My Father Is Strange – ep 14 recap

Joong Hee drops a bomb on Dad and tells him that he wants to live with him. Seeing Dad’s happy family together makes him want to join in. Dad readily agrees.

Hye Young is upset that just about anything in life can be changed – except for one’s parents. She misses Jung Hwan; perhaps there is another way to get around the mother problem, though. She texts that she will come by later to pick up her things. She wants to let him know in case he doesn’t want to be there when she arrives. “Will he leave?” she questions. Hye Young lets herself in the apartment. Jung Hwan is cooking a lovely shrimp dinner complete with wine. The table is set for two. Hye Young thanks him for apologizing to Mom. And, she apologizes to him for punishing him because she was mad at his mother. She promises not to break up so easily again. He, too, has been thinking and promises not to ask her about what happened eight years ago anymore. They make up with a toast, “Bottoms up.”   

Dad is caught between a rock and a hard place. He said yes to Joong Hee, but how will Mom and the children react to the news? Dad already is not being up front with Mom when she asks where all the food went. He lies that the store was closed when in actuality he cooked the food for Joong Hee. Then, he absentmindedly makes French toast with salt instead of sugar. No one ends up eating breakfast. Mi Young is glum, unlike her usual self. Jun Young asks if he should call Yoo Joo to lessen her work load, but Mi Young explodes and she hates that the most. Mom scolds Jun Young for not being sensitive to the situation that Yoo Joo is her superior.

Joong Hee texts Mi Young to bring him some movies about fatherhood and families. She manages to find a box full and delivers it to him. They watch a couple of movies together. Joong Hee asks if she has a dad and if she lives with him. She replies, “yes.” He asks if she cares to share tips on how to become closer to his dad. She has done some research for his drama: Go fishing, play Go (he doesn’t do either), go the bathhouse (and get naked?) The suggestions are foreign to Joong Hee.

Ra Young and Cheol Soo are teamed up for staff games. She is pretty good at defense and offense, to Cheol Soo’s surprise, but when she is the target for a deliberately hard throw, Cheol Soo pulls her down on top of him to avoid being hit. He excuses himself and stops by the Medical Office. Ra Young follows and peeks in the door – he’s sprained his wrist. “Why is he always so gorgeous?” she sighs.

Jun Young is s depressed. He hasn’t found a part-time job, yet. Uncle stops by and as they commiserate as usual they find a job online that pays $70/day. Both hire on as truck loaders and spend the night lifting pallets of heavy supplies into a semi. With one truck down, it looks like a longer night ahead as another empty truck pulls up.

Mom and Dad share a drink over dinner. Mom mentions that Dad must be worried since he tossed and turned all night. He thinks she knows about Joong Hee, but Mom is talking about something else. Their financial situation with Jun Young getting married is shaky. After working hard all their lives and paying back loans, they still need to get a loan for their son’s wedding. How can they have so little to show for all their hard work? Mom is stressed. Dad says that they raised their children well and have no regrets. That doesn’t console Mom.

Landlady Oh and Husband reside in the same house but live apart. Landlady Oh has stopped being a housewife. Husband lives like a bachelor, ordering take-out lunch and enough socks and underwear for a month so that he doesn’t have to wash. The only thing they have in common anymore is their bickering.

Hye Young wakes up in her hideout at Jung Hwan’s. Breakfast is ready when she comes out. She pinches him to make sure it’s not a dream. When she acts cute, he tells her to stop – it doesn’t suit her. (That’s for sure!) She wants to go on a trip, but wonders if he has an assignment yet. Jung Hwan is embarrassed to tell her that he’s assigned to record the making of a new drama; something that he feels is beneath him and underutilizing his skills. Hye Young is positive and suggests he approach it with a unique format. He buys into her suggestion. The next day at work he presents the new idea about documenting the drama. His co-workers are on board.

Ra Young stops by Cheol Soo’s secret room in the rec center, but he’s not there. Instead of leaving the wrist supports she’s brought thinking that it might look too desperate, she decides to find him. He is waiting in the parking lot; when a car pulls up she hides. A guy gets out and gives Cheol Soo a big hug. Cheol Soo brushes the hair from the good-looking guy’s forehead. Then he grabs Cheol Soo’s hand and they get in the car together. Ra Young sees the guy give Cheol Soo a small box containing a ring. When Cheol Soo opens the box, he reaches over and hugs him. Ra Young is startled, thinking that this must be the person Cheol Soo likes.

The guy is Cheol Soo’s older brother. He gives Cheol Soo the ring that was meant for his ex-girlfriend. Apparently Cheol Soo and their father are on the outs and Brother had to come up with a creative way to help Cheol Soo out. Brother tells him to sell the ring and use the money. And to call him and Mom once in a while.

