My Strange Hero: Episodes 29-30
Out of all the lessons our characters have come to learn, the most important is that it’s never too late to right a wrong. They’ve made mistakes, they’ve paid their dues, and they have plenty of chances to start over. The process to starting over can be painful, dangerous even, but they show no sign of turning back now.
EPISODE 29 RECAP
At the Seolsong hearing, Soo-jung surprises everyone by confirming her relationship with Bok-soo. She explains that Bok-soo was wronged by the school, and he willingly came back to uncover its dark secrets. Frankly, she’s proud to love someone like that.
As the reporters go crazy snapping pictures, we flash back to Se-ho’s meeting with Teacher Park. He’d given Park some foreign bank documents, asking him to hand the evidence over to Bok-soo.
Park insisted Se-ho hand them over himself, and though the idea made Se-ho nervous, he ended up visiting the Your Favors office anyway. Gyung-hyun and Min-ji weren’t exactly happy to see him, so Bok-soo took him outside so they could talk alone.
Handing over the documents, Se-ho explained that while living with his uncle in the States, he discovered that his mom had been swindling money under the uncle’s name. Bok-soo shoved the documents back, unable to trust Se-ho’s word–not after everything he’d done.
Before Bok-soo could leave, Se-ho grabbed his arm and said that he wasn’t running away anymore. “In order to live properly,” he said, his voice desperate. “I’m mustering up courage for the first time.” He held out the documents, and this time, Bok-soo accepted them.
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How can I trust a jerk like you?
We cut back to Se-ho with all the reporters he’d called in, wanting to clear something up. Regarding Bok-soo’s case nine years ago, Se-ho reveals that he wasn’t a victim and that he jumped off the roof himself.
The reporters ask why he lied back then, and Se-ho almost smiles, saying the reason doesn’t matter since it can’t be justified. Right now, all he can do is sincerely apologize for having hurt Bok-soo with his lie.
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Whatever my reasoning was, I’m still the assailant
Back at the hearing, Bok-soo tells the room that he isn’t here to take revenge for the incident nine years ago; his true revenge is changing this school that’s been taking advantage of its kids for power and money.
Once the hearing ends, the reporters crowd around Chairwoman Im as she sheds some fake tears and swears to prove her innocence. The reporters hurry past her, however, when they see Bok-soo come out.
The reporters ask how Bok-soo feels about Se-ho’s recent confession, and since Bok-soo was unaware this even happened, he’s rendered speechless. As he tries to process all this, Soo-jung holds his hand in support.
That night, Teacher Park joins the gang’s little celebration at the Kang restaurant. He makes the first toast, shyly glancing at Bok-soo’s mom (mhm, I caught you, Ssaem!) as he wishes for a great second life.
After cringing at Park’s speech, Bok-soo goes next. “You all went through a hard time because of me. My family, my friends, Teacher Park and,” he turns to Soo-jung with a smile, “my girlfriend.” He hopes they can all live happily now.
Meanwhile, at the far less cheerful household, Chairwoman Im is arguing on the phone with her business partners, who are too afraid to assist her now. Se-ho walks in as she hangs up, and she demands to know who Bok-soo is for him to betray her like this. He answers that Bok-soo was the first person who treated him warmly, making Im laugh cruelly.
Se-ho just continues that he never should’ve blamed Bok-soo when his real reason for wanting to die was always her. Now he sees that it wasn’t Bok-soo he should’ve been hating, but her. She orders him to get out of her house then, and he doesn’t hesitate to agree. But before he can walk away, she stops him with the last word: “I’m closing Seolsong High.” What?!
Bok-soo and Soo-jung hang out at the spot where he first showed her his grades. Bok-soo wonders what Se-ho must be thinking right now, and Soo-jung figures he must be feeling a lot of remorse, just like she did. Either way, Bok-soo believes that it was Im who ruined Se-ho; they have to make sure she pays for all that she’s done.
At that, Soo-jung smiles and says that he really impressed her at the hearing. But Bok-soo thinks that she was more impressive declaring her love so confidently. She tries to playfully smack his shoulder, so he brings her into a hug to say that he loves her too. And no matter what happens at school tomorrow, he wants her to stay strong.
Soo-jung suggests that while they’re thinking of new dreams for her, they should think of one for him too. And since his old dream of becoming her boyfriend has come true, he’s open to the idea.
The next day, the school is buzzing with conversation about the hearing. The prosecution come in to collect evidence (while Chairwoman Im can only sit and watch), and Teacher Park comes in to take charge for the time being.
