Thoughts and Highlights–Episode 23 HITTG “Applying a Band-Aid When Surgery is Needed”

This was a tough episode to watch–and rewatch. I don’t think it’s going to get easier either. No fun times, not much to joke about–

Episode 23–starts with IS going down to the room where all the heating/cooling pipes are, and shutting some down.  He trips over the doorway as he leaves, and it occurs to me he’s inherited his father’s clumsy nature. I can only hope for SB’s sake that his clumsiness does not extend to the bedroom. He announces that he’s shut down the heater, but the hot water is still on, and the Evil Parents get up and leave the room without a word.

SB and YJ are holed up in the bedroom with JY. YJ tries to console SB that the Evil Parents were PO’d just because the room was hot. IS comes in the room as SB hugs herself. It’s almost like she needs to do that to keep herself sane, because I am sure she could fly into a million pieces from the stress. IS asks if she’s cold (yep, he’s clueless!) and SB says no, it’s because:

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IS tries to tell SB to not worry. They are just blustering–Remember:

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Yeah, I don’t think they are kidding around this time. YJ leaves to take “medicine” to her Daddy, and I am sure she’s outside the door listening into this conversation between the Evil Parents. Evil Daddy feels he slipped up–not because he doesn’t want SB to leave, but he screwed up the plan he and his wife had. She reminds him:

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Oh, so they think that IS and SB aren’t really committed to each other, and this is some kind of “puppy love” situation. Yep–they are delusional. Evil Mommy implores her husband to use the law to speed things up a bit, which seems to stroke his ego. They hear YJ bringing the “medicine” and YJ doesn’t miss an opportunity to let them know she’s not on their side:

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All Evil Mommy can do is say, “Whuuut?” Sometimes I gotta wonder if there are functional brain cells left in either of the parents, or perhaps they need hearing aids. Could the mold in the Joseon Mansion be responsible? Evil Mommy blames SB for everything. Before SB moved in:

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Uhh…no. But it was probably only a matter of time. IS already rebelled by slipping off to date SB. What SB has done is called being the “catalyst”. She just sped up what was probably going to happen at some future date anyway. Her dignity, her determination and composure in the face of searing opposition from the Evil Parents has won her a lot of fans among the staff of the Joseon Mansion. Evil Daddy calls what SB has done to his household “immoral” which is breathtakingly hypocritical, considering what he’s done, both at work and at home. Then he gets into Confucian Theory:

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saying SB has defied them all.

OK, so what are the three principles (Viki–bonds) and five disciplines (Viki–moral rules) Evil Daddy is freaking out about? @mdj101 recommended the Wikipedia page on Confucianism, but this site also has some good info. One thing that irks me (and there are many) is that Evil Daddy refuses to see that his son is a grown man. IS is now a father, with a son and a wife. That family counts too. Evil Daddy is so blind, self centered and egotistical, he thinks those bonds only apply to him. Dear Evil Daddy, here’s a Breaking News Bulletin: Your son is a father too.

YJ comes back to report that the Evil Parents show no remorse, and IS decides he needs to talk to them. Personally, I think time for talking is over. IS needs to go back and read my advice from the first episode. Pack yourself, your wife and your son up and leave right now. Your wife and son need to be able to depend on you. IS even acknowledges that having SB move out makes no sense, from a legal standpoint. SB thinks that the Evil Parents just plain ‘ol hate her (Bingo!) and YJ assures her that the Evil Parents are probably bluffing:

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SB looks like she doesn’t believe that, but she appreciates YJ’s efforts…and then she starts to hyperventilate a bit, like she’s gonna start crying and break down. Honestly, I’m surprised she’s made it this far. Then she gives the Han kids the scoop:

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SB warns them: here comes the truth–and you aren’t gonna like it. No matter what they do, their family will protect them:

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SB says she will always be hated by the Evil Parents. That’s probably true–but it’s really sad.

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I believe that’s called “being the scapegoat“. There was some discussion on the Soompi forum whether SB was a scapegoat or a “Whipping Boy” The two are closely related, even to the point of overlap. Personally, I think scapegoat is closer to what SB has gone through. There was bound to be trouble–it just coincided with her presence.

