Can these two BE any cuter? Now in our final week we get sprinkled of what we’ve been missing out on these past few weeks. Decisions are never easy in this world and they’re not easily accepted either. If stomping over other people’s feelings for the sake of someone else isn’t considered Noble Idiocy then I’m not quite sure what is.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
After the world’s most heartwarming “Hi,” Tae-kang gently wraps Ji-an’s hands in his and fresh tears fall from his eyes at the sound of Ankle’s heartbeat. Ji-an is touched that he’s moved but is a little uncomfortable about the tears, so Tae-kang explains his son’s heartbeat is so strong. Whoops – forgot that you don’t know yet.
So Tae-kang learns that Ankle is a she and scratches his head – he thought that jokbal cravings meant it would be a boy. His face falls since it means they can’t teach her to play soccer (why not?!) and belatedly mentions that it’s fine that they’re having a girl.
But Ji-an has already picked up on his stunned reaction. Soon they’re bickering about whether he seemed disappointed or not and poor Doctor Yang gets pulled into the argument.
In his office, Eun-sung waits, uneasy and then quickly covers it with a blase attitude when Doctor Yang returns. He gives the slightest of smirks when he hears that the two ended up sniping at each other. When Doctor Yang bombards him whether Ji-an was the woman in the magazine, he flicks him away in annoyance.
Poor Tae-kang gets ditched at the side of the road (“Are you still mad at me?! I wasn’t disappointed!”) and Ji-an heads over to Jun-hee’s store, ignoring Jun-hee’s suggestions about new clothes to accommodate her growing waistline. I don’t know where you’re lookin’ but it still looks like 24 inches to me.
Jun-hee’s suspicion radar pings when Ji-an asks after the cost of setting up one’s own shop. She warns Ji-an that a relationship gets complicated once money’s involved but Ji-an insists that she’s simply curious for herself and turns to leave.
She hears Jun-hee ask where she’s going with that look of death and Ji-an answers, “The tiger’s den.”
Well that tiger’s den looks an awful lot like a meeting with Madame Jang who lets out a little laugh at Ji-an’s apology about the wreaths and her efforts to groom her as a future CEO. She listens with a stern expression about how Ji-an understands if her anger and disappointment is as great as her once affection towards her.
Ji-an pleads if Madame Jang can forgive her past and look to the future. She doesn’t want to lose either the baby nor the company, arguing that no one else cares for the company as much as she does, “As much as a mother cherishes her child, so does the child need their mother.”
In short, she needs this company and thus, needs to be here.
We hear Madame Jang’s response a little later, her polite cackling mocking her. “Did you think that you would get this company because you thought it was yours? Who said it was?” In fact, she’s more like a babysitter, someone who can be traded out anytime.
Ji-an sits there for a long moment and takes out her laptop. One painstakingly character at a time, she types up the beginning of the resignation letter.
Tae-kang and Dad are busy oohing and ahhing over Ankle’s sonogram when they’re interrupted by a call from Ji-an’s father. And he wants to meet Dad. Ruh-oh.
The mood is tense at the cafe and Dad suggests that Teacher Hwang address him however he feels comfortable. So he starts off whether Dad really intends to send his son overseas to leave his expecting pregnant daughter behind. Dad counters that his daughter was the one who rejected the marriage proposal.
They continue to go at it about their children and Dad particularly doesn’t like how Teacher Hwang has a bone to pick with his son. Likewise, Teacher Hwang doesn’t care for how Dad says that Ji-an’s caused enough grief for his family.
They angrily argue over the who-could’ve-married-into-our-families (“That doctor I lost…” “That chaebol daughter…”) and pretty soon they’re hurling petty insults at each other. Oh man, I can watch these two all day.
Things get so heated that they bark at each other that neither will accept their marriage union on account of each other’s children. Dad gets the last word that he doesn’t want Ji-an as a daughter in law. Teacher Hwang is beyond indignant at the address so Dad corrects himself, “My grandchild’s mother.” Squirm face.
