Drama Recaps
Flowers For My Life: Episode 7
by | June 7, 2007 | 14 Comments


(Picture reads: DAE BAK)

Episode 7 was a great example of a kdrama that managed to work well as a separate episode with its own theme and story, as well as part of the larger series arc. This is what I wish Air City would do better — tell a smaller story that resonates thematically with the larger story, and have both those stories directly affect the characters. Beautifully executed.

(Random) SONG OF THE DAY

Tim – “하루새” (haru sae) [ zShare download ]

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EPISODE 7 SUMMARY

After waiting in town all day for Ho Sang, Hana finally gets up and goes home. Eun Tak sees Hana trudging home, depressed and silent. Having witnessed her bouncy enthusiasm earlier, before going on her date with Ho Sang, Eun Tak figures Ho Sang once again disappointed her.

Ho Sang, having gone to Nam Kyung in a burst of pity after hearing about her dead fiance, listens as she talks as though he’s still alive. He can’t bring himself to tell her he knows the truth, and goes along as she says Kang Jae isn’t very talkative and gentle; he’s stubborn and hard to get to know. But, “He once said to me, shallow waters may make a lot of noise, but deep rivers don’t make a sound. He said the way he feels about me is like a deep river.”

Feeling bad over missing their date, Ho Sang calls Hana, but she doesn’t answer. He goes to their date meeting place and sees her discarded pile of flower petals on the ground. He knows Hana was waiting there when he sees “Dae Bak” spelled out in petals. At home, Ho Sang hesitates to drop in on Hana, who’s waiting up for him, but he decides against it and walks away.

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In the morning, Ho Sang talks to an upset Hana. Since he missed their date, he offers to go out with her today, but Hana tells him her plans were only valid yesterday. She thought he’d decided to give up on Nam Kyung, but doesn’t wait to hear his attempt to explain why he went to her. She tells him she’ll give him one more chance, and this time, he’d better make it.

Hana’s mother is shocked to find evidence that her husband is carrying on with Madam Gong, the tearoom lady, and follows him in suspicion. She sees them together, interrupts them in a fury, and tells Madam Gong to leave other people’s husbands alone.

Madam Gong argues back, hitting Hana’s mother in a particularly weak point, telling her that the men don’t come to her because they want to fool around with a woman; they come because they want someone to listen to their worries. How lacking must the wives be at home that they’d seek out her comfort? Madam Gong knows more about the husbands’ worries than their own wives.

Stung, Hana’s mother argues back, hitting where it hurts. She points to Madam Gong’s sad existence, without a husband or child to lean on. She’s in no place to criticize Hana’s mother’s actions as a wife. Both women pretend not to be hurt by the exchange, but they’re clearly shaken.

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Hana calls out Nam Kyung to set the record straight, reminding Nam Kyung of her request that Hana take good care of Ho Sang. Ho Sang is too nice, and Nam Kyung is making it impossible for him to come to Hana while Nam Kyung’s having a hard time. Hana wants her to leave Ho Sang alone.

However, Nam Kyung has just heard the news of Ho Sang’s supposed death from an old school friend, and tells Hana that Ho Sang’s going through something right now, and needs friends. She’s sorry that her presence makes Hana uncomfortable, but as a friend, she won’t leave him while he’s going through a hard time.

Mired in their men troubles, Hana and her mother sit side by side in dissatisfaction, wondering what they’re so lacking that their men have to find solace in other women.

Mom: “What did I do that was so wrong? It’s unfair.”
Hana: “I know. I did my best, but it seems like I’m still lacking.”
Mom: “Even if he can’t tell me his feelings, he does with another woman?”
Hana: “Exactly. Why does he tell things to her that he can’t tell me? What can she do that I can’t? I’m much more concerned about him that she is.”
Mom: “That’s what I mean. No matter how horrible a wife I could be, can you compare me with a silly cafe madam?”
Hana: “Even if one person’s heart is full with the other person, is that not enough? Does he need people other than me?”

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The household is further divided when a client arrives with a strange request — an elderly widower requests that when he’s buried, he’d like to be laid to rest with both of his women (both already deceased), one on either side. The reason? He’d lived his life maintaining two households, and would like to be buried with both wives.

Hana, her mother, and Eun Tak are offended and opposed. It’s bad enough the man had two families in life; how dare he be so selfish in death? Such an act would be disrespectful to the women. Meanwhile, the men feel the obligation to obey the man’s last wish. Ho Sang says the man would feel even worse having to choose just one woman to be buried with. Hana’s mother orders her husband to refuse.

