Haeundae Lovers: Episode 14
Haeundae Lovers gave us a woozy this week with three episodes in one week. Guess they’re pressed for time. Episodes 14 and 15 aired on Monday, while episode 16 aired on Tuesday. This was an emotional episode that just emphasizes my love of Kim Kang Woo and his portrayal of Tae Sung. It’s incredibly sad but it hits the note in all the right places. I knew this day would come, but at least it wasn’t overplayed into sappiness.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Tae Sung is hauled off to jail for the charge of forging President Son’s signature on the petition. Of course, Tae Sung denies it, but he won’t be able to go home right away. Sora goes to beg the president’s son to drop the charges, but he’s a spiteful one – he tells her to be grateful she’s not in jail too! Even though Sora goes the morality route (“how could we do that to a person who’s sick?”), the son thinks she’s a scam artist through and through.
The Haeundae Hotel board has a meeting with Mr. Lee regarding the merger. Mr. Lee’s secretary and Joon Hyuk both receive a call in the middle of it. Joon Hyuk’s call is from Sora, who wants to speak to Mr. Lee regarding Tae Sung’s arrest. She wants to tell the father herself the details, but that’s enough for Joon Hyuk to hear. He tells her to come to the hotel first, as they’re in a meeting. As for the secretary, he informs Mr. Lee that his son finally got arrested – which is going according to his plan.
Mr. Lee resumes the meeting, even though Joon Hyuk tells him about Tae Sung’s arrest. Tam Hee adds her obligatory two cents that it’s such a shame Tae Sung got involved with Sora and forged the signature, only to get arrested. Joon Hyuk smiles – of course Tam Hee knew about the arrest, since she filed the lawsuit. Mr. Lee glares at her for being so obvious, but comments that if Tae Sung did something wrong, he ought to be punished then. That gets Joon Hyuk thinking that something’s suspicious.
Sora waits outside of the conference room in the hotel until it ends. As people leave, she rushes inside to catch Mr. Lee. He initially ignores her until she says that she has something important to say about his son. She asserts that it was not a forged signature, but Mr. Lee points out there is no other witness but her. So how could anyone verify it? He’s going to make sure his son ends up in jail with the full sentence of five years without bail. Heartless.
Mr. Lee lays the guilt on thick too, telling her that after Tae Sung is released, he won’t be able to practice law anymore. And to think, Tae Sung so loved being a prosecutor! Mr. Lee knows that his son didn’t do anything wrong either, so Sora then realizes that Tae Sung’s arrest is a way for Mr. Lee to get Sora to do him a favor.
He gives Sora some news clippings about her father. Joong Shik is still responsible for his crimes from years ago as a gangster even though he’s no longer mentally sound. He also shows her pictures of the Yang family gangsters coming to treat Joong Shik like a king. Though Sora says that they’re acting like this because of the recent merger, no one would believe it. What makes Mr. Lee even more angry is that a nobody like her married Tae Sung and made him a gangster’s son-in-law. She’s the scum of the earth and has now soiled Tae Sung’s reputation. That’s low, Daddy Lee.
Mr. Lee tells her to leave his son. And then, he’ll let everything go.
Sora leaves the meeting, barely aware of where she’s going. Joon Hyuk catches her before she walks into a bellhop with luggage and takes her to the restaurant for a meal. He doesn’t seem to have known anything about Mr. Lee’s plans beforehand, but is sure that whatever he did, it’s to get Sora and Tae Sung to break up. But Sora isn’t going to give up – she promised she wouldn’t give up on Tae Sung.
If that’s the case, Joon Hyuk advises her to speak with Tam Hee. After all, Tam Hee filed the lawsuit, so she can take it back.
Meanwhile, Tam Hee’s gone to visit Tae Sung in jail. She still can’t get over the fact that she is now stepmother (technically) to Tae Sung, and that he’s married to the enemy’s daughter. But aside from that, she tells him that his father is very scary indeed. If Tae Sung does not go back to Seoul, he might do something to Sora and attack her weakness. Tae Sung says he won’t fall for a trick like that, but Tam Hee assures him he will. If he does his father’s bidding, Sora will be left alone, and Tam Hee will retract the lawsuit and won’t tear down Uncle’s Fishery. Everyone wins.
