Oh My Baby: Episode 15
With chances of pregnancy looking slimmer than ever, our heroine reevaluates her priorities. Love, babies, and family have always belonged together in her dreams, and she realizes that her reality is different. As she prepares to make compromises, her fiancé reflects on how he’s made mistakes in love. He reconsiders what it means to love and how he can fulfill the love that our heroine is worth of.
EPISODE 15: “How do we love?”
Yi-sang agonizes over Ha-ri’s heartbreak about possibly not having children and thinks about how lovingly Ha-ri cared for the babies at work. They meet for dinner after work, and Ha-ri continues to force a smile. She insists that the surgery wasn’t that serious and tries to enjoy her dinner with Yi-sang.
When Yi-sang shares that he’s starting hormone therapy again, Ha-ri tells him that she’s given up on having a baby. She doesn’t want Yi-sang to suffer through more painful treatments, and she claims that she’s tired of being so emotionally invested in having a child. Ha-ri blames her selfish desires for causing hardship and doesn’t want to make things difficult for them anymore.
Disappointed, Yi-sang says that he wanted to share the dream of having a baby, but Ha-ri is done with the pain. She asks, “Are you going to keep trying until it works? If the treatment doesn’t work, then we’ll fall into despair and start treatment again with futile hope. Until when? Until we grow too old to do this?” Ha-ri says that she doesn’t want to waste their precious time together and prioritizes their happiness. Yi-sang silently agrees and forces a weak smile.
Mom practices her admonishment to Yi-sang for daring to be with Ha-ri with his infertility and thus ruining her dreams. After running through her speech, she decides that she can’t reprimand Yi-sang for his infertility and sympathizes with his shared troubles with Ha-ri.
Jae-young meets with Jung-won to pick up Do-ah, and he finally confronts her about why she abandoned him and Do-ah. Jung-won responds, “I just wanted to breathe.” In a flashback, we see Jung-won struggling to soothe crying Do-ah, and when Jae-young returned home from work, she numbly told him that she felt minimized to someone who exists to breastfeed Do-ah.
She desperately told Jae-young that she wanted to put on her doctor’s gown and save lives, and Jae-young assured her that Do-ah will grow up soon enough for Jung-won to return to her job. On the day of Do-ah’s 100-day celebration, the family was waiting on Jung-won, who was taking a long break outside. She realized, “I had only heard Do-ah’s cries, but I heard sounds of the world around me. There was the warm breeze and the sun. I could finally breathe. From there, I came home and prepared for my thesis, and I finally felt like I was living.”
Back in the present, Jung-won shares that she belatedly recognized her post-partum depression and admits that she had a difficult time accepting that she wasn’t a mother who was happy sacrificing everything for her child. Jae-young and Do-ah’s presence alone felt suffocating to her. Jung-won didn’t expect Jae-young to give up his professorship and encourages him to restart the process while she watches Do-ah, who she’s become closer to now.
Jae-young says that he’s satisfied with his life right now. Jung-won admits that she misses him and wonders if he can give up his feelings for Ha-ri. She asks if she needs to give up his feelings for him, and Jae-young nods.
At the office, Eu-tteum and Hyo-joo awkwardly share the elevator to their floor. Eu-tteum asks what he can do to make things better post-rejection, and Hyo-joo says that she wants him to disappear. She says that she doesn’t know how to honor her unrequited feelings like him, and Eu-tteum agrees to let her hate him. She asks him to act unhappy so that she can wrap up her feelings quickly, and she walks away, dejected.
Yeon-ho finds Yi-sang brooding in the studio and retrieves him for their next assignment. They’re interviewing a photographer mother who wrote a fun submission from the perspective of her child. As a single mother, the photographer donates proceeds and her talents to single-parent families. When they arrive at the photographer’s studio, Yi-sang’s eyes widen in recognition at the photo of their next subject. It’s his ex-fiancee, In-ah.
