Make a Woman Cry – E04

Hope this was worth the wait for you guys as it was for me.  Not going to lie.  You might need to go order that s’mores frappe from Starbucks, or grab a pint of ice cream, or some apple cider or SOMETHING.  Near the ending, you’ll feel like you can breathe again, but this episode takes you on a ride where you feel like you’re about to suffocate before you can breathe…And at the end? Hope…but immense vulnerability.

THE RECAP

Deok-In meets with the audacious Jinhee at a cafe and Jinhee’s attitude is confident as ever.  Deok-In quietly responds that she has not heard anything from her husband so she has nothing to say.

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However, Jinhee yells that dragging this on will only make it worse to Deok-In’s placid response that Jinhee looks nervous…She asks Jinhee what she’s so anxious that she wants to provoke Deok-In about before getting up to leave.

Jinhee quickly begins to attack with everything she has.  She tells Deok-In that Kyung-Cheol said that he only felt guilt toward his wife who suffered because of him…That their marriage itself was a scar as he would not have married her had he been economically well off…and…that he even said he does not miss dead son as, if his son was alive, he would not have been able to hold on to Jinhee.

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Deok-In pauses at the last statement and asks if Kyung-Cheol really said that.  Jinhee confirms that she cannot know what Kyung-Cheol actually thinks.  However, the important thing is that said that…

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Deok-In loses this battle as she listlessly walks out to the street before falling to the ground crying with Jinhee’s words repeating in her head.

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Later, the lying cheat himself decides to grace Deok-In’s restaurant with his presence, where she’s busy cooking.  When he walks in, Deok-In follows him out to the park to talk.  She begins by confessing that when his mother had asked if it was okay for them to live separately, she felt that he needed his space since he is not the type that cannot comfort others, while he is suffering…She also confesses that she never felt that he loved her until she had their son…

Kyung-Cheol responds that he tried as well, but he’s sorry…He asks her to let him go.

Tearing up, Deok-In asks what she should do now and the arsehat actually replies that they should at least leave good memories.  Deok-In asks if he loved the woman so much that he would say such things…about their son…

As the tears start falling, Kyung-Cheol jumps up to twist the knife further.  He tells her that they were never a married couple.   After all, not all married couples fall apart after the death of a child.  However, when he met Jinhee, he realized what it feels like to love someone … He realized that a woman could be such a lovable being.  He clarifies that to him, only Jinhee is a woman…Only she matters.

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After twisting the emotional knife as far as he can into Deok-In, Kyung-Cheol runs home to yell at Jinhee.  He asks her what she told Deok-In and snaps that her actions imply that she looks down upon him as well.  He explains that Deok-In was the woman who gave birth to and raised his son…Jinhee should know by now that he has a bunch of insecurity complexes and she triggered several of them when she went to speak with Deok-In without his consent.  He tells her to go home as he’s leaving Deok-In so that she does not block his future, but he cannot live with someone who does not respect him.

Jinhee literally throws herself at him and hugs him.  Crying, she tells him that she only did it because she hates Deok-In.  She hates the fact that everything they do, he’s already done it with Deok-In and shares memories with Deok-In that she cannot erase.  For some odd reason, this obsessive talk actually calms him down.

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Meanwhile, Jinwoo stalks into Deok-In’s restaurant angrily because she lied to the principal that he owed her $500.  However, as soon as he confronts her, Deok-In apologizes and Jinwoo deflates to ask if she’s okay instead.

Deok-In gives him his food before asking if she can ask a personal question.  Jinwoo laughs that they are already close enough that she does not have to observe unnecessary formalities.  Deok-In takes this as encouragement and asks if he’s married.  When he confirms, she asks if he ever thought that a woman is such a lovable being.

Jinwoo coughs at Deok-In’s question and has to drink water soon.  However, he gets this awkward expression and stares at Deok-In as if waiting for the next question.  After taking a few more bites, he decides that he’s full and pays with a coupon before leaving.

Right before he leaves, Deok-In asks what kind of women get love from their husbands?  Jinwoo laughs awkwardly again and promises to think about it when he has time.  However, when he walks out, he hears the voice of his son accusing him of being the reason that his wife died…

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Feeling emotional, Jinwoo iron’s Yoonseo’s shirt for him.  When Yoonseo replies smartly that his dead mother must be crying out of joy.  Jinwoo doesn’t rise to his son’s bait and apologizes for not realizing that Yoonseo’s mother was having such a hard time.

