A Couple’s World: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
Betrayal, doubt, and obsession are our keywords this week, and an important question gets put on the table: what emotions are left between our divorced couple? It’s a question we dig into this week, and as our heroine continues her fight for freedom, the black hole seems to get blacker.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Last week I couldn’t shake the feeling that those episodes — briefly rated 15, and mostly providing “two years later” ramp-up — were to provide a slight respite from the convoluted chaos that awaits us. And oh boy, was I right.
Let’s start at the top, shall we? For me, that’s the reveal around Dr Kim/Yoon-gi. I have spent the last several weeks trying to prepare myself for this moment, but to no avail. He’s kind, he protects Sun-woo, he counsels and actually knows how to talk to Joon-young who’s been acting out terribly… and he’s Chairman Yeo’s mole?! He’s getting close to Sun-woo with ulterior motives?! This show does really great twists. Even when you’re hoping against hope that a twist won’t twist, it’s still twisty when it does!
But there’s something A Couple’s World does better than twists, and that’s planting doubt. It works on us as the audience as much as it does within the story, between the characters — and this week there is so, so much of it. First, of course, is Yoon-gi, where the outrage we feel towards his betrayal/manipulation of Sun-woo is tempered by a “What if?”
He swears to Sun-woo that he’s in cahoots with Chairman Yeo solely in order to keep her safe, and while the double-agent scenario is plausible (and I really hope it’s true), there’s so much doubt around him that I just don’t know yet. And the show likes it that way. We’re feeling the same betrayal and uncertainty as our heroine. Doesn’t this show just give you a massive yet wonderful headache?
There’s more doubt at play in the story this week, and rather than full-on betrayal, this instance is the seed of doubt. Sun-woo started planting it last week in her conversations with Da-kyung, and it continues this week when she says she’s being stalked by Tae-oh, and asks if Da-kyung really trusts him. Da-kyung’s doubt continues to grow when she runs into Hyun-seo who tells her even though she got married, she doesn’t look happy — and then understandingly (heh) says, “Once a cheater always a cheater.”
It’s true that Da-kyung doesn’t look happy. She has everything she wanted, but what do you know, Da-kung is sitting home alone nursing a glass of red wine, just like Sun-woo is. Throw in the fact that Da-kyung learns about Tae-oh’s second phone (full of stalker pictures of his ex-wife), and you can’t really blame her.
Her father, both protective and insightful, is also aware of what’s going on, and has been from the start. I remember liking his reaction when her affair first came to light, and this week he reminds her that she can “come home anytime.” But in the meantime, in case that does (or doesn’t) happen, Chairmen Yeo has got his spies, and his game plan. Yoon-gi is filling him in on Sun-woo, he’s slowly squeezing her out of her position at the hospital, and the end game is to get her out of Gosan for good.
Of all the crazy ways Sun-woo is getting tormented, none bothers me more than how they are trying to get her to leave Gosan. Two Phone Tae-oh and Da-kyung came back of their own volition, and she’s the one that has to leave now?
It makes me want to tear my hair out. I both want her to stay and fight, and to pack up and leave and run a cafe on Jeju Island and live happily ever after. Because I don’t think there is any happy waiting in Gosan for her. Even Chairman Yeo threatens Sun-woo with that, lording his power over her and saying, “No one will take your side in Gosan.”
If anyone really wants her gone, though, it’s Tae-oh. Although does he really? The show is sparing no expense to show us how deranged this guy has become. We see his jealousy as Yoon-gi is hovering around Sun-woo and Joon-young, but we also see this trippy mix of desire/hatred towards Sun-woo.
He hired Hyun-seo’s terrifying boyfriend PARK IN-KYU (Lee Hak-joo) to threaten and harass her (and boy does THAT spiral out of control for Tae-oh) — but at the same time he clearly can’t let her go. He pounds on the door one night and storms into the kitchen, drinks her wine (bastard!), mocks her for watching their wedding video, and then half tears her clothes off. Anyone else think Sun-woo should consider getting that restraining order extended?
Tae-oh has sunk to inexplicable lows, but Sun-woo isn’t the only one on his list. He sets aim for Je-hyuk this week, too. Turns out he was the one that lined up Je-hyuk’s latest mistress — and that was before their drunken conversation about Sun-woo in bed, which was appropriately followed by a full-on brawl. Well, Je-hyuk pays for it this week. Tae-oh makes sure that poor Ye-rim finds out about the affair, and instead of trying to conceive (which Je-hyuk finally acquiesced to), they’re headed towards divorce.
I really liked seeing this character growth for Ye-rim, because she deserves better than to be a) peering from windows and b) married to such a lying scoundrel. But more than growth for Ye-rim and a look at Tae-oh’s disgusting maneuvers, what this did for the plot most importantly was shine some light on Sun-woo.
In this Ye-rim/Sun-woo parallel, we’re seeing two different endings of a similar story. It’s some great contrast, and it’s even greater foreshadowing. Unlike Sun-woo, Ye-rim cuts off her husband outright and decides to leave/start over after her divorce.
Ye-rim plans to make a clean break and let go of her obsession to hold onto her marriage, which is obviously the opposite of what Sun-woo is currently experiencing. Ye-rim even calls her out on her actions, warning that, “If you keep fighting back it won’t end.” Ye-rim goes on to say that it’s worthless to be obsessed, and that it only makes you miserable. Then she confronts Sun-woo by saying she’s just like Tae-oh — strong words indeed.
Sun-woo doesn’t seem to take the warning. Instead, every time she gets messed with, she responds with another confrontation — Chairman Yeo, In-kyu, anyone. Sun-woo is in attack mode, and the more she’s wronged, the more riled up she gets. The storm has begun, and Sun-woo is in it all the way.
Speaking of storms, the Hyun-seo storyline was as troubling as ever. While I love the bond between these two, nothing ever goes right, and they seem to continually underestimate In-kyu and his reach. We ended this week’s episodes with what looks like a gory murder, and I really don’t like what they’re leading us to believe. Has Hyun-seo really been killed? As much as I don’t want this to happen, I can see it firing up our heroine even more (not that her fire needs any fuel). And though I’m loathe to add to the foreshadowing we’re already up to our necks in, I don’t think that this will be the last act of violence we see before the end of this saga.