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My Ajusshi: Episode 11

It’s getting harder for Dong-hoon and Ji-an to hide their friendship, especially since everyone is either worried or hoping that it will effect Dong-hoon’s shot at a promotion. But Dong-hoon’s primary concerns lie closer to home, as it gets harder for him to ignore what he knows. Things may seem like they’re going well, but he’s spiraling down hard, and Ji-an might be the only one who can keep him sane.

EPISODE 11 RECAP

After successfully goading Dong-hoon into hitting her, Ji-an goes home and makes her favorite coffee. She remembers that someone was watching and taking photos of their argument, which may have been her goal for starting it in the first place.

The next morning at the office, Dong-hoon is distracted, but Ji-an never even glances at him. While he’s in a meeting, Ji-an goes by Dong-hoon’s desk and takes back the nice slippers she gave him (that he never wore) and throws them away.

That night, in the hotel room where Dong-hoon is being prepped for his director interviews, Director Jung asks the exact nature of his relationship with Ji-an, promising to protect him no matter what. As he asks questions, Dong-hoon remembers Ji-an texting him to buy her dinner, piggybacking her grandmother up and down the steep staircase, and even beating up her loan shark abuser.

It’s as if it just now occurs to him how far things have gone, and how he’s done much more than a boss would for an employee. The worst part is how Ji-an yelled at Dong-hoon to hit her so she can kill her feelings for him, and how he got so angry that he actually knocked her to the ground.

Dong-hoon doesn’t say much as the directors discuss how to spin the situation to paint him as simply a caring boss who helped a struggling young girl. They still worry that the opposition will try to make it seem dirty, so Director Jung asks if there’s anything that could prove there was nothing wrong going on, like if Ji-an has a boyfriend, but Dong-hoon has nothing.

Director Jung asks Dong-hoon why he hired Ji-an when she was one of the least-qualified applicants. She happens to be listening in as he explains that the other applicants gained empty experience without knowing the purpose of their work, while Ji-an seemed like someone with confidence and the willingness to do anything.

The directors wail that that answer won’t convince anyone, and they discuss the fact that they need to fire Ji-an. But firing her now will just make Dong-hoon look more guilty, so they brainstorm for a way to fire her later that will keep her mouth shut.

At Jung-hee’s bar that evening, Sang-hoon grows morbid over his upcoming fiftieth birthday and the fact that he feels like he’s accomplished little with his life. Ki-hoon loses his temper and storms off to another table. Dong-hoon is barely listening as Sang-hoon vows to do something memorable before he dies, though his attempt at gravitas is ruined by Ki-hoon’s repeated trips back to the bar to grab snacks, hee.

Dong-hoon goes outside for a smoke, and he stares down the street where Ji-an usually walks on her way home. She doesn’t show up, and he almost calls her, but stops himself.

That night, Sang-hoon hides more cash under the floor of his and Ki-hoon’s room. Ki-hoon complains about his brother’s laziness and jokes that he’s going to fire Sang-hoon and hire Mom. She mutters that she’d probably fall down a flight of stairs and die.

When Dong-hoon comes home sober, Yoon-hee asks why he went to Jung-hee’s if not to drink. He grumbles that there’s no reason to come home to an empty house, and Yoon-hee says meekly that she comes home late because he’s always out drinking with his brothers. She sighs that she no longer remembers which came first.

Dong-hoon promises to only meet up with his brothers twice a week from now on, and Yoon-hee asks if that includes their soccer club on Sunday mornings. He says that doesn’t count because it includes his childhood friends, and Yoon-hee’s agreement carries a tone of resentment when she adds, “…all the people you care about are at Jung-hee’s.”

She immediately takes it back, but it still upsets Dong-hoon. He leaves the room, and Yoon-hee gets a message from Joon-young asking her to call him. She does, and Dong-hoon overhears her say that he already knows of their affair, so she doesn’t care if the company finds out.

Joon-young is concerned about the photos he saw of them together on the “spy’s” camera, unaware that it was only Ji-an and Ki-bum scheming to scare him. He tells Yoon-hee to lie that they accidentally ran into each other at the hotel the other day, reminding her that Dong-hoon doesn’t want people to find out, either. She asks how long he expects her to be so shameless in front of the man she cheated on.

As he waits for the train the next morning, Dong-hoon texts to his monk friend, “I’m forcing it. I’m forcefully holding onto a heart that wants to fly away.” Gyeom-duk replies that he feels sorry for Dong-hoon’s heart, and that if it were him, he’d let the heart fly away.

Instead of getting on the train, Dong-hoon travels to the countryside to visit Gyeom-duk. He finds his friend on the road, trying to change a flat tire on his truck, and he stops to help.

Joon-young hires a pair of men to search his office for bugs or secret cameras. They declare the office and his phones clean, and once they’re gone, Joon-young pulls up some photos on his phone — it’s Dong-hoon and Ji-an having their fight, including one of Dong-hoon slapping Ji-an.

Director Yoon interprets Dong-hoon’s sudden personal day as guilt for the things his side has against him, one big one being a shopping mall he inspected that’s experiencing tremors. He watches suspiciously as Ji-an leaves work early.

She delivers a lunch to Joon-young’s house, which she eats while Joon-young asks her why Dong-hoon didn’t come to work today. She says that he went to the temple because she told him she likes him, and Joon-young wonders if that’s when Dong-hoon slapped her. She says she had to do it because Dong-hoon is so busy preparing for the interviews that he hasn’t got time to eat with her.

Joon-young demands to hear her recording of the incident, and Ji-an seems uncomfortable as Joon-young listens to her confession. He wonders out loud why women like Dong-hoon when he seems like nothing special from a man’s perspective.

He asks Ji-an why she likes him, and she glares at him defiantly. But then her eyes go cold as she says, “I want to ruin him. Whenever I see a nice person, I want to kick them and make them cry. I have no feelings towards bad people like you, but nice people make me want to ruin them. Maybe I want to turn them into someone like me.”

She asks abruptly if she should sleep with Dong-hoon, since they’re running out of time. She offers to dose him with drugs and alcohol to make it happen, and this horribly avaricious expression comes over Joon-young’s face as he says that he wants to see her try.

Dong-hoon helps Gyeom-duk with his work for the day, and over lunch he asks why a monk is doing manual labor. Gyeom-duk explains that monks at small temples have to do a lot of things. He wonders why Dong-hoon came to see him, but he doesn’t pry.

Later, Dong-hoon asks why Gyeom-duk is here when he could have done anything with his perfect grades, but Gyeom-duk quickly shuts down that line of conversation. He asks how Dong-hoon is doing, and Dong-hoon mutters, “I’m screwed until my next life. I don’t know how to live anymore.”

Gyeom-duk says that Dong-hoon broke sooner than he expected. He confesses that Dong-hoon is the biggest reason he became a monk, because he knew he’d never be more successful than Dong-hoon and yet he also knew life would cheat his friend.

Dong-hoon says that he always thought that if he sacrificed himself, life would be fine. Gyeom-duk sighs that nobody wants their loved one to sacrifice for them, and that that’s just a rationalization for his crappy life. When Dong-hoon argues, Gyeom-duk tells him to tell his son to live that way, and he can tell by Dong-hoon’s expression that he hit a nerve.

He asks why Dong-hoon lives in a way he wouldn’t want for his son, then tells his friend that he has to be happy, too, and orders him not to use the word “sacrifice” again. He says that despite her cursing, their mother never feels heartache for Sang-hoon or Ki-hoon, but she worries about Dong-hoon even though he’s outwardly successful.

Ki-hoon flips through pictures of Yu-ra on his phone, and he gets choked up to see that she hasn’t answered his texts. He picks a stupid fight with Sang-hoon, and later he gets angry with Sang-hoon for goofing off while he does all the work, really upset that Yu-ra still isn’t responding.

Gyeom-duk cuddles Dong-hoon when he still looks morose, saying, “Let’s be happy, friend. This is nothing. This is nothing.” Dong-hoon strugglesweakly, but he eventually gives in and lets his friend hug him.

Ki-bum manages to steal the documents on Dong-hoon from the company audit department, and he reassures Ji-an that there’s nothing in there about her… yet. He advises her to quit and disappear, but she says that she’ll be fired soon anyway and tells him to keep looking.

By the time the guys get together at Jung-hee’s that evening, Ki-hoon is so cranky that he glowers and snaps at every little thing. Sang-hoon finally tells him to just go see Yu-ra if he misses her, instead of taking his bad mood out on him.

Ki-hoon actually tears up from frustration and embarrassment, and he stomps outside to calm down. He finally hears from Yu-ra, who texts that she’s home and going to bed. Ki-hoon runs at top speed to catch a taxi to her building, but at her landing, he sees that she vomited on the stairs again.

He stops to clean up the mess, and when he finally talks to her, she apologizes and says she was going to clean up later. She tells him that her director yells at her every day, crying that she hates waking up in the morning because she feels the way she did before.

Ki-hoon is at a loss for how to help her, so he just says the first thing that comes to mind: “I love you.” But Yu-ra says that the words don’t make her feel any better, so Ki-hoon leaves, rejected.

Sang-hoon calls Dong-hoon, who’s still at the temple. Gyeom-duk takes the phone to say hello to Sang-hoon, and although Sang-hoon tries to slip outside, Jung-hee grabs the phone from him. She thinks she’s talking to Dong-hoon and scolds him for not coming tonight, and Gyeom-duk goes very still at the sound of her voice.

He gives Dong-hoon the phone back without saying anything, and he struggles to keep his composure. He drives Dong-hoon back to the bar, then sits in the parking lot for a long time as if he wants to go inside. But eventually he takes a deep breath and drives away.

At work the next day, Gyeom-duk’s advice to make himself happy rings in Dong-hoon’s mind until he gets up and heads to Joon-young’s office. He locks the door, then he angrily reminds Joon-young that he wasn’t to let Yoon-hee find out that he knows of the affair. Joon-young informs him that Yoon-hee found out on her own and asked him about it.

The entire office jumps in shock when Dong-hoon bellows, “You should have said no!!” Ji-an quickly puts on her earbuds before she realizes that Dong-hoon left his phone on his desk. Not that she needs them — Dong-hoon speaks loudly enough that his voice echoes down the hallway.

He threatens to personally destroy Joon-young, but Joon-young sneers that it would be easiest to just tell the company everything. He yells that a mere manager dares to burst into the CEO’s office, and Dong-hoon snaps. He punches Joon-young just seconds before Director Yoon unlocks the door.

An emergency directors’ meeting is called, and Joon-young takes advantage of the situation to spin things his way. He insists that nothing happened between him and Yoon-hee besides two college friends meeting by coincidence, and accuses Executive Director Wang’s side of taking the photo of them, then sending in Dong-hoon to cause a scene to make it look like he did something wrong.

Once the directors leave, Joon-young glares at Dong-hoon triumphantly and gloats that he should have thought of this before throwing that punch. He says they’ll see who wins now, but Dong-hoon just fires back that Joon-young will be humiliated when he falls.

He heads back to his desk, where he finally notices that the slippers Ji-an gave him are missing from his drawer.

