My golly goodness gracious, what an episode. We ping-ponged back and forth between tears and laughter the entire hour, but I cannot be more satisfied.
Seo-young sees her wedding listed on Papa Lee’s event records, and she numbly walks out in shock. Her legs give out in the stairwell, and she dazedly sits there, trying to process the latest revelation. Reaching into her coat pocket, Seo-young pulls out a pink sheet of paper – it’s a ‘wedding invitation’ Papa Lee had written long ago. We get a flashback to the day that invitation was created: Papa Lee comes home from work and Seo-young excitedly hands him her wedding invitation. It reads:
I am getting married.
Please congratulate us.
Bride: Lee Seo-young.
Groom: Lee Sam-jae
Hahhaa awww how precious. Papa Lee explains that she can’t marry him and that he already has someone wonderful ‘saved up’ for her. Of course, he can’t reveal yet who it is because he doesn’t want her to leave him and marry right now. Hee. Seo-young protests that she wants to marry her dad, but Papa Lee shows her how when she marries, his role is to walk her in then give her hand to the groom. Gah, my heart is breaking. He promises that he will watch over her – and if her husband ever treats her poorly, he (Papa Lee) will be sure to scold him. T_T Seo-young finally comes up with someone she likes besides Papa Lee – now legendary singer Seo Tae-ji – and Papa Lee makes a new wedding invitation with her.
Our Seo-young, who is the prettiest in the whole wide world, is having the happiest wedding in the whole wide world with Mr. Seo Tae-ji, who is the most handsome man in the whole world. Please come and celebrate with us. From Seo-young’s dad, Lee Sam-jae.
Back in the present, Seo-young looks at that wedding invitation she kept all these years, and tears fill her eyes at the recollection. She remembers how sad Papa Lee looked at Sang-woo’s wedding, and she imagines how he must have felt watching her wedding from afar. (The juxtaposition of Seo-young’s and Papa Lee’s experiences, watching the wedding hidden behind the doors, is just so well done.)
Papa Lee gets a call from Ho-jung, who confesses to having broken one of the drawers at home. He races home and fixes it, ‘scolding’ Ho-jung for almost having gotten hurt. Someone rings the doorbell, and Ho-jung goes out to see who it is. The mysterious guest is none other than Seo-young, whom Ho-jung invites in. When the two walk into the home, Papa Lee looks up in surprise to see his daughter.
Papa Lee: Wh-what brings you here so unexpectedly?
Seo-young: Why did you do it when you could be this way? You know how to live this way, Father, you can live this way, Father – why did you do that then (in the past)? When I asked you to come to your senses just a bit, why didn’t you then?
Papa Lee has no answer, and Ho-jung awkwardly looks around before quietly going into her room. Seo-young kneels in front of Papa Lee.
Seo-young: None of this would have happened if you had done even a little just a little earlier when Mom and I had begged. Why did you make me live this way, why did you make me forget all the good memories and time I had with you? Father, do you know how hard it has been for me? [silence] Why didn’t you say anything even after seeing my wedding? [Papa Lee stares at her in shock.] What did it feel like watching your daughter’s wedding?
Papa Lee cannot believe his ears, and Ho-jung (who can hear from inside her room) struggles to believe what she is hearing.
Papa Lee: W-w-wedding? What are you talking about, me seeing your wedding?
Seo-young: Father… You should have at least said something before now.
Papa Lee: N-n-no no no, it’s not true!
Seo-young: How… did you watch that?
Papa Lee: W-w-what are you talking about all of a sudden?
Seo-young: I saw your name in the guest book. I’m sorry, Father. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, forgive me. I’m sorry, Father.
Papa Lee: You poor thing. Why did you look at it (the guest book)? Why did you learn about it, for what? It’ll only hurt you.
Papa Lee: You’re sorry because I am living a normal life now. Do you think you would have been sorry if it were three years ago? I would never have gotten my act together if I had not seen your wedding with my own two eyes. I would never have been able to stop, because I lived a lost life for too long. Why did I not say anything? I didn’t say anything because it was okay, and it was okay because I understood.
