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Ho-gu’s Love: Episode 14

Ah, the ordinary life. Falling in love, holding hands, raising a child that isn’t your own, disappointing your parents. Yep. Totally ordinary. But is being ordinary overrated? Maybe it’s better to just be different so long as you’re true to yourself, even if it means being shunned by society. Or maybe not. Who said making life decisions — even so-called ordinary ones — was easy?

EPISODE 14 RECAP

Fourteenth Foolish Act: “Ordinary things are best.”

Do-hee, Ho-gu, and baby Geum-dong are all asleep on the floor, Do-hee and Ho-gu with their fingers entwined over Geum-dong’s belly. Ho-gu wakes first and wonders how Do-hee can be so beautiful after crying so hard last night, then he closes his eyes to sleep again. Do-hees wakes up next, smiling when she sees Ho-gu next to her before closing her eyes again. Too cute.

Also waking up (wearing a snakeskin sleep mask this time) is Kang-chul, who sighs as he remembers Ho-kyung driving him home, agreeing to counsel him even though she told him she’d also need time to sort out her feelings about him. He sets aside the slip of paper with Kyung-woo’s number and gets out of bed. Aw, even he can’t resist smiling at how cute Ho-gu, Do-hee and the baby are, all asleep on his living room floor.

Ho-gu is in extra bright spirits at home as he dances to a nursery tune. His mom notices his happy mood, sweetly asking if he wants to have some early-morning makgeolli. Hee! Kang-chul also catches Do-hee rocking out to the same nursery tune, and she tries to cover it up by saying it’s a good song. But Kang-chul knows better — it’s Ho-gu that’s on her mind.

Over their early-morning makgeolli, Mom tells Ho-gu that she knows all about Do-hee and the baby, and how hard it must have been for him to keep it a secret. But her face falls when Ho-gu gently informs her that the baby isn’t his. Ho-gu’s mom can’t understand why he would have an unwed mother staying in his room, but he tells her that Do-hee is the woman he loves, and that the baby’s father is dead.

Kang-chul’s mother walks in to his apartment, much to his surprise, and she greets him, then brightly smiles as she greets Do-hee by name. When he pulls her aside, she explains she’s there to get to know her future daughter-in-law, adding that they can put enough spin on the secret pregnancy so that it won’t cause such a ruckus in the media. But she, too, is stunned when Kang-chul tells her that he’s not the father.

Ho-kyung rushes to Kang-chul’s apartment, where the trio sit despondently with the baby. She hits Ho-gu’s shoulder over and over, demanding to know why he’d tell Mom about his love for Do-hee, which caused her to faint. But Do-hee pulls Ho-gu close, telling her that she likes him, too, and to stop hitting “her” Ho-gu. Exasperated, Ho-kyung turns her attention to Kang-chul — what exactly did he tell his mother?

Flashback to Professor Mok throwing a fit after learning that Do-hee is a single mom.

She slaps him, asking how he’d dare to let such an inferior woman like that in his home, especially after all they’ve done to give him a luxurious life. Kang-chul defends Do-hee, saying she isn’t inferior. Besides, what good was that luxurious and “perfect” life when he ended up gay, anyway? Oooo, the cat’s out of the bag.

Both sets of parents are having their respective meltdowns at discovering their son is either in love with an unmarried mother who’s baby isn’t his, or is gay. Ho-gu’s parents say to themselves: “We’re fools [hogu’s] who gave birth to a Ho-gu [fool].”

CEO Park meets with Kyung-woo, and even though her policy is not to interfere with her athlete’s personal lives, she needs to know: did he and Do-hee used to date?

He tells her that it wasn’t like that — they just got drunk one night when she was feeling depressed about not winning gold. When CEO Park tells him that Do-hee got pregnant, he seems more concerned about a smudge on his poster than the implication that he could be the one responsible for Do-hee’s pregnancy.

After practice, Do-hee calls Ho-gu, and they are just too dang adorable as they happily check up on each other and on baby Geum-dong. It’s like they’re an actual married couple. Sung-shil overhears part of the conversation and wonders if Do-hee’s dating someone. Smiling, Do-hee asks if Sung-shil wants a hug, and Sung-shil stutters out that she must be crazy as Do-hee hugs her.

But Do-hee’s happy exuberance disappears when she sees CEO Park walk in. In private, CEO Park remarks that Do-hee is doing well in her training — especially considering she recently gave birth. Shocked, Do-hee asks how she knows, and CEO Park says she learned about it from Kyung-woo.

Do-hee looks like someone punched her in the gut as CEO Park continues, saying that there’s no need to worry and she’ll take care of the adoption. When Do-hee carefully asks what exactly Kyung-woo told her, CEO Park informs her that he was drunk and doesn’t really remember anything, except that the he was surprised when he woke up the next morning.

But it’s not the time to talk about the mistake her two athletes made, and Do-hee bursts out that it wasn’t a mistake. CEO Park interjects: “It was rape, wasn’t it?” Do-hee stares at her for a moment and then nods, fighting back tears as she breathes out a “yes.” Patting her shoulder, CEP Park says she understands, and they’ll address that later after everything else is settled.

Ho-gu has the baby wrapped in a sling as he sings and hunts through his room, looking for some paper. But the song dies on his lips when Dad suddenly appears in the doorway.

