Business Proposal season 1, episode 5 recap – absence makes the heart grow fonder

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: March 14, 2022
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Business Proposal season 1, episode 5 recap - absence makes the heart grow fonder


Business Proposal walks a fine line with its characterization as the deceptions are discovered.

This recap of Business Proposal season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers.

It’s hard to write a domineering character. If you take it too easy, there’s no satisfaction in that character softening; too much, though, and he’s basically an abuser, and difficult to redeem. This is the predicament that Business Proposal is in, to an extent. It wants to depict Tae-moo as a serious, uncompromising businessman who’s closed off from emotions and sees people, in some ways, as resources, but it also wants to sell us, the audience, on the burgeoning authenticity of his relationship with Ha-ri/Geum-hui. It’s a difficult needle to thread.

Business Proposal season 1, episode 5 recap

Some of this is spurred on by the development that occurred at the end of last week’s episode when Tae-moo found out about Ha-ri’s deception. So he spends a lot of the first half of this week’s double bill emotionally tormenting her in that way powerful men are liable to do. It’s a bit uncomfortable, honestly. He puts her through the wringer over ravioli and then starts throwing around contract terms to force her into a meeting with himself and Chairman Kang. Hell hath no fury, or so the saying goes, but this guy makes the male half of the equation competitive in the idiom.

It’s Seong-hoon who becomes sympathetic at this obvious mistreatment and tells Tae-moo as much. But his advice to not be so emotional falls largely on deaf ears. To force Ha-ri into accepting an award at the Founder’s Ceremony for one of her proposals, he invites her whole family, so she has to attend. Naturally, this is a bit much for Ha-ri, who gets drunk and tells him she can’t attend or pay the penalty fee he was threatening her with for breaching the terms of the contract. When she accidentally hangs up, Tae-moo goes looking for her.

Eventually, he finds her, and she confesses that she has been cosplaying as Geum-hui, and the next morning she wakes up to discover he has fired her. Both of them try to work through this development, which they both seem to think is the right one, and of course, neither can get the other out of their heads. When Chairman Kang calls Ha-ri requesting her presence, they’re awkwardly reunited just in time for Business Proposal episode 5 to end, but there’s no way they can maintain the ruse, is there?

We’ll see about that.

Elsewhere, we get more of Young-seo’s growing relationship with Seong-hoon, revolving mostly around her creepy peeping tom neighbour. He ever so kindly gifted her with a lamp which was bugged, which she discovers quite by accident, and then he tries to flee with the evidence when she attempts to turn it in to the police station. Seong-hoon tackles him, though, proving that he’s willing to leap right over that line the two of them earlier drew between them. Love is in the air, folks.

You can stream Business Proposal season 1, episode 5 exclusively on Netflix.

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