In-gwon and Ho-sik
We continue with the story of the high school lovebirds, Yeong-ju (Roh Yoon-seo) and Hyeon (Bae Hyun-sung), but this time the focus is more on their relationship with their respective fathers, In-gwon (Park Ji-hwan) and Ho-sik (Choi Young-joon). The drama finally explained the back story of In-gwon and Ho-sik’s fallout as well.
Young love is amazing. It makes you believe you can conquer everything. Yeong-ju and Hyeon’s vision for their future family is idealistic it hurts. They thought once Yeong-ju gives birth, she can still go to Seoul National University’s med school. While this may still be true, raising a child is no joke. To think that Hyeon is now a high school dropout doesn’t help in their situation. They would soon realize the weight of their actions and why their respective fathers were so adamant about aborting the baby. Not that I condone In-gwon and Ho-sik’s violent reactions, but I just felt disappointed with how the young couple got their way in the end, like it’s not something to be worried about. It’s good that their fathers are now supporting them, but I hope we get a realistic glimpse of what it is like to raise a baby – not to mention the young parents are both high schoolers.
The story revolved more around the fathers’ disappointment towards their children. When the world looks up to them for raising such young achievers, they got the shock of their lives. They suddenly become in-laws – a promise they made years back coming true – like prophecy coming to life. Both Ho-sik and In-gwon had it rough. They started as friends, along with their own high school squad (Cha Seung-won), Eun-hui (Lee Jung-eun), and Mi-ran (Uhm Jung-hwa). Ho-sik and In-gwon are a lot closer compared to the others, maybe because they’re the ones left on the island. In-gwon became a thug while Ho-sik buried himself in gambling addiction. Both got left behind by their wives for living a miserable life, but their awakening was very different.
On the day Ho-sik’s wife left him and Yeong-ju, he went to In-gwon to borrow money like he always did. Unbeknownst to the current state of his friend, In-gwon called Ho-sik “dirt poor” who uses his own daughter to ask for money. This offended Ho-sik and from then, he changed his life for the better and focused on raising Yeong-ju alone. He also deleted In-gwon from his life. Though this may not be necessarily obvious because they live closely, Ho-sik harbors ill feelings for years and just acts civil towards In-gwon.
In-gwon took the reality pill when his own mother died before his eyes while some thugs were running after him. His mom recognized him while being chased, went after him, and got hit by a car. It’s traumatizing enough, but In-gwon’s bad day did not end there. When his mom was confirmed dead at the hospital, his wife also announced that she was divorcing In-gwon. The wife asked him not to be an embarrassment anymore as they have a son. It’s appalling how In-gwon’s wife, despite saying those harsh words, left without bringing Hyeon with her. Or did Hyeon just return to the island after some time has passed?
Dong-seok and Seon-ah
Watching Seon-ah (Shin Min-a) suffer because of the legal battle with her child’s custody breaks my heart. And I find it tricky that Dong-seok is acting as her knight in shining armor in all of this. Dong-seok, who himself doesn’t treat his own mother well, comes to the rescue of his first and only love, who is a broken mother herself. I know the wounds of the past are hard to heal, but I hope Dong-seok finds it in his heart to at least recognize his mother’s presence when they’re in the same room. He does not even bother looking at her or just plainly ignores her, even when others are looking. Maybe there is a valid reason for Dong-seok to be acting that way, but I am afraid that Ok-dong halmeoni (Kim Hye-ja) dies before reconciling with her son. Dong-seok will feel again what he felt when his sister committed suicide. One step too late.
Dong-seok and Seon-ah’s back story is also revealed in these episodes. They met in high school – both Jeju natives who have familial problems. Their fallout began when Dong-seok catches Seon-ah and his friend Jae-gu getting dressed (apparently after you know). Seon-ah was not the innocent type of girl, it seems – she knows that Dong-seok likes her and even though she likes him back, she can’t lose her virginity to him. I didn’t quite get Seon-ah’s logic for wanting to be “ruined” by a sexual encounter, because if she wanted to rebel, she can do so without getting sexually active. That day, Seon-ah’s father also killed himself – a prologue to her life as a depressed patient. This was where everything went astray for Seon-ah.
I kind of expect Seon-ah to lose the custody battle because she is at a disadvantage here – no work, unstable condition, history of previous neglect. No matter how much she loves Yeol, the judge will always look objectively, and Seon-ah has no cards left to play. To make things worse, she even “hurt” (I hate it) Yeol on the eve of the trial. Sometimes, even if our intentions are pure, we cannot always get what we want in life. This is the major life lesson that the four episodes revolving around these characters wanted to tell.
My favorite interaction would be Dong-seok and Seon-ah’s confrontation at the walkway when he talked some sense to a hopeless Seon-ah. She wants to disappear from the world, but Dong-seok made him realize she may be gone, but her son will forever carry the scar of his own mom killing herself – just like how Seon-ah carries the wound of her father’s suicide in her heart. It’s a good point but also a risky move since we can never predict the actions of a depressed person. I just hope Seon-ah pulls through for the sake of her son.
🎣 Same reaction while watching Start-Up! Team Do-san 5ever.
🎣 We finally saw Mi-ran here. She’s Eun-hui’s bestie, and they are in constant communication. Can’t wait for her episode!
🎣 Young-ok and Jeong-jun are still getting to know each other, and the lingering question we all have is: Can Capt. Park love a liar? Is Young-ok really lying about herself?
🎣 A smitten Kim Woo-bin is super cuteeeeee.