The Man Living in Our House: Episode 11
Na-ri makes her decision at court, but rather than solve all of their problems, the danger to her and Nan-gil only increases. Everyone thinks they’re entitled to the prize, and Nan-gil and Na-ri can’t rest for a moment as the wolves begin to close in on them. As forces from all sides scheme to gain control of what belongs to Na-ri, will Nan-gil be able to protect both her, the land, and Mom’s dream?
EPISODE 11 RECAP
We back up a few days from the trial, to the end of Na-ri and Nan-gil’s vacation. Things are still awkward after their argument about Na-ri’s testimony, but Nan-gil thanks Na-ri for the break from real life.
Na-ri snarks that she feels like a child who took her parent on a vacation, and asks Nan-gil if he would trade his current life for a life like yesterday. Nan-gil teases, saying that of course he wouldn’t — he worked too hard to learn to knead dough and make mandoo. Hee.
He turns serious, and says that from now on he’ll be lying (about his marriage to her mother), so they can’t be together anymore. Na-ri puts on a brave face and says she’ll see him in court, but her face falls and she fights tears when Nan-gil boards his bus and leaves for home.
On the day of the trial, Na-ri finds Deok-bong waiting for her outside the courthouse. He says that Nan-gil has faith that she’ll testify on his side, but Na-ri informs him that she plans to testify on Uncle’s side, to annul the marriage so that she and Nan-gil won’t be related anymore.
Deok-bong shifts tactics and asks when Na-ri started liking Nan-gil, but she declines to answer. He says that if she doesn’t even know when it started, she should let Nan-gil go. Na-ri says that she doesn’t know when it happened — Nan-gil just appeared in her heart one day, and keeps growing there.
The court case proceeds, and Deok-bong does his best to prove that Nan-gil’s marriage to Na-ri’s mother was valid. He presents their marriage license as evidence, but Uncle testifies that he believes his sister was tricked. He claims that Nan-gil presented forged documents from a lender, and scared Mom into marrying him to gain control of her land.
Deok-bong counters that Mom knew Nan-gil for most of his life, and that she knew Nan-gil worked for the lender that was trying to take her land. CEO Bae’s lawyer calls Wan-shik to testify, and Wan-shik testifies that he worked with Nan-gil for the lender. He tells them how Nan-gil used violence and wrote unfair contracts without a shred of remorse. He says that Nan-gil even boasted about being an ex-con, and Nan-gil shrinks in his chair, ashamed.
Na-ri recalls that Nan-gil warned her that she would hear terrible things about him in court, and realizes that it’s this past that gives him his anxiety spells. Deok-bong objects again, saying that these things have nothing to do with this case, and that Nan-gil went to jail not for any violent acts, but to take responsibility for Dada Finance’s business wrongdoings.
In response, CEO Bae’s lawyer tries to present the police report filed against Nan-gil for threatening Uncle, but Deok-bong tells the judge that Nan-gil was found not culpable. CEO Bae’s lawyer then calls Na-ri to the stand, and Uncle smirks, sure that she’s going to testify on his side.
Yeo-joo goes to Deok-shim’s school to see her, but Deok-shim’s bullies pull her aside to harass her. They demand she hand over her camera, but Yeo-joo interrupts them. She grabs Deok-shim’s hands and begs forgiveness, making up a sob story about Deok-shim’s family lawyer going after Yeo-joo’s nonexistent sibling for bullying her.
She pleads with Deok-shim to drop the charges, and the bullies get cold feet and scurry away. Deok-shim isn’t all that thankful, but Yeo-joo just chirps that she came to ask her something.
Na-ri takes the stand, and testifies that her mother never told her about Nan-gil or their marriage. She says that she didn’t know about her father’s debt, then the lawyer asks the big question: “Do you think this marriage is void?”
Na-ri glances over to Nan-gil, and finds him looking back at her. But there’s no coercion or pleading in his eyes, he simply waits for her answer. When she gives it, the whole court gasps in surprise: “No.”
