Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 7
It’s a difficult hour for our favorite pair: Min-hyuk finally learns who’s behind his suffering, and it falls on Bong-soon to help him through the pain. She has her own share of heartache though, and it has nothing to do with either of her men: Today is a story about family, and how sometimes they can understand you the least, but hurt you the most.
Episode 7: “Change”
We open the episode in fair Verona where Juliet (Bong-soon) dances with her Romeo (Min-hyuk). The romantic moment is abruptly broken by Romeo, who buckles over in agony when Juliet mistakenly steps on his toe. He hurriedly limps away in fear as Juliet calls after him.
In the real world, Bong-soon wakes up from her nightmare in a fright. She drags herself out of bed and to the kitchen in search of some water, when a masked man tries to sneak up on her.
Acting on instinct, her fist flies out and molds into the frying pan that the man uses as a weapon.
Meanwhile, Min-hyuk wakes to a knife against his throat held by another masked man. The man gets distracted by his buddy screaming outside so Min-hyuk capitalizes on the opportunity and disarms him. They tussle back and forth until Bong-soon arrives to knock the guy out.
We learn that the two men were sent by Boss Tak to kidnap our favorite duo, and they have a reputation of being quite fearsome. Bong-soon ties the unconscious experts together, as Min-hyuk recognizes one of them as the perpetrator who stabbed the detective in the bathroom.
Worried that the thugs might be uncomfortable lying on the ground for a long period of time, Bong-soon lays them down on a familiar-looking blanket…
The weight and warmth of two people lying side by side activates the talisman that Mom stuck inside, as the red butterfly burns into the fabric and engulfs the thugs in a sexy flame. We flash back to the mudang who explained to Mom that the talisman will help two people come together. He’d elaborated, “They will fall for each other. This will light their fire!”
Half-asleep, Bong-soon and Min-hyuk sprawl out in the living room as Bong-soon tries to get Min-hyuk to turn the thugs in, but is too tired to argue with him. She congratulates herself on catching the baddies before passing out.
Bright and early, Gook-doo calls Bong-soon to make sure everyone stayed in their own beds, while Min-hyuk answers the intruder’s phone. He’s quiet at first as Boss Tak asks whether Bong-soon and Min-hyuk were “taken care of,” in advance of Ohsung’s stockholders’ meeting.
Boss Tak continues to blab on and asks specifically of Bong-soon, stating that she’s the more important one of the two, hee. His interest in Bong-soon gets Min-hyuk talking, and he can’t resist asking why Bong-soon is more important.
Min-hyuk presents Boss Tak with a deal: If Boss Tak tells Min-hyuk who is behind the harassment, he won’t get the police involved. Min-hyuk then hangs up to give Boss Tak time to weigh his options.
Downstairs in the secret room, Bong-soon checks on the two thugs who are still asleep on the blanket. She uses an antenna from a remote control to poke at the men in an attempt to awaken them. They, uh, wriggle from the prodding, and let out a couple of titillating giggles.
Eventually, they open their eyes and upon seeing each other, they begin rubbing foreheads seductively. Bong-soon watches, speechless.
At the shareholders’ meeting, the attendees grow restless when Min-hyuk fails to arrive. The moderator announces that Min-hyuk won’t be joining them at all.
Min-hyuk walks in just as the room breaks into uproar. He apologizes and cites certain “unexpected guests” for his delay. He calls Bong-soon, then projects the video call onto the room’s large screen.
After fumbling slightly, Bong-soon points the camera at the bound men on the ground. Min-hyuk discloses the numerous threats and attacks he’s endured for the last six months in order to stop him from becoming Ohsung’s successor.
He tells his audience (which include his father and shifty-eyed brothers) that he has no interest in taking over Ohsung, but believes that the attacks against him and a bloody succession war are detrimental to Ohsung’s image, especially if they hope to separate themselves from their gangster reputation.
Min-hyuk proclaims that the guilty party is in the room with them. He tentatively schedules another shareholders meeting to unmask the culprit in front of the group. Right as he’s leaving, he remembers to clear up any misunderstandings about his sexuality, and informs everyone that he’s interested in women.
Out on the golf course, Boss Tak gets an earful after failing to detain Min-hyuk. He gets more bad news when Jaws reports to him that three of their men were beat up during their nightly patrolling of Do-bong by an elderly woman.
After screaming at his underlings for being incompetent buffoons, Boss Tak heads over to AinSoft to meet with Min-hyuk face-to-face. He hands over a flash drive, then says without prompting that he merely does what he’s paid to do.
