Love & Marriage: Episode 10
I’m actually liking the side characters more as we progress… Don’t get me wrong, the main relationship is the whole point of this drama, but I’m warming up to Kyung-hwan, and even — surprisingly — Kang-hyun’s mother. Maybe I just like immature characters?
SONG OF THE DAY
Kim Yeon-woo – “이미 넌 고마운 사람” (Already thankful to you)
[ Download ]
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Kang-hyun struggles to free herself from Kyung-hwan’s surprise kiss, but not before Hyun-soo leaves. Pressed for time, he ushers Hwa-young into a taxi and departs without having a chance to deal with this awkward situation.
Not sorry, Kyung-hwan asks her, “How long are you going to trust that man?” Although she wasn’t immune to the sight of Hyun-soo escorting his ex-wife away, Kang-hyun believes that there’s a good explanation and is unwilling to let Kyung-hwan sway her.
Kyung-hwan follows her inside and says she must be dating Hyun-soo to stick it to him — she traded in the faltering law student for a more successful lawyer, sort of like upgrading boyfriends. (He’s wrong, but there’s something a little sad at his inferiority complex, recognizing openly that Hyun-soo is a better man. Aw.) He points out that she likes lawyers, and pushed him into taking his law exam.
Kang-hyun retorts, “What, did you only pass because of me?” and he answers, surprisingly, “Yes. I had no thoughts to become a lawyer. I did it because of you, for you. Whenever you said you’d break up with me if I quit school, do you know how awful I felt? That’s why I broke up with you first — I really didn’t think I could finish school. If I quit school and got dumped by you, that would have killed me.”
He had intended to quit school after they’d broken up, but the thought scared him — all of a sudden, he felt alone in the world. That’s when he met his new girlfriend, who assured him it was okay if he quit.
Hwa-young and her father arrive at the hospital too late: her mother has already passed away, suffering from sepsis (blood poisoning) and breathing difficulty. The doctor attempted to revive her heart, but they were unsuccessful.
In denial, Hwa-young insists malpractice was involved, and asks for Hyun-soo’s help. It’s a knee-jerk reaction, but not wanting to contradict her, he says okay.
And then, to make matters worse, her father has a heart attack.
In the morning, the group prepares to leave the resort, all abuzz about Hwa-young’s mother dying. Kang-hyun starts to correct their misconception about her relationship status (everyone else is still under the impression she’s dating Kyung-hwan).
Kang-hyun starts to make an announcement, but Kyung-hwan signals that it’s not the right time, given that someone’s just passed away. So instead, she reveals that she’s not really divorced.
She expects a big reaction, but doesn’t get it. Perplexed, she wonders why they aren’t surprised, but everyone tells her they knew all along. They could tell the minute she was introduced as “slightly divorced” — because they’re all slightly divorced, too. Which is to say, they’re all single.
On the way out, Kyung-hwan takes Kang-hyun aside and suggests, “Let’s get back together.” He’s been thinking about getting back together ever since he first ran into her at his job, and shows her the flip-book she made him. He was really touched by the gesture, and misses her.
Kang-hyun tells him to forget it; she’s not the Kang-hyun of the past: “Is love that easy for you?” She asks if he’s thought of the feelings of the girl who cried after breaking up last night, or the feelings of the girl who cried after breaking up with him after five years together. You can tell that he hasn’t; he lowers his head and says, “I’m sorry.” After telling him to live with a little more awareness and courtesy for others, she walks off.
With her relationship with Hyun-soo up in the air, Kang-hyun mopes. Hee-soong advises her to clear things up with Hyun-soo as soon as possible, but first get rid of Kyung-hwan.
And to get rid of Kyung-hwan, she must convince her parents to give up because they’re really over. She exaggerates the situation, saying that she can’t compare to the new girl, who’s from a rich family and studying to be a lawyer. That does the trick, and her parents sigh that Kang-hyun doesn’t have a chance against such credentials.
