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Shopping King Louie Episode 15 RECAP

 

Life is full of surprises — some are good, some are bad, and some are just an inevitable part of living on this planet. Sometimes we have to let go in order to grow up, and it’s time for Louis to leave behind his childhood and become a true adult. Standing on his own won’t be easy when he’s led such a sheltered life, but he has a wonderful family, made of both new and old loved ones, to support and love him.

EPISODE 15: “My Way”

We see Jung-ran’s first meeting with Grandma, when Jung-ran had still been young and wild. Grandma had hired her as her assistant despite Jung-ran’s hesitance, saying that she knows good people when she sees them. She says it doesn’t matter how Jung-ran has lived until now — she risked her life for a stranger, and that makes her a valuable person.

After all these years, Grandma thanks Jung-ran for taking such good care of her. She tells her to say what she needs to say while she can or she may lose her chance, and Jung-ran teases that Grandma sounds like she’s going somewhere. Grandma caresses her photograph of Louis and his parents, as Louis narrates that Grandma has her own way of living. He says that he loves her, and her way of life.

Scarface accidentally kidnaps Bok-shil, thinking she’s Ma-ri. Louis finds the couple ring that Bok-shil dropped and calls her name, sensing that something is terribly wrong. Joong-won wakes to find himself alone in the tent, and gets up to go looking for Louis.

Louis runs to him and worries even more when Joong-won says he hasn’t seen Bok-shil. He tells Joong-won that she didn’t show up to meet with him, so Joong-won suggests they check the bedrooms.

She’s not there either, and Ma-ri only knows that she left to meet with Louis. They wake everyone and search the grounds for Bok-shil, but Detective Joo-hyuk thinks this is more than a simple case of Bok-shil getting lost. He and Louis head to the security office, while everyone else keeps looking.

Scarface calls Director Baek from a phone booth to tell him that he has his daughter, and to bring the money to Gold Square by noon tomorrow. He warns Director Baek not to call the police, or he can’t guarantee Ma-ri’s safety.

Director Baek calls Ma-ri, who is perfectly fine, of course. She tells him that Bok-shil is missing and hangs up, and Director Baek figures out that Scarface must have the wrong girl. He panics, then calms and realizes that if he gives Scarface the money, he’ll tell them where to find Bok-shil.

Joo-hyuk, Louis, Joong-won and Ma-ri all look at the CCTV video, which clearly shows Scarface dumping someone into the backseat of his car. Ma-ri identifies the coat she lent to Bok-shil, and Louis nearly cries with worry. He can’t understand why anyone would kidnap Bok-shil since she has no money, but Ma-ri points out that he does.

Louis buckles under the idea that he might be responsible for the kidnapping, but Joong-won holds him up and tells him to be strong. Louis asks what he needs to do, and Joo-hyuk says to keep his phone close in case the kidnapper calls to ask for ransom.

Scarface stops the car, and gets out to check on his victim. He finally looks at Bok-shil’s face and realizes he has the wrong girl, and his reaction shouldn’t be funny but it totally is. He freaks out, wondering what to do, and decides to call Director Baek.

They arrange to meet and exchange the money for Bok-shil. But Scarface is distracted, and he veers into oncoming traffic, nearly causing a head-on collision. He yanks the wheel, and the car goes off the road. Director Baek starts to worry when Scarface doesn’t show up at the meeting place.

Joong-won stops Louis when he wants to go looking for Bok-shil, telling him not to exhaust himself. Louis just wants the kidnapper to call so he can pay him and get Bok-shil back, and soon his phone rings with a call from Bok-shil’s phone. But it’s not the kidnapper – its a nurse, who tells him that the phone’s owner is in the hospital.

He races to the hospital with Joong-won and Joo-hyuk, but finds Scarface unconscious in the hospital bed. Joo-hyuk recognizes Scarface as the man who was attacked at Bok-shil’s apartment and in a coma for months.

The doctor explains that he may not wake up, since he recently had a severe head wound and didn’t get proper treatment. Louis asks about Bok-shil, and thank goodness, she’s here at the hospital too.

The police chief tells Joo-hyuk’s partner that the man from the murder case is in the hospital again, and tells him to join Joo-hyuk. But before he goes, he calls Director Baek to report that Scarface is in the hospital with another head injury. He says that they’ll take care of him from here on out and that there will be a thorough investigation, which isn’t good news to Director Baek.

Louis finds Bok-shil safe, other than both arms being slightly injured. He grabs her in a hug and apologizes for not protecting her, more upset than she is. Joo-hyuk goes to get her some food while Louis hovers, and Joong-won jokes that detectives make great servants, ha.

Bok-shil asks why that guy kidnapped her, but Louis doesn’t know since he never asked for money. He tells her that he’s the same man who was attacked in their apartment, and Joong-won asks if Louis is sure that guy knows Director Baek. He’s sure, and Joong-won looks worried.

