Dong-ha speech to Bom-yi about wanting her to live for herself, to go out and do what she wishes and go wherever she wants intrigues me. It certainly doesn’t mean he will allow her to venture out and ne’er return. By admitting his love for her, he put his claim on her even knowing the risk of further distancing his brother . She is his and he wants her by his side. What exactly does he envision for his Bom-yi, then? Her job prospects are good, as she has skills and smarts, which means we don’t have to suffer through any study abroad baloney. God, I hope not! Maybe he is countering the fear Oma voiced to his mother earlier.
If she were to marry Dong-ha, that she wouldn’t inherit all the duties attached to running a household with children. While she would be integrated into the family, it would not become her full time job to care for them — which makes sense. No need to stop working outside the house, as Oma instructed earlier, no need to be a stay-at-home mom/cook/laundress/maid/tutor/chauffeur. Her life should be enriched by the change in status to wife, not diminished by it. Dong-ha’s biggest regret with Soo-jung was that she never finished school, never became an independent person before marrying him. Not that he believed Soo-jung was unhappy being his wife; just that she missed reaching her full potential as a person.
Episode 12 recap:
Bom-yi hugs Dong-ha. “I’m not too young. I’m not a child. I want to be a woman who can comfort you when you have hard time and when you’re lonely.”
He puts his arms around her. Oma starts her way down the hall towards them. Dong-ha spots the woman and separates from Bom-yi taking her hands in his and telling her he’s sorry.
Oma arrives at the door, and is just about to knock when she hears Bom-yi’s voice say, “Don’t ever hide anything from me. Let’s do everything together from now on.” Shocked, she takes in the sight of an older, unfamiliar man being intimate with her daughter.
The offender feels her eyes on him; Bom-yi turns in the direction he is looking.
Oma and Dong-ha look at each other.
“Pack up and come down,” Oma commands, ignoring her daughter’s attempt to introduce Dong-ha. “Didn’t you hear me?”
In Dad mode, Dong-ha fully understands the most important thing right now is doing the shocked parent wants.
They say goodbye. They give one last look before she goes slowly after her mom.
Oma is beyond surprised. She chokes out, “The reason why you don’t want to marry Dr. Kang is him? How… how old is he?”
Bom-yi’s innocent response, “Why does that matter?” underscores the problem for Oma.
Dong-ha watches the car drive away.
They go home and Apa greets his wife before seeing Bom-yi’s there, too. “How could you come home together?”
Oma orders Bom-yi to sit. It was bad enough that she broke up with Doctor Kang, but for this man? Apa clues in to what has pissed his wife off.
“Mom. I understand that you’re mad, but why do you talk so badly about him? He isn’t a bad person who deserves you talking about him like that.” Oma hardly agrees. “He broke up a woman and her fiancée and he’s older. He even hugged you on the street where anyone could see you.” Oma wants to know where she met him, throwing in that he looks to be her father’s age.
“He’s the CEO of my company,” Bom-yi says. Mom’s eyes widen. Holdonaminute. “Your company’s CEO is Dr. Kang’s brother.”
Apa finds his opening, “I met him and told him how we feel so he’ll end the relationship well. Let’s trust that Bom-yi will follow our will as well.” This is news to Bom-yi.
The physical toll of this development weakens Oma and she stumbles. Bom-yi’s concerned “Mom, are you OK?” elicits a “Am I really a mother to you? I feel too strange about you. My daughter would never do such a thing to me.”
Dong-ha waits outside for his brother again. This time Dong-wook doesn’t avoid him completely. “I have nothing to say to you.” But Hyung does.
Dong-wook doesn’t want to hear it. “I already know about your relationship. What else do you want to tell me? I’m sorry, Hyung but I don’t want to hear anything from you.” Dong-ha offers to wait until his brother changes his mind.
Dong-wook sits forlornly on his bed. A call comes in.
Meat Mom and Dong-wook have a meal together. “I’m surprised that you asked me to have a dinner with you.” She was worried that he’d be upset again.
