Oh My Baby: Episode 5
With her three options on the table, our heroine determines the best candidate to help her achieve her dreams of having baby. Having witnessed the abrupt changes in her friends’ lives, our heroine knows that it’s best not to plan for a stroke of luck; rather, it’s more realistic to plan for the worst. But a stroke of luck may be coming her way, with a potential donor and a simmering romance that she’s just starting to notice.
EPISODE 5: “When we want to believe in fate”
Groggy Yi-sang notices the stamp on his hand in the morning and thinks back to Ha-ri complimenting his photography skills. He’s waking up to his feelings about Ha-ri.
Meanwhile, Jae-young, Mom, and Ha-ri interview nannies for Do-ah, starting with a strictly business nanny and ending with the ajummas who witnessed Ha-ri’s fake birth and Jae-young’s street diaper-change. The nosy ajummas interpret Ha-ri’s recent childbirth as one from an affair, and she doesn’t bother trying to correct the misunderstanding.
With the clinic opening in the works and Ha-ri on suspension, Jae-young hints that Ha-ri has plenty of time to help him. True to their relationship, Ha-ri only offers to help if she gets paid. Ha, these two are siblings.
When Yi-sang arrives at work, he’s surprised to see Ha-ri on the work schedule, and Soo-chul explains that Ha-ri is relentlessly hardworking. As Soo-chul observes from above, Yi-sang pretends to be nonchalant about working with Ha-ri again. He tries to hide his giddy grin and jumps in alarm when he turns around to find Yeon-ho instead of Ha-ri. The disappointment and irritation are obvious, and Soo-chul finds Yi-sang completely transparent.
Ha-ri picks up Mom from her guitar lessons and greets the bald guitar instructor politely. Ha-ri takes Mom to eat porridge, since she’s still recovering from the stomach cancer surgery, and she notices Mom rolling her wrist in pain.
Mom explains that her wrist arthritis is flaring up, so Ha-ri suggests that Mom take it easy on the guitar lessons. Mom always dreamed of playing “Romance” on the guitar, but her dreams were cut short at “Edelweiss” after she met Ha-ri’s father. Ha-ri notes Mom’s luck in her later years — stomach cancer caught in early stages and enough money to pursue passions — but Mom says that her body in old age limits her from doing everything wants.
Relating to the sentiment, Ha-ri says that she’s trying to everything she can when she can, including having a baby. Then, she casually reveals to Mom that she has limited eggs left and getting surgery for her endometriosis will lower her chances of pregnancy. She shakes it off as no big deal, but Mom looks shocked by this news.
Ha-ri continues to shock, this time shocking her BFF Eun-young about her plan to pursue artificial insemination on her own. She asks Eun-young for her support, but Eun-young can’t believe she’s talking about buying sperm just like she’s buying groceries. Ha-ri clarifies that she’s not buying sperm — she’s getting consent and support for it.
Eun-young still thinks she’s going off the rails and poses a hypothetical: Say Ha-ri can raise her baby well on her own. What if a suitable partner enters her life? Ha-ri says that she’s waiting 20 years for this sort of situation, and she’s done with hoping for some mystical man. Eun-young tells Ha-ri not to lose hope so fast, suggesting that she revisit the rejected and the rejectors.
Keeping optimistic, Eun-young claims that there are many good men in the world, but Ha-ri doesn’t know any. Eun-young uses her brother-in-law as an example of a good man. Her point is immediately refuted when they spot said brother-in-law at the grocery store with a young woman, who Ha-ri initially mistakens as Eun-young’s older sister.
At a closer look, Eun-young realizes that her brother-in-law is intimately feeding samples to another woman who isn’t her sister, and she charges over to confront her brother-in-law about this infidelity. Caught in the act, Brother-in-law denies his identity and speedily runs out of the grocery store with Eun-young at their tail.
