A couple of weeks ago, I asked myself the somewhat rhetorical question, “Why am I watching this show? There’s so many things that are upsetting/triggering/rage-inducing for me.” But one of the reasons I love this show (and SLA too) is that the narrative of the story weaves in and out of my own life–both past and present experiences, making the drama achieve a level of reality I don’t find elsewhere in Drama-land.
This week, my oldest son gave notice at his gas station/mini mart job, which he’s had for over 2 1/2 years. The Mini Mart has a restricted liquor sales license–no sales after 10 pm. He was getting constant pressure from the owner to ignore that restriction in order to improve sales. My son was working there when a previous owner obtained that hard-to-get license; it took months to get it through the bureaucratic works–so he knows it was not obtained easily. The penalties for not following the provision of the liquor license are harsh–revocation is pretty much the norm. My son offered to start doing the paperwork to have a less restrictive license, but the owner was a no-go on that. My son refused to not go by the provisions of the license–so he’s leaving. Even a counter offer of a fairly significant raise in pay from the owner did not change his mind. Lucky for my son, his other PT job is thrilled, and wants him to work more hours, so he won’t lose too much money over this. He had a minor “rant” where he verbally poured out his anger and frustration over this deal (I was the audience) earlier in the week–because he literally can’t understand it. To him, it is just so much easier to do the right thing, and follow the licensing restrictions, or get a new license. (If you know anything about Autism, those folks usually follow the rules–to the letter.) I am reasonably sure he’s going to put a call into the local liquor licensing board, who will send an undercover agent over there some evening, and bust them–and the Mini Mart won’t be selling any alcohol for a long time. One big difference between the US and Korea–not everyone here can be bribed. Last time it only took the other employee making one phone call to the Lottery Commission to blow the lid off the scam the last owner pulled. It boggles my mind that the owners do all these background checks to hire trustworthy young people to work there (with tens of thousands of dollars in cash flowing through the Mini Mart everyday it’s a necessity) and then wonder why the kids balk at doing anything the least bit shady.
Episode 20–starts right where Episode 19 leaves off, as Evil Mommy and YR are sitting together in the Club of Exclusiveness. The first thing I notice is that even though Evil Mommy invited YR up for tea, the Head Waiter is pouring what looks like champagne into their glasses…hmm, that’s strange.YR tells Evil Mommy why she’s here today:
YR calls herself a failure (which I don’t buy for a second on a couple of levels) and Evil Mommy disagrees too, as she issues a piece of truth that comes off as a whopper dose of pure hypocrisy:
(Dang, those are some ’80’s style shoulder pads in that jacket! I had to crop that pic three times to get it all in!)
No, continuing an unhappy marriage is a failure according to Evil Mommy. I am shocked that lightning doesn’t come down and strike her for that monstrous piece of hypocrisy. Evil Mommy seems like she is getting some wind in her sails this afternoon, as she goes on:
Meanwhile, His Royal Cowardliness is hiding up in his office with Secretary Yang, who is getting the intel report from Secretary Lee down in the Club. When Evil Daddy hears that his wife and his wannabe Mistress are chatting together, he has this to say:
DF–“My life is over!” Ha! I love the look on Secretary Yang’s face in this screencap too! Secretary Kim says he forgot one basic thing:
YR tells Evil Mommy that she’s had a rough time lately, and that:
Evil Mommy declines the apology, and says it was Evil Daddy that acted ‘childishly’:
and that having a “Cat Fight” is so ugly! Yeah, I’m tempted to agree with that…in RL, it’s completely ridiculous to have two grown women fight over some dude who probably isn’t worth it in the first place. She continues with, “A woman’s enemy shouldn’t be another woman”. I have to chuckle because it’s a rare thing for me to agree with Evil Mommy. I hate when women backstab each other, especially over a guy, both in RL and Drama-land. The BS is so thick by now, even YR can’t take it:
YR insists on apologizing to Evil Mommy, and that’s when Evil Mommy stands up, grabs the ice bucket, and starts tossing ice cubes at YR! It’s such a pathetic passive-aggressive move. You can sense Evil Mommy wants that hair-pulling, nail-scratching Cat Fight, but she’s too weak to pull it off. She can’t even throw her drink at YR. Hilariously, YR sorta plays along, shielding herself from the ice cubes being lobbed her way, and acting like she’s defending herself in a snowball fight! Evil Mommy wants YR to “carry the burden” to her grave. It’s both funny and sad when Evil Mommy says what makes a woman mature is her husband’s affair–and mean friends. As if you should expect to have mean friends and a cheating husband. The staff at the Club come running, but are stopped by the Head Waiter. I wonder how many of these scenes he’s witnessed over the years. Evil Mommy finishes throwing all the ice cubes and informs YR:
YR reminds Evil Mommy that the alimony (and her hubby’s cut of that doughpile) is significant. Ah, it’s always about the money! But this time, it seems like Evil Mommy doesn’t care:
Which YR promptly does! She takes out her mirror and makeup case, and fussily fixes her makeup. Wow, that’s crazy…I’ve never seen that after a Cat Fight! YR asks what Evil Mommy ate to make her so strong (Wheaties? Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little US Pop Culture reference!)