Joong Hee is worried that Dad’s apartment will be too small for his comfort if he moves in. Tae Boo checks out the living space and reports that the apartment has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. “All those people I saw live in that?” Joong Hee realizes he can’t do it. He calls Dad–they agree to meet at 7 p.m. “Why does he suddenly want to see me?” Dad ponders.

Mom, Grandma, and Aunt visit. Mom asks Grandma for a loan but she makes an excuse that she can’t withdraw any money. It seems like there is more to the story, though, considering the look Aunt gives Grandma at the mention of savings. Mom is hurt. After all, she and Dad helped out Aunt and Uncle. Aunt gets a call from Dad asking her to watch the store again. She feels obligated to tell Mom that she’s been watching the store a lot lately. Perhaps Dad has a woman? Mom won’t hear of it and tells Aunt not to say that to anyone else.  Mom is uneasy. Dad hasn’t shared anything with her about leaving the store lately.

Mom runs into Landlady Oh. She informs her that her son came by and apologized. He was polite and generous, so she has decided to accept the apology as she is not narrow-minded. “Let’s forget about the past,” Mom suggests. This gets under Landlady Oh’s skin.

Yoo Joo tries to get on Mi Young’s good side at work. She thinks they should forget the past; after all it has been ten years. They’ll be family soon she tells Mi Young. It was a small misunderstanding back then. “A small misunderstanding?” Mi Young throws back. Yoo Joo tries to turn things around saying that she bullied Mi Young for her sake to encourage her to lose weight. Mi Young stands up for herself. In fact, she may just tell Jun Young everything. Yoo Joo argues that it will make things difficult, but Mi Young doesn’t care. Yoo Joo runs after her and asks what she should do. Mi Young tells her that she doesn’t want to become family with her. She wants Yoo Joo to break up with her brother. Of course, Mi Young knows that she can’t have what she wants. Instead, she tells Yoo Joo to apologize to her properly and sincerely. With that, she turns on her heel and leaves.

Dad stops by Joong Hee’s apartment. Joong Hee wonders if the family knows about him, yet. Dad says he is going to tell them tonight. Joong Hee asks how big the house is so that he can prepare for moving in. He plans on telling Dad that he can’t move in after all (way too crowded) when Dad steps away to take a call from Ra Young. He tells her that he will be home shortly as he stopped at the grocery store. Joong Hee promptly shows Dad out. “Is my house a grocery store?” It is a sore reminder that the family knows nothing about his existence, yet.

Mi Young drinks alone outside a convenience store. Joong Hee has stopped at the store to pick up a bite to eat and sees her sitting at a table drinking beer. He offers her some snacks and sits down. In no time, the two of them finish off a couple of six-packs and sprawl in the metal chairs. “Actor Ahn, let me tell you something,” Mi Young blabs, and proceeds to tell him how angry she is about her brother marrying someone she works with – a person who teased her relentlessly when they were in high school. Joong Hee puts two and two together and realizes the woman works at Gabi Entertainment. She has to break them up, he says. Well, that’s not possible: she is pregnant, Mi Young informs him. Being mean to her won’t work, either. Joong Hee tells her to go to her brother and let him know how badly this woman treats her. It is more complicated than that Mi Young slurs.

With an air of knowing, Joong Hee says that parents abandon their kids all the time. Look around. Mi Young is shocked, “Actor Ahn! Have you abandoned your kid?” She has drawn the wrong conclusion and Joong Hee jumps up to shush her, saying that’s not it. Mi Young realizes it is the other way around; his parents abandoned him. The thought makes her very sad. Joong Hee tells her not to look at him that way. All they can do, they agree, is make the people who have hurt them suffer.

Joong Hee tells her his plan to wreak havoc in his newly found father’s family. At the same time, he’ll improve his acting – killing two birds with one stone. She thinks his idea is pure genius! She, too, should seek revenge for her situation. They toast to their planned revenge! Poor Mi Young is going to be surrounded with people infringing on her mental, emotional, and physical space!

Mom waits for Dad at the Snackshack. She asks if there is something she should know. “Don’t’ be surprised, honey. Okay?” he tells her. Whatever Mom thought Dad might say, she isn’t prepared for the truth. “Han Soo’s son has come to visit me.”

Mom can barely speak. She didn’t even know Han Soo had a son. Dad explains that Han Soo’s wife was pregnant when he died. A young man came by and asked if he knew Ahn Soo Jin and Dad ended up figuring it out.

Mom is stunned. “I though it was all over.” She thought they would never have to recall that time as long as they lived.

