Please allow me to start this recap with a RL story:
When I was a freshman at college (circa 1982), a male classmate of mine–a white guy–fell in love with a Vietnamese girl. He was absolutely head over heels in love with her. He even learned to speak and read Vietnamese (no easy feat) so he could communicate better with her and her family. Her family hated him, mostly because he was white, but also because he was a student, and only had a PT job, like we all did back in the day. They tried everything to break those two up. I didn’t watch Kdrama’s back then, but it was some seriously crazy makjang stuff that went on–her parents arranged blind dates for her and intercepted their phone calls and letters. Of course, the guy’s parents loved her and were thrilled that their son was dating this lovely young lady. I remember the two of them cried–a lot. She broke up with him once for about 3 days, and everyone who knew these two cried with them, me included. Then they got back together and decided to stick it out no matter what. Her parents offered him a “contract”–I’m sure money was involved–to stay away from their daughter. He was furious…and so was she. I never did find out what happened to them. I graduated and left that college, but they were still together after 2 years of crazy parental antics. I hope they made it.
First scene–starts from the end of episode 3. IS’s parents are watched by the entire staff as IS and SB hold hands, declare their love. Evil Mommy Choi has to have her secretary help her up. I wonder how she can breathe on her own. What a wimp. Then the Evil Parents find out their son is indeed the father of the baby. No shocker there…but they act like someone just told them their kid had terminal cancer. It’s sad, really, to see their reactions. Note how cleverly the doctor is shielded by the partition, but IS’s parents are exposed to our view.
Evil Daddy Han requests for the DNA test to be destroyed. Is he afraid it will get into the wrong hands? Bwahaahaa!
He announces “Plan B”. (I have a pretty strong guess what that will entail.) Evil Daddy then gives a speech to IS and SB that is so thick with BS, hydrangeas could grow in it. “..we are only concerned about your health and the baby’s health..” Geez, what a truckload… I don’t think IS buys this either, as he asserts that as a man, the father of the baby, he is responsible for taking care of SB. I love it–he is stepping up quite nicely. Evil Daddy states he will meet with SB’s parents “face to face”. After finding out the Evil Parents will meet with SB’s folks, and that she can breastfeed the baby, it’s adorable how happy IS and SB are. IS borrows the nanny’s phone and calls SB’s folks to warn them of the impending visit. I have to laugh, I clean house the same way, LOL!
Older Secretary Yang goes into see Attorney Yoo (the pregnant one who had the nanny yanked out from under her). She then proceeds to give the secretary a vile blow-by-blow description of how to allocate money in a settlement…Ok, I knew the money thing was coming, and everything, but this is disgusting. Then Evil Daddy Han writes down a new number because he wants this done quickly:
That’s 1.75 Billion won….nearly $1.6 million USD, or 1.3 million Euros, if my currency converter app is right. Dang, he’s not playing around. SB’s folks are strapped…please, please don’t sell her out.
SB warns Evil Mommy Choi about the weird sounding toilet and the low ceilings at her house. Ha! The strained smile on the Evil Mommy and the secretary’s face says it all.
Then Evil Mommy shows her true colors and threatens Ahjussi Butler and Ahjumma Housekeeper with losing their jobs for helping IS and SB. Yikes! This scares me. Those kids need all the help they can get.
SB sends IS an email. “Sorry for doubting your parents.” Oh no. It’s tragic how much these kids want to believe the parents are committed to doing the right thing. I’ve seen this too, with some of my kid’s friends, who believe in their parent(s) even though time and time again, the parents let them down.
Evil Daddy Han’s secretary goes to visit SB’s folks. Wow, that’s low too! You promised the kids a face to face meeting! Another excellent gate shot here–can you tell I love this?
Secretary Yang gives SB’s folks the contract. Uncle listens outside the door. The open-mouthed shock on his face, followed by SB’s Mom and Dad..they can’t believe it.
