Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 14
The focus is back on Mi-rae this episode — yup, and her choices, there’s no getting away from it. The show might as well be called “Mi-rae’s Choices”…oh wait. Okay, maybe “Stay With Him If You Dare”? Lee Yuri needs to always do comedy, because her timing and facial expressions make her a total hoot. I’d watch her crazy sparring all day, especially with Ji-hye and the baseball wives.
There are a ton of laughs this hour, even for the frustrated viewer, so let’s let our gripes go and down those jolly pills. Warrior Mi-rae ftw!
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Director Choi yells at his staff for letting Mi-rae do surgery in her condition…although his concern seems to be what people would say if something went wrong. Woo-hyuk snaps that Mi-rae’s timely intervention was what saved both patient and baby. Bolting to his feet, he claims full responsibility, and walks out of the meeting, leaving his boss agape.
While they wait for Mi-rae to wake up, Yeol visits Dr. Jang. She tells him they’ve inserted a stent in her bile duct to relieve the obstruction caused by the tumor, so for the time being, she’ll be okay. He asks her about a chemo drug that he heard works more effectively alongside another drug. She tells him it’s chancy at best, but she’ll look into it since they’re out of options.
He goes back to find Sa-rang wrestling Mom back to her bed. Mi-rae insists on going on their trip as planned, since the surgery she had will relieve her for a while. Yeol says she must stay put, and is adamant that he’ll find a cure.
Over drinks with Woo-hyuk, Ji-hye regrets hating Mi-rae. Woo-hyuk admits that he now understands why it had to be Yeol, and is envious that Mi-rae has someone like him at her side. Ji-hye thinks that Mi-rae left him to keep her secret because she knew Yeol would never leave her first, her sorrow at making him suffer outweighing her thankfulness for his steadfastness. She also thinks that same strength of mind could help her summon a miracle and beat her illness.
Safely back in her bed, Mi-rae asks Yeol why he pretended not to know, and he counters by asking why she pretended not to know that he knew, lol. She tells him to give it up — she has. Yeol refuses. He reminds her that he’s hasn’t forgiven her, so he’ll stay right beside her to plague her.
She throws her pillow at his departing back, and yells at him to have some pride after she deceived him in so many ways. He yells back that he is mad and he hated her to death. But if she’s really going to die, it’s all over for him: “I can’t hate you and I can’t be angry with you, I can’t forgive you, or reconcile, or love you…I can’t do any of it.” He turns away.
She wants to go on the trip, she says. Now, not later like he says — there might not be a “later”.
Sang-hae tells Yeol to check in with coach Bang, since he’s been away from work while barely off his probation. Then Yeol gets a message from “Professor” and he excuses himself from their meal. Sang-hae offers the parting words that Mi-rae should prepare herself for the eventualities. So should he and Sa-rang, he advises his friend. Yeol bullishly rejects this, vowing to save her.
He goes to see the expert he met last time, when he pleaded for a miracle. The professor tells him that the best thing, especially when you’re dying, is to live like a person until the end. Yeol walks home, reflecting on the professor’s advice that she should stay active and do things like picnics and holidays — not just so she feels thirsty to live, but also so she feels needed. Then they can think about treatment. Yeol resolves to give it a shot.
At team HQ the next day, Yeol hands in his resignation to the club president, explaining that he went over Coach Bang’s head because he knows he won’t accept it. The president takes the envelope unwillingly.
Yeol bumps into Ki-tae on his way out, who throws his usual barbs. Yeol surprises him with a friendly punch and a wolfish grin, and tells him to live awesomely, since they’ll only live once. He shakes his (fr)enemy’s hand, and thanks him for keeping things lively all this time. He charges him to take care of little bro Hyun-woo, and lopes off.
Confused, Ki-tae finds out from the president that Yeol resigned, since Mi-rae has terminal cancer and not much time left. Ki-tae is pretty stricken. Bet you regret being a jerkface now.
Meanwhile, Mi-rae conducts a Great Escape from the hospital. This is hilarious! Back in street-clothes, she slinks around every corner, feigning grief or infirmity as the situation demands. When Dr. Jang passes, she sobs loudly and hunches over to hide her face (lol), before scurrying into an elevator.
Flashback to Sang-hae coming to visit her. She’s dismayed to hear that Yeol’s been drinking himself out of his job, because she gave up on treatment. Wait, that’s not what happened! Lol. Back in the present, she mutters darkly to herself that she knew he was going to be like that.
The next stage of her next escape isn’t so neat (but still totally lolarious) as Woo-hyuk literally catches her by the collar. She gives him the slip with a trademark kick that leaves him on his butt while she legs it. Hee hee.
Mi-rae surprises our old friends Yoo-ra and Mang-hae (Ki-tae’s and Sang-hae’s wives) by turning up at a team function laden with food. She waves away their concern with the argument that cancer patients are a dime a dozen, and gleefully confides that her offerings are all shop-bought.
