Drama Recaps
Flowers For My Life: Episode 5
by | May 29, 2007 | 27 Comments

It makes me sad that more people aren’t watching Flowers For My Life. It’s a series that shows that kdramas can be touching without being sappy, and funny without being jokey and gag-based. Funny how a series handling death can be so delightful.

Episode 5 was the first to make me cry, though not because it was sad, but because it was poignant. Mother storylines tend to do that to me.

(Thematically Relevant) SONG OF THE DAY

G.O.D. – “어머님께” (To my mother) In keeping with the theme of today’s episode, here’s G.O.D.’s somewhat autobiographical song dedicated to the rapper’s mother. I was going to use it in a different post, but it seems appropriate here.
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Poised above Hana as though to kiss her, the saddened Ho Sang asks, in a pained tone, “I’m not alone in the world, right? Since you said you loved me, you can’t take it back later. Not you too.” With that, he falls asleep next to her, and Hana wipes a tear from his face and thinks, “Maybe it was then that I started to feel sorry toward him. That I started to see him with my heart.”

Ho Sang dreams he’s being tortured by Mr. Wang, who pokes a voodoo doll dressed to look like Ho Sang, angry at him for living well. It looks kinda scary in the cap but it’s actually pretty funny.

The poking is, instead, from Hana’s father, who wakes him with his angry prodding. Seeing Hana lying next to Ho Sang first thing in the morning, he’s leapt to the conclusion that they must have slept with each other all night (sex is the implication), and goes after Ho Sang. The two look like a pair of dueling monkeys.

Hana’s mother asks if they spent the night together, and Ho Sang, with no immediate recollection, shakes his head no vigorously while Hana nods yes. (Someone needs to make a gif of that bit.)

Hana’s mother takes her aside to ask if Hana was careful not to get pregnant, and Hana explains that nothing really happened. But she doesn’t want her father to know — she wants to use his misunderstanding to get his approval to marry Ho Sang — and begs her mother to keep it a secret.

Hana also tells Ho Sang she’ll take responsibility for the incident since it was her choice to stay; she could’ve left if she wanted. Hana tells him she’s sorry for making a sick person sicker, but when he asks what she means, she remembers he’s not supposed to know that she knows he’s dying. She covers, “I meant sick at heart.” Ho Sang assumes he must’ve blabbed about his fight with Nam Kyung.

Eun Tak and Ho Sang Seem to be getting by on more familiar, if not friendly, terms. Though still adversarial on the surface, I find their switching to banmal speech to be a positive sign that they’re grudgingly coming to tolerate each other better. Eun Tak mutters to himself about Ho Sang’s ignorance, and Ho Sang mutters to himself that no matter what, Hana is impervious to Eun Tak’s low opinion of him. He proudly boasts (to himself) that Hana’s completely devoted to him, before remembering with a frown, “This is not something to be happy about.”


While working, Eun Tak hears about the incident and inexplicably blows up at Ho Sang for being irresponsible: “You do as you please with a girl, then abandon her when you’re done? Haven’t you thought of the pain you leave that woman with, the life she has to lead alone?!”

Ho Sang and the other man assume Eun Tak’s bitter over losing Hana (and his claim to the funeral business), but this just confirms (to me) that Eun Tak must be referring to what that man did to his own mother.

In any case, they’re interrupted when a woman comes by to tell them they’re digging up the wrong grave. Her mother misdirected them, as she hasn’t been in her right mind since her son died. It’s a Witch Amusement reunion, with the daughter played by the actress who was Kim Jung Hoon’s fiancee. Her mother, who played Jae Hee’s mother, is equipped here with a bouquet of flowers to indicate the precarious state of her sanity.

