There are two ways to interpret this episode: (1) It’s slow, or (2) It’s slow, but it meant something. I’m barely leaning toward door number two, though that doesn’t make this an especially thrilling hour of television either way. Let’s be honest, we know we’re all here for Soo, and not because we’ve formed especially deep relationships with the fly-by-night side characters. (And yes, that’s even taking into account the fact that Kim Bum is a national treasure.)
Regardless, the con is no more and Everyone’s Sad, though we do get some interesting character revelations for Young and Secretary Wang as we head into the final stretch. How it’ll all end, I really have NO idea. I just hope there’ll be some surprises on each character’s journey to shuffle off this mortal coil. Heck, I’ll just take some surprises period.
SONG OF THE DAY
Standing Egg – “Heartbreaking Words (가슴 아픈 말)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
The forced kiss ends, and both parties take a little time to be alone. Young demands that Soo call Lawyer Jang to come pick her up, but he turns off her phone instead. Since he’s got control, he mandates that they’ll be staying together tonight before they head back to Seoul tomorrow.
He urges her to curse at him in order to let her anger out, but she declines. In a carefully controlled voice, she admits that there were times she had fun after meeting him. “I can’t thank you. But I can understand you. It’s my fault, too. The moment I met you, my heart fluttered. I should have known then. I’m a fool, right?”
Soo tells her to stop trying to understand – after all, he can’t even begin to understand the pain she went through, whether it was her mother leaving, her father dying, or her love for a conman posing as her brother.
“But my love for you has always been true,” he adds.
After some separate brooding time, Soo takes up the night watch by sitting at Young’s futon-side, claiming he has to keep watch over her until he can pass her over to Lawyer Jang. “It’s really sad that even in this situation, you are my guardian,” Young notes. Hah. I guess no one’s going to mention that kiss.
He watches her while she sleeps (or pretends to be asleep, it’s hard to tell with her), until he falls asleep sitting up. Young gets up and nearly stumbles on his feet, but at least takes the time to cover him with her blanket.
Then that super literal song cuts in, the one that must always provide a lyrical play-by-play as Young touches Soo’s face with tears in her eyes. A silent moment passes where she just sits by him, eyes closed, before she heads off. Where is she going? Some guardian you are, Soo.
The atmosphere at Jin-sung’s parents’ restaurant is tense, considering that Moo-chul and two of his lackeys are eating inside. Gangster Wannabe taunts Moo-chul about being too chicken to kill Soo, claiming that the Moo-chul he liked had no blood or tears, and was stronger for it.
He gets clocked in the face for that one, but Moo-chul warns him not to like someone like that. “As a human, one should have blood and tears. That’s what makes him human.”
That’s not what Gangster Wannabe wants to hear, so he goes running off to cry alone somewhere. Jin-sung finally gets fed up with Moo-chul acting so familiar with his mom (even calling her Mom, probably carrying over from their younger days) that he punches the gangster to get him out.
Moo-chul is unfazed and pays for his meal, telling Mom, “I came to eat because you remind me of my mother.”
Soo piggybacks Young down the mountain, but bursts her bubble about going home right away – he said he’d take her home by nightfall, which means he’s got her for the day. She puts up half-hearted protests that Soo doesn’t pay any attention to, so either she’s down for their last day date or she’s just tired of arguing about it.
They drive somewhere unspecified, and Soo finally lets her have her phone back if she tells Lawyer Jang that she’ll meet him at night. If she doesn’t, he’ll just take her further away. Let’s summer donna now, Soo. I get what you’re trying to do but you have to stop making this sound so kidnap-y so we can enjoy the ride.
She makes an unheard request to Lawyer Jang, but he at least puts the first phase of her plan into motion – preparing for Soo’s departure. Of course this means that Secretary Wang has to also pack her bags, which leaves her and Myung-ho stunned as Jang makes off to fulfill Young’s second request.
Soo tries his best to be happy as he leads Zombie Young through a street market, noting how he used to scarf down the jjajangmyun they’d get there in his orphanage days because he always believed someone would steal it from him.
Young notes the similarities in their childhood, since she too was always on edge, wondering whether someone had poisoned her food or whether she’d be pushed down the stairs. “I was always on edge. Just like today,” she adds. Hah, and ouch.
It’s clear Soo is trying to drag out every second regardless of how unhappy Young is about it, and she finally calls him out on his actions once they’re sitting in a stall for some red bean porridge.