Confused by Joon-young’s reference to a photo with Yoon-hee, Executive Director Wang asks his directors who had Joon-young followed. They all deny it, but when Director Jung calls Director Park to ask if he did it, he snaps, “Yes, let’s say I did!”

On the walk home, Dong-hoon catches up with Ji-an to ask about his slippers. She says she came to her senses when he hit her, so she threw them out. Dong-hoon asks if he’s not good enough to receive slippers from her, but she points out that he hadn’t even worn them.

She tells him to fire her tomorrow in front of everyone. She says he should say that she tried to kiss him so he warned her away, but that she made another move on him. She says it’s all true, and the company wants to get rid of her anyway.

But Dong-hoon yells that he won’t do it, because it would be immature of him to fire her for liking him. He adds that the thought of firing her makes him feel sick, because he can’t stand to have yet another person who makes him feel uncomfortable.

What’s more, he informs Ji-an, he’s met her grandmother. He says firmly that he’ll be there at Grandma’s funeral, so she’d better be at his mother’s funeral. He orders Ji-an to stop sulking and be nice to people, promising to make sure the other employees are nice to her from now on.

He declares that he’ll make sure she finishes her contract and does well at her next company, and years from now when they run into each other, he’ll greet her like an old friend. He stops lecturing Ji-an and starts to go, but he turns back to bark, “Buy me another pair of slippers!” Ji-an finally looks at him as he walks away.

At home, Dong-hoon and Yoon-hee eat dinner in silence, though she sneaks peeks at him as if she senses something is different. She tries to talk to him as he watches TV, but he immediately interrupts and walks away from her, turning up the volume.

Joon-young’s ex-detective spy reports back with information on Kwang-il, whom he photographed fighting with Dong-hoon. He says that he and Ji-an have known each other since childhood and that Ji-an killed Kwang-il’s father. The detective says that he arrested Kwang-il’s father many times, so he wasn’t surprised that he was stabbed to death, and he tells Joon-young that Kwang-il came looking for him to ask why he’s so interested in Dong-hoon.

Yu-ra shows up at Jung-hee’s bar that evening, and she tells the guys that she’s jealous because it’s all over for them, and she wishes it were all over for her. Jung-hee sits next to her, more than ready for a “who has the most miserable life” drinking battle. She’s so drunk she can barely stand by the end of the night.

She stumbles face-first into the sink and gives herself a bloody nose, and she smears the blood all over her face, telling herself she’s okay. She’s still saying she’s fine as she does her laundry, even when she falls off her stool. She goes to bed, insisting that she’s perfectly fine, then bursts into tears.

At the temple, Gyeom-duk also gets ready for the night. But instead of going to bed, he sits up all night long, staring at the wall.

While shopping with Yoon-hee, Dong-hoon asks her to get a rag from the glove compartment to wipe the dashboard. When she opens it, a hotel pass falls out, and they both freeze. After a second, Dong-hoon takes the rag and Yoon-hee guiltily slips the pass back into the glove compartment.

After a silent drive home, Yoon-hee tries to talk to Dong-hoon again, but he just chatters about the groceries. She falls to her knees, gasping that she’s sorry, and after a long tense moment, Dong-hoon walks right past her. Yoon-hee calls after him, “I was wrong!” and he punches the bedroom door hard enough to smash a hole in it.

Ji-an is listening as Dong-hoon asks Yoon-hee, “Why did you do it? Why did it have to be him? Why him?!” He hits the door over and over, screaming, “Why?” with each strike. As he continues yelling, Ji-an drops her head into her lap.

In the morning, Ji-an visits her grandmother, who asks about Dong-hoon. It reminds her of the anguish she heard in his voice last night, sobbing to Yoon-hee that the moment she cheated, she declared him worthless and as good as dead, because she thought it was okay to treat him that way.

Ji-an’s chin wobbles as tears well up in her eyes. Grandma asks what’s wrong, and Ji-an recovers enough to tell her that Dong-hoon is doing well and asked after her. She says that he buys her food all the time and helps her at work, and that he’s getting a promotion soon.

Grandma says she’s glad, but she asks why Ji-an is crying. Ji-an replies that it’s because she’s happy to be close to someone like Dong-hoon.

COMMENTS

Okay, I’m loving the new outspoken and “selfish” Dong-hoon. When he informed Ji-an that they’re friends now so she may as well get over it, I just wanted to cheer. She’s the one person in dong-hoon’s life who he feels connected to right now, and even though it’s not always (or even usually) a positive connection, it’s not something he’s willing to give up so easily. And Ji-an can’t tell him that by asking him to fire her, she’s trying to save him from Joon-young, plus she has her own feelings for him making it difficult for her to do the leaving. So I can’t blame her for being unable to follow through when Dong-hoon was being all I’m not going anywhere, so deal with it, because that was pretty intense for a girl who’s probably never had a real friend in her life.

It was interesting to see Dong-hoon and Yoon-hee negotiate to spend more time together early in the episode. It felt strange, like they knew they should really be discussing Yoon-hee’s infidelity but neither was ready. I think that figuring out a schedule that doesn’t keep them so separate was their way of admitting they need to do something about the distance between them, without actually addressing the reason for it. They still need to talk about the affair and the reasons for it, and while I don’t hold Dong-hoon at all responsible, I know he’s aware that he hasn’t done much to maintain his marriage, either. They have a lot of work to do if they want to stay together, and they need to get out all the anger and resentment first. I was glad to see them both acknowledge the affair later, even if it was painful.

I feel so badly for Dong-hoon, who has everything that society tells him should make him happy — good career, a beautiful, intelligent wife, a wonderful son — and yet he’s still so miserable. None of those things fulfill him or make him feel like his life has worth. It was interesting how, when his monk friend gave him permission to be selfish, Dong-hoon just took that ball and ran with it. He needs to stop looking outside of himself for happiness, because not only isn’t it working, but it’s making him feel worse when he gets everything he thinks he wants, but he’s still unhappy. It’s like he’s not just unhappy, but he feels like a failure for being unhappy, and it just becomes this awful downward self-hate spiral. It was healthy for him to confront Joon-young, then to claim Ji-an as his friend, and I hope he doesn’t stop there.

Speaking of which, I still can’t tell what, exactly, Dong-hoon feels for Ji-an. Clearly he feels bad for her and wants to help, and he’s done things that make it seem like there’s more, but I think that he’s so confused with his wife’s affair that he hasn’t really stopped to think about his true feelings for Ji-an. I know, I know, we’ve been told this drama isn’t a romance, but I’ll be damned if there’s not a whole lot of feelings flying around for a non-romance, so I can’t help but wonder. Dong-hoon’s reaction to Ji-an throwing out his slippers was pretty telling — he hadn’t even worn them, as if he instinctively knew that wearing them would send her a signal that he wasn’t ready to send. But once they were gone he was pretty upset, and on a day when he had plenty of other things that should have been more urgent to worry about. He ended up tossing a whole lot of honesty at Ji-an and then going home and deliberately ignoring his wife… something is definitely up.

I know I keep saying this, but I just can’t stop being absolutely fascinated by Ji-an as a character. There’s very little that’s likable about her other than her obvious love for her grandmother, and despite her terrible circumstances, there’s really nothing sympathetic about her on a personal level. She’s rude, she steals, she lies, and she admits that she shamelessly takes advantage of people who want to help her. Now she confesses that she even wants to ruin nice people like Dong-hoon, for no other reason than that she hates them for being nice. But then she turns around and cries to her grandmother, both for Dong-hoon’s pain and for her gratitude that someone as wonderful as him wants to be near her. No wonder she’s giving off so many mixed signals.

I feel like there’s so much potential beneath the surface with Ji-an, if only someone could get through to her. She has every right to be angry and defiant, to be furious at the world for handing her such a shitty life, and to want to lash out at anyone who isn’t as miserable as she is. But even though she seems to be working with Joon-young to bring Dong-hoon down, all of her seemingly harmful actions also can be spun to benefit him (such as getting him to slap her, which could look like a lovers’ quarrel, but it could also be seen as proof that they’re not together). It just proves how brilliant she is at playing both sides, and I believe that Ji-an doesn’t really want to harm Dong-hoon. She lowers her guard with him, and when she’s alone, she truly seems moved by things like his telling her she’s a good person. I only hope she’s able to make a breakthrough before it’s too late, when she still has time to actually help him.

 
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I feel their relationship is even romantic than Pretty Noona. It doesnt have to be love but you really feel connect with other person.

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I know right. It's amazing that despite zero skinship, you just could feel the strong connection between them that can be interpreted as romantic.

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Yes. I feel the same. Not only for DH and JA, but also the relationship between DH and his brother also feel romantic for me.

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Agreed. I am sorry for pretty noona fans but i can't help to compare both drama. I know both genre are different but why i feel more romantic feeling in my ahjussi even tough there are no touching or kissing scene. I can't help to drop pretty noona at the moment. Their clingy-ness makes me suffocating a little bit.

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So agree with you. I have said it before, emotional bond easily surpassed physical connection. There's the restrained, the tension with so much pureness and exquisite beauty in it. My Ahjusshi excelled in demonstrating this.

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I think they have fluttering effect in me different way. Pretty noona is a step of earlier relationship while all you feel is happy ina mundane world. While My Ajusshi is just feel more a fluttering feeling of having someone in the dark period of their life

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One of the best episodes in all the dramas I’ve watched! 💔 😭

That confrontation was soooo EMOTIONAL and RAW and REAL! When Dong hoon punched the door in his anger? Ooof, I loved it! Even I flinched while watching! I was waiting for everything to come out in the open because I wanted Yoon-hee to finally do the right thing. I know Dong-hoon wasn’t helping as he was actively avoiding it, but I understood why he was doing it. Laying it out in the open means they will have to come to a decision with regards to their marriage and he wanted to delay the inevitable because he’s afraid of what the decision is going to be.

And when he said:

“As soon as you cheated on me with him, you pronounced me dead! Because you thought it was okay for me to be treated that way. That was you saying I’m worthless and I should just die”

I was just a mess. That is one of the best dialogue I’ve heard to explain how it feels to be cheated on. I also love how the scene was interspersed with the ‘normal’ Dong-hoon playing soccer, which emphasizes how his character’s personality has all been about enduring and ‘sacrificing’ so that nobody really knows what he’s feeling or going through. Lee Sun Kyun killed it, and as always, I am a forever fan ❤️️

On Ji-an and Dong-hoon’s relationship: As I mentioned in my comment in the last recap, I hadn’t seen any romantic vibe in their interactions which made me believe there wouldn’t be and watching this episode seems to reinforce that. It makes sense for it to be this way because all along we’ve been shown how much the ‘neighborhood’ community is like family to Dong-hoon and that it matters to him as part of his principles. And it’s a shared principle as evidenced by how often the gang meets or the way they just ran to DH last episode. It was like a visceral reaction: if it happens to any of them they’d all do the same. It’s the same principle that makes them take care of Jung-hee. I feel (and hope) that Ji-an will just be a younger version of Jung-hee and Yura in their group.

