Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 10
We are defined by the choices we make, and their repercussions shape our lives and the lives of those around us. In a single moment, a life can be altered for better or worse, in the aftermath of just one wrong choice. But does that one wrong choice make someone a bad person? Or does it matter more what happens afterward, whether the person truly regrets and atones, or if they just go on, never caring about the consequences of their actions?
EPISODE 10 RECAP
As he’s getting ready for the K-pop festival, Joon-young overhears Gook-young talking to Ajusshi on the phone trying to convince Joon-young’s mother to come to the event. She’s refusing to attend, no matter how important it is to Joon-young, no matter how many important people will be there.
Joon-young hides his disappointment, but he perks up when his stylist says that Eul is here, even though he told her not to come. He hides his face and goes to find her, but he’s surprised to see her confronting Assemblyman Choi and Haru. He watches as the assemblyman offers Eul money to pay her back for her ruined memorial food, and he can’t stand it anymore.
He strides over to them and says that Assemblyman Choi should apologize first, grabbing the money and angrily throwing it to the ground. Choi frowns and says that Joon-young should apologize first, for interrupting their conversation. Joon-young says that he only asked the assemblyman to admit his mistake and ask for forgiveness.
Assemblyman Choi scoffs at the idea of apologizing for the actions of a stray kitten, but Joon-young just repeats himself: “Admit your mistake, and ask for forgiveness.” I don’t think he’s talking about the cat anymore.
Assemblyman Choi says that he was wrong about Joon-young, and even criticizes Joon-young’s parents for raising him wrong. He says he wasted his time waiting for Joon-young, unable to throw away that law book he was going to give him, but now sees that Joon-young has turned into a disappointment. Joon-young fumes, but remains silent.
Assemblyman Choi leads Haru away, and Joon-young turns on Eul, angry that she came here when he said not to. He yells even louder when she stoops to pick up the money on the ground, but she ignores him and sighs that she should have asked for more. Joon-young takes the money from her pocket and rips it up, and when she bends to pick up the shreds, he really loses his temper and asks if she’s a beggar.
Eul finally barks back at him, saying that yes, she’s a beggar — he knows that about her. He lets go of her arm and she crouches to pick up the money, telling him to mind his own business. He turns and goes back inside, leaving Eul there on the ground, scrounging for scraps of cash.
Joon-young calls his mother from Gook-young’s phone and she answers by yelling that she won’t go to the ceremony no matter what. But awww, she’s actually in the restroom all fixed up pretty, but scared to death to go in.
She stops when she hears Joon-young’s voice, asking what he did so wrong. Was becoming a celebrity instead of a prosecutor so terrible? He raises his voice, saying that she’s hated him for five years and disowned him — was what he did that bad?
He yells that he believes a prosecutor should always tell the truth, punish wrongdoers, and help the innocent. But he’s not like that — he screams that he’s told her dozens of times that he’s not qualified to be a prosecutor. He’s nearly in tears as he says that if he became a prosecutor, poor people like her would suffer.
This time Mom argues back, saying that of course he’s qualified. He even saved that girl from the school bullies, and got suspended for it. She slowly asks if he feels that way because she used to work in a bar, or because she stole meat once when he was a kid.
Calmer now, Joon-young says that she shouldn’t come, and he’ll refuse the award on her behalf. It sounds harsh, but it’s obvious that his intent is to let her off the hook if she feels that badly about it. He hangs up and Mom looks at herself in the mirror, and with a shaking hand, wipes off her lipstick.
Joon-young undresses and prepares to leave, but Gook-young stops him. Considering the people that are here at this festival, pulling a no-show could be professional suicide for Joon-young, but Gook-young has no idea how little that matters anymore.
One hundred percent done with this day, Joon-young screams at Gook-young to move. Even the news that President Namgoong just collapsed doesn’t move him — he just says to take him to the hospital, and leaves.
He goes looking for Eul and calls her when she’s not in the venue, but she doesn’t answer. Meanwhile Ji-tae’s mother isn’t feeling well, so Assemblyman Choi and Haru get ready to take her home, not that Haru is happy about it. Choi loads his wife and daughter in their car and says he’s staying, since it would look bad if the whole family left.
