Dal Ja’s Spring: Episode 6
Episode 6: “Show Must Go On!”
On the rooftop, Crazy Wife walks along the edge, to the alarm of bystanders, firemen, office workers, everyone. Dal Ja pleads with her to calm down — she’ll do anything Crazy Wife wants her to do. If she wants her to quit her job, she’ll quit. Dal Ja and Eom Ki Joong have already decided not to date, but Dal Ja apologizes profusely anyway.
Crazy Wife starts to fall, and Dal Ja lunges toward her…
And it’s fairly clear Crazy Wife was bluffing, because who commits suicide off a building rooftop by falling backward toward the building?
Unfortunately, Dal Ja has tripped, and Crazy Wife falls on TOP of her…
Meanwhile, Tae Bong, having been caught by the pimped-out old guy in the last episode, awakes to find himself handcuffed inside an office (kinky!) (if only).
Dal Ja is discharged from the hospital with neck and rib injuries, and goes to see the Wife, who’s busy faking her own bodily ailments (come on, she landed on TOP of Dal Ja, ergo she had cushioning to save her from her transparent attempt at attention-grabbing — er, sorry, her aborted suicide). But because Dal Ja is a good person, she feels appropriately guilty and repentant.
Back in the office, everyone’s curious as to what will become of Dal Ja. She’s affected the image of the company, whose client base is mainly middle-aged married women who value marriage and are angry at finding out the company employs such an immoral and wanton female. Imagine a cadre of delicately affronted middle-aged hypocrites with pitchforks chanting for the head of one witch to satisfy their bloodlust, and that’s the situation Dal Ja finds herself in. Figuratively, of course.
On top of that, Dal Ja’s sunbae, Soon Ae, is also upset with Dal Ja. Sae Do defends Dal Ja — she’d already decided to stop seeing Eom Ki Joong, and this isn’t her fault. But Soon Ae blames Dal Ja for being stupid enough to start with a married man, which is why she’s in this situation now. She tells Dal Ja she’s sorry, but she’s married and has a kid; she’s got to be on the side of the marrieds here.
At Dal Ja’s apartment, Dal Ja’s mother stops by to see the obscene graffiti sprayed on her door by Crazy Wife last episode. It reads, “Die, bitch! How dare you steal my husband?!” etc. Dal Ja’s mother gets to work scrubbing the paint off the door.
A disciplinary committee descends upon Dal Ja’s department to determine the consequences of the incident. Appropriately, they are all black-suited, stern-faced, judgmental middle-aged men.
They demand that Dal Ja “take responsibility” for the event, whatever that means. Dal Ja can only sit there and take the scolding, unable to beg for forgiveness or defend herself.
But to everyone’s shock, Seon Joo comes to Dal Ja’s defense. She lays down the gauntlet: If they fire Dal Ja, she’ll terminate her contract with the company. Her program and the products she endorses are always among their best sellers, and that’s because Seon Joo is able to sell them with full confidence, because she trusts Dal Ja. If they were to remove Dal Ja, she will no longer have faith in their ability to choose sound products. It’s kind of an awesome defense — cool and business-like, with nary a weak “female” emotion in sight.
In any case, they’ll lay down their decision by the end of the week. Outside, Dal Ja thanks Seon Joo for standing up for her, but Seon Joo snaps back at Dal Ja: How could she just sit there and take that from those men? Why doesn’t she assert herself, defend her position, and do more? Does she care so little about her job? She stood up for her because she thought Dal Ja was a pro.
Dal Ja sees Seon Joo’s point, but is reluctant to give up her last bit of dignity by begging.
Tae Bong is visited by Grandfather Pimp, aka simply his grandfather, who is not a pimp but merely armed with too much money and bad taste. It turns out Tae Bong is running from his grandfather because his family is insisting he work under them, and Tae Bong refuses; he’ll live his life his own way.
Grandpa gets upset and rails at Tae Bong, but is interrupted by the appearance of Tae Bong’s mother, a woman who is so shrill and pampered it’s a wonder she comes off more amusingly quirky than annoying. Really, she’s funny. And sad.
Tae Bong sits down to a chilly dinner with his mother, grandfather, and father (with whom he has some unresolved friction).
That night, Dal Ja’s mother asks if anything’s troubling Dal Ja at work, but Dal Ja lies and says everything’s fine and wonders what her mother is doing there. Her mother says there was some kiddie graffiti on her door, so she cleaned it up, deliberately avoiding telling Dal Ja what the graffiti said.
Sae Do goes to Eom Ki Joong’s place to drink, while Seon Joo goes to Dal Ja’s.
Both parties end up at a club, where Dal Ja figures out that they’d planned it to get Dal Ja and Ki Joong together. They wanted Dal Ja and Ki Joong to talk things out and see where they stand, in light of recent Crazy Wife-related events. But in any case, they take advantage of the opportunity to let loose a little and have some fun bonding moments on the dance floor.
Tae Bong sneaks out of his parents’ home, but is caught by his grandfather. Tae Bong insists he will live his own life, and surprisingly, rather than insisting he stay, his grandfather lets him go.
At the office, Dal Ja runs into a pissed-off Crazy Wife, who slaps her and says that she knows she’s still seeing Ki Joong. Dal Ja had said she would quit; what does she think she’s doing? Crazy Wife threatens her, saying that the next time she meets Ki Joong, they both die, and stalks off.
Dal Ja runs into Tae Bong, who mentions the graffiti on her door. Dal Ja’s horrified to realize that her mother must have seen those words, and is ashamed of how she must have hurt her hard-working mother…
…and goes to see Crazy Wife in the hospital. But this time, she is not meek and subservient; she’s got her game face on.
Dal Ja tells Crazy Wife that if she’d just stuck to tormenting Dal Ja, she was prepared to accept it all, as penance for having gone out with her husband. But Crazy Wife had to mess with her family. Dal Ja’s lived her whole life proudly, and worked hard to be a daughter who’d never shame her mother. And because of Crazy Wife, her mother had to be dragged into this. So next time she messes with someone other than Dal Ja herself, Wife had better be prepared to bring it, bitch. (I’m paraphrasing.)
And finally, Dal Ja approaches the men of the disciplinary committee for one last appeal. She tells them she wants to stay at the company; she’ll take full responsibility in whatever way they ask her to. But she’s given your youth and energy to doing her work well.
She surprises everyone by kneeling down in front of them, as she realizes: “I’m 33 years old. I’ve learned how to lay down my pride with honor.”