19 May 2013

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When A Man Loves - Episode 14 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on May 19, 2013

Episode 14

HEEEAARRTBREAKKKK!
Shuk: Tae-sang watches the two lovers badmouth him on the video camera, and he realizes they have been mocking him the entire time. In his anger, he shatters the ceramic dolls and pounds on Mi-do’s door. She pretends to be asleep, but his anger drains when he sees her sleeping, and all that’s left is sorrow.
JoAnne: Not mocking him, but ascribing the worst of human behavior to him - which to me is actually WORSE. He’s been nothing but a benefactor to both and my heart breaks for Oppa to see this ungratefulness - especially because he never asked for anything in return. I am going to try and fail gloriously at not swearing in this installment, you realize this right?
kakashi: I got Shining vibes from him, actually. Look at him waltzing in like a zombie! This is no teddy bear ... 

 
Shuk: After he leaves, she tentatively peeks out of her bedroom and sees the fragments of porcelain. What is her look? Scared? Sorry? Who knows. Who cares.
JoAnne: I thought she looked sorry. I don’t think she enjoys hurting him at all. Or perhaps that is just me expecting normal human behavior and making allowances for her stone face.
The range of Seo Mi-do's emotions.
(Come on, don't be like that ... her face doesn't move that much!)

Shuk: The Seo family is picking up the pieces, and Mi-do tells her mother that she is going to New York City. Mom, as usual, yells at her to come to her senses. Mi-do says she doesn't understand herself either. Yeah, chippy, you and me and everyone watching.
JoAnne: Oh, so you agree with Momzilla’s twisted thought process?
Shuk: No, I don't understand why she initiated so much if she always thought of him as a monster.
kakashi: I hiked all day and am really tired right now so I'm not even commenting on this one. In so many KDramas, mother-plots should just be deleted without mercy.

Shuk: At work, Mi-do fingers her resignation letter, and receives a phone call from Chang-hee asking to meet her on the rooftop. He wastes no time in asking her about President Han’s whereabouts. He explains how important she is to the President, and begs her to leave his brother alone. She tries to walk away, but Chang-hee isn't Tae-sang and demands she behave properly as his boss’ bride. He gives her a veiled threat; don't make Jae-hee's heart stumble.
JoAnne: I love a gangster with a highly developed moral code. Plus this poor guy is barely hanging on while his entire world shatters around him. And did you SEE the look of disgust on his face when he noticed the shoes?
kakashi: Yeah, you should have seen mine.
Shuk: Tae-sang is walking down the road, apparently having abandoned the company car. It’s a nice day for a stroll; the trees are green and the water is pretty. He reaches a pretty villa, and collapses on the couch (prettily, says kakashi). After a few minutes of thought, he removes the couple ring and tosses it to a corner.
kakashi: Where it will turn forever, harhar.
JoAnne: BREADCRUMBS. BREADCRUMBS. Whose house is this? And who the hell puts a Boston rocker (with a chair pad, no less) next to a streamlined post-modern black leather couch?
Shuk: Chang-hee attempts one more time to dissuade his brother from the path, but it’s no dice: Jae-hee will complete the deal with Asia Star, then resign and go to Mi-do.
JoAnne: Without a thought for the destruction of the relationship between his brother and his brother’s best friend. Remember that, Chang Hee. Your brother did not choose you in this situation. Remember that.