Meanwhile Evil Daddy decides to go up to the Club….and then he turns around….and then he decides to go up to the Club, as Secretary Yang gets her daily workout running behind him, then following him back. I really need to learn how to make GIF’s; after Music Theory class, it’s my first project. She finally leads him back into the office just as YJH meets with Attorney Yoo–and you can bet Secretary Min is close behind. They decide to take advantage of the Boss’s distraction….YJH has thoroughly reviewed the case. He gives us this info nugget:
This is a crucial detail–by the company not taking immediate action, it was a breach of contract. Workers were allowed to make safety assessments, and ask for modifications. YJH is stunned:
I’m kinda surprised too. That’s too obvious to overlook. Something stinks here….
(Note–for some reason, I find that DF seems to have easier to understand legal/technical subs) Attorney Yoo is ready to celebrate:
Meanwhile, His Royal Han-Highness has been informed that the “battle” is over–and he even asks who won! Secretary Kim escorts YR out, and Evil Mommy asks Secretary Lee to inform Evil Daddy he can come out now. Didn’t this guy call his son a coward? #whattahypocrite. YR can’t resist using The Force again on weak willed Secretary Kim:
She offers him a job at her company (!) and throws this into the pot:
He immediately starts blabbering about IS going against his Daddy, and how all you-know-what has broken loose since…just as his Boss walks up. YR has this to say to His Royal Clumsiness:
Evil Daddy is clueless of course, and YR leaves. The smoky jazz BGM is superb, as Evil Daddy does a modified “walk of shame” past all the employees at the Club. He asks his wife if everything is ok, and if there was a fight. Evil Mommy gives him her perspective on the encounter between her and YR:
Oh, really?! Evil Daddy is all too ready to believe the falsehood, and he’s obviously hypnotized by the jacket, since he starts blabbering about YR. However, Evil Mommy wants to talk Kid Problems. Evil Daddy is good with that too!
Back to the Joseon Mansion…wait, is that laughter I hear? And happy voices? Oh, here comes Secretary Lee to put the kibosh on that! Mama Seo, NR, SB and AH are all entertaining JY:
That black suit Mama Seo has on in this scene is not too shabby either! It’s a little old looking, but it looks good on her since she’s so tall and thin. More kudos to the fashion team! Secretary Lee asks SB to speak to her privately, and they go into the Prison Study Room. Mama Seo is her usual perceptive self:
The Nanny tries to reassure Mama Seo that SB is doing just fine, but Mama Seo won’t be fooled easily. Meanwhile, Secretary Lee gives SB the latest intel:
Good advice any day, but especially today. That’s because Uncle’s case is complicating things, according to Secretary Yang. And cue the really creepy BGM again. SB suggests that Secretary Lee stay away from Evil Mommy (how does that work?) and that matters are moving forward–and out of their hands. SB gets another clue too:
SB is warned that things might go back to the days of Grandma Han, and she doesn’t seem to take it seriously, which ticks Secretary Lee off. She snaps that this is no laughing matter.
