“My Love Eun Dong” Episode 13/14 Highlights and Commentary: How to Dispense Karma

As MLED nears it’s conclusion, I feel assured that our OTP will have a happy ending. But the side characters, especially the evil ones–what about their fates?

I understand about the need for forgiveness. ED and HS have to put the past behind them or the anger over the things that have been done to them will consume and destroy their lives, robbing them of the joy they so richly deserve. But “cheap forgiveness” won’t cut it either. It feels worthless and empty, similar to how JH says, “I’m sorry for loving you.” to ED. Writer-nim has a big job to do in the final episodes–dispense Karma to the baddies without going totally overboard. It’s tricky stuff. However, the trend lately in DramaLand is to not portray the villains meeting their demise–which is a shame. We all know that in RL, the evildoers often escape punishment. Seeing the baddies in DramaLand get what they deserve makes me feel that perhaps life is not always rigged in favor of the jerks.

I can think of two other recent dramas that have failed massively to show the downfall of the wicked. Watch the final two episodes of HITTG for a great example. There was minimal to zero punishment given to several villains. *headdesk* So irritating! “Spy” was another one; the ending on that one was just all-around bad. Even worse for me, a failure to show the evildoers getting punished combined with the OTP continuing to suffer/be apart at the end of a show can lead to a full-blown meltdown, destruction of electronic devices and the start of a FF marathon. My Soompi forum friends from SLA days can attest to that!

If I could persuade Writer-nim not to botch up this nearly perfect drama as it ends, what would I ask for?  I have a few ideas, but I’ll try and focus on what I don’t want to see.

*All screencaps from Tiveee.com

HB–This guy is something else. He finally makes a good decision to stick with HS, who has been his buddy for 20 years, then makes a equally bad decision to bail out on his wife of 20 years, who was also his first love.

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WTH is he thinking? He must be thinking with his small head, yunno–the one his wife tried to kick some sense into for him.  I had hope that during HB’s and HS’s 20 year friendship, some of HS’s better qualities would have been obvious enough to have permeated through the cement between HB’s two ears. Nope. Instead, he wants this “pure love” like HS has–

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so he’s willing to trash his wife and leave her for a younger woman he’s only known for a few weeks.

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#whattajerk. How about working on that 20 year marriage first and try to fix that before you throw it in the dumpster? I’m not sure if there are kids involved–and after that Bruce Lee style kick by his wife, HB’s probably out of the gene pool for good anyways. Will he ever get it? For his part, HS attempts to talk some sense into this guy:

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but it doesn’t seem to have any effect.

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Writer-nim, please don’t have HB leave his faithful and long suffering wife after watching his BFF stay loyal to one woman since the age of 17. But if that is indeed what you have planned, then I hope you have a big, fresh batch of Karma ready to unload on HB. I’d be fine with that. HB deserves it if he leaves Ji Soo without first trying to make their marriage better.

Here’s an interesting scenario:  HB talks about the cesspool of accounting that their company got into a couple of years ago:

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The result of the search & seizure might throw a wrench into both HB and HS’s plans:

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Please writer-nim: Don’t have HS go to jail and be separated again from ED. I’m gonna gamble that she is pregnant with baby #2 right now, and to have our OTP ripped apart at this point is truly unthinkable. Maybe HB’s Karma is to be separated from the wife and/or the woman he loves this time around, taking the hit for HS.

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HA–This woman is still on my black list. She’s lost my respect for now. She gives female doctors a bad name too. That Dr. Lee was right–she must have slept through genetics class. I didn’t–so maybe that’s why this situation irritates me so much. Of course you would need a male relative to match up the Y-chromosome details to be absolutely sure for a DNA test. *face-palm* WTH was she thinking? Then she uses the flimsiest excuse ever to get a hair sample from her dad. BTW–saliva testing/cheek swab samples work well too, as in near 100% accuracy. (A cheek swab sample is what US courts use for DNA paternity testing, so I have to believe it’s accurate.) Go in the bathroom and exchange or steal their toothbrushes. Better yet–ask to check RI’s and your dad’s throat because MERS is going around!  Way easier–and then you don’t look like a dork asking for some of your dad’s hair over dinner.