Mother blames Father (for not making more money and therefore letting Kang-hyun be overshadowed by a girl from a better family), and gives herself an upset stomach. Worried, Kang-hyun suggests going to the hospital, which her mother doesn’t want to do (“What if they find something really wrong with me? I can’t, it’s scary”).
Scaring her mother into compliance by telling her that an acquaintance’s mother died last night, they go to the hospital. The results come back fine, but her mother is now convinced she’s dying of cancer, and that the doctor’s examination missed her illness. It sounds dire, but it’s actually kinda funny; at first you think Kang-hyun isn’t at all like her mother, but she must get her immaturity from her, because Mom fake-swoons in an exaggerated fall onto a bench — but given the context of their conversation, Kang-hyun panics and shouts out, “Mom!” (Her mom tells her to hush.)
Meanwhile, Hyun-soo and Hwa-young are also at the hospital, although they don’t cross paths with Kang-hyun. He’s looked over all the medical records and conferred with a malpractice attorney, but everything looks in order. Hwa-young acknowledges its her guilt making her act this way.
Luckily for our main couple, they smooth over the misunderstanding without too much drama; Kang-hyun tells Hyun-soo she understands, given the circumstances. She assures him that the kiss with Kyung-hwan was a 120% misunderstanding, and Hyun-soo answers that he’d figured it probably was.
He admits he was pretty shocked, though, so she hurries to explain that Kyung-hwan had thought he’d been playing with her emotions.
(She also tries to prevent him from sitting in the tampered chair, but to her surprise, the chair is fine. He’d fixed it. Haha. I wonder what he thought of her for messing with it in the first place.)
Love & Marriage OST – “Sweet Waltz” (I’m including this ‘coz it’s my favorite instrumental from the soundtrack, and has that touch of whimsy that characterizes much of this drama.) [ Download ]
She tells Hyun-soo that the office workers think she’s dating Kyung-hwan, which doesn’t bother him (they’re being understanding, ya see), but he does apologize for not being able to correct that misconception right away — Hwa-young still doesn’t know.
In a generous mood, Kang-hyun knows Hwa-young’s in a fragile state and tells him it’s okay. Hyun-soo thanks her for being so open-minded — he cautions her that the immediate future might prove difficult, but asks her to understand. Kang-hyun answers of course: “Let’s make a promise. Whatever happens, let’s not misunderstand.” They pinky-swear.
On the other hand, Kyung-hwan announces that he’s taken care of his relationship and parted ways amicably with his girlfriend. He took her advice, acted like an adult, and managed everything cleanly. He suggests that they get back together.
Kang-hyun, however, informs him of her agreement with Hyun-soo not to misunderstand each other.
Kyung-hwan doesn’t buy that they’ll be able to hold to their promise, despite her repeated insistence that they’re going to be fine.
Fine, Kyung-hwan replies, she can date Hyun-soo and give back the money she borrowed. Kang-hyun tells him she’s deducting a “sexual harassment” fee for his unwanted kiss (citing what it would cost him if she took legal action). Ha.
As for the funeral, Hwa-young is left to handle things alone because her two sisters won’t be able to make it in time. With her father recovering from a heart attack and Sung-ho doing his (limited) best to help, Hyun-soo sees Hwa-young looking forlorn and alone, and steps in. Thanks to his intervention, he shoulders the burden of arranging everything..
Kang-hyun is determined to be open-minded, but that doesn’t mean she’s happy to see Hyun-soo acting like a husband to his ex. Like at the MT, Kyung-hwan picks up on her gloominess and points out, “Are you prepared to live like this forever?” After all, Hyun-soo and Hwa-young hadn’t just dated; they were family at one point. Issues like this are bound to recur. He tells her, “I’m honestly worried for you.”
Kang-hyun tells him not to worry, although with less conviction than the last time. She defends Hyun-soo, saying that she likes to see this side of him anyway, and isn’t one to feel jealous over this. Unconvinced, Kyung-hwan replies, “Let’s see how long you can say that.” He predicts she’ll grow angry in two days, and warns her that it’s better to get angry in the moment than to say it’s okay and blow up eventually.
