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My Ajusshi: Episode 13

This drama isn’t afraid to go to all the dark places of human nature, exploring the worst of what people can do to one another, or even themselves. Yet there’s a palpable sense of hope as its characters face their darkest selves and manage to come out the other side intact. This episode is full of a lot of surprises, as everyone confronts their worst fears and discovers that, despite what they may think, none of them is alone.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

Ji-an is questioned by the directors of the company, and despite their trying to spin it into something sordid, she somehow manages to make her relationship with Dong-hoon sound as guiltless as it truly is. Director Jung excitedly gives Dong-hoon the play-by-play, including how impressed Chairman Jang was by Ji-an’s statements.

That evening, Dong-hoon takes Ji-an for a drink, where she tells him that he’s a truly good person and makes him smile. On their way home, she notes how slowly he’s walking, wondering if he walked quickly before because she made him uncomfortable.

When he drops her off at home, she tentatively asks if she can hug him, to energize him. He says he already feels energized and thanks her before heading home. He doesn’t notice a car at the bottom of the stairs, but we see the driver’s face: Joon-young.

Joon-young calls Ji-an down to ask about her and Dong-hoon’s relationship. Ji-an asks if he came here just for that, and Joon-young slaps her as hard as he can. He accuses her of betraying him after taking his money to get Dong-hoon fired.

Snarling that he didn’t do all this just to be CEO for two more years, Joon-young tells Ji-an to disappear. But Ji-an gets that defiant look in her eye and fires back that she won’t quit until Dong-hoon gets Joon-young fired.

Joon-young informs her that it’s her fault Dong-hoon is in this mess. He says that when people find out, they may think she and Dong-hoon planned all this together and wonders ominously whether Dong-hoon will take all the blame.

He claims to be Ji-an’s victim, saying that she blackmailed him. He tells her to keep quiet and quit, but Ji-an refuses to be intimidated. She pulls out her phone to play the recording she made of him telling her to seduce Dong-hoon so that he can have him fired for abuse of power.

She tells him to leave quietly while Dong-hoon is still being nice, and before she exposes the whole truth. As she walks away, Joon-young calls out that she must have a death wish, and the black look on his face hints that he means it literally.

When Dong-hoon arrives home, he only tells Yoon-hee that he had dinner with a friend. She offers him tea, and he accepts, though their interaction seems forced and Dong-hoon barely looks at his wife. Yoon-hee asks when the new director will be announced, certain that Dong-hoon will be chosen.

The next day, Director Yoon is criticized by the others on his team for calling Ji-an as a character reference without checking first to see what she’d say about Dong-hoon. But he says that it’s not over yet, and storms to Ji-an’s desk angrily.

Referring to her statement that Dong-hoon made her feel included by inviting her to the staff dinner, Director Yoon yells that if she wanted to eat meat that badly, she should have said so. He turns on Dong-hoon and his team, reminding them that recently, they’d wanted her gone.

Suddenly one of the team members steps forward to confess, “I like Lee Ji-an.” ~record scratch~ The entire office stares incredulously, and Dong-hoon’s expression clearly says that he’s all out of bandwidth for these shenanigans.

Director Yoon asks if they’re ganging up on him and yells that he hates their team. He stomps to his office like a pouty child from the playground, but Dong-hoon tells them all not to worry about him.

But instead of taking his own advice, Dong-hoon heads for Director Yoon’s office to confront him. His team member stops him, warning that it might look as if he likes Ji-an. Dong-hoon can tell by the loud silence throughout the office that he’s right, though he asserts that he’d stand up for any of them the same way.

Later, Deputy Jung (the mean girl of the office) asks Ji-an nastily if she kissed Dong-hoon because she “respects” him, having heard what Ji-an said in her interview. She coos that Ji-an may think she’s helping Dong-hoon get promoted, but she’s actually helping Joon-young get fired.

As she’s sauntering away in triumph, she gets a text that sends her flying back to Ji-an in a panic. Ji-an says that it’s proof of the affair Deputy Jung is having with a manager, and asks blandly if she should send it to the manager’s wife, or Deputy Jung’s husband.

When Deputy Jung grabs her, Ji-an rips away violently, breaking her ever-present earbuds. Deputy Jung asks Ji-an if Dong-hoon knows what kind of person she is, and Ji-an snarls that he even knows she killed someone.

Outside Yu-ra’s door, Sang-hoon sings cheerfully and deliberately wipes her doorbell so that it rings repeatedly, while Ki-hoon yells that she’s not even home. When he checks off the cleaning card for the day, Ki-hoon adds a note to the bottom: “Yu-ra’s the best!”

Yu-ra is on the movie set, being yelled at by Director Kim again. He’s afraid to curse her out lest Ki-hoon come beat him up, and he asks Yu-ra how they’re close when Ki-hoon used to say horrible things about her.

She says that Ki-hoon explained why he used to scream at her, and that Director Kim does it for the same reason. When he asks what she means, she pulls out a list of responses Ki-hoon gave for her to say to Director Kim. HA, the note is mostly curse words.

Saying softly that she feels awkward cursing, Yu-ra instead says that Ki-hoon told her that if Director Kim yells at her, to say that she’s scared. With a smile, she tells him to relax, and Director Kim just screams and runs off, and later, Yu-ra complains to Ki-hoon that his advice backfired.

When Ki-hoon gets home, his mom sends him right back out to take some food to Yoon-hee for Dong-hoon, though Ki-hoon whines that he doesn’t even love Dong-hoon. But he and Sang-hoon take the food over, Sang-hoon leaving the van next to a sexy red hatchback for a “date,” lol.

Ki-hoon notices the huge dent in the bedroom door (that Yoon-hee is having replaced) and guesses that it was made by a fist. He casually asks Yoon-hee if she and Dong-hoon had a fight, since the door looked like someone punched it.

Yoon-hee says vaguely that she did something wrong, and Ki-hoon breezes, “What, did you cheat on him?” He regrets the quip when Yoon-hee freezes, and to cover, he jokes that if she doesn’t say anything, he might think it’s true.

When she still says nothing, he pleads with her to deny it, but her whispered “I didn’t” isn’t convincing. Neither of them sees Sang-hoon in the doorway, having heard every word. He slowly backs out, leaving the food behind.

On the way home, Ki-hoon remembers the morning Dong-hoon showed up to soccer with an injured hand, seeming distracted and cranky. Sang-hoon also remembers, and tears fill his eyes.

Ki-hoon recalls Dong-hoon’s battered face after his fight with Kwang-il, though he probably assumes Dong-hoon fought with the man Yoon-hee cheated with. He screams wordlessly and slaps his own head in frustration, and Sang-hoon pulls the van over until they both calm down.

When Dong-hoon’s team gets back to the office after a job, he sends them inside without him. He goes down the street to see Director Park, who immediately asks about Ji-an. She’s listening in through a demo headset at an electronics store as Dong-hoon denies Director Park’s fear that Joon-young made Ji-an approach him.

He avoids Director Park’s attempts to discuss Ji-an further, asking how he’s been. Director Park says that he’s close to figuring out who drugged him and got him banished from the company headquarters, and Ji-an goes on alert. She steals a new pair of earbuds and rushes to see Ki-bum.

Ki-bum thinks there’s no way Director Park could track him down, having been extra careful on the night he kidnapped Director Park. But Director Park has a cop friend who uses CCTV cameras to follow Ki-bum that night. He was seen making a call, and the cop is confident he can use phone records to learn Ki-bum’s name.

Ki-bum warns Ji-an that if he’s caught, she will be, too. He thinks they should run away, today, especially with Joon-young basically threatening to kill her. Ji-an promises to go with him in one day, and she doesn’t answer when Ki-bum asks if her hesitation is about Dong-hoon.

Back at the office, Dong-hoon asks the other director candidate how his interview went. He chuckles that he got torn apart and advises Dong-hoon not to worry about what they say at his interview tomorrow.

Dong-hoon turns down an invitation from his team to go for drinks and takes a call from Yoon-hee. She tells him that Ki-hoon knows about her affair, and instead of going home, he goes to the cleaning store to find both of his brothers looking miserable.

Ki-hoon tells Dong-hoon to write down “that bastard’s” name, but instead, Dong-hoon turns to go. Ki-hoon grabs him and growls that if he doesn’t tell him the guy’s name, he’ll end up beating up Yoon-hee instead. Dong-hoon punches him, which just fires up Ki-hoon even further, but Sang-hoon bellows at him to stop.

Ki-hoon decides to go ask Yoon-hee herself, and when Dong-hoon stops him, Ki-hoon asks why he let the other guy beat him up. Dong-hoon punches him again, but Sang-hoon jumps between them to prevent from having an all-out brawl in the street.

Jae-chul is at the bar, getting concerned when his calls to Sang-hoon go unanswered. where Yu-ra is also trying unsuccessfully to call Ki-hoon, assuming that she’s being blown off after only three days of dating. But when Jung-hee can’t reach Dong-hoon, their friends genuinely start to worry.

Jae-chul tries to assure everyone that the brothers probably just went to eat tuna again without them. One friend runs all the way to the store and back to report that the van is still there, and they vow to all go eat tuna tomorrow without the brothers, lol.

Jung-hee jokes that she’s the bad luck black hole of the neighborhood, so nothing bad will happen to the brothers because there’s no bad luck to spare. She sighs that she’ll start a fire and get herself arrested tomorrow, since she’s been wanting to start a fire lately and only one bad thing can happen at a time.

The ex-detective visits Kwang-il again to ask about Ji-an’s friend who’s good with computers. Kwang-il ignores him, even when he desperately promises to catch and kill both Ji-an and her friend if Kwang-il helps him find them.

Having relocated to a restaurant, Sang-hoon tells Dong-hoon that if Yoon-hee apologized, then he has to forgive her. Ki-hoon worries that Dong-hoon will get sick from the stress, so he advises Dong-hoon to break up with her. Sang-hoon says he could still get sick, which just makes Ki-hoon worry more, so Sang-hoon reassures him tearfully that Dong-hoon will be fine.

When the waitress brings their food, Ki-hoon starts yelling at her because there’s so little of it. Sang-hoon apologizes, and Dong-hoon snaps that Ki-hoon is making him feel worse when he already feels like dying. He says that this is why he couldn’t tell them, because they’re acting like they’re more upset than he is.

Ki-hoon retorts that he wishes Dong-hoon would pitch a fit and cry, because Dong-hoon’s unemotional silence is breaking his heart. He yells that he’s terrified Dong-hoon will bottle everything up and die, so Dong-hoon stands, grabs Ki-hoon by the collar, and tries to drag him outside so they can all cry together.

Ji-an is at home, listening to their conversation as Sang-hoon calms the others down, and Dong-hoon remembers that their father used to always say, “It’s not a big deal.” He says that there’s nobody to say it to him now, so he says it to himself. Ji-an hears this and remembers him telling her to just think that upsetting things are no big deal.

