Love & Secret – E18

The house of sticks falls apart as Mr. Han finds out that his perfect daughter made the ultimate mistake.  The episode focuses on Areum’s family as the rest of the members band together to support her in the way they can as Mr. Han makes up his mind to give Areum an ultimatum, it’s Tiffany or himself.

THE RECAP

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After seeing Tiffany get her shots with Areum, Mr. Han runs out of the hospital and calls. Mrs. Han. He yells at her to tell him the truth. Mrs. Han stutters and tells him to calm down first.

Sunhwa comes by to pick up Tiffany and runs into Mr. Han.  He asks her if Tiffany is really her husband’s daughter and demands their new address. He wants to ask Yongsu himself. Sunhwa stutters that she will tell him everything when Areum comes out with Tiffany.

It must be true that couples become like each other as Mr. Han reacts in the same way. He sees her and literally backs away to run away as Areum calls out after him.

Areum carries Tiffany after him but he just keeps walking in faltering steps away and refuses to turn around. Areum holds Tiffany close to her and stops.

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[Note – couple colors! Teehee!]

Areum gets back into the office to hear the other Team Leader remark snidely that she’s the only one with a long lunch break. They tell her that Seung Woon was looking for her and Areum picks up her reports to go update him.

Soo Ah enters the building at that time.  She orders the secretary to prepare for their lunch (CEO, Seung Woon, and herself). He tells her that Seung Woon is in a meeting with Areum and he’s not sure when the meeting will end.

Soo Ah decides to stop by and see Areum. Seung Woon asks about the fabric and design. She seems out of it but she’s able to answer. Instead of barking at her, he asks if something is wrong. She denies and he tries to tell her that something must be up. She denies it again and he lets it drop. She tells him that other another staff member and her daughter will be modeling the clothes.

Seung Woon asks if Philip has contacted her. She tells him in the negative and he asks her if she’s angry or sick. She tells him it’s nothing, but thank you for your concern. Getting a call, she runs out and leaves Seung Woon to mutter that she’s driving him crazy under his breath.

When Areum walks out, there’s a half drama walk as she passes Soo Ah in the same hallway. Areum doesn’t notice but Soo Ah does. She starts remembering all of her past encounters and cringes.

Next Soo Ah stops by CEO Chun’s office and checks in about Areum.  CEO Chun is full of praises for her work and talent.  She realizes that she’s stuck with her bad impression.  Instead, she switches tactics and asks if they should just schedule a dinner and the official in law meeting for next month.  CEO Chun asks whether they aren’t rushing and she responds that they have been talking about the marriage for so long that he agrees.

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Seung Woon is out flying his remote control plane again, but he can’t stop thinking about Areum running off after the call from her mother.  He wonders what is going on with Areum.  Poor baby seems to have never been in love.  He wonders why he can’t stop thinking about her and wonders if he likes her… Then he does say that he knows he shouldn’t betray Yoon Yi, since his mom liked her and she was with him when his mom passed away…  CEO Chun interrupts his thoughts with a call to remind him to come home on time.

Areum runs out to catch a cab when Philip’s secretary tells her that Philip sent him.  Areum tells him that she’s busy and runs into a cab.  Philip is shirking work and preparing a majestic birthday dinner at the hotel room.

Areum and Mr. Han are both in a cab going home, looking like the world has ended.  Mrs. Han takes some unidentified medicine as she waits for her husband.  He falters in and yells at his wife.  He asks her if it was her idea to hide it.  Mr. Han starts crying in anger, “Who the hell is the father that she has a baby alone?!”

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Areum comes home and kneels before her father apologizing.  Her father slaps her in response.  Mrs. Han stands there crying when Jin Woo runs in.  Areum’s father’s response is if everyone knew…was it fun for the family to deceive him?  Areum tells her father that it was her fault and her mother and brother didn’t do anything wrong.  Mr. Han leaves without another word.

Areum hides in her room when she gets a text from Philip. His cheesy line:

It’s unfortunate, but looks like I will be spending my birthday alone.

I made the scallion pancake that you made for my birthday last time.

 I only realized after you left that two is better than one.

Areum ignores it.

Heung Min asks his father what he’s looking at.  His father is looking into real estate investment.  Heung Min asks if he is starting a new venture… Yongsu replies that this is different when Sunhwa comes in with the news that Mr. Han found out!