Btw, I really loved IU’s acting in the last scene, where she’s telling grandma that she’s happy but her lip was quivering and all. I also noticed that there’s more light in her face and she’s wearing more colorful clothes which really indicates how much she’s changed. Gone is that big brown jacket that swallowed her frame which I think was a representation of her attitude and plight before.

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And Jung-hee also broke my heart this episode. How sad that she still can’t move on from her love for the monk. And he still feels something for her – love, regret, apologetic, all of them idk. But he has clearly chosen his life’s path and Jung-hee isn’t in it. It’s just so well acted and directed that I need not see flashbacks of their life before to feel heartbroken for them

I also loved Dong-hoon’s conversation with the monk and I teared up because everything that was said about sacrificing and who is it really for and being shameless and focusing on yourself just resonated with me. And that back-hug. I was as moved as Dong-hoon when Sang-won said It’s no big deal. Just that one line for that short scene and I felt like someone also told me that “It’s no big deal.” 😢 💗

This drama is such an experience to watch for me. It def is a melo and on paper, the bleakness and the tragic aspects in the characters’ story and all the moving scenes would be enough to make me sob my heart out. But the way it’s executed is like a SLOW BURN which makes the sadness linger longer in my heart. The kind where it’s just silent tears or I don’t realize that I’m crying (well, excepting this episode where I was sobbing in the end. heh). As LollyPip mentioned before, it’s all shown so matter-of-factly, and I find it so much more effective this way rather than the in-your-face kind of melo where you know the drama is actively trying to make you cry. It’s brilliant.

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The way DH looked at Jung Hee when he realised how sad she was...

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There were so many feelz-giving scenes in this ep., but the one with Jung-hee looking at herself in the mirror, trying to reassure herself that's she's okay-- even though her reflection said otherwise-- pierced my heart. The human condition, in all it's fragile beauty. And then to see the monk being so affected by hearing her voice, looking like he was about to cry-- I was curious about their relationship before, but now I'm emotionally invested in it.

I agree with you about how moving the interactions between Dong-hoon and the monk were. There was a parallel between the monk enveloping Dong-hoon in that backhug and refusing to let go, and Dong-hoon telling Ji-an that he wasn't going to let go of her-- that he wasn't going to fire her, that he'd be at her grandmother's funeral and expected her to be at his mother's, that he'd make sure she finished her contract at work, and that she'd better replace the slippers that she threw out. In both scenes, I heard "You can't shake me off-- I care about you deeply and I've got your back." Also, I thought it was really well done when the monk told Dong-hoon the same thing that Dong-hoon had told Ji-an about her having killed someone: "it's nothing; it's no big deal". We can try to console ourselves (like Jung-hee), but ultimately, we need one other for true consolation and healing.

And I couldn't agree more with your comments about this show's brilliant execution.

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Jung-hee doing the whole 'I can still wash up so I'm OK'... 'I can still do laundry so I'm OK'... 'I finished my tasks for today, I'm OK'... Then she goes and cries herself to sleep. All the while we also see the monk doing the same thing. And though he may not be crying, the way he was facing the wall probably meditating so he can stop thinking about Jung-hee was also sad

I love how you pointed out the parallelism between the monk and Dong-hoon, then Dong-hoon with Ji-an. The one who gives comfort to another needed the same comfort too

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I kind of fell in love with the monk in this ep. He's smart, wise, grounded, loving, has great taste in best friends-- but it was the way he looked when he was trying not to cry that really did me in. You can tell he's a very sweet, tender-hearted soul. Vulnerabilty can be so attractive.

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I would also like to say that I’m loving the OST and background instrumental music. The 2 songs that feature prominently are now in my fave OST list. And the instrumental music effectively enhances and heightens whatever feeling is being invoked in the scenes. I love the way it shifts as the scene/dialogue shifts: from contemplative to emotional, calm to threatening. And it also knows when to pull out to let the dialogue and the acting evoke all the feels.

I have too much love for this show it seems..lol

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And the instrumental music effectively enhances and heightens whatever feeling is being invoked in the scenes

well explained.
instrumental music is like support system of this drama. and fits perfectly to the respective scenes .

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The OST is wonderful. I can't stop listening to Adult but the incidental music is also beautiful and subtle.

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I am loving Adult, Dear Moon, and There is a Rainbow, both the Band ver. by Vincent Blue (who also did Slow Down for the INAR OST, which I loove) and the acoustic ver. by O.WHEN. They’ve all gone right on my Favorite OSTs playlist!

Can’t wait for the score to be released. That is always the one bright spot about a good show ending: the score is finally released!

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The OST is that kind where long after the drama is over, the feelings I had when I was watching it will come back for every listen ❤️️

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We can find most of the music up on Youtube with translations of the lyrics for those that need them (me).

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“As soon as you cheated on me with him, you pronounced me dead! Because you thought it was okay for me to be treated that way. That was you saying I’m worthless and I should just die”.

This scene just brought me to tears. Poor DH, I just wanted to hug him.

I don't know why people can't see the "romance" between JH and JA, but is so palpable. Very platonic indeed.
And I'm very happy this is nothing like all the netizens were saying and predicting about the drama before it even aired. Good job, cast and crew!

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@jaderjy That confrontation was everything! DH finally expressing how he really felt. She wrote him off... The words, “As soon as you cheated on me with him, you pronounced me dead! Because you thought it was okay for me to be treated that way. That was you saying I’m worthless and I should just die” , I felt are rarely heard coming from a husband who as been cheated on, but can rightfully be applied. He spoke his truth. It was healing to hear him say it out loud. Reminded me a little of Emma Thompson in Love Actually, speaking to her husband about making her life feel foolish.. just amazing depth of emotion.

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Exactly. How do you recover from something like that?

I thought I knew how betrayed and hurt Dong-hoon would feel but when he said those lines, it made it deeper and so much more painful. Even now, replaying the scene in my mind I'm just tearing up 😢 Joon-young had already trampled on him at work when he was demoted, but for him to also be in an affair with his wife? How really worthless he must feel!

I've seen someone punch the wall like that in real life during a hurtful confrontation too and it just made the whole thing so real when DH did the same

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I watched the scene again and ugh... still brutal. Ji-an's emotions replaying the scene when signing to her grandmother that everything is fine, just wow. I wonder if her reaction is not just the the empathy she feels for DH (which is huge for her), but also a feeling of having her deeper thoughts revealed.. almost as if the words could applied to her runaway Mom.. making her feel worthless.
If IU doesn't win the Baeksang for best actress this year, it would be a shame. That last scene should be selected for submission. (I don't know if it works like the Emmy's or Oscars, but really someone needs to get on it.)

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Strangely when I watched that last scene, Ji-an's words about Dong-hoon to her grandma sounded almost like a prayer to me. For ajusshi to be okay even after that huge confrontation with his wife, for him to continue being her friend, and also for him to do well in his job so that people can see that being kind isn't going to stop him from having all the good things in life.

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I think my favorite part of this episode was the pure looks of happiness that DH and his monk friend had when they met each other on the road. They look so genuinely happy to see each other. I don't think I've seen that look on DH's face with anyone else.

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Exactly, it was the first time Dong Hoon has such apure smile on his face.

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I agree. DH looked almost youthful when he was with his friend. The scene played very well.

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It surprised me that we never saw him that happy before, and that he actually can still feel genuinely happy even after all the things he has to go through.

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"Buy me another pair of slippers!”

I’m conflicted whether I want to laugh, sigh or swoon at that. It was such a lovely monologue, emphatically stating not only his relationship with Ji An, but also his committed loyalty to her. It was an explicit pronouncement of what we already know implicitly about Dong Hoon: he is the epitome of a family man.

Not just a filial son, loyal brother, faithful husband, loving father, he’s a dependable neighbor, fun cocktails maker, ajusshi soccer player, a flawless employee, a respect-evoking manager…and true friend. When he said he would go to her grandmother’s funeral, so she’d better come to his mother’s funeral, I nearly cried.

That’s one of Dong Hoon’s greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses. He would rather sacrifice himself (his ambition, jeopardize his promotion) than turn his back on someone he considers “family."

While the Blue Team prepare DH for his upcoming interview, Show depicted so well how mutually exclusive the selfishness office politics are to basic, decent human kindness, much less the ideal of a loving, caring community embodied in DH. He did nothing wrong, but everything he did could be easily manipulated into something untoward. It’s so obvious that their line of reasoning, even in his defense, is so antithetical, so distasteful to Dong Hoon.

Episode 11’s theme?
I wonder if the major narrative arch this episode was about futility.

Sang Hoon mourns the futility of his life. While it is played for laughs, I believe he’s actually representative of many who reach middle age and taking account of their lives, they feel disappointed either with how little they have accomplished, the amount of what is left to do, or the insurmountable futility of it all.

Dong Hoon is the best example of futility since he has led “a good life”, yet is plagued by problems in both his personal and professional life, as Ji An put it, suffering under his interminable earnestness. Yu-Ra still failed at her movie gig. I think even the monk failed in his desire not to be tied down by the world’s problems.

The monk is meant to represent the sort of person who was clever enough to realize no one wins in this “rat race” of life, so he decides to walk away from it all. But, I’m not entirely convinced his decision is any better in escaping futility. He’s shown to be at peace with his decision. But, one listen of Jung Hee’s voice, and he is obviously still affected by her. So, I’m not sure if him “giving up everything” has actually meant he is free from the troubles of life. He’s just disconnected from them….and others. If anything, he is also antithetical to Dong Hoon because he is so isolated whereas Dong Hoon is surrounded by his community of family and friends.

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@pineapplegongzhu your analysis really resonated with me. I agree that the deeper questions posed within the drama are what make it so meaningful to the viewer. I felt the same with OHYA; and my lesson there became "Commit fully to life, without fear".

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Awww, thanks for your comment @beantown! It really touched me. Yes, this drama has a lot of depth.

Good mantra: commit fully to life without fear!

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@lollypip, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS QUICK RECAPS!! I've been refreshing this page for hundred of times. :)

I love this episode so much. This show is getting better in each episode. There are so many things I want to say as so many things happened in one episode!
* The Monk back-hugged Dong-hoon is my favourite scene.
* Jung-hee fell-down while washing her face and talked to herself while wiping blood in her nose, and "A Millions Roses" as BGM, my heart felt so heavy. I was wondering what happened between her and the Monk in the past? I'm sure they're in a relationship. But... still.. so many questions, and why Jung-hee can't move on.
* Ki-hoon checked his phone several times in a day, being grumpy and scoring Sang-hoon, and ran to her place, and said "I LOVE YOU." Man, you fell so hard to Yura and you didn't even realise it! I think Ki-hoon is new to love, LoL.
* Heard Ajumma called Dong-hoon "Yeobo" for the first time. What? because you felt guilty and you wanted to apologise to your husband.
* I expected Dong-hoon break down, but I never expected that way! It was very unexpected! he's been bottling up for so long, and his breaking down was triggered by the parking hotel card? I know, getting back from the temple, he needs to be selfish this time, and to just focus on his happiness.

Isn't it weird that I invest to the life of an ahjusshi that even doesn't exist in the real world???!! :)

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Dong-hoon and JA relationship is just beautiful! It's just a pure human relationship! I understand why Ji-an likes him. He's the first person who treats her like a real human being.