Shuk: The villa has its own Deck of Deep Thought as Tae-sang relives his decision to assist Mi-do in her education, and also to better himself and go legit. Yay for camping bromance!!
JoAnne: I think this is Oppa coming to terms with the end of things, and recognizing that good came of it even if it ended in heartache.
kakashi: All I see is his ... behind. Or are we allowed to say ass on here?
Shuk: I worked hard on that gif to make it jusssstttt right.
Shuk: His revery is interrupted by Seo Eomma, who offers to move up the family dinner (ie proposal feast) to tonight. He agrees. Mi-do is given the word, and meets up with Jae-hee, who stupidly offers to go to the family meeting with her. Think, Jae-hee! Think with the right head, please!! Luckily she turns him down.
JoAnne Nah, I get it. He knows the night is going to be tough, and he’s offering support. Nice to see he can be a decent human being, as long as, you know, you're the girl he wants to sleep with. Everybody else can go fuck themselves, apparently. Gah. Part of me thinks it’s not a crime for two young people to fall in love and decide to be together, although that part of me does think they handled it badly. The other part of me hates Chubs and Pissy right now, but I realize that’s because I’m Team Oppa.
kakashi: It's hormones. The boy cannot think. They make sure you can't. It's all their fault. 
Shuk: Chang-hee finally shows up at the villa, and begins a little domestic clean up while waiting for Tae-sang to change before heading back to town. He finds the video camera and sees everything, from the video happy birthday to his brother’s liaison.
JoAnne: And his heart absolutely breaks to see how little Jae Hee cares for anything in the world but this woman that he *must* have. Pardon me while I laugh at the idea that there is only one person in the world that you can ever be happy with. 
kakashi: Hmmm ... there isn't? Hmmmmmm ....

Shuk: With Chang-hee driving, Tae-sang receives a phone call from Mi-do, he promises to see her at dinner and hangs up. Chang-hee wants to talk to him after dinner, but Tae-sang demurs.
JoAnne: I was puzzled as to why Oppa would accept the invitation, but now I think he’s just resigned to the end of things and this will bring it to a head.
kakashi: #WhenAManIsResigned
Shuk: Our bad boy shows up at the Alley Restaurant with a Tae-min faker. Damn you for playing head games with an old woman.
JoAnne: Fucking jerk.
kakashi: bleh. Have a gif of oppa drinking prettily.
Shuk: Seon-joo is having problems buying the bookstore building, and her assistant warns her that she is heading towards a world of hurt. But he found out who adopted Tae-min. Three cheers for JoAnne, his dad is the Chairman of Asia Star. And based on the last episode, the Vice-Chairman knows who his older brother is!
JoAnne: *bows* So three things: One, what twist is he going to introduce? And two, I know Jae Hee met Roy (Tae Min) through a mutual acquaintance, and I had the impression that this was at Jae Hee’s request. Kind of a LinkdIn for Dramas, if you will. But if Roy knows who Jae Hee represents, was this a windfall for him? Or did he actually orchestrate this somehow? And why do I feel so strongly that he does not wish his brother well? Also: he reminds me (tiny bit) of Vanness Wu. I so wish VeeDubs would have made a guest appearance so that my squeeing could have hit nuclear levels of reaction. Three: WHO THE F CARES ABOUT THIS STUPID BUILDING? Why is this still being brought up and nothing being DONE with it? Did you actually spend time on having GrandPa Leeteuk consider buying it only to have it resolved by ‘oh, they want too much money for it’ so now you can have Pilates Princess buy it? WE DON'T CARE ANYMORE.
kakashi: Have a random gif of Oppa suffering prettily.
Shuk: The Seo family dinner is a strained affair to the strains of Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” (and thanks to Shel for the info). Mom is pushing Tae-sang to make an announcement, but he just comments on the food. Mi-do notices he is missing the couple ring, which give her the courage to announce she won't marry him. Tae-sang responds. “Okay, goodbye. I will handle your resignation.”
JoAnne: Laughed HARD at her stupid butt here, the Mom.
kakashi: Classy, oppa. I love you.
Shuk: Mom is incredulous, but he continues. “Letting her go is better than thinking of someone else while being with me.” And he takes the high road again as he bows to the family and leaves the restaurant. Mi-do chases after him with the ring box. He stares at her a moment, then grabs her for a kiss. In my humble opinion, with a heck of a lot less force than Jae-hee did.
JoAnne: I don’t get the kiss, but ok.
kakashi: It's a farewell kiss. And hormones. Though he is far less hormonal than Jae-hee
Shuk: He breaks apart with this. “The rings pay for the kiss.”
SMD: “Are you sincere? To be honest, I'm uncomfortable. You say that now, but you might plan something behind me.”
Shuk: Geez, little girl, he’s just put your happiness over his, and you still think he’s an evil thug?? Just stab him a few more times with proof of your insincerity.
JoAnne: I honestly don't even know what to say about this. Did you ever think for a moment he would hurt her? I never did. Not once. And yes, I say that in full remembrance of scarier moments with Oppa. But I look at this way: He fights when it’s a battle among men, but the woman who actually shattered his life - his mother - he cut her out of his heart. He didn't do anything to pay her back, and he won't let anyone speak ill of her but he will not have anything to do with her, either. This is the reaction I expect from him towards Mi Do, once he’s fully decided not to try any more.
kakashi: If he had blown air into her head while kissing, he may have made her head explode. I would have liked to see that!