Director Baek goes home, and he tells Jae-sook to take the box on his desk to Grandma’s house and put it back under Louis’s floorboards. She agrees, though she doesn’t understand why he’s asking such a strange favor. Once she goes, Director Baek calls his lawyer.

Louis feeds Bok-shil porridge, since her arms are hurt. Her hair gets in the way and he offers to tie it back, promising to make it look nice, then struggles with her masses of hair, ha. The result is… interesting, but he smiles and says she looks pretty. That’s true love for you.

He wipes Bok-shil’s mouth when he spills porridge down her face, then helps her drink some water. She happily notices that he’s wearing his couple ring, thinking she’d lost it, and tells him to lean closer for another present. He does, and she whispers in his ear, “I like you a lot.”

Louis likes his present, and says softly, “What should I do?” Bok-shil knows that means it’s kissytime, but she worries someone will come in and see them. Louis pulls the curtain around the bed, and leans in for his kiss.

The nurse walks in and they both jump, splashing porridge everywhere. The nurse pulls back the curtain and finds Louis trying to clean porridge off of Bok-shil’s chest, and tells them that Bok-shil can go home. HA, their faces. She leaves, and Louis hilariously goes for Bok-shil’s chest again.

He takes Bok-shil home, where In-sung, his mother, and Bok-nam are waiting. It’s Bok-shil’s turn to be queen as they scurry around to make her comfortable, and tuck her into bed for a rest.

Joo-hyuk tells Joong-won that they believe Scarface is a hitman who’s in the country illegally. He thinks Director Baek hired him, and Joong-won remembers the time Director Baek looked panicked, asking about a guy he saw with Joong-won who turned out to be Louis. He guesses that Director Baek suspected Louis was alive, and wonders why he didn’t tell anyone.

Director Baek seems to be having some sort of crisis, as he ignores Louis’s call. He flashes back to an argument with Scarface, when he’d said he only wanted a small accident, not a deadly one. Scarface claimed the truck driver drove into Louis’s car faster than planned, but the truth is that Director Baek did order the accident.

That night, Louis calls Joo-hyuk, asking him to find out why Scarface kidnapped Bok-shil, if he wakes up. Joo-hyuk promises, and tells Louis to get some rest.

Louis asks Butler Kim if he’s allowed to drive, because he wants to drive for Bok-shil. Butler Kim says that it was his driving in Director Baek’s car when he arrived in Korea that caused all of his recent problems. Director Baek’s story, apparently, is that Louis ran off with his car while Baek was in the restroom, but Louis vaguely remembers him giving Louis his keys.

He tells Butler Kim that’s not how it happened, and Butler Kim says that he’s been suspicious of Director Baek. He tells Louis how Director Baek stole his watch and baby tooth from the Busan house, but since Director Baek was the one who brought Louis back, he had let go of his concerns.

Louis recall seeing Director Baek in the Gold Group building, and how he’d looked very nervous. He’d also seemed surprised when Louis said he regained his memory over ramyun, and Louis wonders why Director Baek would be surprised he was alive, then surprised he regained his memory.

He goes to see Director Baek despite the late hour. Director Baek looks almost relieved when they sit to talk, and says he was going to go see Louis tomorrow anyway. Louis asks if Director Baek knows why he’s here, and in answer, Director Baek gets on his knees and says, “Ji-sung-ah, I’m sorry.”

He takes complete responsibility for Louis’s accident, explaining that he became furious when Grandma said she was leaving Gold Group to Louis without even talking to him. He says he was hurt that Grandma just pushed him aside when he’s treated her like his own mother since Louis’s father died.

Director Baek thought that if Louis was injured in a car accident, Grandma would grow scared that her “curse” caused it, and send him back to France. He swears that he never intended for anyone to die, and that since Louis came back, he’s been feeling like a fugitive.

He breaks down sobbing, and Louis gently helps him stand. He says that Director Baek has stood by Grandma’s side in the place of Louis and his parents, and that he appreciates it. He says that he would forgive Director Baek if it were that simple, except that someone died in that accident.

Director Baek says that he’s planning to turn himself in, and has arranged for all of his stocks to transfer to Louis. He blames his actions on greed, and worries that Grandma will collapse when she hears about everything he did. Louis promises to keep her from finding out, and Director Baek sinks to his knees crying again.

Soon after Director Baek turns himself in, Scarface wakes up in the hospital and sits up, no doubt planning to run again. But he looks up to see Joo-hyuk standing over him, and finds his wrist handcuffed to the bed. BOOYAH.

