At this point I’m ticking off the K-drama cliches that have yet to make an appearance in this drama. Terminal illness would be awesome and if the Bride of the Century writers can bake it in seamlessly like they’ve baked every cliche in so far, then this drama is heading towards epic levels of silly sensibility. I don’t know how a routine OTP separation can feel so gutwrenching at this early stage, but my heart was totally lurching left and right for Kang Joo and Doo Rim in this episode. She’s been spending time with him as Yi Kyung so she’s not even allowed to like him, but that hasn’t stopped her from pretty much making it obvious to anyone with eyes that she’s fallen for him. Same thing with Kang Joo, not a soul buys his excuse for ending the engagement with Yi Kyung because he wears his heart on a sleeve these days for Doo Rim. It kills me that the two scheming mothers are continuing to build their house of lies and manipulation on Doo Rim and Kang Joo actually falling for each other for real. President Ma is fairly cackling at the great luck of having Doo Rim love Kang Joo because then it’s less work to convince Doo Rim to keep playing Yi Kyung.
Kang Joo’s mom is also refusing to stop before things get out of hand, and meeting Kang Joo’s maternal grandmother in this episode shows us where Kang Joo’s mom inherited her personality. Toss in the younger generation bitches-in-training that is Roo Mi and Yi Kyung, I think it would be hilarious to lock all these horrible selfish women up and throw away the key. Let the victor emerge and she might be able to rule the world. Normally one scheming lady is enough to give me a headache and over-plotting can ruin a drama by making the good guys suffer too much, but here the baddies cancel each other out often, plus the omnipotent ghost reassures me that the good guys have a trump card in their pocket. It’s pretty much confirmed now that the curse is just a made up rumor, but the first brides dying has happened and looks more and more like living villains taking advantage of a ghostly legend to off innocent young brides for various reasons. Or it could just be accidental, but whatever the case may be, Kang Joo doesn’t actually have a curse to combat. He does have to make his heart talk to his brain instead of moping all the time and then decide if he wants to fight for a chance with Doo Rim or slink away and be sad forevermore.
Episode 8 recap:
The Choi family pulls up to the estate of Kang Joo’s maternal grandmother and get out of the car. Mom reminds Kang Joo not to mention anything about the broken engagement in front of his grandmother. As they are walking up to the front door, who else but Doo Rim runs outside to greet them warmly. Mom asks why she is here? Doo Rim is here to pay her respects to grand aunt, of course. Dad nods at her approvingly before walking inside with his wife. Doo Rim asks Kang Joo if he plans to stand outside or come in? He asks why she’s here and what she’s doing? Doo Rim shrugs and goes inside leaving him stewing with frustration.
Mom pulls Doo Rim aside and asks why she is here and Doo Rim explains that she ran into Kang Joo’s grandmother when she went to his office. She asks if she did wrong but Kang Joo’s mom is all too happy about her forcing a reconciliation. She notices Doo Rim making fresh mandoo.
Turns out grandmother wanted to eat mandoo and Doo Rim offered to make it for her. Grandmother notices Kang Joo’s pinchy expression and thinks he’s upset she is making his fiancee wrap mandoo for her. Kang Joo quickly explains that is not the case and she asks if it’s company stress? Kang Joo can see that his grandmother seems more frail lately but grandmother says she’s just getting older but promises to live to 100 years old for Kang Joo. During this convo Kang Joo’s dad just silently sips his tea.
Kang Joo’s mom is helping Doo Rim make mandoo and Doo Rim suggests asking someone else to help. Kang Joo is forced to make mandoo with Kang Joo and he is in a supremely bad mood and asks again what she is doing. Doo Rim is making mandoo and nothing else. Kang Joo says doing this will change nothing so she shouldn’t hold her breath. He goes to roll the dough and sucks at it so of course Doo Rim questions his manhood for not even being able to roll dough. Ha!