Later, Sang-hoon calls Yoon-hee and apologizes to her, sad that she and Dong-hoon have both been suffering, though he adds that Dong-hoon’s suffering means that he loves her. Ki-hoon calls Yu-ra to wail that a man’s heart was broken today, and that his broke along with it. Aw, he’s so dramatic that Yu-ra asks if he’s acting.

He refuses to give details when she asks, which she interprets to mean that there’s something he considers more important than her. Having had her own bad day, she pulls out the list of curses he wrote for her and reads them all to him. When she’s finished, he gives her a round of applause, heh.

Meanwhile, Dong-hoon sits alone in silence. After listening for a long time, Ji-an types out a text asking him to call her, but she doesn’t send it.

While at a PC cafe, Ki-bum spots a cop that seem to be looking for someone — it’s the same cop who’s been on his tail for Director Park’s kidnapping. The cop dials his number and his phone rings, and Ki-bum makes a run for it. As he flees, he calls Ji-an and tells her to run, narrowly escaping himself when the cop trips and injures his leg.

At the same time, Kwang-il breaks into Ki-bum’s apartment and takes his computer equipment. When the cops arrive, there’s nothing they can confiscate as evidence. Wait, did he just help Ji-an? Interesting.

After the call from Ki-bum, Ji-an sends a text to Dong-hoon — but she only wishes him good luck on his interview tomorrow. She adds, “It’s no big deal,” knowing how badly he needs to hear someone say it to him right now. He murmurs a soft, “Thank you,” and Ji-an’s eyes flicker with surprise, as if nobody’s ever said the words to her before.

The sun is rising as the brothers walk home. Dong-hoon says that just knowing that someone is cheering him on helps him breathe, but that he can’t say it because of how it would sound. Ki-hoon says that thanking someone is nothing much, so Dong-hoon says again, “Thank you, for being by my side.” Still listening, Ji-an cries in earnest.

Yoon-hee is asleep on the couch when Dong-hoon gets home, but he doesn’t wake her. He just goes to the bedroom, and after he closes the door, she opens her eyes.

Jung-hee leaves the bar wearing conservative clothes and with her curly hair tamed. She checks the lighter she’s carrying, then goes to the temple where Gyeom-duk lives. He doesn’t recognize her among the visitors to his morning prayers.

He says that what’s important aren’t worldly things, but what’s in people’s hearts. He tells a story of a time when his own heart was full of pain, so he prayed at the temple for three days and nights, after which he was able to find beauty in even the most humble things. After prayers, he looks at Jung-hee as if he’s known she was there all along.

She tells him honestly that her entire body hurts, and that when she opens her eyes in the morning, they immediately fill with tears. She asks him to come home, begging him not to let her grow old and die alone.

When Gyeom-duk just invites her to eat, she yells, “You love baby goats and damned grass so much, so why don’t you love me?! You won’t find enlightenment here — you need to live with a pain in the ass woman like me to achieve it!” She threatens to set the temple on fire and breaks down sobbing, but Gyeom-duk never drops his mild, distant smile.

Unable to get through to him, Jung-hee leaves and cries the entire way home. Gyeom-duk lets himself remember the moment he realized she was there this morning, knowing that it was her even though all he could see was the curve of her jaw.

Dong-hoon is worried when Ji-an doesn’t show up for work. His team member, knowing that it’s time for his director candidate interview, promises to find her and tells Dong-hoon not to worry.

In the interview, Director Yoon wastes no time mentioning Dong-hoon’s transfer from the Engineering department to Safety Inspection. Director Jung snaps that they all know why Dong-hoon was transferred, but Director Yoon shushes him and asks Dong-hoon why he thinks he was transferred.

Dong-hoon says that he’d like to ask Director Yoon the same thing. He says that he enjoys safety inspection, but Director Yoon points out that his team has the worst performance. Dong-hoon reminds him that he has only four team members while the other teams have nine.

Director Yoon shows the directors the blueprints for a building that Dong-hoon designed, saying that it shakes at the slightest ground tremor. Dong-hoon says that it’s a resonance phenomenon and tries to explain, but Director Yoon chastises him for patronizing the directors.

Hilariously, one of Director Yoon’s own cronies admits that he doesn’t understand, ha. Dong-hoon explains that he deliberately designed the building to withstand high-magnitude waves, but that problems during construction resulted in it only being built to withstand half of what he intended.

In addition, a sports center was built inside, and all of the people running causes the resonance phenomenon. When Director Yoon scoffs, so Dong-hoon admits that it’s rare, pointing out that he requested that an anti-vibration mechanism be installed on the roof as soon as the shaking became an issue, but his request has never been accepted.

He says that he inspects the buildings he designed at least once a year, so Director Yoon brings up the apartment building that Dong-hoon refused to give a rating that it hadn’t earned so that it could be reconstructed. Dong-hoon replies that he makes correct decisions, not politically or financially motivated ones.

Director Yoon pulls out his trump card — Ji-an. He asks why Dong-hoon hired someone with a blank resume over others with great resumes. Dong-hoon says that historically, the temps with great resumes never stick around, so he chose someone competent who would stay and support the team. He says she’s intelligent, doesn’t take credit for things she didn’t do, and she’s a good person. Of course, Ji-an is listening as she walks alone, with only a backpack full of her things.

She hears Director Yoon say that he looked into her background and found that she has a criminal record for murder. The directors are all shocked, even Director Jung. But Dong-hoon says softly, “It wasn’t murder. It was ruled justifiable self defense.” He says that in her situation, anyone would have done the same, even himself.

Growing agitated, he repeats that the law found Ji-an not guilty. He asks why she’s being judged again, when the law tried to protect her from this very thing. He criticizes Director Yoon for digging up her painful past, asking if it isn’t more humane to allow people to forget their pasts.

Ji-an stops to listen to Dong-hoon’s defense of her. When he’s finished, she wipes her tears and resolutely keeps walking. When the interview is over, the first thing Dong-hoon asks is if they’ve reached Ji-an, but she’s still unreachable.

Instead of answering his team’s questions about his interview, Dong-hoon slumps at his desk, at a loss. He opens his drawer and finds a new pair of slippers inside, and he only pauses a moment before rushing out.

 
COMMENTS

I feel like Dong-hoon’s speech about letting Ji-an move on from her painful past wasn’t just for Ji-an, but was also subconsciously for Yoon-hee. When he argued that Ji-an did what she had to in a dangerous situation and should be allowed to live freely now that it’s over, it felt as though his words could also apply to his wife’s mistake. Yoon-hee did a terrible thing, something that many would consider unforgivable, but she admits her wrongdoing. She regrets what she did and feels true shame and remorse, and while I’m not sure that I could forgive her in Dong-hoon’s position, it’s obvious that Yoon-hee won’t be making that same mistake again, and if nothing else, they’re finally being honest with each other about their struggles in the marriage. For someone with Dong-hoon’s forgiving nature, I can see how he would feel that she deserves to be given another chance.

It’s occurred to me before, but this episode seems to offer the best evidence that Dong-hoon already knows that Ji-an listens to his conversations. In fact, I’ll bet he’s known for quite some time. It’s like him to know and not say anything, and when he thanked her for staying beside him, I swear that he knew she could hear him.

I just love Dong-hoon and his brothers, especially when all three of them are together. It’s so interesting how their dynamic changes depending on which configuration of brothers is present. When it’s just Sang-hoon and Ki-hoon, Ki-hoon is a lot more volatile and Sang-hoon is more big-brotherly. But when Dong-hoon joins them, Sang-hoon sits back a bit and acts as more of a peacemaker while Ki-hoon becomes a lot more childlike, more worried about his big brothers. I particularly love how Ki-hoon grumbles that he doesn’t even love his brothers, yet the moment one of them is threatened, he’s the first to go storming off to beat up whichever jerk dared to hurt his family. They’re about as dysfunctional as it comes, but there’s no doubt that they’ll stick together no matter what.

This drama is a fantastic example of what happens when all of its parts come together so perfectly that they draw the very best results from each other. Often in dramas, there’s at least one leg of the writer/PD/cast trifecta that’s weaker than the others. But with My Ajusshi, each of these components not only does their very best work, but there’s a sort of resonance that can be felt as they become more than the sum of their parts. In this particular drama, it’s most noticeable in the acting performances, which are not only fantastic, but in some notable cases, miles better than anything the actors have produced in the past.

In particular, I notice this with two of the main actresses, Nara and IU. Both are known as solid, engaging actors, but whose careers (in my opinion) also include some not-so-stellar performances. I think that in the case of both actresses, their more lackluster roles had more to do with their direction and the character they were given than their talent, but that’s exactly my point — both ladies are proving here that they can be much more than just okay with access to the right script and director. For example, I found Nara to be serviceable but lackluster in Suspicious Partner… she did the job, but that’s about it. But there were moments when I saw a glimmer of something that made me wish there were a more inspired hand guiding her. Her portrayal of Yoo-jung was mostly bland, but I always felt that if she’d been allowed to be as badass as her first scene in that show (where she took on three thugs single-handedly), she’d have been exponentially more interesting. In My Ajusshi, she’s impossibly quirky and tragically endearing, proving that with the right character and a director who understands how to draw the best from their actors, Nara can be downright wonderful.

And that’s nothing compared to the change in IU from her previous roles, which generally seem to try to cash in on her perky adorableness. That that’s a bad thing, and I’ve liked her in quite a few roles, but I’ve always felt like the roles could have been played by any plucky young actress. She’s never embarrassed herself, and I’ve seen moments (particularly in The Producers) where I felt she could be better than the performances she was turning in, but she’s never had a role that really made me sit up and take notice. Well, all that is over now, because IU’s portrayal of Ji-an is nothing short of incredible. I was very nervous when I hard about her being cast in such a dark drama, understandable considering her cute, cheerful image. But again, there’s some sort of magic happening with this drama, and before the end of the first episode I couldn’t imagine anyone else in this role. IU plays Ji-an with a heavy blackness that’s often hard to watch, really digging deep to show some of the most horrific sides of humanity. And she’s handled the changes in Ji-an with a truthful consistency that’s been lovely to see. That’s something only the best actors can do, and it’s completely changed my opinion of IU as an actor. I won’t be surprised if this dramatically impacts her acting career from now on, and I fully expect to see IU turn in many great performances in the future, now that she’s been through this experience and has obviously learned a lot about how to really give everything to a role.

 
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After watching the teaser of epi 5, I think the relationship is not love, its something like... a daughter. He worries about her well being, want her to be safe, want her to feel ok to live despite her past.

