Joong Hee returns home after the conversation with his psychiatrist ex-girlfriend. After listening to his issues, she told him that his feelings for Mi Young don’t make him a pervert or a lunatic. The fact is he knew her first, and then he met his father and discovered that she was his daughter. Having feelings isn’t wrong, but he can’t act on those feelings now that he knows what he knows. That’s where he must draw the line. To help sort things out she gives him an assignment: get to know his father – what he likes, his background, etc. and report back to her. If he builds a relationship with his dad, then he can naturally learn to have a proper relationship with the other family members. And, for now, he should avoid that person as much as possible.
Joong Hee stops by Father’s Snackshack. It’s late. He finds Mom and Dad there and asks to have some instant noodles. They share a late snack together. Mom asks if the drama is premiering tomorrow and wonders if he is nervous. “Let’s watch the first episode together,” she suggests. “Sure, we can do that,” a pleased Joong Hee replies.
Joong Hee asks Dad if they can go to a pubic bath together tomorrow morning. But Dad is worried that people might recognize him. Joong Hee says if they go early it should be okay. Mom looks on, feeling uneasy.
Jun Young comes home early in the morning after his last night at the part-time job. Tomorrow he starts his full-time civil servant job. When he sees that Dad is headed to the bath house he asks to come along. Joong Hee comes down the stairs ready to go and Jun Young realizes they already made plans which makes him feel a little in the background, but he joins them all the same.
Dad gets some snacks and leaves Joong Hee and Jun Young to shower together. It’s awkward and they quickly get in the bath. Jun Young says he looked up the drama, well, you know – in his spare time he adds to not seem too interested. Joong Hee talks about his character Seung Woo who has to welcome a lost brother into the family. It’s a lot like Jun Young’s situation with him, he comments. They talk heart-to-heart saying how hard it must have been for the other one. Jun Young had to deal with an older brother showing up out of the blue and Joong Hee had to adjust to a family that kept him at arms’ length at first. They are sympathetic towards each other’s difficulties in adapting. “I’m not saying I like you now or anything,” Jun Young says. “Good. I don’t like you either,” replies Joong Hee. They smile. Time seems to have had an effect on easing the awkwardness between them.
They wash each other’s backs and Dad says jokingly, “I’s suffering in the middle” as he gets scrubbed first by Jun Young then by Joong Hee. Afterwards they go to a restaurant. “This is what we usually eat after a bath. Eat up,” Dad tells the boys. Jun Young steps out to take a call from Yoo Joo.
Joong Hee takes his assignment seriously. He has questions for Dad: “How soon after leaving my mother did you return to Korea? Did you remarry right after you came to Korea?” (A startled Dad replies: yes.)
Joong Hee continues: “How long did you live in the US? When did you move to the US?” (Dad mumbles: I was a freshman in high school.) Dad is taken aback by the sudden barrage of personal questions. Under normal circumstances the questions wouldn’t be prying or anything out of the ordinary, but Dad’s answers are brief – one or two words – to keep up his false identity. In other words, he lies. A shaken Dad excuses himself and steps outside.
Husband inspects the half-door and thinks it’s quite clever. Hye Young and Jung Hwan fuss over Landlady Oh who is complaining that her arm hurts. They think she should go to the hospital. Hye Young feels guilty for startling her so badly that she fell down the stairs. Husband tells the kids to go off to work; he’ll take his wife to the hospital. Hye Young is worried. Jung Hwan asks why she put up the door that way. Now Hye Young is sorry and admits she was being immature and wanted to get back at his mother for being so unreasonable. Jung Hwan says it was partly his mother’s fault for going back on the contract. So much commotion on their first day as newlyweds!
Husband is unsympathetic and tells Landlady Oh to go into the hospital herself – it’s probably just a pulled ligament anyway so he drops her off. He is brusque and isn’t inclined to pamper her in the least. These two aren’t even civil to one another.
