Something happened in episode 4 of Man of Honor (Glory Jane) that I knew would happen, but it was still so sad and made me schmoopy for Young Kwang and Jae In. This drama is really laying down the foundation of the story mythology, which ramps up in episode 4 with more characters being introduced that appear to play big roles further down the line. The ratings continue to improve, and episode-to-episode is rising faster than Tree with Deep Roots own increases, which might lead to a genuine neck-to-neck showdown in a few weeks time, which always excites me.
I love the fantasy and mystery elements, because otherwise this story would stagnate in its obviousness. Instead, I’m intrigued by how the script has weaved in a slightly off-kilter sensation of wonder amidst all the woe-is-me tragedy that seems to be overwhelming the story so far. I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE Jae In and Young Kwang together, and because I care about them, that is the hook where this drama comes alive for me.
Episode 4 recap:
Young Kwang’s dad gives In Woo’s dad the heads up that he’s planning to reveal all in order to put Jae In back where she belongs. Now why can’t he just do it, without the courtesy call to In Woo’s dad beforehand. Sheesh, you’ve just dug your own grave, Young Kwang’s daddy. In Woo’s daddy predictably looks like he has a hernia upon hearing this. He asks to meet Young Kwang’s dad first and talk about it, and when Young Kwang’s dad wants to know his answer, In Woo’s dad starts raging and screaming at him to reveal his current location. Thank god Young Kwang’s dad has the sense to hang up the phone on the raging lunatic.
In Woo’s dad throws down the phone in rage, and we see In Chul standing outside the door, having heard this conversation. In Woo’s dad asks In Chul to immediately locate Young Kwang’s dad. The prosecutor lady is parking her car and backs into a beam, which causes her to get out of the car and thereby miss the call from Young Kwang’s dad.
Back at the house of familial squabbles and hand grabbing, Young Kwang drags Jae In back outside into the rain (can’t he have at least grabbed an umbrella before storming out?), but she shakes free of his hand and asks him to please stop being so immature. He asks what he ought to have done then? She doesn’t know anyone in Seoul and it’s raining out, there are no more buses or places to stay. If he ignores her what is she going to do?
Jae In has done fine so far without him, and a little rain won’t kill her. She wants him to stop worrying about her over these little things. She’ll go her own way, and he needs to go home. The rain is only going to exacerbate his injury. Young Kwang tells her that she’s supposed to be his sister, and isn’t a oppa supposed to worry about his little sister. OMG, you are so not giving her oppa looks, Young Kwang. He grabs her hand again and takes her to the family restaurant.
Young Kwang puts on an apron and whips up a delicious bowl of hand tossed noodles. Yum yum. Jae In looks impressed to watch Young Kwang cooking so expertly. They sit down to eat, with Young Kwang watching Jae In dig in first with gusto and hunger. Yeah, girl must be hungry since all her food was stolen by Young Kwang’s mom, LOL. Jae In is so happy and Young Kwang has to ask the obvious as to whether the food tastes good.
Jae In holds up her chopstick like it’s a microphone and she a reporter, announcing that Kim Young Kwang’s noodle-making skills are no joke and asking him when he learned to cook so well? Young Kwang sits up like he’s doing an interview and responds that he learned in junior high when he watched his dad in the kitchen, but it wasn’t until he lived at the dorms that he really mastered it.
Jae In asks if Kim Young Kwang’s father’s noodles are also very delicious? Young Kwang says he’s not boasting, but the noodles are so good that one taste and you will be addicted. Especially when one feels down, a bowl of his dad’s noodles washes all the bad feelings away. Jae In wonders when she will have the chance to eat her dad’s noodles? Young Kwang tells her to stop asking idiotic questions. She can eat the noodles for the rest of her life until she gets sick and tired of it.
Jae In starts eating again, but Young Kwnag softly tells Jae In not to dislike his mother so much. She’s not that kind of person, and today was just not her real self. Jae In tells him to stop saying idiotic things. She understands how his mother feels, as a woman she understands so he needs to stop worrying. They agree not to worry about this stuff anymore and both start gobbling down the noodles. They are so cute together they give me cavities.