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I would be shocked if they ended up in that kind of relationship. To me they've crossed that line long time ago. Her open love confession (which he never clearly rejected, as she pointed out), the way he longs for her and protects her. The way Dong Hoon goes out of character to defend Ji an from Joon Young and Kwang Il, which was a lot more than what he did when he found out about his wife's affair... He definitely doesn't treat her the way a father would treat a child, but the way a man would treat a woman he loves/needs.

At this point I think they should either end up together as a couple or apart (even if I don't like the idea of them being apart). Anything in between would be disappointing because it would mean he just wasn't brave enough.

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When Sang Hoon told Yoon Hee that Dong Hoon suffers more because he loves her.... my heart sinks.

But I really do not know how to view DH and JA relationship as platonic or in a father-daughter way. I mean, which father/friend would steal glances at his so-called daughter/friend at every chances possible? From what I see, it's far from fatherly at all. It has in fact crossed the line of being friendly. Not that I wanted to romanticize their relationship but DH's action with the restlessness, the defense and with how affected he is with everything that involved JA that incited all sorts of actions that he perhaps never unleashed before, all I could see is the relationship is an unspoken romance (at least on his part).

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Unspoken Romance is exactly the perfect description... how Dong Hoon handles his feelings for Ji An always reminded me of Dan Steven's character, Mr. Edward Farris in the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility. You could tell that Edward cares for Elinor very much but because he knows he is not free to speak of his feelings and devotion then all he could do was to be Elinor's friend even though everyone around them knew that Edward has feelings for Elinor and vice versa. It was Edward's honor that prevented him from speaking out his true feelings...I feel like Dong Hoon's character is the same and Lee Sung Kyun delivered a performance of bottled feelings with such juicy angst and feels the same way as Dan Steven's has portrayed Edward's love for Elinor... Dong Hoon has feelings for Ji An but he is not free to speak to Ji An about any of those things. Honor stops him not just for his wife but more so for Ji An for he believes Ji An deserves to be treated with respect and honor and to be treasured as she should have been. The only thing Dong Hoon believes he can do for Ji An is to protect her from people wanting to harm her and most of all from himself and his feelings... if anyone wants to fully understand what I meant by Dong Hoon being so like Edward then please do check out BBC's Sense and Sensibilty :)
And for the record, this type of love story is just my cup of tea. :)

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I think you have nailed it on the head with DH wanting to protect JA, from everyone and also from himself. He certainly has feelings for her, but up to this point he has not seen what good it would do to her. So unspoken romance may very well be how this show ends. For a show that is not supposed to be romance why does my heart ache so much for the non-OTP?

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I love that version of Sense and Sensibility and I am glad that you brought up Dan Stevens' portrayal of Edward Ferrars. Now that I think about it, you made an excellent comparison between Edward Ferrars and Dong-hoon.

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Side comment: Have you seen the version of Little Dorrit with Matthew Macfadyen? If you like that kind of understated romance with a male lead who is honorable but more reserved about his feelings, then I think you'll like that mini series.

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@peridot oops you are right. It's Mr. Ferrars. I forgot ha ha all I could remember exactly was Dan Steven's name lol. I've heard of Little Dorrit but have not yet seen it but I will find time to check it out so thanks for the rec... Oh and Matthew Macfadyen is my favorite Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy which now that I think about it the Mark Darcy mentioned in this drama is a modern version of Jane Austen's well beloved hero of Pride and Prejudice... ahhh.. I just love me some Jane Austen type of romantic story.

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@MapleSilver actually this drama is still a romance. It is just the unspoken kind but it does not diminish the romance of it all. Jane Austen and most great historical/period romance are actually mostly have these kind of feels... of bottled longings, secret glances and chance or pretend chance encounters... period dramas are usually like this because in those times loving once husband/wife is not a necessity. Romantic Love is not the usual but underneath the surface a lot of romantic love is definitely happening he he he

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A very good example of the "unspoken" from this episode:
"Text her and say thank you. Come on, why not?"
"The mere fact that there is someone cheering me on like that helps me breathe. How could I say that to her knowing exactly how it would seem?"
The thanks that cannot be uttered says "Thanks for being by my side."
Far from fatherly feelings, more in the territory of a partner supporting you through the difficult times by your side.

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Same here, I never imagined Dong Hoon having a fatherhood feeling towards Jian. Not with that gaze he gave when Dong Hoon and Ki Hoon drove pass her on previous episode, not with every actions he did to people that harmed Jian, not with that worry when Jian dissapear.
The writers are doing a good job keeping us questioning what kind of feeling Dong Hoon has for Jian, but I demand to get the answer before this drama ends!!
But I think even if Dong Hoon has any romantic feelings toward Jian, his morality and his love for his family (his son, especially) would prevent him to approach her more, so I don't think they will be together in any way 😢

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I dont think he has any sexual desire with her. When she ask to hug him or kiss him, he firmly say no and doesnt have much thought about it. She is someone that could be half his age, when a student admit to like the teacher - the older person aware that its the admire, the respect to make the young person think its love. Just think when you are teenage, sure you have lots of crush here and there, someone much older than you seem like he is your idea type, everything - but where you are now, with some 15 years old kid confess to you, you would think its just silly.

I buy their connection a lot until the teaser: when his wife tell him, we should confess everything, humiliation doesnt matter, we need her to stop running away. If he actually has some feeling for her, he would feel guilty confess to his wife or his brothers. But for all, he concern for her. She is someone who live alone, because of guilt she cant open up to anyone. When he see her, he know what kind of person she like, he see himself in her, and he know he can help her. Its a human thing to do. When someone help someone, doesnt mean they want something from that person. He doesnt help her because he want to love her or want her to love back, he help because he is that kind of person

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I funny know how to define their relationship. It's romantic and but romantic at the same time in my opinion. I feel like jian and dong hoon are just two people who really connect with each other. They support each other and care for each other so much because they both know how rough each others lives are and finally, they both found someone who supports and consoles them sincerely. I think their relationship is more than romance. Even though they both have these undefined relationship and emotions with each other, I feel like in the future, they can still live without each other because they both know that they are cheering each other on even though they may not be around each other physically. jiam just wants donghoon to be happy and donghoon just wants jian to be happy. I feel like the two of them are pushing each other to become intrinsically happy and feel comfortable and happy about being themselves. They both give strength to each other and that's what the two of them really need to keep moving forward. I feel like this kind of relationship is so much stronger than a lover's romantic relationship. Because this supporting relationship will last and stay the same forever whereas a romantic one is constantly changing. Just my thought. I can't really put their relationship into words. There's just too many emotions involved, but just romance.

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«this kind of relationship is so much stronger than a lover's romantic relationship»...
I agree with you and I like it very much.
A romantic relationship is beautiful but fragile and so complicated! Family is involved, sexual chemistry is involved, money is involved... soooo complicated. When one aspect is messing up the rest of the relationship, you cannot just let it go. You need to fix stuffs, get used to it, you need to change, be flexible, give in, sometimes give up some things... it is tiresome!
People get frustrated. You have to add their imperfections, you have to add the fights, you have to add all spectrum of behaviors and feelings throughout the days and earning a life together, having similar goals.
Dramas make it as if it's easy to live with someone because you fell in love, but we all know better. It is not. And that is why the divorce average is so big.
A relationship like DH and JA have where they simply act according to the love they feel for each other without saying it... It is better. If only they could keep on living in the same neighborhood and meet once in a while and be friends and care for one another... that is more sustainable. I have a friend like that, only that he is in another country. I wish I could have him near. I can tell him I love you without any hesitation, no misunderstandniss. He knows it is platonic and he is the same with me. Ohhh now I miss him! 😖

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I think their relationship is too precious and rare to be defined by any labels, be it father-daughter, mentor-mentee, or even lovers.

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+1000 yes to this!

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I agree with this. They give so much strength and comfort to each other like best friends/siblings/lovers that really transcends any easy description.
The bottom line that I see with these two is that they fill a void in each other that no one else could fill.

They just NEED each other.

Whether it becomes a love relationship, or a close friendship as long as they are still with each other at the end of the show is all I want.

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Hmm, I may be in the minority, but up til this point, I still do not see any romantic vibe in Dong hoon's regard towards Ji-an. The glances some beanies have mentioned were romantic doesn't come across the same way to me. He does care for her, yes. But romantically, no, I do not get the same feeling yet from what the drama has shown so far.

I still feel that Dong hoon is treating her the way he treats Jung-hee. I remember how normal it was in the earlier episodes for him to touch Jung-hee's face (when she was drunk) which bespokes that kind of relationship that he may have with Ji-an. It may seem different, that he streats Ji-an differently, but that's only because Jung-hee's predicament is not as dire as Ji-an's; nor is she as involved in Dong-hoon's daily life as Ji-an is.

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Last week while riding the bus home I was bored and just started reading the recaps. Now having read all recaps I am ready to watch the last remaining eps but somehow I am hesitating. The recaps were soooo well written, made me love the story so much, I fear I will be disappointed „just“ watching the show. Hence, thank you very much for all your great work you have done till now, LollyPip. I appreciate it very much <3

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Though @lollypip writes wonderful, no doubt but for this show no words can ever match up to it. You have to watch it to see how amazing it looks on screen. Fear not there is nothing to be disappointed about it.

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You will not be disappointed. As wonderfully as @lollypip has recapped the show, she cannot, in words completely convey what is happening on screen. Additionally, she points out here that there is an almost magical alchemy happening here between writer/director/cast. Each of the parts on there own are good--but together they are making this great. Watch it, you won't regret it.

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No recap, however excellent, can capture all the tension and feelings of watching the show itself. You have to realize that this is a highly nuanced show, with minimal dialog, so every glance, every shift of the eyes, every little smile, and even every sigh serves to tell something. And when there are lines spoken, they are loaded with meaning. And how can you not want to enjoy the beautiful OSTs? Watch it, you won't be disappointed.

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Thank you @lollypip :).

Park Dong-hoon is ahjusshi of this year! :). I don't think I like an ahjusshi character as much as I like Dong-hoon character.

I'm still impressed how good the writer made the brothers characters to be totally different. And it showed when the brother found out Yoon-hee's affair. Ki-hoon, as the hot temperamental maknae, he got so emotional and wanted to know who's the person Yoon-hee's having affair is. Sang-hoon is obviously a romantic and he actually has a soft-heart. No matter how shocked and sad he was, my heart broke listening to what he said to Yoon-hee on the phone about YH is having a hard time because of she married a man from a poor family. While Dong-hoon is Dong-hoon who thinks everything is better if no-one knows and he bottles up inside. And during the scene in the cleaning office, they're so true to their characters. Kudos to Lee Sun-kyun, Park Ho-san, and Song Sae-byeok.

My favorite scene is when Dong-hoon said "thank you" in the taxi, as if he's already known that Ji-An wiretapped him.

