Thoughts/Recap of HITTG episode 8–A contrarian viewpoint

I know I don’t see things like everyone else.  When I was a child, I drove my parents crazy watching a segment on Sesame Street called, “Which one of these is not like the other?”  The program would show a picture of a chair, a table, a lamp and a football. Evidently most kids, and my parents said “football”, but my reasoning said “lamp”.  After all, it was the only item that needed electricity in order to function. I have been plagued with this sort of outside-the-box thinking my whole life, and after I read some of the recaps/comments on this show, I realize nothing has changed.

That’s another reason I started this blog…my viewpoints aren’t shared by all, are usually not politically correct, and often represent a line of thinking outside the mainstream.

Episode 8–starts with the shrill screaming of Evil Mommy, who tells SB to leave, and enlists the secretary’s help in removing her. Evil Daddy bails out and makes a surreptitious phone call to Young Ra, who hangs up on him!

SB is escorted downstairs, and finally IS comes to his senses and defends SB.


Evil Mommy calls her precious son an idiot, and makes a move to hit him. Yeah, that’s classy!  Evil Daddy comes back from his phone call to watch this. IS grabs her hand and asks why she doesn’t like SB!


She screams some more, while IS tries to defuse his mom. SB strikes an amazing conciliatory tone, saying she wants Evil Mommy to like her but that can’t be her only goal in life…OMG, is she in doormat mode now? I seriously hope not, or this is my last episode. Evil Daddy breaks up the fight and has secretary take Evil Mommy back to their room. IS and SB hang their heads again, and I feel my head start to hurt–and I am only 3 minutes in!

Evil Mommy is accused of over-reacting by her secretary, but then we find out that the secretary told her–which started this whole deal!


Now I really don’t like Evil Mommy’s secretary! Evil Mommy blames the secretary for telling her in the first place–oh, ’cause nothing could ever be your own fault!  Now it’s Yi Ji’s moment to whine to Ahjumma Housekeeper–her parents are fighting, SB and IS are fighting, wah-wah!  Grow up already, and quit whining to AH–what are you, six or sixteen years old?! AH treats YJ like she is six, so maybe that’s par for the course in this family, since Evil Mommy’s secretary treats Mommy like she’s a child, helping her get dressed and holding her hand. I know it’s nice that YJ has AH and AB to act as surrogate emotional parents, but the way this scene goes down, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  AH can comfort YJ without treating her like a baby.

The H-T, butler and Evil Daddy’s secretary talk about the morning’s screech-athon. In case you were unsure of how petty and low Evil Daddy’s secretary could be after last episode, I submit this nugget he drops when asked about reporting on the private lives of IS and SB:


Evil Daddy begins to lecture SB and IS about not letting anyone “outside the wall” know about their problems. He barks at IS that he made his mother worry, and I am so tired of seeing these kids scolded. I’m feeling like I did when I watched the beatings/torture/near-rape sessions in episode after episode of “Maids”. He works himself up into a lather:


sanitizing his past, and lucky for IS and SB, the nanny escorts SB away to feed the baby, and they scurry off…Evil Daddy has no audience now, boo-hoo!


His ego momentarily bruised, Evil Daddy sets out for a conference with his wife, and we find out some interesting goodies….Young Ra chased Evil Daddy, Evil Mommy is jealous (so why on earth does she hang out with Young Ra? I am clueless.) and Evil Daddy’s mom wanted him to marry Yeon Hee, which he did. Then in full Confucian mode, he goes into this historical backstory about which I have no clue, even after some supplementary reading of Chinese History–my apologies. I will give this: Evil Daddy is a master at shoveling the BS, but today, his wife calls him out on it!


This is the best idea I’ve heard Evil Mommy put forth! Evil Daddy then calls her “queen of the household” and gives her what has to be the most awkward hug I have ever seen between a married couple. He looks like he might get cooties from her!

Meanwhile, IS and SB vow not to fight in front of his parents. IS takes pics on the cellphone of JY having his breakfast and sends them to SB’s parents, delighting everyone. Wait, SB’s dad made a picket sign? What is he going to protest? SB’s mom is backing this, which I would translate as, “Go Big or Go Home”. Uh, oh..


The entire Han household staff and family see the patriarch out the door for work. I am getting the feeling that this show is more historical drama/sageuk than anything else. IS and SB head to the prison study room with H-T, where even the tutor in Joseon costume can hardly believe what he just saw.

Evil Daddy consults with the hair loss doc at the office, but learns of the pain involved with surgery, and backs off having anything done. No pain, no gain! Secretary Yoon tries to butter up the boss again, and then right after he says he may have too much self control (!) in his life, he drops this line, cracking his secretary up! How can anyone keep a straight face?


The actor who is playing Evil Daddy better get an award this year. His timing is amazing, he plays this stuffy, overbearing controlling boss/dad/husband so well. Secretary Yoon polishes off the brown-nosing with the line “Caesar didn’t have much hair either” OMG, he buys every word of hers, and she knows it, as she sits back down with Secretary Min and Kim.  Evil Daddy then meets with a co-worker…there’s a slush fund, and the protest today is about unpaid wages, and SB’s dad is gonna be there? *running to grab popcorn and cold soda* This should be good! I just hope the writer doesn’t spend too much time in this drama on the whole corruption deal, like she did in SLA. Way too much time was blown on the corruption, and that was time that should have been spent, IMHO, on the main characters, and their development. But hey, that’s what FF is for, and yunno, that other stuff….that makes hair grow fast, LOL!