Ho Sang’s entrusted to occupy the flower lady (to keep her from interfering) while the others finish digging the grave, and in typical Ho Sang fashion, he loses her. He frantically looks around town to find her, with Hana’s aid. He runs into Nam Kyung, who’s eating lunch with her co-workers, and they talk about what happened the other night. She apologizes, but Ho Sang assures Nam Kyung that it’s all right; he has no right to be angry at her. There are things he hasn’t told her too, so she doesn’t have to feel bad about not telling him everything.

Hana steps in and confronts Nam Kyung: “Don’t do that to our Dae Bak. He’s someone who has to be happy, a hundred, a thousand times happier than anyone else. So don’t hurt him. Someone who’s as happy and loved as you shouldn’t do that to others.” Nam Kyung tells Hana to take good care of Ho Sang, and make him happy.

Just then, Hana spies the flower lady riding on the back of a bike with the Vietnamese girl, and she and Nam Kyung take off in chase, running through the markets, finally finding the lady eating noodles with the Vietnamese girl (named Ran). Which is the strange sight that greets Ho Sang when he comes to claim the flower lady.

Thinking he’s her son Yong Soo, flower lady takes the reluctant Ho Sang along and insists on buying him meat. At first, he finds it a nuisance, but the flower lady tells him happily, “Seeing my Yong Soo eat so well makes me satisfied even without eating a thing.” Ho Sang remembers his own mother telling him the same thing, and starts to understand this lady’s pain, and changes his attitude. Ho Sang willingly accepts her offerings of food and holds her hand. When she brings out sunglasses for him to wear, he puts them on and explains to Hana (having overheard earlier that Yong Soo had sensitive eyes) that he has sensitive eyes.

It’s really sweet. Are you crying yet?

They return to the gravesite, with the work completed, and Ho Sang finds the mother sitting alone. Now lucid, the woman thanks Ho Sang for his work, and cries that her son is a bad kid — any child who dies before his mother is awful. Even though others might complain about their rotten kids, at least they’re alive.


That night, Ho Sang tells Hana he’s a bad guy who’ll just disappoint her. He only causes trouble and lies to people close to him. Hana says he’s a good guy, and perhaps feeling guilt for her mercenary intentions, she thinks to herself, “I’m bad too, so it’s okay.”

The next day, they find that Ho Sang’s disappeared. Hana determines to go to Seoul to find him, and her father forces her to take Eun Tak with her to drag Ho Sang back.

(There’s a small detour with the tearoom lady, Ms. Gong, as the men of Hana’s funeral parlor are incensed to see their funeral competitors there also receiving her attentions. As I’m not sure how this is going to play later, I’ll leave it here.)


In Seoul, Hana and Eun Tak arrive at Wang Dae Bak’s empty mansion. Eun Tak tries to persuade her to leave, but Hana stubbornly waits all day in front of the gate. She tells Eun Tak not to look or speak badly of Ho Sang — a person who only expects bad things only sees bad things. Neither of them truly understand Ho Sang, so Eun Tak should watch his words.

Meanwhile, influenced by his encounter with the flower lady, Ho Sang has gone to find his mother, observing her at work, on the subway, and visiting what looks like his crypt (in a vault which I’m assuming is meant for people who can’t afford graves in a cemetery).

Saddened to see how he’s hurt his mother, Ho Sang stays outside her house all night, unable to go in and see her but wanting to be near her just the same.

Ho Sang accidentally comes face to face with his mother when she comes out to retrieve the milk delivery (which he’s attempting to steal — HA!), and she looks upon his face with tears, thanking God for answering her prayers to send Ho Sang to her in her dreams. He tells her he’s for real, and she thanks God for letting her hear Ho Sang’s voice. She hugs him, Ho Sang tells her it’s not a dream, and I cry.

(How ’bout now, are you crying now?) In disbelief, his mother can’t believe it’s truly him. Ho Sang assures her that he’s not dead, and she weeps with relief and shock.

And then she beats him.

(Don’tcha love how she’s so heartbroken thinking he’s died, and the minute she realizes he’s alive, she chases him with a broom and yells at him to die?)

