Today’s starter story:
I was having lunch with a friend last week and we were discussing a couple who are mutual acquaintances–they happen to be the closest thing to chaebol level rich we both know. Their daughter is happily married, but their son is not married yet. He’s in his early 30’s, straight (!), reasonably good looking, well-educated, and with plenty of family money to back him for the rest of his days even if he isn’t making a fortune in his current job. My friend told me the young man has a girlfriend, but she has two small children from a previous relationship. This young man does not want or like children, so he told his girlfriend to choose–she could be with him, but she would have to have the kids live with their father or grandparents. Or she could leave.
The woman immediately dispatched her young children to her parent’s home and is still with him! Honest to Pete–she picked some dude over her own children! I couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. She obviously wanted to live in comfort, and she sends money to her folks to care for her kids! No word on what the children’s grandparents think; although I’m sure it would involve plenty of expletives! My friend told me the parents of the young man (who seem to be as decent as they are rich) are completely out of their minds, both over their son’s ultimatum and the fact that his girlfriend took him up on it. They do not want this shallow woman who puts a man before her children for a daughter-in-law. Personally, I believe that their own son is an even bigger problem in this equation.
Here’s another incidence of RL and DramaLand intersecting: The front office ladies at my work have tweaked the Pandora app that we listen to all day to a mix of mid to late 70’s tunes (and a few from the very early ’80’s) that I haven’t heard in years. My patients are loving this music–if they are a few years older than I am, it was the music of their high school days; for me, it’s Junior High or elementary school. The unexpected part: several songs have struck me as the perfect accompaniment for LIDD. Since PD-nim has already included some great late 70’s songs in the show, I will throw in my picks as well!
Sang Chul’s Anthem–Have You Heard About the Lonesome Loser:
This 1978/1979 hit by the Little River Band is such a slam dunk choice for SC. I couldn’t write down the title fast enough as soon as I heard it this week. Check out some excerpts from the lyrics–I’d swear they are written just for him:
“Have you heard about the lonesome loser
Beaten by the queen of hearts every time
Have you heard about the lonesome loser
He’s a loser, but he still keeps on tryin’
Sit down, take a look at yourself
Don’t you want to be somebody
Someday somebody’s gonna see inside
You have to face up, you can’t run and hide
“It’s okay”, he smiles and says
Though this loneliness is driving him crazy,
He don’t show what goes on in his head,
but if you watch very close you’ll see it all…”
I will shamelessly admit I’ve been a SC-BW shipper since Episode 10. It was the moment SC handed BW a handkerchief at DJ’s funeral when BW was sobbing, but the Yoon family were too wrapped up in their own grief to acknowledge her. SC was already looking out for her in the smallest of ways. WH’s personality and Prick behavior at the start of the show made it relatively easy for me to imagine BW having a relationship with the calm and even tempered SC.
After being cruelly dumped by CR, and the subsequent loss of his family’s wealth and the death of his father and mother, the once impossibly sweet SC who dated a young CR has turned hard and cynical in many ways. When his Tae Kwon Do teaching job evaporated, he took a job as WH’s bodyguard/personal assistant. I am sure that SC watched his boss act like a Prick toward nearly everyone (including himself) on a daily basis for years even after the heart transplant, thus adding to the justification of his attitude. However, WH began to eventually consider SC as more of a friend, and not an employee–they would go rock climbing together after work, and even have a drink or two. This was a huge mistake on WH’s part–a fact no one but me seems to recognize. How many times in this show has WH spouted about keeping work and personal feelings separated– to his mom, to CR, to other members of the team….only to violate his own principle! Grrrrr!
