People with Flaws: Episodes 21-22
Grief can do strange things to the mind and heart, even years after the loss of a loved one. Logic is rarely part of the process, and people often make decisions while grieving that they wouldn’t make if they were thinking straight. Thankfully our heroine has the best support system she could possibly have, so although she’s having a rough time of it right now, I’m sure she’ll get through it eventually.
We return to the night that Seo-yeon’s parents died in an accident caused by a drunk driver. Seo-yeon’s stepfather had woken her up inside the flipped car, as her mother lay unconscious (or possibly already dead).
Stepdad had helped Seo-yeon out of the car, after telling her to run for help and no matter what, not to look back. Seo-yeon had heard a horrible sound behind her as the car, freed of her weight, had slid off the road and into a ravine.
As badly as she’d wanted to look back, she’d obeyed and had started running. Soon a car had come by, and when the couple inside got out to help her, Seo-yeon had collapsed.
Won-jae and Won-seok were at home when the call came in, and they were so anxious to get to the hospital that they forgot about little Seo-joon. Their lights had gone out and Seo-joon had woken up in the dark, which caused him to develop his phobia of the dark that persists to this day.
Later, Won-seok had found out which hospital room the drunk driver was in, and when he’d found the driver snacking and laughing while watching TV, Won-seok had nearly killed him with his bare hands. Won-jae had stopped him just in time, but when the driver’s family had dared to speak against Won-seok, he’d threatened to kill them himself if they said another word.
Now, Seo-yeon feels terrible for having blocked out the terrible memories, and letting her brothers carry all of the burden and sadness. Won-jae and Won-seok feel guilty for not telling Seo-yeon the truth (that she was also in the accident, because their parents were driving her to see Kang-woo), but she tells them that she understands.
Upstairs, Jang-mi lies in bed thinking about how she witnessed Seo-yeon remembering her parents’ deaths, and blaming herself for it. She asks Joo-hee if all parents are willing to give their lives for their children, and Joo-hee says that her own mother was very sick, but she worked until the day before she died to make money to leave her daughters. Jang-mi says despondently that she had no idea there were parents like that.
Seo-yeon goes for a jog, but she can’t outrun the memories of the accident. She ignores a call from Kang-woo, who has no idea anything is wrong. He decides to drive her to work and literally skips off to his room to get ready, so cute.
He waits outside the house for Seo-yeon, but Seo-joon shows up first and says that she already left for school. Seo-joon is highly suspicious of Kang-woo’s motives, especially when he says he and Seo-yeon are dating (Seo-joon: “You’re rich and handsome… why??“), but he’s easily won over by an offer of a ride in Kang-woo’s sporty car.
When they get to the school, Kang-woo is forced to admit to Seo-joon that he got fired. He snaps at Seo-joon to tell Seo-yeon to come out, but in Seo-yeon’s office, Seo-joon finds his sister much less happy than her supposed new boyfriend. She hugs him and says she’s sorry, leaving him very confused.
Instead of Seo-yeon, it’s Min-hyuk who gets in the car with Kang-woo, just as Kang-woo receives a text from Seo-yeon saying that she can’t see him now. Min-hyuk makes Kang-woo leave the school grounds, but as he goes, he sees Seo-yeon run to the school entrance as if she was hoping to catch Kang-woo after all.
He goes inside to the chief director’s office, which is his office now. Vice Principal Park and the chief of affairs are there, worried that their gossiping about Kang-woo to Chairwoman Han will get them in trouble, but Min-hyuk assures them that won’t happen.
Upset that Min-hyuk was given Kang-woo’s job, Kang-woo’s mother decides to take matters into her own hands and find Kang-woo a wife. Kang-woo’s dad secretly tells Chairwoman Han that he believes Mom is actually angry because Kang-woo must be dating someone, and Chairwoman Han runs straight to Mom to discuss it.