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When Sang-hoon called Yoon-hee to say sorry that she must have been through so much marrying someone from poor family, my only thought was "Ah, this is how you kill with kindness." She never really open herself to Dong-hoon's family and friends before. And yes, the uncomfortable atmosphere is definitely going both ways, with Dong-hoon's family putting her on pedestal because of her capability and achievement and all that. But I wonder if little things like what Sang-hoon did would be the thing that finally open Yoon-hee's eyes to what kind of person Dong-hoon's family truly are. And maybe it will make her understand and apreciate them more now.

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The relation between sister-in-law and brother-in-law is "so formal;" unlike with Sang-hoon wife when Ki-hoon or the mother could speak comfortably to AR. We can see it during their Mom's birthday.

Maybe it's from the start, that there's unexplained distance between Yoon-hee and Dong-hoon family; maybe it's the family social economic background like what Sang-hoon has said during the phone call with Yoon-hee.

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I looooved that phone call! Definitely killing with kindness.

I wanted her to feel more guilt after that call, because I was also wondering how she never warmed up to them when we've been shown that if she had allowed herself to be 'enveloped' in the family, that they'd do anything for her.

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<strong<NEW SLIPPERS!!
Dong Hoon seeing the new pair of slippers, and that inciting him into action made my heart ache (in a good way).

I liked the parallelism with how our leads defended each other in their respective interviews.

“I…like Lee Ji An”
HAHAHAHA! The music cue was so perfect for Section Chief Song’s “confession.” It was so random and unbelievable, the entire office’s reactions were perfect in expressing their incredulity.

What, did you cheat on him, or something?
Top marks for Ki-Hoon’s perceptive abilities. But, I think he was just as shocked that he hit the bull’s eye as Yoon Hee was that he guessed correctly.

Why are you walking so slowly today?
I’ve really missed good conversations between Ji An and Dong Hoon, especially since she has a tendency to force Dong Hoon out of his silence-avoid tactics through her bluntness.

He continues to put in appropriate boundaries between them. The question, however, still remains: why? Is it because he feels more for her than he knows he should? Or, is it really because he has always intended and wants a specific way of relating to her and he’s enforcing it? We’re always left guessing what he truly feels for Ji An. I’m not entirely sure he even knows.

I feel this is really good writing. The characters are written with clear motivations, and they always behave consistently with whatever is revealed about them. Yet, certain things still remain a mystery: like Ji An’s next chess move, Dong Hoon’s true feelings, etc. The way they are growing, but always consistent with their character takes a lot of work. Kudos to the writer!

I’m sorry. Brother-in-law knows
I think we would all agree DH is not a terribly good communicator. Even when he’s a “family man” and a good neighborhood ajusshi, it’s true that NO ONE knows his struggles. Arguably he wouldn’t tell his family since they are generally the cause of his problems, but still his isolation is partially his fault.

And speaking of family, I found it very interesting how Sang-Hoon and Ki-Hoon took opposing opinions on Dong Hoon’s next moves. I feel like they represent two different mindsets. Sang-Hoon is very much a “traditional” Korean family man whereas Ki-Hoon seems more progressive and “western” in his advice. But, what is most telling is neither of them ASKED Dong Hoon what he wanted.

DH seems perpetually stuck in the middle and silent. He is very much a “traditional” middle-aged Korean man in his values, but the needs and longings of his heart still cry out for comfort, respite and expression. Is his choice really binary, or is there a third way?

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The scene where Dong-hoon sat in his brothers' office helplessly and said "it's not a big deal..." really broke my heart.

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Oh, totally! It broke my heart as well.

But, in a way, that is why I'm so glad that Ki-Hoon is his brother. He needs someone like Ki-Hoon to perceive and express what he WANTS to do.

In fact, I'd say Ji An and Ki Hoon are similar in that they both don’t mince words. They are honest with themselves and unafraid of confrontation. Ki-Hoon confessed he used Yu-Ra as a scapegoat. While he tends to be overdramatic, he is very much in touch with his own feelings. Ji An freely admits she likes and admires Dong Hoon, and she’s not afraid to ask tough questions of herself or others.

In a way, I think Ji An and Ki Hoon are both movers and shakers precisely BECAUSE they are open and honest, whereas most of the other characters who are secretive tend to be the ones stuck.

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Exactly! That's why I love how the three brothers have different characters and their characters support each other. And so is with Ji-an's. She's a supporter to Dong-hoon. What I'm glad about this drama is that even though Ji-an has confessed his feelings to Dong-hoon while he rejected her, they're not awkward with each other.

But one thing about Dong-hoon, I think he's not afraid to confront sometimes when he's cornered, like during the interview when Director Yoon asked him about Ji-an, or when he confronted Joon-young in the camp with the Chairman. I'd never thought DH would do that.

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Oh, that "Can I hug you for once?" really broke my heart.

I am in the opinion that his rejection is driven by DH's great self control that we already knew since episode 1. But we also need to remember that DH also lose control more during the time that he spent with Ji An (and for her sake too) than in his entire life. So, if he actually accepted that request for a hug and when their bodies actually came into contact, I am guessing that all walls he built around himself (with regards to JA) will come tumbling down. All along, they only shared emotional connection without a single physical contact yet that connection runs so deep. DH, being an engineer who calculated every decisions of his, will know for sure what would happened if he did hug her - the realization of what he has been denying all along.

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I completely agree. Dong Hoon has some tight reins. But, even when I'm in the "save the marriage" camp, even I feel there needs to be a reckoning of sorts.

Dong Hoon cannot move forward with his life (much less his marriage) without acknowledging and even behaving consistently with who he is - and that isn't JUST his intelligence, integrity or moral fortitude....it's also his emotional needs and desires.

I'm not sure if "losing control" is what I want from the character so much as taking ownership to say "THIS is what I want", "THIS is what I feel", "THIS is what I desire", and move towards that.

I agree with you that he has a deep emotional connection with Ji An, but I truly think it is driven by their loneliness and emotional distress, which (one hopes) shouldn't be a permanent state, but a season.

I honestly think if he can improve communication with his wife, and forgive her, all the longing that he has yearned for can be accomplished through his marriage....and that would actually free him to HUG Ji An...because then it would be as a good and close friend, someone who was his "battle buddy" when he needed one.

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After I posted my earlier comment. I suddenly recalled that DH does not look affected when he walked down the stairs after turning down Ji An's hug request. I am not sure if I have seen it wrongly but that does mean something.

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Yes... He is indeed doesn't affected by it.

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Yes, he seemingly wasn't affected at all. Not a single slowing step, not a single halt, not a single glancing back. Nothing.

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I think ever since he heard how Ji-an defended him in her interview, he has come to term with Ji-an's feeling for him. At first he was almost angry when she laid her feelings bare, and later he felt uncomfortable about it. But it seems to me that he has decided that her feeling is her business, and the fact that Ji-an didn't take any advantage of it probably also help. I think when he easily said "I already feel energized. Thanks," it's not so much that he didn't have any feeling whatsoever toward her, it's more about how he didn't feel burdened by her feelings for him anymore. He can choose how to react and it won't affect the relationship they already have.

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You might be missing the point. He brought her all the way to her doorstep, he didn’t leave her at the beginning of the narrow step. And when she asked for a hug, he didn’t look surprised, annoyed. But in the end it isn’t just about a romance it could be about whether JA’s life will be saved from her tortureous trauma. She’s the character with the heaviest burden of life: she killed out of self defenses, she and her grand ma we’re violently beaten up, she engaged in a suspicious activity to desesperately find money to repay her mother’s debt and end the beating, .., she lost her humanity, sensibility until she meets DH. Let’s hope DH will be able to finish pulling her out of the infernal life that has been hers for so many years. She, most than all the other characters in the story. has been given in life the worst deck of cards.

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100% agree: "I honestly think if he can improve communication with his wife, and forgive her, all the longing that he has yearned for can be accomplished through his marriage....and that would actually free him to HUG Ji An...because then it would be as a good and close friend, someone who was his "battle buddy" when he needed one."

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ah, and this is why I love the DB comment section. Really refreshing to read different perspectives. I don't see how their marriage can be saved after she gave her heart to someone else. Finding out that Jooyoung was an ass the whole time doesn't make Yoonhee love DH again, it's kind of just like "oh, I fked up... and I fked up with a guy I misjudged". DH said he just doesn't know to end the relationship that's been a part of him for so long, which is why Yoonhee said that she's just giving DH time to let her go. It's like a cooling period for DH to collect his thoughts and prepare himself to move on in his life. I don't see a man changing who he inherently is in order to make a marriage work. What makes DH and Jian work is that DH doesn't have to tell her what's going on, and she'll still be there for him to listen to his silence (well she does know of some details from her wiretapping, but she doesn't pry into the root of his existential sadness he bares on his face day to day). DH and Jian are both lonely by nature, and I think that's the reason why they'll be better together. They're comforted knowing that they have each other. I see them either ending up together, or remaining distant friends because they're not meant to be together in this lifetime. That would tie in with their talk about reincarnation.

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Re DH and JA relationship: I think DH sees a part of himself in JA (sacrificing for family, loyalty, etc.)... also JA makes DH to comes out of the shadow of his fears and be true to himself... on the other hand DH is really protective when it comes to JA (same way he is protective for his family and his wife)... I see a DH feeling as a great platonic friendship/mentorship feeling nothing romantic at all (and he knows it well and he said before he's not tempted because there is no temptation)... also JA is too young to recognize weather her feelings are platonic or non-platonic...

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I feel like he's not even denying himself that physical connection knowingly, but it's like he's just that nice guy that didn't even consider what he would feel like if they hugged or had any level of skinship, which is why he doesn't think twice when she asks for a hug. Right now he knows he has strong feelings for her but he can't exactly piece together what it means to himself he just knows that he wants to protect her, worries for her and thinks about her. If they ever do hug, I think he'll realize in that moment that he needed and longed for that hug too.

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he just knows that he wants to protect her

This is one of the reasons he did not accept a hug from Ji-an. Not only is he maintaining a physical distance because it would cross a moral boundary he wishes to maintain, but he also realizes that the cost of going across that line would most heavily be felt by Ji-an. First as a woman, and second as someone in a precarious social and economic situation. Even if their relationship went no further than a hug, Ji-an is fragile and Dong-hoon is perhaps the only one who recognizes how close to shattering she is. He is protecting her first here, and himself second. Is it consciously done? I don't know. And that is just one of the brilliancies of the writing, directing, and the acting.

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This is exactly right. He has built her up and to accept the hug would have confused things for her. He is still thinking of her first.

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"We’re always left guessing what he truly feels for Ji An. I’m not entirely sure he even knows."
I think you nailed it there. He doesn't really know how he feels about Ji An - all he does know is that he feels for her. period.
The writing in this show is. simply. superb.

