Oh My Baby: Episode 13
As our heroine grows more confident in her relationship, she also experiences unexpected doubt. While she has no doubt that her boyfriend is the one for her, she panics when she suspects that he’ll pop the impending question about commitment. She starts to unpack her doubt, starting with the strong woman who raised her and the hardships they experienced with an absent father. The memory of those hardships challenges our heroine to understand the realities of lifelong partnership and the realistic implications of her dreams.
EPISODE 13: “The reason life gives us suffering.”
After a steamy night at the pension, unclothed Ha-ri wraps herself in the blanket while clothed Yi-sang watches her with a cheeky smile. She asks him to leave the room because she’s embarrassed, but he wants to take advantage of this moment. He presents the diamond necklace and puts it on Ha-ri before he finally steps out to relieve Ha-ri of her embarrassment.
Over breakfast, the couple tease each other about being embarrassed as they eat side by side instead of facing each other. They continue to indulge in their honeymoon phase as they drive back, with Yi-sang holding Ha-ri’s hand, both of them smiling uncontrollably.
When Ha-ri returns home, she looks for Mom but only finds Jae-young who silently stares at her. We flashback to the moment that Jae-young was about to knock on the pension door. He decided to retreat (phew), and he glanced back at the couple with a pained look. Back in the present, Ha-ri tries to explain why she didn’t show up to help him with his apartment search, but Do-ah cries just in time for Jae-young to avoid confrontation.
At the aerobic class park, Mom sits alone as she thinks back to her interaction with her ex-husband, the customer at the bakery. She gave him twice the amount of money he asked for and demanded that he never show up again. When he asked about Ha-ri, Mom ordered him to drop his interest in Ha-ri and cut ties, reminding him of how he ruined their lives.
Mom calls Ha-ri before stopping by her house and explains that she’s respecting her privacy to avoid any awkward situations with her boyfriend. Mom starts cooking for Ha-ri and asks if Yi-sang is really the one. Ha-ri admits that she only has eyes for Yi-sang, and Mom wishes that Ha-ri would protect her own heart better. She advises Ha-ri to find a husband who will love her abundantly, unlike herself.
As Yi-sang passes by a wedding shop, he pauses and smiles at the mannequins dressed in a wedding dress and tuxedo. He catches himself and seems to ponder this decision more seriously.
Hyo-joo arrives at work early for once and walks in with Ha-ri, who always comes to work early. As they enter, Eu-tteum offers Ha-ri pomegranate juice, and Hyo-joo gets jealous. She pulls him aside and asks if Eu-tteum thinks Ha-ri is prettier than her, and Eu-tteum says to her face that Ha-ri is prettier. Ha!
Hyo-joo advises him to go cold turkey on his one-sided love, and Eu-tteum shares that he’s letting go in a differently way that honors his feelings because he doesn’t believe that a love unrequited is any less sincere. As Eu-tteum walks away, Hyo-joo watches him in admiration and thinks to herself that she wants this man. Hyo-joo skips into work in a great mood and slips on her Eu-ttuem-gifted Gucci knock-off slippers (which say 9ucci), which she retrieved out of the trash as soon as she tossed them.
Yi-sang admires the wedding photos that Soo-chul shot and expresses interest in taking similar photos. Soo-chul wonders if Yi-sang plans on getting married, and Yi-sang confirms this. Soo-chul tests him further by asking about his thoughts on his future wife’s nagging and financial burden of children’s schooling, but Yi-sang looks forward to it all since he’ll be going through everything together with Ha-ri.
Soo-chul scoffs at Yi-sang’s idealism and says that the reality of marriage is different. He shares that while marriage is tough, it isn’t wearying. Yi-sang says that he can handle the weariness and vows to make Ha-ri happy because he’s selfishly loving her. He imagines their wedding photoshoot and grins.
Jae-young waits for Mom after her guitar lesson and takes her on a date to a fancy restaurant. As they eat, Mom comments on the unnecessarily expensive meal and nags Jae-young for spending too much money. Jae-young tells Mom that she should be nagging him for a more expensive meal for everything she’s done to help him. He says that his clinic is growing and promises to treat Mom to more nice meals when he visits occasionally.
