It’s Okay, It’s Love: Episode 5
We get a scenic tour of mental illnesses this episode, which is definitely one way to take doctoring out of a potentially stuffy hospital setting and into the great outdoors. It also serves as a nice setting for Jae-yeol and Hae-soo’s romantic entanglements to get, well, more entangled—because nothing really cements a growing bond like working together to prevent a suicide.
Ratings-wise, Joseon Gunman led the pack at 10.5%, while It’s Okay tailed close with 10.1%. Fated To Love You was baaaarely last with 9.9%.
SONG OF THE DAY
Crush (feat. Punch) – “잠 못드는 밤 (Sleepless Night)” from the OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 5 RECAP
While Jae-yeol and the imaginary Kang-woo run giddily through the streets, Jae-bum vehemently proclaims his innocence to Sunbae Jo—even though people think he’s a monster, he’s hard-working and good. It’s his brother who’s the monster.
“Please save me,” he begs Sunbae Jo. “Please save me.” It’s enough for Sunbae Jo to ask the higher-ups for Jae-bum’s case history, including anything related to his stepfather’s murder.
Jae-yeol stops to check on Kang-woo when he gets a little too winded from the run, but no sooner does he turn around that So-nyeo calls his name. When Jae-yeol turns back to find Kang-woo gone, he calls his name repeatedly, much to So-nyeo’s bemusement.
After realizing that Jae-yeol went into the bathroom during her drunken night and never came out, Hae-soo jumps up excitedly at the sound of the door… but it’s only Sunbae Jo. He picks up on her disappointment and knows exactly who she wanted to greet. Hah.
So-nyeo follows Jae-yeol home, asking about who he was with. “A friend,” Jae-yeol replies irritably, before So-nyeo chirps back, “But you were alone.” Jae-yeol either doesn’t listen or selectively ignores that part, but it’s funny to see how his expression drops knowingly when So-nyeo launches into a sob story about her family in order to convince him to let her stay for the night.
Jae-yeol gives her some money in an effort to shoo her away, but So-nyeo knows just how to play him by saying that she’ll use the cash for cigarettes, which finally gets him to relent. But JUST for one night.
He’s surprised when Hae-soo greets him expectantly upstairs, and attempts to divert her attention by asking whose picture she had on her phone—was she two-timing PD Choi?
Hae-soo barely gets to ask if he’s jealous before she hears So-nyeo downstairs. Even though Hae-soo orders her to leave, So-nyeo impudently replies that this is Jae-yeol’s house, and he said she could stay.
There’s no escaping Hae-soo’s interrogation, even though Jae-yeol tries to keep their conversation short since he has to work. But after he flippantly dismisses her question about which “kid” he was out with before he came home, Hae-soo asks why he texted her that nonsense about his heart fluttering.
Jae-yeol angrily barks back that that was then, and this is now, which she takes as him just being an incorrigible flirt. She huffs and puffs so loud about being crazy for letting her heart flutter because of him that he can’t pay attention to his work, and it turns into a really hopeless case when he ends up following her downstairs since she’s set her mind to telling So-nyeo a thing or two.
He thinks Hae-soo is going to kick her out, only to be surprised when Hae-soo wants to “protect” So-nyeo from any players in the house by letting her sleep in her room. “I didn’t realize you had such a humane side to you,” Jae-yeol notes sarcastically.
They get into an argument about how players have feelings and principles too, causing Jae-yeol to ask if she wants him to prove it. What if he were to just focus all his attention on her? Would she be happy then?
Hae-soo calls bullshit, and Jae-yeol laughs that she’s not such a charmer to be around, either: “You’re too pure for me.” Hae-soo is left angrily muttering that only in today’s world could purity be considered a bad thing.
After her unni talks Jae-yeol up about maybe-kinda-sorta dating her sister, finding So-nyeo on the toilet while she’s in the shower proves to be the last straw for Hae-soo, as she drags the girl out by the ear… while wearing only a towel. Of course, the three men of the house are outside to watch the spectacle.
