Love & Secret – E29

Mr. Han takes the fall to cover for his daughter’s mistake and give her a chance at normal life.  Areum starts to think about what she needs to do to make things right for everyone.

THE RECAP

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We begin with the nomination committee grilling Mr. Han about Tiffany.  Knowing that they have him in a bind, Mr. Han’s detractors force him into a corner asking him why he can’t tell them the identity of the baby that he dropped off at a house in Songbuk.  When the questioner begins to make a guess at who the baby is, Mr. Han interrupts and confesses that the baby is his baby.

The questioner continues to ask why he tried to drop off the baby in the middle of the night and why the baby is not on his official family registry.  Mr. Han’s family members face palm as they watch the interview.  Mr. Han is silent to the as to why he couldn’t register the baby after its birth.  Finally, Mr. Han answers that he couldn’t register the baby because she was born out of wedlock.  The questioners continue to deride him to say that the nominee of the Cabinet cannot behave in such an immoral matter.  Another questioner asks who is the mother and Mr. Han apologizes before getting up to leave the interview.

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The news continues to report on the unexpected turn of events at the nomination interview.  Mrs. Han faints and Philip watches wondering if it’s true that Tiffany is Areum’s half-sister.  [DF- Looks like the drama gave him a tiny rabbit hole to escape into denial and.]

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Areum walks out in a daze and Seung Woon tries to ask what happened.  However, Areum walks out without another word.  Mr. Chun and Soo Ah discuss how shocked they are at Mr. Han’s infidelity and Mr. Chun regrets at how much effort they put into gracing Mr. Han.

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At the office, the secretary runs to ask if Seung Woon has seen the interview.  Seung Woon replies that he has not seen it yet, but is searching.  The secretary jumps to spoil him that Mr. Han’s daughter is actually their Areum Han.  Seung Woon reacts with shock and asks if his father promoted Areum because of her father.  The secretary responds that the rumor mill is churning that Areum got promoted due her father and now there’s the rumors about her father.  The secretary cannot say what the rumors are about her father and Seung Woon tells him that he’ll watch it on his own…and does.

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Areum runs into her home to ask about their father.  Jinwoo confirms that Mr. Han has not arrived at home yet and Areum tells them that his phone is off.

Mrs. Han blows up at Areum on behalf of her husband.  She faults her daughter for appearing to be concerned about her parents now, when the scandal has already blown up.  Mrs. Han also rants that Mr. Han never accepted a single gift or bribe, ever lived beyond his simple means such as hiring a driver or even golfed like the other government officials.  He lived his life for this position and opportunity, regardless of what the people around him said, including her.

Areum tells her mother that she’s sorry and her mom responds that she is tired of hearing Areum’s apologies.  She tells Areum to leave and that she doesn’t want to see Areum’s face.

Meanwhile, Mr. Han is on a public bus somewhere.

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Seung Woon remembers all of the moments where he saw Areum either act around Tiffany.  He wonders if this is why Areum took care of Tiffany so much… he tries to type, “Are you okay?” into his phone before chickening out.

Areum tries to call her father, but his phone is still off.  She wonders if she should call Philip.  However, she can’t bring herself to call Philip and cries that she is a horrible daughter.

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The next day, Seung Woon drives home.  Mr. Chun is in a mood that they’re going to have to deal with clean-up since Mr. Han’s scandal is the main political news.  Soo Ah mentions that they will also have to deal with the hit to their goodwill.

Seung Woon asks if Mr. Chun knew that Areum was Mr. Han’s daughter when Mr. Chun hired Areum.  Mr. Chun asks what difference does it make if he did.  He gets angry that Areum will be the reason that they lose the project and Seung Woon responds that his father has no right to blame others when he has unclean hands.  Soo Ah jumps in to tell Seung Woon to back off since his father is already so unhappy.

