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Jealousy Incarnate Episode 15 Recap


Brace yourselves for some emotional purging and whiplash. There is so much dysfunction between our two boys (read: children) that Na-ri — the one who provoked this intense rivalry with her romantic indecision in the first place — seems to be the only voice of reason within this love triangle. This is why you don’t play with the flames of two intensely burning hearts of jealousy.


As it continues to rain outside, Hwa-shin pulls away from Na-ri and asks, “Are you crazy?” She acknowledges it and responds, “For now at least.” They go in for another kiss, and we watch a montage of their relationship progression, alternating from Na-ri’s crushing to Hwa-shin’s crushing.

Their looong smooching session is interrupted by Nurse Oh, who knocks on the locker room door and calls out for “Pyo Na-ri” (still the pseudo-name for Hwa-shin). They pull apart and hold their breath, unsure of how to respond, but luckily Nurse Oh just walks by when met with silence.

Hwa-shin tells Na-ri to wait for him outside as he changes, and he cups her face in his hands to assure her that he’ll be right out. Once she heads outside, Hwa-shin can barely get his shirt off because of the adrenaline rush and leans back on the lockers. He calls out to make sure she’s still outside waiting for him, and she responds.

He smiles to himself and calls out to her again, this time calling out her name in banmal, “Na-ri ya.” She hears it but remains silent, so Hwa-shin rushes to the door. Just before he opens it, she responds, “That’s the first time you’ve called me that.”

Hwa-shin lets out a breath of relief at the sound of her voice and proposes that they eat dinner together, which is also a first for them. He assures Na-ri that she passed her audition because of skill, so she doesn’t need to feel bad or undeserving of the result. He suggests that they go eat chicken and beer, like everyone else does, and he tells her to wait a moment as he changes.

As he changes, he continues to make sure that Na-ri is waiting for him and tells her to stay in his sight. He calls out to her, and he’s met with no response. This time, Na-ri is gone. He closes his eyes in realization and re-buttons his shirt to run out to look for Na-ri.

He first barges into Doctor Geum’s office, and she asks, “Does your [heart] hurt? Does your [heart] feel like it’s going to explode?” It’s a play on words with chest and heart, and this time it’s not his chest, but his heart.

He runs through the lobby and outside the hospital, but Na-ri is nowhere in sight. Doctor Geum and Nurse Oh chase him and grab his arms to force him into his treatment, but Hwa-shin refuses to comply and pulls them with him as he pulls away. Na-ri rides away in the bus, sitting with conflicted guilt and emotions.

Jung-won orders Secretary Cha to prepare Hwa-shin’s outfit for the announcer audition, but he’s updated about Hwa-shin’s suspension for turning the Busan-bound helicopter around the day of Na-ri’s camera test. He puts the pieces together, with Na-ri arriving on time despite the traffic and her claiming that she “flew” there.

Na-ri arrives at Jung-won’s store and thinks about her kisses with both men. She questions whether she’s human or a beast and quickly hides around the corner when Jung-won walks out of the building. Hwa-shin arrives at the store and watches Na-ri from afar.

Hwa-shin begins to walk toward Na-ri but stops when he receives a call from Jung-won, who remains silent. Hwa-shin says that he has something to tell Jung-won, and he watches Na-ri walk toward Jung-won in his car. She knocks on his car window, and as soon as Jung-won rolls down the window, he confesses, “I love you, Pyo Na-ri,” with Hwa-shin still on the line. She reciprocates and says, “Me, too.” Hwa-shin hangs up and walks back to his car, with Na-ri’s voice ringing in his mind.

Jung-won brings Na-ri a warm drink to the car, and Na-ri prefaces her words with an apology. Then she breaks it to him: “I’m sorry. Let’s not date anymore. Let’s break up.” Jung-won asks what happened to the person who just said she loved him, and she says that she still does but also likes another man. He asks who the other person is and tries to distract himself by offering to drive her home.

