Thoughts/Recap of HITTG–Episode 7 (in which I tear my own hair out!)

I am not sure why dramas by this writer-PD team bring out the crazy in me. This show, as well as SLA, hits nerve after nerve, bringing out feelings I thought had successfully buried, and/or pushing me to deal with things in the present.  The issues brought up in the show are amazingly relevant to me, and the emotions of the characters seem to spiral around, weaving into my life, both past and present.  I can watch and enjoy other great dramas, like “Healer” or “Pinocchio” without obsessing, and even more toxic melodramatic fare like “My Spring Day”  I can recover from, well–mostly. I can even watch fairly goofy stuff like “Modern Farmer” and enjoy it, plotholes and all. It is extremely fortunate for electronic devices everywhere that I viewed Episode 8 very quickly after Episode 7.

Episode 7–starts with the aftermath of the Breakfast of Doom.  Somehow the Han’s servants have broken up the Jerry Springer-esque brawl between the parents, and are shoving the Seo’s outside and into their Mini-van. Judging by how much help SB’s dad needs to get to the van, and that his wife offers to drive, he must have really taken a shot to his manly bits.  Evil Daddy Han’s secretary steps in it big time with this quip:

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Evil Daddy’s secretary is darn lucky Papa Seo is injured, or there would have been another brawl in the street. Ahjussi Butler Park drags the secretary back, chiding him for hassling the Seo’s, but Papa Seo has heard enough, and roars back!

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Mama Seo begs Ahjumma Housekeeper to take care of her daughter, as they bail.

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Evil Mommy Choi huffs and puffs about the Seo’s calling IS “son-in-law”, but her pity party is interrupted by the wailing of her husband, who can’t even stand up straight!  She asks if it “might explode” (LOL) and Evil Daddy Han answers:

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TMI!  He brushes his hair and has a panic attack!

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Serves you right–it’s probably falling out from stress!

IS and SB wait for their obligatory scolding on the couch. I am completely over seeing these two hang their heads in front of either set of parents. I think they will need a chiropractor to adjust their necks before the drama is over.  Evil Daddy then proceeds to thoroughly diss the Seo parents. He tells SB her parents are poverty stricken because they don’t know how to recognize an opportunity when they see it!

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Evil Daddy portrays himself as some sort of benevolent, magnanimous figure who wanted to help her parents, and it’s making me nauseous. Then IS drops a bomb:

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Whoa! So the Han’s haven’t been wealthy for generations?  They used to be poor, but now they aren’t? Oh, that’s precious…I suddenly feel much better.

Side note–My parents were the King and Queen of sanitizing their past…to hear them tell it, they pretty much never disobeyed their parents or made a wrong decision after the age of 10. As I got older, my Grandparents popped a few bubbles, and family friends have blown up a few more. I swore I would never do that to my kids, and they know (almost) all my past–I’ve never tried to come off as perfect or mistake proof.

Daddy Han tells IS and SB that poverty then was different! Geez, I’ve even heard my own father spew this nonsense. Evil Mommy blames SB for inciting IS–talk about misplaced blame! IS just wants the families to treat each other equally, and peacefully. Evil Parents scoff at IS, saying “love, peace and freedom aren’t free”. SB’s parent’s “aren’t qualified”. Wow, that’s hurtful. SB throws it back–“Show me what I have to do to be qualified”

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It’s here..the moment I’ve been dreading, and it’s only Episode 7. Watching this scene is painful for me. SB is going to the Dark Side. She wants to be powerful, and rich like the Han’s. There is a look of barely concealed glee on the Evil Parents’ faces. They’ve won–at least for now.  IS tries to warn her, but it’s too late.  She’s crying–saying these words must be killing her soul. I know they are killing mine.  IS looks like he’s completely helpless:

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Daddy Han talks to H-T who has a name: Park Kyung Tae.  I notice how traditionally he dresses, especially after watching “Maids”. I am sure these two shows are sharing props and costumes, even though they are on different networks. Evil Daddy wants H-T to teach the kids “a clear world view”. WTH–I can only imagine how warped his world view is.  Will H-T come thru again for IS and SB?

Back to the Seo Camp–Papa Seo is helped in by his wife and Uncle. Mama Seo then utters one of my favorite lines–at least by the Drama Fever translators, who hit it out of the park with this:

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I looked at all three major sites, and hands down, this is the funniest!  Thank you DF subbers for the amazing choice of words!

Noo Ri argues that they should have taken “practical benefits”, but the parents don’t pay much mind to her words. Uncle says they should have at least thought about it, but Mama Seo shuts him down too. OMG, these two…talk about being undermined in your own house!

As the Seo clan argue, Evil Daddy blows more hot air and attitude in front of his secretaries.

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I just realized that he has his personal guy secretary, and both these ladies. Three assistants, sheesh!  He then takes selfie pics of his hair loss (!) and I wish I knew how to make those GIF things, because the eye movements here are a serious piece of acting skill.

