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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Episode 4

As it turns out, it doesn’t take much to make our caregiver crack. He’s been broken for years, barely managing to keep himself together in order to care for other broken souls. And now, with Go Moon-young in his life, she threatens to change his whole way of life. It could lead to the undoing he’s been afraid of or the rebuilding he doesn’t even know he needs.

 
EPISODE 4: “Zombie boy”

Watching patient Kwon Gi-do onstage, Kang-tae wonders if he should have fun with Moon-young after all. Mere seconds later, as Gi-do is carried down, Kang-tae walks off, and a confused Moon-young reminds him that he wanted to do something fun.

“When did I say that?” he asks. He looks away and explains that he was just talking to himself. Moving on, she wants him to compliment her for doing the right thing and kidnapping Gi-do. He starts to argue, but she points out that he didn’t stop Gi-do just now. His excuse? That Gi-do was dancing and singing so well.

One of Assemblyman Kwon’s men confronts the couple, warning them that there will be hell to pay, and Moon-young scoffs and says that she’s oh-so-scared. The man lunges forward to hit her, but Kang-tae grabs his hand and shoves him to the ground. Moon-young smiles, impressed, while the man scurries off.

Joo-ri shows up, informing Kang-tae that Gi-do wants to see him. While he joins him, Joo-ri heads over to the ambulance, where Assemblyman Kwon is being lifted into, to find a family member to go accompany Gi-do back to the hospital.

Gi-do urges Kang-tae not to be mad with Moon-young; he feels so much better now. But then Gi-do’s mother stalks over and slaps him. She yells at him for humiliating their family when he should’ve lived quietly and then leaves to rejoin her husband. Gi-do smiles sadly and notes that his mother must really love him.

Kang-tae asks how Gi-do knows, and he replies, “You can tell when you’re the one getting hit. For some reason, when someone hits you with affection, it strangely doesn’t make you upset.” This triggers a memory for Kang-tae, of his own mother hitting him for sending Sang-tae home alone, resulting in him getting beaten up.

We also see the family on a rainy day, with Mom making sure Sang-tae was covered by the umbrella and paying Kang-tae no attention. One night, on the anniversary of his father’s death, Kang-tae overheard Mom drinking and declaring that she’d only die after watching Sang-tae live a full life.

Mom heard Kang-tae get up and crawled over to hug him, which made him smile and hug back. Mom rocked him back and forth and told him to protect Sang-tae until the day he dies. She added, “That’s why I gave birth to you,” and his arms around her slowly dropped. Oh, that hurts…

In the present, Kang-tae tells Joo-ri that he’s going to ride back with Moon-young, because he thinks she shouldn’t be driving alone. So it’s Joo-ri who ends up driving back alone, looking like she’s holding back anger.

Moon-young teases Kang-tae that she saw the look on his face when watching Gi-do and, sensing his discomfort, promises to only kidnap him when he’s ready. He grumbles for her to forget it, so she offers this instead: “When it looks like you want to run away, I’ll run away with you right then and there.”

Kang-tae’s mind goes to the cherry blossom petals falling around them, until Moon-young rolls up the windows. She curses that she hates flowers that fall petal by petal, preferring magnolias and the way the petals fall all at once. He laughs at her comparison, but he does think the flower suits her.

She asks him what his favorite flower is, and he says that he doesn’t have one. He gazes out the window again, his voice getting softer as he continues that he hates spring in general, that being the time he and Sang-tae always leave.

Back in Seoul, Sang-in nearly loses it to news of Moon-young’s Zombie Kid book ceasing publication. He gets in his car and calls Kang-tae, who’s currently in a convenience store with Moon-young. Knowing Moon-young has eyes for Kang-tae, Sang-in warns him that when she wants something, it’s like hunger and she eats that thing up alive. Kang-tae glances back at Moon-young, and she pretends that she totally wasn’t admiring his broad shoulders, lol.

Kang-tae hangs up and joins Moon-young so they can eat cup ramyun before work. He brings up her book, asking if it got banned because of the incident with Sang-tae, and she says that it was because of the “grotesque” artwork. She thinks that people should care more about the story’s message and encourages him to read it. He thinks he’s too old to, but she thinks he’s pretty young at heart — even younger than her. Offended, he asks what makes him seem like a kid.

Moon-young reaches out and smooths Kang-tae’s bangs, saying, “Because I can see that you want to be loved.” He looks at her, speechless, and she smiles at him, seeing the young Kang-tae in his place.

Meanwhile, Gi-do is taken back to OK Hospital and placed in isolation. Lying in bed, he touches his face, where his mother slapped him, and quietly says, “Mom.” His trip into town got his face all over the news, and the hospital staff are worried they’ll get sued.

Someone suggests they put all the blame on Moon-young, since she kidnapped Gi-do. Plus, she hasn’t kept her promise of walking her father. Wanting a second opinion, Director Oh asks what Joo-ri thinks (having noticed the two girls know each other).

Joo-ri dismisses the idea of her and Moon-young being remotely close and agrees with firing her, thinking she doesn’t belong at the hospital. Still, Director Oh thinks they should wait before making any final decisions.

On the road again, Kang-tae asks Moon-young why she won’t take walks with her father. She point-blank says that she already got what she wanted (him) and that her father would be better off dead. She asks about his parents, revealing that she did her research the same way you’d check the expiration date on something you buy.

“Are people like things to you?” he asks. She confirms this, saying that children abandon parents when they get too old and that parents abandon children when they’re too dumb — isn’t that the case with Gi-do? After a moment, he sighs and orders her to stop the car. When she doesn’t, he grabs the steering wheel and forces her to pull over.

Kang-tae gets out of the car and starts walking away, and Moon-young follows, demanding to know why he’s suddenly angry. He turns back and says that for a while there he forgot she was different. He almost expected something out of her, but it’s gone now.

He walks off again, and she calls out, “I love you,” thinking that will lure him back. While it does make him momentarily stop, he keeps going, ignoring her as she repeats this over and over. She’s left confused, as they were just starting to get along.

By the time Moon-young gets home, Sang-in is there waiting for her, wanting her to return to Seoul to write. But she’d rather stay and have her fun; if he’s really concerned, he can move into the mansion with her. At that, he says a quick goodbye and heads back to his car, heh.

Later that night, Moon-young sits in front of her mirror brushing her hair. A hand materializes, her mother’s ghost, to brush her hair for her, just like when she was younger. Back then, her mother, like Kang-tae, said that she was different. “You’re my greatest creation,” she continued. “My other self. I love you, my daughter.”

The memory transitions to a different one — young Moon-young standing in front of a locked room, blood seeping under the door, with her mother lying on the other side. Ooh… *shivers*

Sang-in stops by Jae-soo’s pizza place for dinner, and he’s (quite literally) blown away when Joo-ri stops by. He puts on a suave front, asking if she wants to join him, only to shrink back when she insists on eating alone. The two get drunk throughout the night, unaware that they’re both stressing over Moon-young.

Elsewhere, Kang-tae picks up Sang-tae from school and then takes him to an art supplies store so he can prepare for the hospital’s mural. Sang-tae finds a dinosaur block set and, falling in love, declares that it’s pretty and that he wants it. Of course, this reminds Kang-tae of Moon-young saying the same thing.

The following day, Assemblyman Kwon barges into OK Hospital with his men, wanting Director Oh, Kang-tae, and Moon-young to beg for forgiveness after ruining his reputation. Joo-ri picks up the phone to call Moon-young, but Kang-tae stops her and says that he’ll handle it alone.

Kang-tae joins Director Oh in his office, and there, Assemblyman Kwon goes on a rant about wanting to send his useless son off to another mental facility. The word “useless” hits a chord with Kang-tae, and he says, almost to himself, “Do children have to be uselful to their parents?”

Assemblyman Kwon stands and faces Kang-tae, saying that people are brought into this world because parents need them. He shoves Kang-tae and urges him to ask his parents if he’s useless or not, and that pushes Kang-tae over the edge.

“Then you shouldn’t have had him!” Kang-tae shouts. The assemblyman slaps him across the face and goes on about him being a mere caregiver, while he just stands there stunned. He later escapes to the restroom to splash water on his face, and he stares at the sign over the sink that reads, “Smiling can really make you happy.”

Nurse Park comes into Director Oh’s office steaming mad, asking if the director is going to let the assemblyman get his way. Director Oh just waves her over and shows her what’s on his computer: a CCTV video of the assemblyman slapping Kang-tae, AKA blackmail. We even see Director Oh winking at the camera. HAHAHA.