After her anger has cooled, his mother tells Ho Sang to come back and live with her, but he can’t. He might be jailed for impersonating someone else. He tells her he’ll be fine, he’ll find a way to live. Before sending him off, she goes to fetch money for him, despite his protests. Telling him not to move until she comes back, she rushes home to get money.

But Ho Sang leaves before she can return, thinking, “Mom, I’m really sorry. It’s just that if I saw your face again, I don’t think I could leave. I’ll live well. I’ll be healthy, and live with laughter. So you have to do the same, okay? I love you, Mom.”


If there are typos, I’m sorry, it’s just that the tears are clouding my vision. Where is that damn keyboard??


Back at Wang Dae Bak’s mansion, Hana’s relieved to finally see Ho Sang arrive, although his first impulse is to run when he sees Eun Tak’s irritated face. When Eun Tak catches up to him, Ho Sang stops, and wonders, “Wait, why was I running away? Huh. Maybe it’s become a habit.” LOL. Hana’s pleased to hear that Ho Sang went to visit his mother, understanding that he must’ve felt thought of her after meeting the flower lady.

Inside the house, Hana’s amazed to see the extravagance of the surroundings, and imagines her family living in luxury. Her brief fantasy is interrupted when she remembers that Ho Sang won’t be around long enough for that to happen.

Ho Sang prepares a ritual to pay his respects to Wang Dae Bak, telling Hana merely that it’s for the person he exchanged lives with.

He thinks: “Mr. Wang, today I met my mother. I was truly happy. And then, I thought of you. You must be someone’s son and sibling too. I’m truly sorry for whoever is out there, missing you. Mr. Wang, please don’t be lonely. Until I die, I’ll live on remembering you. Please rest now.”

Ho Sang bows his respects, and Hana follows, prodding Eun Tak to do the same. The three bow in memory of Wang Dae Bak, who appears in front of his offering with a bit of a smile, perhaps appeased to know he won’t be completely forgotten.


Ho Sang’s return to Hana’s home leads to some reflection time in the coffin. He isn’t so scared this time — he’s been in there before. He feels sleepy, so Hana assures him, “Go to sleep, I’ll stay here by your side.”

Ho Sang smiles and falls asleep, thinking, “Maybe it was from then, that I started wanting to lean on Hana. I think that’s when Hana started to seem beautiful to me.”

27 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. chel

    hi sarah!
    i REALLY want to watch it…but still waiting for them subs to come out! sigh. cant wait to, esepcially with your epi summaries! you’re the best!

  2. mily2

    thank you sarahbeans.. this episode is quite touching.. Hana is sooo adorable.. and Mr. Hot is as amazing as ever.. I can see him falling for Hana really soon.. HS better move quickly.. haha.. 🙂

  3. addicted

    It IS ashamed that Flowers lacks the audience it so deserves. I just adore this drama. Love Ho Sang and Hana. They are the loveliest odd characters.
    Thanks for the summary. I was on the edge of my sit waiting for it to post. Whew.
    This site is SO my crack.

  4. mentality34

    “It’s really sweet. Are you crying yet?”
    Yeah. At that part.. I was tearing up. Your synopsis is already so touching. I can’t wait for the eps to be subbed

  5. jiangzemin

    no sparks between eun tak and hana?

  6. jiangzemin

    my favorite thing about ho sang is his bad hair.
    it’s so anti-korean-leading-man. They all have perfect hair.

  7. amy

    hi javabeans ! thanks for your recaps it is as good as ever. quite sad episode this one but it is good since i wonder what happen to ho sang family will they ever know that he is not dead. i can’t stand it when he left his mother. when he will know that he has cancer? thanks again can’t wait for your next recap

  8. Jess

    Thanks for the recap!

    Wow, this drama is getting better and better. Can’t wait to watch it!