Dad is still a bundle of nerves later and relays to Tae-kang that the Hwangs intend to add Ankle to their family registry (Tae-kang: “She won’t even have my last name…”) but Dad assures him that he’ll protect the honor of the Park family.
Mom rips into Dad a new one for losing his temper with Tae-kang’s father. He should have been courteous since they’ll all be grandparents to the child.
Dad defends that how irritating Tae-kang’s father was but she doesn’t find that a sufficient excuses and finally blows her lid: “It’s your daughter’s life! How can you say that! Is your pride the issue here?!” Mom’s growing a spine! I love it.
Ji-an is distracted at work and as she discusses future projects with Team Leader Ma, the reality that she won’t be able to participate in them starts to settle in. Whether it’s because she’ll be too far long in her pregnancy or the insecurity of her future with the company, the tears start falling anyway.
Quickly wiping them away, Ji-an blames it on the pregnancy hormones. But Team Leader Ma understands her situation and gently comforts her.
Tae-kang checks the items off of his “Things to do for Ankle and Mom” which include the cutest things like going to the seashore and recording his voice and he wonders when he’ll find the time to complete them all.
After work, Tae-kang bounces into Ji-an’s office, suggesting they go on a date. out on a date. He’s got a full itinerary planned and frowns when Ji-an takes a raincheck; there are only a few days left until he leaves, after all.
He wonders if she’s still upset about the ultrasound yesterday, and when that’s not it he aegyo complains that she’ll have plenty to work on after he leaves the country.
Little does he know that the very thought of whether or not she’ll have work to do tomorrow is what’s weighing on her mind. She answers, “How does a person know what will happen tomorrow?” and he misinterprets this as her workaholic tendencies. He leaves, dejected.
Just watching Eun-sung neatly fold that napkin is enough of a sign to let us know that he’s in You-don’t-wanna-marry-me mode. He thinks he’s in the clear with his classic “Mommy” routine on this blind date… and then she swiftly counters with how she’d like to marry someone just like “Daddy” HA! Eun-sung, you have met your match.
He’s not one to be upstaged so he whips out his secret weapon: the mascara. Eun-sung twirls it around, excusing himself to the bathroom. He bides his time, figuring she’d leave in the interim, but then he walks out… and she’s still there, taking sel-cas. Looks like you’re gonna have to sit through this one.
While she rambles on asking about his finances and family background, Eun-sung sends a sneaky emergency text. And then halfway through dinner his savior appears, splashing his face with water.
We pan up the camera… and there’s Tae-kang, absolutely livid. He rages, “How can love change?!” AHAHAHA. He plays the part of the pissy boyfriend to a T and it successfully chases the golddigger away.
Ji-an sits in her office, Na-ri’s warning about going public with her relationship haunting her. She tells Ankle that she’d push through as long as it didn’t damage Tae-kang. None of the ideas that run in her head seem adequate and she nervously rubs her hands together.
Arriving at a decision, she puts in a call to a lawyer about an unfair dismissal…
Apparently Tae-kang and Eun-sung are best buds now as they sit at the latter’s apartment with a few drinks. Tae-kang marvels at the fetus’ development stages and smiles when Eun-sung tells him that the baby prefers hearing the father’s voice over the mother’s. But then it occurs to him that Ankle will probably get more used to Eun-sung’s voice than his.
Tae-kang honestly admits that he doesn’t want to go to the States but he sees it as a challenge: go big or go home. He wants to achieves Ji-an’s 15 year success in three years given that the company is covering his expenses and there’s a job waiting for him on the other end. Lastly, he made a promise to Ji-an that he’d run forward, looking straight ahead.
Eun-sung wonders how true that statement is, “If you always look forward, will you go straight? In order to do so, you have to look to your sides and rear and check the traffic signs. And you have to ask for directions from other people.”
