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Queen of Divorce: Episodes 3-4

Team Solution settles into the new week with new cases and new faces that keep them clashing with the same old problematic humans of Chayul. But what’s a little professional rivalry to our heroine when she has to deal with working with her charming ex-boyfriend, and unavoidable run-ins with her scummy ex-husband?

 
EPISODES 3-4

Queen of Divorce: Episodes 3-4

Ki-joon is now onboard the Solution team, but Sara isn’t as welcoming of him as their other team members. Ki-joon promises to leave if she’s still uncomfortable around him after three months, and Sara agrees to the deal. She’s almost sure he won’t last till then. *Laughs in famous last words of dramaland* Ki-joon is immediately brought to speed on Solution’s newest divorce case between a news anchor on trial for sexual assault, and his bestselling novelist wife. Ki-joon isn’t sure the divorce will proceed smoothly if the husband wins the trial. But isn’t that why the wife came to Solution?

Of course, Anchor is represented by Chayul, and that’s a major reason Sara took on the case. Her ex in-laws have refused to allow her to see her son, and when she confronts Yool-seong, he tells her to step down from the case otherwise he will send their son abroad. He also makes a fuss about Sara’s work partnership with her ex (Ki-joon), and I wonder how that is any of his business seeing how they’re divorced and he’s remarried.

Then again, anyone can tell that Sara and Ki-joon look good together. And despite her initial resistance, Sara warms up to Ki-joon soon enough. When he asks about her dreams, she mentions that she wants to screw over her ex husband in order to bring her son back, and he offers his assistance. Cheers to “comradeship.” Heh.

Back to the ongoing divorce case, Novelist reveals that she was also a victim of Anchor’s sexual assault — in fact, they got married because the assault resulted in pregnancy! Wow! The husbands in this show are seriously competing for the Trashiest Husband of the Year crown. Novelist initially labels her husband’s latest victim as an adulteress to avoid their daughter being tagged as a “sexual offender’s daughter.” She then begs Sara not to reveal that she was assaulted in court, because she doesn’t want her daughter to find out the circumstances surrounding her birth.

When Solution finds out that Anchor — through Chayul — has bought over his victim’s lawyers, they approach her with an offer to team up with Novelist. Of course, Novelist has to apologize first for making the victim out to be an adulteress. And I love how Sara was all matter-of-fact about how the victim doesn’t have to forgive Ms. Novelist because this isn’t a reconciliation case, it’s about putting that SOB anchor behind bars!

After Novelist gets Anchor’s “A guy who asks for consent is a total fool” confession on tape, Solution serves Chayul with an uncontested divorce agreement — which Anchor has to sign, or else the tape goes public. Novelist and her daughter leave to start a new life abroad, but as part of the divorce agreement, she can’t testify against him in his ongoing trial. Thankfully, Sara can. And with her testimony, the SOB is sure to pay for his crimes in prison.

Queen of Divorce: Episodes 3-4

Chayul suffers another defeat when Yool-seong’s assemblyman father-in-law is arrested for illegal solicitation. With the Chayul law school bill now in jeopardy, Yool-seong sets his sights on politics to salvage the situation. Since his new wife, HAN JI-IN (Lee Seo-ahn), has now become useless to him, Yool-seong and his mom get ready to kick her to the curb. But first, they must make her out to be the guilty party in the marriage (meaning no alimony) since Yool-seong’s reputation must be spotless for his political ambition.

To make matters worse for Ji-in, someone blackmails her with an old (illegally filmed) sex tape — and from all indications, Yool-seong might have been sent a copy of the tape to use against her in their divorce. Ji-in heads to Solution, but Sara declines the meta case of representing her ex-husband’s soon-to-be ex-wife in a divorce suit. Ji-in then informs Sara that her son has been sent abroad, and she offers to give Sara a number to contact him if Sara takes on the case.

Contacting her son aside, Sara decides to take on the case because Yool-seong warns her to stay away from it. How dare he tell her what to do? Of course, Ki-joon is all up for it because it’s a chance to knock Yool-seong down a peg. Hehe. I guess the earlier case of the victims teaming up against their abuser was a foreshadowing to Yool-seong’s ex-wives joining forces against him.

The first step in Solution’s grand plan is to steal Yool-seong’s USB that supposedly contains the sex tape. Sara and Ki-joon pull a USB heist that involves Sara distracting Yool-seong in his office, and Ki-joon sneaking in to find the USB. From this heist, we learn that: 1) Yool-seong lacks situational awareness — because they successfully pull it off; 2) he’s shameless — because he brings up getting back together with Sara; 3) he doesn’t have the sex tape. He was bluffing the entire time! Still, the tape is out there, and they have to find it before he does.

