It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Episode 8
If you thought the last episode was full of crying, fear not — this one is full of smiling. Our couple have taken their first steps to recovery, choosing to let go of their pasts and start anew. It’s making them see everything differently, including each other. There are others, however, who aren’t so happy with the way things are changing.
EPISODE 8: “Beauty and the beast”
Moon-young adores her new hairstyle, telling Kang-tae that she doesn’t have to listen to her mom now that she’s cut off her leash. Kang-tae is surprised to hear her reasoning behind the sudden change, and he congratulates her. But she’d rather get a pat on the head, like before. He does as she wishes, and she beams that she’s as happy as The Cheerful Dog.
The next morning, at breakfast, Moon-young asks Sang-tae what he thinks of her bob. “Your long hair was prettier,” he says, making her face fall. He starts rambling that she shouldn’t have cut it, and Kang-tae tries (and fails) to defuse the situation by changing the subject. Now cranky, Moon-young asks Kang-tae to place her food on her spoon. Ha, has this become their thing?
Moon-young walks Kang-tae to the car, telling him to come straight home after work so they can play. In turn, he tells her not to get in any fights with Sang-tae. She stops to enjoy the morning breeze, and for a moment, he seems captivated by her.
She faces him, making him snap out of it, and asks if she really looks pretty. He reassures her that she does, and she decides that that’s enough for her. She waves him goodbye, and as he’s driving off, he can’t help but look back at her in the mirror.
Once at work, Kang-tae is informed by caregiver Cha-yong that Go Dae-hwan had a seizure last night. As Kang-tae is redressing Dae-hwan, Dae-hwan brings up the ghost and the song it always sings. “She definitely died,” he says, “but that woman is here.”
Kang-tae asks Dae-hwan who he’s referring to, but Dae-hwan just looks out the window and repeats that the woman is at the hospital.
At home, Moon-young is browsing through articles of herself, upset to see that she’s still getting angry fan comments. She’s glad to have Sang-tae, at least, and asks him what he likes about her. Without missing a beat, he states that he liked her long hair the best.
Meanwhile, Sang-in and Seung-jae are eating at Subway (whoop, there it is). Apparently, Sang-in made Seung-jae do a background check on Joo-ri. He has her relay every little detail, from Joo-ri’s family to her relationship with Kang-tae.
While taking a break outside, Kang-tae thinks back to the way Moon-young looked before, the wind in her hair, and his saying she was pretty. “You must be going crazy, Moon Kang-tae,” he says to himself.
Director Oh looks through the hospital’s CCTV footage, wanting to find out what happened to Go Dae-hwan last night. And he sees that just after Dae-hwan’s seizure, a woman with long hair walked by — a woman that he thinks he recognizes. He calls Kang-tae and asks him to bring Park Ok-ran in.
(Reminder that Ok-ran is the woman who disregarded another patient’s sightings of the ghost and slapped Joo-ri.) Kang-tae brings Ok-ran in, and Director Oh starts questioning her about her whereabouts last night. He also asks if she happened to hum a certain song, earning Kang-tae’s attention.
Ok-ran lets out a dry laugh and tells Director Oh that she isn’t some ghost. Director Oh sees that he won’t be getting answers from her, so he decides to let her go. As Kang-tae is guiding Ok-ran back to her room, he catches her chuckling again, and she explains that she’s finally getting some attention.
Later, on the roof, Director Oh and Kang-tae talk it over and wonder why Ok-ran is lying. Director Oh asks Kang-tae to keep an eye on her, even offering a favor in return. And Kang-tae jumps at the opportunity, wanting him to start up Moon-young’s classes again.
At lunch time, Kang-tae meets up with Sang-tae, with Moon-young tagging along. Moon-young is disappointed, however, when the brothers take her to a small Chinese restaurant. Kang-tae tells her that their mom used to bring them here because he loved the jjambbong, which changes her view.
When eating, Kang-tae thinks of his mom and starts getting emotional. But then Moon-young takes a bite of her food and curses, “Fuck, it’s so spicy,” and he bursts into laughter. She watches him with a relieved smile.