This uneasiness is compounded at the post-funeral dinner, where Hyun-soo’s continued solicitousness to Hwa-young prompts more speculation from their co-workers.
Hyun-soo actually is keeping his distance from her, and looks troubled to be unable to talk to Kang-hyun. His behavior toward Hwa-young is more from politeness and concern than anything romantic — it just doesn’t look like it from the outside.
New client for Kang-hyun. Actually, it’s supposed to be an easy membership renewal of an existing client, but he’s hesitant to continue because he admits he’s still in love with his ex-wife: dating has only made him miss her more. He asks Kang-hyun, does he have a shot with her? Kang-hyun hesitates, not really sure the answer will be positive because the wife may have moved on. The man wonders, do all women think like that? Because men don’t, he tells her. Men have lingering attachment to their exes.
Meanwhile, Kyung-hwan confesses to Hye-sun that he broke up with her niece, and admits to his relationship with Kang-hyun. He didn’t intend to deceive her, but Hye-sun isn’t happy. She tells him coolly that her decision isn’t personally motivated, but he shouldn’t come to the office anymore. After all, his position isn’t a standard position, so it’s not like he has a lot of work to do. He’d better stay home instead and put his attention to studying for his final law exam. Poor Kyung-hwan.
On behalf of her client, Kang-hyun scopes out the ex-wife’s restaurant, waiting for the right moment to approach. She overhears the woman telling leering male customers to leave her alone because she’s married, and quickly calls the ex-husband. He tells her he’s on his way. (Afterward, she discovers that the woman lied about being married to ward off persistent men.)
When Kang-hyun has a moment to talk to the woman, the ex-wife tells her rather adamantly that she has no intention of remarrying her ex. And just then, ex-hubby arrives to beg her to listen to him. She doesn’t want to hear it and pushes him away.
Kang-hyun is bothered by the husband’s words that he hasn’t been able to forget his ex and the claim that all men think like he does. Kang-hyun asks Sung-ho if he’s the same way, and gets the answer that most men are (aside from the really cold-hearted ones). Despite their promise, Kang-hyun thinks of Hyun-soo’s continued attentions toward Hwa-young with unease.
Kang-hyun pops by Hyun-soo’s office at the end of the day, not having had much time with him recently. He’s asleep at his desk, and awakens with a smile to see her.
Kang-hyun tells him she missed him, and he pulls her closer to sit in his lap.
But they spot co-workers heading toward Hyun-soo’s office and jump up with a start. Immediately, Kang-hyun launches into business-speak, and Hyun-soo responds in kind. (This reaction is pretty expected, but I burst out laughing at Hyun-soo’s wide-eyed, intense response. Worst liar ever.)
His co-workers come bearing piles and piles of paperwork, and Kang-hyun eyes him with sympathy. He’s swamped.
She confers with her friends, telling them, “Friends, I’m in real trouble! I think this time I really met my love. In the past, dating was just fun. Even so, it would make me feel uneasy and a little disappointed, but this time it’s different. How do I explain it? It feels like I’m overflowing.” (Hee-soong: “That’s why I said that you’re childish so you need a serious man.”)
A bit proud of herself, Kang-hyun announces: “Now I feel like a real adult.” She also tells Soon-young to wrap up some of the café’s food to deliver to Hyun-soo.
The post-shower bare-chest shot is totally gratuitous, but I’m sure nobody’s complaining. Hyun-soo answers his door to a distraught Hwa-young, who tells him, in tears, “I can’t take it anymore”
She turns to Hyu-soo for comfort, and while he doesn’t push her away, he’s not that comfortable either.
The laws of kdrama storytelling dictate that this must be the moment where Kang-hyun, bearing gifts of food, walks through the open door and sees the two in an embrace (albeit a rather tepid one).
Startled, Kang-hyun’s grip fails and her containers crash to the floor. At the noise, Hyun-soo looks up, registering Kang-hyun’s presence with a somewhat guilty-looking expression. (It’s not that he has anything to feel guilty about, but he knows how this must look.)
