Perfect Marriage Revenge: Episodes 7-8
It’s a family affair this week — even more so than usual — when both sets of our couples lock horns. With each side on the offense, there’s so much plot movement you could get whiplash. But there’s also time for some good thematic moments, and bonding, glorious bonding, between our OTP.
I love this drama, but I wish it would also take a break for a second and give us all a chance to breathe. The pace is so fast that this week felt like a quick succession of people doing things and then reporting them to others who in turn talked about those things with others. I mean, it moves the plot hella fast, but also it’s a roller coaster for the mind. They could dial it back a notch and everything would be fine, but I guess then it wouldn’t be Perfect Marriage Revenge.
So, in keeping up with breakneck speed of the plot, let’s look at major plot points and how they unfolded, and then focus on some of the best moments of the week — because even though we were short on romance after last week (not cool), what we got was good.
One of our major plot arcs began last week, with Jung-wook and Yoo-ra suddenly madly in love — a.k.a. scheming against our heroes with whatever they can (and everyone sees right through them, much to my viewing pleasure). The two couples are at odds constantly, with the girls having a face-off, the boys having about forty near-fights, and even Halmeoni is so over it that she eventually tells Do-gook and Jung-wook that she’s done trying to get them to stop fighting. Instead, they should just actually fight, and in a flash of genius she tells them to duke it out at Taeja and she’ll decide on her successor once and for all.
This fires up Team Bad, and the animosity between them and our heroes just goes back and forth like a game of ping-pong that can make your head spin. There are two major threads here though. The first is that Yoo-ra uses and abuses Se-hyuk who’s wrapped around her little finger. He stupidly thinks they’re a couple until Do-gook tells him what’s really going on (ouch for the cold, hard truth).
Before that, though, a blinded-by-fealty Se-hyuk actually sneaks into Home Base and of all the freakin’ things to find when he roots around, he finds the marriage contract! In his defense, he’s a little unhappy with himself, but still, that paper goes from him to Yoo-ra, and straight to the Taeja Group living room.
I didn’t expect the marriage contract to come to light with so little warning, but it was a pure delight in that we saw how even though everyone acted horrified, Halmeoni and Yeon-hwa were actually just heartbroken. It’s like they believe in this romance as much as we do! But not to worry. Haleomi is pretty quickly won back (more on this later), and so is Yeon-hwa.
In fact, Yeon-hwa is also on the offensive for Team Good! She meets up with Yi-joo’s mom — who “looks too excited” in Yeon-hwa’s words, and is pressing for an immediate divorce after the shameful contract was revealed. The back and forth here is hysterical, with the talk of evil step-moms and the passive-aggressive language. For example, after agreeing the family needs to break up the couple, Yeon-hwa says, “Ohhhh I didn’t mean Do-gook and Yi-joo. I meant Jung-wook and Yoo-ra.” Hah!
The second plot of Team Bad is bad press, so they use the footage of Se-hyuk’s mom taken a few episodes ago, and release scathing articles on the interwebs (courtesy of Se-hyuk’s little sister with her endless purse lust). This looks like it’s a big hit for Do-gook at Taeja, and for Yi-joo in general, but Team Good quickly inverts that problem in their favor. *Smacks ball back to their side of the court*
This week there’s also a big reveal around the accident from 20 years ago that’s the root of much of the animosity between the brothers. When Do-gook can’t stand his buttons being pushed anymore, all of a sudden he reveals the unthinkable: there’s actually a video of the accident. Yes, suddenly. Yes, from 20 years ago. But it gets even better: people were filming migratory birds and that’s how they captured it. *Amazing deus ex machina*
Sadly, we’ll never get to see said footage because Halmeoni loses it for about the fifth time this week, breaks the phone, and doesn’t want to bring up the past anymore. Yeon-hwa has known the truth all along, but made Do-gook keep it as a secret since it would look like she was against her step-son. In contrast with what we’ve been told, the truth of the accident goes something more like this: in the midst of their fight, Jung-wook tried to drown Do-gook. Which accounts for, you know, his raving PTSD around water.
While Taeja Group is busy being awesome and dealing with their sons, Hanwool is not so peachy. Thanks to Yi-joo’s successful turning of our secretary/fixer/all-around-useful-dude KIM JAE-WON (Do Yoo), she gets a lot of inside info on what’s going on in the family in her absence. She’s clued into how Mom probably knows that she’s the true daughter of the family, and also… she might be the one that once poisoned Yi-joo. (Really? You guys never considered that before?) Jae-won gets a priceless painting for his trouble along with some teasing, and Grandpa gets to plot his escape from his dementia ward (goals!).
Grandpa is on Team Good with renewed vigor, and his aim is to get his stocks (30%!) transferred to Yi-joo before Mom can steal them. That doesn’t go well though, and at the end of the episode, Mom feeds about five pills too many to her ailing husband and takes over Hanwool with an evil smirk.
Now, onto the good stuff: themes, emotional connection, and character growth! The drama really surprised me this week — for all the frantic, plot-on-fire pacing, there was a lot this week that made me feel super satisfied as a viewer.
One such event was seeing the emotional connection between Yi-joo and Do-gook. Though there was a deficit of scenes with them together this week, when they were together, their bond was evident. One evening, Yi-joo sketches away at the table while Do-gook cooks and delivers dinner to the table. Without any hesitation, she dives in, and it’s Do-gook who sits there slack-jawed. Then, he points out that she’s eaten food without getting it taste-tested, and the trust is just in the air. I surprised myself by being genuinely moved by the way this scene played out. Early on in the story, the poison subplot seemed like it was just a detail to paint a picture of Yi-joo’s life, but it’s been so integrated into the story that I’m impressed.
To hammer in the sense of trust between Yi-joo and Do-gook, this dinner scene also contains more character growth for the two: Do-gook doesn’t want Yi-joo to do anything dangerous in their fight because she might get hurt. But she just answers him with a smile: “If I do, I can heal here at at home with you.” *DEAD*
Once again, Perfect Marriage Revenge has gone and shown me that it can handle its emotional beats quite well, thank you very much, and they’ll be just as delightful and heavy-handed as the entire drama is. And so, with Yi-joo’s line about healing and finally feeling safe, we’re led into another of our show’s themes, and that’s about home. We’ve seen how both our heroes have fled from their homes for different reasons, and now, how they’ve been able to make one with each other. Is it cheesy? Yes. But it’s also perfect.
It also dovetails with the construction and home interior businesses featured in the drama. Halmeoni muses — both in flashback and in the current storyline – about the importance of a home, and how your home determines how you grow up. But it’s not until she sees the genuine love between Do-gook and Yi-joo that she realizes neither of them really had a home before. Mansions and wealth a home do not make.