From the moment Bom-yi decided she loved Dong-ha enough to risk both families’ censure, she accepted the battle to come. When she followed Dong-ha to Udo, he challenged her assertion that she understood the repercussions. “What do you plan on doing now? You don’t know how difficult it is.” She claimed to be an adult who could be responsible for her decisions. All she had to do was convince her mother that Dong-ha was awesome and taking care of his kids and household would not overwhelm her.
All Dong-ha had to do was convince his mother that Bom-yi could make him a good life-partner despite her health issues. The problem, of course, is they forgot this rule: Mom is always right. That doesn’t mean what Bom-yi wants is impossible, just that being a heart transplant patient makes things a lot harder. I pray fervently the Bom-yi we have come to love understands how important her will is to prevail against these odds, and that this simple plan is best: Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
Episode 13 recap:
Dong-ha sits alone, waiting, unaware of the specific trouble Bom-yi is currently experiencing, but knowing that something is definitely wrong.
He finally gets a text from her apologizing that something urgent came up and she will call him later. “I’m sorry.”
We see that it is Se-na who sent the text, not Bom-yi.Bom-yi’s oxygen mask is being removed, which is a good sign, right? Doctor Kang’s diagnosis is that her heart is temporarily weakened most likely because of her recent stress. She needs to rest in the hospital that evening, and be prepared for a biopsy the next day. Not looking it, Bom-yi says, “I feel fine now,” requesting to sleep at home. Dong-wook does not like this plan at all, but he agrees. He tells her, “You should also start fasting for the tests tomorrow.” Bom-yi needs him to allay her fears, “It won’t be serious, right?” He tells her not to worry too much.
Dong-ha places the gift bag on a table in his room, checking his phone for another text from Bom-yi, finding nothing, wishing she would give him more information.
He joins his family for dinner when a call comes in whoever it is makes him jump up and make up a flimsy excuse about pepper paste to go outside. Poo-reun, his partner in crime, shoos him with her eyes. Then smiles to herself after he leaves.
Right outside his fence, Bom-yi waits for him. “I’m sorry,” she says. “No, it’s okay,” he replies. “Did something happen? Should we not have planned to meet?” She lies that she fell asleep in the sauna, but he doesn’t believe her for a moment.
“Tell me,” reminding her, “We promised to tell each other everything.” She sticks with the story that it was really nothing. He invites her to get some food, she remembers she has to fast for the tests and lies that she had dinner at the jimjibang.
Doctor Kang fills Apa in on Bom-yi’s condition.
“Her wall motion dropped and her ejection fraction was decreased.” This is bad, and means something else they hint at. Dong-wook says he treated her for the moment, “but you should bring her to the hospital tomorrow for a checkup.” When Apa asks Bom-yi’s whereabouts, he remembers, “Ah, that’s right. You aren’t supposed to know.”
Oma comes into the room wondering why her daughter is so late, smart enough to be worried that Bom-yi went somewhere else.
Apa scolds her for being a source of anxiety for Bom-yi, “Don’t you know that stress could hurt her heart?”
At the restaurant, Dong-ha asks what Bom-yi wants to drink. Deciding to let him in on a little bit of the truth, she admits, “I have a checkup tomorrow morning so I’m supposed to fast tonight.” Nothing serious, just a regular annual checkup. Another reminder of what a gentleman, Dong-ha is, he apologizes for bringing her to a place of food. “Let’s not stay here. Let’s leave.”
She says she’s OK and that she likes the aroma of coffee. He knows it would be difficult for her, especially with the smell of bread, attempting to override her, but cannot. As soon as he gets his drink, he sucks down the entire ice-cold glass.
Bom-yi experiences a visual problem, things going in and out of focus. Turned aside, he misses this. After he finishes, he places the glass waaaay over there on the neighboring table, then waves away any of the enticing smell.“I have something to tell you today. Poo-reun wants me to tell you for sure.” “Tell me,” she says. “I couldn’t have a child until five years after I got married.” Bom-yi does the math and understands it doesn’t add right, since Soo-jung was pregnant with Ba-da when they met seven years ago.
