The lack of consistency in Man of Honor continues with episode 16, except this time the pendulum swings in the favor of the viewer, with this episode being one of the good ones. Still nothing happens that is remotely realistic and usually falls into the random category, but at least it was (more) interesting and moved the story forward in big steps rather than twirling in circles. This was In Woo’s episode to shine, and shine he did. Poor boy finally got up the courage to stop being his father’s punching bag, and it was about time. I feel like the drama was set up with so many great possibilities and barely any of it was tapped as the drama progressed, leaving me feeling unsatisfied and saddened with the lost opportunities this fun and talented cast could have delivered.
Episode 16 recap:
Young Kwang’s mom sits in her room deep in thought. Yup, her life’s been majorly sucking lately. She looks at the clock and realizes how late it is already. She heads outside to see if Young Kwang is on his way home. She looks around the corner at the restaurant and spots her son kissing Jae In. Talk about awkward.
Young Kwang ends the kiss and pulls back to stare at Jae In. He tells her they should go to a place where no one knows them and they can decide on their lives. He grabs Jae In to leave when their way is blocked by In Chul pulling up in a car. Young Kwang walks around the car but finds himself cornered by several more vehicles. The Chairman’s minions get out and block any escape. In Woo gets a call that Jae In has been located.
In Chul walks up and looks at Young Kwang and Jae In’s held hands. He addresses Jae In and tells her to get in the car. Young Kwang just grabs Jae In’s hand even tighter and moves to leave. The minions starts to beat him up and Jae In asks In Chul what he’s doing! In Chul says Young Kwang is the family member of the person who hid Jae In away for 17 years. They are here to protect her from this scoundrel. Jae In says she came here of her own free will and to let Young Kwang go.
Jae In screams at In Chul to let Young Kwang go but the minions continue beating the tar out of him while Jae In can only look on in worry. The minions finally stop when In Woo drives up and Young Kwang’s mom runs out to protect her son. She cries that her son has done nothing wrong, they should punish her and stop hurting her son. Jae In cries but Young Kwang’s mom asks her to please leave now. She knows they did her wrong, but can she please leave.
Young Kwang’s mom screams at Jae In to please leave now and go live with her mom and enjoy their luxurious life together. In Chul looks stunned to hear the truth of Jae In’s mother’s existence suddenly revealed. He tries to get Jae In to leave but she wants to ask Mom more questions. In Woo steps in to counsel her to leave now before Young Kwang gets hurt even more.
Jae In has no choice but to leave. As Jae In is leaving, Young Kwang calls out for her. He asks Jae In to please not leave. She has a choice to leave or stay. If she wants, she can stay here with him. Jae In almost turns back but In Woo stops her. He asks her to please leave. Young Kwang cries out for Jae In. Omo, my heart, it breaks for my precious sweethearts.
In Woo personally drives Jae In home. In the car, he hands her the jacket he retrieved from the trash. He asks her to come to him in the future if something happens. Jae In asks if it’s true that her mom died, after a long period in a coma. In Woo’s dad is right, and Young Kwang’s mom made a mistake about her mom being alive, right?
Jae In gets a lecture from In Woo’s dad about where she went so late at night. Jae In doesn’t answer so In Woo’s mom butts in to chastise her for having no manners when asked by elders where she went. In Woo’s dad reminds her that he kept his promise not to touch the Kim family, so she has to keep her promise not to have any contact with them. He’ll let this go, but if she breaks her promise again, he’ll send that family somewhere Jae In can never find them. In Woo looks distressed to hear his father threatening Jae In. In Woo’s father grabs Jae In by the shoulder and promises to be like the father she lost. He will protect her and not lose her again. Ugh, go die die die, you soulless creep!
Jae In returns to her room to find that all her closet contains only new clothes now. In Woo asks his father why he lied about Jae In’s mom being dead. His dad thinks she’s as good as dead, so why tell Jae In. In Woo knows how much Jae In wants to see her mom, he asks his dad to let them reunite. His dad agrees with In Woo, but now is not the time. He needs Jae In to sign some document before he will let her see her mom. In Woo finally realizes why his dad brought Jae In here. In Chul is outside the door and overhears this conversation.
In Woo’s dad explains that this is not merely business. It concerns whether their family will continue to own Geodae for generations. He knows In Woo likes Jae In, but he doesn’t want him to get caught up in affection and pity for that girl. There is more at stake than In Woo’s feelings. In Woo says no and asks his dad not to do this. He wants his dad to return what belongs to Jae In. In Woo’s dad says it doesn’t belong to Jae In because he grew the company for the last 17 years!
In Woo screams that he stole the company 17 years ago from Jae In, that is why he was able to grow it. He wants his dad to return it to Jae In now and stop being so despicable. When his dad repeats that word, In Woo says he dad is indeed despicable. You go, In Woo! I’m proud of you. In Woo’s dad grabs his son by the collar and demands he stop. In Woo refuses to watch Jae In be hurt anymore, so he would rather die by his dad’s hands now rather than suffer watching what happens to Jae In.
