Sons of Sol Pharmacy: Episodes 29-31
With this batch of episodes, we head into some of my favorite territory, which coincides with the ending of one (tiresome) love line and the beginning (or elevation) of another, more interesting one.
SONG OF THE DAY
Sons of Sol Pharmacy OST – “말해요” (Say it)
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With Mari sick with pneumonia, Su-jin asks Jin-pung to watch Sung-jin for the night — she has to head back to the hospital and Bruce is out of town for the night. Therefore Dae-pung, witnessing that exchange, is in a pretty dark mood in the morning.
Dae-pung drops by the hospital to check on Mari, which is easy enough since her doctor is an old med school buddy, but he decides not to approach Su-jin. Therefore, she finds out belatedly that Dae-pung had taken a lot of care to ensure Mari was getting treated well. She rushes out to try to find Dae-pung to thank him, but just misses him.
Feeling that he has lost Su-jin (not that he ever had her), Dae-pung wanders around in deep thought, then drinks himself unconscious at a fancy bar. It’s Bok-shil who has to contend with the 2am call from the bar, and she takes him to her place for the night.
In the morning, he wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings and slowly gains his bearings. Without a clue as to where he is or how he got here, he hears someone moving in the apartment and feigns sleep, while trying to discern who it is. Figuring out that it’s a woman, he freaks out — does this mean he’s done something he has to “take responsibility” for?
When the woman wakes him up, he realizes it’s Bok-shil and is relieved to hear nothing happened.
Su-jin calls Dae-pung out for a lunch date, but his mood sinks when he realizes that it’s only to thank him for taking good care of Mari. Given her thankful but apologetic tone of voice, Dae-pung assumes he’s going to get dumped and cuts her off before she can. It’s like he’d rather beat her to the punch and salvage some of his pride by letting go first, which is an uncharacteristically mature move of him.
He shares a few related stories of his brother’s eating habits (Jin-pung always chooses jajangmyun in a Chinese restaurant, and cream sauce with Italian) to show that he never changes his mind. Once he’s found something he likes, he won’t ever deviate: “My brother is a really good person, even if he is old-fashioned. And as a man, he’s decent. So… good luck together.” He starts to get a little emotional as he wraps up, though he tries to gloss it over with a light tone, and excuses himself early.
As a result, he is in an awful mood when he goes back to work, and overreacts to Bok-shil’s innocent questions. He blows up at her, even shoving things off his desk in anger and frightening her with the unexpected outburst. He feels bad after she leaves in tears, but as usual he doesn’t act nearly as remorseful as he should, nor does he chase her to apologize.
Tensions are always high between Su-hee and Mi-ran, but now things break out into a full-fledged fight. Mi-ran resents having to share her space with Su-hee, and sees the teenage mother as irresponsible and ungrateful. Su-hee points out that Mi-ran is also living on the generosity of the Song family, but Mi-ran defends her claim because at least she’s family.
Mi-ran takes offense to Su-hee’s lack of respect for her as an elder, and hits her upside the head. Understandably offended, Su-hee hits back — which is a big no-no, given her circumstances. By the time Mi-pung interferes, the two ladies’ tempers are high and prides rubbed raw. Mi-pung scolds Su-hee, but he’s startled when Su-hee tells him that she’s going to move out now. Hana’s recovered from her illness and it’s time for her to leave.
Dae-pung gets drunk after his lousy day and comes home to find Bok-shil on her way out. She hadn’t wanted to come over, but Mi-ran had begged for some friendly companionship after her fight, so Bok-shil had come by to lend a sympathetic ear.
Given how he’s been treating her lately, Bok-shil tries to ignore Dae-pung and leave quietly. However, he’s emotional and a little drunk, so he grabs her arm and drags her down the street to grab a moment alone. Staring at her intently, he whispers, “I’m sorry.”
His expression is really killer in this moment, as he asks her to forgive him. But Bok-shil is nearing the end of her patience, and asks why she always has to forgive him — how long does she have to do this? In a wounded voice, she wonders, “What am I to you? What are you to me? We’ve lived like this for three years. Every day, I’ve had to put up with this from you. Stop playing with me now. I’m not your toy, or your maid, or your Bok-shil puppy—!”
And suddenly, Dae-pung kisses her.
She pushes him away angrily, but he grabs her for a second kiss. After a moment of fighting him again, she stops resisting.
