My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 13
You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it and create a better future. Our family is realizing how much they’ve missed out on and trying to make up for lost time. It’s taken a few decades, but they’re finally figuring out how to communicate and connect with each other. If they keep putting in the effort, their family motto “A family harmonious through love” might just come true.
Jin-sook happily gets ready for her date, leaving a note for Ji-woo that she won’t be home for dinner. Realizing they haven’t said it enough, she tacks on an “I love you” at the bottom.
Eun-joo chides Tae-hyung for his destructive behavior when he was drunk. She understands where he’s coming from, but it doesn’t make his behavior right. Eun-joo wants him to truly see the mess he created – he trashed that room – and clean it himself.
Elsewhere, Sang-shik collapses in the street and is taken to the hospital in ambulance. At the hospital, Jin-sook sits by his bedside listening to a pair of siblings complain about taking care of their “troublemaking” parents. As Jin-sook considers the burdens they’ve placed on their own kids, the doctor comes by and attributes Sang-shik’s symptoms to vertigo but encourages further testing.
Meanwhile, Geon-joo picks up Chan-hyuk, oddly enough, and they head somewhere together. At the hospital, Jin-sook admonishes him for not taking better care of himself, and Sang-shik concedes that he’s no match for her in an argument . Maybe that’s why he got angry and threw the lunchbox that time.
He worriedly recalls punching out a glass pane, but Jin-sook relays what his doctor told her about Sang-shik’s memories getting confused. She’d have long since kicked him out if he’d behaved like that in front of the kids. Sang-shik is relieved, but they still have his health to worry about.
While Eun-joo returns home to find the room restored to order, Tae-hyung goes to meet his mother in her office. He apologizes for his drunken behavior but states he’s following Eun-joo’s wishes regarding alimony.
Although he plans to still work as a doctor, he is closing the clinic. His mother merely asks if he has a place already. Done with her interference, Tae-hyung threatens to talk to his father if she continues to cause issues.
We revisit Eun-hee and Ji-woo’s conversation about Chan-hyuk’s lack of driver’s license. Eun-hee is just as in the dark as Ji-woo. For how much Chan-hyuk knows about their family, Ji-woo thinks Eun-hee knows too little about his.
Eun-hee attributes it to their personalities: she’s the sharing type while Chan-hyuk isn’t. Ji-woo wonders if she’s given him the chance to share, which gives Eun-hee pause.
Geon-joo and Chan-hyuk visit a scenic spot on Geon-joo’s must-see list; he didn’t have anyone to go with, so he called Chan-hyuk. Geon-joo confides he feels clumsy in Korea. He makes a lot of mistakes and is slow to understand.
He struggled to adjust when he was sent alone to the US at age 10 to live with his aunt, and Geon-joo resented his parents for his hardships. Chan-hyuk suggests that his parents might not have known how hard it would be. Adults are often lacking.
Chan-hyuk gets a call from Eun-hee which he answers a bit self-consciously. When he says he’s eating out, she assumes he’s on a blind date and quickly hangs up. Geon-joo wistfully notes how well they know each other, seeing as Eun-hee could tell Chan-hyuk was with another person just from his tone of voice.
He asks what Chan-hyuk thinks Eun-hee hates most. Chan-hyuk ventures she’s most bothered by hating someone. Geon-joo muses that he’s made things hard on Eun-hee. (You’re just noticing?)
Sang-shik and Jin-sook go out to eat where he places meat in her bowl, and she feeds him a wrap. Jin-sook gently tells him to start listening to her now and encourages him to get things checked out rather than spend time worrying.
He asks that she not tell the kids – she heard those siblings stressing about their parents in the hospital. Blaming himself for their recent family drama, Sang-shik thinks he’s already caused their kids enough trouble. He jokes that the kids probably see them as a troublemaking set.
Ji-woo waits outside for his mom to return and ducks behind some bushes when his parents get out of the car. Pfft. His head peeking above the shrubs, Ji-woo smiles at his parents’ affectionate behavior. Of course, he immediately texts his noonas with the news.
