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My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 9

It’s about time people start talking and sharing information, although we’ve still got a ways to go before everyone is communicating properly. Our uncommunicative parents are having to come to terms with the effects of holding everything in, not just on them but on their kids. In particular, new revelations make both daughters reevaluate their perceptions of and relationships with their parents. When it rains, it pours for this family.

 
EPISODE 9

In the moments after his memory returns, Sang-shik recalls his recent “shameless” behavior and is amazed Jin-sook put up with it. When he was 22, Jin-sook had appeared like “destiny” as he desperately wished for a reason to live. He’d wanted her to be as happy and in love as him.

We flash back to when she’d left with Eun-joo, and Sang-shik had come home to find Eun-hee sobbing outside. He didn’t know what he’d done wrong to make her leave and promised himself to live only as the kids’ father if she returned. That sounds familiar …

At home, Eun-hee questions Jin-sook about Eun-joo’s birthdate. Jin-sook tries to blame the inconsistencies on Sang-shik’s memory, but her shaky voice and hands give her away. Tears roll down Eun-hee’s face as she asks why her mom only took Eun-joo that day and left her behind.

Jin-sook merely says she was young, but Eun-hee wants real answers. After that day, she worked to stay on her mom’s good side so she’d take her with her if she left again. That’s so sad. Eun-hee just wants to know it’s not that her mom hated her, saying she feels guilty for being mean to Eun-joo her entire life.

Jin-sook confesses she realized what she’d done to Eun-hee after she got back. The confident troublemaker Eun-hee turned cautious and constantly looked around to make sure her mom was there. Jin-sook apologizes in tears.

At Eun-joo’s wedding, Eun-hee overheard her dad sarcastically saying he was sorry for not being suitable to be Eun-joo’s father. Now she understands what he meant. Eun-hee embraces Jin-sook who sobs that she’d planned to take this secret to the grave.

She blames Sang-shik’s amnesia and is sick of it all. No matter what, he’s Eun-joo’s father. She wouldn’t have put up with him for so long otherwise. Eun-hee begs her mom to tell Eun-joo personally so she doesn’t hear it secondhand.

Ji-woo arrives home but pretends not to have heard them, even when Eun-hee asks him directly if he heard. She notes his telltale bouncing leg but says nothing.

Meanwhile, Tae-hyung sits Eun-joo down to respond to her confession. She’s been his sole family and confidant, and he wants her to take time to adjust and start fresh. She should find a man who can give her what he can’t: love and a child to raise together.

Eun-joo doesn’t like being told what to do and brushes him off. Although it’s hard to forgive him, she’s glad to not live with the anxiety of the unknown anymore. He agrees to give her time to figure out what she wants, seeing as he dumped this on her suddenly.

At P&F, Kyung-ok shares that Geon-joo is taking time off. Her suspicion that he’s spending time with Ha-ra does nothing to ease Eun-hee’s mind.

Ji-woo tells Chan-hyuk that Eun-hee found out about Eun-joo. Chan-hyuk is alarmed when Ji-woo says Eun-hee probably won’t contact Chan-hyuk about it since Ji-woo told her to keep her distance. Chan-hyuk reprimands Ji-woo for scolding his own older sister and gently tells him to stay out of their business.

Over the next few days, Eun-hee works overtime and worries about Geon-joo’s continued absence while Chan-hyuk pulls all-nighters. Eun-joo, meanwhile, stops by the café and acts all awkward with Hyo-seok who informs her he’s quitting. Eun-joo doesn’t respond.

At the meditation center, Eun-hee discovers that Chan-hyuk is coming for a meeting that day. She waits around for a bit but decides to leave … and, of course, runs into Chan-hyuk (who also found out about her meeting there that day).

They both downplay their excitement at seeing each other, and Chan-hyuk – who literally ran there – pretends he somehow ended up being early. Ha. He ignores his buzzing phone and asks her to hang out with him until his meeting.

Eun-hee admits she wanted to call him the previous week. He asks if she didn’t because he told her not to contact him, but she says it was “just because.” She asks if Ji-woo is doing well at work and confides that he used to lie sometimes when he was little. So she “hypnotized” him into bouncing his leg whenever he lies. Ha! That’s such an older sibling move.

Eun-hee turns serious and says Chan-hyuk knows, right? Chan-hyuk admits Ji-woo confided in him about it. Eun-hee supposes that means he relies on Chan-hyuk more than on her, but he reminds her it was right after she’d made up with Eun-joo.

Elsewhere, Jin-sook takes Eun-joo to her childhood home, saying she has something to tell her. Eun-joo is surprised to hear her talk about her childhood. Jin-sook gets emotional talking about her “greedy and spiteful” mom, recalling Eun-joo’s similar accusations against her.

Abashed, Eun-joo off-handedly comments she said that out of spite. Plus, people say that about her all the time. Eun-joo senses something is off and lets her mom lead her around the neighborhood by the hand.

Eun-hee tells Chan-hyuk she always took her mom’s side, but now she kind of hates her. She’s going to start taking her own side instead. “What’s the use of family at my age?” That’s bleak.

Chan-hyuk suddenly confesses that he got there early on purpose so he could pretend to run into her. Eun-hee looks dazed, and he literally snaps her out of it. He says he was too harsh and immature before when he said she shouldn’t call. He was worried about her and Eun-joo after hearing from Ji-woo, so he ran over.

When he says she looks disappointed, she replies she is. Hearing he ran to see her made her heart skip a beat, and she considered asking him out. Chan-hyuk sits stunned until Eun-hee jokes, “Is that what you wanted to hear?” They each give forced chuckles and sneak glances.

Jin-sook holds Eun-joo’s hand as she tells her that being an unmarried, pregnant student was a “disgrace to the family.” They told her to abort Eun-joo and exile herself to a temple somewhere. Geez. “I chose you,” Jin-sook says with conviction.

Eun-joo images her young mother on her own and narrates that unwed, expectant young mothers had nowhere to go back then. The abandoned 22-year-old pregnant student married the 22-year-old who had long been in love with her.

Jin-sook nervously trails after Eun-joo, asking her to please say something, but Eun-joo doesn’t know how to respond to this unexpected news. She supposes it’s good she found out at this age rather than earlier. Should she be asking about her birth father?