As he leans down to kiss his wife goodbye, Joon-young’s mother walks in front of their car. Assemblyman Choi sends his family off and doesn’t see her. Nearby, Eul hangs her head in her car and avoids Joon-young’s calls until another driver honks at her.
She looks up to move her car, and right in front of her is the source of all her problems… Assemblyman Choi. He’s on the phone, and the fact that he’s smiling and laughing just adds salt to Eul’s wounds, and she’s overcome by a memory of her father.
He’d been so proud of Eul, beaming over her report card, happy that she’d risen nearly eighty places in class ranking. Eul had preened and Dad crowed, while little Jik just rolled his eyes. When Eul asks for a treat, Jik tattles on her — she’d actually fallen in rank and altered her report card. Dad had motioned her closer and grabbed her face, and Eul had aegyo’d for him in a desperate bid for forgiveness.
Eul next remembers her father lying broken in the street, his killer speeding away, and how Assemblyman Choi had gotten an innocent person to lie about causing the accident. Her father had died, and never seen justice.
Now Eul sees the man who lied about her father’s true killer right there in her headlights, and it’s almost like she goes on autopilot. She hits the gas and aims the car at Assemblyman Choi, her face a mask of calm.
Joon-young sees the car heading for Assemblyman Choi, and realizes it’s Eul at the wheel. He runs and pushes the man out of the car’s path, but not before he gets a good look at Eul’s face. Eul yanks the wheel to the side at the last second, and her van smashes into a column.
Joon-young is injured in the fall, but he shakes off Assemblyman Choi’s hand to go to Eul, and the sight of her bloodied and unconscious terrifies him. He carries her to the hospital, screaming desperately for a doctor.
Haru acts like a complete brat on the way home, angry at missing the festival. Her mother gets a call that her husband was nearly hit by a car but Joon-young saved him, and when Ji-tae gets the news he’s struck silent with shock.
Assemblyman Choi is fine physically but his his mind is preoccupied trying to figure out Eul’s behavior, wondering if spilled soju warranted such rage. He tells his aide to call the police and tell them it was just an accident, in order to let her off the hook.
Joon-young accepts treatment for his injured shoulder, and he’s confused when Ji-tae comes to see him, looking very different from the scruffy man he knows. Ji-tae formally introduces himself with his real name and business card, and thanks Joon-young stiffly for saving Assemblyman Choi.
Ji-tae is honest, explaining that Assemblyman Choi is his father, which is why he gave up on Eul. Joon-young is surprised, but he’s not interested in discussing this, and he rips out his IV and leaves the room.
He goes to Eul’s room, where she’s lying still unconscious and covered in bandages. He holds her hand, feeling guilty for leaving her in anger earlier tonight, and he apologizes over and over.
As Eul is recuperating, she takes a call from Jik, who thinks she’s been working around the clock on editing. He turns the tables on her and demands photos of her eating three meals a day, hee. As he hangs up, he approaches Haru in a nearby playground to get his cat back, but she shakes her head that it’s lost.
Jik grabs the chains of the swing she’s sitting on and yanks her close to his face, flustering her, and asks if she got rid of the kitten. Haru hotly denies it, then his close proximity has her blurting out, “Do you know you’re really handsome?” Jik just lets go and dumps her on her ass, HA.
Joon-young prepares to take Eul on a trip for a whole month, just the two of them, when she gets out of the hospital. He takes care of everything, even going shopping for pretty lingerie for Eul, though he’s adorably embarrassed and has to give himself a pep-talk just to go inside the store. And awww cute, he gets them a set of couple pajamas.
Eul is nervous as well, and even shyly asks the nurses of she can borrow their makeup. Joon-young gets a scare when she’s not in bed when he arrives, but he finds her in the bathroom, having been startled into smearing her lipstick.
She gets dressed in the clothes he brought, and he zips her into her new coat himself, declaring it perfect. He softly says she looks pretty, and Eul says in return, “Let’s not make it a month. Let’s go for a year. Let’s go for ten years.” Joon-young stares at her intently at the mention of all that time that he doesn’t have, but gets his emotions under wraps and then grins, saying it’s a deal.
Eul throws his words back at him: “If I ask for a kiss, will you hit me?” Joon-young shoots back her answer, “I’ll kill you,” then says this occasion calls for more than a mere peck. He leans down and plants another toe-curling kiss on her, one that goes on for quite a while.