Yi Hyun comes home and sees Yi Kyung in the living room and completely ignores her to go upstairs. She stops him and asks if he plans to keep ignoring her? That is a good plan. Yi Hyun asks if she doesn’t know why he’s upset. Yi Kyung thinks he’s upset because she won’t go along with their plans. Yi Hyun tells her that he’s not upset at her, he has no right to be upset at her. He’s upset at himself! Yi Kyung can refuse to get married, she can keep using Doo Rim as a substitute, what upsets Yi Hyun is that he can do nothing about solving the problem. Yi Hyun walks off to mope while the doorbell rings and Yi Kyung notices that Roo Mi is at the front door.
The family sit down to eat and grandmother happily eats Doo Rim’s mandoo and compliments her on the food being delicious. She thinks if Doo Rim opened a restaurant she’d do gangbuster business. Dad offers to open Doo Rim a restaurant later. Doo Rim asks grandmother if she doesn’t sniff anything burning and then reveals that her heart is burning with worry. She is about to bring up the broken engagement but Kang Joo cuts her off and Doo Rim pinches him under the table. Hur, these two. Doo Rim grabs more mandoo for grandmother and reveals she made it vegetarian since she heard grandmother doesn’t like eating meat.
Roo Mi and Yi Kyung sit down and proceed in their usual bitch face to make bitch talk with each other. Roo Mi can tell Yi Kyung isn’t happy to see her and asks about the broken engagement. Yi Kyung thinks Roo Mi is happy about the broken engagement but Roo Mi isn’t. Kang Joo already knows why Roo Mi gave Yi Kyung the wedding present and why Kang Joo wanted to end the engagement. Roo Mi reveals that Choi family dead first wife curse and that is the reason behind the broken engagement. Yi Kyung claims that is all nonsense but Roo Mi says Kang Joo believes it. Yi Kyung realizes that Kang Joo ended the engagement to keep Doo Rim safe. Roo Mi adds that Kang Joo must really love her to end the engagement. Yi Hyun walks down in time to hear this.
Grandmother walks the family out and talk goes to where her old driver went. Grandmother explains that Driver Hong quit to go back to his hometown and retire. Kang Joo’s mom wants to reach out to him and say proper farewells but grandmother says that is not necessary since she is busy planning the wedding. Doo Rim goes to say goodbye nicely to grandmother before getting in Kang Joo’s car to leave. Grandmother watches her leave and looks rather pleased.
The moment the cars pull away, grandmother’s face falls and she goes inside to make a call about whether Driver Hong has been found. She wants a call immediately when he’s found and thinks to himself that the guy is hiding like a rat somewhere
Kang Joo stops the car in the middle of the country road and forces Doo Rim to get out. He tells her that he only let things stand today in front of his grandmother but he has no intention of going through with the wedding. Doo Rim assures him that she knows why he broke the engagement but what he’s worried about won’t happen. Kang Joo goes for the kill and says even if he’s single for life he won’t marry her, even if the Earth splits into two he won’t marry her. Doo Rim refuses to give up but Kang Joo is fine with her insistence since it changes nothing. He gets in his car and drives off.
Yi Hyun stands in his room staring at the engagement ring he never got to give Doo Rim. Yi Kyung comes in and wants to talk about what Roo Mi just said. She notices the engagement ring and Yi Hyun quickly puts it away and walks out.
Kang Joo’s dad is listening to music and flashback to his talk in car with Driver Hong. Kang Joo’s dad and his first wife were honeymooning at the family villa by the beach. Turns out Driver Hong drove Kang Joo’s grandmother there and she asked him to leave her and the car there and leave for a bit. He went back after not hearing from her for a long time and saw her standing over a woman who had been struck by a car. Driver Hong didn’t see her actually hitting the first wife but he could deduce what had happened. It was only later he learned that the woman who was struck was the new bride of Kang Joo’s dad.
Kang Joo sees his mom waiting outside his dad’s study as his dad listens to music. Kang Joo knows whenever his dad listen to music, his mother doesn’t allow anyone to bother him. She asks about his talk with Doo Rim and Kang Joo insists nothing has changed and he won’t walk the same path as his parents.