To avoid scandals, Yool-seong’s party refuses to nominate him for assemblyman until after his divorce is finalized. But Ji-in is in her “speak with my lawyers” era, and a frustrated Yool-seong orders his wife to be brought to him by all means. Unfortunately, the underlings fail to differentiate between ex-wife and soon-to-be ex-wife, so they kidnap Sara instead. Pfft. Ki-joon and the kidnappers engage in a Fast and Furious speed chase, and not even a Truck of Non-doom can put a stop to it!

Our Solution partners eventually prove to be too much of a headache for the kidnappers, so they zoom off leaving Sara behind. Phew! Sara’s survival/fighting skill is no surprise, but Ki-joon was kinda badass here. And trust the show to follow up with the slo-mo “covering the love of my life up with my jacket” trope afterwards. I love K-dramas!

Queen of Divorce: Episodes 3-4

Solution gets a new teammate in manager, JANG HEE-JIN (Kim Shi-hyun), who seems to have an agenda for joining the firm. In the meantime, the team sets a trap for Ji-in’s blackmailer — but they fail to catch him even after making a mess in an innocent citizen’s bakery. I became curious when Solution’s hacker, Dae-ki, froze up on sighting the blackmailer, and I was shocked when it’s later revealed that both guys are brothers! *Chews popcorn*

I’m not exactly sure what the circumstances were, but it seems Dae-ki had cancer, and his brother failed to show up on the day of his — I suppose, bone marrow transplant — surgery. Their mom fainted and passed away out of frustration, and the brother has been AWOL since then. Big Bro is in the business of blackmailing and selling data from second-hand phones, and Dae-ki tracks him down to destroy all of his hard drives.

Curiously enough, Hee-jin appears in the background to witness Dae-ki cutting ties with his brother, and it is eventually revealed that Yool-seong planted her in Solution as a spy! Hee-jin is a totally different person around Yool-seong, and she proves her worth by handing him the trump card he needs to get the divorce: Ji-in’s sex tape! *Aggressively throws popcorn at the screen*

Queen of Divorce: Episodes 3-4

Yep, it’s official. Yool-seong cannot be unseated as the Trashiest Husband of the Year. I mean, he has two murders on his hands already, what’s a spy compared to that? Speaking of murders, a person of interest in Yool-seong’s mistress’s “suicide” case jumped off the roof when Ki-joon summoned him for questioning last week, and the man is still in a coma. Although he has left the prosecution, Ki-joon is still looking into the case, and he learns that Chayul has taken the man’s phone. All the top prosecutors involved in the case have also moved to Chayul, and Ki-joon is convinced that it is not just a coincidence.

In other news, we learn that Sara didn’t run away with Ki-joon back then because she was already pregnant. Not that she has told him the reason yet. Although Ki-joon isn’t actively chasing Sara, it’s clear as day that he still has feelings for her, and she is not so indifferent towards him either. But her priority at the moment is her son, and Ki-joon has to make peace with the fact that the boy will always be a link between Sara and her ex-husband — who is clearly still obsessed with her. Sigh! I need this man to hurry into his downfall era already.

 
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Kang...Ki...young. It's almost Valentine's Day. WILL YOU BE MINE??? Your vulnerable strength--and your precious, precious gift for physical comedy--has my heart entirely.

I mean, who else almost hits the white truck rather than being hit BY it, and then engages in the most hilarious comedy fight scene in recent memory? My man, that's who.

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Is this streaming anywhere in the Europe region? I couldn’t watch it on Viki US using a VPN and while I saw the first episode while sailing the seven seas I’d rather watch it on a proper channel.

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No sign of it on solid ground anywhere near us!

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Not on official streaming channels no… there are unofficial and naughty ones however, if you can’t bear to wait until one of the European platforms buys it

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I enjoyed the third episode a lot, it was a good mix of fun, team play and some bringing down the bad folks. But fourth episode was a bit erratic, I did not enjoy the whole spy-manager-seductress-lady. That whole plot line felt weak.
I really wish they did not write the ex-husband as a 'killer'. He is trash and a pathetic loser and that would have be enough. I kinda like the scenes between him and Sara, because he clearly has some kind of admiration for her and is reluctant to completely let her go. All she had to do was call him 'Yobo' and he is soft for her. I would have enjoyed this whole dynamic had he not been some psycho killer who killed her mom.

Also, the case resolutions are a bit simplified and can't be taken seriously.

