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Navillera: Episode 3

In the face of our ballerino-in-training’s unrelenting kindness and determination, a certain surly ballerino’s ice-cold heart is starting to thaw. Coming up against familial adversity and crises of faith, our leads start to inspire and push each other onwards.

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

At the billiards hall, Ho-bum is spoiling for a fight with Chae-rok, but it won’t happen on Deok-chul’s watch. He rushes across the room and pulls the boys apart. Momentarily confused, Ho-bum asks who he is to butt in and he laughs to hear Deok-chul is Chae-rok’s manager.

Ho-bum asks Deok-chul if he’s aware that Chae-rok’s father went to prison for assault. He beat Ho-bum up and now Ho-bum blames him — and by extension Chae-rok — for ruining his life. Deok-chul states plainly that Chae-rok didn’t hit him and hasn’t done anything wrong, and Chae-rok stares at him wide-eyed.

Ho-bum stops them when they try to leave, mockingly saying that he’ll pay for the food if Chae-rok dances ballet on a billiards table. Deok-chul tries to pull them apart as they shove at each other.

Before things can escalate any further Deok-chul pushes between them, shouting that he’ll dance instead. In the moment of shocked silence that follows, he quickly issues a bet on a game of billiards: if Ho-bum wins Deok-chul will dance, if Deok-chul wins Ho-bum has to apologize to Chae-rok.

Deok-chul’s very good at billiards and Chae-rok looks on impressed as he beats Ho-bum easily. Ho-bum throws the money for the food on the table and stalks off, without apologizing.

On their way out of the building, Deok-chul claims to have lost his phone and sends Chae-rok on ahead while he goes back for it. He goes over to where Ho-bum’s eating and tells him that he’s misjudged the type of person Chae-rok is, and that he should leave him alone. “Chae-rok is going to soar like an eagle.” Ho-bum stares at him, stunned, while Chae-rok listens from the doorway, hidden from sight.

When Deok-chul goes outside it’s raining heavily, and he’s happy that Chae-rok waited for him. Chae-rok hands him his helmet and the only waterproof jacket they have, avoiding his eyes. Ho-bum watches from the window as they drive away together, vowing that he’ll break Chae-rok’s wings and stop him soaring.

As they ride back in the pouring rain, Chae-rok asks Deok-chul where he learned to play billiards. When Deok-chul says he used to go after work sometimes, Chae-rok mutters that he was way too good for a casual player, and Deok-chul’s pleased at the compliment. Chae-rok asks if he’s going to tattle on him to Seung-joo for doing deliveries, and Deok-chul replies that he already has. Chae-rok lets out an irritated roar as he drives on.

Seung-joo is at Sori’s place, playing the piano as she opens a bottle of wine. He’s frustrated about Chae-rok’s lack of focus and threatens to send him back to school. Sori laughs and reminds him that he’d once said he’d rather quit ballet than teach, when she’d asked him to take Bom on. After Seung-joo had been forced to retire due to injury he’d almost given up, but Sori says she understood why he changed his mind when she saw Chae-rok dance. Chae-rok does the kind of ballet Seung-joo always wanted to do. Even if Seung-joo can’t perform himself, he can nurture Chae-rok and bring that style of ballet into the world through him.

At the studio the next day, Chae-rok gets chewed out by Seung-joo for working another job. He questions Chae-rok’s commitment to ballet and tells him he needs to figure out his priorities. Bom and Anna try to intervene and Seung-joo snaps at them to stay out of it. Then Deok-chul starts to interrupt and Seung-joo reflexively shouts at him before realising who he’s speaking to and apologizing profusely. He goes into his office to get away from the spectators, Chae-rok muttering “traitor” at Deok-chul as he follows.

In his office, Seung-joo asks Chae-rok why he thinks he asked him to teach Deok-chul. He says that he couldn’t care less about whether Deok-chul learns ballet, he’s just using him to try and change Chae-rok, but if he’s not willing to change then it’s a waste of everyone’s time for Deok-chul to be there.

