Can’t Lose continues to be funny, cute, and heart-warming at times. It’s too bad it’s probably destined to fly under the radar for most, because it’s a nice antidote to a lot of the angst out there. Real conflicts, real issues, but told in a light and humorous way.
One marriage hurtles further along the divorce train, but another gets some crucial honesty flowing and manages to repair the damage before it’s too late. Alas, it’s the main couple that hits the skids again, although it IS pretty amusing to watch everybody and their mother (literally! times two!) oppose this split. It’s like they can see what the couple is too stubborn and prideful to see — that they love each other and would rather stay together. If not for that pesky honesty/trust issue…
SONG OF THE DAY
Lyn – “Love Me For Me” [ Download ]
EPISODE 7 RECAP
In their mediation session, Hyung-woo is so hurt by Eun-jae’s admission that she never loved him properly, assuming she means she never loved him, that he declares the divorce is ON.
Professor Jo, naturally, throws a fit and chastises the couple with his offbeat brand of anger and mockery. He then calms down and suggests that they hold off till the next mediation session, but both spouses are intent on taking this all the way to trial.
Hyung-woo accuses her of acting, and they both vow to show the court just how at fault the other party was in this marriage.
Professor Jo sees that both parties are serious, and if they’re both intent on going through this messy, contentious ordeal knowing what’s in store for them, well, who is he to stop them? Bitterly, he says he’s going to stick with the case and see who’s right and wrong.
Afte the arbitration, they separate and lick their wounds. Eun-jae cries, telling herself she was dumb for considering giving it another try.
They slap on bright smiles upon their return to the office, though, making the employees think they worked it all out. Hyung-woo slings an arm around Eun-jae’s shoulder and declares, “Nope, we’re going to trial.”
The office is quick to take sides, with Gogi hastening to talk to Hyung-woo and Woo-shik heading over to Eun-jae’s office. Both lawyers advise their lackeys to keep mum on their info, while digging around for the other side. Furthermore, they’re both instructed to win over free agent Deuk-hee onto their sides. Ha, so now it’s war on all fronts, is it?
Eun-jae thinks over the evidence she has gathered as her grounds for divorce, which consists of that photo of Hyung-woo and his ex-girlfriend and a bar graph contrasting the revenues generated by each (where her contributions far outweigh his). She decides she’ll have to gather more.
Hyung-woo’s on the defensive, and his tactic consists of finding ways to block Eun-jae from building up a compelling case against him.
Gogi and Woo-shik head out to dinner together at Young-joo’s restaurant, where a surly Professor Jo enters and refuses to sit with them, saying that he’s keeping a distance from people involved in the divorce case. But then he sighs and speaks aloud — ostensibly to himself, but directing his comments pointedly at the bickering lackeys — that men who get caught up in such petty acts of spite aren’t really men, cutting them down to size.
He adds that there’s a way to get the warring lawyers to come to their senses, which gets Gogi and Woo-shik’s attention. The answer? “Sabotage.”
This whole scene is pretty hilarious, with the two lackeys asking Professor Jo for advice while keeping up the pretense that they’re totally not talking to him, per his stated intent. So they just toss out questions into the ether, and Professor Jo coughs a yes or a no, until he directs them right where he wants them. “Keeping a distance,” my ass. Ha. He’s the meddliest meddler who ever meddled.
Gogi arrives at the idea to keep up the front that they’re helping Hyung-woo and Eun-jae while feeding them false information, such as the other party totally being lovelorn and heartbroken.
Eun-jae’s ramyun-and-beer dinner is interrupted by a loud drilling noise, which turns out to be Hyung-woo having the door lock unscrewed to let him in. She orders him to leave, but he points out that kicking him out is relevant to her grounds for divorce (thus detrimental to her case), and she grimaces — he’s got a point.
He sits down to settle their debts, and requests repayment of the 100,000 won she “borrowed” from him to shop for groceries, since all she bought were things for her to eat. She retorts that since she put more money into buying their place, she’s going to claim more of it to use. They rattle off their conditions like petty little children, limiting showers to 10 minutes, tacking on cleaning duties, and the like.
While she’s in the other room, Hyung-woo busts out his own camera and gets to work gathering his own “evidence” of Eun-jae’s slovenly housekeeping habits.
He finds his shower interrupted, though, as Eun-jae cuts the hot water and declares his time up. And then she stands there in the doorway casting a disdainful look southward. Hee.
Hyung-woo’s mother calls Eun-jae’s mother to announce happily that her son has moved back home. That’s promising, and they both wish for grandkids right away, so Hyung-woo’s mother can dote on them and babysit.
Eun-jae’s mother asks hesitantly if she could be included, and Hyung-woo’s mom assures her that she can come over when the kids are at her house, without Eun-jae knowing.