Mom asks if this is Jae-young’s move-out announcement, and Jae-young confirms this. He adds that he can no longer see Ha-ri regularly as friends like they were before. Mom apologizes for putting Jae-young in a tough spot and acknowledges that she was being selfish about holding onto him. Jae-young admits that he was being greedy about earning Ha-ri’s heart.
Jae-young jokingly blames Mom for not committing to an arranged marriage between the him and Ha-ri. They imagine the scenario — the two of them fiercely objecting to the marriage, then growing fond of each other and misunderstanding their sincere feelings because of the arranged marriage, and finally coming to love each other and getting married. Jae-young finds it cliché, and they both pass it off as no fun, though they both look a bit regretful.
Ha-ri notices Yi-sang taking vitamins at the studio, and Soo-chul sees her sad look. He tells her not the feel bad, since he’s going through the effort to make Ha-ri happy and because he wants to. Ha-ri cheerfully prepares the dress for their child model, and the child accidentally calls her “Mom.” That seems to move Ha-ri momentarily, and Yi-sang notices.
As the editing team carries their props back upstairs, Ha-ri realizes that she left her employee ID card at the studio and forces the team to go back downstairs. In the studio, Yi-sang asks Soo-chul for advice on how to find Ha-ri’s ring size and where to propose. Ha-ri and her team overhear the discussion, and the team squeals in delight outside the studio while Ha-ri look numb. When she sits down on the bench, the surprising reality finally hits her.
After work, Ha-ri sees Yi-sang waiting for her and wonders if he’s going to propose now. He waves at her and opens the trunk, and Ha-ri yells at him to stop, imagining a mass of balloons to emerge. But Yi-sang is only wiping his windows, and Ha-ri looks sheepish.
In the car, Ha-ri nervously looks around and wonders if Yi-sang will suddenly propose to her there. She thinks about how she should respond (“YES!” or “thank you” or “Sure?”), and when Yi-sang tells her to open the glove compartment, she responds, “I don’t want to.” Ha-ri’s refusal confuses Yi-sang, and he’s even more confused when she asks him to pull over to drop her off.
Yi-sang says that he made a restaurant reservation for them, and Ha-ri asks if there will be a grand piano with them as the only customers. He confirms that it’s a one-person only restaurant but says that the piano is more of an old brown one. Ha-ri goes on high alert and demands that he pull over. Before she gets out, she apologizes and says that she’ll reflect on her feelings and asks him to do the same. Yi-sang wonders what he did wrong and opens the glove compartment with flowers. Was it the flowers? Or the restaurant? Haha.
At home, Eun-young explains to Ha-ri that she’s getting cold feet because everything is about to change, and her mind is telling her to run away. Ha-ri doesn’t understand why she would want to run away from her dream of 39 years, but Eun-young says the ideal of dreams is starkly different from reality. Essentially, it’s fear.
Ha-ri says that her dreams are humble — to live a normal life with a loving husband and children, just like everyone else. Eun-young argues that living like everyone else is the most difficult thing to achieve and wonders if Ha-ri’s fears are rooted in her upbringing, of not having what everyone else seemingly had.
Ha-ri asks if Eun-young is referencing her dad, and her friend nods. Ha-ri acknowledges that this may be true, but she adds that her memories about her dad aren’t solely negative. As she remembers her Dad, she says, “Dad adored me. He taught me how to ride a bike and taught me how to swim in the valley every summer. He also bought me junk food without Mom’s permission. But he left. I don’t think Yi-sang would leave, but why am I running away instead of leaning on him?”
Eun-young tries to lighten the mood and says that Ha-ri may just be afraid of receiving a weird proposal. Then, she advises, “If you get cold feet again, you should reflect on your feelings because it’s the last opportunity to find your cool in a passionate moment.”
The next day, Ha-ri tries to talk to Jae-young, but he doesn’t respond to her request to help her work through her concern. He turns to her and says that he understands his role as her friend but can’t be a friend to her right now. He walks away, and Ha-ri doesn’t argue any further.
Mom scolds her bakery owner sister for not sharing information about her ex-husband and orders them to never share Ha-ri’s information. Then, she learns something new — a reason why her ex-husband needs to see Ha-ri.
At work, Ha-ri and Yi-sang take a coffee break together, and Yi-sang worries that the interview with the infertile couple is difficult for Ha-ri. He says that he wants her to express her difficulties to him without reservation.
