Wish Upon a Star: Episode 13
Yay, it’s back! I suppose absence does make the heart grow fonder, because a week off with no new Wish Upon a Star episodes really whetted my appetite for a new one today.
Also: I’ve been meaning to mention it for a while now, but I love baby Nami. Often the baby of a drama is just a prop, but the little boy playing Nam has this habit of doing really cute things in the background that may go unnoticed upon first watch. In scenes when he’s just supposed to be in the background, he’ll bounce in his chair or clap or give these really adorable looks. Hilarious!
SONG OF THE DAY
Wish Upon a Star OST – “눈물의 거리” (Street of tears) [ Download ]
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Kang-ha makes his proposal to extend the terms of her contract, feeling rather pleased with himself. But Pal-gang is stunned at the change of heart and swoops in close to look at him face to face. She asks, puzzled, “Extend… the contract…?” He retorts that it’s not that complicated to understand, but Pal-gang, still unable to make sense of this, gulps down the tea she’d brought for him and chokes.
When she can speak again, she asks how long an extension he is suggesting. Kang-ha replies, “How about we start with three months, then consult later about further extensions?” Pal-gang stammers at this windfall, nearly rendered speechless. But she isn’t so surprised that she forgets what’s really important! “We have to rewrite the contract.”
Kang-ha obliges by writing a very basic contract, but this time she repeats his old comments about being specific — they have to stipulate the time period, the parties involved, the conditions, everything! (Kang-ha looks put out to have his generous gesture marred by such a forward-thinking Pal-gang, hehe.)
She adds hopefully, “You suggested extending the contract first, which means that you’re satisfied with my work as your live-in housekeeper. So that means that if you raise my salary, I’d have the desire to work even harder…”
Seeing Kang-ha’s expression, Pal-gang backs off, admitting that she’s probably pushing it. They can leave out that last part, since he’s already housing and feeding her siblings. She had been hoping for an increase of 20,000 or 30,000 won (daily? weekly?), so when he asks, “Will 100,000 won do?” she practically weeps with happiness.
Pal-gang walks down in a daze with her contract, which makes Tae-kyu jump to the conclusion that Kang-ha has given her a hard time again. Instead, she exults at the three-month extension, and Tae-kyu excitedly joins her in celebration, jumping up and down. Of course, the jumping causes the water in his cup to splash all over her face — LOL! I love it.
As in a prior episode, we see that Pal-gang is more moved by Kang-ha’s kindness than she’d like to let on. She gives herself a firm reminder:
Pal-gang: “Jin Pal-gang, you’re a live-in maid. Even if they see you as a pushover and play jokes with you, just let them. Got it? You can’t bat an eyelash. Hold the kids’ hands tightly, and look ahead to your way out. Just look ahead. Don’t look back at anyone. Not anyone.”
Tae-kyu celebrates with the kids and Grandpa Jung. Cho-rok puts the idea into Tae-kyu’s head (which he hadn’t even considered) that Kang-ha’s act was actually for Tae-kyu’s benefit. Since Tae-kyu is determined to marry Pal-gang, Kang-ha must be allowing the extension so he can give the matter serious consideration. Tae-kyu eagerly accepts this idea.
At work, Pal-gang’s supervisor tells Jae-young that Pal-gang has signed five policies. Instead of being impressed, however grudgingly, Jae-young says that the clients must have just felt pity for her. I HATE JAE-YOUNG.
She spots Kang-ha’s mother at the front desk as the older woman tries to wrangle Kang-ha’s home address from the receptionist. Jae-young takes her aside for a chat, telling her openly that she heard about her relationship with Kang-ha from her mother. She’s also frank about loving Kang-ha and offers to help.
That evening, Pal-gang receives a call from Jang-soo, her friendly JK colleague who is looking into her parents’ accident. Grandpa overhears the conversation, so she shares the oddities of the case, saying that according to Jang-soo there are signs that her parents may have been intentionally targeted.