Over at SJW’s Lair, VF-Eom and SJW are having a drink, while SJW gossips with YJH on the phone. Geez, those two sure seem friendly all of a sudden. Nice gossip conduit too, with YJH “dating” NR. SJW thought after IS brought SB home with the baby, he’d toe the line, but evidently not. VF-Eom looks on as she hears SJW’s assessment of the Joseon Mansion and it’s residents:
Almost?! It’s crumbling by the minute over there. YJH has another Captain Obvious moment:
SJW fills VF-Eom in on the details, since MJ did not:
How funny is that! I had completely forgotten about this scene when I wrote that line in my previous recap about IS pushing the Big Red Button of Nuclear Doom. SJW was thinking along with me! Oh, and what did IS say that hit the detonator:
But this is not your average teenager rebellion here! SJW’s got that right. He has some great insight once in a while. Just then YR walks in…she met with Evil Mommy today! Here’s her assessment of Evil Mommy:
VF-Eom gets her something to drink, and comments on her smiling face. YR graciously accepts her compliment.
Personally, I have yet to meet anyone who has had a happy divorce experience, and I really wonder if YR/Chairman Jang’s marriage was not a pure business deal from the start. (Not sure how HS got to be part of the deal.) YR thinks someone should call Evil Mommy and see how it’s going…yunno, since she might collapse from the stress. Not from her husband’s pseudo-affair, but:
Over at Camp Seo, Papa Seo seems quite distracted as Mama Seo tries to get him to eat. He asks about the land her parents had–he’s got a plan:
Mama Seo says she’s thought about that too..but I’m guessing she feels like a hypocrite now, because of the offer of the orchard from Evil daddy that they turned down. She remembers how it felt to have someone want to banish you, and now they are doing the same thing to Uncle.
Back at the Joseon Mansion, IS is hearing about the “new rules” from SB:
Evil Mommy is about to lay down the New Old Rules:
But like her husband, we have to have some Rationalization first:
Don’t feel bad Evil Mommy! Shamrockmom’s family has been a mess for almost 25 years now! Unlike Shamrockmom, Evil Mommy puts the blame on herself and the super ominous BG music cues up. Uh, oh…Evil Mommy says her lack of confidence led her to not apply her MiL’s rules strictly, instead:
Good gracious, if she thinks that IS and YJ have been living “freely”, I can’t imagine what the opposite of that might be–other than locking them up in a room of the Joseon Mansion permanently. I’d be a hippie mom to her, although I feel I was quite conservative bringing up my kids. Here’s Evil Mommy’s solution to the problem:
Question: Doesn’t that dress she’s wearing look like it was borrowed from Molly Ringwald in either “Pretty in Pink” or “Sixteen Candles“? Anyways, Evil Mommy asks if Secretary Lee remembers all the rules, and since she does, to deliver the message to the
peasants household workers and the kids. Secretary Lee looks mighty uncomfortable, and attempts to be the voice of reason:
But Evil Mommy can’t listen to wise counsel:
No, I think you ended up here because your husband is a lying liar, and you are disconnected from reality. Evil Mommy then drops another whopper lie: her and Evil Daddy have come to an agreement on the rules. Funny, I don’t remember that….I think he was shocked, but he can’t say anything since she caught him in the pseudo-affair. AH and AB wonder about this whole thing. AH is her usual perceptive self again:
I’ve been wondering that myself since the first episode. Maybe AH knows about the stork visits! Secretary Lee starts it off:
There will be a new dress code. Kitchen employees and AH/AB have to wear their previous very formal uniforms. Morning teatime(!) is now 30 minutes earlier. (Tea-time? Is this Downton Abbey?) Then they have to stand at attention while the family eats! OMG, that’s so crazy! Here’s the summary:
Secretary Lee moves on to the kids. First, there will be a morning greeting–Everybody dressed and ready to go by 7am–including the baby. YJ is not happy:
That’s from Tiveee.com. BTW–you may see some screencaps from that site in the future–it seems to play well with my computer, unlike Viki…..SoompiTV translates “historical drama” as “classic movie” but I thought “historical drama” was more succinct. DF agrees with me on that one. The subs diverge here, as SoompiTV talks about the kids having a book reading with Evil Daddy, and Tiveee/DF describe it like this:
But here’s something all three of these sites agree on:
WTH!! 10 kg=22 lbs! On that little girl??? Are you kidding me! I’m blown away…that’s so unreasonable. YJ is the perfect size right now….22 lbs less and she’d be skeletal. The other thing that confuses me about this scene is that Evil Mommy upbraided Evil Daddy for pressuring YJ about her weight before, and told her to ignore her dad. Is this some kind of reverse psychology? The kids already don’t respect the parents, so how is putting down unreasonable decrees going to help?