Na-ri admits that she has two hearts. “How can I have two hearts? How can I meet you when I have two hearts? I love both –” Jung-won interrupts her with a long car honk and suggests that they have dinner. She apologizes again and says that she has to leave. “If I go further, I’ll become a bad person. Actually, I’m already bad. I can’t like both of you. You won’t understand me — I can’t even understand or forgive myself.” She tells Jung-won to curse at her and throw her away because she’s undeserving of his love. She apologizes profusely and leaves.

Hwa-shin speeds through the streets and stops his car to answer a call from Jung-won, who demands to see him immediately. Hwa-shin refuses to follow Jung-won’s request, and they both taunt each other with implicit rivalry and tension. Before Hwa-shin can meet with Jung-won, he says that he needs to confirm something first.

Na-ri rides home alone on the bus and cries with the heavy guilt in her two hearts. When she arrives at her stop, she’s angrily approached by Hwa-shin. He asks why she kissed him and if she loves him. He gets in her face and asks again, “Do you love me?” Na-ri looks at him but remains silent. He assumes that she kissed him without loving him, but Na-ri corrects him that she kissed him because she loves him. She confesses that she loves him, with her voice breaking at the end.

Infuriated, Hwa-shin angrily pulls at the bars on the sidewalk and yells, “Are you insane? Answer me, are you insane?!” He approaches her and asks again if she really loves him. She asks him the same question and he responds that he does love her — that’s why he’s jumping around like crazy. He asks if she loves Jung-won too, and though she can’t muster up the courage to admit it, her silence answers the question.

Hwa-shin starts to ramble about how Na-ri must not know how to receive love after only crushing on people, so now she’s kissing one man and confessing her love to another within the same day. He can’t understand how this makes sense, and Na-ri knows this. So she says the same thing she said to Jung-won, “Let’s break up. Let’s not meet anymore.”

Hwa-shin tells her that they never did anything together, so how are they supposed to break up? They never dated, they never even started, but he was just about to start with her. Na-ri responds that they shouldn’t even start and apologizes.

Hwa-shin asks if she really loves both men and tries to clarify if Na-ri just pitying Hwa-shin because he can’t audition for the announcer position anymore. Na-ri knows it’s not pity and admits that Hwa-shin was so lovable all day that she wanted to kiss him. But as soon as she left the locker room, she was overwhelmed with guilt at the thought of Jung-won.

Hwa-shin gives his take on the situation: Na-ri decided to come back to Hwa-shin after a brief moment of attraction to Jung-won. He interpreted her kiss as a sure change of heart to return to Hwa-shin. Na-ri knows that’s the right way to do things, but she kissed him before she had that change of heart because she couldn’t resist, so now she’s stuck with equivocal feelings for both men.

Trying to get some clarity on her feelings, Hwa-shin urges her to reveal who she likes more. It can’t be 50/50 right? Na-ri can’t say, and Hwa-shin erupts with anger. But Na-ri says that it doesn’t matter because they’re breaking up anyway. She’ll feel shameless if she continues to see him, so she’s going to reject his call, move, and just focus on her job as an announcer.

Na-ri starts to walk away, but Hwa-shin grabs her to ask if she’s confused because the ratio is 51/49 (oh my god, really?!). He’s convinced that she likes one person more, but she doesn’t answer. He says that he won’t go home or to radiation if she doesn’t respond, but she won’t answer because that’s not the issue. She explains the problem here: She was dating one man, but another man entered her heart, so essentially, she’s cheating. On top of that, they’re friends.

She tries to leave again, but Hwa-shin continues to insist. He tries to justify the case for him being more liked, since she just met Jung-won anyway. She says that she’s going to break up with Jung-won, but she reminds Hwa-shin that she’s also breaking up with him. Despite Hwa-shin’s persistence, Na-ri tells him that she’ll keep her feelings to herself and to the grave. And with that, she apologizes and leaves.

Chef enters Pal-gang’s house looking for the moms, who are in their room wondering how to reject him. They try to bribe the other to reject him for the both of them and try to brainstorm acceptable explanations for their rejection because “lack of physical affection” can’t be their sole reason. They continue to encourage the other to execute the rejection as they walk out of their room and stop in their tracks when the notice Chef at the doorway.