CEO Bae’s lawyer whispers angrily that she promised to say what they wanted, reminding Na-ri that her uncle won’t be safe if she does this. Deok-bong jumps up to question her, and he asks what her relationship is to Nan-gil.
Na-ri says simply that he’s her stepfather. She looks at Nan-gil and smiles tearfully, and he sighs with both relief and regret. They both remember all of their happy and private moments together, knowing that it’s all over now.
Na-ri tells the court that Nan-gil was there when her mother was struggling, and that he was there for her when her mother died: “He is my only family.” Nan-gil heaves another huge sigh, and thinks, “You did well, Hong Na-ri.”
Yeo-joo asks Deok-shim to tell her about the woman who hurt Deok-bong, the one she supposedly resembles. Deok-shim says she was his first love, which explains the odd look Deok-bong gave Yeo-joo when he first saw her in the airport.
Deok-shim explains that he dated this girl for a long time, but their families had a feud and Deok-bong was stabbed in the back. That’s when he stopped practicing law, and holed himself up out in the country.
She tells Yeo-joo to give it up, because Deok-bong probably finds it difficult to even look at her. But Yeo-joo isn’t deterred, and thinks she can use his memories of his first love to snag him.
The judge pronounces Nan-gil’s marriage to Na-ri’s mother valid, having determined that there’s no evidence to prove Mom was duped into it. Nan-gil is relieved, but when he looks around for Na-ri, Deok-bong says that she’s outside waiting.
Wan-shik calls CEO Bae to report their loss, and CEO Bae is furious. He instructs Wan-shik to bring Uncle to him immediately, and to make sure Na-ri sees them doing it. So Wan-shik does, even making Uncle to get in the car voluntarily so that Na-ri can’t say they’re coercing him.
Nan-gil finds Na-ri to thank her, but she says she’s just protecting her land. He promises to take care of Uncle, then they just stand there, nothing left to say. Deok-bong arrives to take Na-ri home, and after pointing out that they’ve now defined their legal relationship, she leaves.
She seems at peace with it, but as he watches her go, Nan-gil remembers Na-ri saying that she wanted to be with him like a normal couple. He’s gotten his wish, but he doesn’t look happy about it.
Secretary Kwon finally tells Deok-bong about the past — that there was a fire at the orphanage where she lived as a child, and that his grandfather then gave the land the orphanage was on to Na-ri’s mother. He finds that strange because Mom was only fifteen at the time, and says that he thinks there’s more between his family, Na-ri’s mom, and the land.
He figures that the two families are hiding something, because neither he nor Na-ri knew about the land. He wonders out loud if he should ask Na-ri what she thinks, but Secretary Kwon just gives him her epic side-eye and says that her part in all this is now over.
Yeo-joo calls Deok-bong to ask if he’s spoken to Na-ri lately (oh man, his grumpface is awesome), saying that everyone is worried about her. Deok-bong looks hopeful and asks if Yeo-joo knows Na-ri’s address, and when she doesn’t, he just hangs up on her. PFFT
Deok-bong goes to Nan-gil, but he hasn’t heard from Na-ri either. Nan-gil looks concerned to hear that she’s not answering her phone, but he gets an idea. He has Ran-sook’s number in his phone, and Deok-bong doesn’t miss the worry on Nan-gil’s face as he asks him to call Na-ri’s friend.
Na-ri is okay — she’s packing her apartment to move and watching baby animal videos online to cheer herself up. She decides to see if kneading dough will help her mood, but it doesn’t do much for her, but she lights up when Ran-sook shows up at her door.
Ran-sook is frantic with worry, and fusses at Na-ri for turning her phone off and isolating herself. Na-ri just bursts into tears, and Ran-sook gives her a comforting hug.
Nan-gil paces worriedly until Deok-bong calls to tell him that Na-ri is okay. He doesn’t ask for any details, but relaxes to know that she’s fine.
Ran-sook takes Na-ri out for a drive, and Na-ri snaps at her when she calls Nan-gil a name. They see on a billboard that an unseasonal typhoon is approaching, and Na-ri sighs when Ran-sook says that all of her customers will stay in their cozy homes tonight.
