Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 17
Joon-young sets his plan into motion, bringing all the pieces together for one final confrontation. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and as Joon-young pushes, his adversary is ready and willing to push back just as hard. The question is, will Joon-young be able to outwit his opponents and set everything right before his time runs out?
EPISODE 17 RECAP
Joon-young forgets about sending Pororo to a new home, as well as what the statue of limitations means. He narrates that his doctor warned that this might happen as his cancer progressed, but he’d ignored his doctor’s warning, arrogantly thinking that God wouldn’t be so cruel.
Still confused, Joon-young opens the gate to see Jung-eun on his doorstep. She waves her now-ringless hand at him, then steps into his arms. Over her shoulder, Joon-young sees Eul staring at them, and he thinks that God has never forgotten to be cruel to him and Eul.
Jung-eun steps back when she realizes that Joon-young isn’t hugging her back, and she comments on his blank gaze, as if he doesn’t know her. After a moment, the memories rush back to him — she’s the hit-and-run driver who killed Eul’s father, and he’s been working on convincing her to give up Ji-tae and date him.
He slips back into character and addresses Jung-eun, saying that she came sooner than he expected. She asks him to make her some ramyun, and the two link arms and go inside. Joon-young looks at Eul only for a second, and in voiceover, says that he decided to be even more cruel than God.
In the kitchen, Jung-eun suggests that they kiss again, this time for real. Joon-young just grins at her, and outside, Eul turns to go. Joon-young narrates that he just hopes that however much misery he’s caused Eul, that he experiences it ten thousand times more.
Assemblyman Choi asks Ji-tae if he knows who Jung-eun is dating, and he knows his son is lying when Ji-tae says that he doesn’t know. Jung-eun’s father arrives for dinner, and he eats heartily while everyone else just sits in awkward silence. He even toasts to the broken engagement, saying that everybody knows.
Assemblyman Choi apologizes, and Assemblyman Yoon suddenly mentions that he’s thinking of giving someone else the secretary-general position. All of a sudden, he feels that Assemblyman Choi isn’t experienced enough. Yeah, right.
When Ji-tae’s mother gently protests, Yoon says that he won’t be giving next year’s government projects to her company. He asks Ji-tae whom he chose over Jung-eun, and his mother can’t stay quiet. She asks about Jung-eun’s new love interest, but this is news to Assemblyman Yoon. She hands over her phone and shows Assemblyman Yoon pictures of Jung-eun with Joon-young.
Joon-young’s mother closes up her restaurant for the night, and Ajusshi stays back to give her a hat. He puts it on her, and she asks again if he likes her, and this time he says yes. Then he immediately takes it back, ha, and asks if she thinks he’s nuts.
He turns and sees Eul crouched against the wall, head in her arms, and Mom asks Eul why she’s here. Eul says that she just walked, and ended up here. She tells them to ignore her, but Ajusshi says that if she wants Joon-young back, she should go talk to him.
Eul moans that she knows, but she’s not in her right mind at the moment. Ajusshi nags some more so Mom sends him away, and asks Eul if she’s crying. Eul says she’s not, that she’s too shocked to cry. She finally looks up at Mom, who invites her to her house for some dinner.
After their dinner, Jung-eun asks Joon-young why Eul was in front of his house tonight. He claims not to know, and changes the subject when Jung-eun derides Eul for not taking a hint. The doorbell rings, and Joon-young finds Assemblyman Yoon’s aide at his door looking for him.
He dresses in a suit to meet Jung-eun’s father, but Jung-eun warns him that her father is a frightening man and pleads with him not to go. She begs him to let her handle this, saying that she loves him, and Joon-young hugs her with a (triumphant?) smile and lets her go. He says that if she’s gone too long, he’ll go himself.
Eul eats with her usual gusto at Joon-young’s mom’s place, and Mom complains that she could have made more than ramyun. Eul explains that she heard that Joon-young was making ramyun for the woman he’s dating, and she was suddenly craving it. Mom asks who he’s dating, and Eul opens a bottle of soju and says that she’s rich, sexy, and from a good family.
