Our Blues: Episodes 11-12
Our Seoul lady returns to her home this week with a brighter future, and the people of Jeju continue their daily lives. While some find love and deepen their relationship, others break apart and change. Things cannot stay the same forever, and sometimes even the strongest friendships get tested and fail.
EPISODE 11-12 WEECAP: Dong-suk & Sun-ah, Young-ok & Jung-joon, Mi-ran & Eun-hee
After losing custody of her son, Sun-ah decides to remain in Seoul to rebuild her life and parts ways with Dong-suk. They share their goodbyes, and while neither of them may have gotten their perfect happy ending, this unexpected reunion gave both of them a glimmer of hope for a better future.
Learning from her past regrets with her dad, Sun-ah opens up about her illness with her young son and explains how she is sick but loves him very much. She will appeal the court’s decision, but she assures her ex-husband that it will happen in the future when she can be the one to support their son and not the other way around. Though her struggle with depression will be ongoing, Sun-ah takes Dong-suk’s advice, and slowly, the lights turn on in her dark world.
Dong-suk returns to Jeju with one old wound healed, and he takes over Sun-ah’s house project. However, the biggest hole in his heart continues to fester. The mere sight of his mom still enrages him, and Ok-dong’s continued silence contributes to their rift. At this rate, Dong-suk’s claims to shed tears for her only after her death may come true.
Moving on to Young-ok and Jung-joon, the new couple makes plans for their first trip together, and despite all the naysayers warning him about Young-ok being a liar, Jung-joon trusts her. They take a ferry to a smaller island where they bike along the shore and share a picnic. Enjoying each other’s company, they agree to stay the night, but make a pact to not sleep together while they are drunk.
Over drinks, they talk about what they want from the relationship—e.g., being respectful, only drinking with each other—and Young-ok’s last stipulation is to keep things bright and fun. Jung-joon asks about her parents, so she tells him that they used to be artists but quit after she and “Jae-ang” (a.k.a., disaster) were born. He wonders who Jae-ang is, but Young-ok excuses herself to use the bathroom.
While she is gone, her phone rings, and Jung-joon accidentally knocks it off the table, causing it to answer. Too curious to ignore, he picks it up, but the other person does not reply. Jung-joon hands the phone over when Young-ok comes back, and she steps out to have a chat with her caller. She tells them that she will visit next month and hangs up as Jung-joon joins her outside.
Jung-joon asks who the person was, and Young-ok tells him that the rumors about her having a man or a child are false. Her answer is enough for Jung-joon, and he assures her that he can accept anything else from lecherous family members to debt collectors. She smiles at his cute response and mentions how she has sobered up. Dropping his beer, Jung-joon jumps up from his seat to prepare the bed since he sobered up as well, heh.
Young-ok’s relationship with Jung-joon strengths after their trip, but her bad reputation with the other haenyeos plummets further this week. Her greedy habits have ostracized her from the group, but Young-ok dismisses their words as groundless complaints rather than advice.
Breaking the rule to come up for air after every catch, Young-ok stays under for much too long and gets her foot stuck in a net. Thankfully, the other haenyeos come to her aid, but someone else gets tangled in the process. As the leader, Choon-hee stays behind the longest and manages to free them in time.
This accident is the final straw, and the other haenyeos threaten to quit until Young-ok leaves the group. Choon-hee agrees with the consensus because she knows from experience that Young-ok’s greed and lack of fear will lead to her death. Young-ok begs Choon-hee for another chance since she wants to dive, but Choon-hee finds it difficult to believe a liar’s apology.
Young-ok says that she never lied, so Choon-hee asks for an explanation about her parents and wonders if they are even alive. Young-ok tells her that they died when she was twelve in a car accident, and everything she told the others about them being an artist and selling clothes were true. Choon-hee asks about the other rumors concerning the incessant calls, and Young-ok chokes out an answer between her sobs. The camera moves away, and the identity of the caller remains a mystery for the viewers.