Seo-young: How is it okay? How could you understand?
Papa Lee: I, too, had similar thoughts once. Why was I born to such old, poor, and powerless parents? It would have been better if they hadn’t had me. Why did they have me and give me the responsibility of supporting them upon graduating from high school? When I gave up my dream college and started working at a carpentry shop, I didn’t show anything on the outside, but inside I cursed them and was hard on them. That is how you are if you are a child, and this is how are if you are a parent. You’re not one who would have done it on purpose (made him see the wedding), so it’s okay.
Gah, stop cryiiiiing, you two. I’m running out of Kleenex.
Ho-jung calls Sang-woo and tells him everything that happened, including the revelation that Papa Lee attended Seo-young’s wedding as a guest for a temp job. Sang-woo is rocked to the core by the news, and he can’t stop his tears as he recalls Papa Lee getting ready to go to work that day.
Papa Lee walks Seo-young out and tells her to drive home safely, and she says she’ll come see him again. He says it’s okay and to just live happily. “Thank you, though, for coming,” he tells her. Gah, stop it. Seo-young slowly walks away and pauses at the intersection to look back at Papa Lee. He just motions for her to go on (such a Korean thing… it’s hard to describe) and she nods a final goodbye.
President Kang sits at home, thinking about the conversation he had with Mama Kang at the coffee shop. There was a bit more than what we saw last episode: After telling his wife that he feels empty and lonely without her, he asks what he has to do to convince her of his sincerity. Mama Kang says a man like him has no such thing as sincerity – a man who calls in his ex-daughter-in-law to use her – but he explains that he called Seo-young because he trusts and believes in her. After hearing his surprisingly touching explanation, Mama Kang adorably tells herself, “I’m not going to be deceived, I’m not going to be deceived!” LOL. Back in the present, President Kang paces in the living room, frustrated by his inability to prove himself to his wife.
Upstairs, Woo-jae is sprawled out on Sung-jae’s bed, still in high spirits after the hiking fiasco-turned-happy-times. His grin is just adorable. Sung-jae complains about Woo-jae’s refusal to share beyond the point when he revealed himself to Seo-young, and Woo-jae just tells him to mind his own business. LOL. President Kang walks in and kicks Woo-jae out of the room, but he does manage to squeeze in a “take care of yourself” (much to his son’s surprise). Sung-jae knows exactly why President Kang is here to talk to him, and he hilariously makes good use of his upper hand. It’s not every day a man like President Kang is desperate for your help! Woo-jae, meanwhile, wonders why Seo-young hasn’t called to ask if he’s okay. She’s busy. I’m free!
Seo-young returns home and Sang-woo catches her in the lobby. They go upstairs to her place and Sang-woo sees for himself that Papa Lee did indeed attend Seo-young’s wedding. He receives his second big shock of the day when Seo-young confesses to having watched his wedding – after fleeing the scene, she returned because she wanted to see him get married.
That’s when I realized the enormity of what I had done. As I watched the wedding of the brother who had been my other half, I felt so wretched. My heart hurt so much, and I thought I would die from the heartbreak. I desperately regretted [my actions]. It must have been worse for Father. His wretchedness and heartbreak had to have been several-fold… don’t you think?
Sang-woo just holds her hand in comfort as she tells him she finally understands now why Papa Lee had continued to take such big risks, had done such foolish things, all in the name of trying to provide for his family. Sang-woo tells her that Papa Lee probably has more regrets than Seo-young does, and she says she knows. “That is why he continued to love me.” Finally! Dang, it took long enough for that understanding to come for our heroine.
Sang-woo comes home and goes in to see Papa Lee, who is still so happy after Seo-young’s visit. The words “I’ll come again,” replay in his mind, and he lets out a heartbreakingly happy smile. Sang-woo comes in and hugs his father, words unspoken but communicated nonetheless.
