08 October 2014


Jang Bori Is Here! - Episode 50 (KimJiCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on October 08, 2014
This is episode number 50 and we're still here! And they are, too. Imagine how exhausted they must be ... This episode is slow at times and it makes us suffer through more Bi-dan suffering but we also finally get to the ultimate competition - which is good. Let's solve this - who is the best sewer of them all? 
JoAnne: My mom. Now let the Hanbokers all shut up and go home.

Episode 50

"Take your daughter and leave", says a haughty BaDIL, "disappear from Bori's life forever". Min-jung agrees to do that - and then begs for the ability to exit with her head held high, meaning: she wants to be part of the competition. BaDIL first laughs in her face but then agrees (reason: "even a dead person's last wish should be granted"). She also takes her to Bi Sool Chae to rest. It could be considered kindness but it's so not.
JoAnne: My mouth just gapes open, really. So many people in this drama treat Bi Dan as though she were an ACCESSORY, something that can be handed off once the season is past. She's not a pet, for crying out loud. She's a child! With a mother who loves her, who she loves and needs!
And then, BaDIL goes to her room and has a complete breakdown, with wailing and tears and hitting of chests and floors - she cries how it's all her fault, how she couldn't take care of Eun-bi/Bori, who has to carry such an inescapable burden. Ladiladila.
JoAnne: Oh go stick your head in a toilet, you shrill bag of wind. First of all, I hate watching people debase themselves in this manner. It doesn't make me pity them. It makes me loathe them. Second of all, she's not a BURDEN she's a CHILD. Oh I hate you I hate you I hate you. Fuck off.
Bong2 calls Jae-hee with the news that Min-jung is sick and at their place - and got seaweed soup. Now that either means it's your birthday or you had a child, right? And Dumb Mom's alarm goes off immediately: did she have a miscarriage? Jae-hee calls someone to look into it - and into who Moony's daughter is. Uh-oh.
JoAnne: Nobody ever works. Ever. They get dressed and go to the office but they don't work. I want a job like that. But make it one where I don't have to get dressed and go to the office, either.
BaDIL goes to GooDIL's place, where there's an unfriendly get-together with Veggie, GooDIL and Bori. BaDIL doesn't beat around the bush at all: she tells Veggie to take care of Bi-dan since Bori will no longer do it. Huh, witch. Bori immediately gets up and leaves, after saying that Bi-dan is her daughter and that's that - and anyway, BaDIL should better take care of her dirty secrets instead of disturbing Bi-dan's life.
JoAnne: And once again I slam RIGHT up against that great big plexiglass window dividing Western Individualism and Eastern Confucianism. Because my immediate reaction to someone telling someone else that I'm not going to keep my child, adopted or no? Laughter. Followed immediately by 'make me' Oh, I am mad. How DARE she.
Outside at the bus stop, Bori gets almost driven over by a truck when she drops some change - and promptly remembers that day she was (almost) driven over by Veggie. Off to the house she goes again and confronts Veggie with her new-found knowledge. I had forgotten that she blamed Bori's amnesia on GooDIL and her dead Bong1, when was that? Ah, whatevs - Veggie is on her knees, begging for forgiveness once again, and all is very tragic. I'm not sure what this changes? Now Bori knows that her "mother" simply took her in because she hit her with a truck and was afraid of the consequences. But instead of kicking her where it hurts, Bori hugs and forgives her once again. What a waste of screen time. Could have filled this segment with half-naked Kim Ji-hoon instead.
JoAnne: I was thoroughly confused by the conversation that started with 'I could forgive you anything but this!' followed by 'Why do you keep disappointing me?' and closed by 'of course I love you I will always love you.' Ummm...
Jae-hee's snoop contact tells him that Min-jung had a miscarriage and that they have found Moony's daughter. The picture is sent by fax and Jae-hee's eyes almost fall out of his head when he sees it: Bi-dan! Shit, this is the last person I want to know!!! He first attacks Little Kang for not telling him before, and then Jae-hwa, who stepped into Jae-hee's office unsuspecting. He tells a raging Jae-hee he only found out yesterday. But he wants to make one thing clear: Bi-dan is Bori's and his daughter. She has nothing to do with Min-jung. Nobody can touch her without his permission. Aw. See, JoAnne? No need to be angry with him.
JoAnne: I knew he'd come around but I was disappointed that there was an around for him to come. I wanted him to be perfect.
But Jae-hee says that's not how he sees things. He is about to divorce Min-jung, how can he keep her child in the house? It will be tough for him, Jae-hwa agrees, but he is an adult, and Bi-dan is just a child. Nobody has the right to ruin her happiness. Oh, but Jae-hee thinks he does: he has suffered so much at the hands of Min-jung. What if she uses the child to stick to him? That kid has a living father, she doesn't need Jae-hwa! And how dare Jae-hwa to make them all look like fools? Exit by storming out. This is not good.
JoAnne: I hate that Jae Hee has some valid points, but I diverge from him at the point where those thoughts lead to Bi Dan having to leave her family.  #1 Everyone has suffered from Min Jung. You are not a special snowflake. #2 Then that will be the price you pay for letting well-dressed tang lead you around by the nose, sucker. #3 It's not actually about 'need' in this case, you heartless bastard. #4 He didn't know, therefore, kind sir, thy panties, they must untwist.
GooDIL shows Bori the (second) yongbo. So the one Min-jung currently has is the fake one, the one GooDIL copied - but GooDIL and Min-jung don't know that, so their lies will finally be revealed to the world. Haha, how many times have these lies been revealed to the world already, with absolutely no consequence? I have stopped counting.
JoAnne: Plus, when the contest was announced, it was about the death clothes. Which the yongbo isn't part of. Then Min Jung made her dastardly announcement of evil villainess planning, claiming that whoever has the yongbo wins, and suddenly everyone is all about the yongbo. Y'all can just say no to her, you realize this, right?