SA-Gi couple is adorable! I am loving them together. They are falling back into a comfortable friendship and its lovely to see them together.

p.s. What are the odds that her child was Ki-Joon's and not ex-trashman's?

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That’s what I hope about the child too!
The spy lady was weird, and badly acted.

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The spy lady is not that bad.

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I thought about the child, too, but then why would she marry Trash instead of the real father? I hope Show can give us a very good reason.

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The only way that would work is for Sara to have willing slept with Kijoon because they were in a loving relationship. I wouldn’t put it past Yoolseung to have drugged her, had sex with, she woke up in his bed and then found out she pregnant not knowing she was already pregnant by Kijoon she assumed it was Yoolseung’s he willingly offered/insisted they marry as he was the father of her child and loved (was obsessed with) her and promised her the earth when he found out she was pregnant.

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It was mentioned that she got drunk and slept with trash man. And I also think the lovers had a breakup at some point.
I would like it if the show leaves the child as trash man’s but it would be dramaland impossible to get custody from a chaebol family unless it’s not their blood!

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I did wonder if that child is Lawyer Dong’s. Maybe she went to marry him because he had better prospects than Lawyer Dong, maybe he pride for the best of her.

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It would be super sad for Ki-joon who never knew he had a kid and for the kid, who didn't get to have a super dad.

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He would have been a super dad even if it wasn’t his child. Sa Ra picked the wrong man!!

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I smelled the spy lady as soon as she entered the office, don't these characters watch k-dramas in their world? For me it was kind of obvious. Even if at the end I thought she was not sent initially by Trash hubby, to me it seemed she went to introduce herself to him, so I can't fathom what her reasons are.
Other than this... Kang Ki Young!

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Me too she was a walking alarm bell/red flag literally shouting ‘look at me I am dodgy’. How did she come to Jangmi’s attention for her to appoint her? My only hope is she is a double agent and has her own reasons for wanting to bring Yoolseung down so needs to win his trust as a newbie on the team. Not sure why she thought seduction was the way to go or trying to walk away without giving him the info as he has her details so even if he let her go that day he would go after her anyway.

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Sa-ra smelled it too; that was clear on her face. Be not alarmed!!!!

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Trying to hang on here for Kang Ki Yong but the show feels like endless dullness interrupted by spurts of illegal-level-zany. After the Test of 4, still no one here I’m interested in knowing more about so it’s looking like … drop!

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Is it a watch drop but follow the weecaps or a let me not waste any more time on this complete drop?

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Follow the weecaps drop, hoping Beanies will love it and convince me to restart!

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It depends on why you might think it would be your type of drama.

I usually follow actors but also look to the synopsis to see if the plot (kinda really important, no?) is worth putting on my watchlist.

Followed KKY, the plot looked like a caper/fun watch but . . . . even as a fairly new k-drama watcher, there is nothing new, nothing unique, nothing. . . .

IMHO, of course. 😊

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I came for KKY.

Was happy to see Kim Sam Young and especially - ESPECIALLY - Seo Hy Won (SO good in AoS and Business Proposal), but I can't continue. Half-way through Episode 3 and the cheesy dialogue and cheesy tropes (am I watching a revamp of The Goddess of Revenge??) are too much.

Kang Ki Yeong - keep fighting! Will wait for your next drama 🥰

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This drama wasn't originally on my watchlist until I saw a fanwall post. That made sure I watched all four episodes in one go.

Rooting for Sa-Gi couple, at the same time I can't wait for the ex-husband, his mum and the obnoxious ex-colleague to have their downfall.

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It's quite entertaining and I really like Ki-Joon character. I like to see the team working together.

This kind of villain is not really interesting and mostly boring.

The scene with their picture from her bad was pretty funny.

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I am so confused by this show. Ki Joon is the only character I get and am enjoying at all. He is a sweet, awkward, defatigable hero, and his action scenes are fun to watch.

