My Father Is Strange – ep 44 recap

Mom finds Dad cleaning out the refrigerator at Father’s Snackshack in preparation for selling the business. He tells Mom to sit down, he has something to say – he will turn himself in tomorrow. Joong Hee left this morning and told him to leave things as they are. He didn’t want their children to suffer and lose their Dad like he had. Dad felt so ashamed to hear this and wanted to disappear. But he can’t stand to live as Byun Han Soo any longer. The hurt that he’s caused Joong Hee–it would be less than human not to own up to his crimes. Mom never imagined that Joong Hee would forgive them. She confesses that she went over to his apartment the day she found the DNA test results and begged Joong Hee to pretend none of this happened. Dad is upset at her for doing that but Mom explains that she was scared to death.   

So now, Mom agrees that Dad should go to the authorities. Just then Hye Young walks in. Her parents are surprised. Hye Young hands Dad a folder with the information she has collected: articles, the DNA test results, the high school picture, his prison mug shot. Hye Young says the more she searched the weirder things got. The timing of events, the different names, the arrival of Joong Hee – none of it jives. But as she dug further, facts that couldn’t be denied proved that Byun Han Soo wasn’t Dad. “The criminal Lee Yeon Seok is you, Dad?” she asks.

When Dad confirms her deepest fears, she cries, “I’d hoped you’d say no.” Hye Young is in disbelief that her father stole another man’s identity and that her parents lied all these years. Why? They should have told her –she’s a lawyer. And Actor Ahn–they should have told him. “How could you hide something so terrible?” Hearing her parents apologize doesn’t cut it. Her life is turned upside down by this awful family secret. Her parents were her stability, her center of being, she loved and respected them but now she feels like she’s lost her way. The parents she knew are gone. Hye Young is shaken to the core. Her very own identity is at stake: is she Byun Hye Young or Lee Hye Young? she asks. Mom holds her chest and sobs. An emotionally spent Hye Young tells her parents to please think about what they will do. They can’t continue to live like this. Trembling and crying, she leaves.

Hye Young sits alone outside a convenience store in a daze. Jung Hwan comes by and realizes she is upset. He takes her home and makes her a cup of tea. “What made you cry?” he asks, concerned. But Hye Young tells him that she needs time to settle down; when she does, she will tell him first. He asks one question: is she sick? She reassures him that’s not it.

Dad is relieved that Hye Young found out. Now he will turn himself in. Mom asks why he stopped her from telling Hye Young the whole story. (When Hye Young arrived earlier, Dad put his hand on Mom’s to stop her from answering the question about his identity and answered it himself, leaving out the details.) Dad says he didn’t want to give an excuse. He has regrets: he wishes he could turn back time. He said he wouldn’t have met Mom. She has suffered the most. Mom weeps uncontrollably.

Joong Hee drives Mi Young home. He has just confessed, but has asked for a little time to sort out some things. He offers to take her out for coffee or ice cream, but she says he has an early schedule and that he should get some sleep. When she fumbles with her seat belt, Joong Hee reaches over and buckles it for her. (A kdrama heart-flutter must.) She awkwardly says goodbye and tells him she will pick him up in the morning.

Finally, behind her closed bedroom door Mi Young can breathe! It’s as if she has held her breath since Joong Hee grabbed her wrist and confessed to her. Her heart is beating fast; she can’t believe this is happening. Joong Hee still has relationship issues to sort out. What would it have  been like if Byun Mi Young had been Lee Mi Young all this time, he wonders? She’ll never have to know, he tells himself.

Dad prepares a huge breakfast for the family. Mom stands by his side and tells him she will go with him to the police – she is an accomplice. Dad insists on going alone; but he has a favor. He can’t bear to tell the children and asks if she will tell the children everything after he leaves. I can’t help but feel as if Dad hides behind cooking for his family and leaves the hard stuff – the important stuff – to Mom. Even now, the burden is on her.

Mi Young asks Ra Young what she should wear and holds up two outfits. Ra Young asks why she is interested in her clothes all of a sudden – how suspicious! Mi Young puts on makeup, but the result is not very subtle. Yoo Joo offers to retouch it a bit.

Even Jun Young and Dad notice her makeup and comment how pretty she is. Dad tells his family that he loves them a lot; things seem slightly off and the siblings look at one another, but Ra Young and Mi Young shoot hearts his way, with “I love you too, Dad.”

Mom barely holds it together and goes to the bathroom to steady herself. She tells herself that she must accept that Dad will turn himself in. It’s the right thing to do. Dad dresses in a crisp white shirt, slacks, and a jacket. Mom places his shoes facing the door. “Are you okay?” he asks Mom. She nods and the two of them walk to the police station.

Mom and Dad face each other. Dad says, “I’ll see you soon.” Mom is stoic and even smiles to show a strong front. He tells her that if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t have been alive today. When his mother died he wanted to follow. It was Mom’s support that gave him the will to live. They hold hands and then bravely part. Dad walks up to the police station and, looking up, tells Han Soo that he is sorry he is doing this so late. Inside the station he announces, “I am here to turn myself in.”