I just wanted to include this screencap–look at the reflection of Evil Mommy we viewers get to see in the mirror.  So awesome!


Evil Mommy whines to her secretary that she’s old, and may need plastic surgery, and the Secretary butters her up with SB’s words when she was speaking in English to the Vulture Friends. Ah, so Evil Mommy’s grasp of English is not at the level of her daughter-in-law? Then Evil Mommy gives SB a necklace on a silver platter (!) It’s sorta pretty, but doesn’t look like something SB would wear. I don’t get this a conciliatory gesture? Is this some sort of reward? I watched this scene twice, read several other reviewers takes on it, and I still am not entirely sure what to think. Will she use this against SB later? Judgment suspended on this for now. Evil Mommy wants her to wear it, but SB declines, saying JY will grab it while he eats.


Instead of the necklace being a enjoyable gift SB could use, it gets put in a case by the secretary. SB then asks the question I have–Why did you give this to me? Evil Mommy talks out of both sides of her mouth, saying she can’t give her a gift of jewelry since she is a minor, but because she is so honest, she deserves a gift. No wonder SB starts to giggle. SB runs off to show it to IS, and seems to be really happy. The music seems to indicate a lighter note, and it makes me feel manipulated.

Next we see SB’s dad with his picket sign out in front of the HanSong law building. He walks around–How I wish the signs were translated for us!–and eventually he bails out, dumps the sign and leaves. Another question I have–Is he afraid his participation in this protest will cause more ill will toward his daughter and grandson? Is he chickening out? Evil Daddy watches him on the CCTV. SB’s dad gives his wife an overblown account of his participation in the protest.

Evil Parents meet with the H-T. What does he think of SB going to college? Evil Mommy draws my anger out with her wish to have SB attend a “female university” (WTH!) with this goal:


Obviously, Evil Mommy grew up in the Joseon days as well. But then H-T drops his bomb–SB is a better “return on investment” than IS! Her English, reading and comprehension are all above the mark. She could take the exam along with IS this year! The Evil Parents are aghast! SB, smarter than their precious prince? Oh, yeah! They take the discussion to the Joseon Gazebo–Evil Mommy asks what if SB did better on the test than IS? Another gem of hypocrisy here from Evil Daddy:


who twists it around so it seems like they “let in” a smart girl for IS!

Note in this scene, SB is reading Machiavelli and IS has a manhwa!


Back to the Seo Camp–we find out some interesting info from Uncle. Secretary Min is a mole over at HanSong. She had police academy training, but since her brother was a whistle-blower at the Prosecutor’s Office, she couldn’t get a job in the police force! Her brother started the process that got Dad and Uncle laid off. Whoa! We also find out a couple of more tidbits–the Seo’s have no shower/bath facilities:


Side note–I used to live in a crummy apartment in a gang and drug infested neighborhood, I’d definitely call it Sillimdong-OC. But at least we had a bathtub and shower in the apartment. Call me spoiled, but it’s hard to believe there are apartments/homes with nowhere to bathe. I shouldn’t be surprised, after all, Seon Jae’s rooftop house in SLA had a bathroom like that and since I know he lives around the corner and two streets over, it figures the setup would be similar.  [FF spoiler alert–bathroom fixed!]

And Papa Seo is on the hook for some kind of traffic ticket.  He thinks the fine might be 500,000 won (about $450 USD, 400 Euros) but it might be only community service and/or a warning. Me thinks he couldn’t get that lucky…Mama Seo is worried:


not only about the money, but that the judge could be having a bad day after a fight with his wife or pressured by his boss–after all, this is a country ruled by law! (/sarc)

Next morning before breakfast, IS and SB head down to Evil Daddy’s study. He immediately chides his son for tagging along when he wants to just meet with SB!  You gotta love IS–he is not going to willingly let his lady go to the Dragon’s Den alone! To his great credit, he hides just outside the door, in case something goes badly. Evil Daddy has SB read aloud (in exceptionally good English, BTW.) a chapter on market economy. She picks a great passage about encouraging education and starting businesses without fear of taxation. This wasn’t exactly what Evil Daddy planned, but he wants her to read a couple of pages each morning…and then we hear baby JY demanding his breakfast! Adorably, IS and SB give little hand signs to each other:


and hug as they run off to JY’s room.  I know a lot of other reviewers and commentators saw this scene with the Han Parents in a positive light, but I saw it as more of IS and SB sticking together. His pure happiness at her success is refreshing–he isn’t worried that her success is going to diminish him in any way. Remember Evil Mommy’s comment at the end of the scene “Well, at least she isn’t an idiot!”

Back to the Seo’s–Papa Seo is faking symptoms of the flu, which is so ridiculous, even his wife sees through it in a half-second.


