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The Third Charm: Episode 13

We get a little more insight on Young-jae’s life before it was in a downward spiral, and though we knew this was coming, it’s still tough to watch. Young-jae has dealt with loss before, and as time passed, it began to chip away at her spirit. And the latest tragedy to hit her family made it impossible for her to move on. How can she when everything that’s made her happy has been snatched away?

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

On her way to Joon-young’s restaurant, Se-eun calls her parents and informs them that Joon-young wants to visit them. Her folks are excited since they haven’t gotten the chance to meet him yet.

Se-eun reaches the restaurant and heads inside, though she stops when she sees Joon-young sitting with Young-jae. Joon-young looks surprised at first (as if he’s been caught), but he ultimately smiles and introduces Se-eun to Young-jae as his fiancé.

Young-jae is a bit shaken to come face-to-face with Joon-young’s new partner. Still, she smiles and notes that the couple look good together, even resembling one another.

Se-eun returns the smile, pleased to meet another friend of Joon-young’s besides Sang-hyun. At that, Young-jae asks how Sang-hyun is doing these days, and Joon-young reveals that he’s a dad now.

“They say marriage changes people,” Young-jae muses. “I guess he changed too.” Se-eun asks if her boyfriend changed from the first time they met, making Young-jae go silent.

After some talking, the couple and Young-jae part ways, with Young-jae returning to her dark and empty apartment. She thinks back to how content Se-eun and Joon-young looked, forming a small smile.

On the car ride home, Se-eun tells Joon-young that she feels bad for bringing up the boyfriend question, though she admires Young-jae for revealing her divorce like it was no big deal. She wishes she could be as cool and confident as Young-jae. The way Se-eun is speaking seems to worry Joon-young. He has a thought and asks if she’d like to move to Portugal after they marry.

Se-eun doesn’t understand why, but after he explains that they both liked it there, she takes his hand and cheerfully answers, “Anywhere is fine, as long as I’m with you.” Joon-young looks down at their intertwined hands and remembers when he’d said the exact same thing to Young-jae after she’d insisted on living in the city. Oh boy, now I’m starting to worry.

Joon-young drops Se-eun off at her place and the sunniness seems to leave her face. In the bathroom, she stares at herself in the mirror, thinking back to the time she’d spent with Joon-young’s family when he was still in Portugal.

His folks had already accepted her as a daughter-in-law by then, and Dad had pulled her away to show her all of Joon-young’s baby photos and awards (which Joon-young meticulously organized himself, ha).

Se-eun had a good ol’ time giggling at the baby Joon-young album, as well as the report cards that state he’s a good worker that still needs to work on his social skills. But for some reason, this memory doesn’t make Se-eun giggle; she actually looks kind of sad.

Joon-young is looking pretty pensive and emotional himself as he walks the rest of the way home. And then we cut to Young-jae in her apartment, watching TV in the dark again. They’re still not showing what’s on the TV, but I strongly assume that they’re home movies of her daughter.

The next day, Sang-hyun takes Ri-won to work and makes sure to scowl at the junior that he dislikes. Sang-hyun overhears the junior asking her to eat together, so he heads over to Joon-young’s to relay his suspicions.

His jealousy has him so far gone that he develops this whole theory of Ri-won and the junior having secret feelings, which he wouldn’t be able to do anything about since they’re not married. Joon-young just sighs and kicks Sang-hyun out so he can get ready for work.

Joo-ran sits Young-jae down and asks if she wants to work at the hair salon again. Young-jae would rather continue doing nothing, though, which Joo-ran understands. She then tells Joo-ran that she recently ran into Joon-young.

At the police station, a co-worker of Se-eun’s is upset because his girlfriend decided to marry another man. After he leaves to get some air, Se-eun’s superior states that it’s complicated when women date men who can’t get over their first love.

“Those first loves,” the superior sighs. “It’s best not to know about them.” As the superior says this, Se-eun is deep in thought.

Se-eun visits Joon-young’s restaurant and finds him waiting in the park as his customers finish their meal. She joins him on the bench and offers him a drink, as well as a ride home. He gives her a bittersweet smile as she fixes his jacket, taking care of him as always.

Joo-ran has a follow-up with the OBGYN, and it looks like her diagnosis isn’t as simple as menopause. Her doctor starts to describe a lump on her X-ray, and then we cut to a shocked Joo-ran leaving the office. Her emotions come flooding out, but she tries her best to push them back down since she’s in public.

Still dazed, Joo-ran heads into the bathroom and rinses her mouth. A cancer patient comes out of the stall and runs a hand through her hair, some of it falling out. The sight nearly shakes Joo-ran to her bones.

She waits in the lobby until a nurse hands her the needed forms. She reads through them, and we see that her diagnosis is cervical cancer. She’s even more emotional when she gets down to the blank space where the guardian’s signature should be.

Needing someone to talk to, she starts to call Young-jae but changes her mind and calls Soo-jae. Soo-jae is busy making edits, so he misses the shakiness of Joo-ran’s voice, but he does agree to hang out later.

They later meet in Soo-jae’s apartment, and he starts complaining about his production company’s CEO wanting an idol for the main role. Joo-ran turns to him, eyes glistening with fury, and asks how he can be so high and mighty just because of one successful film.

He stares at her and asks if something’s wrong, to which she responds, “You’re just asking that now?” She gets up and heads for the door, only stopping to call him a selfish jerk who’s too scared to give or receive love. She leaves him confused and marches all the way to her car, where she finally sobs, unable to contain her emotions any longer.

Young-jae is lying in bed, turned away from whatever’s playing on the TV. Instead, she’s looking at a framed photo of her, Ho-chul and someone else we can’t see. As she cries, she’s haunted by a string of memories.

Years ago, while starting their new life in Portugal, she and Ho-chul had a baby girl. When the baby was first born, the couple didn’t want to do anything other than lie in bed with her.

Young-jae had warned Ho-chul he’d be late for work, but every time he tried to leave, he’d just come back for more baby kisses. (Okay, this is really sweet.) He comes back one last time to settle on a name, and they agree on Choi So-ri.

Little So-ri grew up fast, always making her mom and dad smile. She even accompanied Young-jae on photoshoots, where Young-jae styled all of the Portuguese models’ hair.

Knowing it was So-ri’s third birthday, one of the models gifted her a stuffed cat. So-ri told her mom that she wanted a real cat, but she couldn’t have one since she had an allergy. To her excitement, Young-jae promised that once her allergy was taken care of, she could eventually get a real cat.

The two then had to hurry to buy a birthday cake for the party at their house. They went to their favorite bakery, which is where Young-jae and Joon-young had unknowingly crossed paths.

As Young-jae talked to the baker, So-ri had noticed a stray cat out on the street and grinned. Once Young-jae got the cake, and some egg tarts on the house, she realized that So-ri was gone.