Ever the nurturer, Papa Kang feeds the baby as Ho-gu gets him caught up on everything that’s happened. He asks Ho-gu if he really likes Do-hee that much, and Ho-gu apologizes as he admits that he does. But Dad doesn’t need Ho-gu’s apology — if he’s finally found the woman he loves, then that’s all that matters.

He’s only ever wanted Ho-gu to be happy and to love in an ordinary way, and he knows that his son has the ability to take the extraordinary and make it ordinary. Aw, that’s actually really sweet.

Mom’s lost in thought at her workshop, and when she breaks out of her reverie to greet a client, she’s surprised to see it’s Do-hee. She’s there under the pretense of getting her tracksuit altered, but as Mom gets to work, Do-hee quietly calls her “mother-in-law,” apologizing for shocking her with the news that Do-hee is the mother of another man’s baby.

But Mom tells her that she doesn’t need to apologize for being a mother, and she’s the one who’s actually sorry because Ho-gu told her baby’s father is in heaven. Do-hee’s surprised to hear that, and Mom gently tells her that she was more concerned about Do-hee’s past wounds, because she’s worried that someone as ordinary as Ho-gu, who finds happiness in the small things, won’t be able to heal such a deep emotional wound like Do-hee’s.

Mom sees how distressed Do-hee’s become, and gently apologizes for saying so much. But knowing her son, he needs to be with someone happy so he can be happy — is Do-hee ready to become happy? As Do-hee dazedly walks away from the store, Mom hurries after her with a gift for the baby, telling her it will be useful when the baby gets older.

At work, Kang-chul enters an elevator full of his fellow lawyers who are deciding where to go for lunch. They immediately find excuses to exclude him, so he ends up slurping ramen alone at his desk. It’s a pitiful sight, but Kyung-ho arrives to save the day, laying out a homemade feast.

He complains about being shunned by his coworkers, especially since he’s only “potentially” gay and not “confirmed” gay (pffft, whatever), so he shouldn’t be treated like a criminal. It’s totally unfair. Ho-kyung agrees, adding that this is exactly how the people he’s gone up against in his cases must feel — those people that he looked down upon and crushed in his effort to win against them.

Kang-chul remembers the single mother from the trial who had asked him if, in order to appease society, she should have had an abortion instead; Do-hee reminding him that she’d asked him for his help that night but he refused; and the gay man who’d said, during his trial, that he couldn’t help who he loves. When Kang-chul clutches at his heart, Ho-kyung asks if it’s racing again. It’s either that, or it’s his conscious starting to prick.

Chung-jae delights in showing Gong-mi around the webtoon studio (much to Hee-tae’s annoyance at being constantly pushed aside), and when Ho-gu shows up with the baby and bag full of fried chicken, he tells them it’s not for them — it’s for his “baby.” Tae-hee: “How can a baby eat chicken?”

Cut to all of them sitting in Kang-chul’s living room, staring in awe at Do-hee. Chung-jae is stunned to realize that Do-hee is Ho-gu’s “baby,” and Ho-gu and Do-hee adorably blush as they admit they’re together. Ho-gu tries to act as sickeningly doting as Chung-jae is to Gong-mi, but Do-hee is like, “Nope, I can wipe my face by myself, thankyouverymuch.”

As Do-hee walks Ho-gu to the bus stop, he cheerfully chatters about his plans for Geum-dong’s 100-day party, but Do-hee asks if it would be okay not to have one. He reminds him that she’d said she wanted to raise him like a normal baby up until the day he was adopted. He asks her what she wants for a 100-day gift.

She dismisses the idea, but Ho-gu shyly says that he knows that she had a tough time giving birth and he just wants to do what any man (aka the husband/father) would do. He reaches for her hand but she brushes him off, which makes him pout since she won’t hold hands while they’re walking in public.

Do-hee turns to apologize to him, and he’s back to his cheery self as he tells her there’s no reason to apologize. But Do-hee has got some heavy burdens, and sighs as she watches him happily bounce-walk away.

Gong-mi, Chung-jae, and Tae-hee are busy watching over Geum-dong, and Chung-jae doesn’t understand why Geum-dong can’t figure out how to roll over yet — it’s so easy! Kang-chul arrives home, surprised to see this trio in his living room, and a flustered Gong-mi tries to explain to her boss that she was just stopping in to see the baby while running errands for work.

Chung-jae and Tae-hee introduce themselves as friends of Ho-gu, and Kang-chul is prepared to immediately dismiss them until he remembers Ho-kyung’s advice that he needs to find “true” friends, ones that he can drink with, fight with, and tell all his secrets to. In her estimation, he needs more interaction with friends of the same gender to lessen the impact “that one guy” had on him. Turning back around, he smiles, asking if they’d like to have a drink together.

Meanwhile, Ho-gu is trying to figure out the best gift for Do-hee, and Ho-kyung tells him a bag is always best. At the store, the salesperson shows him popular choices for men to give their girlfriends (which makes him adorably blush), but when he asks if moms like it, too, she shows him a backpack that his “wife” might like. CEO Park is there, and she agrees with the choice of backpack, saying that Do-hee doesn’t like the other style of handbag. Oooooooh.

