The Virtual Bride – E11

The drama tees up to close its doors as loose ends tie up pretty naturally like they do in real life.  There is a conspicuous lack of fireworks and big bangs, which is replaced by a subtle play of mature people addressing issues in a reasonable way.

THE RECAP

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Inyoung asks Myungsuk not to leave her. Myungsuk pulls away and tells her that the decision is already made.

Inyoung cries that Myungsuk loves her and stayed around her vicinity… She needs him. Myungsuk answers her harshly that they both know that they live in two different worlds. He isn’t confident that he can live in her world and Inyoung already said that she’s not confident about living in his world.

Myungsuk adds that he is confident that Inyoung can live well. He tells her to go back and leaves.

That night, Junsu meets up with Myungsuk and thanks him for staying firm with Inyoung. Myungsuk sighs that he wasn’t sure before but now he knows… Inyoung shines best when she’s in the public eye.

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The next day, Inyoung goes into Junsu’s office and asks for more work. When Junsu offers sending her to America, she agrees.

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Back at home, Se-Mi happily volunteers to help with making kimchi. Even Choonja looks surprised at Se-Mi’s enthusiasm. Myungsuk’s father catches Choonja in the courtyard and asks her if she doesn’t pity Se-Mi who was so excited to be working at the academy but is now stuck at home. Choonja pretends not to care but it’s clear she does.

At the same time, news spreads about Young-Ah’s “bribery” scandal and her resignation. Even as Young-Ah walks along for work, people throw water on her.

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Young-Ah gets called home by her worried parents. When she arrives, they ask about the truth and Young-Ah neither confirms that she is guilty of the bribery or denies it. Instead, she just keeps apologizing. The family members tell her to stay strong and ask her about whether Mi-Hee will continue with her plan to redevelop the land that their house is on.

So, Young-Ah goes to ask Mi-Hee. However, surprising everyone, Mi-Hee answers that Young-Ah resigned out of her own volition. This situation has nothing to do with the current election or her proposals. Mi-Hee even adds that if she changes her plans after getting elected, the electorate would be disappointed in her. She finishes by telling Young-Ah to tell everyone the truth and break Junsu’s heart if she doesn’t like it.

Young-Ah walks out of Mi-Hee’s house in a daze and runs into Junsu. He breathlessly asks her if the scandal is true because he cannot believe it. Young-Ah just smiles and apologizes.

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Later, we see that Inyoung’s English lessons are going well and she’s still pretty popular. As they exit the academy, Inyoung stops to take pictures with some fans and she runs into Myungsuk. They share an awkward moment in the elevator with the manager where Inyoung and Myungsuk engage in small talk… And then walk off into the garage together… Finally, the manager has to stop both of them and point Myungsuk towards his own car and Inyoung towards their car.

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The scene changes toward the community center. Young-Ah pulls her friend aside in the hallway and asks her to look into positions in the countryside. Mi-Hee overhears this but doesn’t say anything.

We turn to the house where an invitation has arrived for this year’s cooking event. It’s going to be a traditional food competition and the winning team will become the official cultural spokesman for traditional food.

Within minutes, Soonhee calls Choonja over and gives her back the account books. She tells Choonja that Choonja van take the accounting duties back… It’s too much for her. Soonhee also confesses that she never really wanted to be treated like Choonja’s mother-in-law… She just didn’t like Choonja looking down on her for being a neighborhood restaurant owner. She asks if they can be friends again.

Choonja laughs that Soonhee is pretty greedy if she wants to be both her mother-in-law and her friend. But it looks like they are back to being friends.

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Young-Ah’s friend then stops by. She tells the family about the truth in the scandal. The family angrily buzzes about what they can do to save the house which was the reason Young-Ah jumped into the race in the first place. Se-Mi suggests that they focus on the competition because if they win, even the city cannot take away the house since they will be nationally certified and the cultural representative.

Soonhee and Dongsuk both volunteer to help. Since only two people can compete, the two agree to have an internal cooking competition to see who cooks better.

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Meanwhile, U.S. representatives come to interview Inyoung.

The interviewer asks Inyoung why she decided to be a celebrity. Inyoung answers that she used to sing and dance to make a leaving. But now she sings and dances because someone gave her strength and told her she has a right to be loved.

The interviewer asks if Inyoung has a boyfriend and she denies it. She tells him that he left so she could pursue her career. The interviewer looks satisfied with the answer but comments that the man is cowardly if he is using the excuse of love to leave… Inyoung agrees.

Meanwhile Myungsuk watches all of Inyoung’s interviews and looks surprised to find out that Inyoung is leaving.

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Later that night, Mi-Hee’s husband asks her to be with her again. When they arrive at home, Junsu sees them together and yells at her. Mi-Hee yells back that she wants her husband back and wants to be loved by her husband.

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Junsu turns to drinking with Inyoung. Inyoung tells him that she doesn’t know if Junsu is a bad son but he is a bad husband; she would have left Junsu long before now. She also adds that he should be nice to Young-Ah while she is still around.

Junsu goes home to find his mother happily chatting with her husband. He closes the door and sighs.

In the morning, Choonja angrily finds Dongsuk washing the urns. She looks pissed but Dongsuk smiles that even Choonja started by washing the urns; he wants to learn correctly.

At the same time, Junsu tells his father that he’s allowed to marry his mother again. However, he adds that his father shouldn’t expect to receive respect as his father. Before his father can thank him, Junsu disappears.