The next morning, Papa Lee makes breakfast and leaves bright and early for the shop. Both Ho-jung and Sang-woo smile when they see that Papa Lee left little hearts on their rice bowls (made out of beans). Aww. Papa Lee happily goes to work on his rocking chair, and the other now-at-peace Lee family member Seo-young falls deep into thought while eating breakfast.
Ho-jung walks Sang-woo out as usual – this time hand in hand! – and he tells her he got his off-day request approved. They agree to go register their marriage that day and go down to Jin-an (where Mama Lee is buried) afterwards. Ho-jung suggests going to Jin-an with Papa Lee and Seo-young to help the father-daughter pair move past their slightly awkward stage, and Sang-woo is touched by Ho-jung’s sweetness. Just then, Seo-young calls Sang-woo and asks if he’s free this weekend – she wants to have dinner altogether with Papa Lee and Ho-jung. Aww. Sang-woo tells her of Ho-jung’s suggestion and Seo-young happily agrees to go on the trip with them. Yay yay yay.
Sang-woo gives Ho-jung a kiss on the forehead as a thank you for her kindness, and she initially freezes then starts jumping up and down in happiness. Sang-woo, who only saw her frozen expression before walking away, turns back around and sees her giddily jumping up and down. She hilariously freezes again at being caught and offers a sedate wave instead, but when Sang-woo waves back with both hands, she happily waves with both arms as well. The adorable grin on his face – not to mention the joy on hers – just make me tickle.
Yeon-hee is happy to hear of Seo-young’s fast-paced reconciliation with her family (well, the post-3-years portion of it has been at super speed), and asks how Woo-jae is doing. Seo-young totally forgot about him in the midst of all the tears and revelations, and she immediately calls him to see how he’s doing. A piqued Woo-jae says his ankle got worse so he’s at home resting, and Seo-young rushes out to pick him up and take him to the hospital. As she steps out of the building, though, who should be there but Woo-jae! He cheekily asks if she was going to his home to take him to the hospital, and she quickly replies that she was going to a client meeting. Hee. Woo-jae just tells her to go on her way – he has a morning coffee date with Yeon-hee. Hahhaaa! You cheeky little thing, you.
The two return to her office, but Woo-jae huge grin is quickly wiped out by the presence of Sung-tae, who brought his pictures of Seo-young. Dun dun duuun! Yeon-hee introduces Sung-tae as their hometown friend, and the men greet each other. How much do I love the little extra posturing goin’ on here? When Sung-tae mentions meeting each other the other time, Woo-jae snootily replies, “Oh, did we?” Hahaha oh my gawsh hahaha talk about a put-down! The four sit down for coffee and Seo-young thanks Sung-tae for the pictures. Woo-jae, who’s expression has been dark the whole time, baldly asks Sung-tae if he is married. Sung-tae says he’s not, so Woo-jae asks if he is dating anyone, and Sung-tae asks why. Woo-jae says he’ll introduce Sung-tae to someone if he doesn’t have a girlfriend, and Sung-tae says there is no need – he has someone he likes. Sung-tae turns to look at Seo-young after that loaded statement, and a flustered Seo-young asks why he is looking at her. Sung-tae just grins and says, “I never said the person I like is you,” but then quickly adds on, “I never said it wasn’t you, either.” LOL. Woo-jae’s face darkens even further, if that’s even possible, and Yeon-hee tries to laugh it off and explain that Sung-tae has a girlfr– But before she can finish, Woo-jae gets up to leave. It’s Sung-tae’s turn to be cheeky, and he asks Woo-jae if they will be meeting again tomorrow morning as well. Woo-jae replies, “I see you’re saying you will come here tomorrow morning again,” before walking out. Hee! I love a jealous Woo-jae.
