Life is fragile and it’s when a parent is just about gone that you appreciate them and realize that sometimes, we’re inherently selfish beings. Hee Ja’s finally brought home but she’s not the sweet soft-spoken Hee Ja everyone knows. Wan learns of her mother’s cancer and sets out to distracting her in the way she knows best to, even as she comes to the realization that she’s a selfish child.
Top 10 Moments:
- Seong Jae breaks the news to Min Ho and Young Won learns of Nan Hee’s diagnosis
Whilst Hee Ja’s still wandering along the street and Nan Hee’s trying to deal with her new depressing news, Jung Ah’s worried about Hee Ja not picking up her phone. Choong Nam isn’t as concerned though because she figures Hee Ja always returns home after going to church in the afternoon. But Jung Ah wants to be certain and so she heads to Hee Ja’s house, leaving it to Seong Jae to break the news to Min Ho who watches the security feed of his mother leaving the house in the middle of the night and cries at the sight. When Seong Jae excuses himself to go bring the car around so they all can head to Hee Ja’s as well, Min Ho’s left alone with Choong Nam as he begins to cry again, regretfully explaining that he’d stopped watching because he’d assumed Hee Ja was fine. At the house, everyone suspects something’s amiss when Hee Ja’s not back home and she isn’t picking up her calls. Seong Jae decides to head to the church to start his search from there, since the priests had told him that Hee Ja had dropped the rosaries she’d made four hours prior. Min Ho on the other hand follows Jung Ah’s suggestion and heads towards the marketplace to start his search, leaving Jung Ah and Choong Nam to discover Hee Ja’s dementia list. They become tearful but Jung Ah, needing something to do, takes to re-arranging Hee Ja’s cabinets and Choong Nam joins in. Meanwhile, Young Won’s just finished a scene and wonders why Nan Hee isn’t picking up because she wants to hear Nan Hee’s results. She gets to her car and calls Dae Chul, her first husband who’s about heading to the airport and Young Won laughs as she explains to him that she would be there in 20 minutes. Except, she can’t make it there in 20 minutes because the doctor she’d sent Nan Hee to, calls to give her the news. Devastated, she first calls Dae Chul to explain to him that her friend needs her and she won’t be able to meet up with him. She’s unaware though that Dae Chul had been planning to tell her that he’d gotten divorced and to let her know that she was and is the only woman he’s ever loved. After sorting things out with Dae Chul, she calls Nan Hee who finally picks and she wails at her for taking so long to pick up her phone. When she finally meets up with Nan Hee, it’s at a bar where Nan Hee’s drowning away her sorrows that she might never get a chance to drink like this again, and blaming Young Won for being the evil woman who transferred her cancer to her. When Young Won takes the Soju bottle away from her, saying she has cancer and shouldn’t drink, Nan Hee tries to get it back as she explains that the doctor had told her that her situation is so dire that she has at most 4 months to live if she doesn’t get surgery, and her chances at recovery are 20% at best, not to mention the fact that she might die on the operating table. Young Won says nothing, but just gets her friend out of the bar and takes her to a quiet spot where she asks Nan Hee if she wants her to be the one to tell Wan the news. Nan Hee tells her to do whatever she wants seeing that however way the message is delivered, it’s all the same thing anyway. She tries to lighten the mood by praising Young Won’s soft hands while Young Won’s cocky as she replies that not just her hands, but her entire body’s hot as well. The levity soon dies away though as Nan Hee sighs that everything’s ruined. She continues that she’d tried to be a good wife, mother and daughter and had tried to act strong. When she sighs that it’s such a shame and if she’d known that things would turn out this way, Choong Nam teasingly chimes in to complete the thought, that Nan Hee would have slept with each and every man who came her way. She wiggles her brows as she asks Nan Hee if she should have the men line up to do the honors. Her joke works and soon Nan Hee is pulling her cheeks and calling her silly as they both laugh.