As the Wildflower kids are giving Bok-soo a big welcome, Teacher Park sends out a broadcast to the whole school. He introduces himself as an auditor with the Education Committee, here to start turning things around.
Bok-soo and his friends watch proudly as Teacher Park explains that it’ll be like extracting a bunch of polluted water–it’ll make a temporary mess, but soon they’ll be able to have clean water again. So he tells them not to worry and to go about their everyday lives, studying and goofing off.
Soo-jung stops just outside the class, looking in at her students as they finish watching the broadcast. She then braces herself before going inside and taking her place behind the podium. With the kids listening respectfully, she begins by admitting that she is, in fact, a corrupt teacher.
She explains her entire situation, as well as her ultimate decision to quit. And though she’s leaving, she wants to remind her kids how much they’ve accomplished and how much it means to her.
“You guys are all flowers,” she says, tearing up as she sees a few kids crying. She concludes that they’re flowers that can bloom anywhere, no matter the conditions, so she knows that they’ll be okay. And she gives Bok-soo one last smile, assuring him that she’ll be okay too.
Soo-jung packs up her things in the teachers’ office, while two teachers sigh that she should’ve kept quiet and looked the other way–they say that she’ll break if she lives like that. Soo-jung snaps that if she has to be that kind of teacher, she’d rather break. She then storms out to clean out her counseling office.
Teacher Park comes in to give her some encouraging words, as well as a big warm hug. He blinks back tears, but keeps smiling as she says that everything will be all right.
All packed, Soo-jung walks down the halls one last time, and she’s soon joined by her entire class. The kids joke that she’ll have plenty of time with Bok-soo now, with Seung-woo suggesting she date him if she ever changes her mind (oh, you), and In-ho telling his “auntie” to drop by the house whenever she wants.
Bok-soo appears to help carry her things, but the kids urge the two to turn around before leaving. All together, they shout, “You’re a flower too!” and send her off with smiles and finger hearts. Soo-jung nearly starts crying again from all the love, giving them her wave goodbye.
EPISODE 30 RECAP
Teacher Park stands before his former colleagues and suggests that anyone who paid their way to their position silently hand in their resignation. There are quite a few guilty faces, but no one steps up–for now, at least.
Se-ho is called in for questioning, as it turns out Chairwoman Im has accused him of setting up the school’s corruption while living in the States. Not the least bit surprised by his mom’s actions, Se-ho chooses to remain silent.
The Your Favors gang treat Soo-jung to a cake to celebrate the next chapter of her life. She’s thinking of getting a part-time job for now, but Bok-soo confidently states that he has a new dream for her. He grins and jokes, “My wife,” making Gyung-hyun and Min-ji shake their heads, ha.
Afterwards, Soo-jung visits her grandma, whose dementia seems to be getting worse. Grandma calls Soo-jung her “Unni” while combing her hair, but Soo-jung just smiles and promises to start living diligently. She does just that the next day by walking into the Kang restaurant with its Help Wanted sign.
Bok-soo hears about Se-ho’s accusation and, furious, calls him out to talk. Se-ho starts to say that Bok-soo doesn’t understand his situation, but Bok-soo doesn’t think that matters. If Se-ho stays silent because of his mom (again), then he’ll come to regret it. So Bok-soo tells him to keep to his word and start living differently. And as Bok-soo walks away, Se-ho sighs and thinks back to the conversation with his mom.
After his mom had stated she’d be shutting the school down, Se-ho had asked how she could do that to the kids. But for all she cared, the kids could just transfer. The only way she’d change her mind was for Se-ho to take responsibility for the corruption.
Meanwhile, as the Kangs’ new employee, Soo-jung tidies up the house. She smiles to find the award she’d given Bok-soo years ago, as well as the sketch he made of her on the back.
When Bok-soo returns, he freaks out to find Soo-jung there, warning her that his sister So-jung makes this an awful working environment. So-jung offers to hire her as In-ho’s tutor instead, making Mom smack her and send her to her room.
Mom then leaves the couple alone, and Bok-soo sits Soo-jung down to say that he’s realized her dream. “I think being a teacher suits you best,” he says, surprising her. He suggests she try taking the certification exam again, and though she doesn’t look too sure, she smiles up at him.
However, the next day, news blows up that Seolsong High could possibly shut down. Bok-soo immediately confronts Teacher Park to ask if this is actually possible, and he’s horrified to learn that it is. If the Ministry of Education accepts Chairwoman Im’s request, then it’s all over.