Sang-tae arrives at the hospital, going around the garden and taking pictures. But when a butterfly lands on his hand, he panics and runs off screaming. He goes inside and, after calming down, starts planning out his mural.

Someone comes up to Sang-tae, asking what he’s doing, and he gasps to see that it’s Moon-young. (Yay! He finally met his idol!) They take some adorable selfies together and then sit down so he can draw her a caricature.

Kang-tae finds them, and Moon-young perks up, saying she came back to walk her father — that was the reason why he was angry, right? But Kang-tae isn’t in the mood right now. He tells Sang-tae to wait in the lobby, raising his voice when Sang-tae doesn’t listen.

Moon-young then notices the red mark on Kang-tae’s face and demands to know what bastard hit him. Kang-tae just drags her away, over to somewhere private, listening to her ramble on. He asks her why she’s getting mad, what she’s even feeling.

“You don’t know what kind of emotion is getting you so worked up,” he says, stepping closer. And, oof, every ounce of snark seems to leave her. “Even you don’t know. You’re all empty inside, just loud like an empty can. So you’d better not act like you know and understand everything about me, when you know nothing.”

He puts the final nail in the coffin, telling her that she’ll never understand until the day she dies. With that, he walks past, missing the look of genuine hurt on her face, to look for his hyung. But Sang-tae is gone, now hiding under a table in the kitchen and worrying that Kang-tae’s yelling means that he hates him.

Joo-ri’s mom, who’s a cook at the hospital, tries to lure Sang-tae out, but it’s no use. She tells Kang-tae to go on home and that she’ll bring Sang-tae later.

Moon-young is still outside, staring at a butterfly with (concerning) intensity, when Joo-ri shows up with her father in a wheelchair. Moon-young looks down at her father, asking if his memories are really gone. She leans over and whispers in his ear, “Did you really forget what kind of person I am… Dad?”

Her father finally looks at her and asks why she’s still alive. In a split second, he jumps out of his wheelchair and attempts to choke her. Joo-ri and other staff scramble over and pull him off of her, but she stays where she is, lying on the ground. She starts laughing with the most pained expression, a tear escaping her eye.

We see a figure at the hospital window, watching Moon-young as she leaves. A voice — her mother’s voice? — narrates that it serves her right for thinking she could come here.

Kang-tae is on his bus home, and he passes Moon-young walking down the street instead of taking her car. Though he seems concerned for her, he stays on the bus. He tries to busy himself at home, and yet Moon-young still invades his thoughts.

All the while, Moon-young is still walking home, until she has to rest and take off her shoes. She thinks about what Kang-tae said earlier and notes, “You also won’t understand me until you die.”

While organizing Sang-tae’s books, Kang-tae finds his copy of Zombie Kid. He decides to sit down and read it, just as Moon-young suggested.

“A baby boy was born in a small village… While raising the boy, his mother naturally came to the realization that he had no feelings whatsoever. All he had was the desire to eat, like a zombie. So his mother locked him up in the basement so that the villagers wouldn’t see him. And every night, she stole livestock from her neighbors to feed him… A number of years passed like that. Then one day, an epidemic broke out. It left the remaining animals dead, and it also killed many people. Those who survived left the village. But the mother couldn’t leave her son all alone. To appease her son crying of hunger, she cut off one leg of hers and gave it to him… She gave him all her limbs. When she was left with nothing but her torso, she embraced her son for the last time to let him devour what was left of her.”

Kang-tae remembers being young, watching his mother snuggle with Sang-tae in bed. He put his arm around her and clutched her shirt, savoring the closeness. The memory ends with more lines from Zombie Kid: “With both his arms, the boy tightly held his mother’s torso and spoke for the first time in his life. ‘Mom is so warm.’”

Kang-tae’s voice shakes as he reads aloud, causing him to break down crying. Even still, he reads on, reaching the final lines, “What did the boy really want? To satiate his hunger? Or to feel his mother’s warmth?”

Jae-soo comes home, sent by Joo-ri, and finds Kang-tae sitting in the dark. Jae-soo tells him what he heard from the hospital, saying that Moon-young was attacked by her father, and Kang-tae seems to wake up from his trance. Thinking back to Moon-young walking on the street, he rushes out the door and takes Jae-soo’s bike.

It’s pouring rain out, and Moon-young continues her long walk, now barefoot. A motorcycle comes speeding past and then screeches to a halt, making her slow to a stop as well.

Kang-tae hops off the motorcycle, staring at her from across the way. And Moon-young’s surprised expression is replaced by a soft smile.

He closes the distance between them, peels off his jacket, and wraps it around her. With the drop of her heels, she falls into him, and though he hesitates, he eventually grabs hold of her.

 
COMMENTS

No, nope, nuh-uh. I am not saying that I’m in love with this drama. It is too early, dammit! I will not cave when we are only two weeks in! Arghhhhhhhhhh, but it’s so good! *conflicted with conflicted feelings*

I could go on and on about everything that’s good about this drama, and I have before, but this episode I’ve gotta commend the impeccable acting. These roles were tailor-made for this cast, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing them. (Oh Jung-se? Killing it. Kim Chang-wan? Killing it. The child actors? Just, wow.) Seo Ye-ji expressed a lifetime of her character’s pain in one scene, with one tear. And Kim Soo-hyun is one of those actors who cries with meaning, who doesn’t just show it but makes you feel it, and boy, did I feel for Kang-tae. He’s been trying so hard to be the responsible guardian figure, and now we’re seeing that behind the put-together facade, he’s still a little kid. It’s heartbreaking watching those flashbacks, watching him feel as if he was losing his mother and then actually losing her to a gruesome murder. He always had and always will have his brother’s love, but it’s different with his mom. His need for his mom seems like something he’s held close to him, something he felt he could never convey to anyone else. And reading Moon-young’s words, feeling their meaning to his core, has to be eye-opening.

I’d been waiting for Kang-tae to go off on Moon-young, because honestly, she’s been asking for it. But that was tough, y’all. He’d been holding in so much frustration with her and it came out harsher than I expected. We know that she wanted him to lose control, but she probably didn’t want him to direct it towards her. Of all people, she doesn’t want rejection from him. And I don’t think she’s looking for understanding. She’s known from the beginning, since that day she tore the butterfly, that Kang-tae doesn’t understand her. She just wants him to see her and to accept her, the same way Gi-do wanted his family to accept him. Because at the end of the day, Moon-young is a person just like everyone else; the human experience doesn’t skip those who happen to be wired differently. She can hurt in her own way, and as Kang-tae seems to be learning, she can hurt in the same way he’s been hurting for all these years. Once he sees Moon-young for who she is, and not for her disorder, a real relationship — a healthy relationship — with her could be possible. But it’s a two-way street, so they both have to be open to each other in order for this to work.

Another thing I love about the show — OK Hospital and the community. I love that the patients seem like good friends, the staff like a second family. In certain moments, it doesn’t even feel like a hospital. Just a place with a beautiful view and a beautiful set of characters. Speaking of which, Joo-ri is becoming more and more interesting to me. She started off as this kind, passive character, but she’s got a little spunk in her. Maybe even a little darkness? Who knows? We still don’t know what happened in her past with Moon-young (other than perhaps being stuck in a love triangle then too). On paper, she’s the typical second lead, pining over the male lead, but she doesn’t stay within the lines of that cliche. Again, like an absolute dream, the drama just takes these stereotypes and makes them real and relatable. It gives me hope that our characters, Moon-young especially, will get the arcs that they deserve.

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I think I caved already. I am loving this drama already. Especially Seo Ye-Ji. I had some good laughs with some of the things she has said. Let's hope the drama maintains its excellence and doesn't fizzle out at the end.

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!!!! Yeji’s comedic timing and enunciation is absolutely brilliant. The deer scene in the previous scene had me in stitches.

As for the drama itself, maintaining its excellence til the end and fully fleshing its characters is really the only job it has left. Everything else is just absolutely perfect. What a true rarity that is.

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The deer scene was hilarious.

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The deer scene had me rolling with laughter right after the "I love you" scene nearly made me cry. Brilliant, lol.

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I'm thinking of replicating the deer scene with all the squirrels and turkeys that have been coming into my urban walking path.

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i imagine this would be a fantastic way to let some steam off lol

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The dear scene is iconic and Seo Ye Ji pulled that of to a tee.

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I adore this drama. I so want it to be perfect. But then... may be it will be okay if it isn;t? ;-)

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There is an epilogue to episode 4 that Netflix didn't include for some reason. You can find it on YouTube (I found it on "the swoon" channel).
https://youtu.be/cUQeZFvRdtA

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Sorry. The link above is wroing. It's this one:
https://youtu.be/_aGYrEcl-Vw

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Seo Yeji is intoxicating

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I’m totally addicted. No shame.

