It’s Okay, It’s Love: Episode 7
Every new relationship comes with its own kind of butterflies in one’s stomach feeling, an uplifting effect of attraction that even our lovephobic shrink isn’t exempt from. In fact, it’s nice to watch Hae-soo enjoy spending time with someone she honestly likes, vindictive big bro Jae-bum notwithstanding. It’s the little moments in this hour that highlight what it’s like when you take a leap of faith to be honest about your feelings to another person, and most importantly, yourself.
SONG OF THE DAY
Royal Pirates – “서울촌놈 (Seoul Hillbilly)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 7 RECAP
After Jae-bum stabs his brother with a syringe, he drags Jae-yeol away from prying eyes. Unfortunately Hae-soo doesn’t see the attack, so she tries calling, but he can’t really take calls at the moment.
Jae-bum makes sure to insert the syringe’s contents before he greets Jae-yeol properly. Uh… hi, big bro? And then Jae-bum proceeds to stab his brother repeatedly with the needle anywhere he can stick it. Seriously dude, what the fuck.
If that wasn’t enough, Jae-bum proceeds to kick Jae-yeol, who’s curled up on the ground. ‘Cause this is just like old times? And then Jae-bum charges at his brother, and they both fly through the store window.
Sunbae Jo checks the sodium amytal syringe locked with the others to the needle in his pocket: they’ve got different colored tips. A flashback shows us that Jae-bum switched the syringes when he tripped Sunbae Jo. Crap, does that mean the convict’s got the real drug?
He’s understandably too worked up to entertain his ex-wife today, and puts in an angry call to Tae-yong about Jae-bum’s whereabouts.
Back at the hair salon, Jae-bum has Jae-yeol in a firm chokehold, asking him if it was fun living with Mom just the two of them. “Did I really kill him?” Jae-bum asks with crazed eyes. He notes that Jae-yeol isn’t saying anything, to which I say duh, you’re strangling him right now.
The store owner screams at seeing her business in a wreck with two strange men fighting in it. Jae-yeol wriggles out of his brother’s grip and offers to pay for the damages, then punches Jae-bum to stop his rants.
Then Jae-yeol grabs his brother close to him and whispers at him to stay still. If he goes to jail this time, he won’t ever get out again. Those are the magical words that sway Jae-bum, who clings to his brother and asks the bystanders not to call the police. “We’re brothers! I’m not a bad person! I’m sorry.”
Tae-yong angrily grabs Jae-bum’s shirt when he arrives, and then turns to Jae-yeol, who insists that he’s fine. Jae-yeol is understandably confused when Sunbae Jo comes marching in seconds later, and is told that he didn’t talk despite being given a truth serum.
Sunbae Jo screams that he wouldn’t have let something that valuable fall into Jae-bum’s hands—what he got was a placebo. On one hand, I’m relieved Sunbae Jo wouldn’t let Jae-bum get ahold of the truth serum, but he still let a madman run around with a dangerous object.
But Jae-bum’s takeaway from this incident was that Sunbae Jo deceived him. Looks like someone just got added to Jae-bum’s hit list. He tells Jae-yeol that he’ll be back in two months to pick up where they left off before being dragged away.
Mama Ok-ja calls in about dinner, and it takes her a minute to realize that something’s gone terribly wrong. Why else wouldn’t her boys come home all of a sudden? Jae-yeol assures her that everything’s fine—drinks with Sunbae Jo is running longer than expected. Mama Ok-ja knows something’s up, but agrees not to ask questions now.
Jae-yeol isn’t interested in taking Sunbae Jo’s advice to report this incident to the police—this is a family matter. But when Sunbae Jo argues that Jae-yeol could have been the victim of attempted murder if the situation escalated any further, Jae-yeol fires back that he isn’t that hurt. Isn’t that enough?
Jae-yeol: “When I needed other people’s concern… that wasn’t now, but when my mom and my sixteen-year-old self were being beaten by my stepfather. And fourteen years ago, when my underage brother at nineteen despite acting out of self-defense… Just on the grounds that he had a history of violence, without any attempts to consider extenuating circumstances, received an eleven-year jail sentence for murder.”