Shuk: Tae-sang looks her in the eye. Does she really want to know what he is thinking?
TSH: “I wish you didn’t exist in this world. Like you said, we were never meant to be. Rather than see your face, I had rather you died.”
JoAnne: Well, ok. I’ve never wished that on someone who hurt me. Just on someone I hated. Hmm.
kakashi: It's not a very nice thing to say. That much is clear.
SMD: “What, will you hire someone to kill me?”
Shuk: The look on his face says it all, but he speaks anyway.
HTS: “That’s all I ever was to you. A thug and a gangster, no more, no less.”
Shuk: He goes on to say it was better when he lived without trying to be a better man, as all that he accomplished crumbles to dust. And after a goodbye, he walks away as she cries crocodile tears outside the restaurant. And Chang-hee watched this exchange from the beginning.
JoAnne: I think this exchange hurts him more than the fact that she cheated. Those aren't crocodile tears though, I disagree - she says shit without thinking and then she’s sorry for it. I no longer wish to forgive her for that, though, because she doesn’t appear to LEARN from it. Chang Hee is radiating rage and hate because of course, it’s all her fault. His brother would have been just FINE if the brazen hussy had not corrupted him. Sigh.
kakashi: Why, oh why, why, oh WHY does he love that thing? I have a theory: he has a brain tumor.
Shuk: It is deathly quiet in the Lee household as Jae-hee shuffles in his house slippers. Chang-hee is on the couch, and starts playing the video from Tae-sang’s camera. Jae-hee yanks the remote and turns it off, but he realizes his hyung knows what he’s been up to with Mi-do. Chang-hee finds it interesting that Mi-do says President Han won't let her go until he dies, and the tire just happens to blow on President Han‘s company car. And I think, is he implying that Jae-hee or Mi-do staged the accident?
kakashi: That happens quite frequently, these triangle-murders or however you call them.
ShukNote: The online resource “World Atlas of Language Structures” explains the lack of personal or gender-specific pronouns in some languages. So, in this instance, whatever the English sub translation, Mi-do’s words on the video could be interpreted as “Unless I die” or “Unless he dies.”
Shuk: Jae-hee defends the girl in question, stating she meant “when she dies”, but Chang-hee is convinced the wench is playing with the hearts of both men.
JoAnne: I just thought she was being overly dramatic, and I haven’t once thought anyone was playing with anybody else. Nope, they've all been painfully serious about their fated loves.

Shuk: Tae-sang is at the villa, and is hearing Mi-do’s voice in his head. It’s sad that he’s wandering around the house calling for her. Then the voice goes back to wishing he was dead. He ends up turning on every light in the villa, ending up on the stairs, completely defeated
JoAnne: This part is just fucking stupid. More breadcrumbs.
kakashi: No. Brain tumor.
Shuk: I’m not even going to talk about the exercising anymore. Seon-joo calls Jae-hee and asks him to meet her. When he hangs up, Chang-hee is in the room and asks him one more time to listen to him. He start cleaning up the Asia Star paperwork to put it in his brother’s bag with the name on the prospectus catches his eye. He asks Jae-hee who is representing the company, and his eyes widened to find out that it's Vice-chairman and the adopted son of Asia Star.
JoAnne: How come Chang Hee knows who this is? HOW MANY MORE SECRETS DO YOU HAVE, CHANG HEE? 
kakashi: I wouldn't mind some excercising oppa-style. But they're really being fastidious with the abs now.