Kang-chul happily chatters on about boring finance stuff as Tae-hee and Chung-jae awkwardly clutch their fancy glasses of wine, having no idea what he’s talking about. Sighing, Kang-chul says that this is obviously not working, and since they can’t have conversations on the same level, they might as well go home. When they offer to take Kang-chul to their favorite watering hole, he tells them that he doesn’t drink in public, because he refuses to use a public bathroom. Pffft.

Just then, his father barges into the apartment, and as Kang-chul stands up in surprise to greet him, his dad slaps him hard across the face, knocking him to the ground. Furious, his father asks him if Kang-chul hates him so much that he’d humiliate him and ruin his image.

A hurt (both physically and emotionally) Kang-chul asks if people’s perceptions are more important than how his own son feels. Dad is still furious, and Tae-hee and Chung-jae escort him out the door. Leaving the baby with Gong-mi, they take Kang-chul out to their favorite squid restaurant.

They pour him some soju, explaining that even though they don’t know what’s going on between him and his father, they can totally relate to being a parental disappointment. Hahaha! It’s the first time he’s ever had soju, and so they fill a water glass with soju, telling him that’s a “real” soju glass instead of the shot glass. Pffft.

Tae-hee says that he imagines Kang-chul must go on dates with pretty girls, eating only in fancy restaurants and drinking wine as he French-kisses them, but Kang-chul says he’s never even held a girl’s hand before. Tae-hee and Chung-jae stare at him in astonishment: “You’re still a virgin? Like us?” They fist-bump in solidarity, officially declaring their friendship with him.

Over coffee, Ho-gu sincerely thanks CEO Park for all she’s done for Do-hee — he knows she’s been like a mother to her. Even though he realizes Do-hee still has a lot to figure out, his dream is to stay by her side and continue to raise the baby together. CEO Park laughs, amused by his plans, but there’s a hard edge to her smile.

Do-hee unwraps the present from Ho-gu’s mother — aw, it must be the baby carrier she used when her children were babies, because embroidered on it are the words: “Pretty Angel Ho-gu.” Do-hee smiles, delighted with the gift. Ho-kyung hurries into the apartment, worried about Kang-chul, and is surprised to discover that he’s out with friends. In fact, he’s currently very, very drunk and happily singing karaoke with them (for the first time, too, I’d wager).

Ho-gu’s shaken by his conversation with CEO Park, where he learned that the baby’s father didn’t die like he thought. CEO Park explained to him that the daddy is alive and well — it was just a drunken one-night stand. Distressed, he escapes to the rooftop, where he catches his mom with a cigarette in her mouth.

She teases him that she’s taking up smoking again because of all the worry he’s been causing her, but he seriously asks that, if he’s doing all this, it must be love, right?

Mom pulls in him for one of those comforting “no question” hugs, reassuring him that if he’s already decided to go for it, then he needs to just go for it. She’ll learn to how to deal with it somehow. She is his mother, after all.

Ho-kyung lounges in Kang-chul’s apartment and tells Do-hee that she admires her for being strong enough to decide to have a baby all on her own. When Ho-kyung realizes she called Do-hee “unni,” she awkwardly explains that it’s only because she’s the woman her “oppa” loves. Ho-kyung’s willing to be friends with Do-hee not because she likes her or anything, but only because she wants to support her brother. Suuuuure that’s the only reasoning.

As she glances over at the mermaid sketchbook, Do-hee asks Ho-kyung why the Little Mermaid turned to sea foam. Ho-kyung, bewildered by the sudden change in conversation topic, answers that it’s because she lost her voice and couldn’t tell the prince the truth. Do-hee wonders if the Little Mermaid still had her voice after all, but just couldn’t tell the prince the truth because it might hurt him.

Ho-gu enters the house and stops in the entryway when he hears his mother sobbing in her room. His father tries to comfort her, but she cries that she worries Ho-gu is going through a hard time — she hugged him, but his body felt so cold. She only ever wanted him to have a simple, happy life. Ho-gu slowly sinks down on the floor, eyes welling with tears as he listens to his mother weep.

Eyes red from her own cry-fest, Professor Mok confirms that her husband slapped Kang-chul on the right side of his face. Kang-chuls father: “Yes, because you said you slapped him on the left side.” He numbly asks her if he was such a terrible father, psychologically speaking. She sighs, admitting she has no idea any more.

The next morning, Kang-chul smiles as he rolls over in bed, only to find a stolen tambourine from the karaoke room. Hahaha! When he steps out into his living room, ready to go to work, the other guys are there, busy sorting through the supplies for Geum-dong’s 100-day party.

Ho-gu asks if he’ll be home early to attend, but he says he’ll be back late, like always. He also warns them to not make a mess, but before he leaves, he stops to ask Tae-hee and Chung-jae if they got home safe last night. Then he asks Ho-gu what time he should be home. Aw, the robot is learning how to be human.

As Do-hee finishes swimming her laps, Kyung-woo arrives at the pool. She immediately turns her back on him, refusing to engage with him. But when he asks if her cold shoulder is because of her pregnancy, she tells him to shut up.

