Unkind Ladies – E05

OMG, the absolute worst nightmare comes true for Mari.  Her mom embarrasses her in front of her employer AND her students by kneeling and begging her head professor.  Can she crawl into bed and hide…pretending that this never happened?  Can I craw into bed and pretend that I didn’t see that?! Noooooo the humiliation!  Sigh, but really, I can’t blame Hyunsook as she is a living scar – a bundle of insecurity from her bad adolescence.  Enough of my ramblings, read on to hear about Mari’s complete and utter humiliation as well as the tear-jerking tale of Hyunsook/Jong-Mi’s friendship.


Turns out, Doojin had bent over to try to threaten Mari that he will literally drop her if she doesn’t get up when he got attacked from behind by Hyunsook.  Doojin looks up in surprise to see Hyunsook painting him as a pervert, who’s about to snack on her daughter…except, he doesn’t know it’s Mari’s mother.  Mistaking Hyunsook for Mari’s sister wins him a couple of brownie points, and she refrains from attacking him to focusing on calling out others to carry Mari indoors.


This leaves us and Doojin watching in pure entertainment as Hyunsook, Soon Ok, Moran, and Eunshil grab Mari from all sides and barely carry her into the house.  He awkwardly stands in the courtyard with everyone as he holds Mari’s backpack.

Soon Ok seems notes that he’s familiar and her maternal instinct perks up.  She invites him over for tea, which he politely refuses to run away from the five women.


At the same time, we see what happened after Hyunsook left.  Witchy Ex-Teacher Hyun-Ae grills Hyunsoo until she finally (albeit begrudgingly) explains that Hyunsook had been caught in a small neighborhood gambling bust.  [Can I interject here that in the United States, gambling is not a crime?! Additionally, COME ON.  Half of the Korean population gambles money over Go-Stop during the traditional new years festivities…]

Anyways, Hyun-Ae lights up like the Cheshire Cat and INTERRUPTS the current song to grab the mike.  She announces gleefully to the room that she has been reassured about her service in saving the girls, as she was right in kicking out the bad apple Hyunsook, who was caught in a gambling den.  She continues that it was through her hard decisions that the people in the room were able to successfully get to the positions they hold now…PUKE.

One of the ladies calls everyone to attention and they all start singing this song, which Korean students sing on Teacher’s Appreciation Day…Basically, the lyrics analogize teachers to God’s gifts…which, I would normally agree, just not for HER.

In contrast, Hyunsook stuffs her face at home and ends up sleeping with her daughter.

Through Hyunsook’s dream, we get to get more of a background on the Hyunsook v. Hyun-Ae situation.  A long, long time ago, a teenage Jong-Mi runs up to teenage Hyunsook to let her know that she overheard Teacher Hyun-Ae arranging to meet up with reporter Munsoo Kim, who wrote the article defending Hyunsook.


Hyunsook shows up at the cafe and sits at a nearby table listening to the conversation.  Basically, Munsoo blames the Korean government’s policy of opening up rather than Hyunsook.  Meanwhile, Hyun-Ae has one thing in mind – would Munsoo like to go to a theater play with her?  Although surprised, Munsoo agrees, but gets called away because another protest is beginning and the government is responding with tear gas.  He runs out to cover the protest.  As Hyun-Ae gets up to leave, she sees a sad Hyunsook sitting in a different booth.

Hyunsook immediately asks why Hyun-Ae didn’t even talk about her situation during the time that Hyun-Ae flirted with the reporter.  Hyun-Ae doesn’t seem as evil during this time and looks a bit guilty…Luckily for Hyun-Ae, the tear gas is increasingly filling up the room and she sternly tells Hyunsook to go home as she shouldn’t be out near a protest.


Days later, we see Hyunsook hide from her old classmates as they walk to school.  When one tries to call out to her, Hyunsook runs away into an alley and runs into the mean/gang girls.  Sighing that the girls are lucky that they can go to school, Hyunsook explains how she was expelled unfairly.  However, the girls in their childish way tell Hyunsook that it doesn’t matter; they’re only interested in her money.

Hyunsook tries to leave them with the advice that they should go to school.  Yet, when she turns to walk away, one of the girls throws her bag at Hyunsook’s retreating back…which triggers Hyunsook and bags against the four girls.  The four are no match for Hyunsook’s anger and this begins Hyunsook’s legacy as a fighter.  Basically, the rumor mill churns that she turned into a full out a gangster for fighting against four other girls her age.


That night, Hyunsook dances her sorrow and frustrations away in the rain.  Walking by, Jong-Mi sees this and tries to cover her with an umbrella.  True to her emo age, Hyunsook asks if Jong-Mi’s umbrella could ever try to cover the extent of her sorrow.  In response, Jong-Mi throws her umbrella to the ground and starts to dance with Hyunsook.  OMG…talk about making a short and simple scene hit you where it hurts.  True friendship conveyed with less than three sentences…Excuse me as I wipe away my tears.


In the morning, Mari drags her hungover self out to buy beansprouts.  Of course, on her way back, she runs into Roo-Oh.  He takes one look at her carrying the bag of beansprouts without a bag and takes his stuff out of his own plastic bag to give to her, while joking that she doesn’t need to pay the ten cents for the bag.