Min-hyuk asks why Boss Tak needs to supplement his work with side jobs like this when his construction company is doing well, and Boss Tak replies that he does it out of loyalty to the Ahn family. He explains that everything done against Min-hyuk was only to scare him, not to hurt him. Min-hyuk accepts Boss Tak’s reasons, but adds that the next time he won’t be as forgiving.
Before heading out, Boss Tak tries to bargain for Bong-soon on the grounds that she’s “insulted” him. He’s brimming with curiosity about Bong-soon, and wants to know what her arrangement with Min-hyuk is, but he stops himself before he loses his cool and slinks away.
At long last, Min-hyuk reviews the contents of the flash drive, and upon hearing the voice giving the orders, his eyes well in recognition: It’s his second and most trusted brother, Dong-suk, who has terrorized his life.
The news is overwhelming for Min-hyuk and he crumbles as a little piece of him breaks inside. Bong-soon finds him a little later, and he tells her that he wishes his brother would have been honest with him, then asks her what he is to do now.
Seeking to cheer him up, Bong-soon pushes Min-hyuk toward the door to get some fresh air. They find their way to an amusement park where Bong-soon screams in delight at all the scary rides, as Min-hyuk cowers. They don matching animal ears and stroll through the park like a couple.
After building up an appetite, they sit down for some grub where Bong-soon tells Min-hyuk that she’s always been the black sheep of her family because of her strength. She plays it off like she’s used to the treatment.
Their food arrives and Bong-soon feeds a reluctant Min-hyuk an interesting combination of soondae and bean paste. He chomps down like a nonbeliever at first, but then concedes that it’s pretty darn good.
He’s impressed by her savvy and asks where her family is from, wondering which region eats their soondae in this way. She says that she’s from Do-bong, which makes Min-hyuk ask why her parents would be cruel enough to name her Do Bong-soon.
In the Dungeon of Doom, the Bride Collector torments one of his captives by running his hands all over her, and overall being the creepiest dude ever. He tells Bride #3 that she needs to lose more weight before their wedding.
When he’s gone, one of the other brides calls out to her fellow prisoners and attempts to calm their panic, offering reassuring words.
After their day at the amusement park, Min-hyuk and Bong-soon ride home on the bus. The setting compels Min-hyuk to tell Bong-soon of his mysterious hooded dream girl. He recounts the memory nostalgically, and swears to Bong-soon that the girl was an angel sent by his mother, the person he was one his way to see that day. He stares at her, as if waiting for her to complete his sentence.
Bong-soon’s gaze is full of meaning, though she can’t seem to find the words to say. They’re interrupted by a call from Granny, and Bong-soon slips into their hometown saturi as they promise to see each other soon.
She hangs up and broaches the topic of retiring her bodyguard title and moving to the development department now that they’ve identified Min-hyuk’s enemy. Min-hyuk counters that she needs to first complete her training and get her attack and defense skills to their highest level so she can protect herself against threats. She makes him pinky-promise this time and he complies.
Bong-soon proposes that they spend the night apart because of Granny’s visit, and Min-hyuk agrees, figuring that he needs to go to his parents’ house and confront his two-faced brother.
She leaves him with a Bong-soon-ism to cheer him up, saying, “When the world deceives you, just say ‘Gosh, you really got me this time’ and laugh it off.” (This is terrible advice.) He can’t help but smile at her simple worldview.
Feeling comforted, Min-hyuk warns her not to walk around Do-bong alone at night, and she agrees only if he doesn’t keep his sadness to himself, and they pinky-promise on that as well. D’aww.
That night, Mom and Granny walk arm-in-arm when they see Min-hyuk walking Bong-soon home. Mom calls out to her daughter, and immediately Bong-soon comes bounding over to hug Granny.
Min-hyuk remains at a distance to give the women some space for their reunion, and Mom whispers to Granny while gesturing to Min-hyuk that she’s going to make him her son-in-law.
Min-hyuk slowly makes his way over to greet Granny. He introduces himself and not a second later Granny refers to him as the son-in-law. Bong-soon cringes, Min-hyuk’s jaw drops, and Mom grins like a maniac.
Thankfully, Min-hyuk is excused soon after, so Bong-soon can groan to Mom about how awkward she’s making life for her. When Mom asks if they slept together yet, Bong-son reminds her that when she was younger Mom always used to tell her never to trust men because they’re all wolves. She demands time to adjust to the sudden reversal.