Ha-ri watches the chase as she checks out at the grocery store, and she tells us that Eun-young used to think Ha-ri was pathetic with her aspiration for marriage. Eun-young was an app-developer and fate led her to an investor who quickly become her husband and father to her children. She was confident in becoming a working mom until she had twins.
Ha-ri asks, “Who knew that Eun-young, who dreamed of being a venture entrepreneur, would be so committed to childbirth and chase down her cheating brother-in-law in the middle of grocery shopping?” Ha, love that duality.
Ha-ri continues, “In my 39 years, I’ve learned that good things don’t just happen like lightening. Rather, bad things stab you in the back with no warning. If you do nothing, then nothing happens. That’s why I have to do something.” We find Ha-ri listing out her sperm donor options and rating their personality, fitness, positivity, and sociability.
First up, Jae-young. Objectively, Ha-ri knows that he has good traits to inherit, but she can’t imagine asking him for support. Next, Yi-sang. He’s not bad either, and plus, he’s charming. She catches herself smiling and brings herself back to the reality that Yi-sang isn’t someone who would offer help. Lastly, Eu-tteum. He has the most stars, and Ha-ri seems particularly drawn to his youth and fitness. He’s Ha-ri’s new primary target.
Ha-ri creeps into work and catches Eu-tteum getting scolded by Manager Kim for his poor writing. Seeing an opportunity, Ha-ri ushers Eu-tteum into a quick lesson about writing a compelling proposal. She uses an example of a quiz that encourages learning, and Eu-tteum is impressed by Ha-ri’s knowledge.
Maknae reporter So-yoon goes down to the studio and tells Hyo-joo that Ha-ri is at work doing something privately with Eu-teeum. Yi-sang perks up at the mention of Ha-ri, and at the vague mention of Ha-ri’s secret activities, he reveals his curiosity by abruptly asking what Ha-ri’s up to. So-yoon responds that she’s in a meeting with Eu-tteum, and Yi-sang sheepishly pretends he meant to say something else.
Back in the private meeting, Ha-ri cautiously asks Ee-tteum what his thoughts are on sperm donation. Eu-tteum notes that Ha-ri can’t get a sperm donation anyway because she’s unmarried, and Ha-ri says that she’s going to find a legal way to receive a sperm donation with consent of the other party.
Eu-tteum asks what Ha-ri plans to do if the child wants to know their father, and Ha-ri says that she’ll also consider that in receiving consent. She shares her approach to explaining the circumstances to her future child, “Mom wanted to meet you so much that I received help from a kind man, but a birth parent isn’t always a father. It’s not because your father doesn’t love you; it’s because your father and mother aren’t in love.”
Ha-ri says that she’s confident in loving her future child, but she suspects that her love won’t be enough for the child. Eu-tteum says that her child would be lucky to have her as a mother. Ha-ri looks grateful and then tries to transition the conversation to finding a healthy donor, but their conversation is interrupted by Manager Kim. He tells Eu-tteum to get on with work and reminds him of his physical exam, which Ha-ri announces she also needs to get.
After work, Soo-chul grabs a drink with Yi-sang and asks him if he’s still not over his ex-fiancée. He’s worried that Yi-sang isn’t open to a new relationship because of his failed relationship, but Yi-sang insists that he’s just comfortable living alone. Soo-chul admits that he was very concerned when the two separated after seeing them together for 17 years, and he finally asks what happened.
Yi-sang fiddles with the ring on his finger, and we also see the faded compliment stamp as he recalls his fiancée getting angry over small things. He explains that they just got tired of each other. Soo-chul tries to be hopeful about a good person entering Yi-sang’s life, but Yi-sang refutes that a love of 17 years couldn’t overcome his problems. He doesn’t want to burden another good person with his issues.
Drunk Yi-sang sees Ha-ri as she exits the convenience store and makes a belated u-turn to try to avoid her, but Ha-ri already spotted him. She asks why he tried to avoid her, and he cutely huffs that he can do whatever he wants. Ha-ri realizes that he’s drunk, and he adorably acknowledges this before walking off.
