It’s official! I adore Man of Honor, and it’s all because of the OTP. Is anyone surprised? Not me, for a great OTP and a decent story plus execution almost always wins me over on charm alone. More pieces of the puzzle are revealed about the main characters, the fauxcest is totally put into place, and all the heightened emotions come into play. The audience must be starting to enjoy it too, because AGB ratings jumped 2.1 to hit 12.3%. Nice.
I must warn that there is some iffy overacting by our loathsome villain, which actually amuses me to no end, but Park Min Young and Chun Jung Myung are nailing their performances. Their chemistry is teasingly palpable, and I adore their characters to pieces. Her charming yet sensible attitude, his surly yet boyish swagger and pride. Whatever this drama’s limitations are, I enjoy it enough that I eagerly await each new episode.
Episode 3 recap:
As Young Kwang is running around the hospital looking for Jae In to apologize, Jae In is outside with the sister from the orphanage tearfully looking at the letters she thinks were sent by her daddy. Definitely a logical assumption, and confirms that Jae In doesn’t have her childhood memory since the accident happened. Jae In cries to see the name of her supposed father, who sits at home in the dark touching his broken watch.
We backtrack to when In Woo’s dad arrived to check on his nose-broken son in the hospital, with poor In Woo clearly terrified of his father. In Woo’s dad calls sonny useless for getting his nose broken, grabbing his face and checking out the injury roughly. In Woo’s dad tells him to retire from that baseball career since he can’t even dodge a ball.
In Woo tries to explain but a combination of fear and shock causes his stutter and neck twitching manifests itself and all he can say is “ah, ah, ah”, leading his furious father to scream that the word is “ahbuji” (father) and he needs to say it! In Woo’s dad yells at In Woo’s neck twitching problem is back, isn’t there a surgery or something to cure it? Or cure his stutter? In Woo’s dad says all of In Woo’s accomplishments are courtesy of his dad’s great promotion. He tells In Woo to know his position in life as a loser. Oh shit, what a horrible human being.
Daddy’s lackey tries to comfort In Woo, who screams that he doesn’t need any reassuring. Lackey promises to speak with In Woo’s father about getting a reprieve from the demand that In Woo retire from baseball. After they all leave, In Woo looks exhausted and distressed.
As In Woo’s dad is walking out of the hospital, suddenly he clutches his chest in pain. He appears to hear the voice of the magical beggar echoing around him, announcing that he wants to see just how long In Woo’s dad can keep this show going? In Woo’s dad looks distressed and tells his lackey that this hospital makes him feel uncomfortable. He hurries out of there. Young Kwang can’t find Jae In so he sits down in the hallway. We see the magical beggar outside smiling knowingly.
Jae In puts the letters back inside the box and confesses to the sister that she’s feeling scared all of a sudden. If she suddenly goes to find her dad, what is her dad dislikes her? Sister tells Jae In that things happen for a reason, and these letters being given to Jae In now means she should go find her dad. She can worry about the other things at a later time. Sister encourages Jae In to go find her father.
Jae In gets a call from Head Nurse to get her butt back to the hospital. Jae In is chewed out by Head Nurse for pouring water on patients. Jae In is dragged to see In Woo, who says he doesn’t need Jae In to apologize, but asks that the room be cleaned up. Head Nurse warns Jae In to be prepared for the consequences of what she did because she won’t be forgiven so easily this time.
Jae In cleans up In Woo’s hospital room while he stands there and watches her. He asks why she didn’t explain her water-pouring was because she was breaking up a patient fight? Jae In says pouring water on a patient is her fault no matter what. In Woo asks Jae In if she knows a man (the name of Jae In’s real father), but Jae In says no.
He asks her what her dad does? Jae In is annoyed so she says her dad is alive and lives in Seoul. In Woo murmurs that clearly she can’t be that Yoon Jae In. He tells Jae In to finish up and leave. Jae In switches to banmal with him, asking why he has such bad manners for someone staying in a VIP room. Why did he order her around in banmal and ask questions about her dad and family?
