping him walk.

However, Kyung-seok notices Mi-rae storm past him without a word or glance and drops Won-ho to observe Mi-rae. He notices that something’s wrong and keeps his eyes on Mi-rae as she walks off without noticing him. She’s still too upset with her recent conversation with Chan-woo.

My Thoughts:

This episode really surprised me with the slight change in mood that it took. Instead of dragging out the attention and fake compliments a little bit more, the episode is slowly starting to show people’s true colors and hidden thoughts. Not everyone believes Mi-rae is the beautiful and pretty woman she thought she was after plastic surgery and everyone is aware of the operation she went through. It’s so odd but scary that they would go from putting her in the spotlight and placing her on this pedestal to now slowly teasing her and dragging her down for going through plastic surgery. Plastic surgery or not, she’s still ridiculed and harassed and it makes you pity Mi-rae. She just wants to be liked; what lengths does she have to go to just to be a normal young adult who everyone she encounters respects her and doesn’t drag her for her looks?

The confrontation with Dad was going to happen sooner or later and I’m rather glad that it happened earlier in the drama. Now we just have to wait to anticipate how Mi-rae and Dad will make up if they will at all. We got context on why natural Mi-rae meant a lot to Dad. He believes that his daughter was perfect and pretty the way she was despite everyone else’s opinions otherwise and he appreciated her for her natural beauty. Now that Mi-rae’s done the opposite and has underwent plastic surgery, it’s as if he lost his daughter as well and he’s unsure as how to cope with that. It’ll be interesting to watch the father and daughter compromise and meet halfway. I’m assuming it’ll take a little while and the process won’t be an easy one, but I’m also looking forward to the journey.

The drama is panning Soo-Ah out to be this cunning, pretentious, and multi-faceted character where how she looks contradicts with what she says. On the outside, she looks as if she’s this beautiful, innocent, and naive lady while on the inside she’s actually mysterious and ready for betrayal. I’m uncertain as to whether it’s Jo Woo-ri’s portrayal of Soo-Ah or Soo-Ah the character itself, but it took me a while to figure what type of person Soo-Ah was. It could also be that we’re only two episodes into the drama so maybe Soo-Ah’s not the typical second female lead that we’re so used to seeing in K-dramaland, but with how she reacted this episode, it does seem like the drama is making her out to be that way. I’m honestly not too sure how to feel about Soo-Ah or what she’s like as a character yet. If she is evil and has plans of her own she’s enacting, then I hope Jo Woo-ri will portray her a little bit better. I don’t want to have to guess what Soo-Ah’s intentions are and what kind of character she is.

I guess this is just one of the major problems I have with this issue. As decent as the actors are portraying their characters so far, I’m also a little confused on the characters themselves and figuring out what kind of people they are. I’m aware of who likes who and who’s interested in who, but what I’m not sure (other than Chan-woo) what their intentions are. This even applies to Kyung-seok who’s by far the most mysterious so far (alongside Soo-Ah). He helps Mi-rae and looks out for her, but he also doesn’t say much to her or interact much with her so you’re just left wondering what he feels about her. Maybe we’ll receive more interactions and information as the drama progresses but everything is a little grey at this point and I’m kind of puzzled. Hopefully things will be more clear later later on.

Also, just to provide some context since I forgot to mention this in my recap of the first episode, the reason as to why the drama title uses ‘Gangnam’ is because Gangnam in Korea is most known for its many plastic surgery clinics. Many people go to Gangnam to get plastic surgery so with this drama, you can say that after going through plastic surgery herself, Mi-rae’s new and upgraded face is similar to those who get plastic surgery in Gangnam.

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Also, while browsing on PannChoa, I came across this controversial post raising awareness of a man named Song Byung-joon who happens to be one of the PD’s of this drama. The man was one of the 31 men that deceased actress Jang Ja-yeon was sexually and physically abused by before committing suicide. After having learned about this news, I’m a lot more hesitant on both watching and recapping this drama now. The first two episodes of this drama has been fair so far and although it hasn’t impressed me too much, I do want to see what happens in the future. However, I’m also stuck on how I feel so I might or might not continue recapping this drama in the future. When I do make my final decision, I hope y’all will understand, will support the drama via the webtoon which is its original source of content anyways, and at least consider checking out the post.

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