Go Back Spouses: Episode 7
Jin-joo and Ban-do have gotten into some petty fights with each other, but the time has come for them to put aside their differences and work together in a completely different fight. There are a lot of things they want to change while reliving their pasts, and we’re finally starting to see them jump into action with some much-needed revenge.
EPISODE 7: “Between truth and lies, there is sincerity”
In 2017, Hyun-suk is in his office at the hospital, making out with one of the nurses. His wife Ye-rim comes stomping in to the hospital and confirms that one nurse is missing from her post. She goes straight to her husband’s office, but by the time she enters, Hyun-suk and the nurse are just standing there talking.
They greet Ye-rim normally and while the nurse happily leaves, Hyun-suk smiles and says that he’s glad to see Ye-rim after a hard day. Ye-rim pushes her anger down and smiles at him, then she accepts his hug.
As she’s driven back home, Ye-rim flips through several pictures of her husband with different women. She sobs in the back seat, remembering how she couldn’t say a word even when she noticed the nurse’s smudged lipstick and the lipstick stain on Hyun-suk’s white coat.
Jin-joo narrates that when you try to hide something from someone and you feel confident that they’ll never find out, the chances are that that person is deeply in love with you. “They didn’t get fooled because they couldn’t see the truth,” she continues. “Perhaps they refused to see it because they love you.”
In 1999, Ban-do heads over to the bathroom, and he can’t seem to shake the image of Jin-joo singing from his head. He reaches the men’s room just as Hyun-suk and his friends leave, and he stares after Hyun-suk, wondering why they have to keep running into each other. Feeling his stare, Hyun-suk turns to look at him briefly before rejoining his friends.
After using the bathroom, Ban-do notices a hairpin on the floor, in front of a stall door. He curiously picks it up and opens the stall door, and his eyes widen to see Jin-joo and Nam-gil standing inside, looking very much like they’ve just been caught.
Ban-do asks what they’re doing, and Nam-gil throws the question back at him and asks who he thinks he is. “I’m her…” Ban-do starts, looking at Jin-joo. Not quite sure how to finish, he just says that he’s her friend.
Jin-joo scoffs at that and explains that she was just trying to change clothes. Before Ban-do gets the wrong idea, she moves past him and exits the bathroom. Ban-do tries to leave too, but Nam-gil calls him back.
Ban-do lets out a dry laugh, amused that a young guy like Nam-gil is speaking banmal to him. Nam-gil points out that Ban-do’s the freshman, and Ban-do can’t exactly argue. Annoyed with the boys, Jin-joo tries to end the conversation by handing over the dress Nam-gil had given her.
She says he should return his sister’s dress, making Ban-do scoff about Nam-gil having a sister, guessing that Nam-gil really bought it for some girl. Nam-gil turns to Jin-joo with a smile and says that Ban-do is right—he bought it for her. He pets her hair affectionately, which seems to ruffle Ban-do’s feathers a bit.
Nam-gil turns to leave, but not before giving one last smirk in Ban-do’s direction. Ban-do tells Jin-joo she must be feeling oh-so happy now that she can start a new life with someone tall and handsome like Nam-gil. Jin-joo marches up to Ban-do, making him recoil nervously. But she just glares at him and walks away.
Meanwhile, Bo-reum, Seol, and Dok-jae are still hanging out at the festival. Seol is beyond drunk, mumbling about how sorry she feels for Jin-joo and how much of a bastard Ban-do is, heh. Bo-reum notices Dok-jae’s expensive-looking wallet and figures he must be rich, to which Dok-jae beams with pride. However, the two wonder where Jae-woo could be.
Jae-woo is sitting in his darkened dorm room, crying his eyes out while listening to the radio. The radio show encourages listeners to call in about their own love stories, and Jae-woo does just that. He calls in anonymously, using the name “Tinkerbell,” and tells the two radio show hosts about being in a relationship with someone who finds him easy.
