Unkind Ladies – E02

Another episode and another female lead character is introduced.  The show continues to amaze with its tight and enthralling writing.  I was surprised at how fast the episode went as it was a full hour just following the lives of four women.

THE RECAP

Hyeonsook declares that she will get her revenge before falling unconscious.

Meanwhile, Jong-Mi explains everything to Hyeonsook’s family.  Hyeonjong reams into Jong-Mi for not preventing Hyeonsook from creating this mess.  Soon Ok comments that she never asked for Hyeonsook to do anything…it would have helped her more if Hyeonsook had just done nothing.

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Jong-Mi defends her friend by telling Soon Ok that she shouldn’t say such things…After all, Hyeonsook is so stupid because her parents neglected her nutrition when she was younger.

Soon Ok tells Jong-Mi that she doesn’t want to see her and asks her to leave.  She also tells everyone that she will sell the house and move to the country.  Everyone can live separately.

At this moment, the police calls.  Mari and Jong-Mi run to the police to find out that three high school students were beaten up by Hyeonsook.  They even have it filmed on a security camera.

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Seeing the security camera feed, Mari and Jong-Mi take the students to a restaurant and demand to know if they tried to rape her.  One of the kids laughs and tells them that he will explain everything.  He was walking down an alley when he saw Hyeonsook crying over a broken slipper.  Thinking that she was a homeless woman, he even gave her tape to fix her slipper.

The kid then went to join his friends, who were taping a student from another school.  The taped kid asked the three to do whatever they want to him, but leave his friends alone.  Right before they begin to beat him senseless, Hyeonsook (standing below a glowing cross HAHAHAHA) yells at them to leave the kid alone or face her wrath.  The kids ignore her and she arrives with her bat to beat them up.

After the talk, Jong-Mi takes Mari back to her school.

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Meanwhile, Hyeonsook is unconscious in the hospital.  She remembers watching Carrie with her friend as they discuss how Carrie died.  She opens her eyes to see a woman talking to the doctor, who confirms that Hyeonsook will be okay.  She mumurs, “Mom…”

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At home, Hyeonjong checks in on her mother.  Soon Ok comments that she must have been arrogant.   When she heard that her husband passed away, she thought all her suffering was over…

Hyeonjong curses Hyeonsook and her mother tells her that they can’t blame Hyeonsook, who must be feeling so guilty.

Mari’s father leaves a voicemail on Hyeonsook’s cell phone.  He explains that he saw her crying in his dream and asks if anything is wrong.  He tells her to call him as he will come to help, but then erases the voicemail.

Mari calls around looking for her mom when she gets a text message.  It’s a picture of her from the back with the snide remark that she’s been fired.  The kendo captain sees her in the cafe and feels sorry for her…He orders a coffee before leaving.

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Meanwhile, Doojin walks down the steps of Mari’s school where he meets the girl that he interviewed the other day.  He wonders how no one protested against the cancellation of Mari’s class and the girl slyly asks if she can help by starting the petition against cancelling Mari’s class.  Doojin asks if she would help and the girl explains that she would in exchange for Doojin helping her prepare for the announcer job interviews.

Mari mails something before wandering around looking for her mom.

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When Hyeonsook wakes up, she finds herself in an elegant house.  The owner walks in to check on her.  The lady explains that she brought Hyeonsook home since she doesn’t seem to have a place to go; she notes that she read Hyeonsook’s farewell letter.

Hyeonsook yells at her for reading her letter and tries to get up before falling into bed because her head hurts.  She asks for a computer instead.

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At home, Mari looks through Hyeonsook’s things.  Soon Ok interrupts Mari during this time and Mari wonders about a picture of her grandfather and a young woman.  She gets an email from Hyeonsook at that time explaining that she’s safe and not to look for her.  Soon Ok orders that Mari ask where Hyeonsook is and why she has that picture.

At the stranger’s house, Hyeonsook comes out of a shower and asks the lady why she helped.  The lady just comments that Hyeonsook looks a lot like someone she knows.  At this Hyeonsook notes that the lady looks familiar, but she can’t quite place her.