Deok-chul, standing outside the window, can hear what’s being said and looks a little hurt at Seung-joo’s dismissal of him and concerned at the prospect that he might be sent away. Chae-rok unenthusiastically promises to work harder and Seung-joo orders him to start evening practices, looking unconvinced.

Deok-chul and Chae-rok have lunch together at the cafe Deok-chul’s friend delivers for. Chae-rok says he doesn’t want a proper meal because he can’t jump when he’s full, and Deok-chul makes a note of it, offering to bring him a lunchbox if he gets hungry. Annoyed by the fussing, Chae-rok snaps at him to go home and stretch, before leaving without him.

Chae-rok goes to work at the restaurant after practice. Se-jong says that Ho-bum might come back — Chae-rok doesn’t mention that they’ve had another run-in already — and tells Chae-rok to be confident if he sees him again. Chae-rok remembers Deok-chul standing up for him and telling Ho-bum it wasn’t his fault, and looks conflicted.

Chae-rok opens a door for Eun-ho, who has her hands full, and she looks surprised at this uncharacteristic generosity. Later that evening, some customers show up to find that they have no reservation. Eun-ho didn’t write it down and is about to confess to the manager when Chae-rok says that it’s his mistake.

After her shift, Eun-ho runs into Chae-rok and asks him why he covered for her earlier. He says he’s just a part-timer and it doesn’t matter if he gets in a bit of trouble, unlike her. She’s about to apologize when he cuts across her to apologize first, telling her that he understands because he feels as passionately about ballet.

As Hae-nam nods off on the couch, Deok-chul sneaks off to the bathroom to wash his leotard, pretending he’s washing his socks when she catches him. He spends the evening practicing his stretches like Chae-rok told him to, confusing and irritating Hae-nam.

After work, Chae-rok goes back to the studio to practice. Seung-joo isn’t happy and makes him practice spins again and again. He’s so exhausted when he gets home that he falls straight into bed.

Deok-chul is up early jogging again. It’s going better than his first attempt — his fitness is improving. He calls Chae-rok to wake him but Chae-rok’s too ill to even grump at him. Deok-chul remembers Chae-rok giving him the jacket when it was raining and calls up Seung-joo to ask him for Chae-rok’s address. He’s interrupted a conversation between Seung-joo and Sori about upcoming plans to enter Chae-rok in a ballet competition, but he gets the information he needs.

Deok-chul turns up at Chae-rok’s apartment and invites himself inside, saying that he was worried since Chae-rok lives alone. Se-jong, wondering why Chae-rok wasn’t answering his messages, joins them and gets roped into helping Deok-chul make porridge — he offers to order in, but Deok-chul says it should be made with care. Chae-rok hides under the duvet grumbling about being left alone, but is pleasantly surprised by how good the porridge is.

Hae-nam visits Young-il’s campaign office to support him after he loses another election. She tells Seong-sook to use the money she sent her to pay back Seong-san, so he’ll leave her alone. Young-il comes over to tell them that he thinks he can’t get elected because of his level of education and he’s thinking of going to college. He mentions borrowing money from Seong-san for the tuition fees and Seong-sook asks her mother despairingly, sort of jokingly, for permission to get a divorce.

Feverish, Chae-rok dreams. We see flashes of Ho-bum kneeling before Chae-rok’s dad, LEE MOO-YOUNG (Jo Sung-ha), looking afraid. A row of teenage boys are down on their hands and knees as Moo-young hits Ho-bum with a baseball bat. Moo-young is taken away by the police as the boys watch on; Chae-rok running up as they drive away. Chae-rok pleads with Ho-bum to help his dad and Ho-bum punches him. A surgeon tells Chae-rok that his mother has passed away.

He wakes to find Deok-chul still there, having cleaned and done the laundry while Chae-rok was asleep. Deok-chul’s made him more porridge and plum tea and fusses over Chae-rok as he pushes him out the door. After he’s gone, Chae-rok looks distressed at the encouraging sticky notes Deok-chul left in his freshly stocked fridge and asks why Deok-chul is doing this to him.

