Run, Jang-Mi – E04

Taeja’s family accept that he’s in Korea to stay and try to get him to work at his grandfather’s company.  Meanwhile, the stuffing starts hitting the fan as Mincheol’s family find out that Jang-Mi and family are broke and may be underwater with debt.

THE RECAP

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The episode begins with the fight between the loan sharks and Jang-Mi.  The loan shark tells Jang-Mi that they will only leave if she signs a guaranty agreement.  Jang-Mi tells him that she will call the police if he keeps threatening her and the loan shark grabs Jang-Mi’s dress.  He dares her to call the police and see what happens.

Mincheol’s mom pulls Mincheol aside.  She asks what he was thinking when he was going to follow Jang-Mi and the loan sharks.  Mincheol asks how he could leave Jang-Mi alone with loan sharks and his father agrees that their son has a point.  Mincheol’s mom tells her husband to shut up before telling her son that he entered into a fraudulent marriage.

She screams in frustration at her own life.  How could her son get involved in a fraudulent marriage after she looked so hard for the perfect daughter-in-law?!  Her husband tells her that she’s being a bit harsh and karma will come back to her, if she continues to act this way.  He reminds her that a person has died and she’s focused on herself.  Mincheol’s mom cries back at her husband that the deceased Mr. Baek is at fault.  He pretended that they had a healthy medium sized company.  How could he die with debt? Who does he expect to take care of his family?  Mincheol looks like his mother’s logic is registering.

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Jang-Mi sits and writes a guaranty contract that she will take care of her father’s debt of $150,000.00.  The loan shark tells her that they will be back in a week.

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Jang-Mi goes back to her family.  Her mother is a crying mess.  Mincheol runs in with the sad excuse that he went to the bathroom and lost her.  Jang-Mi tells everyone that she agreed to pay them back in a week.  Jangsu argues that they don’t need to pay such suspicious people back; he states that the loan sharks probably don’t have good footing under the law.  Jang-Mi answers that if she didn’t agree to this, they would have made a mess of their father’s funeral.  Loan sharks don’t follow the law; they don’t know what the loan sharks would have done at the funeral.

Jang-Mi’s mother cries that she can’t believe her husband was involved with such scary people.  At this point, Mincheol asks his mother-in-law if she heard anything about loan sharks before such as the company having issues?  Jang-Mi’s mother answers that she had no idea.  He never mentioned needing more money and was always free with her allowance.  Jang-Mi comments that maybe their father had it worse than the family realized.

Joonhyuk drinks by himself as he stares at Mr. Baek’s wedding ring and remembers the last time Mr. Baek came to see him…begging him for another chance.  [DF-Looks like our boy is learning the consequences of only thinking of business as numbers and not realizing the lives that are entwined with the decisions that are based on numbers only…]

The next day, Joonhyuk attends the funeral and drops the ring in the condolence envelope.  He goes to put a flower on the memorial and pays his respects… He apologizes and confesses that he didn’t realize it would come to this.

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Afterwards, Joonhyuk walks outside to brood when Jang-Mi comes out of the room sobbing.  [DF – Now both of our leads have seen her…]

Taehee  is overseeing the renovations and emphasizes a detail that she wants the construction workers to remember.  She gets a call from her brother and goes to attend lunch.

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Taeja and mom are waiting at a fancy restaurant.  Their mom criticizes Taehee’s outfit as soon as Taehee sits down and Taehee retorts that she’s working in remodeling and construction, she’s not about that flounce around in a ballgown.  Their mom answers that her attitude is as plebeian as ever and Taeja tries to diffuse the tension saying that he just wanted the family to eat together.

Taehee gets a call from Minjoo, who’s about to cry.  She mentions that Taeja is MIA and cries when Taehee mentions that Taeja’s in Korea.  Minjoo doesn’t register it and continues to cry until Taeja answers the phone.  Taeja answers the phone nonchalantly and asks why Minjoo is crying.  Minjoo screams into the phone that he should have at least told her before going to Korea…she was so worried!  Taeja just flippantly apologizes and mentions that he has a favor.  Could she organize his things, send him the important stuff and toss everything else since he’s not returning to the United States?  She hangs up.