To complete the turnaround, she presents Yoo-ra with a piece of art — this time the real thing — but her price is that Yoo-ra put in a word for her with head coach Ki-tae……which finds her asking a surprised (and half-dressed) Hyun-woo for a favor. Lol, cancer perks.
In a meeting with team execs, the president discusses Yeol’s resignation, which he’s thinking of accepting for the sake of the team. But Ki-tae speaks up: Why don’t they wait a bit? Of course he probably ought to be fired, but they should pull together for him, since the team is also a family. Well done, Ki-tae! See, being a person isn’t so hard. He goes so far as to say that they should pretend this meeting never happened.
Mi-rae pokes her head in, and she’s followed by Hyun-woo. She reminds the president how they bonded over alcohol bombs (I don’t remember this, it’s been too long), and admits that she’s really really SO sick — but not so sick that Yeol needs to quit. She looks pleadingly at Hyun-woo, who obediently recites that he owes his successful rehab to Yeol — and if Yeol goes, he goes. Aw.
That grabs everyone’s attention and they start buzzing. Mi-rae tears the resignation letter to shreds, yelling at them that she’ll stake her life on Yeol’s speedy return. Uproar ensues…which Sang-hae reports to Yeol, HA. They planned it all out to make Mi-rae turn warrior. Yeol updates Sang-hae on the doc looking into different treatments, but he cuts the conversation short for another call.
Mi-rae returns to the hospital and is hailed by one of her recovering patients, who’s filled with spring spirit. She begins to notice the sunshine and the blooming flowers, but her new attention to the world is broken by a man dropping to the ground, too tired to go on. Clutching his young son, he wails to the universe, Why us?
Woo-hyuk catches her (again) creeping back in, and she flashes an innocent grin. Her aegyo is working overtime today, but beloved hoobae or not, Woo-hyuk ain’t buying anything she’s selling. She waxes enthusiastic about the shiny spring-time world, and how she dreamed that she could somehow get better if she were good. Woo-hyuk’s face is sad, despite her optimistic madness.
Dr. Jang tells Yeol that the treatments she looked into don’t seem viable and the risks are too high. The news frustrates him — is she telling him to give up just because they might do more harm than good? Uh…is that a trick question? Although I guess you don’t get much more harm than “dead,” so he could have a point. But he’s done with this hospital, and storms off to fetch Mi-rae away.
She mistakenly thinks he’s onto her day’s escapades and is sorry, but he only pulls her wordlessly along. Woo-hyuk catches up to him and pleads a misunderstanding. Yeol says that according to them, there’s no way to cure Mi-rae. Increasingly upset, he cries out that he would beg on his knees until his throat bled, if only there were some way they could save her.
Mi-rae cries silently at his desperation, and tries to soothe him. He takes a deep breath, “Let’s go on our holiday,” he says, finally looking her in the eye, “Right now.”
The next morning, Sa-rang texts Dad while she packs, to check if Mom is out yet. Since he’s waiting outside her house, he promises to bring her right away. Mi-rae is surprised to see him, and he tells her he waited aaalll night to make sure she didn’t give him the slip.
They’re interrupted by the arrival of Woo-hyuk and Sang-hae, who’ve invited themselves along. Woo-hyuk’s official excuse is field doc for Mi-rae, and Sang-hae’s is… “I’m special. I want to go, too.” LOL. Clueless Woo-hyuk even tries to take Mi-rae along with him, but Sang-hae saves them by stuffing the doc back in his car.
The little family are finally united for the roadtrip, and Mom and Sa-rang sing along to radio, laughing raucously and teasing Yeol, and he just drinks it up.
In the other car, Woo-hyuk grumps about Mi-rae not riding with them. Sang-hae pokes fun at him and suggests they get cozy, too. He squeals, “Oppa~!” and nuzzles Woo-hyuk, hehehehe. This bromance has my vote! While they bicker, the car stalls — they’re out of gas. Woo-hyuk sends Sang-hae out to push, and I actually am dying of lols.
Their holiday spot is a pretty country estate-type of place, and Mi-rae says it’s her first coming somewhere like this. Sa-rang has the time of her life; Mom and Dad are both together, and she can call them in a single breath.
She and Dad go go-karting and wave at Mom every time they pass her. Just as they begin to wonder where the other two are, they pull in. Sang-hae’s starving but Yeol proposes a wager between them to keep things interesting. Sa-rang suggests a baseball game.
We cut to Yeol trouncing Woo-hyuk at virtual baseball. Aw, that’s hardly a fair match! But at least Sang-hae is cheering for his bro. Woo-hyuk suggests they move onto shooting, which he swears he can do. But he’s just as bad and Mi-rae easily beats him, until even Sang-hae loses faith…but at least they’re getting in some cuddles, right?