In Woo says that he is Seo In Woo, star baseball player and son of a rich and powerful chaebol. Jae In says she can care less since she’s not his fan, and being the son of a rich man isn’t anything she should care about. In Woo tells Jae In that she can contact him to complain, handing her his phone number. He puts the number in her pocket and she takes it out to look at it. In Woo asks if she’s excited, but she just pins it on his shirt and tells him to get better and stop bothering her.
As Jae In leaves his room, she wonders if that guy has some prince disease, so full of himself. She suddenly hears Young Kwang talking to himself, wondering why Jae In didn’t just tell him that she saved his life by donating blood to him? If she did, he would be so grateful and polite to her. Which is when Young Kwang sees Jae In standing there.
She walks over to sit down next to him, asking if he really means it? Young Kwang is so embarrassed so hides his face. He confesses that he was sincere in wanting to give her a big bow of gratitude. Jae In takes it as Young Kwang owes her one then. She makes a note of it in her cell phone so that she can remember to use it in the future.
When Young Kwang protests, Jae In says he can return the favor now and give her the big bow of gratitude. Young Kwang says he’s injured and can’t bow right now, making hurty noises just by standing up. Jae In types in the date Young Kwang owes her a big bow. She tells him that keeping track of things is how she survives in this world.
When Jae In asks for something else, Young Kwang says he doesn’t have any money. Perhaps she’s looking for a date? Jae In laugh and pooh poohs that idea, saying Young Kwang is not her type at all. Jae In tells Young Kwang to hit a homerun. She wants to see Kim Young Kwang hit a homerun. He wonders if she’s not an idiot, doesn’t she know his track record. She does, but she believes in him because she’s his fan. Young Kwang looks taken aback at her faith in him.
Jae In is given a one week’s suspension to consider her mistake and reflect. Jae In tries to argue that she was not given a chance to explain, but Head Nurse isn’t interested in hearing her excuses. As Jae In changes out of her nurse uniform, she realizes the one week suspension must be for a reason, giving her plenty of time to go to Seoul to find her dad.
Young Kwang doesn’t see Jae In the next day and finds out that she’s been suspended because of the fight. Young Kwang goes to confront In Woo, who happens to be checking out of the hospital. Young Kwang demands to know if In Woo caused the suspension for Jae In? Why does Jae In have to be punished for a fight between the two of them. In Woo says Jae In ought to take responsibility for pouring water on a star player.
The two men start arguing in the hallway, only to stop when the media arrives to photograph In Woo checking out of the hospital. In Woo continues to deride Young Kwang before walking away. Young Kwang can only glare at his departing form. We see a man in a suit hiding behind a wall and peeking at Young Kwang. He makes a note in a book that Young Kwang’s ability to restrain himself is good.
Jae In arrives in Seoul and tries to find her way around the bustling city and reach the address she has on her letter. She arrives at the restaurant but she’s too nervous to enter. Suddenly she’s pushed out of the way as two loan shark gangsters walk inside to demand repayment for a loan. Young Kwang’s father can only bow his head and apologize, saying his son got hurt recently.
The gangsters start overturning tables and chairs and screaming for their money right now. Jae In watches and finally can’t take it anymore. She runs over the smashes a guy in the face with her backpack. The two gangsters confront her while Jae In looks frightened. Young Kwang’s mom and grandma are coming home when suddenly Jae In runs right into them outside the restaurant.
Young Kwang’s mom yells at her for bumping into them. The gangsters follow Jae In out to continue threatening her. Jae In yells back that they are rude and horrible people for being violent. Young Kwang’s mom is pissed that her just purchased vegetables are all stomped over and starts to beat up on the gangsters. Ahahaha, Young Kwang’s mom is so fierce! Jae In even gets in on it and soon everyone is tangled together in a mess.
Everyone gets dragged to the police station, where the gangsters are in much worse shape than the ladies. They claim to be victims of group violence, but the ladies are not taking this laying down and yell right back at them. The cops puts the two gangsters in prison for being in the wrong in the first place. Young Kwang’s dad quietly apologizes to the cop for causing this problem in the first place.