A little slow to understand (because she doesn’t know of their relationship), Hwa-young looks bemused as Kang-hyun turns on her heel and stalks out. Hyun-soo runs after her, tearing down the stairway (what, he couldn’t lose the robe along the way?) and chasing her to the lobby.
He knows the circumstances looked bad, but Hyun-soo is genuinely confused at her anger — and she admits she’s pissed. She recounts his behavior at the resort (disappearing with Hwa-young), his attentiveness at the funeral, and essentially charges him with playing with her emotions and still having feelings for his ex-wife.
He wonders, “Didn’t we resolve those issues?” He’d taken her at her word when she was so understanding before, but Kang-hyun has been receiving signals all day that undermine her confidence in his feelings for her.
Of course, she’s being a little forgetful of her promise not to misunderstand, and that thought does occur to her afterward. She also remembers Kyung-hwan’s prediction that she would lose her patience in two days’ time, and looks back with some regret.
Back in his hotel room, Hwa-young has put two and two together (took ya long enough, honey) and asks if he’d wanted space from her because of Kang-hyun. He answers no — that was before he’d started dating her. Hwa-young is upset that he hadn’t told her (because, duh, you never gave him the chance?) and tells him she’s embarrassed — I think because she’d been harboring false hopes about him and now sees that she was wrong.
Kang-hyun’s mood at work is dark, and I laugh as she skips lunch to avoid social interaction only to get hungry and scold her stomach for feeling hunger at a time like this. (I appreciate that she’s not the wilting flower type to languish when she’s feeling down.)
She runs into Kyung-hwan, who notices her expression and asks if Hyun-soo’s been giving her a hard time. She denies it (a little defensively) and brushes aside the question.
Kang-hyun’s mother (who’s actually kind of cute with her exaggerated reactions) is now convinced she has cancer, despite test results to the contrary. Maybe she’s being paranoid, or perhaps it’s a premonition she’s got, but in any case, she tells Kang-hyun that she’d hidden a “golden frog” a long time ago when she and Kang-hyun’s father had to sell off their jewelry for money. (I’m not sure if that’s some kind of euphemism or if she’s really talking about a gold frog.) When Kang-hyun asks where it is and how much it’s worth, her mother answers that she can’t remember where she hid it — perhaps in a blanket or cushion somewhere. She also doesn’t recall how much it was worth, but she’s pretty sure it was worth a lot. LOL.
Kang-hyun’s mother also starts looking into divorce paperwork. When she goes to the wrong courthouse and finds all the documents dizzying and complicated, she mutters, “In dramas, they all divorce so easily!”
She then checks out divorce-related books at the bookstore, but again, the details are so confusing that she doesn’t know what to make of them.
Kang-hyun, on the other hand, broods about her fight with Hyun-soo and wonders if she was wrong, if she should apologize. Still, even though she’s cooled down from her initial reaction, Kang-hyun still thinks that he should have tried to make things right with her.
She decides to discuss matters with him and gives him a call, but he’s currently meeting with a client and promises to meet her after his consultation is finished. He then assures Kang-hyun’s mother he will do his best to help her.
It’s interesting that they’ve taken this very different approach, having both Kang-hyun and Hyun-soo respond so maturely and reasonably to the actions of their respective exes. The kdrama norm is for these circumstances to cause all sorts of immediate misunderstandings, and it’s nice to play on the other side of the question — what if everyone was reasonable and understanding, and stuff still got tangled up? Granted, Kang-hyun does eventually lose her temper, but at least she calms down soon enough and admits that perhaps she was in the wrong.
Also, I’m warming up more and more to Kyung-hwan. He’s probably a terrible boyfriend — despite his good intentions, he does get complacent and mooch off his women — and he’s totally riddled with flaws. But even if we love our perfect heroes, Hyun-soo’s a little too perfect (admittedly with some relationship baggage), while Kyung-hwan shows that he’s improving himself, even taking Kang-hyun’s advice. Maybe he won’t get all the way there, but for dramatic purposes, it’s more interesting to see the guy tripping up on his way to self-improvement than the guy already there, isn’t it?