My Father Is Strange – ep 36 recap

Joong Hee wonders how Dad could look so different now from the picture that his mother left with him of Dad when he was younger. He calls Dad to let him know that his mother returned to the States and to relay the message from her that she is sorry she came to their house without notifying them. She hopes Mom will forgive her for that. When Dad tells Mom that Soo Jin left Korea, Mom’s face shows how relieved she is. Dad has thought things over and agrees that he shouldn’t tell the children the truth about the story of Han Soo. Hopefully, they can both relax a bit now that the impending crisis seems to have abated.   

Hye Young and Jung Hwan are surprised about his father’s announcement to graduate from marriage. She wonders if his parents haven’t gotten along for some time. Jung Hwan replies that his father doesn’t respect his mother and isn’t interested in her, but this is the first he’s heard about his father’s plans to move out. Landlady Oh and Husband bicker downstairs about this whole idea of separating. Husband doesn’t hold back when he tells her that he is sick of her attitude, her showy ways, and the cast fiasco. He accuses her of being shameless for the way she behaves. Landlady Oh shouts protests after him that she will never agree to separating, but Husband is already on his way out.

A reporter shows Mr. Kang incriminating pictures of Joong Hee going into a psychiatrist’s office. He plans on exposing it all. Mr. Kang insists there must be a misunderstanding. Luckily, Joong Hee comes to the office. When the reporter tries to corner Joong Hee with the pictures, he nonchalantly replies that the psychiatrist is his girlfriend. Well, that changes things, doesn’t it? Mr. Kang covers his surprise well. But the reporter has more; why isn’t Joong Hee staying with his dad any longer? There are problems, right? Again, Joong Hee is calm and casually states that he is simply too busy to go back and forth every day. That takes the wind out of the reporter’s sail and he leaves without a sensational story after all. Joong Hee uses the situation to be able to return to Dad’s house. He tells Mr. Kang that the reporter might follow him, so it will be natural if he goes to Dad’s.

Everyone welcomes Joong Hee warmly and the family has a wonderful meal together. They are glad he can join them now that all the negative publicity has died down. Uncle brings up the newest dating article (the reporter got that online fast); Min Ha has it up on his phone in the blink of an eye.

Joong Hee doesn’t deny that he is dating a doctor. Mi Young doesn’t react but stuffs her face to keep from looking at Joong Hee.

Joong Hee is especially glad to see Al. When Dad stops up with a fresh pillow they sit and chat. “By the way, when did you meet my mother?” Joong Hee asks. Dad is caught off guard and stutters, “When I was 21 years old. I met her at the hospital . . .” and quickly excuses himself to get out of having to say more. Joong Hee thinks that’s odd; his mother said they met in high school. Not adding up. But shouldn’t Dad realize that Joong Hee and his mother are likely also discussing their history?

Landlady Oh can’t breathe and is experiencing chest pains. In a panic she calls Jung Hwan who is sound asleep upstairs. When she complains that her chest hurts, he jumps out of bed with Hye Young right behind him. He carries his mother to the ER on his back. It seems serious as she lay there with an IV, waiting for the test results. Hye Young and Jung Hwan comfort her. The doctor checks the chart and unceremoniously announced that she is fine. “What? She is fine?” asks Jung Hwan. The doctor asks Landlady Oh if she’s been under a lot of stress lately. She replies yes and he advises her to reduce her stress and releases her. Jung Hwan and Hye Young are upset and angry that, once again, his mother has feigned illness and gotten the attention she craves. It’s another check mark for the in-laws on the Cohabitation Agreement. Hye Young comments that at this rate, they won’t last a month.

Mi Young gulps down her yogurt drink. It’s uncomfortable to stand next to Joong Hee now that the dating news is out in addition to not being his manager any longer.

“By the way, why don’t you dive?” Joong Hee asks Dad. Ra Young says he never got his license and Jun Young says he is afraid of heights and doesn’t fly, either. But Joong Hee says Dad drove in the States. “What? When were you in the States?” asks Jun Young. “You never told us that,” Mi Young adds. Mom quickly changes the subject to breakfast preferences.

Joong Hee wonders if he shouldn’t have mentioned that in front of the family thinking that perhaps Dad was traumatized by the accident and doesn’t want to talk about that. (His mother said she and Han Soo had been in a terrible car accident when they were married.)

Uncle, Aunt, and Min Ha look in on Grandma who is studying furiously for the quiz today. In fact, she stayed up all night preparing. Looking frazzled, Grandma takes her place on the studio stage with the other contestants. The family holds up signs cheering her on.