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There are so many things I want to say, but I'll just make one pt.

MY is just a fascinating character. One of my favorite scenes is when KT storms from the car.
KT: That you are different from others, I forgot for a little while.
-MY expresses hurt until he betrays that maybe he unknowingly expected something from her. When he avoids answering what that something is and continues to walk away, she says "I love you". KT stops. She smirks, as if this trick worked and says like a rehearsed robot, "I love you Kangtae-sshi". KT continues to walk away, noting the carelessness/lack of sincerity with which she's saying these things (which he later uses against her, "you don't know what you're feeling").

MY: I said I love you. I really really love you. Are you running away again? I said I love you but why are you running away again? Why? Why!?

More than ASPD, it's as if MY just lacks understanding of social interactions. To her, it's as if she learned from somewhere else that saying the words "I love you" conveys intent and elicits a reaction (like in a drama). So, she is utterly confused when KT continues to walk away, when he evaded affirming their mutual interest but she confirmed it in the highest form possible.

It's like how she deduces that not keeping the promise of taking her father out was the reason KT got mad.. and not everything else she said after it because to her, why should he get mad over those things? She doesn't understand the concept that there may be things that are true, but people just draw an arbitrary line on what shouldnt be said, and instead take offense.

I am very pleased that the direction and writing is very purposeful, even in moments intended to humor. Seo Yeji's expressions capture every nuance in even trivial moments like betraying a sense of pride that she deduced why KT is mad and hence the hospital visit - every scene of hers is worth re-watching.

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You are absolutely right! SYJ brings the character to life, so 3D and realistic (although i don’t know anyone with ASPD). She’s graceful, cool, unfiltered and rich on the outside. She’s immoral, impulsive, unsympathetic and manipulative when you look at her through her mental health profile. She’s childish, vulnerable, yearning for love and tender and has a hint of being tired with her own life, on the deepest level. This episode, i believe, has almost given a full picture of MY to us (though i want more), and certainly, to KT as he drives through the rain to find her. I bet he wants to eat up his words and apologies for being so hard on her before. Ep 5 is gonna deliciously healing, i’m sure

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Like you pointed out, in this episode MY came across more like a poorly socialized person (which might be since she grew up in a castle in the middle of a forest and her parents doesn't seem very 'conventional') rather than simply having antisocial traits. The show itself have made interesting comparisons between ST and MY, like when, in the last episode, KT is thinking about her obsessive behavior towards him and realize that his brother is just as hedonistic. Then, in this episode, we have the 'I love you' scene (robotic voice included) and her inability to comprehend KT's feelings (both of which reminded me of autism), and also see ST failing to recognize his brother annoyance until he had an outburst, and then misinterpreting the meaning of his anger. Maybe they are just using these 'similarities' to show us how KT is starting to empathize with MY, maybe is intended as a commentary on how we perceive these conditions, or maaaaaybe... could be an indicator that we are heading somewhere interesting with MY (more interesting than the 'you were born that way' at least). Whatever the reason might be, I like the writer is putting effort into her character and making us think. As for myself, am purposely trying not to focus on the label as I fear that might prevent me from knowing and understanding MY as a person. Also have lots of doubts about her diagnosis, mostly because, until now, we were mostly shown behaviors that fit ASPD's criteria (and a bunch of other Type B Personality Disorders that are similar to one another in some ways), and diagnosing is more than matching a list of criterias in a book, or at least that's how I was trained.

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this is some of the best writing i've seen in all of kdrama, and the viewing experience is only elevated by the stunning direction and moving performances. using zombie kid as a parallel to highlight our leads' pain and struggles worked so beautifully in not only giving us a glimpse into their psyches but also to forge a connection that feels visceral and unshakable between them. i don't know where all of this is headed, but i see more heartbreak and pain in the forecast before there is a silver lining.

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The scene which stuck with me the most thus far is KT's startled reaction when MY accused him of hypocrisy. She could have easily meant "you're not alright even if you say you'r alright" but I would expect that he would not show surprise at that, most likely having heard that numerous times from Jae-Su or ST's doctors or anyone else who is close enough to see the reality of his situation. I interpreted her accusation as seeing that KT is not really as saintly about his personal responsibilities as outward appearances would suggest and that he shares some of her anger-driven dark impulses but is unwilling to acknowledge them. It is common for a protagonist with hidden anger to "evolve" by admitting to it in order to fix the problem, but this is the first time I have seen a character is possibly encouraged to embrace the dark as a good for its own sake (at least when not coming from a Joker-like villain.)

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everyone tiptoes around him, but she refuses to, which is greatly disorienting him. it's like moon young has stripped the band aid off the wound he's been nursing all his life in one shocking, swift swoop. she is unwittingly saying the things he does not want to hear bc he knows there are true.

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Agree! The script for this episode is amazingly good! I had reservations in the beginning when looking up the script writer’s previous work, but now? I’M SOLD! I think the drama will move to the direction where KT, while being unexpectedly healed by MY, navigates his way to accept her and love her. Vice versa for MY. This should be done with utmost delicacy, as i don’t want a conventional healing relationship in normal rom com. It’s gonna be ugly, messy, full of trial and error. I don’t even expect them to completely understand each other. I need a sprinkler of reality in this sweetness!

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agreed. this can't be a clear cut, neatly packaged love story. i fully expect things to get ugly, but i really hope the ugliness is buoyed by the poignant and gently uplifting writing we've seen so far.

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It’s like the writer and director completely understand each other i love it

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yes, they are in complete harmony, and the result has been breathtaking.

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I love Seo Ye-ji, I cannot stop rewatching her scenes. It’s a joy to watch her act. Those expressions, the way she carries the tone of her voice, love every bit of it. That scene with her dad? That hurt. She smiled but you can clearly see the sadness in her eyes.

And like other beanies, I also want a physically copy of the book! We might get one if the ratings will do well locally.

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Yes, but the book wouldn't have English subs :(

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That’s possible 😔

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It was really painful. And she knew what his reaction will be.
It’s the second time she’s almost choked in the drama, and we’re only on episode four! Well, physically choked, because she was totally paralysed when she had that nightmare with her mum’s ghost.
She’s been living in the edge for so long...

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I made this same exact comment! Its 3 times in 4 eps if you count flashbacks! 4 if you count the little girl!
1. Guy in first hospital
2. Flashback of moonyoung getting choked while being choked by the guy the hospital.
3. The little girls flashback
4. Getting choked by her dad again.

Like..i know this isnt your typical romcom but DANG drama! 4 chokings in 4 eps

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OMO I forgot she got choked on the first ep too!

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She needs lots of hug and love!

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That scene with the father hurt so much.

I was utterly incensed when nobody from the hospital staff went over to check if she was okay! Sure, the father is their patient but he just tried to strangle her. Maybe someone ought to make sure the victim isn't hurt too badly?

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Yeah I found that really striking on a visual level...
But on a logical level I was like "Um, how unprofessional of you guys."

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Same! I fee like the staff will have some growth towards how they treat her.

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They are publishing the books! They will be released on July 17th and I already pre-ordered them lol. I think no English though.

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Hi, where to order them?

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That’s great to know!

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Moon-young reaches out and smooths Kang-tae’s bangs, saying, “Because I can see that you want to be loved.” - Kang-Tae's wall is crumbling down little by little.

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I know right! It may be strange to a lot of people but i think KSH’s acting in that scene is better than his crying at the end. I mean, his eyes! One second ago his eyes were defensive, unattached and blank, the next second after MY’s powerful insight, his eyes turned innocent, vulnerable and tenderly surprised, almost signaling he had regressed into a child. He looked at MY like a more grown up figure, capable of giving him his overdue love and attention. That’s why when he figured out she was not who he expected, he just snapped and walked out of the car. Brilliant script, brilliant acting!

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That was golden. I absolutely LOVED that scene. There’s something about the way he looked at her. Like his mask fell off completely and he was caught off guard. Almost like he didn’t even realize that’s what he needed and yet she read through him. KSH is nailing this just as SYJ is. Soooo goood.

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I completely agree. The way he looks at her in that scene. WOW. These two just keep breaking my heart over and over again.

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Agree. Also the use of rain in this scene -the idea of things being washed away (his pretence/I'm coping facade). Great move to then stick in child KT to emphasise his feelings, particularly in the light of this eposode being "Zombie Kid". Excellent direction too!

