A Couple’s World: Episodes 13-14 Open Thread
We’ve got episodes rich in pathos this week as we follow our heroine through some of her deepest lows as she comes face to face with the consequences of her and her ex-husband’s actions. But those lows also lead to new victories, as the wheel of fate continues to turn.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
A Couple’s World was busy crushing cable ratings last week, and hit some pretty impressive numbers. It’s a worthy success for the drama, which is not only riveting, but merciless, twisty, and fun. Our penultimate episodes this week were top-notch, and I’ll be shocked if the ratings don’t hit the roof before the drama concludes next week.
Last week we ended with the shocking (but not so shocking) act of Sun-woo and Tae-oh sleeping together, and we pick up there this week, in that tangle of passion, anger, and hurt. Both characters are so conflicted, still drawn to each other and dealing with the lack of closure for their years-long marriage — but we also hear Sun-woo asking herself what brought them together. “Was it a familiar habit, or an act of reconciliation aroused by pity?” she muses. The idea of pity, or pathos, between our characters is an apt one, and we see how it plays out in dangerous (but oh so thrilling) ways.
But Sun-woo and Tae-oh getting together also has an important secondary effect — after all, A Couple’s World does love to show us the ripple effect, as one moment of drama spawns a hundred, each of them equally intense.
This week we focus a lot on Joon-young, and we see how all the emotional trauma he has endured is affecting his behavior. There were warning signs that Sun-woo didn’t notice, but they reach a quick crescendo. Sun-woo and Tae-oh are forced to play parents when they’re both called to the school to deal with Joon-young’s bad behavior. Watching them as a (briefly) united front adds quite an intensity to what is already going on between them. All of Joon-young’s anger is unilaterally towards Sun-woo, and when he finally admits that he saw them “together” that night — well, it is a rather destructive reveal for everyone.
As if the trouble (and reveal) with Joon-young isn’t enough, Da-kyung also sticks her nose into things. She’s as cunning as ever, and I don’t believe for a second that she cares about Joon-young’s well-being. Indeed, this thing plays out horribly as Da-kyung usurps the role of Joon-young’s caring mother, ironing out the drama at school.
Sun-woo is on her knees apologizing for her son’s behavior when Da-kyung flits in and brushes away the whole situation like it’s a mere mosquito thanks to her father’s connections. It’s positively galling, and even Tae-oh feels for Sun-woo (in a shocking act of humanity for him). But now our heroine has not only lost her precious son, but she’s been utterly humiliated by the woman that took everything from her.
Sun-woo is brought to all-new lows after all this incident, and the culmination of her son’s seeming hatred towards her. All it takes is an incident at the hospital to get her to resign once and for all. We see a Sun-woo that has reached rock bottom.
The funny thing here, though, is that while Tae-oh now has everything he’s been hoping/plotting for (Seo-woo has lost her position, her son, and her home), the man is still so unhappy. In fact, the more things even out for him, the less he is interested; he’s consumed with thoughts of Sun-woo, and concern for her.
Sun-woo goes AWOL and no one knows where she is. Her friends are worried, but no one is as worried as Tae-oh. And he should be. Sun-woo is in a dark place; she tells her friend (and previous psychiatrist colleague) that she has lost everything she tried to protect, and that she is too tired to fight on.
Is A Couple’s World playing us? Do they want us to think she’s suicidal? Or is Sun-woo playing us, like she did in the past, when she made us (and Tae-oh) think that Joon-young had been killed. The team behind this drama are masters at this kind of tension and intensity. We’re led to believe things and ask questions we don’t want to ask. Sometimes it’s for a twist — but sometimes it’s not.
Such was the case for Sun-woo this week, and some of the most intense drama-making I’ve seen in awhile. Sun-woo walks along the shore for hours, and while there’s no dialogue or narration, we know everything she’s wrestling with because we’ve been alongside her from the beginning. She seems to find some even ground and looks more peaceful for a moment… but no, she takes off her coat and calmly heads for the roaring winter waves.
This whole sequence is as terrifying as it is electric. As both Yoon-gi and Tae-oh drive around like maniacs combing the shoreline for her, we see a montage of her past, and the family that she lost under equally tragic circumstances. We’ve had foreshadowing around this before, but A Couple’s World pulls it right out of its back pocket just to make our hearts beat a little bit faster.
I don’t know where Yoon-gi stands at this point, but his rescue of her was quite something – and so was Tae-oh standing in the distance in a mess of emotion, making sure she was okay before he disappeared.
This whole sequence was the dramatic peak of this week’s episodes for me, and possibly of the entire drama. But rather than linger here for more than a moment, A Couple’s World bangs right back to business. Da-kyung’s fake stepmom shell finally cracks, and there’s a horrible scene with her, Tae-oh, and Joon-young. It ends with Joon-young getting hit by his father (WTH!) and then calling Sun-woo sobbing, asking her to come get him.
Oh, it’s all so diabolically satisfying! Sun-woo, after enduring this horrible nadir, is now on a new high. It’s almost as if her near-death experience was a rebirth, and she’s stronger than ever. It sure feels that way as she marches up to Da-kyung’s house, takes Joon-young, and then tells Da-kyung flat-out that she slept with Tae-oh.
Karma? Poetic justice? Just some damn good storytelling? Either way, A Couple’s World has outdone itself this week. And there’s just enough mayhem left for our final week. I don’t know where our characters will land, but if there’s anything we’ve learned so far, it’s that anything is possible in A Couple’s World.