2. Seok Gyun’s taking his lessons to heart and Seong Jae has a heart to heart with Min Ho
On their way back, Nan Hee asks Young Won how she felt when she first heard her news. Young Won replies that it had been horrible. When Nan Hee asks if the second time was horrific, Young Won replies that the third time was horrendous. When Nan Hee tells her that it’s enough, Young Won pulls her cheeks teasingly and soon they’re laughing and then the laughter dissolves into tears. As Young Won watches Nan Hee walk to into her apartment, she pulls out her phone and places a call to Wan. Meanwhile, Choong Nam and Seok Gyun are paired up and looking for Hee Ja. When Choong Nam stops at the bridge and looks at the water, Seok Gyun reminds her that dementia doesn’t come suddenly, but creeps up on someone and Hee Ja at the moment still has enough sense not to jump. Seok Gyun reminds Choong Nam about his mother and her mother who both had dementia as well. When Choong Nam points out that her mother had died on the streets, Seok Gyun reminds her that there weren’t drugs for dementia back then. Choong Nam is surprised by Seok Gyun’s thoughtful reply and correctly guesses that he’s been studying the rules of being a good husband that she’d stuck on the fridge. When she asks him for the first rule and he reels it out correctly, she praises him on a job well done and tells him to take good care of Jung Ah, seeing that Hee Ja’s proof that they will all soon die anyway. The words get to Seok Gyun who suggests that they search for Hee Ja on another bridge. Min Ho and Seong jae on the other hand are having dinner at a restaurant with Seong Jae asking if Min Ho has delivered the message to his siblings. Min Ho answers that he’d tried but had to reschedule the conversation because one of his sister-in-laws now has thyroid cancer (yikes. Why is everyone suddenly sick on this show?). Seong Jae then tries to console Min Ho by telling him that Hee Ja’s most likely alright, especially because they’ve not heard any news (no news is good news I guess). He tells Min Ho that they have to conserve their strength because he likes and cares for Hee Ja as well and they both need to protect her. When Min Ho merely stares at him, Seong Jae asks if he’s bothered that he likes his mother. He tells Min Ho that even if that’s the case, he won’t deny liking Hee Ja a lot, plus they’re just friends, and best friends at that. When Min Ho says it’s alright, Seong Jae tells him to eat up, but then their mealtime is interrupted when Seong Jae receives a call from his traffic control friend that Hee Ja’s been located. Immediately, both men race out.
3. Yeon Ha’s making progress and Young Won breaks the news to Wan
Seong Jae and Min Ho rush to the traffic control center where Seong Jae’s friend tells them that he’d traced Hee Ja using the picture Seong Jae had sent him. And sure enough, they see Hee Ja walking away from the church, walking past different streets and even the bridge. Seong Jae notices that she has something on her back and points it out, but nobody has any idea what it is. Meanwhile, Wan is unaware of all the drama that’s going on and is instead chatting with Yeon Ha as she states that she needs the break from writing. When she tells Yeon Ha that she’s 70% done with the first draft, Yeon Ha offers his gift to her: him being able to partially stand with a walker by using his arms to hold up most of his weight. He explains that he’s been trying and although he can’t use his legs yet, it’s only alright to try, and although he’s terrified of falling, he’s trying, for her. Wan is overcome and she bursts into a radiant smile as she gives Yeon Ha a thumbs up for the job well done. She pulls out her calendar and shows him the noted date that she intends to leave for Slovenia and Yeon Ha tells her that he will be waiting for her. Wan hangs up and makes to get back to work when she notices that Young Won’s in her apartment, there to pay her a visit. It’s not a pleasant visit however as Young Won breaks the news and Wan stays quiet for a long time. Finally, she asks if she can see the doctor her mother had seen and soon, she’s talking to the man and is visibly surprised when the doctor informs her that her mother already knows about the diagnosis. Wan though is concerned about the fact that 60 to 70% of patients opt not to go with surgery because the recovery rate is less than 20%. The doctor’s recommendation though is that everyone should get the surgery, because of the slight chance of it being a success. Wan’s tearful but she thanks the doctor for telling her of the possibility of the surgery being a success. With that, she leaves. She’s still dealing with the shock and Young Won’s parting shot that she will inform Ssang Boon of the news when Choong Nam calls and drops the bomb that Hee Ja has dementia and has disappeared. She adds that they’ve been trying to reach Nan Hee to tell her the news but they can’t get through. Wan then drops her own bomb that Nan Hee has cancer and so Choong Nam shouldn’t try calling her at the moment or telling her the news.