His voice is scrambled to be unrecognizable and hosts assume “Tinkerbell” is a girl, so they advise that men like that probably have lots of women, and (s)he should break it off. The hosts hang up before Jae-woo can clarify he’s a guy.
The next day, Jin-joo gets a text from Hyun-suk asking to meet up. She knows better than to trust him after overhearing him talk about her in the bathroom. And after remembering Ban-do trying to warn her about Hyun-suk, she seems to get an idea.
Ban-do finds Seo-young sitting at her usual spot on campus, and he overhears her fighting with her mother about her ballet competitions. When she angrily hangs up, Ban-do joins her and says she should run away from home. She laughs, finding the idea silly, and Ban-do says he merely said it to make her laugh. Aw.
He gets a call from Jin-joo just then, who asks what Hyun-suk’s deal is. Ban-do immediately gets upset at the thought that Hyun-suk tried something with her, so he asks to meet and talk. Ban-do excuses himself, and Seo-young sadly watches him leave.
Hyun-suk and Ye-rim chat about an upcoming party for medical students, which is known for being an event to take your girlfriend, and she angles to be invited. Hyun-suk declines, though, acting like it’s his own humility that makes him not want to make their relationship public until he’s an established doctor and can face her family proudly. But to himself, he thinks, “How can I take you there? Haven’t you ever looked in a mirror?” Wow. Just wow.
Ye-rim offers to get her dad to buy another car, but Hyun-suk tells her he can’t accept that when she’s already paying for his rent. Ye-rim swoons at how nice he is, while Hyun-suk’s thoughts continue that she should be offering more.
Ban-do meets with Jin-joo and tells her all about Hyun-suk—how he marries Ye-rim and cheats with other women in the future. Jin-joo is curious as to how he knows all of this when he was just a salesperson, but judging by his expression, she correctly guesses that he acted as Hyun-suk’s underling.
Ban-do insists he didn’t do much, though he lets it slip that he would deal with Hyun-suk’s mistresses. Jin-joo sighs to hear that, and she remembers all the times when an exhausted Ban-do would come home from work.
Back in the dorms, Dok-jae is horrified to find Jae-woo looking like a zombie after crying all night. But he’s even more horrified to find his wallet completely shredded. We flash back to last night, and we see that Seol had been so drunk that she’d mistaken the wallet for meat and cut it up.
Dok-jae confronts Seol about the wallet, but she seems to have no memory of last night. Dok-jae tries to tell her that he doesn’t blame her for her drinking habits, and she quickly says that he should get his drinking habits fixed. She runs off, leaving Dok-jae with his ruined wallet.
Once she’s out of sight, Seol chides herself for doing something so crazy. She checks her wallet, only to sigh at its contents and tell herself that she’ll definitely pay Dok-jae back eventually.
Jin-joo is still trying to figure out what to do with Hyun-suk, but Ban-do thinks he already got his revenge. He tells her about the little tricks he’d done—spraying him with soda and kicking him into the pool—and she naturally finds them petty.
She suggests they get some real revenge on Hyun-suk. Ban-do wonders if she’s trying to get revenge for him, and she gets a bit flustered before saying it’s not just for him—she wants to get revenge for all women he’s been using, including herself.
Jin-joo figures she should get close to Hyun-suk, so she answers his text and confirms their date. Ban-do tries to convince her that they should just ignore Hyun-suk and go on with their lives, but one glare from Jin-joo has him getting to work too. (Ha, I love that he’s genuinely scared of her sometimes.)
Knowing Hyun-suk’s true love is money, Ban-do drags Dok-jae over to where Hyun-suk is studying and loudly “gossips” about the granddaughter of Samsung Group supposedly being a student at their school. He gives out Jin-joo’s name and as expected, Hyun-suk smiles to learn this.
Jin-joo meets with Hyun-suk in a bar as planned, and she plays up her new role as the rich girl by ordering espresso and bragging about traveling abroad. She brings up the party for medical students, and it doesn’t take long before Hyun-suk asks if she wants to go with him.
