My Father Is Strange – ep 19 recap

Hye Young and Jung Hwan are caught by none other than Ra Young, who has texted her sister photos of them together as evidence. Hye Young calls Ra Young who is waiting around the corner. They have a sisters talk at a coffee shop. Ra Young demands, “What are you going to do when Mom and Dad find out? . . . Just marry him.” Hye Young bribes her to keep the information that she is living with a guy from their parents. (They agree that Mom will collapse is she finds out.) “What do you want?” she asks Ra Young. Hye Young offers to buy her a designer bag – everyone has a price – with the promise that Ra Young keeps this a secret.   

Jung Hwan is nervous. When Hye Young gets back she tells him that “she sealed her mouth” by spending big money on her. Jung Hwan says that if people find out, they can just get married. Hye Young wonders if he really meant that. Anyway, it looks like a crisis is averted. For now.

At the family meal, Jun Young asks if Yoo Joo can stop by that afternoon around four o’clock. She wants to thank Mom and Dad for letting her move in (and measure the room). Dad smiles and suggests that the Gabi Entertainment crew can all ride to work together. Mi Young says no, she goes in early. Joong Hee says no, he goes in late. They’ll go to work separately then, concludes Dad, oblivious to the potential conflict.

Joong Hee and Mi Young are in step at work on the way to a meeting. He asks if she will be all right if Yoo Joo moves in. Mi Young tells him to keep his private life and public life separate. Yoo Joo presents outfits for Joong Hee for the upcoming press conference. When Yoo Joo snaps at “intern” to get the matching shoes, Joong Hee protects Mi Young and says that he doesn’t need to see the shoes and tells her to sit back down. He purposely makes a fuss that the styles are old and other actors have worn them already. He scolds Yoo Joo for bring him leftovers. “Do you think it’s okay to make me wear just anything?” Joong Hee is acting difficult toward Yoo Joo for Mi Young’s sake. He wants all new outfits that will fit his role. With that, he concludes the meeting and walks out. But on overhearing Yoo Joo scold the stylist, Joon Hee storms back in saying, “Ms. Kim. Were you a bully when you were a student? I can sense that you bullied others in the past.” He means to stand up for Mi Young but he lacks tact and timing.

Mi Young is upset that he is interfering with her personal problems. When Joong Hee asks why she is so annoyed at him, Mi Young confesses that she really doesn’t like this situation. He came to live at their house for revenge, didn’t he? He wanted to make his father’s family uncomfortable. He is using her family for his acting, isn’t that right? At first, Joong Hee is defensive, reminding her that he said those things when he was drunk. But then he admits she’s right. He also admits another reason though; when he heard there were four siblings, he wanted to move in and have brothers and sisters since he was an only child.

“What am I supposed to do?” Joong Hee asks. “Mi Young requests to be transferred to another team. I can’t work with you anymore,” she tells him. It’s too much to be around him at work and at home she’s concluded. She can’t work to her ability with the way she feels toward him right now. “Hire a more competent manager,” she tells him.

“Okay. I’ll tell Director Kang,” he says, resigned to the fact that the set-up is not working. Both are down in the dumps about the way things are.

Mi Young runs into Yoo Joo who gives her a dirty look. She asks if Mi Young told Joong Hee about their past. “Are you trying to start a fight?” Mi Young challenges her. She tells Yoo Joo that she won’t tell anyone in her family as long as Yoo Joo doesn’t make her mad. Needless to say, things are not going well for Mi Young all around.

Feeling uneasy, Hye Young calls Mi Young. She fishes around asking if things are okay at home. Mi Young tells her sister that Yoo Joo apologized and, while she’s not completely over it, she does feel better. Still, both sisters can’t believe Yoo Joo has the guts to come and live with them. After their call, Hye Young breathes easy, figuring that Ra Young hasn’t said anything.

Mom and Dad visit Dad’s Auntie in the nursing home. On the way, he recalls fond memories of Auntie when he was young. They are happy to hear that Auntie is doing well and even visit with her a little. Dad hands her a favorite sweet red bean bun. Auntie falls back into the past, and tells Yoon Seok to come eat some noodles and bring real Han Soo.

