Haeundae Lovers: Episode 13
For a very melodramatic episode, I didn’t feel too bogged down with emotions. Thank you, writer, for keeping this drama light. With three episodes left, there needs to be a few obstacles to be thrown our heroes’ paths – one of them is facing their true feelings and morals.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Mr. Lee cries tears of joy at seeing his son alive and well, and Se Na nearly falls into his arms as she embraces him. Both couldn’t believe that he died, and both are never going to let him go again.
Joon Hyuk informs them all that Tae Sung suffered from amnesia when he fell into the ocean, and has actually been living his life as Nam Hae for the past two months. At that moment, Se Na realizes that it was her Tae Sung who married Sora. Meanwhile, Sora is still waiting for Tae Sung at the restaurant. Every minute that passes brings up more painful memories of when they were in love before they found out about his parentage.
Mr. Lee wants to bring Tae Sung back home to Seoul, but all he can think about is getting to the restaurant on time. Se Na won’t even let him leave again, as they’ve just reunited. It’s funny how unintentionally the present-Tae Sung is still like the past-Tae Sung: always leaving the moment he’s been reunited with Se Na.
Tam Hee bursts into the office, pissed off that Joon Hyuk wants to add Haeundae Hotel to the Prestige line. She refuses to let him get away with it and accuses him of corporate espionage. Tam Hee’s shrill cries annoy Joon Hyuk and his guests to no end, and Joon Hyuk has to drag her out of the office. Se Na catches sight of Joo Hee, who has been standing by the door the entire time, and casts an evil glare at her for hiding the truth about Tae Sung.
Tam Hee re-enters the office and screams at Tae Sung. It’s not the end of her, she cries. She is somehow still positive that he rigged the DNA test and had a fake marriage with Sora just to steal the hotel from her. Well… that certainly puts him in a slightly better light with his father and Se Na, because they don’t have to view him as a runaway polygamist now.
Sora calls Tae Sung again, but before he can answer, Se Na takes the phone away. She refuses to let him answer, or even go to Sora. It’s clear she’s afraid that he has fallen for Sora so hard that no matter what she does, she’ll never be able to win him back. Tae Sung asserts that he’s got all of his memories, so he won’t be gone for long. There is still something he has to do… and he leaves his father and Se Na in Joon Hyuk’s office.
Tae Sung bumps into Joon Hyuk on the way out. It sure must have been mighty convenient to have him remember everything at this point for Joon Hyuk’s plans, right? Tae Sung is more furious over the fact that Joon Hyuk had to involve a lot of other people just to bring him down. Not only were his family hurt, but also Go Sora; if Joon Hyuk wanted to take him down, he should have only taken Tae Sung down.
Tae Sung gets into his car and drives off to the restaurant, just missing Sora, who walks into the hotel lobby.
Mr. Lee decides it’s time for him and Se Na to head to their rooms. He stumbles while standing up (due to shock? He better not have a disease!), and so Joon Hyuk helps him up. But Mr. Lee doesn’t want Joon Hyuk’s help; though he doesn’t totally agree with Joon Hyuk’s methods of revealing the truth, he is grateful that Tae Sung has returned. He also promises to take care of the merger and acquisition deal for Prestige Hotels himself.
Joon Hyuk leads Mr. Lee out first, and then Se Na goes up to speak to Joo Hee. Or more like, slap her across the face! Joo Hee knew everything, and didn’t tell her? After all those times in college when she pitied on Joo Hee, and helped pay her tuition because she kept failing her classes, and this is how Joo Hee repays her? Joo Hee doesn’t care; since when was she supposed to “repay” her anything with this sort of information? Why does Se Na have to get everything in her life just because she’s rich?
Joo Hee wanted to have someone for herself too, to be greedy over that person. And she didn’t want to see Se Na have everything go perfectly in her life. Se Na slaps her again for being a plain ol’ bitch. Then Sora comes in and tells them to stop the cat fight. Oh joy – Joo Hee figures that Sora must be here to beat her up over the truth. But that’s not what Sora wants. Rather, Sora will simply think that she lost a friend, and no longer wants to have any kind of relationship with her.