Yoonseo just replies that it must have been hard if she deliberately took so many pills and overdosed.  Jinwoo sighs that he was too immature…He did not realize that he could love someone without understanding them fully.  However, he knows now because of Yoonseo; he can love Yoonseo even if he cannot find himself forgiving Yoonseo’s actions.  Yoonseo just smirks before grabbing his shirt and walking into his room.

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That evening, Deok-In brings home pork for the whole family and they get nostalgic.  It turns out Deok-In married into the family when the youngest was only 12…Kyung-Ah reminsces about how Deok-In used to help her when she got bullied at school or it was raining.  Thinking about the past, Deok-In starts to tear up and rushes to the kitchen for more food.

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Bok-Rye follows her to ask what is wrong and Deok-In sniffs that she just feels that her life is so worthless as a female.  Bok-Rye yells at her other sons to call Kyung-Cheol and asks what he said to her.  Deok-In sniffs that Kyung-Cheol told the other woman that he did not even miss their son anymore…

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When Kyung-Cheol comes home, Bok-Rye hits him on the head with her fist and yells at her idiot of a son.  She asks him if he really wanted to be an orphan so much…She tells him to look at his wife who is an orphan who has no one to come and beat the stuffing out of him even though he did such a horrible act.  She yells at him to remember what Deok-In had to go through in her job and asks if he can be so blind to the suffering of others in front of him!  She also cries whether it was worth it to sell his dead son to win the favor of this new woman.

Kyung-Cheol yells back at his mother that she should just pretend that he died on his way back home; he is so very satisfied that he won over the woman in any way he could.  Bok-Rye falls to the ground and Deok-In rushes over to help.  Bok-Rye tells her that the family should continue to live as if Kyung-Cheol does not exist.  He never did help much anyways.

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Deok-In helps Bok-Rye into her room.  Turning to Kyung-Ah, Kyung-Cheol tells her that he will buy her a salon and Kyung-Ah wails that she does not want a salon from him before limping off.  The youngest, Kyung-Tae yells at Kyung-Cheol to leave and never come back in front of their family again…he will do anything that is necessary to feed the family even if it means he has to scam people.  Kyung-Cheol tells him to shut his mouth as Kyung-Tae does not even have a job and lives off of the allowance that his girlfriends bring him.  When Kyung-Tae tries to talk back, Kyung-Cheol punches him and Kyung-Soo has to break them apart with Kyung-Cheol leaving.

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Kyung-Soo then checks on his mother and apologizes that he is not able to provide better for the family.  Bok-Rye responds that it is not his fault; she was so malnourished when she was pregnant with him that it is her fault.  Oh man, now I feel bad that I was bashing him for being useless earlier…

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Kyung-Soo also brings over soju and anchovies for Deok-In in her room and tells her kindly that she probably will not be able to fall asleep easily.  He encourages her to just drink her thoughts away before giving her space.

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The next day, the Kang family presents an award to the winner of a ladies professional golf tournament.  Back at home, the mother-in-law comments that Hong-Ran appears well on the screen.

Next, Hyunseo asks his mother for new clothes as the nurse visits that day.  After changing, he also asks for more youthful looking clothes like the clothes that Minseo wears and his mother agrees.  The nurse checks his blood pressure as Hyunseo looks on adoringly.

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In the small world of dramaland, the nurse, Park Hyojung stops at Kyung-Tae’s house next.  It turns out she’s one of his many girl friends as evidenced by his looking through a box full of rings to find the right couple ring.  It’s hilarious because Bok-Rye accepts Hyojung’s food, but tells Hyojung that she should stay away from Kyung-Tae who uses women and throws them to the side.  Hyojung endearingly tells Bok-Rye that this is the reason she loves her and gets all cute.

Next, Hyojung tells Kyung-Tae that her family wants her to go on an arranged marriage date and Kyung-Tae looks way too relieved to hear that.  So Hyojung directly asks if Kyung-Tae is relieved and he unconvincingly lies otherwise.  Not sure if she actually cannot tell or if she likes Kyung-Tae regardless of his lukewarm feelings…However, Hyojung suggests that they get married within the year to fix the problem of her parent’s pressure.