Yoo Joo is half-asleep sitting up when Jun Young gets home from the bath house. She lays her head on the pillow to rest for ten more minutes before Jung young drives her to work. He looks over her, concerned.
Mi Young is ready with the van to take Joong Hee to work. She bought him a charm for good luck–red sock. She wore red socks for good luck for matches and important things and got some for him for tonight’s premiere of Oh My Boss. When she makes the usual conversation and asks where he’s been for the past two days, he tells her not to pry–it’s just a personal thing. This is his way of keeping emotionally distant from her. She tries to make conversation but he coldly replies without looking up, “Let me read my lines.”
Yoo Joo hands out updated information she has worked on all night to her team. After she explains the strategy for competing for new designers’ lines, Mi Lim asks, “Aren’t you pushing yourself too much?” She is not on Yoo Joo’s side and is doing her best to hone in on her territory, using her pregnancy as an excuse to shove her out. Yoo Joo firmly tells Lim that she will handle herself and not to worry. Before she can sit down, there is a call from Mr. Kang. He summoned her because he saw her name on the overseas business trip. Yoo Joo tells him she plans on going. He wants her to step out of the business trip; onlookers will not look favorably on the company for having a pregnant woman work so hard. He has already reassigned Ms. Lim to take over her trip duties. He made the call for the company . . . and for her. Yoo Joo stands up for herself, but her words fall on deaf ears. She is pregnant and she is out as team leader.
Jun Young wants to talk to her about what the doctor said. The baby is small and he wonders if she isn’t working too hard. Maybe she can take her leave earlier. He is worried for her and the baby. He heard from Mi Young that their department is quite busy. And now that he’ll be working . . . but she argues that a leave is the same as resigning in her business. “I’m a pregnant lady, not a patient. I am capable of doing my work, why is everyone so worried?” Yoo Joo is quite upset over everyone’s attitude and the company’s old-fashioned decision based on discrimination against pregnant women.
Mi Young and Yoo Joo meet on the rooftop. Yoo Joo is angry that she butted in and told Jun Young about her job when she doesn’t know anything about it. Mi Young defends herself and said that her brother was worried about her and she told him what she knew about the art department’s responsibilities. Yoo Joo yells that she didn’t ask for her and the others to worry about her. But Mi Young strongly reminds her that she readily takes the benefits of everyone’s consideration of her when they don’t make her help clean or cook (because she is pregnant), so she can’t get mad when the same people worry about her. Yoo Joo doesn’t see it that way.
Jung Hwan calls Hye Young with an update on his mother. Her arm isn’t broken but it’s sprained and she will have to wear a cast for about a month. Hye Young is relieved and says she will go home early. Landlady Oh sends Hye Young a picture text of her cast: Just in case you’re worried. When Landlady Oh texts that she can’t cook, Hye Young offers to bring home eel for dinner.
Landlady Oh: I prefer gochujang sauce and not soy sauce. (Hye Young: Okay, Mother.)
Landlady Oh: Maybe we should get both. (Hye Young: Okay, Mother.)
Landlady Oh: Your father in law likes salted eel. I think that will be better. (Hye Young: Okay, Mother. I will buy more than enough so you can enjoy it all.)
Hye Young stops at the restaurant and gets enough take-out for everyone’s tastes. She calls Mom and tells her that she won’t be able to come by this weekend; mother-in-law hurt her arm. Mom can’t believe the trouble already and that Hye Young caused it – inadvertently anyway. Yes, Hye Young admits, it was her fault, but it’s difficult to explain. Landlady Oh milks the arm for all it’s worth. Hye Young and Jung Hwan make a huge fuss over her even though a full cast seems a bit much for a sprained ligament. Jung Hwan scolds his father for not staying with her at the hospital.
At dinner, Landlady Oh can’t even use a fork – she’s feeling too weak. Jung Hwan sits by her and feeds her bites of eel. She completely overreacts to his attention, oohing and aahing over the eel he feeds her. She is moved to tears when he wipes off the sauce from her lips and steals all the attention from her son for the entire meal. Husband loses his appetite at her dramatic acting. Hye Young has no choice but to put up with Landlady Oh’s behavior.