My heart flutters when I see the way DH looks at Ji-an, and the other way around. I know, it's not a romantic drama and it's almost zero chance for their romance, but still.....

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and i am continuing your still... cause my heart flutters as well...

"My heart flutters when I see the way DH looks at Ji-an, and the other way around"

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I feel butterflies in my stomach when I see the way DH looks at JA. There's just something about that look. I bet the suppressed restrained feeling is what making the glances so romantic.

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@lemoncello Flutters indeed!! More than romance, right now this relationship is a meaningful connection. Friendship, kinship, or whatever it turns out. The caring is the most important part. He cares if she is okay, she cares if he is okay. Each scene about how far they will go to protect the other. Each speaks a kind of truth to each other that they can't with other people. I love their connection. When DH is with his wife, I want the scene to end as soon as possible.. the chemistry isn't there, and I can't forgive what she did to him.

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No it isn't weird to feel so invested in the life of this ahjussi, or anyone else in this show.
That is how well it has been acted, directed, filmed etc. that we are all totally invested and feel their pain almost physically as we cry with and for each one of these lost souls.

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The writers foreshadowed this. When the brother were discussing how lame magic tricks are (for the son's school project) and they move to the topic of why we cry over dramas.

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If it's weird, I'll be weird with you!
I have to rewatch each episode of this show because there are so many layers and I feel so connected with their plight.
Not to mention the outstanding acting, script,editing, direction, score... so incredible

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Uh, not score *cough*, OST *cough*

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*I like Dong Hoon so much that I am super protective of him and automatically hate every human being who somehow hurts him (I am looking at you Yoon-Hee and jerkface).
* Does anyone feel that Jung Hee/Monk storyline is a bit random? I get how every story is connected to main theme and I like characters individually. I simply don't get what this loveline has to do with anything
* Actually, I feel like I am making some terrible conclusions from this great show. After watching Yoon Hee kneeling before Dong hoon, I thought "that's how you kill someone with kindness. I will remember that if my partner ever cheats on me".

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I knew from the beginning that Dong-hoon is the odd man out, the one who couldn't blend in completely with the others. The nice guy who stood out like a sore thumb in such a cutthroat environment. But the director candidacy preparation is the one scene that truly bring that issue to the forefront. How those people forcefully thrust each and every kindness Dong-hoon did to Ji-an into a black-and-white frame, never quite found it fitting. How Dong-hoon's simple reason for his warm-hearted action made them groan because "no human is that nice". It highlighted how different this man is, and how suffocating it must be for him to have to play by their rules all these years.

Our ajusshi longed to be free, but he kept trying to shoulder all the burden and expectation alone. And how grateful I am that he has Sang-won to tell him that's not how one should live their life. It's an eye opening statement, the one that finally liberated Dong-hoon to take rein of the problems in his life in his own way. He knows full well that emotions and relationships are messy most of the time, aren't made to be clear-cut, and he fully embraced it.

He understand that his relationship with Ji-an wouldn't fit into any definite category, and that's fine by him now. They both need this connection too much to be bothered by mere label. His confrontation with Joon-young might look stupid for many people because he'll lose more by that one action. But tbh, being a director candidate is something he did for his family. And with his new determination, I wouldn't be surprised if he found another way to get a good yet fulfilling position. And then finally, his confrontation with Yoon-hee. He tried to build a new connection with her through their daily routine, but the huge elephant is still in the room. It's only going to be an empty relationship without them addressing it. And yes, it's painful and heart breaking, yet now they finally knew where the open wound is and how to best treat it. Whatever his next decision would be, I think it's going to be a healthy conclusion for both of them.

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I agree that the Directorship might be just another way he's sacrificing himself, since it's not something he ever wanted. I'm starting to have the idea that what really might be best for DH would be to do just what his wife suggested. He should strike out on his own and set up his own structural engineering firm. He likes his work and is good at it, so I'd hate to see him give it up completely. It would give him a lot of freedom to create an office environment that suits him. Wouldn't that be a funny. Doing it not because she pushed him into it for her own selfish reasons but because it really is best for him.

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I also think that DH's heart is not fully into the director position.

BUT, now that he seems to be fighting back and finally being assertive, I'm hoping he'll WANT that director position so he can use it to bring Joon-young down.

Now that I think about it, it may also be that DH only started feeling that way about his job when JY became the CEO and he was transferred. Cos I remembered a flashback in the early eps when he was in a meeting and he was passionate about his work. So if JY is gone maybe DH can recover his passion for his current job

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😆🙃☺😬😂What is a word that means angry happy? Thats how this drama makes me feel. It's like the butterflies I felt started a rave and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. And for no apparent reason other than their chemistry as actors, I want Ji An and Dong Hoon to be together and live happily ever after. If only. 🙄

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I have been saying: "This is the best episode!" for some time now.

I just need to repeat myself for another 5 times, right?

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I don't know how they can get any better, but I'm looking forward to finding out! I just hate that we've only got two more weeks left. To say this drama is a gem is an understatement.

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Agreed. It's so wonderfully done that these kind of gems might only come once or twice in our drama-watching history.

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I think I agree. For me, it was everybody staying she needs too e out of his life for him to have success and him saying, "No, you're my friend, you're not going anywhere". You can take everything else but you can't choose who he wants to spend his time with.

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“I’m forcing it. I’m forcefully holding onto a heart that wants to fly away.”
Be still, my heart. Another wonderful episode. I can feel what Dong Hoon feels because me too, felt like letting go sometimes. But the weight of the world, and responsibilities, and life as it is, chained me to my place. Just like him.
This might be my life drama.

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IKR. This drama resonates with me on so many level. But we all want someone level headed as Dong Hoon to still give us encouragement lol.

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@fay17 we all need a Dong Hoon in our life. With that same kind of deep voice, haha😆

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Lol. His voice. THE Voice indeed. Everytime he appears on screen he looks riveting, but still ordinary ahjusshi. Wait until he opens his mouth and speak. Oh my... Chocolate to the ears.

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@lollypip
Thank you for the super fast recap but I disagree that Dong Hoon only noticed that his slippers gone missing after the confrontation with Joon Young. In fact he noticed the slippers missing earlier, on the very same morning that Ji An took them back and threw them away.

This drama is so good with metaphor and throwing melancholy feel. The conversation about a simple pair of slippers is just so lovely. It is obvious that DH could not stand any longer not connecting with JA so he made use of the "slippers" excuse to straighten things out with her. Right after the confrontation with JY, he was looking out for JA yet he could not reached her. When he asked her if he is not good enough to deserve slippers from her and she asked back if he would actually wears them - it's like conveying that he is accepting her feelings but could not openly acknowledging it. What more, DH even begged JA to follow what he said, to just continue with what they had before the love confession. DH is so conflicted with his own feelings but one thing he is sure of that he needs and he wants JA in his life. I also actually really like how they always showed DH waiting for JA at the intersection - it's like a metaphor of his own choice to make.

The part when YH tried reaching out to DH by calling him "honey" but he avoided was so telling of how broken their relationship are. Seriously, I find that the divorce is looming and it's only a matter of time for the thing to happen.

And serious kudos to IU....I love the final scene with grandma. That performance was so earnest. JA cried because she feels painful knowing that the one person she cares the most apart from grandma, who has been telling her to live a good life is actually suffering greater than how he presented himself to be. If there is anything, that is really a genuine love.

Love this drama.

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@Del " The conversation about a simple pair of slippers is just so lovely." You said it best.

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👏👏👏👏
wonderful write abt the metaphors and their definition of Love... beautiful.. and agree with it completely

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couldn't agree more. Donghoon's always looking in both directions for Jian in front of Junghee's bar. He feels something for her but he doesn't know what it is.

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I thought he was drawing some comfort from the slippers being there in the drawer, even though he wasn't wearing them, because he would look at them every once in a while.

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Sigh. Heavy Sigh. This episode bring so much emotion for DH and JA.
Jian has a plan to save DH, I want to believe that. I don't want to believe everything that she said to JY. Let me hope that this drama will end with open ending (for DH-JA relationship).

When the monk said “Let’s be happy, friend. This is nothing. This is nothing.” I suddenly crying. DH has many things that people envy, his job, his wife, his son, even his friends. But he is so miserable in the stage that he doesn't know how to do in the life.

My friend ever said to me that "once your love think and treat you like a worthless man/woman, your life with him/her would never be the same again, even if you say you still love him/her, it just because you feel responsible for the relationship that you built". I found that DH and my friend on the same situation when both of them being hurt by their wive. I can feel the emotion that DH had, he deserve someone better to be his partner

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I hope your friend gets a nice back hug 💕

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He need several years to heal his pride, but he still live with his wife. He ever said that the promise has been seal when they marry, and the responsbility to keep his wife and family is bigger than just to talk about pride. I can't understand, maybe because I'm still single 😂

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But his friend isn't happy. What really struck me about this whole episode was this serene monk doling out advice about choosing happiness over success when he's not happy either! There is no happiness. There's no such thing. Everyone has to compromise at some point on something. The question is whether you've compromised on the right things and have ended up in the best possible version of the cul de sac of life, not the perfect one.

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I want to comment before I read. This episode was so look satisfying. All those confrontations needed to happen. His wife needed to apologize and he needed an outlet

I do believe our Yu-ra might be clinically depressed. She has some truth bombs, but she needs some therapy and not the kind that involves alcohol.

Finally, IU did THAT. Her last scene was perfect.

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The way her chin trembles when she thinks of Dong Hoon..
Wow. Impressive acting.

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Moon Lovers made me disliking IU as an actress and I was skeptical over her casting in My Ahjusshi. I am glad that "accidental watching" of this drama happened because her performance here changed my opinion on her greatly.

I remember some mentioned she was good in "The Producers" and if she is directed well. So, I must applaud the PD for bringing out the best in IU. All I can say is, she is not a natural actress but has a potential as long as guided well.

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IU is indeed good in The Producers. I think she does better in “colder” roles, which is interesting because she doesn’t seem to be a cold person in real life at all!

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As I said below, it's not that she was bad in Moon Lovers, it's that the script and direction were terrible. I decided to have no opinion on her acting after Moon Lovers and I'm glad I did because she's kicked this out of the park.

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Compared to the first drama I saw her in and now there is a world of difference. She is really rocking this role.

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I didn't finish Moon Lovers..I actualy did watch her in Lee Soon Shin, but that too wasn't completed. I stopped at the 4/5 episodes. But here..she is killing it perfectly cast

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What i mean is, killing it. Perfectly cast. Haha. Missing the .

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It's not that she was bad in Moon Lovers, it's that the script and direction were terrible so who would know? I decided to have no opinion on her acting after Moon Lovers and I'm glad I did because she's kicked this out of the park.

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I have long said that Dong Hoon's calm facade is hiding a bomb of emotion over his unhappy marriage.

Also, IU is wonderful. That scene was perfection.

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Redeemed Love

I feel like we’ve waited for the confrontation between Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee for the past 5 episodes.

It’s a step in the right direction that DH cannot just sweep his pain under the rug like he has all these years or the hurt over his wife’s infidelity. Although, there is wisdom in “not making a mountain out of a molehill”….infidelity is a pretty BIG mountain.