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Nam Kyung worries over Ho Sang and the knowledge that he’s technically “dead” to the world. Apparently his death enabled his family to survive, as I believe they received money upon his death. She meets Ho Sang and confronts him, wanting to take him to Seoul to set things straight. Ho Sang resists — he has nothing left of his old life but his family, and even then, he’s more helpful to them dead than alive. Nam Kyung persists: “But this isn’t right. How can a living person pretend to be dead?” Ho Sang bursts out: “But you think of a dead person as a living one!”

After getting things in the open, Nam Kyung asks why Ho Sang didn’t tell her he knew, and he answers: “If you think of him as being alive, I thought I should go along with it. What right do I have to treat him as dead when he lives so vividly in your heart? You’re the one who loves him, and you’re the one who’ll have to let him go.”

Nam Kyung: “Nobody else thought like you. Even my parents couldn’t understand how I couldn’t accept his death.”
Ho Sang: “If I were him, I’d be grateful to you. For still talking as though he’s next to you, remembering him, missing him. I wonder if I’ve started thinking like this now that I’ve become a dead guy too.”

They confess that it’s a relief now that the truth is out. Ho Sang doesn’t have to act like he’s well-off and rich, and Nam Kyung doesn’t have to always put on a brave, happy front.

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Hana finds herself waiting for Ho Sang again, glumly. Eun Tak suggests they go out and enjoy themselves, because staying home and waiting will just make her feel worse. Hana: “Since when did we become people who hang out together?” Eun Tak: “Since now.”

Hearing that Ho Sang’s going to be late again (Nam Kyung wants to take him to the sea, which is rather far away), Hana decides to take Eun Tak up on his offer. They go bike-riding, and Eun Tak observes Hana’s gradual mood lift with a smile of his own. In fact, he’s so absorbed seeing her spirits rise that he falls off his bike. Ah, Eun Tak. I wish you were a real person.

Eun Tak asks what Hana had planned on doing on her date with Ho Sang, saying he’ll do it for her. Hana tells him he can’t, and Eun Tak briefly asks in a flare of competitive spirit, “What can he do that I can’t?” Hana explains that she was going to kiss him in a public place, like in the movies, and Eun Tak scoffs. Stuff like that only works with appropriately cool people — if she and Ho Sang did that, people would just gawk and laugh. He, on the other hand, is sufficiently cool to pull off something so cheesy — but he’d never do something like that.

Hana wonders if Ho Sang would’ve disliked it too, and Eun Tak responds, “Of course. That’s something you do with someone you’re totally crazy about, why would he do that with you…?” He trails off and apologizes, having said too much, but Hana realizes, “I see. I wanted to make him a nice memory, but it could’ve become a horrible memory to him. I thought I just had to work hard, that if I did, I could make Dae Bak happy. But I didn’t know the reverse could become true too. I didn’t know there were so many things I didn’t know. I don’t know men, or people’s feelings, or what I’m doing right now.”

Eun Tak says the same: “I don’t know either. Why I came here, what I’d come looking to find out, or what I’d do when I did.” Hana asks if he managed to meet he person his mother sent him to see, and Eun Tak answers, “I did meet him. But, it feels like I haven’t met him yet. The one I met wasn’t the person my mother wanted me to meet.” Hana doesn’t understand his wording, and Eun Tak deflects, suggesting they go eat.

Eun Tak insists on buying dduk, which is sticky pounded rice cake eaten as dessert, because it’s his birthday. His mother had missed out on getting him the traditional dduk on his first birthday, so to make up for that oversight, she bought him dduk every year, so now it doesn’t feel like a birthday without it. He asks Hana to sing him a birthday song, but she refuses and tells him to just hurry up and eat — she doesn’t like dduk so she doesn’t want any. With a grimace, Eun Tak starts eating alone, but he looks around when he hears a sound…

…to see Hana playing a birthday song for him on her cell phone, while feigning nonchalance.

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On their way home, Hana and Eun Tak run into Ran, who’s gotten herself into trouble with a neighborhood lady. Ran had wanted to hold the woman’s child just for a moment, but the woman assumed Ran was trying to kidnap her. Ran tries explaining, but the language barrier prevents understanding. Hana defends Ran, but they’re taken to the police station, where the cop phones Ran’s cold husband, telling them he doesn’t care what they do with her. Apparently Ran can’t have children, which accounts for her longing looks at neighborhood babies and her husband ignoring her.