Tae Sung does not reply. He merely stands up and says the visit is over.
Out in the rain, Sora awaits Tam Hee to come home. She begs Tam Hee to let Tae Sung go free, but Tam Hee isn’t going to take back the lawsuit without getting anything out of it first. Sora kneels in the rain, begging, and once again throws away her pride. But there’s nothing Tam Hee can or will do – besides, didn’t Sora already get Mr. Lee’s message/threat?
Mr. Lee is informed that Sora has not seen Tae Sung in jail, which means she hasn’t broken up with him yet. Which means, she’s going to disobey him. Which then means, Mr. Lee is going to have to start the next phase of his plan.
Joong Shik is dropped off by the school bus from kindergarten, singing “Oppa Gangnam Style” the whole way until police stop him. (No, not because he – and the drama – can’t let go of Psy…) Rather, they arrest him for his past crimes of engaging in gangster activity. I find it cruel that they have to put handcuffs on a mentally ill old man… Can’t they just guide him gently to the car? Of course, Joong Shik starts crying out loud and gets the uncles’ attention.
He’s dragged into the police station, where Tae Sung is making a call to a friend to represent him. Tae Sung witnesses Sora pleading with the officers to let her dad go, and the uncles struggling against the other police. Sora breaks down in tears, but there’s not much Tae Sung can do, especially when he’s in jail too. He can only comfort Joong Shik in the cell, helping the father go to sleep that night. He knows how important the family is to her, and remembers Tam Hee’s words about his father attacking Sora’s weakness – her family.
Time for him to make a call.
Sora is torn between her promise to never leave Tae Sung’s side, and Mr. Lee’s threats. She makes one call as well – to Mr. Lee. He is on his way to jail, as Tae Sung has requested to see him, and reminds her that breaking up with Tae Sung is the only solution. With no choice, she heads to the jail.
Tae Sung confronts his father through the glass. There is no way that Joong Shik can be properly tried, but he understands what Mr. Lee is trying to tell him through this arrest. “Did you forget me telling you that I wanted to be happy?” Tae Sung asks. Mr. Lee thinks Seoul is the answer for all misery, and says that there is no way he can imagine a life without his pride and joy Tae Sung. Tae Sung just disappointed him by picking a former gangster’s daughter as a wife, when he could have any woman he wants.
Ugh – elitist talk sickens me.
It’s evident that Mr. Lee is unyielding and selfish, so Tae Sung asks what he must do so that the Go family will be left in peace. Mr. Lee gives him a statement to sign: He lost his memory and therefore was forced into marriage, and was used by the Go family to do a bunch of things. Because he was not right in his mind, he should not be indicted for forgery. That way he can retain his reputation as a prosecutor.
“I told you this,” Tae Sung says bitterly. “Even if I did lose my memory, I don’t want to lose myself.” But Dad’s all about the material things in life – if he doesn’t sign, Tae Sung will never be a prosecutor again (who cares?) and Sora’s life will be hell (oh, that’s bad).
Tae Sung: Why must you go this far?!
Mr. Lee: Because I love you, you brat!
Kaedejun: Nooo! You don’t love him! You don’t understand him!
Without a choice in front of his crazy father, Tae Sung signs – under the condition that Mr. Lee never touch Sora and her family again. At that moment, Sora bursts into the visitation room. She gets on her knees (again) and asks for the father’s forgiveness. Tae Sung yells at her to get up.
Sora: I’ll break up with him. I mean… we’ve already broken up.
Oh, that’s a blow, considering the sacrifice Tae Sung just made to save her and her family. Sora cites Yang Man Ho as the reason for the break up. It’s perfect for Mr. Lee, who just got his son to sign a testimony that her family threatened Tae Sung to go along with their plans. “It would have been better if you both weren’t so stubborn about this to begin with,” says Evil Mr. Lee. Can I smack him? Please?