It’s raining when they leave the restaurant, and Kang-tae makes sure that Sang-tae is covered by their umbrella. Moon-young feels left behind, so she rushes over to join them and makes sure that her umbrella is covering Kang-tae.
It’s time for Sang-tae’s shift at the pizza place, so the couple send him off to his bus. Moon-young then links arms with Kang-tae and suggests they grab some coffee before his break over. On the bus, Sang-tae watches them with a worried look on his face. Hm.
While getting their coffee, Kang-tae notices Moon-young staring at a man writing in his journal. (It’s Daniel Choi, from the writer’s previous drama Jugglers!) The man catches her staring and, realizing who she is, approaches saying he’s a huge fan.
Kang-tae arrives with the drinks, purposely showing off that he’s with Moon-young. But when the fan asks if he’s her boyfriend, she answers that he’s just some guy she knows. To prove it, she agrees to give the fan her phone number.
Kang-tae is growing agitated, but he holds it together, even when the fan asks him to take their picture. He clenches his jaw and takes multiple pictures of the pair making cutesy poses.
Once Kang-tae and Moon-young are alone again, he chides her for acting way too friendly to a fan she just met. She argues that the fan was too cool to pass up, annoying him further. He leaves in a huff, and she smiles with amusement. She takes out the fan’s pen, which she stole when he wasn’t looking, and says, “Ah, so cool.” LOL, I knew she was talking about the pen! (In Korean, “fan” and “pen” sound similar.)
Back at OK, Joo-ri is horrified to find her mom chatting it up with Sang-in. She’s even more horrified to learn that Mom has agreed to let him live in their building, in Jae-soo’s room. She doesn’t understand why he would want to live there, and he happily says, “Because of you.” She tries to tell him she likes someone else, but he won’t budge. So she shakes her head at him, giving up, and walks off.
Sang-in reaches the parking lot and panics when he sees Kang-tae marching right toward him. With absolutely no prelude, Kang-tae explodes; he yells that Sang-in should be considering his client’s well-being instead of letting her go around flirting with fans.
Back inside, patients Jung-tae and Ah-reum have a romantic rendezvous in the supply closet. Patients aren’t allowed to form romantic relationships, so the closet is the only place they can be together.
The couple try to leave the room inconspicuously — only to jump at the sight of Kang-tae. They beg him not to tell the higher-ups, but he has no choice. Unfortunately, he tells them, one of them will have to be transferred elsewhere.
Kang-tae doesn’t feel good about breaking the couple apart, especially seeing Ah-reum cry. All he can do is encourage them to work on their recovery so they can meet again outside the hospital.
That evening, when Sang-tae comes home, Moon-young suggests they play some poker. But he sees the doll Mang-tae in her hands and asks her what she’s doing with it — it belongs to him. He tries to grab for it, but she resists and cries that it’s hers now.
They pull on the poor doll until they accidentally tear the head off… Uh oh. We cut to Kang-tae as he arrives home, hearing screams and running up the stairs toward the sound. He bursts into his room to find this:
Moon-young and Sang-tae both shout that Mang-tae is theirs, and Kang-tae practically rolls his eyes into the back of his head. He adopts his parent tone and orders them to hand over the doll pieces. Though they do, Sang-tae then climbs into the wardrobe, crying that he hates Moon-young, and Moon-young storms off to her room.
Kang-tae sits in front of the wardrobe to talk his brother out. He apologizes for taking the doll without permission, but Sang-tae hasn’t used it for years. “When you don’t need something,” he says, “it’s nice to offer it to someone who does need it.”
Kang-tae reminds Sang-tae that, at the end of the day, he’ll always have him. To that, Sang-tae says that Moon-young can keep Mang-tae — as long as she doesn’t get Kang-tae. The condition surprises Kang-tae, but he puts on a smile and agrees.