Nan-gil goes out in the hurricane to patch up holes in the greenhouse. He fights the wind and rain, but he doesn’t go back inside until all of his and Na-ri’s plants are safe. As he works, he remembers all of the times he and Na-ri spent in the greenhouse, growing their plants and sharing loving moments.
Nan-gil’s night in the storm lands him in bed, sick, though he refuses to see a doctor and forbids Young-gyu to call Na-ri. Of course Young-gyu doesn’t listen, and enlists Deok-shim to get Na-ri’s number from Deok-bong.
Deok-bong looks through Deok-shim’s phone instead of programming in Na-ri’s number, and wonders how she doesn’t have a single friend to call. Uh, have you met her? He doesn’t hand over the number, but lets Deok-shim call Na-ri from his phone. She blurts out in her hysterical teenage way that Nan-gil is probably dying, then bursts into tears.
It works, and Young-gyu is thrilled to see Na-ri arrive and ask for Nan-gil. He tells her how Nan-gil braved the storm, and Na-ri huffs that nobody ever died from a simple cold, and goes into the house.
She gives herself a pep talk, saying that he’s just her stepdad, before going to check on Nan-gil. He rouses for a moment when she sits beside him, then falls back asleep looking a bit more peaceful.
He wakes in the morning to find Na-ri sleeping with her head on his bed, and she wakes. She takes his temperature and tells him that his fever is down, but she refuses to leave until he takes his medicine and eats the porridge she brought.
He tells her to leave since being watched makes him uncomfortable, but she refuses. Nan-gil confesses that he couldn’t even save the greenhouse, and Na-ri berates him for not being able to save it. Nan-gil argues back, and Na-ri pronounces him better if he has enough energy to fight with her.
She expresses her disappointment in him, for breaking his promise to protect it for her. Nan-gil takes offense at her use of banmal, trying to pull stepfather rank, and Na-ri stands to leave. Nan-gil thanks her for coming, but says that she didn’t need to come all this way for a simple cold.
Before she goes, Na-ri gripes at Nan-gil for having Deok-bong call her instead of calling himself, then kicks his tray of medicine in a fit of pique. She says, very formally, that she’ll be back soon, and addresses Nan-gil as “Father.” She goes outside to meet the moving truck carrying all of her things — she’s moving in.
Deok-bong discovers that on the same day of the orphanage fire all those years ago, there was also an explosion at a nearby chemical waste plant. Hmmm, interesting. He calls his father to request that they make the land a park.
His father refuses, saying that it will be buildings as planned. Deok-bong asks if Dad knows why his grandfather gave the land away, yelling that he built the orphanage on top of explosives. He calls it nothing short of murder and refuses to touch the land.
He turns to find Deok-shim looking scared at his outburst, and she tells him that Na-ri is here with all of her things. She hands him a bouquet of flowers to take to Na-ri, but Deok-bong just snaps at his sister to get back to her studies.
Young-gyu lets slip to Nan-gil that Na-ri looks like she’s moving in, so Nan-gil rushes over to the house. Na-ri says that there’s no reason to pay rent in Seoul when she has a perfectly good house right here, making Nan-gil sigh in frustration. She tells him to come back later, because she has something for him to sign.
Nan-gil lets Deok-bong in the door, and he takes in the flowers dispassionately. He leaves after telling Deok-bong to come as often as he likes, and Deok-bong gives Na-ri the flowers then calls her out when her excited response seems too forced.
CEO Bae asks Wan-shik how far he’ll go for him, and Wan-shik says he’ll do anything. CEO Bae says there’s something he needs from Wan-shik, but Nan-gil walks in and sits down like he’s completely fearless.
CEO Bae says angrily that he’s being investigated because of Nan-gil, and Nan-gil is glad to hear that he’s uncomfortable. He warns CEO Bae and Wan-shik that he’ll go to the police and tell them everything if they’re trying to frame him for Na-ri’s father’s murder.
