Sol-Ah finds herself caught up in two worlds: a world where she is enamored with Jae-sun and another where Hong-jo is enamored with her. It’s the best of both worlds for Sol-Ah, but can she handle both at the same time?
Meow, the Secret Boy: Episode 2 Recap
Dad and Bang-shil prepare to move to their new house. Thankfully, Bang-shil is permitting Sol-Ah to live at her current house since her son who’s a travel writer still comes back home every once in a while so she can’t quite put up her place for rent just yet. While Bang-shil leaves to go get her car, Dad and Sol-Ah exchange a few awkward words with each other. Sol-Ah reminds Dad to find the nearest hospital once he moves in to his new place and he encourages her to keep drawing since that’s what she loves to do. Their father-daughter relationship is too cute and funny.
“If cats could talk, they wouldn’t.”Nan Porter
Things can’t be that bad right? Sol-Ah has a place to live and sure, it might get uncomfortable and awkward at times because the house isn’t hers and she might see Bang-shil’s son once in a while, but it won’t be too bad. Except it is. Sol-Ah is flustered when she discovers that Bang-shil’s house is right across the street from Jae-sun’s cafe, Sonamu. LOL. IT WOULD BE! Sol-Ah panics upon finding out about the location of the house and attempts to keep it a secret from Jae-sun so he doesn’t misunderstand. She walks across the street and visits him at his cafe to grab some food for Sergei. In that interaction, Jae-sun expresses his kindness and thoughts about Sol-Ah by wishing her dad a speedy recovery. He also worries about Sergei and volunteers to help take the box of cat food to Sol-Ah’s new home, but Sol-Ah refuses. She pretends to walk out of his cafe to catch a taxi, but awaits nervously for Jae-sun to return inside his cafe. However, he keeps spending time outside his cafe so Sol-Ah is has no other option but to hide herself and wait until he’s gone. Not too far away is a confused human Sergei, staring at a frustrated Sol-Ah from a window in the house. LOL.
All of Sol-Ah’s hard work to get Sergei’s food doesn’t amount too much. When she finally returns to her new house, Sergei refuses to eat the food. LOL. Sol-Ah decides to just focus on unpacking and opens a box full of her drawing supplies and art paper. With Dad’s encouraging message that he relayed to her earlier that morning, Sol-Ah attempts to draw something on the paper. However, she finds that it’s more challenging than she thought.
The next morning, Sol-Ah heads out for work and bids farewell with an uninterested and careless cat Sergei. However, she finds herself re-entering the house a few more times to take care for cat Sergei. She pours some water for him in his bowl, she turns on all the lights in the house just in case she works overtime that night, and she even sets up a laptop for cat Sergei just in case he gets bored. LOL. Human Sergei watches Sol-Ah do all these things in fascination while hiding himself in another room. He returns the kind deeds by following Sol-Ah and slipping her phone into her bag right before she gets on the bus. She wouldn’t want to go to work without her phone! After the brief commotion, human Sergei becomes curious about his transformation and ponders how it’s possible that he can still transform even without being physically around Sol-Ah.
Sol-Ah finds herself doubled up on work after taking the day before off work to move in. As a result, she ends up working overtime and staying early into the morning to finish all her work. Back at home, human Sergei waits patiently for his owner to return, but he can’t stop thinking and worrying about her. The rainy weather doesn’t help either and only causes him to be more concerned. Determined to find Sol-Ah, he steps outside with Sol-Ah’s umbrella. But once again, he finds that he’s still able to transform from cat to human being and vice versa even without Sol-Ah physically there. How is that possible? After a few test runs, he comes to the conclusion that her belongings and her scent also enables his transformation to happen.
Human Sergei roams the streets with Sol-Ah’s yellow umbrella to find Sol-Ah. However, he isn’t the only one with a yellow umbrella and he also isn’t the only one in search of Sol-Ah. It turns out that Jae-sun got to Sol-Ah first. Human Sergei watches in sadness as Jae-sun walks Sol-Ah back home in the rain. She eventually has no choice but to reveal to him her current house location since he won’t let her walk home alone in the rain. Upon finding out, Jae-sun seems more concerned about Sol-Ah’s fever than about her living across the street from his cafe. Human Sergei watches the two talk under the umbrella not too far away. Aww, this was a lot more heart-breaking to watch than I thought it would be. Why is this making me so sad? LOL.
