Happy Birthday So-Ra
Episode 5 of Eve starts with Kang pushing Ra-El off him, shocked that she’s managed to get inside his head. Breathing heavily, he walks away, rejecting her.
Ra-El heads back to her guardian and feeds back what’s happened. She’s downtrodden, having been played by Kang. Moon-Hee is shocked, believing she’s too young and has been played. “There will be another chance,” Ra-El reassures her teacher, as she sets to work doubling down on her dancing, posturing and seduction.
At her dance studio, Eun-Pyeong shows up while she’s practicing, along with the kids and So-Ra. The latter is impressed with Eun-Pyeong’s attentiveness and suggests he meet Kang. Before that takes place, Ra-El offers to drive So-Ra home. There, she gets a glance at Han and Jang-Cheol, the two people she’s really after in this. Ra-El is flustered, although she does manage to plant a bug under the coffee table in the living room.
While searching through the house, Ra-El also overhears Han talking about meeting Eun-Pyeong and using that to their advantage.
After feeding this back to Moon-Hee, Ra-El is confident that she can get close to Han. She’s invited along to an official event, where So-Ra thinks to herself, hoping that Ra-El shine in an official capacity. This would, of course, reflect better on her too. In a beautiful white dress, Kang struggles to look at Ra-El without lustful eyes.
Here, at this big event, Eun-Pyeong meets Yoon-Kyum while Ra-El translates Italian effortlessly. There’s even some light flirting here too; this just makes Kang Yoon-Kyum lust for her more.
In private, Ra-El thanks Eun-Pyeong for showing up at this big event. She knows this isn’t his usual shindig, although he promises to call on her in the future to repay this debt. Of course this works wonders for Ra-El, who manages to get a way in to this big group.
When they return to the party, slimy Kang Chi-Gyeom makes a move on Ra-El. He inappropriately touches her arm and her lower back. Yoon-Kyum eventually snaps, pushing him over and leading Ra-El away. He’s shocked at how she’s acting, but of course this is her way of seducing him.
The honeypot trap is very much on after this, especially when he reaches out, touches her shoulder and almost kisses her cheek. “Let’s be together now.” He says, allowing himself to feel the lust he’s been hiding all this time. “I will be your master.” Ra-El confirms, taking charge of this affair. She also tells him to visit on So-Ra’s birthday. “This is a notice, not an invitation.”
Speaking of which, So-Ra’s birthday goes ahead and as the hired help all sing her happy birthday, she’s in no mood to celebrate. She throws the cake on the floor and is livid that Yoon-Kyum has left for work already, telling them they should have awoken her. As for Yoon-Kyum, he’s still conflicted over what to do.
So-Ra shows up at the dance studio, where Ra-El declines the party invitation, claiming she has a meeting with the Congressman, Eun-Pyeong. Given she was supposed to be organizing the party, she leaves it in the hands of Dam-Ri and Ji-Hee. Of course, they don’t exactly like So-Ra and contemplate whether to pull a prank and cause chaos.
Yoon-Kyum makes a choice that night and decides to head over to meet Ra-El. As for So-Ra, her night is a complete bust and even more so when she realizes Yoon-kyum isn’t meeting her after all. There’s no flowers, no presents and all of this is, of course, Ji-Hee and Dam-Ri’s doing.
While So-Ra is heartbroken over how her birthday has gone, throwing glasses, crying and throwing an absolute fit, Yoon-Kyum meets Ra-El and their affair begins.
Speaking of affairs, Han makes some moves at the company and decides that Eun-Pyeong will be part of their inner-group and he’s going to make some moves to make that happen. After brushing off a call from his teary daughter, Han gets back to work.
So-Ra instead rings Ra-El and wonders whether they should meet up. Although So-Ra says they’ll be together the following day, Ra-El promises that she’ll help her win over the mall from her sister-in-law. And her ruined birthday is the perfect motivation to do that.
Ra-El uses So-Ra’s birthday wishes to decorate the room she’s in with Yoon-kyum exactly as she wanted, including with rose petals on the ground. The pair make love, leaving the door wide open for where this one may go next.
The Episode Review
Alas the plot thickens. It seems Ra-El has managed to get through to Yoon-Kyum after al, and all it took was a bit of jealousy and light flirting with other people. Ra-El is absolutely right, she did manage to get another chance with the chairman and this time she’s grabbed it with both hands.
The idea of Ra-El now being the aggressor and instigator for this affair, rather than subservient to Kang’s wishes, is a nice way of reframing this from how it looked like it was going to be set up. Not only that, but Eve has managed to actually make So-Ra a bit more sympathetic. This might be an unpopular opinion but despite how awful she’s been, her whole birthday has been completely ruined, she’s alone and now her husband is sleeping with the one woman she’s perceived to be her friend… on her birthday!
Of course, this is all by design with Ra-El to maximize the humiliation and pain, and it’s completely understandable why she’s doing it. Quite how she’s going to reach out and take Han down from here remains to be seen but I’d imagine Eun-Pyeong will be a crucial part of this, especially as it seems he’s now “in” the inner circle.