It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Episode 6
And the twisty twists just keep on twisting. There’s so much to our ill-fated couple’s story — their dark pasts, their lingering ghosts — and the rate at which it’s unraveling is exhilarating. At the same time, the more we learn, the more I fear for the characters and their well-being.
EPISODE 6: “Bluebeard’s secret”
Kang-tae enters the cursed castle, finding Sang-tae passed out drunk on a couch. He covers Sang-tae with his jacket and then heads upstairs, towards the bedroom balcony where Moon-young is waiting. He joins her out there, and the first thing she says is, “How long have you known who I am?”
He thinks of all the moments she hinted at it, like when she mentioned that he grew up well. But ultimately, he says, he thinks he’s known since the first time he looked in her eyes. The fact that he’s been hiding this upsets her, and he reminds her of what he said before, about wanting to forget her because he ran away.
He’s only opening up now to get proper closure. So he turns to her and, though she doesn’t want to hear it, gives her a sincere thanks for saving him and an apology for running away. He never got to tell her, which is probably why he never got over her. So what, she asks, he doesn’t have feelings for her anymore?
For Kang-tae, his feelings don’t matter; he already has his hands full with his brother. Moon-young asks why he can’t just care for her too, and he answers, “I don’t want to be someone who is needed by others anymore.” He stalks off, back down the stairs, and she chases after him, threatening to kill him if he leaves.
Moon-young slips on a step, but Kang-tae manages to catch her, even yelling at her for nearly hurting herself. It’s a charged moment that is soon interrupted when an excited Sang-tae appears by the foyer. Sang-tae tells Kang-tae that he’s a live-in illustrator now, showing him the contract Moon-young gave him.
Moon-young gives Kang-tae a look that says I’ve got you now. Sang-tae starts rambling that he’s going to live here, and, growing frustrated, Kang-tae yells that this isn’t their home and tears the contract in two. Sang-tae is horrified Kang-tae ruined what’s his, and he explodes, shoving Kang-tae out the door, to the ground.
Sang-tae beats Kang-tae with his fists, screaming, “I’m not yours! I belong to myself!” and Kang-tae can only lie there shielding his face. Moon-young steps in, placing a hand on Sang-tae and urging him to go inside, and he simmers down.
Sang-tae goes back inside, leaving Kang-tae on the ground looking scared and heartbroken at the same time. Crossing her arms, Moon-young tells Kang-tae, “Your brother abandoned you. Now, it’s your turn to choose. Will you also abandon him, or will you let him lock you down your entire life?”
Emotionally drained, Kang-tae trudges off the castle grounds alone. He falls into a memory, of being excited to show off his new taekwondo belt. His mom was furious, however, because while Kang-tae was at taekwondo, Sang-tae got beaten up on his way home. Kang-tae took a few hits from mom, until he just lost it.
“My job isn’t to take care of Sang-tae,” Kang-tae exclaimed, surprising Mom. “I don’t belong to Sang-tae! I belong to myself!” Mom weakly shoved him back, daring him to say that again. And Kang-tae cried that he wished his brother would just die, dropping his belt and running away.
Mom fell to her knees, while Sang-tae grabbed the belt and went after Kang-tae. It wasn’t until Kang-tae reached a snowy field (and a very familiar frozen lake) that he stopped to acknowledge Sang-tae. Having cooled off, he smiled at his brother and then threw his toy dinosaur, initiating a game of catch.
They tumbled through the snow, laughing freely, unaware that they had an audience watching from afar — Moon-young. And Moon-young smirked as one long toss sent the dinosaur and Sang-tae over to a thin layer of ice. Sang-tae fell through, into the icy water, and screamed for Kang-tae to save him.
But Kang-tae was frozen in place, torn between helping his brother and letting him drown. Making a quick decision, he turned and ran, only to stop a few feet away. From her spot, Moon-young said, “Just leave. Leave him.”
With another quick decision, Kang-tae ran back and jumped into the water to help Sang-tae up. But once Sang-tae was out, he scurried off (maybe disoriented?) and left Kang-tae struggling by himself.