Mom snatches the soju back, yelling that she brought it for herself, and Eul realizes that she was gulping it without it even registering. She whines that she’s not supposed to be drinking, worried that she’ll act out again. Mom just invites her to share a drink and they’ll see just how bad it can get.
As Joon-young waits, he breathes on his window again, revealing the little cartoon he drew of Eul on the glass. He goes to his room and pulls out a small recorder, and films himself saying that he’s not sure when his memory will start to go again. He starts talking about his mother and her life, and OOF, this makes my stomach hurt, especially when he haltingly says that he never had a father.
Joon-young reconsiders, and records that his father is Choi Hyun-joon, but that he doesn’t know Joon-young exists. He says that Assemblyman Choi fabricated the details of Eul’s father’s hit-and-run accident, then he’s interrupted by a call from his mother.
He affects his usual cheerful tone when he answers, saying that he’ll rush right over if she misses him. At her home, Mom tucks a sleeping Eul into bed in Joon-young’s old room, then answers the door when Joon-young arrives.
He thinks he’s here to fix a broken chair leg, and he’s surprised when Mom tells him that Eul is in his room. She asks why he’s dating someone else when he’s crazy over Eul.
He covers her mouth when she raises her voice and accuses him of only dating that other girl because she’s rich. Joon-young starts to leave, but stops when Mom says that Eul hasn’t slept in days, so she got her drunk on purpose. She pretends that there’s an emergency at the restaurant, and leaves Joon-young alone with Eul despite his protests.
Joon-young can’t resist peeking in on Eul, and he sits on the floor to watch her sleep. When she starts to roll off the bed, he quickly slides under her, catching her on his chest. Eul doesn’t wake, but just snuggles into him, and he’s stuck for fear of waking her.
His mother texts that she’s going to stay at the sauna with friends tonight, and Joon-young wonders what to do about Eul. He pulls his pillow under his head, and gently pushes Eul’s hair off her face. His hand hovers over her face as if he’s dying to touch her, but he settles for cradling her in his arms and falls asleep.
In the morning, Eul wakes on the floor, alone. She looks around Joon-young’s room, smiling at the encouraging quotes he’d taped to the walls and written in his old textbooks. In one book she finds folded papers, and opens them to see her old posted flyers asking for witnesses to her father’s accident — and also the newer ones Joon-young had posted after she’d left, with his own phone number as the contact.
Joon-young’s mom comes in to ask where Joon-young is, and Eul is surprised to learn that he was here last night. Mom seems disappointed that Eul never saw him, but she notices the old signs, and tells Eul that Joon-young did everything he could.
She says that Joon-young was a law student then, but he gave it all up. She says that he’s a man of conscience, unlike his parents, and asks Eul not to resent him or she’s a bad person, too.
Joon-young wakes to find Assemblyman Choi at his door, and they go to the dock out back to talk. Choi asks what Joon-young is aiming at, threatening him with the USB (the one that had evidence of Choi with Madam Song), and also stealing Jung-eun from Ji-tae.
Joon-young says that he merely wants a just society. Assemblyman Choi says that it wouldn’t be hard to destroy Joon-young, adding that Joon-young started the threats first. Joon-young questions whether asking for a just society and a welfare state is a threat, when those are words that politicians like Choi spew all the time.
Choi asks if Joon-young means to continue playing this absurd game, and Joon-young counters that Choi started it. He asks if he’s forgotten what he did when he was a prosecutor just to gain fame and prestige. Choi says that if Joon-young’s goal is to ruin his life, he ought to mess with Choi alone, and leave out his wife and children
Joon-young isn’t the least bit intimidated, and he refuses. He says that Assemblyman Choi’s family needs to be equally harmed; they need to learn that it’s a sin to have Choi as a husband and father.
Furious, Assemblyman Choi grabs Joon-young by the collar, and warns him one last time — destroying Joon-young would be a piece of cake. He growls for Joon-young to stop this, and not to touch anything that belongs to him.
Joon-young just smiles and gives Assemblyman Choi a piece of advice: “Don’t just warn me. Destroy me.” He says that he plans to spend the rest of his life standing in the way of Choi’s success. He invites Choi to try to knock him down, or he’ll just grow worse.