“I met Poo-reun for the first time when she was four. As part of my company’s social work we support facilities for single mothers and orphanages. Soo-jung participated in it too. That’s how we met our Poo-reun.” Bom-yi says brightly, “I never would have guessed it. She looks so much like you.” More than anything, he wants to know how she feels about this revelation. Is she OK with Poo-reun’s adoption? “What do you mean by asking me if I’m okay with it or not?” “Never mind,” he is slightly shy suddenly what her approval implies.
“What would you do if I said that I wasn’t okay with it?” She’s curious.
“Then we couldn’t see each other anymore because Poo-reun is my daughter no matter what.” YES! Dad is the best ever! “If I disappointed you, I’m sorry.”
Not only is she not disappointed, if he hadn’t answered like that, Bom-yi’d be disappointed in him.
Excellent! They settle back into perfect-for-each-other mode.
Returning home, Hyung gets a call from Dong-wook.
“Did anything happen?” The doctor asks. Nothing, why? Dong-ha says. “Should I have a reason to call you?” “Of course not. Call me anytime. Call me for no reason and visit us often too.” The oddness of the conversation strikes Dong-ha.
At home, Bom-yi places her hand on her heart.
“I’m sorry. I’ve given you a hard time recently.” Looking at the Udo map, promises, “I’ll protect it well. Poo-reun, too. I’ll protect Poo-reun well too.”
The young girl reads a text from Bom-yi. “You don’t know how fast my heart was beating when I met you for the first time. I’m confessing now. I think it was love at first sight. Be with me forever, Poo-reun.”
Poo-reun smiles her small but potent smile and holds the phone to her own heart; we all cry loud sniffly tears.
Dong-ha sees the forgotten gift bag in his room, “Darn it!” Bom-yi phones him, and he tells her he has something to give to her next time – they should go somewhere nice on a date. Bom-yi prefers ordinary places – like when they went to the mart on Udo Island.
She lists her choices: a marketplace used bookstore, camping with the children with delicious food and includes a time to make kimchi. He smiles. “Oh! And Udo Island. I want to go to the windy hills on the island.” He apologizes he couldn’t answer her back then that second night at Shepherd’s Rock.
They say goodnight. From his desk drawer, he pulls out a small notebook with list of Bom-yi’s favorite things, adding the ones she just mentioned.
When Bom-yi wakes up, she sees her father in her corner spot. “Apa. Why are you sleeping here, dad?” “I wanted to check on you throughout the night.”
Aww, so sweet and terrifying at the same time. All those nights her parents must have watched over her. He complains that she should have called him. “I’m a little out of breath and dizzy but I think I feel better.” They agree to keep Oma out of this again.
Cute lovebirds hang out at their love wall. Se-na fills him in on Bom-yi’s emergency room visit and swears Park to secrecy. She has to threaten breaking up with him to insure his mouth stays shut.
“Don’t you know how talkative I am? Do you want me to die or something?” LOL Park pays the toll of that promise later when he waits for the CEO to sign papers.
Dong-ha notices his silence, goading him. “Why aren’t you talking?” Park responds to the devil on his shoulder.“No way. She’s so precious to me. I can’t break up with her like this.”“What is he saying?” Dong-ha asks. Ah! My favorite line again!
Bom-yi, nervous, sits with Dong-wook in the waiting room before her tests.
In what I assume is an attempt to lighten the mood, he asks her to marry him now and move to Dubai* (*It feels strange to talk about “Arabia” as a destination, so I picked a city.) with him, but it is more threatening than anything. Her startled reaction gets an admission, “I can never be funny, though.” No kidding. Literally.
Apa shows up and takes over bodyguard duties, sending Doctor Kang to his scheduled surgery. Like a jilter lover, Apa complains,“He’s become a little cold to me since the situation changed.” Her concern that Dong-wook quit the hospital gets dismissed immediately.
Dong-wook and Ji-won approach each other in the hall; they pass without saying a word. She turns, upset.
Doctor Kang does heart surgery. Blood and tubes and stuff. He reminisces about looking up to see pretty Miss Bae watching him from above.
Dong-ha waits by his phone. Bom-yi gives him an A-OK report on the test. He worries that she must be hungry. She hangs up when her father walks over.
“Do you like him that much?”Apa asks. She says she is sorry, so he challenges her apology by asking if she would marry Dong-wook to make up for it. Apparently, Apa and Dong-wook share the same bad sense of humor today. He tells her they’ll need to wait for the biopsy results before knowing anything. I give him points for acknowledging that he doesn’t know if it’s good or not. As horrible as the truth is, Bom-yi needs to hear it straight. He tells her to go eat.