The cop takes down everyone’s name, and when he asks Jae In, she has no choice but to say her name is Yoon Jae In. Young Kwang’s dad’s eyes widen as he immediately knows who she is. The cop asks what her relationship is to these people, which is when Young Kwang’s dad asks her if she really is Jae In? His wife looks surprised, while Jae In confirms her identity. She then calls him dad, which causes Young Kwang’s mom to lose all color in her face as she looks at her husband’s maybe illegitimate daughter.
Young Kwang checks out of the hospital, leaving a letter with the nurse to pass along to Jae In. The letter gets confiscated by Head Nurse, who promises to pass it along, but instead opens it up to read. Whatever she reads make her face go all pissy. Young Kwang walks out of the hospital and looks back with a smile, remembering Jae In asking him to hit a home run for her.
Back at the house of a maybe illegitimate child, Young Kwang’s mom lies in bed seething silently. Grandma asks what is going on, and her youngest daughter comes home needing some attention from mom. But mom is furious, demanding to know who that shameless girl is and how dare she come here! Young Kwang’s mom rushes out of her room.
Jae In sits with Young Kwang’s dad at the restaurant. She apologizes for coming so suddenly, but she really wanted to see him. When he called her name, she couldn’t help it but call him dad. Young Kwang’s dad can only say that she’s so beautiful, she grew up so beautifully. He thanks her for growing up into a beautiful and wonderful woman.
Jae In calls him dad, but he can only says that he’s not her dad. He has no such right, he’s actually a bad person to Jae In. He is someone who has done a great wrong to Jae In. Jae In doesn’t take what he said to mean he’s really not her biological dad, but that he doesn’t think he has a right to be her real dad because he abandoned her. She cries that he must’ve had a reason to leave her at an orphanage.
She knows that her dad must hurt even more than her, must have even more sleepless nights than her. She knows her reappearance will cause even more problems. Young Kwang’s dad keeps saying things aren’t what she thinks, but Jae In keeps apologizing for causing trouble for him. Before he can explain further, his wife arrives with a thunderous expression.
She tells Jae In to leave and will pretend Jae In never came today. Jae In hesitates, so Young Kwang’s mom throws her bag at Jae In and screams for her to get out. When Young Kwang’s dad tries to calm his wife down, she cries and asks how he could do this to her? She married him at 19, took care of his ill father and helped raised his younger siblings. She gave him three kids and thirty years of her life. How could he have betrayed her like this?
Young Kwang’s dad cannot explain but tries to calm his wife down, but she’s distraught and starts beating on her husband. Jae In tries to stop her, but instead Young Kwang’s mom asks why she had to show up now and mess up their life? Both women start to cry, and we see grandma outside listening in on this conversation and looking very worried. So is little sister, who does not look happy in the least.
Young Kwang takes the train home, remembering that Coach told him to go home and rest because he’s not going to be allowed to play in the interim. Young Kwang refuses and puts on his batting glove and goes into the batting cage. He takes one swing and bends over in pain. Another swing causes him to get down on his knees from the agony.
Young Kwang gets off at the train station, and we see the same mysterious dude still following him. The man writes down that Young Kwang is filled with feeling of regret. The two sisters discuss how dare their father have an illegitimate daughter. Younger sister is all anger and wants to move out. Older sister is calm, saying things happened 27 years ago and can’t be changed now. But she does look sad when she sees her mom laying in bed, with her dad sitting beside her.
Jae In sits outside the house as night falls. She gets up to leave when grandma comes out to find her. Jae In smiles and bows to grandma, who tells her to come inside and eat before leaving. The sisters sit down to eat while grandma beckons Jae In to come in. Everyone looks shocked to see Jae In, who enters tentatively.
Little sister demands to know what grandma is doing, but grandma says it’s not right to just shoo someone away. She’s been looking for her dad for twenty years, she at least needs to be fed tonight. Young Kwang finds the restaurant closed, leading him to wonder what’s going on? When younger sister keeps protesting, grandma yells at her, but the brat won’t back down. Jae In smiles and says she won’t dine with them because she still needs to catch her last bus ride.
