21 February 2014


Can We Love? - Episode 14 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on February 21, 2014
Good! Thank you, show, for not dragging this stupid noble idiocy/bitch-deluxe story out any further: it was long enough. Thank you for giving Sun-mi some dignity back, though it's probably too late to redeem her. Thank you for making Oh Kyung-soo say out loud what we have all been thinking: Jung-wan is a silly-billy fool. All that said, this was a rather weak episode - lots of bits and pieces that seem rather fillery. But that's complaining on a high level, really.
Episode 14

The Sun-mi bitch tells Oh-boy that - „as he just overheard“ - she is pregnant. Before he can say anything else she very quickly adds „it is THAT day“. He doesn’t get it, doesn’t want to get it? as she continues to give him some more lying details, about how she couldn’t tell him because he was having a hard time, etc., how she wanted to tell him later, when he was feeling better. Yeah .... SURE. He is totally shocked about the news as she searches his face in hope of ... what exactly? Love? Acceptance? He says he will have to think about it, long and hard. The bitch goes on to babble about how she trusts him and everything. He is just shell-shocked ... and she seems to start getting unsure that what she has done was the right thing to do. Serves you right, evil woman.
Afterwards, Oh is at the conference room, trying to remember what happened on „that day“. Well, I hate to break it to you, but ... you WOULD know in real life after sex whether you had sex or not. For sure. I don't want to go into more details, but ... I call BS, sorry, show. 
Because he is so troubled, Oh Kyung-so wants to meet his cousin Ahn Do-young at a bar. Oh starts asking Ahn questions about how he felt after he found out that he had a kid. Hint, hint. Do-young doesn't pick up on it though, but tells him all about the shock, the disbelief ... but also about the protector instinct that has set in. He has someone he wants to take care of now, someone that gives new meaning to his life.
And indeed, his protector instinct is very strong. Despite Ji-hyun's pleas, he will file for custody. Being with his daughter makes him feel connected to her, the woman he cannot have. Not exactly what she wants to hear! She is put into a very difficult position by his actions ... she tells him how happy she was before she met him again, how she has the nicest husband in the world whom she doesn't want to hurt any more. Well, I hate to break it to you, woman, but your husband has turned into quite a monster recently! That's also Do-young's opinion. And if he just does nothing, his daughter will suffer the most, and he cannot have that.
The "nicest husband in the world" indeed shows us his nastiest side in this episode. First, Gyu-shik visits Ahn in his office, claiming he came for "tea". Tea stands for "uttering threats" here. He tries to intimidate Do-young to stop with the child custody case, but isn't successful. Ahn blows a fuse and exclaims that he should behave for his wife, who thinks he is the nicest husband in the world. That turns Gyu-shik into a raging beast and the two men exchange not so gentle blows. As soon as he is back home, Gyu-shik confronts his wife about meeting Ahn again behind his back (yeah, probably not so smart) and threatens her: He doesn’t know what he will do if she meets the scumbag again. 
The pressure on Ji-hyun is still increasing, I wouldn't even have thought it possible! Gyu-shik is nasty to her in front of his even nastier mother. The mother takes her side, the snake, but she is in fact full of glee that there seems to be something wrong between them. They both deny it but she knows better – and uses the opportunity to tell Ji-hyun once more how much she despises her. A bit later, she wishes to be cooked the most complicated dishes, even though Ji-hyun clearly isn't feeling well. Sera, who is becoming more perceptive of the abuse her mother gets and also wants to have her mother on her side, lures her grandmother out, to have dumpling soup in a restaurant, but the MILDragon isn't stupid, and she has a rage fit about it in front of Ji-hyun afterwards, blaming her for the fact that her daughter took her side.
That's not all, though. Gyu-shik and Ji-hyun's brother (don't like his acting at all) go to a lawyer about the custody case. The DNA testing is already done, so their only weapon is a statement by the birth mother that the father is unqualified to be a father. Shit. Ji-hyun is now totally caught between her husband, her brother, and the father of her first daughter, who also knows that her statement is important and begs her at a secret meeting to tell the truth. And because she is generally a nice person, she immediately tells her husband she doesn't want to lie. Not that he cares: he prepares a statement for her later to sign, in which Ahn Do-young is said to be a scumbag.
A desperate Ji-hyun meets Do-young and begs him once more to please stop: if he doesn't, she will have to lie about him. But he isn't concerned about himself, just about her. He sees that she is exhausted, grabs her hand, and goes to the cinema with her. There, he tells her to "just sleep". Comforted by his presence, she does indeed fall asleep next to him and he gently puts her head on his shoulder. Afterwards, he tells her that he is very sorry to make things so difficult for her. But he cannot stop now - will not stop. Instead, he encourages her to lie about him and say all that awful stuff. He prefers that to her having a hard time.