Sol-Ah returns home to find a wet cat Sergei wandering around the house. She’s a little confused as to why Sergei is wet, but she doesn’t think too much about it. Eventually, she decides on a name change for Sergei and goes with Hong-jo. From now on, Sol-Ah will refer to Sergei as Hong-jo. Hong-jo doesn’t seem so satisfied with his name change; he runs around and knocks down the box full of Sol-Ah’s drawings and drawing supplies. Among the items is a drawing that Sol-Ah completed back in high school with Doo-sik and Jae-sun in her art class. She finds herself in extreme guilt after poking fun at Jae-sun’s phone conversation with his parents only to find out that he was adopted by his parents not too long ago.
In an attempt to make amends with Jae-sun, Sol-Ah draws a conversation with him later on at school about her parents and how her mother’s passing has affected her dad’s life. Maybe by opening up about her parents, it’ll make Jae-sun feel better and the two will be on good terms again. However, Sol-Ah is a bit too talkative for Jae-sun so he rearranges himself to still be seated next to Sol-Ah, but just facing the opposite way. When that isn’t enough, he pulls Sol-Ah’s red puffy scarf up to cover her mouth. LOL. Though Jae-sun might seem irritated by Sol-Ah’s chattiness, it’s clear he still enjoys being around her. Aww.
Back in the present, Sol-Ah finishes up a drawing related to that specific memory titled ‘My Beodeul Love.’ She feels as if she’s finally found her love at last. But her drawing is quickly interrupted by some coughing and a fever and Sol-Ah heads to her bedroom to rest. However, Sol-Ah has no time to worry about herself just yet. She finds an unconscious cat Hong-jo passed out in the living room after puking out some milk. Afraid and alarmed, Sol-Ah rushes Hong-jo to the veterinary hospital. Thankfully, Hong-jo will recover. He puked because of the milk he drank so he should only be given lactose-free milk from now on. Sol-Ah feels apologetic for the incident and wishes for cat Hong-jo to not get sick again. Aww.
It’s Hong-jo’s turn to take care of Sol-Ah later on that night. While watching over an ill and sleeping Sol-Ah, he uses the water from the pouring rain outside and places it on Sol-Ah’s forehead to help lower her fever. He still wonders how he is still able to transform as a human being only around her and nobody else. Gosh, this drama is truly so beautiful.
The next morning, both Hong-jo and Sol-Ah are in good spirits and healthy conditions. Sol-Ah is even more elated when she finds some medicine right outside her door that Jae-sun got for her. AHHHH! She catches herself staring at him from her bedroom window, but it’s too late as Jae-sun also catches her doing the same thing. Sol-Ah thanks Jae-sun for his medicine before heading in for work. A quiet human Hong-jo watches a happy Sol-Ah not too far away. Sooo sad.
Sol-Ah’s cheerful mood carries on over at work. Things are going great for her. Before she can go into details about what happened to Doo-sik, he’s approached by Ji-eun. However, this time she wants to do things differently. Instead of communicating with sticky notes, she gives him verbal instructions on an edit he needs to make on one of their graphic banners. But as Doo-sik and everyone else in the office will see, Ji-eun’s sticky notes seem to be the most effective for Doo-sik. He fails to understand Ji-eun’s verbal instructions and makes the wrong edit to the banner. HAHAHA. Doo-sik got what he wanted, but yet the end results proved to be different. He eventually pesters Sol-Ah again for details on what happened the night before.