Even after running the DNA test to confirm her suspicions that RI is indeed her brother’s child with ED, she wimps out when it comes time to tell her brother the news.

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HA needs to put on her big girl panties and woman-up. What is wrong with her? I thought she had more brains than that. What happened to the tough, strong woman who married the patient with terminal cancer, defied her parents and had a child, knowing that she’d be a single mom sooner than later? Writer-nim, please don’t let her and JH be a couple at the end of the drama. Maybe just friends–HA could be a mediator of sorts between JH, RI and HS. That scene where she holds JH’s hand in the hospital has been stuck in my head for weeks now. It would be a slap in the face to her loyal brother, and create the worst family dynamic ever for the Park clan if they became a couple. Can you imagine a family dinner with JH, HA, and HA’s daughter…the Park Parents/Grandparents….and HS, RI and ED (with a sibling on the way for RI) *shudders* That’s so messed up. I wouldn’t mind seeing HA make some positive changes too, like finding a new husband if she’s so inclined. She may not want to bring a stepfather in to her situation, which I can respect because I made a choice to not bring in a stepfather for my children. Having a guy in her life is a nice option, not a necessity.

SR–If this character had not been written so one-dimensionally, I might care more about what happens to her. Sigh. Having ED rake SR over the coals while giving her the 411 was awesome to watch. And without any yelling too!  It probably never occurred to SR how strong ED is:

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Lemme repeat this for ya! ED will take you down if you put HS through the wringer.

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But SR’s a chaebol, and her wealth and family connections will probably wriggle her out of any problematic issues. Her Boy-Toy will probably stick around too, since he seems to have a one-sided love toward her. That’s some karma right there! Boy-Toy needs a good psychotherapist IMHO. He’s young–he might be able to salvage his life before he blows it up completely pining away over SR. I doubt SR will ever learn that there are things more important than money and power. I wouldn’t mind seeing her get some public humiliation due to the shady dealings when the entertainment companies merged. But really, she should just go away. Not to the US though–we don’t want her here! No dumping of evil K-drama characters allowed!

Adoptive Mom–This woman is in danger of being sued by doormats–for giving them a bad name. For the better part of 20 years, she has allowed her husband to emotionally and physically abuse their adopted daughter, participated in the deceit and lies after the accident, and the only redemptive thing she did was give ED her box of belongings back. There has been some speculation that she might be ED’s biological mom. If so, I’d be shocked. If that is true, then the apple has fallen as far away from the tree as possible.This woman has no spine at all–unlike ED. She will probably escape the worst of my wrath, because I have so much for Adoptive Dad, but I can assure you–she is a candidate for entry into Shamrockmom’s Official K-drama Moms Hall of Shame.

Adoptive Dad–Truly one of the most evil K-drama characters I’ve seen to date. Abusive in the extreme to his adopted daughter ED, he treats her like garbage, lies and manipulates….then takes JH’s side because he wants to live out his baseball dreams vicariously through JH, the son he never had.

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Dude, get over it. It was Karma that you didn’t have a son, or contribute to the gene pool at all. Even in the scene in Episode 13 where ED and AD are talking at the park, he still doesn’t get it. And of course, he’s got to heap the guilt on:

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Thinking about the years of anguish and pain he caused ED treating her like a object rather than a daughter is another thing that makes my brain want to shut down. It was only because ED was so mentally strong that she could focus on the good times with HS and the hope of seeing him again.

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ED chose to have hope. She could have given up and been broken by Adoptive Dad’s treatment of her, but she wanted to focus on the better things, like seeing HS again.

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We also find out why she was seeing JH in the first place–fear.

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So she nearly wavered and broke down too, just like HS did at the bar. No wonder she put the 90-tailed fox moves on HS to hurry up and marry her.

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ED had to get out from under this horrible man’s influence–and with HS’s baby in her tummy, it would have been a lot easier to do just that. I like her strong will, and her ability to size up a situation and take a bold move to deal with it. I only wish I was that strong and bold….

Writer-nim, please make sure Adoptive Dad gets an extra measure of Karma dumped on him for what he did to ED. I will be sorely disappointed if you give him any level of forgiveness or redemption. I wouldn’t mind seeing HS open up a can of whoop ass worms and investigate Adoptive Dad’s sordid past, so he can rot in jail for the rest of his days for the abuse he put ED through:

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HS Fighting!!