Later, Kang-tae settles into the living room and starts sewing Mang-tae’s head back on. Moon-young joins him, still annoyed, and he asks that she be patient with Sang-tae at times like this. She’s curious to know how he does it, how he always manages to hold everything in. You know, since he’s the expert. “Keeping it all inside and enduring it,” he explains, “is the only way I can protect Hyung.”
She smiles and points out that them being opposites, him patient and her volatile, makes them the perfect match. Like a bomb and its safety pin. He gets pouty and brings up the fan they met earlier, which is when she reveals that the “fan” she likes is actually a pen. Besides, she says, leaning in, she likes him the most. Feeling tired, she then rests her head in his lap and insists on sleeping here, where Mang-tae is.
Soon, Moon-young is fast asleep. Kang-tae gets up from the couch to cover her with a blanket, and he tucks her in with the now fixed Mang-tae. He sits back and looks at her, this longing in his eyes, and slowly… lightly places his hand over hers. But that’s all he allows himself to do before pulling back.
The next day, Sang-in wakes up in his newly shared room and discovers that his facial hair is gone. We see that last night, Jae-soo accidentally spit out his gum on Sang-in’s sleeping face and had to shave off his beard. (Oh my word, that is gross.) Apparently, Seung-jae is living in the building too, rooming with Joo-ri.
On the way to work, Joo-ri warns her mom not to push her and Sang-in together or anything. Mom sighs and says that she just wants Joo-ri to give her energy to someone who will like her back. Joo-ri’s mood only gets worse, as she and Mom arrive at OK the same time as Moon-young and the Moon brothers.
Mom tries to ease the tension by inviting Moon-young over for dinner, saying she and Joo-ri can fight all they want as long as they make up (hee). After forcing a smile, Joo-ri drags Mom inside, the others right behind them. Moon-young links arms with Kang-tae, but this time, Sang-tae squeezes in between them.
Before literature class, Moon-young stops by Director Oh’s office. He tells her that it was Kang-tae who asked to bring her back, and she’s pleasantly surprised. He then asks if she knows the patient Park Ok-ran, but she only knows her from class.
Meanwhile, Jung-tae thanks Kang-tae for keeping his relationship with Ah-reum a secret for now. He wishes he had Kang-tae’s strong character, but he just can’t control himself. “I see [Ah-reum] every day, and it really drives me crazy,” he says. “I tell myself I shouldn’t look at her, but I think of her even when I close my eyes.”
As Jung-tae continues, Kang-tae seems to realize that he’s been feeling this way for Moon-young lately. Feeling jealous, feeling reluctant. He finds himself walking over to Moon-young’s class and watching her through the door. She sees him and gives him a wave, along with an adorable eye smile, making him turn the other way.
Moon-young frowns and then goes on with her lesson of Beauty and the Beast: “The Beast was usually selfish and harsh on Belle. So him doing something nice and gazing at her with a faint smile was enough to move her. ‘Ah, the Beast is lonely, so I should embrace him with my love. Only I can change him.’”
Moon-young concludes that Belle was delusional, that she fell into Stockholm Syndrome. This makes Ah-reum cry that that’s not true — Belle truly loved the Beast and that love healed his wounded soul. Moon-young remembers Kang-tae comforting her after her nightmare, and she silently wonders, “Love?”
Moon-young still seems to be pondering this after class, as she smokes a cigarette outside. All of a sudden, Ah-reum’s abusive ex-husband shows and chases Ah-reum into the garden. The ex begs Ah-reum to take him back, saying he’ll do better, but she’s done with him. She wants to start anew.
The ex still won’t quit, so Ah-reum blurts out that there’s someone she likes. And just like that, a flip switches and the ex starts being aggressive. He lifts a hand to slap her, when an empty can hits him in the face. “Omo, sorry,” Moon-young says, approaching them. “I thought you were a trash can.”
The ex scowls and says that this hospital sure is full of crazy bitches, and Moon-young retorts that he should check in since he’s a crazy bastard. To that, the guy punches her to the ground and then grabs her to hit her again. Before he can, Kang-tae comes rushing over and punches him twice as hard.