“I’m not trying to tell you to understand or forgive your brother. I’m just saying that if something upsets you, you can talk to me always. Don’t keep it to yourself and suffer alone.” Dong-wook appears really happy with his mother there. It’s very sweet seeing them. I don’t know why especially. Maybe because she’s on his side. “It isn’t so hard, mother. I’m just a little uncomfortable.” Mom nods. They agree that his brother will feel incredibly guilty.
Dong-ha is going into his house when his phone rings. “Hello, Bom-yi.” She says, “I can hear you and I can see you too.” Bom-yi is hiding behind one of the Udo sculptures.
He brightens seeing her so soon again. She makes a face at him to mimic the statue.
At the playground, they have a relaxed and easy talk. She sits on a little hobbyhorse. He asks if she is OK and if her parents are disappointed.
She’s fine, she just wanted to comfort him, worried he’d be upset by her parents. Making wavy hand gestures, he replies, “Your existence itself comforts me.” HA! She accuses him of being cheesy. “You finally get it. My nickname is Margarine Kang.”
She loves to eat margarine mixed rice, and he jokes how she always brings the topic back to food. Bom-yi defends her mother who was a bit rude to him because she was so surprised. He knows. “You father seems to be a nice person.” “My relationship with my father is as good as yours with Poo-reun.”
At first hesitant, Bom-yi describes her father and Dong-wook’s friendship. In the beginning, Dong-wook was closer to her father than her. He felt Dong-wook was like a son to him since he didn’t have one.
Dong-ha reveals that their father died when Dong-wook was seven and Dong-ha was seventeen. Because Dong-ha and their mother were busy working on the farm, he felt he neglected his brother. He is grateful to Bom-yi Apa. She reaches out to stroke his hair, for real, and he enjoys the attention.
Dong-ha asks “Which middle school did you go, Bom-yi?” He rubs his belly, “I’m kind of hungry and I remember the spicy rice cakes from the snack bar in front of Seo Dong Middle School are quite tasty.”
The smile on her face could light a small village.
They end up leaning over the counter of a street vendor, both stuffing their faces.
“God, it’s spicy,” Bom-yi is amused by Dong-ha having to wipe the sweat from his face. He spots she has the seashell bracelet on and comments that it’ll probably break soon. She promises to only wear it for special occasions. She asks if he read her note in the book.
As Dong-ha talks, he wipes off the perspiration, leaving bits of the napkin stuck here and there. This totally undermines his didactic critique of Bom-yi’s very well intended coda to the Daudet’s story, calling it a mess. Bom-yi takes the criticism very well, laughing at him.
“How dare you call me a mess? Your face is a mess.” Revenge is sweet, she doesn’t even tell him where the tissue is. He uses the back of a spoon as a hand mirror. Good girl! I love the return of the grumbling. “You could have just told me.”
Moments later, however, Bom-yi’s thoughtfulness ordering snacks to go for his kids makes him happy.
Slowly, they walk home side by side in a companionable silence.
They say good night. Bom-yi will try to talk to her mother, making sure he knows she will request his help only when needed. “You have plenty to take care of too. Let’s take care of our own problems.” Dong-ha concurs. “I’ll tell you everything from now on so I want you to do the same. If you’re upset or sick tell me everything.” Since Bom-yi isn’t good at lying or hiding her feelings anyway, she will have no problem doing so.
He watches her leave, she hesitates, turns around and comes near, a big question mark on his face. Quickly, she plants a light kiss on his cheek, a welcome surprise, and she runs in.
Going into her bedroom, Bom-yi floats.
There’s only one thing that can bring her down. Oma is waiting for her and wonders where she went. “He must be really out of his mind. How can he be so irrational?”
Bom-yi really wants to reconcile her mother and her lover. “I went to his place. I went to see him. He rejected me and he did his best to push me away.” For some reason, Oma is torn believing her daughter. It is as if she struggles seeing her for the first time as an actual person, not as precious and fragile, not a prize to be played in the hospital shell game. “I held him and I followed him. I felt like I would die because I missed him too much.” Bom-yi’s biggest fear is that he would disappear from her again.