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The thing about DH is that he understands his emotions but never actually communicates them with the people around us and even us the viewers. Before his confrontation with his wife , I knew the affair was hurting him ut it was only after he actually said something that I finally understood the depth of his pain. I think it is the same with his relationship with JA, he may know exactly what kind of relationship he has with JA but he fails to communicate this to JA or the viewers so we are left wondering if he is attracted to her from a romantic stand point or platonically

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Thank you, @lollypip!
You help me to unpack each episode of this incredibly rich experience.
I am so in awe of the this work of art.

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Ki-hoon surprised me (and broke my heart) this hour with his sheer perceptiveness regarding his hyung. He has a very blunt delivery and never shied away from confronting uncomfortable truth, just like his comment about Dong-hoon's inability to express his emotion. Part of it might be Dong-hoon's passive nature and his aversion for confrontation, but another part of it, I think, is how voicing or showing his emotions will make what he feels real and turn it into something he has to face head-on. That by admitting that it hurts him, he would have to acknowledge that other people can have so much influence (power?) over his own feeling. Ki-hoon understood it well, hence his harsh "just curse and cry loudly and move on" comment to him.

And yet, Ki-hoon also knew how much Dong-hoon held back from receiving the good things that life offered to him. It's such a tender moment when he told his hyung to just say thanks to Ji-an because he is allowed that much. Because the universe wouldn't begrudge him that small connection with someone who help him hanging on to life in his bleakest situation.

And I love how Dong-hoon finally put those advices into practice at his interview. He is finally done playing by "their" rules and letting them speaking on his behalf. He will say what need to be said and do what need to be done, be it defending his team work or protecting his team member or questioning the perplexing decision the higher-ups made regarding their projects. And if he still somehow ended up with the director position, I'm sure he will use it as he sees fit.

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Oh I love the strong bond between the brothers.

This brought me back to the conversation between the brothers in episode 1 where Ki Hoon told Sang Hoon that between his two older brothers, he actually pities Dong Hoon more despite on the exterior, he seems to be the one who has it all. Quoting Ki Hoon directly "Between desire and moral, Dong Hoon will always choose moral", thus ended up living his life like a walking dead.

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Looking at those three, I kinda get why Dong-hoon ends up the stoic way he is. Ki-hoon screams and blames everybody, Sang-hoon cries and blame himself, Dong-hoon probably has to be the level-headed dam...
Feel kinda bad, but am glad Ki-hoon being so annoying got Dong-hoon giving him a few swipes and releasing at least some rage ^^

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Episode 14 confirms how strong the feelings are between DH and JA. However they don’t act on them or rather DH doesn’t and JA respects his decision while never hiding her feelings for him to him or to others.

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Unpopular opinion: After endless clarifications from the production team that this drama is not a romance drama, why you got to include a scene where Ji An asked to hug DH and he refused?? For what purpose? Is it to showcase DH's self-control?

Why the writer has to play with my fragile heart like this.. You can't just have your cake and eat it too, Dong Hoon Ahjussi😭😢

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He doesn't want to give Ji An hope she has a chance, That's why he doesn't want to hug her.. Haha..

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Lol. As much as I am fond of Dong Hoon, I do agree that he is enjoying every bit of the cake. What he said and what he did is indirectly or perhaps unintentionally stringing her along.

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Thanks so much, @Lollypip, for your insightful recap!

Forgiveness

This may seem like such an obvious thing, but so many characters need to forgive one another in order to move on.

Ji An and Kwang-Il have come to a truce, but there are still some unresolved issues. You’d expect that Ji An has to forgive Kwang-Il given the abuse, but I actually think it’s the other way around. Kwang-Il needs to forgive Ji An for killing his abusive father. Only then can both Ji An and Kwang-Il be truly free from their painful, intertwined past. Ji An only let him beat her because she felt like she “deserved” it for killing his father.

It’s interesting how power shifts in this show. For the most part, Ji An has been in control. But, suddenly, Kwang-Il has power over Ji An and the one person who is her weak spot, Dong Hoon. Yet, I don’t think he will blackmail her, I think this is the opportunity for him to bury the hatchet.

Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee are, of course, the most obvious pair who need to forgive one another. Just like it is hard to discern Dong Hoon’s true feelings towards Ji An, it is equally hard to know if he still loves his wife, or if he’s really in the marriage to save face and keep his family (= mother) happy. If Dong Hoon can find a reason, or THE reason(s) he loves Yoon Hee, then I think their marriage is salvageable.

Sang-Hoon needs to forgive himself. Yes, he’s the eldest son; yes, he majorly failed. But, I’m tired of seeing him in a perpetual cycle of self-loathing. Yet, I really don’t know what he needs to STOP being defined by his failures.

Jung Hee needs to let go of Gyeom Duk. My heart ached for her this episode. It's so obvious how she and Gyeom Duk are not right for each other, no matter how much she loves him, and (I assume) how much he loves her. They are truly diametrically opposed. She still believes that if he comes back to her that her pain will end. It’s oddly the very thing he warned against in his spiritual session - attempting to find happiness outside oneself. He seeks inner peace through dissociation, but obviously it isn’t working if he keeps going into zombie-mode each time he sees her.

Ki-Hoon and Yu-Ra are strangely the most healthy couple at the moment! Ha! Who would have thought?!

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I am not sure I understand what happened Jung Hee and Gyeom Duk. They obviously loved each other a great deal (and I have a feeling they still do) but I don't understand why they had to split up.

Does anyone have a theory or has it already been said?

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I think probably it wont be explained in detail, maybe becos it wont really matter cos the present is the focus. Anyhow I presumed its related with the change in GD's view of life shortly before he entered the temple, that he wanted to break free from the "normal" norms that he perceived werent the real way to happiness.

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Agree. GD was the ace of their area. Expectations must have been great and eventually lead to a decision to break free.

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I thought that Gyeom Duk had to break up with Jung Hee in order to become a monk. In certain sect of Buddhism in Japan, anyone who would become a monk cannot marry or have a girlfriend. I thought that this rule apply to a Korean Buddhism. I know someone whose bro( they are American) became a famous monk in SK, his monk bro stays single for his practice.

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I was wondering if I missed something too! There are only two episodes left, so I thought something got lost in translation, and I didn't catch the reason for their break up. I hope they reveal it!

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Someone mentioned several episodes back that Gyeom-duk abruptly abandoned everything to become a monk, even leaving bedridden parents behind. That it was quite the neighborhood scandal. It sounds like GD broke under the pressure of family obligations and threw-over everything in his life, good, bad or indifferent. But there were casualties in doing that

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Lol Ki Hoon and Yura are dysfunctional each, but in terms of relationship, their is indeed the one built over honesty and trust. As weirdly as it seems.

I'm itching to hear your view regarding DH YH marriage after ep 14, chingu ^^ But thats for another recap for sure.

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Hey Clover!

Sure thing, although my views on DH-YH's marriage has pretty much remained consistent throughout the series. While it is easy to lay all the blame on YH because her "mistake" was just so LOUD, so obvious...there seems to be a web of problems - none which are unresolvable, but will certainly take effort:

[1] Dong Hoon needs to cut the apron strings. He's in his mid-40s, but his well-being and happiness is tied to an unhealthy degree to his mother's expectations and pride/shame.

[2] Dong Hoon needs to sort out his own emotions and desires apart from all familial and professional obligations. He doesn't know what he wants, but he does want something more in his life.

[3] Yoon Hee, much as a I sympathize with her, needs to do more than just wallow in self-hatred, shame, guilt, etc. I do believe she's sorry for what she has done. I don't think she'll do it again. But, that's not enough. She must make reparations in some form, if only as a token gesture - regardless of whether or not the marriage continues (although I think it will).

[4] Dong Hoon really needs learn how to communicate with his wife. Again, it's easy to lay all the blame at YH's feet, but my guess is that she did everything possible to integrate into DH's life, family and friendship group...but she was always an outsider, and he never put in the effort to envelope her.

[5] But, episode 13 (and 14) were more about DH and Ji An than anything, and somehow I think their relationship (new as it is) might be the key to the healing needed in his other relationships.

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Regarding YH, i find it kinda interesting that we never see, or got to see, DH reaching out to YH's family, or her friends, or her office/coworkers. Throughout the show she looked constantly alone except when she was with DH, his fam, and JY. Is it deliberate attempt of the writer or what?

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Clover,

That is a great observation, and I'm so glad that you mentioned it. It certainly seems as if the community Dong Hoon's family is part of draws people into it, but it doesn't really EXTEND towards the significant other's spheres.

There seems to be an unspoken expectation that anyone who "marries into" this community will join them, in a sense forsaking all others. Maybe I'm being unfair, but I think it's a fair consideration to muse over.

YH is constantly alone. But then again, so is Ae-Ryun, Jung Hee and Yu-Ra. Isn't that interesting? The women are the ones adrift while the men have this solid friendship-community group that the women WANT to be a part of. Only Momma Park isn't really alone, but that's only because her sons are ALL in that group already.

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This is really a reply to @pineapplegongzhu's comment below. I don't think Yoon Hee has her family near. Her mom has just gotten remarried somewhere, and their son is living with her sister while going to school in the US. Knowing the kind of man DH is, I am sure he tried to integrate YH into his circle, but unfortunately that is not what YH needed. And Jung Hee being alone is totally her own fault.

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Ji An: "Well, this is a first. Why are you walking so slowly today?"
Dong Hoon "It's not cold out."
Ji An: "Are you sure you weren't walking fast before because I made you feel uncomfortable?"
Dong Hoon: *a faint smirk crosses his lips* *presumes to walk faster*
Me: *dead*

How the writer depicts their relationship in their dialogue and how the actors portray it with their body language is just TOP NOTCH.

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Hahah well observed of you! That’s just show us that Ji An can “read” Dong Hoon very well and without words. That’s I think that they meant to each other, they’re compatible

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Thank you, Lollypip! Your recaps always add to the experience. I have to admit, I was a little nervous that they would lose momentum after the week break, but it continues to be perfect. This episode I found myself especially moved (weepy) by the three brothers....Ki hoon's ability to read between the lines, Sang hoons heart letting him step in anothers shoes- they are perfect foils to my hero, Ahjussi.

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I actually cried when Dong Hoon defend Ji An in front of the interviewer. It's so sweet and touching ... MY tears can't stop falling.

When Ji An cried hearing Dong Hoon convention, It feels like a final goodbye. She feels relieved he can hear "thank you" before her fugitive mission. His confession " thank you", and "it's makes me breath" makes her decision for pursuing his happiness getting stronger. Run away as far as she can so she can't get caught, and sacrificing her own life. My tears already falling thinking of that.

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"It's not a big deal. 아무것도 아니야"
What a simple yet profound statement.
I will definitely repeat this to myself every time the going gets tough. Thank you, My Ajusshi🍀

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Sorry, but when he saw the slippers he realized she was gone... that was it for him. He knows that he likes her, and is scared as hell about it.

This drama is killing me.