SB says that she thinks differently–if she met someone who was different:

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During this whole monologue, SB is crying, and IS doesn’t make a single move to comfort her, put his arms around her, or any kind of demonstration of affection. *headdesk* I’m getting mighty ticked off with him. What happened to that confident guy who marched upstairs and took her to the courthouse to get married? SB continues, and really nails it with this line:

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Evil Mommy let SB know as soon as JY was born–she’d never be one of the family–and only because of her own parent’s status. SB even feels guilty for wearing the clothes they bought her, using their water, eating their food…and IS and YJ can only hang their heads in shame. I’m feeling really let down by these two. IS and YJ talk a lot about fighting the parents, but when the “rubber hits the road” they are really big cowards. SB says that YJ and IS have been:

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Tivee gets it right. Viki calls it a “golden spoon” (which makes me think of frozen yogurt–I could use some right now!) and SoompiTV uses “Born rich” which is technically correct, but misses the mark. No matter what IS and YJ do, at the end of it all, the parents will still be there for them.

The in-house phone rings, and IS answers it..the Evil Parents want to talk to SB in the study–alone. Oh no. IS takes a baby step forward:

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But I think SB is not impressed–or she wants to be a martyr:

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Before SB leaves for the parental beating meeting, she sends this text message to Mama Seo: JY and I have to leave,

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Now I am sure Mama Seo knew this moment would arrive…yet by the look on her face, she knows this is only the beginning of even more calamity for her daughter. It’s interesting too that SB only wants her mom–she knows her dad is too much of a wuss, and he would probably escalate the situation by apologizing profusely or some other ridiculousness.

Meanwhile, Evil Daddy implores Secretary Yang to bring back the Nanny, by any means possible. Gah, he really thinks SB is gonna leave JY there? Mama Seo cobbles together a flimsy excuse for leaving late in the evening and sets out for the Joseon Mansion. She sends SB some slightly contradictory advice: Don’t answer their absurd questions, but say what you have to. Hmm…

IS asks SB again if he can go with her…she declines:

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IS says that SB is not alone–he’s been embarrassed of his parents ever since they offered her family that contract. Uh, dude..you should have grabbed a clue back then, and bailed out. He blathers on that he understands the parents, but doesn’t respect them. IS was under the mistaken impression his dad earned money honestly:

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This sorta reminds me of one of the conflicts that was in “The Sopranos“–Carmela (the wife) loved the money her husband Tony made as the Mob Boss, but didn’t want to know the source. Even though the money is “dirty”, IS believes it’s ok:

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And this is when I lose it.

/Rant ahead: No IS, it’s not alright. Dirty money is dirty money–using it, even for altruistic purposes, still means you are benefiting from the crimes your father committed. Now your hands are dirty too, because you know the source of the money, and yet you don’t do anything about it. How are you and SB gonna explain to JY someday that the money used to raise him came from Grandpa’s theft, deception and treachery? I’m finding that this is a litmus test, as I’ve asked different people this week what their take on this is. I’ve received some surprising responses. My affluent co-worker, who I threw under the bus in a previous recap, is in full agreement with me. I would have never guessed that in a million years. My youngest son, Mr. Ultra-Conservative, thinks just like IS, and says it’s not IS or SB’s problem that the money is dirty–the baby’s needs outweigh that. Whoa. The responses on the Soompi forum are similar–some see no problem with using the money, others (like me) think it’s a huge problem. /Rant over.

IS says he will pay back society later…(famous last words) and begs SB again to let him go with her. She declines, and the “jaebal” (please)  she adds at the end makes it even more emotional for me.

Evil Daddy starts in with the indictment:

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He asks if she knows about the three bonds and the five relationships–which comes first?

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Evil Daddy accuses her parents of preventing IS from practicing that bond! OMG! He’s completely delusional. I note the pictures of his parents on his desk. I know what they would think of this mess, but I have to wonder about the generation before, when IS’s great grandfather was around. Evil Daddy drags her Uncle into this mess, accusing Uncle of “going after” him, and destroying the “foundation” of his family. IS can’t take it any more, and starts to get up and defend his wife–Yay! Unfortunately, YJ puts the brakes on it–Booo!

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Viki–“don’t butt in”. SoompiTV wimps out with “don’t make it worse”,  but I like the translation above from Tiveee better. Personally, I think IS needs to throw some gas on the fire. How can he listen to his father belittle his wife like that? Dude–you’re a wimp! Grow a pair….