Human Hong-jo goes and visits Jae-sun’s cafe. He’s approached by Jae-sun himself outside the cafe, but Hong-jo quickly returns to being a cat once Jae-sun approaches him (of course, without Jae-sun catching him). Before Jae-sun can process what just happened, he’s approached himself by Doo-sik who’s come to inquire him about Sol-Ah. What’s Jae-sun’s relationship with Sol-Ah? Are the two on good terms now? What does Sol-Ah mean to Jae-sun? The two eventually head inside the cafe to keep talking about Sol-Ah. Speaking of Sol-Ah, she walks home from work only to find cat Hong-jo on the roof of Jae-sun’s cafe. AHHHH! While Doo-sik is going on and on about Sol-Ah to Jae-sun in the cafe, Sol-Ah grabs a ladder to rescue cat Hong-jo on the roof. By the time she gets up there, he’s already jumped down to the ground. LOL. A fearful Sol-Ah slowly makes her way back down the ladder, but she trips only to be caught by human Hong-jo. GAAAAAAAH! Sol-Ah is only occupied with searching for cat Hong-jo though and it’s only until human Hong-jo transforms once again that she finds him running back into the house. Phew! That was close! Later on that night, Sol-Ah gushes about human Hong-jo to cat Hong-jo. Thanks to him, she was saved. If it wasn’t for him, she would have been seriously hurt. GAAAAH, this drama is killing me with the cuteness!
Ji-eun returns home from work and passes by Doo-sik’s parent’s restaurant. They’ve seen Ji-eun enough times to notice that she’s always walking with her head and shoulders down and never seems to associate herself with anybody. When Ji-eun returns home, she opens up a box full of various items including an eraser that belonged to Doo-sik. Ooh, someone has a crush on somebody.
Sol-Ah prepares to head out to work the next day, but Hong-jo won’t let her go so easily. He transforms into a human being so that she’ll notice him as the person who saved her the day before which he uses to his advantage to follow her around and get free goodies from her. From the bus to a vending machine and eventually to work, Hong-jo continues to point out that he saved Sol-Ah’s life. She at first thanked him for doing so and didn’t think too much about it, but she’s a little flustered by the end. She feels as if he’s like a village idiot. LOL.
There’s a time limit to being human and it eventually tires human Hong-jo out so he transforms back into a cat to get some rest. When Sol-Ah returns home from that work that evening, her paranoia begins to worsen. She notices that the balcony door was opened once again even though she knew she had left it closed. She also notices that her toothbrush is missing. The last drawing factor for her is when she finds her purse charm on the ground in her bedroom. How did it end up there?! She runs out of her house and across the street to Jae-sun’s cafe for his help. Jae-sun checks out the house, but reassures Sol-Ah that there isn’t anyone inside. Sol-Ah’s toothbrush is found near cat Hong-jo under her bed and there aren’t any signs of an invasion.
To thank Jae-sun, Sol-Ah volunteers to cook Jae-sun some ramen (jajang ramyeon to be exact LOL). Jae-sun also has a gift he’s made, but cat Hong-jo won’t leave the two alone. He stays right next to Sol-Ah’s side and refuses to leave until Sol-Ah leaves him out at the balcony. Back with Jae-sun, Sol-Ah assumes the leather item that Jae-sun’s made is for her, but it’s actually a collar for the cat. LOL. Speaking of the cat, Sol-Ah breaks the news to Jae-sun about the name change and reveals that his new name is now Hong-jo.. the same exact words that Jae-sun mentioned to Sol-Ah back in the park years ago right before giving her a peck on the lips.
Sol-Ah panics once she realizes what she’s done and rushes to take care of the ramen noodles. However, she’s forgetful and burns her finger. Jae-sun helps her by placing her hand under cold water, but all Sol-Ah can think about is Jae-sun. He won’t get the wrong idea, right? It’s not like she’s trying to make a move on him right? But what if, what if.. Jae-sun does have the right idea? The two stare into each other’s eyes and move in closer for a kiss, but the two are interrupted by a presence in the room. It’s none other than human Hong-jo who stands across from the two with a stern and firm stare.
Wow, this episode was truly so satisfying in so many different ways. I love how subtle, simple, and organic Sol-Ah’s relationship development with Hong-jo was in this episode and how she unconsciously finds herself caring for him. She puts the cat first before herself and is reciprocated with some mutual love and appreciation back from human Hong-jo, it’s great to see that type of love between them grow.