Since she decided to cover it up, the least he can do is keep his mouth shut and leave it alone. If he mentions the baby or what happened that night, she’ll tell everyone the truth. He leans forward, smiling smugly as he warns her that even if she did, no one would believe her.

While he works, Kang-chul thinks back to his night out with his new friends, and then pulls out the assessment test so he can change his answers. Ho-kyung barges in at that moment, and Kang-chul leaps up in delight, eager to show her his new score.

But Ho-kyung is there for another purpose and she asks if he gave her number to another man. He admits he did, and with sad eyes, she asks if he ever thinks of anyone but himself. Hasn’t he ever thought about how she feels, especially about him? She spins around to leave, quietly fighting back tears.

A subdued Do-hee returns home and asks if they can wait a bit to have the party because she has a headache. In an attempt to cheer her up, Ho-gu shows off the bag he bought her, but she glares at him, reminding him that she told him not to get her anything. When it looks like the two are about to have a lovers quarrel, Chung-jae and Tae-hee quietly sneak out to give them privacy.

Do-hee apologizes, but Ho-gu asks her why she has to apologize all the time. Why must she always be sorry towards him? Can’t they laugh together and not care what people think? To not worry and just do all the ordinary things that everyone else does?

But Do-hee, filled with emotion, says that she’s can’t be like others who can be happy all the time. She looks over a Geum-dong, her eyes fill with tears as she watches him roll over for the first time. Do-hee: “Ho-gu, can we stop?”

Ho-gu nods, quietly agreeing: “Okay. Let’s stop.”

COMMENTS

Ooooof. Show, why must you always end each episode in tears? I mean that literally.

I’ve got all these crazy speculations (who the dead friend is; who the baby-daddy really is; what happened with Kyung-woo that night; how Kang-chul will litigiously destroy Kyung-woo for raping someone; when Kang-chul will find out who “Ho-gu” really was; whether or not Kang-chul is really gay; how the writers will possibly tie up all the loose ends by next week; and so on and so forth), but this show has been teaching me that speculations are not nearly as fun here as they are in other shows, when it’s much easier to predict outcomes based on common plot projections. Here, instead, I prefer to ride alongside the characters, patient to have them reveal their inner layers piece-by-piece, until their backstories, motivations, and hearts are eventually peeled apart.

Honestly, if you look at this drama just based on plot, there really isn’t much there — it’s a bare-bones melodrama. But the characters give this show its life.

When we first meet them, there’s the aura of superficiality — everyone seems like caricatures, and the webtoon influence is dominant, as zany fantasy sequences are peppered throughout. But as we go deeper and deeper, everyone takes on more dimension, and the flash-bang-sparkle cuteness that was originally so enticing melts like cotton candy, to reveal the hurts and worries and fears and pain that comes from loving other people (although there’s definitely still tons of cuteness!). Be it friendship, familial, or romantic, this show has done a delicate yet masterful job showing the difficulty of loving someone, warts and all.

Which is why this episode’s MVP is Mom. She’s only ever wanted the best for her sweet, gullible son, who’s spent so much of his life cheerfully helping others. I can imagine that she would assume Ho-gu’s good-nature was being abused, since why else would he be so determined to protect and care for a baby that isn’t his? But she trusts him enough to support his declaration that he loves Do-hee. Therefore, even if she fears that he will end up abused and heart-broken, she’ll still be there for her family’s trademark “no question” hugs, handing down her own motherhood treasures for the baby (possibly saved for when her “real” grandchildren came along).

It felt like such a real, human, reaction — the comforting hug on the rooftop, followed by the private sobbing in her room. Her children don’t need to see her momentary grief when she realizes the path they’ve chosen in life isn’t necessarily the one she would have have chosen, but she trusts the way she’s raised them, and who they’ve grown to become as adults, and therefore will still support them.

Most especially, I loved her moment with Do-hee, when Do-hee visited her at work. That could be such a hard scene. It’s the kind of thing where in most dramas, you’d have the mother slide over the stereotypical envelope filled with cash, or point-blank tell the girl to back-off. Instead, Mom conveys her worries, especially regarding the type of personality Ho-gu has that can be easily hurt and taken advantage of, yet still makes it clear that because Ho-gu loves Do-hee, Do-hee will be accepted gracefully into her family. Not necessarily easily — but gracefully.

Which gives me hope for Do-hee, because no matter what really happened that night or what threats Kyung-woo tries to pull, there are at least a half-dozen people who will believe her, and those half-dozen are the only people that really matter in the end.

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I do love the characters, warts and all.

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PS. Thanks for recappng. I'm enjoying your "voice".

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After reading this recap, I got a little confused because when I watched this with subs, some of the dialogue esp. that of CEO Park's was quite different. Here, it seems she's just a little bit overstepping, but with the subs, she made me so mad that I really wanted to hit my notebook screen in rage.

And Kyung-woo...argh!

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CEO is creepy, big-time. Manipulative, heartless and sharing private information that she has no business in sharing. Sorry, but I don't want Do-hee to ever trust this woman again.

The ending: Ho-gu and Do-hee have a relationship for, like, a day and then call it quits because.... they have had a bad day? Sure, Do-hee's had a really bad day and a deep emotional wound re-opened but, seriously? I can somewhat see it from Do-hee's side because of her personality and past thus far... but Ho-gu just says yes, let's? Why is there no attempt at communication between them at all? Was this noble idiocy really necessary? How can I ever buy that they will be capable of having a long term relationship, if they can't even last a day and just let go without a fight?