Yi Kyung rummages through her oppa’s closet and finds the tie he put on that day which she asked if he got it from a girl. Mom walks by and Yi Kyung asks if she knows who gave Yi Hyun this tie? Mom says it was a birthday gift from Doo Rim to Yi Hyun.
Doo Rim comes back to Jin Joo’s place and finds Yi Hyun waiting for her. He asks if she met Kang Joo today? Doo Rim explains how she went to Kang Joo’s grandmother’s place and spent time with the entire family. Yi Hyun asks her to stop, he can’t stand watching her spend time with Kang Joo anymore. He wanted to end her substitute princess gig as soon as possible and even if it can’t stop yet he still wants it to stop now.
Yi Hyun stands up and takes Doo Rim’s hand and says that it started as pity and sympathy because she was so so different than Yi Kyung. But he doesn’t know when it became that whenever he takes her hand he is no longer scared. He wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Yi Hyun takes out the engagement ring and asks if Doo Rim can accept him.
Doo Rim pulls her hand out of his and apologizes to oppa. He asks why it’s Choi Kang Joo? Doo Rim knows, she’s just a liar and there is no future for her with him. But she does’t know why her heart…..all she knows is that she can’t take oppa’s hand right now. Doo Rim goes inside and leaves Yi Hyun processing both confessing and getting rejected in one fell swoop.
Yi Hyun goes home and Yi Kyung storms into his room to confront him that the girl he likes is Doo Rim. She can’t believe he could like a girl like that. Yi Hyun glares at her and grabs the tie back. Yi Kyung asks if he’s back from going to see Doo Rim and if he proposed? How could he propose to her! Yi Hyun reveals he got turned down and Yi Kyung figures out that Doo Rim turned Yi Hyun down because of Kang Joo. Yeah, this is quite the clusterfuck isn’t it.
Yi Kyung runs off to tell her diabolical mom who cackles over this latest twist. She thinks this will make Doo Rim even easier to use because she’ll choose to do things on her own because of her feelings for Kang Joo.
Doo Rim sits in her room and can’t sleep. Kang Joo goes to the gravesite for the mommy cat where Doo Rim buried it and then took the kitten home to raise. He thinks back to her asking him to dig the grave and then doing it herself and shoving the kitten to him. He squats there and stares at the grave for a long time before going inside.
President Ma changes strategy and tells Doo Rim that their side has decided to agree to breaking the engagement. There is the Choi family dead bride curse and that is the reason Kang Joo wants to end the engagement. Doo Rim has heard of it and says it’s just rumors and not true. President Ma asks why Doo Rim didn’t say anything about it? Doo Rim heard it from Kang Joo’s dad and he said it was not true. President Ma reveals that the Choi family approached many families for an engagement and was all turned down because which family would risk their daughter. President Ma tells Doo Rim to end the substitute princess gig and never see Kang Joo again. Doo Rim looks stunned but agrees.
Doo Rim is leaving the house and runs into oppa outside. He asks if she’s talked with his mom and heard about the curse. She asks if he believes there is a curse and Yi Hyun doesn’t. Doo Rim asks why he isn’t stepping in to push for keeping the engagement alive and he asks her to think about why. He goes in and leaves her standing there. Doo Rim walks away and Yi Hyun thinks to himself that he is doing this because he doesn’t want to see her with Kang Joo.
President Ma goes to see Kang Joo and wants to hear the truth about why he’s breaking off the engagement? Kang Joo can tell she knows and says it’s true because his mother is very dead set on it. President Ma thanks him for telling her the truth and is fine with the engagement ending. She asks Kang Joo to never see Yi Kyung again no matter what. Ugh, she’s soooo manipulative.