4. Nan Hee allows herself to be scared
Wan heads straight to Nan Hee’s house where Nan Hee’s making a phone call to request for onions to be supplied to the restaurant because she won’t be available to pick them up for a while. Wan disconnects the call and places a call to one of the workers at the restaurant, informing the woman that Nan Hee has to get surgery and so an extra chef should be hired to help them with the running. Nan Hee though takes the phone from Wan and tells her employee not to worry about her or about getting a new chef as she’s already handled matters with their vegetable supplier (um…. I still don’t understand exactly how that would give your staff the extra hands that they need). Wan heads into the bathroom to clean up and when she comes out, Nan Hee’s still on the phone making arrangements for when she won’t be available in the next week. Wan, exhausted of it all tells Nan Hee to stop making so much calls. Nan Hee though snaps back at her that only she, Nan Hee can take care of the restaurant. Nan Hee tries to return to obsessing over the restaurant but Wan won’t let her as she states that she heard Nan Hee has known since she first went to the hospital, and wonders why Nan Hee didn’t say anything. Nan Hee snaps back though that what good would it have done other than for it all to become a burden. She points out that she still has Wan, Ssang Boon, In Bong and her father to take care of whilst she has no one to rely on and so all she can do is worry for the people she will be leaving behind. Wan takes offense with being called a burden and informs Nan Hee that neither she nor her grandparents or her uncle are burdens to her. She points out that she is a working class woman in her late thirties and her uncle and grandmother survived that long because it’s their fate, and it has nothing to do with Nan Hee. The words strip Nan Hee of her last defense and she starts to cry as she admits to Wan that she’s scared. Wan tearful, tells her to have the surgery and get chemotherapy. The words just make Nan Hee cry harder as she admits that she doesn’t want to die and as Wan watches her mother cry, she tells us that that evening, her strong and powerful mother cried, and she did so in front of the daughter she doesn’t trust.
5. Young Won delivers the news to Ssang Bong
Young Won heads to Nan Hee’s parents’ house to deliver the message about Nan Hee’s surgery. As she tries to tease Ssang Bong into cheering up by telling her that it’s just a minor operation and there’s no big deal to it, Ssang Bong walks away, stating that cutting into Nan Hee is in itself a big deal. Young Won though, didn’t tell Ssang Bong exactly why the doctors have to cut into Nan Hee and In Bong, who’s shed his tears and tried to hide them from his mother, follows her to tell her the truth, ignoring Young Won’s words that the news might put Ssang Bong in a state of shock. Whilst she’s still dealing with it all, Young Won gets a text from Choong Nam sympathizing with her with regards to Nan Hee’s diagnosis. And then Choong Nam drops her own news that Hee Ja has dementia. Overcome with the anger, Young Won glares at the heavens.
6. Seong Jae figures it out
At Hee Ja’s house, the vigil still continues as they all wait for word with regards her whereabouts. Choong Nam convinces Jung Ah not to give in to her depression because their group of friends are already dealing with enough, whilst Min Ho steps out of the house to get some air. Seong Jae pays no attention to it all, as he remembers the traffic cams picking up the fact that Hee Ja’s still walking to a destination no one has been able to figure out. Seong Jae though keeps thinking about it, until he remembers their road-trip date where he’d asked Hee Ja what moment made her the happiest and which one was her saddest. Remembering that her saddest moment had been when her eldest son had died and that she’d told him that she’d walked for ages with him on her back. Putting it together, he asks Jung Ah where Hee Ja’s husband’s house was when they’d married. Jung Ah though has no idea, but Seok Gyun whose first factory job had been close to the area remembers the exact address and Seong Jae jumps to his feet as he says that he has a good feeling that they should look in the area. Seok Gyun goes along and the Jung Ah and Choong Nam join as well. And then, it’s only Min Ho, left in the house because someone needs to stay behind, and his wife’s expecting. Soon they split up in teams of two with Seok Gyun and Jung Ah as one team and Seong Jae and Choong Nam as another and then start to search for Hee Ja.
