My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 8
Things aren’t going so well for our misunderstood mom. Now that she’s finally vocal about the life she wants, she gets pushback from her kids. But she’s unwilling to bend this time, even if she’s perceived as the bad guy. She’s regained her sense of personhood and will no longer give up herself to serve her family. Whether her family will come to understand her newfound independence is another matter.
Eun-hee waits outside Chan-hyuk’s office. He chuckles at her persistence and asks what she wants. She thinks he’s a warm person from a warm family, and it doesn’t suit him to act cold. Her only reason for asking him to help Eun-joo is his caring nature – she had no ulterior motive.
She asks him to tell Eun-joo not to be mean and say things she doesn’t mean just because she’s hurt. Eun-hee vows that she’s going to be “real friends” with Chan-hyuk and jumps up to perform a brief musical number before dramatically making her exit. Chan-hyuk gapes and laughs at her silly antics.
Eun-hee narrates that she’s been here before, “When my heart beat for you. When I used all my strength to laugh so I wouldn’t get caught.” Then and now, she convinces herself she’s done well to protect her heart. Ooh, so she liked him back then?
Chan-hyuk turns to find Seo-young and Ji-woo watching him. They bet on whether Eun-hee was there, and Ji-woo lost, so he pays up. Ji-woo doesn’t like the overly casual way Seo-young refers to Eun-hee, but he understands she’s doing it because she likes Chan-hyuk.
Chan-hyuk sighs that she doesn’t really; she’s just convincing herself she does. That’s why she’s so loud about it. When Ji-woo gets weirdly defensive about Seo-young, Chan-hyuk assumes he likes her. Ji-woo insists he has a girlfriend, but it’s a secret from his family.
We’re back to the closing scene of last episode where Eun-hee realizes something is off about Eun-joo’s birthdate. She wonders if her dad’s memory is still functioning improperly, but her musings are cut short by Ha-ra. They’re both there to meet Kyung-ok.
Kyung-ok officially introduces the two of them, calling Ha-ra her personal stylist. She’s the one responsible for Kyung-ok’s new style that Eun-hee liked so much. Ha-ra is giving off a weird vibe that makes Eun-hee uncomfortable.
At home, Eun-joo passes a bankbook to her mom. It’s the money her dad saved for seven years (about $40,000) and gave to her before her marriage as repayment for when she supported the family financially. Now, she wants Jin-sook to return it to him so he doesn’t have to sleep in his truck.
Eun-joo accuses her mom of being cruel by springing this “marriage graduation” she’s long been planning on her unsuspecting dad. Jin-sook tells Eun-joo she wants to rest and locks herself in her room to cry, thinking her life isn’t even worth as much as that single bankbook.
At the café, Ha-ra is noticeably passive aggressive toward Eun-hee. Kyung-ok mentions that Ha-ra hates change and has even been dating the same guy for nine years. When Kyung-ok announces Ha-ra is Geon-joo’s girlfriend, Eun-hee can’t hide her shock.
Kyung-ok attributes it to her “nine-year-relationship trauma” and changes the topic. They talk about changing Eun-hee’s style, and Ha-ra assesses her as someone who’s feminine and coy and likes to appear intelligent while pretending not to care. Kyung-ok casts confused, nervous glances between them as she senses the tension.
Ha-ra suggests going shopping, but Eun-hee declines. She wonders to herself if she has changed since when she was ambushed by Jong-min’s other girlfriend. Eun-hee changes her mind and agrees to go.
At Chan-hyuk’s office, Seo-young is angered by her assaulter leaving a comment on her social media that he’s “glad she looks good.” To make matters worse, she finds out he’s social media friends with her mom. Chan-hyuk calms her down and tells her she’s doing better lately.
Seo-young admits she can even forget about it sometimes now. Chan-hyuk says the memory will always stay with her, but she should try to make the moments she forgets about it longer and longer. She annoys Chan-hyuk when she quips he should try the same tactic for seeing her romantically.
After shopping, the girls head to a restaurant where they run into Geon-joo waiting outside. Ha-ra told him they were going to dinner, but Eun-hee says she’s not comfortable eating all together. Geon-joo makes a point to state he’s not eating with Ha-ra; he just wants to talk.