President Ma meets with Kang Joo’s mom and reveals she wants to end the engagement because there is no mom who would risk the welfare of her own daughter. Kang Joo’s mom pooh poohs the so-called curse and then says Yi Kyung doesn’t seem like she wants to end the engagement since she invited herself to Kang Joo’s grandmother’s place. President Ma stands up and is confident that all will be well once her Yi Kyung changes her mind. She vows that this wedding won’t go through unless she’s dead. President Ma storms off and Kang Joo’s mom snarks that she can’t end the engagement just like that.
Kang Joo stands outside the side residence and thinks back to President Ma telling him to never see Yi Kyung again. He also thinks back to the ghost telling him that he holds the key to what will happen.
Doo Rim is home looking at business plans and remembers President Ma telling her to forget everything and just focus on running the restaurant. Jin Joo comes home and is mopey that her job search is going nowhere. Doo Rim tentatively asks if Jin Joo wants to run the restaurant with her. She might not get paid a lot in the beginning but it’s a job. Jin Joo agrees if she gets paid overtime on holidays and weekends. The friends squee together and vow to work hard to earn lots of money to go eat at the expensive French restaurant and get boyfriends!
The restaurant opens and Jin Joo and Doo Rim are passing out flyers outside to passerbys to drum up business. A flyer flies away into the sky and lands in the courtyard of the fortune teller as he’s doing his morning exercises. He picks it up and reads the flyer which offers a lot of freebies today and he decides freebies are good so that’s the place he’ll go for lunch.
Yi Hyun comes by and halmoni goes to greet him. He’s happy to see the business is booming and then heads to the kitchen to place his order directly with Doo Rim. She sees him and smiles and he smiles back. I guess the awkward is over just like that.
Secretary Kim goes to ask Kang Joo if he’s not going home since it’s already so late. Kang Joo sends him home for the night but makes no move to leave the office.
After the restaurant closes, Doo Rim, halmoni, Jin Joo, and Yi Hyun sit down to toast the successful first day and also to finally eat some dinner. Halmoni thanks Yi Hyun again for all he’s done for Doo Rim and Yi Hyun explains Doo Rim saved him at the construction site. Halmoni asks if there isn’t another reason such as he’s interested in Doo Rim? Doo Rim cuts off halmoni but Jin Joo and halmoni call for Doo Rim and Yi Hyun to do a love shot of soju. Yi Hyun can tell Doo Rim is uncomfortable so he jokingly offers to love shot with halmoni which is so adorable and makes halmoni happy. Jin Joo asks Doo Rim to karaoke for the group and she readily complies and starts singing right there at the table with Jin Joo and even halmoni joining in.
Doo Rim walks Yi Hyun out after dinner and hands him a bag of food to bring home to President Ma. She thanks him for everything and is sorry for hurting him. He doesn’t want her sorry or thanks, but he plans on waiting for her until she comes to him. He congratulates restaurant owner Na Doo Rim and hopes she does well.
Jin Joo and Doo Rim are closing up and Jin Joo happily shows off the money they made. They send tired halmoni off to rest when Secretary Kim arrives bearing flowers for Jin Joo to congratulate her on the restaurant opening. Doo Rim runs off and puts on a face mask to avoid being spotted. Secretary Kim wonders if he came too unannounced and Jin Joo isn’t happy but Jin Joo says she’s happy to see him and introduces him to Doo Rim. She apologizes for wearing the mask because she’s sick.
Secretary Kim apologizes for coming so late, he was stuck at work because the director stayed late. Jin Joo asks about Kang Joo and hears that he’s been working late and not eating well or resting much. Doo Rim’s head drops when she hears this. Secretary Kim reveals that Kang Joo broke up with his fiancee recently. Doo Rim excuses herself and goes inside. She slumps down against the doorway and mopes.
Kang Joo is outside Yi Kyung’s house just staring inside. He gets into his car and drives off which is when President Ma gets out of her car having been watching him brood outside. She thinks to himself that he just has to endure a bit longer and then he can see his Doo Rim.