Bom-yi sits on the bed and takes her mother’s hand. But, but, but Oma cannot forget who this man is. The brother of her fiancé “Were you not thinking?!”
“I had no time to think rationally. When I woke up my body and my heart were with him.” The yearning in Bom-yi seems to be affecting her mother, who knows Bom-yi doesn’t want to hurt anyone. “I want to live this way for once in my life. Just for once, I want to live the way I want.” Being sick for so long influenced the way she thought about her life and her parents. Getting a second chance – did it belong to her or them? Tears fill both their eyes. And now, “I’m so happy, Mom. This is the first time in my life I’ve felt like I was really alive. I’m so happy and thankful that I’m alive.”
Silently lost in thought, Dong-ha stares while Poo-reun enjoys the rice cakes. “Did you have a fight with Unni?”
“No,” he says, “I can’t fight with her because I always lose to her.” “That’s true,” she acknowledges. “Then why is your face all wrinkled like that? It makes you look older.”
“Just enjoy the food.”
Poo-reun is bothered by something. She wonders if Bom-yi’s parents oppose the marriage because of her. Dad doesn’t understand.
Because she is adopted, Poo-reun says. He needs to tell them. He disagrees and asks what she would do if they did oppose? “I’ll live with grandmother on Udo Island.” Poor thing!
“You told me you need a mother.” But, the pure soul that she is didn’t say it for her sake, but for Ba-da. “I’ve had two mothers already. If I wish for a third one, I’d be really greedy.”
Dad tells her not to be absurd. This must really be ingrained in her, “Grandmother always says that no one would appreciate living with an adopted child.” Dad grouses, “She should stop watching television dramas,” which lightens the mood, making Poo-reun laugh. He teases that she will get fat if she eats at night, so she throws down her chop sticks. “I was kidding. It’ll only make you taller. Don’t worry.” She smiles so sweetly.
Oma continues to work through her confusion on this change in her daughter. Being more cryptic than actually helpful, the husband tells her, “We should still be grateful for him,”
then hints at a “special connection” the two share. Apa confirms that Dong-wook knows, too. Oma abandons all hope that Doctor Kang might stay at the hospital. Apa insists they are two separate matters, but doesn’t say anything else.
Bom-yi holds the gift of pills from the Kang kids. She opens one that reads, “Everything will be alright,”
and repeats it to herself, putting the bottle next to her several other bottles of medication.
We hear the Daudet addendum she wrote, “Stepanette couldn’t forget the shepherd’s sweet voice when he told her about the stars or his warm shoulder she’d rested and slept on that night. So she visited the shepherd again. Now, beside the shepherd and hearing the stories of many stars that brighten the night sky she’ll live with him happily ever after,” Dong-ha is reading it, again.
Dong-ha composes his own.
Pulled out of a sound sleep, Bom-yi has trouble breathing.
Getting up makes her dizzy; she holds her head in her hands. It’s only a temporary problem, apparently, she has prepared a sumptuous breakfast for her parents.
A peace offering. Of course this makes Apa happy, but Oma can barely make eye contact let alone show any sign of yielding. “Don’t go to work starting today.” Bom-yi agrees. “Don’t ever see him again.” Bom-yi disagrees. Does his mother know too? The reversal! Suddenly Oma thinks how ridiculous it would be to now meet to stop a marriage to a brother. Apa sends his wife out, Oma repeats her order to stay at home.
CEO gets a call from his mother to go to lunch. Even though they work together, Mom rarely asks Dong-ha to have a meal.
Her message today is to “Take care of Dong-wook first. You always saved things for you brother even when you were a child so I don’t understand how you could do this to him again.” Dong-ha listens.