Sunbae Jo tells him to take his emotions out of the situation—Jae-bum is far more dangerous than he thinks. If his brother were that dangerous, then he would have stabbed him in the neck three years ago, not his shoulder, Jae-yeol counters. That Jae-bum would have attacked him with a knife, not a syringe. Are… you really arguing that the object is what’s dangerous and not the person wielding it?
And if Jae-bum was really that dangerous, Jae-yeol continues, then he wouldn’t be like an acting like an obedient child eating bread right now. It’s possible that Jae-bum could be on a revenge warpath against him—who knows, he could even stab him with a knife later on, but Jae-yeol can’t put his brother permanently behind bars for something that hasn’t happened yet. But when it does, that’s when he’ll ask Sunbae Jo to report Jae-bum to the police.
As for Hae-soo, she gets called away by Hwan-hee, the genitalia artist, who now proudly shows off his first public non-sensual artwork to her. Even though he hasn’t returned to school nor is really listening to Mom yet, he’s been keeping up with his therapy sessions and medication.
Hae-soo admits that she’s envious and opens up to Hwan-hee about her own anxiety issues. (I know, I’m thinking she should tread lightly here, too.) She tried to overcome them today by showing interest in someone she likes, only to end up being rejected because he never picked up.
Hwan-hee could tap into his own volition to overcome his issues, but she needs someone to respond to her efforts to overcome hers. So she’s worse off than he is right now, and needs some company today. Hwan-hee suggests that Hae-soo keep trying to call until she reaches the guy and gets an explanation.
Doing that would only wound her pride, Hae-soo says, to which Hwan-hee says she’s the one unwilling to do something about it. It took him countless attempts to make this painting look non-sensual, Hwan-hee replies, but he still kept trying.
Hae-soo receives a message from her unni telling her to apologize to their mother, then smiles at the photos of Jae-yeol with a toddler at their recent outing. I knew we couldn’t just gloss over a precious moment of Jo In-sung playing with a child.
After bidding Hwan-hee goodbye (and telling him he’s still got a long way to go), Hae-soo calls Jae-yeol again, surprised when he actually picks up this time. In a strained voice, Jae-yeol explains that he met his brother and got beat up a little.
A flashback sheds more light to when teenage Jae-bum was kicking Jae-yeol, the same memory we saw at the start of the hour. He’d taken off his own shoes and left them behind, walking away without them.
In the present, Hae-soo meets Jae-yeol and simply draws him towards her. She comforts him silently with tears building in her eyes. And although Jae-yeol verbally insists that he’s fine, he swallows back his tears.
Sunbae Jo lets Jae-bum run free, much to Tae-yong’s surprise. What if Jae-bum escapes? But Sunbae Jo says if Jae-bum wanted to escape, he would have done so already. And so, Jae-bum runs down the bridge, slapping himself and screaming into the night air.
Jae-yeol walks backwards so that he can see Hae-soo’s face while he explains how he was on his way to see her when this incident happened. She tells him to walk beside her lest he get hurt, and he asks if she was surprised. She in turn asks how he feels now, and he admits that he’s a little embarrassed.
He can’t help but wonder what she’ll think of his family now, and hopes that she doesn’t run off scared because of it. He, for one, is still hopeful that his family could be happy with his brother. Hae-soo smirks—she’s seen plenty of cases in her professional experience with families going through all kinds of pain and heartache, so she considers his family’s case among those.
She’s already seen the articles about Jae-bum, so she gets the gist without Jae-yeol having to explain the situation. “You really got lucky with your choice of girlfriend, didn’t you?” she teases.
“Girl… friend?” Jae-yeol repeats. Hae-soo smiles wide—if they’re dating, doesn’t that mean she’s his girlfriend now? And when she starts rambling about how his heart fluttered at her text, Jae-yeol cuts her off with a kiss.
