One step forward and two steps back is the name of the game in Seo-young-land. Just when we thought people were finally moving in the right direction, a new wrinkle emerges.
Seo-young sees the picture of Sang-woo, Mi-kyung, and Papa Lee, and she haltingly asks Sang-woo why Mi-kyung took a picture with Papa Lee, whether he and her sister-in-law had been dating. Smarty pants Sang-woo quickly handles the situation, acting surprised to hear that Mi-kyung was Seo-young’s sister-in-law and explaining that all of his colleagues came over that day. He reminds her that he and Ho-jung knew each other the past three years, and Seo-young is reluctantly convinced.
Having lost about 10 years of his life with that scare, Sang-woo returns home and reports that all is well with Seo-young. Ho-jung eagerly shows him the wedding gift Seo-young had brought for the newlyweds: a matching pair of wristwatches. The card she had written is quite sweet: “As long as you wind the watch springs, the watch will never stop. I hope the two of you live sharing the same time forever.”
Mama Kang is still living with Mama Choi and learning that in Rome, she must do as the Romans do – in this case, clean the house day and night. Hee. Woo-jae comes to see her, and Mama Kang is taken aback by her transformed son. “Woo-jae, why are you like this? Have you gone crazy? Why did you become so sweet? [She puts her hand on his forehead] Are you suffering from the aftereffects of breaking up with Seo-young?” Hahahahaa. He just holds her hand and tells her not to worry about them (her children) and to do as she wishes. Aww.
President Kang is finally starting to feel the loss of his wife, and the kids don’t help any. Mi-kyung says she understands 100% her mom’s feelings and decisions, and in fact would welcome a divorce since it would shoo off unwanted suitors. Woo-jae says he has no intention of stopping their mother after hearing what President Kang had to say the other day. Sung-jae says if the divorce happens, he’s going to live with Mama Kang. No one in your camp, President Kang.
Seo-young continues to work on her Eun-ho case, and she learns that Eun-ho had been regularly beaten by his drunkard father. Troubled Grandma says it is all her fault for not having been able to properly provide for her son (Eun-ho’s father), and that her heart breaks for Eun-ho. There seems to be no solution for their family.
President Kang calls in Seo-young and gives her money for acting as Mama Kang’s lawyer in the Creepers Couple case. Shocked and hurt, and quite possibly disappointed, Seo-young accepts the money and asks for another $10,000 since she was successful. The look on President Kang’s face is pretty priceless. He mentions the situation with his wife and asks whether a divorce is even plausible. Seo-young answers it is indeed, and reminds him of the Sung-jae scandal. Yeah, cat got your tongue, eh?
Upset, President Kang goes to Woo-jae and demands to know where Mama Kang is staying – he wants to apologize. He tells Woo-jae about Seo-young asking for more money, and Woo-jae can’t believe that his father tried to pay Seo-young. “Father, did you really call Seo-young as a lawyer? Do you think that Seo-young came racing (after your call) so she could earn money?” he demands. He goes racing out of the office to catch Seo-young before she leaves.
As Seo-young walks out the building, she sees the parking attendant booth and imagines how Papa Lee must have looked working there. She gets a text from Ho-jung thanking her for the wonderful gift, and Seo-young says she is happy Ho-jung liked the gift, and that she is sorry she was unable to attend the wedding. The memory of secretly watching Ho-jung and Sang-woo’s wedding sets off a series of recollections – Woo-jae asking her to attend Ho-jung’s wedding; him asking how the wedding was; his anger directed towards her when something happened to Mi-kyung… Oh noooes. Realization dawns, and just then Woo-jae calls, anxiously apologizing for his father and asking her to meet. “Woo-jae-sshi, who is the person Mi-kyung used to date?” she asks. Woo-jae can’t answer, and Seo-young disbelievingly asks, “Was it… my brother?” At his stunned silence, she demands, “Did you send me to the wedding knowing everything?” Woo-jae frantically races out the building and catches Seo-young just before she gets in her car. She is incensed at the perceived cruelty, and Woo-jae explains that he had not done it to torture her, but rather to make her tell the truth first. “Remember, I thought you had told your family before marrying me. I thought it wouldn’t be that great a shock for you to see your brother and father. I couldn’t let our fathers meet at the wedding, so I intentionally changed the date of the business trip. They are in-laws, and I couldn’t let them meet each other for the first time at the wedding. You know why I couldn’t say anything even though I knew about Mi-kyung and Dr. Lee Sang-woo – you remember how our relationship was then. I couldn’t let things continue that way any longer. I thought you would tell me if you saw at the wedding how we were tied to the Choi family. Of course, I was wrong for not thinking things through.”