She suggest that Bom-yi is too young, that he should go after an old and experienced woman who would be a good mother to his children. (Yeah, Mom, why should he fall for the beautiful sweet happy girl when he could just hire Mrs. Doubtfire?) Mom means well, attempting to encourage him. “I’ve never been disappointed in your decisions. I’ll believe that you’ll handle this matter wisely too.”
Drama Park suddenly gets insightful, talking to a totally bummed Dong-ha who is leaning his head in one hand.
“You know that I’ve lived in many countries but nowhere else in the world are parents as involved in their children’s love lives or marriages as they are in Korea.” Preach, Park. He points out the futility of it all, since parents generally can’t win against them. CEO doesn’t even give him a glance, saying. “You should talk less. That’s why you aren’t tall.” Bahaha Park catches on fast, “Did you just insult me?”
Dong-ha cancels his appointments and throws Park out since Bom-yi is calling.
He lets her know his mother scolded him and he doesn’t want to hide anything. “Mine too,” she says. Understatement. She thinks there is hope. “I believe that she’ll understand me eventually.” Dong-ha wants to meet her father again. She allows it. Then she proposes, “Mr. CEO. Why don’t we just talk over the phone for a little while and not see each other?”
It makes sense to do so until her mom calms down. And, it’ll increase their desire to get together. He likes it, too. They say good-bye.
Se-na calls from work, concerned Bom-yi’s mother would have beaten her. She complains how things are boring without her friend. Cue Boyfriend Park, who startles her.
They discuss the CEO and Bom-yi situation near their wall of love. Se-na knows her own mother would never oppose a marriage to a CEO, whatever the other issues are. It’s because Bom-yi’s family is “classy and noble” that they wouldn’t let his status blind them.
Park reveals that he, also, comes from money. A LOT. Unimpressed, SH mocks him for lying, “If that’s true, why do you work here?”
“Because I met the CEO when I was studying in the U.S. I fell for his free spirit and loyalty then so I decided to work for him.” She’s like, getthehellout and laughs uproariously at the mere idea.
Open-mouth shocked at her disbelief he wonders if she has any idea what his outfit cost, she thinks they are all knock-offs. Still, it makes him happy that she is the first girl to like him without knowing his background.
Apa and CEO have another tension-filled talk. It helps they have the same goal of Bom-yi’s ultimate happiness, but still, they cannot agree on the manner to achieve this.
Dong-ha apologizes for not following Apa’s request and explains why. “I revealed my heart to her and she liked me back.” It shamed him when he lost confidence in her and pushed her away once. “I tried to deny my feelings, using her heart as the excuse. I realized that I hurt her by acting cowardly, and encouraged myself to be brave for her.”
Apa appears to be won over by Dong-ha’s earnestness. Dong-hae doesn’t want to run away but embrace her now. Whatever problems they may encounter, he will resolve one by one. He makes a very assertive statement, “I’m not asking for your permission. I just want you to watch me.”
(The strength of Dong-ha’s situation to Apa’s reminds me a little of how Elizabeth’ Bennett’s father felt in Pride and Prejudice, “He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse any thing, which he condescended to ask.”)
Song meets with Dong-wook in a Japanese restaurant.
He had heard that Dong-wook had broken up with Bom-yi which he assumes means her father won’t let him be director. Song’ll be leaving Hae Gil and establishing a hospital specializing in heart disease in Arabia. People involved with that project already think highly of Dong-wook, and Song can guarantee him the best treatment, guessing that staying would be uncomfortable. Adding that finding another job in Korea won’t be pleasant. “Why not just take my offer and go abroad with me and Miss Bae too?”
Dong-wook remains silent up to that point, “With Miss Bae?” Song had wanted to tell him before, but it seems now is as good a time as any. Rather than misunderstand Miss Bae, he needs to comfort her. Dong-wook questions the word “comfort.” Years ago, Song explains, when she was missing for two days after breaking up, she was actually sick. We flash back. Ji-won falls down from pain, blood running down her legs directly in front of Hae Gil, and begs to be taken to a different hospital.
“During her surgery and recovery, she desperately begged me not to call you or ever let you know what happened.”
