Sons of Sol Pharmacy: Episodes 19-21
I gotta say, the storyline about Dad Song and Dad Oh’s history that’s developed in the next batch of episodes is probably one of my least favorite parts about this show. I thought it was a bit too pedestrian, and frankly, it’s not all that convincing (more on that after the recaps). But luckily, the other subplots more than make up for it (e.g., Sun-pung and Eun-ji’s love affair/internet scandal) and the show is still really enjoyable.
So, without further ado…
As it turns out, both Mama Song and Oh-Ma are not pleased with the idea of their children getting together. Both think it’s ridiculous, especially because the dads are bitter enemies. Also, Oh-Ma thinks Sun-pung and Eun-ji are not a right fit, and makes her point by saying that the Dostoevksy that Sun-pung loaned her is too difficult for Eun-ji. (Way to encourage your daughter there, lady.) Instead, Eun-ji should think about reading Romeo and Juliet, the story about a girl who marries the son of her family’s enemies and dies as a result. HA.
Mi-pung is still desolate and pining over Hana, and he wanders around daydreaming about her. Meanwhile, as we suspected, Su-Hee is a less than stellar mother, neglecting to feed Hana properly, and leaving her home alone while she goes out to meet a friend.
Lonely, with nowhere else to go and hoping to catch some time with Dae-pung, Bok-shil hangs around the Song house on a quiet Sunday. Unfortunately, Dae-pung is gone for most of the day, so Bok-shil ends up helping Mama Song make kimchi pancakes all day. When Dae-pung and Jin-pung finally come home, instead of being welcoming, Dae-pung is exasperated to find Bok-shil there on her day off.
Dad Oh and Dad Song both bug Jung-ok for the proper address to the mysterious woman’s house, and both end up getting there on the same day. It appears that they fought over this ajumma, Eun-jung, in the past, and she’s the reason they ended their friendship (of course it’s over a woman). Both are none too pleased to see the other at Eun-jung’s house, and they bicker the whole time, with Eun-jung scolding them like children.
Despite Oh-Ma’s warnings to Eun-ji, she goes to visit Sun-pung at work and asks him to take her out to dinner. At dinner, she fusses over him, cutting his food, feeding him, plucking gray hairs, and finally kissing him. Unbeknownst to the couple, a young fan has spied them and surreptitiously takes pictures and video of them. The next day, the videos end up on the internet, causing a huge scandal. Both families see the videos online, and both mothers have extreme reactions in line with their characters– Oh-Ma faints, and Mama Song goes batshit. (I love it.)
Dad Song and Dad Oh continue to visit Eun-jung. They go to her beauty shop on the same day as an excuse to see her– Dad Oh gets a haircut and Dad Song gets a perm. Dad Song comes home to find his family having a pow-wow about Sun-pung and Eun-ji’s internet scandal, and the family fills him in on the details while collectively berating Sun-pung.
Meanwhile, the Oh family has a pow-wow of their own. Oh-Ma’s anger at Eun-ji will not be assuaged, even as Jung-ok tries to reason with her that others have survived far worse scandals. In an effort to control Eun-ji, Oh-Ma takes away her cell phone and makes her stay at home (who knew it was possible to ground a 25-year-old grown woman??).
Jung-ok calls on Sun-pung at work to size him up. She asks him directly how much he likes Eun-ji. Flustered, Sun-pung is unable to answer properly. Jung-ok later goes home and relays their conversation to Eun-ji, and then asks her if Sun-pung has even tried to get in touch. When Eun-ji says no, Jung-ok tells her he’s not worth her time because he obviously doesn’t find her worth his effort. Feeling like a fool, Eun-ji steals Jung-ok’s phone while she’s sleeping and calls Sun-pung. She apologizes to him for causing a scandal, tells him that she’ll leave him alone from now on, and quickly hangs up. Sun-pung tries to call her back, but it’s too late, as Eun-ji has replaced the phone and gone back to her own room.
Mi-ran tells Mi-pung that he saw Su-hee with Hana at the local sauna. He rushes off and finds Hana wailing while Su-hee is passed out next to her surrounded by a bunch of empty beer cans. He rescues Hana and brings her back home.