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Nam Kyung takes Ho Sang to the spot at the dock where she last saw Kang Jae, her fiance. They were supposed to go fishing together, but they’d gotten into a small fight and she left. He’d sent her a text message saying he’d bring home a delicious fish, so get ready to cook it. But wanting to prolong his sorriness, Nam Kyung didn’t even respond to his message.

Nam Kyung tells Ho Sang she came today to break up with him: “I don’t want to bury him in my heart. I want live on thinking as though he’s alive somewhere. Like he’s happy somewhere, and we’ve merely broken up.” Ho Sang asks if she can really do that, and Nam Kyung says she has to try: “If I can’t, I can go back to him.” Ho Sang: “Even if you return, he won’t take you back.” Nam Kyung: “I know. He won’t, because he’ll want me to be happy.”

Ho Sang leaves her to say her goodbye in private. Nam Kyung removes her engagement ring, burying it in the sand. Her last words to Kang Jae are: “Oppa, I can cry today for the last time, right? Because it’s the day I broke up with you, I can cry to my heart’s content, can’t I?” Watching from a distance, Ho Sang thinks (to Kang Jae): “Please help me make Nam Kyung smile again.”

He lights some firecrackers into the dark night sky for her.

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Ho Sang arrives home to a chilly reception, but instead of yelling or getting upset, Hana treats him coolly. He also makes it a point to hide the seashells he brought home as a souvenir.

Ho Sang asks how Hana spent her day, and she tells him she wasn’t lonely — she had tons of fun with Eun Tak, riding bikes and eating dduk. Ho Sang tries not to let his jealousy show, asking tentatively if she’s gotten much closer to Eun Tak now. Hana says yes, and they’ve even agreed to “lower their speech” with each other, which means to go from formal speech to banmal.

Hana accuses Ho Sang of betraying her — he’d taken care of her injured foot and carried her on his back, and offered to go together to do what she wanted. She knows he doesn’t like her as much as Nam Kyung, but she figured he liked her more than before. But he just makes her wait longer, and makes her angrier. Just then, Eun Tak comes by, and Hana makes it a point to put on a show that they’re much friendlier.

This time, Eun Tak’s willing to oblige. He says they might as well take the opportunity to be real friends, and assures her that he can act a lot better and more naturally than the last time. His acting was kind of stiff before.

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As for the funeral customer, the argument is revived when the man’s son comes by and talks to Ho Sang in hopes of convincing them to reconsider. Ho Sang explains to the family that the son was originally opposed to his father’s idea — he’d lived seeing his mother (the original wife) hurting and struggling. He’d always thought his father didn’t have children by his second wife because they weren’t able to conceive, but he later learned that the woman deliberately chose not to have children out of guilt. She’d taken someone else’s husband, but she couldn’t bring herself to take someone else’s father too.

And so, the son changed his mind. The father’s desire for the joint burial wasn’t mere stubbornness, it was worry for his wife who had no children to ensure her burial rites were cared for. Pil Gu says the father is quite soft-hearted — that’s why he maintained two households in the first place. Had he been firm, he would’ve cut off one of them — better to make a cold, final decision than to drag both sides out forever.

Ho Sang tells Hana he agrees with Pil Gu — it’s better to cut off one side than to drag out both. Hana asks what he’s talking about, and Ho Sang says he’s talking about himself, and explains that Nam Kyung’s fiance is dead. Hana tells him, “Just because she doesn’t have a fiance anymore doesn’t mean she’ll go to you.” Ho Sang understands that, but can’t help feeling bothered.

Hana: “Just know this. I’m your wad of gum now, and I’ll continue to be. Whatever happens, I won’t leave you.” Storming off, Hana takes out her frustration by kicking at a stone wall, as her voiceover tells us, “Because I didn’t know what made me so mad, I grew angrier. Because I didn’t know what made me so uneasy, I grew uneasier.”

As Ho Sang arranges his seashells, he thinks, “The old me would have just ignored my feelings of guilt. I wouldn’t have thought of what I could do to prevent myself from hurting her. I didn’t know then that liking someone turns you into such a fool.”

Much like Hana’s flower pattern, he uses the shells to spell out a name: Hana.

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The next morning, Ho Sang drops by as Hana is spending time reflecting in the coffin, and tells her he’s been thinking about it, and has come to the conclusion he has to leave.

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14 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. samantha

    yes, first one to comment… anyways the part with Nam kyung was very touching i felt like crying. I just really hope that if ho sang does chose to leave hana that eun tak will take his place, i really agree with you about how you like the way this drama embraces death and depicts it in different ways aside from being sad or scary but funny, sweet, and some times a bit nostalgic in Nam kyung’s case. Thanks for the summary been waiting for it =}

  2. ginnie

    Thank you for the summary.

