Wish Upon a Star: Episode 16
The above isn’t a significant scene in the episode, but it’s memorable for Cho-rok’s line that comes with it: “Unni, I think I’m going to have to marry Tae-kyu oppa!”
This was definitely a better episode than yesterday’s. It still had its faults, and the emotional logic can be perplexing, if not downright nonsensical. But with the focus back on Pal-gang and Kang-ha’s feelings, it could only get better from Episode 15, right? Also, more plot movement on the non-romance front keeps the story going.
SONG OF THE DAY
J.ae (or, as she was formerly known, J) – “널 사랑했을까?” (Did I Love You?) [ Download ]
EPISODE 16 RECAP
This pic makes me giggle:
Pa-rang admits that he ran away from the hospital on purpose so he would have the excuse to talk to Kang-ha. Insisting that he has something to say, Pa-rang tries to keep Kang-ha from calling his sister. Unfortunately, height is not to his advantage.
Kang-ha calls Pal-gang because he knows she must be panicked, but also because he’d rather avoid a conversation with Pa-rang, as he’s distancing himself from the family. Pa-rang pipes up that he’s hungry, so Kang-ha says that he’ll feed him, then take him home.
As they eat pizza, Kang-ha ignores Jae-young’s phone call, and tries to hurry things along and return home. Pa-rang points out that his sister knows where he is so there’s no rush. Plus, he has something to say, and starts out with the announcement, “I really really respect you!” And then, “How can you marry another woman? What about my sister?”
Kang-ha doesn’t see the correlation between marrying and Pal-gang, but Pa-rang continues with his winding logic — he has a point, but he’s taking his time getting there. To wit, he declares, “I even like the smell of your feet! That’s how much I respect you!” Naturally Kang-ha is confused, but he’s also got to defend the state of his cleanliness: he says that he showers every night before bed, so his feet don’t smell. Pa-rang leans in close and gives him a look: “They do, ajusshi.”
Pa-rang sticks to his declaration that he still likes Kang-ha despite his foot odor, then makes his point:
Pa-rang: “You’re supposed to marry someone you really love. That’s what my mother said. You only live once so you can’t just marry anyone. She said that life is short enough even if you marry someone you love. So please, marry my sister.”
Kang-ha: “Does it seem like I love your sister?”
Pa-rang: “If you ask why… It’s just what I feel, so I can’t answer why.”
Kang-ha has to ask this question, which has been niggling at him for some time now: “Did you guys all go to classes or something? Where did you learn to make a person talk so much?” Pa-rang just bursts into laughter, finding Kang-ha hilarious.
Pal-gang and Jun-ha trudge home. She’s recovering from the scare of almost losing her brother, while Jun-ha wonders whether Pa-rang called Kang-ha on purpose. After all, he knows Pal-gang’s number but didn’t call her.
After being ditched at the bridal shop, Jae-young storms into the gates, glaring at Pal-gang. She’s here because the house is the only place she seems to be able to find Kang-ha, given that he isn’t answering her calls. Jun-ha recalls that she was supposed to have an appointment with So-young (Ah! The Clone has a name!), and asks worriedly if Kang-ha failed to show.
Feeling bad, Pal-gang bows her head and says to Jae-young, “I’m sorry, it’s because of my brother. He got lost, and must have called him.” At that, Jae-young winds up and delivers a mighty slap — omo! This offends Jun-ha, who steps in and demands to know what the heck she’s doing.
Jae-young spews vitriol at Pal-gang: “You sure act naive but you’re actually really manipulative. What the hell do you want? What are you using your little brother to achieve?” Chafing at the word “use,” Jun-ha defends Pal-gang, saying that she had nothing to do with it.
Jae-young asks incredulously why the boy didn’t call his sister instead of Kang-ha: “Do you think he would have thought it up on his own?” She’s insinuating that Pal-gang instructed her brother to play along so she could monopolize Kang-ha’s attention. (This accusation reveals Jae-young’s character more than Pal-gang’s, as if we needed to hate her any more.)
Jun-ha explains that the boy really likes his brother, then sends Pal-gang into the house before continuing this discussion.
As Pal-gang leaves them, he asks, “Is this all you can amount to?” What did Pal-gang do that merited a slap? Jae-young explains the scene at the bridal shop: “Do you understand now why I slapped her?”
Jun-ha: “No. No matter your excuse, I don’t understand.”
