My Father Is Strange – episode 4 recap

Neither Mom nor Landlady Oh will back down on their stand over the lease renewal. Since Landlady Oh won’t accept their offer to pay the full rent increase, Mom threatens to sue. Mom has held her temper up until now but Landlady Oh has crossed the line. She is extremely upset that Landlady Oh doesn’t believe that she has a daughter who is a lawyer, knowing that she is looking down on her. Mom calls Hye Young but she doesn’t answer which makes it look like she is making it up. “Lawsuit? Go ahead and file,” Landlady Oh tells Mom. With that, Mom says not only will they close the Snackshack, she and her brother’s family will vacate their apartments. Mom wants the security deposits back and the fee for moving since she is kicking them out. Landlady Oh promises the have the deposit tomorrow. But she’s bluffing; she didn’t even know they lived in the same building.   

Jung Hwan asks Hye Young to start dating again. She tells him that last night was only because she drank too much. He wants to get back together and clearly thinks she may feel the same way. But Hye Young remains cool and tells him that last night should be a fond memory between them, that’s all. “Our relationship ended eight years ago. There is no such thing as turning back for me, okay?” she clarifies. He is upset and leaves, unable to chat any longer over a bite to eat if she is going to snub him. But he turns back and spills his guts out, telling her that his feelings are too strong. The moment he saw her at the reunion he knew he was still attracted to her. His heart still pounds when he sees her. Hye Young repeats what she already said, that getting back together isn’t even on her radar.

Mom returns home shaken. She announces they will move the shop and move out of their apartment. “She has no right to do this, the woman is so uncivilized. It may cost us money but we’re moving,” she exclaims. Ra Young says she sounds like a congresswoman but Mom takes a stand: “I choose not to be treated this way.” Above all, Dad wants Mom to settle down. He gives her some water. Mom is also really upset at Hye Young for not answering such an important call.

Jun Young prepares a delicious meal for Yoo Joo. After a stressful day, she has washed up and changed into a comfortable robe. Jun Young happily serves up a gourmet meal. She eats deliciously. She compliments him on the genius combination of ingredients and flavorful foods. She thinks his talents lie in cooking and wonders if he might follow in his father’s footsteps at the restaurant. Jun Young is hesitant; his father is strict and wants him to pursue business. But clearly his passion is cooking. Yoo Joo mentions that a new intern started today and somehow she thinks she knows her.

They chitchat about the day, fussing cutely with each other like lovebirds.

Ra Young is the sibling who knows the day-to-day heartbeat of the family. She discovers that her brother is not home and won’t answer his phone. With the civil exam only two months away, it is everyone’s responsibility to keep Jun Young on track and now Ra Young has wind that he is seriously distracted. When she arrives home, Hye Young gets the cold shoulder from Mom. Dad, the ever-present peacekeeper, restrains Mom who tells Hye Young that she doesn’t deserve to know the family’s problem. “Dad, why is Mom so angry?” she asks, but Dad replies he’ll find out more before saying anything.

Joong Hee works with an acting coach who is frustrated and tells him, “You act with no emotions. You cry and whimper but I don’t feel anything.” Joong Hee doesn’t get it and, like a spoiled brat, kicks the chair and swipes at the laptop. A phone call gets his attention and he takes it up on the rooftop. There’s information on his father: he is laying low running a food shack shop. The caller texts the address: Father’s Snackshack. Joong Hee realizes the shop is only an hour away. He is both excited and nervous. He stands on the rooftop for a while, contemplative and feeling unsure.

When Joong Hee returns to class he straightens up the mess he made, and without trying to act, naturally recites the lines. This time they are spoken straight from his heart. (That voice, ah Lee Joon♥!) His coach claps his hand together, “That’s it!”

Dad asks what upset Mom so much. She tells him the reasons: first, they will have to pay to move and second, Landlady Oh doubted that she had a daughter who is a lawyer. Mom’s pride was hurt and Landlady Oh looked down on them. Dad wants Mom to rest. He takes good care of his family.

Jun Young sneaks in late at night but not quietly enough to get past Ra Young’s keen senses. She enters his room while he sleeps to collect evidence and finds a receipt for black mushrooms and crab from the market, proof! Using his fingerprint to unlock his own phone she takes pictures of the texts between him and that woman.