As Kyung-ok and Eun-hee head inside to eat by themselves, Ha-ra loudly tells Geon-joo they should go to his place. Ha-ra tells Geon-joo that Eun-hee didn’t rise to the bait no matter what she said. Ah, so she does know. Inside, Kyung-ok shares that Ha-ra was really curious about the women in the office.
Sang-shik and Man-ho check out a construction site Young-shik supposedly works on, but the foreman says he’s gone. Young-shik ducks around a corner, avoiding Sang-shik. A child’s drawing on siding catches Sang-shik’s eye, and he grabs his head in pain.
Tae-hyung returns home to find Eun-joo crying in the dark. She assures him it’s about her mom, not him. Eun-joo was mean to her because she hates the “marriage graduation” thing and how cold her mom is to Sang-shik.
She muses that, like her mom, she pushes her family away. Tae-hyung is adamant she didn’t push him away – it’s all his fault. Eun-joo’s biggest regret is Eun-hee finding out. Otherwise, she could’ve kept up the façade. He must think she’s just like his parents.
Tae-hyung argues she needs time to adjust, but Eun-joo claims she’d rather keep up appearances. They can live together as friends. He’s not willing to pretend anymore, though.
Eun-joo is frustrated at his poor timing since she’s already dealing with her parents’ separation. Tae-hyung says he couldn’t handle how well her family treated him. Eun-joo tells him to break the news to them himself, then. She can’t do it.
Jin-sook eats alone and cries as she flips through the bankbook. “Good for you that your life can be calculated monthly, line by line.”
Ji-woo sits uncomfortably while Seo-young demonstrates how to affix artificial nails on him for a video. He takes a call from his mom, but gets frustrated when she asks him to tell his dad to stop by the house. He’s tired of relaying messages and curtly tells her to do it herself.
Elsewhere, Man-ho encourages Sang-shik to rent a place with Young-shik, but Sang-shik isn’t comfortable doing that since he has no memories of him. In the course of their conversation, Sang-shik is surprised to learn he can play guitar when Man-ho suggests he bring his guitar from the truck.
When Jin-sook calls, Man-ho urges Sang-shik to answer, but Sang-shik lets it ring. He doesn’t want to be a hinderance to her anymore.
Meanwhile, Eun-hee works (or, more accurately, distractedly plays with paperclips) late. At Geon-joo’s, Ha-ra is passed out drunk on his couch. She wakes and calls Eun-hee using Geon-joo’s phone. Guess she wants a direct confrontation now.
“Did you think he was going to call you when he’s with me right now?” Geon-joo hears her yell into the phone, asking Eun-hee if she thinks this is about lingering feelings. She’s just giving back what she got. She was the one who wanted to break up three years ago.
Geon-joo snatches the phone away from her, and Eun-hee listens as Ha-ra shouts angrily and steps on a piece of glass. Eun-hee hangs up. Ha-ra haughtily rants about how Eun-hee is nothing special while Geon-joo treats her cut. If this is revenge for three years ago, then find someone who matches her level. Wow.
At her desk, Eun-hee reads through old email conversations between her and Geon-joo. She’d even talked about her falling out with Chan-hyuk and how she was afraid to apologize in case he wouldn’t accept it.
The following day, Tae-hyung’s mother comes to see Eun-joo and Tae-hyung. She’ll handle the alimony if they divorce. Tae-hyung scoffs that of course she’s here about money. Eun-joo narrates that her mother-in-law’s opinion of her as a “wise and simple child from a poor family” will never change.
His mother wonders if Eun-joo truly didn’t know and acts disappointed in her for not being able to handle the marriage. “I chose you. Did you forget?” What a lovely person she is.
Tae-hyung cuts in, so she starts in on him for exacerbating the problem. Eun-joo could’ve lived pretending if he hadn’t made a big deal. Tae-young insists Eun-joo isn’t like her and did her best. He couldn’t sit back and watch anymore. Tae-hyung tells his mother to leave.
Ji-woo stops by Eun-hee’s place with food. He doesn’t think it was appropriate for her to stop by his workplace when Chan-hyuk didn’t answer her calls. He finds it even more problematic since Chan-hyuk and Seo-young seem to have something between them.