The words sting more than the slap, but Joo Hee isn’t about to let that show. She keeps a brave face, saying she’ll live her life the way she wants, manipulative and all. Sora then leaves, since “Nam Hae” isn’t around. Se Na: “He’s not ‘Nam Hae.’ He’s Lee Tae Sung. And I don’t think he’ll have any reason to see you anymore.”
While Se Na’s anger is completely understandable and justifiable, I do see that hint of possessiveness and self-righteousness that Joo Hee so hated in her. Just because you married the man doesn’t mean you can control what he does or how he feels!
Joon Hyuk happens to see Sora leaving the hotel and preempts her anger by apologizing. He knows she wants to blame him, but the truth was going to be a hurdle that she’d have to climb sooner or later. But Sora isn’t ready to forgive him, especially with what he did about the merger and acquisition plan that he didn’t tell her about. She walks off, and gets a call from Tae Sung – but she can’t answer it.
That’s terrible for Tae Sung, who’s sitting alone at the restaurant. The waiter even has to kick him out because he’s way past their reserved time. He leaves a shouting voicemail on her phone and pleads with her to pick up the phone so that they can talk. He wanders around Busan, looking for her. Of course – she’s by her favorite Diamond Bridge. And next thing she knows, Tae Sung is standing before her.
Sora: Did you come looking for me?
Tae Sung: No. I came looking for your phone. So that I can throw it into the ocean.
Kaedejun: How do you two stay so cute despite the somber circumstances?
Tae Sung knows that Sora is suffering, as her world is slowly imploding, but he doesn’t know what he can say to ease her suffering. However, he wants her to promise one thing: that unless she has his permission, she is never to leave him. Aww… but that’s going to be a bit difficult. First, Sora has difficulty accepting that he is Man Ho’s son, and secondly, he’s married! Tae Sung: “Do you know how my life as Lee Tae Sung had to be selfish and difficult just so I could survive?” Clearly the man was not happy until he met Sora.
He drives her home, but the question is, which home? Tae Sung says they only have one, which refers to his apartment in the hotel. Sora forces him to pull over – she’s not so shameless as to return there! But Tae Sung doesn’t want to end their relationship this way. He repeats that this is the first time he’s ever felt this way, and for the first time, his statement rings true. He knows that their situation is difficult because of Se Na, but for the first time he’s listening to his heart. As Lee Tae Sung, he always listened to his head; as Nam Hae, he listened to his heart. Now as Lee Tae Sung again, he’s listening to his heart – and he doesn’t want Sora to leave. Instead, he’ll take her home to the Fishery.
After he drops her off, he gets a text from Se Na about his father being treated in his hotel room. He visits his father, who informs him that he’s shared the good news to several important people in Seoul, including family members. Mr. Lee also wants to clear up the matters that are in Busan first. There should be no reason for Tae Sung to stay in Busan if Haeundae Hotel is going to be merged with Prestige Hotels, and since he is the biological son, Tae Sung can do whatever he wants with his inheritance from Man Ho. Problems solved!
Except one – Sora. Father suggests Tae Sung deal with it by paying her off, especially since other people in Seoul don’t know about her yet. Tae Sung: “Father… I’m going to break up with Se Na.”
Dad is shocked of course, but he takes it as if Tae Sung is just confused at the moment. Either way, he advises that Tae Sung solve the matter in one swift stroke. Tae Sung knows he’ll be disappointing his father, and goes to speak to Se Na. Mr. Lee tries to stop him – “I’m the father who raised you!” Translation: “Listen to ME!”
But Tae Sung has had enough listening to his father. He always did whatever Mr. Lee wanted just because he was the adopted one, and felt he needed to repay the kindness. However he never got to do anything he wanted, and he always felt obligated to just be different from his brothers whether he wanted to or not.
