My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 15
We’ve reached the penultimate episode, so of course that means some last minute angst and pain. This family has been through it, and they keep pushing on through crisis after crisis. But is there a breaking point? We’ve only got one episode left to wrap things up, so let’s hope there’s some sun after the storm.
Before he leaves, Ji-woo starts and discards several letters to Eun-hee. He goes to the jewelry shop and buys one ring and three of the same necklace. He texts Chan-hyuk from the airport.
Eun-hee immediately calls Eun-joo once she finds out – no more secrets (progress!). They gather at Chan-hyuk’s office where Seo-young is trying to break into Ji-woo’s office computer. Eun-joo thinks they should just wait. That is, until Seo-young mentions how suspicious it is that Ji-woo sent some woman money before meeting.
At the hospital, Jin-sook clears up yet another misunderstanding with Sang-shik: she wasn’t hiding the fruit. That’s where she always kept the fruit she took to the care facility. He apologizes but so does Jin-sook. She intentionally let him misunderstand, finding it cathartic.
They lived without communicating or making any effort to comfort each other. Sang-shik now realizes he hoarded those pills in hopes she’d find them and regret after knowing of his pain. A nurse comes in to inform them Sang-shik is being moved to another room. It’s Tae-hyung’s doing, isn’t it?
Eun-hee can’t imagine Ji-woo would be conned when he’s so careful with money, but Chan-hyuk shares that Ji-woo frequently treats his friends. Eun-joo and Eun-hee are at a loss, once again realizing that they know little about their brother.
Eun-joo aptly likens their family situation to haphazardly tossing things in a closet only to have them all pour out at once. Eun-hee gets even more worried and wonders what else is going on.
And yep, Tae-hyung is the one who got Sang-shik a better room. Jin-sook will barely look at him as he lets them know Eun-joo and Eun-hee will arrive soon. A confused Sang-shik tries to ease the obvious tension, saying Jin-sook is just nervous about his surgery.
Eun-hee and Eun-joo wait for Tae-hyung in the lobby. He briefs them on Sang-shik’s condition and the likelihood of long-term effects such as amnesia, sight loss and even paralysis. Eun-hee begins to cry, and Eun-joo takes her hand.
They both try to act normal and not worry their parents when they see them. Of course, their parents immediately ask after Ji-woo, so Eun-hee fibs he’s on a business trip with Eun-joo adding he’s abroad. Jin-sook doesn’t want the girls to tell their tender-hearted brother who cares a lot about the family (yikes) since he’d feel compelled to return.
Sang-shik is wheeled into surgery the next day with his family surrounding him. The day before, he’d shared his fear of permanently losing his memory, but Jin-sook had responded he could just forget the bad stuff and make new, good memories. Now, Jin-sook holds his hands until the last moment.
Going on nine hours later, they get the news that it was successful. They’re all relieved when Sang-shik comes to, but then he flatlines. Eun-hee drags her mom out of the room as the doctors try to resuscitate him.
As we see flashbacks, Sang-shik narrates that Jin-sook gave a man with no roots a family. Eun-joo, his first child, made him a father. He thinks of his always-smiling, warm Eun-hee, and the maknae Ji-woo who makes him emotional. Lastly, he thinks of Jin-sook, the strongest and loneliest person.
His eyes open, and he smiles to see Jin-sook and his daughters peering at him through the room’s window. “They are my beloved family.” (How many fake-outs is that so far?)
Tae-hyung gives them an update. There don’t appear to be any complications, but they won’t know if the tumor was malignant until the results of the biopsy. Eun-hee goes out to meet Chan-hyuk who’s waiting in the lobby.
Eun-hee rests her head on his chest and lets him know Sang-shik is okay. She asks if he’s heard from Ji-woo, but he hasn’t. Chan-hyuk encourages her to go back to her family, but she grabs his hand. After all the stress, being with Chan-hyuk makes her feel like she can relax. Eun-hee lays her head on his shoulder.
Meanwhile, Eun-joo sits with Tae-hyung and recalls when her dad came to visit her after her miscarriage. He brought her freshly picked pine mushrooms. Eun-joo muses that Eun-hee would’ve hugged and thanked him before inviting him inside whereas she said nothing. It was the first thought she had when Sang-shik almost died.