But Mom urges Bong-soon to unleash her pent-up sexual frustration onto Min-hyuk, and Granny calls Mom out on her questionable tactics.
The three generations of women sit on a bench as they discuss their family superpower. Bong-soon asks if there has ever been a case where a woman who lost her powers like Mom regained them later.
Granny doesn’t know of any, but adds if that ever happened, it would be in God’s plan. Mom pipes up to say that she tried everything to get her powers back, but she’s come to terms with who she is now.
Mom hopes that one day Bong-soon will her a daughter and be able to pass down her strength like she did.
It’s an eye-opening moment for Bong-soon, who thinks to herself about a time when she had dreamed of marrying Gook-doo and bearing three sons. Back then, she never wanted to have a daughter with strength like hers, but now, sitting under the stars with her Mom and Granny the idea suddenly doesn’t seem so terrible anymore.
Bong-soon isn’t the only one reminiscing; at his parent’s house, Min-hyuk walks through the rooms as fond memories of his childhood come alive. He remembers Dong-suk giving Min-hyuk his favorite toy and stares at the younger version of his brother through pained eyes.
Min-hyuk doesn’t mince words and tells adult Dong-suk that he’s relieved it was him. Dong-suk apologizes immediately, and explains that Min-hyuk was a fearful child that he always needed to protect. He says that he only wanted to scare Min-hyuk enough to make him back away from Ohsung.
Shockingly, Min-hyuk decides to keep the matter between them because Dong-suk was nice to him when they were kids, as long as he promises not to do it anymore. Dong-suk apologizes again, and Min-hyuk doesn’t reply.
Down at the police station, the police chief takes Unit 3 to task for neglecting to report the second missing woman in their case, especially now that a third woman has gone missing. With another team helping out, let’s hope we get some leads soon…
The next morning, Bong-soon heads out for work and runs into her fan club cutting class. She threatens to cut off ties unless they march back to their desks, and, ever obedient, they do as they are told, complete with nintey-degree bows. One of Mom’s friends watches the exchange from nearby and gets a whiff of something fishy afoot.
Bong-soon meets up with Min-hyuk at the gym, where her first lesson is to control her strength. He challenges her to tap a punching bag and practice regulating her power levels. She fails spectacularly and upon contact, the bag bursts open.
They try again, but this time Min-hyuk holds the punching bag and instructs her to touch the bag gently. She does as she’s told, and Min-hyuk lights up after not being sent flying anywhere, but when he goes around to take a look, his face falls to see that her hand has pierced the material.
The next activity is boxing, they go a few rounds successfully, but Bong-soon can’t avoid sending Min-hyuk spinning once. Then Min-hyuk has Bong-soon pull her hand out of Min-hyuk’s grasp without putting him in the hospital, and they count it as a win when she does it pain-free.
Suddenly, Min-hyuk jumps forward and grabs her from behind in a surprise attack, flustering Bong-soon, who becomes very aware of the proximity. He tells her not to get the wrong idea and try to free herself without hurting him.
She repeats that last part as if she isn’t sure she can manage it, but then starts poking at his sides in a series of tickle attacks. He loosens his hold on her as he laughs, which gives her the opening to twist his arm around and he drops to his knees.
Bong-soon complains about him messing around, until suddenly he reaches out, spins her around, and pins her to the ground. Oh my.
In a low voice he orders her to stay put, and she mumbles in agreement as her eyes search his face for an answer to the unfamiliar feelings churning inside her. He then tells her not to tell anyone about her powers, and about “us.”
She asks what he means, and he stutters as he replies that he’s talking about their private training sessions, then moves off of her .But neither can look each other in the eyes.
Min-hyuk announces her final test, which will require “keen concentration and complete strength.”
They reconvene in the secret room for the final round of stone-flicking. Min-hyuk goes first and his piece tumbles off the board in a pathetic attempt. Bong-soon flicks her piece next and it fires out, hitting the furniture behind them with such force it gets lodged in the wood. Min-hyuk does a terrified little jump when the wall shakes from the impact and looks about ready to die of a heart attack. Put on a helmet, dude.
She swears that she didn’t use her full strength, so Min-hyuk tells her to restrain herself by thirty percent. Bong-soon prepares to flick her next piece, but Min-hyuk is right in its trajectory. He asks sarcastically if she’s planning to put a stone through him and kill him, haha.
