Drama Recaps
Sons of Sol Pharmacy: Episodes 17-18
by | July 28, 2009 | 31 Comments

Hi, I’m smallfish and I’ll be your friendly guide through the rest of Sons of Sol Pharmacy House. Thanks so much Javabeans, for giving me room to summarize, analyze and pontificate on your site! :)

To give some context for what I write about this series, Sons of Sol Pharmacy House is the first long family series K-drama I’ve watched. While I guess I’m technically an ajummah (having an ajuhssi to call my very own– not that I’ve been one for very long), I’ve always avoided the ajummah dramas and only ever really enjoyed trendy dramas, so stumbling on SSPH and enjoying it this much is a total shocker to me. What I appreciate about this drama is that although it includes a lot of the same K-drama cliches (love triangles, terminal illnesses, etc.), it doesn’t get mired in melodrama and still manages to stay light, funny and fresh, while incorporating a lot of the heart that I know and love about Korean families. I hope to do the series justice!

 
Episode 17

Episode 17 picks up with Su-jin sewing the button onto Jin-pung’s shirt. Far from grateful, Jin-pung is upset that Su-jin practically undressed him in public to sew the button on, and further berates her for doing a shoddy job. Su-jin, somewhat contrite, apologizes and promises to re-sew it on later.

Dad Song and Daddy-Oh meet up in the trash yard for their duel, but as soon as they really start getting into it, it starts to pour. They each take refuge, Daddy-Oh under a broken umbrella, and Dad Song in a cardboard box, and start trading barbs. Each dad accuses the other of being a traitor, and talks about what a good friend he was to the other. As they rehash their old grievances, they expose a fair amount of their past friendship, which sounds like it was actually very sweet– in the manliest way possible, of course. Both men go home battered, and refuse to answer their wives’ questions about what happened.

Meanwhile, Mi-pung also gets caught in the rain while studying in the park with Hana. He comes home soaking wet, having covered Hana with his clothes, and immediately gets sick. Against his protests, Dae-pung gives Mi-pung a shot in the butt to help him get better (he has to be held down by Mi-ran sitting on top of him, HA!). Mi-pung passes out from the sickness for the next couple of days, and isn’t unable to answer his phone despite the fact that Hana’s dad desperately tries to get in touch with him.

That night, Dae-pung gets kicked out of his room by Mi-ran, who takes over his room so that Mi-pung can sleep alone as he recovers. Dae-pung joins Jin-pung for the night, and before he goes to sleep, he texts Su-jin, explaining to Jin-pung that he’s dating her now. Jin-pung acts like he doesn’t care, but we know it’s all an act by the way he’s easily annoyed with Dae-pung afterwards. Dae-pung tries to call Su-jin, but when she doesn’t answer, he goes out to use the bathroom. While Dae-pung is out, Su-jin calls back, and Jin-pung, supposedly annoyed by the incessant ringing of the phone, picks up and snaps at Su-jin. He tells her she shouldn’t be calling so late, starts going off on an tangent, catches himself rambling, calls her a rabbit, tells her he has no carrots for her, and hangs up. The next morning, still upset by the phone call, Su-jin makes a rabbit face at Jin-pung as she passes his store.

The next day, Mom Song and Oh-Ma run into each other at the neighborhood store where Mom Song has gone to buy an industrial-sized jug of soy sauce and Oh-Ma has gone to buy a snooty bottle of balsamic. Surprisingly, Oh-Ma asks Mom Song to have a chat and proceeds to Mom Song up a huge hill so they can sit and talk. Mom Song begrudgingly follows, all the while lugging the huge jug of soy sauce. Once they sit, Oh-Ma starts asking Mom Song what her husband’s problem is, blaming Dad Song for the husbands’ fight and basically calling him a big bully. She’s also insulting to Mom Song, telling her she has no class. Mom Song, not one to take crap and fed up with Oh-Ma’s airs, gives back as good as she gets, and then goes even farther and hits Oh-Ma’s dog, Poppy, who has been yapping at her feet. Oh-Ma FREAKS OUT and Mom Song turns her back on Oh-Ma’s screaming, hoists the soy sauce on her head, and regally walks away.