She doesn't sign the statement though - not yet? Gyu-shik on the other hand continues on his monster-trip: he arranges an appointment at the hospital and calls his wife to bring Sera there. It's totally heart-breaking how Ji-hyun goes into her daughter's room and tells her to come out. In the car, it slowly dawns on Sera where they are going and she starts saying "omma? omma?" in a small, shaky voice. Not being able to bare this, Ji-hyung turns the car around and drives back home - where her enraged husband is waiting. Finally, finally! Ji-hyun has enough - she tells him that she wants a divorce. She wants nothing but the children. But he destroys that hope immediately: Doesn’t she know that the responsible person cannot ask for a divorce? The reason for the broken home is all on her. HE would be the winner - and she would end of with absolutely nothing. Plus: she has no money to raise the kids. She is nothing without him.
I think we all need some comic relief now! And it comes in the form of Snotty Brat, who is meeting her beloved Joon-mo Oppa! While at the meeting, she texts Kyung-soo to remind him that he cannot tell her Mr. Mope that he and the Ahjumma have broken up. Oupsie! Buahahaha, the little idiot send the text to Joon-mo instead of Kyung-soo!!!
Immediately, Mopey Oppa goes after his ex-wife. But this time, it's not to make her re-marry him. He meets her to tell her that he has got a job as an instructor at high-school (well, as an academic myself, I would say that’s really honorable, but also a real fail). Anyway, he likes teaching children, and his obsession with an academic post seems to have come from pressure by his parents. It seems as if quite a weight was off his shoulders as he says that he will no longer burden her, but will always be there for her - unmarried, because there can only be her in his life - if she needs him. Awwwwwwww ... that’s a very sweet thing to say!! Does that mean he is out of the picture though?
Snotty does another good thing. At the company, Puppy, who is waiting for Park PD, overhears Snotty talking to her brother about Jung-wan and how she broke up with Kyung-soo. And now he understands ... Back at their office, he asks Sun-mi whether that friend who liked Oh Jyung-so was writer Yoon - and surmises that she flat-out lied to him before about who likes whom. That she tore a happy couple apart shocks him deeply and he expresses his disappointment in her. He always thought she was only cold outside, in order to survive, but warm inside. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Sun-mi almost cries after he has left.
Jung-wan's mother and son take Jung-wan, who is understandably depressed these day, shopping. Yay, make-over time! I have gotten used to the haircut, but I wouldn’t have minded a new one, either ... she ends up buying a bright red and quite sexy dress, much to the pleasure of her two companions.
She wears that dress to an appointment at the company, where she continues to watch Director Oh doing all kinds of things. Yeah, it's called "research" for her new movie. How convenient. Park PD's eyes almost pop out when he sees her in it and Kyung-soo is even more affected. He even has to take a breather in the toilet afterwards.
Jung-wan has seen enough, she is leaving, without waiting for the snacks Park PD is buying. He suffers a bit alone until PD Park comes back, complaining that his legs hurt. Why is that? The elevators are not longer working - there has been an accident! Only a moment ago. They said a woman was hurt and she had to be taken to the hospital. Oh-boy freaks out, thinking it was Jung-wan. He calls her mobile, but nobody picks up. So he starts running down the stairs .. but there she is, walking down as well. She is surprised to see him, he looks about ready to die from concern. But she is completely fine, of course, and didn't hear his call because she has her phone on vibrate. She slowly realizes that he ran after her because he was so worried. She thanks him, in a light tone, and even makes a joke about him getting his daily exercise. But Oh Kyung-soo is not in the mood to joke at all: he just looks worried and gloomy. After he has turned around to go back up, she looks after him, very thoughtful. Ack, you two ...
It's Sun-mi's birthday! (Jung-wan's is also approaching fast). Jung-wan cooks some seaweed soup for her and drops if off at the front office. Sun-mi's employees also know, they have prepared a cake and congratulate her. She takes them out for lunch. They eat, but all of a sudden, Puppy says this is his last week at work - he will be leaving. Hana is surprised to hear this, because they haven't found a replacement yet, while Sun-mi acts all understanding. When Hana quickly leaves the table for a customer, Puppy starts his farewell speech ... it's rather moving. He feels nostalgic to leave; so many memories. He talks about when he first started liking her. They had to work for 5 days straight because of someone’s mistake. And his noona did not show any signs of being tired during that day and she handled all the enraged clients like a pro. He fell so hard for that awesome woman back then. He even lied about his drawing abilities in order to get a dinner date with her. After the dinner, he took her warm hand while on a stroll outside, and she didn’t shake it off. He liked it so much ... but now, it feels weird to see her. She is no longer the noona that he liked. What happened to her? It feels like a waste. Such a great woman ... turned into this. Still, he would feel much better if she took the paternity test (viki subbers called it fraternity test, but never mind). And he gets up, bows, and leaves.
She runs to the toilet to cry.