Yi-sang captures Yeon-ho interviewing In-ah about her written submission and photos, and In-ah glances at Yi-sang uncomfortably. She poses by her photo, but she can’t get herself to smile widely and offers to send the photo later. Yeon-ho notices the tension between the two and excuses herself to give space for them to talk.
Once they’re alone, In-ah tells Yi-sang that it’s nice to see him again and shares that the hardest part of their break-up was losing her best friend. She asks if he still despises her, and Yi-sang responds, “I thought that you would obviously prioritize me over a child, and that’s probably why I resented you more.” In-ah says that she also resented him and was fixated on their life-altering hardship. Yi-sang admits that he made their break-up harder by clinging onto her when he knew their relationship was already over.
Reflecting back on their relationship, In-ah says that apart from the infertility issue, they both didn’t have the strength to endure the inevitable unhappiness in their relationship. As we see Ha-ri at work, Yi-sang admits to In-ah, “I thought that holding on was how you defended love, but I needed to let you go.” Before he leaves, Yi-sang asks In-ah if she’s happy, and she nods.
Jae-young watches Do-ah at work and thinks back to Jung-won’s suggestion that to live together as a family again. He holds Do-ah in his arms and asks if she enjoyed her time with Mom. He seems to be considering her suggestion.
The editing team eat ddukbokki to relieve their work stress and go around sharing their stressors. Maknae So-yoon says that her dad wants her to quit her job to find another company with better work life balance. Yeon-ho shares her suspicions that the photographer she interviewed today was Yi-sang’s ex, and she wonders if she should tell Ha-ri. Both Hyo-joo and So-yoon advise her not to, and she agrees.
Hyo-joo shares that she told Ha-ri that she’s going to quit. In the conversation with Ha-ri, Hyo-joo explained that she has no reason to stay and doesn’t see a vision for the magazine. Ha-ri asked her to stay until Hyo-joo has a new job lined up and to give her a chance. Ha-ri expressed her desire to protect the magazine and also do something for them.
Ha-ri knows that Yeon-ho was expecting the deputy position when Ha-ri got promoted, and she wants to help Yeon-ho get promoted, just like how Editor Shim supported her. For So-yoon, she wants to help her build her portfolio and not just make her do all the busy work in the office. For Hyo-joo, she can see a solid portfolio in sight and wants to help her get there. Plus, Ha-ri doesn’t want Hyo-joo to leave with only complaints. She asked Hyo-joo to reconsider her resignation.
The three reporters wonder what they do next, and Yeon-ho’s the first one to commit to staying and seems excited at the prospect of a promotion. So-yoon hides her loyalty behind the excuse that she’s curious about the magazine’s future, and Hyo-joo begrudgingly says that she’ll stay to help Ha-ri fight the company. They’re all in!
Yi-sang meets with Ha-ri for dinner, and she excitedly asks about their wedding plans. Committed to Ha-ri’s dream, Yi-sang accuses Ha-ri for sacrificing a child for him and asks what she’ll sacrifice next. Ha-ri responds that she doesn’t want a child to strain their relationship, but Yi-sang continues to push her on this difficult topic that they agreed to confront.
Speaking objectively, Yi-sang asks Ha-ri what they’ll do when their love won’t be enough to overcome hardship. Ha-ri argues that this challenge won’t be an issue, but Yi-sang doesn’t seem to agree. He says that Ha-ri has the option to have a normal family, and Ha-ri interprets this as Yi-sang wanting to break up with her. Yi-sang claims that he’s giving her time to reconsider their relationship and an opportunity to live without giving up her dreams.
Ha-ri looks overwhelmed by Yi-sang’s sudden change of heart and calls out his misguided approach to support her dreams. Yi-sang maintains his detached tone and urges Ha-ri to think about how he selfishly held onto her. He announces that he’s taking a break from the studio to focus on his work and tells her to reconsider their relationship during this break.