That gets the wheels in Grandpa’s head turning, and he gets up to go home. Of course, he can’t say he’s going to his fancy mansion, so he tells Pal-gang that he’ll stake out a spot for collecting primo junk in the morning. Pal-gang suggests that once she sets up her own place, he should live with her family. Then he won’t have to sneak in and out like he does here. It’s sweet.
At home, the chairman asks Min-kyung specific questions about the Jins. Did she know that he was going to give the man a hospital to run, and that the couple died? Min-kyung answers honestly, even admitting that she knew that the dead couple had children. However she makes it seem like the only reason she didn’t bother doing anything to help was because she thought the family would be fine. We, on the other hand, know that she purposely ordered their house demolished (as they were technically the landlords).
She is pretty frank about admitting that she felt wrong about the chairman ignoring In-gu for the Jins. She has always felt sorry that it was because he disliked that his son married her.
She lies to his last question, however, about whether she had ever met the Jins. She says no, then warns her husband that he should also answer no in the future. In-gu remembers seeing the couple at the hospital when they visited the comatose chairman. He thinks their deaths were a fortunate accident (for them), which indicates that he is unaware of any foul play. But Min-kyung says that it’s easier to answer that they never saw the couple.
That night, Pal-gang looks up at the skies with Nam, pointing out the biggest one. She suggests that they name it after Kang-ha, in thanks for letting them stay.
Pa-rang shuffles into the room, having difficulty falling asleep, and asks his sister for permission to sleep in Kang-ha’s room. Pal-gang tells him to go back to their own room, but Pa-rang persists, saying that if he says he’s sleepwalking, Kang-ha won’t mind.
With that, Pa-rang sneaks into the upstairs bedroom, drawing the blanket over a sleeping Kang-ha. Hilariously, when Kang-ha’s eyes open, Pa-rang immediately snaps his gaze up at the ceiling and pretends he’s sleepwalking.
Kang-ha: “Are you sleepwalking right now, or not?”
Pa-rang: “I’m sleepwalking.”
Kang-ha: “Would someone who’s sleepwalking answer that he’s sleepwalking?”
Pa-rang (a little shifty-eyed): “I would.”
Kang-ha: “You’re conscious, aren’t you?”
Pa-rang: “No, I’m not. I’m sleeping right now.”
Amused, Kang-ha invites the boy up. Pa-rang grins happily before he recalls that he’s supposed to be sleepwalking, then does his fake zombie-walk to the foot of the bed. Climbing in, he makes sure to request, “Please don’t kick me!” as he settles in to sleep.
In the morning, Tae-kyu bounds over to his uncle and hugs Kang-ha, thanking him for drawing out Pal-gang’s contract, assuming that it was for Tae-kyu’s benefit. Jun-ha hears about this for the first time, just as Pa-rang emerges from washing in Kang-ha’s bathroom. All are appalled — he’s not allowed there! But Pa-rang just answers, “Mr. Lawyer ajusshi told me to.” Everyone gives Kang-ha bewildered looks.
Pal-gang has prepared a big breakfast, replete with three different soups, one to suit each man’s taste. For the first time, they feel sorry for making extra work for her, but she replies that she’s used to it now. Jun-ha offers to buy her lunch in thanks (which earns him a sideways glance from Kang-ha) but Pal-gang declines, citing a client meeting.
And through this all, Tae-kyu reacts with glee — he thinks they’re all being nice to Pal-gang purely out of love for him. Oh, to live in Tae-kyu’s misguided head!
A couple minor points at work aren’t too important now, but will surely be featured later:
(1) Eun-mal is relieved of her bathroom-cleaning duties. Recall that in a previous episode, Eun-mal had recognized Grandpa Jung as the JK CEO, and he had asked for her to keep his identity a secret. She had taken advantage of this opportunity to ask to be relieved of bathroom duty. When Pal-gang congratulates Eun-mal for her quasi-promotion, Eun-mal unthinkingly replies, “It’s thanks to you!” before catching her slip.