Jung-wan meets with actress Kim Hyun-joo again – she has called her for dinner, as agreed upon the last time. But it’s not only the two of them ... Director Oh is also coming. The mood is pretty light between our ex-lovers, until Hyun-joo starts talking about Oh's potential marriage. She says he should stop choosing and should marry already, i.e. Cheon Song-yi, who gave up her chance in Hollywood because of him. Hahaha, yeah, good one! And then it gets awkward, when she starts talking about how good Jung-wan and Kyung-soo would look together. He says that she has high standards: a man like him couldn’t satisfy her. She confirms this, laughing it off, but this is so-not-funny for them.
Indeed, Jung-wan is really down afterwards, but she gets to go out with her mother and her son and they have a great time at the restaurant, with beer and steaks. Kyung-soo also gets to go to dinner - with the Biatch. Feeling sad on her birthday because her conscience seems to be back from holidays, she called him and he, ever the nice man, agrees to it. He asks her whether this is enough for her, and she answers: sure, I get to spend my birthday with a world-renowned director. They laugh a bit at that. She then tells him about the birthday party she organized for him, when he stood her up for Jung-wan. He feels a bit bad about that, but doesn't know what's coming next! Cause she tells him she lied when she said she wanted to be friends: she’s liked him all this time. She even tried dating another man, it didn’t work. Just keep going, biatch. Confession time? Good.
He feels quite uncomfortable about the love-confession, but he also tells her quite clearly, once again, that he cannot give her the answer she wants. She claims she doesn’t even want an answer and I start getting a GOOD feeling about this. She GETS IT! After eating, she has a favor to ask of him. She takes him home – and tells him to eat her first self-made Yakbap. That's her birthday present. He tries it and she asks how it is, twice, before he has even chewed and before he has swallowed. He confirms that it is good. And now it comes ...
She tells him that she realized after her parents died, who had treated her like a princess, that she really wasn’t anything much or special. All she wanted then was success: And she became hugely successful – still, there is nothing she can do the way she wants. That’s life he says: it always knocks you upside the head without warning. Yes – and because it’s so difficult, she really wanted someone by her side. And because she liked him so much, she did something crazy ... She lied a horrible lie. Nothing happened at the hotel. And Jung-wan wanting to break up with him was something she asked her to do. Oh Kyung-soo staggers out of there, dumbstruck for the umpteenth time in this episode, and the things Jung-wan told him now suddenly make sense.
Not long until this episode ends ... Jung-wan and Oh Kyung-soo are in the meeting room. He looks at her, half angry, half troubled. She wants to know what's going on, but there is no time to talk: they are doing auditions. When they are done, Oh-boy starts to say something, but the universal disturber Park PD comes in, to tell him to go meet Ahn. Oh-boy implores Jung-wan to wait for him. She does for a while, but then, she needs to go to the mart. Finding her gone, he follows her - and tries to get a hold of her at the mart. It takes a little chasing until he finally DOES find her.
Finally, he is in front of her. He looks mad - she is confused. Is she a fool? he blurts out. Why would she try to take all the responsibility and bear it alone? Does she want to be a martyr? She doesn't get it. He hugs her. Crying, he tells her to never do this again – he is sorry, so sorry, but from now on, he will never let her go again. Even if he dies.
THE END (well, not quite, but almost)