This was when Moon-young picked a flower and plucked the petals, asking if she should help Kang-tae or not. The final petal, interestingly, told her not to save him, but we all know that she did anyway.
Now at home, Kang-tae uncrumples what’s left of the torn contract. At the bottom, in Sang-tae’s handwriting, it says that Moon-young is to pay him with a camping car instead of money, because he has a little brother who hates to move. And overwhelmed with guilt, Kang-tae burst into tears.
Back at the mansion, Sang-tae is looking guilty as well, but Moon-young tells him not to worry — Kang-tae isn’t going to abandon him.
The next morning, Kang-tae is visited by Joo-ri’s mom, who’s surprised to learn that the brothers fought. Mom is ecstatic, however, that Sang-tae received an opportunity to be an illustrator. She can tell that Kang-tae is uneasy about it, so she takes his hand in hers and tells him that he shouldn’t have to worry anymore.
“It’s time for you to let [Sang-tae] do what he wants,” Joo-ri’s mom says. “You shouldn’t stop people from doing what they want or liking someone.” He lets this sink in, and aw, the way he looks down at their hands.
Later in the afternoon, Sang-in and Seung-jae knock on Moon-young’s door (carrying PPL treats), and they’re confused when Sang-tae peeks out and immediately slams the door on them. Sang-in barges in and confronts Moon-young, demanding to know what the caregiver’s hyung is doing here.
Moon-young reveals her plans of working and living with Sang-tae, and Sang-in nearly loses his mind. He tells her that she can barely take care of herself, and she just smiles. “I have my safety pin, so don’t worry,” she says, nodding to the door. They all turn to see Kang-tae there, carrying his luggage.
Once Kang-tae and Moon-young are alone, he sits her down to go over some conditions. One, Sang-tae will spend the weekdays here and weekends at the apartment. Two, Kang-tae will bring Sang-tae back the second he wants to quit. And three, Moon-young has to respect Sang-tae.
Moon-young promises to do so, but knowing promises mean nothing to her, Kang-tae asks how he can trust her. “I’ll keep it,” she assures him. “Because it’s a promise I made to you.”
We then see Joo-ri’s mom cursing herself for sending Kang-tae away. She hadn’t realized until later that the writer he and his brother were working with was Moon-young. And now, both Joo-ri and Jae-soo are upset that Kang-tae is in the “evil” Moon-young’s clutches.
While touring the mansion, Sang-tae brings up the fact that the boys have moved 18 times, and Moon-young asks why. But before Sang-tae can mention the butterflies, Kang-tae cuts him off and suggests they go see their bedroom.
Moon-young takes them to her childhood room, and they’re amazed to have an actual bed. The bed is dusty, as it and everything else hasn’t been cleaned in over two decades, but Sang-tae is happy. And if Sang-tae is happy, so is Kang-tae.
Meanwhile, at OK Hospital, Director Oh and patient Pil-wong, who are the cutest of friends, sneak off to a supplies closet for their nightly chat. But Pil-wong admits that he’s shaken tonight — as he was leaving his quarters, roommate Go Dae-hwan sat up in bed and creepily asked where he was going.
Sang-tae wanders through the mansion’s dark halls, looking for the bathroom, when the door to the basement slowly creaks open. He moves to go down, but a hand reaches out and stops him. He looks up at Moon-young, and she asks if he knows the story of Bluebeard.
“Once upon a time, a count with a blue beard lived alone in a huge castle. He was very wealthy, but everyone avoided him out of fear because of his blue beard. But one day, a poor woman came to the castle and said that she wanted to be his bride. Brimming with joy, Bluebeard brought out all the jewels and treasure from each room and gave them to his wife. However, there was one exception — the room in the basement. He warned her to never go into that room.
The narration continues that the wife eventually went into the basement, and in flashback, we see young Moon-young unlocking her own basement. While the wife found the corpses of Bluebeard’s previous wives, Moon-young found the corpse of her mother.
After Sang-tae returns to his room, he retells the fairy tale to Kang-tae and asks why everyone was afraid of Bluebeard. Kang-tae says it was because he was different, and Sang-tae wonders, “Is being different something to be afraid of?”