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it really makes me wonder what it must take for actors of this caliber to be completely one with their character. i read that both oh jung se and kim soo hyun cried while they were filming the book signing scene, where sang tae is assaulted, even though it wasn't part of the script and didn't make it into the drama.

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I must be obsessed with this drama, couldn't stop checking for updates after watching this week's episodes. Thank you for the recaps @sailorjumun!

After this week's episodes I think I have a better understanding of what the casts described this drama to be, a human healing drama. At first I wasn't sure where the story arc was going with KDY's cameo appearance, whether it was just for comedic relief. But then the show turned it around and gave us so much heart. I appreciate that there are funny moments with this show but at the end of the day it's able to move you to tears and make you feel deeply for the characters. First show to have me in tears by episode 3 lol.

I feel like KT had built such a strong facade all these years, so good that he thought no one can see through him. So when MY called him out on it, it gave him a shock. I love the scene where MY told KT she can tell he wants to be loved which struck a chord with him. Then the camera shows us a young KT smiling opposite MY. Deep down he's still that child yearning to be loved. 😭

From what we've seen of MY's behaviours she has sociopathic tendencies. However she's not completely lacking empathy. We can see instances where she didn't have to step in but she did anyways in the end. And in this week's episodes we get a glimpse into her vulnerability, trauma, loneliness. She's definitely not without feelings for others, even though she may not understand those feelings herself at this point. I wonder if she was raised to be a sociopath and possibly by one too. There's definitely a lot more to her past we haven't seen. I'm enjoying the fact that with this drama I can't predict anything. I have no idea what's coming, but I trust the show won't disappoint. Happy watching fellow beanies! 🙂

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Hmm I would stick to anti social instead of sociopath.. If she was a socipath, she would have killed the ant and I was holding my breath watching to see what she would do but she just used her shoe to block the ant to get it to change directions. I don't think she has sociopath tendencies.. Anti social and lack of care seems to be her issues, probably why she is so loud and trying to get attention.

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"A sociopath is a term used to describe someone who has antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)." Not to be confused with psychopath.
I looked up ASPD so I could understand MY better. Of course there's a lot more to her childhood we have yet to be shown and hopefully that'll give us a better understanding into her character.
Yes I agree with you there, so glad she did not hurt the ant and I sat up from my bed to see what she was going to do with the butterfly but alas the scene was interrupted.

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So did I, and everywhere it says ASPD is sociopathy. In fact it was a bit complicated to look for information in Spanish because all is related to the “sociopath” term.

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Am hispanic and a psychologist and I have never used the terms 'sociopath' or 'psychopath' as diagnosis, we use Antisocial or Disocial Personality Disorder (depending on the manual). I only started using sociopath/psychopath after I started working in the justice system, forensic psychologist use them a lot. Maybe you are coming across forensic related articles, that's why you always see sociopath being used.

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Knowing a little about her mental disorder helps  me understand Moon Young a little bit better. I feel bad for her that I don't find any of her actions amusing like I used to at the beginning of the show.
Everyone around her is judging her based on her behavior. Even those in the so-called medical field.
If the show didn't tell us that she has APD I wouldn't have guessed it.

I appreciate the references to the original fairy tales because it helps explain her condition in a noninvasive way.
It's like the stories in her books. Gang Tae comes to realization on his own which makes his self discovery much more effective and real.

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That scene with the ant was genuinely terrifying for me to watch 😰 (I'm a very sensitive vegan and can't stand to see violence against any creatures)

I am thinking there's a reason for her ripping the butterflies apart. Like, considering Sang-Tae's trauma butterflies are mixed in with the murder backstory so maybe ripping them apart was a way for her to cope?

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I also noticed she didn’t kill the ant and was totally expecting that!

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That ant scene is shpwing that she's not as dark as she (and show) portrayed her to be. It's such a quite and simple scene, yet speaks volume. I am again so impressed by the writing and directing of this show.

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I think so too. I think this means that she kills butterflies because they are a part of a terrible memory.

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I do think she lacks empathy, or even sympathy. She doesn’t understand right from wrong, that’s why she asked KT at the beginning if she had done good. I think she couldn’t and didn’t understand KT’s emotions like the way we sympathize with him, she knows what he must be feeling based on her own experience, her common knowledge and perceptiveness. That’s why she comes off as manipulative in the shouting scene where KT walked out of the car at the beginning. She said ‘i love you’ just to fish out certain reactions from KT, and when he stopped, she knew it kinda worked LOL.

Despite that, she has feelings, she can be hurt, happy, and most importantly, she needs love and attention, just like KT does. I prefer to not water her down, keep her this way, but it’s much harder to map out what kind of relationship those two will have. It certainly will not be conventional, and if not careful, will border Un-healthiness

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Not only does she lack empathy, she also lack remorse as shown in previous episodes. She's impulsive and has no sense of right or wrong. These are all traits of ASPD. She's smart and knows how to manipulate to get what she wants. It pains me to write this, and believe me I'm rooting for her to be heal, learn to love, care and become a better person, but I can't gloss over it that she's just cold and uncaring. The girl clearly suffers from extreme childhood trauma and displays symptoms of ASPD. This drama is about the healing journey of MY and KT after all, the first step to healing is to identify and come to face with the problem.

As said, I don't think she's completely without empathy like how she stepped in with the little girl's father incident in ep1, how she handled KDY's situation, her treatment towards ST. Also how worked up she was when she saw KT got hurt. Was she upset because KT is her beautiful plaything and she doesn't want anyone to damage it or does she really care for him? I'm glad KT asked her those questions, it was harsh but true. She doesn't understand her own emotions and feelings as they're probably new to her. I think as the drama progresses MY will gradually become more empathetic. As the story shows us behind her cold, uncaring and manipulative front lie her trauma, vulnerability and loneliness. She's not immuned to hurt and pain despite the cold and callous front she puts on display.

I liked that in that scene MY was clearly saying it to get a reaction out of KT. She smirked when her declaration of love successfully got him to pause in his steps. But when KT walked away in the end her expressions became hurt and desperate. She needs to learn that she can't always get what she wants through manipulation. Gotta to give it up for SYJ, she's doing a great job as MY and I can't imagine anyone else playing the role.

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Yeah, MY's mum in this one - I got distinct Miss Haversham-Estella vibes from Dicken's "Great Expectations". Someone who's been groomed for a role, "my greatest creation". Oo-er, that's messed up.

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Same. Especially since her father seems to be abusive/murderous... like, maybe MY's mom wanted to create a girl who would not get hurt emotionally even if she was abused.

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I looked up Antisocial disorder personality and it referenced sociopathy. I agree with you that MoYoung displays some sociopathic tendencies (impulsiveness, manipulation, lack of boundaries) but she also seems to have some empathy and emotion. Her reacting to her father’s choking and her mother’s nightmare vision were more emotional/sad than frightened or angry. So now I’m wondering if her mother was a sociopath who projected her tendencies on to MoYoung and she’s just mirroring. Still a mental health issue but maybe a little different than Antisocial Disorder Personality. Need a psych major beanie to explain

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I am really hoping for that because that way the writers could avoid the "she gets healed from an unhealable condition"/"Kang-Tae ends up in a relationship with a highly ASPD person" dilemma.

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Even if she ends up not having ASPD, still she will have a mental disorder (its almost impossible that she won't), and sadly there are very few 'curable' ones. On the other hand, if she end up having ASPD, she can get better, not with love, but with actual
treatment (I hope she gets it in other hospital though). Mental health patients can get 'better' and have a quality life with proper treatment. Personality Disorders are just more difficult to treat (cause they don't have consciousness of their own problem) but its not completely impossible, and ASDP is not an exception. So, in the end, the 'dilemma' will depend more on how the story is told rather than the specific pathology she might or might not have.

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That's exactly my theory about MY's mother! Glad to see someone else whom came up with the same thing. What you are saying, not only it is possible, but extremely probable, both clinically speaking and in the context of the story.