    I was so touched by the lines in this episode. Very clever dialogues.
    Thanks to your translation I can understand what they said. I like the parallel stories going on at the same time with similar themes.

    Nam Kyung’s story is so moving. Her “letting go” scene by the beach was so sad.

    Isn’t it the truth when Ho Sang said “If you think of him as being alive, I thought I should go along with it. What right do I have to treat him as dead when he lives so vividly in your heart? You’re the one who loves him, and you’re the one who’ll have to let him go.

    I also felt for Hana in this episode. She’s so innocent.

    When she said this…I went awwwww…….

    I see. I wanted to make him a nice memory, but it could’ve become a horrible memory to him. I thought I just had to work hard, that if I did, I could make Dae Bak happy. But I didn’t know the reverse could become true too. I didn’t know there were so many things I didn’t know. I don’t know men, or people’s feelings, or what I’m doing right now.

    Thank you Sarah. =)

  3. Bwitched

    thank you sarah!!!

    I love it how both tried to write each other’s name with two different objects. I wish I can figure if flowers and seashells have any hidden meanings.

  4. Gianie

    Hi! What a wonderful recap, as usual! I actually saw this recap and backtracked the other ones, without having even watched the drama! (My comp is being wonky about downloading) Your site is truly a gift, no joke. I feel like I know these characters, and the screencaps are great~

    What I definitely wanted to mention, on the off-chance that you or anyone might agree, is that Eun Tak totally reminds me of Yoo PD on “To Marry a Millionaire” with Go Soo and Kim Hyun Joo. In terms of looks as well as character and charisma-factor. I really liked that drama, and amazingly managed to enjoy it in spite of the fact that I happened to think that Go Soo was either miscast or gave a wooden performance (though it might just have been a boring and flat character) – what saved it for me was Hyun Joo and Yoon Sang Hyun as the Yoo PD. Hopefully I’m not blathering on about a drama you haven’t watched, but if so, I feel like the whole drama is worth watching for the Yoo character and one particularly hilarious elevator scene…episode four, I think?

    Anyway, just had to get that off my chest. Hopefully I’ll actually be able to see this drama soon~
    (I’m working on seeing if I can have reliable downloading- I do want to see about fansubbing ;) I’ll let you know)

    Thanks for your great work on this site and for your reply~!

  5. tsunamiblues

    This was a wonderful episode, and quite touching, however I bet the fiance is not dead, and will return and create an obstacle, but who knows I think that would be bit too cheesy though.

  6. Anonymous

    hi javabeans! do you have the mp3 link to the obb (opening bill board a.ka. opening credits) song / instrumental of flowers for my life?

  7. marie s

    hi javabeans! do you have the mp3 link to the obb (opening bill board a.ka. opening credits) song / instrumental of flowers for my life?

  8. Marzy

    thanks sarah!! this was definitely an awwww episode. kudos to the writer for making it such a good script lively, moving and having a cute moment too. :)

  9. YM

    I’m korean, and i mistakely went to this site. i think it is really good,
    and flowers for my life is really great drama. even if it isnt so popular.

  10. 10 Mandie

    “If you think of him as being alive, I thought I should go along with it. What right do I have to treat him as dead when he lives so vividly in your heart? You’re the one who loves him, and you’re the one who’ll have to let him go.”

    This line yanks at my heart. It’s very touching and sweet. Thank you for the summary!

  11. 11 winnie

    Thank you for having this site. i really enjoy reading your drama summaries.

  12. 12 deannadsc

    i’m on my 9th episode by now & am growing to love this drama!! thanks to you & your reviews!! have gotten sooo mesmerized with kim ji hoon’s handsome face & gentlemanly demeanor!! hope he gets meatier lead roles next time cuz he seems ripe & matured enough to handle getting stellar billing ( like on love & marriage)..

  13. 13 Sere

    “Ah, Eun Tak. I wish you were a real person.”

    Ah, so true, Sarah. So true! He was a riot in this ep. Loved him to bits!

    I have a theory about Pil-gu and Eun tak’s mother and I’m SO afraid it’s true. If it is, and if Ho sang goes down a similar path, I’m going to be sososo sad. “Flowers” HAS to have a happy ending! I am SO worried.

    Can’t comment more than this cos I’m still recovering from the ep. This drama is so layered and witty and awesome in every possible way…I’d like to thank you again for reccing it!

    With love,
    Sere

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