Mari gets straight to the point and asks Roo-Oh what we are all thinking, does he like her?  Roo-Oh smirks that Mari must have been so lonely if she mistakes a gesture of kindness as interest.

Mari defensively replies that she was just joking as he’s not her type.  Surprising her, he comments that it’s a shame since she is his type.  Joining Mari, I’m staring at the screen wondering if this is a confession when Roo-Oh follows up this comment with the explanation that it was a joke and we lose the moment.  Oh you writers…You tease us so!

We turn to the kendo dojo, where Roo-Oh fences off with another master.  Afterwards, a member of the dojo tells Roo-Oh that he’s relieved it was Roo-Oh and not some upstart who wants to take over the dojo.  He notes that he heard rumors about Roo-Oh’s rival, when he was on Korea’s official team is still smarting as Roo-Oh only lost to the other guy because Roo-Oh got hurt.  Like a good sport, Roo-Oh tells the kid that he wasn’t hurt by his rival and all of that was pure rumors…


Meanwhile, Mari helps Hyunsook cook and Hyunsook tells Mari that she can only date Doojin after she gets her professor position back.

At the broadcasting company, the team has a meeting…Instead of focusing, Mari passes a note to Doojin asking if he tried to kiss her and he denies it.  Of course the team leader picks up on this as asks if they have any problems with his current instructions.  Mari and Doojin deny that they have any issues and another member accuses them of having a fling… Oh the love triangle is starting to shape up!

Following instructions, Mari and Doojin end up waiting in line for the oldest ox-bone-soup restaurant in Seoul.  After they’ve been waiting for over 40 minutes, Doojin’s mom calls about being in the area and joins them.


Of course, Hyun-Ae doesn’t recognize Mari as Hyunsook’s daughter and Mari doesn’t realize that Hyun-Ae was the witch who destroyed her mother’s life.  The two hit it off as Hyun-Ae thinks that her son is interested in or is dating Mari.  His introduction of Mari as a professor of modern Korean literature wins her over immediately and she mentions how she used to teach literature…She brags that her students have really succeeded in the world, although, she had her bad apples.

Mari realizes that this would be a good story and tries to ask about it.  Luckily for us, Doojin distracts them away from the long story in time for Mari to get a call from her professor rival, accusing her of being an elementary student who needs her mom to solve everything.


Mari races back to the university, with Doojin following as he got a picture from the student he’s tutoring, to beg her mom to get up and stop plead on her behalf to her head professor.  Mari ends up angrily ordering her mom out before stomping out herself in embarrassment!

Hyunsook crawls after Mari as her legs have fallen asleep and Doojin tells the students to erase the pictures of Mari’s mom literally begging the head professor for Mari’s job. Oh dear. Oh dear.

In the cab, Mari blows up against her mother asking why her mother would do such an embarrassing thing.  Hyunsook doesn’t apologize as she still thinks that Mari needs to do whatever is necessary to get her job (and classes) back.

However, Mari’s not even sure that being an active professor at that school is her dream.  She tries to tell her mom  that she’s suffocating and needs space, but Hyunsook isn’t having any of it.


So Mari does what a grown woman does…She stops the cab in the middle of the freeway and walks out.  Hyunsook gets out after her to ask why Mari is acting this way…after all she did to make Mari a professor so that Mari wouldn’t live the way she did.  Mari yells back in in frustration that she doesn’t want this kind of life and calls her mom crazy for not being over getting expelled when she was younger.  She asks if her mom gave it her best when she’s telling her daughter that the only reason that Mari wants to quit is that she’s not trying her best.

She tells her mom that she’s suffocating because of her mom’s insecurity issues and her father must have felt the same.  Hyunsook yells at Mari to beg her professors once more and Mari screams that her mom is crazy before walking away.


Hyunsook goes straight to Jong-Mi’s shop and lays on the bench.  As Jong-Mi goes to get her a blanket, Hyunsook mutters that she thought she had succeeded once…making her daughter a professor, but now she thinks she failed even that.

Jong-Mi laughs that Hyunsook must be hungry and goes to get food.  As she walks away, she runs into a couple, who Jong-Mi helped in getting his termination nullified.  Hyunsook sits up and researches the different nullification options with Jong-Mi promising to help draft the petition.


At home, Moran asks if she could join the next cooking class.  Soon Ok refuses and continues to read a book.  Moran tries to continue to talk and asks about the book that Soon Ok is reading so Soon Ok gives it to Moran as a gift…The title being…Adultery.

Moran pauses and tries to explain that she only grabbed hands with Chulhee…Chulhee only liked her innocently.  Soon Ok sighs in aggravations and notes that she must not have loved Chulhee, so she ate with him, slept with him, and had two children.

Moran tries to tell Soon Ok to stop and Soon Ok responds that its a joke for a woman to say that a man loves her so much that he won’t sleep with her.  So Moran responds that Soon Ok wouldn’t feel better if she said that she slept with Chulhee and Soon Ok freezes.  After a few moments when Moran regrets saying the last, Soon Ok tells her that Moran would not be likeable no matter what she said.

