My Father Is Strange – ep 33 recap

The Byun family is stunned at the information posted online about Ahn Joong Hee and his recently found father. Joong Hee gets a call from Mr. Kang who is very upset that this information has been leaked. That black and white picture is online, too. Who had access to that, and why did they leak it he demands of Joong Hee? Didn’t he warn him about that? Mr. Kang wants Joong Hee and Mi Young to come to the office at once. Joong Hee instructs the family not to let any reporters in – they will only cause trouble and make a sensational headline out of anything, no matter how ordinary it is. Don’t talk to them, he warns.   

A distraught Mom asks Dad what they should do. What if someone recognizes Han Soo’s face? She is very worried but Dad is sure Joong Hee will get his agency to take down the article and stop anyone from looking into the family any further. Dad keeps pushing the closeness of the situation away as if it won’t get any worse. But as Mom and Dad head to the Snackshack, there is a reporter waiting. With a recorder in Dad’s face, he fires questions about their personal life right and left. Dad says he doesn’t have anything to say, but the reporter is relentless. He even asks Mom how she feels living with her husband’s ex-wife’s son who is a celebrity. “Please. We have nothing to say,” they tell the aggressive reporter and push their way past. “I’m going to wait until you come out, Mr. Byun,” the reporter yells through the Snackshack door.

Mr. Kang is already on the phone to get the article taken down when Joong Hee arrives. He is furious with Joong Hee for hiding the fact that he is living with his Dad. He blows his stack when he finds out Joong Hee has been there for three months and he wasn’t told. Mi Young gets scolded as his manager for keeping this information under wraps, not to mention that she lives there, too. Everything is a mess. Mr. Kang lists several example sensational headlines that might result and ask Joong Hee how he plans to handle that. All Joong Hee can do is apologize. Mr. Kang tells him to return to his studio immediately and live there alone until he hears otherwise.

Mr. Kang is frustrated and tells Joong Hee that he has to clean up the mess he has created and that he isn’t happy about it. He will reassign Mi Young tomorrow and expects a letter of apology to the company for her part in the cover-up.

Hye Young gets a call from Jung Hwan about the article but she is already on her way to her parents to confront the reporter. She is all business and puts the reporter in his place as she rattles off all sorts of constitutional violations. Privacy, truth, public matters, legitimate concerns, personal matters, obstruction of business, citizen’s right to privacy, invasion of privacy, claims for damages – she throws the book at him. She accuses him of low yellow journalism and makes sure he knows she knows his name – Kim Geum Soo. The reporter runs off realizing that Hye Young has his number when it comes to overstepping a person’s rights and publishing private information. For now, that’s taken care of.

Hye Young informs her parents that she ran him off with a warning not to bother them again. They must make it clear to anyone who publishes anything about them that they will take legal action. As she leaves she turns to Dad and asks when did he learn judo by the way? (The black and white picture published online was of the three young men in judo gear.) Mi Young chimes in that he never mentioned it all the while she did judo. Dad says he’d forgotten. Mom quickly changes the subject and asks Hye Young how her mother-in-law is doing.

Husband asks Landlady Oh if she’s read the book he gave her, Graduating from Marriage. She hasn’t, and they bicker about his allowance. She says she can’t make the transfer with her injured arm. Jung Hwan shows her how to transfer money into his dad’s account with her smart phone, just like that. His parents are amazed. A frustrated Jung Hwan wants to talk to her about her arm and lying that she needs a cast, but Landlady Oh asks Jung Hwa not to tell anyone that she is bluffing. She likes that Husband vacuums and make her lunch – things he’s never ever done before. Her cast is buying her the sympathy that she craves and she will even continue to lie to keep receiving it. But she has put Jung Hwan in the middle of a situation he doesn’t want to be in; he  hates lying to Hye Young and his dad now that he knows the truth, but Landlady Oh asks for another week – that’s all. Initially he tells her no; she counters with three days. Once the cast is off, she whines, no one will care for her any longer. She just wants to feel taken care of, is that a bad thing? Three more days . . . she begs. Jung Hwan doesn’t actually agree, but he doesn’t have the fight to win against her.

When Hye Young arrives home, she is exhausted from work and dealing with the reporter. Jung Hwan has a drink and tapas ready for so that she can unwind. Maybe after a shower they can relax together, something that’s been hard to do since they moved in with the in-laws.

Joong Hee tells Mr. Kang that Director Ryu might have leaked the information since he told him about his dad when he failed the audition. Mr. Kang is worried; he tells Joong Hee to lay low and he’ll take care of everything. (I don’t think it’s Director Ryu, but more of that in the comments.)

The family is worried about Joong Hee at the studio alone since he hasn’t been feeling well. Jun Young guesses he probably won’t even have any food there. Dad wants to go, but Mom stops him because of the reporters outside the building.