Seo-young is still in shock, and it only gets worse when she realizes Sang-woo broke up with Mi-kyung because of her. Woo-jae tries to tell her there was nothing they could have done about it, and that it is all in the past, but Seo-young is having none of it. She cannot believe that she was the only one left in the dark, that she in essence became the ‘bad guy’ – but she suddenly stops, reminding herself that she has no right to be angry. Woo-jae desperately tries to calm her down and talk someplace else, but Seo-young says she has a client meeting and leaves. Having left his keys in his office (along with his coat, wallet, etc.), Woo-jae is unable to follow Seo-young, and, frustration evident, he goes back to fetch them.
Seo-young, of course, goes home (and not to the office) and cries as realizations come tumbling down the Misery Mountain. After seeing that Seo-young is not in her office, Woo-jae goes to her apartment and alarms the good citizens of Korea by banging on her door and ringing the doorbell, urging her to come out. She finally opens the door and they go outside to talk.
Woo-jae: I know how you must feel right now, but don’t blame yourself so much. It’s all in the past.
Seo-young: Woo-jae-sshi, I’m really sorry, but can you stop now? Don’t say anything, and don’t do this for me either. I don’t even want to be friend with you. Let’s just not see one another anymore.
Seo-young: I didn’t know what happened because of me; I didn’t know what my brother and sister-in-law went through; and I ruined other people’s lives to live mine: How could I try anything with you?
Woo-jae: Did I ever ask you to do anything with me?
Seo-young: That’s why I’m saying we shouldn’t do anything at all. Seeing you is just too painful for me. I feel like I’m standing outside wearing nothing but torn undergarments.
Woo-jae: You’re doing it again. Again, again! Do you think I let you go so you can do this? If I don’t sign the divorce papers and just weather it out, you are still my woman – do you think it was easy for me to let you go? I was scared and terrified. But I let you go because I hoped for you to live as yourself without any burdens. I wanted you to experience the world naturally, and express yourself without restraint. I hoped you would free yourself from all your past hurts and pains. That is why I let you go. But you’re telling me right now that you want to run away again?
Seo-young: I’m sorry.
Woo-jae: Are you even truly sorry to me? If you’re sorry, you should give me the apology that I want! Did I ever ask you to get back together? I said that isn’t what I want!
Seo-young: You are like a mirror of my past. I feel like every time I see you, for the rest of my life, I will see my past self whom I hate so much.
Woo-jae: [quietly] Really? If that is what you want, then let’s do that. If my appearing before you is reopening wounds and making you turn into yourself even more, then I’ll try not to appear any longer.
Noooooo! With that, a heartbroken Woo-jae turns around and walks away.
Ho-jung excitedly tells her friend that Sang-woo really for realsies has been doing things on her wishlist even though she neeever once mentioned them. “I think Oppa loves me just a tiiiiny bit now.” Her friend is not so easily convinced, and she figures Sang-woo must have seen Ho-jung’s blog. “He didn’t even marry you for love – you expect me to believe that he’s in ‘sweet mode’ after a mere two months of marriage?” Awww, poor Ho-jung.
Kyung-ho digs out a necklace in his box of treasures and grins at his “evidence” to prove he is indeed Mi-kyung’s Oppa.
Sung-jae finds a role for Papa Choi, who is all kinds of excited and grateful.