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He researches hair transplants, but is worried about the pain issues–especially since his manly bits are still causing him pain from the Breakfast Brawl.

Side note–I know a lot of guys care about hair loss, but that is pretty low on Shamrockmom’s list of things she worries about when checking out a man.  Hair transplants, weaves, wigs/toupees, medication, dorky comb-overs–no. Just deal with what you have been given, or shave it all off and forget about it. I can’t for the life of me understand why a guy would take Minoxidil to grow hair, when one of the side effects is–well, let’s just say it sorta makes it difficult to, uh “get it on” with your lady–if ya know what I mean!  What’s the point of attracting her, and then you can’t even do “it”? I care far more about what is between a man’s ears than what is on top of his head.

H-T goes into a lecture–the “clear world view”. I am liking this guy more and more.  What he does is basically teach IS and SB that it’s all about power/control, and who has the best attorney. IS and SB both seem disgusted, but SB persists and IS asks her “to just live happily with me”. SB’s reply:

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is not well received by IS.  He asks if she’s mad, and we get to see the first cracks in their relationship. This makes me nervous–they gotta stick together and fight the Evil Parents. They take the fight to their room–SB won’t let IS hug her because she’s sore from feeding the baby, and it’s sad that his hugs, which always comforted her before no longer have the same effect.

Uh-oh!  Evil Mommy’s been hanging with the fortune teller again!  Now she wants to put something else in the bedroom, while SB is feeding JY. While they are pasting talismans or whatever those things are under the desk, IS tries to have a heart to heart talk with H-T. He has an idea of selling stock his grandfather gave him, perhaps to help her family, but that idea is shot down quickly by H-T.  It’s cool how he makes IS think, and doesn’t just tell him what to do, or rubber-stamp his ideas. IS will have to think for himself, and that will ultimately improve their situation.

SB walks in and catches Evil Mommy and her Secretary red-handed, sticking one of those sordid things under their bed! Evil Secretary blathers about this being an ancient family tradition, but SB calls it out for exactly what it is, and what she thinks:

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Evil Mommy tries to backtrack, saying she doesn’t believe it either, but wants to respect the elders.  SB doesn’t buy it. She kicks the two witches out with this line:

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And the exclamation mark goes here:

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I despise fortune tellers, psychics, tarot cards, astrology–it’s all BS, and it’s not just because of my religious beliefs, although it does play a part–I won’t deny it. If you mess around with that stuff, you are messing with some truly evil powers.  Best to stay far, far away.

I like how SB checks the stash box of mangas and sweet potato snacks…thankfully they’re safe!

This whole scene should be mandatory viewing for those who have difficulties setting boundaries for others. **hangs head in deep hypocrisy** SB doesn’t let herself get bulldozed by Evil Mommy and her Secretary, yet she didn’t get hysterical and throw a tantrum either. She was in control, calm, and firm. Perfect!

IS must have been taking notes…he catches his Evil Daddy on the way in to see JY, and chides him for not washing his hands–“babies have weak immune systems”.  When Evil Daddy protests that IS is being a nag, IS verbally punches right back:

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IS then proceeds to enlist the Nanny to his cause–“Please pay attention to my family’s hygiene”! Evil Daddy roars that he will go wash his hands, and gives IS a shoulder shove as he walks past him. Evil Daddy looks like the petulant teen here! If you look carefully, the nanny smiles as the scene ends! I wish I could’ve grabbed that screencap, but it’s like a tenth of a second long.

SB and IS give a pep talk to each other, while the Evil Parents resume their scheming. Evil Mommy blames SB’s parents for inciting them, and Evil Daddy says this:

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Side note–I was so irritated at some of the comments on the Soompi board this week that were sympathetic to the Han Parents. I had to take time out to write a small essay, “Why the Han Family is Bad”. (pg 64)  It reminds me of the beginning of SLA. I hated Kang from the first episode, but the comments on the Soompi board and Viki were initially quite sympathetic to him–“oh, he’s getting cheated on, poor guy..”. In later episodes though, that slowly changed to “well, he deserves it”, then “this guy needs to go”, and finally, “he needs to die slowly and painfully”.  Granted, I’ve had moments when I was pretty darn angry at my teens for doing something I thought was bone-headed, but I never said or thought,  “Let’s crush them.” It’s so over the line..these parents are beyond redemption.

SB’s mom sends a text to Evil Mommy’s secretary, inviting the Han’s over to the Seo home.  Evil Mommy flatly rejects it, unleashing some serious righteous anger on Mama Seo’s part. She show the text to her husband, who gets riled too. I like how Mama Seo says that if they get upset, it’s their own problem, and SB/IS will “win” for them.  But I also like Papa Seo, who says this:

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I like that he considers their feelings too–it’s the underlying respect he has for his daughter and son-in-law.