Yi-sang walks Ha-ri home, and she turns to him to accept this break. Ha-ri recognizes that Yi-sang needs the time to think about their relationship, but she predicts that they’ll miss each other to the point that they’ll both be hurting. She says earnestly, “I hope you return to me in regret.” Yi-sang watches Ha-ri walk away and already looks regretful.
At home, Yi-sang throws away his hormone treatment and the photo of his hand with the compliment stamp from Ha-ri. He finds the photos from their business trip in his notebook and tearfully stares at the photo of Ha-ri.
Jae-young meets Jung-won and shares their family photo from Do-ah’s first birthday photoshoot. He admits that he belatedly realized the difficulty of childcare. He apologizes for not understanding Jung-won’s hardships. Jae-young recognizes his fault in taking Jung-won’s childcare commitment for granted and for not taking parental leave to help take care of Do-ah.
Jae-young adds that they’re both proud people who love selfishly, and he suggests that they not continue with this selfish love. Jung-won asks if this is because of Ha-ri, but Jae-young maturely responds that overcoming his feelings for Ha-ri doesn’t mean that he’ll return to Jung-won. Things are different now.
Jung-won accepts Jae-young’s decision, and he encourages her to continue living the life she loves. He doesn’t doubt her love for Do-ah and says that their daughter will appreciate seeing her mother pursuing her dreams. “Be a good doctor, and I’ll be a good father,” he says.
Ha-ri calls Yi-sang non-stop after work, but he doesn’t pick up. She runs downstairs to the studio, but she only finds Soo-chul, who tells her that Yi-sang notified him of his leave without a return date. Concerned about Yi-sang’s disappearance, Ha-ri runs to his apartment and cries for him. She can’t accept that he would leave so suddenly, and inside his dark apartment, we see his engagement ring.
Devastated by this break-up, Ha-ri can barely keep in her emotions as she walks home. She crouches on the sidewalk in tears, heartbroken. On the other side of the street, Yi-sang cries as he watches Ha-ri in anguish, but he doesn’t go to her.
Three months later, Ha-ri waits for Eu-tteum and walks into work with updates from him on their marketing contracts. He helps her open her milk carton, and they head into another busy day of work. Vice President Joo stops by to asks for an update on their profits, and he says that he can’t defend their efforts for much longer.
Ha-ri and her reporter team have been drafting more marketing proposals than writing articles to secure enough funding for their magazine, and Ha-ri heads out to meet with more potential partners. Ha-ri and Eu-tteum are attached at the hip as they hop from meeting to meeting with potential marketing partners, and Eu-tteum seems to appreciate their time together.
With Eu-tteum working hard outside the office, Manager Kim doesn’t have a lunch buddy, and he runs into Soo-chul, who’s also looking for a friend. As they each lunch together, Manager Kim tries to convince Soo-chul to enjoy an idol girl group music video with him, but Soo-chul refuses. He’s critical of older men like them finding enjoyment from young idol stars, and Manager Kim sulks at that comment.
Putting his phone away in shame, Manager Kim puts expresses his innocent enjoyment of idol groups and young people who are vibrantly pursuing their dreams. He wants to live vicariously through them, since they don’t have the same vigor anymore. Aww.
Eu-tteum catches Ha-ri zoning off and brings her back to reality with cold drinks. He boldly calls her by her name instead of using professional titles and then takes it a step further by dropping the formalities. Triggered by the disrespect, Ha-ri clenches her fist and chases Eu-tteum to scold him, and that brings her back to the present.
As they walk back from a long day, Ha-ri recognizes Eu-tteum’s attempts to distract her and says that he doesn’t need to be concerned about her. Eu-tteum reminds Ha-ri that he liked her and says that in her lowest moments, she should remember that there was someone who admired everything about her. Ha-ri smiles in gratitude and returns the encouragement — that whenever someone scolds him for being senseless, he should remember that his words uplifted someone’s spirits.