Seo-young gets on Sung-tae’s case for not revealing that he has a girlfriend, and he and Yeon-hee quickly point out that Seo-young didn’t mention that pertinent fact either. Hehe. Sung-tae takes his leave and Yeon-hee tells an oblivious Seo-young to be nice to the jealous Woo-jae. Thank goodness for these friends of clueless brainiacs.
Sang-woo and Ho-jung officially register their marriage, and Sang-woo asks first to take a commemorative picture. Ho-jung says there’s no need to parade the fact that she’s legally no longer single, and Sang-woo adorably glares before saying, “Fine. Let’s just submit the form.” Ho-jung caves and tells him, “I forgot for a second there, but now that I think about it, it’s a really good thing to be a legally married woman.” Hahhaa. Sang-woo grins and says he had been planning to beg her to take a picture if she had just waited another 3 seconds, and Ho-jung’s face falls. Hehee. They take their cuuute picture and officially enter the ranks of the married.
Mama Kang is having the time of her life while Mama Choi is stressed about the situation with Papa Choi. The apartment complex security guard pages Mama Choi that a man asked for her to look out the balcony. Confused, she heads out and sees a white limo, adorned in balloons, pull up underneath her balcony. Hahhaa oh my gawsh, are we gonna get Richard Gere, too? Papa Choi steps out of the limo in a tux, with a gorgeous bouquet, and Mama Choi pretty much keels over. Mama Kang walks out to see what’s going on, and she exclaims, “Omona, Kang Ki-bum must have gone crazy.” HAHAHAA. The Richard Gere wannabe is not Papa Choi but rather President Kang, who proceeds to serenade his wife. Hahahhaa oh my gawsh *gasp* I cannot *gasp* catch my breath *gasp* hahahhaaa. Everyone in the surrounding apartments come out to their balconies to enjoy the show, while Mama Choi stalks back inside. LOL. At the end of the song, President Kang lifts up the bouquet towards his wife, but Mama Kang gives him her trademark sniff and turns around to go back inside. HA! President Kang, who has been hilariously awkward through this whole thing, doesn’t know what to do, and Sung-jae (who was the limo chauffeur) comes out and consoles his dad. “See, what did I tell you? I said it wouldn’t be enough with just this one try.” Haha. President Kang, who looks like a lost puppy, tells Sung-jae, “I feel really strange right now.” Hahhaa.
Up in the apartment, Mama Kang falls into a very seeerious contemplation, and Mama Choi comes out and tells her to cut it out – Mama Kang traded her proverbial silver spoon for a diamond one, and now she’s throwing a tantrum about her husband’s love for her. Mama Choi started with a tiny studio apartment and worked herself to the bone to get where they are today, but it all led to her husband leaving her. Mama Kang replies that she was always envious Mama Choi, who had a loving father and the sweet and kind Papa Choi. Mama Choi concedes that point, and she starts choking up at the thought that if her father was alive, he would have gone and brought back Papa Choi. Mama Kang tears up at the thought of her mother, and the two friends have a good ol’ weepfest, crying out to their parents like little children. Hahaha I love these two!
Kyung-ho can’t get Papa Choi to reveal where he actually is, and he finally comes up with an idea. He texts Papa Choi that he arrived in Bali, and the sweetly naïve Papa Choi immediately calls his son and confesses that he’s not in Bali. Hahaa. Having succeeded in his Find Papa Choi mission, Kyung-ho goes out and sees Mi-kyung hard at work. With her prompting, he indirectly apologizes for labeling her gift as garbage, and they both part with smiles on their faces. The residents learn there is an opportunity to study with some famous American doctor or another (I’m assuming it’s some kind of fellowship), and both Mi-kyung and Sang-woo take the opportunity into consideration. Who d’y’all think will go? I vote for Mi-kyung – then Kyung-ho can go with her since he studied there for so long. Ah, America, the land of every Korean drama hero/ine ever who studies abroad.