(2) Jang-soo is making headway in the car crash investigation, and now Jin-ju is starting to warm to him. In fact, today she offers to treat him to lunch — although it’s not so much buying lunch as it is using a lunch coupon on him. Haha.
During the lunch hour, Pal-gang meets with new clients from the company of Jun-ha’s ex, whose name I still don’t know and will therefore be referring to as Jae-young’s Clone. Clonelady takes advantage of this opportunity to test out her own theory, and invites Jun-ha over and mentions that Pal-gang is here.
Meanwhile, she invites Pal-gang to try on clothes that her wedding-planning company can use on their website. Naturally, this is just a ruse to have her looking pretty and bridal when Jun-ha arrives.
Clonemistress tells Jun-ha that she wants to confirm whether or not he’s really “caught in a trap” — i.e., in love with Pal-gang. If he is, she’ll know to let go. (Why the heck seeing a girl in a bridal dress should give anyone proof of one’s feelings is a mystery to me, but these possessive women are hardly operating on pure common sense, yeah?)
Jun-ha is surprised to see Pal-gang dressed thusly, but he does look upon her with some admiration. Afterward, he continues to offer to buy lunch, which she continues to decline.
Finally, he asks why she’s avoiding him. Perhaps he’s expecting a simple, silly answer that he can easily refute, but her reply utterly dumbfounds him: “Why are you going this far just because of your brother?” She admits that when she was Useless Miss Jin she was oblivious, but now she has started to pick up on things — she knows he’s not acting interested in her because he really feels this way. She assures him, “Don’t worry about me. Your brother is treating me this way out of pity, so you don’t have to do this.” (I was considering two possibilities: either she means Jun-ha is doing this out of pity, or to sway her away from Kang-ha. Her last statement suggests the latter.)
Not in his wildest dreams did he expect her to have caught on to the truth, and he asks, “Then what about your feelings? You liked my brother for a long time. Now that his feelings are starting to change, aren’t your feelings coming back?” She thinks about it, then answers, “No. It’s been a long time since I have been over him.” She cut off those feelings with her hair — so Jun-ha doesn’t have to do this.
Jun-ha blocks her exit, not buying that she could really stop caring just because she decided to. Pal-gang counters that it worked for her, “But it must not work for you.” He wonders what that means.
Pal-gang: “I thought it was strange that you were suddenly acting this way. I thought, why is he acting like he likes me all of a sudden? And I realized the truth.”
Jun-ha: “What is it?”
Pal-gang: “That you’re someone who loves in quite an unusual way.”
Jun-ha: “What do you mean?”
Pal-gang: “You said to Tae-kyu that the most loving thing to do for someone who doesn’t love you is to not love them back. Isn’t it odd? How could you have gone so long without being found out?”
Jun-ha has been caught, but he tries for one last bid to deny it. Grabbing her, he demands, “What are you saying?!”
She answers, “If you want to keep from being discovered, you should stop with this. If you don’t, anyone who’s not a fool will catch on.” This angers him even more — his growing agitation contrasting with her cool composure — and for the first time, he actually uses rude language with her: “Who the hell are you to think you know anything about me?”
Wow, there’s some real over-emoting going on here. It’s okay, Shin Dong-wook, I still love you. Even though you seem to be acting in alternate-universe version of this drama called Temptation of a Star Falling From the Sky.
She answers, “I want to pretend I don’t know. If someone like me catches on, those two will have to find out. Lawyer Won and Ms. Jung are both smart.” A bit desperately, Jun-ha tells her to stop spouting nonsense: “My behavior towards you has nothing to do with my brother or Jae-young.”
But Pal-gang reminds him that she pined after someone for five years. “So I know what it looks like to look at the person you love who doesn’t love you back. How painful and sad that is. I saw that in the mirror every day.” She adds, “No matter who you love or how, it doesn’t matter to me. But please don’t use me. That makes me too pathetic.”