On the way to work in the morning, Mi Young runs to catch up with Hye Young. She tells her that she ran into that person and she didn’t recognize her because she’d lost a lot of weight. Hye Young asks if she acted like she didn’t know her and she says yes. Jun Young is in a very good mood and offers his sisters a ride to work. He is unusually cheerful and cheesy.

Mom and Dad meet with Aunt, Uncle, and Grandma to propose that they move out together in protest of the shop’s rent increase and Landlady Oh’s terrible treatment of Mom. Aunt resists. Uncle trips over his words. Grandma admits that the landlady is wrong but wonders if they should consider what is in their best interest. Ra Young, who seems to be the most supportive child, speaks up for Mom and Dad. “Shouldn’t we all move out together in this situation?” she pipes up. Grandma takes the approach that maybe they should move the shop first. Ra Young isn’t hesitant to stand up for her parents. “I feel betrayed. It is because of Uncle’s bad business practices that we had to move the shop last time,” she isn’t embarrassed to point out. The decision remains unsettled.

The “family” picture in Husband’s study is only a reminder to Landlady Oh of how distant they are. They have nothing in common and don’t share anything much else than meals. She goes to the agent to find out more about her tenants. Sure enough, Mom and Dad have a shop, an apartment, and family members who all rent in her building. She blames the agent for not informing her of this and he gently tells her to keep in mind that she will be losing three rents and that it’s not too late to just let them stay. Then she’ll just sell the building, Landlady Oh threatens. But the agent advises her that selling would be a financial disaster. There are many buildings for sale and no buyers.

After the lunch rush at the Snackshack Dad tells Mom to go up and rest. She would only feel worse doing nothing she replies. She feels betrayed by Uncle (her brother) for not siding with them right away. Dad thinks they have nothing to lose by talking to Landlady Oh again. With all that they’ve put into the Snackshack, he can’t give up so easily.

Mom looks through the fridge at home thinking out loud that she’ll make some nice mackerel and spicy zucchini. Jun Young chokes – he took them to cook for his girlfriend the day before. Sleuth Ra Young is onto him, having come across a picture of the table of food at Yoo Joo’s. Ra Young puts her plan into action. She sends a text to her sisters: Jung Young is seeing someone. Byun Jun Young hearing tonight at 6 p.m. Mi Young gasps, “What? No way!”

Mi Young has become the office girlfriday, so to speak, making coffee, taking out the trash, and carrying in boxes from fans. She is responsible for delivering Joong Hee’s sadly small box, feeling sorry that he doesn’t have many fans. On her way, she runs into Yoo Joo and tries to shuffle past unnoticed. But this time Yoo Joo recognizes Mi Young, comments that she’s lost weight, and wonders why she pretended not to know her. It is an awkward encounter and once again, Mi Young feels small.

Jung Hwan and Hye Young show up for “Love and Battlefield.” She bares her shoulder and tempts him, throwing him off guard. He asks if she’s decided to date again. “No? Are you sure? You’ll regret it,” he tells her.

A female co-worker, Lim Yeon Ji, sneaks up behind Jung Hwan and brushes the hair off his forehead. She’s been flirting with him since the reunion. Hye Young sees her and is surprised, maybe even bothered. After the show Hye Young decides to at least say goodbye to Jung Hwan before she leaves. She overhears co-workers talking about him in the lounge. Surprisingly, she defends Jung Hwan and tells them not to be cowards talking behind a colleague’s back.

Yeon Ji calls over the microphone to Jung Hwan, “Can you hear me loud and clear?” He thinks she is testing the acoustics and replies, “Yes.” But what she asks next surprises everyone, “Then will you date me?” He is shocked, the staff “oohs and aahs,” and Hye Young overhears it all. “Answer me in private later,” Yeon Ji teases. Hye Young stops in her tracks. Then, turning on a dime to leave, she runs into someone and is knocked down. It is very un-glamorous. Jung Hwan takes full advantage of the situation; he is on the offensive. He tells Hye Young that time is ticking and to think carefully about her answer whether or not she will date him [now that he is a hot item].