Min-jung meets Bad Dad at a hotel: it's time to talk about that child. Min-jung says she will raise it, please don't take it away from her. He asks where the money will come from, and she asks for him to pay for the tuition fee "at least" and breaks down fake-crying. Oh, but then comes Jae-hee! Bad Dad called him. When he hears that Min-jung wants to raise the kid, he snort: so this is about child support? For a child that doesn't even exist?
JoAnne: SO perfect. So PERFECT. Perfect perfection.
Bad Dad throws a glass of water into her face and leaves and Jae-hee says there must be a God: this is perfect timing. (Perfect!) Now she can concentrate on raising Bi-dan. Oh yes ..... he knows. Min-jung (where does Lee Yu-ri learn how to cry in so many different ways? She really gets better and better!) is certain that BaDIL told on her and vows that they'll die together.
JoAnne: Really? I think she's been laying it on a little thick lately. But I still love her. In an 'I really hate you' kind of way.

Min-jung wolfs down tons of food in the kitchen in front of Dumb Mom, still pretending she is pregnant. She then goes and packs her bags, claiming she'll stay at Bi Sool Chae until the competition, since there's so much to do (yes, she is still to take part in that competition, because a Head Seamstress must be chosen!), She looks briefly at the (fake?) yongbo and then longingly at a picture of her and Jae-hee. At the door, she turns around with tears in her eyes, telling the empty house she just wanted to eat one meal that Dumb Mom made for her, just once. She bows and leaves.
JoAnne: That was very, very creepy, until it got sad (YES!). I mean, not that I feel sorry for her except...well, I guess maybe I do feel sorry for the tiny tiny sane person trapped inside her completely wacked out brain? A lot of the time I think she believes her own justifications and that horrifies me, because it means that her pain is real.
At Bi Sool Chae, she and Bori butt heads a bit. Nothing of consequence is said, but these two women don't like each other. In case you hadn't noticed.
JoAnne: I am so glad they finally made that clear. It was really ambiguous, and it absolutely detracted from my ability to enjoy the story. I felt like I was missing a big chunk of the motive.
Next up, Completely Useless Couple excitedly tells Dumb Mom that Bori never knew the pleasure of little Kei before she got married to Jae-hwa. Indeed: the kid is not hers! Of course, the drama makes a fucking point to have Bi-dan eavesdrop on that awful conversation as well and she hears how they say "this is worse than if she was a single mother", and how the kid "doesn't share a single drop of blood with anyone in this family but is the oldest grandchild". And if Bad Dad finds out, Bi-dan will be "gone in one blow". Gaaaaaahhhhhh! STOP IT! And please punish Dumb Mom and Ga-eul. Severely.
JoAnne: My heart is breaking. To ward off evil, every time Bi Dan cries I either text my daughter to tell her I love her, or I send her a funny picture, or I call her.  It makes watching these episodes take a really long time but I have to keep the universe on an even keel.
Yeah, and OF COURSE Dumb Mom tells Bad Dad right away. And then, Jae-hwa and Jae-hee stand in front of their father and Bad Dad starts quizzing Jae-hwa about this disgraceful thing. Ha, but he actually thinks Bori's actions are commendable - and Jae-hwa has great luck with women! Time for Jae-hee to spoil the fun and tell his father WHO the real mother is. Jae-hwa tries to stop him, but nope, it's too late for that. He tells Bad Dad everything. Jae-hwa starts shouting at him for not keeping quiet for Bi-dan's sake, but for Jae-hee, Bi-dan is a link to Min-jung - and all of the connections to Min-jung need to disappear.
JoAnne: May children playing in the street knock the side view mirrors off your car  on a monthly basis; may children running on the sidewalk knock you down and spill your coffee nearly every day, and on the days you don't have coffee, I hope you tear your pants and skin your palms.  And finally: Any time you walk through the park, may children shouting startle a flock of birds into the air, prompting them ALL to shit on you in unison. Every single time, Jae Hee. Every single time.
