Great episode! I’m so glad I didn’t let yesterday’s episode bum me out too much, because there were a lot of fantastic moments in this episode, which was a particularly nice one for Go Soo. (I know there have been some comments complaining that all he does is glare silently; he moves past that here.)
With this drama, I’ve been satisfied with episodes as long as they have at least one moment that makes me perk up, a beat that makes me think, “Wow.” Episode 13 lacked that, but there were several in Episode 14. Plus, this one made me laugh out loud.
SONG OF THE DAY
Pastel Blue – “잔소리” (Nagging) [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
When Kang-jin opens the door, Chun-hee puts a smile on her face and says, “Long time, no see. Have you been well, son?” Kang-jin’s face hardens, and when she reaches to touch his face (saying, “the older you grow, the more you resemble me” as though to remind him he’s her son), he blocks her hand. When she moves toward the door, he blocks her, grabbing her arm to pull her away.
He doesn’t resume their conversation until they arrive at a hotel, where he checks her in. How did she find out where he lived, anyway?
Now Chun-hee’s temper flares — what’s so wrong about a mother seeking out her son? Frustrated at how his life has ended up, she asks, “You idiot. Why do you live like this?” He has such a promising future, so why would he do this “because of that crazy woman”?
At those words (“crazy woman”), Kang-jin glares at her — and OH MY LORD, it’s frightening enough to give me chills…
Kang-jin calms himself down and asks if she has nowhere to go. Fine, if that’s the case then he’ll find her a place to stay, so she should stay here. The message is clear that she’s not welcome at his home.
But Chun-hee wants to stay with him; this is her attempt to remind him that he’s her son, not Young-sook’s: “Can’t a mother go to her son’s house? I’m your mother! Surely… you haven’t forgotten who your mother was all this while, right? I said I’m your mother!”
Kang-jin’s answer is pretty harsh, not because he delivers it angrily but in fact because he sounds so blasé about it:
Kang-jin: “I don’t really know how the word mother is supposed to be used or in what circumstances, but didn’t you give that up a long time ago when you left? Three years ago when you took the hand of a man with a wife and child and left Sancheong, you told me, ‘Love is everything to me. I don’t need sons or anything else.’ Didn’t you decide that and leave? Three years ago when I put those shoes on your feet and sent you away, and you closed your eyes and ears to morals and conscience and the hurt you caused others, I thought, ‘I’ll have no reason to see her anymore. This is the last time’ when I sent you away like that. In the past three years, when you didn’t call us once and kept yourself hidden away so that Bu-san and I couldn’t find you, I thought, ‘Yeah, we’re no different from the fathers who abandoned us. To you, you are the only one who’s important. We’re no different from our fathers, since you don’t even want to know how your kids are doing. Fine, let’s end things cleanly then.’ I gave up and got over it. Was that wrong?”
Chun-hee starts to tremble throughout this cold speech, hurt by his words. On his way out, Kang-jin tells her that there’s alcohol in the fridge, as though saying she can drink herself to sleep. Ouch.
He leaves the room, the door closing with a loud finality. However, Kang-jin isn’t actually so heartless that he can deliver this speech easily; acting like he didn’t care has taken a lot of effort. Now out of his mother’s sight, he falters and struggles to gain control of his emotions.
Kang-jin drives to the hospital and asks for Ji-wan, and is directed to a stairwell where she regularly slips away to rest. Tonight she’s sitting alone, nodding off. He sits by her, and settles her drooping head against his shoulder.
A short while later, Ji-wan awakes, surprised to find him sitting next to her. He merely says that he’s here because he was in the neighborhood.
Sensing his mood, Ji-wan asks if something’s wrong. He says no, but she’s not convinced. Looking closely at his face, she muses that something must be bothering him. Kang-jin is the first to feel an uncomfortable awareness at their proximity, and he breaks the moment, saying that it’s time to go.
He gets up to leave, and Ji-wan grabs his arm to stop him. She asks, “Do you know that this is the first time? Aside from that time you just left, this is the first time you came to the hospital to meet me, do you know that?”
From his reaction, it seems he hadn’t realized that. He forces the gruff tone back into his voice and leaves coolly. Ji-wan calls after him and tries to follow, but Kang-jin speeds up his pace — it’s like he just realized he slipped up and let his inner feelings show inadvertently.
In fact, it’s telling that he hurries outside, as though afraid he doesn’t have as good a grip on his control as he thought. Apparently Ji-wan also clues in to that, because as she thinks back to his reaction, she smiles.
In the morning, Kang-jin walks into the atelier to a festive atmosphere. Jae-hyun is reveling in a rare occurrence: Woo-jung has finally done something right. She managed to regain a project they’d lost in the past. Kang-jin recalls the project — didn’t they drop it because of a problem with the mother…?