They tease and chase each other around, spraying beer at one another. Back at home, Tae-kang gives the picture of Ankle a goodnight kiss and then grabs a recorder to record his voice. He then reads aloud a storybook about a shoemaker.
Ji-an paces in her shoe closet all night long. Dawn breaks and she mutters, “There’s no solution.” Crying now, she whispers how she doesn’t want to quit now.
She heads to the parking lot to find Tae-kang waiting for her. He jokes that he’ll get off halfway but at least this way, he had the chance to see her face. Aww. That sends her tipping over the edge and she squeaks, “Can you give me hug?”
He willingly complies and she wraps her arms around him, dropping her bag in the process. Ji-an insists that there’s nothing wrong though her eyes and voice betrays her words. They stand there, hugging each other tighter.
Next thing we know, Ji-an hands in her resignation letter. There’s some disappointment in Na-ri’s voice that Ji-an was unable to find a solution. Ji-an explains that this isn’t a sign of defeat – Tae-kang will leave and she’ll still have a month to figure out what to do.
Before Ji-an can say it, Na-ri promises to keep her resignation a secret from Tae-kang.
Doctor Yang excitedly flaunts another potential blind date for Eun-sung. He registers his friend’s disinterest and then tells Eun-sung to snap out of it – he’ll take Ji-an’s case. Uh, where was this 8 episodes ago?
He doesn’t believe Eun-sung’s insistence that his feelings are purely platonic now nor Eun-sung’s curiosity towards Ankle. Eun-sung muses that if he adopted a pedagogical approach to motherhood, he’d be the Pestalozzi of obstetricians.
Doctor Yang tells him, “You’re Gandhi. Mat Gandhi.” ‘Cause it can also mean “out of your mind” in Korean. So punny.
Tae-kang balks when he sees Ji-an working again but then brightens when she tells him that she plans on getting off of work early. He literally has a skip in his step when he leaves and he excitedly imagines the most freakin’ adorable date ever: taking pictures, wearing matching shirts, and feeding each other.
The imaginary date ends up in Ji-an’s apartment where a foot tickle ends up in a makeout session. Rawr. Hey, hey… why you covering with a pillow? ‘S not like we haven’t seen this before.
In reality, Ji-an tirelessly cooks up a dinner and cleans her apartment from top to bottom. As she packs a box for Tae-kang, she realizes that she’s missing something… and then carefully places the first pair of shoes she designed in a box. “Ankle, let’s send off your dad with a smile and think about our problem later.”
Tae-kang is on his way to Ji-an’s with a similarly sized box when he gets a call from Bong-soo. We don’t get to hear the “big news” just yet but whatever it is, it turns his smile upside down by the time he arrives at her apartment.
Ji-an on the other hand, excitedly drags him over to the dinner she’s prepared (well, bought) and then adorably thinks of what they should do afterwards. But Tae-kang’s solemn face stays firm and confronts her about her resignation.
She doesn’t skirt the issue but Tae-kang doesn’t believe her excuse that she wants to take a break. It doesn’t take him long to guess that the company is pressuring her to quit because she publicly disclosed her status as a single mother. Indignant, he says they should report to the Department of Labor and then states that he and Dad will quit working for a company who discriminates their employees.
That gets Ji-an to raise her voice too. She gets ahead of herself and blurts, “Who am I–?” which is a flub that doesn’t go unnoticed by Tae-kang. He says that they’re better off this way and the three of them can set up shop someplace else.
Before Ji-an can respond to this, they’re interrupted by the news that there’s an emergency at work.
Tae-kang gets up to stop her – what concern is it of hers if there’s an emergency or a bomb that goes off in that horrible company? Where is her pride that he so admires? Ji-an counters that the company is also her child and a parent would never place their pride over their child. She assures him that she’ll be back soon and leaves.