Jin-sook frets at home about Sang-shik’s health while he thinks of her smiling face and regrets all he didn’t do. Ji-woo continues sending gossipy texts about his parents’ romance to his uninterested sisters who are wrapped up in their own worries.
Eun-joo runs into an energetic old colleague (cameo by Kwon Yul) who excitedly greets her and remains undaunted in the face of Eun-joo’s disinterest. He asks how her little sister is, remembering she once called him the male version of Eun-hee. Ha, I can totally see it.
He lists the negative qualities she claimed he had in common with Eun-hee (immaturity, laziness and the like). He smiles sunnily as he says she yelled at him for five minutes. Pfft. She recalls having to do all the work during their training while he recalls feeling lucky to have such a great partner.
At P&F, Eun-hee notices Kyung-ok and Geon-joo looking close in the breakroom. Kyung-ok whistles as she returns to her desk and invites Eun-hee for drinks with her and Geon-joo that night (a “work outing”). Eun-hee declines but picks Geon-joo up after drinks and shares that Kyung-ok knows about them, so he doesn’t have to try to feel her out.
Geon-joo is worried that Eun-hee will be affected if their relationship is outed, but she assures him Kyung-ok is a good person. She would never talk about Eun-hee to others. Besides, Eun-hee is fine if people talk, since the rumor would be true.
Geon-joo asks why she never questioned him about what Ha-ra told her about them sleeping together. Eun-hee didn’t find it believable that they’d go from being so venomous to affectionate. Before they part ways, Geon-joo surprises Eun-hee when he shares that he hung out with Chan-hyuk.
The next day, Eun-joo and Tae-hyung sit in a lawyer’s office. He’s heard that people either distance themselves or act extra nice after hearing you got a divorce. Eun-joo did the latter after learning he’s gay: she’s been like a friend, sister and even mother. It made him feel guiltier.
Were it not for his mother coming over that night, he would’ve apologized to Eun-joo and left quietly. Instead, he got angry. Finally able to say the words Eun-joo needed to hear, he apologizes. The lawyer walks in, confused they’re there together, and the couple exchange sad smiles.
Meanwhile, Eun-hee “teaches” (i.e. backseat drives) while Chan-hyuk practices on a driving simulator. All her yelling and gesturing just makes things worse, unsurprisingly. He wonders if Ji-woo sent her here to ask about why he never got his license, but Eun-hee has a different question: what happened between him and Jong-min?
When she saw Jong-min recently, he asked for Chan-hyuk’s number. Even when they weren’t speaking, Eun-hee knew Chan-hyuk’s new number from the group chat. Chan-hyuk says they blocked each other. In a flashback, Chan-hyuk gets home to hear Jong-min talking to his girlfriend about how Eun-hee “threw a fit” and things are finally over. He doesn’t sound the least bit repentant.
Once he hangs up, Chan-hyuk angrily wonders how not kicking Jong-min’s other girlfriend out of their apartment is the same as partying with them. He’s adamant that he doesn’t want her coming to their place anymore. Jong-min mocks him for acting all loyal to Eun-hee who won’t appreciate it.
Jong-min thinks he’s going overboard, but Chan-hyuk doesn’t back down. He tells Chan-hyuk he should stay away from Eun-hee too, and Chan-hyuk punches him in the face. In the present, he’s shocked that Eun-hee knows about the punch. Apparently, that’s what sparked the rumor about the two of them dating.
Despite already knowing, Eun-hee asked because she hoped he’d tell her personally. But he kept quiet like always. It makes her feel bad since she wants him to let her be his “personal safe” too.
That night, Eun-hee rushes to their mom’s place after Eun-joo sends an emergency flare. Eun-joo is going to tell Jin-sook about the divorce. Eun-hee wishes her good luck and prepares to leave, but Eun-joo asks her to stay. Eun-hee agrees but the second Eun-joo turns around, Eun-hee books it the other way. HA.
Jin-sook is surprised by Eun-joo’s visit and gets out side dishes. Eun-hee comes in with beer (so that’s where she went) and helps her mom prepare food. Jin-sook looks thrilled to have her girls home.