Hae-soo’s the one to draw away first, her physical anxiety symptoms kicking in. Noticing the sweat on her neck and hands, he asks what’s going on, genuinely curious. Hae-soo says it’ll pass in a few minutes, but Jae-yeol asks if she’ll really be okay, concerned.
When they arrive home, Hae-soo asks if he considers her weird. “Not at all,” he replies. Neither of them are aware that PD Choi is hanging around. Downstairs at the cafe, Soo-kwang launches into another episode when he sees So-nyeo kissing another guy and leaving with him.
Hae-soo feels more tense and uncomfortable about their whole new relationship status at home, though she breaks into a smile once she’s alone. Jae-yeol smiles to himself in his bathroom, too.
He’s still beaming over the kiss during his morning jog when Kang-woo rolls up to him on his bike. Jae-yeol tells Kang-woo that he has to keep going to school even if his teachers don’t like him writing during class, then notices the cut on Kang-woo’s arm.
Kang-woo claims he fell down while trying to avoid those dudes racing their cars on that dangerous road. He remarks how he’ll kill himself if he doesn’t win this upcoming contest, adding morbidly that his mother could use the life insurance money.
He shakes off Jae-yeol’s concern about his still-crooked finger, and says he and his mother have since returned home. No one came to investigate their case either because nobody ever cares about their pathetic family, Kang-woo says. Except for Jae-yeol, of course.
Sunbae Jo doesn’t stop Jae-bum from doing whatever he wants to do now, firing back every one of Jae-bum’s insults with one of his own. He drives away with Tae-yong—to Jae-bum’s ire—and vows to treat Jae-bum once and for all.
Jae-yeol finds Hae-soo already awake and offers to make her breakfast. He asks if they’re going to keep going at this (as in, this whole dating thing), which has Hae-soo spout back rapidly if he wants to throw in the towel. She says it’s too late now—they’re going to see this to the end. He’s amused by her assurance.
Soo-kwang is in a pissed-off mood this morning and helps himself to Jae-yeol’s PPL air purifier. He makes a fuss about Hae-soo’s laundry too, and gets annoyed when she asks him to zip her up. He gets further annoyed when he finds out that there’s something going on between Jae-yeol and Hae-soo.
Hae-soo declines breakfast since she’s running late this morning, which catches Jae-yeol off-guard. It’s adorable how his face practically reads: But… you said you wanted breakfast… She asks if he’s the type to become a nagging boyfriend which she hates. Jae-yeol keeps his eyes on her without a word.
Ha, Jae-yeol is like a nagging mother, as he snatches a piece of bread from her hand while she’s on a call from work, all, If you’ve got time to eat that, then you may as well eat a proper meal. She presses a finger on his lips to shush him and asks for coffee.
He even wipes her lips when she spills some on herself, and third wheel Soo-kwang smirks at this lovey-dovey exchange. “It was like this with PD Choi, too.”
Jae-yeol stuffs some food in Hae-soo’s mouth for the road (cute) and tries to wipe her mouth again. This time, she refuses—just because he did something once doesn’t mean he gets free admission to do it again. They’re going to go about this relationship thing muuuuuccchhh slower than he thinks.
Once she leaves, Soo-kwang gives Jae-yeol the lowdown on what will happen next: Hae-soo will oblige with kisses and touch him, but that’ll be it. Whenever Jae-yeol wants to be more physically intimate, Hae-soo will act all innocent about it, and if they’re lucky, their relationship will last for about 300 days.
It’s like Soo-kwang is looking forward to seeing Jae-yeol suffer just like PD Choi did, but Jae-yeol is hardly fazed. “I’m not PD Choi [Ho]. I’m Jang Jae-yeol.” Sounds like someone’s confident.
Hae-soo pays a visit to the man who severed his arm, showing him two different cases of a severed hand. One cut his hand with a power saw and the other person’s hand was crushed by machinery; however, the crushed hand healed far better than the power saw hand thanks to the patient’s will and volition.
The man isn’t convinced—the doctors told him that he could lose his limb if he isn’t optimistic about recovery, but that’s exactly what he wants. Hae-soo shares that her father used to work with machinery too, and encourages him to seek treatment.