While I think the haenyeos can be judgmental, in this situation, Young-ok is undeniably in the wrong. She was warned multiple times to stick with the group and follow the rules, yet she blatantly ignored them and endangered the others’ lives. Her foot getting caught in a net was an accident, but by staying under for longer than advised, she put her life at risk unnecessarily. Choon-hee’s reasons for kicking her out seem fair, but from her expression at the end, it seems that Young-ok might get one more chance to mend her ways.
Eun-hee’s best friend GO MI-RAN (Uhm Jung-hwa) pays a visit to her hometown, and everyone except Ho-shik calls Eun-hee the maid while Mi-ran is the princess. Originally, Mi-ran was supposed to go to Paris to attend her daughter’s graduation and travel the world with her, but her plans fell through so she brought her packed bags to Jeju, instead.
Though Mi-ran tries to tell her friend about the canceled trip, their conversation gets interrupted at every turn, so she sticks with a simple answer: she is too busy with work to attend. Unaware of the truth, Eun-hee silently judges her for being selfish.
Mi-ran stops by Choon-hee and Ok-dong’s place to drop off presents, and stays over for dinner, too. She vents to the older ladies about her daughter for using her dad to cancel the trip because her stepmom will be there, but even after all that, she still understands her daughter’s position. Choon-hee and Ok-dong take Mi-ran’s side since paid for her education and living expenses, but Mi-ran thinks her daughter is a kind person.
While Eun-hee prepares dinner for Mi-ran, her friend calls at the last minute to tell her about the change in plans, so Eun-hee gives away all the food to her helpers. Stomping to her room, she writes an entry in her diary about her friend—the eternal star of their town who everyone loves—and wonders how she truly feels about her now.
As students, Eun-hee loved Mi-ran. She saw her as her reliable supporter and was able to attend high school and get her GED because of Mi-ran’s efforts. Eun-hee always felt loyal to her as a result, so she helped plan Mi-ran’s three weddings and cared for her after childbirth because that is what friends do.
However, in Ho-shik’s eyes, Mi-ran was never kind to Eun-hee, and he remembers the day back in high school when Mi-ran threw away Eun-hee’s lunch because she “complained” about the food. Mi-ran called her a moocher, which irks Ho-shik to this day, but Eun-hee says that worse things have happened.
Staring at her friend frolic on the beach, Eun-hee recalls the last time she saw her. A year ago, she received a text from Mi-ran after her third divorce saying that she wanted to die, so Eun-hee flew all the way from Jeju to check on her. She entered her apartment fraught with worry, but Mi-ran jumped out laughing with her friends: it was prank. If that was not terrible enough, Mi-ran then introduced Eun-hee as the biggest pushover who is at her beck and call.
Eun-hee may have been conflicted about their relationship before, but it’s clear that this incident has irrevocably damaged their friendship. I already hated the way everyone put down Eun-hee to praise her friend, so I was appalled when Mi-ran did the same thing. Eun-hee’s hesitation to accept her friend again and the building resentment towards her is understandable because this was not an isolated event.
Everyone sees the pair as the odd match, and it is always Eun-hee who is deemed lesser (except by Ho-shik who fell in love with her instead of Mi-ran like the others). It’s draining to hear your own friends call you “the maid,” so the fact that Mi-ran also introduced her as a pushover with no mention of the word “friend” must have shattered Eun-hee. Not only was her self-esteem hurt, but Mi-ran’s action tainted their memories as well because now, Eun-hee is left to wonder if her best friend ever considered her a friend in the first place.
After seeing Ho-shik’s memory, it seems that Eun-hee and Mi-ran always had an unbalanced dynamic, and while that may have been sustainable as children, it turned more toxic as they grew older. Mi-ran is generous and loving, but she is also selfish and mean-spirited. She tends to put her own feelings above her friend’s which is why she could pull such a cruel trick on her and then forget about it. To Mi-ran, love comes naturally, and I get the impression that she sees Eun-hee’s sacrifices as givens because of their history together. I don’t know what the future holds for these two friends, but maybe it’s time for them to let go.