And of course, we have our love triangle. Er, love square. It appears that as Su-jin’s feelings for Jin-pung are getting stronger, so too are Dae-pung’s feelings for Su-jin. Meanwhile, Bok-shil has taken notice of Dae-pung’s attentions to Su-jin and tries to make him notice her. Dae-pung asks Su-jin to a musical, and asks Jin-pung to pick the kids up and babysit for the night. Instead of going to meet Dae-pung, however, Su-jin rushes to get the kids from the pharmacy and trips and scrapes up her knee in the process. Jin-pung dresses her wounds and treats the family to pizza at his pharmacy. As Dae-pung rushes out from his office upstairs to meet Su-jin (with Bok-shil trying to stop him by telling him she has something important to tell him), he glances through the pharmacy window and witnesses the cozy scene…
Dae-pung goes to the musical alone after seeing Su-jin having fun with Jin-pung in the pharmacy and realizing that Su-jin and Jin-pung might be developing feelings for each other. Su-jin never shows up for the musical, and later reminds Dae-pung that she never actually agreed to go with him. All of this puts Dae-pung in a foul mood, and he picks fights with a clueless Jin-pung the next day.
Dad Song and Dad Oh both show up at Eun-Jung’s house bearing yummy treats. The trio decide to go for a ride in a row-boat. Of course, this leads to bickering between Dad Song and Dad Oh, and they end up tipping over the boat into the water. Later, both go home and carelessly cast aside their wet clothes (silly boys). When their wives discover the clothes, they also discover ticket stubs from the boat ride and their suspicions are aroused. After a bit of investigating, Mom Song and Oh Ma both find out that their husbands have been visiting Eun-jung and they head to her beauty salon. Mom Song and Oh Ma run into each other in Eun-jung’s neighborhood and after a bit of discussion, they realize that their husbands are both cheating on them with the same hussy. Mom Song makes an executive decision to go into the salon and tear shit up, and Oh-Ma helplessly follows in her wake. But, when Mom Song sees Eun-jung and her decidedly un-hussy-like demeanor, she loses her nerve and announces that they’re there so that Oh-Ma can get a perm. Oh-Ma ends up going home with a frizzy mama pama and each wife tears into her husband at home.
Sun-pung and Eun-ji are both suffering over their breakup, but neither knows how to fix the situation. Sun-poong goes to the mountains to clear his head, and when he gets back he consults Jin-pung. Sun-pung tells Jin-pung that he’s sorry and thankful to Eun-ji and that he thinks he might love her. Jin-pung tells Sun-pung that he should just tell her exactly how he feels, explaining that his biggest regret was not being honest with Hye-rim about his feelings. Sun-pung rushes over to Eun-ji’s house and when she gets home, he lays it all out for her in his dorky, sweet, earnest way. Eun-ji, still miffed, drops an elbow on his back but Sun-pung grabs her to him in a hug.
The thing that struck me in these episodes is that quite a few of the characters are lonely in their own little ways. Of course, Bok-shil is the loneliest character (her loneliness is literally palpable at times), but so is Mi-ran, the only young woman in a house full of sons, and who is constantly disappointed by failed auditions. So it makes sense that they eventually become friends. We also see Jin-pung’s loneliness lessened a little by the time he spends with Brutus’ kids, particularly Mari, whom he dotes on. And Granddad Song, who still misses his long-dead wife, finds some solace in his relationship with Brutus, and more recently, Sung-jin, who also suffer from loneliness not only because of Hye-rim’s death, but because of their outsider status in Korea. And vice versa. In this context, the drama is very much a tender story of the comfort that people find in their non-romantic relationships.
Now, about the Dad Song/Eun-jung/Dad Oh trio. I think Miss Eun-jung is really a bit of a hussy. I mean, she knows that the men both have puppy dog crushes on her, they both bicker over her like little kids, and instead of discouraging their behavior, she seems to enjoy the attention. And whatever, I get that she’s lonely because she lost her husband and son. But STILL. It’s not cool. And same goes for Dad Song and Dad Oh. They should be mooning over their wives, not a hussy who played them 30+ years before, too. But, I suppose there has to be some way of explaining their past and bringing them back together again. I just wish it had been a little more creative.