They round the circular park from different sides and end up running into each other again. Ha-ri looks delighted to see Yi-sang’s drunk mannerisms and asks if he can find his own way home. He nods that he can, but before he leaves, he asks Ha-ri for specific compliments that earned him the stamp.
Amused by his question, Ha-ri responds that his height, his face, and his personality are all great. Yi-sang can’t hide his smile as he hears the compliments and grumbles that he’s 41 years old, not a child. Ha-ri suggests that they grab a drink together because she wants to see more of drunk Yi-sang. Yi-sang seems to sober up slightly and says that he can’t tonight because something bad will happen. Ha-ri complies, and Yi-sang watches her walk away.
Jae-young drops off Do-ah at daycare for her first day and decides not to linger around because Do-ah needs to face their reality. He confidently walks out, but then, he hears Do-ah’s cries and turns back around to sneakily watch Do-ah from the window. As Jae-young watches his daughter playing well without him, but he’s overcome with bittersweet emotions. When the daycare teacher spots him, Jae-young hilariously tries to hide and runs off.
Still attached and concerned, Jae-young hears the echoes of Do-ah’s cries while at work. He turns to the construction worker next to him and asks for assurance about his daughter. As Jae-young interviews a nurse for his clinic, she asks if her responsibilities also include care for his child. We see that Jae-young caved and ended up bringing Do-ah to his office. He says that he’ll be sending her to daycare soon and admits that he’s the one who had a hard time separating from Do-ah. Aw, he’s a sweet dad.
At the hospital, Ha-ri and Eu-tteum sign up for the physical exams, and Ha-ri suggests that he sign up for all of the extra exams, which includes the male-specific examination. For the blood draw, Eu-tteum notices that Ha-ri looks nervous, so he distracts her by pinching her cheek. He follows along with her painful yell, and Ha-ri complains that her cheek also hurts now. It’s thoughtful, hilarious, and so Eu-tteum.
Ee-tteum sleep talks as his anesthesia wears off, and Ha-ri takes particular interest in his comment about sperm donation being hope for subfertile couples. As they leave the hospital, Eu-tteum worries about getting bad news, and Ha-ri asks that he share his results. Just because she’s worried, you know, about his health.
When they receive the exam results, Eu-tteum excitedly announces his healthy status to Ha-ri. He also adds a rare finding — that his sperm count is ten times higher than the average. Eu-tteum celebrates this unexpected win, and Ha-ri also lights up at the potential.
Eu-tteum wonders what he can do with his gift, and Ha-ri brings up the possibility of sperm donation. Before Ha-ri brings up it up herself, Eu-tteum offers to donate his sperm to her. Surprised by the quick decision, Ha-ri suggests that Eu-tteum think through the consequences for his future marriage, but Eu-tteum doesn’t seem concerned about consent from his future wife. Instead, he offers to ask his parents for permission.
Ha-ri is surprised again by this curveball, but it makes perfect sense to Eu-tteum. He’s fine with not being a fatherly presence in the child’s life, so he wants to make sure that his parents are fine with not acknowledging a potential grandchild. This complicates things, and Ha-ri notes that this process sure isn’t easy.
As Chief Editor Shim pumps in the storage room, she gets a call from her nanny about an emergency and prepares to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, she’s summoned into a meeting with Vice President Joo about the magazine’s low sales and checks her phone for updates on her baby.
Vice President Joo notices the distraction and advises Editor Shim to focus on work, now that she’s back from maternity leave. Editor Shim claims that the editing team is working hard and points out that she hasn’t used her child care leave. Vice President Joo insensitively says that it’ll be the company’s loss if Editor Shim takes all her obligated leave and doesn’t return.