As to everything else, there is such inconsistency as to the tone and the characters—is it a comedy, a revenge drama, a makjang?
-Sa Ra, I am at a loss as to what to make of her. If she is supposed to be a smart lawyer, why is she so dumb? She is constantly meeting her ex but never recording her interactions even though any one of those interactions could be enough leverage to see her son or bring him and the law firm down. Also, her plan to steal the video card from the ex’s office seemed so amateurish when she supposedly has Healer-like skills. (I know it was supposed to be comedic, but it seemed so implausible the ex would not be tipped off by the presence of someone behind him and the “yeobo.”). Is she a kickass action hero like in the first scene of the first episode or is she easily defeated by a flour spray or a half wall hiding her son? (Also, apparently, everyone in the show has super noise cancelling headsets like her son who couldn’t hear his mother yelling for him only a meter away from him and the woman watering her garden didn’t hear the commotion of the chase.) To be honest, I am also having a hard time with FL’s acting—I think the lack of movement in her face makes it difficult to read her emotions, similar to the Im Soo Hyang effect.
-As to the ex-husband, this man is supposed to have been clever enough to pull off the murder of at least two people, and yet, he bungled the kidnapping and he threw a fit like a baby. Are we supposed to find that funny or sinister? Are we supposed to be touched by his feelings for Sa Ra even though he murdered her mom, was abusive during their marriage, and is keeping her son from her?
-Why is the Solutions Boss Lady seemingly omniscient as to be able to drive up with a truck full of Gold flour almost immediately after the botched chase through a hotel kitchen, and yet, so clueless as to have hired a spy for the office manager with little to no vetting? The wildly fluctuating competence levels of the people in Solutions is unexplained and inexplicable.

If the show had been more in the mode of the goofy action heroes like the Sa Ra and Ki Joon chase scenes, the drama might have been fun. However, the show threw in murders, domestic violence, attempted suicides and sexual assaults. It has too much dark stuff to make it a comedy, while having too much goofiness to be a good revenge show. The cases are casually horrific and casually resolved. Tonally, it makes the show weird. I am not even upset because at this point I don’t think the show could have much been better; instead, I find myself caring less and less. Officially dropped.

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You’ve said this so much better than I could, exactly! on all points.

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It's a legal drama, plain and simple. There are cases of the week and there's an over-arching plot tying it all together. It's got the same structure as Divorce Attorney Shin or Extraordinary Attorney Woo only with more humor and fight scenes.

However (하지만), the thing that I am coming to realize through conversations here on DB is this--and it might be part of the confusion:

There's no real ML. There's only a series of 2MLs.

2ML #1
They're trying to make that young hacker kid have a secret crush on Sa-ra, performing the traditional function of a 2ML as a distracting love interest if you grant that Ki-joon is the supposed ML. The end of episode four, for example, made it seem like Ki-joon was gonna be all jealous because of that hug, but that's not gonna pan out, 'cause--bitch plz--there's no way Sa-ra's interested in that kid in any way but maternally. He's not even close to being a real 2ML, but they're putting him there as some sort of McGuffin or because it's "expected."

2ML #2
The villain. Sa-ra's evil ex-husband. Yool-seong's somehow jealous of Ki-joon, again the supposed ML? He says that Ki-joon is trying to somehow steal Sa-ra back (whut?) from him because Yool-seong knows that Sa-ra has really only ever loved Ki-joon, but instead due to "reasons" married him. Yool-seong isn't the ML, clearly, but his attachment to Sa-ra allows him to fill other types of 2ML functions in respect to her. [By the way, I doubt that the son is Ki-joon's at ALL. He sort of needs to be Yool-seong's. Such a turn of affairs would actually turn this drama into a tragedy of errors.]

2ML #3
Ki-joon himself. I have come to understand that this is a story about how a 2ML actually gets the girl in the end. He's one-down from the start. He's clearly not the most attractive or powerful man in the drama, he's not even someone the FL needs to get to know (she already knows him very well). He's got every characteristic of a traditional 2ML in a drama, including, and especially, needing to fight for the attention of the FL when she doesn't want to give it because she's more attracted to something else.

IS THERE AN ML THEN?
Yessish. I put it to you that the ML in this drama is actually the noble idiocy keeping Sa-ra from attaching herself to a man who has always loved her, and still loves her...just he has always loved him, and still loves him.

I'm therefore also seeing why I am not too fond of her as a character, as I am also not too fond of noble idiocy (who is???).

But I am fond of Kang Ki-young and I promise that I will totally treat him better than this IF HE CHOOSES ME. This is exactly how my SLS feels which is how I know he's still playing a 2ML. I don't want him to end up with "the girl" any more than I ever do for a 2ML. I want him to go and find someone else who really makes him happy and doesn't...

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...cruelly and completely ghost him in an airport. Did you see how he kept smiling weakly, waiting for her to show up, and wanting to be smiling when she first sees him?? Great. Now I'm mad. Sa-ra had better shape up and do something to deserve this guy.

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I love this perspective on true male leads characteristics and the role of noble idiocy front and centre in this drama.
🫘Beansprout🌱 for best argument for sending Noble idiocy (and any screen writer who tries to bring it into a story in 2024) on a one way voyage to Mars.