Seung Woon continues to tell his father that Mr. Chun doesn’t understand how much effort Areum put into the project.  She stayed late every night and used all of her designs in her portfolio to develop Zishen’s project bid.  Mr. Chun angrily asks if Seung Woon came to defend Areum.  Seung Woon responds that his father made a mistake this time.  Areum had enough talent to win the project on her own talent, but Mr. Chun’s greed ruined it for their company.

Mr. Chun quietly tells Seung Woon to end it.  He adds that Seung Woon should know exactly what he’s talking about.  Seung Woon pauses and leaves.  Soo Ah looks thoughtful…

Outside the house, Seung Woon tries to call Areum, who is still trying to call her father.  After the last failure, she checks her call log and realizes that Seung Woon tried to call her.

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Jinwoo brings his mother porridge.  His mother asks if Mr. Han is fine and Jinwoo responds that he’s sure his father is okay.  Mrs. Han worries that Mr. Han will do something rash…

Rather than doing something rash, Mr. Han is at his father’s grave.  He apologizes for being remiss to his father.  He apologizes for not understanding his father’s feelings, while his father was alive and cries that he thinks he finally understands a little bit about how his father must have felt…

At Sunhwa’s house, Heungmin and Heungsu can’t wait to devour cooked porker slices.  Sunhwa sighs that she can’t believe what happened to her sister’s family and Heungsu replies that he’s eating out of stress.  Heungsu asks Sunhwa what will happen to Mr. Han and she answers that she has no idea since all his life, Mr. Han worked for that position.  She remarks that the proverb that children are the enemy and the parents sinners is so true…

Mrs. Han interrupts their meal.  She tells them that she came to see Seongcheol.  Heungsu consoles her, but Mrs. Han notes that Heungmin might hear.  Sunhwa tells her husband to go pick up something and Mrs. Han asks Sunhwa to give her some privacy as well.

Seongcheol arrives and Mrs. Han asks him if he heard anything.  Seongcheol replies that he hasn’t heard from Mr. Han and Mrs. Han asks if he knows where Mr. Han might have gone…

Next, Mrs. Han finds Mr. Han at a lake fishing…quietly.  She asks if he has caught anything but Mr. Han doesn’t answer.  Not deterred, Mrs. Han pours him some tea and quietly rebukes him for not living his life fully.  Since all he did for his hobbies was hike and fish, on a day like this he’s alone with his fishing pole.

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[dramafeed – There’s just something really lovely about Mr. and Mrs. Han rekindling their romance in the midst of this…]

Mr. Han asks how she knew where he was and Mrs. Han tells him that they should go home.  Mr. Han just looks at her with tears in his eyes.

Hearing that they found her father, Areum asks Jiwoo to watch over Tiffany as she runs home to see her father.  She finds a gaggle of reporters waiting outside their apartment.  As soon as they see her, the attack.  The reporters ask if she’s seen her father, did she know? How’s her little sister?  Areum starts to respond that none of it is true; her father is not the type to do something like that.  She walks into the apartment… Jinwoo tells her that he’s already told his mother to take the back entrance.

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Mr. Han arrives and Areum asks why he did that. She falls to her knees and apologies for her mistake.  Mr. Han tells her to leave as he needs to rest.  Areum tells her father that she will explain everything; she doesn’t want the public to think that about her father.  Mr. Han responds that if she shouldn’t do that.  He explains that this was the most and last thing that he could do for her.  He doesn’t want her to take that away from him.  He tells her he can’t protect her anymore so she should live well.  Areum grabs his pant leg and pleads to let her explain to the public and Mr. Han just quietly walks out of her grasp and into his room.

When Areum walks out, the reporters are busy interrogating a neighbor.  The reporters talk about how everyone was surprised at the scandal.  They wonder if Mr. Han is with the baby mother and Areum listens tearfully at a short distance.

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At night, Mr. and Mrs. Han lay in bed, unable to sleep.  Mr. Han asks if Mrs. Han is disappointed since she wanted him to become the Secretary.  Mrs. Han responds that she only wanted him to get the Secretary position because it was his dream.  She tells him that she hopes his heart can heal.  Like a true hero, Mr. Han tells her that time will heal his heart even if he doesn’t want it to.  Mrs. Han offers to drink with him if he wants, since they have some rice wine in the fridge.