Jae-young: “I said I was wearing my engagement dress and came out and he was gone! Do you know what that is like for a woman?”
Jun-ha: “Then why enter into that kind of marriage? Why do you want to marry a man who treats the phone call of a child he lives with as more important than seeing his fiancee in her engagement dress?”
Jae-young: “Why are you doing this? Why you too?”
Jun-ha: “This is the path you chose. My brother was dragged along because of your threat to kill yourself.”
Jun-ha tells her to handle her problems on her own, “Rather than taking out your anger on someone who has nothing to do with this.” Jae-young can’t believe Jun-ha’s taking Pal-gang’s side (what a princess, to expect him to side with her even when she’s resorting to false accusations, emotional blackmail, and actual blackmail). Jun-ha warns her not to treat Pal-gang badly, “or I won’t let it go.”
Heading to Pal-gang’s room, Jun-ha asks hesitantly if her cheek hurts from the slap. He isn’t trying to defend Jae-young, but explains that Kang-ha must have angered her and asks her to understand.
Pal-gang’s words are more bitter than her tone: “I guess I have to. How can a loser like me get upset at being slapped in a love game played by lofty people?” She says that she’s fine; since she’s likely to experience more of this in the future, she may as well get used to it.
Jun-ha feels sorry to hear her put herself down like this, and slowly gathers her in a hug. For once, I feel pretty confident that he’s being sincere rather than calculating. (If he’s been sincere in the past, it wasn’t easy to tell.)
Jun-ha promises, “I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen to you again.” This statement oversteps his bounds, and Pal-gang asks (matter-of-factly, not bitterly), “But who are you to me that you can make sure whether that happens to me or not?”
Jun-ha explains his reaction to seeing her slapped: “I’ve never been this angry before.” That’s when he thought to himself, let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to her again.
I’m pretty sure Pa-rang is deliberately being slow to finish his meal, which drives Kang-ha batty because he just wants to put a period to this episode. Can’t they hurry and head home now? Pal-gang will worry.
Pa-rang points out, “See? You’re worrying about my sister. That means you love her!” Kang-ha doesn’t see how that’s love, so Pa-rang recites his mother’s words that loving is worrying. (Kang-ha says in exasperation, “Why did your mother teach you so many things?”) Pa-rang asks, “Ajusshi. Do you really not love my sister?” Kang-ha sighs, answering indirectly: “I have to marry someone else.” Pa-rang protests, “But my sister loves you.” THAT gets his attention: “How do you know?”
Pa-rang recounts how he had heard his sister telling Nami that the biggest star in the sky was Kang-ha’s (which is the scene pictured in the opening screencap for Episode 13). This is hardly proof, and Kang-ha dismisses it. However, Pa-rang is convinced, especially since his mom used to call the biggest star his dad: “I cried that I wanted to be the biggest star, but my mom said I couldn’t be. She said, ‘That’s Dad’s star. If you feel bad about that, then later on you can find your own biggest star and name it after the person you love.'”
That’s a little more convincing, but Kang-ha can’t dwell on it. He urges Pa-rang to hurry so they can leave. The boy sighs, and you can practically hear him tsk-tsk at the dense lawyer ajusshi who won’t recognize what’s in front of his eyes.
The words stick in Kang-ha’s mind on the drive home, and he gets lost in memories (of Pal-gang’s admission of why she liked him) while his eyes tear up.
When Kang-ha comes home carrying a sleeping Pa-rang, Pal-gang marches up to scold her brother. She’s too furious to be reasoned with at the moment, and when Kang-ha defends Pa-rang, she retorts that he’s her brother, and that she has to punish him when he deserves punishing.
Pa-rang hides behind Kang-ha, which is when Jun-ha steps in and takes the boy aside. Explaining that his sister is upset, he takes him to his room while she cools down.
All the while, Jae-young scowls. (So what else is new?)
She follows Kang-ha upstairs, fuming. Since she always thinks everything is about her, she asks if his intention is to injure her pride so she’ll give up. Kang-ha says he wasn’t doing that — what was he supposed to do when he got a call from a kid saying he was lost?
Jae-young would have preferred he not leap to the rescue — why he couldn’t consider that he was being played by a girl who acts silly but is actually sneaky. (Good lord! Not all women are you, lady!)