Am going to share my thoughts about it and why is plausible from a technical perspective, it's going to be long so I apologize beforehand:
My guess is that her mother either had ASPD or other kind of mental disorder (dissociative perhaps), though undiagnosed. As for the father, he give me victim vibes rather than perpetrator's, but I don't discard the possibility of him had being manipulated into doing some evil stuff by his wife. If any of this is true, like you have stated, MY could has acquired the antisocial traits and behavioral problems from her mother through learning, mothers are important attachment figures after all and therefore models. Still, from what we saw on this episode, there is a high probability that, rather than the learning process occured spontaneously, the mother might 'have forced' those characteristics on MY through 'education' (foile à deux maybe? hahahaha, am getting waaaay too excited, don't mind me haha).
Even though this 'theory' does not cancel the whole 'you were born that way' (kind of confirms it actually), yet it gives the show more room to portray the complexity of this disorder and the influence of psychological and social factors in the personality's development and mental health as a whole (specially if it turns out that the mother did not had ASPD but other pathology instead). It will be more accurate actually, since has been proven that ASPD have some sort of genetic predisposition but then again, since personality it CANNOT be inherited, social influences are as crucial, if not more, as the biological factors.
So basically, and to sum up, MY might have being borned with a certain genetic predisposition due to her mother having a mental disorder, however those 'genes' has expressed in that way (antisocial tendencies) because of the specific (and traumatic, probably induced) socialization process that she has undergone.
Hope my rant is of any help, or at least understandable since I have a migraine right now and did my best to explain myself.

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I'm already caving, and not even going to fight it. When anyone in this drama cries, I want to cry along with them. Ah.
I think of Kang-tae’s mother’s “reason” of her giving birth to Kang-tae so he could help take care of Sang-tae later as her expression of desperation and exhaustion. She, too, is a caregiver all by herself - as a widow and seemingly without other extended family members to help. So she seeks comfort and reassurance in Kang-tae, in knowing that he’ll be there for Sang-tae when she dies. I think it’s hard to divide your attention equally on all your children when one needs so much more help than the other, but that's not that one shouldn't try to. Kang-tae’s mother’s behaviors aren’t healthy by any standards, but I can understand her motivations and reasonings.
I do love Ok Psychiatric hospital and its patients, but only liking some of its staff, especially the Director and the Nurse in charge - they're a hoot to watch! Joo-ri is.... meh. Although I do love the scene at the pizza place and how it hints at a potential love triangle for these secondary characters. That would be fun to watch.

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I do believe that Mom loved him just as much as he loves Sang-tae but like you said, it' hard to show that love equally when you have one who needs more help. What we saw was Gang-tae's perspective which kind of puts Mom in a bad light. He's hurt and I know I would be too if I heard that from my mother.

Even in the book, the mom definitely loves her child, enough to give him her body to eat. It's just that she failed to see what her child REALLY needs. I bet Gang-tae's mom is the same.

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There are definitely loving moments he remembers, but every now and then these moments make his heart ache, probably because he's too ashamed to face them and properly process his feelings.

You hardly want to be a lesser version of yourself with someone, but you do want someone you can be less than perfect for, someone you can, just for a moment, show the weakest part of yourself to. I feel like Kang-tae needs this more than anyone and it's what makes Moon-young such a great match for him. Because, for all his mom probably truly loved him, she very rarely, if ever, allowed him to show weakness. I understand why, but it has clearly impacted him in some pretty unhealthy ways.

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I don’t think Joo-ri will be much of an obstacle since MY and KT’s bond is so strong. Still, she’s annoying, pretending to be tamed and good. I’d rather she’d lose some of her righteousness and be a swearer Like MY

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I think part of my dislike for Joo-ri lies with how very flat and one-dimensional she is right now. I know there are hints at something else lurking under the facade, but I just can't get past the single dead-eyed expression she has on for most of the episodes.

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Next episode preview has a scene in which both girls just trying to rip each other’s hair out. I’m looking forwards to it haha

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I thought for a moment it was Sang-tae's hair? WOW now, I cannot wait!

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I personally like her, if you say she is a pretender then so is kang tae, same boat, always nice and righteous and being the perfect good person....

So why is she the evil one in this case??

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I don't think Joo-ri is an "evil" character. As I said, I think my dislike of her character so far has to do with how little we see of her and that little bit we do see is rather flat to me. The first moment I saw of her that I found interesting and hints at something more is her moment of reflection at the pizza place. It shows that she's self-aware, which is something Kang-tae doesn't necessarily have. I really don't think either Kang-tae or Joo-ri pretends to be righteous or good. They genuinely are good people with emotional scars, and while we're starting to see different aspects of Kang-tae, we have yet to see that with Joo-ri.

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Thank you! The hate towards Joo-ri confuses me, and I think it boils down to people preparing to hate the second lead and the fact that she isn't as "interesting" as Mun-yeong. Also, the actress who plays her isn't particularly charismatic.

Maybe I'll eat my words later, and it's entirely possible she will end up being a terrible person, but at the moment I don't think she warrants the hate she's given.

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I think its the actress, I wonder if this role would appear more compelling if it wasn't this actress

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@mindy I wanted to also mention this in my reply but cut it bc it would be kinda longe (lol) but because Joo-ri is the second lead, I wanted more from her character which we haven't seen yet. To be fair, we're only 2 weeks in. Even if the plot takes a turn and somehow Joo-ri becomes the true villain, as long as there are solid motivations and context for her behaviors, I would probably still like her. Haha I'm all for multifaceted villains who make me both cry for and hate them.

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I'm also a bit irked by the undue hate directed at her character. She clearly has had her own experience with Moon-young that informs her behavior towards her. I love Moon-young, but have me working as her father's caretaker irl, I'd probably hate her too.

I'd also argue that it's purposeful that she's not all that charismatic, given that her character is given almost no quirks. Possibly because she tends to filter her words/behavior with Kang-tae in the way someone does when they want to be liked. It's understandable but it hinders his (and our) ability to truly connect with or get to know her. I see glimpses of charm when she's on her own (like when she admonished herself for her pettiness this ep). I actually think the actress is doing a solid job with a pretty unforgiving role so far.

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Really agree with this. I think Kang-tae’s situation is very similar to Gi-do actually. Both their mothers love them in more ways than one. But it’s difficult to express it, or they way they show it doesn’t get through their children. I think Gi-do is getting better because he understands that actually, he’s loved by a parent. In her own way, his mother loves him.

With Kang-tae, while I do believe his mother cares and loves him, he himself has never felt that. He was probably 10. Maybe even less. He saw his mother neglect him throughout her life, then tell him he’s “useful”/born as Sang-tae’s guardian. That’s got to hurt so bad. He hasn’t had that moment where he felt she loved him. And all he needed was a bit more care from her.

I understand both perspectives and I love that even through Kang-tae’s memories, she isn’t exactly a villain. Just someone he wished loved him as he loved her. It’s different from how Moon-young remembers her mother. Her memories definitely paint her in a more villainous light which is both within character.

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Yes! I was thinking of Ki-do's mother too - her slap was out of anger and love, and while violence shouldn't be encouraged, I can see her own conflicted feelings and responsibilities - to her husband, her other children, and the family's reputation. She believes that if Ki-do stays obedient and quiet, he should uphold the family's status quo, he'd be fine. That's not healthy or right at all, but I think she's just as under her husband's thumb as anyone else in that family.
Kang-tae genuinely loves his mom and his brother. He seems very sweet-natured as a kid, and even in those moments wherein he was hurt by his mom, he didn't lash out or say one mean thing to either of them. I also don't think he has any resentment toward Sang-tae. Rather, Kang-tae's responses to Sang-tae tell me that he's resigned himself to being the caregiver and he doesn't expect Sang-tae to explain his behaviors or suppress his desires. His devotion to Sang-tae is comparable, although on the opposite end of the spectrum, to Ki-do's manic episodes. They both think that that's how they could get their parents' attention and affection. Hence, when Ki-do was able to air his grievances publically, it hit Kang-tae hard too.
I've skipped over ALL the creepy scenes with Moon-young's mom. I truly do not want to live her nightmares. It makes so much sense that this is how she remembers her mom, and the bleakness shows up in her stories and drawings.

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Yea definitely I think that’s how Kang-tae views himself. As someone who can gain love by being *exactly* what his mother wants him to be. I also don’t doubt for even a moment that he doesn’t love Sang-tae. He does, and he always has. Even when his mother was drunk and hugged him, he was still smiling when she asks him to take care of Sang-tae. What broke him was hearing her say that’s all he’s worth to her. That he’s born for just that. Even so, he still loves his brother and is extremely protective of him. I just think he’s slowly starting to realize that his devotion to his family has robbed him the change to feel true happiness. And I think it’s achievable. To be both happy and still be a caregiver to his brother. He just hasn’t realized that yet.

As for Moon-young, yea her POV on the events of her past are scary. I think that’s why she feels a lot more vulnerable at night. It’s when she probably feels closest to her mother. Honestly, what’s scary about it all is that Moon-young doesn’t seem to resent her mother despite remembering her in such a nightmarish way. I think she has more anger towards her father but she’s still under her mothers clutches. In terms of a fairytale, its almost a spell and it feels like her mother’s the witch.