Young Kwang’s mom sits and broods while grandma wonders why Young Kwang and his dad still hasn’t come home. Grandma bows in front of her daughter-in-law and says she has been wronged and grandma is so ashamed. Mom wonders why she needs to feels ashamed, since it wasn’t she who had the affair. Grandma asks Mom to please forgive him this one final time, because the girl is his flesh and blood.
Mom points out that grandma never forgave her own husband’s infidelity, and he at least didn’t have an illegitimate offspring from that encounter. Yet her husband produced a daughter that is as old as Young Kwang, how is she able to accept that truth? Grandma asks what to do if she won’t accept it? Will she divorce her husband? Mom’s not afraid of a divorce. When her husband returns home, whether divorce or fight, she will resolve this matter with him.
Young Kwang’s dad is sitting at a street stall drinking his woes away. He keeps calling the prosecutor but she keeps missing his call. Oh fate, why are you such a bitch in MoH land. Suddenly Young Kwang’s dad is dragged away, and we see that he was about to text the prosecutor with the words “the child is alive”. In Chul picks up the dropped phone.
The prosecutor finally notices all the missed calls, but when she calls back In Chul doesn’t answer and instead turns the phone off. Young Kwang’s dad manages to escape his captors and runs through the market. Young Kwang cleans up the kitchen and walks out to see Jae In sleeping on the table. He smiles at her sleeping form, and my heart just did a few somersaults of joy.
Young Kwang sits down and just stares at the sleeping Jae In, and we hear his father’s voiceover. Young Kwang’s father apologizes for being a despicable man, someone who sinned because of his family. But his sin towards that child is unforgiveable. Young Kwang reaches out his hand and uses the back of his palm to touch Jae In’s cheek.
Young Kwang’s dad voiceovers that even for a day, he wants to be a right and honorable father. Young Kwang lays down on the table and continues to gaze adoringly at the sleeping Jae In. Young Kwang’s father runs into the street to avoid being captured, where he runs into the path of an oncoming car. The faces of his family and Jae In flash before him before he’s run over.
Young Kwang’s dad lies on the ground and apologizes for not protecting them. The driver of the car opens the door and one foot steps out, before the door closes and the car drives off. I betcha it was an intentional hit and run and the driver is In Chul. Ggggrrr, evil lackey is as soulless as evil daddy. Poor Young Kwang’s dad becomes roadkill and lays on the pavement in pain. The camera pulls close to focus on the beat up watch he always wears. That watch is clearly very very important in this drama.
Both Young Kwang and his mom are woken up in the middle of the night by a call informing them about the accident. Young Kwang and Jae In arrive at the hospital to see mom and middle sister waiting outside the OR. Dad is out of surgery but they don’t know how he’s doing yet. In Woo’s dad gets the call that things have been taken care of, and the existence of the child was not revealed to anyone.
The doctor tells the Kim family that they have done all they can, and for them to say their goodbyes. The family walks into the hospital room to see dad barely hanging in there. Mom walks up to him, tearfully telling him that she’s here. She tells him to open his eyes, because she’s here. Young Kwang’s dad opens his eyes and sees his wife hovering above him, and his children nearby.
His gaze settled on Jae In. His wife urges him to hang in there and pull through, his family needs him. He reaches out to grab his wife’s hand tightly. He apologizes to her, and then calls out for Jae In. He says from today on…….and then he doesn’t finish his sentence and passes. Everyone stares in shock, with Young Kwang crying and trying to shake his dad awake.
In Woo’s dad is having a meltdown and throwing shit all over his office, while In Chul just stands there and takes the abuse and apologizing for not tracking down Yoon Jae In. In Woo’s dad reminds In Chul what is at stake should Jae In reappear one day. In Woo’s dad goes back to his room to drink. His wife reminds him to treat In Chul better, otherwise In Woo’s dad’s deceased older brother’s spirit will not rest easy. We see In Chul standing in the study, wiping the blood off his face, and staring at the portrait of In Woo’s dad. He clutches his hands tightly. Ooooooh, In Chul clearly has issues with his uncle.