Bom-yi picks at her food in the hospital cafeteria. She wonders if her loss of appetite comes from having fasted. Oma sits down with her. Why did she come to the hospital?
Bom-yi lies saying she came to get her belongings from the nutritionist’s office. Oma is ready to battle, “No matter what you say, it won’t work on me. His age and his children. There’s nothing compatible with you. It can’t work out with just your love.” Mom questions if her daughter understands the strain of being a mother. Bom-yi counters by asking for her help. “Teach me, mom. You know well how to be a good mother because you’re the strongest and the greatest mother in the world.”
When Bom-yi was sick, she would have given up if Oma weren’t there for her. Her mother accepts the role of someone her daughter can lean on, saying, “I’ll protect you by standing in front of you.”
On the way home, Bom-yi has to stop to rest because her heart is giving her trouble.
She ends up in front of a professional photo printing shop and goes inside.
Dong-ha is at a big meeting that his mother is also participating in.
There is discussion about the budget for social work being tied to the company’s profits. Mom won’t make eye contact with her son and that troubles him.
Park skips into the meeting announcing Bom-yi’s presence on campus before Dong-ha can shut him up. Meat Mom hears and shakes her head.
“I thought you’d finally learned to be quiet, but it didn’t last the day,” he grumbles. Park defends himself, sortuv, “Even a dog can’t change its habits. Of course it’d be harder for me.”
This time, when the fashionisto tries to lend him the jacket off his back, Dong-ha refuses. When Park suggests various expensive options for dates with Bom-yi: cruise reservation, Kyung Po Beach for sashimi, which is an approximate 2 1/2 hour drive, Dong-ha ignores him.
Meanwhile, these strange ideas also worry Se-na, who thinks Park suffers from delusions of grandeur. He talks about helicopter rides and flying to Australia to see koalas (He should visit us HERE!) The mystery will be solved this weekend when they go to visit his parents. Bom-yi congratulates her friend’s good fortune.The boys arrive, and Dong-ha and Bom-yi are happy to see each other.
Park continues his worrying ways with Se-na when he suggests dinner in Osaka that night, or taking out his private yacht in Incheon Harbor. She begs him to stop.
Bom-yi and Dong-ha sit side by side enjoying their friends back and forth. “What a good joker he is,” Bom-yi says. “It isn’t a joke,” the CEO replies, surprising her.
“You said you were going straight home after the checkup. Why did you come here?”
She has a gift she wanted to pass on to Meat Mom. Her phone rings and the three end up together having a meal.
At first, Mom won’t take the proffered gift. “Mother, you’re embarrassing her,” her son says. When Bom-yi sits back down, Dong-ha takes her hand and pats it in comfort.
“Why did you come out with her?” Mom gripes. “Because I was worried you’d say bad things to her,” he teases, getting stone cold silence back for his effort. LOL Mom gets right to the heart of it, ”What do your parents think about your relationship?” She is not going to back the girl against her parents. “This isn’t something you can bear, Miss Bom-yi. This burden is too heavy for you to carry so I have to stop you.” Ah, but Bom-yi has an awesome reply, “I’ve never thought of children as something I should bear or heavy burden that I have to carry.” Dong-ha looks touched by her words.
“I’m loved by the children. Up until now what I’ve received from them is more than what I’ve provided them.” Being with them only makes her happy and she loves them dearly. If she is a lousy mother, then she’ll do her best to learn from the older woman. Mom sighs.
At their blue bar, Dong-wook joins Ji-won.
He slides a gift over to her, a pretty silver hand warmer. She asks if she is pitiful to him and he denies it. He just wants to apologize. It is something he has learned from his Hyung. “I’m sorry, Ji-won. It was my fault.” Ji-won feels uncomfortable about his changed attitude. Dong-wook wants to know why she came back to his hospital after she studied abroad. Could it have been because of him? Without looking him in the face, she claims it was Chairman Song asked me to work for him. We have our doubts.
Meat Mom opens her gift. It is photo albums of the Kang Kids. She smiles and giggles happily looking at them. The force is strong with Bom-yi. Mom just may not outlast her after all…
Bom-yi Oma gets a text from Meat Mom inviting her out to the same restaurant they were supposed to meet last time.