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Thanks so much for the speedy recap! This episode was absolutely heartbreaking.

I think what makes this story so compelling is that we have two fully realized human beings who are both suffering and both need help, and at this point, probably not from each other.

I thought it seemed kind of pat, at first. She has a personality disorder, and suffers from trauma, he's an emotionally repressed nursing assistant who works who works in psych wards. He can help her heal and she can free him from his boundaries. Simple, right? And a bit predictable.

But this episode completely deconstructed the romanticized savior caregiver trope by showing that Kang-tae's role as a caregiver was literally forced on him through abuse and neglect. He's been raised by his mother to be codependent, and not see himself as having any worth outside of his ability to care for and nurture others. The fact that he chose a career as a nursing assistant for psych patients is a further indication that his entire sense of self (personally and professionally) has been built around this role.

So the episode ending with him rescuing and comforting Moon-young was quite painful, because while I was relieved for her that she had someone to look after her after such a horrific, traumatic moment, I was devastated by the foreshadowing that Kang-tae will most likely slide into yet another role (as Moon-young's nurturer, protector) that is decidedly psychologically unhealthy for him. He needs to be able to learn that his worth doesn't have to come from his ability to nurture other damaged people.

I have faith that this show will handle these dynamics well, because the writing has been so intelligent, and if these two do end up In a relationship, it won't come at the cost of either of their mental health. But right now it looks like they both need (especially Kang-tae, given his clear codependency and lack of self esteem) real professional help before they could be in any functional relationship, let alone with each other.

I really love this show so far, and I hope it continues to be respectful in its depiction of mental illness and trauma. Fingers crossed! 🙂

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I love your comments on Kang-tae and his self-worth, especially the point about the final scene of this episode. While Moon-young collapses onto his shoulders in relief and satisfaction, Kang-tae continues to shelter her and looks clearly uneased.
Being a caregiver is truly all he knows. With that job, he has to have ironclad control over his emotions and behaviors (not lashing out when he's clearly in the right to and want to do so, etc.), which I'm sure contributed to his repressing his other desires to the point of losing himself.

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Oh my goodness, so true! Their respective expressions were so unsettling considering the context, and that whole scene was so well executed, thematically. And in my book, it completely subverted the notion that such a scene (a man rescuing a woman stranded in the rain by offering his coat) is inherently romantic.

I was watching with my mother (we love to analyze dramas together) and at the moment he took off his jacket to drape it over her shoulders and said "at this point, who is more wet?" And I feel like that detail, that they are both soaked through and in need of shelter, was super intentional. In this episode, rain was used as a symbolic motif. Kang-tae didn't have shelter from the rain in that scene when he was a child, because his mother was sheltering Sang-tae under the umbrella.

Then later, it began to rain when they were sitting in the convenience store when Kang-tae was feeling vulnerable and was depicted again as a child. So the question of who gets sheltered in the rain and who does the sheltering seems intentionally significant.

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*she said, as in my mother, lol.

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Great points about the rain!

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right! I love your point on the subverting of the usual romantic hug-in-the-rain trope!

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That's such an awesome analogy on the significance of rain. Honestly, I didn't even notice it. But now that I've read this, there's clear intent there fro the PD.

Please keep sharing your thoughts - everyone's opinions are really making the watching experience even better!

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well said about the caregiver aspect, I didnt even think of that, I hope it is addressed

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Interesting what you said about his sense of self worth being a carer. He may become a source nurture and care for MY. But I also think that MY is the catalyst KT needs to face his fears. Someone to break down the facade he's built so he can start living a little more for himself.

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@Laputa I like your depiction of Kang-tae's emotional health, it makes a lot of sense. I feel that while Moon-young and Kang-tae's relationship clearly does not look rosy from our perspectives thus far, both characters can surprise us with the best-case scenario. In the best-case scenario, Moon-young learns some much needed lessons from Kang-tae about respect and integrity while Kang-tae learns that it's not a crime to love oneself. It's a far-stretch, but as you say, the writing has been so good so far that I'm hopeful!!!

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I was thinking something along these lines. KT broke down while reading Zombie Boy and it's obvious that there is a parallel being drown between the zombie character and his boyhood longing for his mother's warmth. I was wondering, though, if we'll see it echoed in his own caregiving, too. Are there times when he's in the mother role. Are there relationships where he thinks he knows what's needed, but what the person wants us something else? Sang -tae or MY?

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Great point! I think that's totally true of his relationship with Sang-tae, which is why I believe that their relationship is super co-dependant on Kang-tae's part. I think Sang-tae is far more capable than his brother acknowledges, hence the reason he has to hide his job at the pizza parlor, constantly says that his vocational school is boring, and clearly wants to develop as a artist. Kang-tae has been rather dismissive of these things, and the fact that Sang-tae constantly talks about being the Hyung and wanting to care for his younger brother. It's classic codepedance because despite his clear frustration with fulfilling that role, Kang-tae doesn't know how to be anything in their relationship except for the person who takes care of Sang-tae, and it's safe to safe that he if he lost that, he wouldn't immediately know how to function outside of that structure in their relationship.

I thino in some ways, Sang-tae is the more perceptive one. He is able to see that his younger brother does need to be cared for, and that they would both benefit from more freedom from each other, hence why he tries so hard to follow his own dreams and make his own money so that he can shoulder responsibilities as well. It's a great thing that Kang-tae is getting his Hyung the therapy he needs, but the bigger breakthrough will be the moment he's finally able to let go and let his brother live more of his own life. I think it will be super painful, but part of healing from co-dependance is being able to feel okay with the idea that the people you love don't need you as much as you've needed them to.

So I totally agree. He really needs to be shown that it's okay to let go, and to be something other than the person who takes care of everyone else. That there is life outside of that, and that it's okay to live that life.

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Totally agree. Watching Sang-tae in this episode, he actually seemed the most stable and happiest character in this show. He pursues his passion, cares for his brothers, takes care of himself, and ENJOYS life. He takes time to see the beauty in the world. I was surprised when he saw the butterfly, ran away screaming, and calm himself down. Before, I thought he needed help to get himself calm but he can do it fine all by himself. He's so much more capable than what Gang-tae thinks.

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You have put into words everything that I love about KT and makes him the most relatable character in this show, even though he doesn't have the flashy diagnosis. Looking forward to read more of your thoughful insights about KT in the next recaps.

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, so well expressed.
I think the point here is the balance: right now there’s no balance between them. MY keeps saying KT is her safety pin, and he’s acting like that (in her imagination with the butterfly hug, and now rescuing her), but he also needs to take back what she can give him: a way to have fun, a way to find himself in a place where he’s the center.

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You make a great point about how she is offering something for him too, a chance to unbridle himself from the strain he's put himself under, to put himself first. And it is up to him to allow himself to accept it. The role he's been placed in for so long is holding him back from doing so. Perhaps it will be him that needs more help when it comes to finding a balance in their relationship.

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I think Moon Young and Gang Tae can be on equal ground when it comes to give and take.
I don't see her as the one needing a caregiver. She doesn't have one now and we don't see her going to therapy but she does need help to overcome some of her symptoms that were probably caused or made worse by her childhood trauma. 
She is pretty independent and successful on her own for a 30 year old girl with ADP.
If Moon Young was at that meeting with congressman Kwon I'm sure she would have defended Gang Tae even if it gets her in trouble.

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Absolutely agree! I don’t think MY is dependent on anyone, although it’s implied in the show that she gravitates towards KT’s warmth and attention, and that’s what she needs in her life and for her mental health improvement. KT on the other hand, needs MY’s insights and intruding behaviors just as equally. MY shows him how problematic his way of life has been, letting him realize the needs he tried to deny (love and freedom), and ultimately brings him those things, just not in a conventional way. So i think both of them are equal, both can be a burden and a cure for each other. Although it’s true that KT will have to figure his way to bear and understand MY’s mental problem, i don’t necessary think the show wants us to feel that this is a doom for him

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Regarding the subversion of the rain scene, for me it still felt swoonworthy when KT covered MY who was wearing see through.. the lighthouse projecting it's light is a clever use of metaphor that shows how KT is like the lightgiver that will guide MY in the raging storm. I also took the 'unease' in his eyes as mentioned earlier as an expression that shows how despite wanting to stay away from her, he realised that he's actually doing the opposite. Btw the actors are really good with their microexpressions.