Now that she has him trapped, Jin-joo says that she heard he had a girlfriend. Hyun-suk immediately denies this and lies that he ended things with Ye-rim, or at least, he will. And with that, Jin-joo agrees to attend the party with him.
Ban-do sees this as the perfect way to end Hyun-suk—he’ll break up with Ye-rim and subsequently be his own downfall. But Jin-joo knows it can’t be that easy. (We even see Hyun-suk give Ye-rim flowers and confess his love despite what he told Jin-joo.) So they decide that their best tactic is to get Hyun-suk caught in the act.
It’s been quite a while since Bo-reum has seen Jae-woo, and she starts to get worried. She spots him outside and greets him happily, though she can tell he’s not in the best mood. She drags him over to the bar and encourages him to confide in her. She hops off to the bathroom first, and Jae-woo starts to think that maybe he should ask her directly.
But then Bo-reum’s phone rings with a text. (Ack! Don’t do it, dude. Don’t do eeet!) His hand whips out to grab it and he deflates to see that it’s a text from “Oppa,” who’s excited about a trip. Recalling the radio show host’s words of people like Bo-reum having multiple partners, he checks to see who’s on her speed dial. He gets choked up as he goes through speed dial one through four and they’re all different “Oppa”s.
By the time Bo-reum comes back, Jae-woo is in tears. He jumps away from her and cries that he’s totally complicated and not at all easy. He leaves her there, and that’s when she notices the texts from “Oppa.” Her face falls, wondering if Jae-woo saw it. Hmm. Why do I get the feeling all these oppas are just her brothers?
For the next part of their plan, Ban-do finds Ye-rim and pretends he’s supposed to take her to the party to meet Hyun-suk. She’s delighted to hear that Hyun-suk decided to go after all, and Ban-do starts to worry that this whole revenge scheme might come as too much of a shock for her.
Ban-do arrives to the party with Ye-rim just as Jin-joo arrives with Hyun-suk. Jin-joo’s ready to take him down, but she’s confused when Hyun-suk asks that they talk in private. He takes her away from the party and to her surprise, he drops the kind demeanor and asks, “What are you?”
We flash back to when Hyun-suk had given Ye-rim flowers. He’d asked if the owner of Samsung Group had any granddaughters, and Ye-rim had answered that he only had grandsons. So Hyun-suk leans into Jin-joo and asks why she and Ban-do are messing with him. He’d put the pieces together, remembering he’d talked about Jin-joo before Ban-do kicked him into the pool, and now he knows the two are buddies.
He demands to know what they’re trying to do and when she doesn’t answer, he raises a hand to hit her. A voice stops him, and his blood turns cold when he turns to see three familiar women standing before him.
As it turns out, Jin-joo had every little detail planned—she’d had Ban-do spy on Hyun-suk and gather all the women he was fooling around with. She’d told Ban-do that they would get the women to the party, Ban-do would get Ye-rim to witness it all, and then Jin-joo would have Hyun-suk trapped like a rat. Ban-do had been impressed that she’d based her entire plan on makjang dramas, and she’d boasted that dramas were even better than detectives, lol.
The three women shove Hyun-suk right into the middle of the party, earning everyone’s attention. They start outing him for pretending to be so nice while dating all three of them, and Hyun-suk desperately assures the forming crowd that it’s all a misunderstanding. But he freezes when he sees Ye-rim there, standing with Ban-do.
Hyun-suk approaches Ye-rim and insists that none of it is true, but she just calls him a jerk. He turns to Ban-do, asking who he thinks he is, and Ban-do coolly states that he’s Ye-rim’s boyfriend. Ye-rim goes along with it, and Hyun-suk tries to tell her that people like Ban-do are just trying to get to her money.