Flashback: After martial arts class, the coach tells the team to be on their best behavior before the match. They don’t want to be disqualified. On his way home Yoon Seok comes across some students roughing up another student. His first reaction is to step in, but he hears his coach’s voice telling them not to get in trouble. He runs to a phone booth and calls the police. When he checks back at the scene of the crime, he finds the person unconscious. He lifts his head – there is a lot of blood. The person is dead. When the police arrive, they haul in Yoon Seok as the suspect and throw him in jail.

He tells them over and over that he is innocent. His mother comes and finds her son in a panic as he repeats that he only reported the incident and is innocent. Bu the police ignore his and his mother’s pleas. He can even identify the high school students, he cries out. But Yoon Seok is tried and convicted for the death of that person. He is sentenced to three years in jail. Still, he maintains his innocence. His mother collapses.

Mom and Dad are solemn at the memory of that bad point in his life. Mom wonders how they could lock up an innocent young man when there were witnesses. Dad says he has let it all go–that was then. But Mom wonders if those who framed him and ran away are living good lives, now. After all, Dad falsely charged, and later he has had to live under a false identity. Mom recounts the grim details: he was kicked out of his hometown, had to move over 10 times, and couldn’t even bring his sick mother to the hospital. His mother died and he couldn’t be there. Mom cries bitter tears at the injustice of it all.

Doesn’t he remember how bad it was living a cursed life as a convict? When real Han Soo invited him to LA to work as a janitor, it was a chance to start over. Mom let him go back then so he could start anew. But after Dad left, she found out she was pregnant with their first child. So when the mistake of the two young men’s identities happened after the fire, she thought that if Dad could start over as Han Soo, they would have a second chance. Their child wouldn’t have to grow up as the son of a murderer. Mom sobs, “Even if I could turn back time I would do the same thing.” Clearly, Dad and Mom have faced some harsh circumstances along the way. And still, the ordeal is not over.

Cheol Soo and Twin join Ra Young’s yoga class. They work out as a couple. She helps them straighten their backs properly.

Next, the couples face each other, clasp hands, and stretch. Twin teases that it seems as if his brother is close to Ra Young. Cheol Soo denies it. Ra Young looks over at the bromance couple and thinks, They’re working out and flirting at the same time.

“How was the lesson?” she asks Twin afterward. Twin tells her that he hopes they can be friends. He asks for her number and suggests that maybe they can go on a date. “Is he going to cheat on his boyfriend?” she wonders out loud. She frets that if she gets involved she will be the weird one. So she thinks she should tell Cheol Soo that his “boyfriend” was forward with her. When she explains, Cheol Soo doesn’t quite get the situation and says that he has a lot of boyfriends. Ra Young tries to remain composed and says that is possible. Looks like Twin has something up his sleeve to get his brother and Ra Young together. With Ra Young’s misconception, however, his attention can only lead to more misinterpretations. Me likey.

Jun Young call outs, “we’re home.” Over snacks, Yoo Joo thanks Mom for letting them live there. Mom wonders if she won’t be uncomfortable, but Yoo Joo says that she’s been living alone for some time and doesn’t have parents so she is looking forward to it. Mi Young looks at her, knowing she’s lying about not having parents. yoo Joo wants to buy something for Mom, but she declines. Ra Young, however, has a long list of ideas for Yoo Joo, but Mom hushes her. Jun Young thinks the rooftop room will be hard on Yoo Joo since she is pregnant. Mom suggests that Joong Hee move upstairs, then, and the newlyweds can have the main floor bedroom.

Mi Young runs into Joong Hee outside. They pass in silence. She gets a call from Tae Boo who asks if something happened between her and Joong Hee. She tells him that it’s because she isn’t good enough as his manager now that he is in a miniseries.

 

Joong Hee asks Jun Young to grab the cabbage from the fridge for Al. Jun Young brushes him off. “Don’t expect me to treat you like an older brother,” he warns Joong Hee. Parents Day is coming up and Jun Young wants to do something special for Mom and Dad. What do Mi Young and Ra Young think? As the siblings talk, Joong Hee walks by and wants to be included. “Shall I pitch in?” he asks. Jun Young tells him to mind his own business. It is awkward the way they ignore him. Ra Young is practical and thinks maybe they should take up his offer (he’s rich, isn’t he?), but Jun Young won’t allow it, and Mi Young shakes her head no.