Meanwhile, Moo-young stares at Chae-rok’s number on his phone. He hovers over the call button but doesn’t press it, then starts a text but doesn’t send it. He tells his friend that he’s taking a trip to Seoul.

Hae-nam’s Hwatu cards predict that joyful news will arrive, which she assumes means that Seong-gwan will go back to the hospital. She asks Deok-chul why he didn’t go with her to Young-il’s campaign meeting and he replies that he didn’t want to pressure him, which she sniffs at. Deok-chul leaves again, lying to Hae-nam that he’s going to meet a friend.

To Deok-chul’s surprise, Chae-rok’s already at the studio warming up when he gets there. He awkwardly tells Deok-chul that his plum tea helped a lot. Chae-rok supervises Deok-chul at the barre, guiding him through the positions gently and patiently. As he watches him, Chae-rok asks Deok-chul why he wants to do ballet if he knows it’s too late for him to become a dancer and Deok-chul replies that he wants to soar at least once in his lifetime.

In his office, Seong-joo tells Chae-rok that he wants him to perform at the Sevilla International Ballet Competition next year. He doesn’t care about winning, he just wants to present their style of ballet. Chae-rok refuses, saying that all the judges care about is technique.

Just then Sori arrives and immediately tears into Chae-rok, questioning his lack of ambition and his confidence in himself. She soon turns her attention to Seung-joo’s teaching method, accusing him of failing his student, and Chae-rok leaves the room as it turns into a full-blown argument between them. After he’s gone, Seung-joo and Sori grin at each other, congratulating themselves on their performance. Seung-joo asks what she meant during their “fight,” about why she asked him to teach Bom but Sori shrugs it off unconvincingly.

At home, Hae-nam finds Deok-chul’s leggings hanging up to dry in the lean-to. She remembers Deok-chul washing his “socks” secretly in the bathroom and when he gets home she confronts him. He comes clean to her about learning ballet and she’s very upset.

In angry disbelief, Hae-nam accuses him of acting like an old fool and behaving shamelessly, and — more importantly in her eyes — being an embarrassment to their children. Refusing to listen, she forbids him from doing ballet and cuts up his dance clothes before storming out, leaving a glassy-eyed Deok-chul holding the remnants of his leggings.

While paying his respects on his mother’s birthday, Chae-rok runs into Moo-young at the columbarium. They go for a meal and Chae-rok blows up at his father when asked how he’s doing. Moo-young hasn’t been in touch since he left prison and Chae-rok is hurt and convinced he doesn’t care about him. He says that his father should be able to tell that he obviously isn’t doing well, and leaves in tears.

Eun-ho is surprised to run into her uncle Seung-gwan at her favorite bar, although he points out that he’s the one who introduced her to the place. She’s there to work on some translations for her branch manager’s thesis that she’s been asked to do as a “favor.” Seung-gwan says she should report her but Eun-ho wants to wait until after she gets the job; she intends to pass with the highest grade. Seung–gwan sighs that she’s just like her father.

Meanwhile, Ae-ran has got the job and is due to start next week. With bad grace, Seong-san grudgingly gives her permission to work as long as she still fulfills her duties as a wife and mother. Unsurprisingly, Ae-ran is unimpressed with this declaration and insulted that he thinks she needs his permission to make her own decisions. Seong-san tells her to compromise with him and she retorts that he didn’t compromise with her 20 years ago when Eun-ho was born. She stalks off, telling him to pretend not to know her at work. Just then, Seong-san receives a notification that Seong-sook has transferred him the money she owed and he tries to call her and his mother, frustrated.

Deok-chul looks in on Hae-nam, who’s lying in bed in the dark with her back to him, and leaves the house. When Chae-rok arrives at the studio for evening practice he finds Deok-chul already there, lost in thought. He says that he had nowhere else to go, and Chae-rok invites him up to the roof to talk.