Mi Young says she will go; as his manager no one will suspect her (the public doesn’t know she is a daughter/sister). But when she rings Joong Hee’s doorbell, he won’t let her in. She tells him that she brought medicine and got past the reporters, but it seems as if Joong Hee doesn’t trust himself. “I’m fine, so you should go,” he tells her and turns off the monitor. Mi Young reluctantly leaves. Joong Hee looks very stressed about the whole situation – the leaked article as well and his feelings for Mi Young.

He takes out a little locked box from a desk drawer. It is something his psychiatrist ex-girlfriend gave him to write down the things he wants to forget and place in the box. The next time they meet she will talk about how to handle the issues he has written down. The first thing he writes down and puts in the box is “Judo.”

Mi Young returns home and tells the family that Joong Hee wouldn’t let her in. They feel bad that Joong Hee has to be so cautious, especially when he isn’t feeling well. At 5:01 a.m. Joong Hee’s doorbell rings. He gets up and finds Dad standing there. He lets him in and asks why he came. Dad says he figured he would avoid reporters this early in the morning and he wanted to bring food and medicine since Joong Hee is sick. While he fixes breakfast Dad insists Joong Hee sleeps a bit more. Dad carefully and lovingly prepares a delicious breakfast of chicken stew and side dishes and sets a full table. He wakes up Joong Hee and they eat together. “When did you prepare all this?” Joong Hee asks Dad. Just then, his mom calls but Joong Hee ignores it. He tells Dad that it is nice having him there and he wishes he wouldn’t feel so apologetic any longer. “Thanks for the meal, Dad,” says a sincere Joong Hee.

Jung Hwan gets up to fix his mother breakfast and tells Hye Young to sleep a little longer. She feels refreshed after a good night’s sleep and comes downstairs to breakfast only to hear m-i-l complain that the wife made her son prepare breakfast. Hye Young helps wash and dry the dishes but – oops! A limited edition dish slips from her hands and crashes to the floor. Landlady Oh says nothing can be done; they’ll have to go to the department store to find something to replace it.

Yoo Joo hands Jun Young a blue tie for his first day at work; it is good luck she tells him and ties it around his neck. She takes the opportunity to tell him that she has been so busy she hasn’t given proper attention to the baby. From now on, she promises, she will take care of herself and the baby, and they should think of a nickname for the baby together. Jun Young thanks her for apologizing first, and tells her to lean on him and not carry burdens by herself. She walks him to his first day at the office. Her advice: don’t smile too much or he will seem like a pushover. Look fierce and pay close attention.

As the newbie, Jun Young is asked to help out with copying, changing the water cooler, and observing his sunbae handle in-person civil matters. When a co-worker steps out, Jun Young takes over the desk and handles his first customer who needs to register a new birth.

Yoo Joo’s team notices how pleased she seems today. She tells them it’s Jun Young’s first day at work and lunch is on her. But then someone calls her name – her mother has come to her office. “How come you never pick up my calls?” she says in front of everyone. Yoo Joo tells her team she will buy them lunch tomorrow. An unhappy Yoo Joo looks on as her mom eats lunch. After only a few bites, she asks Yoo Joo for money. Again. Yoo Joo reminds her that she gave her the early withdrawal severance money two years ago and she doesn’t have anything to give her. Her mother wants the apartment deposit, then. Yoo Joo says she used it for the wedding. Besides, she doesn’t want to bail out her mother – after all, she didn’t even raise her own daughter. Her mother is brazen and says she gave birth to her – that’s enough. This time Yoo Joo won’t hear that and tells her mother that she never did anything else for her. “Don’t show up here ever again,” she angrily tells her mother and walks off. She is clearly upset.

Mi Young is sitting in the next booth and overhears the conversation.

Ra Young picks at her lunch. Her co-workers are worried as that is out of character for her. When she sees Cheol Soo enter the cafeteria she gets up and leaves. He realizes that she avoiding him. Finally, at the end of the day, he steps in front of her as she leaves work. “Can we talk for a minute?” he asks. He is sorry for what his father and Twin did. But she isn’t mad at him and she isn’t really upset. It’s just that she realizes they live in different worlds. He is, after, the son of a chairman. She thought a rich boyfriend was the best but it actually makes her sacred. Can’t she look at him as her boyfriend, like before? Ra Young says she needs more time to think and asks for some space. Cheol Soo doesn’t know what to do.

He texts his brother: Don’t you dare go to Instructor Byun again. Not you, too: I can barely handle Dad. There’s a knock at his door and he calls out, “Instructor Byun?” Instead, it’s more trouble; the supervisor is finally on to Cheol Soo and busts him for living in the rec center.

Grandma stops by the pizza shop. She is upset that reporters print stuff about other people, what’s it to them? She rants that it’s all that celebrity’s fault. She told Mom not to let that guy move in, but does anyone ever listen to her? Now look at all the trouble he’s caused. At least he is back at the studio; she feels better not seeing him. The reporters didn’t raise him, why do they care? Causing gossip and harming the family she mutters.  “Mother are you defending Joong Hee?” asks Aunt? Grandma doesn’t want to seem like a softie and brushes the comment aside.