Kyung-Tae tries to weasel his way out of the situation by saying that his older brother has not gotten married and he cannot leave his older brother alone.  In response, Hyojung tells Kyung-Tae to bring Kyung-Soo with him after they get married.  Oh dear!

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Meanwhile, the father-in-law praises Hong-Ran for her elegant presence at the ceremony.  He tells Jin-Myung to bring Hong-Ran at all of the future events since it’s time that the younger generation start taking over the responsibilities.  Hong-Ran beams while Eunseo glares…Eunseo is not above the petty snarks as she suggests that Hong-Ran learn English if she is going to attend more of the events.  Hong-Ran replies back that she will take care of her own business.

After dinner, the family has fruit as dessert and Hong-Ran notes that she approves of Hyojung for Hyunseo… After all, Hyunseo also changes right before she visits.  Eunseo responds that if Hong-Ran likes Hyojung so much, she should take Hyojung as her own daughter-in-law.  Hong-Ran quickly replies that Minseo already has a partner – the daughter of CEO Hong.

The mother-in-law agrees that CEO Hong’s wife has mentioned that she sent her daughter on the trip with Minseo only because the girl begged so much.  The  grandfather in law answers with pleasure that a connection between the two families would be beneficial.  However, Jin-Myung throws water on everything by commenting that no one knows what will happen as the boys are young.

When the two women clean up afterwards, Eunseo brings it up again and asks if it is fair that Hong-Ran can have a daughter-in-law who is the daughter of a CEO, while she needs to have a nurse daughter-in-law.  Hong-Ran flippantly replies that if she is so worried, Eunseo should be careful as Hyunseo is at the age where he’s a healthy boy and the only young woman he sees is the nurse before leaving.

Back at Deok-In’s family, the whole family fully supports Kyung-Tae marrying Hyojung and taking Kyung-Soo with him…That would mean two less mouths to feed. HAHAHA!  Then Bok-Rye tells Deok-In to go live with Kyung-Cheol as that will be the only way to hold on to him.  Deok-In promises to deal with the situation herself.

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Deok-In stops by a pizza restaurant to check on Jungsoo who is working there now.  >.< What a sweetie!  He’s totally turned his life around.  Unfortunately, Yoonseo sees Deok-In lovingly fix Jungsoo’s outfit outside the shop and glares.

Back at Deok-In’s restaurant, she finds out from two of the students that Yoonseo has put out the word that any student who eats at Deok-In’s restaurant will become a loner.  Yoonseo stops by to ask about her business and Deok-In answers honestly that he’s scared all of her customers away.  However, she tells him that she will not leave until Yoonseo has trained to fight so well that he can beat her in a fight.

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At the Kang residence, another tense conversation ensues.  It begins out innocently enough with Hong-Ran fawning over her son who has returned from the jungle and announces that all guys should visit the young once in their lives.  Hyunseo wishfully asks for pictures and Mother Eunseo rises to attack.

Eunseo asks when Minseo is going to get his professional license since he’s been groomed to golf.  Hong-Ran comes to her son’s defense that Minseo only learned to golf so that it can help with business development.  However, Eunseo responds that their family business is in the golfing industry and it would increase goodwill if one of them could actually become a professional golfer.  The father-in-law seems to agree.

When Jin-Myung asks what Minseo actually wants, Minseo answers that he wants to go back to college and learn business administration.  At that, Eunseo quickly worries that studying would be too hard for someone who has been focusing on exercising up until now, to which the mother-in-law murmurs her agreement.  The father-in-law tells Hong-Ran and Jin-Myung to figure it out.

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Afterwards, the women talk again.  Hong-Ran asks who is left to inherent the company if Minseo does not inherit.  Eunseo responds that Hyunseo would be happy to take over.  Feeling that Eunseo is encroaching on her son’s territory, Hong-Ran also attacks back.  She tells Eunseo that Hyunseo is too weak to take over the company and they shouldn’t stress him too much, which might shorten his life.

Eyes blazing, Eunseo replies that this decision will be made by the in-laws and Jin-Myung…To twist the knife further, she asks if Hong-Ran knows what her husband even intends for their son.