Sun-pung works through the night after finding out that a story he had been working on for six months is about to get pulled. He has a confrontation with Daddy-Oh, who tells him that it’s too dangerous to run the story at that time (apparently, the story is about powerful people who won’t take kindly to negative news). Sun-pung, a true idealist, says he won’t be intimidated and won’t kowtow to someone just because they’re rich and powerful and runs off to get the story aired. Along the way, however, he gets waylaid by people who rough him up pretty badly. Sun-pung is brought home by a sun-bae (senior) with his arm in a sling and some serious cuts on his face. With the Song house in uproar from this latest crisis, a young girl appears, bursts into tears at the sight of Hana strapped on Mama Song’s back, and demands the return of her baby…

 

Episode 18

Hana’s mom, aka Choi Su-hee, demands that the family return Hana. Mom Song refuses to return Hana to her until she’s able to confirm that Su-hee is actually Hana’s mother. To that end, they try to get in touch with Hana’s dad, Yong-chul, but it takes some time. When Mi-pung wakes up the next morning, the family fills him in on what happened while he was sick. Later, while he’s out of the house, he manages to connect with Yong-chul. Yong-chul tells him to just give the baby to Su-hee; she’s her mom, she says she wants the baby and will take care of her, so what can he do? He tells Mi-pung that he will never forget the Song family’s kindness. Mi-pung races home, only to find that it’s too late and akin to the time she gave away Sun-poong’s dog, she has sent Hana on her way with Su-hee. Mi-pung, ever the emotional lad, reacts similarly to Sun-poong by sitting down and throwing a fit, wailing and flailing his arms and legs.

Sun-poong, still laid out from the beat-down, has a few interesting visitors. First, Dad Oh crosses the Song threshold for the first time in 30 years in order to visit. Meanwhile, Eun-ji is on a terrible blind date with a douche-y guy who calls his friend when he thinks that Eun-ji is in the bathroom to brag that he’s on a date with an actress. Eun-ji is incensed when she hears him tell his friend that he’ll check her out first, and if she’s up to snuff, he’ll pass her on to his friend. She adorably tells him where he can shove it and storms off.

When Eun-ji arrives home, she hears of Sun-poong’s injuries and rushes off to the Song house to visit. She arrives, bearing gifts. The family spies on Eun-ji and Sun-poong’s visit, and are shocked to see her plant a big kiss on his forehead. Afterward, Eun-ji skips jubilantly home, hugging a copy of The Brothers Karamazov to her chest, which Sun-poong has given to her in gratitude for visiting him.

After witnessing the visit, the whole family tries to figure out what it means. Jin-pung and Dae-pung worry that Sun-poong will upstage them by getting married first, bringing more of their mother’s wrath down on their heads. Bok-shil, on the other hand, is saddened by the events, and it seems that she doesn’t really understand her feelings either. It’s not really that she ever liked Sun-poong or resents Eun-ji for taking his affections like Mi-ran suggests; it just seems like she’s sad that she’s witnessing the start of a happy relationship while she’s still pining for the guy she loves.

Su-jin stops by Jin-pung’s pharmacy on her way to work and gives him the album that Hye-rim had bought for him all those years ago. Touched at the unexpected gesture and happy to have a small piece of his first love back, Jin-pung absently hands Su-jin a free drink. Su-jin takes it roughly, perhaps resenting the fact that he still has feelings for her sister-in-law and that he doesn’t notice or like her more.

Brutus gets called into a conference with the kids’ teacher, who tells him of the difficulties that they’re having at school. Because Brutus is intimidated, confused, and at a loss as to how to fix his kids’ lives, he buries himself in his work and asks Su-jin to look out for the kids for the week. Su-jin agrees but then has to work late that night; she calls Jin-pung and asks him to take care of the kids for her. He agrees, and is left watching them late into the night after Dae-pung hijacks Su-jin on her way home from work and whisks her off to dinner.

At dinner, he presents her with a beetle? ladybug? some kind of insect brooch, which he asks her to wear everyday as a reminder of him (barf). Su-jin reluctantly accepts, and then rushes to the pharmacy for the kids. When she gets there, Jin-pung gives her a serious dressing down for neglecting the children for so long. Dae-pung comes across him while he’s still yelling at Su-jin’s retreating back, and asks him to cut her some slack, explaining that they were together. Jin-pung gets even angrier, perhaps reacting to a twinge of jealousy that he hasn’t yet recognized or acknowledged.

Eun-ji’s biological mother visits a mysterious woman whom she calls Unni, and apparently knows from a long time ago. Both Daddy Oh and Dad Song learn of the visit, and you know the lady has something to do with their history. Both men urgently head out from their homes. They cross paths as the episode ends, signifying a more serious intersection of their lives directly ahead.