However, things are off to a rough start for Grandma; she is tired and not hitting the buzzer fast enough. Min Ha stands up with his sign and yells, ‘Good luck, Grandma” which snaps her to attention. She gets the next question right, and then the next and the next until Grandma ends up as today’s winner with a chance to play the Master round. She has to answer a series of questions correctly in order to win the grand prize. It’s tense as she answers the questions one by one, but when the correct answers are revealed, the buzzer sounds loudly. Grandma hasn’t won. The MC asks how she feels. Grandma opens her eyes, looks directly into the camera, and curses the man who ran off with her son’s money and left them broke. Now, because of him, her smart grandson can’t flourish where he is. The producer signals for the MC to stop her, but it’s too late. With tears in her eyes, she tells that man she hopes he isn’t living comfortably and that if by chance he ever crosses her path, she will hammer the nails in his coffin with her bare hands.

Grandma looks over at Min Ha lovingly and tells him that no matter what, he will do well. She makes a heart over her head and Min Ha returns the heart saying, “I love you, Grandma.” Aunt, Uncle – in fact the entire studio – applauds her spontaneous outburst. Grandma is so cool.

Hye Young waits for Mom at a restaurant where she is meeting her for lunch. Landlady Oh texts her back hurts and she needs patches from the pharmacy followed by more texts with more symptoms. Hye Young has had enough of her m-i-l’s inconsiderate behavior and demands for attention and doesn’t respond. Mom arrives and they enjoy a rare mother/daughter lunch out. Hye Young promises to treat her now and then. Mom says she would like that. Hye Young wants Mom to know that she was way cool when Dad’s ex-wife barged in. “It was like a scene from Desperate Housewives,” Hye Young says. Mom tells her daughter that she is okay and not to worry about that situation. She asks if she and Dad fought over Joong Hee’s mother and was that why Dad closed the store? Mom covers and tells Hye Young that she knows her so well she can’t hide anything from her. “There’s nothing I don’t know about you, Mom.”

But a dark countenance comes over Mom; she has a huge secret that she knows nothing about she tells her daughter. “You do? What is it? Were you married before?” Mom eats her soup without looking up. Hye Young insists on calling a taxi for Mom but she refuses and takes the subway. Hye Young watches as her mother walks down the street and wonders, “When did she get so old?” I worry that Mom might crack under the secret she continues to suppress.

When Mom returns to the Snackshack, she is lighthearted and happy so much so that Dad notices and asks if she had a good time. She says it was wonderful. Mom has a red bean Popsicle–Dad’s favorite–and feeds him the cool treat. She looks on lovingly; they have averted disaster this time.

Hye Young delivers a case of pharmacy supplies to Landlady Oh for every ache and pain imaginable. Her m-i-l can’t possibly bother her with calls with every remedy for any medical (or psychosomatic) ailment.

Ra Young considers her options on a chart she has made titled “What Will You Do for A Living, Ra Young?” She needs a job she can keep even when she is older. Yoga instructor is out; what about a civil servant, then? But that’s not her. That’s it! Working at a shopping mall! Mom comes into her room with the credit card bill for the month and Ra Young is jolted by the amount she owes. Well, now is as good a time as any to tell Mom she has lost her job. Mom is stunned; she wasn’t prepared for that. Doesn’t her daughter have a dream? How can she live so aimlessly? Mom has a list of questions meant to motivate Ra Young to think ahead. But Ra Young says that the credit card bill is enough motivation every month. Mom has some practical advice and it’s not the first time she’s said this: “It’s not about how much you make; it’s how little you spend.”

Ra Young meets Cheol Soo at a café. She feels self-conscious as she looks around at the tables filled with professionals. She must be the only one there who is unemployed, she sighs. Cheol Soo offers to buy her something spicy and delicious to cheer her up. When he stands up she is horrified and blurts out, “It’s against the law to wear sports socks with a suit,” insisting that he change.  After they eat she walks him to his father’s company. She comments on all the pretty women there but he makes it clear that he only has eyes for her. Ra Young hands him dark socks that she picked up at the convenience store and reminds him to change as he heads into the building.

By chance there is a sign: part-time staff wanted. Before you know it Ra Young is a sales person at HUB, a cosmetic store in the Good Food Company building. She isn’t shy about luring in customers with samples and just the right amount of advice. Cheol Soo’s father sees her and wonders what she is doing there, but stops short of coming closer and saying anything as he watches her talent in drawing in customers.

