Unkind Ladies – E04

The fortune teller was right.  Things are continuing to fall apart for Soon Ok’s family, but it’s relieving to watch as we know the family will get back on its feet.  It helps that each tsunami of misfortune seems to be taken in stride.  Nothing is too much for these women to deal with…from chasing idols to airports, confronting your nemesis teacher, and enjoying funemployment, these women will continue living life.

THE RECAP

Back in the past, girls gather around the bulletin board to find out that Hyunsook is in trouble again.   Meanwhile, the girl in question gets caught writing a love letter in English to her idol.  Her teacher sees it and slaps her because she is supposed to write a letter of apology for getting her concert photograph published on the newspaper.

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Back in the present, we see how the cocky young prosecutor’s insistence that Hyunsook write and rewrite her letter of apology opens up that past wound.  Finally, Hyunsook loses it and throws the letters in his face, asking just what did she do wrong?  Instead of realizing, with emotional intelligence, that they are dealing with a person with scars, they end up handcuffing her for obstructing police work.

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At the same time, Mari meets with Jong-Mi, who shows her a new bracelet that she designed.  Mari explains how she is so happy these days being funemployed.  She notes that she was never so content in the past…she just wants to have a simple job and live a simple life.  Jong-Mi laughs that Hyunsook will freak if she hears about this.  Jong-Mi notes that she expected Hyunsook to be satisfied when Mari gets accepted to a good school, but Hyunsook seems to have a lot of scars and insecurities…

Meanwhile, Hyunsook calls for the manager of the department to come out and refuses to calm down at the prosecutor’s office.

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Hyun-Ae (Hyunsook’s nemesis and witchy teacher) meets with the head of the school, who tells her that they have some concerns as there have been reports about her past.  He hands over printed emails, which include accusations that Hyun-Ae privately tutored rich students, accepted bribes, and didn’t allow some of the less scholarly students from attending homeroom.  The chancellor explains that reputation is important for the school…

Hyun-Ae interrupts to remind the chancellor that her family has donated a lot of money to the school.  She also demands to be able to face and respond to her accusers directly, which the chancellor admits is not possible as all of the accusations were anonymous.

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Returning to the prosecutor’s office, a senior prosecutor (Shin Hyunsoo) arrives and recognizes Hyunsook.  She demands that Hyunsook’s handcuffs are taken off and reminisces, noting that she always wondered how Hyunsook ended up.  Hyunsook responds that she doesn’t really feel happy that Hyunsoo remembers her and gets up to leave.

Ad Hyunsook walks off, Hyunsoo adds that some of the students are meeting with Hyun-Ae and invites Hyunsook.

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Hyunsook meets up with Jong-Mi to tell her what happened and they wonder about how Hyunsoo, who was only average in class managed to become a prosecutor.  Hopefully as a foreshadowing, Jong-Mi notes how you never know with life.

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At home, Soon Ok makes medicine for Moran, who gets emotional with gratitude.  After drinking the herbal medicine, she walks out to ask Soon Ok if there is anything she can do to help.

Soon Ok empties the prunes on the table and tells Moran to go through all of them and separate the good from the bad ones.  Soon Ok also tells Moran to hide in her room when the students arrive as it will be embarrassing to explain the situation.

Moran tries to answer that she finds her embarassment as penalty for the past, which she is willing to accept.  Soon Ok retorts that if Moran truly believes that, she wouldn’t have put on BB Cream.

Moran looks up in surprise to answer that she didn’t put on any BB Cream, which Soon Ok laughs off.

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Meanwhile, Mari watches old television broadcasts and recognizes Jong-Mi!  She runs home to look at her mom’s old box of pictures and newspapers.  Finding her mom’s picture on the newspaper, she runs out…to run into Hyunsook, who tries to tell Mari to go beg her professors for mercy.  Mari smiles and runs off.

In the library, Mari reads through articles, all which berate the state of education and youth, who are obsessed about singers.  She muses to herself that her mother was unfairly expelled.

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At the same time, Hyunjung meets with an executive from a rival broadcasting network.  However, he kills her confidence by telling her that they want to bring her over to head the home-shopping channel and not news…And so it starts…

Hyunjung runs home after she receives a text that informs her that Moran is at home.  She kicks over the medicine pot and throws all of the beans that Moran is separating on the floor.  Seeing this, Soon Ok orders that Hyungjung leave as Moran is her guest.

At the kendo dojo, Roo-Oh walks up to a short haired member only to find a guy.  He awkwardly tells the member that he has a pretty back image and walks away.

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Lucky for him, he sees Mari in a cafe on his walk home.  He knocks on the window and gestures for Mari to smile. >.<  Mari looks up and runs after Roo-Oh with a coffee.  She hands over the coffee with the apology that she won’t be able to attend anymore.