Kang-ha’s feeling the same frustration we all are, and he snarls, “Do you know why I don’t want to marry you? Because the thought of having to live forever with someone who talks like you is horrifying.”
Jae-young lashes out to slap him, but he blocks her arm (with one hand in his pocket! How cool is he?).
Kang-ha: “You think you’re smart, but you’re not. You should know not to raise a hand to the man who says he finds the idea of living with you horrible. What you should be doing right now is trying to find a way to make me think of you as less horrible! If you leave now, we can avoid making it to the worst moment. What’ll you do? Want to stay?”
In his room, Jun-ha urges Pa-rang to stop crying, lest he tire himself out. I love Pa-rang’s response — as he sniffles, he says, “It’s okay. Mr. Lawyer ajusshi bought me pizza so I won’t get tired.”
Jun-ha wonders why Pa-rang likes his brother so much, since Kang-ha’s curt and doesn’t really talk well with anyone. Pa-rang says, “He talks well with me. And even if he doesn’t talk with me, he has to marry my sister.” Jun-ha asks, “Why?” Pa-rang: “Because he’s the one that my sister loves.”
Like Kang-ha earlier, Jun-ha isn’t swayed by the boy’s belief and calls it a misunderstanding on Pa-rang’s part, even when he hears about the biggest star comment. After all, that was probably a long time ago, and stars change — a bigger star could emerge and the old one could fade. Yet when Pa-rang clarifies that Pal-gang made her star comment after moving into the house, Jun-ha pays more attention.
Kang-ha leaves the house with Jun-ha for a talk, so the family eats dinner alone for once. The kids wonder if Jae-young will move in after Kang-ha marries her, which is a concern because they don’t like her. She’s cold and mean. Pa-rang announces that he had asked Kang-ha not to marry the lady, but the kids don’t have any faith that his request was effective. Pal-gang tells them that it won’t matter anyhow, since they’ll move out before the wedding.
Tae-kyu rushes in bearing flowers, vowing to continue giving them to her until she accepts his feelings. Pal-gang is so tired of dealing with him that she sighs, unable to keep the irritation out of her voice as she tells him to cut it out: “I won’t ever see you as a man, so don’t do stuff like this, I beg you!”
Finally, with the words spoken so plainly, Tae-kyu has to accept her rejection as final. (Not that Pal-gang ever gave him hope to begin with.) He sobs, and even Cho-rok advises him to give up — she feels bad, but he has no choice, really.
Ju-hwang urges him to think positively. Marrying Pal-gang would come with a lot of issues, and he’d have to be saddled with five siblings. Tae-kyu cries that he doesn’t care about that — he likes them all. Thankful for her continued support, he half-jokes that it’s too bad Cho-rok isn’t ten years older!
It’s cute how Cho-rok sighs resignedly to her sister, “Unni, I think I’m going to have to marry Tae-kyu oppa.” Pal-gang is so sick of dealing with this situation that she doesn’t even have words for that, and just declares that they really need to move out.
When Pal-gang sneaks Grandpa Jung in that night, Tae-kyu grabs his hands while sobbing that he’d wanted to take care of him as his own grandfather. “But I’ll give up now. My love doesn’t want me, so what can I do?”
Grandpa asks if Pal-gang likes anyone, pleased at her negative reply. He has a man in mind for her, whom he wants to introduce to her. Pal-gang, however, declines the offer — she’s just going to concentrate on raising the kids.
At the bar, the brothers drink (Kang-ha more than Jun-ha). Seeing his brother’s turmoil, Jun-ha tells Kang-ha not to go through with the wedding — Jae-young is just threatening to kill herself, but she doesn’t mean it. She has too much pride to actually resort to it.
Kang-ha intends to move out of the house, either to Jae-young’s house or elsewhere — “So extend Jin Pal-gang’s contract. And let her continue to stay there.” He figures that without him around, the home atmosphere will be more comfortable, plus Tae-kyu will graduate next year and return to the States (I guess he was a student all this while?). So, Pal-gang’s workload will lighten as well.
Jun-ha: “Are you moving out for her?”
Kang-ha: “No, it’s for you. So just answer me one thing. Are you for real? This is really not a game, is it? Answer me.”
Jun-ha: “No, I mean it.”
Kang-ha is in a drunken, thoughtful mood on the drive home. He muses that Jun-ha is a good guy, and that he was thankful that Jun-ha put up with him even when he treated him meanly.