Kang-woo asks Hyun-soo why Seo-yeon would confess her feelings and go on a date with him, then avoid him the very next day. He admits that he’s called her ten times and texted her twenty times today, so Hyun-soo tells him to knock it off before he chases Seo-yeon away.
Meanwhile, Hyun-soo ignores his own advice and keeps trying to call Mi-kyung, who keeps refusing his calls. She tells Seo-yeon that Hyun-soo isn’t a bad guy and she might even consider dating him, but that he has too much money. Seo-yeon points out that Mi-kyung wants a guy with money, but Mi-kyung says that Hyun-soo is too many levels above hers and it unsettles her.
She wants to go get some snacks from the health office, but Seo-yeon is visibly uncomfortable about it now that Min-hyuk is the chief director. Min-hyuk guesses that Seo-yeon’s nervousness means that Min-hyuk finally confessed, so she hurries to his office to talk to him.
She fusses at him for confessing too soon, and for putting Seo-yeon in between the two cousins. She tells Min-hyuk to stop pursuing Seo-yeon, but he sets his jaw stubbornly, fills his pockets with snacks, and says that he’s selfish and doesn’t like it when things go well for others.
Mi-kyung gets another call from Hyun-soo, and this time she answers, startling him. He gets his act together enough to ask her to have dinner with him, but she refuses, snapping that it would make them friends and hanging up again, ha.
Seo-yeon finally reads the avalanche of texts from Kang-woo, smiling at first, but her smile falls as his texts grow more and more worried. She almost calls him, but Min-hyuk shows up and empties his pockets full of snacks onto her desk. He says he doesn’t have many friends and asks her to eat with him, so they sit and snack silently together.
Meanwhile, Kang-woo visits Doctor Kim to thank him for his help hooking Seo-yeon. Doctor Kim looks relieved and says they don’t need to see each other anymore, but Kang-woo slips him another fat envelope to convince Doctor Kim to become his dating coach. Elsewhere, a scruffy man who looks exactly like Doctor Kim (except for the mole beneath his left eye) reads in a rustic-looking book store.
Seo-yeon walks home from school, forcing Won-jae and Won-seok, who were waiting for her at the bus stop (awww), to run to find her. HAHA, Won-jae can barely breathe while Won-seok isn’t even winded. Won-seok suggests they go for a drink, since they’re already out.
Over beers, the brothers apologize again for not telling Seo-yeon that she was in the accident with their parents. She says it was better that way, and that she understands they were trying to protect her. Won-jae is so relieved that Seo-yeon isn’t angry with them that he starts crying, and Won-seok quips that he’s going through menopause, hee.
Won-jae objects to Seo-yeon’s obvious drinking prowess, but she says she drinks at Won-seok’s bar all the time. Won-seok states that Seo-yeon is a better drinker than Won-jae, so Won-jae sets out to prove them wrong, which only results in them carrying him home while he belts songs at the top of his voice (he has a great voice, even drunk!).
They run into Seo-joon just outside their house, then all four siblings freeze when they realize that Kang-woo is there, waiting for Seo-yeon. He introduces himself to Seo-yeon’s brothers again, more politely this time, but they’re still not thrilled with him and Seo-yeon has to urge them to leave her alone to talk to Kang-woo.
Kang-woo starts to get upset that Seo-yeon hasn’t contacted him all day, but he calms himself down and says he’s sure she had a reason. He asks if she’s already tired of him, but instead of answering, Seo-yeon just steps in for a hug. She apologizes, but he insists he’s not mad, and she hugs him harder.
They go for coffee and Kang-woo asks calmly why Seo-yeon was out of touch all day. She says she would have wanted to see him if she’d heard his voice, which seems to make her sad. But it makes Kang-woo’s day, and he tells her to keep liking him as much as she wants.
Seo-yeon calls him “Kang-woo-yah” for the first time, and tells him that if she suddenly starts being mean to her, that he should hate her for it and not hold back. Kang-woo just smiles at her lovingly, and says that no matter how mean she is, all she has to do is call him “Kang-woo-yah” and he’ll forgive everything.
