Run, Jang-Mi – E03

Taeja returns to Korea to eat Joonhyuk’s ramen and runs into Jang-Mi on her way to the funeral.  We find out that Taeja blames his grandfather for his father’s death and has no desire to takeover the company.  Meanwhile, Jang-Mi has to face the economic reality that her father left behind.

THE RECAP

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Jang-Mi wakes up to a call from her brother, who’s crying.  He tells her that their father passed away.  Jang-Mi drops her phone in shock and runs out of the room.  Mincheol picks up the phone and asks Jang-Mi’s sobbing brother, what is going on.  Mincheol goes to Jang-Mi, who’s looking for her passport.  Mincheol tells her to calm down when Jang-Mi tells him that her father passed away and sobs.  She can’t accept it.  She just talked to her father… She sobs, why would dad pass away?

Early in the morning, Mincheol talks to a travel agent.  Flights are booked so he asks to buy at least one ticket.  Jang-Mi can go first and he will get on the next available flight.

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In Korea, Taeja arrives with a carry-on and one box.  Unluckily, taxi drivers are on strike and there’s 11 people in line.  The person in front of him tells him that a taxi comes every twenty minutes.  Taeja decides against taking the bus because of his social stature and gets in line…Well his sits down and starts chanting for people to leave the taxi line for the bus line…He also tries to physically send his ki dragonball style… No one leaves but they do stare.

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Finally! Taeja is at the front of the line and he dozes off on his luggage.  He puts his bag and trinket box in the trunk when Jang-Mi comes running.  She asks to take the cab first.  Taeja responds that he’s been waiting for 2.5 hours when Jang-Mi starts crying… her father passed away and she needs to go to the funeral.  He looks at the people in line, who all avoid his gaze.  Sighing, Taeja lets Jang-Mi get in the cab first and mutters that his father also passed away.

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Suddenly, he remembers that his treasure box is in the trunk.  He memorizes the license plate, calls the taxi service to find out where the funeral is and…calls Joonhyuk.  Taeja begs Joonhyuk to go to funeral to get his treasure box back.  Joonhyuk tells him to calm down and tell him what happened in a calm manner…Taeja follows his instructions but is adamant.  Joonhyuk needs to go get his treasure box.  After Joonhyuk hangs up, the security guard comes by.  He gives Joonhyuk Jang-Mi’s dad’s wedding ring and explains that he saw the watch and gave it back but he didn’t see the ring until now.  He asks Joonhyuk to return it to the owner.

Joonhyuk goes to stand outside the hospital with the funeral as he waits for the cab.  He’s trying to talk to the driver when Jang-Mi hits him with her door and runs off without a word.

Jang-Mi arrives at the funeral room, where her mom is already sobbing.  Jang-Mi’s mom sobs until she faints.  Her brother picks up their mom and carries her to a different part of the hospital to get seen but asks Jang-Mi to stay in the room.  [DF- In Korean culture, it is believed that someone should always been in the room to “accompany” the recently deceased for 3 days until they reach their final destination.]

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Outside, Joonhyuk waits in the parking lot for Taeja.  Once Taeja arrives, he jumps on Joonhyuk like a happy dog.  Always the responsible one, Joonhyuk asks what Taeja is doing.  Taeja responds honestly, he came to eat Joonhyuk’s seafood ramen!  Joonhyuk sighs that he should be old enough to stop doing these crazy stunts.  Taeja pretends to try to kiss Joonhyuk and threatens to kiss him if he doesn’t stop lecturing.  Joonhyuk gives up and just confirms that he got Taeja’s luggage and treasure box.  He asks Taeja if he knows the girl in the cab.  Taeja asks Joonhyuk to wait one minute as he runs into the funeral wing of the hospital.  He peeks in and sees Jang-Mi staring at her father’s picture…

[DF Note- Turns out Taeja’s full name is Taeja Hwang.  In Korean, it’s Hwang Taeja, which is the same as crown prince ;)]

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Taeja has a flashback to his own father’s funeral.  His grandfather is crying and a young Taeja thinks to himself that his grandfather has no right to cry…he makes a promise that he will have revenge on his grandfather.  Jangsu interrupts Taeja’s reverie and asks if Taeja knew their father.  Taeja responds that he did and tries to explain that his clothes are such because he was coming from a trip.  Jangsu invites Taeja in to pay his respects and Taeja offers up a flower before giving his condolences.  Jang-Mi and Jangsu receive his condolences but doesn’t seem to recognize him.  After Taeja leaves, Jang-Mi walks off to go to their mom.