But as WH’s new heart moved toward the woman he loves, and who was so different than the vapid rich princesses he’d dated on a one-and-done basis before, I began to see that the BW-WH reality was the better one. WH’s 180-degree personality turnaround and love of cheesy but meaningfully sweet gestures were soon followed by a deeper understanding of BW’s traumatized heart and his gentle way with her son. It made me think he would and could have the chutzpah to “go to the wall” with his Dragon Queen Momma and get her on board with the marriage. I kept waiting for what I hoped was the inevitable parallel move in this drama. DJ was willing to give up his dream of being a judge to take care of his woman and his child:
and I figured WH would eventually leave BH Group and his chaebol lifestyle to stay with BW and give his Dragon Queen Momma the space she needs to live her lonely and loveless life. I am still grousing that this has not happened yet–and sadly, I don’t think it will.
Meanwhile, BW seemed to keep SC in a permanent friend-zone, and SC was pathetically slow when it came to letting BW know his feelings. Burned to a crisp by the breakup with CR, he was unwilling to put his heart out there to be potentially broken again, plus he was without money (at least at the level he was used to) and without a family. I understand he worried about the friendship he had with BW, but seriously dude–nothing ventured, nothing gained!
During their parking lot punch-out scene, SC reminded WH that he had admonished him at the beginning to ‘be confident’ that he could see wooing BW to its completion–meaning he had better not screw things up and get his momma on board with his choice of BW/Byeol. After working with OHW and WH for years, I am sure SC could see the train wreck coming, and he didn’t want BW and Byeol to become collateral damage. Once that happened, SC’s patience with his boss was at an end.
Now after the way OHW treated BW, and the fact that BW was forced to choose between WH and Byeol, I can completely understand why the Yoon’s are fully gung-ho for an SC-BW pairing. SC doesn’t have those annoying parental units that could object to a widow with a young son. SC is also a known quantity to the Yoon’s; he was DJ’s friend, his father was Papa Yoon’s buddy, he’s lived with the Yoon’s for years, and he’s been a great uncle to Byeol. Papa Yoon would not have offered de-facto adoption after SC’s parents died if he didn’t think SC was not a quality human being.
SC’s birthday is nearly forgotten, but Mom and JY quickly plan a surprise party which actually surprised SC:
and whip up a feast–knowing their cooking skills, you can bet it’s all from a local take-out restaurant:
The family then shoos them out the door for coffee at the local cafe:
The background song here is another winner, and the PD must have dug into the vault for this one. It’s the 1972 hit “Claire” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. He also sang the hit “Alone again, naturally“, which is possibly the most depressing song ever written. Make sure you have the Prozac handy for that one!
Known for his ‘unabashedly sentimental’ lyrics (translated by Shamrockmom as ‘hopelessly sappy’) O’Sullivan penned “Claire” to the three-year-old daughter of a friend. The lyrics at the beginning of the song make it seem like an adult talking about another adult….but the words change and the listener realizes it’s about a child! I guess no one thought this was mildly creepy or weird back then, but I am sure it would not fly today. Here are some of the lyrics. It starts out okay….
The moment I met you, I swear
I felt as if something, somewhere
Had happened to me
Which I couldn’t see
The moment I met you again
I knew in my heart that we were friends
It had to be so
It couldn’t be no
As hard as I might do, I don’t know why
You get to me in a way I can’t describe
Words mean so little when you look up and smile
And really, this is a perfect song to describe how in SC’s heart, BW had gone from friend to something much more. But the words change, and it becomes obvious that the singer is talking about the little girl he is babysitting:
I’ve told you before, don’t you dare
Get back into bed
Can’t you see that it’s late
No, you can’t have a drink
Oh all right then, but wait just a bit
While I, in an effort to babysit
Catch of my breath what there is left of it.
Ah Geez. SMH.
I think this song choice is amazing because it captures how shallow and immature SC’s love for BW is. He wants a mature and enduring love, but he’s not able to see past his own needs, nor does he consider BW’s feelings either. BW just is not that into him. She values him as a friend but does not see him ‘as a man’ aka a romantically interesting and sexually attractive guy. SC also has terrible timing, and now decides to pursue BW way too soon after she breaks up with WH. If that’s not self-centered, I don’t know what is. Dude, give her some space!