Aw. I love how these moms have developed a grudging friendship, because we can see that they’re actually quite lonely and each could use a good friend. Also, they’ve settled upon using banmal with each other, which normally isn’t done with in-laws so as to maintain the proper distance and respect — but in this case, starting off on the wrong foot has actually bridged this gap nicely.
Hyung-woo waits till Eun-jae is asleep that night to sneak into their study and attempt to break into her laptop. Only, he finds that she’s already anticipated this and put up a warning wallpaper on the login screen.
He gives up and heads to his own station, where he reads a new email. It’s nothing too shady (it’s just a “Hey, I’ve been busy lately, how are you?” email, though written very familiarly), but his reaction makes it suspicious; when Eun-jae opens the door, he swiftly shuts the laptop and pretends to be doing something else.
In the morning, Eun-jae’s coughing and shivering, groaning in pain and saying she’s going to work from home today. Hyung-woo’s suspicious, wondering if she’s acting, but looks at her in concern the more she lies there with the aches. The moment he leaves, though, Eun-jae snaps to attention and hurries to the study. Now it’s time for her to try to guess his password, and she flips through a PC troubleshooting manual for some help.
She manages to break in, but hears the front door unlock — it’s Hyung-woo, who hasn’t been able to shove aside his concern and has come back. She scrambles to her own desk and puts her head down in time to continue the sick ruse, and he sets down some medicine for her.
He leaves, and Eun-jae grabs the papers she printed — copies of his emails. Now she reads, and finds that he’s been writing to this “green tea” person for two years. Despite the absence of romantic undertones in the notes, it sure doesn’t look good with his history, and knowing he’s been keeping the correspondence from her also hurts.
She shows up for work saying that she’s all better now, and finds that Hyung-woo has taken an appointment with her client, in the name of helping her out. She shows up and tells him she can take it from here, but Hyung-woo’s been doing such a good job the client is pleased to let him stay, and Hyung-woo — who is now onto her for faking sick — lays on the faux concern, telling her to rest up, since he’s got this meeting well in hand.
So Eun-jae is forced to concede. As she leaves, she grumbles that Hyung-woo’s “totally not suited” for this kind of (paying, non-humanitarian) work, although it’s really like she’s trying to tell herself that’s the case, when he’s actually quite good at it. But two can play this game, and when Hyung-woo comes to the office for his appointment, he finds that the Eun-jae has taken over his case. He uses the same argument on her, that this kind of case isn’t up her alley, but she replies that she’s quite interested in this kind of work; it’s just that she was too busy earning money to take the cases.
Time for the saboteurs to leap into action. Gogi shares an exciting new discovery, and relates the story of Woo-shik and Eun-jae having lunch together, where she confessed that sometimes she still thinks Hyung-woo can be pretty impressive. Hyung-woo chides Gogi for falling for a lie, pointing out that Eun-jae doesn’t eat nae-jang-tang. (Fish intestine soup, yum! Actually, despite the description, it kind of is delicious.)
Likewise for Woo-shik, who tells Eun-jae how Gogi and Hyung-woo went to the sauna together, where Hyung-woo confessed that he wished somebody would stop Eun-jae from proceeding, because she’s still the only one for him. Eun-jae sniffs out the fishiness, though, saying Hyung-woo can’t stand extreme heat and would never go to a sauna.
The failed saboteurs sigh over their futile attempts, and Gogi says that clearly lies don’t work on these two. But Woo-shik says his story was true — Eun-jae was eating nae-jang-tang, but Hyung-woo thought she disliked it when she just refrained because he disliked it. And Gogi’s story was likewise true — he had to drag Hyung-woo with him to the sauna.
They wonder if they should clarify to the couple that the stories were really true, but figure that it won’t work because now they’ll just think everything is a lie.
Eun-jae heads out to meet somebody, and a curious Hyung-woo follows. His temper flares when he sees her meeting Mr. Hot Bartender himself, Tae-young, and he grabs his camera to get some proof of his own.
They head inside a Brooks Brothers store and Eun-jae picks out several items of women’s clothing, although to a jealous Hyung-woo, it just looks like a date. Especially when Tae-young leaves with the bags.
He takes them to Eun-jae’s mother, who tells him he shouldn’t have — she knows he doesn’t make enough for these clothes, but he can’t argue — and gasps at a glimpse of the price tag. He just tells her what Eun-jae must’ve told him, that clothes can lift spirits and that they’re for her to wear when she goes out.