Jin-sook assures her that’s not necessary; she never thinks about him. When Eun-joo asks if she loved him, Jin-sook doesn’t answer. Did having Eun-joo ruin her life? Jin-sook furiously shakes her head and claims she loved him and never regretted having Eun-joo.

Eun-joo takes her mother’s fidgeting hand and visualizes a young, frightened Jin-sook staring back at her. She thinks, “Thank you for not giving up on me, Mom.”

Eun-hee has avoided talking to her mom and sister after telling her mom to come clean to Eun-joo. She muses morosely that everyone – her, the family, Tae-hyung and his family – has been cruel to Eun-joo. Chan-hyuk comfortingly grabs her shoulder. She’s taught him that you have to put effort in even with your family.

He likes that she puts effort into her relationships. She’s a decent person, and she shouldn’t blame herself for everything. Chan-hyuk heads to his meeting, but they each turn back once as they walk away.

Eun-joo thinks her mom must’ve given up a lot to keep her, but Jin-sook doesn’t see it that way. She was so happy in that small apartment, and Sang-shik adored Eun-joo. He used to drive all night just to see her.

Eun-joo derisively asks if he really adored her. Jin-sook adamantly claims he did and looks crushed when Eun-joo states, “He isn’t my father.” She softens it, saying it’s all confusing right now. Eun-joo leaves to wander around by herself and think.

Chan-hyuk’s studio does a baby shoot for old friends of his and Eun-hee’s. The wife is ecstatic he and Eun-hee are friends again. She shares with the room that, when Chan-hyuk was doing his mandatory military service, Eun-hee even pretended to be his girlfriend and wrote him a “sexy” letter for a competition that won him five days of leave.

Everyone begged to see a photo of Eun-hee, but she sent one of Eun-joo instead that he had to carry around as evidence in his wallet. Ooooh. The husband comments that Jong-min was super jealous, but the wife thinks that’s reasonable considering the contents of the letter.

Chan-hyuk is uncomfortable and angrily tells them to drop it. Ji-woo watches Chan-hyuk as the wife continues that Eun-hee should’ve dated him instead of that jerk Jong-min. The couple chatter away, oblivious to the tension in the room.

Elsewhere, Sang-shik finds Young-shik who has been looking for his little boy’s mom so they can go back together. Young-shik cries as he asks why life is so hard.

Late that night, Geon-joo finally shows up at work. He explains Ha-ra was sick and apologizes for not calling. When Eun-hee argues he could’ve sent a text after that disastrous phone call, he wonders why she didn’t call him instead. Isn’t there anything she wants to ask?

Eun-hee doesn’t see the point in pestering him to answer questions about him and Ha-ra. “At my age, I’m not going to have such a childish love.” Eun-hee throws his hand off angrily and goes to leave, but then she turns around.

Tae-hyung gets worried when Eun-joo doesn’t come home and checks the café. He runs into Hyo-seok who tells him to live honestly from now on, but Tae-hyung argues it’s okay to not be honest with people who will cause you pain. He calls Eun-joo, but her phone is off.

At P&F, Eun-hee says she worked late waiting for Geon-joo every night. But as the week dragged on, she realized now she can end things without feeling responsible. Geon-joo selfishly tries to pin it on her, claiming he thought she’d understand why he couldn’t contact her.

Eun-hee gets that he’s not the type to secretly contact her when he’s caring for a sick person, which she thinks is good. But she’s done. He says they should talk about it later, but Eun-hee firmly announces it’s over and walks out.

Tae-hyung calls Eun-hee about Eun-joo, but she hasn’t heard from her either. She promises to call back after checking on the situation. To her surprise, she finds Eun-joo waiting outside her apartment.

Inside, Eun-joo is in a fightin’ mood and starts in on Eun-hee for sending their mom to talk to her alone. Then she attacks her for being in her business. She notes that Eun-hee is right – they don’t have much in common. Maybe she’s more like her birth father.

Eun-hee insists nothing has changed, but Eun-joo disagrees. Their mom stayed with a man she didn’t love because she was alone and afraid. How does that not change anything?

The sisters shift roles as Eun-hee argues in defense of her father that they did love each other, but Eun-joo says that’s way in the past. Jin-sook can’t speak up because Sang-shik scares her when he’s angry. “Is that love? That’s abuse.” Eun-hee furiously claims Sang-shik isn’t violent.

Eun-joo was the one who always respected him for his hard work and called their mom selfish for looking down on him. Eun-joo says it’s because she never knew she was Jin-sook’s weakness that Sang-shik used against her.

Eun-hee yells that Sang-shik never used her. He’s always thought of her as his daughter. Eun-joo accuses her of seeing what she wants to see, but Eun-hee thinks that’s better than being so high and mighty you miss what’s in front of your face.

The import of her words hits, and Eun-joo acknowledges that’s what made her miss what was going on with Tae-hyung. Eun-hee narrates that family knows your fatal weaknesses and can deliver a killing blow. Eun-joo waits until she’s outside to break down.

Eun-hee berates herself and runs after her sister. She finds Eun-joo sobbing on the street, but Eun-joo pushes her away when she tries to help her up. They each sit in the street, crying. When Eun-joo’s sobs turn heaving and she has trouble breathing, Eun-hee rushes to her.

Worried about Eun-joo, Jin-sook calls Eun-hee and asks her to go see her sister. Eun-hee agrees and informs her mom Ji-woo knows everything already. Jin-sook stands outside Ji-woo’s room but doesn’t knock.

Eun-hee took Eun-joo to the clinic where she tells Tae-hyung this isn’t the first time Eun-joo has suddenly had trouble breathing. He thinks it’s stress related but will do an examination the next day. When he asks if there’s anything else going on with Eun-joo, Eun-hee lies that there isn’t.

The following day, Sang-shik finds Jin-sook at the care facility with Seon-il who gives them space. It’s obvious Sang-shik truly got his memory back this time, and he shocks her by saying he started following her last year when he saw her getting into Seon-il’s car.

Sang-shik says she should’ve left him long ago and been with someone who could give her a better life. Jin-sook drags him inside where she takes him to see Seon-il’s wife who’s a resident at the facility. Sang-shik is embarrassed at his mistaken assumption.