In Woo arrives at baseball practice only to be informed by the Coach that his father called the team already and announced that In Woo is retiring. Suddenly Coach and In Woo hear the news that Young Kwang’s dad just passed away. Even In Woo looks shocked.
The baseball team all pay their respects at the memorial for Young Kwang’s dad. Jae In stands in the memorial room with the rest of the family, but slightly to the side. Mom and grandma sit in a private room completely in a daze. Little sister Jin Joo berates Jae In for daring to stay here, and being the cause of her dad’s accident. Middle sister Kyung Joo and Young Kwang can only silently watch Jin Joo lose it.
Jae In has no choice but to leave the room. She goes to sit in the lobby and cries for her dad’s demise. Grandma comes out to comfort her, telling her to endure it and just cry it all out. If she doesn’t call for her dad now, when can she do it. She needs to call out for her dad so he can leave peacefully. Jae In cries out for her dad pitifully and leans her head on grandma’s shoulder. Young Kwang stands in the back and watches all of this.
The prosecutor arrives at the memorial and looks stunned and angry. Young Kwang looks at her curiously. The prosecutor goes to meet with In Woo’s dad, who tries to play dumb about the death of Young Kwang’s father. The prosecutor reveals that Young Kwang’s father called her numerous times before he died, but she missed the calls. There is only two reasons for the call, he knows more about the accident 17 years ago than he let on, or he knows where Yoon Jae In is now. In Woo’s dad says he wants to find Jae In more than anyone.
In Woo’s dad barges into a meeting in a pissy mood. He orders everyone out, leaving him alone with In Chul. He asks In Chul what floor they are on, and hears that it’s the 20th floor. He reveals that the prosecutor may have found Jae In already since Young Kwang’s dad tried to contact her. He wants In Chul to find Jae In first, otherwise he’ll toss In Chul off this floor. Seriously? In Woo’s dad is such a hilarious villain. Even his threats are funny to me. In Chul promises to find the girl.
Young Kwang sits alone inside the family restaurant and looks through the family finances. He starts to count some bills, which are taken out of his hands by the loan shark gangster from the last episode, this time here with more back up. Jae In walks through the Kim home and sees Young Kwang’s mom sitting in her room looking at the framed portrait of her husband.
Suddenly there is a loud noise as the loan shark gangsters barge into the home and proceed to ransack the place for anything of value they can sell or trade for money. Young Kwang’s mom can only stand there in shock watching all of this. The gangster derides her for being a toothless tiger all of a sudden. Mom asks for Young Kwang, and we see that he’s been beaten up by the gangsters already and the restaurant tossed left and right.
The gangsters find the deed to the house and try to take it, leading Young Kwang’s mom to finally snap out of her placid state and tries to get it back. She cries that they can’t take this house. The gangster yells back at her, which is when Young Kwang comes home and punches the guy in the face. He tries to fight but his injury causes him to double over in pain.
Before the gangsters can beat Young Kwang to a pulp, Jae In grabs the phone to call the police. She demands to know how much money is owed, and finds out its quite a lot of money. The gangster takes the house deed but gives them one week to return the money or else they must vacate the premises.
Kyung Joo asks mom why the money was borrowed and where it was all spent? Even the normally calm eldest child Kyung Joo is so fed up with this family. Young Kwang announces that he will be responsible for repaying the debt. He’s a man and now head of the household. He won’t let the family go hungry or without a home.
Mom finally collapses and is put to bed. Jae In takes care of her as a nurse, saying she needs fluids and rest after exhausting herself. Jin Joo just stands there making derisive remarks. Jin Joo is starting to annoy me greatly.
Young Kwang arrives at baseball practices and walks right up to Coach asking to rejoin the team immediately. In Woo hears this and smirks. Young Kwang takes off his jacket and tie and asks for chance while Coach says he will ruin his career if he insists on playing while hurt. Coach tells Young Kwang to stop hurting himself, just give up and take care of his body.
Young Kwang starts to cry as he says that other than playing baseball, he doesn’t know what else to do. He doesn’t know how to live life outside of baseball and earn a living. In Woo hears this and it appears to resonate with him as well. How can Young Kwang take care of his family, he’s just an idiot who doesn’t know anything else?