Eun-hee doesn’t see the issue since she and Chan-hyuk are just friends. Either way, Ji-woo argues that Chan-hyuk’s avoiding her calls was a signal she ignored. Doesn’t she feel bad for acting all friendly with Chan-hyuk after cutting him out like that?
Ji-woo reminds her Chan-hyuk is his boss. Eun-hee assures him there was a reason she needed to talk to him, but she won’t stop by his work again. Ji-woo has known Chan-hyuk most of his life, so he sees him as family. Eun-hee proclaims that she’s his family, and they sibling fight.
Chan-hyuk comes into the office wearing a suit which Seo-young thinks is outdated. Who wears suits on arranged dates? She asks if Eun-hee knows and flaunts that she knows him better. Chan-hyuk comments he liked Eun-hee because she didn’t know everything.
With a look like he just got caught, he amends his statement to mean he liked her as a friend. Outside, they run into Eun-hee who is dropping Ji-woo off. She leaves with a wave before Chan-hyuk can talk to her. As she drives off, she thinks he and Seo-young look good together.
Upset, Chan-hyuk immediately calls her to ask if something’s up. She and Ji-woo aren’t so close that she’d just drop him off for no reason. Seo-young watches as he chats comfortably with Eun-hee.
Eun-joo thinks back to her early encounters with her mother-in-law when she worked on a patent case for her. She’d set up the unsuspecting Eun-joo and Tae-hyung on a date. Tae-hyung had appreciated Eun-joo’s straightforward nature and spot-on analysis of his overbearing mother.
Now, she tells Tae-hyung that her family’s good treatment of him isn’t the problem. He’s burdened by the fact that she likes him. It happened so slowly she didn’t even realize it, but it must’ve been why she tried so hard. Tears in her eyes, she calls it a “worthless and lonely” confession.
Meanwhile, Eun-hee feels like a thief as she slips the photo of her parents into her bag for Sang-shik. Ha. She ponders the date on the picture again, thinking of Eun-joo.
Since Sang-shik didn’t pick up Jin-sook’s calls, she goes to see him in person. She finds him playing guitar and singing, and we get a montage of their happy dating days and Sang-shik’s sweet moments of late. She texts that she’s at his worksite, and he literally goes running.
He’s upset she came all this way and tells her not to worry about him anymore. She packed a bag for him so he doesn’t spend money needlessly. Jin-sook tells him to come home – she’ll move out.
The kids are mad at her, thinking she kicked Sang-shik out, so it’s better for her to leave. She slaps the bankbook in his hand and sarcastically says he’s the good father who worked hard for the family. How many more secrets is he hiding? Why does he make her look like the bad guy?
Sang-shik scolds her for taking money from Eun-joo, not recognizing the bankbook. He tries to cover his mistake, but Jin-sook suspects he’s lying about his memory. Sang-shik (forcefully) borrows Man-ho’s car so he can drive her home.
At her parents’, Eun-hee finds some pictures stashed in the pages of a book. One is of Eun-joo and Tae-hyung at their wedding. We’re treated to some ominous background music and a shocked face as Eun-hee sees the second picture of … some man whose face we don’t get to see. Oh, come on! She hurriedly replaces the book on the shelf.
Jin-sook is surprised to find Eun-hee home when she returns and wonders if she’s there to scold her too. Eun-hee playfully demands to know who scolded their “Miss Sook.” Eun-hee mentions that Eun-joo’s birthday is coming up and haltingly asks if Eun-joo was premature.
Startled, Jin-sook avoids answering directly. Eun-hee admits she was going to take the photo to her dad, but she couldn’t. It’s “grown roots” where it is, and it should stay there. Jin-sook’s hands shake as Eun-hee says her dad told her that day was the first time he and her mom held hands.
Her dad misremembered, right? Jin-sook said she was already pregnant in that photo and that Eun-joo was born late. Eun-hee’s eyes fill with tears as she desperately wishes for her mom to tell her she’s wrong. Eun-joo can’t handle anything more right now.
Sang-shik sits parked outside Seon-il’s fruit shop and recalls reading about the bankbook in his journal. Everything still feels like a dream. The only thing he knows is that his family is all he has.
A car comes speeding down the street toward Sang-shik. He’s blinded by the headlights and has a flashback to Eun-joo’s wedding. He had seen Eun-joo’s biological father there, although we don’t see his face.