Jin-sook stops by home before heading back to the hospital. Ji-woo’s room door is ajar, and she looks inside. Meanwhile, Seo-young notices that Ji-woo’s supposed girlfriend switched social media accounts and tells Chan-hyuk it seems he was scammed. Just then, she gets a call from an international number.
Eun-joo checks out her new office space … and it’s in the same building as Min-woo’s! Heh. He pops by to check if she needs anything, which is good timing since the furniture people are coming, but she needs to leave for a “family matter.”
Chan-hyuk catches on that Ji-woo called Seo-young and gets her to spill after saying Sang-shik had surgery. Apparently, Ji-woo doesn’t have money for the flight home. He charges Seo-young with getting him back as soon as possible without mentioning the surgery.
Jin-sook is taking a hardline on Tae-hyung and acerbically comments that Sang-shik has no idea the one helping him recover isn’t his son-in-law but an “enemy.” Eun-joo plans to tell Sang-shik about the divorce, but Jin-sook insists she’ll tell him when he’s better.
She asks about Ji-woo, and Eun-hee informs her he’s coming back soon. The sisters share a look when Jin-sook sighs that the maknae only cares about family and worries his heart will be broken when he finds out about the surgery.
Jin-sook and Eun-hee take Sang-shik inside to rest while Eun-joo sits with Tae-hyung. He wonders where Ji-woo is, asking if something is wrong, but Eun-joo tells him not to worry about her family matters. Tae-hyung lets her know he’s leaving the next day.
Seo-young gives Ji-woo’s sisters the rundown on his situation. The “girlfriend” baited him by suggesting they live on the lake and open a kayak shop, and Ji-woo sent her all his money. Chan-hyuk apologizes to the sisters for not noticing, but Seo-young observes Ji-woo is hurting the most and probably will be for a while.
Later, Eun-hee hatches a plan for when they see Ji-woo: she’ll run in first with Chan-hyuk behind her. This way, Eun-joo can’t destroy Ji-woo with her words. Ha! Right then, in walks Ji-woo with his suitcase.
Eun-hee can’t even berate him once she sees his drawn face and instead asks if he ate. Ji-woo can barely look anyone in the eye. Eun-joo walks up, and he braces himself. But she just suggests he wait to tell their parents until he can look back on this and laugh. He quietly apologizes while Eun-hee rubs his back and Chan-hyuk affectionately tousles his hair.
At the hospital, Ji-woo finally works up the courage to enter his dad’s room. Sang-shik rushes to hug him, and his parents worry about how exhausted he looks. Jin-sook seems to know something when he says he went to Canada.
In a flashback, Jin-sook finds one of his discarded letters to Eun-hee in his room: “By the time you read this, I’ll have left. I didn’t want to live like father. I don’t want to be bogged down by my family. I want to be free.”
Ji-woo tries to relieve his mom at the hospital, but she won’t leave Sang-shik and tells Ji-woo to go rest. At home, Eun-hee receives a box Ji-woo sent with the jewelry and a letter. He’d written he didn’t have the confidence to live like Sang-shik and wanted to live freely, floating around on a kayak.
He was counting on her to be on his side and explain to Eun-joo and their mom. Once he was settled, he’d invite them for a visit. Now, Ji-woo sits despondently on his family’s couch.
Day after day, Jin-sook watches her children help their father with his physical therapy exercises at the hospital. When they’re alone, Sang-shik reminisces about the last time he was hospitalized. Eun-joo was busy being the breadwinner, and Eun-hee had to stay home and take care of Ji-woo.
Jin-sook single-handedly cared for him, but they didn’t talk to each other at all. In stark contrast to Jin-sook’s melancholic mood, Sang-shik beams as he notes that now she listens to him and his kids visit. He shares that he’ll be moving into an “officetel” (a type of studio apartment) once he’s discharged.
Jin-sook apologizes for not sincerely taking care of him back then – she was resentful. She knows how he felt then. Sang-shik still feels guilty towards their daughters, but Jin-sook suggests they stop worrying about the kids. He should decide his next steps after resting at home. “We only have the two of us now.” Sang-shik acts goofily to lighten her mood.