Outside, he yells, “How did we get like this?” Even if he’s to blame, he wants to know where things went wrong. Jin-sook frustratedly points out that he wouldn’t have listened anyway, so what could she say? Sang-shik doesn’t want to fight and asks for one final favor. He has something to say to her and the kids.

At P&F, Eun-hee and Geon-joo discuss Chan-hyuk’s photos for the meditation center’s book. He seems touchy about it, but she assures him that this has nothing to do with her and Chan-hyuk’s friendship. Chan-hyuk’s pictures are good, and the author chose him.

Chan-hyuk anxiously tidies up his place (and himself) clearly preparing for someone to visit. At home, Eun-joo tells Jin-sook this will be her last family meeting while Eun-hee and Ji-woo are hiding out in his room. Eun-hee tries to drag him out with her, and in a bid to disorient her, he desperately tosses out that Chan-hyuk is going on blind dates to find a marriage partner. Pfft.

It throws her off for a second, but she isn’t so easily dissuaded and yanks him into the living room. The atmosphere is stiflingly tense as they all wait for Sang-shik. Meanwhile, Chan-hyuk receives his visitor: Geon-joo. This could go poorly.

At home, things are awkward when Sang-shik arrives, but they get even more awkward when he calls to someone to come on in. Did he bring Young-shik?! Yep, he did, as well as Young-shik’s little boy. The siblings stare in shock as he says they’re all family, so they should get to know each other. Bombshell dropped.

 
COMMENTS

I’m glad that Sang-shik decided to confront the Young-shik issue head-on, but he could’ve at least warned them first. Say hi to the family member you’ve had for decades but didn’t know about doesn’t seem like the way to go. Recent events have forced everyone to communicate, which is something this family sorely needed to do, but they clearly aren’t practiced at it yet. Now that Sang-shik’s memory has returned, it’s nice to see more of his side of the story. Not to excuse his completely unacceptable angry outbursts and disrespectful behavior toward Jin-sook, but his anger and confusion is understandable since he had no idea why Jin-sook turned cold toward him. It was interesting that he made the same promise with himself – that he’d live only for the kids – as Jin-sook. How sad that if they’d just talked, maybe they each would’ve harbored less anger, bitterness and pain.

Eun-joo’s reaction to her mom’s revelation was somewhat surprising. I didn’t expect her to turn on her dad like that and take her mom’s side unequivocally. I know bloodlines and such have a lot of weight culturally, so I can understand her not knowing how to feel after learning Sang-shik isn’t her biological father. But I’m confused as to why she decided this means he’s not her father when he’s raised her since birth. Eun-joo has such extreme, black-and-white reactions to things, but I expect her position could soften a bit once she has time to process. Because once again, Eun-joo has made assumptions without obtaining all the facts. I get how she could feel upset after hearing from Jin-sook that she stayed with Sang-shik because he treated Eun-joo well. It’s quite the leap, though, to assume that means her dad used that against her mom when he’s never showed any hint that he doesn’t genuinely love Eun-joo. Of course, Eun-joo is a teensy bit overwhelmed at the moment, so it’s reasonable that she might have extreme or even irrational reactions.

Eun-joo and Eun-hee have such complicated relationships with their mom. It’s interesting that the sisters’ positions regarding Jin-sook have completely flipped after finding out the truth. Eun-joo sees the sacrifices her mom made to keep her despite being young and alone, while Eun-hee sees the lies and secrecy. Jin-sook really hurt those girls with her lack of communication over the years. They’ve both spent years wondering if their mom hated them, mostly because of that one decision she made when she left with Eun-joo. What gets me is why in the world Jin-sook didn’t address it later. She even admitted she knew how much she’d hurt Eun-hee, but she did nothing. There’s no excuse for that. If you know you’ve damaged your kid, you try to do what you can to fix it. You don’t keep silent and hope they figure out you don’t hate them. There’s that destructive lack of communication again.

Thank goodness Eun-hee ended things with Geon-joo. Hopefully, this breakup sticks because I’m seriously over that dude. I couldn’t believe he actually tried to pin the responsibility on Eun-hee for not “understanding” him after he ghosted her and his ex-girlfriend harassed her. That’s just gross. I say good riddance to both him and his unpleasant ex – they’re both toxic. Of course, it probably won’t be that simple. It is a drama, after all. I feel like Geon-joo is the type that might cause trouble if he doesn’t get what he wants, all while acting innocent and put-upon. Him showing up at Chan-hyuk’s after checking that Eun-hee wasn’t going there seems sketchy. I’d like to think he’s just doing his professional duty, but I somewhat doubt it since he’s been jealous of Chan-hyuk from the start.

Apparently, being jealous of Chan-hyuk has been a theme with Eun-hee’s boyfriends, according to that mutual friend. Thanks to her, we now have pretty decent confirmation of Chan-hyuk’s feelings toward Eun-hee back in the day. And both his and Eun-hee’s reactions when he “coincidentally” ran into her and they had that talk basically confirmed their feelings now. Her face when he said he ran to see her, and his face when she fake confessed said it a lot. It’s looking more and more like his “crush” on Eun-joo was a diversion. Or, perhaps, he just gave in since Eun-hee has been seemingly pushing them together since college. You know, I’m not typically a fan of red herrings, but I appreciate that they’re used thematically in this drama. Like our characters, we think we know what’s going on from the bits and pieces we see, but we’re missing crucial elements, so we make incorrect assumptions. It’s a clever way of getting the point across, I’ll give them that.

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“... doesn’t seem like the way to go”

Understatement of the year. Wow, just wow.

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I love the way everyone clustered around the doorway, waiting to see who would come in. I have complete confidence in Sang-shik. This is his reply to learning what Jin-sook was really doing with Mr. Fruit Store. He may not be tactful, but he's getting straight to the point, and he's going to reveal the truth to everyone.

I wish Eun-hee didn't laugh off her confession to Chan-hyuk. I'm waiting for her to get up the courage to act on the feelings she's been burying all these years.

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Don't forget that Chan-hyuk has been doing the same thing to her.

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Chan-hyuk is a great guy, but for some reason it's not his happiness I'm invested in. I want to see EH break out of the boundaries she has set for herself and find happiness. That includes being honest about her feelings and getting back into writing. Whatcha want to bet that in ep. 16 she's finishing a manuscript based on her family.

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Ooh the manuscript theory is fun and plausible!