Meanwhile, Hyeon Soo shows her mom (one of the Vulture Friends) the pictures Yi Ji uploaded on Facebook (?) Kakao (?). Not sure. But now the super-sleuthing Vulture dude decides the baby is Evil Daddy Han’s mistress’ baby, and his wife has been forced to take it in. OMG, LOL, and not just at those printed pants of his. Call it a failure of imagination, but trying to mentally picture either Evil Daddy or Evil Mommy having sexual relations–ehh, no. I am totally convinced the stork brought YJ and IS to the Joseon Mansion House. I feel a headache coming on. Evil Mommy Choi shows up, and the ‘friends’ try to get her to ‘fess up, but she plays dumb.
Meanwhile, SB’s folks do some sleuthing of their own, finding out that IS’s parents ran Dad off, and that Evil Daddy is a rich guy. They are not happy!
Evil Mommy gets a basket of flowers and a congratulatory note “Congratulations on the birth of a son!” Oh, yeah! How much longer are they going to deny it? Evil Daddy comes home to see it too. His wife nearly has a panic attack as she wants to know what they should do.
SB asks AH if the meeting with her parents went well. When AH doesn’t answer, SB figures it out immediately.
And the devastating reply:
Oh no. This cannot be good.
Evil Mommy and Daddy converse. Evil Daddy is convinced SB’s parents will take her and the money due to their near bankrupt situation.
SB’s parents and uncle argue about the money. I like how SB’s Mom is not swayed by the cash. She wants the kids to be happy. Uncle correctly surmises that IS’s family will make SB’s life a living hell if they do somehow marry. SB’s sister Noo Ri comes in, and doesn’t directly answer the question about the camera test, but instead asking how the meeting went with IS’s parents. Mom casually says “oh, fine”, but quickly goes after NR only to find out the camera test didn’t work out; NR was basically told she wasn’t pretty enough and/or looked poor. Great. (/sarc). SB’s family talks about their attitudes toward the rich, then NR votes for taking the money and bringing Bom and the baby home. I can see after the day she’s had why she says this. Bom’s Mom reflects on things, and wants to talk to her daughter, but AH and AB intercept the message, and because they fear for their jobs, they don’t pass it on. But SB has the laptop! NR gets an email…it’s obvious she doesn’t know about the settlement document. This fires up SB’s Mom. IS also gets an e-mail. He’s stressed-how can he study with pressure like that?
SB’s parents try their own divide and conquer!
Dad goes to Evil Daddy’s work, and Mom goes to the house to find SB. Dad–with Uncle in tow–is stopped cold at the door by the Yakuza-like security guys. Seriously…
Evil Daddy’s assessment that SB’s dad is having guilt over accepting his generous offer so quickly makes me sick. SB’s mom gets in the house only to have Evil Mommy flat out bald-face lie to her that she’s not IS’s Mom. I like that SB’s mom sees right through this–no wonder SB is tough, just like her mom. She throws an utterly awesome rage fit, calling her out on the contract settlement, and this time Evil Mommy might just wet her pants! The baby begins to cry, and SB calls out to her mom, putting the brakes on the fit. SB tells Mom, “You did well” LOL. New Grandma gets to hold the baby, and I notice the warm lighting in the nursery–lovely.
SB tells her mom she won’t break up with IS. Mom is not sure how she is going to live at this kind of house. SB asks what the settlement amount was, but Mom’s lips are sealed. The household help know about the contract settlement too, and comment on how it was larger than in other cases they had heard of! Obviously, these kinds of shenanigans must go on all the time…ugh.
Uncle and Dad give up waiting for Evil Daddy and head out for a drink. There’s a new character–who is this dude meeting with Evil Daddy Han in the Club of Exclusiveness? He wrote a book with his children? I’m lost. Wait, is Evil Daddy Han blackmailing this guy with an illegal school admission charge? I can’t really screencap this part because the reflections of Evil Daddy Han don’t show up well–you just have to watch it for yourself. Here’s the best one:
He spouts some nice stuff about “children are the future, we instill our values in them”, and then blows it to smithereens when he says he reads “The Prince” (I’m gonna guess he is talking about the Machiavelli version) with his kids. OMG, who the heck reads that to a child? What a conniving, scheming SOB.