<speculations are not nearly as fun here as they are in other shows, when it’s much easier to predict outcomes based on common plot projections

I wish I'd enjoy the lack of predictability more because that is the sort of thing can be refreshing in dramas, but here... I feel mostly misled and manipulated. I quite like some of the characters (give or take some things they do), but I do have issues with the writing of this drama.

Hogu's Dad is a darling though. I actually prefer him over Mom (even if her non-questions-asked hug was sweet).

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Completely agreed on this. I honestly admire odilettante for being able to look past the issues with the plot and focus on the characters. My own readings on dramas tend to be narrative-centered, which has pretty much totally sucked the joy out of Hogu's Love for me.

I'm fully accepting an unambiguously happy ending- the two main couples get together, Hogu gets to raise the baby, Do-hee wins a gold medal, the bad agency people are punished for their bad deeds. But I'm honestly really dreading it because there's been no character growth to justify that turnabout. Just a bunch of stupid red herrings.

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i assumed Hogu was at an all-time low after hearing his mom cry privately. He is nowhere near Do Hee in terms of obstacles but he loves his family.

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Not sure, but I think because barely anyone has really supported Dohee about being assaulted, she doesn't know if Hogu will believe/support her. Plus she's still suffering the after effects and doesn't think she can make him happy. Hogu can sense her pulling away and has no idea why, and knows she is keeping a lot from him, so I think he's seeing her as not committed to the relationship. He really needs to grow some self-esteem quickly...but anyway these are just some thoughts.

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Kang-cheol's been supporting her. The CEO also at least superficially appears to believe Do-hee, even if she's acting in a way that seems to imply villainy down the road.

The thing is, to be entirely honest, I'm not even sure I believe that Do-hee has been assaulted. This drama has thrown out so many misleading plot points via deliberately vague dialogue that it's entirely possible that what happened between Do-hee / Kang-cheol / Kyung-woo / Mystery Dead Person was something completely different and this is just another piece of misdirection.

I hate that I have to think that but it's like alua wrote. This drama doesn't really feel unpredictable so much as it does manipulative.

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<The thing is, to be entirely honest, I’m not even sure I believe that Do-hee has been assaulted. This drama has thrown out so many misleading plot points via deliberately vague dialogue that it’s entirely possible that what happened between Do-hee / Kang-cheol / Kyung-woo / Mystery Dead Person was something completely different and this is just another piece of misdirection.

Yes, this occurred to me as well. Do-hee hasn't actually said "Kyung-woo sexually assaulted / raped me" or "Kyung-woo is the baby's father". She only said, "What did he tell you" and "It wasn't a mistake".

It seems likely the Kyung-woo rape scenario is what happened (because how are they going to throw in another explanation when only two episodes are left), but it's not something I would bet on given that the writers first hinted at Kang-chul being the dad which turned out to be exploiting ambiguity in language. So when they had the grave scene with words that could be interpreted in different ways, it was obvious toying with viewers. And then they threw in the third father option, which still hasn't been explicitly confirmed.

One possible scenario could be the Kyung-woo was somehow involved in the death of the dead guy. Remember there have also been suggestions thrown around that Kyung-woo is gay which might have something to do with this (maybe he had a relationship with that guy?).

As for baby daddy... who knows!

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Kang-chul told her not to report her rape because no one would believe her. While he's being helpful now, and had a reason to say that, that's not the kind of thing that makes you feel secure. Especially since he has a way of saying things the exact wrong way.

The CEO has shown herself to be someone who is only nice on the surface. You can see Do Hee becoming less trusting of her. And neither of these people are in the position of a potential boyfriend.

Do Hee responded point blank to the CEO that it was rape. I don't see how they could back-pedal on that. I feel like the ambiguous conversations in Korean earlier were still misleading in Korean, but had a hint that they might be misleading, you know what I mean? Whereas the English subs have tended not to highlight the ambiguity and thus made it more annoying when everything was different.

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I'd say that Ho-Gu makes the ordinary extraordinary.

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+1

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Ok who else loves the cute squid cartoons in the beginning when the episode title is introduced. I find them super adorable!

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Me! They are so cute.

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remember the belly button? how mama squid put it back to the belly is the most adorable one for me.

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I'm curious about nursery. Does anybody know the name?

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Look up 삐약삐약 병아리
I don't know if its the real name but I found a lot of videos of the song on youtube

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Does anyone know how many episodes this drama will have? Does it end next week?

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I think I saw it listed as 16 episodes when it was announced.

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Thanks for the reply ^^

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If at this point they DON'T make kangchul gay I'm honestly done with this show. He obviously likes the current hogu regardless of who he kissed that day. He spent years crushing on him and years again after they meet again he even felt nervous around him and still feels something when he sees him so to make him end up with hokyung would really piss me off.

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I thought HK was showing him that he needed to be close with PEOPLE before deciding that the only person to make his heart race = the only person he can love. KC's mom made him the loneliest boy ever by not allowing him to have friends.
What kind of mom thinks that's OK, by the way?