But the good thing is, Joong Shik gets to go home, and Uncle Hello Kitty drives them home. As soon as they’re dropped off, Sora takes the truck to go back to the hotel apartment and get her things. Uncle Hello Kitty feels they got an unfortunate fate in catching Tae Sung in their net, but it’s time to forget all about him.
As Sora packs her bag, she hears Tae Sung come into the apartment. Without ever looking at him, she thanks him for all his efforts in getting the hotel and for saving her life. In turn, he apologizes for all the suffering put upon Sora and her father. It’s sad their relationship has been reduced to a simple thank you and apology. Tae Sung tells her to never do her geisha night job again, to report bodies in the net immediately to the police, to take care of her family, and to be brave if ever threatened. He also reminds her not to drink alcohol, because when she’s drunk she talks to inanimate objects, and he doesn’t want her crying about her mother when he’s not around. He also adds that her hands are the most beautiful in the world.
Despite their short time together, it’s clear he knows a lot about her.
Sora leaves him with something he once told her: that anything can happen in life. That includes break ups. Tae Sung grabs her wrist before she leaves, and apologizes one more time for leaving her. Of all people, Se Na witnesses him holding on to her as she walks into the house. Sora brushes his hand aside and leaves first so that Se Na can direct all her anger towards Tae Sung. But he completely ignores her without a word.
Tae Sung looks at the bridge necklace that he never got to give to Sora, and he tells Se Na to just wait outside so that he can pack. She waits outside the door, and can see Tae Sung’s shoulders shake from silent tears.
Sora can barely hold her tears back as soon as she exits the hotel, and encounters Joon Hyuk outside. She’s so heartbroken that she asks Joon Hyuk to please take her away from the hotel now. She feels she’d die if she were to see Tae Sung again. He takes her out, and tells her to cry as much as she wants.
Tae Sung returns to his position in the prosecutor’s office, where his boss is thrilled to see him again. Tae Sung is back with his biting words, as the cops were pretty incompetent to have thought he had died in the horrific car crash. His boss says that they later discovered it was Oh Jung Chul and his girlfriend’s body through a tooth (though when that happened in the whole timeline, I have no idea).
Tae Sung adds that when he really dies next time, his boss can go empty handed since he gave his funerary gift already. He goes off to work on his own cases, and finds one of his former subordinates listening right outside the door. It was the same one whose upset stomach had ruined an entire sting operation, and now he’s back on Tae Sung’s team.
Upset Stomach brings a huge cart load of case files to start with, but Tae Sung wants more. He wants as many cases as possible to help “relieve the hearts of citizens.” That’s code for “I never want to go back home.” Upset Stomach realizes that there’s going to be no chance in hell that he’ll be able to go home early to see his wife anymore, and tells his wife to dispel dreams of a second child. HA.
Tae Sung plows through case after case, meeting the people involved in each case all day and night. The clock approaches 11pm, and Tae Sung tells Upset Stomach to go home when it’s time to go home, even if he doesn’t say anything. He understands that Upset Stomach has a wife, and doesn’t want an angry person cursing him somewhere. Upset Stomach rushes off, but Tae Sung keeps on working despite his exhaustion.
He takes a moment to look at the bridge necklace, and then sees Se Na entering the office. She’s brought him a change of clothing, but he dismisses it; he’s already gotten his assistant to pick up some clothing for him. “But since you brought it, I guess I have to accept it, otherwise your father and my father will step in again.” Ouch… So Se Na replies, “Then I shouldn’t be leaving here alone, since we’re married.”
Point taken, and Tae Sung drives her back home. But he leaves her right at the front door because he’s heading back to work. Se Na’s furious – what has she done to deserve his indifference? Tae Sung admits that she hasn’t done anything wrong, and that it’s all his fault. Simply put, if he goes into the house with her, he’ll suffocate to death – that’s how much his heart is with Sora.