Joo-hyuk questions Director Baek and Scarface together, since their testimonies don’t match up. Scarface claims that everything was Director Baek’s idea, including Bok-shil’s kidnapping but Director Baek counters that the kidnapping was Scarface’s doing. Scarface lies and says he never asked for money, so Director Baek explains that he actually intended to kidnap Ma-ri and blackmail him.

Scarface is all innocence, saying that he works for an errand service and only did as he was told. Director Baek denies it again, and says the same to Louis later when they get a chance to talk. Louis asks if he has any way to prove it, but the only thing that would back up Director Baek’s story is that he took the money to the bookstore before the kidnapping. But unfortunately, there are no CCTV cameras near the store.

Louis and Joong-won go to the bookstore and see a man in a car sitting outside, the same car Louis noticed on the day Scarface came to the bookstore. Joong-won goes out to confront the man, and he panics and tries to drive off, but Louis jumps in front of the car to block him. He and Joong-won shoot each other adorable thumbs-up, and catch their man.

Joo-hyuk inspect the man’s photos, who it turns out has been stalking Jae-sook. He got pictures of Director Baek bringing money to the bookstore before Bok-shil was kidnapped, which should prove that Scarface was blackmailing him.

Joo-hyuk asks Scarface why he planned a kidnapping when Director Baek had already given him money, and he has to admit that it was stolen by an ajumma. Joo-hyuk’s partner identifies her on CCTV footage as Cho Ha-ni, a professional pickpocket whom he’s caught before.

Bok-shil gets the bandages taken off her arms, and Louis takes her to see Director Baek so he can apologize. The ajumma is brought in for questioning, and of course she protests her innocence. But Bok-shil recognizes her, and the two are allowed to speak privately.

Bok-shil brings Ajumma a drink to warm her cold hands, and assures her that she doesn’t plan to challenge her lies about her missing grandson. She says that she hopes she returns Director Baek’s money, but Ajumma says she knows nothing about that.

Bok-shil watches her walk away, and says that she’s glad Ajumma’s leg is better. We go back to the night Bok-shil chased Ajumma and asked for her mother’s dress back, and gave Ajumma her clothes in exchange.

Ajumma had grouchily wished Bok-shil luck in Seoul, and walked away limping from her fall earlier. Bok-shil had given Ajumma a few dollars and a cheerful smile. Ajumma remember this now, and reluctantly tells Bok-shil that she’ll return the money.

Joo-hyuk’s partner tells Director Baek to come clean about the accident, saying that nobody will believe he didn’t intend to kill anyone. Director Baek repeats that he never meant for anyone to die, and the cop reminds him that he paid him to call him if Scarface regained consciousness.

Joo-hyuk arrives with the bag of money that Ajumma relinquished, which also contains Scarface’s phone. They play a recording of Director Baek telling Scarface to cause a minor fender-bender, and when Scarface asks why they don’t just get rid of Louis, Director Baek forbids it.

Director Baek breathes a sigh of relief, happy that Scarface lied about copying the recording. Because there’s concrete proof he doesn’t want Louis seriously hurt, he’ll get a much lighter sentence.

He’s allowed to speak with Louis and Bok-shil, and he thanks Bok-shil for convincing Ajumma to give up the bag. She gently takes his hand and smiles, and he cries and thanks her and Louis both.

Jae-sook and Ma-ri read a letter from Director Baek, apologizing for treating Jae-sook badly because he was stressed from hiding his wrongdoing. He tells her and Ma-ri to stay well while he pays for his crimes, and thanks her for being good to Louis. Jae-sook cries, while Ma-ri tries to comfort her.

Louis and Butler Kim go to Busan to find Louis’s treasure box back where it belongs, though Butler Kim swears it wasn’t there before. They open the box and Louis sees his penguin statue, with “Koboshi” written on the bottom. Butler asks what “Koboshi” means, and Louis says it was the name of a child with a pretty smile.

He wonders how that child is doing now, and Butler Kim says he’s glad Louis’s memory returned. He says that Grandma has been looking for this box, because her most precious memories are inside.

Butler Kim brings the labeled videotape to Grandma, and leaves her alone to watch it. It’s a recording of little Louis playing on a beach with his parents, and Grandma cries to hear the sound of her son’s voice again. She grieves again at the sight of her beloved son and daughter-in-law.

Louis is still wrongly calling Bok-nam “sister-in-law,” ha, and he envies Bok-nam’s ability to go out and play whenever he wants. Bok-shil gives Louis the little piggy bank that he saved his money in, and tells him to buy something with it. He decides to buy something for Grandma, and Bok-shil says that people usually buy red long-johns for their parents with their first pay.

Louis decides to buy her red shoes instead. Grandma loves the shoes, and Louis helps her try them on. She thanks Louis for being a part of her life, and he tucks his face into her chest like a little boy.