Meanwhile, Deok-In gets a call for help from her family, which pulls her out of her brooding. She quickly goes to a nearby bar to find her brother-in-law lamely drunk. Unfortunately, he’s the type of drunk that everyone hates…picking a fight with all of the other customers and even the wall… The saddest part of it all is that the stuff he says to the other customers are all what he probably wants to say to Kyung-Cheol. For example, he demands to know whether the wall remembers how Deok-In broke her arm…

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Deok-In apologizes to the bar owner and drags her brother-in-law out. However on the walk home, she sees a bunch of gangsters beating up a young woman and one of the students from the school.

Deok-In dashes in to pull the student out of harm’s way and yells at him for daring to challenge real gangsters.  However, when the girl gets slapped, he runs past her shouting, “Sister!”  Deok-In sighs at the scene where the two men beat up the girl and throw the student on the floor.  She walks over and yells at them to leave the girl alone.

Of course, the two men don’t take her seriously and she has to start beating them up.  Even after getting some good beatings, the two men don’t stay down.  You gotta give the Korean mobsters some points for being tenacious at least.  As Deok-In keeps them company, the student escapes with his sister.

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Returning back to the Kang residence, Hong-Ran immediately goes to Jin-Myung to ask what he’s going to do about Minseo.  Jin-Myung replies that he needs to ponder it more and Hong-Ran demands what there is to think about…Minseo is his son!

Jin-Myung responds that Minseo isn’t perfectly suited for the role.  Additionally, if his brother were alive, Hyunseo would have inherited…He thinks that his brother’s spirit would be happier to see his son inherit.

Hong-Ran’s insecurities rise up again and she actually hits his insecurity.  Hong-Ran scoffs that Jin-Myung is acting like he killed his older brother.  She notes that if he didn’t kill his older brother, why would he be worried about his brother’s spirit? [Um, because he’s a decent human being?!]  She accuses him of behaving in this manner because of his crush on Eunseo.

Jin-Myung pauses and tells his wife to leave him alone.  However, Hong-Ran doesn’t back down as her baby’s on the line.  She tells him clearly that she does not care if he makes a mockery out of her but she will not stand for other people laughing at their son.

When Hong-Ran walks out for some water to cool her frustrations, Eunseo sneeringly asks if Hong-Ran had a good discussion with Jin-Myung.  Hong-Ran stalks past to quench her thirst and Eunseo walks in to gloat.  She asks Hong-Ran why it would be so difficult to imagine that the oldest one of the next generation (Hyunseo) would inherit.  After all, Minseo is known for his athletic ability and not his brain…Eunseo wonders out loud who Minseo took after when everyone in the family is so smart.

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Hong-Ran clenches her teeth and asks if Eunseo is finished.  Eunseo confirms and Hong-Ran throws her water into Eunseo’s face.  She bites each word that Eunseo should remember her place.  Fortunately for Eunseo, Jin-Myung walks out at that moment and Hong-Ran winces when she sees him.

Jin-Myung walks after Hong-Ran and Eunseo quickly stops him.  Playing the angel, she begs him to let it go since she’s not really Hong-Ran’s sister-in-law…she’s just living off of the family.  She asks him to think of her and let it go…

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Jin-Myung sighs before walking out into the garden.  Eunseo comes out to ask if he wants anything to drink.  Eunseo reassures him that she’s fine, but Jin-Myung only apologizes that Eunseo would not have to deal with this kind of humiliation if his brother was still alive.  Eunseo replies that she already relies on him so much; she and her son are able to live comfortably because of him.

Jin-Myung adds that one day she will know the truth.  Eunseo just smiles that he need not fight Hong-Ran on her behalf…which makes Jin-Myung think she’s an angel of course.

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Meanwhile, Deok-In cleans up and mutters that she needs to lock up.  Before she can, Kyung-Cheol comes along.  They go back to the park and Deok-In announces that she’s not going to divorce him.  She considered following their son, Jungeun.  However, she never followed up on those thoughts because of her mother-in-law…and his siblings.  She couldn’t leave them to selfish Kyung-Cheol and leave.

Kyung-Cheol asks if she’s declaring that she’s going to fight their divorce.  Deok-In replies in the most awesome way, “If I didn’t die after distributing the ashes of my baby to the air…Do you think I will give up on mother and our family?  I won’t divorce you.  So go and tell that woman that she can do whatever she wants.”

Kyung-Cheol gets up and yells that he will never return to her even if she does not divorce him.