Evil Daddy then accuses SB of inciting the household slaves workers to rebel, breaking the second bond between a king and his subjects. Yep, Evil Daddy believes he is a Joseon King, living in the 1400’s, not in 2015. SB doesn’t agree right away, and he barks at her. She responds:

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and that calling them servants is disgraceful. Furthermore,

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Uncle is only filing a lawsuit against his former company. IS told Evil Daddy he was wrong because he (desperately) wanted to respect his Daddy, and stop him before the excrement hits the fan and goes public. Evil Mommy loses it first:

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She doesn’t want to talk anymore, even though Evil Daddy calls it the “minimum necessary procedure”. He’s so locked into protocol…Evil Mommy is done:

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And SB agrees!  Holy Cow! Evil Mommy heaps on the abuse, as she asks SB to leave in the clothing she wore over. Evil Mommy offers to call her a taxi, but SB declines:

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Which prompts this from Evil Daddy!

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Dude, your DiL has always been two steps ahead of you! SB informs the Evil Parents she will indeed leave as she came–with JY in tow. After all, if she hadn’t met IS again:

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Note how controlled, calm and collected SB is, compared to Evil Mommy. IS finally shows up as Evil Daddy says No Way!

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IS tries again to use logic and reason with his Father–dude, save your breath! All you do is talk, talk!

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Evil Daddy says he deliberately said it that way for emphasis, and Evil Mommy declares that if SB knows what’s good for JY, she won’t raise him by herself. Omo. Those would be fighting words at my House. I had a lot of people tell me that I couldn’t raise my three kids by myself either, or that if I did, they would turn out to be failures. How I enjoy throwing my children’s accomplishments back in their faces!  It’s a source of indescribable joy for me. “The best revenge is massive success.”

Evil Mommy confidently declares that SB could not provide for JY like they could, and that SB will send him back over to the Joseon Mansion soon. SB says she can raise him just fine, thank you very much, and IS asks this of SB:

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Now why would she do that? So she can take more abuse from your Evil Parents?! SB shakes her head, and IS announces:

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Excellent move IS! It’s only taken 23 episodes for you to listen to Shamrockmom, but hey, better late than never. The Evil Parents scream at them to leave, and YJ pushes the only emergency button she can think of–she calls AH and begs for help. I don’t blame her–I wouldn’t want to be stuck in that house with the Evil Parents and no sympathetic shoulder when I needed it. IS and SB walk out, as the Evil Parents proclaim IS will never make it, at least not more than six months. I know he could do it–forever if he had to, although he’s smart enough they’d be fine in a year or two. He’d probably have a couple of tough moments, but it would forge his will into steel–which is exactly what he needs at this point.

SB warns IS–

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And he asks her not to go there.

Right here is a microcosm of what I think is a huge issue in today’s society. Right now, SB sees IS as a liability. He’s dragging her down. IS is someone else for her to be responsible for, and to take care of. She’s already got herself and JY to think about. IS needs to make himself far more useful to SB–as in get a real job, stand up ceaselessly for his lady, and utilize his friendship with YJH to see about getting those bonds the grandfather left him–which is about the cleanest money he can get his hands on at the moment. For her part, SB needs to figure out that her and IS are a team. She’s being a bit of a martyr here, and I’m not thrilled. This attitude of hers, although not unexpected, worries me. There’s too many useless guys out there who don’t make an effort on behalf of their families. By the same token, women give up on guys quickly because they are sick and tired of being let down. I don’t have a solution–sorry. I am only pointing out the problem as I see it.

AH gives YJ some advice:

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Then she fills in Secretary Lee and Tutor Park on the news:

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They debate what to do as AB gets reprimanded for zipping his fly outside the bathroom! They know if SB leaves, IS will leave too. But if they go back, the strike will have been for naught.

IS packs some of the clothes his parents bought for her, telling her not to take the Evil Parents too literally. She asks him again to stay at the Joseon Mansion:

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I’m not in favor of that idea. In my Western Perspective, SB and IS need to be a team, IMHO. Together, they will be stronger. SB reasons that if IS leaves with her:

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I’m not fully buying that. I have a hunch if the Seo’s knew the extent of the psychological torture the Han’s had put their daughter through, the real question here would be how to keep the Seo parents from killing the Han parents. I think after the Seo’s ripped IS a new one for not stopping the abuse sooner, they’d probably be okay with him living there if he worked and contributed to the family. Then again, it’s probably better if they don’t know everything. My parents never knew the full extent of the abuse I took at the hands of my ex-husband. I don’t want to think about what would happen if my dad ever found out the whole truth.

IS asks if she’s abandoning him…and she responds:

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IS, you let this fester for far too long. There’s a truckload of blame on your doorstep. You let your wife be isolated, brainwashed, and held in contempt by your parents, while you still went to school, had fun and met your friends, and now you wonder why SB has had it with you? Dude, you are in big trouble now. You are about to lose your wife and your son, possibly permanently. You need to get moving and change things..Capiche?