President Kang comes to see his wife with the divorce papers and attempts a bumbling apology. He offers 10% of his shares of Winners Group as a gesture of apology, but Mama Kang is just dumbfounded. “Kang Ki-bum, this is why you will never do! You will never do because you have nothing but stocks, money, and credit cards! I’m suing for divorce immediately!” LOL. This is for seriously NOT a funny issue, but I can’t help but appreciate Mama Kang’s adorableness. She leaves in her trademark hoity toity walk, and President Kang goes racing after her. He tries to stop her on the street, but Mama Kang just screams, “Someone save me! He’s a pervert! A pervert!” and a hulking dude walks over, effectively making President Kang let go. LOLOL.
Unable to stand it any longer, Seo-young goes to see Sang-woo, who was just coming out to see her (Woo-jae called him earlier). He takes her to a café and tells her he got a call from Woo-jae. Sang-woo tells her to stop blaming herself – it is all in the past, and he is happy with Ho-jung. “Unlike you, I only do things I can handle.” Seo-young, though, still feels she is to blame, and Sang-woo tells it straight: “If I had told you, you would have confessed your lies and divorced Woo-jae. Are you telling me I should have gone into the house you left and lived with Mi-kyung?” Seo-young has nothing to say to that, and Sang-woo doesn’t hold anything back. He tells her to stop living with a victim mentality and inferiority complex. “Standing alone? Living alone and eating alone, sleeping and waking when you want – that’s not standing alone. Living with others while being independent – that is truly standing on your own.” Tough words, but needed.
He continues, “There’s a person named Kang Woo-jae beside you. Look into his heart, now. The betrayal he felt may be bigger than the shame you felt. Regardless of the reason, you made that choice three years ago. For you, it was because of Father. But what about Kang Woo-jae-sshi? Despite everything, he is still beside you – don’t you think it’s time for you to think of him? Don’t be tied down by the past and use that to push him away. Think hard about why Kang Woo-jae-sshi did that, why he couldn’t tell you about Mi-kyung and me. Seo-young-ah, you escaped from Father’s shadow. You overcame it. But why do you still live blaming yourself? If you live like this, Father has to forever feel guilty for making you like this. Is that what you want? I’m not telling you to forgive Father. I’m telling you to let him go. Escape from the scars made by Father! Just hate Father – don’t hate yourself.” Thank you, Sang-woo, for saying what needed to be said.
Papa Lee and Mrs. Bang have dinner to celebrate a large commission made by a customer who liked Papa Lee’s design. He shares with Mrs. Bang that the year he had attended night school learning design was his happiest: during the day, he worked at a carpentry shop; in the evenings he attended college; and his wife was carrying their children. T_T Once the children were born, though, he had no choice but to quit school – he had to care for his elderly parents, and he had not one, but two children to provide for. Mrs. Bang kindly listens and offers reassurance and comfort. When she tells him to eat, Papa Lee mentions that he isn’t feeling too well. Oh nooooes don’t do this to me!
Seo-young heads home, lost in thought, and we see Woo-jae quietly standing in the background, watching over her. She just slips into bed (well, Korean-style mattress-less bed) as soon as she gets home, lost in the maelstrom of emotions and thoughts crowding her mind.
Sang-woo comes home as well, and he calls out for Ho-jung, rather than Papa Lee, as he walks in the door. Ho-jung is excited by the new sign of affection, and when he asks her to clip his fingernails, she becomes giddy with pleasure – until she recalls her friend’s speculation that Sang-woo saw her blog. Sang-woo washes up and adorably demands she clip his nails, but it is painfully obvious that they don’t need to be cut. Ho-jung says she couldn’t find the nail clippers, so Sang-woo gets in bed and offers his arm as a pillow. She says it’s okay, but Sang-woo is oblivious to the undercurrent and just starts his ‘countdown’ again. Ho-jung finally cracks, yelling at him that she said it’s okay. In tears, she tells him, “I said it’s okay – why do you keep doing it? You’re doing this because you saw my blog.” Sang-woo is taken aback and tries to explain he didn’t see her blog on purpose. Genuinely perplexed, he asks, “Why are you angry that I am doing what you wished for?” Ho-jung’s answer is heartbreaking:
These are not the things that I hoped for. [He asks why she wrote those things if it wasn’t what she wanted.] Those things are what I want to do someday when you truly love me – even if it is when I am a wizened old woman. I did not want to you do it out of a sense of obligation, against your will, as though it is homework.