And now I wonder…could Tae-young actually be Eun-jae’s brother? I’ve been wondering if this is an intentional misdirect, and Eun-jae does make a comment about how he calls her by name (instead of, say, noona). Hm…
Hyung-woo arrives home to find that Eun-jae has invited the staff and Young-joo over for dinner, and sweet-talks them, clearly trying to win them over to her side. She tells them that she really loves Hope, and that she hopes they’ll all root her on even when she takes it on alone. Oh, and Hyung-woo will be leaving soon and a new lawyer will be hired. That’s news to Hyung-woo, who retorts that he’s not going anywhere.
The night wears on and Gogi gets drunk, which loosens his tongue enough for him to declare that he really doesn’t want the couple to divorce. This sparks another argument with the wife, who gripes about him quitting his job, and Gogi bursts out sobbing, “I didn’t quit! I…was fired.”
That changes things, and Young-joo sighs in frustration, telling him that he should have told her (and not gotten her angry for the wrong reasons). Gogi sobs that he couldn’t because he didn’t want to disappoint her, and is half-carried out by Hyung-woo while crying. Aw. Well, that’s hard for his pride to take but it’s probably a huge step toward reconciliation for that couple, so I’m happy the truth is out.
Hyung-woo criticizes Eun-jae for contributing to a scene that hurt Gogi, but she corrects him, saying that Gogi was honest about his feelings with Young-joo, and that the couple is sure to rebound from this. In fact, she’s envious of Young-joo, because if Hyung-woo had been this honest instead of hiding secrets from her, they’d never have gotten to this state.
Good/bad news arises the next day, when Young-joo marches on over to Gogi’s old office and gives his boss hell for firing him — not because he was incompetent, as the manager asserts, but because Gogi had challenged him on his own corrupt behavior. The manager shoves Young-joo aside and she hits the ground, which sends Gogi (who’s just arrived with Hyung-woo) rushing to her side. She apologizes for giving him such hell for quitting, and Gogi gets in his boss’s face.
The boss tells him to go file a lawsuit then, not aware that two lawyers are right there listening to Gogi rail about how filed complaints with the office, and how he didn’t get a proper severance. Eun-jae goes after the manager, and Hyung-woo chimes in to declare that they’re going to file for wrongful termination and back wages.
They’re in full accord until the manager walks away, at which point it occurs to them to find their momentary truce awkward. Aw, they make such a good team when they’re not at each other’s throats.
But just in time to wreck any potential goodwill of recent events, a deliveryman arrives with letters for Eun-jae and Hyung-woo. They open them and find legal documents filed by the other — he’s insisting that he owns the name Hope, while she’s going after alimony.
Thus, when they sit down to work on Gogi’s case together, they’re both feeling mighty petty. Hyung-woo demands his fountain pen back, which reminds Eun-jae that he’s wearing the jacket she bought him. She rips of her necklace, he kicks off his shoes, and suddenly it’s like the angriest game of strip poker in here.
They walk out of the office wearing shower slippers and wish their staff a happy Chuseok. Eun-jae’s intending to go to Hyung-woo’s mother’s house for the Chuseok celebration tomorrow, to his surprise, and he tells her she can cry off, given that they’re in the middle of suing for divorce. Plus, she doesn’t even like his mother.
Eun-jae looks hurt at that — it’s like she hasn’t thought beyond the divorce to the other stuff, like being left out of family holidays.
She winds up sitting in Young-joo’s restaurant eating dinner alone when Young-joo finds her. She’s just come from picking up little boxes of wine that look like juice, to fortify her for the evening to be spent at her own in-laws’ house, saying that these are the best for killing stress on the sly. That gives Eun-jae an idea, and she asks for six of those boxes for herself, deciding that she’ll stick to the original plan and go to Chuseok anyway.
Young-joo wonders if Eun-jae can’t just give up the divorce, but Eun-jae replies ruefully that now Hyung-woo’s the one pushing for it. She also warns Young-joo against filing for divorce, since it has a way of making you feel awful.
Hyung-woo and Gogi go out for drinks. Gogi asks if he has to go through with the divorce, but Hyung-woo’s still hurt from her confession at the mediation. “I never loved him properly” has turned into “I’ve never once liked him” and now he’s feeling bruised.
Gogi sighs about having to wade into the battlefield tomorrow when he gets caught between Mom and Wife. He cries, “Marriage is like math. There are so many difficult problems to solve, even if you don’t want to!” Hahaha. You don’t have to warn me twice.
Hyung-woo advises Gogi to stick with the wife, since he’s already chosen honesty over pride, which seems like advice he could be taking himself, if only we didn’t have such a tendency to be blind to solutions in our own lives that we see so easily in others’. He advises Gogi not to go through divorce, which is cruel and tiring.
Eun-jae’s mother sits in her restaurant alone, looking at photos of Eun-jae’s wedding. It’s a sad tableau, and as she walks out, Hyung-woo sees her leaving and says (to himself), “I’m really sorry, Mother.”