Secretary Yang arrives with the Nanny. I cringe at this line from the Nanny:

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Sadly though, that’s how it works. He’s just a pawn in this chess game. The Nanny is worried the others in the household will think she’s a traitor. As they go into the Joseon Mansion, Mama Seo drives up in the mini-van.

SB lets Secretary Yang and the Nanny know that the Nanny’s services will no longer be needed:

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The Nanny isn’t the brightest bulb:

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No, the situation isn’t complicated. There’s a whole lot of stubbornness going around though. The Nanny apologizes (!) for being on strike, and Secretary Yang begs her boss:

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The Nanny pressures SB to beg for forgiveness so she can stay here with the baby. Am I the only one here who thinks that’s a bad idea? Meanwhile, Secretary Yang tries to sweet-talk the Evil Parents down from the ledge and make a more rational decision. She even tells them it was wrong of them to ask SB to leave!  Again, whose side is this lady on?

IS waits with Mama Seo. He does get one thing right:

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Look at Mama Seo there on the steps, all dressed in black…as if she were going to a funeral. Mama Seo won’t say anything against the Evil Parents, which IS is probably grateful for. I have a hunch once she got started on cataloging their faults, she couldn’t stop. She won’t ask her daughter to beg either…IS agrees:

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Mama Seo echos my sentiments from my previous recap, as she lets IS know:

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IS decided he will beg his parents, and he won’t let SB know either. Thankfully, Mama Seo shoots that idea down real fast!

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IS is betting that since the Nanny and Secretary Yang are there, his parents have cooled off. And he knows this:

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Mama Seo is taking no BS excuses from IS tonight! Yay! She tells IS that his Evil Parents only care when somebody is looking! Doesn’t SB have parents too? Or is this all because Uncle has filed the lawsuit? IS looks really uncomfortable….good! ‘Bout time. He acknowledges she’s right, then insists that he’s gonna fix everything. If SB leaves tonight:

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but he’s got a problem…what happens next?  *headdesk*  IS, you shoulda been thinking about your plans B, C, D and E a long time ago. Mama Seo advises him to console his parents, and let SB and JY go. Wow, that’s so sad. IS won’t agree to that. Mama Seo tries again to get it through his thick head: his parents aren’t gonna change:

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Mama Seo wants him to think about whether all that studying for the Bar was for her….or for his parents. By the look on his face, it’s easy to see he didn’t even consider that aspect. It’s amazing how calm she is too–she could be screaming at him, but she treats him respectfully, as she rebukes him. Mama Seo thinks IS is “careless”, (Viki–“Immature”, and again, the combination is better than each word separately) and her daughter is desperate….yeah, that’s a bad situation for sure.

The Han household staff pull up in a taxi–I wonder what they think they can fix here? I note AH immediately comforts Mama Seo, and IS wants to talk to Tutor Park. They all hustle up to the house, leaving Mama Seo sobbing in the street. She knows they are gonna put the pressure on her daughter to stay in that House of Horrors, and she can’t stand it. I don’t blame her.

The Evil Parents are shocked to see the staff return–but Secretary Yang sees an opportunity. She hisses to the Parents to be welcoming to the staff:

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Perhaps they can resolve both issues. Evil Daddy decides to go for it. He issues his most kingly proclamation:

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Only to have it upended by the staff:

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Tutor chips in that she’s his student too, and Secretary Lee worried that something bad happened. Wow. SB has a lot of support in the household staff. And she never went out of her way to kiss up to them; instead she treated them with simple kindness and respect. (well, after her and Secretary Lee straightened their issues out) Evil Mommy issues her own proclamation:

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Seriously….I can’t believe she would say that. No wonder they give her a blank stare. The Nanny is still confused, and YJ tells SB–things are turning around now.

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The staff immediately guilt-trip SB–what happens to us if you leave? Uhhh, things go back to how they were?

Tutor Park makes this strange observation, as SB looks like she could collapse under the weight of the guilt:

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What does that Bible story have to do with this show? This website gives the following conclusion: “The story of Solomon’s audacious verdict, which flushed out the truth in the dispute and revealed who had spoken the truth and who had lied, has been often used metaphorically, to depict a decision, which may risk destroying the subject matter of the dispute itself, rather than allowing either disputing party to share in it. Ironically, of course, in the Biblical story, Solomon in his wisdom indeed avoided the destruction of the subject matter of the dispute, namely the baby, and pronounced a true judgment, based on his profound knowledge of human nature.” I wonder if Tutor Park was referring to both families being able to share in JY’s upbringing without destroying him (my first guess), or if he was talking about SB being divided between the two families, and being destroyed herself. Hmmm. I’m not smart enough to figure this one out.