He trails off, the word “mother” triggering something in his brain. He hurries out and heads to the hotel, where he finds out that Chun-hee checked out the previous night.
Remembering Bus-an’s blubbering in the hospital, he heads to the cafe to confront his brother: “Did you meet Mom?” Bu-san and Miss Shin are startled at Kang-jin’s sudden intense questioning, and Bu-san answers that he didn’t. Miss Shin met with her, but he still hasn’t forgiven her.
So Kang-jin directs his question to Miss Shin, who fires back in a recriminating tone, “You said you didn’t want to see her, that you don’t even think of her! You didn’t even know your mother was listening and said all sorts of things! Why are you looking for her now?”
This is news to the brothers. Kang-jin demands an explanation — why was she at Ji-wan’s hospital? Is she sick? Miss Shin asks indignantly why he cares — doesn’t have his crazy mom now? Kang-jin repeats fiercely, “I asked, is Madam Cha sick?!” Miss Shin mentions a slipped disc and directs him to ask Ji-wan for the details.
Ji-wan finds Chun-hee at her coffee stand and scolds her for coming back to work in these conditions; she’s risking her health. Chun-hee retorts, “Then why don’t you feed me and support me so I don’t have to work!” So Ji-wan takes her to lunch.
Chun-hee: “Don’t you hate me?”
Ji-wan: “I do. They say you should give the one you hate an extra rice cake.”
Chun-hee: “Are you doing this because of Kang-jin?”
Ji-wan: “Yes. Be thankful to him.”
Chun-hee: “You two can’t be. Even if your mother regains her senses, do you think she’ll consent to you? If she regains her sanity, she’ll go ballistic. Who is Cha Kang-jin? He’s Cha Chun-hee’s son. I’m against you two, too. Aren’t I shameless? You’re thinking, ‘And whose fault is all this?’ If I weren’t an old lady, you’d want to grab my hair, right? But still, you can’t. I’m Kang-jin’s mother, so I’m only going to think of my son and his future, and his happiness. Even if you think it over a hundred, thousand times, you two are ill-fated. If Heaven warns you, heed it. If you can avoid something, avoid it. Does love put food on the table?”
That sours Ji-wan’s mood, and she challenges, “Do you regret it then — loving one man for your whole life? Do you regret only loving my father, Han Jun-su, all your life?” Chun-hee fires back, “Yeah, I do. I regret it, down to my bones, I do! So what?”
But this doesn’t have the intended effect, because Ji-wan answers, “I’ll regret it later, then. Later, in the far future, I’ll regret it down to my bones like you. But I won’t do that now. I’m afraid of regretting it later, so I won’t run now.”
Chun-hee appeals to Ji-wan’s common sense, saying, “You’re the only one who can return my Kang-jin to his rightful place. Go on your way first. Then my Kang-jin will go on his way.”
Chun-hee gets back to work at her coffee stand, enduring the cold weather, unaware that Kang-jin is watching her from a distance. She doesn’t see him following her home at the end of the day, either, as she drags her cart along and winces in pain from her back injury.
Ji-wan belatedly remembers the medicine meant for Chun-hee, and decides to deliver it. When she arrives outside Chun-hee’s basement apartment, she finds Kang-jin sitting outside, dejected. At first she whirls around to leave, but decides against it and approaches.
Ji-wan squats in front of him and takes his cold hands in her gloved ones, warming them up with her breath.
That evening, Ji-wan comes upon Kang-jin as he works, bringing him a beer. Putting the pieces together, Ji-wan understands that he came to see her at the hospital in response to seeing his mother:
Ji-wan: “After meeting your mother, how painful must it have been? It was painful for me, so how much would it have been for you? But when you were feeling heartache, that means the person you thought of was me. In that moment, you had nowhere else to go but me. You wanted to rest with me. Cha Kang-jin! You’ve been discovered. You’ve been caught.”
Emboldened by these hints that he still cares for her, Ji-wan presents Kang-jin with a quiz — she’ll ask a question that he has to answer with an O (yes) or an X (no).
When he said he could keep living like this, he was lying, right? She guesses O, tracing a circle on Kang-jin’s back with her finger. He doesn’t answer, but he doesn’t deny it, either. So she asks a second question: When he said he could endure all this, he was lying, right?
Guessing that the answer is another O, she writes more letters on his back: “Fool… you… love… me… right?” She doesn’t say the words aloud, but Kang-jin can feel them on his back. Ji-wan prods him to answer but Kang-jin remains silent, face turned away from her. It’s no surprise that he ends the game by ignoring her question and going up to bed.
Disappointed, Ji-wan mutters, “Coward.” But her frown transforms into a big smile when she looks down on his drafting table — where he’s drawn a big O. She goes to sleep smiling that night, and remains in a wonderful mood the next day.