Elsewhere, Eun-hee and Chan-hyuk worry about Ji-woo as they grocery shop together. They’re both angry with him but can’t let him have it while he’s so down. Eun-hee had hoped at least Ji-woo would get to live brightly without getting hurt.
Chan-hyuk chuckles that it’s not her place to decide that for him. Eun-hee goes quiet after observing that she’s never seen Ji-woo look so hurt. Chan-hyuk moves her between him and the cart as he pushes. He calls family the people who hurt you most yet comfort you when others hurt you.
Eun-hee puts her hand on his, and Chan-hyuk encourages her not to tell her parents about Ji-woo’s situation for fear they’ll be too hurt. When she stops to turn and look at him, Chan-hyuk wraps his arms tighter around her and eagerly suggests they see each other every day. They’re both smiling as she agrees.
She goes to Eun-joo’s and gives her the necklace from Ji-woo. Neither is thrilled at the prospect of wearing matching jewelry, especially with their mom having one too. Ha. Sharp as ever, Eun-joo supposes he included a letter with the gifts and isn’t going to let Eun-hee get away with keeping it to herself.
Ji-woo’s day goes from bad to worse as he tries and fails to reach his girlfriend and then recalls the package he sent Eun-hee. The sisters relate to Ji-woo’s feelings in the letter; they were like that at his age too. Now, he must realize it’s ridiculous to dream of doing nothing your entire life. Then, Eun-joo shocks Eun-hee when she informs her she wants to meet her birth father.
The following day, Eun-joo is surprised when Min-woo pulls up outside her place and offers her a ride to the office. In the car, he gets a call from his hilarious mom who randomly asks if he knows how to identify male and female chicks to which he reminds her he’s a patent attorney. Pfft.
Min-woo clearly gets his joviality from his mother. She criticizes his red pepper paste for being sweet and cracks up when he says it’s actually black raspberry jam. Eun-joo can’t keep a straight face as his mom yells “stop!” to her husband who’s currently mixing it in his rice. HA. His mom is still laughing boisterously when Min-woo hangs up. And I already love his mom.
In the office, Min-woo praises Eun-joo’s furniture placement and shows her the NASA-certified air-purifying plants he bought her. Pfft. As he continues talking non-stop, Eun-joo *gasp* laughs. He figures she’s still amused by his mother and awkwardly chuckles.
Eun-hee attends a seminar on self-publishing (ah, so she is going the author route), and Geon-joo turns out to be the speaker, of course. Afterward, he approaches her and suggests she attend a P&F training program in the States before quitting.
Afraid Eun-hee could feel bad, Geon-joo wants to clarify what happened that week with Ha-ra. He claims they talked things out, and he helped her prepare to return to the US. (He’s staying in Korea.) Eun-hee isn’t worried about it, and they agree that they’ll both probably do better in their next relationships.
Chan-hyuk meets her after the lecture, and she holds on for dear life while the new license-holder drives her car. That night, she confesses that she sometimes lied to Jong-min when they dated. He was petty, so she’d lie she was working if she wanted some free time to herself.
Eun-hee resolved never to lie the next time she dates. That’s probably why it didn’t work out with Geon-joo – the whole relationship was built on a lie. Chan-hyuk finds her resolution extreme and requests some “sweet and warm-hearted lies.”
She reveals that all her lectures for the next three months will be given by Geon-joo. Chan-hyuk smiles and says okay. Eun-hee isn’t kidding about this no lying business and even admits she ignored his call while chatting with Geon-joo.
Chan-hyuk is amused that she’s decided not to lie to him, but she gets awkward at the implication that they’re dating. He laughs that she can take her time and stands frozen when she gives him a back hug. Eun-hee: “Let’s start something.” (Finally!) He agrees and swings her around in joy.
Sang-shik wakes at Jin-sook’s to a fruit platter with a note. She writes it’s better to be a tree than a rock which isn’t stable and can be broken. “Let’s beautifully mature into autumn together.”
Jin-sook thinks of Sang-shik’s aspirational to-do list she found, much of which involves things he wants to provide for or do with her. She heads to meet Chan-hyuk who she hasn’t seen since Eun-joo’s wedding. (I’m so distracted by the décor in the café, which is like Christmas meets a patriotic grandma’s British tea party.)