Flashback: Byun Han Soo and Lee Yeon Seok are a couple of young guys in LA enjoying the bar scene. They have big plans to work and save up and then buy a business. It’s a world of opportunity. Han Soo wants Yeon Seok to loosen up. He takes one look at Yeon Seok’s dowdy jacket and switches it for his leather jacket. Yeon Seok comments that his passport is in that jacket but Han Soo is intent on getting them on the dance floor and having some fun. Moments later there is an explosion. Fire and smoke create a dangerous situation. Everyone screams and panics. Yeon Seok wakes up in the hospital. A nurse tells him that he’s been in a coma for 15 days. She brings in a Korean nurse. Yeon Seok asks what happened to his friend. She tells him that Yeon Seok died. “No!” he cries out. His friend is Han Soo and he is Yeon Seok, but there’s been a mix-up. Yeon Seok tries to make sense of what is happening. The passport in the coat of the deceased Han Soo was Yeon Seok’s and they’ve mistaken their identities.

Just then, Young Shil enters the hospital room. She has come for the body of Yeon Seok – her fiance – but there he is sitting up in bed. She faints. When she comes to and Yeon Seok explains to her what happened, she begs him not to say anything. “We didn’t do anything wrong,” she pleads and worries that trying to fix the identity switch at this point for foreigners like themselves might not be a good idea. “And,” she tells him, “I’m pregnant.” From that moment on, Yeon Seok takes on the identity of Byun Han Soo.

Dad tells Mom that he figured out who this young man who showed up and asked if he knew his mother, Ahn Soo Jin, is.  Soo Jin is Joong Hee’s mother. She was pregnant and divorced from Byun Han Soo when he died in LA. Mom (Young Shil) never knew Han Soo had a son. Now, decades later, after Dad took the name Han Soo in the hospital in LA that day and has kept that identity, it has come to haunt him. Top that off with the news that Dad has agreed to let Joong Hee live with them. “Are you out of your mind?” Mom shrieks.

Comments:

  • Whoa! That’s a pretty big secret. I can understand that Mom thought they would go to their graves with the secret of a seemingly inconsequential identity switch. We have to read between the lines to figure out that Young Shil (Mom) thought it would be too messy for them as foreigners in a big city like LA to try to untangle the identity/passport issue at this point. They didn’t know about Han Soo’s ex-wife being pregnant, so in their minds, no one else would be involved. In think Dad’s fragile countenance is the result of carrying the weight of soul-swapping so to speak, even though it wasn’t his fault – or anyone’s for that matter. All these years, after having four children who are grown and doing well, he – and now Mom and the rest of the family – face a major life-changing encounter. Han Soo is the father of Joong Hee, but Dad is Yeon Seok who for his adult life has only been known as Han Soo.
  •  Poor Mi Young, how many times have I said that in the recaps? She is just trying to live her life like a good, honest, daughter and intern and finds herself facing stressful situations right and left. I give her credit for standing up for herself against Yoo Joo who wants to sweep their history under the rug. I just don’t know how Mi Young can come out good in the brother-marrying-her-nemesis-who-is-pregnant scenario. Maybe a promotion?
  • Joong Hee has a revenge and advantage plan in the works. He can make Dad uncomfortable by moving in and get firsthand family relationship experience to help his acting. Together with drunk Mi Young, they vow to seek revenge on those who have made them suffer. Operation avenge revenge!
  • I like Ra Young’s crush on Cheol Soo and her misunderstanding that is bound to create interesting conversation between the two. Cheol Soo continues to be as mysterious as ever. How cute was the tug on Ra Young’s hoodie that caused them to topple onto the field together?
  • I loved Hye Young’s failed attempt at cutie pie – even Jung Hwan thought it was cringe-worthy. But, is she avoiding the inevitable confrontation with Mom and Dad for lying about her living arrangement? Never mind that, wait until Mom finds out that her daughter is dating Landlady Oh’s son. Again. Or, maybe the will be small beans in light of the larger fireworks that threaten to disturb their peaceful existence.
  • The acting in this drama is so spot-on! I love our sloppy drunk Joong Hee with his hair-brained ideas of revenge. He poor closed heart – not of his own making – is bound to be opened (at least eventually after the dust settles) in the center of the Byun household.
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4 thoughts on “My Father Is Strange – ep 14 recap

  1. but i find mi young is kinda of annoying… always very loud and weird… mmmm… but i still love this show… especially Hye young! i think i watch this show is becos of her..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I adore Mi Young, but I can see how she could get on someone’s nerves. 🙂 Hye Young is so sharp and confident in a society that still has a hard time with single professional women in their 30s+. This show has a good mix of personalities. Thanks for stopping by cimiart, Cindy!

      Like

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