7. Wan tries to offer Nan Hee a distraction
Meanwhile, facing their own troubles, Wan expresses her belief that what her mother has isn’t cancer. Nan Hee, eager to accept all the goodwill and hope that can be offered agrees that it doesn’t feel like cancer. Wan then suggests they go on a trip to take Nan Hee’s mind off her troubles, stating that it would do Nan Hee a lot of good to close her business for the day and take a trip to wherever their feet takes them. When she suggests they even stay at an expensive hotel, she grumbles that they can stay somewhere cheap when she notices Nan Hee’s expression. Nan Hee though wonders if Wan likes her because unlike other children who would have cried, Wan seems particularly unbothered that Nan Hee has cancer. Wan doesn’t answer and next thing we see, they’re in the car driving and thinking the same thought as they wonder what the other person is thinking. To loosen things up Wan suggests they become friends for the day, instead of a mother and daughter and then she uses that to probe into Nan Hee’s love life, so much so that Nan Hee gets angry at the inappropriate questions whilst Wan calls her mother beautiful when she’s angry (awww. The distraction seems to be working). They arrive at their destination and after they’re settled in, Nan Hee asks Wan to sing and even brings out bottles of soju to give Wan some liquid courage. Soon, the two women have some karaoke going on as they sing along to the songs playing on the screen, and every time Wan is just about to cry, she bolsters herself up and continues singing.
8. The friends find Hee Ja
As they drive through the copse of trees, Jung Ah speaks bitterly about the fact that for the two years that Hee Ja had lived in the area, she’d never come to visit her. Seok Gyun tries to console her by pointing out the fact that Jung Ah had even found it difficult coming to visit him because of the distance. Their attention is then caught by Hee Ja, still with the load on her back as she walks through the copse of trees. Seong Jae and Choong Nam also make it to the spot and soon everyone’s rushing to Hee Ja. Except, Hee Ja goes through a mood swing and furiously yanks at Jung Ah’s hair as she screams that she hates her. She screams then wails that her son was sick and she’d called because she was scared and needed help but they weren’t there when she needed them the most. She points at Jung Ah as she tells her that her husband hadn’t been home and she’d called Jung Ah for help, but Jung Ah had hung up claiming to have problems of her own. As Hee Ja cries that her friend was never there for her, Seok Gyun looks tearful whilst Jung Ah sinks to the floor in grief, only getting up when Choong Nam apologizes on behalf of all of them for being such horrible friends. The three women hold each other as Hee Ja bawls and cries for her son.
9. Hee Ja still doesn’t believe she has dementia
Hee Ja gets home and is still so much in her angry phase that not only does she slam the door without saying a word to her friends, but she also doesn’t say anything to Min Ho who’s still up. When she finally speaks, it’s to ask him where his wife is. Min Ho answers that his wife is with her mother. Hee Ja sighs as she promises to get treated, but when Min Ho timidly suggests moving back into the house with her, she snaps at the suggestion, saying he has a wife and there’s no need for him to live with her. Convinced that it’s the delusional disorder she was first diagnosed with that’s flaring up, Hee Ja promises to take her medication saying that she will get dementia if she doesn’t. She adds that she will be alright and Min Ho doesn’t need to live with her and Min Ho finally agrees. They fall asleep with both of them crying silent tears and holding onto each other’s hands. When Min Ho wakes that night to watch Hee Ja sleeping, he silently cries and then leans forward to kiss her on the cheek, kiss her hands and kiss her feet (awwwww. Please don’t let anything happen to Hee Ja. I don’t think I’ll be able to survive it).
10. Children are shameless
After their night singing, Wan is completely sloshed and Nan Hee tries to manage and sober her up all at the same time. Except, Wan’s just faking it and she goes to the restroom to pee. She doesn’t pee though, just slaps herself hard across the face (ouch). The sound is so loud that even Nan Hee hears it and asks what’s wrong. Wan pretends not to have heard a sound and gets Nan Hee going back to the karaoke tapes. The sound is loud enough to drown out Wan slapping her own face. As Wan looks at the mirror, she tells us that she’d realized just how selfish she was when she’d heard about her mother from Young Won. Because as Young Won had told her about her mother’s cancer, all Wan had been able to think about was how it would affect her own life, particularly her life with Yeon Ha. As Wan continues hitting her own face, she tells us that all children don’t deserve to shed a single tear because they’re all shameless.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
No one in this episode. And might I add, I really appreciate how far Seok Gyun has come so far.
Headache inducing moment:
This episode’s a Cazuela. It’s sweet and salty, sweet because of the precious memories and relationship between mothers and their children and salty with out tears as we realize that Wan is right and children are inherently selfish; we are inherently selfish. And the thought is heartbreaking as we consider that moment in time when something’s wrong with our parents and the first thing we think of is ourselves.