I think I was YJ’s current weight/height in the 5th grade. Sigh. I’ve seen unreasonable expectations like this mess up a kid for life. I never ever hassled my daughter about her weight. It’s never been an issue. She’s vegetarian, and very active, despite her busy grad school schedule and dealing with fibromyalgia since the age of 12.
My oldest son has the opposite problem. I can’t keep the weight on him. At 5’5″ and 135 lbs, he has the appetite of a person twice his size, and the metabolism of a hummingbird. I’m jealous, but he says it’s a drag to always be hungry. He’s been like that since day one. I took him to the endocrinologist and the nutritionist at the local university teaching hospital when he was a toddler, because he wasn’t on any of the growth charts. They gave me a high-fat diet for him–cream and butter added to everything, 6 meals a day. It worked, and within a year he was at the 10th percentile for weight and height–a huge victory. Interestingly, the doctor wanted him to take growth hormone shots starting at about age 10; they could already tell he was going to be fairly short–no more than 5’6″ as a grownup. He declined, and said that he was happy with how his Creator made him, and if others had a problem with it, that was too bad for them.
Secretary Lee informs the Nanny that she is to have JY up and dressed at 6:30 am and then wait to be called for the morning greeting, which she can’t believe either. Evil Daddy gets home that evening, and although IS tries to get a word in with his father, he is steamrolled:
I’ve seen this happen before at my work too. Things aren’t going how the boss wants them to, so she imposes all these ridiculous petty rules that just tick everyone off. Then she leaves for a week on vacation, everyone breathes again and we go back to doing things the way we did before, which was just fine. The harder you try to control someone, the more it slips through your grasp. I saw this growing up, and vowed never to do this with my kids.
As if on cue, things immediately start to unravel further at the Joseon Mansion. Evil Daddy greets his wife with “You look lovely today”–DF and Tiveee or “You’ve had a hard day”–SoompiTV. YJ asks her mom this reasonable question:
Evil Daddy grabs the chance to blow some hot air around! He says that people spend time and money to lose weight because if you can’t control your weight:
Really? Never heard that one. Like most teenagers, YJ comes with a perfectly functional BS detector. She knows about her dad’s pseudo-affair, and knows he has no self control, so she calls him out:
Evil Daddy: “Whuuut??” He’s so clueless…SB scurries off to follow YJ to her room, and IS stands up to his Father, albeit gently:
That Canyon High T-shirt IS has on cracks me up. There is a RL Canyon High School on the other side of Anaheim from Disneyland about 15 miles away. YJ is crying in her room, as SB hands her a box of Costco Kleenex and tries (too hard IMHO) to be reasonable:
IS sounds defeated,like the Cult of the Han Family has beat him down, as he asks what they can do. YJ has a solution:
Good for you, YJ! She’s not going down without a fight! Running away from home, or studying abroad sound like reasonable alternatives to her. SB and IS want to come with her. Ok–the lot of you can come to Shamrockmom’s house and hang out here and go to school and/or work. Lots of other kids have done it, and I think you will be good with my rules too. I’m even cool with the baby, although I don’t know who’s going to watch him while we go to work and school, but we’ll figure it out….
YJ declares that she is sick of the Evil Parents hypocrisy and:
Meanwhile, AH and AB groan about having to wear the ultra formal uniforms. Secretary Lee says not to shoot the messenger, and AB has this to add:
And then we get confirmation:
So Evil Daddy did fire Tutor Park. I wondered, but I wanted a hard confirmation. Secretary Lee tells AB to ask the Evil Parents directly, but he shoots back that they are supposed to go through Secretary Lee if they have questions. I note she doesn’t address this, but instead informs AH and AB about yet another rule:
Secretary Lee is measuring the dining room floor, and putting tape here and there. /begin rant–As a dental professional, I hate how she rips off the tape using her teeth. That’s a great way to chip your front teeth, BTW. Use some scissors, it’s cheaper than a filling or crown! /end rant. SB asks Secretary Lee to have AH comfort YJ, but Secretary Lee responds:
The next morning, I’m totally shocked to see Secretary Lee walking into SB and IS’s room unannounced to give them what we call around here a “Wake-up Holler”. These poor kids, do they not have any privacy? Good thing she didn’t interrupt morning ‘playtime’! YJ looks like any other American teenager as she is also given the holler, and pulls the covers up over her head. Note–I never had to do this: my kids always got up and ready to go. My oldest son is an early-bird, and he had to hustle me out the door to get to his 7 am HS class on time!