When Ha-ri gets home, she glances down the street longingly, hoping for Yi-sang to appear. She continues to work at home and looks through Yi-sang’s social media for any trace of his whereabouts.
At Jambi Studio, Eu-tteum and Hyo-joo work with Soo-chul on a photoshoot, and Eu-tteum notes that their sponsors wanted a king theme. Hyo-joo scorns that they’re not like the Kingdom of Corea, or something (lol). Eu-tteum tells Hyo-joo that he’s trying to be unhappy around her, but Hyo-joo says that she’s no longer mad at him. When he hears that she’s over him, Eu-tteum notes his unexpected disappointment.
Soo-chul pulls Eu-tteum aside and asks if Manager Kim also tries to show him idol girl group music videos. Eu-tteum nods but then shares the backstory about Manager Kim’s interest in the idol group. Manager Kim had scolded her reserved daughter for not wanting to go to school, and she didn’t talk to him for 3 years. Her daughter only watched the music videos, so Manager Kim watched the videos to try to get closer with his daughter, and now they’re like friends, even going to concerts together.
Feeling apologetic, Soo-chul studies the group, Precious, and prepares the fan chant for Manager Kim as he leaves the office. Manager Kim looks touched by Soo-chul’s consideration and cheers along with him.
The next day, Manager Kim shows off his Precious concert tickets to Eu-tteum and shares that Soo-chul bought them for him. He’s in a good mood and seems hopeful about their advertisement deal today. In the advertisement meeting, Team Leader Park from their partner company asks Manager Kim for help with buying Precious concert tickets, since he’s a part of the fan club. Team Leader Park promises that it won’t affect their deal, but it seems like a trap.
Manager Kim asks if they could consider extending their contract from 6 months to one year, and Team Leader Park defensively claims that these concert tickets aren’t a bribe and that he’s simply asking as a close connection. And as a close contact, he’s willing to extend the contract to one year.
Reading between the lines, Manager Kim reaches into his pocket for the tickets, and Eu-tteum tries to stop him. Manager Kim silently assures him that it’s fine and offers the tickets to Team Leader Park, who then orders the contract to be extended. As Team Leader Park leaves, Eu-tteum demands that he return the tickets. He calls out this exchange as a bribe and says that the representative should not have requested a personal favor to do business.
Team Leader Park is offended by Eu-tteum’s comment and scolds his lack of business sensibility. But Eu-tteum says that he’s learned to carry out business without tolerating unfair treatment from partners, and he trusts that Team Leader Park is a fair and reasonable person. Manager Kim takes credit for Ha-ri’s teaching and takes back the tickets. Then, he pushes for the one-year contract, since a verbal agreement is still an agreement.
Ha-ri receives a call from the infertile couple interview subjects and learns that they’re at the hospital due to a risk of premature birth. She heads to the studio to meet with Soo-chul, who’s negotiating pay for freelance photographer Sang-hee. He says that he misses Yi-sang but quickly tries to wrap up that topic at the sight of Ha-ri. Sang-hee mentions that Yi-sang is back, and Soo-chul tries to shut her up and dismiss her.
Ha-ri doesn’t linger on the topic and updates Soo-chul on their interview couple, who are at the hospital. They need to be on call to rush to the hospital to follow their story at a moment’s notice. Soo-chul first mentions that this was Yi-sang’s project but quickly agrees to step in.
While watching her twin boys, Eun-young meets with Ha-ri and updates her on her almost-successful interview. She made it to the final round, but she declined the offer after hearing about the hours, which wouldn’t accommodate proper childcare. She asks about an update on Yi-sang, and Ha-ri says that he’s back but hasn’t contact her yet. Eun-young and Ha-ri commiserate over their struggles — finding a job, being in love, taking care of kids, and giving birth — and blame each other for making the other cry.