While that may be so, Kang-tae tells Sang-tae not to worry — Bluebeard is sure to find that special someone who won’t be afraid of him and who will tell him it’s okay to be different. Standing outside their room, Moon-young smiles to hear this.
The following day, Joo-ri is still angry and curses up a storm as she drives her mom to work. Mom tells her to just lash out at her instead of at traffic, and while Joo-ri doesn’t say it out loud, she wishes she could staple Mom’s lips together. Well, damn.
At the hospital, Director Oh attempts to get a response from Go Dae-hwan, to no avail. Nurse Park tries instead, and Dae-hwan finally speaks up: “She’s… so pretty. She looks like an angel.” Nurse Park asks who he’s referring to, and he says, “Moon-young’s mom.”
Later, Director Oh and Nurse Park discuss how Dae-hwan isn’t ready to face Moon-young again. Director Oh is curious about the choking incident, thinking it might be possible Dae-hwan was delusional and seeing Moon-young as someone else.
When Moon-young wakes up, she’s surprised to see that the brothers have started cleaning the place and even brought back groceries. She watches Kang-tae set the table, as if the sight is foreign to her, and says that she wants extra rice. He cracks a smile and obliges. Cuuuute.
Back at OK, patient Eun-ja is on the phone with her daughter, wanting to set her up with the handsome Kang-tae. Behind her, the other patients complain to the nurses that Eun-ja is always borrowing stuff and insisting her rich daughter will pay for it later.
Soon, Moon-young and the brothers arrive at the hospital and go their separate ways for work. While Sang-tae puts the finishing touches on his mural, Director Oh comes by and knowingly comments that there aren’t any butterflies. Sang-tae shrieks that the butterflies can’t come here.
Elsewhere, while Moon-young waits for her class to start, she feels someone staring at her. She catches sight of a figure and follows it out back, until she’s face to face with Eun-ja. Kang-tae, who’d been looking for Moon-young, sees them but stays hidden, sensing the tension.
“Why are you surprised?” Eun-ja asks Moon-young. “Did you already forget me? It’s Mom.” And with that one word, Moon-young’s blood seems to go cold. Eun-ja is offended she doesn’t recognize her, even if she did get a few plastic surgeries. Moon-young starts to ask if it’s really her, if she’s really back.
But then Eun-ja asks why she’s acting so strange after returning from her “concert.” Moon-young shakes with anger, realizing that this woman has mistaken her for someone else. She looks as if she’s about to hit her, which is Kang-tae’s cue to intervene. Kang-tae guides Eun-ja away, glancing back at Moon-young with concern.
After giving Eun-ja her medication, Kang-tae learns from Nurse Park that Eun-ja suffers from hallucinations. She believes that she’s the wife to a wealthy man, when in reality, she was a single mom who lost her daughter in a car accident.
In class, Moon-young isn’t listening to her students as they read their stories. All she hears is the phrase “It’s Mom” playing over and over in her head. She mutters for the voice to be quiet, but it only grows louder. It gets so loud that she has to shout for it to stop, subsequently scaring the patients.
Sang-in and Seung-jae stop by, wanting to talk to Kang-tae and settle things once and for all. Sang-in feels that Kang-tae is stealing his spot as Moon-young’s right-hand man, so he orders him to move out of the mansion right away. Oddly defensive, Kang-tae answers with, “I don’t want to.”
At lunch time, Kang-tae joins Sang-tae, Joo-ri, and Joo-ri’s mom to eat. At first, he glances around the room for Moon-young, and then he starts to bring up his moving out to Joo-ri. Playing it cool, Joo-ri smiles and says that she already knows. She asks Sang-tae for a copy of his book when it comes out, but Sang-tae tells her she has to pay for it. The group laughs, which is when Moon-young passes by the window outside and sees them.
Moon-young watches Kang-tae wistfully, until Eun-ja shows up and starts rambling that “that nurse” is seducing her man. Moon-young tries to walk away, but Eun-ja keeps insisting that she’ll take care of this as her mom. “Please!” Moon-young shouts. “Please stop saying the word ‘Mom.’” She firmly states that her mom is dead and describes how her body was found in gory detail.