Young-jae then saw a group of people gathered around a car and pushed her way through. In total shock, she dropped the cake and fell to her knees. And on the ground, we see So-ri’s stuffed cat, as well as her shoe. Jesus.

At So-ri’s funeral, Young-jae had cried harder and harder with each flower that dropped onto the coffin. After the memorial service ended and the other guests left, she fell to the ground and wept, while Ho-chul silently cried beside her.

Later, Young-jae had stayed in bed staring at their family photo, and Ho-chul had stayed on the couch in the living room. In the present, Young-jae stares at that same family photo, So-ri’s face now visible.

She then wipes the tears from her face and weakly notes that she’s hungry. She whips up some microwavable spicy octopus but sets it down after one bite. She decides to go out and buy something else at a nearby convenience store.

Joon-young is walking by when he spots Young-jae through the store window buying junk food again. It pains him to see her that way, browsing the shelves like a robot. “Memories are so frightening,” he thinks, “that even its owner has no control over them.”

He starts to walk away but stops, frustrated because he thought he’d completely forgotten about her. He waits there until Young-jae comes out, chiding her for eating more instant food.

She’s embarrassed to see him, especially when he notices that she’s wearing a mere sweater and sandals out in the cold, sprinkling rain. She explains that the instant spicy octopus she’d tried wasn’t good and trails off.

Joon-young looks at her, more frustration setting in. “You should be living well,” he says in his head. “Not showing up like this.” Finally, he comes to a conclusion and tells her that he’ll teach her how to cook his spicy stir-fried octopus recipe. He hands her his umbrella and walks away, and though Young-jae is reluctant, she follows him all the way to his restaurant.

He shows her the recipe step by step, and she seems genuinely moved as she watches. When she eats the dish, her face lights up and she says that she’d tried and failed to find this exact taste at restaurants. Joon-young reminds her that he specifically made it to match her tastes.

He asks if she’s working, and she answers that she’s taking a break–not because she has to but because she wants to. He doesn’t push further, accepting that that’s all he’ll get out of her. But in her head, Young-jae says that she’s hurting whether she eats or not.

As if he’s answering, Joon-young says in his head that no one will help her, so she needs to get it together and do what she must to survive.

Young-jae smiles (I swear, there’s some real telepathy going on here) and thinks, “Joon-young, I know that this is the last hot meal I’ll get from you. I also know that this is your way of scolding me. But, even right now, I’m still hurting.”

Her thoughts continue, saying that she wants to feel this pain with every fiber of her being. And while she may look like a prickly cactus to him, she hopes he’ll know someday that those thorns are hiding tears.

Joon-young finally speaks out loud, suggesting she go home. He puts the rest of the food in a thermos and gives it to her to finish. His voice firm, Joon-young tells her to dress warmly and eat her meals properly.

He sends her off in a taxi and walks back into his restaurant with a final thought: all he wants is for her to live well, even if he’s not there.

 
COMMENTS

Oh, Young-jae… I wish you didn’t feel that way. I know that nothing can compare to a parent losing their child, but there seems to be more guilt and self-loathing piled on top of her sadness. As if she truly believes that she deserves this pain, which she definitely does not. No one deserves that. Not her, and not Ho-chul, who, admittedly, I’m also worried about. The reason why I wasn’t happy with their marriage was that it didn’t make any sense to me. She gave him a firm rejection back in 2013, so I don’t understand why they then formed a relationship after her breakup with Joon-young. The drama is trying to convince me that Young-jae and Ho-chul were a decent match after all, but it’s not working; it needs to fill in the blanks.

Nevertheless, this was probably the first episode where I fully sympathized for Ho-chul. He was pushy and annoying in wooing Young-jae, but past all of that, he was just a guy desperate to find love and start a family again. How can I not feel bad for him when fate decided to literally kill that dream off? Now, he’s all alone again, with the weight of a second divorce and his daughter’s death. The episode also made me realize why The Third Charm feels different from the everyday romance drama. There’s so much tragedy happening that it could easily go into makjang territory, but the way it’s shot takes the over-the-top qualities out of it. The scenes like to linger when I’d prefer that they cut away. At times, it really bogs the pace down, but when it gets it right, it really gets it right.

This is what real life looks like and it’s downright hard to watch. I don’t want to watch Young-jae sluggishly move through her apartment like her life is suddenly in slow motion. I don’t want to watch her quietly suffer. But the drama forces me to watch, as if telling me that there is no cutting away from real life tragedy. For Young-jae, her pain is constantly with her, and she has no thoughts on getting rid of it. This is just my read on Young-jae as a character, but perhaps she’s holding on to the pain of little So-ri’s death because it’s all she has left of So-ri. Moving on means forgetting her daughter, right?

Not necessarily. I would say that Joon-young is going through a similar process in moving on from Young-jae. He was angry with himself for worrying about her well-being because he thought he’d completely forgotten her. But, honestly, I don’t think you have to forget about someone or forget a certain memory in order to move on. I actually think that with the right mindset, those memories can act as a burst of encouragement. Joon-young shouldn’t feel bad; it’s sweet that he wants his ex-girlfriend to be happy. The only thing I can’t figure out is if he wants her to be happy, period, or be happy with him.

Just as Young-jae was happy with Ho-chul (for some time), I could see Joon-young being happy with Se-eun, one-hundred percent. But now that they’re engaged, it puts things in perspective for him. Joon-young is starting to see that Se-eun is another version of him, or more like the 2013 version of him. And he doesn’t want to put her in the same position that he was in at that time. Since they’ve come this far, it’s time for him to really consider if this is what he wants. If it isn’t what he wants, and he marries Se-eun anyway, he could end up hurting her and himself somewhere down the road. He has a lot to figure out, but I am glad that in the midst of his confusion, he still tried to help Young-jae. Hopefully, he can be the needed push that gets her smiling again. Really smiling.

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thank you for the recap! this line of yours really struck me: "there is no cutting away from real life tragedy" - and how poignantly true that is.

watching this episode (and the next) also semi-mirrored real life because a family friend lost their granddaughter just this weekend. she was ill with pneumonia for a week and never recovered. she was only 6 or 7 years old. we spoke to our family friend over the phone to give our condolences, and hearing her voice laced with sorrow and hoarse from crying, really breaks our heart.

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Also, 2 locations from ep 13:

Novak Building (Ri-won's workplace): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/novak-building/

7-11 Seogyo (where JY spots YJ buying instant food): https://koreandramaland.com/listings/7-eleven-seogyo-8th-store/

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Thanks Mich again for your work and great site.
O/T I recently started TWELVE NIGHTS because of your site. I had followed your link (in the TTC's Ep. 10 comments) to the location to the JY YJ second breakup and on the bottom of the page was a link to the Tick Tock Diner in NYC (my now hometown). I asked myself, "whats a New York diner doing in a k-drama. Answer: TWELVE NIGHTS. What really sealed the deal for me to pick up TN was when I saw that of one of my local subway stops in Queens was used as a location. This showing up in a k-drama sort of freaked me out:
https://koreandramaland.com/listings/40th-street-lowery-street-station/
Very close to home.

