My Father is Strange – ep 13 recap

Yoo Joo is the guest of honor for dinner at the Byun house. Mom has made all of her favorite dishes and Yoo Joo can’t decide what to eat first. Mom is pleased. Grandma asks how they met.

Flashback: Jun Young is supposed to pick up Mi Young. She attended her high school reunion and is drunk. But he gets a text that she is already home. While he sits on a bench, a woman staggers and asks for his shoes. She is drunk and has lost one of her shoes. She gives Jun Young her card and promises to return the shoes, but then passes out. Jun Young gently puts his shoes on her feet. When she wakes up she thanks him and stumbles into a taxi. It is love at first sight for Jun Young. He looks at her business card: Kim Yoo Joo. 

It’s like a movie, everyone exclaims! When the topic that Yoo Joo and Mi Young both work at Gabi Entertainment comes up, Yoo Joo acts like she barely knows her. “There are so many interns, I may have seen her once or twice,” she says. Mi Young excuses herself and goes to the bathroom. She wishes she had never gone to that reunion.

Flashback: Mi Young and Ra Young are running around the track. Ra Young falls behind and rests. She notices a text on Mi Young’s phone about the reunion and replies: Attending. When Mi Young finds out she wants to cancel, but Ra Young convinces to go and show everyone how much weight she’s lost. Mi Young arrives and stands around awkwardly; one of the girls asks someone who she is. Mi Young walks over to greet them but Yoo Joo appears on the scene dressed in a pink suit and attracting everyone’s attention with her success. Mi Young leaves, unnoticed.

Ra Young and Hye Young give Yoo Joo the once-over. “Did you even know he was studying for the exam?” And “Why did you ask Jun Young to cook for you?” Grandma and Mom are surprised, but Jun Young jumps in and says that he volunteered to cook. The sisters are suspicious of her, but Yoo Joo politely feeds Mom and Dad fruit with a smile. Just as she did with Ju Young, Yoo Joo is winning Mom, Dad, and Grandma over. Mi Young won’t come out to say goodbye.

Mom asks Dad what he thinks of Yoo Joo. They agree that she is shrewd and competent and a good match for their indecisive son. The sisters have their own opinions. How can Jun Young fall for someone like her? Mi Young is quiet and doesn’t want to talk about it. Hye Young is preoccupied with the thought that Jung Hwan could break up with her so easily and not call. After all, his mother was the reason eight years ago and now she is in the way again. She grumbles that Jung Hwan should get a new mother.

Dad looks at the picture with his friend and son. He isn’t sure he did the right thing by contacting Joong Hee. Now, Joong Hee has told him not to contact him again, and Dad doesn’t know what he should do.

Yoo Joo brings coffee for the office. She offers Mi Young a cup, but Mi Young wants to be left alone. Yoo Joo asks Mi Young in front of the staff to help her out, but to Mi Young’s relief her team manager has a job for her. She is saved from having to deal with Yoo Joo.

Jung Hwan is jumpy when the phone rings, thinking it is Hye Young. He gets cranky when it’s his boss calling him in to work. He is even crankier when he finds out that he is to film the making of “Oh My Boss.” Jung Hwan decides to resign, thinking that the chief is hinting for him leave with such a menial assignment. But his friend talks him out of it – something might be in the works so he tells Jung Hwan should hang in there. His friend offers to document the script reading and tells Jung Hwan to take the day off.

Ra Young finishes teaching her class. Cheol Soo waits for her in the hall. He thanks her for helping him out and asks if she got in a lot of trouble. He wants to buy her lunch to show his appreciation. Ra Young, who made sure to tell him that she likes meat, isn’t very impressed with the meal. He tells her that he’s not well off. She asks why he lives in the rec center but he only tells her that it’s personal. The lunch wasn’t enough of a thank you; she wants coffee, too. Cheol Soo buys a coffee for Ra Young but not for himself – his wallet is a little thin. She wants to know if he really has a girlfriend. He tells her yes and that she is studying abroad. Ra Young pushes, “Is she pretty?” When he gets out his phone she decides she doesn’t want to see her picture after all and tells him that he is losing an opportunity by not dating her. Cheol Soo abruptly tells her that she’s not his style anyway and that they’re even now since he bought her lunch and coffee, and leaves for his class.

 

Joong Hee prepares for the script reading. His coach is worried and suggests that he try to work with “that person” (Dad) to get those real feels. When Joong Hee arrives home, Dad is dropping off a lunch box. Dad awkwardly asks if he may come in and cook for Joong Hee. To his surprise, Joong Hee agrees. Dad happily prepares a meal for Joong Hee making sure to add plenty of TLC. Joong Hee reads over the script and steals a glance from time to time at Dad cooking. When the table is set, Joong Hee hesitantly asks Dad to join him. The conversation is awkward and choppy; Joong Hee asks about Dad’s family. Dad tells Joong Hee that he read the article about his upcoming drama.

Dad mentions that he could cook for him if he would like. Joong Hee says to come by a couple of times a week – he will call. They exchange numbers. But Joong Hee doesn’t feel anything; shouldn’t this exchange be filled with emotions? There are none for him.

When Mi Young leaves work, Yoo Joo is waiting for her. But Mi Young tells her that she has nothing to say to her until she has sorted out her thoughts. Yoo Joo is put off my Mi Young’s attitude. Have the tables turned now that Yoo Joo needs to get on Mi Young’s good side to blend in with her boyfriend’s family?

When Jun Young offers to take his sisters to work the next morning (and a chance to see his girlfriend), Mi Young says she’ll take the subway. Jun Young asks Mom what she thinks of Yoo Joo. He is pleased that Mom likes her. Mom asks about their plans. Jun Young tells Mom that he’ll look for a part-time job. He asks if they can buy a house with collateral on Mom and Dad’s house. Mom says they’ll think about it; she seems a bit concerned that it may be getting in deeper financially that she wants.