Deok-chul wasn’t expecting Hae-nam to get quite so upset when she found out about the ballet, but he’s going to keep doing it secretly if she doesn’t change her mind. He continues that people have stopped him dancing all his life, but he’s finally reached the point where he’s less scared of his family’s reaction than the possibility that soon, he won’t be physically capable of doing what he wants to do. What if, eventually he can’t even remember what it is he wants to do? The present is precious to him so he won’t hesitate.

The next morning Chae-rok asks Seung-joo to meet at a cafe and tells him that he’ll enter the Sevilla competition. He knows that Seung-joo wants him to join a foreign ballet company, and this is a great opportunity for him to get more experience. Moreover, Seung-joo performed at the Palais Garnier and he wants to do the same. Chae-rok then tells Seung-joo that although he might not be interested in Deok-chul learning ballet, Chae-rok is, leaving Seung-joo surprised and thoughtful.

Deok-chul is wearing sweats when Chae-rok gets to the studio, not yet having replaced the ballet clothes Hae-nam cut to pieces. He’s here secretly again today. Chae-rok takes a photo of Deok-chul in position at the barre and tells him to send it to his family and stop hiding. Chae-rok encourages him to be bold; he deserves to put himself first for once. Deok-chul shares the photo in the family chat. Ae-ran is in awe, but everyone else just looks stunned.

 
COMMENTS

The cat’s finally out of the bag, and next episode we’ll get to see how Deok-chul’s family reacts to his ballet dreams. I’m glad that Ae-ran reacted positively, because I think that Deok-chul might need an ally and I hope that he and Ae-ran will be able to support each other. There are a lot of similarities between them: they both sacrificed their desires for their families, but now they’ve reached a time in their lives when they’re able to put themselves first, despite opposition. It’s an interesting contrast to Seong-gwan. He quit work at the hospital because he didn’t enjoy it, but he still doesn’t seem happy now. Perhaps he’ll be inspired by his father’s example.

Hae-nam’s reaction was more dramatic than I was expecting. I thought she’d be unhappy, but she was almost in tears. It was such an overreaction that it makes me wonder if there’s more to it. I hope so, it would be nice to see some more depth in her character.

I’ve been wondering about Hae-nam and Deok-chul’s relationship. There have been some scenes of them together at home in the evening, but they seem to lead reasonably separate lives. Before he took up ballet Deok-chul was spending his days alone and bored. His friend even recommended spending quality time with his wife but Deok-chul didn’t seem to seriously consider it. Now he’s spending most of his time at the studio or with Chae-rok, and Hae-nam barely seems to feel his absence. It would be nice to get some more insight into their marriage.

Chae-rok is starting to open up bit by bit. In the premiere he kept his misery tightly bottled up, refusing to even mention his father’s prison release to Seung-joo until he refused to teach him anymore, but on two separate occasions this episode — when confronting Ho-bum and Moo-young — his emotions boiled over and he said outright that he’s not okay. Now he’s admitted that to himself, he can hopefully start to make some changes.

I think part of the reason Chae-rok is so hostile to Deok-chul is because Deok-chul reminds him of his father — or rather the way his father used to be — and Chae-rok’s outburst at Moo-young shows how badly he was hurt by his actions. The matching sticky notes on the fridge link them together more explicitly, but Deok-chul’s an older man who tries to care for Chae-rok, worrying about his health and feeding him. Deok-chul stood up to Ho-bum for him, and unhesitatingly took Chae-rok’s side and absolved him of all blame for what happened in the past. Deok-chul’s proud of Chae-rok and believes in him, stating that he’s going to “soar like an eagle” as though it’s an immutable fact. Caring is a vulnerability and Chae-rok’s spent a lot of time fighting it, but this episode he seems to have finally given in and accepted that Deok-chul is someone that he can trust and rely on.