Hae-soo warns the boys that she’ll kill them if they allow So-nyeo back into the house, prompting them all to commiserate about the way she treats them. Even though Jae-yeol doesn’t know why she’s always sore at him, he asks if this is a usual occurrence when she gets angry—y’know, the whole almost-naked bit.
Both Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang chime in at the same time: “Sometimes. Why?” Jae-yeol smirks that he wants to get her even more fired up then.
Sunbae Jo invites Jae-yeol out with the promise that it’ll be just the two of them (a bald-faced lie), and though Jae-yeol isn’t opposed, he first wants to know where he can take a kid he knows to get treated for a cough and unusually stiff fingers. He recommends Hae-soo’s hospital, of course.
Jae-yeol offers Hae-soo a ride since they’re both going to the same place, but she flatly refuses: “Can you please just stop talking to me?” His confusion only grows when she mentions how he said his heart only fluttered for her in one moment, but not the next.
“What’s wrong with what I said?” he asks. “I was being honest when I said you made my heart flutter in that moment. Do I have to feel sorry about that? Do I have to feel sorry that my heart hasn’t fluttered for you continuously from then until now?”
After looking her over, he figures out the answer: “If that’s the case, then, sorry.” She launches into a tirade about how she doesn’t want him to say even one word to her from now on, only to be caught off guard when he readily agrees and leaves her in the dust.
Hae-soo hears a woman screaming nearby and runs to the source to find a man who’s accidentally severed his arm with a wood saw. Yeah.
Meanwhile, Jae-yeol wonders about how little he knows about women now that he’s faced with someone like Hae-soo, who’s angry with him no matter when his heart is fluttering.
As his brother picks up Kang-woo on the way to the hospital, Jae-bum calls Sunbae Jo with an offer: He knows he doesn’t believe his story, so he’ll take the truth serum first. And for whatever reason, Sunbae Jo agrees to give him his address for when he’s released.
The patient with the severed arm is handed over to Doctor Lee and Hae-soo, since he cut off his limb because he claimed he hated it. After the two mull over the possibility that he’s either schizophrenic or has severe body dysmorphic disorder, their non-psychiatrist colleague pulls Doctor Lee aside to talk about his marital problems, which are just as interesting as you’d expect.
Next up is the female patient with the invisible baby, as Hae-soo and her colleagues are told that the woman’s hallucinations started after she lost her real baby in a horrible accident. They decide to try drug-induced therapy to get her to at least accept the truth.
Jae-yeol spots Hae-soo on her way out (to Yoon-chul’s concert), and sends Kang-woo ahead so he can stop her… before he remembers that she didn’t want him to talk to her. He says he’s sorry but not sorry before trotting off, leaving Hae-soo stewing in his wake.
After a long bout in the waiting room, Jae-yeol finally asks the receptionist why Kang-woo hasn’t been called in yet. She looks curiously to the empty spot where Jae-yeol gestures to before she checks her files to confirm that there are no exam forms filled out under Kang-woo’s name.
Jae-yeol turns around to find an empty waiting room, but instead of realizing the truth (that Kang-woo is all in his head), he thinks that Kang-woo just ran away because he was afraid of treatment.
It’s too late when Jae-yeol realizes that Sunbae Jo lied to him about just having a boy’s night out, since he meets up with him only to find Soo-kwang tagging along.
Sunbae Jo is having patient problems of his own when it comes to one of his juvenile delinquents, as he notes to Jae-yeol how the world turned on that boy—no one cared when he was being beaten by his uncle, but now he’s hated by society for being a troublemaker. “The world is like that,” Jae-yeol agrees.
But he doesn’t let himself get sidetracked for long, since he asks Sunbae Jo about the surprise guests on their outing. Sunbae Jo just says he’s a good liar.
Cue Hae-soo, who’s apparently also been hoodwinked by Sunbae Jo regarding this outing. When she announces that she is not getting into Jae-yeol’s car, Jae-yeol fires back that she can just take the bus. Are they really going to commit to this bit?
Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang take her to task on her attitude, urging her to just get in the car. After all, they’re going to the concert to support Yoon-chul and a pregnant friend of theirs, so which is more important to her: friends or hating Jae-yeol?
Hae-soo tries to play it cool when she slides into the passenger seat, only for Jae-yeol to offhandedly remark, “What? Are you not taking the bus?” I do like how Jae-yeol’s digs are much more subtle than hers, because he keeps winning.
During the car ride, Sunbae Jo tells Jae-yeol that the singer they’re going to see is the man from Hae-soo’s cell phone background—and at the news that he’s married, Jae-yeol can’t help but ask Hae-soo if she’s dating a married man, gasp.
She belatedly remembers that she told Jae-yeol not to talk to her, which only earns her a scolding from Backseat Cupid Sunbae Jo. But as far as her relationship with Yoon-chul goes, they’ve all been friends with him for a while and are now, by proxy, friends with his schizophrenic wife.
Sunbae Jo doesn’t have issues discussing her schizophrenia (even when Hae-soo protests), because she’s not a patient of theirs and the couple have been open about it—but it does make him comment on the disparity between the way people view patients with physical ailments versus patients suffering mental illnesses.
It soon becomes painfully obvious that Hae-soo is outnumbered when it comes to disliking “our Jae-yeol-ie,” as Sunbae Jo so fondly calls him. He goes on to list Jae-yeol’s wonderful attributes, like how he let them stay in what’s now his house, how he gave So-nyeo a place to sleep, and how he even helped desensitize Hae-soo.
That last bit is what drives her over the edge, but luckily it’s time for a pee break anyway. After Sunbae Jo explains the schizophrenic wife’s medication situation to Jae-yeol (who seems genuinely curious), Soo-kwang seizes upon an opportunity to talk to Jae-yeol alone, and doesn’t ask so much as tell him that he’s going to call Jae-yeol “hyung” from now on… if he lets So-nyeo work at the cafe.
“I’ll call you ‘hyung,’” he says again, like that’s a bargaining chip Jae-yeol would actually care to have. “So please hire her. And if you feel like it… teach me how to date girls.” Hae-soo hears that last sentence and adds that Jae-yeol should help since he’s such a player anyway.
But as for his real advice? “Just leave her. If you try to get her, you’ll lose. If you’re already prepared to lose, you’ll increase your chances of winning.” Is this the game he’s playing with Hae-soo? And worse, is it actually working out for him?
They finally reach the outdoor concert venue, and Jae-yeol extends the olive branch by opening Hae-soo’s car door. Yoon-chul waves to Hae-soo from the stage, while Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang find Yoon-chul’s wife, Hye-jin, in the small crowd.
Jae-yeol is still madly curious when it comes to Hye-jin because he can’t get over how “normal” she looks, prompting Hae-soo to ask what he was expecting. He doesn’t seem to know, but is pleasantly surprised.
When Hae-soo opts to stay the night since Hye-jin’s symptoms have gotten worse, the boys all give their separate reasons for needing to return to the city. Hah.
But they don’t get far before they see Hye-jin swimming out to the middle of a lake, with Yoon-chul trying (and failing) to bring her back because he can’t swim. Sunbae Jo dives in to save Yoon-chul while Jae-yeol swims out to bring Hye-jin back to shore. Soo-kwang, meanwhile, can’t be of help because he’s gone into an episode.
Hae-soo screams from the shore that Hye-jin can’t swallow any of the water as a pregnant woman, which is when they see Jae-yeol disappear under the surface and fear the worst—Hye-jin’s fighting so much that she could be dragging him down.
But at the last moment, Jae-yeol emerges from the shallows with a flailing Hye-jin in his grasp, who eventually passes out but is brought back by a quick administration of CPR from Hae-soo.
Hae-soo then rushes to Jae-yeol, only to lie down next to him in exhaustion and relief when he’s fine. “Should I have stayed unconscious a little longer? So we could have done mouth-to-mouth?” he jokes.
The mood is surprisingly light for just having prevented a suicide, since Jae-yeol tells Hae-soo to keep her hands off when she examines a cut on his forehead. “Why, are you getting turned on?” she teases.