Taeja mentions that he feels a bit guilty since Minjoo isn’t the type to cry easily.  Taeja’s mom snipes that Minjoo is overreacting.  It isn’t usual but it is possible for him to come back to Korea without telling her; other people might think that they were dating based on her reaction.  Taehee adds that Minjoo would be the one losing in that deal if she were dating Taeja and Taeja agrees.  However, Taeja’s mom’s hackles rise.  How could Taehee even mention the possibility of Minjoo being with Taeja?

Taehee responds that Minjoo is a lot better than Taeja; she’s smart, pretty, and successful.  However, Taeja’s mom doesn’t budge.  She replies that even then Minjoo comes from a regular scholarly family.  Taeja is the heir to their company.  Minjoo doesn’t have the right to even hope for Taeja.  Taeja jumps in to remind his mother that he has no desire to take over the company.  Taehee gloats in her mother’s face and her mom tells her to pipe out.  She has no right to decide anything in her brother’s life.  Turning to her son, she asks Taeja to come to work in the company.  Grandfather can create a job for him.

Taeja smiles but tells his mother calmly that he’s not going to work in their company.  He’s confident that Joonhyuk can develop their company.  Taeja’s mom bristles that Taeja would bring up Joonhyuk.

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At work, Joonhyuk gets his lunch and joins the table with his father and Taeja’s grandfather.  Taeja’s grandfather grumbles that the cafeteria food isn’t what it used to be.  Joonhyuk’s father disagrees that their cafeteria food is always good and Joonhyuk just tells them he trusts in the CEO’s tastes.  Looks like the CEO is there undercover because he tells Jonhyuk not to call him that.

Randomly, two female employees walk by.  One girl confesses that it’s regretful that she has to leave right now but there’s no one to watch after her kid…if she could only last until her kid can go to kindergarten, she would be okay but there’s no one right now.  Her friend supports her and encourages her to keep looking.

The CEO tells Joonhyuk to make a plan for childcare, maybe creating a daycare in their headquarters. [DF- OMG! The writer has to be a woman!]

At Jang-Mi’s house, they are counting up all of the condolence gifts.  They see an unnamed envelop and out drops Mr. Baek’s ring.  They wonder who could have had the ring and why that person had the ring in the first place.  Jang-Mi gets a call from their company’s CFO.  Jang-Mi agrees to come to the office the next day and Mincheol tells them that he will accompany her.

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The next day, the CFO tells her that the company is in bankruptcy and has been prior to Mr. Baek’s death.  The CFO mentions that he will try to save their company but the prospects do not look good.

Mincheol asks how much money does Mr. Baek has since they had to deal with the loan sharks.  The CFO confesses that the liabilities will be greater than Mr. Baek’s assets.  They have already tapped into their insurance accounts and gotten a reverse mortgage on the house.  Jang-Mi is heartbroken that their father never let them knew how bad the finances.

The CFO suggests that Jang-Mi approve of a limited forfeiture of their inheritance, which is a possible route for people whose debt will be greater than their assets. At home, Jang-Mi tells her mother and brother, who don’t take the news well… Her mom is aghast as they put in $200,000 in decorating the house alone.  She can’t believe her husband would leave the finances like this.

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Jangsu throws the financial records and asks how could their father leave the finances in such a wreck before dying?  Jang-Mi slaps her brother and yells at him for being able to say such an heartless thing.  Their father must have been under so much stress when he was alive and couldn’t tell them anything; he should think more of what their father went through.

Taeja’s grandfather suggests that Taeja come to the company and learn under Joonhyuk.  Taeja’s mom is unhappy; she wants her father-in-law to create a Vice President position for Taeja.  Taeja adds that he just wants a building in a nice location.  He can live off the rental income…

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Taeja’s mom and grandfather ignore him and continue their own discussion.  Taeja’s grandfather is adamant that Taeja learn the basics from the bottom up.  Taeja’s mom reminds him that Joonhyuk because a Vice President in two years and Taeja’s grandfather retorts that Joonhyuk’s abilities got him a promotion from the Deputy CEO.  Taeja’s grandfather mentions that he hasn’t been directly involved with the company for a while…he believes that the best person to protect their company should take care of the company.  Taeja agrees and emphasizes that such a requirement would take him out of the running.  Taeja’s grandfather softly tells him that he will talk to Joonhyuk.  Why doesn’t Taeja try learning since playing all day, every day must get old.  Taeja flippantly answers that he’s not bored; there’s so much he still hasn’t done and his grandfather gives up.  Taeja’s mom stares silently before following her father-in-law.