After they get waterbombed for punishment, their bickering continues over the barbecue grill (loser cooks all!), while Sa-rang and Yeol heckle them. Man, I want to know where Sang-hae’s flowery tracksuits come from, they’re terrible yet awesome…oh my lols, Sa-rang matches with him!
Mi-rae walks by herself, taking in the beautiful day. She stops to rest at a bench, and watches a train pass. Yeol’s desperate pleas for her cure prey on her mind, and she becomes grave. That’s not a good sign…
Yeol joins her there and says it would be great if they did this every spring. She shows him a patch of bright flowers at the cliff edge, and tells him it’s amazing that they bloomed in such a place. Yeol agrees — they won out against the odds. He tells her about a new drug trial to shrink tumors enough for surgical removal, and cites a recent successful case in a late-stage patient.
Before she can stop herself, she asks about the success rate. It’s not a hundred percent, he says, but it’s not zero either. She smiles at him, and promises to think about it, since there’s not much time left. Sang-hae comes up just then to call them to eat.
He serves them up a barbecue (including grilled…spam?), and they wonder where Sa-rang is. At the first mention that she hurt herself, Yeol loses his head and takes off at top speed, reaching her before Mi-rae.
Woo-hyuk’s already tending to her but Dad jumps in as well. It turns out she fell when she was trying to pick some peaches for Mom. Mi-rae reassures her daughter — with such a great dad beside her, she’ll be fine. She seems to blink back tears.
That night, Mi-rae watches them let off fireworks, and they wave at her madly from the beach. Woo-hyuk asks her what’s got her so happy and she laughs that Yeol became a fool for his daughter already. Woo-hyuk chuckles back that he used to be Sa-rang’s favorite, but Mi-rae replies that blood or not, he didn’t stand a chance against Yeol.
Gazing at him and Sa-rang, she wonders if they could live well even if she’s not there. She notes to Woo-hyuk how instinctively Yeol reacted to Sa-rang’s distress, and how he got to her even before she did. “That’s the real thing. So…I can believe in him. A hundred percent.”
With that thinking, Woo-hyuk urges her not to give up, because Yeol will take care of her to the end. But she worries about harboring false hope — both doctors understand the nightmare of despair that follows when no cure materializes after all.
Scooting a teeny bit closer, she tells Woo-hyuk that there’s one more thing she can’t figure out — why Yeol is sticking by her and isn’t angrier. Is it because Sa-rang needs her mom, or does he inexplicably still want Mi-rae for herself? Woo-hyuk laughs and corrects her — it’s not his feelings about her that she should be examining. Even if she’s sick, he says, she shouldn’t hide her feelings. He tells her to follow her own heart, not other people’s. Not sure that last is good advice for someone like Mi-rae.
They get called down to the river to join in the fun, and everyone throws themselves into it wholeheartedly.
Yeol wakes up in the middle of the night and spots Mi-rae outside. He takes her by surprise, and she says she just came out for a bit of air. He shares her bench, and asks if he can put his head in her lap. Her pause makes him take the request back, but the nanosecond she assents, he’s already there.
He talks about all their next day’s plans, which include ditching the guys, so it can be just the three of them. He drifts off to sleep with those words. Mi-rae covers him with her blanket and strokes his cheek.
It’s morning when Yeol wakes up alone, still outside. An envelope drops to the ground, and he picks it up right as Sa-rang rushes up crying that Mom’s disappeared.
The other two don’t know where she is either, but Sang-hae notes her bags are also gone. Woo-hyuk realizes her words last night might be significant, about how Yeol and Sa-rang might live fine without her.
Yeol fumbles open the letter, and what he reads makes him run.
Mi-rae walks through the wood, while the others desperately search for her. We hear her letter in voiceover, about how it all must have been destiny. We had a snippet of this letter at the end of the last episode, so we know she also confessed about the accident ten years ago, and how she found out she was carrying their baby.
Yeol sprints through the woods, calling her name. Mi-rae comes across a crying child, who’s lost her shoe in the patch of cliff-flowers she was admiring the day before. Mi-rae reaches over the edge to retrieve it and her foot slips, but she manages to catch hold of a tree trunk. She doesn’t notice her phone slide out of her pocket.
Her letter continues, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t take care of you to the end.” Nooo! Not like this!
Back at the lodge, Sa-rang notices Mom left her tablet behind, and checks it.
Mi-rae’s not dead. She’s at the train station she was eyeing the day before, while Yeol arrives at the cliff point, where he tries calling her. Oh no. To his surprise, he hears it ring, and heads to the edge to investigate. Meanwhile, Sa-rang’s found out where Mi-rae really is, and she rushes to tell Woo-hyuk.