Roo-Oh asks her if she’s busy on the weekend because of dating.  Mari answers that she’s just busy and Roo-Oh smirks.  He asks her if she could repeat after him, “Can you protect me?”

Mari tries to change her voice, but Roo-Oh isn’t convinced.  He threatens Mari that he will tell everyone it was her if she doesn’t return.

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Back at home, the family reminisces about Soon Ok’s late husband.  Soon Ok even invites Moran to say something and Moran notes that Chul-Hee (Soon Ok’s Ex-Husband) must have been blessed to have such a warm family.  Hyunjung snaps that their father would have been happy if Moran hadn’t gotten involved.

Hyunsook jumps in to Moran’s defense and the two bicker until Hyunsook has the last word that Moran didn’t even return Chul-Hee’s feelings; she loved someone else.

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Switch to an older folk’s home…Chul-Hee is ALIVE!  Except he has lost his memory and is called Minami Grandpa.  Han Choong Kil comes over to talk with Grandpa Chul-Hee and we hear that Choong Kil was the one who found and saved Chul-Hee.  Note, he’s not married yet … Is this a hint?

We return to home where Eunshul flirts with Mari’s father until Hyunjung kicks her out to talk with him…She tells him that she’s ready to submit their divorce papers and adds that he can visit Mari whenever he wants.

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In her room, Soon Ok talks to a picture of her husband.  She asks if he liked the cake and opens a box with a diamond ring.  She promises to give it to Moran before she leaves, but then comments that she might not. HAH! Love her!

Surprise! Surprise!  Moran is talking to Chul-Hee as well! She has the exact same ring and tells Chul-Hee’s ghost (or air) that she will give the ring to Soon Ok…however, Chul-Hee will need to wait until she can gather her courage to talk about THAT NIGHT.

Our matriarch listens to oldies as she eats cake in the living room.  It’s the same song that was playing when Soon Ok had run into Chul-Hee with Moran in the cafe.  Moran’s flash back shows us that she walked out of the bathroom to find Chul-Hee cover for his wife…He explained that he was playing around.

Back in the present, Soon Ok apologizes for wrecking her cake and Moran replies that Chul-Hee loved Soon Ok a lot.  Soon Ok replies that she should shut up and eat her cake. ^.~

In the morning, Doojin reads a newspaper as his uncle/Mun-Hak gets a new suit matched.  I’m a bit confused as he calls Mun-Hak baby grandfather…only to be scolded that he should call Mun-Hak “hyung” in public.  Mun-Hak asks about Hyunjung only to find out that she’s being pushed out.

Doojin also teases his uncle/grandfather about his possible crush and tells him to date instead of just fighting with his mom.

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Later, Mari calls up the one author, who wrote in defense of her mother…a Munsoo Kim.  She then walks into the department, where she will be working…It’s the same office as Doojin!

Speak of the devil, Doojin arrives and sits down.  Within minutes of awkward silence, Doojin gets a call that alerts him that Mari is looking for his father.  The scene ends with Doojin confronting Mari on why she is looking for his father.

Meanwhile, Hyunsook gets a full makeover for the lunch with Hyun-Ae.  She’s wearing the clothes that Moran bought her and even takes anxiety medicine.

At the same time, Hyun-Ae looks over all of the land that Mun-Hak owns.  Hyun-Ae comments that it’s the family land…She instructs her attorney/secretary? to figure out a way to keep him from getting it all.  She also instructs him to look up Han Chun-Kil, who was Hyunsook’s PE teacher.

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Jong-Mi ends up driving Hyunsook back home as she’s too scared.  On her way home, Hyunsook sees the local bar owner being taken away on a stretcher.  Turns out that he spent over $100,000 to remodel the bar when he came into the space last year…Except, he was told to leave as they are remodeling the whole building.  Feeling that he has no options as he invested too much money into this bar, the man overdosed.

Hyunsook asks why the man didn’t fight back since the landlord never told him about the possible remodeling.  The neighbor lady sighs that there’s nothing that powerless people can do.

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The next generation continues on…Doojin is sitting in front of a drunk Mari and keeps asking her why she was looking for his father.  Mari just mumbles that Doojin’s father is a wonderful author, but doesn’t explain why…She ends up passing out.

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The witchy Hyun-Ae is in her mode with the other students.  She sees Hyunsoo checking her watch and asks why.  Hyunsoo explains that she ran into Hyunsook and invited her.

Hyun-Ae grits her teeth and notes that she doesn’t have good memories of Hyunsook.  At the request of another past student, Hyun-Ae recounts her version of the story.  Hyunsook gave her a cashmere scarf, which she went to exchange in the store…only to find that it was stolen.

At that moment, Hyunsook enters in all of her finery and Hyun-Ae scopes her dress.  She comments that Hyunsook looks comfortable now and asks about Hyunsook’s situation.