Eunshil interrupts to bring meet for hamburger steak…Soon Ok had told her to buy some as Moran mentioned that she wanted to eat it.


At the same time, Doojin goes to interview an old action actor, who lives at the same center as Chulhee!  He tries to plug in a cord after watering plants and gets electrocuted.


Meanwhile, Moran tastes the food and announces that it’s delicious, if not the same taste.  Eunshil comments that it can’t be the same since she was eating with her loved one…

The talk turns to Moran’s past.  She tells the two about how the engagement was broken because someone told the family that she was a second wife’s daughter.  She comments that she thought it was Soon Ok at first…Soon Ok denies it and explains that she had hoped Moran would get married so that Chulhee would return to her senses.

Soon Ok wonders if Chulhee was the one who wrote the letter…and then asks if Moran set the bar on fire, which killed Chulhee.  Moran vehemently denies it and then asks if Soon Ok did it for revenge.  Soon Ok angrily replies that she would have…if she knew where Chulhee was drinking….HAH!


Chulhee wakes back up.  Good news, it seems like his memories are slowly returning.  He watches a movie, in which the main male character is named Chulhee and speaks to the television, “I am Chulhee.”

At the same time, Hyun-Ae and her secretary have another meeting.  Her secretary notes that no one knows where Teacher Hwang is…but, he found out about Mun-Hak’s property.  Mun-Hak is basically a chaebol!  He wishes Hyun-Ae luck with Teacher Hwang.


Hyun-Ae sighs that he’s so stupid; if she got remarried, Mun-Hak would never let her inherit anything.  They walk out with expensive food for him to bring to her family only to get caught by Mun-Hak.  Awkward.

Roo-Oh goes back to the cafe only to see the depressed student sitting outside, waiting for Mari.  Feeling bad for the kid, he invites the kid to wait for Mari at the dojo.

As for our rebellious teacher?  She has taken refuge at her aunt’s place…which is completely messy and only has beer.  Welcome to the life of a single, young woman, living alone! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Ahem.  After taking a sip, she remembers her promise to the kid and finally checks her voicemail.  She runs to the dojo as Roo-Oh had left her a message.  There, Roo-Oh asks how a teacher could forget a promise with a student.

Mari responds angrily that she did make a mistake, but she had a reasons, too!  Roo-Oh tries to ask for more information, but Mari tells him to keep his nose out of her business.


Back at Jong-Mi’s place, Hyunsook is still on the couch when her husband visits.  She hides underneath the blanket and overhears her husband asking about her welfare.

Jong-Mi responds that no woman would be doing well when her ex-husband is getting remarried.  Feeling humiliated, Hyunsook declares her presence.

Seeing here, Hyunsook’s husband tells her that he wants $100,000.00 in damages from her.  She caused him to lose out on an executive position opportunity because she ruined all of the social/networking events.

When Hyunsook gasps at the large amount and tells him that he should run when she’s not holding on to him.  Hyunsook’s husband responds that he will get married after Hyunsook graduates from college; he’s going to tutor her on the Korean college exams.


At the same time, Mari walks to her aunt’s apartment with Roo-Oh walking behind her the whole time.  She asks if he’s following her…except, they end up in the same hallway.  Roo-Oh walks up to her and…Mari SLAPS HIM! Oh dear! >.<

Glaring at her, Roo-Oh walks into the apartment across from her.  Mari is left staring at the empty hallway in embarrassment.  Yep, we’ve all been there.

However, Roo-Oh interrupts her reverie of humiliation to walk up to her and slam the wall next to her. O_O Squeal?! Note- this is only exciting BECAUSE he’s hot.  If not, I’d be advising Mari to get a temporary restraining order.


Gah! Why does Hyunsook’s childhood have to be so bad?  Additionally, I don’t know if the writer meant to do this, but WHERE WERE HER PARENTS DURING THIS TIME?  I don’t blame Soon Ok as she was probably busy trying to keep her marriage together.  What about that sad excuse of a father that Hyunsook had? Was he so busy chasing after Moran that he left his daughter to be expelled AND NOT try to get her into an alternative career/learning situation?  Sure, it was probably very different back then.  I bet expulsion was like a career death sentence.  However, from what I’ve seen, her parents don’t seem to exist at all!

Sigh, okay, I’m calm.  I do love the Soon Ok/Moran dynamic though.  Why is Soon Ok always feeding Moran good things?  Deep down inside, is Soon Ok actually building a frenemy relationship bordering on friendship with the woman who stole her husband’s heart?  I wonder if Soon Ok is able to do so because she’s so kind at heart…or is it that she misses Chulhee so much that it’s nice to be around someone else that also misses him as much?

Finally, Hyun-Ae.  It’s so weird.  In the flashbacks, Hyun-Ae seems like a horrible teacher, but not as witchy as she seems now.  What happened between then and now?  For example, I think in the past, Hyun-Ae might not have hated Hyunsook if she had studied and gotten better grades…but now, it’s clear that she also hates Hyun-Sook…why?  Also, why does she have such an insecurity complex that causes her to gather her old students and fan her ego?

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