Chae-rok mentioned to Ho-bum that he has doubts about what he’s doing and about his future, but I’m not entirely sure what the underlying issue is. From what he said to Eun-ho, he still seems passionate about ballet. Does he lack confidence? Is it self-doubt? Is it all linked to his father? But the rooftop conversation with Deok-chul about how precious the present is and how he should act now because he may not actually be capable one day of doing what he wants seems to have given Chae-rok the push he needed. And in return Chae-rok gave Deok-chul the push he needed to confront his family. Now that they’re united, I think we can look forward to watching these two support and inspire each other to greater heights.

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Continuing to love the leads’ growing relationship. Love how Chae-rok begins to see harabogi in a new light: pool hustler, motorcycle rider, makes mean abalone and beef porridge, etc. ☺️ And he’s also taken on being his protector, nurse, aside from being his manager and student. He’s not just a delusional, annoying old man anymore!

I’m sometimes guilty of dismissing elderly people like my grandparents but I do realize now what a wealth of wisdom and experience they can teach, if we’re willing to listen and pursue them as mentors. (Okay, getting off my soapbox now)

It was a little shocking to see that jockstrap haha so I understand halmoni’s initial reaction. But again, (I’ve mentioned this on Twitter) how cute is harabogi at the barre and now we see Chae-rok acting as his IG photographer! 🥰 I just love how heart-warming show is.

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in @branwen's screencap above, the alleged "jockstrap" seems more like a "panty?" i'm not sure which is more horrifying for halmoni, but i'm glad harabogi took the bull by its horns in the most innocent way possible😅

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I bet that Ho-bum was about going to jail, but damn, he's still on this show yet. Ho-bum might be a villain when I think he was a part of teenage gang member.

Meanwhile, Deok-chul and Chae-rok's good relationship affairs continued to holding my own heart since episode one with my tears fell off my face because Deok-chul soon to be a senior/oldest ballet dancer.

I knew that Palace Galais was in Paris (France), but how Deok-chul and Chae-rok/Park In-hwan and Song Kang would go to this place? I knew that in real life, shooting/filming the Palace Galais scenes was only filmed in South Korea due to ongoing Covid pandemic.

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Thanks @branwen for the recap! Like you, I really want to know more about the relationship between Deok-chul and Hae-nam: when she destroyed his dance clothes with the scissors, it felt so brutal. It seemed to me that this was not a woman who was simply frustrated; this was a woman either scared or in pain. So what's that all about?

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I found Deok-chul's wife's reaction pretty violent, cutting his clothes ? Just like that? I mean she's an adult, an old one, she should be wiser.

It was nice to see Chae-rok helping Grandpa to tell to his family what he's doing. I think it will make everybody rethinking their own life.

I'm not really interested by Chae-rok's past, I just wanna see him stop sulking all the time and dancing.

Seung-joo and his ex-wife are super fun teachers, professional but caring too. I love their interactions.

My biggest complaint is about Eun-ho's actress. If her character must have a love line with Chae-rok, I would have prefered an actress with more presence on screen. She's pretty transparent for me. I understand she's a pushover character, but it's more than that.

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I also found Hae-Nam's reaction pretty aggressive, but then I understand it (sort of). During the family lunch last week, she said that DeokChul's wish was that he didn't become a burden to their family, and then she told him that his children are her life. She doesn't think about herself of her husband as individuals, but as parents that are in this world only to help their children: there's no room to personal dreams. And that's how she raised her children and that explains so much SeongSan and SeongSuk behaviours. When Deok-Chul "rebels" and decides to go individual, she sees it as a betray of how she's lived her whole life. And also, he's kept that away form her. He didn't explain: I want to dance. I feel there's much more to their relation and we will find out why she was so visceral about it.

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You're right. This reminds me of a simple fact that you are you no matter how many roles you play; You may be a nurse, a daughter to your parents, a wife to your husband, a friend to your friend, but most importantly you are you, yourself. Mothers sometimes devote their life to their children so they completely forget about their own life besides being a mother. I can't speak for someone else, but I'll try my best not to follow such path.

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I understand why she's angry but you don't cut things like that. It's so petty as a gesture.

Overall, why the father dancing is a burden to the children? He didn't quit his job to start a new career, he's just using his own time to do something he loves...