Back in Busan, Sora and her family are playing another baseball game… against the Yang family gangsters. HAHA. Chauffeur is now the pitcher responsible for striking her out while she’s up at bat. But she catches a glimpse of the high bars and remembers gymnast Tae Sung shocking everyone with his Olympic-skills. Not paying attention, she doesn’t see the chauffeur throwing the ball, and it hits her right on the side of her head.
Chauffeur bites his fingers – what’d he do!?
Sora is okay, but Min Shik says that they’ll take care of the issue. Before Uncle Hello Kitty can yell at them, the Yang family turns against Chauffeur and beats him to the ground. HAHA! And Sora decides to run the bases too.
Back at home, Sora takes out a uniform from her drawer – it’s a specially made one for Tae Sung, but with the name ‘Nam Hae’ stitched on the back. He had wanted one back in the day… Dong Baek catches her crying over it again and threatens to ship her off to Tae Sung with the shirt. But he thinks better of it – what if he sends it, and they send her back? That’s a painful rejection. Dong Baek cheers her up by saying that any woman would be cursed if they have to deal with Tae Sung as a husband because he’s so difficult.
But then they get a surprise guest in the form of Joon Hyuk. The Go family and the Yang gangsters all gather in the living room to hear Joon Hyuk out. This time, he has another business proposal for Sora. He wants her to achieve her dreams – through Prestige Hotels, of course – and hopes that she won’t give up on the hotel. He requests more of her mackerels, as a Japanese and a Korean restaurant have begun a war for customers over their respective mackerel dishes. Min Shik encourages her to take the order, since she can get more money now from them.
With her mackerels in demand, the restaurants will become well-known, and then Haeundae Hotel’s reputation will be bolstered. That would give the Yang gangsters’ more clout on top of their shares, and thus make acquisition of the hotel more difficult. Joon Hyuk smiles over having given her too much information, and asks her to think about what she wants to do. Either way – work will help mend a broken heart. I, on the other hand, stand confused once again over Joon Hyuk’s motivations.
Before he leaves, Joon Hyuk tells everyone that if they’re not back at work in two hours, he will process their dismissal based on failure to show up. Min Shik tells her that they’ll all go back to the hotel and find some way to fight the acquisition from the inside. Even Dong Baek agrees to the order request – they need to make deliveries and earn money to survive.
In Seoul, Mr. Lee lunches with Tae Sung to find out what he plans to do with his shares of Haeundae Hotel. Mr. Lee wants his son to sell the shares to Prestige Hotels before the acquisition, but Tae Sung wants to take care of it himself without his father’s input. Mr. Lee guesses that Tae Sung wants to give the shares to Sora, which would put him on the opposite side of him and Joon Hyuk. Tae Sung doesn’t want the riches that come with the shares when he sells it, so he’d rather give it to people who need that money, and whose dream is to manage Haeundae Hotel.
Besides, even without Tae Sung’s shares, Mr. Lee is bound to win the acquisition, no? He leaves and bumps into Se Na, who’s late for the lunch. She’s spiteful when she learns that he’s going back to work: “The harder you work, the more you’re going to feel sorry for me, and then you won’t be able to abandon me.” Tae Sung: “I used to feel that way, but now your obsession just scares me.” He no longer fears her or the guilt he may have for her, since he only agreed to this life to protect those he really cares about.
Dong Baek and Uncle Hello Kitty make the delivery of mackerels, but take the stairs instead of the freight elevator because Uncle Hello Kitty is hoping for a glimpse of Joo Hee. Like Dong Baek cares – he calls up an elevator instead. Uncle Hello Kitty doesn’t pay attention to where he’s going though, and ends up walking right into the elevator doors, getting his face smushed between the two doors!
When they go up to the president’s office to visit Joo Hee, Uncle Hello Kitty is too embarrassed to show his face. Claiming that he was just trying to protect the cases of fish, he reveals two parallel red lines down his face!