The staff heaps their issues on SB:

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Good gracious people! Can’t you see this girl is about to lose it? AH takes a different approach:

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Now how in the world was that gonna happen?! Tutor lays it on too:

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Yeah, it’s all about you guys and your stuff! A plague on all your houses! IS weakly tells the staff to lay off SB, things are really hard for her right now. SB thinks for a minute and says this (From Tivee):

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Viki and SoompiTV–“I’m totally screwed.” Right now, I’m so unhappy with the way everyone treats SB. Everyone, with the exception of her mom, wants to use her in some way. It’s ugly and repulsive to watch this.

Secretary Yang tries to work with the Evil Parents (I’m starting to think I should call them the Evil Modern Sageuk Parents, but I am too lazy to type all that out…) but gets nowhere. Secretary Yang and her sis meet one on one..Secretary Lee warns her unni–

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SoompiTV– “Don’t try to mediate this awkwardly.” No Viki subs–as of this writing, they are at 72%, and there are significant parts missing. Given the complexity of the dialogue in this drama, I totally understand why it’s so slow. I suffer the same issues trying to recap. I watch for all kinds of little things, compare 2, 3, 4 versions of the subtitles, go down rabbit trails looking for clues….but I love it!  Only a drama by this writer/PD-nim team could make me spend hours and hours doing this. It’s the ultimate learning experience, and pushes me in a good way.

Secretary Yang asks for a major concession to the staff demands:

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This time, Secretary Lee is over it. She tells her unni that she’ll let the staff know, and Secretary Yang promises her that her severance pay will be definitely covered! Oh, maybe from that slush fund you’ve been siphoning off Evil Daddy? The household workers aren’t too thrilled over giving up the severance pay demand, but are somewhat placated by Secretary Yang’s words that she’ll take care of things. I don’t trust her for one second, and they shouldn’t either. AH says they will settle for improved working conditions for now, because:

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I’m not liking this arrangement. It puts too much pressure on SB. It’s a band-aid, when surgery is needed. Tutor Park says there is one non negotiable item:

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Secretary Yang outlines another part of the contract sure to placate the Evil Parents:

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SoompiTV does a much better job with–“Breach of Confidence”. Yeah, this next fact oughta scare the pants off the Evil Parents:

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I’d be so down to read a book like that!  All Daddy Han’s politically incorrect notions, all Mommy Han’s peculiarities, the crazy rules they laid down for the kids….it would be a best seller. Evil Mommy sees the long time employment status of their staff as a liability:

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Secretary Yang masterfully manipulates her Boss into making the right decision. IS *finally* gives SB a hug:

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SoompiTV translates “death” as “hell”. I’m good with either word! SB is less thrilled:

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IS begs her to think of it all as a nightmare, when SB’s phone buzzes with a message from Mama Seo, who is still waiting for her daughter….

Evil Daddy tries to put the spin on the deal–Isn’t it just peachy?

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Get me a shovel for that manure! And a big spray bottle of Febreeze! Evil Daddy declares that he is putting himself in their shoes!

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OK, make that two bottles of Febreeze! OMG, the hypocrisy…SB and IS hang out in the background, listening to the BS fountain that is Evil Daddy, and immediately, Evil Mommy asks Secretary Lee:

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*face-palm* as Evil Daddy nods his head. I don’t know how I can have any more contempt for these two than I already do. I’ve hated them from Episode 1, have always considered them beyond redemption, and could never understand why certain persons on the Soompi Forums sympathize with them in the way they’ve treated the Seo parents, the staff, and SB. It’s far past my Western perspectives and understanding.

IS and SB rush down to meet Mama Seo in the van. She asks how things went up in the house, and IS gives her a vague yet accurate answer:

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SB asks IS for some privacy to talk with her mom, and she gets in the passenger seat of the van. IS patiently waits for her by the door, as Secretary Lee checks in, and bows to Mama Seo!  Nice! I can tell Mama Seo is not thrilled about the band-aid solution either. Mama Seo and I think alike on this one:

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She knows they all put pressure on SB, and things may look okay for the moment, but she shouldn’t act sad:

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Rather, SB should consider:

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That’s harsh–but true. SB agrees with that, as Mama Seo goes against her better judgement:

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And speaks words of truth to her daughter–Being hated openly:

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I reach for my kleenex box, as SB breaks down sobbing. Mama Seo tries to tell her everything will be alright. It reminds me of the scene in SLA where HW breaks down in the car-confessional to her friend. IS is watching all this, and I can only hope he’s thinking that something needs to drastically change–and quickly. His wife is just about at the end of her rope.