He gets down on his knees and begs Coach to let him play baseball. Don’t cry, Young Kwang, please don’t cry. You’re breaking my heart. Coach relents and allows Young Kwang back on the field. Coach tells Young Kwang to stand in the outfield. If he can catch half the balls Coach hits, he will be allowed back on the team. Much as Young Kwang tries, it’s clear he’s in pain from running and diving, and misses most of the balls. His teammates walk out to watch this, all of them concerned and shaking their heads.
Young Kwang makes one running dive for the ball, and he can’t even get up anymore. Coach walks over to him and quietly tells him to face the truth that his body is currently in no condition to play ball. Young Kwang needs to quit now. Everyone walks back inside, leaving Young Kwang sitting in the middle of the baseball stadium. Suddenly we see the mysterious man sitting in the bleachers. He writes down: power – none, defensive ability – none, useless pride – 100%. He finishes by writing a question mark next to the untapped potential of Kim Young Kwang.
Jae In sits outside the restaurant, clearly waiting for Young Kwang so she can say goodbye. As she is about to give up and leave, she sees Young Kwang dejectedly walk up holding a box containing all his baseball gear. Jae In worriedly runs up to him, asking if he got in a fight, was it with the gangsters? She wants to check if he’s hurt, but all Young Kwang can say is that it’s too funny that the first time he met her, he was in such a pathetic state as well.
Young Kwang thinks that even though he was so pathetic, Jae In still saved his life, and now has ended up becoming his sister. He asks if she knows what the last words he said to their dad? He called their father the worst father and husband he had ever seen. He can’t believe that those hurtful words were his last words to his father. The father who supported and encouraged him to achieve his goal in life.
Jae In starts to cry silently, but she puts on a smile and says she really shouldn’t have come. She still feels blessed that she could have met her dad before he passed. Does that make her selfish and a bad person? Jae In says needs to leave now. Today is the last day of her suspension and she resumes work again tomorrow. She tells Young Kwang to fight on.
As she walks away, we see Young Kwang’s hand almost reaching to grab her. GRAB HER! She’s not your real sister! He calls out her name and she stops in her tracks and turns around. Young Kwang sets down his box and gets down on his knees before Jae In, which leaves her stunned. He apologizes to Yoon Jae In, because he will never be able to hit a home run for her in the future.
Because he can’t fulfill what she asked of him, all he can do is give her the big bow of gratitude he owes her. He asks her to receive it from him now. Once they part, he doesn’t know when he will ever be able to see her again. Young Kwang bows down to Jae In, telling her that he will use this to bid farewell to his 17 year baseball career. Jae In can only watch in silence.
At a GN Corporation meeting, In Woo’s dad wonders which man is the executive who just brought in 50 billion won in revenue. A man stands up, and it’s the mysterious man who keeps following Young Kwang! He introduces himself as Heo Young Do, the person responsible for the great earnings. In Woo’s dad acknowledges that Young Do has been the revenue generating leading for the company for the past 7 years in a row. What is his secret?
Young Do announces that his secret is “fart, fart, fart”! Ahahaha, this I gotta hear out. Everyone looks stunned. Young Do says he shocked everyone, didn’t he? The last two times In Woo’s dad, the Chairman, asked for his name, he never bothered to remember it. But from now on, the name Heo Young Do will be impossible for the Chairman to forget. Good one, Young Do. He says this is his talent in sales.
The Chairman asks Young Do to train some of the new recruits in the company, particularly someone he has in mind. Young Do says he won’t train people hand selected to join the company (i.e. got in by connections and nepotism). That is his principle, but he is willing to train new employees selected through an open interview process. Young Do wants full control of the process, from testing to final selection. He will choose two people and train them. In his sales department, there are only winners, and the weak get eaten. The Chairman allows him the open selection process. Boo yah!