Hae-soo checks in with the wife about some photos before she leaves, and we see that they’re of the man holding his baby. Crying, the wife says she won’t ask for a second child and offers to help him, but at this rate, he won’t be able to hold their only child.
Despite being happy about Sunbae Jo’s attempts to apologize and knowing why he was angry last night, Doctor Lee still can’t bring herself to answer his calls. She tells Hae-soo that she’s still got feelings for her ex-husband, to which Hae-soo says she just has to endure them.
Hae-soo hangs up on her mother when she calls to ask after Jae-yeol’s number. When Hae-soo’s sister intervenes, Mom defensively fires back that she’s not at all ashamed about her relationship with Ajusshi Kim. Unable to lash out at her mother, Hae-soo’s sister takes it out on her husband instead.
Tae-yong follows Jae-yeol out of the office to ask if he’s been writing lately. Jae-yeol is quick to point out to his buddy that his last writing project tanked because of him, but he’s long forgiven Tae-yong for his wrongdoings because he’s been so good to Mama Ok-ja.
He instructs Tae-yong to hand over his publishing stocks to Jae-bum, since money’s the only thing he can give him. He receives a text from Mom expressing her gratitude, and he zooms in to see a picture of a cliff by the sea, and recalls a painting of that same image in Hae-soo’s room.
A young woman comes running looking for Jae-yeol just as he drives off. She claims to be a friend, whom also Tae-yong recognizes. She’s SANG-SOOK aka the young woman we saw in the window after Jae-yeol and Kang-woo turned away that time they followed Kang-woo’s crush home.
Doctor Lee makes her ex-husband works at his apology until he finally gives up and walks away. But that only annoys her further, and she barks that he’s always the one to apologize and leave if she doesn’t forgive him. Just like when they got divorced. Ouch.
They both snap at Soo-kwang when he says they should talk about that matter by themselves, and Sunbae Jo asks why she brings up their long forgotten past like it happened yesterday. Doctor Lee calls him a selfish jerk who always puts himself first—-no matter what other people may think of him, he’s the worst to her.
She starts to storm off but then doubles back to yell that she was the head of her family, who waited for her to become a doctor. But he wanted her to quit and support him instead, which Sunbae Jo claims he never said—all he said was for her to take a year off from her residency.
She says that’s basically the same thing, and Sunbae Jo barks back that it worked out for her then because they got divorced anyway. In a shaking voice, Sunbae Jo confides that he really needed her back then, to which she says, “What are you going to do if I say that I still desperately need you?”
She asks why he won’t give her an answer, and Sunbae Jo tells her never to call him again. Hae-soo sees her housemates leaving and tells herself to stay out of it. She has her own problems to worry about of course, because PD Choi unexpectedly turns up to ask if she’s with Jae-yeol now.
Hae-soo calls Jae-yeol on her bus ride home, and they talk about each other’s days, though she gets jokingly annoyed when he asks for details. He asks if she has more to tell him; she doesn’t, so they hang up and both remark on how they both like how the other keeps things simple and short.
Cute—Hae-soo arrives at her destination to see Jae-yeol already waiting for her with ice cream. He takes her hand and they interlock fingers. Slightly embarrassed, she tells him to look ahead instead of staring at her.
He can’t stop smiling, and when she asks why, he answers, “Because I like you.” They teasingly bicker back and forth about his smooth moves, and let’s face it—they’re just plain cute together.
Hae-soo ushers Jae-yeol to the end of the couch so that she can lie down with her head in his lap. I love how this move doesn’t surprise the peanut gallery aka Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang, who both tsk at the Hae-soo Boyfriend Rookie tries to touch her hair without prior permission.
It’s sorta great how those two provide minute-by-minute commentary to the new lovebirds’ conversation, as Jae-yeol asks about her plans for the following weekend. He surprises her by suggesting that they go on a trip together, and when she asks if he’s going to try and make a pass at her there, he says he wants to go see nature.