Knowing that he has the backing of the Yoon parents, and the dumb-and-dumber duo of DM and JY, he lets them set up the most cookie-cutter, shallow and meaningless proposal situation at the restaurant:
I don’t think SC bargained for this. SC immediately calls DM who tells him to go for it. I get the feeling even SC knows this is a horrible idea, but he’s on the train now and there’s no exit! Kim Min Soo’s facial expressions here are really wonderful as they capture his uncertainty and hesitation:
Heh, think the budget for this show isn’t strained? Even this balloon heart looks weak!
SC gives BW another bouquet of flowers and I can feel the awkwardness level rise precipitously:
After using a remote to unfurl a banner declaring his love for her (so ridiculous!) SC finally chokes out his real feelings:
BTW-no ring? Or set of rings? Really? **sigh**
This whole scene is such a glaring contrast to the meaningful and emotional proposal by WH, who considered BW’s need for closure with DJ and the inclusion of Byeol who will be his son. WH had a ring for BW too–and not some gaudy multi-carat diamond ring he knew a woman like BW would never wear….but a simple gold band with some little diamonds and one for him as a matched set. It’s perfect for a woman who uses her hands cooking and working with food all day. Back in the day, my ex-husband and I worked with a jeweler to design a wedding ring that I could wear comfortably with gloves as a dental hygienist because both of us knew I’d never wear a ring if I was fighting it all day long. Too bad it sits in a jewelry box now. I’ve considered taking it to a jeweler for a ‘makeover’, but never wanted to spend the money. So many other priorities!
Because writer-nim thrives off giving us viewers vast quantities of emotional pain, we get to see CR dragging WH to the restaurant to watch this:
Poor WH. He looks like he is about to cry. He quickly leaves the restaurant and gets to the root of CR’s motivation:
Then he unceremoniously dumps CR for the night. Too bad it’s not for good!
Shamrockmom’s musical pick for this scene: Foreigner’s mega-hit “Cold as Ice” from 1977. This clip makes me appreciate the HD video and clear sound that everyone takes for granted today:
SC gets turned down by BW, who does it with tact and I admit to breathing a sigh of relief when they agree to remain friends.
Heaven knows BW needs a friend right now–she has way too many enemies!
But the punch to the gut comes later that night, when BW takes out the picture of DJ and puts his ring back on:
and tells the picture of her deceased husband:
This is such an emotionally devastating moment. **looking for Kleenex because my eyes and nose are dripping** Like I pointed out on the Soompi forum, BW would rather live in the past than love in the present. It’s safer–not just for her, but her son and her extended family as well who took hit after hit from the Dragon Queen because she was dating WH. Like I’ve said before–neither SC or WH belongs with BW right now.
(BTW–did DM ever get his job back? Did I miss that? He seems to be back at work, but I don’t remember him being reinstated.)
Meanwhile, WH is about to lose his mind–and I don’t blame him.
Shamrockmom’s soundtrack pick: Journey’s “Send her my love” from 1983:
Mom tries the next day to convince BW that perhaps she should reconsider SC’s marriage proposal. She does make a good point:
Hey, Mom–that would be cool, except for one ginormous problem–BW doesn’t love SC. That’s the dealbreaker. BW won’t marry a man she doesn’t love. I get it.
However, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if SC had some better timing or a better spiel. As much as I despise business arrangement marriages, I think SC could have approached BW with a marriage proposal that would have not been swooningly romantic but would be nonetheless practical given the severe persecution she’s been undergoing lately. SC’s parents are dead so there would be no objections to him marrying a widow with a young son. If BW married SC, OHW would have no need to further harass BW, and WH would finally get the message that he waited for his momma’s approval for far too long. SC would be within his rights to tell CR, OHW, YS and anyone else to leave his wife alone. They could have decided to keep the marriage platonic until such time as BW wanted to change her mind, even if that was never, and I honestly think SC would have been patient enough to either wait for her or deal with it. In addition, SC would provide a stable father figure to Byeol, who already knows and likes SC, and the Yoon parents would be thrilled to have them close by. But again, all of this goes out the window if BW doesn’t love SC.