(I didn’t think Jun-ha’s feelings for Jae-young were such a secret, so I’m not sure the huge reaction here is warranted. But I suppose it’s a shock to realize that Pal-gang — whom Jun-ha may like but still underestimates as being a silly girl — is aware that his act with her is faked.)
Kang-ha’s mother is happy to take up Jae-young’s offer for “help” — i.e., money — and meets her again to receive her payoff. Mom comments that Kang-ha doesn’t seem interested in Jae-young, and for all her horrible parenting skills, she’s actually pretty sharp about her son’s emotional state: “He’s someone who can’t bear the thought that my blood and his father’s runs in his veins. That’s why he doesn’t want to give love to other people.”
For the first time, there’s the teeniest hint that Mom has a heart as she confides that Kang-ha suffered not only with a mother like her but because of his father. Once when he was in grade school, he came to her with a bruised face and begged to live with her. Thinking he’d let others beat him up like a sissy, she had been upset with him, but he admitted that his father had hit him because he didn’t call Jun-ha’s mother “Mom.”
Jae-young worries about what to do, since Kang-ha doesn’t return her feelings. Apparently the words “GIVE UP” don’t register with her. Perhaps thinking to gain an ally, Mom asks, “Do you know that Kang-ha has an Achilles heel?”
Another adorable Pa-rang/Kang-ha scene!
Kang-ha has a new, state-of-the-art computer installed, and an interested Pa-rang watches him test it out. Thinking he’s being sly, Pa-rang asks what will happen to Kang-ha’s old laptop. Kang-ha knows what he’s getting at but has a little fun of his own, and answers that he’ll throw it away.
Pa-rang asks, “Can you give it to me?” Kang-ha answers no, because the boy’s only going to play games on it, and Pa-rang pouts.
And yet, when he races downstairs, he presents his siblings with his new acquisition: Kang-ha gave him the computer! He’s all proud of himself and takes credit for being smart enough to convince Kang-ha to let him have it. In fact, he promised to shine his shoes every day!
Of course, No-rang points out that they do that already. This makes Pa-rang wonder why Kang-ha would have “sold” the computer for that price. He races back upstairs to ask Kang-ha why.
Bursting into Kang-ha’s room, Pa-rang points out that they already shine his shoes every day. Did he forget to add a stipulation? He requests, “Please give me another task. I can’t just take this for free.”
Kang-ha, naturally, doesn’t care about getting anything back from Pa-rang and offers to think about it later. Pa-rang is eager to earn his computer, so he offers to massage Kang-ha’s back, ignoring his protests. Kang-ha complains that it hurts — but of course Pa-rang thinks he’s just exaggerating.
Annoyed, Kang-ha returns the favor to prove his point that the massage is more painful than refreshing. It’s like two monkeys wrestling. No, like two monkeys imitating a girlfight. I love it!
All the while, Pal-gang watches in amusement. Of course, she understands that Kang-ha is just giving the computer away, and smiles in appreciation.
Ms. Clone watches Jun-ha drinking that night, and wonders at this new side of him. Why is he acting like this?
Jun-ha is working through his own confusion — he’d been sure his real feelings would never be discovered: “But that woman… she found out.” Before, he had thought he’d die at being discovered, but instead he feels relieved. The significance is not lost on him: “There’s one woman in the world who knows what I’m really like. Why does that comfort me?” Yeah, his face looks as comforted as someone battling a bout of hemorrhoids.
When he returns home that night, Pal-gang smells the liquor on his breath and brings him some comforting honey tea. He apologizes for talking to her rudely before, and stops her from leaving to explain that she was right (about him pursuing her with false intentions): “That was true at the start. But increasingly, it feels like that’s not all there is.”
Pal-gang: “I’m not the sister to the children. We stayed at a sauna when we had nowhere to go, and the day that we came to live in this house, I cut my hair in the bathroom. I told myself in the mirror, ‘You’re not a woman anymore. You’re just a mother.’ I didn’t come to this house as a woman. I came as a mother to them, so they wouldn’t freeze to death in the street. So at the office, please treat me like an employee, and in this house, treat me like your maid. That’s the way to help me live as I want, as their mother.”