She doesn’t believe that answer for a second, but he asks about that photo of the cliff by the sea hanging in her room. She says she found it on the internet and always wanted to go there with her father; apparently it’s Okinawa. Jae-yeol files that information away.
Hae-soo asks if he’ll be able to protect her if they travel together, which Jae-yeol replies yes. She tests that answer—can he promise that to her housemates as well? Without skipping a beat, Jae-yeol says of course, and tells the other two that they can go ahead and kill him if he doesn’t uphold his promise.
Then he turns to Hae-soo and tells her that she’ll be surprised at just how well he’ll take care of her. So she agrees and says they’ll leave next weekend. Commentators Sunbae Jo and Soo-kwang ask how Jae-yeol can make such an impossible promise no man can keep.
Jae-yeol wonders why they’re getting so worked up when he’s planning to be a gentleman and protect the woman he loves from any unfortunate accidents or other men. Sunbae Jo points out that Jae-yeol’s the most dangerous one right now, to which Jae-yeol throws back innocently, “Am I included too? As if.”
Next thing we know, we see Jae-yeol and Hae-soo in a car, enjoying the sunny weather together.
What I liked most about this hour was getting to watch the budding romance between Jae-yeol and Hae-soo, particularly in the mundane and everyday in their interactions together. It’s nice to see some grounded moments between them and how they can enjoy spending time together and appreciate the time when they don’t see each other. It’s an interesting kind of honeymoon phase for them, the kind where Jae-yeol respects the physical boundaries Hae-soo has established, and where in turn, Hae-soo is understanding towards Jae-yeol’s family background. Granted, she doesn’t know the entire story, but I’ve got to give her credit for not running away just because her new boyfriend’s got a crazy, bloodthirsty brother.
Speaking of whom, I’m relieved that Sunbae Jo had enough sense not to let the truth serum lying around, though it wasn’t smart of him to leave Jae-bum with a syringe that he’d use to stab Jae-yeol repeatedly with, either. Just imagining that scene again still haunts me. What bothers me is that everyone who knows that Jae-bum is a dangerous madman are aware of what he’s capable of, but chooses not to act for one reason or another. Jae-yeol’s reasoning is the most perplexing and interesting because despite being beaten by big bro countless times and attacked yet again, he still argues for Jae-bum’s defense.
Since he’s a victim of abuse from Jae-bum’s hands, I could understand that how a tiny display of kindness could outweigh the wrongs in his head (e.g., when Jae-bum gave up his shoes for his brother) and that there are times when Jae-bum isn’t on a revenge warpath in the present (e.g., when he’s eating), but the reality we clearly see happen over and over again in this show is that Jae-bum will not stop until he’s gotten his vengeance. And then some. What’s murky about Jae-yeol’s defense is that he argues that the weapon, method, and location of his wounds are non-lethal (so far), but the fact is that those are all useless by themselves without considering the thinking tank that wields that weapon and strategizes that attack; that’s it’s the person who’s the source of greatest danger. Jae-yeol’s argument makes him sound like the innocent lamb next to Jae-bum’s crazed antics, but I can’t help but wonder that what we see at present isn’t the entire story, either. Which is why we have to wait for the crumbs of intel with each passing episode.
Just like the slow progression of the romance (those are Hae-soo’s words), I hope that we’ll get more information about Jae-yeol’s symptoms. Now that we know that Kang-woo is a hallucination, it’ll be interesting to see if he shows up overseas if Jae-yeol does. Or maybe Jae-yeol’s phantoms stay in the motherland, who knows. But what does interest me is the appearance of a friend from the past in Sang-sook, whom we saw when Jae-yeol was with Kang-woo back in Episode 4. Her tie-in to the story could either help us solve some mysteries about Jae-yeol’s past or string us along until all the puzzle pieces are in place.
With this trip, it looks like we’re in for some lovey-dovey moments, which are always welcome in my book. And with such strong mutual attraction for each other, one wonders just how long Jae-yeol will be the gentleman he touts to be, or let his inner homme fatale act upon his feelings. Perhaps the shrink will need to take two kisses and see what happens in the morning.