He walks Seo-yeon home and promises not to bother her anymore like he did today, no matter how much he misses her. He leaves, turning back to wave a cute goodbye, but Seo-yeon’s soft “goodbye” sounds much more final.
Won-seok, who is entirely too observant, immediately guesses that Kang-woo is the guy that Seo-yeon wanted to go see the night of the accident. Won-jae can also tell that Seo-yeon is only pretending to be okay, and he asks Won-seok to keep an eye on her.
Jang-mi hugs Seo-yeon and promises to protect her, and that night, Seo-yeon stays up late looking at her pictures of herself and Kang-woo, old and recent. Later Jang-mi looks at the same photos, and deduces that the boy in the older pictures is the same person the recent photo — the same man she’s been observing around Seo-yeon.
Now that Kang-woo is going to be working in the corporate headquarters, he hangs out in Kang-hee’s office, asking what she does when she gets bored. She flings a file at him and tells him to read it if he needs something to do, and when he argues that he does have work (designing for Hyun-soo), she points out that he’s not doing it now.
She asks him about Seo-yeon, and tells him that she has the luxury of dating whoever she wants because she’s personally successful, but that he can’t do that because he’s not financially independent. She says that introducing Seo-yeon to their family could hurt her because they won’t accept her, and Kang-woo realizes that she’s right. He promises to support her choice in partner if she does the same for him.
Speaking of chosen partners, Won-jae stares at his phone all day at work, worried that Kang-hee hasn’t called him since he let her walk home. She thinks his concern is adorable and asks him to have dinner with her, and he admits that he didn’t make dinner plans because he was hoping she’d call. Aww, they’re so cute!
Seo-yeon is in the middle of trying to figure out how to break up with Kang-woo when she’s surprised by a visit from his mother. She’s met her as Min-hyuk’s aunt, but she only now connects that dots that that makes her Kang-woo’s mother. Mom gets right to the point and tells Seo-yeon to break up with Kang-woo, and she’s a little offended when Seo-yeon agrees before she even gets to offer her any of the cash envelopes she’d prepared (lol).
Min-hyuk spots his aunt’s car at the school, and later he finds Seo-yeon brooding on the roof. He thinks she’s upset because she doesn’t want to break up, and reassures her that Kang-woo won’t let that happen… unless Seo-yeon lets go first.
Kang-woo’s dad finds out what Mom did, and he’s worried that Kang-woo will find out. Chairwoman Han was in on it and says she had no choice, given that Seo-yeon is an orphan, and she orders Dad not to say a word to Kang-woo. Mom reports that Seo-yeon was suspiciously agreeable about breaking up with Kang-woo, and Chairwoman Han also finds it odd that she didn’t even have to offer Seo-yeon any money.
Min-hyuk visits Kang-woo after school and sneers that Kang-woo has no idea when someone right next to him is in pain. He says that in the operating room, a doctor’s worst sin is pride, and refusing to admit when he’s made a mistake. Kang-woo tells him to get to the point, so Min-hyuk snarls, “Don’t let down your guard. If you make a mistake, I won’t waste the chance.”
On his way home from practice, Seo-joon sees a strange woman about to enter the house… but it’s Joo-hee, in heels and a skin-tight dress and wearing a lot of makeup. He chases her inside and right past Won-seok, who’s so worried that Ho-dol canceled another tutoring session that he didn’t even notice Joo-hee.
Kang-hee meets Won-jae at the car dealership, and instead of taking her out for dinner, he’s ordered delivery and has her sit on the couch in the break room. He says that he figured she’s been taken to a lot of expensive restaurants by men, and thought she’d like something more comfortable. Kang-hee confesses that she’s never actually dated because she’s always been too busy.
Won-seok is at work, still looking very preoccupied, when idol Seok-min runs in all excited. He shows Won-seok a video that’s gone viral, titled “Gay Being Outed in Real Time.” Won-seok is upset to see that it’s the video of Ho-dol, when he was tricked by his classmates.