We finally get more look into Bok-shil’s backstory when Mama Song and Gwang-ho talk about their sons’ marriage prospects. Dad is all for matching Dae-pung with Bok-shil, but Mom reminds him that there’s something off about her. She’s a very nice woman, of course, but they don’t know anything about her past, and she always speaks vaguely about her life. They’d first met her three years ago, when Mama Song had found her slumped on the staircase outside Dae-pung’s office. She had just interviewed for a nurse position, and seemed so exhausted that Mom insisted on taking her home for something to eat. Bok-shil had fallen asleep right in their living room out of fatigue.
The morning after the kiss, Bok-shil heads to work with a tentative, hopeful attitude, thinking they’ve reached the turning point in their relationship. However, she’s in for a rude awakening because Dae-pung, feeling embarrassed and upset with himself, doesn’t know how to act and therefore pretends nothing has happened. Every time she tries to talk to him — even about mundane, work-related things — he brushes her aside and avoids looking at her. Not only does his behavior hurt her feelings, it also makes her realize that nothing has changed. Rather than the kiss being symbolic of a change, it’s just another example of their endless back-and-forth, which never resolves or progresses. She seems to finally understand that Dae-pung is not intending to pursue a relationship with her.
Despite Su-hee’s declaration that she will leave, Mi-pung helps find her a part-time job at the craft/quilt store run by his sewing noonas. She’s new to the work, but he promises to help her. Su-hee wonders why Mi-pung and the Song are so nice to her, but their treatment must be the key in turning her attitude around: she starts to adopt a more polite, genuinely helpful demeanor around the house. She offers to help Mama Song with the cooking, tidies up, and greets Grandpa Song respectfully. Grandpa beams approvingly to hear she got a job and recognizes that she’s straightening out her life.
Following the episode with Mari’s sickness, Jin-pung’s relationship with Su-jin has taken a happier turn, and they’re now flirting comfortably. The sickness has also caused Bruce to reconsider Su-jin’s request to try a little harder to smooth things with the other schoolmoms, so that the kids can fit in more smoothly. He promises to be a more responsible father.
Meanwhile, Miran shares her suspicions with Bok-shil that Dae-pung must have been dumped. She knows something happened with Su-jin, and afterward, he’s been drinking every night and being difficult. Bok-shil realizes what this means — that he was acting out on the rebound — which adds to her already hurt feelings. She calls him to say something, but he pushes it off till tomorrow and ends the call. He doesn’t realize that this was essentially Bok-shil giving him one last chance, and he has blown it.
In the morning, Bok-shil musters newfound determination and resigns her position — for real, finally. Dae-pung is stunned, because he’s so used to treating her badly and then getting her to forgive him. It certainly didn’t occur to him that she’d come to a breaking point, and he is totally at a loss for how to react. When he tries to find her at home later, she avoids him — she’s made up her mind.
Methodically, Bok-shil packs her belongings, tells her landlord she’s moving out, and prepares to get on with her life.
We know that she’s intending to leave for good because she purposely leaves no forwarding address. She also reacts in horror when her aunt calls her and nervously warns her that she may soon be sought out by people. We don’t know who these mysterious people are, but this news sends Bok-shil into a panic. She has obviously been hiding from some people, and doesn’t intend to be found.
So when some men lurk in her neighborhood and see her coming home, she runs. Following close behind, the men catch up to her and drag her back, although they maintain a degree of respect that suggests she’s actually someone important.
By morning, Bok-shil has decided to comply with her mystery captors and will go with them quietly. As she is driven off in her chauffeured car, she spies the Song family walking home after a trip to the market, and looks out at them longingly — most of all Dae-pung, who passes by unknowingly.
Jin-pung and Su-jin’s relationship goes from tentative to official as they continue to flirt (shyly and giddily, like teenagers — it’s cute).
In a rare moment of closeness, Su-jin confides that her nose is crooked now because father hit her once when she was ten. She endured the pain, but eventually went to the hospital about it to fix it, but by then the bone had healed crookedly. We’ve already heard from Bruce that their father had been an abusive drinker, but this is the first indication that Su-jin felt it, too (Bruce had done his best to shield his sister from the brunt of it).
Jin-pung holds her face look closer and says gently, “It must have hurt.” He kisses her nose, then her mouth, and they walk home holding hands.