Personally, I would sentence Adoptive Dad to a prison where he would be locked up in a windowless cell, given a hard plastic chair to sit on, and a heat lamp directly over his head. From here, he would be forced to watch endless re-runs of independent minor league baseball games all day on a small black and white TV. I’ve been to a few of those games myself. It’s pure torture for a baseball spectator. They’re slow games, full of ridiculous errors, bad umpires, and the level of play is one step up from a local recreational beer league. Meals for adoptive dad will consist of flat, watered down beer, cold hot dogs and stale peanuts. Once a week, he can have some melted ice cream. The air pumped in to the cell would have the aroma of cigarette smoke and urine to make the punitive experience more complete.

JH–One of the most interesting and layered bad guys to come down the K-drama road in a while. Narcissistic in the extreme, he has destroyed his own bright future as a baseball player trying to possess the woman he loves, but who does not love him back.

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He takes shameless advantage of ED’s amnesia to assert that he is the father of RI, when he knows he is not.

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(long delay while he thinks, and AD gives him a disgusted look)

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Good job dude–you’ve just set into motion a series of lies that will mess up this woman you supposedly love so much for life! And the little one too! JH is also abusive and controlling toward ED–if you want to see a classic abuser at work, just check out the previous episode’s mirror-breaking tantrum, and the hit he gave ED between the shoulder blades with the cell phone, then he says, “Sorry”. He’s not sorry–only sorry she’s gonna leave him and take RI with her. He fears being alone more than anything else. He hates not being in control.

The writer has really complicated things by showing JH to be a reasonably loving father toward RI.

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Too bad that outward appearance doesn’t match up with the control freak he really is. I believe that he’s deluded himself into thinking RI is his son:

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and that now RI will live out his dream to be a star baseball player.

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Too bad for JH that RI has his head screwed on straight like his biological parents. RI has more down-to-earth dreams, like wanting to see JH walk, and have his mommy’s memory return.

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I have to wonder what a theoretical custody/visitation deal would look like, given the understandable animosity between JH and HS. How is RI gonna feel about splitting time between his real dad and JH? What are HS and ED going to tell RI’s future siblings when they show up? How are the grandparents going to take sharing custody? Thankfully, HS’s folks know this is gonna be a tough road ahead for everyone:

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I really don’t want RI around that wicked and abusive Adoptive Dad or JH’s crazy mom, and I am sure ED would agree with me on that. The whole visitation issue would have to be handled very delicately to say the least.

After watching Episode 14, it looks like JH has attempted suicide:

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and he may have indeed succeeded this time.

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At least JH had some consideration to spare RI finding him the next day: *shudder*

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JH tried to kill ED and himself out 10 years ago when he found out ED didn’t love him, and never would. It’s always his choice to take that way out of a painful situation. (Another great thing about this drama–the characters act consistently, even over a large time span.) Now he can’t have ED or RI, but there’s too many other people hovering around, and he’s stuck in his wheelchair so the murder/suicide route is more or less off the table. Even if JH left a note explaining things to RI, it won’t be enough–I know from personal experience with my mom’s suicide last year. There will always be this gaping black hole of unanswered questions, especially for RI. If JH truly loved RI, he would never try to kill himself. He wouldn’t want to put his son through that kind of grief. Seeing RI go through this pain is not going to make things easy between HS and his son as they begin their father-son relationship. Everyone will feel the impact, from HA, to ED, to JH’s mom….suicide is devastating for the ones left behind, who feel (like my kids and I do) that there will never be a “normal” again.

In a RL situation, the court would not look kindly on JH having visitation after a suicide attempt if he does survive. The news is littered with stories of one parent killing themselves and the child(ren) over a custody dispute. At the most, he could get supervised visits. JH continues to be his own worst enemy. (Sorry–had to throw that song in there to lighten things up–it’s a family sing-a-long favorite at Shamrockmom’s House!)