She bids him good night.
Tae-kyu is uncomfortable with Pal-gang visiting Jun-ha’s room late at night, even if it’s just to help. After all, he recognizes that Jun-ha is popular with the ladies, too. (Not that he’s jealous!, he assures.)
Jun-ha reminds Tae-kyu that she only thinks of him as a sibling. When Tae-kyu starts making excuses, Jun-ha grows impatient and cuts him off: “If Pal-gang appears as a woman to you, she can to me, too.”
Tae-kyu bursts in to Kang-ha’s room: “I think he’s crazy!” Understanding that Jun-ha has essentially thrown his gauntlet into the ring to fight for Pal-gang, Tae-kyu is thrown into a panic. Jun-ha can’t feel that way about someone Tae-kyu proposed to! He sobs, “This is a betrayal!”
Kang-ha is surprised, but he just tells him to go to bed. Even though Kang-ha doesn’t show an outward reaction, I’m sure Tae-kyu’s pained reaction to the “betrayal” isn’t lost on him.
In the morning, Tae-kyu faces his uncle with determination. Fine, if he wants to compete with him, he’ll take his stand — he won’t step back! After all, he’s a man too!
(Hilariously, Pa-rang misunderstands and asks if someone thought he was a girl. Tae-kyu fans himself in outrage, in an unintentionally girlish gesture.)
At the breakfast table, Jun-ha requests that Pal-gang serve him the same food as Kang-ha from now on. Not one to be one-upped, Tae-kyu hurriedly follows suit. This means she no longer has to make three breakfasts. (No-rang beams proudly at this generous display. Cho-rok grumbles that Tae-kyu agreed too. Pa-rang says they’re all following Kang-ha since he’s the best.)
At work, Kang-ha’s mother forces her way into Kang-ha’s office, a few moments before Jun-ha also enters. This is awkward, and forces Kang-ha to meet with his mother separately to keep her away from Jun-ha.
Mom finds it interesting that Kang-ha is so accommodating in front of Jun-ha when he should really hate him. After all, Kang-ha’s older but Jun-ha’s the legitimate son. Kang-ha answers that it’s because Jun-ha is “the only son of my mother.” It’s a confusing statement until he clarifies that he’s referring to the woman he actually considers as his mother (i.e., his stepmother). He warns, “Don’t think to approach my mother’s precious son.”
In any case, Mom announces that she’s returning to the U.S. This surprises Kang-ha since he didn’t give her any money — until she says she met Jae-young. Immediately he knows that she took money from her, which infuriates him.
Angry and hurt, Kang-ha rises and grits out icily, “We’d better not see each other again.”
Next, he confronts Jae-young and asks how she could dare to interfere in his life. How much did she give his mother? He’ll pay.
Jae-young refuses to answer, because she’s the person he’s going to marry — his mother’s problems are therefore her own. Casually, she mentions the fact that Jun-ha doesn’t know about them having separate mothers. Thus her next comment comes as a veiled threat: “The most important person in the world to you is your brother, right?”
His eyes widen as he comprehends her threat, and she issues her ultimatum: If Kang-ha marries Jae-young, she can carry his secret to the grave. But if not, “then I have no reason to keep that secret.” She offers to give him time to think it over — “but don’t make me wait too long”
Because we didn’t hate her enough already, right?
A small clue is revealed in the whole “Who is Chairman Jung’s long-lost grandchild?” mystery. He looks through the Jin family photo album, his eye drawn to an old photo of two women holding their babies. One woman is Pal-gang’s mother, but the other woman niggles at his memory. Pulling out a photo, he compares the old one with the newer one of his lost grandson’s mother.
This makes me consider two possibilities:
(1) Is this other woman the true mother, and somehow Pal-gang’s mother took over the care of Pal-gang? Mama Jin did say that the chairman’s older son was Pal-gang’s birth father.