Taeja puts all of his money into a condolence envelope and gives it to Jangsu.  Jangsu asks for his name and Taeja answers Hwang Taeja.

Afterwards Taeja asks to go to his father’s grave.  Joonhyuk tells him that they will be late at this rate and tells him to grab a cab.  Taeja persists and tells him that he can’t, the drivers are on strike.  Taeja tells him to wake him up when they arrive and falls asleep.

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Looking exasperated, Joonhyuk drives Taeja to his father’s grave.  Taeja pours his dad’s favorite soju on his dad’s grave and asks Joonhyuk if he knew his dad.  Joonhyuk tells him that they moved in after he passed away, so he doesn’t.  However, Joonhyuk did hear a lot about him.  He was a humble man who would eat barbecue and drink with the employees.  He would buy socks off the street carts and share with his own father.

Taeja mentions that he doesn’t understand his dad’s last wish…which was to be good to his grandfather.  Joonhyuk tells Taeja that the last wish seems normal.  Taeja just says to himself, he’s sorry but he can’t keep his father’s last wish…he can’t forgive his grandfather.

When Joonhyuk arrives at work, he meets his father who was cleaning his own car.  Joonhyuk tells his father that he’s late because Taeja came back to Korea and is currently at his studio.  Joonhyuk’s father comment that Taeja must really like Joonhyuk since he didn’t tell anyone and rushed to see him first.  Joonhyuk replies that Taeja is just uncultured before leaving to go to his office.  We get a moment of fatherly pride as Joonhyuk’s father notes proudly how his son looks good even from the back.

Mincheol’s mother and father walk to the funeral and Mincheol’s mom is in a mood.  She mutters that it’s such a shock to happen right after the marriage.  Mincheol’s father warns her to be careful with her words in front of Jang-Mi’s mother.  Mincheol’s mother asks how Mr. Baek died and Jang-Mi explains that he drunkenly fell off the stairs in the rain…and hit his head.  Mincheol’s mom almost makes a mistake in saying that Jang-Mi’s father died a “dog’s death,” but, thankfully, her husband cuts her off.

Jang-Mi’s mother can’t stop sobbing.  Mincheol’s father has some more sincere words.  He encourages Jang-Mi’s mother to stay strong and Jang-Mi to be firm.  He tells them that Mincheol got on a plane and will arrive in the evening.  He also offers to help if they need it.

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Minjoo stalks Taeja at his apartment, where he left his cellphone before fleeing to Korea.  Taeja is blissfully sleeping when his grandfather and Joonhyuk’s father wake him up.  We get a moment of …absurdity when he wonders if he’s blind because of his eyemask.

Taeja’s grandfather grouches that Taeja is off sleeping without even telling his grandfather that he arrived in Korea.  However, he can’t remain a grouch for long and calling Taeja his little puppy, tries to look at his face to fuss over him.  Taeja’s grandfather mentions that Taeja looks just like his father and whines that he was waiting so long for Taeja to come back.  Taeja gets up to wash up.

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At dinner, Taeja’s grandfather conspicuously  moves a plate closer to Taeja, which makes him happy.  However, our no-nonsense mom tells him to go back to New York immediately and finish his school. Our modern day crown prince isn’t one to lose match of wills or words.  He tells his mom quite proudly that he can’t unless she sends him Joonhyuk.  He doesn’t know how to write a decent report and the only reasons he’s been able to get this far along is because Joonhyuk helped him.  He happily tells his mom that she just needs to accept his limitations.

Taeja’s mom turns her anger toward Joonhyuk.  She asks what exactly did he do in America, if he wasn’t helping Taeja go to school.  Taeja’s father joins the conversation to put his foot down.  Taeja doesn’t have to go back to the United States if he doesn’t want to.  A person should be able to comfortably eat, sleep, and do his business.  Taeja applauds his grandfather but his mom has the last word.  She tells her father-in-law that she is the mother and she will decide what is best for Taeja.  [DF – I’m with the scary mom on this one…if the guy can’t write his own reports in college/grad school, we have issues.]

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After dinner, Taeja drops into bed with Taehee following.  She whines that he made Joonhyuk lose points.  Taeja asks why Joonhyuk even needs to win points in front of their mother and Taehee can’t reply.