Yay! New Tae Sung has a spine!
Leaving the room, he runs into Se Na. But instead of talking to her, he just walks past her. Se Na figures that he’s going to see Sora; if the marriage is a fake, then he shouldn’t go see her or feel sorry for her. But Tae Sung clears it up – it’s not that he feels sorry for her, it’s that he’s worried Sora will hate him. Clearly, he’s more concerned about Sora than what others may think of him. Tae Sung: “Until the day I die, I think it’s inevitable that I will be the bad guy.”
Tam Hee hides under a huge hat the next morning as she eats breakfast with her son at the hotel. She’s embarrassed as heck, while her son is sad that his plans for the expansion in the Antarctic are going to fail. Knowing that she’s still young (-ish) and pretty (-ish), she resolves to take the hotel back from Joon Hyuk. (How, I wonder? By marrying his father?)
Ga Joon is more concerned with one question: who is he to call his father now? Clearly Tae Pyong Yang is his father, as DNA does not lie. Tam Hee is still insistent that Man Ho is the real father, but Ga Joon doesn’t believe her. He’s going to see Tae Pyong Yang himself! She drags her son out of the restaurant… and the cashier tells her to pay. Ha! Her name no longer meaning anything to the hotel or restaurant, she hands over her card to pay… only to find out that it’s been canceled! Uh oh – Tam Hee is on the warpath for Min Shik!
Min Shik is in a meeting with all the other gang members as they try and decide their next steps. One of them wants to “get rid of” Tam Hee, and he promises he can do so without anyone knowing. Chauffeur shuts him down – in this day and age, how the hell can anyone do it “without anyone knowing”?! He has another proposition – combine their shares with the one Sora had accumulated, and together, they will make a stand against the merger with Prestige Hotels.
At that moment, Tam Hee bursts into the meeting room, screaming over why her cards were canceled. Min Shik is no longer cowering before her, and reminds her of her disgusting deception to Man Ho and everyone. “It would be wise if you lay low, ahjumma. Just as you said, we are thugs and gangsters!”
A guest comes knocking at their door, much to Min Shik’s delight. In a snazzy white suit and bejeweled hat, Tae Pyong Yang comes through the door, super happy to see his beloved Bok Ja! Tam Hee faints into Ga Joon’s arms, and Min Shik introduces the newly-found father and son. Oh I love how the cheesy, happy folk music just comes up on the background as these two men stare at each other lovingly. Ha!
Back at home, Sora addresses all of her uncles by name – which means something serious is going on. She informs them first that “Nam Hae” has regained all of his memories (thanks to that mini accident at the kindergarten), and that not only is he Yang Tae Sung, but he is also Prosecutor Lee Tae Sung of the special investigative unit. That comes as a blow to the uncles, who now understand why every other sentence out of his mouth had to do with criminal law.
But that’s not even the important part. The uncles’ jaws drop – there’s more bad news?! Sora tells them he’s married. That’s a lot of news to bear, but Uncle Hello Kitty doesn’t find it too much of a problem. After all, Sora and Tae Sung weren’t really married.
This time, Dong Baek is the perceptive one. Though the marriage was fake, Sora probably didn’t feel that way. Sora tells the uncles to just drop any hope of them ever getting back the hotel. It’s time they just move on and be satisfied with what they’ve done, and what they have.
They the get visitors – it’s Min Shik and the gang! They kneel before Joong Shik and apologize for their wayward ways and betrayal. They want to combine their shares with Sora’s accumulated ones from the petition and save Haeundae Hotel. Their gesture appears grand and heartfelt – until Min Shik mispronounces ‘Prestige Hotels’ as ‘Poo Hotels’. Yeah – what a way to break the solemn mood!
The uncles are rightfully suspicious; if they betrayed once, they could do it again! So Min Shik offers to do a blood oath before Joong Shik again. He bites his finger to draw blood – only to be unsuccessful because his teeth are not what they used to be! Joong Shik: “Okay – I’ll bite it for you then!” and he starts gnawing Min Shik’s finger!