At the same time, Soon Ok stares at the picture and rips it up.  However, she ends up just folding the edges behind the man…

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The next day, the officers and members of the board of directors of Doojin’s company all get a letter from Mari explaining how she lost her dream.  As a result, Doojin gets transferred from the Documentary Department to the Special Coverage Department.

Outside, Doojin and two of his coworkers discuss the situation.  One of his friends notes how Doojin was in a difficult situation to begin with.  The announcers’ department wondered when Doojin would go freelance, while the documentary team was wary about Doojin arriving as the producer.  Doojin interrupts the other two to emphasize that he’s fine.

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Meanwhile, Mari prepares a protest board and shyly walks to campus.  She gets her courage up when other students set up their table and Mari gives up.  She steps on her board in frustration when the ex-colleague comes by to gloat.

Mari tells the guy that he shouldn’t live like this.  She knows that he was the guy that went around asking to cancel her class.  She warns him that the school doesn’t hire permanent professors, who have not graduated the school before stomping off.

Back at the random mansion, Hyeonsook asks if the lady saved her newspaper.  The lady brings out a ziploc with the pieces and gives it to her.  Taking the newspaper, Hyeonsook calls Jong-Mi to send a wreath of flowers to someone.

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At the same time, Doojin’s mother has a meeting with the head of the publishing company.  He notes that she shouldn’t worry about the cover yet as they have not agreed to publish her book.  He tells her that he’s not so sure about the story as she has not obtained permission from the student, whom she’s writing about.  Additionally, he notes that they don’t know if the student was framed or if she did it because she was too poor…  He casually notes that he’s reading the book as she’s the wife of his nephew, but he has to approve of the story before publishing it.

Doojin’s mother stalks out and comments that this is the reason why he’s still single.  She hopes that he will always live like this so that her son can inherit the company.

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Meanwhile, Hyeonsook takes a walk with the mysterious lady.  She explains that she had a man whom she loved.  However, someone told her lover’s family that she was a plebian…the daughter of the second wife.  As a result, she gave up.  She then turned to help her father’s family and was lucky.

The lady tells Hyeonsook to stay with her for a year.  Hyeonsook politely declines.  The lady asks if she is going back to her father’s grave and notes that she heard about Hyeonsook…That she can dance well and was free spirited.  However, as she walks, she falls to the ground.

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They go back to the house and the lady gifts Hyeonsook with a new outfit and a large sum of money.  She tells Hyeonsook to take the money and tell her family that she was able to grow her investment.

Hyeonsook asks if the lady’s  name was…

The lady responds that Hyeonsook’s suspicions are correct; she’s Moran.  She explains that Hyeonsook’s father loved her, but he was just a hometown friend, who liked her.  She confesses that she did lean on Hyeonsook’s father after her engagement was called off even knowing that he was married.

Hyeonsook throws the money on the table and states that she can’t accept it.

Moran adds that she only has one year to live.  She thinks that she is receiving the price of her sin…She wants to die quietly.  She asks Hyeonsook to take the money and keep the source a secret from her mother.

Hyeonsook tells her that she might not be able to keep her promise.  Moran asks Hyeonsook to just wait until she’s dead to tell the rest of her family.

Afterwards, Moran accompanies Hyeonsook to the bus and tears up as Hyeonsook waits on the bus.  She mouths that Hyeonsook should buy udon if she’s hungry…Hyeonsook looks away and wonders out loud, “Are you my biological mother?”

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In Seoul, Soon Ok continues teaching her class.  The students ask what happened at the end of the story.  Soon Ok explains that she packed everything up and told her husband to go eat it with his girlfriend.  He did and she cried about her childishness at night…she had put in diarrhea medicine and dish washing detergent in the food.

Doojin’s mother walks into a conference room, but notes a particular wreath outside the door.  The wreath is the one from Hyeonsook.

Mari continues to spread her resume around.  She walks out and texts her mother when a random guy in a red sports car pulls up and warns her not to walk and text.  (The guy is Doojin’s uncle.)