Dae-pung learns that Bok-shil has moved away and therefore has no way of getting in touch with her. When Grandpa Song hears this, he raises hell and blames Dae-pung (rightly enough) for driving her away. The entire family cares for Bok-shil and understands that Dae-pung has taken her for granted, so they tend to side with her. Grandpa orders him to bring her back within a week or face being kicked out himself.
Dae-pung tries to cling to his bravado by saying she’ll come back — where else would she go? He tells his family that Bok-shil is just taking some time off and has been intending to move apartments, but he can’t hide his growing insecurity. He leaves multiple messages first demanding her return, then pleading.
Sun-pung is particularly affronted to hear the news, and it’s almost startling how violent his reaction is. (I’d almost forgotten that Sun-pung used to have feelings for her.) He confronts his brother and accuses him of mistreating Bok-shil — a scene that piques Eun-ji’s curiosity.
In order to find out what this is all about, Eun-ji sets up a romantic moment for them and plies Sun-pung with wine, asking innocently about Bok-shil. Did he like her? As Sun-pung is relaxed from the liquor, he answers honestly, “Yes, I liked her.” She had started hanging around their house and been a friend and sister: “She was a good person. But she always cried.” As he recounts the instances he caught her crying (over Dae-pung), Sun-pung fails to notice his wife’s growing anger, only registering her furious expression after calling Bok-shil “a beautiful person, and sad.”
Eun-ji storms out crying — she married him for love, only to realize he had someone else in his heart!
Dae-pung exhausts his options trying to locate Bok-shil, but now even her phone has been disconnected. He calls his friends in various hospital to ask whether she has started working there, and even goes to her mother’s grave. He leaves notes taped to the headstone pleading for her to come back, and adds a photo of the two of them in happier times. There’s a pathetic moment when it starts to rain, and he tries to shield his notes from the water, which nicely demonstrates the futility of his actions. Too little, too late.
Some time later, Dae-pung (looking much worse) finally puts up a notice looking for a new nurse.
Meanwhile, we are given a brief glimpse into where Bok-shil ended up — sitting sadly in an expensive room in a luxurious home.
I am SO GLAD Bok-shil left, for various reasons. First, they’ve been teasing her backstory for a while now, and finally we get to see what that is. With these episodes, her storyline emerges as a prominent thread, now supplanting the earlier Sun-pung/Eun-ji romance which is taking a backseat now that they’re settled.
Also, Dae-pung is wonderfully acted by Lee Pil-mo but the character himself has certainly had his annoying moments, so the departure of Bok-shil knocks him down a peg or ten. His loud and immature antics didn’t bother me like they bothered some viewers, because to me they just seemed like the flipside of his rarely seen vulnerability, and the former enables the latter to have its lovely touch of poignance. Plus, I was never that fond of his brash courtship of Su-jin, which suited his character but just wasn’t my favorite storyline. I’m pleased to be moving beyond that and exploring more of how important Bok-shil was to Dae-pung without him even realizing it,.
Furthermore, even though it’s clear from the outset that he’s meant to end up with Bok-shil/Jennifer — or, as fans have cleverly dubbed her, Bokifer — he now has to earn her back. Her leaving forces him to make an effort to win her back, and to show he’s really changed and in it for the long haul, otherwise all we’d be getting is a repeat of their yo-yo relationship.
And lastly, of course, I’m relieved to see Bok-shil growing a spine. I like that she was a nice and generous person capable of forgiving someone multiple times, but she gave Dae-pung WAY more chances than he deserved. The morning after his kiss, it was sad to see her going to work with tentative hope that Dae-pung was finally seeing her in a romantic light, only to find that he hadn’t changed. So when she was swift to cut the dangling cord, I cheered her decision to move on and be the strong person she’s always been underneath her gentle and demure demeanor.
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 26-28
- Sol Pharmacy’s finale makes it top-rated drama of the year
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 22-25
- Another Sol Pharmacy son gains endorsement power
- Sol Pharmacy son Lee Pil-mo enjoys sharp rise in popularity
- KBS orders extension for Sol Pharmacy
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 19-21
- Sol Pharmacy reclaims top weekend spot
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 17-18
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 13-16
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 9-12
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House: Episodes 5-8
- The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House / My Too Perfect Sons