I’m getting to like Ra Young the more we get to know her. A co-worker brings her a smoothie in the workplace lounge. Three women at another table joke loudly that a guy who isn’t a looker probably doesn’t have any smarts, either (meaning that co-worker without naming him). Ra Young sticks up for him and says that can go for women, too, which insults them. The women can dish it out but they can’t take it. One of the snooty women makes a pass at the new soccer coach – whom they all have eyes on – and asks him to a cafe. But he says “No, thanks. I don’t drink coffee.” Right on snub.

It’s 6 p.m. and the sisters are ready to take on their brother. Two of them knock on his rooftop door. He tries to escape through the hallway door but Mi Young is waiting and ready. Poor Jun Young is outsmarted, outnumbered, and blocked! They drag him out for drinks and to talk. Ra Young has plenty of evidence and although Jun Young tries to evade the conversation he can’t avoid his sisters’ piercing glares. He pretends that he doesn’t know why they brought him there, so they pull out the evidence right from his phone.

Jun Young is horrified that his sisters violated his privacy and appeals to Hye Young’s legal sense. “Admit it,” is what he gets from her.  With the exam two months away, what does he think he’s doing?  Has he given up studying? Has he given up on life? He defends himself saying that people studying for the exam can date, too. Uh, not when a person has failed five times, his sisters chime in. Does this woman know he is studying? She must be a gold digger to make him cook and take him away from his studies. Jun Young contends that “My Joo’ is the only person who understands him to which his sisters spit out in chorus, “MY JOO?”

Jun Young is upset that he is being interrogated like a common criminal, but once again, his sisters won’t give him a pass. What about their parents? Isn’t he ashamed for all they’ve sacrificed? Did he leave his brain at her house? After a harsh round of questions, even Mi Young and Ra Young think Hye Young is coming on a bit strong and back down. Hye Young is disgusted and tells Jun Young, “YLYR” (your life your ruins) and leaves. Jun Young is like a whipped puppy.

Mom is busy looking for new apartments. They’re all either too far or too expensive. She steps out for some fresh air. Landlady Oh rehashes the advice the agent gave her to extend the lease so she doesn’t lose three times the rent (the shop and the two apartments). She moseys around the corner of the building and runs into Mom. “What are you doing out here? Do you feel guilty?” she asks her. “Not at all,” Mom snaps back. Just then, the sign for the new cafe that a worker is installing falls. Mom pushes Landlady Oh out of the way and they tumble to the ground. The two women are rattled and the workers rush over and help Landlady Oh up and ask if they are okay. She is all right and asks Mom if she is okay.

Mom says yes, but when she tries to get up, she can’t stand. Her ankle is injured. Landlady Oh is worried and tells the workers to help her up. Dad comes along, sees his injured wife, and sternly asks Landlady Oh, “What happened to her?” He walks Mom back to their shop. Landlady Oh offers to pay the doctor bill. Once inside the Snackshack, Mom bursts out laughing. “My stomach hurts. Did you see the look on her face?” Dad realizes Mom has pulled a prank to get back at Landlady Oh and they both have a good laugh.

Joong Hee has decided on a fancy bottle of liquor as a gift for his father. He practices how to introduce himself when they meet but nothing sounds right. He gets a call from his manager. Bad news: he couldn’t get Joong Hee another audition; Jin Sung Joon got the part. Joong Hee is upset and calls Director Ryu but his phone is turned off.

He throws his usual tantrum and gets drunk on the liquor he bought for his father. “What does that actor have that I don’t? I’m a million times more handsome than him,” he slurs. “What did I do wrong? Is it my fault that I don’t have a father? That’s why I looked for him. I just wanted to have one audition.” He becomes despondent and calls Director Ryu again and again. “I’ll call him until he picks up.”

Finally he leaves a message: Mr. Ryu, I need to tell you something. Do you know that I found my father because of this drama? You said my acting was like a tasteless dish. This audition made me look for my father. And you ignored me. I’m the right man, Mr. Ryu. I really can do well…”

As Hye Young brushes her teeth she can’t get the image of that woman sweeping Jung Hwan’s hair. She asks herself in the mirror, “Do you like him?No you don’t.” She takes a relaxing bath but is haunted by that woman’s announcement over the microphone to Jung Hwan, “I’ll get your answer in private.” Jung Hwan’s comment to her rings in her head, “That’s why you shouldn’t say no to me. Time is ticking.”