She goes in his room and asks why his attitude toward Taeja is so different from his attitude toward his own son?  He used to be so strict to his son for not wanting to take over the company…why is he ignoring his grandson?

Taeja’s grandfather sighs and asks her to leave as he’s tired.  He massages his heart without another word.

Taeja goes to the golf course the next morning.  Minjoo is cleaning his apartment when Taeja calls.  Minjoo tells him that she’s busy cleaning up his affairs and house.  Taeja offers to buy her dinner for a full month.  Minjoo sighs that his life is so easy and Taeja agrees.

Joonhyuk’s father drives Taeja to the company and wakes him up.  Taeja whines that he didn’t want to come to the company and Joonhyuk’s father barely convinces him by saying Joonhyuk is waiting.  Taeja refuses to go into the company and stakes it out in the cafe, while playing a cell phone game.

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Joonhyuk comes down to wheedle Taeja to get him to come up.  Taeja tells Joonhyuk that he has no desire in the company and only came in to see Joonhyuk’s face.  Taeja asks Joonhyuk to take care of the company and walks off.

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Meanwhile, Mincheol drops Jang-Mi off at home.  She’s telling her mother-in-law that she will be back as soon as they clean up her father’s affairs.  Jang-Mi leans against Mincheol and tells him that she’s so relieved that she has him there.

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Mincheol’s mom asks what happened at Jang-Mi’s place.  Mincheol confesses that it’s a mess.  Mincheol’s mom asks if they have nothing and Mincheol replies that they may actually be on the hook for additional debt after liquidating everything.  They have to wait until they can liquidate the stocks to see if they can cover some of the holes.  The company is already in stage one of bankruptcy.

Mincheol’s mom is aghast.  She still calls the marriage a fraudulent marriage.  Mincheol expresses his surprise that none of the family knew the state of financial affairs and his mom jumps him to tell him that Mrs. Baek is not his mother-in-law.  They haven’t had time to officially register this marriage and the marriage is void.  She tells him to break up with Jang-Mi.

At Jang-Mi’s house, her mom asks if her mother-in-law was okay with Jang-Mi not coming home.  Jang-Mi tells her mom that her mother-in-law was fully supportive.  Jang-Mi attributes this to Mincheol being a good liaison between her and her mother-in-law.  Jang-Mi’s mother repeats Mr. Baek’s words that it’s a blessing that Jang-Mi was able to get married before this happened.  Jang-Mi’s mom starts sobbing that her own husband was so reliable and dependable…She turns to ask if they have to sell the house since it’s so full of their memories.

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Mincheol stays up brooding about his mother’s words… Mincheol’s mom had asked if he’s ready to take responsibility for Jang-Mi’s family for the rest of their life…Jangsu is a college student.  Jang-Mi is an unemployed grad student and her mom is a housewife.  Mincheol replies that Jang-Mi will probably get a job and not expect him to support her whole family.

Mincheol’s mom retorts that he’s being naive.  It’s not easy to get a job and Jang-Mi didn’t graduate from a prestigious university or is well connected…all Jang-Mi had was her looks and her father’s company.  Mincheol asks how he could ask to separate right after the wedding when everyone that knows them knows about the wedding.  Mincheol’s mom responds that no one will blame them.  So many people get divorced in this day and age, a wedding isn’t a big deal.  Additionally, she’s positive that everyone will be on their side that this is a fraudulent marriage.