While I love DH, he isn’t perfect. This is where he is really weak: he doesn’t know how to confront a really unpleasant truth or problem in a healthy way. When Yoon Hee wanted to connect with him after dinner, he LITERALLY tuned her out by turning up the volume of the game. That’s cold, man. Understandable, but still cold.

This also showcases his M.O.: he really does just want to “forget about it” and move on. But, this time he can’t…and he shouldn’t. He MUST deal with not only his wife’s infidelity, but also he own emotions. It’s not just his wife’s needs he has ignored,he’s neglected his own emotions for too long.

I’m glad that YH finally decided to come clean. She was correct: to act as if nothing were wrong would take a lot of shamelessness. And terrible as she is, I think she still has a sense of integrity.
I’m still firmly in the “save the marriage” camp. The fact that DH texts Mr. Monk that he wants to hold onto a heart that wants to fly away is encouraging because it means he still loves her. Of course, he doesn’t realize that she still loves him (but, given her infidelity, that is understandable).

I just hope he fights for her…by working through his own feelings of betrayal and hurt until he can forgive, and Yoon Hee can repent of what she has done. But more importantly, that they actually talk honestly and openly with each other to see if they can forge ahead.

For many, infidelity is a “deal breaker”, and while I completely sympathize with that sentiment, I’m still against it on principle: because it means that evil wins. I’m not excusing or justifying unfaithfulness. Infidelity is evil, but to say that a relationship is not salvageable is basically declaring evil greater than love. This is what I resist agreeing with. Cheating is a deeply painful and hurtful betrayal. But it doesn’t mean love isn’t still there - but it could be really struggling against major problems that need to be resolved. Sometimes it isn’t possible, and that’s fair enough. But, there’s still something in me that HOPES it will.

Who doesn’t love a story about a redemptive love? Isn’t a redeemed love better than falling in love PRECISELY because it was able to overcome the fiery furnace of affliction and STILL come out better and stronger? Yes, it is. And that is what I hope for Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee.

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Up til now, I'm still waiting for Yoon-hee to be truly repentant. I'm hoping confessing would be the start.

This episode was much better in making me feel (a little) sympathy for Yoon-hee because when she was talking to Dong-hoon about caring more for the people in the bar and the other stuff she said, it was not made in a frustrated or argumentative voice like in the past episodes.

I'm still not fully sold on how sorry she feels for Dong-hoon because of her phone call with Joon-young which seemed again, like self-preservation rather than really feeling sorry for what she'd done

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@jaderjy, yes, and you bring up very fair points. I hope she will be truly repentant, too!

Their semi-argument that you mentioned is quite good, although I feel we've already seen hints of that in earlier episodes. I think it's easy to allow for Yoon Hee's very LOUD mistake to overshadow her quieter strengths and legitimate complaints about the marriage.

Even as early as episode 6, we see in flashback that Dong Hoon spending and PRIORITIZING his family-of-origin was a source of contention for them. In each of the flashbacks it's obvious that Yoon Hee is trying to tell Dong Hoon (how ever unsuccessfully and not in the most persuasive way) that she feels unloved - or at least ignored in favor of his family.

While I don't blame Dong Hoon for loving and caring for his family, I think it must be said that he must also invest emotionally in his own family (Yoon Hee and Ji Seok), and it seems to me that Yoon Hee needed more than he either wanted to or felt like he needed to give.

This does not make Dong Hoon a "bad guy", but just highlights a weakness in their marriage, which most likely left Yoon Hee starved for affection and attention....and she went elsewhere for it. Very poor decision on her part to decide to have an affair with Joon Young...but needy and desperate people can do really stupid, destructive and hurtful things precisely because they aren't thinking clearly regarding the ramifications of their actions on others...they are just too desperate to fulfill whatever needs they have. Yoon Hee became myopic.

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Yes, I agree with what you said. Both are indeed contributors to the state of their marriage. YH deciding to seek what she was missing from Dong-hoon elsewhere is truly poor judgement.

We still have more episodes left so hopefully, we can see more of her perspective for me to be fully sympathetic of her situation. I can understand why she may have done it. But I still cannot sympathize with her because of how she's acting and behaving

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Thanks for your comments! I just realised how central YH is to DH's life. I thought he had some existential angst going on... now I see the source of that deep wound. Perhaps there is hope bcoz the deeper the wound, the deeper he had loved and therefore, the more reason he had to rebuild the marriage...

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I wonder what makes you still hold on to this 'save the marriage's camp. I would have not commented on this last week, since I myself wasn't sure what's dong Hoon is thinking inside. But the moment he said, when you went out and had affair with that man, it's as if you gave me a death sentence. His torment was pretty much vivid on his face. And then she said, yeobo and he recoiled literally.

I think although the status of marriage and a pretty picture of marriage and a happy family look quite perfect on the outside, but only the people involved knows what they are going through. You as a person can only decide whether not to stay or leave when it's about 'your' family. When 'you' think you can bear the pain, forgive and move on. But for anyone else it really depends on them. Like Dong Hoon's friend said some episodes back that DH's weight that he think he's carrying, is the weight of his mind, not his body. He feels that way because he can't go through this life sentence anymore.
He can't really bear with it after staying mum all these weeks.
It was a decisive moment for the story when Dong Hoon visited his monk friend, cause after that he decided to be selfish I think, and not just live as a sacrificial act, which would keep everyone happy. 'He wants to hold on to a heart that wants to fly away.' That heart IMO is his heart, which wants to leave this hustle bustle, this tedious shackle of responsibilities.
So to me it seems to be a quite pitiful punishment to have to stay in a relationship where he is haunted by the flashbacks of his wife's affair. It has got bitter, and from his position, he can only look back at what happened, and not look ahead, if Yoon Hee stays with him that is.

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@fay17,

Thanks for your comment! You are correct that a decision to stay or leave after infidelity has damaged a marriage can only be chosen individually. I think the difference between your position and mine is determined by what one thinks Dong Hoon’s true motivations are for staying in the marriage.

If one thinks he was being a sacrificial lamb in order to keep everyone happy - and I think you’re very justified in that position - then it makes sense that the monk’s words would drive him towards a divorce. This will then also work as a filter to determine how to interpret Dong Hoon’s words and actions.

If one thinks he’s staying in the marriage because that is what he FUNDAMENTALLY is - a family man - someone who thrives and flourishes best within a family context, then the monk’s words are a catalyst - but one that moves Dong Hoon into fighting FOR his family in a NEW way rather than leaving it for a new start.

His heartbreaking confession this episode

As soon as you cheated on me with that bastard, you pronounced me dead. Because you thought it was okay for me to be treated that way. That was you saying that I’m worthless and that I should just die

was not much of a tipping point for me, because I already knew he felt that way inside. He just wasn’t willing to admit out loud before. The lack of expressing his grief in earlier episodes did not mean he didn’t grieve, but that he didn’t allow himself to confront his own pain.

If anything, it’s only by airing out the real hurt and real problems that healing and forgiving can (if Show chooses to move in that direction) begin.

I guess I’m not really interested in either the status or the image of marriage to the public, I’m interested in the true connectedness, intimacy and love within a marriage. I sincerely believe that Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee love each other, but they have to work through a LOT of problems in order to salvage the marriage (if Show decides to move in that direction). If one of them didn’t love the other, then I would say “it’s time to call it quits.”

Regardless of my own position on adultery and marriage in real life, I don’t wish to “force my position onto Dong Hoon” to stay married to an adulteress because “that is what I would do”. Rather, I actually think to stay and repair the marriage is consistent not only with his fundamental character (= family man, man of integrity, man of commitment and love), but that to divorce his wife - however justified he would be (and he is justified) - would actually hurt him more. Being in a world where he was disconnected and never reconciled with a family member would be truly hell for him.

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Thank you too :)

'. I sincerely believe that Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee love each other, but they have to work through a LOT of problems in order to salvage the marriage (if Show decides to move in that direction)'

I have to respectfully disagree with you there, I think you're kind of projecting your own idea of 'what you want their relationship to be'. You said, yoon hee loves dong hoon, but I find it hard to believe that she kept loving him and then went out and had an intimate relationship with another man, also one who is her husband's archenemy. I really do not think yoon hee loves dong hoon. Until she knew what kind of person DJY is, she plotted with him on how to make dong hoon leave the company so that they can start with a clean slate. Even if she found out what kind of man DJY is, that doesn't make up for what she did. There has to be a reason that affair happened in the first place. She 'stopped' loving dong hoon, and that's why she had that affair.

'Rather, I actually think to stay and repair the marriage is consistent not only with his fundamental character (= family man, man of integrity, man of commitment and love), but that to divorce his wife - however justified he would be (and he is justified) - would actually hurt him more. Being in a world where he was disconnected and never reconciled with a family member would be truly hell for him.

Just because he's a family man, does he need to stay in a loveless relationship, where the burden is more than the memories of what has been there in the past? You said, "being in a world where he was disconnected and never reconciled with a family member would be truly hell for him." -- I do think though he will reconcile with her [ as in makes amend with the emotional conflicts that have been eating him up, and then part in good terms]'.
I feel your reasons are more subjective ones, not objective. End of the day we want to see even other people's lives as we lead our life, so our ideology influences our mentality towards how other people should live as well. I think living with the wrong people [who won't let you grow and vice versa] is more like living in hell. And sometimes it's better to figure out first what you really want, what will make 'you' happy, like dong hoon's monk friend asks. And we don't actually know yet, what dong hoon wants to do. That scene really caught my eye when dong hoon was going to meet his friend and on the bus, he was looking at those birds who were flying far away. So do we actually know if dong hoon loves his wife right now? Can we say it for real? I don't know, and I'm waiting to see his answer.

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Being in a world where he was disconnected with a family member would be truly hell for him.
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IMO he didn't really want to disconnect with this family member, even until this moment. Like remember how he said, I wanted to hold on to this heart but it wants to fly away. That's because he can't keep living like this anymore. The pretense of living with a partner who has cheated is burdensome for him, that will probably make him 'disconnect' with her, he isn't actually doing it by choice. It's the reaction to the previous events.
He doesn't want to advise his son to live life like he's living right now, by compromising.

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@fay17, great thoughts and discussion! And yes, I'm very happy to disagree with you respectfully. As I mentioned before, people can do really stupid things when they are emotionally desperate, especially becoming myopic. You give much more credit to YH than I do that she fully understood the consequences of her actions while she was unfaithful. I think she acted stupidly and recklessly, but I still think she loves DH. There are hints of her love throughout the earlier episodes, but they are easy to dismiss if one only focuses on her adultery.

You bring up a fantastic methodological consideration: to be critical and skeptical of whether or not we are projecting our own desires and desired outcome onto the characters. That is a great challenge, and central to the interpretation of this drama. I'm delighted you brought it up.

But, and I hope you won't mind if I say this, I dare say your reasons are just a subjective. It's just easier to see other people's subjectivity when it clashes with our own. You said that you cannot conceive of someone cheating on their spouse and still loving them, but aren't you projecting your idea of how and why people behave onto Yoon Hee? You’re also assuming that adultery = no love, but we don’t actually know that in DH's case.