The next morning at the Joseon Mansion, Evil Mommy realizes her husband is sleeping in bed with her–although he’s all curled up and not touching her. She smacks him on the shoulder:

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His lame answer:

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Then he spouts the same “Generosity and Tolerance” crap he blathered last night….and Evil Mommy rolls her eyes:

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Evil Mommy wonders how she can face SB, but Evil Daddy’s plan depends on the score of her practice Bar Exam. Ha! Whatcha gonna do when SB scores higher than your son, eh? Evil Mommy whines that SB has a close relationship with the staff, and Evil Daddy argues that it’s not real, and won’t last long. I don’t think the staff will last long there at the Joseon Mansion–when you go to jail on corruption charges and lose all your money, it will be “Bye Bye Bye“!

IS is back to practicing what their greeting will be to the Evil Parents this morning. SB suggests:

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They greet the Evil Parents, but Evil Mommy is already in a foul mood, as she takes SB to task over her clothing choice–“you can’t wear that as long as you are living in my house”. I’m not sure what she doesn’t like about the clothing. Is it too casual? IS starts to protest, but SB shuts him down, saying:

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*face-palm* I’m doing that a whole bunch this episode. IS must have lost his cojones. He’s spineless–I want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him to see if he’s awake or sleepwalking! Evil Mommy continues to take out her anger on whoever is conveniently nearby as she lays on the sarcasm with Secretary Lee:

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Evil Mommy gets Evil Daddy’s words force-fed back to her for a second time this morning–Generosity, Understanding:

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Mmmm, how does that taste the second time around! Bwahhaahaa!

It’s another Breakfast of Awkwardness at the Joseon Mansion:

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Frankly, I could not imagine starting my day with that kind of stress. When my kids were little and I had to get everybody to school and myself to work, I did whatever I could the night before (and eventually taught my kids to do the same) so we would have a morning with as few glitches as possible. By the time my kids friends came to live with us, it was like clockwork–which was shocking to them. Nobody yelling in the morning, not being able to find this or that, everyone had a packed lunch ready to go, shoes and backpack next to the door…..they were amazed. IS very politely pulls out the chairs for his sis and wife, and Evil Daddy does the same for his wife. It’s tense–but then I face-palm yet again as SB (in a new outfit) grovels to the Evil Parents:

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Now SoompiTV translates that as “Bon Appetite” which seems innocuous–so maybe I overreacted. No Viki sub to compare. Ok, I admit this episode has me believing the worst…but I seem to be on the right track with this next comment from Evil Mommy:

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Which is immediately agreed to by Evil Daddy, with this history lesson!

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OMG. No matter what she says, it’s wrong. Secretary Kim texts an update to YR that the staff is back, but SB is in a tenuous situation. Evil Daddy stops by the Prison Study room to make sure that today is the day of the practice Bar Exam…oh, no. Poor SB–I can’t imagine taking a test of that level of difficulty after the stress she’s been under in the last 24 hours…or even a breakfast like that. My daughter broke up with a boyfriend a few days before her high school AP English test, and failed it miserably. (although now that she’s halfway through her Masters program, it’s a distant memory) Even IS has got to be mentally exhausted at this point, although not to the extent SB is. AH is thinking with me:

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AB knows:

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And IS knows this is a rough day too, as he asks SB if she’s okay before they start the test. He flashes back to the conversation with Mama Seo about the real reasons for his parents letting her study. Omo. Is he gonna fail on purpose to let her shine? What kind of backlash would result from that? Is he craftier, and more subtle; planning to just mess up enough that she still scores significantly higher than he does? Or is IS going to do his best, and let the chips fall where they may? I can’t get a read on this scene. I always thought SB is going to do better than IS does on the test. I wonder what he is thinking/plotting here.