Editor Shim responds that she’s not taking her government-sponsored leave because of pressure from Vice President Joo, and she rolls her eyes at his ignorance. I love her. Manager Kim starts to blame the low birth rate for their low sales (low blow, man), but Vice President Joo decides that he’s going to delegate the Mureung city advertisements to ‘the baby’ to help with their profits. He even offers all projects that result from their advertisements to be directed to ‘the baby,’ and Manager Kim accepts the offer graciously.
With an unattractive Mureung city reporting gig to sell to her team, Editor Shim tries to package this job as an opportunity to let the city shine internationally. No one takes the bait, and Editor Shim looks to Ha-ri, who’s not supposed to be at work but couldn’t help herself. The team knows that Ha-ri isn’t great on planes and technically isn’t supposed to work, but Ha-ri sacrifices herself for the job. She’s got to earn back her brownie points somehow.
Soo-chul assigns Yi-sang as the photographer to this job, but deflated Yi-sang says that he can’t go because Ha-ri witnessed his drunk mannerisms. The doom of Yi-sang’s mortifying cute drunk behavior dawns on Soo-chul, and he scolds Yi-sang. With an injured wrist, he can’t take this job and continues to push this onto Yi-sang, but Yi-sang is too embarrassed to see Ha-ri again.
When Ha-ri arrives at the airport, she calls Soo-chul to ask about the photographer, and he responds that she should recognize her partner. Sure enough, Yi-sang is waiting for her, and we see that Soo-chul’s wrist is actually fine. He’s just playing cupid.
Ha-ri happily greets Yi-sang, and he stiffly waves at her. Still embarrassed about his drunken behavior, Yi-sang tries to remain distant and rejects all of Ha-ri’s snack picks for their trip. She wonders if he should get drunk so that he’ll be more agreeable about making their business trip feel more like a fun trip. At check-out, he finally caves and adds his load of snacks.
In the plane, Ha-ri trembles nervously and explains to Yi-sang that she has a fear of take-off. She assures him that she’ll be fine once they’re in the air. As the plane departs, Ha-ri closes her eyes and holds tightly onto her arm rests. Yi-sang looks at her with concern and holds her hand to comfort her. Ha-ri looks surprised but is too nervous to make anything out of it, but Yi-sang can barely hide his smile.
Meanwhile, Jae-young prepares his poses for his photoshoot and looks disappointed with Ha-ri isn’t part of the crew. Yeon-ho explains that Ha-ri went on a business trip with Yi-sang to Mureung city, and Jae-young mutters under his breath with concern about Ha-ri dangerously going alone to a faraway city with this man.
Once the seatbelt light turns off, Ha-ri and Yi-sang quickly let go of the armrest, and the air turns awkward between them. Yi-sang stands up too quickly and faceplants on his way to the bathroom, but he pretends nothing happened. In the bathroom, Yi-sang looks at his hand with the faded stamp, the same one that held Ha-ri’s hand. He knows he’s falling, and he tries to shake himself out of it.
In the car ride, Ha-ri looks at Yi-sang and wonder if he’s the bus she missed. She makes the perfect analogy: The bus is always late when you’re running late, so you take an expensive taxi instead. But then there’s so much traffic, and the bus you waited for passes right by you in the express lane. So relatable. Ha-ri wonders if her urgency made her miss something she should have caught and looks to Yi-sang curiously. “Will I regret not holding this man’s hand?” she thinks as she looks to his hand.
Ha-ri opens up an energy drink and fails to pretend that it won’t open. It opens up well, and when the bottle spills on her from the bumpy ride, Yi-sang offers a handkerchief. Ha-ri takes his hand instead of the handkerchief and then awkwardly grabs the correct item.
Their awkward tension is interrupted by a call from Jae-young, who asks if he should take his photo with his gown on or off. Irritated by this irrelevant issue, Ha-ri asks, “Why should I care whether you take off your clothes or not?” Yi-sang looks at her funny because this sounds hilariously risqué out of context.