The one reason everyone keeps coming back to as to why DH and YH shouldn't be together is solely based upon their own subjectivity: their moral indignation over YH’s adultery. That's not remotely any more objective than my position, because it immediately rejects the possibility of love, forgiveness and reconciliation. While such moral indignation is fair, normal and understandable, it can blind the viewers to consider whether the character of Dong Hoon is written in such a way that challenges the very idea that adultery should mean the end of a marriage.

I think the PD has given several thematic and stylistic hints that DH will not only stay with his wife, but that they will rebuild their marriage to be stronger than it was. Of course, I could be wrong, so we'll just have to wait and see.

If you think there isn't any love in the marriage, then you are absolutely right that they should end it. But, I don't think DH is in a loveless marriage. Show hasn't given me definitive proof that they couldn’t work through the adultery. This brings us back to my original methodological acknowledgement: because we already part ways at the question of love within the marriage, the question of the future of the marriage itself is bound to give divergent answers.

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One last thought:

I actually think Dong Hoon IS growing, and ironically, through the adultery. WHAT?! Yeah, I know, crazy thought, right?! But, Dong Hoon is someone who is shown CONSTANTLY during the first half of the drama to ignore problems or uncomfortable issues. He’s very much stick-his-head-in-the-sand and hopes everything will pass with time. That works on minor problems, and probably quite a WISE thing to do. That doesn’t work quite as well when there is a deep rooted problem. Adultery is one of those MASSIVE problems, he CANNOT just dismiss this.

There MUST be a reckoning. He deserves an apology (at the very least), and frankly, A LOT of reparation from Yoon Hee. She has egregiously betrayed him, and that is not something to be taken lightly or dismissed or ignored. She must atone. There is no question about that. But, neither the apology nor the reparation can truly happen if the affair remains unaddressed.

That is why the confrontation is so crucial. We’ve seen several times in earlier episodes how he dismissed or ignored her when she attempting to talk to him. That’s how he operates (even before the adultery). He needs to grow OUT of being passive, reactionary, and stoic. He needs to express his grief, anger and outrage. But, he also needs to hear why she committed adultery in the first place…..and my guess is we already know the answer to that: she felt starved of his affections and attention because he always prioritized other people over her. That doesn’t justify her adultery, but it’s something Dong Hoon NEEDS to change himself (regardless of the marriage). It’s easy to blame YH because her actions were so obviously wrong, but DH is also in the wrong, but more subtly. His neglect of YH must also be addressed.

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But you do agree right that your reasons are subjective and one way of looking at the events. I never said my reasons are not subjective ones though. :) I have no problem with any views, just that I can only take it when the writer says that's indeed the case. And right now it's still not clear.
Coming back to the discussion, I do think he doesn't love Yoon hee right now, the spell is slowly starting to break for him. But I don't want to give you my arguments regarding this because I need to see how it goes first. I don't want to make a blind guess at this phase on the show.
Also you said Dong Hoon grew more because of the adultery but I would rather say, all the incidents that happened since the adultery, has been a strong factor in his change, plus meeting Ji An as well, like the way she kept questioning him. Like when she said, he's living a life sentence of earnestness. If anything the adultery helped him to look clearly at his own life, in a long time. If you have watched episode 11 and 12 you would see how Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee wanted different things in life. Yoon Hee wants their family to be just made of 3 people, but for Dong Hoon, his mom, his brothers, friends, their neighborhood, all of that is part of his family. Whereas yoon hee wants to leave that neighborhood. I don't necessarily see Yoon Hee as a bad person actually. They have just become people who have different priorities, mindset. Maybe they were like that from the start. It was Dong Hoon's fault for compromising his own happiness and Yoon hee's too or else they would have broken up way before.

Like my friend whose partner cheated on her because of compatibility issues, I believe same happened in Yoon hee's case.
I did say I can't believe how can someone still love a person and then have physical relationship with someone else on their back, and my question still stands. It's just a really sacred question for me lol. As a person I would feel very disturbed to go back to a person after cheating on him and even if I knew that he had issues as well, I would have rather left him in the first place and not have affair on his back. The mental peace won't be there if I had to go back to him knowing he was right and I was wrong. The balance is broken. There would be times when these bitter past memories would resurface.
I want to tell you though why I don't think the love is there anymore, :) since I have seen affairs happening in close relations. I have seen what happens when the partners get to know the truth and how the betrayal of trust, the burden of broken bond becomes too hard to overcome. It just really seems good on paper, but in reality it's as messy as it can get.

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@fay17, that’s a great question: do I admit my reasons are subjective? Hmmmm…yes and no.

No, because I feel I’ve gathered objective information from the scenes themselves, and analyzing them with what I generally know about Korean “family values” oriented culture (not to mention Lee Sun Kyun’s previous drama, This Week My Wife Is Having An Affair), to support my position.

Yes, because there are so many little details to consider AND the general ambiguity that each scene contains, one has to apply a filter in order to prioritize bits of information to construct the drama’s reality and supposed trajectory.

How does one determine which filter best suits all the discrete and ambiguous information? That is where one’s subjectivity comes in. So, my answer to your question is: BOTH! :)

Yes, I understand the desire not to speculate wildly or make “blind guesses.” But….THAT’S PART OF THE FUN! This drama is SO GOOD at keeping us GUESSING! We really don’t know which way it will go because it could legitimately go either way!! OH, the suspense! The thrill of not knowing!

Also you said Dong Hoon grew more because of the adultery but I would rather say, all the incidents that happened since the adultery, has been a strong factor in his change, plus meeting Ji An as well, like the way she kept questioning him. Like when she said, he's living a life sentence of earnestness. If anything the adultery helped him to look clearly at his own life, in a long time.

If you read closely what I wrote, I said "Dong Hoon IS growing, and ironically, through the adultery.” I never said he grew MORE or ONLY, but THROUGH the adultery. The adultery provides a catalyst to move him past his mode of operation because he cannot (and should not) ignore it.

Of course, Ji An has a part in this! There is a confluence of actions and people who are forcing Dong Hoon to reevaluate his life and his decisions. But, I think without the adultery, he could continue on his “ignore and move on” mantra. Adultery is too big of a problem to dismiss, especially since it hits against something so fundamentally important to him: family.

So, given that we’re not supposed to give spoilers, I didn’t bring up episode 12. I’ll write my thoughts on episode 12 when the recap comes out.

I'll address your last concern re: your friend who experienced being cheated on in another post.

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I did say I can't believe how can someone still love a person and then have physical relationship with someone else on their back, and my question still stands.

I fully understand your position, it is really difficult to believe how someone who claims to LOVE another could possibly CHEAT on him/her. But (and I really hope I put this gently), just because you cannot believe it does not mean it can’t be TRUE. It would take too long to explain why people do dumb things that hurt the very people they love, but it’s just our reality. There are many reasons for adultery, and some marriages can survive (and THRIVE!) after it, some cannot.
Regarding your last question about cheating and love, two thoughts:
(1) Your friend’s situation is actually different from Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee. I don’t wish to belittle or downplay your friend’s commitment or love for her boyfriend - or the hurt and pain she experienced upon his betrayal. I’m sure she loved him deeply and truly. But, marriage is quite another beast entirely, especially because the level of commitment and intimacy after 15+ years is not easily undone, even in the face of adultery.
(2) @growingbeautifully provided an excellent response to your question in Comment #36, so I won’t add much to that, except to say that reality is much messier and complex than “you cheat, there’s no love, it’s over.”
There are two misconceptions floating around contemporary society:
(A) if you marry “the right person”, you won’t have marriage-threatening incompatibilities. That’s just not true.
To think “if a couple really love one another” the marriage will not face harrowing challenges or problems that genuinely endanger it may be unrealistic. Real marriages eventually run up against TRUE incompatiabiilities and must make the choice to work through them to remain committed to one’s spouse. Even the best, the healthiest marriage will be tested at least once (if not more).
(B) to stay committed to someone when you aren’t feeling loved, or valued, or not-getting-what-you-want out of the marriage is a life sentence of drudgery, loneliness and quiet desperation. That is not (always) true. There are always exceptions to this. But, what I am critical of is that in this age of instant gratification, the beauty and value of flourishing that happens primarily in a long-term commitment is unfathomable, incomprehensible, and unbelievable. It’s actually working THROUGH those difficulties and incompatibilities that leads people from young love to a deeper, richer, more fulfilling love that you see in couples who celebrate their 50th anniversary. True, not all marriages that last that long are happy, but neither is the opposite extreme.

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Damn, haha I think I'm running out of words. But I think I understand where you're coming from after going through all of your posts.
I think you have the belief that even after heavy blows like cheating, or else, couples have the power to overcome the difficulties and regain the love back, 'if' they have been in a long-term relationship. I'm not married yet, so part of the reason why I still don't get it completely is probably because of that, but, I guess you mean the time period that couples spent together, for the times that they have given to each other, for the sake of that, they give each other chances again.
I am actually sucker for stories where couples getting back together too. That's one of my favorite tropes. But I think it also depends on context, and for this particular story, it was to my understanding that, yoon hee and dong hoon are just two different person, who wants different things from life. And therefore, although dong hoon is hugely responsible for many of yoon hee's frustrations, maybe, maybe they don't belong together.
But you're right, guessing is also part of the fun, and the story is so good, so I guess we'll see how the rest of the 4 episodes work out for dong hoon and yoon hee.

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*couples get back together too.

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I am enjoying your discussion and I think you both raise very good points about infidelity and marriage in general :)

With regards to the theme of infidelity in the drama itself, we also have to remember that it's not just the fact that Yoon Hee cheated that matters, but with WHOM she cheated that makes it seem like a double death sentence. Joon-young has been trampling all over Dong-hoon at work, transferring him to another department so he never gets promoted, not even giving him the courtesy of treating him as a simple sunbae which DH's team members had mentioned was the least JY should do for respect.

So to have that same person who doesn't respect you actually be having an affair with your wife...man. It's like JY is saying he's worthless at work, and by association Yoon-hee is saying he's worthless as a family man.. What does he have left?

The question here is, does DH love her enough to be able to forgive? Idk. If YH had had an affair with a random guy, I'd say maybe. But because it's Joon-young, I think they've killed him too much.

I am also of the opinion that it would be better for them to separate. It is also not helping that JH is not (yet) showing (believable) remorse for her actions. But we still have more episodes to go and we don't know what more the drama will show us. I am open to changing my mind. But for now, I think they should go their separate ways.

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@jaderjy, agreed that her affair was with Joon Young is about as death-keel as you can get. Certainly, it added a very concrete and substantial obstacle for reconciliation.

I do think Dong Hoon will become director. I do think Joon Young will lose his CEO position. So, professionally I feel Dong Hoon will be vindicated.

But the question still remains whether or not he will remain with his wife. I hesitate to say this, but I actually think for Dong Hoon, that is the bigger battle to win. He's never cared much about "career advancement" so long as he is a source of pride for his mother and provision for his family.

I don't know, honestly, which way the Show will go. I feel there are enough reasons for and against that Show could go either way and be entirely justified.