He’s come to drop off the extra rent payment that they both individually submitted and says that he heard everything in their conversation. He apologizes for burdening them with this decision and walks out the door, leaving the two guilty women to pity him.

As he leaves for tutoring, Chi-yeol catches Na-ri chugging a bottle of soju and takes it away from her. Mortified, Na-ri wishes their rooftop house was on a higher building so that she could jump off and not wake up the next morning. Chi-yeol tries to convince her that she’s the best as she is, but she plants her head into her bed and claims that she’s the worst.

Na-ri packs her suitcase and decides to leave until she can give up her feelings. At her stepmom’s convenience store, she tells Beom that this is all his fault. She asks her stepmom to take care of Chi-yeol while she’s gone and walks away in her escape.

Hwa-shin and Jung-won drive in rage and stop each other at an intersection. Jung-won demands to know the other man that Na-ri loves, though he already knows who it is. He punches Hwa-shin, who admits his love for Na-ri. He vows to return her feelings to how they were four years ago, but Jung-won won’t let that happen. For the first time, Jung-won wants to beat Hwa-shin because he’s never wanted something so badly. He says that he won’t give up on Hwa-shin or Na-ri — he’s going to continue to give them what he wants to.

Hwa-shin questions what Jung-won has given him and realizes that his clothes have all been gifts from him. He throws down his jacket and strips off his shirt, calling himself crazy for accepting Jung-won’s clothes like a beggar. Hwa-shin accuses Jung-won of showing off how much more he can give to Na-ri, so Jung-won goes all the way and points to Hwa-shin’s pants.

Hwa-shin isn’t going halfway with this fight either, so he takes off his pants, turning this fight into comedy gold. He promises to return all the clothes that Jung-won ever gave him and decides to end his relationship with Jung-won right here. He calls Jung-won dirty and shameful for giving something and taking it back, and Jung-won spits that comment right back at him about Na-ri.

As Na-ri walks down the street in her flight, she spots the two men. She approaches them and tries to dress an unwilling Hwa-shin, who’s only covered by his boxers at this point. He notices her suitcase, and she explains that she’s fleeing and taking refuge from this war between the two guys.

She takes off her trench coat to cover Hwa-shin and scolds the two boys. When Hwa-shin tries to return the coat to her, she says that she’d rather die of the cold and yells at him to listen to her. Then, she turns to Jung-won and demands him to just break up with her when she asks. She tries to leave with her suitcase, but the boys pull her back.

Na-ri reminds the boys that she’s the coward running away because she caused their uncharacteristic behavior. Why don’t they just encourage each other and insult her, since they both got dumped by the same woman on the same day? She proposes that they discuss their heartbreak together elsewhere, but both Hwa-shin and Jung-won refuse to accept their heartbreak.

Faced with no other option, Na-ri drops to her knees and addresses her apology to both men at once. “I was wrong. I loved you both, but I will no longer love either of you. Please don’t fight. I just need to leave, and it’ll be the end. This is where our fate ends.” She tells both of them to find other women, someone trustworthy who isn’t a weathercaster, doesn’t live in a rooftop house, and with each description that isn’t her, the two boys yell at her to stop talking. Finally, the neighbors get tired of eavesdropping and yell at them to take their fight elsewhere.

The two boys eventually escort Na-ri back home, and she claims that she won’t date anyone from now on — she’ll die old and single. She won’t meet anyone better than them two and doesn’t deserve to love again. She scoffs at her double-timing heart and apologizes again before heading inside.

In the following days, Secretary Cha finds a drunken Jung-won in his office taking swigs from a wine bottle. Madam Kim watches him with disapproval as he stumbles out of the store, and she waits for Na-ri at her rooftop house to slap her. They exchange no words, but Na-ri just accepts the punishment.

Jung-won and Hwa-shin both drunk-call her, both saying that they feared losing her to the other and confessing their love to her. They claim that they’re better than the other, cry that they’re lonely, insist that they miss her, and repeatedly confess their love. Or in Jung-won’s case, repeatedly kiss the phone. Frankly, it’s pretty pathetic.