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Honestly, the thing that I find most irritating about this show is that it’s not giving Kang Ki Young enough to do, or at least enough smart good stuff to do. Going through someone’s desk (while said desk owner is 15 ft away) or doing a car chase through a city or entrapment are all things that set my teeth on edge for an officer of the law. I’m pissed that this isn’t a much better show for him 😠

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I think you can relate that to the fact that he's not actually the ML, who should be a major factor in driving the narrative forward...

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@attiton I believe you are right and I say we have been cheated!

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Yes. From the poster, I was expecting a kang kiyoung that’s smart and irreverent and fun (something like his character from oh my ghost) but it was more an extension of his serious lawyer role in extraordinary attorney woo. So far, it’s been underwhelming as his first (?) lead role.

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This is a very smart analysis of a pretty dumb show, where an implausible scenario is matched with characters whose motivations are unclear. This framework is the one in which the show actually makes sense.

That is why positing Sa-ra's noble idiocy as a male character--maybe her first love--is completely convincing. But I would differ slightly, while crediting the essential rightness of this interpretation. I think her noble idiocy is another SML, in a love quadrangle, because is her noble idiocy the end game, the way a male lead would be? It might be more consistent to have it so, but this show is one of those that doesn't realize what its implications really are.

I actually think the ML is the evil husband and, if the show was true to its premises, the really likeable Kang Ki Young is going to once again be consigned to SML. The FL had a child with the evil husband, stuck with him for 7 years, tried to win over the villainous mother in law, and seems to still love him despite the fact that he committed her to prison. In fact, this could be one of those inspiring stories of enduring love--"You imprisoned me, you killed my mother, I love you."

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In your effort to out-smart me, you've made a fatal interpretive mistake:

Villains can't win the girl, you silly-billy!

There is no ML in this drama. I mean, unless it's Sa-ra...and Ki-joon is actually the trad...it...ion...al FL.

Wait. New theory. It's a secretly gender-reversed OTP. He's going to fufill all the traditional FL roles, and she, the ML. That's why she fights so much and can't stop thinking about her ex!

I think I've really got it this time...

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@attiton As with all great theorists--Einstein, Marie Curie, etc. your first thoughts were on the right track, but your revisions have made your interpretation utterly unassailable:
Sa-ra is her own ML

Its the kdrama version of the 1947 pop music classic, "I'm My Own Grandpa." By the way, through intensive research on Wikipedia, I discovered the astonishing fact that Rolling Stones Bassist Bill Wyman almost lived out that novelty song, by marrying the daughter of the woman his son was later to marry! The things you learn from kdramas and Dramabeans!

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@hacja Well, I'd like to think of myself more as a theorist like Foucault or a Derrida, laying bare the constructs of reality such as is evinced in Queen of Divorce. But I guess Einstein will do.

Having looked her up on the internet, Marie Curie appears to be some sort of "woman," so I don't really know what she's doing here in this conversation where women are all becoming men, and men are becoming their own grandfathers.

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I'm guessing Sa-ra didn't sleep with Ki-joon at all, or the timeline didn't work out for her to be pregnant with his child. There is no way she would have left him for Yool-seong if she thought the kid wasn't Yool-seong's, imo

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I agree with what you have so eloquently written Gum Shoe.
I'm hanging in purely for Kang Ki Young.
Where is the backstory with the ex husband, what was their relationship? It makes it look like Sa Ra was dating two guys at the same time, possibly? How does this endear me to her character?
Her character is all over the place that it is frustrating to watch.

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I THINK she dated Ki-young and they broke up, then she dated Yool-seong (or she left Ki-young for Yool-seong)

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I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. I love the romance and Ki-young but find some of the plot developments hard to swallow. I also really don't get how parental rights work in Korea. In the US, you could never just take away a mother's access to her child without the involvement of CPS or the court. Or is it just able to happen because they're chaebols and basically control everything?

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I mean, it's not realistic that a woman would go to prison for a year for divorce fraud, either. No one seemed to investigate or ask her a question or anything. We are just meant to assume that the money and influence of the chaebol MIL made it happen?

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Thanks for doing these summaries. They turned me on to watching the show! At first, I found it a little tiresome to watch the FL being comprehensively abused and victimized by her MIL. I kept thinking of the Beanies who get impatient with the worst husband in the world competitions. But in this case, I felt like it was the most manipulative MIL in the world! The worst mom ever, trying to get her kid to be a worse person every day.

It only get really good when Kang Ki-Young's character became a focus of the show. The script writers kept dropping hints about what happened between the FL and the ML, and the fight scenes keep getting sillier. As the show progresses, all the actors are playing off each other better and better. Very enjoyable.

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This show is stupid as hell and I'm having a blast lol. Kang Ki-young is such a star.

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