The next morning Grandma is late for breakfast, so Louis goes upstairs to wake her. It takes him a minute to realize that she’s not just sleeping, and his face crumples when he understands that she’s gone. Louis and Jung-ran cry at Grandma’s bedside for a long time, while Butler Kim stands silent vigil.

Some time later, Louis and Bok-shil pay their respects at Grandma’s grave site. They leave flowers and the red high-heeled shoes Louis bought for her, and bid her farewell. We hear Louis asking why she always wears heels, and she answers that they make her feel young, straightening her back and making her feel livelier.

Nearby, Grandma’s spirit walks into the distance, wearing the red heels that were her beloved grandson’s final gift to her. Before she goes, she turns and waves goodbye.

Louis goes into Grandma’s room and sits on her bed, happy to be surrounded by her things. He narrates that even as time passes, he continues to feel the void left by Grandma’s death. Then one day at breakfast, Jung-ran gags at the scent of Louis’s coffee, and a new life enters their lives like a gift from Grandma.

Though Butler Kim happily tells Jung-ran that he loves her, he doesn’t propose yet because he hasn’t finished analyzing her. Bok-shil refuses Louis’s offer to move into his big house, and she serves a humble meal of ramyun to Bok-nam and Louis at the rooftop apartment.

As they eat, Louis gets a call from Jae-sook, who has had the VCR player repaired and is watching the unlabeled video from his treasure box. Smiling from ear to ear, she tells Louis that she has a gift for him.

COMMENTS

Aww, I’ll miss Grandma. I’ve suspected for some time that we would lose her, though that didn’t make watching Louis’s grief any easier. She’s been a wonderful character, loving and supportive of Louis, Bok-shil, and everyone in their lives. But it’s time for Louis to truly grow up and take charge of his own life, and the best way for him to do that is to fly free without a safety net. He still has his makeshift family to love and support him, not to mention Bok-shil, and if nothing else, Grandma left him at the best possible time. Louis will never lack for love or friendship, and he’s more than capable of returning both in equal measure.

You know, one of the things I’ve found the most entertaining about this show is how ineffective the “villains” are, and how every time they try to do something evil, it backfires on them. It’s been extremely fun watching Director Baek literally never get his way, and it’s been a really unique way for a drama to present its antagonists. I worried at first that it would dilute some of the tension in the dramatic sections of the plot, but somehow that never happened, even while we knew the villains had no teeth and wouldn’t succeed in their dastardly plans. I think that’s because they were never the real threat — the true tension has come from the mysteries surrounding Louis’s accident and his past, which were strong enough to drive the show and allow the villains to be a source of entertainment. Again, a clever way to flip our expectations and give us something we don’t see in every other drama.

And the show continues to surprise me — I honestly never considered Director Baek’s real reason for ordering Louis’s accident. I just assumed he wanted Louis dead, though I should have known that wasn’t the case because he’s never seemed that evil. But I can see how, in his position, he would let his emotions get the better of him. It’s easy to understand how he could convince himself that if he played to Grandma’s fears, she would send Louis away and give Gold Group to him. It’s still nuts, but in a desperate state of mind, I can believe Director Baek talking himself into it. But he’s not a bad man — I was touched that Director Baek repented and did what he could to make things right, all on his own and with nobody forcing him to do so. Like Louis said, that’s enough to make me forgive him.

I do have one minor complaint, and that’s that for the last several episodes, Bok-shil seems like less of her own character and more of a prop to motivate Louis’s growth. Don’t get me wrong, I love their interactions and Louis’s utter devotion and love for her, but it’s been quite some time since Bok-shil did anything to further the plot beyond existing for Louis to adore. Even her kidnapping was more about Louis’s reaction than what was happening to Bok-shil herself. It was resolved quickly, but I still would have liked to see her wake up and fight back, do something besides lay unconscious through the entire ordeal, nothing more than a limp prop. I hadn’t mentioned it because there were a few earlier episodes where it seemed the opposite, that Bok-shil was driving all of the action and Louis was very static, but it doesn’t seem to be improving this time. But I still adore them both, separately and together, I just wish Bok-shil had more to do than stand next to Louis while everything important happens to him.

With most of the mysteries solve, the last thing we have to discover is how Louis and Bok-shil met as children. After his comment that “Koboshi” was the name of a child with a pretty smile, I’m convinced that they met somehow, and that Bok-shil made enough of an impression on little Louis that his subconscious never forgot her. Even when he lost his memory, something in his head recognized Bok-shil, and he fell in love with her for a reason. Normally I don’t care for the “they’re fated because they met as children” trope, but in this case I don’t mind it because Louis and Bok-shil’s entire relationship has been based on mutual respect and consideration. To me, their childhood meeting is less about Fate and more about the fact that everything happens for a reason. And if anything was meant to be, it’s Louis and Bok-shil’s pure and honest love.