Sheepishly, Bong-soon repositions herself and tries again, this time the piece shatters a TV screen, causing Min-hyuk to cry out in pain. The third time he commands that she remove ninety percent of her strength and at last she manages to move the stone without breaking anything.
Min-hyuk praises her on a job well done, and welcomes her aboard the development team. She’s so excited that she begins swinging her arms around, but then accidentally breaks the board they were using, leading Min-hyuk to rescind his offer.
With his injuries finally healed, Kwang-bok packs up to leave the hospital. Boss Tak pays him a visit and Kwang-bok reaffirms his desire to settles things with Bong-soon. Boss Tak leaves him to it (but not before getting more pee spilled onto him) and heads over to visit the three men who were put out by Granny.
They visit one more room, and see the two men that broke into Min-hyuk’s house the other night, snuggling together in the same bed.
Mom and the ladies visit the mudang again to update him on that fact that they’ve successfully won over the “head” (Boss Tak) to their side. Mom asks if they should get rid of Boss Tak for good in order to clear their path, and after they pay a bit more, the mudang plunges deeper into the mystic forces to find their answer.
His eyes fill with a purple light and suddenly he channels Mom’s ancestor, Park Gae-boon, right in the middle of the Siege of Haenju. The mudang caws back and forth through the room throwing items left and right as if they were boulders, then looks toward Mom and says, “No matter how strong you are, you can’t handle him.”
Thoroughly spooked, the ladies walk back home shaken. Mom, knowing exactly what transpired, sighs to herself but says nothing about it. Her friend tells Mom that she that saw Bong-soon with her followers that morning, saying that they looked like gangsters, and Mom hurries home to scold Bong-soon.
Mom accuses her daughter of bullying those kids and taking their money. She gripes at Bong-soon for always causing trouble and giving her grief.
Perhaps Bong-soon had hoped that the evening with Granny brought her and her mom closer, and is heartbroken to see that nothing has changed. Tears fill her eyes as she shouts that she isn’t like her Mom, and she shouldn’t always jump to the conclusion that she is the bad one. Bong-soon cries that even though her body isn’t hurt by Mom’s whacks, her heart feels the pain, maybe even more acutely than others.
She asks why Mom favors Bong-ki over her so much and bawls that she didn’t ask to be born with her power. She tells Mom that she doesn’t know why Mom hates her so much and doesn’t understand her when they are both women.
After storming off to cool down, Bong-soon comes downstairs a little later and packs some soup for her brother and Kyung-shim. She’s still red-eyed from the exchange and Mom tiptoes around Bong-soon, unsure of what to say, then chooses to say nothing in the end.
Meanwhile at the hospital, Hee-ji confesses her feelings to Bong-ki. Hee-ji tells him that she understands how tangled their situation is, but still she can’t stop herself from feeling the way that she does. A startled Bong-ki discourages Hee-ji, saying that Gook-doo is his friend, and moreover, his sister has liked Gook-doo for a long time.
Bong-soon appears right then with the soup, and it’s unclear how much she overheard, but seeing them together seems to confirm her suspicions. So she steps up to voice her opposition to whatever might be brewing between the two.
Bong-soon says that she understands that no one can choose whom they love, but she hopes they can think about the people they might hurt in pursuit of those feelings. She requests that Hee-ji not hurt Gook-doo or confuse her brother any longer, then excuses herself.
Gook-doo and his team obtain a list of people who order the specially made shoe in the kidnapper’s size. They immediately start tracking down the people and looking for a match. Their search eventually takes them to a theater where they watch a play entitled “Blue Mustache and the Seven Brides.”
Oh geez, one of the scenes is pretty much exactly what’s happening at the Dungeon of Doom, with the Blue Mustache character and his seven imprisoned brides. In the audience, the Bride Collector watches the scene, transfixed.
Gook-doo and his partner interview the main actor after the show and they think they’ve found their guy until he gives his rock-solid alibi: He was performing in the play on the night of the kidnapping. In fact, the timing of each kidnapping coincided with performances of the play, which means he can’t be the criminal. Still, Gook-doo decides to have Bong-soon listen to a recording of the man’s voice just to be safe.
At the hospital, the real criminal returns to target Kyung-shim. He manages to distract the detectives by setting a trash can on fire, then slips into the room. But there, he’s stopped from injecting Kyung-shim with a syringe when Bong-soon pops up, asking suspiciously what he’s administering.