There were so many heartwarming but also heartbreaking scenes in this episode. Who knew that a yellow umbrella would mean so much and come to play such a big role in this episode? I don’t even know why because it’s barely the second episode, but I truly felt for Hong-jo when he saw Sol-Ah with Jae-sun. I shouldn’t even be this biased this early on in the drama, but I just love seeing him care for his caregiver so much that when that is interrupted, I get so sad. Jae-sun got to Sol-Ah first with the same exact umbrella and I think this was a preview as to what we’re going to keep seeing in future episodes. I mean, we even saw a bit of this in the ending scene where Jae-sun and Sol-Ah were together once again and trying to navigate themselves in their complicated relationship. It’s going to take a few more episodes of Jae-sun with Sol-Ah before we will see a change with Sol-Ah hopefully spending more time with human Hong-jo. Right now, he’s just the village idiot to her and that impression definitely won’t change especially with how the episode ended.
I’m a little conflicted on how early on human Hong-jo already presented himself to Sol-Ah. Of course, she’s unaware that human Hong-jo and cat Hong-jo is the same thing, but I wished we could have gotten just a little bit more time to watch Sol-Ah bond with just purely cat Hong-jo. That’s not to say that she can no longer do that now that human Hong-jo is in the picture, but I really did enjoy watching human Hong-jo hide from Sol-Ah and follow her around quietly and then really bond with her when in the form of a cat. The first half of this episode primarily consisted of that and it was so great to watch. When Sol-Ah turned on the lights for him, when she set up a laptop for him, when she took a sick cat Hong-jo to the hospital even though she herself was sick — these were all signs of her caring for cat Hong-jo without human Hong-jo in the image just yet and that was wonderful to see. I loved seeing Sol-Ah form a stronger connection with cat Hong-jo and slowly turn into someone who has a soft spot for cats. I felt like this development was so subtle and organic in this episode and I hope it continues in upcoming episodes. I’m loving how Sol-Ah is transforming from a cat hater to a cat lover.
Although a lot earlier than I would have personally liked, it was funny watching human Hong-jo present himself to Sol-Ah. His repetitive reminder of ‘I saved you’ to Sol-Ah as reasons to follow her around or to get stuff from her was so funny. I had to remind myself that we viewers are aware of Hong-jo’s transformation, but that Sol-Ah herself is clueless at the moment so in her eyes, human Hong-jo is just this really weird and creepy guy. He’s so charming and funny though because he uses his transformation from human to cat whenever he wants and he also uses it when necessary such as to help take care of Sol-Ah or Sol-Ah’s dad. It seems like the more Hong-jo understands how he can switch from cat form to human form and vice versa, the more he’ll take advantage of it and have fun doing it.
I’m not entirely invested in Jae-sun and Sol-Ah’s relationship just yet and I’m afraid that I might never fully be invested in them. I appreciate the flashbacks indicating their history with each other, but I’m not completely sold on their relationship just yet. A part of that is because I love Hong-jo a lot more in both cat and human form and he’s just so much more charming as a character in this drama. Contrary to Sol-Ah, Hong-jo has captured my attention, interest, and heart so far so Jae-sun might need to do some extra bit of lifting to get to that level as well. So far, there isn’t too much about Jae-sun that we know about so I hope the drama will show us a bit more of his backstory like it did in this episode.
I don’t know why because it’s not like human Hong-jo is never gonna speak in this drama, but I was genuinely surprised when he verbally spoke to Sol-Ah. This entire time, we’ve gotten glimpses of his thoughts through internal monologues so I just assumed that this was the primary way we were going to hear from him in the drama. Also, we were shown human Hong-jo slowly figuring out human being things (since I’m pretty sure he’s well versed and familiar with his cat form) so I wasn’t too sure what he could pick up on and wouldn’t be able to pick up on so easily. Maybe I’m just downplaying everything and overthinking things. Regardless, I’m glad we were able to witness some growth from human Hong-jo in this episode in terms of navigating his life and transformation. He obviously is slowly giving in to Sol-Ah as his caregiver and wants her around so hopefully she’ll feel the same way about him and stay with him too.
Extra screenshots from the episode~