HK will be good for KC as he works his way through to being human - just like hanging around HG, DH and Geum Deng.

It is so awesome that they have installed themselves in his sacred tower. I look forward to the ultimate crashing of his walls when someone takes out one of his beloved trophies, and he has to decide just how important that inanimate object is, really, to his happiness.

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I think you're right about this. I don't know how it will turn out, but I think the show is trying to portray kang Chul as a solitary person, somewhat isolated from society, so it's not strange to think that he never felt sympathy for anybody. Ho-gu was the first to awaken that feeling in him, and something similar happened when Ho-Kyung reminded him about the people he had faced against in the previous trials (single mom, gay guy), he even felt that palpitation or pang in his heart. By the way, I think the quiz that Kang Chul is taking is some kind of empathy quotient questionnaire (it said something along those lines in my subtitles), hence, every time he socializes with someone he gets different answers.

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Why people so insist on idea being guy or not?

I think Kang Chul like the person who is with him on entire day and a kiss just sealed the deal. Regarding what gender. Even if he's not, this drama want to say that people shouldn't quickly judge another.

If you think gay is not wrong then why make a fuss about a gay turn normal. No offense!

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The fact that we think that being gay is not wrong is the reason we are making a fuss about "a gay turn normal". We have here a character who believes he has kissed a guy and actually fell for said guy and has been crushing on him for years. Years later after they meet again his reactions make him fall deeper and his heart race anytime he's close to him and we're just supposed to accept that he'll be like "OHH so I thought it was you for years and I've actually started to like things about you after we've met again but ohh I kissed your sister instead and I haven't thought about her at all except maybe one time and only as a friend/advisor to me but I guess since she's the one I kissed All the past feelings I've had have for you have completely shifted to her". That's complete BS and feels like a cop-out to make the character not end up being gay Ohh plus KC has much more chemistry with hogu ;) and his character became a lot more human/nicer because of him.

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*sorry I mean to say his actions make him fall deeper

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I fuckin love this drama.

I hope they extend it to 18 eps. I mean c'mon.. i wont get closure from just 2 more eps.

I love all the characters.. i hope they all kick kyeong woo's and the CEO's ass. Aholes.

Y'all really think HoGoo is just gonna leave her like that? Hell nahhh its hogoo we are talkin about.

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That is the. Cutest. baby. I want to play with his adorable spiky hair!

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I can totally see why Hogu fell for the little guy. Plus I'm impressed they managed to cast a baby that stays silent for pretty long periods of time considering how young he is!

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Well baby that age usually sleeps alot. That's the most boring age for kid. Because they just sleep and eat.

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I want more closeups for the baby! The spiky hair.. ahhh too cute! <3

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IDK I know everyone is all "they better make Kang-Chul gay or I hate this show!" But I don't think it's that simple. Kang-Chul hasn't show ANY interest in other men besides Ho Gu. I know we like to like at sexuality as black/white or gay/straight but it's so much deeper than that. I think Kang-Chul fell for the one person who ever made him feel something, not caring if they were girl or boy. In that one moment he built it into something more than it was in his head which led to his crush/feelings for that person. He thought it was Ho-Gu so he has feelings for him, but don't you think once he finds out it WASN'T Ho-Gu that it'll send him into a spiral? Kang-Chul wants the person who makes him feel and is there for him and cares for him and throughout this show, that's been Ho-Kyung. And the person he fell for that day? Ho-Kyung.

I kind of hope he finds out soon too. Because figuring out your sexuality is so hard and it's so confusing for a lot of people and it's heartbreaking but so worth it to accept your true self. Is Kang-Chul gay? I doubt it. Like I said earlier, he has had absolutely NO interest in any other men. And the man he fell for is actually Ho-Kyung and her actions towards him.

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Yes. This. I think it would be awesome if they'd stick with it and have him be gay, but I don't think they will. And I'm okay with that for the reasons above. But I was so proud of him for coming out to his parents. I just wanted to hug him.

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I agree with you that Kang Chul wants someone who would make him feel and that he fell for the person he spent that day with. BUT he didn't know that that person was Ho Kyung. He didn't know Ho Kyung even existed until their blind date, so all this time he was, in effect, thinking about Ho Gu. Even after they met as adults he's spent most of the avoiding her or pushing her away, until he needed someone to 'fix' him. He made it blatantly clear he has no interest in her whatsoever when he gave Kyung Woo her number. He's spent most of the show with Ho Gu, watching Ho Gu do things that make his heart beat, and even though that may have started because of a misunderstanding, you can't say that any of it in the present is still because of the misunderstanding. Even if it is his false assumption colouring everything, a false assumption wouldn't create feelings to the level they've shown in the show, because, like so many people have said, he's never shown interest in any other guy, so why this one?
So my problem is with the writing. I was completely on board with Ho Kyung and Kang Chul getting together because like you said, it was her he actually , unknowingly fell in love with and she would be good for him. But then they spent weeks and weeks with him avoiding her and making his feelings for Ho Gu grow and basically showing us that he is gay, or at the very least Ho Gu-sexual. He's outed himself to his parents and almost outed himself to his colleagues. He's accepted that he's in love with Ho Gu even if he doesn't like it. So now, in the last week, the show's going to say, "Oh, but you know, it was Ho Kyung that day, so all the pain and stress and panic that you've been feeling for almost 20 episodes means absolutely nothing. because you're actually straight!" That isn't fixing his problem, that's just bad writing. It's like the writers forgot that Ho Kyung was supposed to paired with Kang Chul. If you want a character to have a plausible love story, you do not spend almost the entire show pushing him towards someone else, having him think he's gay, showing no interest in the girl whatsoever to the point that he avoids her and gives the girl's number out, and then expect to plausibly deal with the reveal, acceptance and have him develop feelings for the girl all in just two episodes.