Meanwhile, Mi-kyung goes to Seo-yeon’s house, upset that she’s been avoiding her all day and isn’t answering her calls. She runs into the private investigator who was hired by Jang-mi’s mother to find her, who;s loitering near the house. Mi-kyung wisely tells him that she’s never seen Jang-mi before, but it makes her wonder why someone would be looking for Jang-mi.
Seo-yeon is at Kang-woo’s house, steeling herself to do what she thinks she has to do. Kang-woo is happy to see her until she starts walking around the house, commenting on how expensive everything is. She tells Kang-woo that she’d forgotten he’s a chaebol, and that it makes no sense for them to be together, especially since her parents are dead and she lives with two men who she’s not even related to.
She says she’s breaking up with him before she gets hurt any more, but Kang-woo asks what this is really about. He hugs her and asks her not to do this, and Seo-yeon is just about to cave when Kang-woo’s mother lets herself in. She pretends not to know Seo-yeon and asks if she’s Kang-woo’s girlfriend, and Kang-woo says that she is, to Seo-yeon’s shock.
Kang-woo’s growing more mature by leaps and bounds, and he’s really impressing me these days. He had every right to be angry that Seo-yeon confessed, then ignored him all day, but he managed to rein in his upset and recognize that something was going on with her. Now when she’s breaking up with him, you can see that his first reaction is anger, but he keeps under control and asks her to talk to him about it. I hope Kang-woo remembers his instinct that this isn’t about class lines in the upcoming days as Seo-yeon continues to push him away, because it’s true — everything she’s doing is all about herself and her insecurities. He’s going to need to stay calm and find a way to convince her that none of this, past or present, means they can’t be together.
On the flip side, Min-hyuk is such a conundrum these days. At first he seemed like such a marshmallow, and he still is with Seo-yeon, but I don’t like how his attitude towards Kang-woo is changing. He’s so angry and aggressive, when Kang-woo has never been anything but kind and friendly to him, and he even purposely took Kang-woo’s job! Thankfully, Kang-woo doesn’t need the money, but the move was calculated to humiliate Kang-woo and separate him and Seo-yeon, which isn’t even effective because plenty of people date who don’t work together. It’s not even Kang-woo’s fault that Seo-yeon has feelings for him, yet Min-hyuk is punishing him as if his fifteen-year love for Seo-yeon is something he’s doing at Min-hyuk. He’s being vindictive, immature, and small, and at this point, what he does next will determine how I feel about him for the rest of the show.
It was hard to see Seo-yeon so down and depressed in this episode, because she’s usually so vivacious and positive, even when she’s upset. But I don’t blame her for it, because she’s just learned that the biggest tragedy of her life was caused, she believes, by her childish selfishness in pushing her parents to take her to Kang-woo’s house when they obviously didn’t want to go. I even think she has reason to feel guilty about it — in so many other dramas, the reason behind this sort of guilt is be easily explained away, but in this case an argument could be made that Seo-yeon wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and pushed until she got her way. But she was a child, and her parents were the adults, and they made the ultimate decision — as a parental figure myself, I know how easy it is to cave because you want the kid you love to be happy.
So, while I understand why Seo-yeon feels responsible for her parents’ deaths, she’s still wrong. Her parents made the decision to take her to Kang-woo’s house, and the other driver made the choice to drink and drive. Seo-yeon was just being a teenager, and kids naturally whine for what they want, and that doesn’t make the accident her fault. But it makes a twisted sort of sense that she feels like she doesn’t deserve to be happy with Kang-woo now, when insisting on being with him back then was, in her mind, the reason her parents died. Ironically, her attitude before she regained her memory was the more healthy one… that the drunk driver was the guilty one, and that she’s entitled to be happy with the guy she likes. I think Kang-woo is up to the task of helping Seo-yeon see the truth again, especially now that he’s matured so much, but Seo-yeon is stubborn and it’s not going to be easy. He’s got a long, tough road ahead of him.
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