Tae Sung finds Joon Hyuk outside his yacht/home and throws him a nice punch across the face. Joon Hyuk’s way of telling the truth was cowardly in Tae Sung’s eyes, but efficient in his own eyes. But Tae Sung didn’t ask for Joon Hyuk’s help in getting his memory back, because his way now just hurt two women who didn’t need to be: Sora and Se Na. But Joon Hyuk fires back that he shouldn’t have married or fallen in love with Sora. (And stealing Sora away from him!)
Joon Hyuk suggests Tae Sung leave for Seoul, because that’ll be for everyone’s best interest. Not so fast – Tae Sung won’t leave without crushing Joon Hyuk first.
Tae Sung gets into the car and calls up Sora, who’s been thinking what he said last night. He tells her not to worry, and that he’ll work something out. There’s nothing in Seoul for him anyways. Feeling a little assured, she turns to leave – but finds Se Na standing there.
Coffee shop face off time!
Se Na believes that Tae Sung is just wavering right now, but there’s no way Sora really believes that Tae Sung will go to her, right? She starts listing Tae Sung’s impressive background to drive home that Sora has no power or influence to help Tae Sung and his rising career. Sora smiles – is Se Na really that insecure that she has to come and say these things to her? “No matter who Nam Hae picks…” she says, “don’t you think he’ll stay by the side of the one he loves more?”
And that’s the crux of Se Na’s problem.
Sora adds that she loved him just for who he is, and not because of his background. It sounds shameless, but it’s the truth, and she apologizes that she and Se Na could not be better friends now.
Another meeting at a restaurant – this time between Joon Hyuk and Tam Hee. She wanted to meet him outside of the hotel because she’s now going to support him with the merger and acquisition. Joon Hyuk is impressed with her change of heart, considering that most people with the largest shares are against such business deals. However, she does have a condition – they must get rid of all the gangsters who supported Yang Man Ho. This woman is so petty.
Joon Hyuk agrees that would be the first step no matter what, considering he wants to makeover Haeundae Hotel’s reputation. She offers her hand to shake on it, as they’re now partners. (In crime?!)
Mr. Lee calls his son and daughter-in-law for lunch together, and Se Na takes the opportunity to keep up the loving couple act by putting her arms around Tae Sung. He forces her off him – yay! He wants to take the opportunity to speak his intentions: he will not go back to Seoul. He spent his entire life being grateful to Mr. Lee, and became a prosecutor and married Se Na to show his gratefulness. However when he lost his memory, that’s when he was truly happy. He didn’t even care if his memories never returned, because he didn’t want to go back to a life of being a Yes Man.
Se Na is still unable to let him go, especially since he made a promise to her to come back! Really? You’re still holding on to that promise? Tae Sung apologizes to her, but he can’t picture a future with her. He’s also sorry for seemingly abandoning his father, but he can’t stay with his family.
Se Na rushes to the bathroom to make a call – to her Father. If she wants to keep Tae Sung, she’s going to need her father to do something and shake up Mr. Lee’s law firm. Ew – she’s playing dirty now. She wants her father to make Tae Sung realize how much power they have, and to make sure that the Haeundae Hotel merger goes through no matter what.
To Tae Sung’s credit, he does feel fatigued from the events and passes out while driving, very nearly getting into an accident.
At home, Sora hears an ambulance passing by her home, but thinks nothing of it. She starts to call up Tae Sung but then thinks better of it. At that same moment Mr. Lee and Joon Hyuk are in a meeting about the merger. The two of them get respective calls – Joo Hee informs Joon Hyuk about Tae Sung being rushed to the hospital; Mr. Lee’s attorney informs him that because of Se Na’s father, three of his law firm partners quit at the same time.