As they eat, Eun-joo asks what Jin-sook most wanted to do after her marriage graduation. Jin-sook wants to walk some of the beautiful trails in Korea. She was inspired by a movie, featuring the Simon & Garfunkel song “El Condor Pasa,” in which a woman walked a rough trail after suffering hardships.
She recites a line that stuck with her from the film: “How barbaric are the times that we waste like nothing.” She and Sang-shik were so busy surviving that they grew old without getting to enjoy life.
Eun-hee pipes up that the three of them should go together. As usual, Eun-joo rains on her parade, but Jin-sook loves the idea. She even gets a beer so they can drink to it together. Aw.
While the women have their bonding time, Ji-woo goes to see his dad. Sang-shik is elated at the surprise visit and even plays guitar for him. Ji-woo wants his dad to cut back on work and asks him to come home. He worries about his mom being home alone a lot and his father’s health. Sang-shik assures him they’ll handle things.
At home, Eun-joo advises Jin-sook not to coddle Sang-shik too much or give him false hope if she’s made up her mind. Eun-hee agrees that she shouldn’t mother him; he needs to learn to do things himself. But they should go on dates. Echoing Sang-shik, Jin-sook says they’ll handle it.
As Jin-sook gushes about an actor she used to love, Eun-hee signals to Eun-joo that it’s a good time to break the news. Instead, we find Jin-sook and a drunk Eun-hee singing an old tune. They call Ji-woo, who’s arrived home, over to drink with them. He and Eun-hee bicker, making even Eun-joo smile. Jin-sook imagines Sang-shik there with them and thinks, “We could’ve lived like this.”
The following day, Jin-sook sits with Sang-shik at the hospital. To take his mind off things, she suggests they each confess one thing to each other. Jin-sook confesses that he used to be her rock, and she never once thought of the man who abandoned her. “You were fighting a ghost your entire life.”
She thanks him for keeping his promise to be a good father, even if he didn’t keep his other promises. Sang-shik struggles to hold back his tears as she grabs his hand and wonders where the time went.
Nothing comes up on the CT scan, but the doctor wants him to undergo more tests. As he gets an MRI, Sang-shik thinks to himself that he wasn’t fighting an illusion but his own immature self. In his fear and cowardice, he lost who he used to be.
At the driving school, Chan-hyuk nervously takes his driving test. He hears Eun-hee’s instructions in his head as he drives along the course. He’s doing well until he sees what looks like a mother and young son excitedly hugging. His car goes over the curb, and when he looks up, the figures are gone.
Eun-hee comes to pick him up, and once she checks he’s uninjured, she starts messing with him. But he dejectedly gets in the car without a word. Eun-hee realizes he called her to be his “personal safe,” so she takes him to her place.
Chan-hyuk reveals he used to have a brother who was two years older than him. One day, his brother went to a summer retreat while he accompanied his mom and aunt to take their driver’s license tests. Right when his mother passed the test, they were notified that his brother had gotten into a car accident.
Everything changed for his family after that day. They couldn’t smile at the happy little moments anymore. They never fight. When Eun-hee took him to watch Ji-woo when he was little, he was vividly reminded of his late hyung. Eun-hee recalls Ji-woo telling her how Chan-hyuk bought him a digital camera for his 12th birthday and taught him how to take photos. He’d called Chan-hyuk his real brother.
Chan-hyuk’s feelings when he sees Ji-woo have always been complicated. When they met, Ji-woo was the same age as his hyung when he died. As an adult, Chan-hyuk realized how well his parents had held up and became closer to them.
Those who know the story think Chan-hyuk has refused to drive because his brother died in a car accident. In truth, it’s that the driving test is where his mother fell apart and their tragedy started. He tears up as he says watching Ji-woo grow up made him realize all the things he and his brother would’ve done together.
Eun-hee walks around the table to hug him, thinking she’s sorry it took so long for her to comfort his 10-year-old self. She drops him back off at home, but the second she drives away, he goes running after her. He forgot to say something important.
Chan-hyuk says he always promised himself he’d only tell those things to “the one person who will stay by my side for the rest of my life.” *gasp* Is he going for it?! Eun-hee’s mouth drops open in shock. Chan-hyuk reminds her she told him she’d stay by his side for life.