She texts Jung Hwan, “Where are you?”

“I’m editing,” he texts back.

“I need to see you. I’ll come out.”

They meet under the moonlight. “Do you have something to say?” Jung Hwan asks expectantly. Hye Young asks if he’s given his answer to that women. “You mean Lim Yeon Ji? Not yet,” he tells her. “Don’t see her,” she says. “Then does that mean you are saying yes?” Jung Hwan asks. ” No, I just don’t want her to have you,” Hye Young replies coyly. But her attitude doesn’t attract him, as she thinks it might; rather he is angry that she’s toying with him.

“You have no right to treat me in such a rude way. Instead, give me your answer  – yes or no.” Hye Young hesitates.

“Can’t you answer? Then Ill answer. I say, No, thank you. Goodbye.” Jung Hwan turns his back to her and leaves. Hye Young stands there in disbelief. The tables have turned.

Comments:

  • I’m getting very attached to this family. I wanted to be around the table as one of the sisters who took measures to straighten out their hopelessly lovesick brother, Jun Young. So far, the sisters don’t know that “My Joo” is Yoo Joo. But, now that Yoo Joo recognized Mi Young at work, I can’t imagine that it will be long before she realizes that Byun Jun Young is her brother. Also, Yoo Joo knows that Jun Young’s dad owns Father’s Snackshack, so that’s another place besides work that she may run into Mi Young.
  • Speaking of Yoo Joo, didn’t she seem like a completely different person with Jun Young that she is at work?
  • I like Ra Young’s sense of justice even though she can be self-absorbed. She stood up for Mom and Dad against Uncle and Aunt. She doesn’t like that Jun Young is taking advantage of Mom and Dad; he is given enough leeway and support to study for the civil exam which means he doesn’t have to do much to help out or work. But, he is spending their money on a girlfriend who is also taking him away from his studies. She also doesn’t put on airs at work or act silly or gossip to get the attention of the handsome new soccer coach like the other women. When they dissed a co-worker, she stood up for him, too.
  • Hye Young is tough through and through, but she is loyal to her family and works hard. Jung Hwan wore his feelings on his sleeve and she stabbed him in the heart with her rejection. She can’t afford to fall for him again (although we don’t know what the conditions were eight years ago when, obviously, his mother got between them). Still, there was a twinge of jealously when he was on the receiving end of another woman’s affections. But her coy approach backfired. I can understand the position she is in, but she went to far with her confidence and cat-and-mouse game. Jung Hwan wasn’t amused. He turned the tables and told her “No, thank you,” and ended any chance of them getting back together now that he has someone else interested in him. But is he bluffing? I’m not sold on their potential relationship so much, but I am looking forward to Hye Young meeting Landlady Oh again and Jung Hwan finding out that his mother had to do with their break-up eight years ago. It will make blood shoot out of his eyes!
  • It serves Landlady Oh right to have to worry that Mom was injured because she saved her. Maybe that will serve as the excuse for Landlady Oh to let them stay.
  • Then there is poor baby, Joong Hee. He has built a wall around himself with a crusty, arrogant personality that makes him pretty unlikable. He is intolerant, demanding, and well – a bad actor. Being fatherless can do that; having to deal with 30 years of abandonment and rejection has left him emotionless. Worse yet, being told that he can’t act when the role is a father/son story is painful. To cope with that, he searched for and finally located his father. But, too bad, the part was given to another actor. Desperate and despondent, he drinks himself into a stupor, calls the Producer who rejected him, and bares his heart in a voice message. The audition caused him to search for his father in order to dig deep for those feelings. Now that he has almost found him, the part he so desperately wanted, is out of his reach. So sad!
  • For the record, I don’t think Dad Byun is Anh Joong Hee’s father.
  • How long is this weekend drama, anyway? Waiting from Monday to Saturday for the next episode seem extra long!
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4 thoughts on “My Father Is Strange – episode 4 recap

    • Thanks, megama! I’ll work on 7 and 8 this week as I was out of town. I like the way the family members are filled out along the way. This show does a good job with that even as early on as it is. Love Lee Joon!

      Like

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