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You are a sick potato. You need to watch more cartoons

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You are a disrespectful eggplant. You need attitude classes and a slap.

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That's uncalled for. It's ok to disagree but no need to insult people.

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I meant that comment for Yin btw. Not you @foxinthetrot.

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Hi Yin, you are entitled to your opinion, but the way you expressed it is unacceptable. Kindly refrain from namecalling. Thank you.

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DH is the kind of guy that needs a little "push" to get even the slightest bit of emotion out of him. He has been in denial or perhaps never really cared to figure out what exactly his feeling is for her. Perhaps also, due to the many dramas happening in his current life, he never tries to understand his feeling for JA. Or more exactly, he himself thought that all his protective actions towards her are just him staying true to himself - that morally upright good person who shows kindness to everyone especially the one in need like JA (que to his arguement with Chief Song when he suggested DH should distance himself from JA to avoid further rumours about them).

So, it's heartbreaking to finally see that eruption from DH. He was at lost.

At that point, after so many arguements, opinion, confusion over what DH actually feel for JA --- I am certain that he likes her, thus crushing all DH own logics over the definition of their relationship.

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Did anyone else notice how for the first time, Ji an hair is down?

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Yes, as if its a sign of new page for her to explore. I hope, its the sign to her healing, to snatch the chance to be a good person she really is and feel the acceptance and warmth of ppl she has long been deprived of.

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Ji An is sooo soo pretty!

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It looks like freedom. But freedom from what? Or is it rebellion?

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When Section Chief Song stood up and confessed his feeling for Ji-an, I want to give him a standing applause! It's lovely to see how much Dong-hoon inspires loyalty from those around him.
Up to this episode, I think I can count by one hand how many times the ever polite Dong-hoon had an outburst, and it's so telling of his character that all happened on behalf of someone else. I think we all share Ki-hoon's wish for him to let it out; I still remember the thrill I felt when Dong-hoon used his hammer for the first time!

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It’s occurred to me before, but this episode seems to offer the best evidence that Dong-hoon already knows that Ji-an listens to his conversations. In fact, I’ll bet he’s known for quite some time. It’s like him to know and not say anything, and when he thanked her for staying beside him, I swear that he knew she could hear him.

This was my theory too before Ep14 happened! 😁

I really wish Lee Sun-kyun, IU, and the show could win an award for this. I know it's too early to say this, but I think this will be my Best Drama of 2018 (eep! I hope I don't jinx it!).

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Oh my....EP 14!

Can't wait for that recap to help me unpack it, lol.

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Same!

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So emo after 14- i can't wait till next week.

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I would be upset if LSK does not win either the Baeksang or Daesang. Unfortunately we are so far to award time that people will have forgotten how magnificent this show and all the actors are.

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What a superb, superb drama. LSK/PDH is impressive, IU is great, and all the other actors are just soo good its hard to believe they do not really exist in this world.

And the romance ambiguity. Wow. Its hard not to notice that DH's feelings for Ji An is somehow too much for just platonic, whats with his constant searching for her and worrying about her. But then again....there's his wife, and the way he handles things with her, IMO is like after a big fight among spouse in which they naturally will avoid each other, BUT not to the point of divorce or even loveless marriage. They still have it there... Which confuses me...but if I recall the character of PDH, his actions towards JA and YH is just fit. He is a natural born caring person, and I think he has grown for this girl a protective sense, he already feels very thankful for her constantly cheering for him and even 'adopt' her to the neighborhood, but not romantic, at least thats what he believes it is, since he rebuked all her advances, and he hesitated to do things that even remotely will encourage her to like him even more or to imply that he likes him back. That, plus the way he still keep his wife and not even tell her to pack away or him moving away temporarily (well, like almost all soon to be divorced couple in drama i saw). For someone with integrity like him, it seems like a very hard concept to bear a torch for someone else while constantly caring for her and keeping his wife close at the same time. He himself already feels the pain of being cheated, afterall.

However, there is also possibility of him being in total denial for his deepest feeling for her, if its ever romantic. But with the number of episodes remain, if its 16, i dont think it will go there, or at least open ended with implication of romance after all the past ties being clearly severed.

My take that the last episodes will be dealing with the total or almost total healing in JA's past and present, as DH already got some healing altho thru all these painful experiences (he finally has some truth in his marriage, his wife finally see him and his family in a different light, his job gets what it deserves, his enemy gets some comeuppances). DH and JA still hv some issues left namely the wiretapping and her true involvement in Joon Young scheme, so I hope that the resolution will be as fantastic as the past episodes.

As for this ep, I just love the three bros and their dynamic. Well, its not totally lovable, but the love and loyalty is as thick as wall there. DH really is the stoic one among them, level headed and stoic, while SH the soft hearted and emo, and KH the total crazy tsundere. (I think SH's advice for DH regarding YH may come from his own experience not let a marriage fall apart too quickly, unlike his which he clearly still want to work). Now i want a full brawl in the street scene for these bro, lol. And the comedic side, inserted very cleverly without breaking the show's dark tone...

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<blockquote? Wait, did he just help Ji-an? Interesting.

I was expecting it this whole episode actually. When Joon-young hit Ji-an, I was half expecting him to turn up then. I'm a bit scared that he's going to kill Joon-young. Not because I like Joon-young but because murder is bad. Objectively speaking.

It's a strange dynamic but now she's free from him he finally has to confront that he doesn't want her to be apart from him. And I don't think he will tolerate somebody else messing with her. She was right form the beginning, he's obsessed.

Since I'm in the habit of getting vulnerable on the internet at the moment and am the recipient of some truly amazing, difficult and personal stories, I'll note the most amazing, insightful thing about people this episode - Dong-hoon's brother calling his wife to apologise for their suffering. It's like they saw her as this perfect wall and now that wall has got a crack they see a way in. We all know that we connect with people only when we show vulnerability but this is the most perfect representation of it I've seen. This is the first real conversation anybody has had with this woman in 13 episodes. This should destroy her relationship with his family but weirdly it could make it work for the first time.

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That phone scene between Sang Hoon and Yoon Hee tho...I cried. For his bro to call her and actually apologize to her while she is in the wrong....to show that he empathizes with her... This should change YH's view forever of ppl around her hubby.

Yes, its kinda strange that usually affair like this will tore ppl's relationship apart, but in this case, all I can sense at least until this ep is that is a deep wound needed for the real healing to be done...

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"Because murder is bad."~~That made me laugh.

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IU has made this role her bitch. ( excuse the language). I was openly crying when he said Thank you. Her reaction was perfect. This drama is just so good that my fear is that they will mess it up in the last 3 episodes. That being said Nara is also excellent in this role. In fact all the women have done an unbelievably good job.

Yoon Hee has me. I think he should forgive her because in essentially telling his brother that she cheated, she is punishing herself. When Sang Hoon apologized to her, I started crying again because honestly she both deserved and needed that.

Kwang-il is another one I cheered. He is still a POS. However I think in his own way he is punishing himself, and when he didn't tell the cop about Ji-and friend I smiled.

There is so much healing in this drama. It believes in people in a way that most people, let alone dramas do. It is telling us to punish, but also to forgive after the punishment. Finally it is telling us to let people live and have at least the opportunity to be happy.

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Oh yes, the moment he says thank you and how deep it shook and affected her... And Kwang Il..the loose cannon, i'm curious whats the end of his arc be. He already lost that crazy glint in his eyes when it comes to JA but there's no guarantee how he'll act next. I say Jang Ki Yong is good here, better than in Go Back Spouse.

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100% agree on Hang no Young. He is doing an excellent job. I love a well acted villain with layers. He is definitely a loose cannon.

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Didn't even notice the autocorrect. So annoying Jang Ki Yong.

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LollyPip, thank you for the recap. “Can I hug you?”, Ji-an asks; saying it would energize Dong-hoon. I think it was more Ji-an’s need for warmth, affection and some reassurance. Lord knows the poor woman has experienced little, if any, in her wretched life. Stalwart Dong-hoon declines. I think Dong-hoon keeps her at arms length on purpose, a safety measure of sorts. I hope they get their hug one day.
Ki-hoon and Yoon-hee at the apartment,🤭, what a sad moment for the both of them, lots of hurt there in that scene.

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Interestingly enough even after DH tells his brothers that he has no one to tell him "It's not a big deal," neither of them say it to him. Ofc some might argue it wouldn't be 'sincere' in the sense that they'd be saying it only because he expressed it. And yet, I think if one of them had spoken those words to DH then it would have still been of some comfort simply because it'd come from one of his brothers.

But no, it was Jian. She was once again the person to comfort him. I find Jian to be quite selfless when it comes to people she cares for (DH and her grandma..?). I love the brotherhood DH shares with KH/SH but I'll use their relationship vs DH/JA for the sake of comparison. His brothers get so overwhelmed with their emotions, be it KH who gets SO angry he wants to take matters in his own hands or SH who focuses on how he's to blame. Like DH said, they were acting like they felt worse than him when in reality he's the one suffering the most. His brothers have sincere and good intentions but sometimes they lose focus on what really matters (in this case DH) because their personal emotions get them carried away. But then you have Jian. She's comforted DH SO many times. You'd think a person such as Jian, with so much turmoil, pain, and obstacles on a daily basis, wouldn't be the source of comfort or simply couldn't be a source of comfort. But she ends up being the biggest source of comfort and encouragement for him. She may have been hit by KI, had debt to pay, or been haunted by her past, etc but even with all that, all her sadness and loneliness, she still gave DH a soft little "hwaiting" or bought him slippers, or told him him he's a "really good person." In that sense she's the most selfless because she disregards her own feelings when she knows someone, DH, needs comfort. And the beauty of it is that it's incredibly sincere and that's why they get to DH. That's why he feels comforted and like he has at least someone by his side. It's just so beautiful I tear up thinking about it. Yes DH protects, defends, and cares for JA but she does too even when she's been so beat up by life. I love love love love×1000 her character. So flawed and yet so precious. 💜

Ps. I did love though how KH expressed how he worries that DH will get sick by bottling everything up.

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Everytime I watch Ji An character and drama present her arc, I don't know, I'm not only tear up, I'm in a crying mess.... This kind of character is really my weakness. I have a soft spot for this kind of character. So loyal to someone their love despite their seems never ending suffering. It makes me cry

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They really do support each other. The caring is so sweet and I don't care if its platonic or not. Two soulmates that just need each other in whatever capacity possible.

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I remembered with this ep that Jung Hee told that story of DH going with her to look for GD.
So, did he just leave her? As in really disappear?
It makes me understand why she has had such a hard time letting go.
I have to admit I kind of wanted to kick GD in the shins for her.
Not that he shouldn't have left to become a monk if that was his calling in life, but for , potentially, not first giving Jung Hee time to process and grieve the loss with him. And yeah get mad and yell at him for changing her life.