A dejected Joong Hee retreats to him room.

He questions, “Why am I living here? Intern won’t work with me and Jun Young doesn’t want me around.” He figures he should just go back home. With Al in its carrier, Joong Hee gets in the car to leave. Just then, Mom and Dad walk up. They seem so happy to see him, thinking he is just getting home from work. Joong Hee ends up joining them back in the house.

Husband picks up a book at the bookstore titled “Freedom from Marriage in Retirement.” Apparently there is a whole new movement out there that encourages a new view about living apart in retirement. Husband finds the concept intriguing.

Grandma and Mom discuss the household living arrangements. Grandma can’t understand how Mom can take care of someone else’s child and now allow Yoo Joo and Jun Young to move in as well. Grandma is upset. She complains about the trials of living with in-laws and feels bad for Mom. Aunt thinks the in-law situation is asking for trouble and feels bad for Yoo Joo. Grandma and Aunt exchange looks, having just revealed their true feelings about living together.

Bad news: Uncle shows up for work at the photography studio to discover that it has gone out of business. He calls the owner who tells him that he’ll wire his last paycheck soon. That’s all the explanation he gets. Now what? Uncle sits on the curb with his head lowered.

Ra Young feels burdened as the only one who knows about Hye Young and Jung Hwan. She tells Mi Young, “There’s a friend I know who…” and spills the entire story. In the end Ra Young tells Mi Young that the “friend” story is really about her and Hye Young. “What?” Mi Young shouts. Ra Young hushes her, and shows her the pictures. Oh no, more trouble! Mi Young recognizes Jung Hwan as the producer who is documenting “Oh My Boss.”

After a sleepless night, Mi Young wants to tell Jun Young (he’s their older brother, after all) to see what they should do. They will meet with him after he gets off work.

Mom and Joong Hee head downstairs to help Dad at the Snackshack. Mi Young is already there box up a gimbap order. Dad gives Joong Hee a taste –“The ends are the best,” he says as he feeds him generous bite. Joong Hee grins. Next, Dad feeds Mom, then Mi Young. Mom says they’re like baby birds getting fed by the mama bird. For a second, it is a happy family moment. Even Mi Young catches sight of Joong Hee’s delight at being included.

Jung Hwan and Hye Young go on an afternoon date. They pose for pictures and write their names on a lock, adding it to the lovers’ fence. They are carefree today, taking kissing selfies of Walnut and Cracker.

Jun Young is scared by his sisters’ seriousness when they meet up to talk. Thinking that Mom is not at home, Mi Young tells Jun Young to remain calm. She clears her throat and reports, “Hye Young is living with a guy.” Jun Young’s delayed reaction is shock as he shouts out, “Hye Young is living with a guy?” Ra Young shows him the pictures. However, it turns out that Mom isn’t out of the house after all; she is on the rooftop hanging clothes and overhears everything. She pounds on the door loudly. “Hye Young is living with a guy?” she asks her children who stand there speechless. In a shrill voice she demands to know if it’s true. Mi Young says yes under her breath. Mom collapses. She wants the unit number now. A scared Ra Young shows her the picture: 2003.

Hye Young wants Jung Hwan to send her the pictures from their date day. A sleepy Jung Hwan selects the photos on his phone and hits “send” but has mistakenly selects “Mom.” When Landlady Oh sees the pictures she freaks out. She immediately storms over to her son’s apartment. Mom, in the meantime, has called a taxi and is rushing over to the apartment where she dropped off her daughter to stay with a “friend.”

Mom arrives first and pounds on the door. “Open up! I know everything. Byun Hye Young! Open this door!” An unsuspecting Hye Young answers in a robe with her hair tied back from her shower. Mom barges in and Hye young backs away in fear. At that moment, Landlady Oh enters. “Son!” she calls out.

In frozen suspension, there stand Mom, Hye Young, Landlady Oh, and Jung Hwan.