Bom-yi lies in bed. Dong-ha calls from his room, “Were you sleeping?” “No. I’m about to sleep.”
He compliments her on a good job that day, noting that she’s more mature than he is, and she tells him that is being unfair. He wishes her a good rest. Before they hang up, she asks if he’s disappointed that she only admitted to loving his children. “Of course, I’m disappointed. You should have told her that you couldn’t live without me.” She laughs then starts coughing.
“Do you have a cold? Dong-ha lies down in his bed, so in a way, you could say they are in bed together. “No,” she says, “Something caught in my throat.” “I have something to give you (I bet he does.) and I couldn’t give it to you today again.”
“Then, would you give it to me tomorrow?” He likes this. She thinks she can sneak away for the afternoon. He can make it; after all, “I’m the CEO of the company.” He’ll just take time off in the afternoon.” “OK,” he says, dimples everywhere, and for the record, there is nothing on the planet sexier than the way he says, “OK.”She is curious about what he has for her, and feels bad that she has nothing for him. “You’re all I want.” “Don’t do that. Actually, I don’t know what you like. “There’s not much I like. I just need you, Bom-yi.” Oh so cheese-alicious, uri Dong-ha!
She muses, “You like syrup, but you don’t like an ice cream, so it means that you don’t like all sweets.” “I like all kinds of sweets,” he corrects her, “but I just don’t like to eat them on the street.”
She asks his favorite color – green. Favorite song? Kim Hyun-sik’s Soju Shot. She actually knows the singer. The fact that he sings her father’s favorite song, My Love, Be with Me makes Dong-ha feel old. She determines they need to go to a place he picks, which will be his homework to think about. He’s cute trying to come up with something. Dong-wook takes a suspicious Apa and Oma out for dinner in a fancy restaurant.
Doctor Kang teases him about stealing his office to make him sweat, then declares that Apa should keep it as Executive director of the Organ Transplant Center. Dong-wook only needs to be director on paper for the new investors. When they ask how he came to make the decision to stay, he says cryptically, looking at Ji-won, that he has a reason other than his fear Apa would harass him.
Ji-won’s face is suffused with guilt remembering her secret conversation with Song – that the folks in charge probably won’t agree to a Transplant Center.
Meat Mom and Oma have tea in the Japanese restaurant.
Neither of them at ease with the situation they find themselves in. As much as Mom loves Bom-yi after getting to know the young woman, she cannot let her son marry her. She claims that parents are responsible for their grown children’s faults and apologizes on behalf of Dong-ha. Oma says she is sorry and leaves.
Bom-yi is cooking chocolates on a hot plate in her kitchen. We pause for PPL of the neato cool thingie her phone does, and she selects Kim’s “My love, Be with Me” to play. “What a classical song,” she says.Dong-ha calls, saying he came up with a place for their date. She tells him to text her the address. She’ll go there by herself. As soon as she hangs up, she falters, letting fall a bowl of almonds.
Dong-ha excitedly goes to buy bungeobbang, fish shaped sweet pastries, asking for hot ones.
Bom-yi worsens, falling to her knees when she picks up the dropped nuts. Her breathing is labored.
A cardiologist gives Bom-yi Apa the bad news. Bom-yi has edema on her cardiovascular tissues and extensive inflammation with cardiac muscle cell damage.
It seems to be the worst possible diagnosis, and Apa asks if he is sure that is what he saw, lamenting that it has to happen now of all times.
Bom-yi looks at her gift of sweets for her Dong-ha.
Dad shows up, sighing. Relunctantly, he tells her what is wrong. “I think you have rejection symptom.” She’ll be fine, but they have to go to the hospital for tests immediately. “This is my heart, why do I have rejection symptom? It finally becomes mine. I thought of it as mine after five years and why…” He wants her to pack up. “Where’s your bag?” When she doesn’t do what he told her, he asks what she is doing.
“Wait a moment,” she says. And in that instant I feel like she would stop time if she could. “Dad. Give me a moment.”
Dad says, she cannot meet him, she can call him.
“I can’t do it again.” She shakes her head. “I can’t make him wait for me alone again. I have something to give him. I have something to get from him this is our first date, he decided where to go.” Tears stream down her face.