Mi Young reads the comments online about Joong Hee dating a psychiatrist and aimlessly scoops ice cream out of the carton directly into her mouth. She’s a shrink. Why would a doctor date him? Has he lost his mind? Joong Hee don’t date anyone.

Mom can’t believe Mi Young has eaten almost the entire carton and tells her she’ll get sick if she eats too much cold food. She goes up to the rooftop where she dumps out a sack full of candy and continues to search the comments on Joong Hee. When Joong Hee comes home she asks if he’s seen the comments from his fans. He seems oblivious. She fills him in, “Everyone knows you’re dating. Don’t go out in public. The rumors will start…” When he doesn’t say anything she realizes she’s rambling and wraps it up by telling him to be careful – this is just advice from his ex-manager. Joong Hee replies, “Okay” and goes to his room.
Mi Young is bothered by his lack of reaction to her advice. “Shouldn’t he at least pretend that he is listening?” she chatters. Gosh, they made such a bid deal when there was a rumor about them dating, she says out loud, so how is this different? Shouldn’t the company do something about this rumor?

Jin Sung Joon texts: Are you free tomorrow? Let’s go to a movie.

What do I have to lose? Mi Young thinks. Sure she texts.

The next day Sung Joon picks her up for their first date and takes her to a movie at a very nice theater. When the lights dim Mi Young comments that the movie must be boring as no one else is in the theater. You guessed it; rich guy has rented out the whole place just for them. How uncomfortable.

Jun Young picks up a special abalone meal at a fancy restaurant for Yoo Joo. A single order just about breaks the bank at $48 a pop, but he wants to make sure she is eating well. He dishes up the single serving and wants her to eat every bite. Yoo Joo eats it deliciously. Mom enters the room with some laundry, unaware that they were home. Since he only bought food for Yoo Joo and not the rest of the family, Jun Young feels awkward toward Mom but she handles the situation expertly and tells them to enjoy the meal. Next time, she says, ask her to cook for them. It’s better when it’s cooked at home.

Jun Young asks what the doctor said at today’s visit. Yoo Joo glosses over the question and says everything is fine, the baby is still small, and oh! she thinks it is a girl. Jun Young is happy with the news; they choose a fetal nickname: Little Yoo Joo, no, Li Yoo, or Li Joo? How cute!

Jung Hwan is excited to work with his team on a pilot program. However, the meeting is repeatedly interrupted with texts and calls from his mother. His co-workers are pleasant enough but annoyed. Jung Hwan powers off his phone, embarrassed. He suggests a getaway for the team over the weekend to brainstorm for this new project.

Now Hye Young gets texts and calls. Landlady Oh is in pain again, but how can anyone believe her? She’s taken herself in to the ER and asks the nurse to call Hye Young after being unable to reach anyone. Hye Young picks up the unidentified call. With the alarming news that her m-i-l is in the hospital, she jumps up to leave immediately but can’t help but think that it is fake again. When she gets to the hospital a doctor explains that m-i-l has a large tumor in her uterus and must have surgery asap. This time it is real; m-i-l is admitted to the hospital. She empties a box of tissues crying and fretting. “My life as a woman is over,” she laments. There isn’t much Hye Young and Jung Hwan can do to comfort her.

By the time Husband arrives, he is as insensitive as it gets towards his wife. All he can think about is how hungry he is after being summoned from his hike in the mountains. He acts like it’s no big deal. Just get the surgery and be over with it. As much as Landlady Oh has created this situation herself, one would think that a sliver of sensitivity toward the patient would be in order. Even Hye Young and Jung Hwan are shocked at his callous remarks and uncaring attitude toward his wife. When he comments that “at least it isn’t cancer,” Hye Young shoots lasers at him from her eyes that could kill.

Joong Hee has a session with ex-girlfriend. He apologizes for the inconvenience with the dating hews, but she is cool with it. Joong Hee asks her if a person can change over time and look completely different than when he was younger. Of course, an accident or surgery can alter one’s looks, she replies. What about remembering one’s past, can details be different? She offers that all memories are distorted to an extent. Joong Hee figures that is possible, then.

When he gets home, Dad is washing off the rooftop. He asks Joong Hee to refresh him and pour water over his back. Dad takes off his shirt and bends over for a good splash. Joong Hee looks at Dad’s back – there is no sign of a scar. He recalls how his parents didn’t even recognize each other; how their stories about when they met were different, how his mother went on about Dad being a great driver, how the siblings didn’t even know Dad had lived in the states . . . what is going on?