Despite everything he told Chun-hee, Kang-jin hasn’t really cut her out of his heart, and the next day he brings a load of groceries and household supplies to his mother’s apartment. He doesn’t make contact with her, and just leaves them outside the door to find later.
At work, Kang-jin finds an oddity in the accounting and asks for an explanation of the 10 million won ($8,000) expense. Jae-hyun and Woo-jung mumble a bit, saying vague things like work-related necessity and investment capital, but Kang-jin catches on. These were used to regain the lost project, right? Did Woo-jung lobby the company?
He chews her out for being no better than Bumseo and orders her to return the money and cancel the project.
Tae-joon has arrived to catch most of this scene, and finds Woo-jung outside, crying over Kang-jin’s scolding. Although she’s feeling low, Tae-joon smiles a bit, because it’s nice to finally see her as a real person. Who’d have thought they’d see the day when the great Woo-jung would cry to be reprimanded by her boss? He confesses that it did make him a little angry to see her so upset, though.
During a brainstorming session for the joint project, Woo-jung tosses out the suggestion for recreational facilities to complement their center’s educational and cultural buildings. Jae-hyun starts to shoot down her idea, exaggerating his comments by acting like a pompous boss. He’s joking, but Tae-joon speaks up for Woo-jung and coldly says that Jae-hyun is being too hard on her.
After the meeting, Woo-jung follows Tae-joon out to comment that he really overreacted today. Tae-joon admits, “I know. Why do you suppose that was?”
Now for one of my favorite parts! Ji-wan and Jin-kyung sit together in the cafeteria, practically gagging at the excessive, lovey-dovey display of a young couple. The girl is a patient who has injured her arm, and her boyfriend dotes on her, feeding her lunch and blowing on her hot water before holding it up for her to drink. Ji-wan notes that she hurt only one arm, meaning she could surely pick up her own fork and feed herself. Jin-kyung sighs that this is the girl whose arm injury led her boyfriend to CARRY her into the hospital.
But this gives Ji-wan an idea, and she texts Kang-jin at lunchtime. He’s at school, and she says she’s starving, so she’ll meet him in the cafeteria. Only, now she’s sporting a cast on her right arm.
Ji-wan smiles in anticipation, ready for Kang-jin to treat her like a loving boyfriend would (since by now she knows he loves her). She makes a show of being unable to pick up food with the chopsticks in her left hand, making gestures for him to feed her… but to her disappointment, he just replaces the chopsticks in her hand with a fork. She perks up when he tries to hand her coffee, since she’s holding her purse in her left arm and her right arm is in the cast. Now she smiles happily, because he’ll hold the coffee for her to drink, right? But no, he takes her purse, freeing her arm so she can drink freely. Disappointed again.
Not to be thus thwarted, Ji-wan enlists Kang-jin’s help in the library, where she points to books for him to pull from the shelves and hold for her. She’s loving this, finally getting to enjoy his devotion. Until she points with the wrong arm. D’oh! (It’s adorable.)
When she admits grudgingly that she played a joke because she wanted to enjoy his assistance, Kang-jin dumps the heavy books in her arms, but as he walks away, he smiles in amusement.
Chun-hee returns to Kang-jin’s house; she is buoyed by the signs that Kang-jin still cares. (Miss Shin has told her that Kang-jin came looking for her, and she guesses that the groceries outside her door were from him, too.)
At the office, Chun-hee introduces herself as Kang-jin’s mother, which causes a few moments of tension when Young-sook appears. But Chun-hee doesn’t say anything directly contradictory, allowing the pretense (about Kang-jin = Ji-yong) to stand for the moment.
Young-sook is not pleased to see Chun-hee, but the latter keeps up a pleasant facade. It’s like she’s testing to see the extent of Young-sook’s delusion as she asks deliberate questions about her son. Young-sook keeps her answers short, but Chun-hee prods — can she look inside her son’s room? Can she try ironing her son’s shirt?
They end up fighting over the iron (Chun-hee says wistfully, “I’ve never ironed my son’s shirts”), and Young-sook refuses to hand it over, and asks Chun-hee to leave. Chun-hee pouts, “Fine, have it. Take everything!” Clearly, she’s talking about more than just the shirt.
Young-sook’s stubbornness pricks her temper, so Chun-hee challenges, is she so afraid that Chun-hee will run off with her husband? Young-sook tosses back, “He’s not the kind of person who will follow just because a thing like you tries to seduce him!”
Young-sook: “Do you think you’re right for each other? The reason he didn’t meet you at the train station isn’t because I held him back. He didn’t go. He didn’t have the confidence to run away with you, or to live with you! He didn’t go of his own will, and came to me that day. Do you know that? It seems you’ve got the wrong idea, Cha Chun-hee, but he wouldn’t even react to see you now! He doesn’t even think of a thing like you!”