She was hesitant to call him out, but she wants to tread cautiously. Did Ji-woo really go on a business trip? Ooh, there’s no good way out of this one.
That evening, she breaks the news to Sang-shik about Eun-joo’s divorce. He’s worried about the toll it must’ve taken on Eun-joo (and Jin-sook), but he believes in Eun-joo’s judgment. Jin-sook is in a sharing mood and next divulges that Ji-woo was planning to leave because he doesn’t like them. Oh, boy.
The kids arrive to a super tense house and find their parents reticent. Jin-sook won’t even look at Ji-woo and doesn’t let him put the necklace he bought on her. She sits the kids down and asks what family means to them. Have they ever even thought about it?
When Eun-hee stopped speaking to Eun-joo, Jin-sook wondered for years what was going through her head. Eun-joo got divorced without discussing it with her, but she accepted it despite the heartbreak. Then, she turns to Ji-woo. “Do you know what you’ve done?”
Ji-woo gets on his knees and tears up. “Get out,” Sang-shik says. The kids stare in shock as he says they’ve done enough to their mom, and he’ll make sure she’s done with them. Whoa. Eun-hee narrates, “What is family? I, we still don’t know.”
So the maknae was scammed. I didn’t jump to conclusions last episode not only because this show does so many fake-outs, but Seo-young was the one who said he sent money to that woman; Ji-woo didn’t confirm that. Also, I was hoping he wasn’t quite that gullible. Alas. Why would he send her money before they even met? He’s obviously way too naïve, but what a way to learn to be cautious. He’s lucky to have Chan-hyuk as his boss because most companies wouldn’t hire someone back who just took off like that without giving notice.
I knew things would be bad when the parents found out about Ji-woo. They both think so highly of the maknae, and Jin-sook commented multiple times on how much he cares for the family, so it had to be quite a blow. But I didn’t expect both Jin-sook and Sang-shik to react like this. Clearly, things have been festering for Jin-sook for a while. Honestly, while the kids have all made mistakes, the parents’ mistakes are worse. It’s not fair to act like the kids are the ones ripping the family apart. Jin-sook made one daughter think she hated her and the other think she wanted her to die. Sang-shik hid a crime and secret family of sorts for decades. Plus, they were openly hostile and resentful of each other for years in front of their kids. And yet, Sang-shik is telling them to leave? They’ve all done their fair share of contributing to the state of their family, so no one can really throw stones here. I’m hoping it’s just anger in the heat of the moment, and they’ll all be able to talk things out when Jin-sook and Sang-shik are less emotional.
Poor Chan-hyuk was put in the middle AGAIN. Now that he’s planning to be with Eun-hee indefinitely, I guess that’s going to be his lot in life. Thank goodness he likes her family because that sounds exhausting. Although, her family does seem to fill a void for him left by his own family’s tragedy. This is, of course, assuming they’ll make it through this final hurdle as a unit. Every time this family makes progress, something sets them back again. They’ve come a long way from the start, and I really want them to figure out how to talk this latest issue out as a family. The siblings are finally talking to each other, and the parents are talking to each other. Now we just need to get those two sides communicating, and we’ll be set.
We did have some bright spots this hour, though. Chan-hyuk and Eun-hee are officially dating! No more of the back-and-forth when you know they’re going to end up together anyway. It only took 15 episodes. It also looks like Eun-hee is going back to her writing roots and doing what she actually wants to be doing. But even in this drama, it seems we may not avoid that final-episode-study-abroad trope based on Geon-joo’s suggestion she train in the States. I’m a little confused as to why a self-publishing training would need to be held in another country since I’m assuming she’s intending to publish in Korea, but okay.
And then, there’s Min-woo and his hilarious family. I’m not the type that wants everyone to end up with someone by the end of a show – being single is a valid life choice too, dramas – but after her last mother-in-law experience, I’d love for Eun-joo to be welcomed into an awesome, warm family. Min-woo’s mom is a hoot, and it’s the first time we’ve seen Eun-joo so amused … ever, I think. Also, it’d be kind of amazing if Eun-joo ended up with the “male version” of the sister she insists she dislikes. Either way, I’m glad she’ll have a friend, at least, since he seems like he’ll stick around.
- 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