Mom is thinking only of herself and not what would be best for BW:
BW nicely but firmly rejects reconsidering SC as a husband:
Mom’s reply is another punch in the gut:
I dunno, but I think at this point BW might be okay with living by herself as long as the unrelenting harassment from YS, CR and OHW comes to a halt! I admit to listening to my coworkers’ stories about the conflicts with their husbands/boyfriends and I shake my head sadly and commiserate with them–then I walk away smirking and I virtually pat myself on the back in congratulations for staying single! Yet there is this nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that I should not be doing this. **sigh**
Shamrockmom’s musical pick: “Wheel in the Sky” by Journey from 1980. The question for BW: Is your life fated or do you have some control over your destiny?
The broken Bro’s mutual confession session:
WH calls up SC and asks to meet up after work. As he arrives, WH watches BW drive off in SC’s new SUV, adding to his grief. The former friends meet in the closed restaurant to clear the air. Like the better guy he is, WH starts off by discussing what happened at the hotel when he was drunk:
WH lets SC know he went back and checked the CCTV cameras. He can understand why SC thought he spent the night with CR.
SC looks surprised and asks if CR plotted all of this. WH answers in sort of an oblique way:
SC apologizes and accepts the explanation from his boss:
Now that WH knows what a delusional and conniving witch CR is, he can say this truth:
Then WH struggles to get the next set of words out. He lets SC know that he saw BW with a ring on–
And just as SC is about to tell WH the truth–that it’s actually DJ’s ring and not his, BW comes back to interrupt and blow the entire deal!
She walks over and stands by SC, saying it should not matter who she dated since they are broken up! I can’t believe she’s acting like this! WTH! WH manages to say:
….and not some other bloke. Once again, WH is the better man:
and before SC can get a word in, WH walks out. BW said she came back because she forgot to turn off the gas valve, and she runs into the kitchen sobbing. SC comes in and she gives her reason for letting WH think that she and SC are dating/engaged. She saw…
so she felt she had no choice:
Now I really feel bad for SC and for WH. BW seemed to have no compunction about lying to WH and taking advantage of SC all in one shot! Sheesh! SC always has good intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell being paved with those things!
BW apologizes to SC, saying she knows it was wrong to use him like that when he has feelings for her, and SC can only say that it’s fine with him and he understands! Arrgh! One thing I could depend on was BW and WH clearly communicating with each other in the earlier episodes. Now that is gone too. I’m incensed at the way she treated both WH and SC in this scene–that is not the way friends treat each other! She uses SC blatantly, and downtrodden SC is still okay with it. BW has no issues with lying to WH either. This show has gone downhill on a sled. 😦
WH stashes the rings–and I hope it’s temporary:
After the meeting of the Bro’s that didn’t go so well, and still thinking that BW is engaged to SC, WH takes off his ring and puts it away in a box with BW’s ring.
He lets his Dragon Queen momma know he wants to transfer out of Korea, but she’s being dense today:
But we don’t get the details for a couple more episodes: his destination is NYC. OHW asks him the question I also wanna know the answer to:
Hmmm. Well, you can get a decent piece of pizza in NYC for starters! Too bad BW wouldn’t let Byeol visit so he could see all the sights of NYC, but more importantly, he could experience non-cardboard pizza! There are two baseball teams WH can check out, he can take a train to go golfing in upstate NY, there are plenty of swimming pools, an arcade at Coney Island (we know WH loves his arcade games!) and an H-Mart that delivers. I mean, what else could you need? How about the woman you love? Oh, yeah….that. When WH finds out his momma is gonna send CR over there, that’s when he’ll lose his last marble. If I were him, I’d start looking for ways to fake my death. Please Writer-nim: Don’t have WH leave for the States just yet. He needs to see his momma get taken down a few notches when she finds out CR is a felon and YS is the step-mom who helped her break the law. I also want to see you use this song when WH and BW are getting ready to leave for their honeymoon in Paris:
By this time, we know that CR has faked her amnesia after WH rescued her from the suicide attempt in the river, but only YS knows about it. CR’s doctor daddy comes in to ask why his daughter is crying, and YS shoos him away saying CR had a nightmare. Once again, PD-nim puts a book in the background that is so ironic I had to put a close-up on it:
“Create Wonderful Homelife”? Oh, that’s rich! I don’t think there’s gonna be much of a home life–let alone a ‘wonderful’ one–in the Doc’s house after YS gets ratted out for dumping her daughter and CR has to face the music (pun intended) over the fatal DUI hit-and-run of BW’s papa.
