Love on a Rooftop – E30

TWO MAJOR REVELATIONS as both teams learn a secret about the other team.  Mi-Ja finds out about Seung-Hye’s adoption and Seung-Hye finds out about Mi-Ja being the building owner of her father’s store.


Gather around the fire as we return to the story of Seung-Hye finding her way during the time of 21st century.  When we left off, Soon-Im had kicked Dong-Sook out of anger and, as a result, Dong-Sook falls asleep in front of television at Mi-Ja’s place.

After pacing around with worry, Soon-Im tries calling Dong-Sook except Dong-Sook doesn’t see it as she’s dozing off.  Mi-Ja, however, sees it and like any other spurned woman replies to the call with a text that she cannot pick up the phone as she is watching a movie, which angers Soon-Im to no end.  Mi-Ja also takes the extra precaution to turn Dong-Sook’s phone off.


When Dong-Sook wakes up, Mi-Ja invites her to spend the night over at her place.

Back at Dong Rak Dang, Dae-Ho worries outside in the courtyard when the good children come out to check on any news of their mother.  Seung-Hye comments that the last time she saw her mother, Dong-Sook had mentioned her plan to go to Mi-Ja’s apartment.  When Seung-Hye offers to go pick up her mother, Dae-Ho tells her that she will do it himself.


Just as Dae-Ho arrives, Mi-Ja was walking Dong-Sook out as she tried to convince Dong-Sook to stay the night.  Dong-Sook immediately smiles that her husband came to pick her up and leaves with him as Mi-Ja watches on somberly.

Mi-Ja returns to her room to brood over Dae-Ho’s gift.  Looking at herself in the mirror, she tells herself not to let her resolve weaken.


On their walk back, Dong-Sook naively asks if Dae-Ho is very angry at her.  Dae-Ho responds that he was so worried that she had her phone off, which is news for her…

When Seung-Hye and Seung-Jae arrive to greet their mother, Dae-Ho leaves his wife in the hands of their kids to take some time to walk with his thoughts…After all, he has just seen his first love…with whom he almost had a child, whether he knows it or not…He should know that he was unable to protect her or her mother.


He walks silently along the bridge looking off at the river…

Soon-Im meets Dong-Sook angrily because of her text message.  Soon-Im asks how Dong-Sook could consider watching a movie after she had angered her mother-in-law so much.

Dong-Sook also answers that she did not watch a movie to Soon-Im’s further ire.  When Seung-Jae tries to intervene on his mother’s behalf, Dong-Sook decides to show her confident self.  She tells her mother-in-law that she did not deserve to be kicked out of the house with her bags even if she was wrong.  Dismissing the children, she invites Soon-Im into her own room.


After they both sit down, Dong-Sook tells Soon-Im that she went to Mi-Ja’s place.  Hearing this, Soon-Im demands to know what Mi-Ja said and Dong-Sook answers that Mi-Ja did not know why Soon-Im hated her so much….so she wants to know from Soon-Im herself.

Soon-Im angrily dismisses Dong-Sook from her room and Dong-Sook agrees to leave since the night is late…As she leaves, Soon-Im cannot help herself from asking if Mi-Ja said anything else…and wonders about what a fine line she is walking…

The dutiful daughter Seung-Hye comes to check on her mother in the kitchen and Dong-Sook tells her daughter that she feels so much better after being able to tell her mind.  She also asks Seung-Hye about her cafe, which is not doing so well and Seung-Hye agrees.


When Seung-Hye returns to her room, she overhears Dae-Shil sleep talk about just getting married so that she’s not an old miss…

Seung-Hye dismisses this as she returns to the scene from before when D0-Jin angrily yells at her for being distracted when he’s so worried about increasing revenue for the month.  Seung-Hye defends herself that she’s also trying her best as she wants to repay him for paying her year’s salary up front… Mollified, Do-Jin tells her to continue on.


As for Do-Jin, he bounces some ideas off of Kyung-Tae…his next plan is to ask his mother for a month’s postponement… Kyung-Tae tells him to give up as Do-Jin will never win over his mother.

Meanwhile, the village idiot wakes up crying that she cannot fall asleep after losing the bag.  She considers calling Se-Ryung and luckily receives a text.  Se-Ryung asks to meet the next day…

The next morning, Seung-Hye tells Seung-Jae to rest as he’s overworked himself studying so hard before leaving.


As for Beom-Seok, he tells Yunho how he had to leave the flowers with someone else and has not received any word from Mi-Ja about the flowers.  Yunho suggests that Beom-Seok calls Mi-Ja first to ask about it.

Well, Mi-Ja is not in the right mind to think about Beom-Seok’s flowery jestures…Her heart is torn between her desire for revenge and her last love…She leaves when she gets a call from Do-Jin.


Back at Dong Rak Dang, Dae-Shil complains to her mother about what she heard from Sun-Sook.  In response, Soon-Im tells her placidly that Dae-Shil should speak respectfully about her in-laws…and if she does not want to hear such things in the future, she should just  get married… Sigh.

Dae-Shil answers that she will just succeed as a career woman and marry a younger guy to rub it into Sun-Sook’s face.


Meanwhile, Se-Ryung is scheming as well.  She presents the bag that she was going to give to Seung-Ah and explains that she bought it with the intent to give it as a present…As such, she has no reason to keep it and she also comments that the bag finally found its owner…She also offers to be sisters since she does not have any siblings.

Seung-Ah jumps at the opportunity and calls Se-Ryung, “unni” immediately.