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I don't think he was ever gay. It's just a crush on HoGu because HoGu (or so he believes) is the first person who ever made him feel anything at all. He has been totally isolated from human companionship, and his emotions are stunted. He had a cold, unfeeling upbringing and just doesn't know how to relate to people, or get close to them. He is effectively going through emotional puberty now, and all the confusion that that brings. All those saying that he was in love with HoGu are so wrong. He didn't see him for years. All he has is a memory of someone who actually made him feel something emotionally. He has never even held a girl's hand (that he is aware of), and only ever touched 1 boy (who was really a girl), I don't believe this is a question of him finding out his sexual preference, it's about finding his emotions and his humanity.

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+1000

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Rather than only bottle-feedings, sure wish baby Geum-dong was also a breastfed baby.

Ho-gu’s Mom (aka Kim Ok-Ryeong) - you're doing good. Try not to relapse back into the habit of smoking.

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Ahh, thank you for the recap Odilettante, it was beautifully written and brought my feels bubbling back up to the surface.

This show, you guys. This show is hurting my feelings. I know the characters aren't real but I still care sooo *bleeping* much. Gah.

Ho Kyung has been my favorite character since day one. I want her to be happy-- even if it's not with Kang Chul. I also lowkey want her to meet with Kyung Woo (in a controlled environment, with supporters waiting in the wings in case something happens) so that she can thrash him like she did those high school bullies on that fateful day. She needs a way to get out her frustration and I can't imagine a better punching bag than the piece of literal human garbage that Kyung Woo is.

Next week is the last week... I really wasn't expecting much from this drama but here I am already experiencing separation anxiety lol.

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I fucking love all the characters in this drama. Everybody has their own story to tell and that's what makes it interesting. All characters are given a chance to express their story.

To be honest, although Hogu and Dohee are definitely stealing the spotlight, I feel myself deeply invested in Kangchul and Hokyung, I dunno why. I can't wait for Hokyung to realize that the "guy" Kangchul likes is her and viseversa, because definitely that's the ending the writer is going to pull. I can't wait for that to actually happen.

I actually never hated Kangchul and I find him immensely adorable. He needs a girl like Hokyung with a badass attitude and witty remarks to train him to be human again.

I can't wait to see Kangchul's reaction when he realizes that Hokyung is the "guy" he kissed. That expression should be snapshot and framed.

Hogu is of course THE ADORABLEST creature ever on earth..... second adorablest, the first is Geumdong........

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the scenes where Hogu and Do Hee dance to the same nursery rhyme: most adorable thing ever. Neck to neck with Healer and Jung Woo begging Young Shin to sleep with him after he's snuck into her room. Pretty people doing cute things.

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Can that thing disguised as a human, CEO Park, die at the end. Even if her words aren't as harsh as the subtitles made me think her actions are still horrid. The fact that she didn't immediately tell Do-hee she doesn't have to do that photo-shoot with the rapist means either she doesn't believe Do-hee or simple doesn't care.

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Thank you, odilettante! This recap was such a pleasure to read. I also agree that the show´s strength lies in its characters, they´re truly adorable and I don´t want to think about parting with them next week. Regarding the plot (or rather, the HOLES), I stopped caring too much a while ago. I think it´s great that the show depicted taboo subjects as abortion, single mothers and sexual orientation, though I hardly felt satisfied with the outcome. Still, however they wrap it up next week, I´ll remember this show mostly for the diabetes-inducing Hogu and the ice-turned-out-ice-cream Do-hee.

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I don't think the drama ever promised viewers that Kang Chul and Ho Kyung would end up together. it looks like it of course, but expectations may not be what the writer is really intending. (regardless, I lurveeee this show.)

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Did Kang Chul know who assaulted Do Hee? I thought he did, as Do Hee had requested his help in pressing charges. But in that case, that would make him giving out Ho Kyung's phone number to Kyung Woo really callous, since he doesn't care about her safety. Even if he didn't know, that was still not right.

I am hoping the show won't take the easy way out by having him realise he has feelings for her after all and just giving them a happily ever after. He betrayed her trust, so I would like to see him earn her affections.

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kudos for this drama for showing how its difficult being gay in korea with kang chul dilemma and he came out to his parents ! I hope they won't make him end up with HK for the sake of 2nd lead guy must end up with 2nd lead girl ... and really if they want to pair up with him with HK they won't spend so many episodes making Kang Chul debating is he or is he not gay ... I am ready to support Kang chul with HK if they make it a central storyline but not now ... after making his character going to so much confusion . If the writer does not have the guts to go all the way ( creating a gay character ) then might as well don't start .