On the other side, Jae-young pretends that Ha-ri told him that he looks great either way and announces to the production team that Ha-ri likes his gown on. Then, he calls again and asks Ha-ri if he should be sitting or standing. Ha-ri tells him to sit and cover his belly. Jae-young calls one last time to ask if he should smile or not, and Ha-ri curses at him to keep his mouth shut. Yi-sang looks alarmed by Ha-ri’s strong language, and at the clinic, Yeon-ho points out how tiny his photo will be. LOL.
Ha-ri and Yi-sang follow the guided tour of Mureung and capture the scenery, but they both agree that they didn’t get the best photos from the visit yet. They decide to pursue a better shot by the beach and rent a car to get there. Ha-ri wonders if they’re being overly ambitious for the one shot, but Yi-sang reminds her that her pride hinges on this article. He adds that getting the perfect shot is just as important to him because his name is on it.
At the beach, Ha-ri watches Yi-sang chasing the perfect shot, and he comes back with the beautiful shot for the article. Ha-ri admires the photo and says that he’s the first person to present a photo with the article in mind.
When Jae-young arrives home, he worriedly asks Mom if Ha-ri has returned yet. He thinks that something bad will happen to Ha-ri, but Mom assures him that Ha-ri has never had anything happen to her during the many business trips before. Jae-young spirals down a hypothetical about missing the last train and ending up at a hostel where there’s only one room. Mom says that there are alternatives if they miss the last train. It’ll take a storm to trap you.
Cue the actual rumbling storm rolling in on Ha-ri and Yi-sang. Mom continues down this hypothetical of a storm trap, clothes drenched, the homestay’s boiler is broken, so the two need to hold each other to stay warm. Jae-young finds this erotic scenario extremely unpleasant, but rumblings of this scenario start to unfold live as Yi-sang and Ha-ri run to shelter from the pouring rain.
In the car, Ha-ri and Yi-sang confirm that their transportation options are limited to the rented car, with the flight cancelled, buses on strike, and train sold out. Yi-sang assures Ha-ri that they can extend their rental and make it back home as long as the roads aren’t shut down by a landslide.
At home, Mom and Jae-young watch the news report a landslide in Mureung blocking off all the roads. Haha, this is literally the perfect storm. Ha-ri blames Yi-sang for plotting this situation starting with the car rental, but Yi-sang is offended by her scenario. She’s convinced that old-school Yi-sang set up this old-school scenario and predicts that he’ll take them to a homestay run by a grandma.
Cue their arrival at the only homestay available run by a grandma, who is downright terrifying, at least initially. She says that three rooms are available, but they’re grouped as a private rental. Scared of the grandma, Yi-sang offers to rent all three rooms, but as soon as the grandma leaves, he tries to leave to sleep in the car. But Scary Grandma returns with a change of clothes, and they’re forced to accept her generosity.
Jae-young worries that Ha-ri isn’t answering her phone and tells Mom that she should be worried about Ha-ri spending the night with Yi-sang. While Jae-young is full of concern, Mom is amused by Jae-young’s reaction and roots on Ha-ri’s potential with Yi-sang. Jae-young insists that Yi-sang is a bad dude, and when Mom suggests that Jae-young take responsibility for Ha-ri, he says that he’s merely an older brother to Ha-ri, though his actions suggest something else.
In a full flashy country wardrobe, Yi-sang gathers wood from the surrounding area and start a fire to cook their dinner. Then, Scary Grandma comes with their dinner prepared and tells them that she has a gas stove. The stone pot that they assumed was for cooking is actually just decoration. Ha, plot twist!
Over late night coffee, Ha-ri asks how Yi-sang first started photography. Yi-sang explains that taking photos was his father’s hobby, and he recalls the excitement of picking up the developed film. Ha-ri credits the warmth of Yi-sang’s photos to his origins with photography and says that his photos resemble him. She relates to the excitement in their youth and the anticipation of the next day.