In Woo’s dad starts beating the living shit out of In Woo, with a golf club no less. OMG, this is totally a What Happened in Bali redux! In Woo’s mom, In Chul, and even Jae In comes running into the office to see In Woo cowering on the floor and his dad standing over him with golf club. In Woo’s dad will end his son’s life today for daring to defy him.
Before he can swing that driver at In Woo, Jae In steps in front of him and demands he stop. He tells her to move it before she gets hurt too. She refuses so he starts to swing the club. Everyone shuts their eyes at the impending impact, but In Woo’s dad stops himself at the last moment and throws the club down. He screams for everyone to get out now!
Young Kwang’s mom dresses his injury and asks why he’s going up against those minions. She asks him not to see Jae In anymore because their family has done her a great wrong. He cannot be with her, she needs to go back to her rightful place. Young Kwang knows, but his heart, his heart….. Mom tells him to shut up. No matter how poor they are, he is still her precious son. Even if they owe Jae In, she will not sacrifice her son for Jae In. She asks Young Kwang to put his heart away now.
Jae In goes into In Woo’s room, carrying a first aid kit, and calls around for him. She finds him slumped behind a dresser island. He looks up when he sees her and remembers when she used to come by with a first aid kit when they were kids to patch him up as well. Oh, first love always kills me with its sweetness. She asks why he’s not in bed and moves to dress his wound.
In Woo grabs her for an embrace and asks her to please stay like this for now. This is what he needs. He starts to cry as he tightly holds her.
In Chul asks In Woo’s dad if he’s alright? In Woo’s dad dismisses him and asks for some quiet. In Chul tells In Woo’s dad that Young Kwang’s mom appears to know Jae In’s mom. This news shocks In Woo’s dad, and In Chul offers to find out more. Young Kwang’s mom lays in bed and remembers how shocked Jae In was when she mentioned Jae In’s mom. She wonders if perhaps Jae In hasn’t seen her mom yet?
The next morning, In Woo’s dad tells In Chul to let Young Do know that In Woo is sick and will not be coming in until later. Jae In energetically bounds down the stairs and greets In Woo’s dad before heading off to work. In Woo’s dad confirms that In Chul has installed an inside man in Young Do’s team. He wonders who he wants to eliminate first – Jae In or Young Kwang.
Dae Sung tells his other two team members that he wants to eliminate Kim Young Kwang first. Because the man is filthy, rude, and has no respect. Hong Joo wishes him luck, but doesn’t think he can do it easily. Hong Joo candidly says she’s on Young Kwang’s side, because he’s a better kisser and that is what matters to her. Dae Sung is even more pissed that Young Kwang has kissed Hong Joo! Haha, Dae Sung’s hatred of Young Kwang is totally amusing.
Young Kwang arrives at work and sees Jae In getting out of a car. He calls after her and chases her into the elevator. He’s happy to see her but she worries when she sees his scuffed up face. He gets into the elevator with her and asks if she got yelled at when she got home. Jae In reveals that from now on, she needs to pretend she doesn’t know Young Kwang otherwise In Woo’s dad will get mad.
Suddenly one of the minions get into the elevator, so Jae In and Young Kwang immediately act like they don’t know each other. Others also get into the elevator and push Young Kwang and Jae In towards the back. Young Kwang slowly touches Jae In’s hand, and then he grabs her tightly. Their fingers warmly entwine together and Young Kwang thinks to himself that he knows how hard it must be for Jae In these days.
After everyone gets off the elevator, Jae In opens her hand and finds that he put a note in it. He tells her to believe in him and not to cry anymore. He ends with a cheer for her to fight on! Jae In finishes reading the note and looks up to see Young Kwang hiding around the corner and giving her a fighting gesture. Young Kwang turns around and suddenly he’s confronted by Dae Sung.
Dae Sung asks if Young Kwang really has such ability, and he bends out to stare intensely at Young Kwang’s lips. That leaves the kissing bandit looking confused, so Dae Sung wonders if Young Kwang’s brains is as powerful as that other appendage?
Dae Sung sits all the applicants down and puts some files before them. He notices In Woo and Young Kwang are all beat up and asks if they fought. Both say no. He wants everyone to memorize everything in the files before them. Everyone has one binder, except Young Kwang has three binders. Inside contains their sales data for the last year. Young Kwang’s contain data for three years. After they memorize it, they will be tested on facts from the binders.
Young Kwang complains about the unfair treatment and he gets a few points deducted already. Dae Sung makes no qualms about his goal to get people eliminated one-by-one, and his first target is Young Kwang. Hong Joo discusses with Young Do about how Dae Sung’s attitude towards Young Kwang is so strong. The team thinks something seems off about it.