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Yup, I think that is what happened. He sounds like he told Dong Hoon and just left without telling her. He probably thought it would be easier for some baffling reason.

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I really hope at the end we leave her in a good place.

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Me too girl, me too.

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Between Dong Hoon and Ji An “It’s not a big deal” conversation came to a full circle. After learning what it means for Dong Hoon to say that to Ji An her saying it back to him when it really counted was awesome and Dong Hoon’s thanks was very touching. It sounded like he really knew she could hear him.
The circle is closing on Ji An and her friend from all sides. Director Park is on them from one side Joon Young’s man from the other. They only saved the day for now because Ji An overheard Director Park’s progress and Kwang Il blocked Joon Young’s man thereby redeeming himself a tiny little bit. It was cool that he didn’t rat out to the private eye – or whatever he is but I really wasn’t expecting much more. When he and his partner arrived to take away Ki Bum’s equipment minutes before the police I cheered. That was very unexpected. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and Ji An had to disappear regardless and on the very important day of his interview Dong Hoon’s mind was preoccupied with where Ji An was. Ji An left sadly but listening to Dong Hoon’s defense of her (I was surprised that the fact that Ji An’s murder was actually ruled self defense was revealed this late). On his return to his desk from the interview Dong Hoon found only the new slippers she left for him. Well played show.
I love how the opening scene was done when the other director was telling Dong Hoon of Ji An’s interview showing us Ji An’s ghost in where she had been.
I was sure Ji An was recording all her conversations with Joon Young and good thing she was, too. The slimy jerk deserves lot more for the slap he gave her.
I still don’t feel for Yoon Hee. After being complicit to getting Dong Hoon disgraced and fired her confidence in him to become the director feels like hypocrisy to me. When his brothers cried in their car for Dong Hoon I was really touched. But they really don’t know how to help. I didn’t understand why the elder brother kept apologizing to her. And I still don’t think Dong Hoon’s forgiveness of her should include staying in that marriage. He is too nice a guy to deserve to stay with a cheating wife who showed no respect to him.
Cheater girl is also really hateful and a hypocrite and I am glad Ji An has something on her to keep her in check.
I still don’t get what Jung Hee and the monk’s story is. Feels like a waste of a life.

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It is good you are attempting to exorcise your demons here but the force is not with you unfortunately

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SHE 😢 HELPS 😢 HIM 😢 BREATHE
IF THAT'S NOT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS

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Thanks for the recap Lollypip.

Slippers!!!!!

The anticipation for episode 13 has been crazy and it really surpassed every expectation I had! IU and Lee Seon Kyun are amazing actors. I've been saying it for a while that IU is outstanding in this drama. She's not just an actress, but one of the best. IU and Lee Seon Kyun move me in ways only a handful of actors can. Their chemistry isn't something i can explain. I want to know if the actors spent any time together before the shoots. The combination of excellent writing and thoughtful directing is allowing all of the actors to really showcase their talent. Its so beautiful to watch this cast.

Faves:
1. The replay of Ji-an’s interview and her defense of DH. The look on his face as he imagines it. The impact of hearing the most vulnerable member of his team with the least power, defending him, protecting him.
2. The office staff’s reaction to Director Yoon bullying Ji-an. – “I like Ji-an” and then crickets… so awkwardly funny in such a tense moment. (Brilliant!!!) I love Dong Hoon’s reaction to go after Director Yoon. “I would do the same for you”- Yes! This guy is just everything a man should be. Everything a human should be. I get goosebumps whenever DH gets that look of conviction to straighten a person out.
3. Jung Hee and the neighborhood friends trying to find the guys. – Another example of this big caring family of friends. Like real siblings, they fight, tease, and KNOW everything.
4. Dung Hoon telling the brothers why he didn’t want them to know about the affair- they would handle it worse than him. So true.
5. DH’s confession that there isn’t anyone to tell him “it’s no big deal”. So he says it to himself. Ugh, brothers get your sh*& together and stop putting all this pressure on DH.
6. Ji-an contemplating what to write to DH, needing to give him some assurance. Is this not love? Wanting to give him what he desperately needs?
7. DH saying thank you out loud instead of typing it- This scene really keeps us guessing if DH knows JA is listening in some way. Just brilliant. Ji-an’s emotional response to hearing DH’s appreciation and knowing she has to end the texting soon. She has to leave or risk getting caught. Ugh heart wrenching!
8. Jung Hee’s visit to the temple- Yeah buddy this was difficult to watch. Monk obviously still cares for her, but loves his peace more. Side note- Jung Hee’s hair looks amazing curly, straight, up or down. Lucky girl
9. DH’s interview- YESSSSSSSSSS! As Lollypip recapped- Dong-hoon says softly, “It wasn’t murder. It was ruled justifiable self-defense.” He says that in her situation, anyone would have done the same, even himself. Growing agitated, he repeats that the law found Ji-an not guilty. He asks why she’s being judged again, when the law tried to protect her from this very thing. He criticizes Director Yoon for digging up her painful past, asking if it isn’t more humane to allow people to forget their pasts. WOW oh WOW!...

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10. JA’s getting to hear this defense as she’s leaving. The flood of tears…..

I can’t get enough of this drama.

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Section Chief Song with his "I like Ji-an" moment and everyone's reactions made me laugh so much 😂
And by the end of the episode I was a puddle 😭
IU is amazing. 💔

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I love Section Chief Song!!!! Since he stood up for DH against JY at the company dinner

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Everytime I felt DH and YH are on the way to patch up their marriage, something comes up to remind them of the enormity of what YH had done. I felt it was like a two-step forward three-step back journey for them... will they ever be able to put it behind them and move on? I would like the show to show me how... painfully, realistically, and without killing DH inside by putting him back in the suffocating box of the dutiful father, husband and son. I can see things changing, but are they too late and too little to save the marriage? If indeed the marriage is saved in the end, please portray it satisfyingly so that it is done out of love and not duty. I still cant connect with YH. The day right before DH's director interview, she had to tell him that the brothers knew about the affair? I cannot see her beyond being another burden he has to carry...

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I don't believe the marriage can be saved. But I found it interesting that her infidelity saved her relationship with his family. That was something unexpected but once it happened it also seemed exactly right in the context of their characters.

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In the series 'You who forgot poetry' a character just happened to mention that he had also sent his son abroad in middle school for English immersion. So apparently that happens. The DH family is an example of the family unit falling apart when the child holding them together is no longer in the picture. I assume YH beginning the affair coincided with the son no longer being home to distract her. Interestingly, the actress playing the wife grew up in California

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It’s interesting to point out the opposite choices made by DH’s wife and JA when dealing with JY:

- The wife, who’s supposed to stand by DH, cheats and, quite aggravating, connived with JY to have her husband kicked out of the company
- JA who made a deal with JY to have DH kicked out of the company makes a complete U-turn and becomes his unique pillar.

How can one find excuses for the wife when a perfect stranger made the choice the wife should have made: no stabbing.

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I felt that the part where Dong Hoon walked away after rejecting Ji an's hug seemed pretty long. Like it's just to show us, from every angle, how he was.. just... walking away. No longing expression, not troubled. Just that "no hugs imfinethanks and imma go home now" vibes. Not sure if it's trying to imply no feelings on his side. Or... "yet to realise?"
Oh man.

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This show is about suffering and suffering is part of life. We all hold our fears, anger and pain within – we cover it up and pretend it’s not there. Siddhartha Guatama said that he can finally break his cycle of reincarnation by achieving nirvana. To Ji-An, this nirvana was someone treating her with dignity and respect. Indeed, life sometimes can be a place where you’d rather not be born into.
In a show so deeply rooted in the tenants of Buddhism, Jung Hee represents the very facet of humanity: suffering and ignorance. And therefore she represents you and me. She is depressed at a loss of love; at times, so are we. She adds another layer of complexity by being angry at being depressed in the form of self-pity; we all do that, don’t we? We get angry, and then we get angry for being angry. It’s a vicious circle and the walk she takes after work represents this everlasting reincarnation that we call life. And Jung Hee lets it define her.
It is then only natural for her alter-ego to be Gyeom Duk, who seemingly took an opposite route. Despite his glory and success, he acknowledged his pain and suffering and embarked on a journey to find peace and nirvana (in Korean Buddhism, or Seon Buddhism, becoming a monk means full dedication to the Buddha’s teachings, which means means being celibate). But does he really find it?
Just like everything in life, things aren’t so simple. In Buddhism, there is a concept of interdependence: that everything exists and therefore is, because of everything else. A flower can only be because of the skies, the earth, the rain and the sun. So can suffering. You cannot evade suffering because it is so interdependent on everything else. When we get angry at the fact we got angry, do we not get angrier? There is anger and then there is self-inflicted anger. And when we get angrier, we make others angry. That is what Jung Hee and Gyeom Duk represents: the full cycle of suffering. The very essence of suffering in itself, self-inflicted suffering and making others suffer because of your suffering.
How do we sever this cycle of reincarnation (suffering)? By following the noble eight-fold path, which are virtues to follow (exists in every major religion). The noblest man of them all, at least on paper, is Park Dong Hoon. His moral compass is strong, understands the concept of self-sacrifice and strives to benefit the greater good. But as Ki Hoon says, he’s not so honest with himself. In Buddhist speech, he lacks the “right mindfulness”, which is a tenant of the noble eight-fold path.
I am not a Buddhist and I can’t really define what “right mindfulness” is to me, it means a state of awareness. Awareness is very important in Buddhism – it’s understanding what you are feeling, why you are feeling it (acknowledging that things are interdependent) but more importantly, accepting it. It’s the idea that it’s perfectly fine to feel angry, as long as you understand why and accept that you are angry. Once you’re aware of this...

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To me, the relationship between Dong Hoon and Ji An is undefined and riveting. A slow awakening, of sorts, between the two characters who had existed but really not lived. I'm not sure how this ends but the entire cast, crew, production, etc. have a well executed masterpiece in this drama.

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Totally agree with you @lollypip about IU as an actor. Now that she's met a great PD that brings out her best, I can't wait for future projects from her.

And because of this drama, I'm eyeing on watching Pasta after this finishes because I want to hear more of The Voice.

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Have you seen This Week My Wife Will Have an Affair? I loved that show.

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Second this recommendation. His character there handles the situation completely differently than the stoic Park Dong Hoon. It's a complete 180. It should be a very entertaining watch for when this drama is over.

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Yes, TWMWWHA had kinda similar situation with the wife, but with totally different reaction and hilarious execution, though still heartwarming in the end. LSK nailed both performances!

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I saw it while it was airing and had to pause it because university happened. And I can't believe I forgot about that!

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I saw IU's first drama, and it was pretty bad. But now I wonder if it was her that was bad, or the director, because she is killing this part.

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IU was really good in The Producers.

Part of it is her growth as an actress, part of it is this director, and part of it might be that she seems to shine when she plays “cold” characters.