Jin Joo walks Secretary Kim out and hands him some food from the restaurant to give to Kang Joo. Secretary Kim asks if he can come in the future as well and Jin Joo twirls her hair without saying no. Secretary Kim smiles and says he’ll be back. Jin Joo squees and runs inside to tell Doo Rim but finds her brooding. Jin Joo asks what the food is but Doo Rim says it’s just food from the restaurant. Jin Joo wants to ask about Kang Joo but Doo Rim asks about her and Secretary Kim instead. Jin Joo knows she’s changing the subject and tells Doo Rim to just say it if she’s unhappy. Doo Rim insists that nothing is wrong.
Kang Joo is brooding at home and in the courtyard just wandering around. The housekeeper sees this and wonders what will become of their dear young master. The butler walks up and points out that Kang Joo is moping around the house like a ghost wearing clothes.
Kang Joo goes to work and Secretary Kim hands him food from the restaurant and explains that Jin Joo opened a restaurant and wanted to thank him with food. Kang Joo smiles and says he’ll eat it later.
Kang Joo is at home and Kang In goes into his room to try and talk with him but Kang Joo is really aloof and surly. Kang In asks if he loves Yi Kyung noona? He can’t believe Kang Joo would buy into some stupid curse and break up a good engagement over it. It’s just lame to give up because of love, if one is in love then one fights for it until the end. It’s because Kang Joo doesn’t love Yi Kyung noona enough that he’s giving up.
Kang In finds the bag of food on the table and takes it to snack on. He opens it up to find mandoo packed inside. He eats one and exclaims that it’s super delicious but has an unique sour taste. He opens another container and finds roasted sweet potatoes inside.
Halmoni finds Doo Rim running a fever in the morning and wants her to go to the hospital. Doo Rim claims to be fine and takes some vitamins. Doo Rim is peeling onions in the restaurant and barely able to keep her head up.
President Ma arrives and is happy the restaurant looks in fine shape. She asks to talk and sits down wanting to talk about Yi Hyun and his feelings for Doo Rim. Doo Rim immediately assures her that she won’t cause problems for her in the future by accepting Yi Hyun. President Ma asks if Doo Rim turned down Yi Hyun because of Kang Joo? She saw Kang Joo outside the house recently staring for a long time at Yi Kyung’s window. She never knew the two of them felt so strongly about each other. Doo Rim apologizes but President Ma didn’t come to chastise her. Doo Rim asks her to stay for lunch and goes to prepare a meal in the kitchen. She walks in and then promptly collapses from exhaustion and her cold. President Ma hears a ruckus in the kitchen and rushes in to find Doo Rim on the floor.
President Ma takes Doo Rim to the hospital and hears that she’s in shock due to her being sick but will be fine. President Ma remembers Kang Joo standing outside the house last night and calls him. God I hate how she’s using these two and their genuine feelings for each other.
Jin Joo and halmoni come home and find the fortune teller in the restaurant but no Doo Rim. He reveals he came because of the flyer but found no one inside so came in and grabbed a cup of water. He uses his powers to sense that this restaurant is in a good place with good feng shui, but if the owner doesn’t manage it well then ill will befall it. He asks for a meal and the most expensive to bless this place. Halmoni happily goes in to grab him food and suddenly tosses salt on top of him.
Halmoni is holding a bucket of salt and throws it at the fortune teller and calls him a shyster using his slick tongue to swindle people. The fortune teller claims to be very famous and has true powers to see into the unknown. Halmoni chases him out of the restaurant and the guy runs off with his tail between his legs. After he gets outside, he looks back at the restaurant and genuinely senses there is a very strange aura there but it doesn’t belong to that halmoni. Jin Joo runs to tell halmoni that Doo Rim is in the hospital.
Doo Rim wakes up in the hospital to see Kang Joo sitting next to her hospital bed. She asks if it’s really him and he asks if she’s alright? She finds out President Ma called him but he gets up to leave now that he’s seen she’s fine. Doo Rim sits up and yells out “I miss you! A lot.” She wanted to erase it but she can’t. Kang Joo takes a deep breath and tries to compose himself before turning around to face her.