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I’m only speaking about what I know about dramas, just think about what a “scandal” in SK terms means. I totally get you and agree with you. I can’t understand how dancing can be something to be ashamed of, but then I think about how it is depicted in dramas how shameful it is that people gossip about you (for instance: in When the weather is nice the fact that Eun Seob was adopted was still a “shameful” thing even 20 years after it happened...).

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I think he might be in the society that people tend to have the idea of how life should be like, how you should act according to the role you play in the society, so everyone is unknowingly afraid of being branded not conforming to the norm. In this case, ballet might seem like an activity unsuitable for his gender and age. Something they thought it was inappropriate for him even when in fact it is his own life; He can do anything he likes..

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I also think she was more upset that she didn't know her husband of 40+ years. Not only did she not know this side of him, but also the fact that he lied to her. I think her reaction was anger due to this rather than ballet itself. I am guessing. Or, ballet is not seen as something a 'respectable' man would do? Isn't this the reason his father refused to let him dance?
Like others said, i want to see a little bit more about their relationship too.

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Ballet is not regarded as manly in many countries, so for many it wouldn't be respectable.

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great analysis @eazal. i thought about this for a long time after watching, but couldn't really put it into words. think you nailed it.

a funny add-on @shichybot thought of was that halmoni must've been pretty shocked about the jockstrap/ballet panty that deokchul wore🤭 but your analysis seems a bit more sensible.

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Thank you for the lovely recap Branwen! You've captured everything so reading the recap made me remember all the little details of the ep again.

Just other Beanies, I found some scenes pretty violent. The first one is when the mother cut the ballet costume of Haraboji: That was plain cruelty. My mom used to throw a toy down the stairs once when my sister and I were a kid and my sis has never forgotten about it ever since. No matter how upset you are, there is a line you shouldn't cross. Another scene that I thought was quite upsetting for me is the scene when the Seung-joo told Chae-rok that he wasn't interested in teaching Haraboji but just used him to teach Chae-rok; that was heartbreaking. Part of my heart wanted to believe that he didn't really mean that, but I am not sure if that was the case.

Apart from that, I love the story. The story about people's kindness and a simple yet wholesome life is my favorite genre. Watching this one sometimes feels like watching a Disney film without all the cartoons. There is a universal message there and it is 'to continue to spread kinds because it can change people's lives.'

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*kindness

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I agree that the scene where she cuts up his ballet costume was hard to watch. I also felt that his wife went too far (even though I understand that she was upset).
I also love this drama for the very same reason :) With so much negativity in this world it is a wonderful reminder of human kindness and perseverance :)

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Yes, yes, yes! I understand that there are times when we can be so angry we want others to know how much angry we are, so we might tend to do things we regret later; but watching her cutting his ballet clothes like that was just heartbreaking for me. This is especially so when done by someone we hold dear. 🥺

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I really wanted to hug him in that scene.

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I find Deok-Chul's family so fascinating, specially SeongSang. It would be to easy to despise him because he only thinks of himself in the first place, but it's so coherent with the way he was raised, from the glimpses we've seen. HaeNam's over reaction on learning about DeokChul learning ballet is exactly the same as SeongSan giving permission to his wife to go back to work. I know they are different things but they come exactly from the same place: family is more important than the individual, every person in the family has its own place that should never change for the greater good.

As for Chae Rok, I like how he's learning to trust (and be less defensive): harabogi first, but also SeungJoo's advice about his career. He's been through so much, we've only got a glimpse, but he's been so lonely, it hurts even without knowing everything.

I'm loving SeungJoo and SoRi's interactions, they might have divorced but they act as a married couple. Whenever they're together onscreen I'm smiling.

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I mean Seung-joo and Sori's rapport is the best one I've ever seen for an ex-married couple both in TV shows and in real life! They're so cool! I often smile at them when I saw them on my screen. They're just cute as an ex-married couple!

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I sometimes think Seung-Joo forgot they are divorced! . lol.
They are so cute together. I love their scenes too!