Alright, can you two get married and have kids now? Thanks. All the obstacles are out of the way, Mopey Oppa is gone and her son is totally fond of Director Oh. That said, I would probably not be as saintly as Oh Kyung-soo and so easily forgive her that stupidity. I know, I know, she meant well! But she really, really hurt him. And she obviously didn't trust him enough to confide in him. That doesn't bode well for a future relationship. Fix it!

I had a discussion on Twitter with JoAnne the other day (well, as much of a discussion as you can have on Twitter, that is) and I realized that one of my big issues with Sun-mi is actually an issue I have with the way this character is written. In the beginning, we get to know her as a hard-working, ambitious, and very lonely person. Her biological clock is ticking, loudly. It is not entirely clear whether she hears it herself or whether she decides to act on it because of that issue with her mother. Fine so far, but then, her character turns into a biological monster. The ticking consumes her and she quasi stops thinking straight, or thinking at all. Or rather: ALL she thinks about is "enticing" that man she covets.

Is it possible that something like this happens in real life? Of course. But. I have a big issues with the portrayal as women as slaves of their biology, and I think this drama would not have needed to go down that road in order to create conflict. The women-are-slaves-of-biology stereotype is in fact one that (certain) men like to use if they want to discredit women: The "hormonal" woman is used half-seriously, half-jokingly to portray women as out-of-control, overly emotional, and ultimately, as "unfit" to do a (rational) man's job. It's something very sexist, and something that enrages me a great deal (any day of the month), because it reduces us women to hormonal machines without a brain.

Sure, she does "the right thing" (after doing the worst possible thing for quite a while), but why does she actually do it? Instead of realizing how much she makes two people she cares for suffer, she needs Puppy to tell her that she is no longer the noona he knew. That, to me, sounds as if she realized how terrible her deeds were mainly out of self-pity for herself, who is no longer adored by this hot young stud and NOT primarily because she realizes what pain she is inflicting on others. I am guessing that we will get to see some redemption in the remaining episodes, which will lead to Puppy liking his noona again, but I will not buy this. Terrible character. Not happy.

Finally, Ji-hyun ... sigh. I am not sure why this drama dangled "divorce" in front of us if divorce is completely out of the question ... or maybe Gyu-shik conveniently forgot that she may very well divorce him (I think she HAS to get out of there, unless the physical of MILDragon reveals a fatal disease, which will kill her within 2-3 weeks) and then go straight to Ahn Do-young, who isn't exactly poor either? He also seems to like kids, so there's not a trouble in the world. 

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