“That’s you,” Ye-rim corrects him. Ban-do agrees that Hyun-suk’s just low at this point, making Hyun-suk snap and grab him by the collar. Jin-joo fumes and yells, “Don’t you touch him!” before running up to Hyun-suk and kicking him right where the sun don’t shine. Hyun-suk goes down, with Ban-do and even Jin-joo herself looking surprised by her actions.
Though their plan was a success, Jin-joo and Ban-do still have Ye-rim to comfort. They take her to the bar so she can cry, and Ban-do assures her that it’s much better this way. He says that there are plenty of successful, good guys, though he mutters that guys like him are neither, earning a look from Jin-joo.
Jin-joo gives her some encouragement as well, but Ye-rim merely says through her tears that they’re speaking awfully casual when she’s the older one here. Heh, that makes them awkwardly switch to jondaemal.
As they get up to leave, Ye-rim reveals that she knew all along Hyun-suk had been seeing other women. She was afraid of breaking up with him and as a result, she spent a lot of time crying over it. With a genuine smile, she says that she feels relieved now. “Thanks for hitting him for me,” she tells Jin-joo.
Hyun-suk gets back to his apartment, but the landlady informs him that it’s no longer his apartment—the girl who takes care of his rent asked to retract the deposit. If Hyun-suk wasn’t angry before, he definitely is now. He curses Jin-joo and Ban-do for messing with him.
As Jin-joo and Ban-do walk home, they joke that Jin-joo could be hit with attempted murder for hitting Hyun-suk there. Ban-do stops when he notices a scratch on Jin-joo’s arm, a result from her tussle with Hyun-suk. She insists it’s nothing major, but Ban-do is upset she got hurt when he’d warned her Hyun-suk was dangerous. He gets some supplies and takes her to the park so he can tend to her wound.
Once he gets the bandage on her arm, she asks him if he feels better now that he’s gotten his revenge on Hyun-suk. She doesn’t understand why he always sucked up to him in the first place, and Ban-do explains that it’s what some people have to do to make a living. That reminds Ban-do of Seo-young’s question. He asks Jin-joo what she thinks he likes, saying he didn’t know how to answer this question before. She thinks for a moment before answering with things like chicken soup, UFC, and movies.
He asks why she sold all of his videotapes then, and she throws back that he sold all of her jewelry. He quietly says that he had to since they didn’t have any money. Jin-joo sighs and says, “What’s so important about the things we like? It’s hard enough trying to live day by day.”
The two look out at the playground and they’re suddenly overwhelmed with memories of happier times when they would come to this park with Seo-jin. They turn away from each other, both embarrassed to show their tears.
On campus, Jae-woo is crying his woes to Dok-jae, who’s surprised to hear that Bo-reum could be dating four other men. When Jae-woo mentions that Bo-reum had called him easy, Dok-jae asks if he’d overheard them talking. He starts to explain that there was more to the conversation, but Jae-woo snaps not to mention Bo-reum’s name.
Frustrated, Dok-jae snaps right back that he won’t tell him then. (Ughhh, the lack of communication in this show makes me want to tear my eyes out.) As they head back to the dorms, Dok-jae suggests Jae-woo gather some courage and declare himself as Bo-reum’s boyfriend if he ever encounters the other men. And of course, that’s when they spot Bo-reum talking to a man.
The man (presumably Oppa #1) asks Bo-reum why she canceled their trip, suspicious she’s gotten herself a boyfriend. She denies this, and it seems like the last straw for Jae-woo. He calls out to them, and Bo-reum looks genuinely terrified to see him there. She warns him to get inside, but her oppa is already demanding to know who he is.
“I’m… I’m Yoon Bo-reum’s boyfriend! Why?!” Jae-woo finally blurts out. Bo-reum’s jaw drops. Her oppa doesn’t look happy to hear that, and neither do the three burly men behind Jae-woo. Uh-oh.