Everyone — the staff, Sang-tae, and most of all, Moon-young — is in complete shock to see Kang-tae so angry. Cha-yong tries to hold him back, Nurse Park yells for him to stop, but he’s in a blind rage as he gets ready to deliver another blow. It’s Ah-reum’s desperate crying that finally snaps him out of it.
Kang-tae immediately falls back and helps Moon-young to her feet, asking if she’s okay. He lifts a hand to her cheek, as if the others aren’t even there. And she seems to melt at his touch, dropping the rock she’d been holding behind her back.
Kang-tae is willing to accept whatever punishment for his actions, and, ultimately, Director Oh decides to suspend him without pay. Though, something tells me Director Oh would’ve given a lighter sentence if Nurse Park wasn’t there.
Sang-tae, and then Cha-young, demand to know what happened, reminding him that he’s good at holding things in. But Kang-tae just packs up his stuff and heads for the door. Joo-ri stops him next, thinking he should just apologize and admit he made a mistake. “It wasn’t a mistake,” he tells her, walking past.
The patients sadly watch Kang-tae go, though Sun-hae swears she saw him smiling. Kang-tae is, in fact, smiling, and he’s smiling bigger and bigger as he thinks of Moon-young, of the time she promised to run away with him if he ever had the urge.
Kang-tae’s running now, out of the hospital and towards the bench where Moon-young is. He happily declares that he got suspended, that he might get sued, and that everything’s messed up. That being said, he wants to run away with her, like she promised. Now. He holds out his hand, and she takes it, matching his grin.
I really liked the last episode, but I think this one might be my favorite so far. I just loved how light everything felt. Obviously, there was a lot of humor and it was great, but there was also a lightness, an openness, that I don’t know how to explain. The scene of Moon-young with the wind in her hair is probably the best representation. The haircut didn’t change her or her personality; it just brought out the light that was already in her. She was sweet, she was bubbly, yet she was still her boss bitch self.
I think Kang-tae’s known for a while now, that he has feelings for Moon-young. He’s been seeing a lot more of her true self, of her genuine smiles, and it’s only made his feelings stronger. He thought he could hold back, like he’s been holding back everything else, but it was about time his safety pin came falling out. It’s quite beautiful, actually, watching the effect she has on him (and vice versa, of course). She pushes him, for sure, but she’s pushing him to be selfish for his own good. As a result, he’s starting to see how amazing a little selfishness can feel. That last scene made me think of an early episode, when he imagined himself in Gi-do’s place, jumping on stage freely. Kang-tae running out of the hospital, smiling from ear-to-ear, I saw that exact same freedom.
It’s interesting, because I never expected Sang-tae to disapprove of our couple’s relationship. For a moment, when he was watching them from the bus, I thought he was worried his brother was stealing the girl he liked. It’s so much more heartbreaking knowing the truth, that he’s worried this girl is stealing his brother. Sang-tae’s always trying to prove that he’s self-sufficient, and I believe that he is, but still… Kang-tae is his dongsaeng and he doesn’t want to lose him. I’m sure there will come a point where Sang-tae and Moon-young come to him with that question: Who does he like more? I’m not looking forward to that, because I was just starting to fall in love with Moon-young and the brothers as their own little family. I don’t want them to fight…
I’m also curious about Moon-young and how her feelings will change things. She’s attached to Kang-tae, and she jokes about dating him, but she seems to shy away from the idea of loving him. For her, it might be a combination of being scared to love and not knowing how to love. If that’s the case, I do hope she finds the courage to join him and figure love out together. (I’ve gotta say, though, things are so intense between them, and they haven’t even kissed yet! I swooned like crazy over a simple handhold!) Finally, I’m ever curious about the hospital ghost, now that we know(?) it’s Ok-ran. The history behind this ghost and the Go family is so intriguing, and I’m dying to see the full story. Will there be more heartbreak at the end of that story? Probably. There’s big trouble on the horizon, which only makes me appreciate this happy episode more.
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