I actually think @fay17 made an excellent point that I failed to acknowledge before, that the monk did advise Dong Hoon to be more "selfish." Although I might argue that selfishness in general is a bad thing to encourage, in Dong Hoon's case I think the monk is completely correct. Dong Hoon has sacrificed SO MUCH for everyone else that he truly isn't happy...does he even KNOW what would make him happy?

In that way, I think the monk and @fay17 are correct. Dong Hoon needs to start at the beginning with "what do i want?" And then comes "now, how do I go from where I am to attaining what I want."

I wouldn't be surprised if the last 4 episodes focus on Dong Hoon discovering himself, his needs, his wants, and the negotiating those with who he is, and who he is in relation to all of his family and friends.

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@pineapplegongzhu Again, very good points :)

I also agree with what you said about Dong hoon taking the time to ask himself what he wants. What does he REALLY FEEL he want, not just what he THINKS he should want? This is also the reason why I think they should separate, so he can live for himself. He deserves to be selfish once in a while so he should listen to the monk. I particularly like the part where the monk said something like 'would you advise your son to sacrifice as you are doing now?'

But I do understand what you mean about saving the marriage, maybe not now but the hope that eventually they can.

This actually makes me think that the fact the show hasn't shown us how they were before marriage (which leads us to question whether there is still LOVE between them) may be deliberate cos it can really go either way.

As observers, it's easy for us to say what should and should not be but eventually it is the couple to decide whether they have the emotions and the will left to make it work. If DH and YH do get back together (eventually), I can respect the show's decision to do so. I may think that YH doesn't deserve DH, but then again I'm not Dong hoon..lol

What I love about this drama is that the characters are so organic and well-written that I feel they really are living, and that we were dropped in the middle of their lives in Ep 1 ^^

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I think you raised an excellent point which I forgot to address. JY knowingly kicked DH out of the design office, and he knew how much passionate DH is about his work. And then like dong hoon said, he used to try to be close to him saying sonbae sonbae, while he knew that JY is only pretending. Their relationship is so poisonous that it must have hurt dong hoon more that his wife had affair with him, of all people.
Like you said, for him, it was a double blow.
I personally feel that dong hoon would forgive yoon hee, but I'm yet not sure whether they will reconcile. Until ep 10, I thought they will work out their issues, but right now I am only curious about dong hoon's next step. But I would be okay with wherever the flow of the story takes me, cause I really like how the writer is thinking.
Tbh, even dong hoon's issues, like how he doesn't communicate with his wife, how their relationship became stale and listless, in real life marriages turn out like that too. So I feel that the writer is trying to portray a realistic story. Even in real life, things happen even if we don't want to since we are human beings with weaknesses.

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@pineapplegongzhu We saw on the preview that dong hoon is wearing suits, so he must have become a director.
I am also hoping that we will see dong hoon figuring out what he really wants to do in the remaining episodes. We really deserve it after all the depression, tears, heartbreaks of last 12 episodes. -_-

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I’m still firmly in the “save the marriage” camp too! Although like most of other people infidelity is a “deal breaker" for me too, but in this very rare case DH and YH deep down love each other despite everything that happened between them (and that's why the're so deeply hurting)... They both see each other as amazing human being (as DH told to their kid and as YH somehow mentioned to YJ)! They just couldn't or forgot how to express their love to each other, and this is a very typical issue in life of contemporary couple, usually after years of marriage couple forget to express their love to each other...

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I think this is what made me wonder about him, and how committed he EVER was to the marriage "..he LITERALLY tuned her out by turning up the volume of the game''. More and more it seems like he has run most of his life doing all he could to avoid or ignore any issues, and things are finally coming to a head.

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“That's not remotely any more objective than my position, because it immediately rejects the possibility of love, forgiveness and reconciliation. While such moral indignation is fair, normal and understandable, it can blind the viewers to consider whether the character of Dong Hoon is written in such a way that challenges the very idea that adultery should mean the end of a marriage.”

Not only the above, but generall well argued contextually up to this episode.

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I'm so loving this discussion here, both eloquently expressed and well thought. Thank you for bringing those points ^^

I'm on the "be happy" ship, though, so whatever the decision regarding the marriage I wish is for the better for this ahjusshi's family.

However, I'm not against the idea of growing through the adultery, and redemption in love and marriage after that. It will never be the same, though. But if there was ever love between them, I don't think its impossible.

Interestingly, wasn't LSK played the role of a husband whom his wife was cheating on him too in his last drama (2016/2017 I forget), with Song Ji Hyo? "This Week My Wife Will Have an Affair"? The reason of the cheating was somehow somewhat in vein of this drama, of lonely wife in seemingly ok marriage? And decent husband?

I think the ending of that drama can also be a solvency. After all the confrontations, airing the bottled up feelings and being honest and doing some self reflections, and divorce, eventually, they can be less burdened to patch up their relationship and find love again in each other.

But again, the conflict and damage in this drama seems to be worse, so its really up to DH to find his way to happiness. I know some ppl, if not all, hate YH and can't bear to see her scenes, but I find myself wanting to hear what DH YH said the most when the subbed ep was out. The way DH kneeled near her when he was exhausted after lashing out, clutching his wounded hand and she sobbed in front of him....just...deep. And the way she said how it was painful for her when he said that he was eating with his family, while she wasn't there........it is oddly relatable. Wrong, but relatable, even more with YH's personality.

I love the scene with the monk, too, esp the argument about Ji Seok, wud DH advises JS to live the same life as his just because every other person he knows lives that way. That really strikes the cord. And the back hug, plus his little words of encouragement, "..this is nothing...this is nothing...,"

Lastly, IU did nail the last scene with her eyes and her wobbled chin. Thumbs thumbs up, and I'm liking JA's char more and more, now that her emotions are easier to decipher.

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Hey @Clover! Thanks for your comments!

Yes, I feel this drama is strangely similar to This Week My Wife Is Having An Affair...but with the added twist that YH cheated on DH with JY.

Normally, I would say DH is most likely going to stay with his wife, but given the severity of the betrayal precisely because of WHO it was with, that throws a pretty big wrench in predictability. I think DH is still strong enough to overcome even this level of betrayal, but does he love her enough?

That's another big problem: IF Dong Hoon decides to divorce Yoon Hee (how ever justified that he is), he basically is confirming her accusation against him: he didn't really love her. He didn't prioritize her, and in the end, he decided not to fight for the marriage. That doesn't accord well with what we know of DH.

I think people tend to forget it's not just about the scenes we are shown week by week that will definite the ending, but the Show's intended audience. What would Korean audiences accept or reject as a plausible and just ending? Would they see Dong Hoon leaving Yoon Hee as a good or bad thing?

If Dong Hoon were to leave his adulterous wife, is that in keeping with the kind of character he has been written to be?

What sort of justice can be had for a man as righteous as Dong Hoon if Joon Young really "wins" by destroying his marriage?

I think many naturally think "Oh, DH's wife cheated on him. Time to trade that relationship in for Ji An!" It's natural to think that, but do we really want to promote this idea that if a marriage is broken (or experiencing deep difficulties), you throw it away?

At the same time, there can be no real justice for Dong Hoon if he stays with Yoon Hee without SOME form of reparation. It's really hard (and time consuming) to show how a family rebuilds after such a disaster as infidelity. Even "This Week My Wife Will Have An Affair" had the characters divorce and THEN make steps to reconcile at the very end.

The "divorce" is necessary in order to show the consequences of the infidelity: the marriage is dead. But, of course, I don't think the Korean audience would go for that given their family-oriented culture. So, the PD and writer show them reconciling. It's an open ending, but it's pretty much implied LSK's character still loves his wife and they would work to rebuild their marriage through a new marriage.

I thought that was actually a clever way of addressing the severity of infidelity without allowing the infidelity to "win the day." Marriage and love ended up "winning" in the end.

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I don't really think the ball's in DH's court divorce-wise. He might have the dogged fortitude to stay in the wreck of a marriage but what about the wife? His wife has humiliated herself to the point of groveling. Its 50/50 whether they divorce. If they do its 70/30 that she'll be the one to ask for it.

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lovely recap @lollypip thank you very much.

thats the best episode so far for the reason Dong Hoon finally became selfish not the earnest one abt whom JA said he is suffering with earnestness in life.

first time ever he did what all he couldn't in past. He finally spoke out loud abt his disappointment on his wife cheating. And the best part was the well deserved Punch to JY. Both these selfish people were like backstabbers to Dong Hoob ajd he finally become vocal abt it.

His talks abt slippers JA was so subtle yet powerful. As you said he never wore them so mist not hv any special feelinggs abt them but when he dint find in drawer he was miffed clearly. and then argument with JA was all abt how he did not like why she took it back and needs a new pair ( i LOVED that order kind of thing. and m really sure this must be the first time DH asked someone to do/buy something for him).

And Monk friend was the lighthouse that DH needed in his life badly to guide him, to tell him whats right for him to do, to be catalyst to awaken his selfish self. and i was spellbound with their bonding.

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I was so overwhelmed by this episode. The melancholy that threads through the show is so realistic and personal, it's hard to watch without remembering my own past sadness or loss. I think that's what the show does so well-- it feels authentic.

The last scene in particular undid me. I'm firmly in the camp that believes JA is working the CEO and will use all their various conversations in a grand reveal to unseat him. I don't know if she still thinks DH will eventually discard her or not, but she plainly shares the same trait of loyalty that he does-- once someone is 'her person,' she will do anything for them, even make herself into a bad guy and betrayer. I think she cries there because she's genuinely happy that she can return some of the kindness she's received, even though she thinks it'll result in her being alone again.

DH and JA really are soulmates-- and I don't mean this in a romantic sense. The show's mentioned past lives, and for them, what they've found in each other is a recognition. 'This is a person I know-- this is me.'

I'm super rambling now, but this show is truly beautiful. I keep thinking of this past episode and tearing up, but I couldn't tell you if it's from sadness or joy or what.

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You put my feelings for this episode and these two characters into words. I've only been lurking on this show because I can never find the words to comment. There is just something too personal about this show.

Something about all the characters and their different struggles through life always has me feeling a little hopeful, a lot terrified, but mostly comforted, because I don't feel so alone. They seem to be teaching me that certain kinds of sadness are inescapable, but the beauty is in our resilience and our ability to keep on living the best we can.

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Ji-an seemed like someone with confidence and the willingness to do anything

This from the guy who has no idea she's willing to do things like bug him. If he only knew...

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Yoon-hee guiltily slips the pass back into the glove compartment

She should have taken lessons from slimeball Yoon-ki of This Week My Wife Is Having an Affair.

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Ah Yoon-ki 😂

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@lordcobol, I wouldn't be surprised if My Ajusshi goes the same way as This Week, My Wife Is Having an Affair. There are a few too many parallels.

It makes me wonder, though, why Lee Sun Kyun would choose a role which is basically a repeat of an earlier drama that he did.

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You don't suppose..... his wife is having an affair??? And this is his way of letting her know he knows?

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@lordcobol .....OR, maybe HE'S having an affair, and he's depicting how he wants his wife to forgive him?

I mean, seriously, who would cheat on Lee Sun Kyun and that velvety chocolate voice??

