My Liberation Notes: Episodes 13-14
It’s a rough week, folks, so prepare yourselves. Despite the money and status, our returned club manager can’t shake thoughts of what he left behind. In his absence, unexpected tragedy strikes our family, and they’re left to pick up the pieces as best they can.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
We jump back and forth this week in the timeline as we learn what’s been going on with our characters over the past three years. The episode opens in the present with Gu as Chairman Shin’s right-hand man, managing the host club’s affairs and helping shield Chairman Shin’s shady dealings from the police.
No more is the quiet, nature-loving, relaxed Gu – now he’s the tense, exhausted, scaring-money-out-of-young-women Gu. He looks just as miserable as he did when we first met him albeit much more expensively miserable.
He still thinks of Mi-jung from time to time, and once, even calls his subordinate — who he seems to give random names to — Mi-jung. Gu finally can’t take it anymore and hops on a train back to Sanpo.
Before finding out how that turns out, we jump back to right after he left to catch up with Mi-jung. On the surface, she seems to be doing well. But she’s being reckless and taking dangerous walks alone at night. Now she’s the one facing off with wild dogs, wanting to bleed. Although, she’s so badass the dog ends up running away.
Mi-jung is angry and sad about being abandoned, but she tries to convince herself someone who ran from happiness isn’t worth it. Of course, that doesn’t help much. Her ability to bottle things up keeps her family from knowing how much she’s hurting. That is, until a neighbor asks Hye-sook about their lost dog. She’s naturally confused but looks like someone punched her in the gut when the neighbor says she caught Mi-jung sobbing about losing her dog last month.
Meanwhile, Chang-hee makes the bold decision to quit his job. When Ki-jung outs him about it to their parents, it leads to another tiff with his dad. Chang-hee seems to get through to him a little this time, though, when he calls his dad out on his unfair treatment. Chang-hee may be lacking, but he’s never done anything terrible. Why can’t his dad acknowledge his hard work and support his taking a break for a while?
Of the three siblings, Ki-jung is doing the best, enjoying time with her new boyfriend. Hye-sook wants to meet him and manages to convince Ki-jung to let her observe stealthily. She sits behind them at a restaurant to catch a glimpse of Tae-hoon.
Hye-sook is clearly pleased with him and can’t help herself from approaching. She comes to the table and says she’s ordered them some extra food, beaming at Tae-hoon all the while to his bafflement. Ki-jung is about to crawl under the table.
Then, we jump ahead again to Gu. After getting off in Sanpo and waiting at the train station for a while, he ends up going to Mi-jung’s house. He’s baffled when a strange woman comes out of the house and calls Je-ho “yeobo” (term of address for a spouse). WHAT?!
The family photos are down, and the kids’ rooms are empty. Je-ho says they all moved to Seoul. In a completely unexpected turn of events, Je-ho shares that Hye-sook died shortly after Gu left. She took a nap one day and didn’t wake up. Nooo! I did not see this coming. As if this family wasn’t struggling enough.
Poor Chang-hee is the one who finds her. They all struggle to cope with her sudden death – it’s clear she was the glue that held their family together. Everyone does their part and tries to keep the house running in her absence, which they realize is no easy feat.
Chang-hee, in particular, really steps up. He helps Je-ho out with work and looks after him, making sure he isn’t alone too much. They start to grow closer, which is nice to see.
As usual, Mi-jung keeps it all in while Ki-jung lets it all out. Mi-jung is quiet and stares at her phone a lot. She reads old texts and tries to call Gu, knowing it won’t go through. But she’s not the only one missing him. Chang-hee, too, wishes he could see Gu and talk to him about losing his mom.
Chang-hee at least has Hyun-ah by his side. He casually tells Hyun-ah they should get married as they stand together before his mother’s body is cremated. It’s not clear how much he means it – or how much Hyun-ah means it later when she casually says okay – but I am for this pairing.
Surprisingly, that’s not the only proposal made in grief; Ki-jung is as impulsive as ever and ends up asking Tae-hoon to marry her in the wake of losing her mother. I’m not surprised she asked, but I am surprised he says yes. Isn’t this a bit fast? Yu-rim is still barely speaking to Ki-jung, so I’m not sure how this is going to work. I was hoping this romance would grow on me, but I’m still having trouble getting behind it.
So, it seems, is Hyun-ah’s ex who is constantly teasing them. I love the weird friendship among these three. Chang-hee continues helping take care of the ex in the hospital who comments that he always felt like Chang-hee was a part of their relationship given how much Hyun-ah talked about him. Heh. They both deny anything is going on, but the ex is convinced Hyun-ah has feelings for Chang-hee and tells him so.
Poor Mi-jung can’t catch a break and deals with even more nonsense from her awful boss. He’s been cheating on his wife and has the audacity to save his girlfriend’s name as “Yeom Mi-jung” on his phone. His wife calls Mi-jung who has no problem telling her the truth (because she saw texts from her own name pop up on her boss’s computer) – he’s using her name to cover his affair.
Mi-jung apparently has long known which colleague he’s been cheating with, but she’s kept quiet. Now that she knows they’ve been using her name as a cover, she’s not having it, especially after she saw them being lovey-dovey at her mother’s funeral. She confronts her coworker and hits her in the back of the head with her purse. The woman has no problem hitting her back… and then suing her for assault.
Of course, the cheating couple lies to HR about what’s going on, and Mi-jung doesn’t have proof. And the wife is now saying she never called. Ugh. So it looks like Mi-jung might have her contract terminated and also has to pay a settlement fee for assault.
Ki-jung finds out that Mi-jung took out loan to pay the settlement fee, and that leads to Mi-jung’s loan to her ex finally coming to light. Ki-jung berates her for not telling them sooner, but Chang-hee understands why she didn’t. He damningly notes, “When have we ever relied on family?” Je-ho looks pained at that.
One positive after the tragedy of Hye-sook’s death is that Je-ho finally starts to understand how he’s created distance in his family. He relents and buys a car when Chang-hee says they need one, and they all take a family trip to the beach.
In the present, Je-ho catches Gu up and then gives him Mi-jung’s number. Gu goes to the bar and cries while telling himself he’s not sad. But then… he actually calls Mi-jung! They meet up and, aww, they’re adorable with their impossible-to-hide smiles and awkwardness. Tough Gu melts away the moment he sees her again, and he reverts to his playful, relaxed self.
Gu admonishes her for changing her number, but Mi-jung was tired of waiting for him to call. He tells her he missed her a lot, and the penultimate week ends with Mi-jung finally asking for his name, and Gu introducing himself as Gu Ja-kyung.
After all the tragedy this week, I’m glad we ended with some lightness. I love that Gu is the one who reached out to Mi-jung this time; it’s nice to see him taking the initiative for once. These two are precious together and never fail to make me smile. He’d better stick around this time. With everything our characters have gone through, I’m rooting for happy endings all the way around.