No matter how much HS may hate JH for robbing him of his son and his fiancee for ten years, I don’t think he would go as far as wanting JH to die. It’s not in his nature–even when his heated temper is taken into account. Paying for his sins–yes. Death–no. ED wouldn’t want JH to kill himself, not only for RI’s sake, but because she’s simply unable to be that bitter and angry. I can only imagine how the media would pounce on this if JH does die–it would probably be a career ending scandal for HS, regardless if he had already announced his retirement or not. And really, I don’t want JH to commit suicide either, no matter how much he’s done to screw up ED and HS’s life. I am sure JH feels completely trapped at this point by his own choices. The problem is that suicide is another bad choice; it will mess poor RI up even more, and create a shadow of sadness at the end of a drama that is set up well for a happy ending.

Once again I’m going to take a non-mainstream viewpoint. I’ve written before about my fear of seeing a suicide in a drama–in HITTG, the hints were numerous and obvious, and I think the only reason we didn’t see it was due to the episode cuts. Another issue is that suicide is seen as a solution to a litany of personal problems within the SK culture. Even here in the US, suicide is a problem, especially in the teen years, but also increasingly in the later years, like with my mother. I believe the writers of movies/dramas have a responsibility to not write anything that glorifies suicide as a noble choice or makes it look like a solution to a bad situation. It’s too easy for someone who is leaning that way to watch a character on TV or in a movie kill themselves and think, “Yeah, that will solve my problems too.” HA gave JH notice that she would take her brother’s side now that the paternity issue was out:

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However, HA would still be his doctor/friend:

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For his part JH said:

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but that’s his choice (another bad one) to walk away from her help and friendship. Writer-nim left us plenty of clues, from the fact that JH has plenty of sleeping pills on hand:

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to the way JH told RI to be kind to HS aka “that ahjusshi”,

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and have HS read the end of “The Little Prince” to him.

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(Side note–I’m not brainy enough to figure out the symbolism in that story. I know it’s there, but it’s over my head. Not enough college English Lit classes! Plenty of discussion on the Soompi forum.)

JH will end his own pain if he does die, and maybe that’s all he can think about. JH has been shown over and over to only care about himself, so from that standpoint, I understand why he attempts suicide. But for all he professes to love RI, it doesn’t make sense that he would do the one thing to permanently hurt the boy he considers his son, even if there is no biological relation. I have to mention the contrast here between Adoptive Dad, who treats his non-blood related daughter ED like dirt, and JH, who treats RI like his own son–even if he isn’t. BTW, the best thing I have seen JH do in this show is take down ED’s adoptive father in this scene. This gave me hope that JH still had a conscience and a heart:

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Please writer-nim, don’t screw up this amazing, beautiful drama. I’ve trusted you so far, and you haven’t let me down. Show us viewers something better. Having JH die is the easy way out. Writing something where JH can go on living is difficult. You’re in the driver’s seat here, so don’t make the left turn into the Makjang swamp. Have JH choose life–it’s the most difficult choice a person can make in a lot of situations, but ultimately it’s the best choice. It would be JH’s first good decision in ten years. By doing this, you can show viewers that it’s okay to start anew–even if it’s scary. JH can leave the lies and deceit in the past and move on, while those of us who are fans of MLED can, as @abbysomeone on the Soompi board said, stuff ourselves with Bulgogi, swig some soju (or Vietnamese coffee for me!) and lay around as happy as a sea lion sunning themselves at Sea World while watching the last episodes of a wonderful drama. Sounds like a plan to me!

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2 thoughts on ““My Love Eun Dong” Episode 13/14 Highlights and Commentary: How to Dispense Karma

  1. Pingback: MY LOVE EUN DONG. JTBC. | IKurate

  2. What a wonderful way you have with words! And with humor! “giving doormats a bad name” for just one example! I am hoping for an ending that will satisfy me, too. The Writer is so smart and such a keen observer of real life situations. So hard to guess which way she will go! I love your picking up on the little rascal Hyun Bal’s total failure to grasp the essence of the “fated love” of our OTP. Instead, he is so easily cught up in the external trappings of the young woman’s “hero worship”. He doesn’t really get the message, does he? Wonder if the Writer has a plan to give him any “instruction” about the meaning of “true love” — as in the lifetime of “nagging” that Hyun Soo dreams of?

    Liked by 1 person

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