Here is a very unhappy group of campers for the Morning Meet-n-Greet:
It appears YJ has lost none of her spunk from last night, as her mom tells her to smile and she asks if this is some comedy. Evil Daddy barks back at her not to be rude, but YJ has some interesting plans:
Evil Daddy: “Whuuut?” YJ declares:
She leaves, as Evil Mommy blames IS for his sister’s bad manners. Thankfully, SB gets JY out of Evil Daddy’s hands as the voices raise. IS stands there stone-faced, and I know he’s seething inside, waiting for just the right moment to strike back. SB gives YJ a bit of encouragement as she leaves for school:
Now it’s time for a relaxing breakfast:
Not! I’d have heartburn after a stressful morning like that. AH and Secretary Lee stand at attention in the background…I feel bad for them. After exchanging some formal and stilted good-byes, Evil Daddy gets some help with his shoes from AB–
Writer-nim sure has a thing for shoes. Shoes were a big deal in SLA too; pictures of them side-by-side, hiding them, putting them facing in/out…Evil Daddy is at work now, as he instructs Secretary Yang to “add an extra zero” to the paychecks. He has to satisfy:
Okay, I gave up on the Evil Parents many episodes ago, but still there were some commentators who stubbornly held out hope that they would come around and change. I think by now those people are few and far between. Evil Daddy continues his journey into Delulu-land, as he declares that he may work for money:
*headdesk* How the actor can deliver those lines with a straight face?!? I gotta wonder how many times the actors and crew cracked up laughing during the filming of some of Evil Daddy’s scenes. He then calls Secretary Lee to see how the “Queen Regnant” is doing–but she’s too busy reading a book to take his phone call! Evil Daddy replies that when she’s not busy, she can call him back. Nothing urgent–he just wants to hear her voice! Evil Daddy remarks at how hard this is….I wonder who will lose it first in this household.
Well, well–It’s Secretary Yang meeting with the formerly employed Tutor Park. She asks him if he:
Not really–he wasn’t thinking about his job. No one intends to fall under the spell and obey Evil Daddy.
Then your mind sways…you sit on the leather couch, and become seduced by thoughts of power, money–basically:
then I hope I could I be like him, then I will be like him….and in the end:
Secretary Yang is completely clueless *facepalm* :
Note the lighting in this scene: clear pure light streaming in the big open windows. Tutor Park wants to get down to business:
Secretary Yang beats around the bush, then gives him a “smackdown with a smile”:
It’s normal for a son and dad to face off, but soon IS will:
This reminds me of a quote from one of the Star Wars movies,”Only at the end do you realize the power of the Dark Side.” Tutor Park thinks she’s half right, and half wrong. What’s the real deal here? Secretary Yang tosses this up:
Wait a minute…whose side is she on, anyways? The side with the Evil Parents–like I thought? Or on the side of her sister and the other employees of the Han Household staff? Besides, Evil Daddy still needs someone to tutor his kids. She dangles the dinero:
if he’ll just stick to teaching the kids. She urges him to think about it carefully….no problems with that from Tutor Park!
I’m going to wrap this up for now, and I apologize for being so far behind. My health is still precarious, and I am struggling day by day. Some good, some not. What has happened is that the hormonal changes resulting in the severe hot flashes I’ve been having caused me to experience…morning sickness! Nausea, vomiting, severe stomach pain, and diarrhea have knocked me out. I’ve lost 2 days of work, and barely made it through two others. I lost 5 lbs in 10 days…not the way I wanted to! Now at Shamrockmom’s house, my kids are appropriately concerned, but it’s never the wrong time to make a joke. My oldest son laments that he doesn’t need a younger sibling at this point in his life, while my younger son says he wants to meet the guy who knocked up his Mom and make an honest man out of him! Thank goodness they keep me laughing! I think this must be payback for having no morning sickness with any of my kids. I have a lot more compassion now for those who suffer terribly from this condition. I will keep plugging away at these recaps–I enjoy the details. Watching all the subs for the differences and finding little things in the background is like a treasure hunt.