Dong-wook struggles to grasp this version of history “How…?”
She had a large uterine growth, and they were unable to avoid a hysterectomy. Since she had no family, Song supported her financially so she could study abroad. “But that’s the extent of my relationship with her.”
Dong-wook is completely blind-sided, he walks dazed to the hospital to see Ji-won.
He calls her out and demands to know, “Why did you hide it? If I’d known earlier,
I could have done something.” She tells him it is in the past, that her fear was she couldn’t make his dream come true.
“My dream?” he asks. She reminds him – that he wanted to live happily with children like his brother’s family. She had no idea he was willing to adopt. “Was I a man who was so hard to talk to that you couldn’t even tell me this?” But she believes it was more a question of timing. It all happened while he was suffering because of his sister-in-law. “I didn’t want to hurt you too,” She just couldn’t tell him. He maintains, “Losing you hurt me more. I felt like dying. Why didn’t you tell me about Chairman Song? Why did you let me assume the worst?”
“Because you didn’t try to listen to me.” He believed the rumors and wouldn’t look at her. Dong-wook’s world is turned upside down. Ji-won walks away.
Dong-wook, waiting for Hyung outside the Kang home, “I’ll hear you out. You said you had something to tell me.”
They sit side by side at the bar. Hyung wants to apologize – but interestingly not for Bom-yi, but Soo-jung.
Even though he didn’t know about Dong-wook’s crush, as the older brother he should have noticed something was wrong, that he was hurt. “I should have comforted you and taken care of you.” Perhaps if he had, their relationship would be better now.
He brings up Bom-yi. “I know that you can’t ever forgive me no matter what I say, but I’m sorry, Dong-wook.”
Dong-wook is willing to give a little too, here. He admits how having the hospital and her parents involved put pressure on them to hurry to the altar.
“I’m close with her father so she thinks of me as family. She only respects me as a doctor.” Dong-wook knows it was never romantic love between them. He tells his brother not to worry.
Bom-yi’s breathing troubles continue. She wonders if she caught a cold from the Udo winds.
On the phone, she greets her boyfriend with an informal “Dong Ha,” Ha! He grumbles back, but I think he enjoys the intimacy. Anyway, he isn’t boss anymore.
Dong-ha wants to splurge and take her somewhere nice, but Bom-yi proves to be the more patient one, content to hear his voice like this. She requests a favor – that he read to her. He mentions he also wrote something in the book she gave him.
Right before, he hesitates, being little embarrassed, but since he promised…
“The shepherd couldn’t believe that Stepanette was with him. The shepherd did his best to protect Stepanette forever no matter how strong the wind was and no matter how heavy the rain or snow became.”
When he finishes, she says “I miss you,” “Me too,” Dong-ha replies.
Park gives his honey a pink cellphone at a cafe, when she frets they can’t afford it, he assures her that he bought it on installment. He doesn’t want any gifts from her, except that she remove all the male contacts in her phone and only call him with the new one. Feeling guilty that she is happy in love while Bom-yi suffers, she sighs.
Park gets an idea.
He barges into the Kang household “Cupid is here!” The kids are thrilled to see him and he charms Gramma with a choice hairtail fillet.
CEO isn’t as delighted asking “Why are you here?” Park goes through the CEO’s miserable clothes but falls upon something Bom-yi picked out. “Wear it.” he commands “It’s the weekend. You should go out on a date.” Even if they aren’t seeing each other, there are always exceptions. “What about Bom-yi?” Park promises, “Of course, she can’t come out alone, but my powerful Aphrodite has a trick up her sleeve.”
Park removes the CEO’s sweater.“Raise your arms.” Park commands. CEO refuses. “Raise your arms, CEO.” He repeats. Finally, Dong-ha does, in fear and surrender. LOLOLOL.
Se-na greets Bom-yi Apa and Oma and goes up to see her friend.
The boys leave chez Kang looking doubly nice in double-breasted suits.