Jung-eun’s father isn’t pleased with his daughter’s choice of men, and he snatches her phone and slaps her when she tries to text Joon-young. He asks if she plans to live recklessly now, but she retorts that she’s going to stop living recklessly. Her father calls her childish to choose a lowly celebrity, and Jung-eun yells that she loves him.
Her father books the next flight to the States, intent on sending Jung-eun away until she comes to her senses. He forbids her to return until he allows it, saying that she’s not in her right mind, just like ten years ago.
Ji-tae arrives to speak with Jung-eun, and tries to warn her away from Joon-young. But she wants him over anybody else and isn’t going to be swayed away from her love. At that, Ji-tae tells her that Joon-young approached Jung-eun with an agenda—he’s doing it to get back at Assemblyman Choi.
Haru visits Na-ri at work, and Na-ri tells her that the daughter of a restaurant owner has been flirting with Jik, and she approves, since she wants Jik to marry someone rich. Jealous and indignant, Haru reveals that she’s even richer, though Na-ri doesn’t believe that she’s the daughter of KJ Group.
Haru shows her a family photo to prove it, and Na-ri is shocked, but not for the reason that Haru thinks — she tells Haru to go home, delete Jik’s number, and never contact him again.
Haru refuses, and Jik arrives to find Na-ri trying to physically peel Haru off the display case. Haru pouts that Na-ri is telling her to break up with him, and Jik confusedly asks why.
Jik takes Haru outside, where she sobs that things at home are bad enough without all this piled on. Jik promises that he won’t break up with her no matter what anyone says, and hugs Haru while she wails that she’s better than that restaurant girl. As she cries, Jik wonders why Na-ri told them to break up.
With Ji-tae’s words ringing in her head, Jung-eun goes to meet with Joon-young by the river — and when she sees him standing there, she grows angry and nearly runs him over with her car. At the last second, she screeches the car to a halt just feet away from him, while he doesn’t even flinch.
She calms and they sit to talk, and Jung-eun says that she heard something from Ji-tae, but if Joon-young says it’s not true then she’ll believe him.
Joon-young asks if Ji-tae told her that he approached her to get revenge on a father that abandoned him. Jung-eun demands that he say it’s not true, but instead, Joon-young tells her to run before he comes up with another scheme to fool her.
Eul goes to Joon-young’s home again, but her work sunbae calls her before she works up the courage to ring the bell. She’s in trouble for showing up at Joon-young’s home while they were shooting his documentary. Her sunbae gets a call from Joon-young requesting that he send Eul for tonight’s shooting, and he grumbles at Joon-young’s unpredictability.
That evening, Joon-young sits on his pier at a table covered in flowers and a cake. Eul asks what they’re filming, and Joon-young says that it’s the first item on his bucket list — to propose on camera to the woman he loves. He complains that Eul is frowning, and she turns up the corners of her mouth with her fingers to prove that she’s not.
She can’t help but ask who he’s planning to propose to, and his answer floors her: “Noh Eul.” What? But he’s not answering her, he’s just telling her again to stop frowning. The real answer is that he’s proposing to Jung-eun.
Eul excuses herself to get a some water, and she’s so shaken that she drops the glass and shatters it. She mutters to herself that Joon-young is cruel, asking her to film his proposal to another woman.
We see that earlier in the day, after his talk with Jung-eun, Joon-young had called Ji-tae’s mother. He’d told her that no matter what happens, he’d have Jung-eun: “Everything you people want to have, I will now steal away, one by one.”
Jung-eun had been watching from her car, and had taken a call from Ji-tae’s mother asking if she had a nice talk with Joon-young. She’d told Jung-eun to come back and marry Ji-tae, and when Jung-eun tried to hang up on her, she’d said that she had CCTV footage of her hit-and-run from ten years ago.
Jung-eun accused her of lying, but Ji-tae’s mother invited her to come see for herself. Jung-eun desperately reminded her that she wouldn’t be the only one affected if it goes public, but Ji-tae’s mother had been willing to take that risk. Between a presidential candidate with a murderer daughter and a mere prosecutor who gave in to power, “I wonder who’ll shed more blood?” Shiver.