Jae-hwa tries to assure them that Bi-dan has nothing to do with Min-jung, but it doesn't look good - so Bori knew and still married Jae-hwa? Call her at once! Jae-hwa tries to prevent this meeting by saying that he is her guardian and he forbids it, but I doubt that this will help (I agree with JoAnne, Kim Ji-hoon doesn't look very healthy these days; come to Switzerland, dear, the air is very good here! Also, the lighting is very bad in that scene).
JoAnne: He can drink Bier and eat some Chäs.
kakashi. I'll teach him to yodel and play the alphorn. And then, we'll go skinny dip in the Lai da Rims.
Next, Jae-hee right hooks Moony (HE's BACK!) - for not telling him about Min-jung from the very beginning. Why didn't he?! (I know, I know! Because it's a 50+ episode drama!!) Didn't he try, in the very beginning? And when Jae Hee was not interested in listening, didn't he say ok, you'll find out on your own?  But Moony says he was afraid Bi-dan would get hurt. A bit too late for that, no? Jae-hee tells Moony to take Bi-dan and disappear (I'm losing count of who tells whom to take Bi-dan and disappear, but that's at least the third time this happens). But Bi-dan has committed no sin - to separate her from Bori would be too mean. Ah, maybe he needs to tell Bi-dan who her mother is? says Jae-hee. HATE YOU. But yeah, he has a point about Min-jung potentially using Bi-dan as a "weapon" against him. He doesn't seem to realize that this is HIS FAULT because he married her. Despite of all the warnings he received. IDIOT.
Frightened and sad, Moony follows a sad Bi-dan on the other side of the street when she walks home from kindergarten. He wants to go over and comfort her, but then remembers his promise to Jae-hwa to not see her anymore. When she turns around and runs into a phone booth, he hides - but it's HIM she calls. She lies to him about being so happy and all - but asks why he doesn't visit her anymore. And he lies that he's too busy at the company. But she knows he is always watching over her, right? Damn. how to solve this Bi-dan situation?! I hope the writer has a good solution.
JoAnne: Let's put it this way, Writer. If Moony or Bi Dan suffer a bad ending, no, if they suffer even the HINT of a bad ending... if they get within a hangnail's WIDTH of a bad ending... your entire drama will be ruined. And I will trash it to everyone I know. Over and over again, forever and ever, amen. Plus I will claim that you hate good men and secretly have a sick interest in torturing kittens and small humans and no one should ever go look in the shed in your back yard, say. Or poke around in your garden.
When Bi-dan gets home, she finds a pink gift basket waiting for her there. She immediately knows it's from Moony and thanks him cheerfully.
JoAnne: Is that basket wearing a Disney Princess costume?
Min-jung is at Bi Sool Chae - and suddenly realizes that the yongbo is gone! Yes - BaDIL took it. She is sitting in front of a fire with Bori and tells her to go study abroad. And leave Bi-dan. When she has her own kids, she'll eventually forget Bi-dan. What an awful woman. Fie. Who cares if she is a child from her heart and not her belly? says Bori. It's all the same. But it's not for BaDIL, who is on a crazy quest to make up for her own sins through "saving" Bori retrospectively.
JoAnne: I LOVE that Bori never loses sight of the fact that her mother is way more interested in exposing other people than she is in being exposed herself, and that doing the one doesn't forgive the other.
Why does she have to protect the bloodline of a family that ruined her?! is the important question. And the important answer from Bori: How is her life ruined? She learned to sew. She married a person she loves. She has a child she loves like nothing else. Her life isn't unpleasant at all. The only bad thing: that BaDIL is her mother. The one that is giving her the most pain. One that hides her own sins and lashes out at others. This isn't the family she wanted.
JoAnne: Exactly. Bori has a good life. And would have told you that her life was pretty good (and believed it) even when it WASN'T good. Because Bori is a positive person with a happy soul, and she concentrates on the millions of minutes that are fine, not the few that are not.