Tae-kang paces the apartment and vows to himself that he won’t get involved. He even prays to the heavens that the company stock will drop, the property value rendered worthless and that the collaboration will fail.
Ji-an arrives as the staff sweat in the office. Na-ri is busy on the phone, seeking legal advice if it’s possible to sue their supplier because their leather shipment is damaged. Ji-an immediately asks why it was sent by sea rather than air and Na-ri owns up to making that executive decision to cut costs.
It’s up to Ji-an to think of an alternative solution and she proposes they go ahead to sell the flawed leather to bag companies, advertising it as vintage. Then Tae-kang saunters in, having chose to come help after all.
The staff breaks up into teams to reach out to the neighboring companies and Tae-kang gets turned away by the security guard who thinks they’re scammers. But a quick disguise later, the dense security guard lets him through and Tae-kang’s sales skills shine as he pitches the leather to the designers.
Ji-an knocks on the door and drops off a pile of folders filled with information she’s logged over the past 15 years. When Na-ri asks why Ji-an is giving it over to her, she answers: “For 15 years, this place has been my home, my hometown, my school, and my child.” Ji-an is sharing them with Na-ri because she doesn’t know what will happen to her in the future.
Back in 2004, she made a similar error and it was a miracle that she wasn’t fired then. What makes humans different from animals is that we learn from our mistakes, Ji-an teaches. “If we fall seven times, we learn how to fall the right way.
She encourages Na-ri that it’s the only the first time she’s fallen. Then good news – the team has managed to sell the leather to their respective buyers. In a good mood, the staff calls for a team congratulatory dinner/Tae-kang send-off party.
Ji-an mouths a word of thanks but Tae-kang’s expression doesn’t change in the slightest.
Tae-kang offers to escort Na-ri himself and at her office he places an envelope on her desk. She asks what it is and he tells her to open it herself, “It’s not a love letter.”
Na-ri’s eyes grow wide at Tae-kang’s resignation letter and is surprised to hear that Tae-kang’s heard that Ji-an has already handed hers in. He gets riled up, expressing his disappointment towards the company. They’d be at a loss without her, especially given her dedication to avert a crisis situation.
Na-ri is aware of all of this and asks if Tae-kang knows the real reason behind her resignation. Sure, he says and starts with the single mother issue when she cuts him off – Ji-an offered her resignation to protect him.
Once he’s filled in, he finds it ridiculous that Ji-an would consider quitting because of the rumors about her relationship with him. But Na-ri tells him that this is a place where ridiculous things run amok and that her career is at risk if it gets out that Tae-kang is the father of the child.
Tae-kang offers to trade places by quitting himself but that will do little to resolve the situation. This wasn’t an easy choice for Ji-an to make and she seriously advises Tae-kang to reconsider the real reason behind Ji-an’s decision.
Now Ji-an earlier words about the uncertainty of where she would be in the future and her request for a hug makes sense in Tae-kang’s mind. When she calls, he offers to see her at her place later.
Meanwhile, Na-ri peruses Ji-an’s notes and sighs deeply. Why am I reminded of Sam-soon’s food journal?
Ji-an arrives home and opens the large box Tae-kang brought over. Inside are three pairs of shoes for Ji-an, himself, and little Ankle as well as a note. It reads: “There were so many things that I wanted to do for you, but I couldn’t do them all. So I did the one thing I wanted to do most. Making shoes for our family. I want to be someone who makes shoes for you and Ankle forever.”
She stares at the shoes, tears welling up in her eyes when the doorbell rings. As soon as Tae-kang steps inside, she envelops him in a backhug and tells him that she was moved by his gift. He should understand how much of a compliment that is coming from her. Then she tells him to go and work hard.
Finally, Tae-kang whips her around and states that he’s not going be it America or Heaven. Ji-an stunned and confused so Tae-kang clarifies his reasons. He admits that he decided to go because he was mad at first but then for Ji-an and Ankle because he made a promise to them. But he never wanted to go in the first place and he still doesn’t.