As Na-ri heads out to work early in the morning, Hwa-shin waits for her at the stairs. He forcibly kisses her, and does it again even after Na-ri pulls away the first time. That earns him a slap (and more), and Na-ri walks away without a second glance.

One month later. Na-ri has taken on her new role as the anchor of the morning news, and Sung-sook anchors the evening news with her long-time frenemy colleague UHM KI-RYEO. Oh, he’s the trench coat elevator guy who hid Sung-sook from Chef! He playfully flirts with her, but she’s more annoyed than anything. They quickly switch spots before the broadcast, as per PD Oh’s orders, and begin the news.

Hwa-shin reads the newspaper while his mother watches the evening news, but only to scrutinize the anchors. She asks Hwa-shin if she really was a bad mother-in-law to Sung-sook, and Hwa-shin passively answers yes. Mom nags him with a series of questions (Do you want to go on a blind date? When do you go back to work? Why don’t you hang out with Jung-won? Do you not have any other friends?), and Hwa-shin responds with the same passive yes. Ha.

After every broadcast, Na-ri receives constructive feedback from Ja-young, who also reminds Na-ri that she wasn’t a popular choice during the anchor auditions. Since she’s still a contract employee, she still needs to treat this position like a test. But Ja-young looks hopeful when she tells Na-ri that she’ll get the blue lanyard when she earns it.

While Hwa-shin silently watches Na-ri on the news, Jung-won is met with his mother and Soo-jung at the airport upon his return from his vacation. He’s dressed down and doesn’t look too pleased when his mother mentions their dinner plans with his father and Soo-jung’s family, though he does his best to hide it.

Hwa-shin’s mom asks about the random trench coat in his closet, and he grabs it possessively, insisting that it belongs to him. Meanwhile in the car from the airport, Secretary Cha asks if Jung-won is over Na-ri, but he doesn’t answer the question. He just fiddles with the two phones he has and complains that this person won’t pick up his calls.

Na-ri finally picks up the call from a “viewer” without knowing it’s Jung-won and speaks on the phone with friendly cheer. Her voice brings Jung-won back into a whirlwind of feelings, and he’s unable to speak on the phone. Sooo, he’s not over it.

At work, Na-ri sees the articles about Jung-won’s return and his possible marriage preparations with Soo-jung’s family. Hye-won interrupts her thoughts when she asks Na-ri to cover for her on a blind date that weekend, and Na-ri agrees without hesitation. She goes outside for a quick breather, which is when Hwa-shin arrives at the station for his big return after the suspension. His faux confidence is back, and he comments that Na-ri looks like she’s been waiting for him.

Na-ri follows him inside, but watches from afar when she sees him interacting with Hye-won, who welcomes him back by asking when he’ll repay his debt. She also tells him that Na-ri must be completely over him because she’s been going on blind dates. Hwa-shin pretends not to care and claims to have a blind date, himself. Later, he walks into the elevator with Na-ri and casually comments on her blind date. They interact with unfaltering smiles but with a new tension.

Entering the hotel, Secretary Cha suggests that Jung-won change before his meeting with the parents, but he’s distracted by the sight of Na-ri on a blind date with… wait I know that voice talking about pasta. It’s Lee Seon-kyun! Jung-won looks shaken to see Na-ri on date but follows Secretary Cha to his obligations.

Turns out, Jung-won isn’t the only one who spotted Na-ri. Hwa-shin watches her from a couple tables down, and when the blind date momentarily leaves, Na-ri scurries over to shoo him away. He reminds her of the promise she made to never date another man and accuses her of having more than two hearts. Na-ri is much more composed and coldly tells him that she gets over men by dating other men.

Hwa-shin asks if she has the tiniest regret about breaking up with him, and he interprets her silence as a yes. He grabs her wrist and begins to drag her out of the hotel, but he’s blocked by Jung-won. They’re back at it again, playing the fight of who Na-ri belongs to.

Unfortunately, their bickering is caught by the blind date, and Na-ri tries to explain the situation to man (whose face we never see but we know that’s Lee Seon-kyun’s voice). Jung-won then requests that his staff escort Hwa-shin out of the hotel, which is more of an order to eject him out of the space.