But BaDIL doesn't care if her daughter hates her. All she wants is for Bori to win the competition and take Bi Sool Chae. That's the last thing she can do for her as a mother. And out she pulls the yongbo and tells Bori to throw it into the fire. Of course, Bori refuses to do this (yes, she is much better than this and will not use the same lame tricks her mother resorted to so many years ago). And as they fight, Min-jung sneaks up to them and rips the yongbo from Bori's hands. Now she knows: BaDIL was never on her side. But she will WIN. The one that was never loved.
JoAnne: Did she actually for one second think that BaDIL was on her side, once things started unravelling? This must be another instance of that strange belief we see in Asian dramas all the time: If I force you to do a thing, and you do it, then it must mean everything is ok now, right?
When Bori gets home, she finds Bi-dan in front of the house - half-asleep? Crying? The Ga-Dumb Duo was mean again. Bi-dan hugs her mother and asks to go to Veggie. Noooooooooo! She wants to remove herself from Bori's life again, is that it?! Jae-hwa and Bad Dad get home, but granddad isn't nice to her as usual. He tells Jae-hwa and Bori to come see him. Uh-oh.
JoAnne: Why does no one call those little shrews on their bullshit? It's not exactly a secret that they're mean to the girl! And I 'm so GLAD Little Kang didn't end up with Ga Eul because she has turned out to be entirely hateful.
Dumb Mom throws a fit when she finds out WHO Bi-dan's mother is. Shame she doesn't have a heart-attack. Bad Dad asks Bori what she intends to do with Bi-dan. What does he mean? She is her daughter and she will raise her. Of course, Dumb Mom has something to say to that (no Min-jung spawn in the house) but Jae-hwa butts in. If his parents cannot accept that Bi-dan is their daughter, they will leave the house. Bad Dad says that will not change anything - Bi-dan remains THAT woman's daughter.
JoAnne: Oh well. Them's the breaks. Deal with it.
Bori says she's disappointed - hasn't he loved Bi-dan? She is still the same Bi-dan. But fine: if they're going to be like this, she will leave Jae-hwa and go away with Bi-dan (uhm, why, Bori? Because you do not want to turn your husband into an unfilial son?! Dumb). After she has left the room, Jae-hwa shouts at his parents for not accepting his choice and for hurting poor sensitive Bi-dan.
JoAnne: No, it's not to stop him from doing that. It's because they said it wouldn't matter if he did, because she'd still be part of the family, just living in a different house. The only way Bi Dan isn't part of the family is if Bori and Bi Dan leave the family, so that's what Bori is offering to do.
Outside, Jae-hee burns photos of him and Min-jung. He remembers happy times with her (on their honeymoon?) and looks sad. Hey, sorry, but there's no saving this witch. I don't even think she ever loved you, man. He throws all the pictures into the fire and then calls Moony: he can make his move to get her arrested. The divorce papers are all finalized. After the hanbok competition, the papers will be given to the police.
JoAnne: I think she thinks she loved him. I know he loved her. Also: man, divorce is QUICK in Korea.
Competition time! Almost. Unfortunately, Min-jung overhears Bori tell Halmoni about the two yongbos. She is almost caught by BaDIL (it looks like she saw her?) and Min-jung's twisted brain goes into an evilness frenzy. (I thought she did.)
Dumb Mom almost lets slip who Bi-dan's real mother is and Bi-dan tells her she knows she isn't Bori's real daughter. She also knows that everybody is mad. So her real mother is a really bad person? Worthy of so much hate? A liar? A thief? Jae-hee steps up to them: so Bi-dan wants to really know? Just then, the school bus arrives. But Bi-dan turns around and asks Jae-hee whether he knows, too? He does, he says. He knows her well. DON'T YOU DARE TELL HER YOU selfish IDIOT!!!
JoAnne: Do these people come from another planet? Do they not get the concept of 'child'? Why was HER child so precious, but no one else's? That's what I 'd like to ask Dumb Mom. Isn't Bori exactly as human as he is?
Now it's competition time! The rules are repeated outside the gate: the person who loses will forever leave Bi Sool Chae. They go inside, the First Lady arrives. The four women step on stage. So is this a competition between BaDIL and GooDIL or a competition between Min-jung and Bori? As the two young ones are the ones that did the sewing, I guess it's a competition between the students, which will ultimately be tied back to the teachers?
JoAnne: Yes, that's how it is. Also, so much bullshit on the 'leave Bi Sool Chae' part. The only one who they'd make leave is MinJung. Well possibly BaDIL. But Bori? No way, never. Unless by 'leave Bi Sool Chae' they are strictly talking about the business, and not from the home itself.
It starts! Task number one: find the lost Royal Yong-bo. Who has it? GooDIL says she has something to say: she had two yongbos. One from the late Elder, one that she made herself. But a few days ago, somebody stole the copy. GooDIL knows that Halmoni will recognize her stitches - she will be able to tell who stole the yongbo. The one with the stolen material will lose the competition immediately. Present your yongbos, ladies!
JoAnne: In the words of those wise ancients, The Stones: Get yer yongbos out! Sort of.