Evil Mommy leaves for the day, and goes to visit her Vulture Friends. Young-Ra yaks on the phone, while Evil Mommy and the others gossip that her hubby might get a prison sentence. Before she leaves, Young Ra lets Evil Mommy know that Evil Daddy made an appointment at the hair transplant clinic! This group of Frenemies are like a bunch of immature junior high schoolers from a bad Lifetime cable tv teen melodrama. Meanwhile, Evil Mommy’s secretary gives SB a table manners lesson. She seems to pick up things quickly. Evil Daddy meets with Young Ra’s husband (who looks old enough to be her father, lol) and they have this whole dance-around talk about the corruption, in which I have no interest. Young Ra interrupts the meeting, putting on the concerned wifey act, then skewers Evil Daddy!

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Hyeon Soo confronts her mom over the the corruption issues, and threatens to get on a plane and bail out if she sees stuff related to this on the news. Smart kid. Evil Daddy gets his underlings together and they go through big blue boxes of documents–reading some, shredding some. I am sure he will find something to trip up Young Ra’s family. Evil Daddy meets Young Ra up in the Club of Exclusiveness. Basically, she pleads with him to let her husband and family off the hook, and then when he gets home we see this flashback…so, Evil Daddy and Young Ra had something going years ago, and his mother put a halt on it? SB hears everything as she passes by in the hall. AH warns SB not to listen to the Evil Parents conversations.

Evil Mommy is reading when Evil Daddy comes in and gives her an invite to go see JY, but instead she tells him to sleep in the library. Evil Daddy–“but there’s no bed in there!”  He then calls YR and begs her to talk to his wife.  YR is confronted again by her daughter HS, and then HS calls up IS and asks what will happen to her dad.  Omo, did she learn that skill from her Momma?!?  IS is clueless, and SB is listening to the conversation.  She wants to know if IS would rather she just not ask questions and just have fun. When his answer is essentially yes, she boots him out of their bed.  He looks pretty frustrated, but to his credit, he doesn’t have a tantrum, throw things, or walk out on her. Thanks to the writer for not overblowing this scene–it could have been a makjang mess.

Hyeon Soo and Min Jae meet at a cafe, where she finds out her mom Young Ra is over at Evil Mommy’s house with Min Jae’s momma. It looks like YR is apologizing, in a sorta sarcastic way, and the servants gossip about it. Meanwhile, H-T has IS and SB back for today’s lesson, “Ethics is where Power is”. There is so much hot air blown out by Evil Daddy and H-T that the A/C must be running 365 days a year in the Joseon Prison Mansion. Even IS allows that it’s stuffy in there, so he wants out to say hi to YR, who is putting on an Daesang award worthy performance while shoveling the BS:

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/sarc–The song “Respect” by Aretha Franklin comes to mind here (link to uptempo version..something different)

The household help have a meal together and gossip about the day’s events–so, YR’s daddy was a loan shark, and that’s why Evil Daddy wasn’t allowed to marry her.  I love all these little details we find out. IS and SB interrupt the session to ask the question about Daddy Han representing Director Jang, YR’s hubby:

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So what are they talking about?  I strongly urge you to visit this link on the Korean Attorney’s code of ethics (note–#4 in the preamble is missing–WTH?!? RL has it’s own black humor!) The question never gets answered–instead the conversation degenerates into the fact that IS and SB have been fighting, she shouldn’t ask questions like that before taking the GED, and the staff laughs it off, as IS and SB look really uncomfortable. This scene ticked me off …these are people that had helped them before, and the kids trusted them, only to have it thrown back in their faces.

The next morning, Evil Daddy’s man secretary finds him sleeping in the library in what must be the world’s most uncomfortable makeshift chair-table bed. He snickers as he puts the newspapers on his boss’s antique desk.  I wanna know–how did they prop up Evil Daddy like that? I wish there were BTS pics. Evil Mommy and her secretary barge into IS and SB’s room, where she proceeds to shrilly scream at SB for making her son sleep on the couch, and disses her parents too! A 1-2 punch from Evil Mommy!

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Of course, you know by now the entire household has to be witness to this event.  She screams at SB to leave the house, but the best part is Evil Daddy in the background, who needs that chiropractor for his neck after that night sleeping on the chair-table bed!

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My concern is now it seems SB wants to learn about the ways of the Han family. I fear that once she starts to taste the potent flavor of power and control, she won’t be the sweet person IS fell in love with. She might start to look down on her parents, and/or treat the household staff with contempt. I had hoped for many episodes of seeing SB creatively fight back against the Evil Parents with the help of IS, the household staff and her parents, but now she seems to have adopted the “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality. My question to myself is–do I want to continue to watch this, knowing how enraged I might feel as I watch SB turn into the junior version of Evil Mommy? Or do I cut my losses right here, and quit this show? I tentatively decide to keep watching–for now.

Due to Midterm exam in Music theory class, and my oldest daughter moving back home (and leaving her jerky guy, hopefully for good!) I am not sure there will be a recap of Episode 8. I apologize. The chaos in my house now is about a 9/10.

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