Yi-sang says that he’s more curious about what will happen today and how they’ll spend the night. Ha-ri stares at him blankly, and they both sip their coffee to fill the silence. In their separate rooms, both Yi-sang and Ha-ri toss and turn, unable to sleep. Yi-sang goes outside for some air and looks to Ha-ri’s room hopefully.
When he returns to his room, Ha-ri steps outside and looks towards Yi-sang’s room. She considers texting him but decides against it. Yi-sang hears a door closing outside and puts his ear to his door in anticipation. He doesn’t go outside, and they’re just two ships passing in the night.
The next morning, Ha-ri finds Yi-sang’s room empty and walks around the homestay to find him. She spots him in the field taking photos and calls out to him. He signals her to join him and shushes her to capture the birds. As they take photos of the flock of birds flying away, Yi-sang’s camera points to Ha-ri, and he secretly takes a few photos of her.
A gust of wind passes through, and Ha-ri hides behind Yi-sang’s large frame to check her photos. In a silly mood, Yi-sang hides behind Ha-ri as shelter from the wind, and Ha-ri hides behind him again, not catching his delight. Then, Yi-sang turns to her, and Ha-ri notices their proximity. She steps forward to close the gap between them and looks up at him. Yi-sang reciprocates by slowly leaning toward her.
Omo! They’re falling for each other, and it’s clearly mutual now. After watching Yi-sang admire Ha-ri up close unbeknownst to her, I enjoyed seeing Ha-ri admire Yi-sang this time around. It took some explicit hints mostly resulting from Yi-sang’s failed attempts at self-restraint, but she finally started reconsidering Yi-sang as a potential partner. The missed bus analogy was the perfect way to describe Ha-ri’s conflict with urgency and timing, and I’m interested to see which one wins out as she explores her feelings for Yi-sang in earnest. Now with Eu-tteum’s offer on the table, I’m sure that this romantic partnership will add even more complications to Ha-ri’s pregnancy-without-marriage plan.
I love Jang Nara, but I didn’t expect to love Go Joon just as much. I haven’t seen much of his past works, so I don’t know what his rom-com track record looks like, but I am delighted with him as Yi-sang here. He really got me with his slight glances at Ha-ri in the previous episodes, but this episode proved that he can nail both the romantic and comedy elements of the genre. Drunk Yi-sang is hilarious and freaking adorable, and I love that he reveals his honest feelings — drunk or not — before he can filter them. He’s simultaneously timid and eager, and he just needs a little push from our friendly neighborhood cupid. Soo-chul better load up his cupid arrows for these two.
Jang Nara rules rom-coms, especially ones that center around mother-daughter relationships, and I think this story definitely plays to her strengths. I love how deeply Mom and Ha-ri are committed to each other, and that strong bond between them is what I see as the prime motivator for Ha-ri to pursue her dreams. To me, Ha-ri is seeking what she understands and knows as motherhood, and it’s her prerogative to fulfill her dreams through pregnancy and childbirth, which she considers sacred to that experience. Of course, there are other ways to experience parenthood, and Mom clearly has her ideal drawn out in her mind. But Mom is committed to Ha-ri more than her ideal, I know she’ll come around to supporting Ha-ri in doing this her own way, as moms always do.
Though not largely diverse, I appreciate that the show weaves in different glimpses of parenthood. We see Jae-young learning to be a single working father, Editor Shim sacrificing her child care leave to fulfill expectations at work, Eun-young transitioning into a full-time mother. Every situation requires some level of sacrifice, and Ha-ri knows that she’ll already be starting with a handicap of having no co-parent. She knows that having no co-parent will deeply affect her child’s upbringing, and she’s clearly thought a lot about how to carefully and lovingly deliver this reality to her future child. But with the potential relationship changes on the horizon, I wonder if Ha-ri will need to prepare a new message — potentially one that’s slightly more complicated or one that’s simpler.