As the kids buckle down to take the test, Papa Seo is in lecture mode over at Camp Seo. His first target is his brother:

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Then his wife–he wonders:

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NR gets to overhear the verbal beat-down. Papa Seo knows that if the kids screw up, it’s the parents’ fault. NR wants the info too:

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Oh, look…is that Captain America on her shirt?  Heh…superhero action figures, Star Wars references…although NR wearing that Captain America shirt is pretty much top-level irony if you ask me! I don’t think NR gives a crap about truth or justice, as long as she’s comfy! Maybe YJH gave it to her–now that I would buy. NR whines to Uncle that this kind of thing should never happen again (!) and then gets on the phone and wails to YJH that she needs to talk to him about SB. Heh–I’m sure that he already knows the score. She asks him to dig around at work and find out more info.

As does Secretary Min–who is too sharp to be fooled by Secretary Yang. She’s already heard the news:

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Secretary Yang thinks this is a Captain Obvious-level warning to YJH. Secretary Min know that’s not the half of it:

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I’ve seen comments to the effect of SB is a saint, she can do no wrong, the writer-nim has set her as the perfect example…but I think she’s very human, and most of the characters with a functional conscience and working brain cells are supportive of her. YJH arrives at the tail end of this conversation. He thinks it sounds like a warning–and Secretary Min agrees with him! I had to watch this scene multiple times, and I’m still not completely sure what went down. YJH uses the twin powers of honesty and sincerity:

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and then proceeds to go do just that as he knocks on his boss’s door. I’m not sure Secretary Yang gets it, as she utters this line that seems to give Secretary Min a sour face:

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Oh, you mean an honest, level-headed, righteous kinda breed of human? Evil Daddy blows the whole thing off to YJH, saying this is what happens when you raise kids, and all YJH can say is:

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I don’t think he buys it, but he leaves anyway. Evil Daddy then asks Secretary Kim for some documents relating to Yulpyeong…hmm. Weren’t they a subsidiary of Daesan? I am the worst at keeping the corruption issues straight! Secretary Yang gets to hear her boss whine:

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He thinks work is easy!  Because women and kids at work:

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*snort* He should take the advice of my oldest son–I asked him something about his new girlfriend and his reply was, “I don’t have to understand everything about her right now. I just need to love her.” Remember, that comment comes from my Prince of Logic and Reason! He already knows women and children do not usually fit into the computer slots for logic and reason. Secretary Yang tries to console the Boss to not worry too much about his family:

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Heh. She must mean using his Ph.D–Piling it higher and Deeper. That compliment strokes his ego, and emboldens him to ask:

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Oh, so she’s outlived her usefulness to you, eh? Secretary Yang thinks that’s gonna be a hard task:

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Yeah, unfortunately she’s not a computer that you can just delete files, erase e-mails and wipe out the hard drive….(I’m refraining from making a relevant political comment here!) Then Evil Daddy gets an idea:

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Looks like he’s going to create a little false info diversion for Attorney Yoo, Secretary Min and YJH. Geez, I hope they catch on quick to that ruse of his! Evil Mommy is in a whiny mood too, as VF-Eom gets to be the listening victim:

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She can’t even say what she wants or it’s “verbal abuse” and if she calls them after 9 pm, she has to pay OT!  Oh, the horrors! /sarc YR flounces in, and drops that it would have been terrible if SB had left while the staff was gone. Uh, oh!  Evil Mommy is suspicious:

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YR covers her slip-up it by saying her cook heard it from a relative….and luckily the other Vulture Friends back that story and everything rolls along. Evil Mommy wants to complain more, but VF-Eom wants to know this:

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Oooh, YR knows–it was something the fortuneteller predicted! Ha! I’ve been eagerly awaiting another appearance by the fortune-teller. I can’t fully explain how much I love that Writer-nim uses the foolishness of the rich believing in fortune tellers in the storyline. It was awesome in SLA, and it’s been great in this show as well. Must go back and recheck the first episode to see what the FT said–I was still in spazz mode, and that was a few weeks ago too!  Immediately, Evil Mommy gets up and calls Secretary Lee to schedule a session with the FT!

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*rubs hands gleefully* I so want the FT to give Evil Mommy the “Hawaiian Good Luck Sign” (click the link for historical value!)

The V-I-T’s are at the park. HS tried to text IS, but she gets shut down–he’s in the middle of a test. MJ once again proves why he’s a card carrying member of the Junior Viper Club with the sensitivity he shows bringing HS lunch in this scene:

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#whattadick

Evil Mommy returns to the Joseon Mansion to find SB and IS in the middle of their Bar Exam.We get to see this relatively long set of scenes through the beveled glass of the Prison Study Room. The fun, bouncy music is a sharp contrast to (what I think is) the seriousness of this test, especially for SB. I still wonder if IS is gonna throw the test. Part of me says, no–he’s too honest. But then again–he may also be getting desperate, and he could be gambling here. The alarm sounds and the exam is over. Tutor grades the tests…are we gonna find out the scores today? I sure hope so! And we do!