Jin-joo decides to walk the rest of the way home alone, so Ban-do tells her to be careful. Then again, he jokes, she’d be too scary for anyone to mess with her. She scowls before turning away, making Ban-do call her back. Now looking more serious, he tells her that he enjoyed her May Queen performance and that he’d forgotten how much she loved singing.
She asks why he’s saying this, and he just says that she should say something nice in return. She mutters that he’s changing the subject and turns to walk away again. With her back to Ban-do, she lets herself smile.
Jin-joo still has a smile on her face as she walks home, though it falters as she starts to feel someone following her. She takes out her phone and tries to reach Ban-do, but his phone is busy—he’s calling her at the same time to make sure she’s okay.
She tries to call again, but the person behind her catches up and makes her whirl around with a gasp. Ban-do seems to receive a call and his eyes grow wide as he asks the caller where they are. Jin-joo drops her phone and we see that she’s now face-to-face with Hyun-suk.
Jin-joo threatens to scream, and Hyun-suk tells her to go ahead. Now that she’s ruined his chances with Ye-rim, he doesn’t care if beating Jin-joo up will get him in jail. He raises his fist, and Jin-joo cries out in fear. Elsewhere, Ban-do has panic written all over his face as he runs through the city.
When Jin-joo and Ban-do were talking at the park, they had expressed their surprise over the fact that Ye-rim had known about Hyun-suk’s girlfriends all along. Ban-do had wondered if they’d split them up too harshly, but Jin-joo insisted that what Ye-rim had wasn’t real love.
She’d continued that a couple would never be able to work through an affair because the wife would always remember the other women. Ban-do had looked at her and asked if she was directing all of that toward him. “I didn’t have an affair back then,” he’d told her. Then they’d stared at each other, not knowing what else to say.
As we see the argument that had led to their divorce, Jin-joo narrates that it’s possible that their love was never over—they just couldn’t find the sincerity that was lying somewhere between the truth and the lies.
I’ve been loving all of Jin-joo’s narrations about life and marriage, and I must say that this episode’s narration really hit the nail on the head. My biggest issue with this couple—and with the Bo-reum/Jae-woo couple—was their severe lack of communication. They would never talk to each other about… well, anything. They wouldn’t talk about their insecurities, about their stress, or about their feelings. And if they did talk, they would joke around or lash out as a way to hide how they truly felt.
As much as I like Ban-do, I’ve been wanting to punch him for some of the harsh things he’s said to Jin-joo. It was almost like he was actually trying to make Jin-joo hate him, and I didn’t understand that. I still don’t understand it, but I think he’s slowly making progress. There’s a moment when Jin-joo tells him to quit calling her “Ajumma,” and it seems like she finally got through to him; she got him to admit that he liked her May Queen performance. I could see in his face that he might’ve been too dense to realize how much that word hurt her. It wasn’t just him being mean, so I can at least appreciate that.
I’m thankful that this episode happened when it did because I needed Jin-joo and Ban-do to stop all the bickering and to clear some misunderstandings. I needed them to step away from the second leads for a while so they wouldn’t be distracted. And it turns out that when it’s just the two of them, they actually make a pretty badass team. It’s incredible when you actually stop and think about it—they saved Ye-rim from a marriage full of heartache. They saved this woman. After watching them act a little too careless while in 1999, it was nice to have them work together to do some good. They made a positive change, and the experience got them to open up with each other. They still joke around when I wish they’d be more sincere, but now their interactions feel less hostile and somewhat warm. Baby steps.
But now that our couple has made a drastic change, I’m beginning to wonder what else they’ve changed. In most time travel dramas, the smallest change in the past can do some serious damage to the future. And our couple has already changed a lot of things in their past, so where does that leave us? Have they unintentionally fixed other issues? Have they unintentionally caused more issues? I find it odd that Jin-joo and Ban-do aren’t asking themselves these questions. They think about their son every day they’re away from him, but are they really thinking about their actions and about the repercussions? I sure hope so. They have to return to the future sometime, and I’m really starting to worry how that future will look.
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