Taking control, Cupid declares he will be making the arrangements for the date. He asks where they have gone so far and is frankly disappointed with the list: “The playground. A snack bar. My car.” Dong-ha is suspicious. Park says he figured that the CEO would be missing Bom-yi. He reckons it would be a good idea to buy her gift. The get into his car.
Using the same argument that Cupid did, Se-na persuades Bom-yi to go on the date as an exception. She starts to remove Bom-yi’s socks.
“Don’t you have any lousy clothes? Pajamas or training outfits?” I like where this is going. Se-na musses up her hair since she looks too pretty, opting for “crazy.”
They escape, with the healthy sauna as destination. “Bom-yi seems to have a cold.” Apa agrees, “Go and pamper yourself then.”
Park ends up taking his boss to an expensive jewelry store. The pieces range from a lot to a real lot. Looking for a bracelet, the helpful and smart sales person shows him one called “Starlight Love Stone,” she explains it is a gemstone to symbolize love that illuminates. Faster than you can say Daudet’s-your-uncle, it is bought and wrapped.
Bom-yi steps out of the dressing room wearing, ummm, something Se-na thinks is pretty and stunning. You decide.
Se-na theorizes that Apa isn’t that far from accepting Dong-ha. “My heart is beating so fast,” Bom-yi says, which they attribute to her excitement seeing Dong-ha for the first time after a few days. A few last touches with lipstick and it’s done.
Nervously, Dong-ha enters the fancy restaurant.
The waitress seats him and he thanks her.
The girls hurry, but Bom-yi stumbles.” I can’t breathe,” she tells Se-na. Not good. “Oh my God,” her friend says, “What’s wrong with you?”
Meanwhile Dong-ha waits, looking very young suddently. Haircut? He sips water in anticipation.
Bom-yi lies in the hospital, oxygen mask on and IV in.
We find out that this distress happened several times right after her surgery. Dong-wook, looking terrified, rushes over to her side checking her vitals out of our view.
“Don’t worry,” he says. Bom-yi needs all the assurance he can provide. The way she looks at him, so afraid. “I’m okay, right?” “Of course. You’ll be fine.” Without hesitating asks her, “What about Hyung?”
“Don’t tell him.” She chooses not telling him the truth over worrying him and his mother. “It isn’t serious, right?”
Hyung sits alone, waiting unaware.
Lee Joon-hyuk’s performance in the last few minutes of this episode blew me away. Whoever was smart enough to cast him earned a gold star from me. All through the earlier moments of Bom-yi’s breathlessness, I kept saying to myself. “It’s nothing big. Just distress because she has a cold. Don’t worry.” My own heart stopped seeing his face looking up at those vitals we couldn’t see (Bad Show!). The selfless mention of Hyung, too, gave me a lump in my throat. The trust Bom-yi puts in him, also, touched me. I could totally understand why she agreed to marry him, even though he wasn’t the love of her life.
Now we know how devastated he was losing both Soo-jung and Ji-won. Now we understand how Bom-yi helped him heal. The bond they shared during that stressful time was important for both of them. Hmmmm, the writers are being quite blatant here with this message. How dare they suggest a woman is an equal partner in a marriage? That her identity will not be swallowed up whole as she disappears into the anonymity of becoming someone’s wife, mother, daughter-in-law? What would Confucians say? I used the lead photo because Soo-young is so beautiful, and because of how tragic that moment was. As she preps for her first formal date, her heart fluttering warms us because of her excitement, and warns of the trouble to come.
Let’s hope our comic couple can keep things light in what could be the darkest episodes yet next week. Park and Se-na came up big in this hour. The insight they have into their friend’s hearts is credible. I am glad Dong-ha and Bom-yi have them on their team. The fact that there is more to Park than meets the eye explains a lot. Knowing his history with the CEO, I understand how he manages to be so informal and keep his job. Kam Woo-sung continues to thrill me, even as wardrobe, make-up and lighting are not trying at all to prettify him. I can’t wait until Oma sees the lovely person inside the gruff older man, too.