Dal Ja’s Spring, Episode 16
Episode 16: “There Needs To Be Loyalty In Love!”
Tae Bong’s mother insists that Dal Ja seduced her son, and reveals the two are living together. Dal Ja and Tae Bong arrive, and Dal Ja’s mother demands to know if it’s true: Are they living together?
Taking their silence as consent, Dal Ja’s mom grabs a broom and starts to hit Dal Ja with it… but Tae Bong leaps in and uses his body to shield Dal Ja, as Whitney Houston sings “I Will Always Love You” a la The Bodyguard.
Tae Bong tells Dal Ja’s mother: “If you are going to hit someone, hit me. I’ll accept it all. It’s true that Dal Ja and I are living together. It’s also true that we both have feelings for each other. If that is reason for Dal Ja to be hit, then it’s only fit that I receive the beating as well. Please hit me as much as it takes to ease your feelings. I will receive it all.”
Dal Ja’s touched at Tae Bong’s words, but possibly not as much as her grandmother is.
Dal Ja’s mother throws everyone out. She’s so upset at Dal Ja that she essentially disowns her, telling her to leave. She didn’t raise her daughter that way. So Dal Ja and Tae Bong go to their respective homes, trying to ease things with their families. Tae Bong implores his mother to stop interfering. When Tae Bong’s father finds out that his wife caused a ruckus at Dal Ja’s mother’s restaurant, he angrily packs his things to leave the house. He told his wife that if she went after Tae Bong, they were over. He’ll have his lawyer send over divorce papers.
Tae Bong confronts his father, defending his mother. He blames his father for turning his mother into the woman she is — it’s his father’s fault, since he never treated her well. He never once smiled at her warmly, or held her, or said he loved her. “You were always cold and unresponsive. You always ignored Mom, like she was an annoyance. Because she couldn’t win your love, she clung to me instead. I don’t know what others may think, but Father, you’re not even a man.”
His father slaps him, but he continues: “The reason I can’t live here isn’t because of Mother, it’s because of you. Because I don’t want to become a man like you.”
Dal Ja attempts to appease her mother in a grand gesture in a Goong-like parody. But her mother isn’t having any of Dal Ja’s theatrics, and stays mad.
Tae Bong doesn’t understand the dynamic between his parents, so his grandfather explains their history:
When they were younger, Dal Ja’s mother was his father’s first love, while Tae Bong’s mother secretly loved his father. When Dal Ja’s mom broke his heart by leaving him for a rich man, Tae Bong’s mom stepped in and comforted him, all the way to the altar.
Tae Bong re-tells the story to Dal Ja, and she can’t believe her mother used to date his father. She wonders if that means they could possibly be related. Tae Bong laughs: “You’ve watched too much television. So, between the two of us, is one of us going to get cancer and die?” (Lol at the references to popular kdramas of yore.)
They decide to stay with their families for the time being, until things smooth over. That means they won’t be able to see each other for the next day or two. As they leave each other, Tae Bong kisses Dal Ja goodbye twice, reluctant to be parted. Dal Ja’s mom watches them from a distance.
At work, Seon Joo is tired due to her pregnancy, although Sae Do still believes she had the abortion. She has a craving for pork, and Sae Do notices how big her appetite is — they’ve eaten four portions. She thinks about the meat they can go eat the next day as well. Sae Do wonders what’s wrong with her and blurts out: “What are you, pregnant?” He apologizes for talking without thinking, but as he leaves Seon Joo’s apartment, he sees pregnancy books and things lying around. Even more suspicious than the pregnancy literature is the fridge full of healthy and wholesome food. (That can’t be right!) Sae Do goes to the hospital to confirm that she didn’t go through with her operation.
Dal Ja’s grandma and mother talk. Granny defends the couple, saying that being opposed to the match won’t stop the two from being together. When Dal Ja’s mom married her son, Granny was opposed to it and did everything she could to keep her son from her. But in the end, it didn’t work out. So try to understand Dal Ja’s heart. Granny also tells her that when Dal Ja’s married, she’s intending to go off to a nursing home — she knows it was hard for her daughter-in-law taking care of her after her husband died so early.
Tae Bong visits his father in the hotel where he’s staying. His father brusquely tells him to leave, but surprisingly, Tae Bong kneels and apologizes, while his father listens silently behind the door.
“I was wrong, Father. To me, you were always strong, and Mother was weak. So I always sided with Mother, and hated to disappoint her. The school she chose, the university she wanted, the law firm she picked. I lived my life following what Mother wanted for me. It was not fun. I was not happy. In those times, I resented you. You didn’t listen to my wishes for my life, so I hated you. But I also wanted to at least once share in conversation with you. Like other fathers do with their sons. Talking in the saunas, drinking soju together, talking about life, about women. I wanted to tell you I’ve met a woman I like, and found work I enjoy.”
Tae Bong’s father opens the door, and takes Tae Bong out to breakfast together in a tacit reconciliation. Tae Bong is surprised when his father puts his arm around him, because it’s possibly the first time he’s ever shown him affection.
Tae Bong’s mother goes to Dal Ja’s mother again. This time, they come to an agreement: Both don’t want their children dating each other. (Dal Ja’s mom: “Do you think I want a daughter of mine having to put up with a mother-in-law like you?”) But Dal Ja’s mom says that even if she opposes it, if the kids want to be together anyway, she won’t chase after them to interfere.
Sae Do asks for pregnancy advice from Dal Ja, wondering how to make things easier for Seon Joo. So Dal Ja asks her unni about tips in helping a pregnant woman, i.e. what to eat, what to avoid. But because Dal Ja has not learned her lesson about talking about private matters in the bathroom, Kang Team Manager has overheard, and assumes Dal Ja’s the pregnant one.
Tae Bong’s mother goes to see Kang Team Manager as a last resort, because she has not yet filled her daily quota of annoying busy people, and begs her to transfer Dal Ja far away, where Tae Bong can’t follow. Kang Team Manager has one caution, though: She’s not certain, but Dal Ja may be pregnant. But this is a matter that must be handled delicately, with discretion.
Outside, Dal Ja and Tae Bong are waiting for the meeting to be over. His mother starts hitting Tae Bong (I almost expected Dal Ja to interfere in a reverse-Bodyguard scenario — how great would that have been?), then demands of Dal Ja: “How many months along are you? I hear you’re pregnant!” Tae Bong (and the entire office) asks, “Are you pregnant?” Very delicate and discreet, indeed.
Dal Ja says no, she’s not pregnant, as everyone stares at her….