Deok-In looks forward and tells him that regardless of what he says she will not sign the divorce papers.  He could try to go to trial, but he won’t win. When Kyung-Cheol says the despicable words of cheaters everywhere, “Are you going to make me lose all of the good memories and good feelings I had toward you?!”

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Deok-In turns around and says, “Last feelings?  You still had some feelings for me?  Is that why you told that woman all those things?  What did you say to her that the woman who should have been begging for my forgiveness would have the audacity to say those things to me.  I don’t think of you as my man any more.  Do whatever you want you two.”

She walks off and I’m here chugging my apple cider happily.  I feel like Deok-In amazingly somehow took everything off my chest…ALL OF MY FRUSTRATION! YAY! YOU TELL HIM!

When she returns, Jinwoo is waiting.  He tells her that Kim Hyunjin had an accident and Deok-In mentions that she saw him the other day in front of a room salon.  [A room salon is a bar of rooms.  Men go there and pay for the room plus alcohol.  Ladies (sometimes young girls) come out with the alcohol to drink with and encourage the men to order more expensive alcohol…As you can imagine, there are a lot of legal issues with such establishments including the involuntary use of underage girls…]

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Kyung-Cheol stalks in and throws an envelope of money on the counter.  He tells her that the woman told him to give it to her…It’s compensation for the amount of suffering that she had to go through for Kyung-Cheol and his family.  He turns around and leaves a stunned Deok-In.

Immediately, she stumbles after him and falls on the ground after dropping a glass pitcher.  She grabs the envelope and runs after him to tell him to take the money.

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When she returns back, Deok-In is emotionally drained.  As she pants, Jinwoo gets up to leave but loses his chance when the world’s worse arsehat returns and decides to take up more of our precious oxygen to spit his idiocy.

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In case you want to know the depth of his poopiness, he says, “How can I live with you when even your voice gives me goosebumps?!  When the whole family praises you for providing for us, I just feel like I’m suffocating when I hear your voice.” He gives her the envelope and turns away.

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Deok-In takes a minute to keep herself from falling.  She manages to grab the envelope and makes it to the door, but she leans against it as the emotions rack her body…Having difficulty breathing, she has turn back inside and sit down heaving.  She turns her head and sees Jinwoo there…

Jinwoo gets up as Deok-In says in a toneless voice that she won’t be able to make dinner.  Jinwoo apologizes that he was meaning to leave but he lost his timing.  He gets up to leave and sees Deok-In’s bloody hand from the earlier fall and pauses before stepping out.

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Deok-In somehow manages to clean up and lock up before walking out.  When she steps out, Jinwoo runs up with medicine for her hand and says, “Your bleeding…Your hand…It probably stings; are you okay?”

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Deok-In carefully looks down before looking back up to Jinwoo…Except her eyes don’t hold the confidence of a woman protecting her ducklings.  At this moment, she’s just a girl who was heartlessly stepped on by a man whom she trusted and gave her heart to.

MY TWO CENTS

I enjoyed the whole episode… But while I enjoyed the rest, the last fifteen minutes blew it the rest away… Honestly, I can’t really remember what happened in most of the episode other than Hong-Ran and Eunseo’s battle number 3, in which Eunseo won by playing the angel after a water throw.  However, even that seems so blurry as the last few scenes made me feel like my chest was going to burst.  Deok-In had just left me cheering her for declaration…and then Jin-Myung had to come back and spout his nonsense.  Even though Deok-In did not fall to the ground crying, her leaning against the wall and then falling into the seat-dry-eyed but obviously affected made me feel like I should be sobbing for her.  How can you do that to someone that you presumably cared for at one point; cared for enough to sleep with and raise a child with?

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[Vulnerability!]

I know Kim Jung Eun is a veteran, but her expression in the last scene was amazing.  The first three episodes capably painted her character as the tough mother duck who cared for those around her…She takes care of people; she’s not the one who needs help or protection.  Of course, she’s human as she has a scar, but that scar only makes her stronger as it increases her empathy toward the youths in need around her.  Yet, when Jinwoo came back with the medicine right after Kyung-Cheol had taken the emotional knife and stabbed her over and over again where it hurts…twisting it in the end when he came back with the money envelope the SECOND TIME…not letting Deok-In keep any trace of pride…Deok-In understandably felt like the most vulnerable and lonely person in the word.  Betrayal is one thing; for the betrayer to take away your last lifeline…that’s just cruel.  In this case, Kyung-Cheol did just that.