Yongsu is afraid that Mr. Han’s anger will fall on them…Sunhwa worries about Areum and the baby.  Heung Min asks his mom if they can’t just raise Tiffany as their family member…

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Mr. Han goes to drink away his sorrows…remembering all of the hints about Tiffany’s true parentage.  He’s basically lost it and starts laughing in a drunken stupor.  His friend comes over to stop him from drinking.  He gets a call from Yongsu, who he called out.  There’s a moment of you guys all know each other? [DF – we get the name of the restaurant owner – Songcheol.]

Mr. Han basically calls Yongsu less than human and blames it all on him.  Yongsu asks why he’s so angry at him when it was Areum’s actions that caused the mess.  Mr. Han punches him…before falling on the floor.

At the Chun residence, Seung Woon is pissed off that the engagement is set for next month.  He asks if this was Secretary Lee’s idea.  CEO Chun responds that it was his idea. Seung Woon tells Secretary Lee that it’s too obvious, to take care to hide her tail the next time as he can also use his brain as well.  He tells his dad that he will follow through with the engagement.

Soo Ah goes out and Seung Woon follows.  He asks her if she has a deal with Yoon Yi that she’ll take Seung Woon to live quietly after.  Soo Ah tells him if he doesn’t want it, he can just tell his father that he doesn’t want to marry Yoon Yi.  Seung Woon tells her that he’s not going to help her ambitions by pissing off his father.  He tells her to stop acting high and mighty since her ambitions killed his mother.

Soo Ah’s mother comes in at that moment and asks Soo Ah if Seung Woon is accusing her of killing the first Mrs. Chun.  Soo Ah tells her mom that she misheard.

Areum and Jin Woo are wandering around looking for Mr. Han.  Jin Woo sends his sister in first and continues to look for their dad.

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In the morning, Mrs. Han tells Areum that their father came home in the early hours of the morning and left for the mountain.  Mr. Han is on a bench drinking by himself.  He looks at the pictures he has of his daughter on his phone and chokes up.  He remembers giving her the scarf and Areum crying in response.  He remembers telling her that all he wants now is that she finds the right guy and lives happily with her family.

Sunhwa massages her husband’s bruise.  Yongsu states that Areum needs to be thankful to them for their sacrifices.  Heung Min pipes up that they need to take responsibility and protect Tiffany until the end.  Areum calls to check in on them when Jin Woo comes by to tell her that their dad wants to talk.

Jin Woo and Mom stand outside, trying to eavesdrop.  Mr. Han calmly asks Areum who the baby daddy is.  Areum confirms that she met the guy in the United States but tells him that they already broke up.  Mr. Han tells his daughter that it doesn’t matter that they broke up, he’s still the father.  He tells her to call him right now.  Areum drops the next bomb by telling her father that she is going to raise Tiffany and the father doesn’t know.

Mrs. Han gasps that the father is still alive.

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Areum asks if her father can’t just trust her…let her raise her baby.  Mr. Han tells Areum to bring Tiffany back.  If Areum refuses to introduce them to the father, they are going to put Tiffany for adoption.  Mrs. Han rushes in to tell her husband that it’s still Areum’s baby, she’ll raise her.

Areum’s father gives her an ultimatum.  Choose either her daughter or her father.  Areum responds that she is sorry but she can’t give up her daughter.  Mr. Han responds that Areum is no longer his daughter.  Leave his house immediately.

MY TWO CENTS

I’m actually quite surprised at how honest/realistic this drama is about the Korean culture.  I understand how Mr. Han would want to blame Yongsu rather than his perfect daughter.  He attempts to resolve the issue in the only way that he sees is possible – getting the baby daddy involved.  Of course, emotions run high and he gets hurt when his daughter refuses to tell them about the baby father or send the baby to the baby father’s family.  Out comes the talk of adoption.  After all, Areum has a shining future ahead of her.  Ignore the fact that she is a grown adult of 24 (American age 23) and has a fully functioning support system of family and a job…or the fact that she risked everything to keep her baby.

Seung Woon’s family dynamics took a backseat as this episode literally focused on Mr. Han and his response to this revelation.  I don’t think it was too much time because in reality, this happens.  This is one of the biggest mistakes that a Korean single child can commit and it’s one that each parent has to grapple in their own way.  We saw Mr. Han wander and think about how he can keep his daughter and maintain his perfect family… Let’s just hope that it doesn’t take 90 episodes for him to decide that he can help make his new extended family just as perfect.  If not the same perfection that society usually depicts.

Additionally, can I say that my respect for Areum grew? A lot of girls and most Korean drama heroines would have fallen in a hysterical fit and lost their child…etc.  Case in point – Rosy Lovers, where the girl gives up her baby.  Areum makes it clear that she is doing everything she can to keep her baby and still achieve a normal life/success.  While, she isn’t the most charismatic actress, I find her character endearing.

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