Shuk: There's no idol boy dance scene in this episode, but 2PM's "Come Back When You Hear This Song" is in the background as Seon-joo smoke and mirrors about the Vice-chairman’s identity, but is coy; she will only tell him if they team up to destroy President Han.
JoAnne: He doesn't want to destroy Oppa, though. I'll give him that.

Shuk: Chang-hee opens up a keepsake box at home, which includes pictures of the Han brothers and their eomma, and awards that Jae-hee has won. He pulls a business card from inside one of the frames, with the name of the Chairman of Asia Star. Oh crap, did he have something to do with Tae-min ending up outside the country?
JoAnne: I need to learn to say ‘duh’ in Korean. I've already verified that ‘No shit, Sherlock’ is too colloquial. Also, why on earth does he have pictures of Oppa’s family?
Shuk: Mi-do meets Jae-hee at the airport with some paperwork from the hospital, and they make a promise to contact each other. A final hug and the usual promise to take care of everything. Bleh
JoAnne: Seriously. Their earnest little love just makes me want to poke them in the eyes.
kakashi: Yeah, I'm not Team Chubs either at this moment. 

Shuk: Chang-hee brings groceries to the villa and promises to make a good dinner for Tae-sang, but he’s not hungry. They sit together as he wonders out loud whether they always laugh at him when he wasn’t around? After everything he did for them, do they really wish him dead? With no one in his past left save Chang-hee, and no one in his future, he feels directionless, and Chang-hee is alarmed.
JoAnne: Chang Hee is alarmed because he thinks he could lose Oppa.
kakashi: Couldn't they have sat there half-naked maybe?
Shuk: And then: “Could you kill the woman your brother loves, just for me?” Oh no, you did not just say that out loud. Tell me it was only rhetorical. Please please.
JoAnne: I didn’t trust Oppa one time when the writer made him look bad. I’m not going to fall for it this time.
kakashi: Oh shit. You didn't. Oppa, is it the brain tumor??

Shuk: Oh shit oh shit oh shit. A montage: Chang-hee buying a beat up old car, getting stolen plates…
Shuk: Seon-joo shows up at the villa, looks at a completely dejected Tae-sang but drives off without letting him know. Leaving the place, she sees Chang-hee walking along a narrow road with paddies on either side. She calls out to him, but the conversation is short.
JoAnne: Why does he keep looking up? Is he looking for CCTV cameras? Over rice paddies in the middle of nowhere? I guess. I’m still not falling for the bait.
kakashi: CCTV cameras, satellites, cows with cameras, you know ... the usual.
Shuk: Mi-do is alone at work when she receives that damning video from Chang-hee. She barely has a moment to react when he calls her. He asks her point blank if she really hoped that President Han was dead. He tells her she needs to explain herself to Tae-sang, and gives her directions to the villa.
JoAnne: I give her credit for facing up to things and wanting to repair what she can.
kakashi: Maybe she wants to go kill him? That would spice things up a bit!
Shuk: Jae-hee is eating with Vice-Chairman Roy Chang and tries to make small talk and maybe ferret out his secret, but the wily guy easily avoids personal conversation. Jae-hee offers to arrange dinner with President Han, but our closed-mouthed investor only says maybe.
JoAnne: I kind of like this guy, because he keeps Jae Hee off balance.

Shuk: It’s nighttime when Mi-do finally makes it to the villa location, still wearing Jae-hee’s pink heels. She’s walking down the road when Jae-hee calls her. The connection is broken, and she looks around for the villa. She tries calling Chang-hee, but his phone is turned off.
 