The Wildflower kids are horrified over the news as well, and they all agree that they should do something. And to their surprise, a few of the Ivy kids approach them, wanting to be of help.
Now determined, the Wildflowers find Bok-soo and Soo-jung at the Your Favors office and ask to join in on the revenge scheme. And since Bok-soo needs all the help he can get, he’s all for it.
While the team is busy getting signatures for a petition, Bok-soo’s mom gets an unexpected guest at the restaurant: Se-ho. He almost bolts the second he sees her, but she urges him to sit and have some jjajangmyun.
Mom silently mixes the sauce for him, just as she did years ago, before getting to the point–she can’t forget what he did to Bok-soo, but she is grateful that he’s helping out now.
Still, Se-ho thinks he can’t fully make it up to Bok-soo unless he stops Chairwoman Im from closing the school. At the mention of Im, Mom looks up at Se-ho and reminds him of that one time he called her “Mom.” She’d never seen someone so hungry for love, and the sight just broke her heart.
Se-ho sheds a tear as Mom continues that he shouldn’t do bad things anymore. “If you ever feel that way, come here and eat jjajangmyun. I’ll give you a slap on the back.” Once he gives her a small nod, she tells him to go ahead and eat. She watches as he takes the first bite, his eyes still filled with tears. *sniffles* Mine too.
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If you’re confused, come eat here
The following day, Bok-soo gets a call from the prosecution; they want to talk to him about Chairwoman Im and Se-ho. Before he leaves, though, Mom lets him know that Se-ho came over to apologize and that he plans to stop Im from closing the school.
Bok-soo heads over to the prosecution office, bumping into Chairwoman Im in the hall. He starts telling her that the students aren’t going to let her close Seolsong, and Im cuts in that he won’t have to worry about that. She leans in close and smirks, saying he has a good friend. Se-ho agreed to get arrested in her place as long as she kept the school open.
Bok-soo breaks into a run, towards the interrogation room, but it’s too late. A defeated Se-ho is already telling the prosecutor that every single thing Im was accused of was actually done by him. Bok-soo finally reaches the room, crying Se-ho’s name, but the security hold him back. Se-ho can only stand there, staring into Bok-soo’s pleading eyes.
Arrrgh! Oh Se-ho, you sad, sad dummy. That is not the right way to make things up to Bok-soo. I know that Se-ho sees this as the only way to save Seolsong, but I’m afraid that he believes he actually deserves this punishment. And he doesn’t. He’s done more than enough terrible things in his lifetime (and he’s barely even thirty), but the only person who deserves this punishment is Chairwoman Im. This woman has absolutely no right being a mother or an educator; her only rightful place is behind bars. And after all that Se-ho and the gang have suffered, he should know that there’s no good in covering the truth. So I really wish he’d at least talked to Bok-soo before turning himself in. Bok-soo may not have listened at first, but he would’ve come around eventually, and they could’ve come up with a decent plan.
As always, though, I can’t stay mad at Se-ho. He really doesn’t know better, and it’s both endearing and incredibly maddening. The scene with him and Teacher Park wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but the show quickly made up for that by having the scene with Bok-soo’s mom. It wasn’t until that point that I realized Se-ho hasn’t seen Bok-soo’s mom for over nine years. So seeing her again, after all he did to ruin her son’s life, must’ve been terrifying. He still has the instinct to run away, so I’m glad that Mama Kang reeled him back in with the jjajangmyun. Their conversation wasn’t long, but they said all that needed to be said. And though that moment was sweet, I’m still missing that one moment between Bok-soo and Se-ho. I feel it coming, especially with that ending, so I hope these two bring the emotions I’ve been craving from them.
This was a great episode for Se-ho, but let’s not forget the awesomeness that is Sohn Soo-jung. Yoo Seung-ho as Bok-soo is a teddy bear that I want to hug and squeeze for all eternity, but this drama definitely belongs to Kwak Dong-yeon and Jo Boa. Their characters have gone through the craziest journeys, the craziest transformations, and the actors have done a fantastic job portraying all of that. Soo-jung went through hell and back to fully understand what it means to be a teacher, and though it’s cost her her job, she can still build herself up again. Because Bok-soo was so right in saying that she’s meant to be a teacher. By transforming herself, Soo-jung was able to transform an entire class of misfits. And while I agree with some Beanies that the writing didn’t delve too much into the kids and their individual lives, I’ve enjoyed every second of seeing them come together as a group. I nearly bawled when Soo-jung said goodbye to them, but I’ll save those tears for the final goodbye next week.
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