CEO Bae says that Nan-gil is more afraid of Na-ri finding out the truth than the police, and Nan-gil stands to go. He says that if CEO Bae wants to be treated like a father, then he’ll stop threatening Nan-gil with fake documents.
He leaves, and goes to the dry-cleaners where he spoke to the woman about Na-ri’s father’s death certificate. He tells his chefs (who do have names — Joon is the older, and Han-yi the younger) that he realized after they left before, that the woman didn’t even seem curious about them, which seems strange.
When she shows up, Nan-gil asks if she told anyone that they came here before. She says she didn’t, and tells Nan-gil that ever since “that man who died” was around, strange people visit her now and then. Nan-gil asks if she made sure he was dead, but she only says that she paid for the funeral.
CEO Bae frowns at the website for Hong Mandoo, and wonders who’s helping Nan-gil. He tells Wan-shik to capture the other men in the pictures, hoping that Nan-gil will come to him if his friends are threatened. He notes Wan-shik’s eagerness to get at Nan-gil, recalling that he used to be terrified of him.
Yeo-joo enters a club on the arm of a guy, who introduces her around as his “partner.” Deok-bong sees her and his face goes dark, while everyone who knows him comments that Yeo-joo looks just like his ex-fiancee.
Deok-bong pulls Yeo-joo aside, and once they’re alone he rounds on her angrily. He’s upset that she’s here making a fool of him in front of his friends, which confuses Yeo-joo, who says she didn’t know he’d be here. Deok-bong calls her out on that, and she admits that she did know.
Deok-bong growls that he hates when people talk about him, and grinds his teeth when Yeo-joo mentions his ex-fiancee. She says that people only gossip because he gets angry, but he’s too upset to listen to reason, and yells when she mentions that she looks like his ex.
Yeo-joo says that Deok-bong must not be over his ex yet, and he goes scarily quiet. He says that she’s completely different from Na-ri — Na-ri never hides anything, but she’s difficult to understand. But though he doesn’t know what Yeo-joo’s thinking, she’s easy to figure out. Yeo-joo glares at him with angry tears in her eyes, and says that he should leave if he’s just going to spout nonsense.
Nan-gil goes to the house to see what Na-ri wants him to sign. It’s a list of cohabitation rules, like keeping the back gate locked, keeping each other notified if one of them is sick, and not talking about Mom.
Nan-gil refuses, saying that he needs more access to the house, and asks why she came here if she’s not comfortable with the way things are. Na-ri asks him if he really doesn’t know.
The chefs decide to go out together after work, and they don’t notice two cars’ worth of CEO Bae’s thugs following them out. The thugs surround the chefs and herd them into a deserted alleyway.
Joon, the eldest, bravely shields the others and tells them to run. He grabs a broom and holds off the thugs for a minute before they overpower him. Young-gyu struggles to hold Han-yi from rushing back, but he loses the battle. Han-yi is quickly captured, and Young-gyu makes a run for it.
Na-ri tells Nan-gil that she came to this house because she’s decided to be selfish. Ignoring their new situation didn’t work, so she’s going to face it head-on until she can accept it. Nan-gil accepts her decision, and tells her to get some rest while he goes to knead dough (Na-ri: “You need a better phrase.” Ha.).
As he goes, she tells him that she remembered more about the plane trip with her father, and that she thinks they went to her grandmother’s house. Nan-gil looks downcast, but he confirms that they got to mention the search for her father on the television show.
Young-gyu runs until he collapses, then calls Nan-gil to tell him that Joon and Han-yi were taken away. Nan-gil rushes out, calling both of his chefs, neither of whom are able to answer their phones from the cars where they’re being driven away.
Once Nan-gil is away from the house, Wan-shik lets himself into the restaurant and goes looking through the office for clues pointing to whatever Nan-gil may be hiding. Unaware of the danger nearby, Na-ri takes a call from Deok-bong, who happily says that now that she’s free, he can come over and see her.