She tries calling Tae-sang, but he lets the phone go to voicemail. What the heck was the picture on his phone?
Shuk: No time to look at that as Chang-hee accelerates and plows into Mi-do, knocking her airborne and into a field.
JoAnne: I’ll just repeat my thoughts: HOLY FLYING FUCKBALLS, BATMAN, followed by ‘Look Ma, no hands’ and ending with ‘No stunt doubles were used in the filming of this extremely dangerous segment in which no one got hurt. Which is odd, because she was nearly blinded by a cherry blossom a couple of weeks ago.’
kakashi: #WhenAWomanFlies
Shuk: Chang-hee steps out to see if the job is done, but an oncoming vehicle has him driving off so as not to get caught.

Shuk: Seo Appa is talking with some journalists when he gets word of the accident. Tae-sang is at the villa when he calls Mi-do’s cell phone and finds out from the hospital worker. He shows up first, and sees her in ICU, bandaged and unresponsive. The family shows up, and Dad’s first reaction is to slap Tae-sang and blame him. He doesn't defend himself. Why doesn't he defend himself??
JoAnne: Number one, he’s in shock. Number two, she wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t been there, so in the complicated Rule of Responsibility Hogging, it IS his fault.
Shuk: Korean family histrionics happen, with Mom collapsing and Dad threatening retribution, before the waiting game occurs. Poor Tae-sang oppa, left alone to think in the waiting room. He went over all his conversations, and realizes what just happened, and who just made it happen.
JoAnne: To his everlasting horror, he IS responsible, kind of. Because Chang Hee never met a rhetorical question followed by a very clear explanation of WHY he would never be asked to do such a thing for real before, apparently, and completely misses the point. But he sort of had to, because the writer really needs a way to introduce the amnesia that we've all learned to expect is the only lasting result from car accidents in Korea.
kakashi: Finally. It is HERE!
Shuk: The little gangster contacts Jae-hee in the Paisley Pronghorn room, and the moment he hears the news, his mind has decided who is responsible.

FINAL THOUGHTS

JoAnne: And all of a sudden, the entire story shifts in my mind. The central story has been good if you ignore the stupid side bars, but if it goes where I think it will go, I will LOVE IT TO PIECES. Because for me, now, ‘When a Man Loves’ isn’t talking about Oppa toward Mi Do so much anymore, if it ever actually was. It’s talking about Chang Hee. I’m thinking Chang Hee has been quietly doing crazy shit for years, to ‘protect’ Oppa. There’s the body in the woods. There’s the question of the brother. There’s the boss he killed to save Oppa. Remember how mean and angry he was to Mi Do when he brought her the college money in the first place? I remember thinking then that it was a little odd.
I'm not saying he wants to be Oppa’s yeobo or anything (but ok it crossed my mind) but his love for Oppa is a bit obsessive, maybe? And now we're REALLY set up for tragedy. Mi Do is the catalyst for the destruction of the relationships this story is ACTUALLY about: Oppa and Chang Hee, Change Hee and Jae Hee, Oppa and Tae Min ( maybe, because I now totally think Chang Hee had something to do with that.) Anyway. And now I’m terribly afraid that Oppa will die to protect Chang Hee, somehow. And Grandpa Leeteuk must figure in there somewhere, right? Can we just sacrifice him and Seon Joo on the alter of lost plots and save the others?

Shuk: The amnesia is coming. I can just feel it. And I agree that we have a paradigm shift from the canon couple. I think if the dreaded "A" trope shows up, it won't be central to the story line as much as, say "Boys Over Flowers". I think it will be a sideline to the Great Unraveling that is everything that Chang-hee has done, past and present. Poor oppa! Come here, and the let Shuk give you a hug! And, um, could you take off your shirt while you are at it?
kakashi: Oppa. We love you. It doesn't matter what you did or will do. It is unconditional. 

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