Tam Hee storms in, angry that Joon Hyuk isn’t around to see her when she specifically told Joo Hee to make an appointment for their meeting. Her harsh words offend Uncle Hello Kitty, and he tells her off, calling her Yook Bok Ja. Calling her by the real name always pisses Tam Hee off, and she fires back that Yong Do was named after a bridge because he was found there. Aww – so Yong Do’s an orphan? Tam Hee says her new name is special, and much better than a name where Yong Do was just picked up off the street.
While Yong Do is getting hassled, Dong Baek goes over to Joo Hee and gives her a coral starfish that he picked up from the fishing net. Joo Hee is touched, and really likes it, but Yong Do is no happy kitty when he sees Dong Baek sweet-talking his sister-in-law. Sister-in-law?! It’s cute that Yong Do regards Joo Hee as his wife.
Joon Hyuk finally arrives for his meeting with Tam Hee. She’s only here to ask him about positions in the hotel, considering that she advocated for the merger in Prestige Hotel’s favor and wants some payment for it. Since the position of president is still available, or a bunch of empty director positions, perhaps she can take one? Joon Hyuk suggests she sell her shares off instead, since she doesn’t have enough to make an impact. Oh so is that what Joon Hyuk thinks – that Tam Hee is such a tiny bug that you can just flick her away? (I think it too.) Tam Hee says she won’t go down easy, and kicks a chair on her way out because she’s so badass.
In Seoul, Upset Stomach is toiling away to the late hours, which prompts Tae Sung to remind him that he can leave on time. Upset Stomach: “I hope you can lose your memory once a year and then come back. I’m so happy these days!” Haha – what a dysfunctional working relationship. He rushes off, and that’s when Tae Sung’s boss comes in. He’s getting yelled at for working Tae Sung too hard, so he offers to go out for a drink, and then Tae Sung can go home and do his husband duties to Se Na. The boss makes clear that Se Na’s father put him up to this, which makes Tae Sung so annoyed that he’d rather be sent off somewhere so he won’t be a bother to his boss.
And that’s why the boss has assigned him to Busan! Apparently the city’s a mess because the gangsters are all rising up again, so Tae Sung can go – after they have a few drinks of course!
Drinking leads to drunk karaoke from the boss, and finally Se Na arrives to pick them up. Tae Sung figures out that Se Na had hoped he’d be too drunk to go back to work, and would finally come home. Tae Sung: “Home? Where is my home?” He should go home, right?
He calls a cab before Se Na can catch him – and gives the address to his house: “Uncle’s Fishery in Cheongsampo, Haeundae.”
As sad as this episode was, I’m glad the drama did not drag out Sora and Tae Sung’s stubbornness. They got right to the point and raised the stakes high from the start for these characters – if they don’t break up, a bunch of “bad things” will happen. They had to give in quickly. While it felt a little rushed, I have to credit Kim Kang Woo for making the situation seem so dire, so heartbreaking, so “I’m stuck in a corner and can’t see a way out,” that I accepted their decision to break up. His pain made me want them to just do as Mr. Lee said so that they wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Of course, I think that they should have given Mr. Lee the finger and get President Son on camera saying that he did sign the petition. But that wouldn’t have been too fun.
Without much of a time jump though, they did show that life had to move on. But what I didn’t expect was another whiplash-like change in Joon Hyuk, where he offered to help Sora. I understand that Joon Hyuk is torn over wanting to help Sora and then not wanting to help her. After all, she is kind of his sister, and he does have a crush on her. But it doesn’t stop me from tearing my hair apart wishing that he’d stop giving such mixed signals! If she’s your enemy because she will stop the acquisition of the hotel, then why are you helping her?! Isn’t your endgame to acquire the hotel!? It’s possible he wants to acquire the hotel and have her in charge as president in the name of Prestige Hotels, but he’s helping her in such a way that would prevent him from getting Haeundae Hotel in the first place. Men – so confusing.
At least Se Na has decided to stick with her recent change in persona, and be the tough chick who isn’t afraid to use the Daddy card.
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 13
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 12
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 11
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 10
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 9
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 8
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 7
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 6
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 5
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 4
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 3
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 2
- Haeundae Lovers: Episode 1