Aww. One of my favorite shots from the episode.
Today’s episode moved a lot of plot points forward. In fact, it’s a little light on the romance angle (compared to, say, Episode 11), although there is a significant development or two on that front as well.
(And Yoon Kye Sang is adorable in this one.)
SONG OF THE DAY
Nell – “Moonlight Punch Romance” [ Download ]
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Young In makes her confession to Seung Hyo, who’s moved by her words, but then recalls his bearings and pulls back. He says they barely have a relationship — all they’ve done is eat together. She reminds him that they held hands, and “kissed” (touched lips accidentally). At that, Il Gun starts to scold Seung Hyo for preying on his naive daughter and tells him, “Do you even know how to love anyone but yourself? Love is for people who know how to receive it.” Cold, but true! At that, Seung Hyo stiffens and asks Young In briskly, “Are you coming or not?”
In the car, Il Gun lectures Young In (who obviously can’t hear) that Seung Hyo’s not worth liking, and I honestly don’t know how the actors keep a straight face as Il Gun tells her that the only reason she likes him is because she hasn’t witnessed Seung Hyo’s horrible farts for herself. At this point, Young In tells Seung Hyo in an annoyed tone that she’s come to her senses — she won’t like someone who dislikes her back.
Il Gun then turns his warnings to Seung Hyo and appeals to his sympathy. He confides that neither he nor Young In’s IQs measure past 100 — Il Gun’s is 98 and Young In’s is 99, plus she only scored a 58 on her written driver’s test. Seung Hyo can’t tolerate dummies, right? He continues, “Just ask Young In who the last empress of the Joseon Dynasty was. She’ll tell you it was Lee Miyeon.” (Actress Lee Miyeon played the last empress in a TV drama.)
Seung Hyo can’t help it; he starts chuckling out loud. Even with Young In and Young Ae looking at him questioningly and asking what the matter is, Seung Hyo continues to laugh softly to himself. (I don’t want to clutter the post with multiple pics of the same moment, but here are a few more of Seung Hyo laughing and smiling at Young In.)
Ho Joong has arrived at the orphanage posing as a social services employee for an inspection. The lady in charge informs him that the orphanage director will be away for hours, but Ho Joong assures her all he needs to see is the kitchen and the warehouse. There, Ho Joong discovers the paintings’ hiding place — a hollow space behind a false wall.
Arriving at the orphanage, Young In and Seung Hyo gaze out at the children playing soccer. Knowing this is where her father grew up, Young In is relieved at the sight: “I feel better because they don’t look lonely.” But Seung Hyo tells her not to judge so quickly:
Seung Hyo: “You don’t know, they could be chasing that soccer ball trying hard not to be lonely.”
Young In: “Would you like me to be your soccer ball?”
Seung Hyo: “Why, so I’d kick you away? I already did that. Do I need to do it some more? Fine, whenever I see you each day I’ll kick you away.”
But that doesn’t have the intended dampening effect; instead, Young in brightens, “So you’ll meet me every day?” She takes him up on the offer. Seung Hyo asks, “What kind of woman has no pride like that?” Young In contradicts him — she has a lot of pride. But: “Rather than protecting myself, isn’t real pride when I protect what’s valuable to me?” She also asks him to repeat his question, liking the sound of the words “What kind of woman…” because it’s proof he sees her as a woman.
As Ho Joong leaves, he recognizes Seung Hyo standing by his car and becomes nervous. Seung Hyo looks over quizzically, but doesn’t immediately recognize Ho Joong, who quickly calls Jae Ha to give him both the good news (yay, paintings!) and the bad (uh-oh, Seung Hyo).
Jae Ha is elated to hear the paintings have been located, and although he’s worried about Seung Hyo and Young In’s presence there, he calms himself with the thought that they won’t be removing the paintings either, not immediately. (In the drama, it’s not yet April 15.) He instructs Ho Joong to stay nearby and keep a close eye on them, but they should be fine for now.
The women watch as Seung Hyo plays soccer and kids around with the orphanage children (his affectionate contact with the kids indicates this is SeungHyoDad).
Young Ae: “If you want something badly enough, they say the entire universe gathers its power and helps you. Do you believe in miracles?”
Young In: “No. There are some things that will never happen no matter how much I want them to. Why do you think they’re miracles? It’s because they can’t happen. I learned that at fifteen — it seems you still believe in them.”