Trying to sound calm, Apa warns her, “You’re very sick. You could collapse anytime and anywhere. Do you understand? You can’t go.” Before he realizes it, Bom-yi is gone. She hides in the street behind a car as her father calls her name desparately.
Dong-ha shows up at a café where floor-to-ceiling shelves of vinyl LP’s cover an entire wall. So cool. The owner recognizes him. “You haven’t been here for a long time.”
When asked, he replies that they still accept song requests. Dong-ha, smiling broadly, touches the request sheets, and looks around excited.
The taxi deposits Bom-yi on the street across from the café, before Bom-yi realizes he should have done a U-turn and left her at the actual address. The only way to get there is across a pedestrian bridge. She takes the stairs up with great difficulty, gripping the railing.
This tiny incline before her becomes Bom-yi’s Everest, and despite the pain and effort it takes, she continues. She struggles, gasping for breath the whole time. When she drops the candy she made for Dong-ha, she looks down and cries at her wasted effort.
Forced to rest, she sits and makes a plea, “Please. Help me. A little more, just a little more. Just for one more hour, no, just for ten more minutes.”
She looks in the direction of the café. Can she make this seemingly endless trek?
Dong-ha happily crosses out “soggy fishcakes” on his awesome list of more reasons that Dong-ha is the most awesome man in the world. Bom-yi somehow, appears in the doorway. He calls her name and waves her over.
“You found the place well. It’s a little country style, but it isn’t bad, right? I even requested a song for you.” She is quiet, but he doesn’t notice because he is so animated about what he brought her. He hands over the fish cakes. “And I’ve held this tightly so it’d become soggy now.” “Is this what you wanted to give me? I couldn’t prepare anything for you.” He smiles mysteriously and opens the real gift.
“Your bracelet seemed to be worn out, so…” Those words could be about her heart. How true and sad. She says nothing. “Are you touched? He gets embarrassed because she is staring at him. “Why do you look at me like that?” In her mind she echoes his speech at the team building off site, “To keep you in my eyes and in my heart so I can engrave you there.” When he tells her to put it on, she shakes her head sadly. “I don’t think I should accept it.” “Why not? What is going on?”
At that moment “My love, Be with Me” plays.
“Tell me. You promised me that you don’t hide anything from me.” I know, Dong-ha, I know. He waits for her to speak. “I was confident. I was confident for everything. I thought I’m allowed…I thought. I’m allowed to meet you…” Whatever is bothering her makes him extremely uneasy. “Stop talking about that. I’m okay. We’ll be fine.” Problem is it could be anything and he can’t guess.
Looking dreadful, face pale, eyes filled with tears, she says, “Thank you, I’ve been really happy…I made too many promises that I can’t keep…I’m so sorry.” She is so sorry. Dong-ha is at a complete loss watching her leave.
She makes it up the stairs to ground level, her breathing getting more and more labored.
Grabbing her chest, she goes down hard on the pavement.
People swarm, calling an ambulance.
Dong-ha sits alone for moment, and then collects his gift and leaves. He mounts the stairs facing the opposite direction Bom-yi went.
Turnaround!! They’re making noise behind you! People are grouped near an ambulance. Aren’t you even curious? Come on, man! Look behind you! He keeps going, too lost in his own confusion to notice.
Arrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh! Deep breath.
What came into focus for me during this episode is how much of an odyssey this is for Bom-yi. Her quest, motivated by Dong-ha’s words not to live for free, first took her to Udo Island for guidance. Meeting Dong-ha again, he inspired her in a different way by letting her see up close the life of a happy family. Every step toward her goal of independence and ultimate happiness took her closer to this kind man who kept pushing her to do what she wanted. Surprising and unsettling as her health struggles are to us, making their first appearance in the drama, they are not new to her at all.
Think of how courageously she had to fight to live before the heart transplant, how brave she was to have the surgery, and what determination it took to heal from it. She may have dreaded the reoccurrence of the symptoms all this time without letting on to anyone. We witnessed how she sure as hell is not willing to let the disease beat her this time either. Crossing the bridge to be with Dong-ha took every ounce of energy and grit she had in her. So much, I am afraid she thinks she is all out, heartbroken and feeling like she has nothing left to offer him. What she had hoped was insurmountable isn’t proving so.