Jae-yeol’s smile suddenly grows wider as he pumps his arms in victory: “I saved someone’s life!” Well, I guess that’s the glass-half-full way of putting it. Where’d everyone else go, though?
After Hye-jin is safely put to bed to rest, Yoon-chul blames himself outside: Since Hye-jin had been having such a hard time going off her medications because of the baby, his suggestion that they abort it drove her over the edge.
Sunbae Jo offers his comforts, as does Jae-yeol: “I would’ve said the same thing if I saw my wife was struggling as much as her.” Then he’s sweet enough to comfort Soo-kwang, who’s still hanging his head from earlier.
Jae-yeol tells Soo-kwang that So-nyeo can start working at the cafe—and that he can tell her she got the job like he hired her, so he’ll look cooler. Aww. This time, when Soo-kwang says he’ll call Jae-yeol “hyung” by offering a fist bump, Jae-yeol accepts. *fist bump*
After being tasked with taking care of Hae-soo for the night by Sunbae Jo, Jae-yeol and Hae-soo share a moment when she mentions how she lost contact with Yoon-chul after she’d opposed his marriage to Hye-jin, but regained it when he came to her regarding Hye-jin’s pregnancy and her medications.
When Jae-yeol asks why she was against the couple having a baby, Hae-soo admits it’s because she doesn’t believe situations like the one they’re in now can be endured with just love. But even so, she hopes for the best for them—they’re the people she religiously lights her candle to pray for every night.
“Do you think love could really save those two?” she wonders. When Jae-yeol replies that it will, she asks, “Are you someone who thinks love conquers all, too? That love will always bring you happiness, joy, excitement, and courage?”
Jae-yeol: “It will also give you pain, resentment, sadness, despair, and misery. It’ll also give you the strength to overcome all of those. Isn’t that what love is all about?” Hae-soo asks where he learned all that from, only for him to cheekily reply that he learned by loving one woman like crazy: his mom. Hah.
Hae-soo doesn’t seem to be in agreement with him on anything regarding love, even when he tells her the three life lessons that can be learned through love (feeling good, patience, consideration) and that she can trust his know-how. He’s not PD Choi, after all.
“Even though I may not seem like it, I’m actually very passive and respectful of others’ decisions. If a woman tells me not to do something, then I never do it.” Hae-soo starts laughing, but Jae-yeol tells her that she shouldn’t mock him when she’s never dated him—but she’d be in for quite the surprise if she did. (Unrelated to the surprise that her would-be boyfriend sees imaginary people?)
While Sunbae Jo gets Jae-bum’s case files and realizes that his dongsaeng is none other than Jae-yeol, Hye-jin promises to overcome her illness and have the baby safely as Hae-soo sends her off to the psych ward for a couple weeks.
Jae-yeol is still asleep the next morning, but not in the car where Hae-soo thought he’d be. He has a feverish dream about the night of the murder. In it, he falls to the ground half-conscious while his brother, grinning, fiddled with the knife embedded in their stepfather. Was he pulling it out or stabbing him?
Hae-soo finds him in the corner of the park restroom, and thinks back to the recording where she saw him disappear into his bathroom for the night. She doesn’t let on that she finds it strange when he wakes up, and just tells him to come out—and when he does, his fingers are curled up just like Kang-woo’s.
If not for Jae-yeol bringing it up on the car ride home I don’t think Hae-soo would have, but she’s not all that shocked when she deals with OCD patients regularly.
She makes sure to tell him that he doesn’t have to tell her anything, even though Jae-yeol doesn’t seem too bothered by telling her that it started when he was fifteen: His stepfather would beat him just because he didn’t like him, and his hyung would beat him for getting beaten by his stepfather—but one day, while running from his stepfather, he was able to hide successfully in an outhouse.
Jae-yeol even laughs when he tells her that he dove right into the outhouse’s human waste as a kid, and that bathrooms have felt safe to him ever since, so much so that he hasn’t slept in a bed since that day. “It’s what you people would call a childhood trauma,” he adds lightly.