Hyunsook explains that she has married and has a daughter, who finished her PhD.  All of the other women note in surprise and Hyun-Ae comments that Hyunsook must have gotten married really early without finishing her school.

In response, Hyunsook tells Hyun-Ae to kneel before her.  Hyun-Ae looks up in surprise and Hyunsook asks if she doesn’t remember…

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Back in the past, Hyunsook listens to music as she circles a cassette tape on her pen.  Hyun-Ae walks in and makes Hyunsook stand in the back, twirling both cassette tapes.  Hyun-Ae asks if Hyunsook does anything right and Hyunsook answers that she has won awards for poetry…

Ordered to compose a poem about her situation, Hyunsook responds, “Twirling with my right hand, twirling with my left hand, you can do it with both hands. In the world, there are two things, right hand and left hand…sunlight and darkness…”

Hyun-Ae smirks that Hyunsook thinks that this is a poem.  Hyunsook tells her teacher that she thinks a song will have such lyrics in the near future.  Hyun-Ae tells Hyunsook that if such a song comes out, she will kneel in front of Hyunsook.

Back in the present, the room bursts out in laughter about how it ended up being the lyrics of a song.  Hyunsook tells Hyun-Ae to kneel.  Hyun-Ae just asks if Hyunsook has been writing to publishers to defame her.  Hyunsook responds that she never did such a thing…however, she tells Hyun-Ae to stop being a teacher.

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Hyun-Ae tells Hyunsook to leave as she’s having a meal with her cherished students.  Hyunsook continues that she bought the scarf from Yoon Misook, who offered it for cheap.  Hyunsook had bought it as a sign of peace, but Hyun-Ae only believed Yoon Misook, who was the daughter of a rich family and expelled her.  Hyunsook notes that Hyun-Ae must have hated her for seeing Hyun-Ae flirt with another man, when she was dating the PE teacher.  She declares that she will let the world know the truth and leaves.

As Hyunsook walks home, she wonders how she hasn’t accomplished anything.  However, she notes that she had a wonderful time, too.  Back in memories, Hyunsook remembers going to her idol’s concert.  For one song, he calls up Hyunsook from the audience and sits her down on stage to serenade her.

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This was also the concert, where Hyunsook fainted and Jong-Mi pulled her out to splash water on her.  Hyunsook even ran to the airport to see her idol leave Korea…and it was that scene, which was photographed.

In the present, Doojin carries Mari home.  He manages to find her house, but she can’t stand.  He catches her and leans over to check on her breathing when Hyunsook sees him and slams the kid with her purse! GO MOM!

 

MY TWO CENTS

First, I still don’t know if Mari x Doojin is supposed to be an issue.  This episode hinted that Mun-Hak may actually have a love line with Hyunjung.  In that case, Mun-Hak cannot be Mari’s real biological grandfather, which would mean that Doojin is not related to her by blood.  Phew, some complicated issues there.  I’ll wait to see where things go with the Moran | Hyunsook relationship, before I get more worried.

Who else loved the fact that Soon Ok is just SO human?  She wants Moran to live and get better, but she cannot win over her petty self and gives Moran tons of grunt work as well as tons of snide comments.  I love it, because I would probably do the same if I could ever bring myself to forgive someone who hurt me so bad.  But it really shows the different layers of a person.  She still feels guilty about ruining Moran’s birthday cake, but she also doesn’t want to hear anything from Moran about how Chul-Hee loved her.  It’s like Soon Ok was telling Moran to shut her trap, she doesn’t need her pity.

The two diamond rings, though…WHAT THE… Grandpa Chul-Hee/Minami NEEDS to get his memories back and tell us what exactly was going on!

Just because my rambling thoughts are getting long, I’ll comment on one more thing.  I LOVE Mari’s character.  In her, we have a successful woman, who is successful by society’s standards.  She’s finished her PhD and taught at a prestigious university.  Her life was “ruined” when the broadcast painted her in a bad light and now she’s working a temporary position at a cafe/about to begin working on a project basis at a broadcasting company.  However, she tells her aunt that she’s actually enjoying (f)unemployment…she feels content and not stressed for the first time in her life.

While I don’t endorse that everyone throws responsibility to the winds, I do wonder about whether it’s the right message of society that’s been perpetuated by dramas.  If you have a successful woman character, who reaches her position of success, she’s always happy.  She always has a never-ending thirst for accomplishment and success…and she thrives on whatever job she’s in…whether its pulling all nighters as a doctor/lawyer/detective/CEO/etc…  It never really explores the question about what happens when she achieves that job that everyone else thinks is a success, but she’s not happy?   Is she a failure, if she like Mari decides that she doesn’t want to pursue her professorship career?

 

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