Young Ae: “You must mean your mother. In life, you might give up someone for dead only to have them survive, or a person might win millions in the lottery, or someone might come out unharmed after days in the rubble of a collapsed building.”
Young In: “What are you trying to say?”
Young Ae: “Cha Seung Hyo. He’s so different — but isn’t he so similar, too?”
Young In: “To whom?”
Young Ae: “Your father.”
Young In: “Let’s say he is similar. So what?”
Young Ae: “I wondered if he was a miracle, that Cha Seung Hyo. To me, he’s a miracle.”
Those words resonate with Young In, who’d felt the similarity herself. She watches SeungHyoDad bathing one of the boys, listening as he tells the boy to be a good father when he grows up, better than himself.
The statement strikes her as odd, and Young In thinks back to all the discrepancies between the real Seung Hyo and this affectionate SeungHyoDad. She also remembers how he’d told her once that he saw her father following him around.
Young In asks Young Ae what she really thinks about Seung Hyo and her father. Young Ae can tell she’s starting to believe it might be true, and answers, “I think your father came back. Because he was so worried for you, because he missed you, I think he came back through Cha Seung Hyo, through borrowing his body.” Young In argues that it makes no sense, and Young Ae agrees — but what if it’s true? She’s been in limbo, simultaneously afraid to believe he’s here and afraid that he’ll leave: “I tried to pretend I didn’t think so because it’s so ridiculous and crazy, but what if your father really did come back?”
Young In is stricken with uncertainty over who Seung Hyo really is right now: “So… he’s… my father? He might be my father?”
She finds Seung Hyo napping with the children and asks, “Is that you, Dad? Is that really you?”
Some time after she leaves, Seung Hyo awakens and finds himself in a pile of sleeping children. He tries to extricate the child from himself, but the boy clings to him in his sleep, and Seung Hyo tentatively cradles him and thinks back to his own youth.
The nun at the orphanage had routinely told the children that cleanliness was good, and that people don’t like dirty children. My first instinct was that this was a dangerous line of rationale to be imparting to orphaned children, but when I realized that Seung Hyo was one of these children, my heart just about done broke itself. And then reared up in anger at the stupid, stupid nun. I know she means well, but she responds to Seung Hyo’s dejected statement that people don’t like children without parents by saying, “If you wash up every day and pray to God, your mom and dad will come for you, Seung Hyo.”
It’s one thing for children secure in the stability of familial love to be told to keep clean — but to tell orphaned children with abandonment issues that people won’t want them if they’re dirty?? It’s no freaking wonder Seung Hyo grew up with debilitating OCD! I’m so mad at that nun — children need hope, but you shouldn’t make promises that can’t be kept, either.
Jae Ha tells Ho Joong to keep an eye on Seung Hyo, and take a look inside the car — they might find something about his reinvestigation into Il Gun’s death. Instead, Ho Joon finds Seung Hyo’s file on his father.
Seung Hyo fills in the orphanage director on his suspicions about the men looking for Il Gun’s paintings and the correlation to the accident. Seung Hyo will see into having the paintings relocated to a safer area, and asks the director to tell Young In about them (because while he can dispel her tears with anger, he’s not so good at soothing them).
Upon hearing the truth, Young In feels pangs of guilt — her father had done all this for her. She starts wondering if he’d died because of her, as well.
Seung Hyo finds her crying in the warehouse, staring at the paintings’ hiding place and wondering:
Young In: “Dad, I miss you. I want to see you, not your paintings. You didn’t do this because of me, did you? … to give the paintings to me… right? You can’t have done that. That’s not the way…”
Young In: “Who are you? Dad? Is it really you?”
Seung Hyo (pretending not to understand): “Sohn Young In, what are you saying? That I’m your father? Why would I be your dad, are you crazy?”
Young In: “I wanted to believe it. I wanted to believe that miracles exist, that they could happen to me. I wanted to believe it for the first time.”
Seung Hyo: “What are you talking about?”
Young In: “I hoped you were my miracle. I wanted to believe you were my miracle.”
Seung Hyo: “Then let’s say I am. I’ll be your miracle. You’re a soccer ball, I’m a miracle.”
At home, Young In loses herself in thought over all this new information, flashing back to recent events. Seung Hyo had told her about the reinvestigation, her father’s strange death, and his suspicions. He’d warned her not to breathe a word to anybody of the paintings, because as soon as she lets on that she knows about it, she puts herself in danger.