As they walk out of the coffee shop, Yi-sang mentions that he wants to live with her and see her every day. When he kneels to tie his shoelaces, Ha-ri overreacts (misreading this as a proposal) and tells him not to do this in public in the middle of the street. She runs away as confused Yi-sang wonders why he can’t tie his shoes in the street.
When Yi-sang returns to the studio, Ha-ri’s team approaches him and shares vital proposal information — her ring size, her religion, and an offer to help with proposal event planning and consulting. Yi-sang smiles widely at this open offer for help.
Hyo-joo puts on her 9ucci slippers and sneaks over to the marketing team to admire Eu-tteum working. In the break room, she approaches Eu-tteum and asks if he’s secretly the heir to the company, but he denies this. Hyo-joo says that she’s making a big sacrifice for him, but he doesn’t know what she means.
Trying to set up a date, Hyo-joo offers to buy dinner that night and asks him to buy dessert. She acts overly cute, and Eu-tteum doesn’t read the signs. Instead, he sends her a coupon for dessert and declines her offer.
Hyo-joo tries once more as Eu-tteum leaves for work, asking about his religion. He shares that he’s Catholic, and Hyo-joo asks for help in learning the religious practices. Eu-tteum advises that she look for a nearby church, once again completely missing the signs that Hyo-joo is asking him out.
Jae-young meets Jung-won at Do-ah’s daycare to stoically shares tips on caring for their daughter. As she walks away with the stroller, Jae-young follows them and shows Do-ah a picture of himself. He tells her not to forget him, and Jung-won assures him that she’ll drop Do-ah off with him tomorrow. She wishes that Jae-young was this invested back then, and Jae-young reminds her that he took responsibility for Do-ah while she prioritized her career.
Ha-ri and Yi-sang meet with the husband featured their infertile couple series, and he shares that his wife is laying at home, fearful of the possibility of another miscarriage. He’s also scared of losing another baby, but he knows the pain is intensified for his wife, who quit her job to focus on having a baby. He knows how much his wife wants a child, so he can’t suggest otherwise, even though it’s so hard on her.
Yi-sang says that he must feel apologetic constantly, and the husband agrees because all he can do is pray at this point. Yi-sang assures the husband that his prayers will be answered, and Ha-ri looks saddened by the stark similarity to their situation.
After the interview, Ha-ri tells Yi-sang that he shouldn’t feel sorry for her, but he points out that she’s pushing back her surgery in hopes of having a child, which is partly dependent on him. He worries that Ha-ri is hiding her pain from her endometriosis and tells her that if his infertility treatment results are poor, then she should prioritize herself. Ha-ri nods gratefully.
While walking home, Ha-ri spots Mom sitting on a bench and joins her to get some air. She asks Mom what she would have done if she didn’t have her, and Mom presumes that she would have worked hard to not starve herself, entertained herself when she was bored, and not know the joys of motherhood.
Mom asks if Ha-ri is anxious about not being able to have a child, and Ha-ri admits this fear. She wonders what she’ll do if she gets married, doesn’t have a child, and if her partner leaves her. Mom tells her to train herself to have positive thoughts that will manifest in her future, and she assures Ha-ri that if this does happen, she won’t die and stay by Ha-ri’s side. Ha-ri takes Mom’s hand and asks her to fulfill that promise regardless.
Yeon-ho and Manager Kim meet with an advertisement partner, who shares that they won’t be resigning their contract due to rumors about the magazine discontinuing. The discontinuation rumors aren’t unfounded, as we see Vice President Joo asking Ha-ri to submit a staffing restructuring plan to make up their losses. Ha-ri refuses to let her staff be on the chopping block and suggests alternatives — more advertisements and sales — to increase their profits.
When Yeon-ho and Manager Kim report their loss of an advertisement partnership due to rumors, Ha-ri looks determined to show their audience that the magazine is still going strong. The editing team brainstorms possible events and ideas to promote their magazine while also preparing to meet their monthly publishing deadline.