Min-jung may have switched the yongbos again at the last minute, but there is NO WAY that GooDIL doesn't know which is the real one and didn't check that before the competition. Right? Or is that too much logic for this show? I think they either had Min-jung switch the wrong one (i.e. she initially stole the right one and GooDIL did a very smart thing to get it back) - or there is a third version. One that Bo-ri made. Or the Master Artisan cannot tell because GooDIL has become so good?
JoAnne: What exactly does any of this prove? We know GooDIL had the real one 20 years ago, because she called Halmeoni before the accident. So if she has the real one now and Min Jung has the fake one, it seems logical that Min Jung is trying to pull a fast one. Except she KNOWS this... so if she has the fake one why would she continue? And if Min Jung has the REAL one, then clearly it was obtained in a shady manner. And she KNOWS that they know this... so why would she continue? Is the show going to spring TWO real yongbos on us? We think that's not possible, right? So is the show going to spring two FAKE ones on us, with the real one hidden away forever? Either way, it renders the whole thing moot. SO WHY BOTHER?

Much more important though is Bi-dan. At this stage, I still don't know how they will solve the Bi-dan issue. I guess Bad Dad will accept Bi-dan again, since he does love her and isn't a bad person at all. (He tries hard with his limited emotional intelligence, and like many men he has mellowed somewhat as he ages.) I understand that he might need some time to come to terms with this situation and I think that's normal, too - NOBODY would want to be near anything related to Min-jung. The one that needs to come to terms with things too is Jae-hee: he is in fact the biggest problem at the moment. His fear that Min-jung might try to entice him again through Bi-dan is unfounded. She could never do that. Hasn't Bi-dan be added to the Lee family registry a while ago? Get your frigging act together, Jae-hee! This is a child!
JoAnne: Do you think she was? I am not so sure. I foresee a hugely emotional climax with Bi Dan being formally accepted as various assholes get redeemed, all capped off by the ceremony of adding her to the registry and making a big deal of it so the poor little thing really believes that she has a forever family who loves her and will not throw her away or think of her as trash.
In my opinion, it's better for Bi-dan if she doesn't find out who her real mother is. At least not yet. Let her live with Bori and Jae-hwa, seeing Moony from time to time. There is no other solution. Bori is indeed her only mother - taking the kid away from her is an absolute no-go. But a kid can have two fathers, if the two fathers are okay with that. And I am certain that Jae-hwa's heart is big enough to allow for that.
JoAnne: As a human being, I agree with you. As a mother, I insist upon this.


Here, you can see an unsubbed version of Kim Ji-hoon and Lee Yu-ri at Saturday Night Live on October 4th. Not that I understand a lot. But he is DARN cute. OOooooppppaaaaaa! And thanks for the beautiful back-abs shot, SNL! Jangbori hasn't managed to give us any of this. And when Lee Yu-ri appears (the very end of the second clip), he says she's his friend and a very nice person in defense of her. D'awwwwwwwwww. Heck, it must be hard to be the nation's number one villain! I hope she gets a nice rest after this.

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