IS gets ahold of the settlement contract. He can’t believe it. Tossing it aside, he turns to leave, and when Hypnotist-Tutor puts a hand on him, IS removes it gently, bowing respectfully. That was nice–IS could have been an arse and pushed him away, but he didn’t. He heads over to SB’s house and meets with her mom. Tearful and sniffling at first, he tells her he will do whatever he can for SB and the baby. Mom invites him in and gives him some juice which he gulps down. Ha!
Shamrockmom used to do the same thing when her kids–or their friends–came to the house all upset over something…food first, then we’ll talk. Low blood sugar does not facilitate a rational conversation.
IS calms down and Mom gives him half a tissue to blow his nose! Dude, you don’t even rate a full Kleenex!
Mom wants to know what a “prince” like him saw in SB, and if she ‘seduced’ him. Whoa…IS replies that he ‘hit on her first’. I dunno, in the first episode, it looked like a straight up mutual deal to me, just saying. Mom knows all about his grandfather and father, and knows they will expect IS to follow in their footsteps. She actually treats him respectfully. I’m impressed. IS steps up again with this line:
I think IS never cared about things before, but now he’s got a reason, other than to just make his folks happy. He says this is the first time he’s done something other that what his tutors have told him. He will tutor or do whatever to make some money.
IS starts to stutter and he calls SB’s Mom “Omoni”, begging her to help him. She seems genuinely moved by his earnest words.
Evil Daddy and Mommy decide to go see IS at lunch the next day. Hypnotist-tutor confesses to IS that he has been moved by his honesty, and wishes him success. Cue the music–and IS, walking into his house like the young master, no hiding or sneaking around today. He strides right up to his old room, where SB is on the couch, curled up in a ball. I love how she’s still in her nightie, and he just gets her coat, and puts it on her, saying “We have to go”. Holy Guacamole! IS takes SB’s hand and marches right back down the stairs and we get this amazing moment:
(I could be mistaken, but I think Dramafever translated it “Step aside”! Both are awesome.)
My favorite moment so far.
Evil Mommy screams and Evil Daddy dispatches both secretaries to the courthouse. He gives this bizarre speech like he’s going into some kind of epic battle–he must be delusional. Evil Mommy’s secretary has to help her get dressed. Geez, is she six years old or what?
IS and SB go to the courthouse. I love her outfit–nightgown, sneakers and winter coat. None of this “Oh, which dress shall I choose?” baloney. IS has his arms wrapped around her: as always he is so protective. SB smiles lovingly at IS, and they are filling out the papers when the secretaries come flying in full makjang style. I love that everyone in the Marriage Registration Office is watching them. IS’s Evil parents and their entourage come in, and complete the scene. I note the old-fashioned fountain pen he draws out–fits with the phone and the hourglass on his desk!
I knew the money manipulation/contract settlement was going to enter this drama at some point, or maybe even at a couple of points. Using money to manipulate/control others ranks pretty high on my list of “Stuff I Flat-out Hate”. IS’s parents must have never heard the phrase “the love of money is the root of all evil”. They might need a tutor for that, LOL. I think they have another phrase in their house; sadly it was one I heard growing up too: “He who has the gold makes the rules!”. Having a lot of coin at your disposal tempts a person to use that money in a controlling/manipulating fashion. I have been telling my kids for years–it’s all about Money, Power, and Control. (well, sex too, but they were too young back then to hear that part…) I’ve seen this in my own life, watching family members with money use it in a manipulative way (gifts with strings attached), and the flip side as well..withholding money to also manipulate and control (example–not paying court ordered child support) Either way is sickening to me, because I hate being a victim, and I hate seeing my kids manipulated as well. Thankfully, now that they are all adults, they see through a lot of this kind of BS and have enough courage to walk away from it.
I am glad that (so far) SB’s parents didn’t sell her out for the money. I worry over SB being under the Evil Parent’s thumb in that oppressive Joseon Mansion House, and I hope she’s strong enough to tell them to take a hike when it’s needed. I would so much rather see IS try to make it in SB’s world–perhaps that’s what some of the remaining 28 episodes will show us.