Here’s a better pic in Episode 103:
On the same shelf, there is a red hardback copy of Charles Darwin’s “The Descent of Man”, and this time, it’s right side up! I gotta wonder where the guys who stock Prop Depot, Prop-Mart and Props-R-Us get all these English language books. Do ex-pats just pack up and leave apartments full of junk in Seoul and then the manager calls in the prop guys to clean out the stuff? Looks like the owl is still there along with the “Tower Bridge” book too. “Whoooo” can say it with me? Someone needs to lock CR up in a high tower very soon!! And burn the bridge across the moat that leads to the tower! Bwaaahaaaahaaa! More coffee, please!
Here’s CR’s Anthem: “Maneater” by Hall and Oates, circa 1982. No explanation needed.
Finally–YS gets busted:
After the Doc’s secretary brings him back the recording device, and it gets turned on by accident while the Cardiologist is reading an Oral and Maxillofacial surgery textbook (!)
Doc calls his wife home and the Karma begins to roll out:
After a vicious slap, he plays the recording for her and the truth has been set free!
He’s madder than a hornet!
YS’s weak comeback:
Doc hits back with the reality of the situation:
Here’s the song accompaniment for this scene I might have chosen: the 1977 hit “How long” by Ace–a one-hit wonder whose leader wrote this song after finding out one of the band members was playing for another band! Full lyrics are here, but the pertinent part is below:
How long has this been going on?
How long has this been going on?
Well, if friends with their fancy persuasion
Don’t admit that it’s part of a scheme
But I can’t help but have my suspicions
‘Cause I ain’t quite as dumb as I seem
And you said you was never intendin’
To break up our scene in this way
But there ain’t any use in pretendin’
It could happen to us any day
But a review of Episode 3 when we saw a flashback of YS and the Doc provides a slightly different story than the one Doc has just aired. Let’s start with CR’s take on the situation a few years back:
Hmm. Is that right? Let’s look at what happened about 20 years in the past:
Yeah, that Balvenie scotch is not exactly cheap rotgut. It starts at $50 USD for a bottle, and goes up to over $300 for the more aged stuff! Balvenie was one of WH’s favorite ‘plastering‘ agents as well! Doc asks how his wife is doing, and YS says she washed and cut her hair. Doc thanks her for coming over and making time for them. His ill wife sleeps better after she gets her hair washed. He looks very depressed and it’s gotta be frustrating:
YS implores him again to knock off the drinking for his daughter’s sake, and their hands touch as she tries to take the glass from him.
YS yanks her hand back, but that Doc is a mighty fast mover:
He really crosses the line here:
and YS doesn’t exactly pull herself away either. Then CR happened to walk in at the worst possible moment:
And we have the ‘foot shot’ from PD-nim! LOL!
Here’s something else to consider: I’m guessing CR is about 10-11 years old in this scene. We know that BW and CR have determined that they are the same age. So, if YS was such a wily fox to ‘seduce’ the Doc, WTH did she do for the 10 years prior to this?! You’d think it would have taken her less than 10 years to find and bag a rich dude. I’ve known a lot of ladies who’ve done that in a fraction of the time! That’s a long stretch for YS to be on her own. Obviously, when she left BW and JH, she did not have definitive plans with some rich guy in mind. True–she did not discourage the Doc from hugging her, nor object at all. I’d call her highly opportunistic, with questionable moral values, but as for her ‘seducing’ the doc–sorry. Doesn’t look like it to me. It looks like two lonely people cross a line and get caught by CR. They took advantage of each other–and they deserve each other too!