Na-ri says it’s too late at night, so Deok-bong backs down a little, saying that he’s just had a bad day and needs a friend. Na-ri agrees to talk and heads outside, then goes over to the restaurant and finds Nan-gil gone.
Wan-shik hears her and freezes, but Na-ri hears his phone ring when Nan-gil calls him. The ringtone is unfamiliar and Na-ri goes on alert. Knowing that he’s caught, Wan-shik answers the call as he shows himself to Na-ri with a creepy grin.
Nan-gil asks Wan-shik what he’s done with his chefs, but Wan-shik just says that he’s standing in front of Na-ri right now. That sends Nan-gil into a panic, and he runs to hail a cab just as he gets a call from Joon’s phone. He directs the cab driver to take him home, but Wan-shik is already advancing on Na-ri menacingly.
I was so proud of Na-ri for doing the right thing in that courtroom, and helping Nan-gil protect her mother’s land. Even though it makes me sad to see her make that decision, I think that she wouldn’t be worthy of Nan-gil’s love if she’d chosen to go against his wishes. His promise to her mother means so much to him that it’s possible that even if she had gone the other way and freed them to be together, Nan-gil would have lost respect for her and it would have killed their relationship anyway. So I do think she did the right thing, and probably the only thing that would have preserved Nan-gil’s pure love for her. As sad as it was to see them both let go of their love, their small smiles to each other in that courtroom were like a promise — that even though they can’t be together, they still love each other.
I do wish though, that the show hadn’t foreshadowed that Na-ri’s father may still be alive somewhere so early. I think the emotional moment of Na-ri’s testimony would have landed harder if we didn’t already have the possibility in our minds that they may find him alive, thus nullifying Nan-gil and Mom’s marriage anyway (since Mom would have still been married to Dad when she married Nan-gil), and allow Nan-gil and Na-ri to be together despite the court’s decision. For we viewers, it would have been more painful to see Na-ri and Nan-gil accept their new relationship reality if we didn’t already know about the loophole. But I have to admit that I’m glad there’s a loophole, and while the show could still go in a different direction, I’m pretty sure that Dad will be found alive and thus clear the way for Na-ri and Nan-gil. I can’t be sorry about it from a shipper’s perspective, even while I mourn the emotional gut-wrenching we were denied by having been forecast the ending before even seeing Na-ri testify.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I’ve figured out what I was feeling last week when I said that I wished Nan-gil had reacted in any way to Na-ri’s confession that she loves him. It’s not that I don’t understand that he just froze up — he never expected to ever hear those words from her, and it had to be scary and exciting and terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. But I think my dissatisfaction at his response wasn’t really so much his response (or lack thereof) to that particular moment, but that Nan-gil has just been so passive in general when it comes to their romance. He had that one moment when he asked Na-ri to come back, then confessed when she did, but even then he’s said more than once that he regrets doing it. Otherwise, he’s just letting the relationship happen, allowing Na-ri to shoulder most of the emotional burden and shaping of their long-distance communications.
So it’s frustrating to watch him repeatedly let moments pass by without seizing what he wants, even while I understand why he’s not grabbing for happiness. On the one hand, like I said, I do understand why Nan-gil is holding back. He decided long ago as a child, then again when he married Na-ri’s mom, that his love for Na-ri would stay locked away in his heart forever. He never once intended to become actively involved with Na-ri. So it must be difficult for him to reach out, take charge, and actively love her. Even now he has to keep his distance in order to protect Mom’s dream. I just hope that at some point soon, Nan-gil realizes that Na-ri’s love is more precious than a piece of land, however noble the dream attached to it may be. Na-ri let go of Nan-gil for his sake, because she loves him and she wants to honor his dream. But what I want to see is Nan-gil acknowledging and accepting Na-ri’s love, and taking an active role in winning her back. We know he’s a man with deep convictions and a strong ability to get what he wants when he wants it — I want to see Nan-gil decide that he wants Na-ri, and turn that determination to loving her, openly and equally.
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 10
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 9
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 8
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 7
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 6
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 5
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 4
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 3
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 2
- The Man Living in Our House: Episode 1