The next day, Hyung-woo and Eun-jae head over to his mother’s house together, agreeing to watch their mouths while they’re here.
Mom puts Eun-jae to work manning the giant frying pan, tsk-tsking when Eun-jae has trouble flipping a bindae-dduk (savory pancake) properly. Eun-jae busts out her trusty wine box and gets to drinking, sneaking back to the room for refills. It’s tiring, tedious work, and lonely to boot.
After her fifth or sixth box, she finds Hyung-woo doing the dishes, and he tells her to go rest. She sprawls into an armchair, which is how Mom finds her — always at the worst possible moment, right? Mom just says that it must be nice to have a husband who’ll do all that work for her, but Eun-jae isn’t fazed and slurs that nobody can understand couple problems except for the couple themselves.
Mom wonders at Eun-jae’s weird behavior and calls Hyung-woo over, who takes one whiff and can tell she’s drunk. He urges Eun-jae to go sleep it off, but she’s powered by liquid courage now, and she asks Mom plainly, “Why don’t you like me?”
Mom says a little defensively that she doesn’t, but Eun-jae reminds her of all the things she’s said about her in the past — she’s on the old side, comes from a poorer family, is “uselessly tall.” Eun-jae confesses with a teary smile, “But Mother, I’m lonely. I don’t even have anyone to complain to.”
Mom leans in: “Are you crying?” Eun-jae starts to sob, “I really wanted to be friends with you. I wanted to go to cafes together, watch movies, and go shopping.” Mom says they can do that next time, but Eun-jae says there’ll be no next time.
Hyung-woo tries to drag her away quickly before she can say something she shouldn’t, but Eun-jae slurs, “Now you won’t have to see me anymore! Aren’t you happy?”
Hyung-woo puts her to bed, watching her fall asleep with a heavy heart. The next morning as they head back home, Hyung-woo says it’s a good thing Mom didn’t catch on to the whole divorce thing, the way Eun-jae was running her mouth.
But Hyung-woo’s mother is sufficiently suspicious and calls Soju and Gogi over to grill them. The boys are nervous and jittery, and when she fishes around and uses the word divorce, Gogi bursts out, “They mentioned the divorce?” Soju tries to shut him up, but Mom has enough to know the truth, and she orders the boys to spill the truth, or die. Ha.
Eun-jae reads over the email correspondence between Hyung-woo and the mysterious “green tea,” which manages to make mundane things sound silly and flowery. For example: “I was looking at the sky today, and it was incredibly blue. Do you still like looking at the sky from your yard?”
At the office, Hyung-woo and Eun-jae talk to the staff before they’re to give their depositions…only to be met with three simultaneous resignations. Hee. The official from the courthouse arrives, and the three employees exit.
Eun-jae starts off with the email correspondence. He explains that the emails are with his mother, which she hardly believes; she tells the official that he hides a number of things from her, and that the trust in their marriage has been broken.
Hyung-woo brings up her shopping date with the Hot Bartender, then produces his recorder, which is one of his sources of evidence. Since he uses it like a diary, it has recordings of a number of his complaints with Eun-jae. For instance, he plays the parts where he named Hope, where she stopped talking to him, and when she hit him.
I don’t know if it’s necessarily admissible in court, but in any case this establishes two things: (1) Eun-jae isn’t the only one with complaints, and (2) He’s been recording for a year. It’s the latter that upsets her more, because even if he doesn’t mean it that way, it indicates that on some level, he was anticipating needing the recordings — right?
Hyung-woo’s mother arrives at Hope, finds them in the middle of their session, and accuses, “What the heck are you doing?”
Uh-oh. Now they’ve got one mom against them, and how much you wanna bet it doesn’t take long for her to bring the other mom in? And you just can’t go up against two forceful, strong-willed moms and expect to come up roses.
I do love how everyone’s uniting forces against the couple, to bring them back together. At the rate we’re going, it feels like they ought to be headed for reconciliation fairly soon, because both of them are feeling weary and lonely, and now seeing that maybe what they had is worth too much to throw away. With Gogi and Young-joo reconciling, it makes them even more lonesome, because now they’ve lost that person who agrees with how they feel. I’m not saying they decided to divorce at the power of suggestion, but perhaps it didn’t feel like such a stark decision when they had people cheering them on and agreeing that divorce sure looks good.
Still, Eun-jae and Hyung-woo still do have some fundamental issues to work out, like the honesty problem. Like Eun-jae points out, once trust is gone in a marriage, it’s awfully hard to believe the other person is being honest. And their pride is still too great to overcome, even when it might cost them a marriage. Lucky for them, moms are great at beating the pride out of you, especially when you’re acting like petty children.