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I guess the “one year later” scene will show us the book published.

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Ha, the mandatory time skip - I honestly hope they don't do that here. Waiting for the drama that believes it can close the story by successfully avoiding that.

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Woah, Eunhee blew up in this episode. I’m so glad she confronted Geonjoo on his behaviour. I’m also glad that she had that argument with Eunjoo. She understands that her sister is hurting, but like she said, it really doesn’t give Eunjoo any right to just lash out at her and made assumptions about the worst in her dad. I just wish she won’t see everything so black and white.

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The one thing that I could not stand in this episode is Eun-joo's anger at her mom and dad over her birth. Her mother chose to have her when that was a very hard thing to do. Her father chose to have her too- she was not the result of his making a mistake- he chose to be her father. She is not the child of his body but of his heart.

Somebody needs to point this out to her. Once she really understands this it will make a really big difference in her life.

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It is just so sad that all she saw was weaknesses like a game of war. That’s her vantage point: everything is a win or a loss. None on making choices for others because they want to or because of love.

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This stems from her own hurt and trauma from her childhood. You are right- and that very attitude keeps her isolated.

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I was going to point that out, but you said it! Making the worst assumptions about your loved ones is not a choice, it's a learned behaviour and it's a defence

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What I have observed about Eun-joo is that she is so rational that even when she has moments of weakness, where she lets go of herself occasionally, she eventually comes back to rationalising everything. She will figure this out eventually.

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I agree with you. It may take some time but I actually have faith in this character the in time she will figure this out.

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No. Absolutely not. Eun-joo's anger is perfectly warranted and this is, in fact, a rather normal reaction people have _when they have been lied to for their whole lives_. Adopted children, for example, can take it really hard if they find out when they're adults instead of knowing it from the early childhood.

Ultimately, it is not about the fact that Sang-shik is not her birth father. It is about the lying; Eun-joo's parents meant well but they betrayed her by hiding an immensely important fact. And it IS important even if Sang-shik is her father in all other ways except having biologically related to her. This is important for Eun-joo's identity.

So, Eun-joo's initial reaction is normal and understandable. She needs time to process this as it is a huge blow and betrayal of her trust. Right now it is not the time to try to make her see reason, at least not too strongly. She needs some time to get to that point where she can listen to others again. I mean, now she has to question her whole identity, her parent's relationship with her AND with each other and her past, too. That is a LOT to chew.

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Not only has she been betrayed (even if it was well-meant) by her family, but also her husband. Basically, everyone around her seemed to have betrayed her in some way. She knew nothing about all this, and all came out one thing after the other. I feel for her identity. How can she even trust someone now?

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Totally agree with you.
I can understand Eun Joo is confused, but she’s just making the same mistake her mum did: making assumptions without prove. She’s decided what her parents intentions were, just as her mum decided his husband was cheating on her.
If only they talked to each other...

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Another episode, another rollercoaster ride. And I promise, no spoilers from Episode 10.

Sang-shik discovers that the man his wife has been seeing is- her brother in law when she goes to visit her sister. Didn't see that one coming.

The most emotionally satisfying moment in this episode has to have been Eun-hee giving Geon-joo the stiff-arm- and a really solid one at that.

But then that leads to a the total frustration of watching Chan-hyuk and Eun-hee continue to circle each other like wary boxers looking for an opening. You simply want to scream at them and tell them to just stop playing games and go get married. Sheesh. It seems like everyone else can see it so why can't they?

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That's my thought, too. They know each other so well that dating would almost be a waste of time. Just propose, someone, so you can have these warm chats and goofing around every day over breakfast and dinner.

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Their situation brings to mind a great story about a famous Russian cellist who married his wife Galina only seven days after he had met her. He was asked about this in an interview once and said:

"Vas big mistake!"

(it was a mistake?)

"Da, it vas seven days wasted!"

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The reason that story came to mind is the contrast: Instead of seven days they have wasted a decade. All the more reason to skip the dating part.

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Well, in the When Harry Met Sally, the eponymous couple Harry & Sally were friends for 12 years before getting together, if memory serves right.

They married after 3 months. (It's a movie ofc, but yeah, it didn't feel weird at all that ppl who've been very close friends for years marry after only 3 months. That's plenty enough time to find out if you're compatible in bed and at that point that is the only thing you really need to know about the other.)

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Ok I have a question. If that fruit guy was her brother in law how in the world was Sang Sik meeting him and his wife (Jin Sook' s sister) for the first time? Does this mean she( Jin Sook) never had the chance to reconcile with her family before? Because from their conversations, that unni has kids too which makes them Eun Hee, Eun Joo and maknae' s cousin but maknae or Eun Hee don't seem to be aware of their relationship with the fruit ajusshi. Does this mean that mom only reconciled with her sister recently? Initially when she introduced the lady as her sister, I didn't take her literally. I thought that unni too was just a lady in a hospital who Jin Sook befriended like the old lady she calls "omma" but your comment seemed to make me realise the possibility of that unni being her literal/bio sister and that seems to be very 🤯 seeing that not one of her kids or husband knew about it.

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I also assumed that fruity ahjussi is a brother in law. That makes his daughter Jinsook's niece. Maybe Eunhee and Eunjoo don't know because they moved out before Ahjussi set up the store. How crazy would it be, if Jinwoo's secret girlfriend was fruitshop girl? They might have put two and two together while dating

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In Korean, if you’re a close female friend, you can call the friend’s husband brother in law. You don’t have to be related. Case in point, Wonder Girls call Hyerim’s husband-to-be “brother-in-law”.

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Thanks for the cultural nuance! Yes, that explains it without further complication

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I never got they were blood related, JS just called her “unnie” just like CH calls EJ “noona”.

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Exactly.

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I actually agree with you about the brother in law point- it is the one real hole in this plot. Given how long Sang-shik has been married it simply defies belief that he could have not known who this was. I was laos struck by that same thought the moment I saw it.

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I suspected the relation with the fruit man and JS was just friendly after an scene in last week episodes, in which they were getting out the center with other people and they were relaxed and surrounded by others. It just felt they were friends not paying special attention to the other. I don’t think I mentioned it when in the recap, but it’s something I wanted to say.