He just admits that he wants to spend a little more time with her, and doesn’t mind when she refuses to eat the food he gives. He hands it to a nearby boy instead before telling her another orphanage anecdote about how they were never served porridge because adults needed to help (with the temperature). And since there weren’t enough caring adults, he never got to eat the stuff before.
Their next date destination is a cow farm, where Soo tells Young about Jin-sung’s father’s obsession with cows. “He raises them because he likes them, but when he has to sell them in order to live, he questions the meaning of life.” I don’t know why this cow thing has been carried through the whole story, but I always think it’s funny anytime it’s mentioned.
“I really don’t know what you’re trying to say to me,” Zombie Young says. Neither do I.
“I’ve never had to say goodbye to someone in my whole life,” Soo finally admits. “Not even to my mother, or even Hee-joo. I wanted to say goodbye to you properly, but from yesterday until now, no matter how hard I think about it, I don’t know how.”
So Young quips, “How about a simple goodbye?” before she heads off to the car. Soo gets a Impending Death Reminder Text from Moo-chul in the meantime.
Jin-sung tries talking some sense into Boss Man, claiming that he won’t get his money if Soo is dead. What he doesn’t know is that the money he plans to use for Soo’s big life-saving gamble was given to him by Boss Man, and as the ruthless gangster later explains to his minion, “I’m going to end Oh Soo, as well as Moo-chul. For that, I need a plan.”
Soo finally takes Young home, and the first thing she does is ask Lawyer Jang if he prepared what she asked. On top of that, she adds that it’s time for Secretary Wang and Soo to pack their things and GTFO.
Young apologizes to Myung-ho for her engagement-ending text, though she’s not ready to cut him out entirely. Now that she’s named Lawyer Jang as her legal guardian, she promises that Myung-ho will have his endorsement (and therefore hers, by proxy) to become the next CEO, since she knows no one can manage the company better than him. But their personal life is over.
And her parting gift to Soo is a suitcase filled with money, enough to pay his debt. Lawyer Jang delivers it since Young didn’t want to say goodbye, and Soo notes with honesty that he’s glad Young has someone like him.
He even says goodbye to Secretary Wang before he takes the money and goes. Mark your calendars folks, k-drama history has just been made! Offered money that someone actually takes is nothing less than a Christmas miracle.
Soo takes one last look around the house, sad to have to leave.
Secretary Wang starts to complain about her parting gift (of just the stocks she already has) from Young, until Lawyer Jang reminds her that Young is letting her off the hook for embezzling company funds (remember that brief mention of her sister’s suspiciously ritzy properties?), as well as bribing Young’s doctor to lie about her eyes. Well, when you put it that way…
When Young takes her aside, Secretary Wang says, “You knew from the beginning that I ruined your eyes, but you didn’t bring it up. Why?” Young: “I was young. Father was sick. I needed someone to run the company.”
Secretary Wang then asks why Young never brought up the embezzlement, but Young brings up something her father said about letting those around her steal just a little so that she could keep people by her side.
“Do you also believe that I killed your father like the other shareholders do?” Secretary Wang asks, before she proceeds to explain her actions. According to her, Young’s father had signed an order to not be resuscitated, and had even told Wang that he was ready to die. The reason she never told Young or Lawyer Jang was for purely self-sacrificial reasons, in order to give Young a reason to live on if only because she hated her for what she did/didn’t do.
“You were all I had,” Secretary Wang continues. “Even if others think that it’s just an obsession, still, you were the only one I had. Company stocks? I don’t need them. The shareholders’ position or being your legal representative? I can give that all up. I embezzled company money out of resentment toward your father, but when you were running the company, I didn’t take any money. Not a single penny. I’ve raised you since I was twenty-six years old. Although my parents disowned me for being a mistress, I didn’t have my own child. I raised you! You’re my daughter!”
Her tone goes quiet as she pleads for Young to just let her stay by her side, but Young’s face remains expressionless (there might be some tear glaze in her eyes, but I’m considering that a norm at this point) as she says a simple sorry and thank you, because Wang did raise her well – so well that she can now stand on her own two feet without her.
Young’s eyes do get extra teary as she tells Secretary Wang that she doesn’t want her around when she opens her eyes after the surgery, and she considers it fair – she lost her eyes to Wang, and Wang lost her pseudo-daughter.