Jang-Mi puts her father’s ring on a necklace and tells her father that he can rest now.  She will take care of her brother and mother.  She apologizes for letting him hold all of the burden by himself.  Jang-Mi gets a call from the loan shark and tells him that she hasn’t forgotten.  Afterwards, she wonders why Mincheol hasn’t called…

Mincheol gets done with a patient and sits and down at his desk.  Jang-Mi sends him a text that someone came to see the house and liked it.  She thinks they are going to sign the contract and asks if he wants to come over for dinner.  Mincheol calls her and tells her that he has a reunion and can’t make it tonight.  Jang-Mi asks if he wants to come over for dinner the next day since she hasn’t seen him for a couple of days and Mincheol tells her to come meet him at a restaurant tomorrow.

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When Mincheol arrives, Jang-Mi is already waiting.  She tells him the good news that someone has agreed to buy the house.  They didn’t get the best price but it’s better than nothing.  She asks him for a favor; after they sell the house, could her mom and brother live with them?

Mincheol winces and interrupts.  He tells her that they should separate.  Jang-Mi asks if she heard something wrong.  Mincheol explains that they haven’t even filed anything, they should break up now.

Mincheol’s mom paces at home wondering how the separation is going.

Jang-Mi takes a drink of water and calmly asks why he’s asking to break up now.  Mincheol answers that she should know.  Jang-Mi asks directly if it’s because their family is bankrupt.  Mincheol confesses yes.

Jang-Mi asks him if he was lying when he told her that he loved her and can’t live without her.  Mincheol replies that he was sincere…he loved her and all of the factors involved with the decision.  An arranged date/marriage is one based external factors and both sides make the decision after calculating external factors.  Mincheol adds that one of the reasons that she agreed to marry him was because he was a doctor.

Jang-Mi responds that this is temporary and Mincheol tells her directly that he does not have the confidence to support her family for the rest of his life.  He feels like he was scammed by her father.  Jang-Mi pauses in shock and asks what he’s saying.  Mincheol expands that Mr. Baek knew the financial situation of his company and didn’t let anyone know…he had Jang-Mi marry Mincheol and left all of the debt.  Mincheol tells her that he feels betrayed.

Jang-Mi pauses and tells him that she will pretend she didn’t hear this.  She tells him that she will return to his place after she organizes her father’s affairs.

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Mincheol runs after her and grabs her arm.  He tells her that he thought about this a long time.  He didn’t want both sides to see the worst in each other that’s why he decided that they should break up now.

Jang-Mi tears up but tells him that she has no intention of breaking their marriage.

MY TWO CENTS

As always, I appreciate the visuals in this daily drama.  The scenes and colors are clean and acting stable.

As for the storyline…here we go.  Mincheol’s mom makes the materialistic decision that we all knew was coming.  What is sad is that Mincheol falters and almost leaves a small spark of hope for the viewers that he will not take the cowardly path …before he does.  While Mincheol isn’t an evil guy, he definitely is a cowardly one.  He is honest and has a point that people who enter in arranged marriages, do so with an understanding that the situations will stay stable…Generally, prior to deciding on the marriage both sides have information such as financial health, family, education and profession.  Therefore, finding out that the situation has changed drastically right after the wedding and before both sides have had the time to develop the family love more deeply would be difficult to handle.  It doesn’t excuse his cowardice as he’s taking the despicable route – leaving a girl after he explicitly promised to love her and take care of her family.  But one can understand his reasoning.  Yet, even though this isn’t real, I’m glad this happened. Jang-Mi deserves to be with someone who will love her when she’s affluent and when she’s poor.

Also, a part of me theoretically understands the reactions of Jang-Mi’s mother and brother but a part of me feels exasperated.  The brother is more than old enough to know how the world works – he’s in college and has come back from the army… In American age, he would be a senior in college as most guys go to the army as sophomores.  That means he just had to face the economic reality maybe a year or a semester earlier than his peers and probably had a comfortable college career.  He shouldn’t let Jang-Mi take all of the weight of taking care of the family.  As for Jang-Mi’s mother… I understand that she was sheltered but …omg…she made me feel like I was suffocating.  She saw the financial statements and heard that they were bankrupt and knows that they owe $150,000.  How could she beg her daughter not to sell the house?  Adults not acting like adults here …

I can’t wait until Jang-Mi finds her daddy long legs or knight.  Or anything that helps because she just lost her father, her economic support and her husband all within one go.  Her mother and brother seem to have regressed to incompetents and someone still has to clean up the remaining mess.

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