Mr. Han declines but notes that he wanted to do well… Mrs. Han tells him that he did do well.  He was more than qualified for the position.

Mr. Han clarifies that he wanted to do well by their kids.  He thought he had at least raised their kids well, but now he’s suspicious about that.  Mrs. Han replies that he was a wonderful father.  Only in their views are their children liking, outside, everyone compliments Jinwoo…Areum also didn’t want to do this to her parents… Mr. Han and Mrs. Han wonder about Tiffany’s father…

At Jiwoo’s, Areum watches over Tiffany and remembers her father’s words.  Sighing, she calls Philip.

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Philip is in the middle of a business meeting when he gets the call.  He walks to the side and answers.  Areum tells him that she has something to say.  She offers to meet him.

Philip answers that he came to Shanghai for a business meeting.  Can she say it over the phone?  Areum tells him that she will visit him after he returns.

Jiwoo wakes up and asks who Areum is talking to.  Areum tells Jiwoo that she’s going to tell everyone.  She will tell Philip that Tiffany is her child and tell the public everything.  She’s willing to marry Philip or return to the United States if that’s what it takes for her father’s image to be healed.  She tells Jiwoo that she hates it more than death that her father’s image has been ruined.

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In the morning, Mr. Han gets ready to go hiking.  Mrs. Han tells him to go out through the basement in case the reporters are waiting.  Unfortunately, the reporters are waiting.  Mr. Han tells everyone that he will hold a separate interview and doesn’t answer any questions until someone asks if there was another reason for his confession.  Mr. Han answers that there was no other reason for his confession and walks off.

At work, the team gossip about Areum until Seung Woon quietly walks by.  He tells them that they aren’t being paid to spread dirty gossip.  As Areum is walking in to work, she gets a text from Seung Woon to contact him if she needs help.

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Areum ges surrounded around the company’s cafe and Seung Woon sees it.  He interrupts the reporters to grab Areum’s hand and pull her away.  Seung Woon tells her to wait a little bit until the reporters are kicked out by security.  Areum tells him that it may sound like an excuse, but her father and she knew nothing about her hiring and promotion.  Seung Woon responds that if there is any problem, it was the company’s problem.  They will take responsibility.  Seung Woon hugs her and tells her that she should have leaned on him, when it was hard.  He asks if Tiffany is the child in the news and is her father’s child.  Areum backs out of his embrace and tells Seung Woon that Tiffany is not her father’s daughter.

MY TWO CENTS

This slice of life drama really shined in this episode.  I think it was the strongest episode of the series so far and I’m amazed that it achieved this, while focusing on Areum’s family rather than the romance.  I feel like the series gave us enough development and build up that we accepted certain images of each character and made certain judgments.  However, this episode threw my judgments into the wind.  The best part is that it wasn’t a deux ex machina drama change of heart, but it was human and normal for this to happen – because, this would happen in real life, too.

What am I dragging in about?  The fact that Mr. Han turned out to be such an amazing person.  He took the fall for his daughter and didn’t fault her for it.  It was clear that he wasn’t happy to take the fall; he tried what he could to avoid taking the fall, while protecting his daughter.  However, when push came to shove, he threw away his life-long dream to protect his daughter’s image.  Afterwards, he doesn’t yell at her for ruining his career but tells her that this was his gift to her and wonders if he made the right choices as a father.  He looks into himself.  This episode just seemed so power because of the way that the writer portrayed Mr. Han up until now and how he handled his forced fall.

As a younger person, I feel like I was always on Areum’s side until this episode.  Now, I think I understand just why Mr. Han tried so hard to fix the problem in his way.  Because in his view, he can never let his daughter live a stigmatized life.  He would rather give up his dream than let society judge his daughter.  So even if he knew she would be hurt by his decision, he felt like he had to do everything he could to give her the normal life.  One cannot judge someone’s actions if it came from such a thought process.

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