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The silent scene with Mom then young mom and EJ, that brought tears. Though that stopped when EJ started assuming Dad used that as a weakness against mom 🤦🏽‍♀️

I’m with you @quirkycase at Jin-sook not addressing the outcome of her actions that day. However, Asian parents (or maybe just mine) are known to not apologise to their kids for the things they’ve wrongly done. Maybe it’s pride of being the parent and that they’re always right or something else. Though that’s changing these days and I’m all for it. Because if someone did something wrong, they should apologise, may it be a parent or a child.

GJ really had the guts to say that EH should have understood his situation! I have to laugh. The nerve. Which brings me to CH and EH, these two are so intent in keeping their friendship despite liking each other so much. I understand them being cautious since you don’t want to lose such friendship, that’s rare.

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My mom told me a couple of days ago that she had been regretting things she did to us kids in the past. I think that was the closest thing to apologizing for her.

The day after that I told her thank you mom for telling me this. Some hurt feelings can be kept inside hearts for eternity. I thanked her sincerely then.

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Some parents are hard headed so that's good to hear. As the old saying goes, better late than never.

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Visiting DB after a long time just to say how much I appreciate this drama. I picked it up as a Han Yeri fan but the whole ensemble is great in this and each of the characters could be a short story in themselves (trust me even Eun hee, the boss and his gf).

I don't think communication in itself is the key. Life happens and unsaid things remain unsaid, either due to the fear of it coming into the open or simply lost in the rush of life. In a major or minor key this is true of many lives. And yet family hangs together.

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Nicely said.

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I think it was quiet extreme how easy Eunjoo flipped from Dad to Mom, but I think Eunjoo felt so burdened by the fact that, in her view, mom only stayed with Dad for her. And I think it flipped that quick because all these newly found facts answered a lot of her question about Mom and Dad. When they decided to separate, the only reason Eunjoo was against it is the logical reasoning that in that age, both of them would find hardship instead of comfort to start living by their own, and I think she had always seen how cold Jinsook is to Sangshik but she didn't know why. We know enough that Jinsook did that bcs she thought he was having an affair all along. But Eunjoo didn't know that, and when she knew Jinsook had to marry Sangshik because of her, then it's understandable that she thought her mom married Sangshik to survive instead of love and because of her on top of that, thus probably the reason why Jinsook had been so cold to Sangshik. It never occurred to her that Jinsook was in love (or at least had a happy life) with Sangshik prior to the whole affair thing.

And what's interesting is that Eunjoo seems to compare her parents' marriage to hers a LOT. She had compared how Jinsook dropped the separation bomb so suddenly like how Taehyung dropped his real identity. She emphatized with Sangshik before bcs she felt like she was the victim like Sangshik is. But then when she flipped her position and side with Mom she used the words "weakness" and "using" even as far as "abuse", at this point why do I feel like she's relating herself to being used like how Sangshik "used" Jinsook to stay in his life even though in Eunjoo's view they don't love each other. Just as how Taehyung did before his coming out. I think these two messes in Eunjoo's life coming together really messed up her usual problem solving way of thinking and now keep doing what Eunhee probably did in the past, she avoids confrontation but then projects her anger to somebody that has nothing to do with it but she can be mad to, Eunhee. Which was what exactly Eunhee did in the past, but now Eunhee understands and instead is using her "what would Eunjoo say" game back to Eunjoo. GAH I LOVE THESE TWO SO MUCH

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"We know enough that Jinsook did that bcs she thought he was having an affair all along. "

Do we know this? I mean, this marriage confuses me. To me it looks like Jin-sook NEVER loved Sang-shik or really wanted to be with him. Yeah, there's that one letter, but I don't remember anything else. In the flashbacks Jin-sook always looks just miserable with Sang-shik no matter which time period is showed to us. We even see her CRYING when girls are young. She definitely does not look like a wife who has learned to love her husband; instead, she looks like a wife who is unhappy with a man whom she does not love and only bears this life because of her children.

This is a problem because right now I'm firmly in the team Sang-shik. I mean, yes, he has treated Jin-sook poorly but it's way easier for me to see where he's coming from. He truly loved Jin-sook and TRIED his best but got no warmth back. Jin-sook was always cold to him, to some degree, and then she finally snapped and left him. She did come back but after that everything had changed and Sang-shik didn't even try anymore. I think he grew bitter and resentful, and took it out on Jin-sook by being mean and disrespectful, which is absolutely the wrong thing to do but also something I can understand.

Jin-sook, on the other hand, I don't get. I mean, yes, she did all her housewife duties, it seems, but flashbacks also make it seem like she almost didn't even try with Sang-shik. And then she's all "why is he being like this??" I mean, she was clearly able to see he loved her. You don't need to be a magician to understand that constant coldness towards someone trying will cause them to grow bitter. I mean, she is not obligated to love Sang-shik, of course, and you cannot force those feelings. It's not Jin-sook's fault she does not love him. However, how it is such a mystery to her how he became like this, that I do not understand.

These people should have divorced ages ago. I understand why they didn't, Korea, patriarchy, traditions etc. But darn, they really didn't even have a chance.

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As to why I assume that Jinsook loved Sangshik or whatsoever before the affair thingy, I don't even remember maybe something implicit that I assumed it that way, but she definitely was happy before she found out abouy Sangshik's affair. She clearly said in that time she ran from home that now she decided to only live as someone's mother and no longer as his wife, which means she did commit to her relationship and from what I understand wasn't unhappy. What made her unhappy us that he cheated, in her view.

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There was a scene in the past where Jinsook wrote a note. Iirc, it said 'I love you', though she was not able to give it, SS saw it. -- this scene made me think that she did love SS along the way. But as you've mentioned, when she started getting suspicious of the affair, she was no longer happy.

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I think she doesn't really look happy on their first picture but after she decided to be happy until she tried to call a number and a woman's voice answered to the call and there was a phone call from the person. After that, she thought that her husband had a second family. And she became cold.