As Jae In turns to leave, Young Kwang’s father speaks up and tells her to come in and sit down, didn’t grandma tell her to dine with them? Young Kwang’s mother freezes upon hearing this. Jae In cries and calls him dad again, to which youngest sister Jin Joo screams at Jae In for daring to call him dad. She yells at her dad for disappointing them all before storming away from the table.
Jae In tentatively sits down next to grandma, while middle sister looks at her with a calm demeanor. Grandma hands Jae In a spoon and she tearfully takes a bit of food, crying as she eats. Young Kwang’s mom gets out of bed and rushes out to the table, glaring at the tear-stained Jae In with anger.
Young Kwang walks home. Young Kwang’s mom sits down next to Jae In, while grandma is happy to see her being okay with things. Rather than get her own food, she purposely takes all the food away from Jae In and starts shoving it in her mouth. When grandma gives Jae In another bowl, mom steals it away again. Jae In only smiles, saying she’s not hungry. She sets her spoon down, thanking everyone since this is the first time she’s ever dined with a family. She apologizes for getting up in the middle of a meal.
Jae In grabs her bag and gets ready to leave. She apologies again for coming today and inconveniencing everyone. She says goodbye to her dad and grandma and bows to leave. As she’s walking out, who comes in but Young Kwang. OMG the way they look at each other! This fauxcest is going to KILL me. He asks why she’s calling his dad “dad”?
Young Kwang yells at his dad, wondering what his relationship with this woman is? Jae In turns to stare in shock, realizing that the man she thinks is her dad is also Young Kwang’s dad. As Jae In leaves the house, she thinks back to her first meeting with Young Kwang at the hospital, and giving blood to him for his surgery. Young Kwang sits in his room with his own flashback, wondering how the heck Jae In suddenly became his sister. He gets up frustrated.
Dad asks Young Kwang how he met Jae In? Young Kwang asks if Jae In is really his daughter? Dad can only apologize, saying everything is his fault. TELL HIM THE TRUTH, DAD! Young Kwang wonders how his dad raised Jae In, did he have two families? Dad says no, so Young Kwang asks if he abandoned Jae In at an orphanage then? Young Kwang yells at his dad for causing Jae In and his mom to both be hurt now. Young Kwang says Jae In saved his life, donating blood when he needed it.
Young Kwang is disappointed in his father today, learning that he was so weak and despicable. Young Kwang leaves the house, while his dad repeats that Jae In saved his Young Kwang’s life. It starts to rain outside. Jae In sits on a park bench as the heavy rain comes down. She looks at her key necklace, wondering if this is her life and how she ended up here.
She cries, and the camera pulls back as we see Young Kwang walk up to her. They look at each other, until Young Kwang breaks the silence and apologizes. He says that he’s here on behalf of his dad. He apologizes to her again as she starts to bawl. Young Kwang clenches his fist as he watches Jae In cry.
Young Kwang’s voiceover reveals what he wrote in his letter to Jae In. He wanted to thank her, but words of gratitude don’t come easily to him. But he’s still happy, to find out that he has a fan. It’s given him lots of energy, and for that he thanks her as well. Also…..he hopes he can see her again. Young Kwang looks at the crying Jae In, lamenting that he never knew it would be this way, that he would see her again under these circumstances.
Young Kwang’s dad goes to the memorial where Jae In’s dad’s ashes are kept. He can’t believe the Jae In he so cruelly tossed away ended up saving his Young Kwang’s life, which is even worst punishment for him. He wonders what he can do to atone for his sins? He sits outside in the rain and looks at his broken watch, before turning his hand over where he is gripping his cell phone.
In Woo is dining with his parents and lackey, who turns out to be called In Chul, and is the nephew of In Woo’s dad and In Woo’s cousin. Mom wants In Woo to go on a matseon but In Woo looks nervous and asks to delay it for awhile. Dad wants In Woo to come help out at the company. The phone rings and In Woo and In Chul both reach for their phones. In Woo’s dad chides them for daring to keep their phones on when dining with him, only to have his wife say that it’s his phone that is ringing.