Min Ha approaches a group of boys at school. For a second, it looks like they may bully him, but true to Min Ha’s bright nature and smarts, he is the one with the upper hand. He passes out their homework that he’s done for them. They pay him a handsome sum for his help. When one of the boys mentions math, Min Ha tells him that will cost extra. He is quite satisfied with the wad in his billfold – it won’t be long before he has enough for the Twice concert. He grins at the thought.

Things are only getting worse between Landlady Oh and Husband. She feels unappreciated and declares a strike until Husband apologizes for the poem he wrote about her: no cooking, no laundry, or other help. Husband refuses to apologize and fumbles around fending for himself. It isn’t as easy as he thought. They make a sorry retired couple.

The day for the official script reading has arrived. Tae Boo and Mi Young are at Joong Hee’s beck and call. He is confident and arrives fashionably late in order not to have to bow to his co-workers, especially Jin Sung Joon. He is unusually cheerful and chatty and eager to start.

But when Joong Hee reads his lines, there is the usual awkward and forced delivery of the son speaking to the father. Director Ryu patiently tries to offer helpful tips. Joong Hee diligently writes them down. Several readings are interrupted by Joong Hee’s poor acting. He is flustered and, wanting to do well, tries too hard and ends up sounding unnatural. Director Ryu suggests having a drink with his father to capture those emotions and become friendly toward each other. “Why don’t you grab a drink tonight?” Joong Hee is tense.

Jung Hwan stops by Landlady Oh’s cafe. He joins her for coffee and gives her some advice: get to know the people in the neighborhood if you want customers. By that he means, apologize to Hye Young’s mother. He has an agenda after all. When he sees Mom walk by, he hurries to the car for the flowers and Korean beef that he’s brought to apologize on behalf of his mother. Mom and Dad are in the Snackshack and invite him to sit down. Jung Hwan explains that he knows his mother should be there, but he has come in her place. Mom says that’s disappointing, but since he has come in person, she accepts his apology. Jung Hwan is very grateful. Mom is pleased with the Korean beef peace-offering and large bouquet.

Hye Young is the last to arrive and finds everyone in a good mood with Korean beef for dinner. Mom has some flattering things to say towards the landlady’s son which makes Hye Young perk up. He’d make a good son-in-law if it wasn’t for his mother, Mom comments.

Joong Hee picks up some alcohol at a convenience store and stops by the Snackshack to have a drink with Dad. When he looks in the door, he sees the family gathered around enjoying each other’s company and a tasty meal. Dad sees him standing there but Joong Hee dashes away. When he gets home he says to Al the turtle, “Why am I so angry?”

The doorbell rings. Dad has come to his apartment. “I got worried, you left without saying a word,’ he tells Joong Hee. Joong Hee blurts out, “Abeoji, I want to live with you.”  Gosh, is he practicing a line from a drama script?!?

Comments:

  • “IF YOU WANT TO ATTAIN GREATNESS STOP ASKING FOR PERMISSION.” Must be Joong Hee’s new motto on the back of his jacket. I hope it works for him. His motive for getting to know Dad and Dad’s motive for getting to know Joong Hee are very different, but I’m not sure that it will matter in the end. Joong Hee wants to develop emotions that a father and son share, and Dad wants to make up for something – we aren’t sure what – between his friend and him and Joong Hee that is motivated by guilt at this point. That last scene – gah! It was such a natural family get-together complete with shared laughter and real enjoyment by all as they ate Korean beef. Contrast that with Joong Hee happening on the family dinner and him  – the outsider –  who can’t imagine such a happy occasion shared by a close family. He was very much on the outside looking in and my heart hurt for him. It isn’t anyone’s fault, but my heart ached all the same. I think Joong Hee surprised himself when he told Dad that he wants to live with him.
  • I wonder why Cheol Soo is so serious and mum about his girlfriend. Well, about his situation in general. He is keeping Ra Young at a distance and I don’t blame him since she is forward and his heart belongs to another. I wonder how long that will last. I actually really like Ra Young and Cheol Soo together. And while he did the right thing to thank her for taking the fall for him, he isn’t giving an inch more. Which, of course, only makes Ra Young more curious.
  • Does anyone else get a “something’s not right” feeling about Yoo Joo? She certainly held her own with Hye Young and Ra Young grilling her and that is no small feat. Not only does Yoo Joo know how to butter up Mom, Dad, and Grandma, but she is working on Mi Young since it will serve her well to be on the good side of Jun Young’s family members. Poor Mi Young is going to find herself in the thick of several overlapping relationships: Yoo Joo and her brother is one and Joong Hee and her Dad is another. I wish she would have gotten a job in another company that wouldn’t make her life so complicated.
  • Mom and Dad are amazing. They came around to Jun Young’s side quickly and are moving ahead with their pregnant daughter-in-law as part of the family soon. Mom seems to have reservations, though, when Jun Young asked about the collateral on the family house for him to buy one of his own. I don’t know much about Korean real estate, but every time there is an apartment move or house sale, it seems like a lot of money/fees/interest is involved that leaves people financially strapped. I am sure that is a big worry for Mom.
  • Jung Hwan is running circles these days at work and with Hye Young. His life seems to be up in the air. Wait until he finds out that his mother is the cause of both break ups – the one eight years ago and now their recent one. Why isn’t Hye Young telling him about what his mother did before?
  • The highlight of this episode was our stellar student, Min Ha, who has quite the side business doing homework for those less talented and raking i the dough. Min Ha! Min Ha!
  • What are you liking about this weekend kdrama so far? I’d love to hear your comments!
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