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JS and SS's early years are all a murky mess,and I don't discount the possibility of further revelations changing our perspective yet again. But here's my read on their relationship.
*22 year old SS and JS get married coz JS needs a baby daddy and SS lorvvees JS. They start to get close as her pregnancy progresses since 22 SS is adorbs with his pouting and heart eyes and JS can be seen to be Kuch comfortable with him even while EJ's in her belly. EH happens in the intervening years where they're more or less happy. JS hasn't outgrown her inherent calm facade(her family background seems to have cultivated this Nd she genuinely looks like a quiet , introverted person) enough to outright say the L-word but SS feels it and is content.
Then some event happens ,cue mysterious phone calls, SS's pay checks getting halved etc . JS starts to get sadder and more distant but in between they manage to conceive JW.(May be it was during the time when they as temporary truce when SS found her crying and teases her pulling them temporarily into the honeymoon phase?) The pregnancy wakes JS up and she decides that the only way out of this marriage is an abortion. I am not sure how much I believe her here. If she wanted to just end the foetus, why take her 13 year old who's obviously gonna be an unnecessary complication. Anyhoo, she changes her mind, gets back home. Now it's SS's turn to jump to conclusions. He decides that JS must've been done with putting up with him(hello insecurities) and the stage is now completely set for the embittered people JS and SS now are.
JS being an introverted person, never seems to have grasped the importance of words to let other people know what they mean to her. She works tirelessly to keep a home coz she thinks that's what being a good wife and mom is. And she feels betrayed when her husband seems to turn away from her love but she's indebted to this man who saved her unborn child (and also has fallen in love with him in the early years of their marriage) So she takes on another one of the accepted female personas of the time- the injured,yet dignified wife who keeps a clean home and feeds the kids on time and turns a blind eye to her husband's deeds.
From dad's relapse to 22,we can see how the quiet gestures would have flown right over this guy's head. He is a bleeding heart romantic, believes in proclaiming his love at every opportune moment and goes a 💯 into the reltionship. For him, her silences and inward nature would have felt like tiny rejections that fed his fears and insecurities until those fateful events. Over the years , the unexpressed love turns bitter and ugly.And he lets his demons out while shouting at JS that she used him while always keeping her heart protected.
Now they had this reset and they're beginning to see what years of silence might have cost them and it's both fanatical an mundane coz it's so easy to fall into these patterns and then get stuck in these roles we define for...

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Thank you for a quick and excellent recap, @quirkycase. The show remains the only one I am live-watching right now, and it keeps me as hooked as ever.

What I like is how even though the story is makjang-level bat crazy, the actors haven't descended into melodramatic outbursts too often. The emotional scenes are on point - whether it is EJ crying, or SS-JS arguing - and nothing seems OTT in the scheme of things. It's a nuanced performance by everyone.

This is outstanding scriptwriting backed by a fine, fine ensemble.

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Thank you for the recap, @quirkycase.

I've been thinking a lot about those copies of The Bridges Of Madison County, in particular Miss Sook's that has a couple of wedding photos stuck in it. Might life have prefigured art? (The novel was published in 1992, a decade after Eun-joo's conception.) Maybe Eun-joo's biological father was a photographer. Or (dun dun dun), bioDad was already married to someone else, and later had a son who grew up to become a photographer. Is the friendship between Eun-hee and Chan-hyuk a case of "blood calling to blood"? We know nothing about Chan-hyuk's family, except that he seems to have had plenty of opportunity to develop discernment and insight into convoluted family and interpersonal relations because of his own experiences. For all we know, he could be a real Kim relative who has not previously been identified as such. I hope to heck that MY UNFAMILIAR FAMILY does not go the TEMPTATION OF WOLVES route.

It also struck me within the past few days that Miss Sook may have suffered from post-partum depression. She has struck me as depressed from the very beginning. Much of the time she has come across as a professional martyr, with a touch of paranoia. If jumping to conclusions were a sport, she would have an Olympic gold medal. And so would Eun-hee, who takes after her in this respect.

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I also am curious about the significance of that book. However, I'm dubious about CH being related. If he were, he'd be EJ's half brother and no relation to anyone else.

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@lindag latebloomer,
You're right. I should have visualized a family tree. ;-)

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Isn't Bridges of Madison County about a mature woman who starts to live for herself? She falls in love with some ugly old dude, Clint Eastwood???

Ah ha, just checked Wikipedia - this seems on point, "Francesca, trapped in a passionless marriage, was unable to abandon her teenage children and loyal husband, knowing the irreparable pain it would cause and the realization that what she and Robert shared was unlikely to survive, given their circumstances."

Only thing is, as I suspected, the mother does not seem to have had an affair.

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Noooooo, incest would be too extra for this drama... but agree on Miss Sook being depressed, maybe since the start. Can you blame her? Apparently, her mom was awful, then she was shunned by her family, gave up on her hopes and dreams at 22 and married a random dude that keep her in the dark about, well, everything.
If something, I find her admirable for having the guts to decide to start over at her age - graduating from her unhappy marriage, getting a job, studying

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The 60 JS is the kinda brave the 30-ish JS should've been. But it's ironic how it's those years of quiet suffering ( a lot of it self inflicted, may I add) is what made the 60 JS so bold.

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First off, soo nice to see your comments after a while @pakalanapikake. Excellent catch on the book . Didn't we also see SS having that book in his truck(is that the correct term for that monstrosity?) I swear the show's gonna pull a scene of young SS buying the book that made his undemonstrative wife cry in an attempt to understand what makes her tick. Haven't read the book but from the famous movie it was based on, it had something to do with an unfulfilled wife finding a connection with a new man in town? If the book is close to the movie pilot, it wouldn't have helped SS's insecurities one bit!
Think both EH&EJ seem to have inherited the 'jump to conclusions gene' but I think we can lay the credit for that on both parents' door since SS also went welp, my wife took my elder daughter & herself off somewhere for few days, I clearly should just give up on her. But EH almost always using it as a defence mechanism, she assumes the worst for her and uses it as a means to understand her close relatives. EJ reverses it and assumes the worst in others while trying to protect herself.

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Yes, @ashes2ashes, we did see that book under the seat in his truck. I haven't read it either, but the synopsis is of a wife having an affair while her husband is out of town. I suppose that could have fed SS's fears about JS and Mr. Fruit Store. He could have read it to try to understand her, and wound up thinking he understood her too well.