I do hope their relationship will organically develop instead of rushing it (the king *ehem)

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My friend and I were discussing the show and she said the same thing. She said she didn't want Kang Tae to be with Moon Young because he would again be taking care of someone else. He is good with patients and is clearly competent but he does not know what else he is in life. He doesn't seem to have hobbies or interests and that shows his self worth clearly

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Your comment has really gotten me thinking about their relationship. I really agree with you. In the end, whatever happens, I just need Kang-tae to see himself as a separate being. Like you said, he comes across as someone who doesn't consider himself outside the realm of being a caretaker - someone to protect others, keep them safe, love them.

His true victory will be to realize he can step back and truly smile even if the source of that happiness doesn't hinge on his Hyung's laughter, or Jae-su's success, or a patient's well being. If he can just be happy for himself, live life for Moon Kang-tae, I consider that his win.

The issue is that by being with Moon-young, I also fear he's moving into yet another caregiver's role. Another person to sacrifice his happiness for, another person to protect. And knowing his character, he's likely be willing to latch onto that role eventually because its all he knows. If we are to have romance in this relationship, I want him to be happy for him while he's around her. Not just as someone who protects her, but someone he can depend on to protect him too. Someone who can love and care for him. But... I'm not sure what level of APD Moon-young has, and if she's capable of it to a certain degree.

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i think their relationship has the potential to be much more balanced than him being a caregiver to her only. one of my biggest takeaways from this episode was that zombie kid afforded kang tae the opportunity to come face-to-face with his own long repressed feelings of longing for love and sense of self, possibly for the first time. it was a very cathartic experience for him, one that has evaded him all his life. that moon young's words elicited such a reaction from him is key. if nothing else, he knows now that he is not alone in the despondence he's felt, that even though he has tried so hard to fight her advances and keep his distance, she's somehow already within the confines of his carefully constructed walls, suffering the same pain. he can her safety pin, just as much as she can be a catalyst for him to reclaim his own life. the writing will need to take a lot of care to portray this delicate paradigm, but i'm hopeful they can do it based on what we've seen so far. also, thanks for sharing your thoughts. it's been a pleasure reading them!

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It hurt so much when KT’s mum told him he was born to take care of his brother, I really sympathised with KT this episode and as he cried when he read Zombie Kid I wept along with him. Kudos to the writer for creating characters with such depth. Although MY stands out as a character the writer did a really good job of writing KT so that he doesn’t feel 2D and is only there to heal MY.

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Zombie kid is the most heartbreaking story I have come across in awhile. And seeing Gang-Tae breaking down was so heartbreaking. One, he related to that story at a personal level, as someone who craved for his mother’s warmth. And two, he had just hurt someone and called them being different and lacking feeling. It was a double blow for him. So painful.

Also, this show seems to show that all the scars people have are caused by parents. So far Gang Tae, Moon and evening Gi-Do. It was very painful to see Gang-Tae’s mom treat him such. And even more painful that Sang-Tae can see that pain in his brothers eyes and knows he hates him at times.
It’s hard to be caregivers. No one can endlessly give and care. At some point they will break.

Also, I like what am seeing with the leads now. She is attracted to him, yes. But she also sees him. She sees him in his eyes and she is drawn to him. She gets him. And he is unable to resist her either. All his life he lived without forming any relationships but now there is a woman who doesn’t conform and is looking at him straight in his eyes and telling him her honest words and also calls him pretty. I love how affected he is by her.

Is it Saturday yet!!

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I ask myself the same thing every time I finish the episodes. Is it Saturday yet.

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Saturday is ages away 😭

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The brother's relationship is heartbreaking because Kang Tae both loves his brother and resents him. His brother was the one who received all the love from his mother and was even told the only reason she gave birth to Kang Tae was so he would be there to help his brother. And then you have a brother who because of his autism both doesn't feel and understand love like Kang Tae and could be seen as a burden to him. He both has to support his brother while not receiving the love and affection he desperately needs from him. So he does love his brother but he also resents him which is heartbreaking to see.

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I think Zombie Kid has additional layer. We can see Gan-Tae as the mother in that story. He's in the caretaker role and seems to be giving away pieces of him in the process. I wonder if the ending of that story also reflect his situation. Does Hyung really needs him to sacrifice to that extent or is his warmth enough?

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Yes. I agree on him trying to be a mother for his Hyung.
Also, How do you find that balance? Between caring for your family member and living your life. Kang-Tae loves his brother but he is also fighting his own demons.
I think if Sang-Tae’s butterfly trauma is resolved there is hope for all of them to find their little happiness in everyday life even if sacrifices are being made.

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I reposted the Zombie Kid video read by Jaesu and even my friends who have no idea that it's from a kdrama responded positively telling me their different interpretations of it. Some just like Jaesu, see the immense love and sacrifice of the mother while others like Kangtae feel that the love is kind of twisted and what the boy really need was the warm hug.

For me, my first response to the mother's action was that "after chopping off your limbs you know tha he's gonna be hungry again right?" 😅

MY's stories are fittingly interweaved into the main plot and the Zombie Kid gives us a glimpse of MY's condition. Are monsters born or created?

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Also, not to be too nitpicky but even ignoring the issue of bleeding to death... how does one cut off ALL one's limbs? 🤔
I can understand three limbs but you definitely need one limb to hold the knife/saw/whatever.

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Use your teeth!

....I think the metaphor is better if you don’t think about the logistics too much 😅

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I think I have read a longer version of this tale and that sort of explained the details :)

Sorry I can’t remember where or when.

And yes, fairy tales like to be over the top, most of the times :D

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This ep hurt in the best way 💔 The acting is top-notch and you get drawn in right from the start. Plus the chemistry between Kang-tae and Moon-young is *chef’s kiss*. My heart broke when he snapped at her, even though I know even being able to do that was a relief for him after years of shoving all his feelings below the surface, and then I smiled when he came for her in the rain. And Moon-young...she makes me laugh and then cry so easily. I feel so sorry for her, and I hope she can find healing too.
Relating to a previous note, I still LOATHE Joo-ri, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. Underneath all that quiet goody-two-shoes act she’s got going on, she’s one seething bomb of envy and nastiness, and sooner or later she’s going to explode. I only hope everyone else sees her real face sooner or later.

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I completely agree with you regarding Joo-ri. There is something about her and her mother that doesn't sit right. I felt uneasy from the moment she invited Kang-tae to live with her. There's something extremely disingenuous about her, especially her interest in Kang-tae. Nothing indicates that she really cares about him as a person, but that she's more interested competing with Moon-young and wants to aquire Kang-tae as a partner/boyfriend/husband. That scene where Jae-su was watching her over dinner, declaring that Kang-tae had been "picked" seems to confirm this. It's an interesting parallel between Joo-ri and Moon-young/Sang-tae, because its far more creepy in my opinion, when a neurotypical person (which, so far, Joo-ri appears to be) sees a person as an attainable object, than a non-neurotypical one.

But yeah, I'm really I interested in seeing where her character goes.

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I agree! Sometimes the ‘normal’ looking people are the ones that hides darker demons.

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Yes! Moon-young is blatantly honest about who she is and Joori is just fake

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I keep the thinking she’s the real psycho here.
Although it was unexpected the way Sang In get attracted to her (this was really funny!!), and considering the at so far he’s presence has been comic, I may be very wrong.
And please, note that when I say “comic” I don’t mean that his character is just there to makes us laugh, because he’s not. In fact he’s the only one who really knows and CARES about Moon Young, he’s not just an editor but the closest thing to a friend.

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How is she competing of she asked him to take that job (while offering a place to leave, so he can't make that excuse) before she even knew he knew MY??... How has it now become she never liked him, its just her need to beat our FL??

Why is she not allowed to like him, and every parent becomes nice to the person their child likes even if there is an eventual break up, and it's very common in kdramas to call someone you will like for your daughter son in law (eg oh my baby) so why is mom liking KT , now and evil bad thing.... And last of all she never insisted she offered he said no and she stepped back, she did not push or force him but let him know if he was ever up for it her offer still stands....

My favourite moment is when she said, yes let MY leave the hospital... I know we all expect her to be the evil female lead and she surely will be, but let's be fair...
..

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Yea @Joy Brown idk why I despise Joori...it's nearly unjustifiable. When she chided herself for being petty at the pizza takeout place, all I could think was "you've been petty all along so let's not play". i honestly don't know this actress and perhaps its the way she's portraying the character, but nothing she says appears genuine and it reeeeally gets under my skin. Rarely do I feel this strongly about second leads. This drama makes me feel them feels alright.

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Totally with you on the whole Joo-ri thing - something about her seems really, really off. I have my suspicions about her and/or her mom.... They seem to be the only ones we've seen thus far that have lived in that town dating back to when all the bad stuff went down for MY and KT and their families...