Secretary Wang is openly crying by now, but resigned. “I loved you as my daughter, but you see me only in terms of my usefulness until the end. But I’ll leave. Why? Because I’m your mother, and mothers are supposed to lose to their children.”
Young passes Soo as he’s on his way out and asks him about moral accountability when it comes to his mother abandoning him and him abandoning Hee-joo. She says it in a way to put things in perspective, as if to tell him that both things weren’t so bad – he should remember that his mom came to see him once, and that he should stop feeling guilty over Hee-joo.
She faces away from him, and with tears in her eyes, she admits: “I loved you. I have no confidence to keep you by my side and love you, but you’re not guilty for deceiving me. It was your way to survive, and I had some moments of happiness.”
Soo leaves the briefcase of money outside Young’s room. (Darn it. History wasn’t made after all.)
Lawyer Jang chases after him to try and give him the money, knowing that he’ll be killed without it. Soo still refuses (taking just a small handful to live off of), and merely entreats Jang to take good care of Young.
As Soo drives away, he keeps Young’s bell bracelet close to his ear. All their good memories flash through his mind and he can’t help but cry as he smiles, just as Young opens her window at home to find the glass bell ringing, realizing that Soo found it and hung it back up for her.
Soo uses the handful of money to give to Moo-chul, in order to pay off Jin-sung’s debt to him. Moo-chul asks why Soo left the house empty-handed, and he probably knows the answer – but he gets too distracted by his stomach cancer.
Later, Soo sells his car and gives all the money to Jin-sung’s father, so he can take their family and move to the countryside. D’aww.
Secretary Wang invites the staff of the coffee shop over for a meal (including Mi-ra and Joong-tae, plus that other girl no one knows), to request that they take care of Young in her absence. As a goodbye, she just places her hand on Young’s shoulder and says affectionately, “Take care, Young-ie.” If Young is affected by this, she holds it in like the zen master she is.
Lawyer Jang sees Secretary Wang out, but she seems at peace even as she asks him to update her on Young’s status every now and then. “I’ll live well,” she promises.
It’s an awkward breakfast with Young and Fellow Plot Devices, but she does betray that she’s thinking fondly of Secretary Wang when she tastes her soup and notes how delicious it is.
Meanwhile, Secretary Wang has to call her sister in order to ask for their parents’ address, since it’s been that long since she’s seen them.
Young gets more brain scans, and Soo crashes at Hee-sun’s place. It’s cute how happy Jin-sung is to see his hyung again, even though his hyung has been sleeping for a whole day.
Once he’s awake, Hee-sun pesters him about coming back empty-handed. She knows he rejected the money, but he won’t listen to a word she says.
Jin-sung tells Soo how happy his family is to be moving to the countryside, since his sister can now go to college. They have a few friendly laughs (all is forgiven, obviously) before Jin-sung asks, “You aren’t going to get killed by Moo-chul, are you?”
Soo: “Never. I’m going to the casino.” (But… if that’s all you had to do to get the money… *headdesk*) Jin-sung’s way ahead of him as far as looking into welcoming casinos, and he couldn’t care less when Soo chides him for getting involved.
“Don’t you know me?” Jin-sung shoots back with a smile. “I won’t go anywhere without you.” Bro-mance.
Due to maid negligence, Young drops a glass that shouldn’t have been where it was and cuts her foot on it. She asks after Secretary Wang, and Lawyer Jang tells her that she called to say she’s at her real home, enjoying her mother’s cooking.
Young seems to know this isn’t a true account, and we see the same – Secretary Wang isn’t home at all, but wandering on her own, eating restaurant food.
Soo and Jin-sung find themselves restricted by every casino, which leaves them with a hotel as their only choice. Soo takes this issue up with Boss Man, since he’s the one who’s blacklisted him everywhere, and Boss Man offers a deal: Soo plays a rigged poker game for him, wins, and gains his freedom. But he wants Jin-sung in on the deal.
This is something Soo’s adamantly against, since he knows he’s just getting used by Boss Man as a revenge target for all the gamblers that’ll end up losing their money, so he won’t allow Jin-sung to fall into the same trap. “For me, it’s this graveyard or the next,” Soo shrugs.
Boss Man tries to ease Soo’s mind, considering that he’s planning on getting rid of Moo-chul anyway. “You’re free if you win this game,” he offers, and Soo accepts as long as Jin-sung is out.
