Memorials: Episode 6
Our heroine may have suffered a setback, but that doesn’t mean she’ll sit quietly. Between placating her parents, butting heads with a rival, and simultaneously learning to navigate both the political world and her own heart, she has her work cut out for her.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
On her way to thank Gong-myung for ordering from her part-time job, Se-ra stops short when she sees Hee-soo drop him off. Se-ra trembles with rage as Hee-soo drives off – honking cheekily as she passes – and storms after Gong-myung. Unaware of the force of fury headed his way, Gong-myung pitches forward when she smacks him from behind. Looking up, Gong-myung snaps at her for messing with him when he’s tired but Se-ra accuses him of wasting energy with Hee-soo.
Gong-myung denies it and Se-ra smacks him with Han-bi’s romance comic: “You know that witch mocked your friend of 29 years!” Snatching the book away, Gong-myung snorts that she’s spending her suspension reading comics. Se-ra asks if she’s supposed to dig a hole because she’s depressed and Gong-myung drops it. She wonders if he worried about her but Gong-myung denies having thought of her at all and asks if she had business with him. Offended, Se-ra lies she was on her way home and stomps off, muttering to herself Gong-myung has terrible taste in women.
At home, Se-ra groans at her 2 dollar bank balance and checks the group chat. Woo-young and Han-bi are upping the stakes of their bet over Se-ra’s love life, tittering over her unrequited feelings for Gong-myung. Se-ra snaps back they’re just friends but Woo-young retorts then she wouldn’t care whether he dated someone else (Hee-soo). Se-ra admits she’s feeling lonely lately and Han-bi suggests eating carbs to fill the void. Shoving her phone and romance book off the bed, Se-ra insists it isn’t unrequited love and vows to make money.
The next morning, Se-ra shovels toast into her mouth, wondering how much bread she has to eat for it to be effective. Dad glares at the empty plate, grumbling at Se-ra for not saving any. Mom is watching a friend’s store while they’re in the hospital and Dad asks how work is going. Se-ra snorts he’s never cared before, triggering a fork battle. Dad tells her to start paying rent and says he’ll start exercising in the evenings from now on.
Leaving home, Se-ra mulls over the Gong-myung and fires off a text: “Forget the keep. I deleted it.” Gong-myung receives it while setting up a council meeting and lets out a soft laugh, surprised she remembered exchanging hearts. Hee-soo smiles as she walks by and we flashback to see Gong-myung had been in her car on the pretense of learning who voided their vote. Hee-soo admitted she was teasing him and when Gong-myung exited the vehicle, Hee-soo saw Se-ra standing nearby. She’d purposefully given Gong-myung an enthusiastic goodbye and smiled wickedly as she drove past, honking at Se-ra.
In the present, Gong-myung washes dishes and grumbles over his knee (from Se-ra knocking him down). Gong-myung confronts Yong-kyu about having to work overtime for Hee-soo and awkwardly suggests they split the work. Yong-kyu chides him, declaring he’s Gong-myung’s senior (in the council secretariat) and scuttling out as Gong-myung points out he outranks Yong-kyu as a civil servant.
While peddling her green juice health drinks, Se-ra runs into Mom, who’s working as a cleaning lady (and tries to close the elevator doors on Se-ra before realizing it’s her daughter). Se-ra is forced to come clean about the suspension and Mom pouts she’d worked so hard to get elected for nothing. She warns Se-ra not to tell Dad and Se-ra agrees, adding she’s picked up an evening job as well. Se-ra passes on Dad’s message about exercise and Mom notes he’s been excited lately. When asked about her evening job, Se-ra runs away without answering.
That night, Se-ra reports to a drunken businessman as his designated driver and when they stop at an intersection, she sees Dad with another woman in the next car. All the signs point to an affair so Se-ra gives chase, following the other car until it parks. Fuming as Dad opens the door for the woman, Se-ra jumps out to confront him… just as the woman pays and thanks him – Dad is also a designated driver!
Dad takes over driving Se-ra’s client, chiding her for taking the risk of driving drunk men. She argues he’d lied about exercising and had told her to pay rent, but Dad grumbles it’s unfitting her position. He reveals how Mom had bragged to all her friends when Se-ra was elected. Dad orders her not to tell Mom about his extra job and when Se-ra relays events to her friends, Han-bi thinks it’s romantic how Se-ra’s parents worry for each other.
In other news, someone stopped by earlier looking for Se-ra, as district rep. The note simply says “urgent complaint” and an address, so Se-ra heads out the next morning. She notes 3 security cameras on the door and it opens to an elderly woman in a hot pink helmet. She orders Se-ra to put her scooter helmet on and drags her inside. The woman surveys Se-ra over a plate of fruit and finally pulls out a business card, explaining he’d promised to handle her complaint.