 
Comments

While I really, really enjoy this drama, there’s one thing that bugs me almost every episode: I REALLY wish Lee Pil Mo would chill on the shouting. I get that his character is supposed to be over the top, a cad, and someone who doesn’t take life too seriously, but there are more subtle ways to convey that, I think. I don’t know if it’s the result of poor direction, or poor acting or what, but it grates on my nerves. I don’t really think Lee Pil Mo is a bad actor, though, because there have been flashes of his more even-handed performances throughout the series so far (i.e., when he first learns of Hye-rim’s illness and stops to ask Jin-pung if he’s ok… I thought there was a world of fine acting and a lot of heart in that short scene).

Wait, I lied– there’s one more thing that annoys me: Oh-Ma. Her shrieking and crying gets a bit tiresome, too. On the other hand, she’s a good foil for Mama Song’s toughness. Mama Song really plays a woman with four sons well– this may be a stereotype, but I’ve always noticed that Korean moms who only have sons tend to be more rough and tumble and no-nonsense. She’s totally on-point, especially in the scene when she’s lugging the soy sauce around and puts Oh-Ma in her place.

Other than that, most things about this drama tickle me. I’m with Javabeans in that at this point, Sun-pung and Eun-ji are the highlight of the show for me. I love that Sun-pung is so freaking geeky, and that his world is upturned by this whirlwind of a girl. And in a way, it makes sense that he would develop feelings for her being that he loves animals– not that Eun-ji is an animal, but she reminds me of an excited puppy at times. He’s the perfect caretaker for her abundant emotions and her (at times) reckless abandon.

I also really love the development of Brutus’s character, and his very real struggle to recover and carry on after his wife’s death. Although he’s faltering right now, we can still see that he really loves his kids and wants to do the best for them. And the relationship between him and Granddad Song is really cute.

Like I said before, and in agreement with Javabeans’s previous comments, this drama has so much heart. There’s something really endearing to me about watching a traditional Korean family whose bonds are the centerpiece of their lives, and where the kids really honor their parents. I dunno, maybe it just reminds me of my family in Korea. It’s good, wholesome fun, but not in the super cheesy TGIF/Danny Tanner way.

 
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31 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. anreeka

    loving your updates, just as much as javabeans’s :D

    i really get annoyed with oh-ma (haha cute) too. her high-pitched squealing really grates on my nerves.

    i think i’m in the minority when i say i like daepung and bokshil’s relationship best hahaha…i think its because i love it when bokshil stands up against daepung and makes him feel like the ass that he is. girl power!!! hahaha

  2. Samsooki

    Great recap smallfish!!! I hope you have a fun time recapping and enjoying the series!! I love your style of recap – stylistically and structure-wise, very awesome.

    My personal thoughts on the series:

    I think Eun Ji is the cutest. Might be the cutest I’ve seen in a while.

    I like Jin Pung the best, among all the brothers. Why he is single, I have no idea. I mean, I have an idea, but I disagree vehemently. It is F4-ism, and I disapprove.

    I think I’d be friends with Brutus. I don’t like motorcycles, but everything else but him I really like.

    If I was Bok-shil’s brother and I saw Dae-pung berating her, I would give him a beating. The problem there is that I don’t think that Dae-Pung would learn anything and so after administering the beating, I would have to apologize to Bok-Shil and help find her a new job.

    The youngest son is criminally under-used. I hope his story grows, and Dae-pung’s lines get cut by, oh, 40% or so.

    The whole family feud thing is tiresome, it is like a bunch of stock characters mailing in performances.

    And baby Hana is cute. But Eunji is cuter.

  3. javabeans

    Thank you! I love this drama. I love how even characters who were mind-numbingly annoying in the beginning are becoming endearing (Brutus, Mi-ran). I’m even starting to like Eun-ji’s birth mother, and goodness knows she was painted pretty badly at first. And of course, Eun-ji is super-adorable and I LOVE Sun-pung.

    Dae-pung is definitely annoying, but I think it makes sense in the overall picture. One of the four has to be the loud, childish one, right? And since the others are relatively low-key and mature, well, it makes sense that Dae-pung would fill that void.

    I think the fathers’ feud is hilarious, particularly when you see just how much they used to like each other in the past (and still do now underneath it all). I kind of think the reasoning behind it is lame, but I can overlook it.

  4. kitty

    Thanks for continuing with the recaps, smallfish! Much appreciated! LOL at the insect brooch, wonder what on earth Dae-pung was thinking when he picked it. And yes, Mama Song is one tough lady, don’t mess with her! She’s so funny sometimes though. And Jin-pung calling Su-jin a rabbit, lmao!