In Woo’s dad is pleased with Young Do, whereas In Chul wonders if it’s time to contact In Woo about coming to the company. He cautions that having the star player of the team suddenly retire is going to raise a lot of media attention. In Woo’s dad doesn’t care since In Woo is his player, his son, his responsibility. The Chairman pokes in Chul in the chest and tells him to do as he is told. The Chairman asks for the personnel file of Heo Young Do.
Young Do turns out to have been a formerly baseball player that never made it, and has worked his way up the company. I love Young Do’s swagger! Starting from 2004, he stunned everyone by getting huge sales year after year. Young Do has his own select team. There is Joo Sae Sung, a genius but has EQ and social skill problems, Cha Hong Joo, a beautiful and talented female sexpot, and finally Go Kil Dong, a overlooked employee that only started to show astonishing skill after joining with Young Do. It’s clear Young Do finds the problem employees and taps into their hidden talent.
In Chul hears this and thinks to himself that In Woo will surely not like joining that team. Young Do has a meeting with his team, and tells them to add Kim Young Kwang to the list for the open selection process. Hong Joo wonders if it’s the same Kim Young Kwang? Oooh, she knows him? Young Do stands looking out the window, wondering if Young Kwang will come? He looks over on his desk, where a box rests.
Young Kwang sits in the living room and announces his retirement from baseball to his family. He’s smiling and at peace with the decision. Mom asks if he got kicked out? Young Kwang jokes that he can’t get kicked out and the team tried to keep him. But he wants to make money for the family to pay back the debt, and help out at the noodle restaurant. From now on, it’s his responsibility to take care of his entire family. He can’t stay a ball player and watch his family out on the streets.
Suddenly they hear someone pounding on the door. Grandma recognizes the voice as belonging to Jae In, and goes outside to let her in. Jae In has her bags with her and happily walks into the house. She sits down and faces Young Kwang’s mom, who wonders how she dares to come back. Jae In says she wants to return the debt, and puts the money on the table. Grandma asks how she got the money? Jae In smiles and says she got severance from her job, her deposit back at her apartment, and all the money she’s saved over the years.
Mom refuses to take it, thinking Jae In is kidding. Jae In says she’s not kidding, and she’s lending the money to them. She has a condition, which is that she lives here with them until the money is paid back. Young Kwang is shocked and asks if she’s sane, she wants to live here with them until they can pay her back? Jae In smiles broadly and says that is what she wants.
Young Do sits in his office and opens the box, which contains a broken watch like the one Young Kwang’s dad wore, with a note that has Young Kwang’s name on it. Young Do talks to himself, saying that Kim Young Kwang is finally on his way.
Thoughts of Mine:
Anyone surprised Young Kwang daddy has to die for the sake of the drama plot development? It had to happen, because he was ready to reveal the truth and take the consequences for his own actions in the past. That would be the end of the game for evil snarling In Woo daddy, and where is the fun in that. In Woo’s dad is SO horrible that it’s a caricature at this point. Song Chang Min’s performance as Seo Jae Myung (In Woo’s daddy) is so insanely over-the-top I’m just baffled he hasn’t burst a blood vessel in his brain with all his eye bulging and screaming. But it’s just so funny to me. I laugh at his wink wink self-aware performance, because it’s clear he’s having a blast doing it.
Four episodes in, we now have fauxcest AND Jae In is going to be living together with Young Kwang? This drama continues to up the OTP awesome, with every interaction between Jae In and Young Kwang just too wonderful for words. I love how they are so vulnerable in front of each other, yet so teasing and tender with each other. Poor Young Kwang is clearly really attracted to Jae In, but how he’s going to deal with his feelings under the assumption that she’s his half-sister remains to be seen. In Woo’s dad’s lackey In Chul is turning out to be more than meets the eye, and I’m thinking he’s only biding his time until he gets some sort of retribution on In Woo’s dad for some past wrong(s).
I think the baseball aspect going forth might be used just sparingly, as it’s clear Young Kwang and In Woo will be going to work for the company in the future. I’m liking the whole Moneyball aspect of this drama, with Young Do playing a K-version of Billy Beane and assembling his motley crew of under-valued misfits who end up kicking some ass. I’m glad Young Do isn’t some magical character, but his mysterious connection with Young Kwang remains to be revealed.