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Well, his character in This Week is polar opposite of Park Dong Hoon. His Do Hyun Woo wears his emotions on his sleeve and never listens. But I have the feeling that the outcome of the affair would be a complete opposite, too, because otherwise, like you said, why repeat the same thing?

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At last the affair is out in the open, am glad Yoon-hee didn't chicken out and said what she needed to say. They've got a rough road but surely it's better than having it fester in silence.
Kinda wishing Director Yoon got a punch too, but ok, can live with Joon-young getting one. Gotta hand it to him tho, the slick bastard, always managing to twist any situation to his advantage. Always appreciate a good villain! His conversation with Ji-an bothers me, he seemed to catch her true feelings, am getting scared for her...
As for our ajusshi, he's not a good man, he's a good human. It complicates thing that Ji-an is a girl, but if she were a boy, an ajumma, or another ajusshi, Dong-hoon would still do everything he's done to help someone with that kind of trouble. I think he made it clear that he doesn't see her romantically, she is just another human he connects with. When he said he doesn't want to add another person he feels uncomfortable with, I take it as he actually feels comfortable around her. Hope he'll get those slipper soon!

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I remember back a few episodes, when DH was making a video for his son’s school project, some friend mentioned that he knew tae kwon do. DH admitted that he couldn’t break boards. When his wife admitted to her affair, he was so furious that he cracked the door with his first punch. The anger he was bottling inside…oh man.
This has been the best episode 11 of the dramas I’ve watched thus far. I usually dread watching ep. 11 because they usually mean that the story slows down since a major arc was just solved. This one just came alive for me.
This story is so meaningful for me. It’s about two dead persons. Killed by society in two different ways. One was outwardly living from what others might see as a good life, but inwardly he was dead. The other was shunned and considered as dead for she was poor and had killed someone. Despite her lifeless gestures and voice, she was fighting to stay alive. The two of them just fit together for me. DH and JA. Two dead people finding each other and finding that they far from dead and need each other to find life.

Great recap as always @lollypip

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Ugh, Joon-young is as manipulative and opportunistic as ever. Though I almost cackled in delight when he was basically digging his own grave in that scene. He loudly complained about Dong-hoon misunderstanding his photo with Yoon-hee, when it's not even a fact the other party knew about. He just tipped them about his greatest weakness, and I believe Director Park caught on to this instantly. He is the only one who still believed that Dong-hoon knew something bad about Joon-young he didn't want to expose and use. Now that he suspect what's actually going on between them, I just hope he didn't use it in a way that will hurt Dong-hoon.

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Oh yeah, he did tipped the other side. Ji-an is the dark horse in this network of spy and counter spies, thank God we know where her loyalty is!
Poor Director Park, almost totally forgotten him...

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What is this show about? and good? I started ep 1 yest.. but then stopped by the time the actor attended his niece wedding and his other brother was siphoning off the money

didn't get invested..

does this show have a waiting period to get invested.. like after ep 3 or 4?

Although cute button in serious role is looking amazing

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Oh it's good if you don't mind melos.

It has great acting, characters and directing too. It gets so much better by Ep 2 :)

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Ahhh... That's too early to give up. By the end of episode, I am sure you'll get hooked... First by the mystery surrounding Ji An and once the characters started connecting, everything about this drama is so addictive. A slow start but totally worth it.

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Yes, it can take a little while for some to get really invested, but you're almost certain to get deeply invested if you keep going. I'd say this drama is one of the most fulfilling rides I've had in terms of emotional investment, and it just keep getting better and better!

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I think EP1 was the worst. It gets much better.

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This show runs DEEP. Its a deep dive. You have to be ready for some painful psychological introspection when watching this. I recently half-jokingly described it as 'Paris, Texas' meets 'Bourne Identity'.

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so most of the highlight episode of 16 miniseries is 13-14. And we have to wait for 2 weeks to watch that.

Anyways, it's good then, so I can go back and rematch this flawless drama again.

My only problem is Now, I couldn't watch anything else without feeling it's so fake.. lol

:-.)

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I don't feel a romance coming between Dong-Hoon and Ji-An. They seem to have a special connection, an emotional similarity, a caring, but not a romance. He loves his wife, and she loves him, but they had drifted way too far apart. Hoping all three of them get healthy!

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I'm so over Yu-ra vomiting on the stairs. She doesn't even try to prevent making a mess or even try to clean up her mess. She really needs to get her act together.

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For some reason I keep thinking of cats coughing up hairballs....

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Thank you again for this.

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Oh man, this was a though one…I was waiting for that confrontation for several episodes now and the slow build up to it was worth it. Although I don’t want any romance between Dong-hoon and Ji-an, I still don’t think he should forgive his wife – she is not worthy and hasn’t shown real signs of remorse or of giving up completely on her affair.

The connection between Dong-hoon and Ji-an is amazing and I feel any sign of romance would make it weaker somehow. It’s not something that can be put in a pattern and I love that because we don’t get such complex relationship often in shows.

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I think what makes this show much better than most is that it is not all black and white choices and decisions. What the wife did was pretty awful, but he was not exactly the greatest family man ever. His "sacrifices" in the end turned out to be somewhat self-defeating. Not about to forgive wifey, but on the other hand I can sort of understand how she felt all alone. My biggest issue is with the scumbag she cheated and colluded with.

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It's a privilege to watch this drama and to share it with you all. I'm so grateful for our recapper extraordinaire, @lollipip, and for all of you fellow Beanies who make this journey an even more amazing one. This drama is affecting me more than any other in recent memory, and it means a great deal to me that we're experiencing and processing it together.

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Anyone else tired of the older brother? .. i just can't anymore.. he sounds so defeatist.

The monk and DH are friendship goals. That hug. Monk looked so lonely dropping off his best friend at the bar. Can we have Monk come back to society and have older brother go take his place?

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Yes. His whining is getting a bit tiresome, and he seems like he makes no effort at all to do anything but get drunk and complain.

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I initially find the scenes with the brothers kinda cute but I agree with you, SH has became increasingly agitating.

But I dislike the scenes with Yura and KH the most. I find their scenes a waste of time when we could have had more of DH and JA.

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I think there's always one in our circle of friend or family a Whiner. Who whines about everything, who whines about anything. I wish to say can you just stop complaining. Just get over it and deal with it. Urggghh. There is also one like us who cannot stand such personality. And fortunately, there is always one among us who patiently capable of handling whiner well, balancing the atmosphere.

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It's just so sad that people watch those heart fluttering rom-coms than dramas like this which is a masterpiece.I like pretty noona which is getting all the attention but I just want this show to be more recognized because this is how life is.......I live with the characters.I hope this get an award becoz it's AWESOME....

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Agreed - this is one of the best shows going right now for me, but the Korean ratings don't seem to agree very much. You can only take so much Pabulum and Pollyanna (and noble idiocy) at a time, and it's refreshing to see shows like this and Mother.

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Achieving 6% rating for a cable drama is pretty decent though! I think they're doing well. Although i hope they can reach 10% like Misaeng and Prison Playbook. They truly deserve it.

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I watched the first 3 or 4 episodes (can't remember) of Pretty Noona, but have not gone back to it yet. It's a pleasant, predictable drama with very likable actors. But, I can't get enough of "My Mister". I wish I had the strength to wait until it completely airs, and then binge watch it. It is an incredible drama in every way.

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Hands down, "My Ahjusshi" is the best ongoing dramas right now. I love the realistic tone of this drama, dealing with subjects that rarely explored. There is nothing over the top about the issues being dealt with - just the normal office politics, family issues, society issues yet with good writings, directing and acting, as viewers, we delved into the issues even deeper and seeing them in new perspectives. It's just that brilliant.

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I feel lucky to have chosen this drama to watch, hopefully it will get an award- or actually "awards" - too.

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I have mixed feelings about some of the setups. For example, the nightly near-binge drinking at the same bar night after night. It almost seems like a "who can be the most miserable" contest at times. Everyone whines about how bad things are, but seem to be doing little - if anything - to get out of the rut except have another drink.

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Apparently, most of those Ajusshi have not sleep with their wife (or any woman) in ages... Drinking is the only way for them to handle their sexual needs (this is almost impossible IRL for men to shut down their sexual needs) 😊
I honestly hate all the excess drinking in kdramas, I wonder how they can walk to their job the next morning (specially structural engineering that needs lots of focus and concentration)!!!! Or how they are even alive!?

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Men can control their sexual needs, and these are not adolescents with newly raging hormones. That said, even though I'm not fond of the excessive drinking, and I think the writer and director are illustrating the harmfulness of it, the men are gathering in this way because they form a family of sort. Their lives aren't great, and they keep each other company, and it seems to be a safe place for them to share their anger, sadness, and even find humor.

Yeah, it seems like a whine-off sometimes, the drinking is excessive (but when isn't it in dramas?), but at least they aren't self-destructing at home and are instead using each other as a kind of sad-sack support group.

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@egads They can control it but they certainly cannot shut their sexual desires down!! In fact the mean ‘score’ for men in their 40- 50 is around 2 climaxes a week!! The writer also shown this by how excited they get whenever Yu Ra visits the bar!!

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Re excessive drinking, I'm not sure if it's a part of Korean culture or simply a PPL, but as a structural engineer I know it's not possible to drink excessively every nigh, and do a good job at work!!

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Drinking is an integral part of their culture, which is why we're seeing so much of it in dramas. It really is how they live.

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Drinking is very much part of Korean culture. They have one of the highest alcohol consumption in the world.

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And a very low birth rate. Hmmm....

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And the highest alcoholism rates, the highest liver cirrhosis rates, one of the highest suicide rates.

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Welcome to middle-age. ;-)

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I can't wait to come back and read this recap and comments.....but work.

Loved the interactions between the two leads.
He just wants his slippers back!

But, parts of this one felt even more bleak to me.

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You know what, I just cannot even pretend I will like it if YH and DH go back to try and being a happy marriage, it's impossible, I don't like it lmao. They're too far apart already. And I somehow feel like DH ain't even angry at her cheating, but at the person whom she cheated with, it's almost as if she was trying to actively hurt him. I don't like her at all lol. Right now im just eager to know how this will end, I want to know whether they will solve all these stories or gives an open ending

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Thank you @lollypip!!!
I was really affected by Ji-an's eyes twice in this episode. When Dong-hoon finishes up telling her that he will be her friend for life and she just looks at him. It was like she was so shocked and touched and VULNERABLE.
And then at the end when she is with her grandmother. Her tears.
This has been a gradual process, and so amazing to watch. It was evident from the beginning how smart, strong and tough Ji-an is. To see her completely open with Dong-hoon was .... wow...
I'm so in awe of this drama.
After episode 12 comes out, I am going to rewatch all of it again from the beginning since we have to wait 2 weeks until we can watch episodes 13 and 14. *sigh*

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we have to wait 2 weeks ? T T

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Why 2 weeks?

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The production announced that they are giving the hardworking team a break and won't be airing episodes 13 and 14 next week. :(

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:(:(:(:( How can we wait for 2 weeks... T T

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Does anyone know the song that was playing in the restaurant where Ki-bum and Ji-an were eating at ?

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