Jung-eun had gone back out to Joon-young, who’d asked if she decided not to run. She’d asked how far Joon-young would have gone if he hadn’t been caught, and he said he’d have married her. He admitted that he wants to take the one thing his father wants, and when Jung-eun was surprised he’d marry someone he doesn’t love for revenge, Joon-young had said that feelings change.
He’d told Jung-eun to leave, but she’d stopped him. She’d commented on his ability to know what a woman is feeling, and suggested they follow this through together.
Now she shows up at his place and sits at the table, and she hesitates when she sees that Eul is here to film it. But she gathers her wits and even greets Eul, and asks her to make them look good.
Ji-tae drinks at his and Eul’s old haunt, and the restaurant unni fusses at him for disappearing for so long, calling him sexy and handsome in his fancy new appearance. Ji-tae just says that he had always thought he was a rational, reasonable person.
His assistant finds him, and shows him the latest news on Joon-young. We don’t see what Ji-tae sees on the phone screen, but whatever it is makes him go pale.
Over at his mother’s restaurant, Man-ok and Gook-young also gape at the news. Ajusshi says that Joon-young’s mother should never see this, but it’s too late — she’s just walked in and overheard them talking, and wants to know what this is about.
Eul continues filming as Joon-young slips a diamond ring onto Jung-eun’s finger. Eul asks the two what made them decide to do this on camera, and Joon-young says again that it’s on his bucket list. Eul wants Jung-eun’s answer, and she responds that she wants to publicly show people that she’s chosen Joon-young, so that they’ll stop threatening her. Well, how romantic.
Eul asks if they really love each other, zooming in on Joon-young’s face for his answer. He says that he does, but Eul pushes, wanting to know when he starting loving Jung-eun. He looks cornered for a moment, and he says that he doesn’t remember exactly.
Voice rising, Eul asks why he can’t remember. Joon-young asks if she recalls every single moment she fell in love, and Eul confidently says that she does. It was March 15, 2005, at the playground in her neighborhood. Some kids had made fun of her brother for having no mother, and the boy in question had comforted Jik.
Of course that had been Joon-young, and he remembers it vividly. He’d told little Jik that he used to get teased for having no father, but he never cried because that’s what the bullies wanted. Eul had witnessed the whole exchange, and she’d fallen for Joon-young that very moment.
Joon-young looks shaken now, but Eul doesn’t let him off the hook, and she reminds him that he loved another woman before Jung-eun. Eul asks if he really even loved her, and Joon-young says that he doesn’t remember, gripping Jung-eun’s hand tightly to stop her from chiming in.
He regains his composure a bit, saying that he’s the type of person who starts a new relationship cleanly, erasing old memories. Now Eul is upset and she calls a break, and Joon-young watches as she walks away. Jung-eun says that he’s a scary man.
He stands and starts the camera, but Jung-eun doesn’t notice. She asks if they could start again once this is all over. Joon-young asks her what her dream was for her life, explaining that his dream was to become a prosecutor, then find his father and show him that he grew up well without him.
Jung-eun asks if he doesn’t resent his father, since he wants to get revenge on him. Joon-young just says that his father doesn’t even know he exists, which is why he studied so hard. But then one day he discovered his father’s true colors — that he’s cruel, and a fraud who’d do anything to get what he wants.
Joon-young tells her that his father covered up a hit-and-run case for a powerful man. As he lays out the details, Jung-eun realizes that he’s talking about her, and drops her wine glass in shock.
She excuses herself, and Joon-young watches her go with a calculating look in his eyes. Eul comes back and sees that the camera is on, and Joon-young hands her something and tells her not to take her eyes off the monitor.
Ji-tae confronts his mother, accusing her of starting the rumor that Joon-young is a drug user. Oh no. Joon-young’s mother makes Man-ok read her the article, which states that a “Mr. A” uses drugs in clubs and has drug parties with girls.
Though the articles don’t name him, everyone assumes that the rumor is about Joon-young. Assemblyman Choi looks deeply conflicted, but it turns out that he’s the source of the untrue rumors.
Jung-eun emerges from the restroom, having composed herself. She tells Joon-young that prosecutors are people too, who can be cowardly and make mistakes. Joon-young counters that the prosecutors he knows still try to be good fathers and stick to their principles.