He doesn’t know Shin Jae Ha’s exact purpose, but he has a strong suspicion he’s heavily involved. He’d also told her not to blame herself: “Don’t jump to senseless conclusions. Your father didn’t die because of a person, he died because of money.”
Seung Hyo takes the orphanage director to the police station to identify the three gangsters who’d ransacked the place. He identifies the two loan sharks, but can’t find the third in the police records. Il Gun confirms it, and says he saw the third guy’s face and would recognize him if he saw him; it’s probably the same guy who stole the cigarette evidence.
With the end of their search in sight, Jae Ha takes extra precaution and hands the three accomplices a stack of money, telling them to lay low for a while. The guys don’t trust him — they think he might be trying to swindle them of their share and keep the paintings for himself — and Ho Joong in particular insists he won’t let Jae Ha off the hook until he has his money.
Seung Hyo has a frustrating meeting with his employees, discovering that a few of them haven’t bothered to show up (assuming Seung Hyo would cancel again), and the others have shown up unprepared. Angered, Seung Hyo castigates them — he knows he’s been remiss in his duties as their boss, but that’s no excuse for them to get sloppy. Even if Seung Hyo were to leave or be fired, they’d still be responsible for their work when a new chief is brought in.
Il Gun is in his office when Seung Hyo returns from the aborted meeting and receives the results of his DNA test — it’s almost 100% certain that the man who’d come to see him is his father. Stunned, Seung Hyo tells himself, “I like being alone. I like things as they are. I’ve lived too long alone to become someone’s son now..”
Young In visits U Gallery, but with her newfound suspicions about Jae Ha, she chooses not to go inside and instead lingers outside by the water’s edge. Meanwhile, inside Ha Young and Jae Ha’s mother discuss plans for the upcoming exhibition of Il Gun’s paintings. Jae Ha is mostly silent until Ha Young proposes using Young In as part of their promotion — associating the artist’s beautiful orphaned daughter is sure to incite interest. At that suggestion, Jae Ha interjects his opposition: “Don’t mess with her. Leave her alone.” He doesn’t have a strong argument, and falters a bit, telling his mother merely that she’s still young.
Jae Ha sees Young In and joins her outside. She asks if he ate her kimbap, and although the words are casual, Young In stares at Jae Ha carefully, assessing him. Jae Ha answers cheerfully, but she speaks with extra meaning: “I really hope I’ll be able to make it for you again” (as though to say, “I really hope you’re innocent and I can still be friends with you”).
Ho Joong confronts his father about his relationship with Seung Hyo, and presents him with the file from Seung Hyo’s car. Who is Seung Hyo, and why is his father so interested in him? His father answers, “He’s… your older brother.”
Seung Hyo arrives outside the building and heads up to his father’s boxing gym, but pauses in the stairwell for a while, trying to decide whether to proceed.
It’s then that Ho Joong rushes out of the gym, blowing past Seung Hyo in a rush — but then turns back, recognizing the man he’s just passed. This time, Seung Hyo does remember Ho Joong — lurking outside Young In’s place and asking him for a light for his black cigarette.
Now that Seung Hyo has gotten used to having Il Gun around, I like that he’s gotten past the frustration and anger phase and has struck a middle ground (when Il Gun isn’t busy warning him to stay away from Young In, that is). You might argue that the two men have a relationship now, however reluctantly begun, and see each other with sympathy. Truth be told, despite Seung Hyo wanting to get rid of the spirit hovering around him, he doesn’t have to work so hard to solve the mystery of Il Gun’s death or to rescue the paintings. But he does. And as a result, Il Gun’s body possessions are becoming less disruptive — he didn’t force Seung Hyo to go to the orphanage, for instance.
When Seung Hyo returns from his unsuccessful business meeting, you can’t say he has NO bitterness toward Il Gun for having caused his work situation to get to this point, but he’s accepted the reality of the circumstances and doesn’t dwell on it. And although he does yell at his business associates, I thought his response was actually quite fair.
Lastly, there’s that scene in the car just before Seung Hyo works up the nerve to see his father. Il Gun sits beside him and prods him along, saying, “If you run away today, you’ll run tomorrow too. Whether it’s pain you feel, or hate, or resentment… in any case you came this far. Since you’ve come, don’t run away.” Despite being forced into this unwanted relationship with Il Gun, the fact is, now Seung Hyo has somebody in his life who understands his fears and to whom he can relate.