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THIS if there were more interactions and interest on his part early on then I could maybe ship it..but now??Dude has already acknowledged that he's in love with hogu and even has the guts to tell his parents that he's in love with another man..For someone so used to always following what is socially acceptable that's a huge step for him to take.. He's now realizing that his love is not wrong simply because It doesn't fit the korean social standards and he's also learning to be more empathetic and maybe he can move on and find someone else whether it be a man or woman and be a better person from this experience. I think HK should also realize that she can't force someone to love her. Though maybe he could fall for her later on??but It shouldn't be about the kiss because It doesn't really matter at this point since it was all based on false pretenses.Though I'm not really sure they can sell their romance with only 2 episodes left. It would be plausible if he gets to know her more over time and then falls for her. I'm Just hoping there is no sudden heart-racing for hokyung out of the blue or a sudden change of heart because he finds out he kissed her<<<This is the best case scenaro for me since I'm pretty sure the writer will make these two end up together even though kangchul will always love hogu in my mind :P..

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this drama, to me, is all about acceptance...but most importantly acceptance by one's family and friends. does not matter if society looks down on you, as long as your family and friends are there for you - to support you and readily accept you as you are - you'll be okay. one deserved to be happy with the choices one makes in life.

DH is somewhat reluctant to be happy..to be with whoever; to do whatever she wants. she's been under others' control far too long..so it's hard for her to change. HG is that one person who could change her(he's almost there..just a wee bit more to go before she cracks) but he's torn between being a good son and a good friend. but HG and DH should have more faith in their relationship. they already have some awesome friends, and HG's family are OK too. just go for it, you two!

i never watched seuleong's dramas before but i totally love him in this one. he is so gullible and his 'friendship' with CJ and TH is so cute! he's no longer that stiff, arrogant selfie-maniac. dun really care if KC is gay or not. i am just glad that he's breaking out of his gilded cage and fly(cautiously) away..towards freedom and adulthood.

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Excellent recap Odilettante. I especially like your comments section. It mirrors my own opinions as well, and is very well-thought out. I have to agree that unlike other shows that challenge you to guess what will happen, this one seems so organic that you can't really predict it and that it's better just to go along for the ride and enjoy how things end up. Certainly, the characters will be true to themselves to the end, and it's up to them to make their own decisions based on who they are and who they hope to be. I never would have guessed how much Do Hee really liked Hogu when they were growing up, and how she still liked him. She doesn't grow to like him after her introduction, she just continues their relationship as it's always been ever since they were young. Such a different writing angle, and so effective. Unwrapping the truths that were always there instead of showing the changes one makes as they mature is also effective.

Okay stopping now because i'm incoherently babbling.

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Hogu's parents are just the best parents I've ever seen in a Korean drama! So loving and not overbearing at all.

I just love so much how the mother gifted her own Podaegi! I admit that I didn't quite catch that it was the one she used with her own children before reading the recap and it's just so much better that way! (I think it's because it looks too new)

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I came to this drama late. Like 2 years late. I knew about it when it aired but the title and the premise that was sold didn't really catch me. Then I saw Choi Woo Shik in other stuff like Train to Busan and recently Fight My Way, and thought he was a decent actor to give it a go. I'm so glad I did.

I love this drama. The way it tells the story is so beautiful and detailed. It's on the same level for me as Thank You, and without some of the unnecessary cat-fighting and meaness. It's done so well and realistically. I agree with the recap and analysis, it's the characters that are pulling it through.

I thought Ho Gu will be such a pushover, a real idiot and Do Hee will just abuse him. I mean, that's how they sold the story. But it's SO much more than that, and in fact it's not like that at all. The things I love about this drama and I think are handled so well:

1) Ho Gu - everyone is a ho gu at some point. It's not just about our main character but about how everyone becomes a ho gu when they love. Because loving someone means you consciously or unconsciously become a fool. And our Ho-Gu is no pushover. He is aware that people think of him as a pushover but his decisions are most times intentional. He prefers love over hate and peace over fighting. But he'll stand up for himself when he needs to and say what's on his mind if he thinks it must be said.

2) Ho-Gu's family. This family makes me believe the world will be a better place if everyone's families were like them. No questions asked hugs, and always there to support and trust each other. And I love that they are such hippies! The way mom dresses, the way they hate materialistic corporate biggies. I love them! They seem like the parents who just hugged their kids all the time when they were growing up, and makes you believe that you just can't hug your kids enough in life.

3) Do-Hee and Ho-Gu. Ho-Gu is an open book and Do-Hee is closed. One doesn't necessarily fix the other like in other traditional dramas, they simply show you what it means to love and trust. It's a process and it's not always perfect but Do-Hee teaches Ho-Gu to understand love and Ho-Gu teaches Do-Hee to open up and trust. I love these two.

I'm so delighted that I gave this drama a go. Seriously, it's these types of hidden gem dramas that make me happy. There's meaning and thought put into the stories and the characters. And at the end of the day, I cry and laugh and feel with them, and even though they are fictional, I take something from them and learn something about myself in the process. I know it sound silly, since it's a drama but I definitely feel a part of me healed when I watch dramas like this.

Side Note: Ho-Gu's nursery rhyme singing-dance at the beginning was just too adorable for words.

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