Yi-sang offers to buy late night snacks for the team and says that he’s also working on an important project. We see that he’s researching proposal tips late into his evening. When the food arrives, the reporters excitedly rush into their break room, and Ha-ri gives Mom a call about her late night. Mom says that she’s on a trip with her hiking club, but Ha-ri hears a nurse in the background saying that her test results are ready. Ha-ri asks if Mom is at the hospital, and Mom lies that she isn’t.
Ha-ri checks Mom’s room when she gets home and sees that Mom’s hiking clothes are still there. When she asks Jae-young, he says that she’s on a hiking trip, but Ha-ri continues to worry. She asks about Do-ah, and Jae-young shares that Jung-won has her for the night. Mirroring their relationship, their conversation is hesitant and awkward.
As Ha-ri works through the night, the power suddenly goes out, and she goes downstairs to check on the power. Jae-young tells her about the scheduled power outage and catches her as she slips down the stairs. She quickly pulls away from his grasp and looks for candles.
Ha-ri continues to work on her phone, and Jae-young asks if she’s ever developed romantic feelings for him. Ha-ri admits that she briefly had feelings for him in middle school but blames the puberty hormones for that. Jae-young shares that he had feelings for Ha-ri in elementary school and that Ha-ri was his first love. He wonders if their relationship would have been different if Ha-ri knew his true feelings then, and Ha-ri doubts this.
Jae-young disagrees and says that they would have either been together for life or parted ways for life. He admits that he was afraid of the latter and repeatedly missed the opportunity to confess his feelings to her because of this fear. He wonders, “Why am I remembering my forgotten feelings now?”
Ha-ri stops working and finally confronts Jae-young’s confession. She starts to tell Jae-young about her experience when she first starting working at the childcare magazine, but Jae-young continues with his reflection. He shares that he’s never taken a fall in his easy life, and when he finally fell at nearly 40 years old, he collapsed.
Ha-ri continue to share her story about realization that a lot of good dads existed in this world, unlike the Dad Jae-young used to be. Jae-young continues to share, “I hated the world for inflicting this belated suffering, but I realized that this suffering was actually an opportunity to correct the wrongs and reflect on what I’ve missed in my life.” Ha-ri wraps up her point by saying that dads also grow with their child and that Jae-young has grown to be a great dad.
Jae-young also concludes his reflection by saying that life gave him one last opportunity, and that opportunity was Ha-ri. Uncomfortable with this situation, Ha-ri decides to head upstairs, but Jae-young has one more thing to say. He confesses, “Hari, I like you a lot.”
The power turns back on, and Jae-young continues tearfully, “If I didn’t confess, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to let you go.” Ha-ri wishes that he wouldn’t have confessed his feelings because she doesn’t want to lose him. Jae-young says that these feelings will help him grow and credits Ha-ri for shaping him in an adult. “I was always thankful and sorry,” he says, and jumping back to their normal rapport, he wishes Ha-ri happiness.
Ha-ri nods in gratitude, and Jae-young steps aside to let her go upstairs. Jae-young looks crushed as Ha-ri leaves and as he accepts his heartbreak.
Yi-sang notices that Mom’s absence at the leatherworking class and calls Ha-ri to check on Mom. Ha-ri assures him that Mom is returning from her hiking trip, but she’s still worried about Mom. She calls her aunt to ask about Mom’s health, and she finally hears the truth about her father.
Mom calls Jae-young and asks for his help with Ha-ri, since she expects Ha-ri to make a scene at the hospital. Jae-young agrees to Mom’s request, and sure enough, Ha-ri arrives looking enraged. She enters her father’s hospital room and finds Mom taking care of her ill father. She’s repulsed by the scene and doesn’t even acknowledge her father’s cheerful greeting as she forces Mom out of the room.
Ha-ri angrily asks why Mom is taking care of Dad, and Mom explains that she’s just taking care of him until his surgery for liver cancer. Ha-ri tells her to hire a caretaker instead, but Mom insists that she’ll handle her business. Ha-ri can’t understand why Mom would care for Dad after all the suffering he made her go through. She recalls Mom working from dawn and late into the night every day to make ends meet and blames Dad for this.
Mom didn’t want Ha-ri to see Dad because of these negative associations and says that she has her reasons for taking care of Dad. She knows that news of Dad’s death and his circumstances would hurt Ha-ri more, and she insists that she’s taking care of Dad to make herself feel better.