After Na-ri’s blind date leaves, Jung-won approaches her and asks if she’s really okay or just pretending to be. He admits that he’s missed her, but she just looks at him in silence and walks away.

Once Na-ri exits the hotel, she’s approached by Hwa-shin and followed by Jung-won. Determined to get another chance, Hwa-shin suggests that Na-ri date both men simultaneously and decide which person she likes better. Na-ri shakes her head in disagreement, so Hwa-shin looks at Jung-won to convince him to partake in this competition. But Jung-won and Na-ri both think he’s crazy and walk away in opposite directions, leaving Hwa-shin alone in his insanity.

Hwa-shin waits for the valet to bring his car to the hotel driveway, and he consoles himself by saying that they’re just scared. Uh yeah, that or you’re crazy.

It begins to rain, and Na-ri returns to the hotel to retrieve her bag and umbrella. The coast is clear now, but she wistfully thinks back to both Jung-won and Hwa-shin asking her out. She smiles to herself but quickly shakes the thought out of her mind. Then, a familiar voice approaches her — it’s the smooth-as-chocolate voice blind date asking for a second date. And Na-ri says yes — the first time for him and the second time to convince herself.

As they walk away together under the umbrella, he offers to make her pasta at his restaurant. She responds, “Yes, Chef,” to which chocolate voice comments that it’s strange to hear Na-ri call him that. He gets nostalgic and wonders if his Goldfish is doing well. Then he says, “On rainy days, Vongole pasta with soju is the best. Anyway, it was nice to meet you today. Let’s meet again.”


And the show doesn’t end there with the red, yellow, and green lights questioning the status of this new relationship. The ending credits have more. They define the slang word for “pathetic” (which essentially refers to their stupid and intolerable actions) as they literally trace the love triangle, and we see each of the symbolic items in Na-ri and Hwa-shin’s relationship slowly disappear. It’s a not-so-subtle way to acknowledge that this love triangle became incredibly pathetic and that Na-ri’s previous relationship with Hwa-shin has lost its value.

I found this episode difficult to watch, mostly because the two guys have become so stupid and intolerable. They were pretty despicable, and I was already over their rivalry before it started because I could already sense that their heightened emotions were not driven by love, but jealousy and pride. But I don’t think the show is romanticizing their wrist grabs and pathetic tantrums of jealousy — in fact, I think (mostly hope) that the show is showing us just how stupid and intolerable these actions really are.

But let me just get this out: I kind of really hate them both right now. I hate how they treat Na-ri like a trophy, I hate how they treat silence as consent, I hate how they believe so strongly that Na-ri has to like one of them better. I hate how inconsiderate they were in this whole episode, completely absorbed in their own feelings. Leave Na-ri be. Please.

While the show plays with the idea of affairs and multiple romantic interests, this is not an adultery drama, and the flow stays true to the traditional monogamous views of romantic relationships. Na-ri’s confessions felt honest and sincere, and I think that’s what made the conflict so incredibly frustrating and hilarious. The boys just couldn’t handle it.

There’s no need for us to mark Na-ri with a big A for adultery because Na-ri openly acknowledges her fault in loving both men. Not that she can’t love both, but she can’t romantically pursue both for the sake of her own morality. I don’t think “having two hearts” was her intention at all — in fact, if that was her original intention, I don’t see why she would have even cared to admit everything to Jung-won. She beat herself up enough about it, and I’m just relieved that she came out of that month hiatus with herself intact.

Despite my reservations about the show deciding to turn Na-ri into a rag doll, I thought the two-timing conflict was comically executed. This is where Gong Hyo-jin and Jo Jung-seok really shine with their comedic gold. Many of those hilariously mortifying moments could have only come from these two, and I loved how naturally they fluctuate from romantic angst and comically desperate. This is also a point where Go Kyung-po seems obviously inexperienced in comparison to these two. It’ll take time, my friend, but I trust that your constipation face will stop looking like your holding in your laughter and eventually be more fluid to express what you think you’re emoting.