  5. MEIKO**** ^-^

    i havent started watching this drama and from what i have been reading from the recaps, this seems like a funny, funny series…..^-^

    ill start this soon….

    thanks!!!! ^-^

  6. Elena

    Thanks for the re cap. I loved this drama from the beginning. I love grandpa and Brutus and Mi ran. I’ll miss it when it finishes . I’m on ep 28 – still enjoy the re caps.

    I think the one that will change the most is Dae-pung – he’s the one with the most issues. 37 going on 17.

    Thanks again.

  7. Ter

    I love this drama ^___^! Its so heartwarming, and some of the scenes are so well-done it makes me go all sparkly-eyed *_*.

  8. lenrasoon

    Thanks for your summaries Smallfish!!

    i love this drama, i love all the characters especially the eldest brother Jin Pung and SuJin<3 i think both are cute together.

    about Dae Pung, i loved him at first, all the childish behaviors and even the shouting but now i'm getting annoyed by the way he treats Bok Shil, but i hope he changes and realizes what a great woman Bok Shil is…

    oh and i hated Brutus at first but now i think he is cute *_*

  9. melica

    I think the actor playing Dae-pung is wonderful and his yelling doesn’t really bother me. He is an immature, self involved drama queen. And I loved in… I guess Ep 17 when he is so mad that his mother is making them clean on Sunday. He’s just incredulous. I find him really funny.

    The only thing for me is why is Bok-Shil working her duff off at their house? I suppose it is because she wants a family and to be useful… but that family should be pretty grateful to her.

  10. 10 etsy

    Thank you so much for doing the recap for Sons of Sol Pharmacy. It was written very well. You’re doing a good job!

  11. 11 Brenda

    Thank you so much for the recaps. I started to watch the series due to the recaps on this site and I can’t wait for the rest of the series. I also think Dae pung is too loud and needs to bring it down specially towards Bokshil. I love that couple. I am on episode 32 but with few subs, little understanding. I will look forward to your recaps. Keep Up.

  12. 12 reenna

    same here. this is also the first long k-drama i’ve ever watched. i’m watching via kbs world and it’s eps 24 now. it’s kind of surprise me than i’m not getting bored with this drama until now. it’s just getting more interesting in each episode…;-)

  13. 13 loveydovey

    i so agree with you smallfish! deapong is over the top sometimes but omg the most annoying person is the mom!! she’s always yelling and beating her kids for no reason. kind of reminds me of malcolm in the middle where the mom was always the annoying, ridiculously strict b-word. no i’m lying malcolm in the middle was worse but anyways nice recap! :)

  14. 14 djes

    watching this drama makes me want to have a brother. but I don’t want one like Dae Pung…errr, on the 2nd thought, it might be fun also to have one like him when I finally can get over his nags and yells. :D
    I always want an older brother!!!!!!! TT___TT Someone caring like Jin Pung, or someone geeky like Jin Pung. Hell i even want a younger brother like Mi Pung!
    ( a tale of me want have a brother :D )

    I love this drama. It never fail makes me smile while watching it! Eunji ( Yoo Hana ) is soo cute. I’m glad I picked this and gave up with Job Well Done.
    I’m still on ep 20, it’s still a long way to go!

  15. 15 Chocolatetree

    I’m glad you’re recapping this drama! It sounds like so much fun and you write so concisely and thoughtfully. Thank you for taking the time to recap this!!

  16. 16 bbm

    thank you Smallfish for your recap…
    i follow SoSPH from KBSW and loving every episode of it…
    i kinda pity for BokSHil, and i hope she can stand up to herself against Dae Pung…
    And i hope they show Hana more, that baby is soooo adorable!!

  17. 17 nycgrl

    Thanks for the recap. I’m watching this now after CH ended (what a great series).

    This series has a feel of a daily so the plot doesn’t move as fast and the production value feels lower but after the characters grow on you, you become more vested in the storyline and there are some very laugh out loud moments.

    I find myself disliking Dae Poong the most and he still hasn’t grown on me even after 24 episodes. I think this might be mostly the fault of the actor rather than the character’s traits.

    My favorite characters and couple is Shin Poong and Eun Ji. I have yet to see a cuter, sweeter couple in a kdrama. The actress is so over the top cute and Shin Poong is so dorky, clueless and sweet. I also think the actor is also playing him really well and convincingly to the point I can’t remember his character in White Tower.