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Mari gets a text that she needs to pick up her uniform from a kendo dojo.  She goes and exercises for a bit before undressing to shower.  When she goes in, she realizes that it’s actually the men’s shower.  The other person explains that after the remodeling a couple months ago, they moved the women’s showers to the floor above.

Mari tries to rush out but slips on a soap.  When she finally opens the door, she finds other guys undressing in the locker room.  She asks the guy (the kendo captain) to get everyone out of the locker room.  The guy asks if Mari came in on purpose and Mari begs for his help.

The guy awkwardly walks past Mari and requests the other two men to walk out with him for three minutes as there is a problem.  After he leaves, Mari gets dressed and runs out.  The kendo captain walks out in time to see Mari’s retreating back.

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At night, Hyeonsook returns home and gives her mother the money of envelope.  Everyone asks what Hyeonsook has done at this point.  Hyeonjong even threatens to call the police.  Leaving everyone shocked, Hyeonsook goes off to sleep.

However, just as she’s about to fall asleep, Hyeonsook remembers Moran and sneaks out to call her.  Hyeonjong sneaks up on Hyeonsook and picks up the phone.  Moran hangs up, but Hyeonsook ends up confessing.  This leads to Soon Ok sobbing in her room.

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Hyeonsook begs for forgiveness.  She explains that she only took the money because Moran told her that she’s going to die within the year.  Hearing this, Soon Ok decides to go visit Moran.

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On the way there, we get another memory…Soon Ok walks out to see her husband come out of the bakery with a cake.  Surprised, she follows her husband to a coffee shop, where he meets with Moran.  Furious, Soon Ok grabs pieces of the cake and throws it in his face.

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When Hyeonsook and Soon Ok arrive, Moran tellingly has difficulty looking at Soon Ok directly.  Meanwhile, Soon Ok looks like she’s about to well up with tears of anger.  The three women walk toward the couches and Soon Ok ends up kicking Moran in the stomach.

As i wonder if this is Soon Ok’s daydream, the episode ends.  Luckily for us, there are previews.  We find out that Soon Ok actually did kick Moran.

MY TWO CENTS

Alright, now we even have a birth secret! O_O I totally did not expect to hear that Hyeonsook is not Soon Ok’s child.  Now I’m wondering if she’s not actually the child of Moran and Doojin’s uncle.  That would be delicious revenge in the end as Doojin’s mother is literally drooling for Doojin’s uncle’s inheritance.  Then she finds out that the girl, whose life she ruined, is actually the heir to said inheritance.  It would be SO SATISFYING.  The only other time I was so satisfied was watching the drama, My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law. >____< Yes, I’m like drooling at the prospect of this makjang reversal.  But, hey!  I never said I hated makjangs.  I actually think that elements of makjang, when woven into the plot well, can create a more enthralling drama.

Back to the drama itself.  I really like the writing of this drama as it maintains a slightly slice of life feeling to it.  When Soon Ok comments that life is so hard to live and she wants to just move to the country side…she doesn’t need anyone…she will just live a simple life, I had to nod along.  I’ve felt that and I’m sure many of the viewers of this drama has felt this as well.  Life is so difficult sometimes.  Even so, people have to continue living their lives and forcing a smile on their faces.  Soon Ok does this as she goes to teach her cooking class with a calm demeanor, even telling the story about her cheating husband.

Similarly, I empathized with Mari.  She feels completely wronged and in a fit of anger, she strikes back at Doojin by writing to the broadcasting company’s officers and directors.  However, while this gets Doojin transferred, it doesn’t change the fact that now’s she’s unemployed.  She goes to work off some of her steam and then gets into that horridly embarrassing situation where she ends up in the men’s shower room…To top it off, her mom’s missing.  Talk about a bad week.

The best part of this? Watching Mari’s story does not make me depressed or tired.  I know that she must be having a horrible week, but we don’t have any sobbing or volunteered starvation.  Rather, she goes to the cafe to use the internet.  She also goes and exercises.  It’s like watching someone’s real life…with elements of drama woven in.

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