Chun-hee: “I think you’ve got the wrong idea. Seo Young-sook, three years ago I left Sancheong with Han Jun-su. A long time after your memory ends, Han Jun-su and I left together!”
That rattles Young-sook, who says, “Don’t lie.” When Chun-hee insists she’s not lying, Young-sook calls out unsteadily, “You lie! Ji-yong! Call your father!”
This unleashes the flood:
Chun-hee: “Han Jun-su is dead! He’s dead! Because of me, you weren’t even there for his passing. Come to your senses, Seo Young-sook! Stop running away, and come to your senses! Come back and grab the hair of this awful bitch and take out all your sadness and anger on me! Don’t mess with someone else — just deal with me! Please come back to your senses and let my son, who you think is Ji-yong, live his life. And let your sad daughter Ji-wan live her life. Let these poor kids who can’t breathe because of us live the way they want. Please. Let’s let them, okay? I’ll beg you.”
Chun-hee sobs and begs, while a light of awareness starts to dawn (it seems?) in Young-sook’s eyes.
Kang-jin and Ji-wan are sharing a nice afternoon reading together at the library — Ji-wan pushes her luck by laying her head in his lap, pleased when he doesn’t push her away. The day is cut short when Kang-jin gets the call that Young-sook has collapsed again. When they arrive home, her room is empty.
Hearing that Chun-hee had been by, he worries and calls the police to report her disappearance. They don’t know that at the same time, Young-sook is back at home in Kang-jin’s room, where she opens a drawer and finds his family portrait, the old one with Bu-san and Chun-hee.
At Miss Shin’s cafe, Chun-hee worries over Young-sook’s condition: “I didn’t know she was so weak.” She supposes that Kang-jin will be upset with her again, and says resignedly that she shouldn’t have come back.
She gets up to leave, just as Bu-san walks in. She figures he’s still upset with her, and tells them all to disregard her and live happily on their own. But at the last moment, Bu-san blocks her exit and says, “Don’t leave.” She tells him he ought to cling to his hate of her, but clearly she’s moved that he still loves her. He breaks down, crying onto his mother’s shoulder, saying, “Don’t go. Just stay with us. Don’t go anywhere.”
Kang-jin and Ji-wan return to the house, with him in an even more silent, withdrawn mood than usual. She tells him not to worry:
Ji-wan: “Don’t be too sorry, please. It’s not your fault, and it’s not your mother’s fault, and it’s not my fault. It’s just that in life, these things happen. Let’s stop blaming ourselves now. Ji-yong oppa’s death wasn’t my fault either, and it wasn’t your fault. It’s just that in life, it was bad luck that things like that happened.”
Leaning in close, she holds him and says, “It’s not our fault, any of it.”
And just then, Young-sook’s voice cuts in, “You’re home?”
Since the previous episode felt lacking, I expected the same here. Thankfully, the lag was temporary, and things picked up a lot here. For instance, the whole university scene:
At first, I was wondering if it was in character for these two to be able to spend happy time together after all the recent angst. Was the writing out of character? Ultimately I decided that I was okay with it, (1) because I loved it, and (2) because it makes sense in the context of Ji-wan’s new revelations. Kang-jin thinks he’s so in control of his feelings, and that he can force himself to be okay living this way. After his emotional confrontation with Chun-hee, he feels raw and pained, and he goes to Ji-wan to regain his equilibrium, not realizing that this act unintentionally exposes his feelings, which scares him. Go Soo does a wonderful job playing the little beats in between, where we see that it requires effort for Kang-jin to maintain his cool exterior, and that underneath the facade is a whole mess of raw emotion. But now Ji-wan sees through it and realizes he’s just putting on an act, which gives her the courage to present him with her “quiz.” After she gets that admission of love, well, there’s no stopping her now. Therefore she can prod him for public displays of affection at the school because she has been reassured of his love.
But this is Ji-wan, so of course she must give herself away by accident. This was such a welcome return to their high school dynamic (and even Ji-wan’s lunch with Chun-hee felt like a callback to their old interactions), where Ji-wan has this brilliant plan and then messes it up herself. And Kang-jin has to smile because she’s ridiculous and adorable. So for just this afternoon, he’ll indulge her and enjoy their closeness, for old times’ sake.
I was actually enjoying Tae-joon and Woo-jung being together as non-romantic buddies, so I confess that I’d prefer that this hint of a romantic reunion not be there. If they do come back together, I can see how it works so I don’t think it’s necessarily a mistake. It’s just that I thought the story worked fine without them being together, so it feels like an unnecessary development. But that’s a minor quibble.
Thanks to Episode 14, my excitement is back as we head into the last week!
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 13
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 12
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 11
- Go Soo: “I didn’t know this role would be this painful”
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 10
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 9
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 8
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 7
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 6
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 5
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 4
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episode 3
- Will It Snow For Christmas: Episodes 1-2