Taehee changes the conversation to ask if he’s going to go to work at their company and Taeja declines.  She asks what exactly he plans to do and Taeja asks Taehee for the popular clubs.  Taehee sighs in exasperation…she asks if her brother has any desire other than to play.  Taeja shamelessly answers that he has no interest other than to have fun.  At this point, Taehee scolds her older brother and tells him that he should be thankful that he’s his grandfather’s grandson.  If he weren’t he wouldn’t be able live the way he does.  Taeja laughes awkwardly and repeats that he should be thankful.

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Mincheol arrives at Mr. Baek’s funeral.  He holds her hands and hugs her as she starts to cry.  Mincheol tells her that she can lean on him and cry.

Afterwards, the family + Mincheol discuss the oddities of the death.  He was missing his wedding ring… Also, it was odd that he would be in that area.  However, the police stated that no one showed up on the security cameras…they concluded that this was an accident and not a homicide.  Jang-Mi states that she still thinks that it is odd that they didn’t find his ring.

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Joonhyuk gets done with his work and remembers the ring.  He calls Mr. Baek’s phone, which is picked up by Jang-Mi.  He asks to talk to Mr. Baek and is informed that Mr. Baek passed away.  He asks how Mr. Baek passed away and where… When Jang-Mi answers, Joonhyuk falters before asking where the funeral is being held and giving his condolences.  After the call, Joonhyuk sits down and remembers his last conversation with Mr. Baek.

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Taeja returns to his room to see his mom.  She offers to buy him a new car and increase his monthly allowance by $3,000.  All she asks is that he goes back and get his college degree.  After all, if he’s going to takeover his grandfather’s company, he needs a college degree.  Taeja tells her that he’s not going to take over his grandfather’s company.  He doesn’t want to run his grandfather’s company.  He just wants to have a couple buildings and live off the rental income.  Taeja’s mom asks him if he thinks he’s making sense and he responds that she must have already forgotten.  They should be thankful that he’s even alive.  He tells her that he’s tired because he hasn’t been able to sleep well [DF – because of his haunted house…] and she agrees and leaves.

Mincheol’s parents tell Jang-Mi’s family that they are going to leave for the night but will return the next evening.  Mincheol leaves to walk them out when the loan sharks arrive.  They ask if Jang-Mi if she’s Mr. Baek’s daughter.  They go in to pay their respects to Mr. Baek and Mincheol’s mom mentions that they look like gangsters.  Mincheol tells his mom to go ahead and goes in to receive the loan sharks’ respects…

Mincheol’s mom stays behind to eavesdrop.  She sees the loan sharks hand over a signed contract.  Mincheol’s father tries to tell his wife that they need to leave and Mincheol’s mom refuses to leave.  Mincheol’s mom tells him that there must be a mistake and the loan shark barks that they are a legally incorporated company.  Jangsu punches one of the loan sharks and Jang-Mi shouts that they are in front of Mr. Baek’s picture…She instructs Jangsu to take their mother away and tells the loan sharks to talk away from their father’s memorial.

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On the way, Mincheol’s mom pulls him aside.  Outside, Jang-Mi stands up to the loan sharks.  She tells them to leave for now.  They don’t have the money and they need time to confirm that it was his signature and that Mr. Baek actually used the money.  The loan shark yells back at her that he’s done with being civil.  Mr. Baek borrowed $150,000.00.  They can confirm his signature on the contract.  Jang-Mi tells them to leave for now and she will figure it out after the funeral.  The loan sharks tell her that they will leave if she signs a guaranty.  Jang-Mi responds that she can’t when she hasn’t verified anything and her father isn’t there to confirm anything.  The men refuse to leave without the guaranty and Jang-Mi threatens to call the cops.

At this point, the loan shark grabs Jang-Mi’s dress and tells her to call the cops.  He explains that if she does, they will make a show out of her father’s funeral.

MY TWO CENTS

I love that Jang-Mi isn’t your happy-go-lucky-stupid heroine.  She stands her ground and knows her rights.  Of course, it’s hard to stand your ground when you have no money to support you and your facing off with seasoned loan sharks… But I see her picking herself up and protecting the family.

This episode revealed a lot about Taeja’s family dynamics… I’m not sure if I’m a Taeja x Jang-Mi shipper… Who wouldn’t love living comfortably off the rental income of a couple of buildings? But, this guy has no goals whatsoever.  I think Taeja needs to grow up if we’re to be won over.  I feel more like a Joonhyuk x Jang-Mi shipper, even if he was the reason Jang-Mi’s father turned to alcohol.

Finally, I didn’t think I would ever say it…but I feel sorry for her as Taeja’s mom.  If your son is saying that he can’t write his own college reports…she has amazing control for not smacking him right then and there.

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