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hello @marcusnyc20! it's great to hear from you :) and wow! very flattered and pleased to hear that you started watching Twelve Nights cos of us! :D Marion (KDL founder) will be exceptionally thrilled cos she's been trying to get me to watch it (and I will at some point! am just too 'committed' with other shows now hehe). hope you're enjoying the show!

and gosh - how awesome would it have been if you'd managed to spot the cast filming at your subway station!! what an experience it'd be :) btw - not sure how close you may be to that particular location, but if you're able to take photos of that particular entrance/exit, that would be much appreciated! due credit will be given to you of course :) if you're able to, please reach out to us via the email on the website!

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@michh Mich November 14, 2018 at 10:24 AM

The Tick Tock Diner's iconic location opened in Clifton in 1948, while the Manhattan branch was established in 1997, per their websites. I haven't been to Clifton in a couple of years. I suspect the they're still in business as the website is still online.

http://ticktockdiner.com

https://www.ticktockdinerny.com/

Bon appetit! ;-)

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merci! will have to check it out for sure on my upcoming trip to NYC!

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@michh Mich, @marcusnyc20 Bong-soo,

Holy moly! The Tick Tock Diner in a Kdrama?! But wait! The Tick Tock Diner in NYC?! Doggone, the original location is on Route 3 in Clifton, NJ -- across the highway from the former Hoffmann-La Roche campus in Nutley. I passed it many a time on the DeCamp bus to Port Authority and even ate there a couple of times. I had no idea they'd opened a Manhattan branch.

This is as surprising as seeing a t-shirt from Hot Dog Johnny's of Buttzville, New Jersey in the Jdorama HOTARU NO HIKARI. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Granted that Route 46 was the main drag between NYC and the Delaware Water Gap before Interstate 80 was built, and it's still a scenic byway along that stretch out in God's country.

http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/08/open-thread-460/#comment-2375979

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wow! no wonder everyone seems surprised, haha. does the Jersey location still exist, @pakalanapikake? would the two diners actually be affiliated or just happen to share the same name?

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@michh Mich,

I'm so sorry to read of your friend's granddaughter. It sounds crazy that such a thing could still happen in this day and age, but life is more fragile than we realize. Wishing you and your friend peace of mind and heart. May she come to remember only good times with her granddaughter.

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thank you kindly @pakalanapikake :) i believe she's doing her best to be strong for her daughter and the rest of her family, who are taking it pretty hard, understandably. she's actually had to work overseas for many years to support the family back home, so i don't think she's really got to spend much time in person with her granddaughter, only the rare times when she returned home, and through video calls. my sister and i had the chance to chat with her once over video call and she'd been asking about us since then. it's a pity that it was the first and last >.< thank you again for your kind wishes.

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Thanks for the recap, SailorJumun. I am really mad at this writer! Why is she/he killing innocent and adorable (seriously, how cute was so ri!) kid and giving truly nice people illnesses?

I think I finally started liking ho chul a bit after this episode. He seemed like a good father as well as he never once seemed to have made young jae feel like it was her fault.

Right now, it doesn't matter to me whether the leads get together or not. I just want young jae to find anything other than this half life that she is living.

Also, I hate that the writer seems to use tragedies as a way to unite the leads back. I just wish this time around both the leads were in better places and chose to be with each other because that is what they truly wanted ultimately making it their decisions.

Also, was this drama advertised as melo? I thought it was a rom-com. :'(

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"Also, was this drama advertised as melo? I thought it was a rom-com. :'("

Yeah, no kidding... I'm so emotionally drained after each recap that I need at least 10 minutes of browsing at puppy photos.

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great job for recapping ! I can see how drained you feel but poppy love always give us a time of happiness!!

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Aww.. we are grateful for everything that you do! Hope the end is worth all the tears. (It better be.) Fighting, SailorJumun!

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I'm never gonna trust a "rom-com" advertising ever again after watching I'm Not A Robot and The Third Charm.

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"Yeah, no kidding... I'm so emotionally drained after each recap that I need at least 10 minutes of browsing at puppy photos.

Right?! I am only reading the recaps and it's killing me. I had to get some tissue for this one.

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@sailorjumun,

You and @odilettante (THE GUEST) have been taking it on the chin with your latest recapping projects. Ouch! Thank you for sticking it out. I suspect that some of the subtitles I've been reading haven't been all that swift, so it really makes a big difference for me to read the recaps. Thank you for soldiering on. ;-)

LOL re: needing to self-medicate with puppy photos for a minimum of 10 minutes after each recapping session.

Puppy Prozac?!

It's high time to stage an intervention and slip Young-jae a truckload of excruciatingly cute puppy pix. I was going to include Joo-ran, but she probably hates dogs after all the crap she had to endure from Princess of Pomerania. Better give her the Unabridged LOLcats. ;-)

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Thanks @pakalanapikake for my Tuesday morning (always late) laugh-out-loud with your
Puppy Prozac and Princess of Pomerania references.
Once again it reinforces an idea of mine that even with "heavy" dramas it is necessary (for our mental health) to lighten things up from time to time and either writer-nim or us beanies is going to do it.

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@marcusnyc20 Bong-soo,

You're most welcome. Glad to oblige. Funny how the puppy motif lent itself so well to that romance of Joo-ran's that went to the dogs. ;-)

I, too, subscribe to your theory that comic relief is a necessary component of drama watching. If Writer-nim doesn't include it in the production, it is up to viewers to do it themselves. Sometimes that takes the form of simultaneously watching a show in a lighter genre. (Thank you, TERIUS BEHIND ME.) Or making really bad jokes in the recap threads.

For some reason, I suddenly remembered "Stuff Up the Cracks" by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and just posted it on my fan wall. Now try to imagine Joon-young singing something like that. Never happen, and we all know it. Young-jae, on the other hand, could go off the deep end, IMHO.

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At the very least, it was not advertised as a Rom-Com. Not by the director at least.

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Happiness before the storm LMAO. I should be warned though. A Short drama I Watched from this writers Like A Fairy Tale is freaking melo, I should be warned! Lmao... But Romance Full of Life is pure rom com so I didn't expected this turn out this way. I think The writers pulling a good job to create inner struggle from the character. Though I really think this writers has tendency to pull histrionics card not only for shock purpose but also to get her plot more complicated and get her point.

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This was never advertised as a rom-com. According to the production team, Third Charm is really a love story told through the seasons. As stated by dramabeans' very own write-up, "Fall and winter will show a more mature couple", with the author of the piece expecting "angst in these chapters."

The expectation has been realized.