At the cafe, Do-Jin asks about Seung-Ah who is missing again.  Seung-Hye tries to excuse Seung-Ah as being in the bathroom, but Do-Jin demands to know if Seung-Ah left work again…

Seung-Hye is unable to lie and decides that he’s going to fire Seung-Ah.  Seung-Hye tries to convince him to give Seung-Ah another chance as she will cover for Seung-Ah’s weak points.  However, Do-Jin tells her that he originally  hired Seung-Ah because he felt sorry to Seung-Hye… Now, he does not think overlooking Seung-Ah’s selfish acts is best for Seung-Ah’s over all well-being.


As for the ancillary characters, Sang-Man orders 30 chickens from Joon-Bae to get more information on Seung-Hye and Joon-Bae confirms that Seung-Hye was adopted.

Sun-Sook arrives as Joon-Bae is celebrating.  She asks Joon-Bae to pay for Dong-Goo’s english academy classes for the month.  Joon-Bae agrees and Sun-Sook even asks if Joon-Bae would cover for the rest of the year.

Joon-Bae actually considers this when Miss Bong (turns out it’s not Miss Bom) jumps in that Joon-Bae will go bankrupt if he accepts.


At Do-Jin’s cafe, Mi-Ja rejects Do-Jin’s request to extend the deadline for one more month immediately.  In a few minutes, Sang-Man arrives to talk t0 Mi-Ja and she dismisses her son.  As Sang-Man is about to tell Mi-J about Seung-Hye’s birth secret, he sees Seung-Hye and tries to leave.

Seung-Hye stops to greet him and ask how he knows Mi-Ja.

Returning back to the love-line of the older generation, Dae-Ho continues to brood about the sudden appearance of his first love.  He gets up to go to an unemployment community event when Dae-Shil asks to go together.

Dae-Ho tries to tell Dae-Shil to focus on her writing, but Dae-Shil answers sensibly that she’s going to get a job…No sympathy here.  If she is almost 40, she should be able to take care of herself and either have a sizable savings or a mortgage house if you ask me…After all, that’s almost 20 years out of college and at least ten years out of most graduate programs!

Back at the cafe, Seung-Hye wonders if Mi-Ja is her father’s store’s building owner as Sang-Man is known as the building owner’s legal representative.  She asks Do-Jin.


Outside the cafe, Sang-Man tells Mi-Ja about how Seung-Hye might be able to make the guess and apologizes.  Mi-Ja dismisses the worry and asks to know what he was going to report on.

Sang-Man tells her about how Seung-Hye was adopted…

Back in the cafe, Do-Jin confirms that Mi-Ja owns the building in Insa-dong…


Finally, Mi-Ja returns back to her office to consider this new tidbit of information…Dong-Sook could not have children so she had to adopt Seung-Hye…

Soon-Im also decides that she cannot just wait as Mi-Ja slowly circles her family for a kill.  Getting dressed, she decides to go speak with Mi-Ja, whom she runs into outside her house.


Smiling cordially, Mi-Ja invites herself into Dong Rak Dang to continue their conversations.


First off, considering that I am in a point in life where finances are generally important.  I am satisfied to see that Dae-Shil is acting responsibly.  Although I ranted about it a bit in the above recap, I was shocked to find out that she was Korean age 38-ish.  That still puts her at 37, which is an age where most woman have either started a family or have saved up a sizable sum.  The current situation of being a failed author of one book reeks of being spoiled and selfish.  What does she expect?  Does she expect her brother and mother to take care of her financially until she gets married and then she will live as a parasite off of her husband?

Until now, she was one of my favorite characters as she seems to really care about her passion for writing and treats everyone with compassion.   Additionally, it was fun to see that she had succeeded as a writer enough that she was offered a publishing project.  However, my enthusiasm disappears if it turns out that Dae-Shil has been pursuing her goals at the sacrifice of the other members of her family (namely Dae-Ho and Seung-Hye).  I fully support that everyone pursues their passions and it would be optimal if people can find a way that their passions will financially support their lives.  Yet, I am against following your passion if it means that you have to mooch off of someone else’s suffering.

As for Dong-Sook.  I was pleasantly satisfied by her reaction to being kicked out by Soon-Im.  It kind of reminded me of the 2007 drama Golden Age of Daughters-In-Law, which explored the Korean role of daughters-in-law.  Not to spoil it, but basically, it was about a daughter-in-law who was raised lovingly by middle class parents.  When she gets married, she does not turn into the daughter-slave of her mother-in-law and hijinks ensue as she tries to learn household chores while trying not to fight with her mother-in-law every day… Yup, it was another family drama in which three generations learn to adapt and love each other. ^^

Finally, I wanted to explain the significance of Seung-Hye being adopted to Mi-Ja.  Mi-Ja was basically kicked out of the house because Soon-Im found her to be unsuitable for her son and she did not want her family’s valuable tradition of tea making to be passed on to someone like her. Seung-Hye’s birth secret raises two issues.  In the Korean tradition where bloodlines are important, the fact that Dong-Sook had difficulty having children would be a MAJOR issue.  Therefore, from Mi-Ja’s perspective, it’s both insulting and unbelievable that Soon-Im would accept a daughter-in-law that cannot have children.  Second, the fact that Soon-Im has now agreed to pass on the tea art to a girl who had been adopted is another slap in her face…Soon-Im had always told Mi-Ja that her family does not meet the Dong Rak Dang standards.  Even if Soon-Im’s family raised Seung-Hye, it does not change the fact that Seung-Hye was born of unknown parents and has an unknown origin.

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