Jun-ha gives Kang-ha the benefit of the doubt: “That wasn’t because of you. It’s because our mom made things like that. You didn’t have your own bathroom because you wanted it. She was the one who told me that the second-floor bathroom was for you, so I shouldn’t use it.”
Kang-ha returns, “What I’m most sorry for is taking too much from you. It was all yours. I took too much.”
Without the element of competition between them, I’m glad to see the brotherly affection coming out again, and this scene reminds us that these two do care about each other. They’re both generous with each other, as Kang-ha blames himself for being unfair, while Jun-ha waves this aside.
Now we switch the focus to the other storyline: Jang-soo keeps following the hired thug Kim Do-shik, but the latter catches on to the fact that he’s being followed. Jang-soo falls asleep while on his nightly stakeout and lets Kim slip by unnoticed.
Do-shik is satisfied that he got away cleanly, but Min-kyung is displeased that people were following him in the first place — it means they’re not safe. They discuss Do-shik’s current assignment in vague terms, but the gist is this: she has hired him to kill somebody and leave no trace. She warns him not to drink — alcohol is always the problem with him.
Meanwhile, Jang-soo reports back to the others. He’s sure that Do-shik is a pro with a financial backer. (He’d almost gone to jail for a violent assault, but came up with 300 million won and settled the matter with mere probation.) The conversation is interrupted by Jun-ha, who’s curious to know what has them all riveted. Eun-mal explains that there’s a conspiracy behind Pal-gang’s parents’ deaths.
This, naturally, raises his curiosity. He takes Pal-gang aside, who admits she almost doesn’t want to know the truth about her parents’ deaths. If the truth is confirmed, she won’t be able to forgive that man, and would be consumed with a desire for revenge. She wishes that the accident were a plain car crash.
Jun-ha comforts her, but it’s got to be telling that his main reaction is to be pleased that Pal-gang is confiding in him — it’s always about HIM, isn’t it? He asks her to keep confiding in him in the future, because “I’m sure I can be a good listener.”
On the other side of the glass, Pal-gang’s supervisor glimpses the two talking together, looking friendly — and a moment later, so does Kang-ha. When he turns around, Kang-ha sees that Jae-young is standing behind him, also witnessing the exchange.
Angry, Jae-young confronts Jun-ha in his office: “Why are you doing this?” She knows that he’s nice to everyone, but shouldn’t he know when to cut it out? Jun-ha suggests that maybe he doesn’t want to, which makes her narrow her eyes: “Do you have feelings for her?” She’d rather he marry his bridal-shop ex, because “I can understand if she’s at least that level.” He’s too good for Pal-gang.
Jun-ha’s offended at Jae-young’s comments, warning her that it’s not her place to tell him who to date. Jae-young pleads “as a friend” asking a favor: “I hate her, so much it drives me crazy! So kick her out.”
Jun-ha points out that she’s being ridiculous. If she were upset about her own fiance being in love with Pal-gang, he would understand. But for her to be upset about Jun-ha is absurd. Jae-young answers, “Kang-ha oppa is the man I love, but you’re the friend I don’t want to lose.”
Jun-ha decides, “Then we’ll have to stop being friends.” He has no need for a friend who acts this way.
Thanks be for a lighthearted scene to break up the heavy mood. The kids take food to a moping Tae-kyu, who refuses to eat. Hilariously, he does eye the food hungrily, but he’s committed to this heartbroken act and turns away from the food — a guy who has been dumped is supposed to waste away for a month.
The kids point out that there’s no use, since it’s all over. But Tae-kyu protests — he can’t be the bad guy who bounces back quickly!
Pal-gang pops out to the grocery store for some dinner ingredients, and a brief conversation about anchovies jogs an old memory. She remembers Jung-ae ajumma, the woman Grandpa Jung is looking for, the last time she had dropped by looking for her mother. She had brought a box of anchovies and told Pal-gang where to find her.
Spurred by this memory, Pal-gang immediately heads to the station to catch the next bus to Donghae, a city on the east coast (a few hours from Seoul). She’s in such a rush that she forgets she has come with Nam, but tries to make do as best she can.
The Jung family holds a memorial service for the deceased elder son, where In-gu sobs in grief. Min-kyung thinks he’s just putting on a show for his father, but he cries that he genuinely loved his brother — he would have died for him if he could.