  9. javabeans

    emily, with every episode, Mr. Sexy Tortured-Soul Broody Hot gains new adjectives in my mind… ahhhh….

    chel, the subs for ep1 have been released (if you’re not already aware) so get em quick!

    addicted, I really hope flowers builds an audience too… ratings aren’t a huge deal, it’s just that more people should know about this drama! it’s horribly underrated.

    jiangzemin, I’m not sure about the sparks… I think they’re leaving room for that to occur (with eun tak slowly getting to understand hana better, even if she perplexes him) but honestly, at this point i’m not even sure i want a hana-eun tak pairing although eun tak’s too sexy not to be paired up with someone. maybe his brooding soul can find comfort with nam kyung?

    mentality34, the mother stories always kill me. and this show just handled it so well.

    amy, I’m really curious to know when he’ll find out about his cancer too… I’m trying to prepare myself for a possible sad turn, although with the tone of this show, they’ll probably undercut it with humor — and to that, I say thank god!

    jess, I hope you enjoy the drama too. and now you can watch ep1 with english subs…

  10. 10 Marzy

    thanks for this sarah! i was blog stalking for this. hehehe ^^ i love this ep so touching and poignant, not in the convetional ways. i have a question about the pratices of burial and death in korea, when i went someone told me that they dont usually put the gravesite for the children who past away earlier than the parents? because its bad or its not something to be remembered but here in this drama i see its not that case. what do u know of this? im just kind of curious. two opposite sides of the equation.

  11. 11 Bwitched

    He proudly boasts (to himself) that Hana’s completely devoted to him, before remembering with a frown, This is not something to be happy about.

    hehehe this one is funny.
    And the song you inserted is great too. It suits the atmosphere when I was reading ur reviews which I’ve been waiting eversince monday. Thank you for ur hard effort.

  12. 12 Vivagirl

    thanks javabeans for the wonderful summary, i finally watched the 1st ep on kbsworld today. i really liked it.
    i wonder if anyone watches hong kong movies, there is an actress named cecilia cheung and this hanna has an uncanny resemblance of her, maybe they could be long lost sisters lol =)

  13. 13 mushrooom

    I am wondering what the name of the Vietnamese girl means. The fact is I am a Vietnamese yeah, and she totally looks like a Korean rather than a Viet. 100% not a Vietnamese, or maybe a Vietnamese after surgery to turn into a Korean. Never mind, if you are right about her name, which is Ran, I would lmao. Hahaha, no way. I have never heard of such name in Vietnam (never never does that word make sense, never ever). Unless the director wants to persuade the Vietnamese that Ran (= SNAKE in Vietnamese) is a new way to give name to your daughter, I would please to hear so!

  14. 14 javabeans

    mushroom, according to the kbs website, the actress is a vietnamese girl named Haiyen (who speaks korean pretty well and who’s appeared on a few korean variety shows), and the character’s name is Ran Aing — but since it’s written in Korean, the romanization may be off and i’m not sure which is her first name.

  15. 15 marie s

    kbs world just started airing the first episode this may 30 at 3am in the philippines. i couldnt say that i love it to the death like full house and goong, but i agree that it is �artistically� pleasing. the script is very good and strong, with the play of names in relation to the theme of the story and the lines themselves. dry humor, as javabeans had said. Actors cha tae hyun and kang hye jung are very good and appropriate for the roles indeed. they were very convincing. (cha tae hyun is in his usual funny element. and kang hye jung is really good in playing offbeat roles. she brings a different level of interpretation in the characters she play, like the one in herb and love phobia. love phobia was not that great but stellar performances for both. i just love her as an actress. it’d be nice if i can see how she will fare in a no-brainer romantic comedy with a good script, just like the character han ji eun in full house and shin chae gyung in goong.) from the episode summaries, the story does seem to be heading somewhere deeper, and with much sense.