Kang Joo says it was the first time – he laughed, fought, got mad, all because of her. He never wanted to let anyone into his heart, and she is the first person that has gotten into his heart in his life. His family’s history, he doesn’t know how to explain it so she understands that it’s not a rumor but a real curse. So he wants her to run away scared because of this. If anything happened to her, he would curse himself and live like death for the rest of his life. Breaking up with her now, he doesn’t regret it at all. He misses her….a lot. But he won’t come looking for her again ever.
Doo Rim cries and cries. Kang Joo’s road is to protect her and he won’t even be looking for the chance encounter with her on the street. He walks out and Doo Rim breaks down in heaving sobs. Kang Joo fares no better as he stands outside her hospital listening to her cry inside while he leans against the wall and does his best “I’m suffering inside” display for all to see. He finally gets himself together and turns to walk away.
Thoughts of Mine:
Gahhhhhh, who else was tearing up watching the final hospital scene between Kang Joo and Doo Rim? *mememememe* I know it’s just drama angst and obviously nothing truly dire, but I felt both their heartbreaking emotions in that moment, how much she’s been missing him and wanting to be around him, how much he wants to protect her that he’s willing to suffer silently. I don’t know if Kang Joo realized how much Doo Rim liked him back until now, but I think it’s going to affect his decision moreso than if he thought only he was giving up on being with her. It was so poignant that there wasn’t any talk of like or love, but she told him that she missed him so, and he admitted that she was the first that he did so much with and he opened his heart for. It really frustrates me that all of Kang Joo and Doo Rim’s interactions are brought about by manipulation by President Ma and Kang Joo’s mom, but then the two kids show each other their true selves and that goes a long way in erasing the bitter taste in my mouth whenever I watch the moms plot against each other. Yi Hyun took his crush on a fast track to proposal in this episode, and it was so bizarrely worded I can’t even. From sympathy to wanting to be with her because she comforts him? Huh? It’d be better if he said he secretly was in love with Yi Kyung but since that can never be, it was like god’s gift to him to run across a Yi Kyung doppleganger that he’s not related to. I think oppa actually is such a sad character as well and I theoretically understand how he can fall for a girl like Doo Rim who is all love and caring and wears her heart on her sleeve. The problem is that we don’t really see his emotional progression and then he drops a confession that reeks of desperation. Thank god they went back being normal later even if both know that he likes her.
I am so ecstatic and Kang Joo’s dad is joining the scheming parade, even if all he’s doing right now is sussing out how his first wife died. It’s a bit bizarre that he’s never tried to really dig into it, or maybe he did but had nothing to go on until now when Driver Hong decided to betray Kang Joo’s grandmother. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Kang Joo’s maternal grandmother ran over the first wife, but in cahoots with Kang Joo’s paternal grandmother, thereby making this whole family curse thing just a vicious chain of selfish cruel rich people doing whatever they want even if its murder and mayhem. Sometimes I watch Doo Rim with her nice friends and family like Jin Joo and halmoni and they remind me of the Smurfs living in their happy everything is good and “hwaiting” attitude, and then the evil moms and bitchy rich girls around them are like Gargamel plotting nefarious deeds to hurt the innocent munchkins. The hilarious fortune teller returns in this episode and I’m curious how he’ll fit into the bigger picture of what the ghost is planning. She is clearly planning against whatever the moms are plotting, so I’m hoping her plan is more than push Doo Rim towards Kang Joo and have true love be the answer. I also wonder if the bracelet is a real lucky bracelet and maybe the Choi family legacy is not a curse but a lucky bridal bracelet. Kang Joo is lucky to have this ghost lady watching over him, but he’s still so lonely that it was really pitiful watching him mope the entire episode by himself. At least the OTP have pretty much confessed their feelings for each other now which means the drama can start sprinting towards getting together.
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