Here’s SB’s score:

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And here’s IS’s score:

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OK, that’s pretty close. He got a 301 and she got a 305. I don’t think he fudged on the test.

Tutor Park is pleased:

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These scores are more than okay!

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But SB and IS have a favor to ask–

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They studied like this to please/pacify the parents. Gosh, I always thought SB wanted to be a lawyer; IS, ehh..not so much. Regardless, Tutor Park thinks:

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SB wants some time to consider things. IS spells it out more clearly–It will buy them some time:

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Tutor doesn’t seem to have a problem with that…Hmmm. I wonder what SB and IS have up their sleeve on this one? Are they thinking this will delay her getting kicked out? I’m always pleased to see them planning and working together, so I will believe the best for now.

Secretaries Lee and Yang are having tea at a fancy restaurant. Secretary Yang seems happy for her sis that she will get off work early enough to see a movie and Secretary Lee says it’s all thanks to her!  Why do I feel like this exchange of pleasantries is a warm up round for the next match? Yep–here it goes!  /ding-ding!

Secretary Lee knows this little fact:

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Secretary Yang knows this is the reason for the Boss’s meeting:

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Hmm..What could that be? Hasn’t Grandpa Han been gone for a while? /ding-ding, first round over.

Oooh, look! A baduk game!

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Heheh–I had to at least try and learn that game after watching “Misaeng”, but I wish that a human could explain it to me. I downloaded a Baduk app for my phone. It seems like it’s simple: I quickly found that it’s anything but simple. There’s massive strategy and planning involved. AB is the one playing this on Naver…he feels weird having so much time to himself!  AB and AH look so cute in their matching PJ’s! Still, AH is nervous:

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AB says they will adjust and go on…yet he’s worried over trusting someone:

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OK, I like that. I don’t trust her either! This is why he’s concerned:

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And right here–We now know that AH/AB know that the money from Secretary Yang’s slush fund is dirty, and yet it seems like they are okay with taking it!  Whoa!

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Thank you!! I thought I was the only one who thought this way! Dirty Money is Dirty Money–even if these good people would benefit from it. AB agrees, and he wonders:

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They know Evil Daddy would never overlook something like this! I used to work in a dental office where the woman at the front desk robbed the dentist-boss blind. This happened before I started working there; the staff filled me in on the details. She knew all kinds of ways to hide the money, and she was so good, she never got caught either!

Back to Round 2 with Secretaries Lee and Yang:  Secretary Yang wants to know the money figure her sis told Teacher, but Secretary Lee says she left that part out! We get another clue on how this embezzlement might work:

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Secretary Yang makes her sis an offer–the really ominous music cues up!

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Let’s Make a Deal!” Secretary Lee thinks that going halfsies is quite generous(/sarc)! But then she breaks the bad news to her sis:

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Alrighty then–Door #1 is out! This is why she thinks halfsies is not gonna work–

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**gets on knees, bows head–Korean style** Please, pretty please show….let me see all (as in every single one) of the baddies get a full dose of what’s coming to them–onscreen, and before the end of the final episode. It will be tablet-sparing, and keep me from having to write another FF ending to soothe my tormented soul like I had to do after SLA. I’m still dealing with that one BTW….and I can’t cope with another cop-out ending! I want demand justice for IS, SB, Uncle, and every other character that’s been crapped on by an evil rich person in this show!

This is what Secretary Lee wants:

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And we’ll nail down the details later!  Secretary Yang laughs…and declares that her sis thought all this because she acted scared:

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Yep–Secretary Lee agrees! Since she’s already out of her mind:

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Well! We have a nice cliffhanger for this increasingly dark Melodrama….I have a feeling this current truce with SB, the staff and the Evil Parents isn’t gonna fly for long. I admit to wanting to pack my bags and fly to Korea so I can kick IS’s posterior after this episode too. I want him to be the hero, and to do the right thing; but he’s so tentative. He’s got a lot to lose if he doesn’t step up!

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One thought on “Thoughts and Highlights–Episode 23 HITTG “Applying a Band-Aid When Surgery is Needed”

  1. Pingback: HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE. SBS. | IKurate

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