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Part 1 of 3

Thanks for your recap, @sailorjumun. Man, Show is painfully realistic to the max. So much so, I added Aztec Two-Step's "Killing Me" to my fan wall.

I took a tangent in the TERIUS BEHIND ME recap thread in a discussion of THE THIRD CHARM, which reminds me in some ways of LIVE, another drama that was difficult to watch because it felt so true to life:

http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/11/my-secret-terrius-episodes-27-28/#comment-3339579

Watching the other half of the former OTP's story unfold in Lisbon was as engrossing as seeing Joon-young getting his act together. I found it a bit too convenient that Young-jae and Ho-chul also ended up living halfway around the world in the same Portuguese metropolis, but I'll just suspend my disbelief and chalk it up to globalization. The twist revealed after their dinner at Small Table in Seoul – that their divorce had just been finalized, with Ho-chul presumably on his way back to Lisbon – had only hinted at their family tragedy. Seeing it play out was brutal. It also drove home that Young-jae's and Ho-chul's relationship was a house built on sand, just as Joon-young's relationship with Young-jae had been.

Although her husband alienated many viewers by brashly making his feelings known to her even while she was still dating Joon-young, I understood where he was coming from, and why he expressed his feelings to her. He reminded me a lot of Park Do-kyung in OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN, whose subconscious sent him Maydays in the form of premonitions of death to make him realize how much he loved “plain” Hae-young, and to prompt him to clearly express his feelings to her. He could no longer live in the safe confines of a life free of messy intimate connections with other people who might suddenly disappear on him. Similarly, Ho-chul had been indifferent and emotionally disconnected from his first wife, had recognized the error of his ways, and had developed an urgent need to be present to the person he loved. Unfortunately, the object of his affection was unable to reciprocate to the same degree, but that didn't stop him from trying. In many ways, the plastic surgeon was an older, established, and more successful version of the police officer.

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 3

The impression I get is that Young-jae followed the path of least resistance and eventually married Ho-chul after he persisted in courting her. She was the one who told Joon-young to buzz off yet again, which took some gumption, but I doubt that she reflected on why she felt compelled to pull the plug on the relationship – or got any kind of counseling. I've been thinking for much of the show that she has been clinically depressed for many years, and has not yet hit bottom. Her bottom could be so deep that it may as well be the Mariana Trench.

I found the scenes of Ho-chul, Young-jae, and infant So-ri precious beyond words. Ho-chul was head-over-heels for his baby the same way Sang-hyun is bonkers over his own daughter. The same way I imagined Soo-jae would have been if he hadn't had that construction accident. Ho-chul adored them both, and it was lovely to see.

The death of a child sometimes pulls a couple closer together, and in other cases causes a marriage to collapse, as it did in the bleakly excellent ALONE IN LOVE. In that drama, a woman is unable to move on after the stillbirth of her son. Although she and her husband have been the best of friends for many years, she finally calls it quits, in part because he has been able to move on. The truth is much more complicated, however. If you can watch to the end, the payoff is worth it. Maybe that is why I'm still watching THE THIRD CHARM. There is something so starkly realistic about the characters and their experiences that I want to stick around to see how it all turns out. At times I want to scream, but that's the way life is sometimes. And the performances are slaying me.

- Continued -

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I have not watched 'alone in love'. But in 'dear my friends', the scene were hee ja gets lost and they find her carrying a baby like sack reliving the past thinking she is taking her first born to the doctor and she gets angry at Jeong ah for not helping her save her baby. That was such a raw heart breaking scene. Also, when asked when she was the happiest and saddest, she would say on the birth and death of her first born. Thats when I got a glimpse of what losing a child means to a parent.

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Part 1 of 2

@imbuk, Thanks so much for your comment on DEAR MY FRIENDS. I started watching the show when it aired, but it was a bit too intense and hit too close to home for me at the time. It's one I intend to revisit one of these days as the cast was wonderful.

That's a lovely example you gave of the ways in which parents are affected by the death of a child. It reminds me of accounts of elephant mothers carrying around their deceased babies in obvious mourning.

A few months after one of my college classmates died a violent death at the hands of her former boyfriend, her mother, the wife of a Lutheran pastor, was referred to a Catholic priest working in the field of bereavement. He put her in touch with other grieving parents in their area. They formed a self-help group that has sadly seen significant growth in the need for their services since their founding in 1978. Imagine my surprise a couple of years later when I saw an article about Parents Of Murdered Children (POMC) in a Honolulu newspaper. Great personal anguish gave birth to hope, healing, and legal support among the survivors of murder victims.
http://www.pomc.com/index.html

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

I'm not a parent myself, but I have personally observed the aftereffects of parental bereavement in my own family. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with the recurrence of an inoperable brain tumor in 1995, my best friend told me of a book that a hospice nurse caring for her mother with ovarian cancer had suggested. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying, by hospice nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, was a Godsend. Among other things, it noted that sometimes the dying linger because they have “unfinished business.” I decided to ask my mother-in-law if there were anythings she needed done that would put her mind at ease. Folks from the western frontier area where she grew up are known for being laconic and stoic, as one would expect of the descendants of self-sufficient pioneers.

There was indeed something on her mind: She wanted the remains of her stillborn third child moved from the infant burial ground in the city where they had formerly resided many years earlier to the family plot in her hometown. She and my father-in-law planned to be interred in the latter, and she wanted the baby with them. It took a few phone calls and the assistance of kind funeral directors and cemetery personnel to fulfill her wish. I mention this because it was such a relief to my mother-in-law, who was still grieving for her child on her own deathbed 40 years later.

I was about 4 or 5 when my Mom miscarried my third sibling, a little girl who was near full-term and perfectly formed, according to the doctor. I heard about it through the grapevine when I was about 20. My folks simply did not talk about it. I just recall both grandmas taking turns coming down from Beantown to care for my brother and sister and I when Mom was hospitalized and Dad was overseas on a long business trip.

When I finally got to ask Mom about it, and why they never said anything to us kids, she replied that it was something that wasn't talked about, and that it would only have upset us. My young adult self wished that I had known a lot sooner. Looking back, I suspect that it was one of the unspoken sorrows that contributed to the my sense that Mom was depressed. She died of probable Alzheimer's in 2012, 15 years after being diagnosed.

I didn't get to discuss it with Dad until earlier this year, several months prior to his 92nd birthday, when he brought up the subject. He wanted to have S.C.'s name inscribed on the family tombstone. Her remains had been interred in the infant burial ground at the same cemetery. It sounded to me as if it were “unfinished business.” Because he had to do a lot of international travel for work back then, he was frequently away from home, and simply was not in the loop because Mom was holding the fort. I have a feeling that that was par for the course for dads in America back then.

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Thanks for sharing that deeply personal memory, @pakalanapikake.