Dear PD and Writer-nim: We have a saying here in the US–“Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!“. Lemme re-translate that for you: Don’t tell me how YS left JH and her infant daughter for the good life, create a narrative that paints YS as an unabashed gold-digger/fortune hunter, then let that get blown to pieces when I go back to the beginning of the show and watch a scene where the lonely and depressed older Doc (who has been drinking) makes a blatant first move on his ailing wife’s young and single hairdresser.
Remember too, there are power and status differentials here. If YS smacks him for grabbing her, she definitely loses her client. If Doc tells her boss she smacked him, I’m sure her job at the salon would be gone too. I still think that YS wanted very badly to have a more comfortable life, improved social status and all the material goodies that came along with being a doctor’s wife. It was only a matter of time before she found the right one. She was absolutely wrong to abandon her daughter and Jang Ho. Her judgment on letting Doc pull the move he did on her without objection is pretty dubious. However, it doesn’t look to me like she ran right out and ‘seduced’ the first rich dude she found either. In RL, and in better Kdramas, many situations are never quite as black and white as we think. In a daily drama, that’s usually not the case. This scene is an exception to the rule.
Doc meets with GJ at a local coffee house and confronts her with the lies. He knows that YS ran away from Jang Ho and left her baby:
The music in the background is the 1976 hit “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” from Elton John. I’d have to guess this musical choice is probably from the intern or the apprentice to PD-nim, as it’s a little too obvious. Still, I would not argue with this selection at all and it’s very appropriate. It’s not my favorite EJ tune (I personally like “Rocket Man” the best) and the album it was on was not the hot commodity like “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road“. Heh, I saved my allowance for weeks to get that double album at the record store back in the 3rd grade!
GJ immediately ‘fesses up and apologizes:
….and YS begged her not to say anything. Doc says he felt betrayed when he first found out, but after he did some more thinking, he’s realized:
Uh oh. Something is off here. Doc is being way too reasonable and logical, considering he put a tracker on his wife’s car and a recording device in her office to catch her lying. GJ tells the Doc he’s being very kind….
Doc chuckles and says he loves YS more than his own life! Heh, didn’t he just threaten to kill her when he found out she abandoned her daughter?! What a crock o’ shyte he is! He surmises YS won’t talk about her daughter because she feels guilty. YS drops this info nugget on the Doc.
…and that YS doesn’t even know what her daughter looks like. The Doc seems to slither down a slippery slope as he says now that he knows YS has a daughter, he should do something to repay her for being so good to CR. Oh, crap. He asks GJ:
GJ can smell the BS from across the table, as we hear her talk to herself in her head:
Then she spouts this whopper of a lie:
…and left no phone number or address because she was so angry her own mom wouldn’t see her!
I’m still at a loss over why Doc wants to meet YS’s daughter. What would he gain from harassing an innocent young woman? Thank goodness GJ has the presence of mind to protect BW. Like the Mama Bear JH counted on to protect his precious daughter, GJ hustles right over to the restaurant and warns BW about the Doc:
Oh heck yeah, he did….but:
And thank goodness for that!
CR doesn’t know about her dad finding out, or that her step-mom abandoned BW. Here comes the news BW needs to have:
I’m really glad GJ is not mincing words here:
BW and I wonder why he would want to find her. She’s broken up with WH and has nothing to do with that family anymore. GJ gives it her best shot:
GJ says she really wanted to reunite BW and YS and have them be friends and live “happily ever after”! But that’s been blown to pieces now
because this is a Kdrama and happily ever after doesn’t exist!
GJ advises BW to not run into Doc, but if she does, pretend like she doesn’t know him! Ok, wonder how well that will work!
I’m still crossing my fingers that this show will pull out an ending that will make me cheer!