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I've only seen Dream High, The Producers and this. There's definitely growth on her acting and also this director brings out something from his casts that shines through the screen.

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I watch IU in all three years of 'You're the best Lee Soon Shin' Her acting (slowly) progressed from bad to mediocre to passable to pretty good to (at the end) impressive. The actress Go Doo-shim who played the mother was the stand-out performance in that series. She plays the mother of the three brothers in this series.

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The moment Dong Hoon said "The fact that there is SOMEONE cheering me on like that ie - you're a good person, Fighting! etc - helps me BREATHE"
when I heard that, I knew Dong Hoon was already past the point of no return because Lee Ji An has already become "that person" to him.
So i have to disagree with some people here saying Dong Hoon looks at her like a father looks at a daughter. I'm sorry, their relationship is more of an equal kind of relationship where he relies on her as much as she relies on him. He is able to breathe because of her the same way that he was able to help Ji An finally feel warm and want to live like a human being once again and believe that she can have a decent life and be a decent person. The fact that they defend each other with equal fervor is something that gives me life. I just love it when they are "each other's person" now. Whether it will become a romantic relationship later or not does not even really matter. They are just simply BONDED TOGETHER for life. You can call it other names. Soulmates, Best Friends, Partners. Having it called Romantic or not will never ever be the point of this story. The point will always be exactly what Dong Hoon said that he is grateful that such a person exist in his life. Ji An said it best "I will forever be grateful and seeing the building (person) will always warm her heart .... and will hope that Saman (he) will be succesfull forever". We can only hope to encounter such a person in our lives that somehow forever changed us and made us want to live well. I felt that this is what is really important in this story. So Dong Hoon and Lee Ji An... Be Happy. It's no big deal because you have each other.

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Reading too much into it - up to this point.

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One vote here for father/daughter. I've said it again but if the show "went there", it would be Black levels of fury for me. It would ruin the entire show. For me.

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Me too. My biggest fear is that they go there in the next 3 episodes. This drama has been perfect up until this point. If it goes there I will hate it as much as I hate Goblin, and that is a strong hate. So ChinguMode, me and you until the hopefully happy end.

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Goblin hate. Yep. But I was hate-watching Goblin for a good 8 episodes whereas Black turned to a turd so quickly I almost didn't register it at first.

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And for me, no ending is worse than a father/daughter ending. DH is too young and sexy for that.

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Joon hee is showing all the symptoms of severe clinical depression. Its been 20years since her break up but she is still broken hearted. She describes physical pain and uninterest in doing anything. Poor gal needs therapy and a doctor. Because i agree heartbreak to be painful (poor gal, but honestly the priest cant even offer her an explanation?) but you have to move on in life. Not being able to move on at this point means she is sick. (Anyone like this, PLEASE seek help ❤️)

This show and EVERY single characters portrayals are amazing. Even the villains. Just wow. The brotherly love is everything. (Looool at the red car scenee)

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Sang Hoon is the best car owner, lol.

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This show is killing me. I have been crazy about pretty noona and A poem a day. They make me laugh, they make me dream... I love them both in very different ways, but man... my Ajusshi just kills me every time. So clever, so unpredictable!!! 😀😀😀

I don't think I could have ever watched a more unpredictable show in my life. Maybe the healer? But I binged the healer way after it was aired...
This is the first time I am watching a show live that keeps me in suspense.
And IU has been killing me with her acting, so great!!!! 😯😍😯
This show together with Mother and Just Between Lovers!! The best of everything!
After this show I feel I could retire as an audience.
I can just give up... say good bye to dramaland with a happy warm feeling of having been happy in it. 😄
Even though they won't hear me, I thank them a lot, the whole team making this drama. Wow... it's like... Wow!

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Why nobody gives acting credit to the adulterous wife? Her part is far more emotionally challenging and very well portrayed
Perhaps, she lacks idol appeal or her role is rather unforgivably offensive to many?

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I think there's just so much to say about this show that her performance is getting lost. She's getting a great job but so is everyone else.

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I concur. I actually kind of like his wife, despite her adultery. I think she is great and the actress is doing an awesome job.

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I think she's fantastic, but she's always fantastic :) I'll mention her, no worries - this recap was for the ladies who have surprised me with their performances!

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yes, she is always fantastic... I love lee ji ah very much, she is the cause I started watching this drama. I'm happy you mentioned her.

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Yes she is! I've always had a soft spot for her ever since The Legend. She made my heart ache so much when I watched that drama back then.

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Not only she is doing a great job as lonely lost heroin but also she is a beauty... she has such a fragile body and fair skin that fit her role so well

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I really really don't like Deputy Jung. This kind of pettiness irks me to no end. Especially when it's a superior towards an employee.

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I don't even know if she is a superior. So far the only work we have seen her do was to answer the phone. She was a permanent employee when Ji An was a temp but whether that makes her Ji An's superior I don't know. Just an office "sunbae".

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In Deputy Jung's defense, Ji-an is something of a brooding psycho. Back around episode 2 I referred to her as 'Charles Bronson Death Wish' level crazy.

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Despite the beautiful relationships in this show, I hope that it addresses the wrongdoing JA made in the past eps and send the right messages to society. What I meant was her decision and elaborate scheme to get Dir Park demoted and PDH also before she knew his nature, and her constant wiretapping. While she already knows that PDH dislikes being caught in bad situation by ppl he knows.

In Dir Park case, what she did was bad. Period. The excuses that I can get were that she was desperate for money, to save her grandma, and she doesnt know what other way to get out of it, by her past experiences. Its understandable, but her lack of remorse after doing it is kinda disturbing. What if she didn't wiretap PDH and learn about his kindness ? Will she end up having him fired too?

And the wiretapping, too. Yes, she needs it to gauge the situation, but I thought its supposed to be for office politics. The moment he was at home with his wife alone, i think thats a very private moment that nobody else should intrude. Yet she keeps on listening.

I mean we all know how bad her past was, and nobody ever taught her about right and wrong from early years, moreover in navigating her adult life, and this is why her action somehow is justifiable. But she needs to understand that those are wrong things, and she could, or even had, ruin other people's lives with the thing she probably thought are trivial. In Dir Park case, maybe some.might said that being demoted is just okay compared to JA tight situation, but try to be in his shoes. He worked hard too to be in his position, and to help DH, not to mention his family. Imagine his feeling being demoted while he didnt do anything wrong.

I hope, aside from the romance not romance and family thingy, the last eps will deal with these. No real punishments are okay, as long as JA learnt about the right morals conduct, and start to consider about other ppl other than those she cared about. She was given no chance to do so in her past, but she can learn. I think, in this sense, she has quite way to go but she'll go if someone guides her right, PDH by the moment.

She is the epitome of selfish driven by her past and present, but she helps DH to be a bit, healthy selfish for his own good.

PDH was ever the selfless person, now I hope he can help her to live more selflessly for a greater good. Just a bit more selfless, to reach the balance.

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Not to mention that sometimes, she can say the right words PDH so want to hear after she heard it from the wiretap, or after she learnt from it. We all know how PDH can be as closed as a clam, and only by constantly wiretapping him she can get full picture of what he was thinking. However....its still a dishonest means in interaction with ppl, I'd say.

I hope this issue is being addressed as well, if they are about to go with romantic line. Or even not.

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JA assassinator. She is not "bad". She is unfortunate and fate, so far, hasn't been particularly kind to her(though changing)
While you readily, and unfairly, judged her, I wonder why you left out the greatest moral agitator she has committed - she openly liked a married man?

I think the whiff of romance in the air has been most intoxicating to most here.

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Hence I say, what she did was bad. Not she is bad. Its not judging her, but her deed. Its separate entity. Its like condemning bad deed, but not the doer entirely before listening to their reasoning. We can forgive ppl. But we shud point out wrong is wrong, so that no one will come out of the show thinking that its okay to do those things without being remorseful in the least.

I like JA as a person, and empathize with her struggles. Hence, to complete her transformation to integrate to society she needs to learn more about right and wrong. One of which is also about her liking a married man openly.

Now that you point it out, I can finally pinpoint what was bugging me with these whole interactions. At first I thought her declaration was really like she said in front of the panel, liking him that stems from his kindness and respect for him. As a decent human being. But the last few eps made me realize that its deeper than that. Maybe becos of the adultery, or becos of the way PDH never seems to reciprocate her advance, that make me missing the effect of this point. But yes, you're right that its disturbing, for a girl to openly declare liking a married man, in romantic sense. Thats why, I'm not inclined in romance if the marriage is standing still.

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Character and deeds are synonymous(where you erred). But her "bad deeds" you are referring to are her "sun tzu art of war" cultivated in a hostile environment hence there is no "right or wrong" but means to an end.

It is how she achieved her end that defines her deeds(bad) as "good".

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I agree. When one has been mostly used as a punching bag, literally, most of her life together with her grandma and no one came to their rescue, when meals were scarce and not enough money to pay huge past debts, your condition of life is about survival one day at a time. It’s tough, it’s lonely, it’s painful.
The story isn’t mainly about a romance, the age difference, rather 2 lives colluding and us hoping they will help each other getting out of their « pits » especially JA who’s been living a dreadful life. Her means to survive kept her alive so far.

DH is her beacon of a new life with new rules, hope, friends, support, love ... Once JA took his side, she’s been amazing: supportive, loyal, protective, caring, present, attentive, a good listener to his pain and solitude, ... she shared her burden and even carried some of it. As much as DH has been the 1st one to be nice to her more than 4 times, she is the 1st one who has been so completely and faithfully by his side, giving him all her whole without hesitation. Never self-centered, never selfish, never winning. Quite upfront about her feelings. It’s all valuable.

DH and JA feed on each other presence, a deep understanding of one another of what they feel and where they come from. It’s really a special amazing unique precious relationship. So yes they should be together if it is doable.

But right now in the story JA needs to be saved. And DH is the only one that can put this salvation into place.

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"I think the whiff of romance in the air has been most intoxicating to most here."

You are right. I think this drama wouldn't have been as "intoxicating" had their relationship been completely black and white. Kudos to the PD/writer for this kind of creativity.

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'Sending the right message to society' is boring melodrama writing. There's a reason why Buddhism rather than Catholicism is in the foreground in this series. The series is basically about the long, dark, difficult path to enlightenment. Its not about punishment for our sins.

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Hi guys,
Ive been binging on this show this past week and I have nothing but love for it. I may be the odd one out but I definitely see a romantic relationship between our leads. They complete one another, like soul mates.
One thing I need clarification is how are the side characters such as the monk and the bar owner related to the brothers? Im confused because the mom always visits the bar owner.

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They are neighbors who grow up in the same neighborhood for quite a generation, so naturally, they take care one another and are very close.

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Lollypip slacking on this week’s reviews.. where’s ep 14??

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