The couple heads down to the parking garage together, where Joon-young leaves Eul to get the car, first pausing to give her his big fluffy scarf. As he reaches his car, he stumbles, and his vision goes blurry. Oh no. He turns pale and slumps to the ground, fighting the darkness, and losing.
While Joon-young is fighting his illness for control, Eul is approached by the police, and she’s arrested for the attempted murder of Assemblyman Choi. She calls out for Joon-young as she’s taken to their car, but he can’t stand or see, and can only lie there, helpless.
By the time Joon-young staggers to his feet, Eul is being driven away. He tries to run after the car but can barely walk, and the last thing Eul sees is Joon-young collapsing to the ground.
He makes his way home, still unsteady on his feet, but determined to do something to help Eul. He calls Gook-young and asks him to find out where Eul’s been taken, and makes his way to his bathroom to take his medicine. By now he looks like he’s hanging onto consciousness by sheer force of will.
He comes out of the bathroom a while later, a little steadier, but only to find that Gook-young has locked him in his bedroom on President Namgoong’s orders, and even set up a couple of guards. They have his phone and are afraid that he’ll go and do something truly irreparable, and refuse to let him out. WHAT. Seriously, you can’t just lock up someone like that.
Joon-young is understandably furious, but he’s too weak to fight back much. He screams, and then cries, desperate to go to Eul, begging and pleading to be let out. Eul is left alone to face interrogation, but she keeps silent and refuses to say a word.
Jung-eun has been taking cooking classes, and she prepares a lavish meal for her father, Assemblyman Yoon. He jokes that she’s so talented that it’s a waste to marry her off to Ji-tae, and she promises to visit Dad every day once she’s married.
Something makes Jung-eun think of the man she hit with her car years ago, and she asks her father what happened to him. Apparently she dreamed about him last night, and her father casually says that he died, like it’s no big deal. Jung-eun responds that it’s good that he died, because he’d only be a burden to his poor family if he’d continued in his vegetative state, then father and daughter cheerfully chat about wine. Wow. No words.
As it turns out, it’s Assemblyman Choi’s wife who pressed charges against Eul, and when Ji-tae finds out, he confronts his mother with fury in his eyes. He asked why she did it, and she tries to blow off his questions, but he follows her into her room to demand answers.
He reminds her that a few years ago, Eul had investigated some illegal funding activity within their company, and Mom had made it her mission to crush Eul in court, even though everything she discovered was true. The reason Eul’s been borrowing money from loan sharks was to pay the court fines when she lost the case, and three years later she’s still suffering when she did nothing wrong.
Ji-tae lashes out, asking his mother if she’s even human, if she doesn’t feel the slightest bit guilty for ruining Eul’s life along with his father, unaware that his father is outside the bedroom door and heard every angry word. Assemblyman Choi puts the pieces together, and he remembers who Eul is now.
Eul sits in prison, still wrapped up in the coat and scarf from Joon-young. Meanwhile Joon-young stares down from his bedroom balcony at the guards swarming his home, still looking pale and ill and worried sick.
He can hear someone ringing his doorbell and calling his name, and he sees on the monitor that it’s Jik. The boy cries as he begs Joon-young to help his sister, but Joon-young is trapped and there’s nothing he can do.
Another wave of dizziness and pain hits Joon-young, and he drops to the floor, unable to stand. He struggles to answer the phone when it rings, and when it’s his lawyer, he just asks where Eul is. He tells his lawyer to get her out of jail, but President Namgoong already told him not to get involved with Eul’s case. What the HELL.
Ajusshi is holding a hilarious protest at Joon-young’s mom’s restaurant, refusing to take off his tuxedo in retaliation for her not showing up to the ceremony. He gets a call from Joon-young and launches into a long-winded explanation of why they didn’t go, but he stops when he hears Joon-young’s voice.
He puts Mom on the phone, and it only takes a weak, “Mom, help me,” to have her and Ajusshi racing to his side. Ajusshi rants during the drive over, ready to kill President Namgoong with his bare hands. Mom stays calm, but when she finds her son unconscious on his bedroom floor, she’s stunned.
Eul hands over her coat and Joon-young’s scarf to a sick cellmate. She goes to sleep and hears a voice sarcastically commending her on being so caring, and she opens her eyes to see her father next to her. He fusses at her for giving away her coat and warns her not to cry, but it’s too late.