The card belongs to the deceased Assemblyman Yang and when the woman failed to get in contact with him, she’d approached Hee-soo but still hasn’t heard anything. Se-ra grimaces and agrees Hee-soo is awful. She vows to handle the problem and the woman nods to a cluster of golf balls in her courtyard. Annoyed by the helmet, Se-ra removes it just as a golf ball comes zooming in her direction.
With a scream, Se-ra narrowly dodges. Golf Ball Granny laughs she told Se-ra to wear the helmet and points towards the nearby driving range responsible for the errant balls. Cut to Dae-cheol trying to placate Se-ra as she angrily presents her bag, overflowing with golf balls, and shouts she nearly took one to the head. Dae-cheol points out she didn’t though and Se-ra threatens to return with her head cracked open. Her outburst comes to an abrupt halt when she spots Min-jae across the room and she shrivels in embarrassment.
Dong-chan’s suspension has ended and Gong-myung and Yong-kyu grimace at his overly dramatic welcome. Gong-myung takes Dong-chan his glass of water and accidentally smacks Dong-chan’s water bottle into his face. He apologizes and announces the start of the meeting and as he steps down, Hee-soo smiles cheekily at him.
Se-ra storms out of the service center… only to find Min-jae waiting. She tries to walk past, but he says there’s a reason the complaints against the driving range are ignored. Se-ra snaps she has her reasons too and answers a call from Golf Ball Granny, screaming to be heard as she stomps off.
Hee-soo is surprised when Assemblyman Bong tells her to invite Se-ra to join the Progressive Party. He tells her to first apologize and Hee-soo questions his interest in Se-ra when she openly admitted to taking the job for the money and then voted against the party on the municipal bonds. Assemblyman Bong reminds Hee-soo there are 2 motivations for people pursuing politics. Hee-soo recalls he’d seen both desires in her and Assemblyman Bong says he sees neither in Se-ra.
Back in their office, Yong-kyu piles mail onto Gong-myung’s desk, declaring it the responsibility of the maknae. Gong-myung perks up when he adds he saw Se-ra and grabbing a few envelopes to deliver, runs out (smacking Yong-kyu on the head, hee). Se-ra meets with Hee-soo who snidely remarks most people reflect during suspension. Se-ra says busy citizens don’t have time and asks about Golf Ball Granny.
Hee-soo insists she passed it on and when Se-ra argues she should’ve taken done more, Hee-soo says Se-ra is the Queen of Complaints. Gong-myung walks over, handing the stack of envelopes to Hee-soo as he silently questions Se-ra. Eyeing the pair, Hee-soo opens a card made by children and suddenly asks if Gong-myung will accompany her. Before he can answer, she gets permission from his supervisor and smiles snidely at Se-ra before sashaying off. Gong-myung finally asks why Se-ra’s there and she snaps: “Why can’t I be here?”
Determined to make Hee-soo eat crow, Se-ra heads over to the driving range… and is promptly thrown out. As she frantically scoops up her health juice, Assemblyman Heo smugly walks over. Slapping on a customer service smile to mask her grimace, Se-ra answers his question about the price. Heo takes a bottle and slides a 50,000 won bill into her bag, tutting at her working while they enjoy VIP golfing. Se-ra cuts him off with his change and Heo leaves as Se-ra mutters her distaste until Heo’s words catch up to her.
Gong-myung heaves bags as he follows Hee-soo and she sighs in disappointment at his lack of physical fitness. In a classroom, Hee-soo stamps children’s workbooks as Gong-myung distributes gifts. She laments that Mawon’s financial crisis means study rooms will no longer be funded, starting this month. Hee-soo admits issuing bonds would’ve been better, but she had to vote with her party. Gong-myung reasons the bonds increase debt, but Hee-soo points out the needy will suffer first.
Claiming to be from Mawon’s Council Secretariat, Se-ra calls the driving range to “confirm” details on the council’s VIP memberships. Every assemblyman except her holds a comped VIP status and Se-ra curses Hee-soo for acting haughty after accepting a bribe.
Hee-soo tells Gong-myung her first day in Mawon, she visited someone whom she respected and was indebted to. He’d said those who enter politics either have a desire to flaunt or the desire to change things – the prominent desire determines that person’s path. Hee-soo trips and Gong-myung catches her, releasing her awkwardly. Hee-soo asks what he thinks of her (desires) and Gong-myung says both. Smiling that his answer is the same, Hee-soo takes his hand and stamps it. From behind them, Se-ra shouts they shouldn’t act like kids.