While visiting that one cave you’ll recognize if you’ve ever seen a sageuk, Jae-yeol asks her if his illness is serious. She replies that it’s her case that’s serious, since she’s an adult woman who can’t bring herself to sleep with a man.
They both have a laugh about their issues, as Hae-soo adds that her method of self-treatment is just to laugh, because it lightens her thoughts. But she offers to prescribe medication if he’s really struggling, to which he says no—a doctor once told him that medicine would affect his writing, so he’ll just keep living as he has been. He’s doing okay so far.
However, he picks up on Hae-soo’s reluctance when it comes to the beautiful pool of cave water they’re standing in front of, and urges her to just let go like he did with his secrets. “Just do it. You’ll feel much lighter.” Hae-soo: “I can’t just do anything.”
She thinks he’s just joking when he starts leading her to the water, only to start screaming when she’s scooped up and unceremoniously dumped in. She comes up laughing, surprised that she Nike’d the crap out of that water. She’s never “just done” anything, and she couldn’t be happier that she did.
They play in the water like kids, but Hae-soo is too absorbed in her own adrenaline rush to notice the change in Jae-yeol’s features. She’s still grinning from ear to ear, unsuspecting, when he suddenly grabs her face and kisses her.
When he pulls away for the briefest of moments, Hae-soo’s jaw moves, but no words come out. Then he swoops in for another kiss—only this time, Hae-soo entwines her arms around him and kisses him right back.
I like these two together when they’re not bickering over hurt feelings, which is a state of being I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of yet—because if nothing else, It’s Okay has proven that it’s not going to let itself be limited by tone. In that vein, while I respect that the show has so far been able to keep a light air about even the darkest of character reveals, it leaves me feeling a bit adrift as far as getting a feel for what it is I’m watching. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, since there’s something to be said for a show which can encompass so many ends of the tonal spectrum without giving us emotional whiplash. I just don’t know what that something is yet.
It’s easier to see why Hae-soo needs Jae-yeol than it is the other way around, even knowing what we do about his psychological issues and the fact that, well, she’s a psychiatrist and that’s bound to lead somewhere. I find her frankness about her sexuality refreshing and believable, in the way that we can easily cop to problems now that maybe we wouldn’t have in our teens or even early adulthood. But there’s a kind of freedom that comes from admitting something that’s just part of you, even if you know it’s imperfect and that you’ll be judged for it, and that’s the and in that sense I like how Hae-soo now makes it no secret that she’s deathly afraid of physical intimacy, especially in front of (or because of) a man who’s awakening new aspects of her personality.
What’s especially interesting about her journey so far is that the specific neuroses that she’s been trying to just overcome with willpower alone are being overcome by spontaneity and feeling, two things she readily admits are not her forte. It’s why I’d love them as a couple if not for the promise of doom on the horizon, if only because opposites do attract—and what do you know, pairing a virgin with a worldlier gentleman acting as her guide is a formula that just works. (“Thanks for the tip,” said Every Romance Novel Ever.)
So while I’m interested to see their relationship progress while she’s still under the illusion that Jae-yeol is mostly fine, all of my other interests tie directly to who Jae-yeol really is. Like her, he’s frank about his past and how it shaped him, but even for two adults who’ve established a working rapport with each other (ignoring their tendency to sometimes act like children), it couldn’t have been as easy as Jae-yeol made it seem to admit that his father beat him so badly he preferred swimming in crap. Or was it? He really did made it seem so effortless, and since so far Jae-yeol’s worn his heart on his sleeve and his emotions on his non-existent pores, I’m more inclined to take him at face value than most. And not just because he has a beautiful face.
But then there’s that whole part of him he doesn’t even know exists, which is both frightening and tragic—frightening because even he doesn’t know what he’s capable of, and tragic for that exact same reason. Is it possible for him to be the most self-aware character in a show full of exceedingly self-aware characters even if he’s unaware that there’s an imaginary manifestation of his innermost self running around? Or does that negate the whole purpose?