The car swerves just in time, but Sang-shik’s ears ring and his vision goes wonky. His memories begin returning – the accident in the mountains, fights with Jin-sook (including one where he’d apologized for not being suitable as Eun-joo’s father), Eun-joo’s wedding. Sang-shik dazedly notes, “I’m back.”
So it looks like Eun-hee saw Eun-joo’s birth father in that wedding photo. The fact that she was so surprised means she recognized him. The only man of the right age is Seon-il, so I’m guessing he could be the birth father. Of course, it could be a red herring, and the picture wasn’t of Eun-joo’s birth father at all. This show likes its red herrings and fake outs. Either way, now that Eun-hee has figured out there’s a secret surrounding Eun-joo, it’s bound to all come out soon. Even if Jin-sook is able to come up with a reasonable excuse, which is doubtful, Eun-hee isn’t one to give up or just take things at face value. Unlike Ji-woo, I can’t imagine Eun-hee would be content to pretend like she never heard anything.
Eun-joo’s know-it-all attitude is really bugging me. I’m sure her issues with her mom are making her side more staunchly with her father, but she never even tried to understand Jin-sook. Regardless of how she perceives them as parents, she doesn’t know anything about their marriage. I wonder if she’s extra harsh on her mom because, as she admitted to Tae-hyung, she knows she takes after her. I knew Eun-joo was concerned with keeping up appearances, but I was a little surprised she wanted to continue their marriage charade even now. I would’ve thought it would hurt her pride to stay in that situation, but it seems she prioritizes maintaining her perfect-looking life. I have to say, it’s nice to see a female character like her who isn’t portrayed as the villain. Usually, women who are as harsh or cold as a male lead chaebol aren’t the protagonists. Yay for diversifying!
If we’re to believe the hints, it seems like Eun-hee and Chan-hyuk both liked each other back in the day but weren’t brave enough to admit it. Assuming that’s true, I wonder what made them keep quiet. Were they afraid of jeopardizing their friendship, or did they each think the other wasn’t interested? And now we’re getting hints that they both may like each other currently. Is Chan-hyuk’s assessment of Seo-young convincing herself she likes him reminiscent of his own experience? It’s possible his crush on Eun-joo is a way of redirecting his feelings for Eun-hee, but I think it could go either way at this point; his feelings for Eun-joo could be real. Regardless, the drama is clearly pushing them together, so I’m pretty sure Chan-hyuk and Eun-hee are endgame.
Given Eun-hee’s questionable taste in men, that might be for the best. Her dalliance with Geon-joo is already causing problems. Not only is Ha-ra unpleasant, but she’s ready for a fight. Since her and Geon-joo’s relationship status has been murky for a while, it’s hard to say how much of a right she has to be angry. Either way, I can’t stand when people play games, and her looking down on Eun-hee was not okay. As if we hadn’t met our unpleasantness quota, we also were treated to Eun-joo’s mother-in-law. There’s a woman who likes her power trips. I imagine growing up under her had to be a nightmare for Tae-hyung. No wonder he was willing to marry Eun-joo to escape. We haven’t heard anything about Tae-hyung’s father, though, which makes me wonder where he is in all this.
On the topic of fathers, there’s got to be more to this Young-shik situation. Why is he hiding from Sang-shik all of a sudden? He happily approached him earlier, and he agreed to meet with Sang-shik over the phone. Now he’s running off and skulking behind buildings. Since Sang-shik’s memory has returned, maybe we’ll get some answers. I’m curious how Sang-shik will approach things now. A lot has changed in the brief time he’s been gone, so to speak. Will he be more accommodating to Jin-sook or try to explain now that she’s confronted him about his secrets? His relationships have mostly improved, but I don’t know if he’ll be able or willing to maintain them as his old self. Or his newer self, I guess. He’ll need to do some soul searching and figure out what matters to him and who he wants to be going forward.
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- A mysterious family secret to be revealed in an ordinary, Unfamiliar Family
- Photos from first script read for tvN’s My Unfamiliar Family
- Casting news for tvN’s drama project (I Don’t Know Much, But) We Are Family
- Han Ye-ri confirmed for new tvN family drama