It’s time for the premiere of Oh My Boss and the Byun family gathers in front of the TV. Everyone is very excited – why am I so nervous/I’m shaking –they comment and hug. The family thoroughly enjoys the drama. Joong Hee is happy and maybe a little surprised with all the positive attention.
“Wow, You’re name is trending. He’s third, but it’s going up!” says an enthusiastic Jun Young. Everyone is glued to the drama. Hye Young leans on Mom and drools over Seung Woo (Joong Hee’s character in the drama).
“I wish he was my son,” Mom teases. “Seung Woo is right there!” squeals Yoo Joo pointing to Joong Hee as they all play along. “Oh that’s right. Seung Woo, come to your mother my son!” a silly Mom says to Joong Hee with open arms. Joong Hee is delighted with the way his family is making such a big deal about the drama and enjoying the evening watching it together.
When the first episode ends, they all clap and shout “It’s a success!” They are all sincerely proud of Joong Hee. “Thank you,” he bows and humbly accepts their praise. But then everyone disappears and leaves Joong Hee standing there. They’ve all gone to get their phones and iPads –
it’s time to chat and make some noise online about the drama and Actor Ahn! Mi Young preps them: Okay, don’t use your real names and don’t act like you know him. Use three to four made-up names.
Ra young helps Mom with trending comments.
Mi Young can’t hold in her excitement, “Look at all the articles!” she exclaims as she scrolls down. Jun Young mockingly scolds, “Dad! You can’t use Dad Snackfood – how is that an alias? They all laugh. Mi Young looks over Ra Young’s shoulder and says with disbelief, “Yoga fairy?” Ra Young is right there smirking, “Judo girl?” It’s refreshing to see the family interact and having such a lighthearted and happy time together.
Joong Hee rolls over laughing at Mom’s comment: “I don’t think Ahn Joong Hee is all that good. His acting is subpar.” Of course, she has done that to get others to respond to her online and immediately she is getting hate comments for dissing Ahn Joong Hee. It all makes for good publicity and popularity.
Jung Hwan shoots finger hearts at Hye Young as they get ready for bed. But his phone rings; it’s his mother. She can’t get the blanket with her arm… He runs to take care of her. With the half-door up, he has to go down the stairs, out the side door, and up the front door to get to his mom. It’s a pain.
Hye Young reads in bed. Just as Jung Hwan is about to join her, yep ring ring. “No, you’re not bothering me, mother,” he says and runs down to take care of her.
Hye Young wakes up to a ringing phone, shoves Jung Hwan out of bed, and throws the phone after. “What is it, Mother?” he asks wearily. It’s gonna be a long night.
Mi Young shouts, “16.6 percent ratings – that’s amazing!” Mom and Dad flap their arms and Ra Young jumps with delight. Their own Actor Ahn has done well and they couldn’t be prouder. “Why isn’t the big star coming out?” Dad asks, smiling. “I’ll go up and get him.”
Dad goes to wake him up, but Joong Hee is sitting up asleep and fevered. Dad wants to take him to the hospital, but he can’t – there’s a shoot. It can’t be postponed because the drama is airing. He tells dad he’ll be fine, but Dad isn’t too sure about that.
Uncle tells Aunt he wants to send Min Ha to the science high school. As parents he thinks they should do what is best for their smart son. Aunt is much more practical. Should they go into debt for the tuition? Should they spend rent on it? She reminds him that Hye Young did well for herself in a normal school. And what if they could pay the tuition? Does Uncle think it stops there? There is tutoring and even studying abroad. No, Min Ha will have to accept their modest circumstances. Uncle doesn’t want that. But Aunt gets upset and argues that he was the one who lost all that money and now they have to make Min Ha forget his dreams. Uncle is upset and embarrassed, “Okay it’s all my fault.”