Mi-rae clutches a pamphlet for a cancer hospice, which must be where she’s headed. Okay, not a bad step, but how about you tell people? Then this wouldn’t happen: Yeol looks over the cliff edge. He spots her phone lying in the dirt and assumes the worst.
The letter finishes: “Thank you, for taking care [of me] to the end.” On his haphazard climb down, Yeol loses his footing completely. He tumbles all the way to the bottom, crashing to the beach, bleeding and unconscious.
Sa-rang and Woo-hyuk arrive at the station and she spots Mom a moment before she’s lost behind the train. Seized by panic, she screams for her and Woo-hyuk grips her in a tight hug to stop her crossing the actual tracks. I really adore Woo-hyuk right now. He’s a complete hero.
As Mi-rae is about to board the train, she pauses and looks around, as if hoping someone will stop her. In resignation, she steps on…and back off again, as Sa-rang’s cries reach her.
Oh, Show. You were doing so well until the last ten minutes. WHY WHY WHY?
I don’t understand how this show manages to keep messing up a good thing as soon as it starts it. With a premise already ripe with conflict, manufacturing it in this way is clumsy and unnecessary. I dipped into the webtoon (translated here) to try and figure out if it was the source material, but they seem to diverge a fair bit, so it’s hard to say. Therefore, I’m going to stick with blaming the writer for writing Mi-rae into a closed loop. Because notice how every forward-step her character promises to take, like a rubber band, she has to ping back to her original course of action as if it makes sense and she didn’t just two seconds ago commit not to do that thing anymore. If it were just once or twice, you could put it down to a blip, but this show has done it every step of the way and it drives me BATS. As a plot device, it’s inorganic, repetitive, boring, infuriating, and self-defeating sfkjslgj gfdjsk
It’s harder to blame Mi-rae-the-character anymore, or even Lee Yuri, because it’s not Mi-rae’s fault she’s written so stupidly, and it’s not the actress’s fault that she can’t play to her strengths. As I said at the top, her comedic timing is great, but when it comes to the heavier and more tumultuous emotions, there’s something grating in her portrayal, and she often comes off petulant instead of conflicted, especially with Yeol. I don’t think she’s a terrible actress, but her limitations are made too obvious in Mi-rae. The show as a whole doesn’t do well at handling its melo.
Okay, let’s pretend — at least until next episode — that the last ten minutes didn’t happen. Because aside from the end, this episode was all heartwarmy and hilarious. I’m thrilled that the surrogate family I hoped for in the opening week finally materialized, and the only thing missing was Hyun-woo (why wasn’t little bro theeeere?). Also Papa the dog. Anyone else wondering what happened to the Number One Treasure?
I’ve been increasingly impressed the last few weeks with Woo-hyuk, and what a good friend he is (also how he is written well). I’m tempted to say he’s matured, but I actually think it’s more that his maturity has become apparent, where his boyishness and lack of experience have tended to mask it. His honest self-reflection (e.g. appreciating Yeol’s qualities) is a really attractive trait, and he’s been the person all show to transmit important secrets to people who need to hear them — and then it helps EVERYONE. Good judgement!
His real moments of dubious judgement are when he goes along with Mi-rae’s ruses. But you can see he’s torn, until he eventually abandons them to act on his own principles, thus serving Mi-rae in a greater way. More than being obedient to her whims, he assesses the bigger picture — instead of doing what she wants, he does what will help, making his own decisions without taking anything away from her. It’s his quiet steadiness that I find more appealing than big gestures and first loves.
His little budding bromance with Sang-hae also has me rolling and aww-ing at the same time. Although I wish it had happened sooner (purely from a hijinks-enjoyment point of view), I appreciate the way an alliance between the two mainstays of Mi-rae’s and Yeol’s respective lives symbolizes a knitting together of their so far separate worlds. The two men are actually surprisingly similar (and well-matched!). While he has a bit of a dopey exterior, Sang-hae is pretty wise. I think his circumspection comes from living (= the experience Woo-hyuk lacks) and he’s gained a contentment to take life as it comes, like he told Yeol back in Episode 6. While keeping things simple, he also understands that people are complex. He may seem a bit lazy on the outside, but that same quality allows him not to judge things hastily. He’s a constant, stabilizing presence in Yeol’s life, even if Yeol is too stubborn and hotheaded to take his words in when he should. Maybe we should just call Sang-hae “Cassandra”.
With only the big finale to go, I keep thinking that there’s got to be something between foolish hope and despair — a way to be ready for anything, without giving up on making it out alive. But maybe the answer, at least this time, isn’t found in some inner recess of the soul, but in the dynamic and loving Mi-rae-shaped space the people who love her have created. Just stay there, woman! The answer is family.
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 13
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 12
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 11
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 10
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 9
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 8
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 7
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 6
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 5
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 4
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 3
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 2
- Superdaddy Yeol: Episode 1