Ha-ri says that she doesn’t care about Dad, who hasn’t been in her life since he left. She claims that she doesn’t care if he dies or if he’s sick. Mom looks guilty about Ha-ri’s pain and apologizes for giving her an incompetent father. She returns to the hospital room, and Ha-ri looks upset.
Jae-young sees Ha-ri as she walks out of the hospital and stops himself from comforting her. He stays in his car and gives Yi-sang a call instead. Aw, Jae-young! Growth!
Ha-ri crouches in front of her home in tears, and Yi-sang runs to her. He finds her sobbing, and he embraces her, trying to comfort her by being with her. Ha-ri cries on his shoulder, and later that night, Ha-ri’s sad look continues to linger on Yi-sang’s mind.
The next day, Ha-ri goes to the hospital and sits in the waiting room as her father enters surgery. After a moment, she leaves and narrates her thoughts, “I don’t understand. Regardless of my hatred for Dad, he’s my Dad, so I need to see him, even though I don’t want to. But why can’t Mom just turn away after they’ve separated? When expectations deviate and when my relationship with my person becomes painful, will I be able to manage this with strength, like Mom?”
Ha-ri receives a message from Yi-sang inviting her to the studio, and she finds Yi-sang sitting on a bench, ready for a photo. He asks her to sit with him to take a photo, since they don’t have any photos together. He suggests, “Let’s take photos together from now on, of all our future days and moments together.”
Yi-sang sets up the camera, and they take a photo together. Then, Yi-sang kneels in front of Ha-ri, and she looks caught off guard. He takes out the rings and proposes, “Let’s get married.”
Aw, yay! They’re getting married! I thoroughly enjoyed Ha-ri’s paranoid reactions to anything that remotely resembled a proposal, and when you have a ring on your mind, literally any situation could be a potential proposal. But when she least expected it and possibly when she most needed the confirmation, Yi-sang finally proposed to her. I find their relationship lovely to watch because they approach each other with a familiarity and affection that feels natural. The security in their relationship is mutual, and I think the mutual comfort and investment is the key distinguishing factor that makes this the winning relationship.
Though it was clear early on that the other two potential suitors were not the ones for Ha-ri, I think this episode put the final nail in the coffin for Jae-young. I was so relieved that Jae-young finally turned around his immaturity that was destined to crash and burn, and he just managed to salvage his dignity. Eu-tteum showed much more maturity in letting go of his unrequited feelings, but I recognize that Jae-young’s affection for Ha-ri dates way back and required more courage and deeper reflection for him to finally accept his reality.
I appreciated Jae-young’s confession, which was everything I wished Jae-young was episodes ago — honest, vulnerable, sentimental, and supportive. I’m annoyed that this confession came way too late and wish this had happened latest halfway through the show to save us from the irritation and forced sympathy for Jae-young. I would have preferred to pout over his heartbreak as he tried to continue to be Ha-ri’s friend, and I can definitely see Park Byung-eun nailing that role. Watching Park Byung-eun deliver that confession about missed opportunities made me wonder if the writer also recognized the missed opportunity with this versatile and keen actor.
One relationship that always saved Jae-young from being on my permanent shit list was his relationship with Mom. I love his dynamic with Mom, who frankly seems to have the best relationships with everyone in this show. They’ve become each other’s chosen family, and Jae-young depends on Mom just as much as Mom depends on him. That connection exists regardless of Jae-young’s relationship with Ha-ri, and though Mom will have to learn to respect boundaries between him and Ha-ri, I think they will always consider each other family.
Mom was the star of this episode, and that last question posed by Ha-ri puts her at the center. Mom possesses a resilience unknown to Ha-ri, and Ha-ri can’t seem to fathom the strength needed to be with a person through love, pain, heartbreak, and resentment. The reality of partnership and commitment is finally hitting Ha-ri, but she’s been familiar with the realities all along. While Ha-ri’s dreams of marriage and having children have been the central story, she’s surrounded by friends and family who have shown her the trials and tribulations of her dreams. After getting to know Ha-ri, I know that she’s committed to the rewarding and redeeming parts of those dreams, no matter what struggles life will through at her. Despite all the challenges, she’s remained admirably hopeful, and with an equally committed partner at her side, I’m hopeful for her happiness, whatever that turns out to look like.