Dad says she’ll never survive if she’s weak, and he’ll never be able to rest in peace. Eul sobs that she took the money from Assemblyman Choi, and tried to forget about her father. “I settled, Dad. I thought I would die if I didn’t. Who would care for Jik if I died, too?”
Dad hugs her tight, and says that she did the right thing. He apologizes for leaving her alone, crying with her now, and she begs him to take her with him.
In his bedroom, Joon-young’s mom reaches out to him, and he wakes at the touch of her hand on his face. He slowly looks up, and the instant he sees that it’s his mother, his face crumples. She helps him sit up, ready to take him to the hospital.
In a broken voice and with tears streaming down his face, Joon-young says, “Mom. I have to see Eul. Help me. I need to go to her. Please help me, Mom.”
In her cell, Eul cries, alone.
Wow, I was incredibly impressed with Kim Woo-bin’s performance in this episode, as he’s struggling with his illness and the way his life is crashing down around him. I’ve always liked him as an actor, but I admit I was a bit skeptical of his ability to carry such an emotional role… until now. Consider all my reservations unfounded and just plain wrong. Those episodes of pain and weakness were so hard to watch — I really felt as though Joon-young was using every last ounce of his strength to even take one step. The desperation on his face was so real, I’ll admit I cried several times whenever he was fighting just for the tiniest bit of control over his body. His desperation to get to Eul, even at his own expense, proves more than anything that he truly does love her.
I am horrified that Joon-young’s agent thought that locking him in his room was a valid way to handle Joon-young’s recent behavior. What ever happened to a nice calm discussion? Talking calmly and rationally? NOT imprisoning a person illegally just because you don’t like his choice of girlfriend? I don’t know how Gook-young and President Namgoong thought that stunt would get them anything but fired and most probably sued into oblivion. And then to refuse to help Eul… I’m sorry, but if I were Joon-young, the moment I was free I would CRUSH them.
Joon-young has explained before why he couldn’t become a prosecutor, but somehow I never really got it until his speech to his mother at the top of the episode. His mother raised him that a prosecutor is the most lofty, most respected, most honest and truthful thing a person can be. I understand that he feels he’s not ethical enough to be this ideal that his mother set forth to him, because he’s made choices in his life that hurt others… mainly, the choice to steal Eul’s evidence against Assemblyman Choi in order to protect someone he knew did wrong. Eul nearly dying was just the catalyst that hit home that what he did was truly, deeply immoral. But it’s only now that I realized that he doesn’t just feel unworthy — he actually feels that becoming a prosecutor, when he knew he wasn’t fit for the position, would have been an insult to his mother and her ideals.
It also explains better why Joon-young’s mother has been so angry with him for five years. It wasn’t just about the job — for her, his becoming a prosecutor meant that he was a good person, an honorable and upstanding man that she raised all on her own. He would have been the living proof that her choice to be a single mother was the right choice to make after so many years of sacrifice and insult. By refusing and becoming an actor, she felt he wasn’t just going against her wishes, but actively choosing to be a less-than-stellar person, and she felt that it was probably because he was ashamed of her. Of course that’s not the case, and by refusing the career Joon-young was actually proving that he was becoming a better person, but Mom could never see it that way.
The problem is that they both are so entwined in each other’s emotions, they weren’t able to really talk and work this out sooner. They’re so codependent, even in their separation, that they can’t even discuss the real reasons they’re behaving the way they’re behaving. Which is mostly because they love each other so much, and it’s safe to show your worst side to someone you know will never truly leave you. It was telling that Mom knew it instinctively the moment Joon-young truly needed her — you can’t just drop that kind of motherlove. I think if Joon-young had ever really cut ties with his mother, she’d have changed her tune in a heartbeat. She never wanted her son to leave her alone, just to be the upstanding man she wanted him to be. She was just too angry to realize that in changing careers, he was doing exactly what she always wanted.
As for Eul, while I don’t condone what she did in the slightest (I’ll weigh in on her actions when we learn more about the situation), but I do hope she manages to get out of jail for Joon-young’s sake. He’s going downhill and won’t be able to hide his illness for long, and he deserves a tiny bit of happiness before he’s too sick to enjoy it.