Grandma listens outside the door and cries. When Min Ha comes home she shoos him out the door. They get ice cream and sit on a bench together. Min Ha wants to know if his parents were arguing because of him. She tells him he is so perfect, why is he so smart? Min Ha agrees, smiling. He’s such a good kid. Grandma tells him not to blame his parents too much. After all, they gave him that brain, right? She is sorry she couldn’t do much for his father but Min Ha insists that Grandma gave him a good heart and for that, he is grateful. “I’m grateful they’re my parents. I’m happy you’re my grandmother,” says dear Min Ha. “I’m very happy you’re my grandson,”Grandma smiles back. They have a meaningful and caring conversation and Min Ha understands what Grandma is saying. As always, they leave hand in hand on a good note.
When Ra Young comes out of class Twin is waiting for her. He is dressed in a suit and tells her he wants to take her somewhere. When they get to Good Base Corporation people bow to him and call him Executive Director. Ra Young looks on, baffled. The receptionist tells Twin, “He is waiting for you,” and they enter the Chairman’s Office.
Cheol Soo is surprised that Ra Young isn’t in her class. A couple of her co-workers guess that he is looking for her and tell him that Ra Young left with her boyfriend earlier…
Ra Young finds herself seated across from Cheol Soo’s father. She apologizes for the time she bit him and asks if his arm is all right. He has an agenda for bringing her there: he wants to ask a favor of her. He is blunt and tells her that Cheol Soo ran away to play soccer. But he needs to come home and learn management and inherit the business. Next month, he will be appointed as a Director. Since they’re dating, maybe he will listen to her. “I would like you to convince him to come home,” he tells a confused Ra Young. He hands her his card. If she brings back his son she will be compensated.
Cheol Soo barges in. “Let’s go! He grabs Ra Young’s arm. His father says he isn’t done talking. “Father!” yells Cheol Soo.
“Let’s stop for today,” Twin tells his father as Cheol Soo storms out.
Cheol Soo begins to explain to Ra Young but she asks, “So your father is the chairman of Good Base?”
“Yes, that’s right.” He tells Ra Young didn’t want to deceive her, he just didn’t know how to explain his family situation to her. He doesn’t want anything to do with the company but his father insists on passing it to him. He has cut ties and isn’t interested. “The person you are looking at is the real me,” he tells her. But, she looks at him differently.
Cheol Soo offers to take her home but she wants to be alone. Ra Young is lost in thought as she waits for the bus.
Joong Hee arrives at the set. “Hey Joong Hee, did you see the news? You’re praised as the best actor” a very happy Director Ryu informs him. The staff claps and congratulates him. It’s time for today’s shoot.
Mi Young holds an ice pack to his head, but Joong Hee pushes it away. He is determined to get through the filming. He’s doesn’t look too good and Mi Young is worried for him. But he tells her to stand back when she tries to mop his sweaty brow.
At break she finds him sitting on a couch with his head down. She looks up ways to bring down a fever fast. He is despondent and barely acknowledges her; suddenly he slumps over on her shoulder. She gently lets him rest there with his eyes closed for a few minutes until he wakes up.
Startled, he goes outside and leans against a wall thinking to himself, crazy bastard. He can’t do this. His feelings for Mi Young are too strong. He finds Mr. Kang and tells him to get a new manager.
Hye Young has prepared breakfast. Landlady Oh is critical of what she put out but the conversation moves onto housecleaning–she asks Hye Young to take over (her arm, you see) and clean the whole house. Hye Young wants to call an agency but Landlady Oh won’t hear of it. It’s more than Hye Young wants to do, but Jung Hwan jumps in and says they can do it together after they eat. Landlady Oh has ulterior movies, however. She whines for Jung Hwan to massage her shoulders (Husband is too rough, she complains) and leaves Hye Young to do all the cleaning.