In Woo’s dad calls Young Kwang’s mom out to meet with him, using a sneer to gesture for her to sit down. God, he’s such a tool it’s so amusing to watch. In Woo’s dad immediately cuts to the chase and asks why his Jae In went to her house yesterday. He throws down his newspaper and asks if their family wants to die or go to jail! He will let them go as long as they cut off all ties with Jae In going forward, because of his previous friendship with her husband. He then prods to find out how she knows Jae In’s mom?
Young Kwang’s mom confesses that she recently went to visit her in the hospital. She reveals that Jae In’s mom recognized her, which stuns In Woo’s dad to discover that Jae In’s mom has regained consciousness and even eaten an apple Young Kwang’s mom brought. He clenches his fist to learn he had been fooled by Jae In’s mom.
Jae In’s mom continues with her rehab at the hospital. She falls down but encourages herself to keep going. In Woo’s dad marches into the hospital followed by his minions. He barges into Jae In’s mom’s hospital room and finds her sleeping. He walks up and announces his presence, but she doesn’t stir. He says it’s a shame she’s not awake since he came for a visit. He walks out and Jae In’s mom turns around. Except it was a ruse, and he’s still standing beside her bed.
In Woo’s dad leans down and asks if she’s been pretending that she hasn’t regained consciousness this entire time. He asks if she’s playing a game with him? His smile disappears and Jae In’s mom looks frightened. Why does this patient not have protection since the prosecutor knows that she’s at risk from the machinations of In Woo’s dad? Sigh, this drama makes no sense whatsoever.
Young Kwang throws his three binders down and rails at Dae Sung for saddling him with such an unfair assignment. He starts yelling at Dae Sung for being an OCD petty freak and wants to punch him. Dae Sung hears this and takes off more points for Young Kwang badmouthing him behind his bad. Young Kwang wonders where these new rules are coming from, and is told Dae Sung just made it up. After he walks away, Young Kwang glares at him.
Jae In sits in a room and goes over her data. In Woo arrives and hands her carton of soy milk. She thanks him politely and he asks why she’s gone back to jeondaemal when she used banmal yesterday when she tried to protect him from his dad’s club. Jae In asks if In Woo’s relationship with his dad has always been this way? He asks if this makes him an idiot, always afraid of his father and stuttering.
Jae In asks why he doesn’t look his father in the eye and tell him not to strike him anymore because he is an adult and cannot be touched. In Woo thinks that suicidal, but Jae In encourages him with a smile. In Woo smiles and gets up, but then turns around and kisses Jae In on the cheek. She turns to stare at him and he compliments her as being so pretty when she smiles around him.
In Woo walks out of that room and calls his doctor. He asks the doctor for Jae In’s mom’s hospital room number. Jae In sits there and touches her cheek where In Woo just kissed her. She get a text revealing where her mom is staying. Young Kwang’s mom sits in her room and remembers In Woo’s dad demanding that she never tell Jae In that she saw Jae in’s mom, otherwise her son will be destroyed. Young Kwang mom tells herself that this is wrong and she rushes out.
Jae In hurries to find her mom. She bumps into people in the hallway and draws the attention of Young Kwang. She asks him to stall for her, she needs to go somewhere right now. Young Kwang tries to follow her but a minion blocks his way. Jae In runs into the hospital and Young Kwang’s mom sees her there and hides herself.
Jae In runs up to her mom’s hospital room but opens the door to find it empty. A nurse is cleaning up and reveals that there was never a patient staying her with the name of Jae In’s mom. When Jae In goes to the front desk, she’s also told no such patient ever stayed here. Grrr, this is such malpractice by the hospital. My brain hurts.
The doctor meets with In Woo’s dad and confirms that Jae In has been shooed away. In Woo’s dad offers a great donation to the doctor for building a new wing. Jae In sits down in the hospital all dejected when she sees Young Kwang’s mom walking up. Jae In reveals she came here thinking she could find someone, but was told no such person was here.
Young Kwang mom’s asks if Jae in was looking for her mom. She confirms seeing Jae In’s mom here recently. Young Kwang’s mom is worried about where Jae In’s mom went, and why In Woo’s dad is keeping her existence a secret from Jae In. Young Kwang’s mom feels tremendous guilt towards Jae In for the last 17 years, and she won’t trade her family’s safety once again and let Jae In suffer.
A minion sees this conversation and calls In Woo’s dad. He is upset that Young Kwang’s mom is ruining his grand plan. Kyung Joo hands In Woo’s dad a contract, which allows for the company to increase its investment so that In Woo’s dad will own more shares of Geodae and prevent Jae In from gaining control later on. In Chul wonders where In Woo’s dad plans to get the added capital.