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I won't spoil the next episode, but I don't think it's too much of a give-away, especially considering what we've seen so far, to say that I disagree that Hae-nam and Seong-san are coming from the same place, as regards their reaction to their spouse's independence.
I agree with you on the place Hae-nam's disapproval come from: People of that generation, even in my country, have very fixed ideas about how people of any age should behave, and acting outside those expectations is heavily frowned upon. Her concern is about the impact Deok-Chul's actions will have on the family unit as a whole.
In Seong-san's case, though, I feel like he's twisted that idea to make it all about him. To him, the people around him, whether his wife, his daughter, or his parents, should always act in a way that benefits or keeps from humiliating him. For example, his anger at learning Ae-Ran will be working at his company seems to come from the fear of people at the workplace finding out that his wife will be working there, as if he is ashamed that someone whose only role, in his opinion, is to take care of the home and their child has broken out of that mould he's put her in. Seong-san's disapproval, therefore, is rooted mostly in fear of how others will perceive him, with no regard to the others in his family. That is why I dislike him so much.
Thank you for listening to my TED Talk.

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I agree with your point about Seeing-san; I think he hold his frustration and perhaps anger at his parents for not having been able to provide him with what other children had when he was young. People around him have to conform to what are expected of them based upon his belief; like he wants to control those around him. I get what he's coming from, and also think that the redemption arc for him is being built and will come soon enough.

Having said that, when he told Ae-ran that she could work at 'his' company but also told her not to forget how to be a wife and a mother really irritated me. How could you say that to a woman who had served him and the family for 20 years and had to sacrifice what she loved for him. I was, gosh, so angry.

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It's called patronizing, sexism and patriarchy.

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@shinayame You make some really great points and I can see it from both @eazal perspective and yours. Also, I enjoyed your Ted Talk :)

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@eazal "family is more important than the individual, every person in the family has its own place that should never change for the greater good."
You make such a great point! This is it exactly!

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I also love Seunjoo and Sori's interactions!

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Deok-chul's maturity and unconditional kindness is transforming Chae-rok. The family is frightened by change. Their father has barely been allowed to express an opinion so far. At his birthday dinner, his wife spoke for him. Her view that she lives for her children was assumed to be his too. It's so good to see him have the courage (and desperate desire) to go against the pressure of the family. He is acutely aware that you only live once. The family on the other hand are holding each other back for reasons that become clearer in the next episodes.

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I dislike it when the wife assumes that her husband feels the same as she does. I feel like shouting, "Let him speak!" I want Deok-chul to begin to assert himself more an express his own feelings more openly with his family.

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Deok-chul is speaking- through his actions. Actions really do speak louder than words.

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@oldawyer True.

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Thank you for this recap @branwen! I want to say that the moment when Deok-chul beat Ho-bum was incredibly satisfying! Also, I do believe that Chae-rok's reactions to Deok-chul's acts of kindness are related to his feelings about his own father. In many ways, Deok-chul is Chae-rok's surrogate dad, behaving in all the ways that he wishes his own father would behave. I also appreciate that Deok-chul told Ho-bum that Chae-rok is not responsible for the actions of his father. I am also hoping that we will learn more about the event that led to Chae-rok's father being incarcerated.

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There is so much to this show that we are loving so much. I can answer one question here though: Deok-chul and Hae-nam's relationship is not a bad one. They do not talk that much to each other in part because they are talked out- they have simply run out of things to say. This is not that uncommon for people of their age when there is very little that is new in their lives- and Hae-nam in particular is comfortable with this fact.

Hae-nam does not realize it yet but Deok-chul's decision to pursue ballet may actually be good for her as well.

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I actually feel like Chae Rok isn’t just simply cold and sulky. He certainly is both, but I strongly suspect he also has depression, which would probably affect how he acts. Everyone struggles with things but Chae Rok doesn’t seem to have a life outside of work and ballet. He goes home and just lies in bed, his house is a mess, he doesn’t eat enough or take care of himself...in my opinion it’s clear why he isn’t as motivated as he used to be.

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