Ji-an is flustered and stutters that he should go because if he nurtures his skill, he could become a great designer. Tae-kang counters that becoming a designer isn’t the only way to become a father she and Ankle can be proud of.
Rather than the opportunity to work for Jake or study abroad for free, “I’m more curious about what our Ankle’s first cry will sound like when she’s born into this world. What foot she’ll step on first when she first learns to walk. What expression she’ll have when she gets her hair cut for the first time. Whether the first word that comes out of her mouth is ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy.’ I want to see that more.”
Those are milestones that only happen once and never come again. Ji-an argues the same for his chance to go to America but he turns the question back on her. She comes first in his heart and for Ji-an it’s the company and the shoes. Why is she giving up all of that for him?
Ji-an defends that it isn’t the case; that it felt like she had no other choice. Tae-kang takes Ji-an’s hands in his and declares, “The workaholic Hwang i-an who knows nothing but work, Hwang Ji-an who charges straight ahead… that the Hwang Ji-an I love!”
He wraps her in a hug and says, “I’m always going to be by your side, so don’t keep trying to send me away.”
We fade to black and see Bong-soo regale his regulars on another bit of gossip when a coworker rushes over, urging them to follow. By the entrance, we see Tae-kang and Ji-an in matching couple shirts and tie, publicly displaying their relationship status to the world.
Tae-kang drinks in the attention, even posing for the cameras and Bong-soo gapes. He runs into tell Dad, who swivels in his chair, dressed in the same attire. HA! Team Baby Daddy ftw!
We cut back to our newly official couple and Ji-an asks, “Shall we go to work now?” and the two intertwine their fingers, ready to take the company by storm hand-in-hand.
AWESOME. What a great episode from start to finish and boy oh boy (or do I say girl?) am I excited to see Ji-an and Tae-kang pair up again to face the world as a team. That bold statement walking in together in matching outfits and with confidence was absolutely amazing to see and I can’t wait for what our final hour will have in store.
To get it out of the way, I loved how the show introduced the issue of Noble Idiocy but didn’t hammer it over our heads too much in this episode. It’s interesting that Ji-an was the one who had to assess her priorities and rearrange what comes first in her life. For her, both being a mother and being employed (to your dream job) are things that are equally important to her and a part of her identity. From pleading with Madame Jang to contemplating all night over what decision to make, seeing that inner struggle to arrive at a decision, albeit a difficult one tugged at my heart.
The very decision of choosing Tae-kang’s future over her own career is enough of a statement to see where Tae-kang stands in her life, that he too is a priority. And for Tae-kang, who also loves the workaholic Ji-an, needed to know that as well. So I’m not saying that Ji-an should throw away her career or that Tae-kang would have demanded her to do so because those are choices that are out of character for both people. But rather it’s the intention and their heart behind those decisions. Neither would ever allow the other to give up on their dreams for their own sakes, which is absolutely remarkable.
On a more shallow note, I’m still scratching my head why Ji-an isn’t showing at all. Now I’m all confused where we’re at on the Ji-an pregnancy timeline because I feel like we missed out a little bit on the hijinks that could have been explored here as well. But if we’re going to take less of the pregnancy for more of the preparation for parenthood for our main couple, I can live with that exchange.
Just as long you don’t name your child Ankle or Pheobo, we should be okay.
- I Do, I Do: Episode 14
- I Do, I Do: Episode 13
- I Do, I Do: Episode 12
- I Do, I Do: Episode 11
- I Do, I Do: Episode 10
- I Do, I Do: Episode 9
- I Do, I Do: Episode 8
- I Do, I Do: Episode 7
- I Do, I Do: Episode 6
- I Do, I Do: Episode 5
- I Do, I Do: Episode 4
- I Do, I Do: Episode 3
- I Do, I Do: Episode 2
- I Do, I Do: Episode 1