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LOL..your last line. Isn't there a saying "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!"
I thought that book in SS's truck looked well thumped through, hence my assumption it's the young , hopeful SS that bought it. May be it was EJ's bio dad who stood in for the other guy at that time? It certainly would have reinforced his fears over her departure pre JW. The fact that the embittered middle aged SS kept the book and the note she wrote him 30+ years ago shows he still (subconsciously) cared? The fruit owner ahjusshi seems to be a relatively new addition(refer notes on SS stalking JS only a year ago) ..wonder if show's gonna present this as the trigger point of SS's depression? Not that he didn't have enough reasons what with the 20-odd messed up family life, birth secrets, broken heart and dashed youthful dreams. Jeez, now that I write it all out, it really is makjang supreme !!

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But it doesn't feel makjang to me, just sad and real. Good writing, good directing, good acting are making a fine drama out of something that could have degenerated into soap opera territory.

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@ashes2ashes,
Aw, shucks. I haven't been able to keep up with recap comments. But I'm giving it a try. Thanks for a warm welcome. ;-)

Yes, Sang-shik found a copy of the book under the passenger seat in his truck. I've also thought that he bought the book to figure out what was making Miss Sook cry.

The photography motif in the book made me think of Chan-hyuk. (Italian-American war bride has a fling with a photographer passing through the boondocks while working on an assignment, he leaves, and they never see each other again.) Maybe it's just a coincidence. But I really get the sense that a photographer's eye is more than an empty metaphor in this drama.

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No incest, please! I hope it doesn't go there.

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I think there’s a very simple explanation to the book. When SS returns home after JS has been receiving the calls she decided where form the woman her husband was having an affair with, she’s crying. When SS asks why, she says she’s emotional because of a book. He noticed it is The Bridges of Madison, so like he did with Doctor Zhivago, he decided to read it to get closer to JS.

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Now that you mention it, I remember the scene. Good catch, Eazal!

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TH and EJ: "She’s been his sole family and confidant, and he wants her to take time to adjust and start fresh. She should find a man who can give her what he can’t: love and a child to raise together." Some people have good hearts, understand TH's behaviour in the light of his awful mom and the pressures of being closeted, and want TH and EJ to be friends.
I'm sorry, I can't.
I understand his plight, but it just doesn't make it ok to fool her for years and lead her on even through fertility treatments. As I see it, it's not only that he couldn't love her and lied about it, he waisted her time - she may not have a chance anymore to start a family, and it's on him. And his way of coming out was needlessly cruel, I still haven't forgotten that scene of him choking her, that's pretty hard to forgive. The normal thing is for her to be really mad at him for a while, before moving on with her life

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Totally agree with you.
I understand TH is hurting, and he didn’t have his family support.
I would be on his side if, instead of what he did, he would have openly told EunJoo. But he did it the coward way.
So, as much as I want him to heal his wounds because no one should feel the way he did, I want EJ to have her revenge: she didn’t deserve his cruelty nor his physical aggression.

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EH and CH "casually" meeting and their way of sizing each other up... Cute! Now that I know that they come from way back, I'm on board of this ship!

I'm still expecting to get to know CH's family. My bet is that they are another flavour of dysfunctional than the Kims, but that they're responsibly for his great listening skills and terrible boundary keeping.

Geonjoo, please remove yourself from this drama (and take Hara with you... Preferably into therapy)

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Those two are made for each other, no matter how big your library is, Mr. Player.

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"no matter how big your library is, Mr. Player"

Why, Ms Eazal! (*blush)

My mind just drifted with that turn of phrase and I remembered an old quote by John Waters: "If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't f 'em!" Always sounded like good advice, but Mr Player proves it wrong - some jerks read books

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Well, I would have fallen (como una pera madura), because the guy is damn sexy and knows what to say and when. And has a big library.

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To be Precise, did we ever see the jerk read from his library? It could all just be decoration...

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@hebang FlyingTool,
A Potemkin library!

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I just want to take the mum to bit the father or the opposite... Their lack of communication caused so much pain for them but for children. The mother tried to abort, Eun-Joo thought she tried to commit suicide with her, Eun-Hee thought her mother abandonned her...

I think Eun-Hee was right to tell to her mother to talk to Eun-Joo about the truth.

Eun-Joo has really a very personnal way to interpret events... How her mother became a victim and her father a "tormentor" just like this? Honestly, as an adopted child myself, I really don't understand her comments about all the situation. I understand her pain but she's an adult, it doesn't give the right to hurt people around her to make her feel better.

We will finally know the truth about the mysterious son.

It looks Eun-Hee and Chan-Hyuk passed their time to turn around each other without daring to confess their feelings. I'm really excited to see them finally assuming them.

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to hit*

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I’m not adopted, but my mum wasn’t raised by her parents but by some relatives. I’ve always understood that parents are those who rise and love a child. I’ve always know who my true grandparents were. Never doubted it. I always had relation with my grandparents and called them grandma and grandpa but they were not my mum’s parents. So yes, I understand what you say and can’t understand the blood thing.

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Eun Joo is sick of secrets. I think that is why she is lashing out at everyone. Secrets ruined her marriage, her childhood, her lack of children and her birth or at least that is how she feels. So this is stressful to her, hopefully she lets go of the resentment against her father. As for her husband, he sucks.

I am so glad Eun Hee got rid of Geon Joo, creepy and strange man.

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“ Eun Joo is sick of secrets. “

No kidding. All those secrets bursting open at the same time would cause anyone to have problems.

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That’s why I’m not mad at her reaction in this episode, although it was really hard.

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Oh, that lack of communication... so heartbreaking... when I heard SS saying the same words JS said I broke into tears. If only they have talked.

Regarding EH and CH, this was the first time I could see them both as a couple. Yes, we’ve arrived here!

And EJ. Her reaction was too hard, but I can understand she’s been through a lot lately (too much to be honest)... an even so... it was painful to watch.

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"Regarding EH and CH, this was the first time I could see them both as a couple. Yes, we’ve arrived here!" - you're right! They've finally headed in that direction. Until now, there was practically no indication. I'd have liked the friendship to remain intact without this, but we all know it's not a kdrama without.

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No indication? Personally, I thought there was a thing between them when she scolded him and not her actual boyfriend who was just beside them...