Hye Young meets Landlady Oh at the department store. Unlike her energetic personality, Hye Young shuffles along today–she has no choice but to spend the day with her m-i-l for breaking the plate. Landlady Oh is thrilled to get to shop with her d-i-l and decides to buy them bedding and clothes. Hye Young gets smart and readily agrees to the sweater m-i-l chooses even though it isn’t her taste. That’s one way to speed up the day. They run into one of Landlady Oh’s friends – the women introduce their daughters. The friend asks about the quick, small wedding Landlady Oh had for her son and comments that it was a shame. But to Hye Young’s surprise Landlady Oh defends the smaller, trendy wedding and disses the fancy, expensive wedding her friend is planning at a hotel for her son. So outdated, Landlady Oh exclaims. Then, she flaunts Hye Young’s credentials as a top lawyer at a prestigious firm with quite the reputation. Now for the crowning comment – her son and d-i-l live with them. Too bad the friend’s son doesn’t stop by now that he is married; Landlady Oh clearly gets the upper hand and she is proud of it.

Hye Young is shocked that her m-i-l actually spoke highly of her. When she gets home she tells Jung Hwan, “Your mom can be quite cute.” (Well, that won’t last.)

The family checks for any more articles and, so far, the internet is quiet about Joong Hee. A few lingering comments actually praise Joong Hee’s improved acting. Mom hopes the worst is over. Ra Young points to the black and white picture and says she thought this was dad but it says, Lee Yeon Seok. Mom and Dad scurry to make passing comments about not having photographs from their generation like they do today. This is getting to be a real worry.

Jung Hwan tells his mother that she has to take off the cast and stop the show. It’s killing him to keep her secret and he is against it. She reminds him that this evening is the end of the third day and after that, she’ll take off the cast. Hye Young gets a call from m-i-l and stops down in the kitchen. What she finds there are stacks of onions, cucumbers, garlic, bottles, etc. Landlady Oh announces that it’s time to make pickles! By golly if she isn’t going to get her husband and d-i-l to do the most taxing over-the-top tasks while she can. Hye Young and Husband wear goggles to protect their eyes from peeling scads of onions and Landlady Oh sits at the table barking orders.

A neighbor calls and wants her to come out – her car has been scratched and she thinks it might have been Landlady Oh. But she insists she hasn’t been driving and it couldn’t be her. She gets a bright idea and asks Hye Young to go out and check on the matter. The neighbor is rather abrupt, but Hye Young suggests they check out her car dash camera. What did it record but Landlady Oh getting in the car and taking her cast off. And ~ Jung Hwan right there with his mother. Hye Young is dumbfounded!

Joong Hee gets a call from (Mom) and answers it. Surprise! Oma is at Incheon Airport!

Comments:

  • Ugh. Landlady Oh. She is so immature and demanding. I’ve had enough, even if she did brag on her d-i-l, it was only to make her look good and take a jab at someone else. Not behavior I want to applaud. And then the dash cam footage of her flinging off her cast once out of sight of her and Husband – boy, is she going to get it! I hope Hye Young has had enough as well and just goes back home.
  • I can understand everyone’s concern from Mr. Kang to Grandma about negative gossip publicity along the lines of the National Enquirer or worse. It is a bad thing that Joong Hee and his manager/sister kept that he is living with Dad from Mr. Kang. I was thinking earlier in the drama that Mr. Kang might be causing trouble for Joong Hee, but now I think he is reacting realistically as the responsible director for the actors under his care. He has seen actors go down under the pressure of publicity and knows there is nothing you can do to right it once it gets out of control. In the k-entertainment industry where fans’ reactions make or break an actor/idol, one cannot be too careful. So, I get why he is acting this way. Also, there’s nothing like having a lawyer in the family when it comes to putting snooping reporters in their place. I love how Hye Young is unflappable in the face of confrontation. It looks like at least for now, the yellow journalism reporter is taken care of.
  • Like I said, I don’t think it’s Director Ryu who leaked Joong Hee’s information. I think it is Joong Hee’s uncle or that person Dad avoided that time at the outdoor market.
  • Isn’t Yoo Joo still hard to read? I’m glad she took the initiative to settle things with Jun Young on his first day of real work. I feel sorry that she had to deal with her no-good mother who showed up at her workplace. She is juggling things to keep afloat: her job, her mother, her place in the Byun household, and being pregnant – but there is just something I’m not feeling comfortable about with her. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though. Maybe her life has been so up and down that her own emotions and relationships are up and down, too.
  • I love how Ra Young isn’t afraid to giver herself space with Cheol Soo (and his family) to think things through.
  • And now, Joong Hee’s mother is in town. Hello!

 

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