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damn you guys sang-tae oppa is lowkey stealin my heart episode by episode. All those jam puns? I can't even with that guy.

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Yasss!!!

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OMG How can I forget about the jam puns! That was so funny. I was laughing my head off and my mom just stared at me likeI'm crazy. I had to explain it to her. Booo for no translation notes.

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Omg thanks for pointing this out! I didn't catch the puns until you mentioned it. I had to replay this scene. Ahhhh I love him. ♥♥

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When he asked MY for 10,000 won for the drawing, I nearly lost it. And then he turned around and asked her where her pizza was! So funny!

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This drama is amazing!! I literally cried when Moon Young dad started choking her and she started laughing and crying at the same time. I felt so bad for her. Oh, and Kang Tae was CRUEL!! OUCH!! Talk about a verbal beat down.. Yes, MY has been a little annoying but she wasn't that bad where she deserved such a word lashing.. You could see how hurt she was by what he said.. I am glad that he went to go pick her up.. I love their dynamic, I mean technically she is " out of his league" but that doesnt even seem to be mentioned.. I love that he doesnt care she is a rich, famous writer and she doesnt care that he is a poor caregiver with an autistic brother. Usually, this is a big deal in K drama land but its not an issue for them. Kang Tae is obviously getting to his breaking point and I am so pissed at his Mom its not even funny. I understand her trying to be there for Sang Tae but completely ignoring your other child is just wrong. What is even worse is, Kang Tae's mom wasn't malicious about it, she literally loved Sang Tae more. I can't imagine how lonely and empty Kang Tae must feel all the time. Also, I think the voiceover is Joo Ri.. the camera angled like someone was watching Moon Young during these exchanges so I wonder.. It could be Joo Ri or her Mom, just speculation.

Episode highlights for me : Sang Tae and Moon Young, it was so funny when he asked for $10 and she said she thought it was free and he was like Did you order pizza? 😂🤣😂🤣

I love all of the elements of this drama especially the fairy tale readings. I love the haunted castle ( am I the only one to think its beautiful?) I cant wait to get to know the backstory of how they are all connected.. especially about these butterfly's.. that Moon Young and Sang Tae both hate.

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Oh yes! The castle is so magnificent and hauntingly beautiful. Till now with all the flashbacks we see it as eery and unhabitable but I feel that one's MY learns to deal with her nightmares, it will becoming more colourful and lively.

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It's "funny" Kang-tae worked for years in psychiatric hospital and he never questionned his way to live, no need to be psy to see he has a lot of issues. But one Moon-young in his life and everything bursts into pieces.

I was surprised how the employees were judgy with Moon-young's reaction to her father. I mean she has good reasons to not want to be with him. But they acted like she was a villain. I hope now they will understand their mistake.

So I thought with the nigthmares that the mum commited suicide in the haunted house, but who is in the hospital watching by the window?

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Who is in the window? I dont think it was her mother, but that would be interesting.

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So the question is : how many people with mental illness are angry at her? We already know the father, the mother didn't seem very sane but we don't what happened to her.

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Other than the mother, is there a candidate for the voice in the window? It seems late to be introducing a significant character...

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My initial thought was that it was the director, observing everyone in the hospital and making mental notes on everyone's state of health. I get the impression he's going to be a bit of a fairy godmother, fixing situations so that people fall into "therapy" without noticing it. When he sees MY and KT, he's learning more about KT and how to potentially help him.

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I was really concerned that not a single person payed attention to MY in the first place. They all cared for dad. Sure at first to take him away form her, but afterwards they were all checking if he was alright, while MY was in the floor, almost being killed by her dad and no one near to help her.

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I think Joo Ri or Joo Ri's mother was in the window watching.. its the 2nd time in the episode the camera angled like someone was watching her.

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Oh Joo-ri's mother could be a good idea. It could explain why Joo-ri chose this job and she knows Moon-young.

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Yes there was definitely someone watching MY first from the window and then the scene after her dad tried to choke her, the voiceover says something like "It serves you right you shouldn't have come here."
I thought it could be Joori at first but then she was there in the 2nd scene so I shifted my suspicions to her mother as well.

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My money is on Joo-ri's mother. An actress of Kim Mi-kyung caliber has got to be in this drama for more reasons than secondary character's mother and landlord?

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We just got Kim Chang-wan back to his eccentric, easygoing character-type after a series of villain roles. Am I ready for an Evil Kim Mi-kyung? Oh dear...

It would make a good twist though.

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I won't say if whether I am all-in on this show because that ship sailed 20 minutes into episode 1. But following up on the recap, if I or someone I loved was seriously ill, would I want the staff of OK Hospital, Geosung Hospice from Chocolate or Yulje Medical Center from Hospital Playlist (I am disregarding the areas of practice and just speaking of the quality of medical staff)? Very tough choice as we're in a mini-golden age of idealized medical professionals in dramaland right now.

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So much to type, apologies for typos and grammatical mistakes:

First: I want to commend the writer on Zombie Kid, wherever s/he got whether created or borrowed. That is a difficult story to write and read, but the meaning is so poignant and perfect.

Second: Kim Soo Hyun, SIGH, 😍. Some years ago on dramabeans there was a comparison between Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun and I'll never forget what a beanie wrote, she said when Kim Soo Hyun cries I cry. Yup!!

Third: Seo Ye Ji played that her entire scene with her father flawlessly, from the tear, to the laughter, to the utter despondency afterwards. Even in dementia her father hated her.

Fourth: Hospital Director Oh did not come to play, blackmail for the win and it is the unassuming ones who are dangerous. Muwhahaha

Fifth: My theory is that Moon Young's father left his daughter with his mentally unstable superstar wife and let her raise Moon Young. Then one day he came and saw that his wife was dead and assumed she had done it, so he tried to kill her.

Sixth: Kang Tae is the Abigail Breslin in My Sister's Keeper. He was born to save his brother. His mother probably didn't mean to be neglectful, but she was so focused on protecting her elder son that she "forgot" her youngest. Also he was the "normal" child so she figured he didn't required as much.

Seventh: Please continue to be good please continue to be good, my expectations are so high right now.

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Sixth: Han, this movie made me cry so much. I thought about it too with KT's story.

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Re #4: Director Oh is astoundingly cool by kdrama (non-romantic-lead) boss standards.

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I buy your fifth theory. I’ve commented something very similar on someone post on the beanie wall.

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I think moon young is just born with a disorder - the inability to feel strongly for people or things but the condition was made worse by her mom. Probably abuse her - I believe not physically but mentally. The scene of her mom telling her about : “hoping for the prince to save you? That’s good but be careful, because I will kill the prince. “ Jeeze it was scary and from moon young reaction these are the kind of stuff she may have heard from young.

My take is her mom fell into the pond/river and she did not save her due to her condition. And her dad blames her and attempted to murder her for being a “Monster”

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Very good synopsis and theories.. I was crushed when Kang Tae mom totally ignored her second son and when he read Zombie Kid.. 😥.. I dont think MY killed her mother or its not as cut and dry as we think. I also think Joo Ri plays a bigger role than we may know. It would be ironic if she was the real psychopath pretending to be nice and sweet. Let me stop, I am making this poor girl a villain in my head already..lol.. but I dont like or trust her just yet.. Plus she keeps doing a soft manipulation with Kang Tae that ticks me off.. She is worse than Moon Young in some ways because Kang Tae doesnt even see what she is doing.. Like her getting him to move back home and take a job near her or her suggesting they go on a camping trip together after looking at his phone.. ughhh 😏.. She sets off my spidey senses for some reason.. lol..

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I thought of My Sister's Keeper too when I learned of Kang Tae's backstory. And my sister (who doesn't watch the series but whom I've been updating as episodes are released) said the same thing when I told her about it. I feel like it hurts more because Sang Tae's mom didn't neglect him deliberately. It's that preoccupied, I'm-so busy-dealing-with-your-brother-that-I-genuinely-don't-remember-you're-there-sometimes attitude that hurts because you know that the person otherwise cares for you and so you expect things from them (love, warmth, acknowledgment).

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Yes, yes. It is slightly worse because it really isn't malicious neglect. She probably also loved KangTae in her own way, but as you said she was so preoccupied she simply ignored him.

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I agree with theory no. 5 I was thinking along the same lines

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This was an amazing episode. It’s interesting (is that the right word?) to see so clearly the walls our wounded cast put up for self protection. But, walls are often made with thin materials and can be shaken quite strongly by just a feather. So when a Mack truck hits, there’s no protection to be had. Healing is going to take hard work and I’m counting on this drama to do a good job on the process.

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