Joong Hee asks Jun Young if there are any childhood photos of him with Dad. Jun Young finds a family album in the living room. Joong Hee takes it to his room and flips through it. There is a picture of Dad with Jun Young at his first birthday party. He holds up the picture his mother gave him next to it: Dad at the birthday party and Dad with his mother are not the same person. “What is this? How is this possible?” Joong Hee says, shaking.


  • Bless Grandma’s heart for putting her soul into winning Korean Quizzing. She was on a roll, but in the end, it wasn’t to be. But can she think on her feet and used the air time to call out the scoundrel who ripped off Uncle and left them financially ruined. Some might think what she did was an embarrassment, but even the production staff understood the impromptu calling out of a bad guy by a tough ol’ cookie who wasn’t wrong about what she did. I love that Min Ha and Grandma get each other and that Min Ha loves her for the way she is. Classic moment.
  • Landlady Oh has cried wolf so many times that even if this illness is the real thing it is going to be hard to deal with her. I felt a teensy-weency bit sorry for the way Husband was so rough and uncaring toward her. He is so checked out after years of intolerable behavior on her part that he can’t see that she needs his moral support. But Landlady Oh is a bubble-head when it comes to recognizing that she has been behaving badly all along. I wonder if it the surgery will reveal that she does have cancer –
  • I got goosebumps when Mom indicated to Hye Young that she had a deep secret that even her daughter could never guess. The way she didn’t look up and the fact that she said it out loud, I don’t know, it was eerie. Like Mom might crack.
  • However, with Joong Hee getting closer to realizing that Dad isn’t his mother’s ex-husband, I think we’ll have a truth or dare session soon with the entire family. It won’t be pretty. In the back of my mind I wonder if somehow Joong Hee’s mother might be the key to even more information that is unknown to Mom and Dad that may make the blows less severe for Joong Hee, but that’s just a hunch. And Joong Hee is only a part of the picture; what about the other children, Grandma, and Dad’s criminal status that will result in all this? The story is far from over.
  • Sung Joon seems like story filler somehow; sure, it’s a way to get her in a dating situation that parallels Joong Hee’s dating situation, but it isn’t a terribly compelling tangent. Sung Joon was a real rival to Joong Hee’s ego in the beginning, but I find his character rather bland.
  • I give ra Young credit for being on the ball and reviewing her options the minute she finds herself unemployed. Then, she takes the first opportunity that comes along and makes good with it. She has already caught the Chairman’s eye for being a go-getter. I just hope he doesn’t use her for his own agenda to get to Cheol Soo.
  • Dad is not on the ball. When Joong Hee asks him specific questions about his mother and his relationship, it should dawn on Dad that Jin Soo has told her son some things and that the possibility for stories not adding up is very high. Dad is always caught off guard – again, shouldn’t he be one step ahead if he really plans on keeping his secret?
  • Yoo Joo is putting her health and the baby’s health in danger. The drama has focused on the pressure of the workplace for pregnant women to step down, but at some point it isn’t about that to the extent of not taking your doctor’s advice and proper precautions. In order to keep up her pace, she is not being forthright with Jun Young, either, and that isn’t fair to him. I hope Li Yoo or Li Joo will be all right!
  • Joong Hee picked up some smarts in handling reporters I see. He plays their game: admit to the information but spin it in a way that isn’t tabloid gossip. That takes away the fizz and leaves flat news that no one will read.
  • Psychiatrist ex-girlfriend is messing with Joong Hee no matter how I look at it.
  • Who do you think Joong Hee will go to first with his new revelation that Dad isn’t his dad?






6 thoughts on “My Father Is Strange – ep 36 recap

  1. Thank you so much for these. 🙂 Am very glad I stumbled on one of your links to these via Dramabeans. I haven’t commented, but I’ve really been enjoying these for the past few weeks. They make the wait for new episodes not quite as long.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s sad that a celebrity having therapy sessions is a possible career ender. Can’t believe the reporter wanted to put Joong Hee’s business out there like that. Like damn shouldn’t some things be off limits?

    Landlady Oh is the biggest drama queen ever. By this time in her life I’m sure she’s gone through menopause. Yes, the husband could have been more compassionate but c’mon.

    Can’t wait to see how it goes down with Ra Young, Cheol Soo and his dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Celebrities are public figures in the worst way – they are afforded no privacy and everything is a potential scandal. I read a book called The Birth of Korean Cool which discusses the unique fan-based celebrity environment in Korea – it is eye-opening and very interesting. I can hardly imagine the pressure and privacy invasion. I guess that’s why Mr. Kang is the way he is with both Joong Hee and Yoo Joo. She, too, has no privacy with life decisions versus career.

      Liked by 1 person

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