I am not a parent myself and add to that young and inexperienced. I cannot do anything but marvel at the love parents have for their kids.

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Thank you for sharing these personal experiences. I’m not a parent so your account helps me understand the grief more.

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As always @pakalanapikake thank you for sharing and for the advice.
I can relate a bit because of the loss of a younger sibling in my family when I was young.

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Thank you for sharing. Your advice is lovely, and incredibly relevant to me right now. I already know what the elderly in my family want, and this feels like a reminder to me to make sure that it happens while they are still here.

My mother was forced to terminate her very first pregnancy due to severe hyperemesis gravidarum. She was told she would die if she tried to continue the pregnancy. I didn't find out about this until two years ago, well over 40 years after all this had happened. I suddenly understood a lot more about my mother. To make it worse, she actually thought I would judge her negatively for it, because that's how she feels about herself. She's lost two children now, and I can't imagine how she must feel. I'm not sure how well I could function in her place.

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Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. I don't have children, and as others have mentioned, I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose a child. I have met individuals who have lost children, but no one very close to me, so I haven't felt and seen the impact of how it may affect someone close to me. I'm glad your mother-in-law eventually felt some relief with her loss. I'm also glad you were able to discuss about your little sister with your father, albeit much later in life.

Again, thanks for sharing.

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Dear My Friends almost killed me with how realistic it was. It forced me to face current fears I have with my own parents. I have a knot in my chest just thinking of it. It is one of my favorite dramas but I will NEVAH watch it again.

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It is one of my favourite dramas too!

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Part 3 of 3

Joo-ran's situation came completely out of left field. The subtitles I read hadn't specified her diagnosis, although I had gotten the drift that major surgery was in order. Finding out it was cervical cancer courtesy of the recap cast a whole new light on the proceedings. Dang. I realize that people react to news of their own mortality in many different ways, but had a really hard time watching her blow her stack at Soo-jae. I felt as if I were witnessing a replay of Young-jae's inscrutable invitations to Joon-young to read her mind. Instead of trying to communicate the gravity of her situation – maybe by sending a follow-up text message alerting him that she'd gotten the results of a medical check-up (which she may not have even mentioned to him before) – she blew him out of the water. The one available person she thought to ask to serve as her guardian and advocate. What a painful scene.

I really liked Joon-young's teaching Young-jae how to cook her favorite spicy octopus dish herself. It was a thoughtful and practical example of “teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for the rest of his life.” What a wonderful gift.

As for Se-eun, I agree with @sailorjumun that she reminds me very much of the smitten Joon-young of yesteryear. She might even be more Joon-young-like than Joon-young himself, who never flew halfway around the world to be with Young-jae. I've been concerned that he was still on the rebound when Se-eun made her pilgrimage to Portugal to tell him how she felt. It surely feels as if there are cracks becoming visible in this relationship's foundation, as had been the case with Ho-chul's and Young-jae's. They've been there from the start, ever since Joon-young passively allowed Se-eun to attempt to fill the hole in his soul. The sad thing is that when Joon-young was still studying and launching his culinary career in Lisbon, it was understandable that there would be emotional as well as physical distance between them. But now that they're both living in Seoul, he still seems detached and passionless. It's almost as if he is unwilling to fully commit his heart and soul to the relationship with Se-eun. Once burned, twice shy?

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It's always lovely to read your analysis! I agree about se eun and joon young's relationship. They didn't even kiss when they got engaged which I found a little odd.

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Thank you so much, @imbuk. It feels like a dog's age since we last crossed paths. Was it back in the REBEL recap discussions? ;-)

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Ha ha.. I think you are mistaking me for someone else ;) I haven't watched rebel but I have been starting and dropping dramas for a long time now. I am suprised I came this far with this drama. We have interacted on open threads though :)

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"But now that they're both living in Seoul, he still seems detached and passionless. It's almost as if he is unwilling to fully commit his heart and soul to the relationship with Se-eun. Once burned, twice shy?"

I'd like to think that it's that, actually, because I never could wrap my head around what about YJ is supposed to be so special that he literally can never seem to get over her to the point of possibly ruining his current relationship (I'm determinedly ignoring 'fated love' because that's a cheap trope I'd like to kill with fire).

It would make sense that he wouldn't want to be the vulnerable one in a relationship again. Which then creates irony, because I think he now recognises that he's behaving like YJ whilst trying to preserve his own interests, and SE is playing the young!JY and throwing herself balls to the wind.

Maybe JY is seeing things from YJ's perspective a little. It's good to understand her, if for no other reason than to get closure for himself: that he tried his best, and he can't ask for more than that from life.

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Before this episode, I considered the possibility of Joon Young being the father of her daughter (I didn't really see how big the girl was) but man, I am glad they didn't take that route. Her daughter was 100% hers and Ho Chul's. It makes their marriage all the more meaningful and loving without arising any more unnecessary conflict. How sweet was that scene with Ho Chul not being able to go to work cuz he can't resist staring at his daughter...! I am truly glad this marriage made her happy for at least 3 years (which is coincidentally how old my baby sis is, also born 2015).
Meanwhile, conflict is making its appearance between the engaged couple and neither seemed to be truly confident about the union.

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[Part 1] I'm going to struggle with my comments and analyses, because I've realised over the two most recent episodes that I don't like this drama. No amount of SKJ's facial acting can make me look forward to the weekend now, and trying to finish this series is a chore. I had appreciation for the writing before, but not now. I'm a big believer in making tough choices, realistic portrayals and 'killing your darlings' as an author once told me, but I'm also very critical of manipulative tricks and the way authors handle topics like mental illness, child death etc. Let's break this up into points:

1: YJ's life went off on a different path to what I expected, since everything about the drama screamed at me through the screen that she would follow JR's path and choose to reach fame and riches by doubling down on her career. I felt that it was a large part of the reason she dropped JY as well – he's needy, and she couldn't guarantee that she could provide, especially not when she's focusing on herself.

So...what makes HC better? And isn't a CHILD even needier than JY? The more and more I watch, the more I suspect YJ and HC got together shotgun wedding-style. I don't believe they were a good match purely because they have similar attitudes and career paths – he wore out his welcome even with YJ, I think, by being that dog that doesn't stop humping your leg when you visit your grandparents. No, at this point, shotgun wedding sounds about right. That doesn't mean it wasn't happy and loving and beautiful, and YJ might even have surprised herself by discovering the merits a divergent path can bring.

2: The situation with JY and SE is painful to watch. Everything in me wishes them well, and I far prefer SE and her interactions with JY to YJ. Whenever I say this it seems to trigger multiple people across the internet, who think I'm a HATER and no longer able to say this because YJ is unhappy and this makes her untouchable apparently.

I don't like YJ, but I don't wish bad stuff on her, and I don't even wish she'd go away from the screen just...away from JY? Because I don't see this going anywhere good while she's in the state she's in, and JY is doing those annoying long stares that makes me think he'd drop his current good thing in a hot second with no respect for himself and what the past taught him.