Comments:

  • I love the yoga class most of all. Twin obviously wants to set up his brother with Ra Young. But Ra Young’s misunderstanding that they are lovers makes the entire situation hilariously outrageous. She mistakes Twin’s comment about calling for a date (I’m guessing he meant a double date – him and his girlfriend and Cheol Soo and Ra Young) as him “cheating” with her on Cheol Soo. Then, the remark she makes to Cheol Soo about his boyfriend creates more murky interpretations in her mind about him having multiple partners. Crazy!
  • Ra Young’s story is comic relief, though, compared to the more serious issues that other family members face. Try as he may, Joong Hee can’t fit in at home (or at work) with the Byun children. Even light conversation turns into a confrontation. Jun Young doesn’t give him any space. Mi Young has decided to be transferred because separating private and personal life is impossible when it comes to Joong Hee. And even when he stands up for her, as bumbling as it was, he still gets scolded. No one is to blame; there are too many conflicting perspectives to be able to easily overcome the hurt, betrayal, and changes that Joong Hee’s addition to the family creates.
  • Yoo Joo, too. Mi Young still seems to hold enough over her to keep Yoo Joo in line, but it doesn’t really give Mi Young any satisfaction. Or a break. Mi Young has relationship conflict at every turn. It’s exhausting. Right now, there isn’t a solution for her that is helpful or would provide acceptable answers.
  • We certainly got more of Dad’s story when he and Mom visited his Auntie. Not only has Dad hidden his false identity all these years; it turns out the unfortunate circumstances that led up to him living as Han Soo was actually a break. He had spent three years in jail after being falsely accused of murdering someone. Live as an ex-convict was a dead-end. Fate had been harsh and taking Han Soo’s identity under the circumstances seemed like a chance for a fresh start. In many ways, it was. Until Joong Hee showed up and re-opened that part of his life that he had hoped was closed. It is a bittersweet situation: Dad is happy to be able to take in his friend’s son, but the lie only grows bigger. Mom has carried the burden with Dad, too. Although she wouldn’t do things differently if given the chance, the tears she sheds reveal the frustration of the injustice of it all. I feel bad for them. Dad’s passiveness and unawareness of reality was starting to get to me, but in light of the revealed past in this episode, I can see why he keeps a low profile and has made his circle a small one with family only.
  • I loved the momentary lightheartedness as Mom. Dad, Joong Hee, and Mi Young prepared the gimbap order. Joong Hee’s happy grin – gah!
  • One one hand, I don’t see what the big deal is with Hye Young and Jung Hwan ‘s situation, other than her lying about it and disappointing her parents in that way. But, the mothers-thing makes for lots of sparks flying in a silly-fun way. On the other hand, it’s about trust and family values. Mom is beside herself and Landlady Oh is going to be a handful.
  • Is anyone ready to tell the truth about anything?

 

 

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3 thoughts on “My Father Is Strange – ep 19 recap

  1. Poor Mom and Dad. The false conviction really sucked, big time. Now I understand why Mom coerced Dad into assuming Han Soo’s identity when I was ready to fault her for that action in past episodes, thinking that they (Mom especially) just wanted to avoid the bother of correcting the ID misunderstanding resulting in the bug mess that they’re facing now. The chance of having a new ID was truly a second chance for them, of starting over with an unblemished record. I wonder if the right perps will be caught for Dad to clear his name and assume his real ID? There was a scene in one previous eps when Dad appeared stunned when he ran into one particular guy. Couldn’t remember which eps.

    On Landlady Oh, the only redeeming thing about her is her love for her son, even if she’s overbearing about it. I feel sorry for her in her relationship with her hubby, but in her other relationships, she’s a horrible person – selfish, arrogant and super insensitive. I don’t hate her char though, she lacks that degree of evilness that makes her char hateful, but she has a super insensitive persona that is clueless to her effect on others. Wondering if she will have a redemption arc.

    Thanks for the recap, and the space to comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi patinalee,
      Yes, there is that unknown man that Dad turned to avoid in one of the earlier episodes. There are other characters that have been mentioned who we haven’t heard from again, yet. Joong Hee’s mother, Yoo Joo’s parents/stepmother, and Joong Hee’s uncle who sent him that old picture.
      this episode really did shine some light on Mom and Dad’s decision back then to take on Han Soo’s identity under the circumstances. Dad is always so stiff and reserved, and now we can understand why. But, after 35 years, this seemingly peaceful family sure is having its foundation shaken.
      Thanks for your comments! I’m watching ep 20 right now!

      Like

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