A dirty old man walks into Geodae and demands that Joo Dae Sung come down to the lobby right now. Dae Sung hears and says OMG and screams for the man to be told he is overseas on business. Dae Sung screams for the lobby staff to keep him downstairs. Hong Joo reveals that it’s s customer who bought a tent 20 years ago and it broke and he’s been here every year for the last three years demanding it be fixed. Dae Sung lied and said he would fix it but never did.
Dae Sung asks everyone for help but no one is willing to help him. He has no choice but to ask Young Kwang. They sneak down to the lobby and sees the old man setting up a prolonged stay to wait for Dae Sung. Young Kwang tries to get his all his deducted points back to help Dae Sung, who has no choice but to agree to the terms.
Young Kwang walks out and addresses the old man. He introduces himself and says he will be assisting him from now on instead of Dae Sung. The old man still wants Dae Sung or else he will not budge from his spot.
In Woo calls a minion and finds out that Jae In is with them and is being returned home. In Woo hears his dad wants to talk to Jae In and he hurries home. His mom reveals that Jae In is in the study discussing important matters with his dad and is not to be bothered. In Woo’s dad hands Jae In a contract that requires major shareholders of the company to agree to increase the capital investment pool. In Woo’s dad wants Jae In to sign on behalf of her parents.
Jae In asks if he will tell her where her mom is as long as she sign? In Woo’s dad tries to play dumb but Jae in is firm that someone saw her mom alive. In Woo’s dad tries to say Young Kwang’s mom is a liar and not to be trusted. Jae In asks again if her mom is truly dead. In Woo’s dad acts all sad and asks what he needs to do for her to trust him? He confirms again that she died. Jae In cries as she’s so conflicted.
Jae In’s mom wakes up in a darkened room and finds herself in restraints, tied to her bed. The door opens and In Chul walks in to greet her. She demands to know where she is? He says this is a better room for her to recover. He won’t release her since the doctor says she has self-destructive tendencies. In Chul tells Jae In’s mom that he is not her enemy, and is here today because he wants to stand on her side.
In Woo’s dad keeps asking Jae In to sign, using his best Bambi eyes to act all innocent. In Woo barges in and tells Jae In not to sign that! Oh shit, not good sonny boy. His dad asks what In Woo is doing, but In Woo refuses to allow his dad to do this to an innocent like Jae In who doesn’t know what is going on. In Woo’s dad says this is business, but In Woo screams at him to stop now and have some decency!
In Woo’s dad gets angry and tries to strike In Woo, who grabs his arm and tells him NOT to hit him anymore. Oh hells yeah, this is awesome! In Woo tells him dad never to strike him again, and he will not allow himself to be hit again. In Woo’s dad realizes that In Woo is stronger than him and screams in frustration.
Young Kwang realizes that the old man is persistent in his demand to see Dae Sung. He says fine, and agrees to see who can outlast the other person at this game. Young Kwang sits down and the two men turn to stare challengingly each other.
Thoughts of Mine:
At this point, Young Kwang and Jae In getting together is a given. He likes her, she likes him, they and everyone else knows it. The whole “his dad wronged her” thing isn’t even stopping them, and frankly is a way bigger barrier between In Woo and Jae in. But that’s besides the point, which is that the OTP have revealed their feelings and the rest is just watching how the drama untangles all the knots and resolves all the problems. I do feel really bad for In Woo, who has definitively shown that he knows the difference between right and wrong and now has the courage to stand up for what is right in front of his dad. He’s not even trying any devious ways to keep the OTP apart, he’s just trying to be nice to Jae In. I appreciate his goodness in a family full of horrible crazies.
We’re officially 2/3rd of the way done with this drama, and I’m already wondering what the point of it is? Not every drama has a purpose, and most are just to entertain. I’m really not all that entertained by MoH, with a story that is mostly nothing punctuated by the occasional sturm and drang. Ratings have been steady in the early teens, a reflection of a drama that doesn’t fail so miserably it gets lambasted and reviled, yet it cannot gain traction and viewers because the story just putters around. I’ve grown to adore the leads and their characters, keeping me loyally watching, but always I wish it could be better. MoH is a drama where my desire to love it is disproportionately greater than how much I actually love it.
I’m glad to see Young Kwang’s mom also stepping up and doing the right thing in telling Jae in that her mother is alive. Not sure what In Chul has up his sleeve, but it better be a doozy since I’ve been waiting around for him to do something rather than act like he’s going to do something for the last 10 episodes already. At this juncture, I don’t know what the point of the test to get into Geodae serves anymore, but at least it gets Young Kwang out and about with something to do. Part of me wants Jae In and Young Kwang to run off somewhere, just to shake things up a bit and give me a change in scenery. Because otherwise we’re just riding a tricycle to the inevitable ending where In Woo’s dad gets his comeuppance and everyone else gets a happy ending.