My Stand-In – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

My Stand-In Episode 4 finds Joe waiting for Ming to wake. When he does, he can’t remember the night before. But Joe does. Leaving him with breakfast, he heads out with barely a word.

At work, the director and Tong are arguing over schedules as Tong is planning his wedding. So, Tong tells him to find a replacement. Immediately, Director Pao turns to Joe and gives him the leading role. Caught in a stand-off, Joe looks nervous as Tong walks out.

Wut convinces Joe that this situation is Tong’s fault and that he wants to see Joe star in a movie but that this is the wrong one – that Tong’s fans will shred him. Thinking of Ming the previous night, Joe decides he wants the role to show Tong’s fans he can be a leading man.

Wut says they didn’t expect Joe to accept the role – so now he really needs to make a success of it. He should take a moment to reconsider. But Joe will stay the course, asking if he can stay at Wut’s house that night to talk through everything.

Wut’s pregnant wife welcomes Joe and updates Wut that the international production team has called for a team again, but Wut won’t work with them.

Joe tells Wut that he and Ming broke up because Ming only sees him as a stand-in for Tong. Now Wut gets it – Joe can do anything Tong can do. But Wut is happy to see he’s no longer involved with Ming. He encourages Joe to accept Ming’s call and settle things now, as his press conference for the movie is upcoming.

Joe tells him to pack up and leave but Ming can’t believe it. The next day, Ming confronts him at work. As Ming manhandles Joe, demanding he come home, Sol steps in and they fight. Wut throws Ming out but he says it isn’t over yet so Wut scolds Joe for not clearing things.

At Joe’s apartment, Ming still hasn’t packed so Joe starts packing for him. But Ming holds him tightly. As they argue, Tong calls so Joe tells him to speak to him. Tong rails about being fired and asks Ming to prevent Joe from attending the press conference. Ming promises he’ll take care of it.

Ming immediately turns the screws on Joe, saying he’s leaving him to take a role with Sol, accusing him of sleeping with Sol when he didn’t come home the previous night. During the shouting, Sol calls and says he’s on his way, but Joe tells him not to come. Then Ming hits him from behind with a bat. Joe wakes chained in an unfamiliar room, with Ming confirming he won’t be able to see Sol now.

Sol is getting ready for the press conference, happy he’ll get to work with Joe. Wut is searching for Joe who’s suddenly disappeared but no one has heard from him.

In captivity, Joe realizes that Ming has done this to preserve Tong’s role. But Ming turns it back on him, that he just wants to leave to see Sol. He tells Joe he’ll never leave.

At the press conference, Wut deals with an angry Pao who says no one has ever dared to do this in his entire career. He blames Wut for putting him in this position, threatening them both. Meanwhile, Tong shows up with flowers and dressed for the press. Wut wonders if he had something to do with Joe’s disappearance.

Joe asks Ming why he would care about Sol if he likes Tong anyway. Wasn’t I just a sex doll to you? When Ming claims that Joe is his, Joe tells him what he needs the most is Ming, kissing him. Still chained, Joe wants to hold Ming so he finally releases him. Joe asks if he can be the one to lead this time – or does Ming still think of him as Tong? As Ming turns around to allow Joe to take over, Joe cuffs him.

Running to Wut’s house, Joe explains what happened. Seeing the marks on his wrists, Wut wonders if Tong was involved but Joe doesn’t know. Wut tells him Pao put him on a blacklist so no one will hire him and even Wut can’t help with it.

In tears, Joe says he’ll take that international job but Wut and his wife try to dissuade him, as it’s not safe. Joe insists but Wut says they won’t be friends anymore if he takes that job.

Ming shows up at the office to see Wut, asking after Joe. As Sol watches, Wut denounces Ming as the reason Joe’s gone.

At the international set, the director is complaining about the quality of the team before they even start. Just before go-time, Ming calls Joe but Joe asks him to let him go. Ming wants to start over but it’s too late. Ming says he’ll wait at their home, however long it takes. He says Joe won’t be a stand-in anymore because… and the call cuts as Joe’s battery dies. Called to set for his stunt, Joe feels less than happy. Then he wakes in the hospital two years later.

Flash to the present when the new Joe meets Ming at the elevator. Ming wonders if they’ve met before but Joe claims they haven’t, leaving Ming confused. Walking home in the rain, Joe believes it’s Ming’s fault he’s in this body.

In his room, Joe searches details from his past life. Sol who went back to Korea, Tong took his movie back and made it an international success. Then he married May and is the in-law of a wealthy family. Ming is a hot new presenter, acting in movies and repping brands. As for Joe, the international production company must have covered up his death, like he never existed. With no family, there’s no one to remember him.

Joe visits his old apartment, the spare key in the usual place. As he attempts to open the door, the room lights up and he sees Ming inside cooking for himself. Seeing this, Joe can’t help but recall his old dream of having someone waiting for him at home. Ming serves up two dishes but eats alone. And Joe wonders what Ming was trying to say that day when his phone cut off.

Ming hears someone outside, rising to check – so Joe runs.


The Episode Review

If I were Joe, I’d feel pretty sorry for myself too. Back to the beginning, we see how it all went down. Not just a breakup but a bat-shit crazy breakup. With Joe stuck making choices that lead to an anonymous – and as he sees it – unmourned death.

But as everyone has moved on, maybe his friends thought he left rather than died. Did anyone know he took that job for certain? No doubt, if anyone checked, it would have been covered up. Surely Wut, Ming or Sol checked – all with some degree of standing?

So now Joe is in this new existence with a second chance. What will he do with it? According to the original work, Joe looks at it like God is playing with him – that he has no power. But people build their own lives, create their own happiness. Will Joe find it if he treads the old path? Even if it’s just to find out what happened, he’s unlikely to find a fulfilling life that way. What are the chances he’ll win – if he even sees it that way?

Who here would take a new life and do something else entirely? Or would you tread the old road? Let’s see what Joe does next. I think we already know the answer…


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