Eun-hee sputters that he forgot the as-a-friend part, but Chan-hyuk thinks she’s being cowardly with all the lines she’s tried to draw. “Then, let’s be friends,” he acquiesces. He figures things will change eventually, anyway, if they’re going to be together for their entire lives. Heh.
Chan-hyuk smiles self-satisfactorily as he walks away while Eun-hee sits stunned in her car. Meanwhile, Geon-joo looks at a jewelry box presumedly holding a ring, but we don’t get to see what’s inside.
Later, Eun-hee meets Chan-hyuk at the driving school wearing a ring. Oh, HELL no. This had freakin’ better be a red herring.
Elsewhere, Eun-joo and Tae-hyung visit Jin-sook. A guilty Tae-hyung respectfully apologizes to his mother-in-law and announces they’ve decided to get a divorce.
Eun-hee and Chan-hyuk are going to be the death of me, I swear. After dragging their feet for SO LONG, Chan-hyuk finally took a major step forward with that confession. If Eun-hee does something stupid because she’s scared … I expect her to freak out a little, but she’d better not do something drastic. There are so many fake outs in this drama that I don’t think she suddenly agreed to marry Geon-joo like the drama seemed to be implying. This is the one time when I will be upset if it isn’t a red herring. But even if it is a fake out, that doesn’t mean Eun-hee won’t act impulsively out of fear and mess things up. Eun-hee has been learning from her mistakes, so I just hope she embraces what she and Chan-hyuk have rather than pushing him away out of insecurity. On a side note, I loved how un-epic the confession was. It wasn’t some huge, dramatic declaration but rather a simple acknowledgment of what they both already know (and pretend not to).
He took a huge step not only in saying he wants her to be his life partner but in opening up to her about his past. I figured Chan-hyuk had some family backstory, but I wasn’t anticipating that. No wonder he gets a little strange when family is mentioned. Keeping that bottled inside had to have taken its toll. His loneliness and his privacy when it comes to his personal thoughts and feelings makes more sense now. He’s the type to listen but never share, so I’m glad Ji-woo talked some sense into Eun-hee about making sure Chan-hyuk has the space to talk to her if he needs it. Ji-woo really is observant and in tune to the people around him. The fact that he’s the maknae and doesn’t come across as serious makes everyone dismissive of him, but he’s more intuitive and sees more than most.
Thankfully, everyone in the family is learning from recent events, though, and paying closer attention to each other. There was so much sweet family bonding this hour. I particularly loved the girls’ night. It was great to see Jin-sook loosen up and freely talk about her likes and dreams. How cute was it when she got all excited for them to go explore trails together? There’s been so much hurt and misunderstanding between Jin-sook and her daughters, but they’re finally each making the effort to move past it and rebuild their relationships. Sang-shik and Ji-woo’s bonding was sweet too. Despite Sang-shik’s flaws, particularly in his marriage, he does adore his children. I think he fell into the trap of focusing so much on providing for the family that he underestimated the importance of spending time with them. And Ji-woo, especially, has felt his absence.
Eun-joo seems to be in a much better place now. She looks more at peace with herself and at ease with those around her. Now that her and Tae-hyung have worked through things and started the process of their divorce, she seems able to look forward. I’m glad Tae-hyung went with her and told Jin-sook about the divorce himself. It’s only fair that he’s the one to take responsibility and doesn’t leave it all to Eun-joo. They’re more of a team now than they ever have been, and I think their amicability will allow them to move on with their lives in a healthier, happier way. We already know she has Eun-hee’s support, but fingers crossed the rest of the family handles this divorce news well. I’m not clear on if Tae-hyung plans to come out to her family or if they’re keeping the reason for the divorce vague, but hiding his identity has obviously been detrimental to Tae-hyung’s well-being, so I hope he finds the courage to unapologetically be himself and live freely.
- Premiere Watch: My Unfamiliar Family
- Han Ye-ri adorably upset at best friend Kim Ji-suk in new stills for My Unfamiliar Family
- 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