I'm waiting now for SE to break up with him for some reason, or for JY to have a reason to be angry at her so that he can ride off into the sunset on a moral high horse and no viewers will be able to accuse him of being a jerk like many said about YJ.

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[Part 2] I guessed early on that JY was too casual with SE. But I don't want to diss settling for 'comfort' over passion or whatever it was he saw in YJ. At this point in my life, I don't rate passion very highly, it's rarely synonymous with my health. That's the crux: I want JY to choose what's healthy. Maybe sometime in the future, that will be YJ. Right now? It's definitely not YJ. I don't want to see people who are commenting falling into the same trap over and over: YJ being vulnerable and depressed is NOT a good grounds for a relationship, let alone one with the ex you have a complicated history with. More on that in the next recap's comments.

San: I'm not rating the writers very highly any more. This drama is starting to feel like 'makjang'. I guessed in the last episode's recap that the writers piled tragedy onto YJ because comments swung against her. I was looking on various sites and comment boards (don't do this, it's bad for blood pressure) and English-speaking viewers as well as translated Korean comments showed a strong criticism and even dislike of YJ. But after her tragedies, people have switched right back to feeling sad for her.

It depends on perspective whether this is clever writing or not. I don't think it is. I think if you've made YJ in a certain way, and Esom is portraying her as you wanted, you shouldn't need to throw in things as terrible as child death to remove criticism and even elevate her above it. That's cheap. If the writers make SE lose her appeal and give JY an out without being a jerk, that's also cheap. And what about JR? She was treated like comic relief in her desperate rush to beat the body clock and find a man, and now she's given a serious illness. From what I got from my subtitled copy, even if she has a hope of surviving the cancer after treatment, the surgery will officially remove her last hope of having a biological child of her own.

When so much bad stuff happens in a small circle of people, it stops feeling realistic and starts feeling like torture porn. It's true that Real Life is painful and hard, but god damn. This feels unnecessary. I'm not even sure what JR's illness brings to the table, except potentially being another thing YJ will co-opt as her own struggle just like when SJ lost his legs. Does this writer hate female characters in particular? Cervical cancer and child death. What the hell.

You know, I'm happy they added in new partners for each side. It's more realistic. I'm not even mad that YJ had a child with Doctor Unsexy. But the writers are dropping the ball with the handling of this. The divorce isn't an issue for me, though I think culturally it can be an issue in SK? It's the child death aspect. I feel like the writers are pushing the show towards a conclusion where JY and YJ will inevitably end up together again and I'm genuinely worried that without another time skip, they'll fail to show understanding for the impact a dead child has...

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[Part 3] on a person.

It will absolutely, 100% affect any relationship JY and YJ will have from now on. Even if JY became the best, most selfless person he would have to be aware at all times that YJ married the guy he was so paranoid about and had a child that died. That child will always be her first child, and JY has to think about whether he's strong enough and lacking pettiness enough to allow that to colour his future too.

YJ is also extremely depressed right now, I wouldn't be surprised if she's suicidal. This is another thing that should be handled with care, since in my experience, depression can be longterm and isn't magically cured by a love interest (the good old Magic D trope) or just because the writers decided 'it's gone on long enough, time to get rid of this inconvenient plot device'.

The last thing I want to come back to in this recap is the comments and opinions I see online. I've seen some especially harsh ones, and some have the tone and gist of 'she's unhappy and only now she remembers JY exists, she wants to steal his happiness and use him and then she'll probably dump him again'.

I wouldn't be so harsh, but do I dare to admit that there are parts of those comments I relate to? I find myself wondering WHY I relate to them. I do feel like YJ remembers the unconditional acceptance and comfort JY would offer, like how he immediately sympathised and cared for her when he learned the truth about SJ. I wonder if YJ looks at him longingly because of that instead of her still being in love with him. She wants what she knows he can give, and I feel like she was always like that, it's just that she rarely had anything of substance to give back to him and...I see no evidence that it would be any different in their third charm.

Comments say that she's changed and learned...where are they getting this from? She's clearly depressed and changed because of her tragedies, but I see no evidence that she regrets her part in the breakup. She was actually very happy with HC and her daughter, and probably didn't think about JY much at all.

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[Part 4] I've always seen YJ as aloof and selfish (maybe unfairly, because other comments have reached the same conclusion but deduced that it's Esom's acting that made them feel this way, and while it's probably an unpopular opinion to criticise her acting, I'm starting to think her vague attempts at Mona Lisa smiles are a big part of why I can never connect with her), and I've found no reason so far to change that opinion or take it further. I don't see how another turn with JY would be any different to the last, except that now a divorce, a dead child and his engagement are in the way as well as their personalities. Yay.

I still want them to end only as friends. But I'm starting to think they'll both end up in Portugal again (especially since her daughter is buried there, and why would she be buried there unless YJ planned to go back?) and I'll end up wondering why I wasted my time with this drama. I don't see how they can turn this into a healthy relationship in the time that's left without obnoxious time skips, a hefty deus ex machina and slippery writing.

I don't often comment so much, which is a sign of how annoyed this drama has made me. It wasn't what I expected, and it's toying with all of my trigger topics. I have no faith they'll be handled well. I might seem disproportionately mad but the next episode is affecting me too, I'm just keeping that out of this comment section for obvious reasons!

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As the drama nears its end I find myself hoping that the two leads just remain friends. I know this will not be the case, but as you said if they get back together they will have their past to contend with. YJ married Ho-Cheul, the very person that got in between YJ and JY and they lived a happy life and had a child. As for JY, he needs to realize what he really wants. SE is such a sweet person, but JY has been very subdued in his affection. Although this can happen as we get older and gain more relationship experience, it seems its more due to the fact that he still harbors feelings for YJ. Which is a bit of a shame. Maybe because I'm basing it off my own experiences, but a calmer relationship based on mutual respect and care is much more appealing to me than one that involves a lot of twist and turns.

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"Maybe because I'm basing it off my own experiences, but a calmer relationship based on mutual respect and care is much more appealing to me than one that involves a lot of twist and turns."

I am exactly the same. I've experienced my unforgettable passion and whirlwinds, and I've come out of the other side wanting something calmer and more peaceful. As few fights and headaches as possible for me, please!

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@alex8825 Yes! I only like drama in dramas. No fights or headaches for me either!