Deok-In is an orphan.  She just declared to Kyung-Cheol that she cannot leave THEIR family.  However, he returned to PAY her for her services…for taking care of HIS family.  After all, why would family need to be paid for taking care of another?  To make it worse, the amount to pay her for all of her trouble for ALL of those years was given to her BY THAT WOMAN.  So when Kyung-Cheol tells her that Jinhee wanted him to pay her and he’s relaying the money, he’s declaring to Deok-In that her place in his life has been reduced to someone he wants to pay off…to pay off her connection and time with HIS family.  Yeah, happy Friday, y’all.

To make us all feel better, I do want to highlight the great writing.  Deok-In’s declaration that she will not divorce Kyung-Cheol so that he can do whatever he wants was so amazing.  It helps that she clarified that she’s not doing it because she wants to hold on to him; rather, she’s doing it because she knows that he has no way around her and she’s doing it to spite him and the other woman.  That’s what makes it so amazing.

To grossly simplify Korean family law, I’m going to begin with the background.  Until February, 2015, it was illegal to commit adultery in Korea.  The law was enacted in 1953, which allowed for the criminal prosecution of adulterous spouses.  If convicted, it could lead to up to two years in prison.  In 2014 alone, nearly 900 people were formally arraigned on adultery charges.  In 2004, 216 people were actually jailed, though the number decreased to 42 in 2008.

It took a long time for Korea’s highest court, the constitutional court to strike it down because they needed a 2/3’s majority.  The closest they got was in 2008 when the actress Ok So-Ri was given an eight-month suspended sentence, but they were one vote short.

Proponents of this law have argued that the law was originally designed to protect the rights of women in a paternalistic society that afforded married women few legal rights.  This law allowed women some leverage…

However, I digress.  Originally,  I had hoped that Deok-In catches two idiots together and jail them.  Yet, with the change in Korean law, my dream of seeing Jinhee and Kyung-Cheol behind bars seems more distant.

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[Defiance not resignation!]

One last legal comfort that Deok-In can rely on is that in Korea, divorce is allowed either through mutual consent or through the fault of another.  There is no provision for a no-fault divorce except through mutual consent.  Let that sink in.  YES, YOU LYING, CHEATING, WASTE OF SPACE HUMAN BEINGS JINHEE AND KYUNG-CHEOL.  FOREVER, YOU WILL BE ADULTERERS AND THE HOMEWRECKER!  YOU WILL NEVER BE ACCEPTED BY SOCIETY AS A LEGAL COUPLE. WHY? BECAUSE DEOK-IN HAS THE POWER TO REFUSE THE DIVORCE.

To clarify, fault would be based on:

  • adultery (yep not going to win on that one);
  • malicious desertion (yep, the woman who’s been living and financially taking care of her in-law family? not guilty);
  • extreme maltreatment by the other’s lineal ascendants (nope, Deok-In does not have family);
  • extreme maltreatment of one spouse’s lineal ascendent (nope, Deok-In is actually caring for them well);
  • when the death or life of the spouse has been unknown for three years (works for Eunseo but not Kyung-Cheol); and
  • any other serious reason for which it is difficult to continue the marriage (adultery does not count).

Basically, Kyung-Cheol and Jinhee would never win a divorce in court unless Deok-In agrees.

Apologies for the all-caps.  However, I am just so ecstatic that Deok-In is not a sob-my-life-sucks-I-will-beg-you-to-stay-with-me-but-then-I-will-get-a-divorce-if-you-say-you-hate-me woman.  Nope, she just flat out tells him that he can do whatever he wants because it will not be enough for Jinhee or Kyung-Cheol.  Jinhee wants the title of wife and Kyung-Cheol is an insecure man who deeply cares about societal prestige and stature.  For both of these two mentalities, a lifetime of being in an affair is far from optimal.  It was the best f* you back to Kyung-Cheol that a viewer (well I) could ever want. TAKE THAT KYUNG-CHEOL YOU SLEAZEBALL! I HOPE YOU STEP IN DOG POO AND ALL THE PIGEONS IN THE WORLD POOP ON YOU! NO MERCY!

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