  16. 16 mushrooom

    Hi Javabeans,
    I have checked the info on a Vietnamese website too. They said she is a Vietnamese but has moved to Korea for 2 years. In the interview with Vnese mags, she got some difficulties in speaking Vnese (dun know why). Sorry for the misunderstanding. I think so because she does not have good pronunciation in VNese since I watched the espisode. But a natural beauty, so white and so lovely!
    I think the name of her character is in Korean, I have tried to understand “Ran Aing” but that’s not VNese for sure (there is not such combination as Aing). In addition, VNese is written by Latin alphabet just as the same as English, therefore, it should be in Korean.
    Have a nice day,
    Thanks for your info!!!!!

  17. 17 stee

    anyone else notice that the actor who play Hana looks MAJORLY different after braces? I can’t get over it, I think someone else said before it was b/c she got braces…but her total mouth area is so different now. now she looks like 5 years younger than before.

  18. 18 samantha

    i really did start to cry when ho sang saw his mother again it was so sad when he left… i really wanna watch this when does it come one.. thanks for the summary

  19. 19 Lovewls

    Thanks for the summary as always. This ep made me teary, esp when Ho-Sang met his mom. *wipes tear*

  20. 20 tsunamiblues

    this show is a keeper!!!!

  21. 21 Philippa

    I didn’t cry but this episode is so touching. He is so sweet! Thanks a lot for writing the summary for this episode!

  22. 22 mianaw

    oh my god, this drama is awesome with it’s subtlety and hint of romance that is indescribably addictive without being overly cheesy but this summary shows that this drama has more than most people are able to see on the surface and you are right about mother type story lines being moving and tear ful. i was wondering how the ratings were doing but ratings don’t always indicate the worth of a drama, thanks for your hard work summarizing i had watched the subbed episodes upto 4 but i just couldn’t wait and had to read your summaries as they are also wonderful but this drama is worth watching! thanks again

  23. 23 atalanta_jbs

    i enjoy watching this drama, its amusing to watch this korean drama and im glad i was able to watch it from the start.

    the show was good primarily because its refreshing to see a very innocent gold digger for a change (hehe, its the first time that i saw a show where the lead is a gold digger and as innocent as hana).

    im excited to know the bigger issues of the show such as the secret behind the characters of Eun Tak and Nam Kyung…

    I hope the story won’t get boring or predictable like the last chapter of dalja’s Spring (god, i love that show except for the ending!!!)

  24. 24 yang_gukhwa

    honestly, i never thought that i’d cry as well here. I don’t know why either but with that part about Hosang pretending to be a son to a stranger just … made my eyes wet and before i knew it, tears are falling down on my cheeks…haha…

  25. 25 Sere

    When I come here to read these recaps, I always get so suprised there are less than 100 comments. I really don’t understand how come this gem of a drama is so underrated! It boggles the mind.

    I’ve finally watched this ep…I was going into withdrawal but my drama-partner was busy so I had to wait. Anyway, it was so awesome, as usual.

    I did tear up when Ho sang, on the bus, “tells” his mom he’s going to live well and she better do the same. *sniffs*

    (Sarah, a little parenthesis here before I forget. I LOVE how you always manage to capture great moments with your screencaps. Love the one with Hana’s jaw hanging open when she sees Ho Sang’s mansion. I simply *adore* the cap next to it, with her offering Ho sang kimchee and him already fading out! BTW, if I remember, I’ll gif that moment you mentioned! *g*)

    I totally agree with you on Eun Tak. His mom was most definately dumped by that shady ajussi, whom I really don’t like (and I have got to research “Eun Tak”‘s other projects!)

    Oh yeah, one of my fave moments is when Hana wonders why she isn’t feeling very well while watching Ho Sang’s pain. I love her. So much!

    There’s one thing htat keeps me on my toes: Hana and Ho sang’s voiceovers. They make me a little edgy. I just hope nothing bad happens to these two!

  26. 26 mostafa

    i love u

  27. 27 MODV


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