This seems to stir some (tiny) bit of humanity in Min-kyung, who immediately gets on the phone to talk to Do-shik. It becomes clear that the person he is hired to kill must be Jung-ae, and now she leaves a message on his voicemail to NOT act — she’s heading down to meet him, so wait until she gets there. Do NOT do a thing!
Pal-gang spends the night in a rented room with Nami, then heads out early the next morning to the Donghae market to look for Jung-ae’s stall. One of the ajummas recognizes the name, and directs Pal-gang to Jung-ae’s home.
As Jung-ae lives a fair distance away from the city, Pal-gang takes the cold hike up the mountainside. Worried about Nami, she takes off her coat to shield the baby, and struggles along the snowy path.
However, she’s slower than Do-shik, who gets there first. Min-kyung was been able to catch him before he carried out the hit, to her relief. Now Min-kyung changes the plan from murder to bribery: Do-shik comes to the house and offers Jung-ae and her son a bag full of money to leave without a trace.
Do-shik reports his successful exchange to Min-kyung, assuring her that he warned the two to leave immediately and never return, under threat of death. He’ll take them to Incheon and send them to China with fake passports.
Back in Seoul, Kang-ha also makes a break in his case, having tracked the woman to Donghae as well. He reports to Chairman Jung, who wants to accompany Kang-ha, and the two drive down immediately. As Kang-ha pulls into the city, he catches a glimpse of Min-kyung driving away. The chairman doesn’t see her, but Kang-ha definitely does.
Pal-gang has been unable to find the house, and Nami is now crying in earnest, so she rushes to a health clinic and begs for help. The doctor says that the baby’s fever is on the wane, but scolds her for wandering the mountainside in the snow.
In a hurry but worried for Nam, Pal-gang asks the doctor if he can watch the baby briefly, and heads back to find Jung-ae’s house.
Unfortunately, she’s too late. An elderly woman informs Pal-gang that Jung-ae and her son have gone, and seemed in a great hurry to leave. It doesn’t seems like they’re going to return anytime soon, either.
Dejected, Pal-gang turns to go — just as Kang-ha and Chairman Jung walk toward her, having just arrived.
Both parties are startled to see each other, especially Pal-gang, who is shocked to see these men together.
Grandpa Jung calls out Pal-gang’s name, which is a surprise to Kang-ha, who asks in return, “How do you know Pal-gang, Chairman?”
Pal-gang is astonished: “Ch-chairman?”
Yay, the mystery moves forward. I still think that this Evil Murderess Min-kyung storyline makes for an awkward tonal shift between the car crash mystery and Pal-gang’s growth storyline, and it feels silly to use words like “hit man” or “assassin” in the same episode where a little boy plays matchmaker between two adults. And when another woman tosses around words like suicide as though it’s nothing special, just another day in the life of a needy stalker-girlfriend.
However, if we have to have it, at least I prefer this forward movement to the emotional whiplash of yesterday’s episode. And now that Grandpa’s identity is out, we’re on our way to wrapping up this storyline, right?
A scene I particularly appreciated was the one between the brothers, which I wish we’d seen more of early on. (The last time the brothers had moments untainted by this romantic rivalry for Pal-gang, we were still early enough in the drama that we didn’t love Kang-ha yet, nor did we know him very well.) And I like that it seems the source of their angst isn’t so much a brotherly rivalry, but stems from their mother’s unequal treatment of her two sons.
I know this plot seems weak for some, where Kang-ha’s big secret is that Jun-ha’s his half-brother, and I halfway agree with it. I wish the conflict were stronger. But I am recalling that I do know an instance in real life where a similar situation occurred to a Korean friend’s family, and when the truth came out, heads did roll. So I’m putting up with this storyline.
I still don’t think we have the full picture, but it’s starting to seem like both brothers have a sort of inferiority complex regarding the other. Kang-ha’s is because he comes from a hateful mother and an unloving father, and never knew unconditional love. (Is that why he was able to “take” things away from Jun-ha?) I get the sense that his stepmother was very kind to him, but he still felt the invisible barrier of her being a stepmother, and likewise, she treated him differently. Maybe she was so concerned that Kang-ha wouldn’t feel loved that she took special pains to try to compensate, but because Jun-ha didn’t know the reason for it, he grew up feeling neglected. (That’s my speculation for now.)
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 15
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 14
- Wish Upon a Star: Episode 13
- 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