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Thanks for a detailed, thought-provoking post, @alex8825. I'm still mulling over it and the one above, but wanted you to know I read them. I've got to sleep on them before replying. ;-)

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This was just sad and unnecessary. As is mentioned above the writer is not filling in the blanks for Young Jae, why did she suddenly decide not to be rich and famous, why follow a man to Lisbon as seems to be the case. It's odd, we know all of Joon Young' s life, but whole chunks are missing from YJ's life. Also why the cancer diagnosis and dead child? Hmm this drama, hmmm. Also thanks for the recap @sail

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I was very disappointed that YJ did not get her own episode. I haven’t seen episode 14 so maybe there is more information about YJ’s past but I don’t have high hopes for that.
As I posited earlier, I think the writers don’t like YJ’s character or rather this show is just about JY’s journey and growth and YJ is there just to facilitate his growth! Which is disappointing 😖
YJ’s character had so much potential and it would have been so awesome if the writers had shown us how JY and YJ learn and grow because of knowing each other even if they don’t end up together. But I guess this is the story we get.

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I totally agree. An episode of just her during those 5 years would be great and of her a little later as well. She is a fantastic character and I want the writer to give her more love. Especially because there are only 2 episodes left.

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I agree with you. JY is the show's protagonist and YJ is there to play off of him. SMH. Was this show completely pre-produced? Did the actresses offered the YJ role know what would happen to that character? I read that two other actresses turned down the role before Esom accepted it. She's a critically acclaimed film actress and deserves better. (She acted opposite Jung Woo Sung in "Scarlet Innocence" and was nominated for five different Best New Actress awards).

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That's exactly. I think the writer is purposely leaving out the story of YJ from 2013 to 2015. YJ outright rejected the doctor in 2013, then something tragic must have happened to allow the doctor to slip back in. Would that be a miscarriage (with JY's kid?), a car accident or a suicide attempt? JY was gone so that gave another chance for the doctor to care for YJ's health and wellbeing... I am sure the writer will fill in the blanks of YJ's missing 2 years in the next two episodes... hopefully it will be convincing for all...

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I agree... They are skipping of The female lead inner struggle during those 5 years. But then again, I don't think Esom can handle it.

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to be fair, JY has many people telling his side of the story - his parents, his sister, his coworkers - we know a lot about his character even without him acting it out. But YJ has nobody, she keeps it all to herself, she does not tell her brother and her bf needs more of her help than helping YJ. So we know very little of YJ and the writer is hiding lots of YJ's struggles from us. Two more episodes, I am hopeful YJ's story will be revealed. But if not, this will go into the trash bin labelled "Oppa focused" ... :-)

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I'm so with you all on this! The end of the next episode all but extends this focus on the male's strive and success to the damsel saviour. Infuriating. Esom is amazing and shines in her parts, she deserves a break.

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I got the impression that YJ benefited from marrying Ho-Cheul and moving to Lisbon. She seemed to be hair stylist for high-end fashion models and they lived in a really nice house which she probably contributed in paying for. Or maybe that's just me filling in the blanks for YJ since I'll admit it would have been nice to have a whole episode dedicated to her experience for the past five years.

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This show is starting to remind me of "Marriage Contract" and YJ's character is like UEE's where one bad thing after another happens to her, especially in the scenes with her young daughter. But at least with that show, I went in knowing it was supposed to be tragic. I had to watch a bunch of clips from "Strong Girl Do Bong Soon" to feel less depressed.

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I've seen actual complaints where people feel misled by the trailers and tags, thinking it would be a frothy romcom. I wasn't expecting it to get this heavy.

I love SWDBS, not even the romance side of things, but Bong Soon's personality makes her one of the most enjoyable lead females I've ever watched.

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I still do not get why Young Jae broke up Joon Young or when she fell in love with Ho Chul. I was totally shocked to find out that she married Hol chul after the time jump.

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I think your recap is spot on. But, I think the little girl was actually joon youngs. I think that after the break up she found out but he was gone to Portugal. That why she married the doctor. That why she can barely get it together. She lost her child and he never knew ontop little girl died. That's why when he left she went in bathroom and cried. She broke up with him because she felt like she had to much baggage and he would leave anyway. Note her statement why do people I love get sick or leave me?

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During the little girl's funeral, the gravestone listed her year of birth as 2015. JY and YJ broke up 5 years ago (2013) so he can't be the father.

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For JY, no matter how much he tries, his heart can't let this YJ go. He can't be a stranger to her. He knows her, he loves her, and her pain, as indescribable as it is, becomes his pain. It is hard to watch him failing to staunch his feelings -- their entire relationship thus far just shines in his eyes.

But it is YJ, and Esom's portrayal, that is absolutely crushing. The subtleties of her depression, and our visceral reactions to it, are due to the careful construction of her character from episode one. We saw a YJ that seemed to have it all, that was her best version of herself, and now we see her in the aftermath of losing it all. It is terrible, even more so because she has to get up and live. I applaud the writers, Park Eun-young and Park Hee-kwon, PD-nim, and Esom for creating such a nuanced portrait of grief.

I think SailorJumun stumbled upon why "Third Charm" is proving divisive amongst viewers: it's depicting reality a little too well, it lingers when you, the viewer, are ready to cut away. This run of episodes have been uncomfortable, bleak, downright depressing, and it has taken most of us by complete surprise because we aren't prepared for it -- and that unpreparedness is very much like how tragedy strikes in life, with little to no warning.

It's unfair to be angry at the writers for imitating life just because there wasn't a label attached. Should every drama with tragic elements come with a "Caution: Tears Ahead" content warning? Would it make it sting any less?

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First, I agree about Esom being just amazing. However, most people don't get this many tough breaks in life, so for me that's where it loses the realism. However, the charactetizations if not the plot is what is keeping me in this show. Also your analysis is beautiful.

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I've worked with Child Protective Services and sadly there are a lot of people who have many tough breaks in life...

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I agree that Esom is doing a fantastic job. YJ is not a popular character but she is very real. I know there are folks who keep saying she is selfish and that she is now back with JY just because it didn’t work with HC, etc. I don’t see it that way at all. She is just trying to live her life as best as she can. In fact I’m happy that Sori is her and HoChul’s kid and not JY’s. I just wish that the writers wouldn’t keep adding more and more tragedy to her life! Although it does look like she has reached her limit. Esom’s potrayal of depression is spot on. The listlessness, the inability to do anything, the tiredness in her body - it is amazing.

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I think I'm the only who think Esom doing is a very poor job with this character, that's why the writers lost faith in her and give majority the meaty scene to Seo Kang Joon.

She is so bland, doesn't bother to add depth, it make her character unlikeable. For Me, She pull off a one dimentional acting with this character. I start to imagine if Chun Won Hee pull off this character, the character of YJ will be alot more interesting and dynamic. Then again, Feel free to disagree with me.

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that's why the writers lost faith in her and give majority the meaty scene to Seo Kang Joon

You must be kidding me. That's one of the very last reasons writers would change their script for, especially these writers who've been piling on the melo despite all the comments.

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The character calls for Esom to play her with restraint. The show even has YJ herself wonder why she can't be unguarded with JY in an earlier episode. I suppose she should be more of a caricature of a human being than a simulacrum in order to be three-dimensional.