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I’ve been commenting from episode one that I didn’t see that romantic connection between EH and CH. And as I said this was my first real hint of them sharing the same scene where I could actually see it. In fact I was not comfortable with all the commentaries that shipped them, because I could only see a true friendship and nothing more. And right now (specially after watching episode 10) I feel butterflies on my stomach when I see them, awwwwww

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Oh boy...this is giving me déjà vu circa winter garden couple 😂 where half the beanies saw connection from Day 2 and the other half saw the exact opposite.
This one's more nuanced and intimate coz these two actually have a strong relationship minus those pesky romantic emotions. I was with @kurama when the outburst in EP 1 happened. These two had that huge dust up where a looot of hurt and emotions were coming out. I was resigned to watching another friends to lovers trope! But then the show pleasantly surprised me by keeping these two in BFF territory.Sure there were moments of ambiguity, mainly from CH but felt the show is purposefully baiting us with EJ vs EH. And THEN I saw definitive undercurrents of something more from the time they went away to confront TH...

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NGL, when I saw JW and EH huddled inside his room, I kinda wanted to lock them both safely in there from their family. It's a miracle JW looks to be as 'well adjusted' as he does given that he grew up in a house hold steeped in unsaid grievances and dashed hopes. Being older, EH has been marred by the events but she's actively trying to work on herself and rise above her defensive/self-defeating impulses. She's had to struggle with the fear of losing a parent's love(which geez, I can't believe neither parent thought to talk to these girls, they were 13 and 10+ people, not unaware babies) on top of the usual curse of insecurities that seem to plague many a middle child. But she's helped along by her inherently open nature and instinct to let people in . While this limited her hurt in many ways, her elder sister unfortunately didn't have the benefits of a bright disposition.
It's ironic how EJ is the reason the marriage came into fruition in the first place but she's the worst victim of that union. I was holding my breath for JS when the birth secret was revealed and had my jaw open at EJ's calm acceptance and understanding of her mother. But ofc then she re-aims her fire at her favorite parent. It's very reminiscent of EH blowing up on her friend CH than the cheater JM. Coz even the lesser betrayal from the one person you always thought would be on your side can hurt more than the much deeper wounds from people that you were always brazen to get hurt by.
Once again the sisters bond shone this ep. Yes it's a bond made of twisted knots but it's been forged by many a fire and is stronger than both of them. Even when EJ falls into her pattern of heaping all her ire on a largely innocent EH. These two always try to reach for the other instinctively when their worlds crumble around them. But it's like they don't have the benefit of a common language and end up wounding while longing for some soothing from the other. EH rising above her need to be agreeable+anxieties about her sister to keep EJ's secrets from her BIL and mother shows that EH intuitively knows her unnie. It sucks that EH is being treated as a punching bag while EJ tries to come to grips with herself and her constantly altering realities but I believe these sisters will ultimately be instrumental in the other's journey to better relationships & recovery

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I'm actually wondering when the Show will hit us with Ji-woo's secrets. 10 eps in already, surely, it's 'round the bend. 'Well-adjusted' is all superficial, there's something more to him, which hasn't been revealed yet, I feel.

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@pickleddragon,

God help Ji-woo when he finds out that Mom very nearly aborted him. One of my college buddies survived his mother's attempt to get rid of him. This hits too close to home.

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oh gosh. It's fascinating how one makjang can make our imaginations run wild. I hope whatever his story is is more easily resolvable. There should be at least one character in the show who doesn't have so much drama in their life.

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I have a feeling the show will focus on this when it's Ji-woo's turn of the story.

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Ooh yes, now having seen EP 10 I am getting terribly anxious that most of the secrets seem to b out. Granted there's a ton of re-byiding to do in most relationships. What do they have in store for the maknae in the next 6 EPs??
Personally I am rooting for JW and SY to become roomies so that they can get around their 'can't afford rent' issue and get some much needed distance between them and their dysfunctional families.

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Not sure that is the resolution I was looking at, but yeah, it would be okay. Everyone needs some space from their families!

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I have seen both episodes but just seeing this episode. I will cut Eun Joo some slack, its been one secret after another being popped open. But is there a reason, she always goes to extreme end of reaction or judgment? Or does it happens only when she deals with her parents. Jin Sook brought abortion pills and she though her mother was going to commit suicide, not natural thought process when you see your parent take a medication of sorts. Is she sick? No she is killing herself.... After the confession, dad must have used me as a leverage to keep Jin Sook in the marriage and abused her. These are all jumping to the extreme end of the spectrum. I am not sure what to make of her. Also so she knew her dad wasn't kind and borderline abusive to her mother all these years and completely overlooked it. She mentions screaming and throwing things at Jin Sook that would make her scared. So, she wasn't unaware of the situation after all yet was so hard on her mother, so incredibly hard just because she wanted formal separation. As a woman, I rolled my eye hard at that. No, I am not gonna cut her slack for being a shitty woman to another woman. She is an adult, not a teen when she reacted the way she did. Atleast Eun Hee neither judges her father nor her mother in a second. She allows them some space and some time, this one just jumps from high end to another.

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It has been very interesting to observe how birth order comes into play in Kim family dynamics. I feel especially bad for Ji-woo because, as the youngest, he has no memory of a time when his parents were happy with each other. I fear that on some level, he is aware that he was not wanted. I hope that he can withstand the revelation and recognize that it says a lot more about Mom than it does about him. Ultimately she did choose to keep him, as she did Eun-joo.

With each revelation of parental dereliction of duty by Miss Sook and Sang-sik, I have to keep reminding myself that they both grew up in dire circumstances themselves. They were born ca. 1960 -- only 7 years after the armistice that ended the Korean War -- and grew up during the rapid industrialization and urbanization of the nation. We've finally learned something about Jin-sook's family of origin, and it's depressing as all get out. I'm beginning to wonder if her mother was the sister of the old battle axe grandma in WHEN THE WEATHER IS FINE. Mom and Auntie could pass for Miss Sook's sisters. Yikes.

Given the emotional and material privations experienced by Jin-sook and Sang-sik in there own childhoods, it's no surprise that they have been such inept parents. They cannot give their children what they never received themselves. At least the man who took in young Sang-sik showed him some kindness.

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While it's true too much has been left unsaid in this family, the take away from My Unfamiliar Family is that you can easily not know the people closest to you. All of the characters are learning how little they know or understand about those with whom they share the closest bonds. Husband - wife, parents and children, siblings, friends since school - they all get big surprises. The most interesting are the sisters who "know" exactly what the other is going to say, but who still know so little about each other. How much can we ever really know about those we live with and love?

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