This prompts Mr. Lee to take Joon Hyuk aside and say that he has every plan to take Tae Sung back with him to Seoul, especially because of Se Na’s father. So now, he needs help in finding out who exactly the Go family is. He meets with the shareholders who are for the merger, and gets their perspective on Go Sora. Tam Hee wonders why Mr. Lee is helping them and not Tae Sung, who doesn’t want the merger. But if Mr. Lee is going to want to keep his son, he’s going to have to stab his son in the back like this. Tam Hee is shocked at his ruthlessness; despite her manipulative ways, she’s not one to turn against her family.
Joon Hyuk visits the hospital, where Tae Sung’s doctor informs him that Tae Sung seems to have had a slight concussion. He’ll need to stay overnight so that they can continue checking on him. But Tae Sung wakes, and the last person he wants to see is Joon Hyuk. He ignores the doctor’s order for rest and heads out to Uncle’s Fishery. The Uncles regard him with more respect now, since he is a prosecutor, and they’re totally scared of prosecutors. They know he’s here to find Sora and direct him to the lighthouse, where she’s thinking again about her relationship with him. Even the uncles can tell how much Tae Sung likes Sora.
Tae Sung finds Sora and teases her for thinking too much. He tells her a story of when he was a kid and his brothers had abandoned him in a mountain. He didn’t know understand that they were calling him a “filthy adopted bastard” at that time, but he knew he was angry. It wasn’t his fault he was adopted! Similarly, it’s not his fault that he’s Yang Man Ho’s son. He wants to throw away the identity of Yang Tae Sung, and he hopes Sora can please forget about the wrong his biological father did to her father. (I think it’s just more reasonable if she doesn’t hold it against him for it, rather than forget the wrong.)
But there’s still one more identity hurdle: being Lee Tae Sung. He wants to throw away that identity too. He just wants to be with Sora forever. *Melt* Tae Sung: “I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this… But I’ve never felt this way before.” HAH. Definitely becoming the line of the drama.
They head back to the fishery as a happy, reunited couple – only to be greeted by the police. They received a tip from Tam Hee and President Son’s son to arrest him, and they are now going to have to take him into custody.
What the heck!? A random arrest!? It seems to be an easy way to get Tae Sung out of Haeundae Hotel’s hair for a while, but it also will give Mr. Lee more reason to bring his son back to Seoul, thus taking him away from everything he loves in Busan. Tam Hee hit it right on the nose when she said educated people are more scary. While she herself is ruthless, she’s only one step ahead of everyone and thinks she’s brilliant. The “educated people” (meaning Mr. Lee and Joon Hyuk) are two, even three, steps ahead of everyone, and they have no qualms about backstabbing.
Which leads me to what I’m most grateful about in this episode. We get to see what these characters really want, and what their morals are in their lives. For Tae Sung, having the chance to be Nam Hae and free of other people’s expectations helped him become the person he wants to be, and admit how he truly feels about his adopted family. We now understand his intentions and meaning behind his actions. As for Se Na, we see that she knows when to pull the Daddy card to help solve her problems, and therefore we see that she is a bit of the spoiled princess Joo Hee describes her to be. We see that despite Tam Hee’s materialistic ways, she’s not one to go against her own family, which is more admirable than the Lee family; she would not have gone against the Yang gang if they had not ousted her so quickly.
In this particular episode, my major quibble was once again with Se Na. She knew Tae Sung would choose Sora over her. She knew he didn’t love her, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise. It doesn’t lessen the pain she must feel, but I wish she could have appeared less pathetic and let him go. There’s a difference between how she loves (being the more distant, cold but perfect wife) and how Sora loves (more bubbly and comfortable with being herself instead of trying to be perfect). Even just looking at the two of them on a physical level there’s a difference: Se Na is pretty but her face is very pale, which associates her with coldness. Sora is tanner and (supposedly) plainer, but it’s a sign she’s been out in the sun, and that associates her with warmth. Even I would choose Sora any day! So I wish instead of being in denial and constantly posturing against Sora, I wish she accepted Tae Sung’s decision. Besides, if you really love the guy, you would let him go!