Moon-young’s words trigger Eun-ja to see flashes of her real daughter’s death, and she faints from shock. A tear falls down Moon-young’s face, but her expression is as hard as ever as she walks past Eun-ja and leaves.
Moon-young stays in bed for the rest of the night, ignoring Kang-tae when he tries to check up on her. Kang-tae thinks back to her encounter with Eun-ja, her genuine fear when she asked if she was really her mom.
We then cut to Moon-young going into the infamous basement. She stares at what’s left of the blood stain on the floor, then at the portrait of her mom (which, argh, we don’t get to see!). Finally, she stops at the vanity and takes out a hairbrush — transition to the mom brushing young Moon-young’s hair.
Moon-young asks her mom why Bluebeard killed his wives, and Mom smiles as she says that they didn’t listen to him. Mom orders Moon-young to always listen to her, and Moon-young obediently agrees. Mom yanks Moon-young’s hair and screams, “Then why did you bring him here?!”
Moon-young wakes up from her dream (or does she?) to see the floating ghost hovering above her again. The ghost threatens to kill her precious prince, and Moon-young whimpers, stuck in sleep paralysis. Thankfully, Kang-tae hears her crying from his room and comes rushing in.
Kang-tae tries to calm Moon-young down, but she’s screaming now, telling him to run, to get out. She says this, yet she’s gripping onto his shirt for dear life. So he decides to listen to her actions instead, holding her close and saying, “Okay, I won’t go.” And as her crying ceases, he takes her other hand in his.
We get a silent movie treatment for the story of Bluebeard, with Sang-tae as the titular character, Moon-young as the wife he tries to kill, and Kang-tae as the hunchbacked minion who tries to save her. Bluebeard ends up killing the wife, adding her decapitated head to his collection, and the hunchbacked man weeps in despair.
(Make sure to keep watching for the hilarious bloopers!)
Okay, okay, fine, I love the drama. There’s no use denying it. It does everything I want it to do, only more and better. Moon-young and Kang-tae continue to surprise me, showing gradual character development while still remaining true to who they are. It’s a little more gradual on Moon-young’s part, which is expected, but Kang-tae… I’m telling you, something’s changing in him.
First of all, Kang-tae saying he was tired of being that guy, the guy who takes care of everyone — how heartbreaking was that? After years of taking care of his hyung, and pretty much sacrificing his own happiness, he just wants to be free. But at the end of the day, his hyung isn’t holding him back. Even Moon-young isn’t holding him back. It’s himself. He says he doesn’t want Moon-young to make him worry about her, when he’s the one who can’t help worrying. Whether it’s because she’s sad, she’s angry, or because she might get hurt. It’s moving, as it shows his feelings for her aren’t lost, but it’s also somewhat unsettling. I mean, his concern is almost like a reflex, like his mom beat it into him.
Then, the flashback, where we got the whole story of how Moon-young saved Kang-tae. (Ah, I love that she chose to save him even when the flower petals went against it.) To be honest, I couldn’t believe it — Kang-tae was presented with the opportunity to lose his brother, his biggest burden, and he nearly took it. His almost-decision to leave him behind has to be his biggest regret, right next to running away from Moon-young. The scene was hard to watch, not just because what he did was awful, but because it was so very human. We were seeing a person at their worst, at a moment of weakness after being pushed to their limits. And I can’t help but wonder if Sang-tae understood what happened and if he held it against him.
Kang-tae being Kang-tae, he couldn’t abandon Sang-tae even if he wanted to. He has way too much love to give, which is his biggest weakness, as well as his biggest strength. He has so much, in fact, while Moon-young has none, and that makes me want to push them together. Thank goodness Moon-young got the real Kang-tae instead of dream Kang-tae this episode, because wow, her mother is a literal nightmare. It’s still unclear what happened with the mom and what’s happening with her now. And while I do have my theories, it’s satisfying just watching these storylines play out. I just want to spend more time with these characters. See inside their brains, live inside their hearts, everything.
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