He calls Moo-chul the second he leaves, leaving Boss Man to explain his nefarious plans to keep Jin-sung involved, since only he or Moo-chul can kill Soo. Because hired hit men apparently don’t exist in this universe? And Soo can only be killed by one of two very different people?
Moo-chul plays basketball with his brother, but that darned stomach cancer gets in the way again. He still gets the text from Soo (still calling him Hyung) warning him to be careful of Boss Man, adding that he and da boss have settled their score, leaving no room for Moo-chul to remain involved.
“I’m asking you to leave quickly,” Soo’s text reads. “And also, later when we meet, let’s go out for a drink, Hyung.” Moo-chul scoffs at this last line, not believing a word of the text.
Meanwhile, Gangster Wannabe stalks Moo-chul, waiting for the perfect time to strike with a knife in hand.
Young finds listening to movies a joyless affair without Soo around to narrate, while Soo gathers up gamblers for the Big Game. Likewise, he’s reminded of Young when he hails down a taxi using his bracelet arm as the little bell chime rings.
The ring sounds louder than the surrounding traffic to him, and he has to fight the rush of emotion and tears that spring up because of it. Young also cries as she remembers him.
Your mileage may vary on this one (depending on your tolerance for self-reflective moments of sadness), but this episode was a bit of a chore. Some things did happen, and they were important things, but so much of it felt dragged out past the point of necessity. For all the ticking clocks we have in one series (Moo-chul’s stomach cancer, Young’s brain tumor, Soo’s Death Date), I felt like we were missing a sense of urgency, even though the stakes are about as high as they get.
A filler episode isn’t a usual occurrence in fast-paced sixteen-episode dramas, since there’s normally not enough time to waste. I remember bemoaning what looked like such a short run for this series when I had only fond memories of Writer Noh Hee-kyung’s past drama, Padam Padam, which felt well-paced and well-suited to its twenty episode run. Now I’m beginning to understand why this story could only stretch to sixteen episodes, and even now it seems to be wearing itself thin.
That being said, there was a lot of time devoted to setting the table this episode (though we weren’t being set up for anything that hasn’t already been introduced and explained, and I’m not including the scene where time was actually spent setting a literal table), so there’s hope yet for a climactic finale. As for what did actually happen, I liked Young’s farewell to Soo coupled with her confession of love, and more so than that I appreciated that she didn’t blow his con out of proportion in an agonizing, woe-is-me way, but rather based her reaction off her understanding of Soo as she’s come to know him. Namely, that she knows he wasn’t in this for fun and games, and that they both invested some emotions that they may never get a return on. The fact that she even went so far as to absolve him of blame gets an A+ in my book, seeing that she knows what a guilt-filled history he’s had.
The weird pseudo-date that came before the confession I didn’t like so much, if only because we didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with it. Young knows, and WE know, that Soo’s childhood was no walk in the park, but for all of Soo’s meandering about I kept wishing he’d just be honest and ask her to spend a day with him and to try not to hate it. I understand what he was going for in wanting that last little bit of time with her to savor because he didn’t know how to say goodbye, but there wasn’t any fun to be had for him or the viewer when Young was so reticent and stubborn all the while. (Even though she had her reasons, since it’s not like she agreed to go out in the first place.) I got the point, I got the underlying feelings and the aim of the scene, but again it just felt drawn out without a whole lot of payoff. But that’s life I suppose, and a drama emulating that humdrum aspect means it’s more realistic? And that’s supposedly a good thing even though it’s not very entertaining? Or not?
Secretary Wang’s sendoff was appropriate and even a little sad, even though characters keep stating her doctor-bribing as fact without anyone bothering to explain why she did it, or wondering what kind of person it takes to do something so horrible. Heck, Mi-ra got more crap about it than Wang did. I was hoping that we’d hear a confession from her in her final goodbye, but instead we have a woman claiming to love Young like a mother while passing off the fact that she caused Young a lifelong and crippling disability like she just forgot to pack her lunch one day.
What’s past is past, sure, but I’d still say that’s a pretty big deal, and Secretary Wang spent more time explaining her embezzlement than she did in making Young BLIND. I don’t know if that was an intentional move in order to paint her as a more sympathetic character or whether she just has some severely messed up priorities, but she’s still not getting my vote for Mother of the Year. Maybe I just missed the I-love-you-so-much-I-made-you-disabled train.
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 13
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- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 10
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 9
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 8
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 7
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 6
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 5
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 4
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 3
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 2
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 1