Se-ra walks over, accusing them of acting like preschoolers and waving Gong-myung’s stamped hand in his face. Hee-soo smacks Se-ra’s hand away and when Gong-myung tries to interfere, the women shush him. Se-ra confronts Hee-soo about not handling the driving range complaint and accepting the VIP membership in exchange. Hee-soo argues she’s not alone and someone even pledged to revoke the driving range’s license… and then didn’t after being elected.
She refuses to reveal who and says Se-ra’s the preschooler for getting emotionally invested. They turn on Gong-myung for a verdict on who’s wrong and he says both – Hee-soo for accepting a freebie and Se-ra from demanding an uninvolved third-party take responsibility. Unfortunately, it only makes the women madder and they glare at each other before huffing off in separate directions, leaving Gong-myung confused.
That evening, Gong-myung finds Se-ra waiting for him on his walk home. He tries walking past but turns back to ask why she keeps coming to his neighborhood. Se-ra thinks Hee-soo will tell him which politician went back on their word. They’re interrupted by a call from Golf Ball Granny and Gong-myung takes the chance to leave. Disappointed, Se-ra tells Granny to save money and text her instead.
She pouts as Gong-myung rounds the corner. Putting on her helmet to leave, Se-ra loses a few years off her life when someone grabs her wrist. She looks up to see Gong-myung, who announces he’s not seeing Hee-soo – they don’t have a relationship. Se-ra stifles her excitement but melts all over again when Gong-myung continues he doesn’t want to be misunderstood. He tells her to go home and stalks off as Se-ra smiles to herself.
The next morning, she does weird exercises on the overpass, coaching herself to figure out whether her heart is beating from temporary loneliness… or real feelings. Gong-myung eyes her warily as he walks past and Se-ra nearly runs him over with her scooter. At lunch, Gong-myung is confused by the extra setting and rolls his eyes when Se-ra plops down across from him. She complains at him eating late as she surreptitiously low-fives the restaurant owner. Hee.
Se-ra tells herself she may be mistaking an empty heart for an empty stomach. She starts shoveling rice into her mouth and when she chokes, Gong-myung gives her water. He asks why she’d been in his neighborhood that night she had the comic book. Se-ra says she wanted to thank him for buying her juice and when Gong-myung misunderstands it as a sales pitch, Se-ra realizes it wasn’t him.
That evening, Se-ra stares at the statement Golf Ball Granny insisted she write (and fingerprint). She notices Assemblyman Yang’s planner mixed in with her things and flips through it, seeing a notation about the complaint – and Chief Won’s pledge. Se-ra questions Granny about Chief Won and manages to dig up Chief Won’s campaign pamphlet, which promised to revoke the driving range’s license.
Se-ra is repeatedly told Chief Won is unavailable and finally resolves to ask Hee-soo for help. While meeting at the office, Se-ra overhears Chief Won’s secretary make dinner reservations and tells Hee-soo she’ll handle it herself. Meanwhile, Gong-myung tentatively questions Dae-cheol about the driving range and learns Assemblyman Heo is close friends with the owner of the driving range and since he’s Chief Won’s brother-in-law, she canceled her pledge.
Arriving at the restaurant, Chief Won is surprised to find Se-ra waiting. Se-ra presents the pamphlet from Chief Won’s campaign with her pledge to revoke the driving range’s license highlighted. Chief Won nods she meant it back then… and tears up the pamphlet. She says she made a political decision and advises Se-ra not to try so hard: “There won’t be a problem. If there wasn’t a problem until now, there won’t ever be.”
Se-ra sits there in shock until the door opens and Chairman Jo walks in. Chief Won suggests Min-jae show Se-ra out, but Se-ra refuses and walks out. Min-jae chases after her, saying he’d warned her. Spinning around, Se-ra demands if he pitied her. She knows he placed the order for her juice and Min-jae argues he’d just helped her out but Se-ra corrects: “You crossed the line.” She says pretending not to know would’ve been enough.
She turns to leave and Min-jae asks why she can’t be more easygoing. Se-ra says every time he’d told her that in the past, she’d thanked him, thinking he was being considerate. Se-ra shouts she’s not thankful now. She declares she’ll take care of her own life and Min-jae is unable to stop her again.
Driving another drunk patron home that evening, Se-ra bites her tongue when another car cuts them off and her client barks at her to drive properly. Meanwhile, Gong-myung is taking the bus home when he sees Se-ra in an altercation with her client on the side of the road. The man shoves her shoulder, demanding his keys. Se-ra refuses to let him drive and when he barks at her for talking back, Se-ra asks why she can’t, screaming, “Why does everyone ignore what I say.”
This time when he shoves her shoulder, Se-ra doesn’t budge. The man prepares to charge her but as soon as he steps forward, Gong-myung tackles him to the ground. Afterwards, the pair walk together and Gong-myung asks why Se-ra was angry. She blames the drunkard and Gong-myung asks instead of Granny keeps texting, revealing he’d heard Se-ra the other night. Se-ra admits she felt bad and wanted to solve the problem.