(2) Perhaps the rumors of the pregnant single mother were about Pal-gang’s mother, but the investigators confused her with the other lady? It looks possible that there were two similar cases of single mothers giving birth around the same time.
Jang-soo is almost done tracking down all the persons of interest regarding the Jins’ car accident. Jin-ju accompanies him on his stakeout, and Pal-gang drops by to bring them snacks.
Jang-soo recognizes a man walking by as his quarry, and tries to ask him questions about the truck he was driving the night of the accident. The man understands what this is about and therefore aggressively denies being in the area that night.
In case you didn’t recognize him, he’s the shady man hired by Min-kyung to do her dirty work. He calls her that night to warn her that a JK investigator has been asking around. He’s confident that he didn’t leave clues at the scene of the accident, but it’s unnerving that Jang-soo was able to find him in the first place.
Min-kyung orders the man to disappear immediately — do not surface until she contacts him again.
After his wretched day, Kang-ha drinks aggressively that night at the jazz bar. This spins him back into a flashback — one that’s rather confusing, I must say.
In it, the young girl asks, “Do you hate me so much? But what can we do about it? Even so, just deal with it. I’ll go first. Come soon, okay?”
(I recall that Shin Dong-wook played Jun-ha’s younger self in a previous flashback — making him seem like a young man, not a child — so the young age of childhood Kang-ha here is confusing. Either the ages of these actors are all effed up, or this is his mother? I dunno.)
As Kang-ha emerges from this painful memory, Jun-ha and Jae-kyung join him at the table. She’s in a great mood, and announces that Kang-ha has agreed to consider the marriage seriously. Unsurprisingly, Jae-young (hateful wench) is the only one pleased with the news.
Being cornered into this decision is supremely aggravating for Kang-ha, who wanders the streets afterward and screams out his frustration to the river.
When Pal-gang comes home that night, she finds Kang-ha sitting on the front steps, in the cold. She can smell the liquor on his breath and helps him to his feet.
Looking at her intently, he lurches toward her and holds her to him. He asks despairingly, “I tried living again, because of you. I tried to start over with life, but now… now what am I supposed to do?”
On the surface, this ending is pretty similar to the ending of Episode 11, so my first impression was, “This again?” But now that I think about it, I like the similarity, because it highlights how the emotions this time are actually vastly different. Back then, he was struggling to admit he had any feelings for her at all, while dealing with anger at the sudden appearance of his mother. His action was, therefore, angry and charged.
Here, it’s a sadder moment because he had been allowing himself to hope for better things, and now finds himself trapped by Jae-young. I was thinking all episode long that I really like how Kang-ha has approached his “courtship” of Pal-gang, in that he hasn’t been aggressive and burdensome. Not like, say, Tae-kyu and Jun-ha. Aside from his two sudden hugs, he hasn’t pressured her to doing anything, and has been letting things go slowly. That’s why I like that he asked for a contract extension — he wasn’t jumping the gun by telling her to live with him forever or marry him, like Tae-kyu did. He recognizes that he’s developing feelings, but he’s figuring things out for himself before he makes any grand decisions.
That’s why his reaction at the end of this episode is so sad — it’s like taking away hope from someone who’s just learned what hope is.
Stupid hateful wench.
(By the way, in case you’re confused with all this mystery surrounding birth secrets and long-lost family members — you’re not alone. I’m so confused with who is supposed to be whose grandchild/brother/mother that I’m just going with it at this point and trying not to think too hard. Just as long as it all makes sense in the end…)
- Scripts and scenes from Wish Upon a Star
- Shin Dong-wook’s fan club treats drama staff to holiday meal
- No episodes of Wish Upon a Star this week
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 12
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 11
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 10
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 9
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 8
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 7
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 6
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 5
- Wish Upon a Star: Episodes 3-4
- Wish Upon a Star: Episodes 1-2
- The new Monday-Tuesday lineup: First impressions