In Woo’s dad answers the phone and talks with Young Kwang’s dad, asking why he called suddenly? Is the business not going well? Young Kwang’s dad cuts to the chase and says it’s about the child, Chairman Yoon’s Jae In. Young Kwang’s dad tells In Woo’s dad that the child is alive, and what belongs to that child needs to be returned to her now. The child must be returned to her rightful place.
Young Kwang comes home and drops Jae In’s bag on the ground. He grabs Jae In’s hand and leads her back inside. Mom is NOT pleased to see her son do this. Young Kwang asks to just her stay the night. Mom wants to know if Young Kwang is just trying to show off his bravado. Young Kwang says he’s not bringing her back because of their dad, but because she saved his life.
When he got injured and needed blood, she donated and that is why he is alive. Because of their dad’s daughter, her son is alive. Young Kwang doesn’t believe his mom is really such a harsh person. Young Kwang siding caring about Jae In gets Mom even more pissed, leading her to caustically ask Jae In how she learned her feminine wiles in luring men. Did she learn it from her mom? Did her mom make a living luring men?
Mom doesn’t believe Young Kwang’s story about how Jae In saved his life, and doesn’t know why she would do so. Young Kwang tries to explain that she’s a nurse at the hospital, and happens to have the same blood type as him, but this is all too much for his mom to accept under these circumstances. Jae In, who has been so meek until now, steps forward and asks what Young Kwang’s mom will do if she really did save his life? If that happened, could she stay here tonight?
Will Young Kwang’s mom also apologize for insulting Jae In’s mom? Young Kwang’s mom slaps Jae In, asking how dare Jae In ask her to apologize. Why does she need to apologize? Who is the victim here? She yells at Jae In to get out, she never wants to see her again.
Jae In glares at Young Kwang’s mom, until Young Kwang grabs her hand and tells her they will leave together. He is embarrassed to be here, and can no longer bring her to meet his mother. Young Kwang turns around with a determined look and pulls Jae In behind him as they leave.
Thoughts of Mine:
Tears, there was plenty of that in this episode. Screaming, yelling, and slapping were also in ample supply. But somehow I get the feeling that MoH is playing it tongue-in-cheek, using that magical beggar mysticism to raise the story to a feeling of a fable of sorts. So I don’t really take it seriously, accepting at face value the dramatic plot constructs and the excess of coincidences.
We learn the extent of evil In Woo daddy’s horrific soullessness, making me totally feel sorry for In Woo having to live with such a physically and emotionally abusive father. And I can’t believe In Woo has a stutter and twitching problem! Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I applaud this drama for showing that he’s just a lost boy trying desperately to deal with having a demon for a father. So In Woo’s desire to be the best isn’t just his ego speaking, it’s his way to overcompensate for being born with a slight handicap and being ridiculed and hated by his father for having it.
What I love about the OTP in this drama is how normal and sane they both are, and they way they talk to each other is so candid and sincere. While it made me happy to see Young Kwang interested in Jae In so early in the game, that stupid fauxcest misunderstanding has to arise for him to put her in the “not available” category. I’m already craving more and more cute moments between them, so this is just going to drive me insane with want.
I wish Young Kwang’s dad could explain to the world that he’s not Jae In’s real father, but to do so he has to reveal a multitude of his own sins, from not telling the truth about the accident to abandoning Jae In at the orphanage at the behest of In Woo’s dad. He wasn’t ready to do so yet, which is why he let the misassumption stand. I don’t blame Young Kwang’s mom for going ballistic about her husband possibly having an illegitimate daughter. You can see her struggling, and her pain at the supposed betrayal just consuming her at that moment.
Three episodes in, MoH is moving along so nicely in terms of pacing, with a OST that is pleasant enough to make the scenes pop. The cinematography continues to remind me of a brightly lit candy store, with the light so very bright and the dark so very gloomy. While the story and the dialogue is hardly innovative or even terribly smart, it remains very comforting to watch unfold. I’m so thrilled to have another K-drama crack to glom onto, and at 24-episodes this will be the longest drama series I’ve ever recapped. Fingers-crossed it stays good, chingus!