Gong-myung wonders if she’s mad because everyone believes she can’t. Her anger reignited, Se-ra cries that she’s not in control of anything – job, complaint, or her feelings. She dares Gong-myung to chime in, repeating Min-jae’s suggestion to “just be easygoing.” Gong-myung scoffs easygoing isn’t her style and when Se-ra stops walking, he continues she always goes over the top, so there’s no way she’ll give up on the complaint.
Reeling from someone finally understanding her, Se-ra awkwardly asks if he wants to go eat. Gong-myung sighs he needs to pull an all-nighter and eating makes him drowsy. He suggests she eat, though and as he walks off, Se-ra grumbles about him swaying her by caring. At 1am, Se-ra sends a text of her eating a burger and Gong-myung smiles. An hour later, he receives a selfie of her eating ramyun. Another hour later, she’s eating noodles again and Gong-myung awkwardly attempts to send a selfie back but thinks better of it.
By daybreak, Se-ra wishes him good morning with a picture of the skyline, saying she’s at her favorite place only she knows (Sunset Land). Once the text is sent, Se-ra’s phone rings and she finds Granny in the hospital, having fallen and fracturing her knee. The nurse had explained she needs surgery but has no family and Se-ra is the only person she’s contacted recently. Se-ra asks Granny if she fell dodging golf balls. She suggests Granny move away, but Granny insists she won’t leave Mawon and couldn’t afford to, anyway.
Se-ra watches a crew set up for Chief Won’s “washing the elderly’s feet” event. Gong-myung joins her and she tells him to show up 3 hours early tomorrow. He pointedly says he supports her just and fair actions and warns against another ruckus, but Se-ra just smiles and scampers off. The next morning, Han-bi and Woo-young help her wheel carts of golf balls to the building, and then wish Se-ra luck as they run away. Hee.
Gong-myung opens the door to let her in and Se-ra hands him a flashdrive. He anxiously says he’d like to retire of old age (and not be fired) and Se-ra nods. Dae-cheol emcees the event but when the video plays, it’s Chief Won’s election pledge to cancel the driving range license. Chief Won demands what is going on and golf balls roll across the floor as Se-ra dumps the carts, pulling out a golf club with a smile.
Se-ra says numerous complaints were filed and yet while Chief Won ignores an elderly citizen in private, she calls a group on stage to wash their feet. Se-ra draws back her club and launches a ball over the crowd and into Chief Won’s cardboard cutout. She calls her next shot will be Chief Won and fires again.
Epilogue In her special place at Sunset Land, Se-ra finally accepts she likes Gong-myung. When he heads to work later that morning, he’s still studying her good morning text and wondering if the cryptic picture is a sort of quiz. He sets it as his phone background and smiles as he jogs across the street.
This drama makes me so happy! The pacing is so perfect and balances the aspects which could easily become frustrating (such as the politics and Hee-soo’s shenanigans) with the fun (like our bumbling couple and Se-ra’s batshit crazy problem-solving methods). Everything balances in a way that allows me to enjoy every minute without getting so mad over how unfairly people with power abuse it that I have to shut it off and walk away – although I have had to take some pauses for excited squeeing over how adorably awkward our leads are. Did anyone else lose it when Gong-myung took petty revenge on Dong-chan? While I did love watching Se-ra flounder over her feelings for Gong-myung, I’m glad she reconciled with her heart this episode so we can get to her chasing him down.
Min-jae really shot himself in the foot this hour and I’m still unsure where he stands with Se-ra. We have yet to get much insight into what he’s thinking. I loved Se-ra telling him off because not only does he not understand her, he doesn’t believe in her. It’s a stark contrast with Gong-myung and makes it easy to see how after years of someone always holding her back, Gong-myung acknowledging and encouraging Se-ra’s spirit made her totally swoon. That being said, Min-jae doesn’t seem to be a bad guy, just a crummy boyfriend. Se-ra was right for calling him out on overstepping– he was trying to look after her in his own way, but that isn’t the right way for Se-ra. It makes me wonder if he’s even fully realized she won’t be coming back this time
As for Hee-soo, she’s a tough nut to crack. I like the conversation about the motivations for politics and how Hee-soo openly embraces both. I find the way she can both care about her causes and disregard (and even benefit on) the plights of others both frustratingly hypocritical and fascinating. I really want the younger politicians to band together and overthrow the old order. I hate how Dong-chan, Hee-soo, and Min-jae all tell Se-ra to keep her mouth shut and turn a blind eye because “everyone” does it. If history tells us anything, just because was common practice, doesn’t mean it was right. Here’s to hoping Se-ra’s strong moral compass rubs off!