And regarding "meaty" scenes, Esom displayed the same, if not more, emotional range in that fifteen minute flashback as SKJ in the entirety of episode 11. An actress need not abide by the makjang theatrical playbook in order to portray strong emotions effectively. Sometimes it is what is withheld that speaks volumes.

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I can see the acting not being to everyone’s writing. But the scenes where the writers do let us into YJ’s inner thoughts are really well done. You can see how this character is reserved but still feels so much. The scene where she’s having the octopus dish and says “it hurts hurts” was devastating to me and true to life. You can feel YJ’s pain and her inability to feel anything else. Unfortunately, the writers don’t really give YJ a lot of scenes like that and we don’t really get to understand her inner workings and not giving Esom a lot to work with.

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Agreed, and I even wondered if this is the Se-eun show at one point, but then I saw episode 14. It made me wonder if the lack of screen time is related to the plot. Otherwise, why trust Esom to carry such a heavy storyline if you have no confidence in her as an actress?

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I don't know... The writers give alot of room for Esom to add depth in alot of case. But She doesn't For me. THe scene is well done, But if only Esom can emote. It seems abit insulting If I the writers. Well Maybe we have preference in terms of acting. But Esom is far for being subtle.

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You're not alone. I felt like there were moments where she shined and did a great job. Those moments where when she was doing something very obvious, like crying and clearly expressing her pain.

But more and more, I'm unimpressed with the 'subtle' emotions. Trying to act with just her face and eyes doesn't affect me at all, she just looks vague at best, or sometimes calculating and distant. I get what she's trying to do at times, like in episode 3 when she does the whole 'smiling to hide your inner turmoil' schtick but it just made her look condescending and cold imo.

Even if I can see where she's trying to go, if she doesn't manage it, the character is bland or misleading. I came to find her character really unlikable to a level where even I wasn't sure what it was based on. But after talking to others online and examining some episodes again, I think it's just as you say.

The actress you mention is the one from Han Gong-Ju right? What an agonising movie - her take on YJ would have been interesting to see.

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I love the understated, held back way in which Esom portrays YoungJae. And I would love to have an episode focusing on YoungJae, with YoungJae's POV because hell, I have seen enough of JoonYoung and I just want more of the complicated YoungJae, dammit! I mean, I even know how the JoonYoung puts on his moisturizers but not how YoungJae became a Mom!

And I believe, from what I've seen so far, Esom would pull it off brilliantly. Give her a chance to shine, writer!

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I'm not watching the drama, only reading the recaps. I haven't watched it because the story is quite similar to how my ex and I started and ended, minus the tragedies.

I am amazed at the maturity between JY and YJ. Here you have two ex-lovers who went on separate ways. Though life was very different, they both grew and matured. I'm quite happy and surprised that SE didn't go ballistic over seeing JY and YJ dine together.

Anyway, what bothers me though is it's episode 13 already and yet it seemed that we're still in the middle of the plot. I'm afraid the last 3 episodes might be rushed.... i hope I'm wrong though.

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I stopped watching 2 weeks ago. I wasn't expecting a rom-com, but wasn't expecting a sad fest either. YJ is "Doom and Gloom", and I don't like the -2nd half of drama- story of the secondary characters. Even the sister has become not likable imho (you can be a career woman AND have some loving time with your spouse and child ; and why couldn't the partner keep his/a job, even on a slower track ? ).
Disappointed with the second half of the show, as often. Will just watch the final episode to get closure.

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Thanks @sailorjumun for the recap. There were technical problems with last 20 minutes of the subbed version I watched. Getting clued in on the almost telepathic conversation at the restaurant was very helpful.
Btw and an odd thought. Joon-young spent 5 years in Portugal (27-32) and there is no indication in the story (so far) that a handsome guy like him had any kind of romantic relationship there.
That's fine by me but I thought it a bit strange.

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Then again, we're also told that after he and YJ split for the very first time in his college days, he didn't have any involvement with anyone else for those 7 years either, which amazed me.

I've noticed that even without the glasses and the braces, no one seems to make a big deal out of how attractive he is. The few times it's happened, it seems more to be from people who knew him from before and who were comparing him to his college looks.

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Hi @alex8825 AlexDanno. I appreciate the time you and @pakalanapikake take analyzing these episodes.
As far as the apparent lack of romantic experience in JY's life I have to maybe suspend disbelief or believe his family/home life messed him up in that department.
(I have never warmed up to his sister. It is shocking to me how Sang-hyun kowtows to her.)

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@marcusnyc20 well @pakalanapikake does a fantastic job of analysis, I'm afraid I'm more of a disappointed key-smasher at this point!

His family is a good point, I would not be shocked if they gave him issues in that department. The women in his family do my head in.

I think that the drama wants it to be more YJ-related, though. The first time around (20-27) because it's like he was 'waiting' for her and these writers are clearly pushing the fate angle. Then again (27-32) partly because he was still thinking about and getting over YJ, but maybe also because...ugh, how to put it into words?

I wonder if they think viewers would like either character less if they dared to have more than one relationship outside of the main pairing? I'm remembering a comment in one of the HMSFTS recaps that it was a surprise that the male lead was shown obviously starting a sexual relationship with someone else when they wouldn't be the main pairing.

This drama is already more realistic than 'first, last and only one true love' for giving them other partners. But they might be too scared to risk it further.

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Well, I still find this a filler episode. We hardly got any extra info... and instead watched suffering people. I got the tragedies already last episode, show, I don't need this. Plus I think glimpses and letting the viewer guess what happened is more effective, no need to elaborate.

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I am very late to the party.had ep 14 cued up right after this so I can be all caught up,but found myself watching 30minutes of YHY in fluttering alert to 'cleanse' myself.
*YJ s depression,pain and guilt all intertwined together,geez.Esom is delivering all the goods that she can with in the limitations of the story.
*like @sailorjumun i was also wondering if she keeps smiling at their home movies.But then I thought,what if it's just any random scene on tv and she s just seeing her happy memories.Her loosing her grip on reality would be only too possible given the kind of trauma she has gone through.
*Varghese,i was right about JY never even discussing YJ with SE. Based off of her expression when she was alone in her apartment,I am wondering if SE found some traces of his relationship with YJ while going through his old albums?Perhaps the old beer drinking contest that they won together??If so,I worry even more about SE. JY for all his other faults, was always honest about his insecurities and jealousies with YJ.Is SE so starved for his love that she would actively suppress any uncertainties she might feel and be all step-fordy
*Joo-ran's diagnosis--ugh why show..just why..Why not let her be happy with Soo Jae and let them have a child and fulfil her long held desire for a happy familial unit.You could have even been spreading the message of a disabled man being able to have a 'regular' life;the whole package-a successful career,a pretty and capable wife,and cute munchkins to boot.But instead,we get this.

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