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Now! On to the competition! Soonhee blatantly gives her husband a hint so he picks his wife’s dish. But hilariously San picks his grandmother’s dish making it a tie. Choonja is the last person and she chooses Dongsuk’s dish because Soonhee didn’t cook the beef properly. ^^

The family suggests and Choonja agrees to invite Inyoung over for dinner before she leaves for the United States. Inyoung agrees and wanders into the kitchen craving Choonja’s cooking. She ends up preparing a salad with the pickle sauce that she finds in the fridge.

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Young-Ah tries it when she comes home and comments that it would have been nice for Inyoung to inherit Choonja’s recipes. She also asks Inyoung if she’s stopping by for dinner.

Inyoung answers that she doesn’t want to see Myungsuk as seeing him makes it difficult. Young-Ah reassures Inyoung that Choonja doesn’t want Inyoung to see Myungsuk as well; so, Choonja invited her on a day when Myungsuk won’t be home.

Meanwhile, Myungsuk arrives home drunk. He checks his computer and sees Inyoung’s interview. Feeling like she misunderstood him, Myungsuk calls Inyoung and tells her that she’s perfectly amazing as she is… He left her to help her but he thinks he made a mistake…

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Myungsuk asks why Inyoung is silent and we see that Sanshik had answered the phone. Sanshik hangs up and erases the log of the call before Inyoung comes back.
When Inyoung asks if anyone called, Sanshik lies.

Later, Haji visits Myungsuk to ask him again if he has no interest in her. Myungsuk tells her again that he only sees her as a little sister and tells her to return the soy sauce to his mother.

At the same time, Inyoung stops by to see Myungsuk one more time before leaving. She quietly opens the door and sees Haji hugging Myungsuk from the back and retreats in shock. She goes back to her car and asks to speed up the journey to the United States.

After she leaves, Myungsuk pulls away and tells Haji to stop acting this way. Haji leaves vowing that Myungsuk will regret this.

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Junsu’s father drops by his office and tells him to go stop Young-Ah as she’s requested a transfer to the countryside. Junsu runs off and asks her how she could leave him like this. Young-Ah answers by asking for a divorce as she can no longer stand being in between Junsu and his mother.

Back at home, Inyoung has a final meal at Choonja’s with the family and tells them that she’s leaving the next day. She runs into Myungsuk outside and congratulates him. Then she leaves.

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The next day, the competition begins and Inyoung gets ready to leave. But then Haji shows up with the rival team. The moderator also announces that the first dish is traditional soy sauce and everyone realizes that this is why Haji took the family’s sauce.

Meanwhile, Inyoung arrives at the airport mulling over Dongsuk’s remark that Haji left with the soy sauce and wondering about how Haji could then be together with Myungsuk.

MY TWO CENTS

So, even though there seemed to be a slight vibe of in-authenticity in the ease with which how everything got tied up, over-all the episode was a great penultimate episode.  For example, it was nice to see how Choonja and Soonhee patched things up.  As a quick refresher, Soonhee became a bitter mother-in-law because there was some major miscommunication and misunderstanding over expectations.  Soonhee was the owner of a small neighborhood restaurant, with whom Choonja was friends.  However, Choonja also had a sense of superiority towards Soonhee since Choonja was the respected and happily married daughter-in-law of the traditional house…When Soonhee married Choonja’s father-in-law, all of a sudden Soonhee was higher up in the family hierarchy.  (Not to mention that her friend was marrying someone who is old enough to be her father…)  This created an understandable rift between the friends with Choonja angrily giving Soonhee free reign over Choonja’s main duties of taking care of the house financials and the family meals.

Soonhee’s quick capitulation of the financial accounting responsibilities seems pretty understandable.  She realized how hard it was to cook while Choonja was away and who seriously wants added work like dealing with the finances of a large household?  It’s not clear but for all we know, Soonhee is still managing her restaurant.  It was mature of Soonhee to apologize when she handed the accounting duties back to Choonja and for Choonja not to gloat when Soonhee did. I feel like Choonja’s insistence to continue to call Soonhee by the title of “어머님” or in English “Mother” reassured Soonhee that Choonja was not looking down on her and helped Soonhee add the confession that she wants to be friends again. 🙂  Over all, a cute segway in a side plot-line.

Young-Ah’s decision is still amazing and I don’t think I can rave about it enough.  She’s clear that she’s not a martyr or a modern Mother Theresa.  She’s pretty much set on leaving Junsu and finding a life away from the city which includes memories of her current life and marriage.  In her last act, she decides to cover for the mother of the man whom she loves because even though she has decided that she cannot live with him, she still loves him.  The fact that Young-Ah does not lie about the main reason that she cannot live with Junsu anymore was pretty amazing as well.  She makes it clear that she just does not have what it takes to continue to live as the second-most-important person in Junsu’s life when he has become her most important person.  Therefore, what appears to be a dramaland noble-idiocy step is mitigated because Young-Ah is really not hiding anything.  I feel like if Junsu had asked her if she was covering for his mother, she would have answered honestly…it’s almost as if Young-Ah is waiting for Junsu to come to realize that the only thing that keeps hurting their relationship is his mother.

Finally, the Inyoung and Myungsuk post-second-breakup relationship was depicted pretty well.  They both have mainly moved on in the sense that neither is unfunctional.  Both are still healing in his or her own way, missing each other or drinking…but, it’s no longer the overly dramatic, I can’t live my life.  It’s more like both are maintaining their lives while trying to erase the memories when they aren’t busy.  That seems like pretty normal behavior and something that a lot of people can relate to.

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