Ha-ri wanders into her regular gopchang pub and runs into Jae-young, who freezes mid-soju shot when she enters. He updates Ha-ri on Do-ah and his new parenting schedule with Jung-won, and they seem be back to their usual rapport. Ha-ri asks if Jae-young has committed to his primary role as Do-ah’s father, and Jae-young says that the world isn’t generous to a divorced man with a child.
Ha-ri says that everyone has their shortcomings, and nothing disqualifies you from being in love. She asks, “Whether you can’t find love or lost love, how could a person live without loving anyone?” Jae-young wonders if love is enough for forgiveness and if sacrifice is necessary for true love. He says that Ha-ri was especially selfless when it came to love, losing herself and being overly accommodating of her partner.
Jae-young encourages her to reflect on her relationships to find true love. He wonders if Yi-sang left seeking this reflection, but Ha-ri thinks that he left for good. Jae-young regrets that someone as lovable and deserving of love as Ha-ri may end up living alone. He advises, “Find someone like me who recognizes your worth, and if that’s Han Yi-sang, then you’ll end together.” He cheers her on with a fist bump.
As they leave, Ha-ri asks Jae-young if he’ll continue to frequent this gopchang place, and Jae-young says that he can’t, now that he knows Ha-ri still comes here. He admits that it’s difficult for him to act like her friend and wishes her luck. They part with a high five, and Ha-ri watches her friend leave with a sad look.
When Ha-ri gets home, she ponders how to love, but her thoughts are interrupted by an urgent call from the husband of the interview couple. She rushes to the hospital at the news of the wife’s labor, and she notifies Soo-chul on her way.
At the hospital, the husband updates her on the situation and says that they only have a short window of time to photograph the process. He’s called into the labor room, and Ha-ri urgently calls Soo-chul. He doesn’t pick up, but we see someone else rushing towards her. Ha-ri turns around to find Yi-sang running toward her, and she looks at him with disbelief.
I was bit unimpressed by the predictability of this episode with Yi-sang’s sudden and misguided cold feet (a.k.a. noble idiocy). The coincidental run-in with his ex would have sufficed to serve as a moment for closure, but somehow, that led to jumps in conclusion about his current relationship with Ha-ri. The key difference I see between Yi-sang’s relationship with In-ah and his relationship with Ha-ri is in their priorities. Both women dreamed of having children, but when it came to deciding between love and a baby, they made different choices. For In-ah, the inevitable hardship that would have strained their relationship was too burdensome, but Ha-ri was willing to endure all of that for love.
Even though I didn’t fully approve of Yi-sang’s approach, I think the break gave Ha-ri the space and time to reflect. Time and again, Ha-ri had been advised by Mom and her friends that she should protect her heart. I think Ha-ri loves very fully, so there’s value in forcing objective reflection, especially if it carves out more space for herself in the relationship. I think Jae-young gave her perfect advice and kindling for reflection — that she lays bare her heart and pours selflessly into a relationship, that she’s worthy of love and should find someone who sees that.
Obviously, Jae-young sees that, but he knows he’s out of the running. I appreciate this version of Jae-young — the mature man-child who is self-aware, honest, and supportive. As I’ve mentioned, I really wish we got to this version of Jae-young sooner so that I could have agonized over some second lead syndrome that I know Park Byung-eun is capable of inducing. I’m bitter, but I guess it’s better late than never for some respectful boundary-keeping in the friendzone.
As we enter the finale, I’m expecting rainbows and butterflies, loose ends tied up in pretty bows, and a wild Yi-sang returning in regret. I came in with different expectations for the show, but I’m leaving with an appreciation for a show that honestly confronted the challenges of meeting societal expectations that are tied to age, a show that is true to the Jang Nara rom-com reign and also introduced me to the delightful rom-com potential of Go Joon, a show that wears its heart and hilarity on its sleeve. It wasn’t perfect, but it was warm and sincere, which I definitely don’t take for granted. This was a light comfy show that lifted my spirits over the past few weeks, and I hope we see some of that cheerful sparkle as the show wraps up. Onto the finale!