Jung-eun asks if this is why he wanted revenge on his father, but he just tells her, “The man who died in the hit-and-run accident was my girlfriend’s father.” He confesses to interfering when Eul tried to expose the truth, by trying to protect his father.
Just as Joon-young instructed, Eul is witnessing this entire exchange through the camera that Joon-young re-positioned, and she watches with tears in her eyes as he says, “I wanted to protect him, so I killed my girlfriend.”
He looks directly into the camera, and says again, “I killed her.”
I’m not even going to comment on that last bit, because I am so confused right now. I’ll just wait until the next episode and hope it gets explained. Is Joon-young sending Eul a message? Is he being facetious? What does it mean??
I do appreciate that Eul isn’t letting him get away with any of this, and that she confronted Joon-young right there on camera and in front of Jung-eun. She know that this whole thing with Jung-eun is fake, though she doesn’t know exactly what he’s up to, but I’m so proud of her for calling him out on it. If Joon-young’s going to act like an ass then dammit, Eul is going to make sure he knows that she sees every bit of his B.S. I’m also glad that she told him exactly when she fell in love with him, because I think he needed to hear that in that moment. Yes, he’s doing this all for her, but he’s doing it in an extremely hurtful way, and he shouldn’t get away with it without Eul serving a little of it back to him.
Joon-young isn’t an easy character to like (though to be fair, I don’t think he’s supposed to be), in great part because he’s so closed-off that it’s hard to get a bead on what he’s thinking and feeling at any given moment. I don’t think that’s at all due to Woo-bin’s acting, who is simply knocking it out of the park. Joon-young is just so accustomed to keeping his true thoughts and feelings to himself and showing a carefully constructed persona to the world, that he has trouble ever letting his guard down even when he badly wants to. But one thing I do love about his character is that while he has spent his whole life hating himself for not being the upstanding man he always wanted to be, he’s never even realized that he is exactly that man already.
Joon-young quit law school because he didn’t believe he was honorable enough to be a prosecutor, but that act is the very thing that makes him honorable. A less honorable man would have continued to pursue his chosen career, never admitting that he was compromising his own principles — a man like Assemblyman Choi. It’s so sad that Joon-young put his father up on a pedestal that he didn’t earn, and that by holding that unreasonable esteem of Choi, Joon-young actually sabotaged his own future when he couldn’t live up to it himself. I just wish that once in his life, someone had been there to tell Joon-young that it’s okay to fail — that it doesn’t matter if you fail, but that it’s what you do after that, that makes you an honorable man.
But though I have compassion for him, I’m angry with him for his treatment of Eul, because it’s just not necessary to deliberately hurt her the way he seems bent on doing. I accept that he’s decided to dedicate the remainder of his life to making her father’s killer pay for her crime, and I even understand now that he’s wooing Jung-eun because taking her is part of his revenge on Assemblyman Choi and his family. But I really don’t get why he continues to drag Eul over to watch him do it — what purpose is that supposed to serve? Why does he need Eul to despise him, when he could just let her go in peace? Even if it’s a form of self-hatred on Joon-young’s part, it’s beyond horrible to hurt Eul that way.
I’m still upset with Joon-young’s mother for treating him so terribly for years, but she’s beginning to earn my respect a little bit for at least trying to be a better mother now. She’s attempting to repair their relationship a little at a time, which I think is a change partly inspired by Eul. Mom sees that Eul loves Joon-young in spite of his faults, and through Eul’s eyes she sees her wayward son as a man who’s doing his best to live a good life. I love how she champions Eul now, even playing wingman a bit when she sees the opportunity to get Joon-young and Eul in the same room. She’s not even above lying to Joon-young and getting Eul drunk in order to do it, which may not be morally upstanding but from someone as uptight as Mom, is pretty amusing. But the best moment was when she told Eul that Joon-young is a man of conscience — she’s finally accepting that he is still a worthy and moral man, even if she doesn’t agree with his life choices. Now if she would just say that to Joon-young himself, I could truly forgive her.
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 16
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 15
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 14
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 13
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 12
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 11
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 10
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 9
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 8
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 7
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 6
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 5
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 4
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 3
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 2
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 1