Seo-young can’t concentrate, her mind replaying Woo-jae stalking out of her office earlier that morning, and she calls him to ask if he’s free for dinner. Omo omo. Uuunfortunately, Woo-jae already made plans with Sun- *ahem* business associates. Almost as soon as she hangs up, Seo-young gets a call from Lawyer Go, who asks her to meet tonight regarding a former case she was handling with their firm. Hmm, do I smell somethin’ fishy here??
That evening, Seo-young goes to meet Lawyer Go and the client, but the client has been held up and is going to be late. Fishy fishy~ Sure enough, Seo-young hears Woo-jae’s voice, and she turns to see him having coffee and dessert with Sun-woo, flashing his huge smile and dimples to boot. Eee! Throughout their antipasto, Seo-young’s attention keeps straying to Woo-jae and Sun-woo. Frustration boiling over, she grabs her glass but accidentally grabs the champagne instead of the water, and starts to gulp it down. Lawyer Go exclaims – quite loudly – that she’s chugging champagne, and Woo-jae looks over to see Seo-young. Hee! Seo-young hies herself off to the restroom and Woo-jae catches up with her in the corridor.
Woo-jae: Seo-young-ah! What are you doing here?
Seo-young: Didn’t you see I was with Lawyer Go?
Woo-jae: What are you doing with Lawyer Go? You didn’t mention it when you called earlier.
Seo-young: [tartly] We didn’t have plans earlier, but now we do.
Woo-jae: Was there work still unfinished with Unique Law Firm? What’s wrong?
Woo-jae: Your expression… Did something upset you?
Seo-young: Didn’t you say earlier that you had a dinner with business associates?
Woo-jae: Ah. I actually had plans with Sun-woo but I fibbed because I didn’t want you to get upset.
Seo-young: Why would I get upset?
Woo-jae: Sun-woo is going back to New York tomorrow. Even up to 30 minutes ago, I was with Sun-woo and the new lawyer she introduced.
Seo-young: Why do you keep making excuses when I said it doesn’t matter to me?
Woo-jae barely bites back a laugh.
Seo-young: Why are you laughing?
Woo-jae: [clears his throat, but is still smiling] Why did you drink champagne like it was water?
Seo-young: Because I was upset. (Hee!) Since when were you such good friends? It’s because you’re so friendly that Sun-woo can’t let go of you.
She stalks off and Woo-jae smiles to himself adooorably. Inside the bathroom Seo-young wonders to herself, “Why did I do that?” Hehee. She walks back to her table, which has been cleared and set for dinner for two – and is conspicuously missing Lawyer Go. Surprised, she looks around and Sun-woo slides into the seat across from her. Sun-woo asks how Seo-young felt just now, asking if she felt surprised, flustered, upset, and angry. “It’s my last gift to you before I go to America,” she says, explaining that she revealed to Seo-young her true feelings – take, for example, jealousy. “That is what you feel for Kang Woo-jae.” Seo-young is speechless, and Sun-woo wishes her happiness before taking her leave. Almost immediately, Seo-young gets a text from Lawyer Go: “I paid the check for a meal for two. Hoping you have a good time.” Hee aww.
Woo-jae takes the seat Sun-woo just vacated and tells a confused Seo-young that the whole thing was a setup by Sun-woo and Lawyer Go.
Woo-jae: I didn’t know (about the setup) either. What shall we do?
Seo-young: We should eat – they said they already paid for it. I can’t afford this place myself.
Woo-jae: [nonchalantly] Is that friend really just a hometown friend?
Seo-young: He is closer to “just a friend” than someone I almost married.
Woo-jae: You talking about Sun-woo? Wow, Lee Seo-young’s tongue got sharper.
Seo-young: [smiles] Sung-tae has a girlfriend.
Woo-jae: He does? Why the heck does he help celebrate another woman’s birthday and give her pictures if he has a girlfriend?
Seo-young: He must have heard about how I lived during my high school years. He heard the basics from Yeon-hee, so it’s probably compassion for his first love, don’t you think?