    Mother song reminds me so much of my own MIL. My MIL has 3 sons and she is one tough little lady. She can swear like a sailor and her curses are pretty creative and often involves male reproductive parts.Rather shocking especially when said in korean.

    Baby Hana is the cutest baby I’ve seen so far. I am so glad she isn’t may baby since I would just sit and look at her all day.

  18. 18 theleenbean

    thanks for the recap smallfish!

  19. 19 Sparrow

    Thanks for the wonderful recap. This is currently my fav series, and I personally think that Lee Pil Mo is deliberately over acting in order to show a Hwan-like change later on (yes I am referencing Brilliant Legacy which just ended). Like Elena said his character is the one with the more issues, and we see some of the complexities at work later on.
    Although I don’t understand Korean very well I am watching the new episodes subless and currently my main focus of attention is Bok Shil and Dae-pung, so I am very much looking forward for more recaps:-)

  20. 20 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! Sun-poong and Eunji are just too cute!

  21. 21 iknowkarate

    i wanted so much to like this drama. but it’s just so formulaic. the people i like are the pharmacist brother and hyerim, too bad she had to die.

    the lawyer sister-in-law of hyerim annoys the hell outta me. daepung annoys me. bokshil always looks constipated and in pain. girl cousin who’s always in pink sweats [doesn't she have any other clothes?] annoys me too.

    brutus or bruters [according to kbsworld lol] has been incredible. i love how he fits the character to a T.

    i would date pharmacist brother any day. 8)

    i am looking forward to the next weekend drama.

  22. 22 iknowkarate

    sorry – - [off-topic]

    man who can’t marry just started airing on kbsw this week – and you were right – IT’S SO NOT THE REGULAR KOREAN DRAMA… THE FIRST 2 EPISODES WERE WONDERFUL!!!

    i ♥ it very much. 8)

  23. 23 maxon888

    smallfish……..thanks oh soooo much….please don’t quit recapping this series…this has been a really fun series specially the Sun-pung and Eun-ji love drama….sweeeet stuff, can’t wait what happens with 3 other brothers…lovin this series!!! ‘can’t wait ’til your next recappp….fighting ms javabeans!!!!

  24. 24 birdscout

    Thank you, smallfish for your thoughtful and fun summary! This is my first long, family drama too and I love it. I agree with others that it is not as fast-paced as other dramas but the relationship developments are what draw me in. The family members’ interactions with each other and neighbours are just so interesting to watch.

    I despised Brutus’ character at the beginning, but I like him so much now…he’s changed from an annoying caricature into a believable and likable person.

  25. 25 dalisay

    i love Sun-pung and Eun-ji! they’re my favorite characters in this whole drama… i think they look really cute together and they have pretty good chemistry… i always look forward to their scenes… they’re the main reason why i’m watching this drama…

    the one character that i really can’t stand is Soo-JIn… i’m not sure why but i really can’t stand her at all… she’s always in a bad mood and yelling at everyone especially when hye-rim was still alive.. she’s a lawyer but she treated hye-rim before she found out that she was sick…

  26. 26 lime9

    hana’s mother is a disgrace. so want to slap some sense into the idiot. is she suppose to somehow man up the youngest son or complement him somehow cause it isn’t working. i find myself fast-forwarding everytime she’s onscreen.

  27. 27 D

    thank you for the recap. i like your writing style

    i’m watching on KBSW but i was unable to watch last weekend’s eps so i’m still stuck on ep 24. will definitely have to catch the 2 eps repeat this friday.

    I actually like Cousin Mi-Ran, she’s not really that bad after all.. was she in some comic/gag show? she looks kinda familiar..

  28. 28 Icarusfalls

    I love this drama so far.. I’ve watched till episode 25 and can’t wait till more is subbed!! I love all the characters and how the “annoying” ones at the start of the drama are made so endearing later on. Case and point – Brutus (or Bruters as he is called) and the Cousin sis of the brothers..

  29. 29 drama4mama

    I really love this drama too. I agree that the “annoying” characters like Brutus and the cousin. The cousin grew on me when she and Bokshil became sorta friends. I understood her purpose in the drama. Bokshil needed somebody on her side who didn’t want to just have her do stuff for the family and realized what a good friend she is.

  30. 30 dee

    congrats that you’re real ajummah now!

  31. 31 quicksilver18

    Thanks Smallfish,

    You did a great recap of Sol Pharmacy. I look forward to more of your reviews.

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