Uncle gives him a summons–evidently he missed the court date for the ticket, and now he’s in big trouble!  SB talks with her mom on the phone, and blabs that her and IS had their first fight and make-up! (TMI–she shouldn’t have told her mom. Best to keep stuff like that to yourself.)  Papa Seo must have drunk the hypocrisy juice at the Joseon Mansion–he grabs the phone, and tells SB to “yield” and not fight..oh, are you encouraging her doormat status? I don’t think your wife is too happy either, dude–look at Mama Seo’s face!


He then drops another one.


Now I know his manly bits were damaged in the breakfast brawl!  They’ve disappeared!

SB is drinking the Kool-Aid too!


Good thing IS is not Under The Influence–he know the real reason his parents are acting toward her.


Here it is, laid out in black and white….the Evil Parents are not changing…SB is changing. I can’t believe how many others think the parents are changing, but that is just not the truth, at least not yet. Evil Daddy agrees to have H-T work with SB. Remember too, his motivation is that his family looks better, not SB’s personal improvement. The scene changes to a meal at the Han household–it is stilted and formal, and very little–actually nothing–is spoken. The staff watch this scene, and I think we are supposed to interpret this as a scene of domestic tranquility…the music seems to indicate that too. I would like to remind everyone that this scene is only possible because SB is being a doormat. It is awfully cute when SB and IS trade the food around, but I am not fooled by this scene…the second she stops being a doormat all you-know-what is gonna break loose. They only care about her if she can make them look good, just like IS and JY–it’s conditional, and it’s so distasteful to watch.

SB’s parents mull this over too..Mama Seo echoes my thoughts exactly:


SB’s parents have seen their daughter and the baby for what, 10 minutes since his birth?  Kidnapping a minor seems almost an appropriate charge here.

Uncle meets Secretary Min outside the Subway sandwich shop, immediately disclosing that she went to the police academy, he worked with her brother, he’s SB and NR’s uncle, and that he knows she is stalking his relatives doing surveillance…


Nothing like playing all your cards at once! Uncle point-blank warns her to quit the surveillance. She leaves, but I doubt the Hans will quit messing with the Seo family. Uncle comes home and talks to NR, and her folks bluntly–they are being watched. NR gets it–she says it seems all well and good at first, but….


They all agree not to tell SB this info. Uncle calls his brother out about the picketing, and Papa Seo asks if he did the right thing.


He also tells his brother the fine was 2 million won…Dang, that’s $1800+. Mama Seo is gonna lose it when she finds out.

Uncle and Secretary Min meet for coffee. (should I ‘ship these two? Naaaah..) We find out her brother is out in the countryside “recuperating” and I am not sure how to interpret this. Then the bomb drops…Secretary Min knows about Papa Seo’s judgement. She hands Uncle an envelope…


Oh, that’s just….wow.  Uncle is blown away..I love the quote “He gives the illness and the medicine”. He tries to press her for info–“How much do you know?” but she won’t divulge the info. That’s because Evil Daddy’s secretary is watching her! He does a poor job of being sneaky, IMHO.


Secretary Min upbraids him when they get back to the office. He plays dumb, but Secretary Min is not fooled. OMG, what a nest of vipers that HanSong is. Meanwhile we get a tiny clip of Evil Daddy working to get NR a job, inviting someone in charge to the Club of Exclusiveness. NR and Mama Seo have a chat in the kitchen…oh, so Mama Seo knows about the 2 million won penalty and “gift” from the Han Family. She’s so smart. They talk about NR’s interview, and Mom wonders:


Evil Daddy is snooping around the Prison Tutoring room, and gets himself locked in! He waves frantically for IS and SB to let him out…shoot, can’t they just leave him there?  They spring him, and collect their books.  IS asks SB what the biggest hardship so far has been….we then flashback to SB’s family finding out she is pregnant.

Mama Seo can barely hold it together…she wants to know how far along SB is….9 weeks.  SB has already been to the hospital and has a ultrasound picture of the baby, which she shows her. NR argues “it’s just a tadpole” but SB knows better–the face is forming, the baby has hands and eyes…she wants to keep it. I can’t see the screen, every time I watch this I cry…SB’s dad walks into this, and figures it out immediately. He erupts, wanting to know who the father is…Mama Seo tries to calm him down, then drops a bomb right here:


I like this..It’s such a contrast from the sanitized past of IS’s family. Papa Seo cries that her youth is wasted. He smacks her weakly on the arm, then hugs her as the whole family cries together. IS hugs SB, and I can only imagine how he wishes he could have made that difficult moment easier for her, if he had only known. I wonder if IS knows the unrelenting pressure she’s been under for pretty much a whole year now, from her parents knowing, not divulging IS’s identity to her parents, to his parents behaving like fools and controlling jerks.

But of course, we have to end with the Evil Parents, having a terrifying moment…what if she passes the test and IS doesn’t? Yeah, the world would end, right?

I just didn’t get the whole “the parents are changing” vibe from this episode. I only see SB having to change, and I wonder if she’s doing this so they will be lulled into thinking she’s compliant or if she is really wanting to learn their “ways”.

In better news, I am on spring break now, so the recaps will be caught up hopefully by Sunday, and my other posts too!


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