But Landlady Oh’s ruse is revealed when Jung Hwan gets her a glass of water and returns to find that she has taken off the case to scratch her arm. She’s been faking all along to get the attention she craves from her son and put a wedge between him and Hye Young. Jung Hwan is horrified, but when Hye Young wants to come in and vacuum, he does an amazing split to block the door until he can figure out what to do with his mother (who is the biggest manipulator I’ve seen in a long, long time).
What’s this? Ra Young runs into the kitchen with an online article about Joong Hee. Seemingly out of nowhere, there is information about his personal life posted for the world to see: Actor Ahn Joong Hee has found his father and is living with him. He moved in with him to improve the quality of his acting skills.
The picture of his father is online as well. But the person in the photo isn’t identified as Byun Han Soo; he is identified as Mr Park who is currently running a snack bar in Suwon.
Joong Hee looks at the articles and stutters, “What…is this?”
Dad is stunned. Mom closes her eyes in disbelief.
What are they going to do?
- Joong Hee is sick, all right. He is heartsick. In an attempt to escape the pain and anguish of being around Mi Young who he can never love, he asks for a new manager. Being close to her isn’t going to work. Maybe if she isn’t his manager and he only sees her at home, he can view her as a sister.
- I do feel sorry for Yoo Joo’s treatment as a pregnant woman in the workforce. Mr. Kang is the voice of the company’s policy on pregnant women stepping down from the public eye, and he is covering his tail. It seems that society frowns on a company that keeps on a pregnant woman and he is enforcing that poliy. No matter what she does or how much overtime she clocks in, it won’t buy her favor in this company. Ms. Lim is an embarrassment to women as she, too, is using the excuse that Yoo Joo is pregnant to get a foot in the door and take over her position. It’s understandable that Yoo Joo is upset, but is going to have to let the family in on what’s going on. Right now, it looks like she is lashing out at them – Jun Young and Mi Young – because she is emotional and can’t accept their worry over her. Even though I can appreciate her position, I still don’t like her. I felt bad for Jun Young and Yoo Joo when he asked her if she even cared for the baby she is carrying. She shouldn’t have to choose between her job and her health care.
- Min Ha and Grandma are sweet together. He understands his family’s situation more than his parents give him credit for. Or maybe Aunt and Uncle just wish they could shelter him from the reality of their finances. It’s nice to see that money isn’t everything, though. Min Ha appreciates his parents and grandma – as tough on the outside as she is – has a tender heart toward her grandson and her children.
- The bath scene was fun and I’m glad the ice has been broken between Jun Young and Joong Hee. Dad felt on the spot when Joong Hee began to ask him about his past. But now that the article is out, Dad has a LOT of explaining to do. Oh, and I’m guessing either that guy Dad avoided in the first episode or Joong Hee’s uncle who provided him with that black and white picture leaked information somehow. But why someone leaked the information about Joong Hee in the first place is something we don’t know at this point. Any other guesses out there? Maybe his ex? Or Sung Joon?
- Hye Young has met her match in Landlady Oh. These two can’t survive in the same household with their strong temperaments. I couldn’t stand watching Landlady Oh hogging her son’s attention. They’re newlyweds! The entire situation is an in-law mess and, as I mentioned last episode, I’m kinda tired of their bickering. Jung Hwan is a titty baby, too. He’s getting on my nerves even more than his mother, to tell you the truth. I want Hye Young to be back with her family in their home because she is missing out on all the fun and what she has to put up with isn’t worth it.
- Ra Young and Cheol Soo – I think they’ll work things out. But I respect Ra Young’s ability to take a step back and process what’s going on with Cheol Soo and his father.
- And fun they did have watching Oh My Boss. They way they enjoyed the drama is how I picture Korean families watching kdramas together nightly. But, as much as Joong Hee felt loved and a part of the faily, the black cloud hanging over them is about to pour down. I think it will be messy and I’m already sad for their hurt feelings. But, as we all know, it will pave the way for Joong Hee to be able to like Mi Young as more than a sibling. Which she isn’t and he will soon learn that. So, hang on to your seats as we weave our way through the tangly plot line of My Father Is Strange.