Woo-jae: [scoffs, then turns serious] Why did you become so gentle? And honest?
Seo-young: I’m in the middle of giving you the apology you want.
Woo-jae: The apology that I want?
We get a flashback to him telling her she should give him the type of apology that he wants.
Woo-jae: That’s what you’re doing? [Seo-young nods. He smiles and says] You’ve made a lot of progress.
Seo-young: I’m saying this just in case, but don’t come tomorrow morning for morning coffee. I have to go somewhere.
Woo-jae: Where? Ah, never mind. What about evening coffee, then?
Seo-young: I’m going to be out of the office the entire day. I’ll tell you about it when I get back.
Seo-young stares in surprise at his ready acceptance, then she slowly smiles back at him, both understanding how far they have come.
Papa Lee is surprised to hear that Seo-young agreed to come with them to Jin-an, and Ho-jung adds that Seo-young actually suggested first that they all eat together. Seriously, such a sweetheart. Papa Lee can’t hide his happiness, and Sang-woo asks why Papa Lee never told them about his background, about what was going through his mind. If he had, they all could have understood him a little better. “For someone who has failed, everything is just an excuse. What good is all that? A parent who has failed is just sorry for everything.” T_T
Seo-young gets ready to go on the day trip and digs through her unopened bag of belongings (sent from the Kang home) to look for a sweater. She finds a sweater she has never seen, and it turns out to be a gift from Mama Kang. A post-it note is attached, which reads: “I bought this for your birthday, so I’m sending it with your stuff. Live happily…” Awwww. That night, Papa Lee begins to feel intense stomach pain. Noooo! Seo-young, meanwhile, looks at an old picture of her mom, happiness and peace evident in her expression.
The next morning, everyone gets ready to go down to Jin-an, including a happy-looking Seo-young. Ho-jung offers a snack to Papa Lee, but he declines, saying he isn’t hungry. Sang-woo notes his pallor, and Papa Lee asks to rest a bit at a rest stop – it has been a while since he traveled, that’s all. Once at the rest stop, though, Papa Lee vomits in the restroom. Don’t do this to me. Seo-young, who is driving herself, gets a call from Ho-jung and joins them at the rest stop. Ho-jung adorably tries to make an excuse about wanting to drive just with Sang-woo, and Seo-young is touched by Ho-jung’s efforts to give Seo-young and Papa Lee time together.
Papa Lee buys pinkblossom’s favorite walnut bread(? cookie?) and Seo-young’s favorite hot dogs (another favorite). But before he can return to the car, he is overcome with pain again and drops to the ground. No no no no no. Seo-young eagerly makes room in her car for Papa Lee, moving things around before deciding to have him ride next to her (instead of in the backseat). As she heads over to the shops, Sang-woo runs by, screaming “Father!” Seo-young races over and pushes through the crowd to see Papa Lee clutched over in pain, Sang-woo and Ho-jung desperately trying to help him…
Don’t do this to me. For seriously. The spoilers for tomorrow’s episode suggest my worst fears may be unfounded, but I’m still so scared… The writer still has another two episodes next week to render my faith in dramas absolutely foolish and self-destructive. I pray that is not the case.
Speaking of next week, oh my gollies how in the world are we already at Episode 47?! I know I chickened out for a good chunk in the middle, but dang have we come a long way. A lot of the material last week and today made me pause in awe at the ability to connect things and tie them together. The flashbacks to childhood days feel pretty “new” (as in, they were tacked on to help the story along), but I’m not so sure about some of the other stuff. One example was the way Seo-young’s experience watching Sang-woo’s wedding helped her understand and relate to Papa Lee. I mentioned it above, but putting the two experiences right next to each other really had quite an impact. I don’t know whether the writer planned it from the start, but even if she didn’t, I’ve gotta give her credit for knowing how to string things together.
In any case, thank you to ALL of you who have made this such a wonderful experience. And a special thanks for sharing videos, news, and links with the entire community. You are all so very much appreciated!