He can’t answer without sounding suspicious, and they lock eyes and slowly recognize each other. Bong-soon says, “You’re not a doctor, are you?”
The Bride Collector makes a run for it, and Bong-soon chases after him. She notifies the detectives, who immediately join the chase. They follow hot on his heels, but the man manages to slip away in the lobby by disguising himself as a janitor. Argh!
Gook-doo storms into Kyung-shim’s room to berate Bong-soon for trying to chase the criminal herself. Bong-soon’s had a rough day so she shouts right back at Gook-doo and tells him to worry about himself and his girlfriend instead of her.
He learns that she didn’t stay at Min-hyuk’s place and went home for the evening to visit her Granny, and goes ballistic. His voice is charged with frustration as he asks her if she understands how hard it was for him to send her to Min-hyuk.
Kyung-shim begs them to stop fighting, and Bong-soon flees from the room after declaring that she’ll go home by herself. Gook-doo chases after her.
Min-hyuk stops by the walnut shop to buy some treats, but everything he wants is sold out. Dad gives him their most popular walnut cookies and refuses his money. He asks Min-hyuk to take care of Bong-soon instead because she’s his “most precious child.” Aww Dad. Just put an onion right in my face why don’t you?
He tells Dad that he understands, adding seriously, “I also cherish Bong-soon. You can trust that.” His sincerity moves Dad, who starts piling more treats into Min-hyuk’s hands.
On the streets of Do-bong, Bong-soon walk alone in the night. She passes into the path of Boss Tak and Kwang-bok, who are lying in wait for her. Kwang-bok sets out, intent on giving her an eye for an eye, and Boss Tak looks the other way, choosing not to involve himself in Kwang-bok’s revenge.
Kwang-bok calls out to Bong-soon to commence their showdown, just as Min-hyuk catches sight of the two from a distance. But before they can get into it, Gook-doo bursts onto the scene and beats Kwang-bok to a pulp.
Gook-doo fights with such violence that Bong-soon runs over to stop him. As she pulls him off Kwang-bok she accidentally uses her super strength and throws Gook-doo to the side with startling power.
Gook-doo recovers from the toss and looks over to her in complete confusion, as Min-hyuk watches from afar.
I’m rather disappointed that Min-hyuk felt like he needed to announce his sexuality to the shareholders, which was confusing because it didn’t seem necessary, given that he doesn’t even want to take over Ohsung and shouldn’t care what they think. It was a really weird scene for me, but only second to the discomfort I felt during that tone-deaf blanket scene. The situation was played for comedy, but I found it just offensive. I get that the men were enchanted into falling in love through the magic of the blanket, but it has the effect of trivializing homosexuality, as though people could be charmed into their sexual orientation somehow. The thing that disappoints me the most from this episode is that I loved that Min-hyuk always leaned into the misconceptions about his sexuality because it seemed like it didn’t bother him what people thought. I thought he liked playing with people’s prejudices, but this episode showed me that that isn’t the case at all.
I’m not surprised though, and would prefer if we moved on from those kinds of jokes from here on out. I’m also hoping we’ve migrated entirely away from the Ahn family drama. I am happy that Min-hyuk gets some closure from his situation, but hope that he seeks to make his own family elsewhere because those guys suck. Mom, Granny, and now Dad (kind of) seem ready to adopt him so I say let’s just get the paperwork out.
I honestly thought Granny was going come in to show Bong-soon some of her badass Taekwondo, but what transpired instead was far more important for these characters, and so much more moving.
I like that the three generations of women talked about what they thought about their powers. I love that Granny and Mom’s relationship is so strong even though Mom pissed off the gods. It’s an important lesson that I’m glad the show is trying to drive home. The lesson that having the gods turn on you doesn’t make you unworthy suddenly, or evil somehow. It’s just a skill Mom lost along the way, like forgetting how to speak a foreign language. I do think that for Mom her strength was more intrinsic to her identity than it is for Bong-soon, meaning that she shaped who she was around it, and not the other way around, which is why it took her so long to come to terms with its loss.
It was so important for Mom to tell Bong-soon that she loves having a daughter and being a daughter, and wants Bong-soon to experience the same thing. And it was great for Bong-soon to call out Mom on her double standard, and ask Mom to confront her hang-ups about the strength and what it means for the women who have it.
It’s kind of interesting to me that there’s no concept of super sisters in this show. Like how awesome would it be for there to be like a kickass aunt who comes in later and bosses Mom around. Maybe for the sequel?