Poor baby. Sang-woo really doesn’t know how to respond, and Ho-jung stiffly gets into bed, asking him to turn off the light.
The next day, Sang-woo buys a pair of musical tickets from his colleague. He calls Ho-jung and asks her out on a date to the comedy musical – “I want to make you smile, but you know me – I’m not particularly gifted.” Aww. He quickly adds that this isn’t from her blog, and Ho-jung just smiles and asks when she should meet him. Awwww.
Ho-jung gets ready to go out, and she thinks to herself that she should be happy Sang-woo is at least making an effort. “I’ll tell him I’m sorry about last night,” she promises herself, and pretties up in high spirits. In a mirroring (har har) of Ho-jung, Sang-woo gets ready as well and carefully checks his appearance in the mirror before heading out. He happily waits for Ho-jung at the performance center, but just as she arrives, he gets a phone call. She sneaks up on him, excited to surprise him, but she stops in her tracks when she overhears a pretty heartbreaking conversation (well, half of a conversation). “What can I do, even if it is tiresome? Who does it because they want to? You do it because it’s an obligation. I couldn’t just leave her in that state. You just close your eyes and do it while smiling. Of course it is tiring and annoying. But I have to do my best since I made my decision. Hiking and grocery shopping – all that’s left is spending money. If it wasn’t for that homework, why would I be here? I’m so tired.” Shell-shocked, Ho-jung backs away and runs out the building, and we hear the rest of the conversation, which he is having with his colleague. “What can you do? It’s a patient.” *face palm* I gotta admit, though, it did sound pretty bad.
Still reeling from shock, Ho-jung wanders the streets and ends up in a dark alleyway. Suddenly, she hears the sound of someone shuffling behind her… Frightened out of her wits, she turns around, and it is a large, smelly-looking man. He inches closer while she backtracks…
Sang-woo calls Papa Lee and confirms that Ho-jung left the house – he wonders why she hasn’t shown up and isn’t picking up her phone. He tries calling her again, and a man picks up. Surprised, Sang-woo checks his phone to see whether he called the wrong number. “Hello? Isn’t this Ho-jung’s phone–” he asks, before suddenly demanding, “Who are you?” The man starts explaining, “I…” and then the connection dies. Fear and worry hardening his face, Sang-woo goes running in search of Ho-jung…
In the character descriptions on the official website, Papa Lee’s includes “Seo-young-ah, I understand you and love you – to the day I die.” My first thought was that Papa Lee would die halfway through the series, if not early on, but the story did not seem inclined to go down that route. I figured the “to the day I die” was just used to express how much he loved his daughter… until today’s episode. Papa Lee mentioned that he didn’t feel well, and it just did not fit in with the very ordinary, ‘everyday occurrence’ type of vibe the drama has been using to depict Papa Lee and Mrs. Bang’s scenes. And as a journalist of enews24 pointed out, the fact that Papa Lee is making a rocking chair – not on commission, but for himself – is sending some pretty strong Imminent Pinkblossom Tearfest signals. The image of an empty rocking chair is just so… sad. Gah, don’t do this, Seo-young-land.
Please help me welcome several new Patch Friends: alyani, andi manalic, ann, bix2anca, Blupurple, Elvie, ema, Kdramarocks, mama, MEI, Mystique, nnnnnnnn, nodame, Pornnapa Suryachai, RF, Rose NC, Satori, SevenWest, sherenx, startulle, SweetiePie54, Tita, and certainly not least, twin-twang.
Thank you again for all your support. Episode 46 will be up tomorrow!