Mi Young picks up Joong Hee for work. She checks her makeup in the mirror and wipes her lips – it seems overdone, unnatural. When she opens the van door Joong Hee does a double take and asks if she has on makeup. Mi Young makes light of it, saying that Yoo Joo did it for her to cover the dark circles under her eyes. Joong Hee asks if she and Yoo Joo are getting along and she replies that everything melted away with a sincere apology recently. Hearing that makes Joong Hee wonders if what he harbors in his heart will ever be able to melt away.

Mi Young can’t stop staring at Joong Hee as he gets ready for the shoot. He catches her looking his way and smiles adorably.

The Chairman’s secretary points out an online article about his son dating a part-timer. If he thinks he can stop Cheol Soo, he has another thing coming. Ra Young and Cheol Soo have a nice meal together in a restaurant. She is chatty as usual, but he wants to tell her something and looks for the right time to say that he wants to get married. Ra Young is really surprised; married? Isn’t he too young? She hadn’t thought about it; after all her older brother and sister recently married and Mi Young is still single. Cheol Soo says that order and age don’t matter. When he drops her off, he misses her. He thinks about her all the time and only wants to be with her. She listens, and says that she will think about it.

Yoo Joo surprises Jun Young at work. She wants to take him out to lunch. She hands him an envelope of money – the money she was going to give to her mother but found out that she already got a loan from Jun Young. She tells him that she knows her mother came to him and she wants him to use this money to pay back the loan. When Yoo Joo asks why he didn’t say anything to her, Jun Young tells her that it happened after she lost the baby and wasn’t doing well. He gave her mother the money so she wouldn’t go to Yoo Joo and upset her. Yoo Joo understands and appreciates that he meant to help, but if her mother should ask again, she wants him to let her know. It’s time to be free of her mother’s unhealthy hold on her and she wants her husband’s help. Jun Young wants to see Yoo Joo happy and promises that if her mother comes to him again, he will let her know. Jun Young really is a good guy and a good husband.

Hye Young gets a call from work asking how long she will be out. All this mess with her parents has thrown her for a loop. She says she’ll need a week. As soon as she hangs up, Mom calls. Hye Young meets with her, but the atmosphere is uneasy. Mom can’t predict how Hye Young will respond to what she has to say, but she knows it is now or never if she wants to tell the whole story. Mom plows ahead with the details of how Dad was unjustly accused and tagged as a murder. His mother even died while he was in jail and he lost all hope. It was her fault, she tells Hye Young, that Dad took on his friend’s identity. When the identity switch mistakenly happened, she was pregnant with their child, and she saw it as a chance to free Dad and to make a way for a family that otherwise would be marred by his criminal record. “Blame me,” she tells Hye Young. “In fact, don’t see me ever again after this. But can’t you understand your dad a little?” Hye Young is burdened with the knowledge of her parents’ story plus the fact that they did nothing about it all along even though their daughter is a lawyer. She, more than anyone, knows the legal implications of what they did including hiding it all this time. Things are a mess. On top of that, Mom tells Hye Young that Joong Hee knows all of this. But I also don’t think it is what Hye Young expected to hear from Mom, and maybe this additional part of the story gives her a small hope that the family’s footing isn’t completely eradicated.

Aunt goes to the maternity clinic to talk to her doctor. She is concerned about the health of the unborn twins because she is 43 years-old. Although twin pregnancy and her age are factors, the doctor assures her that with care things can go well. She urges Aunt to stop working, however. Uncle has his own worries at home. He looks through their savings, cash, and prize money – it isn’t a lot to raise a family on.  But, he has always admired the way his sister (Mom) raised four children on a shoestring with plenty of love. He tells himself they can do the same. When Aunt returns from the clinic, they talk and figure how to move forward a step at a time. Uncle promises to help out so that Aunt can rest more. It’s time to tell Min Ha. They show him a picture of the ultrasound.

He reaction is golden – he is thrilled that he will have a younger sibling. Well, Grandma helps out with the news that it will be two siblings. “Wow! Mom. Dad!” What a sweetheart♥.

Landlady Oh texts Hye Young about how her strategy for how to handle Husband is going. Hye Young doesn’t respond. Landlady Oh is impatient and texts a slew of how-to-treat-parents proverbs and sayings (which she promised not to do in their agreement). But she can’t help herself. She and Husband have been summoned by Jung Hwan to show up at the studio for some reason. It turns out he has enlisted them for the Marriage School pilot that he is in charge of at the station. Husband wants to bow out until he hears there is $100,000 associated with participating. Jung Hwan also convinces his parents that it is in keeping with their one-month time period they agreed on and encourages his mother to do her best on her self-improvement kick.

There are several other couples on the show. The instructor asks for constructive criticism and when it turns ugly, she adeptly redirects the couples’ comments and rephrases their unflattering responses. The hardest thing is for couples to compliment one another and find good points. So the assignment for the next show: find seven positive aspects about your partner. That’s quite a challenge.

Jung Hwan meets with Hye Young’s friend. He wants to know if there is something up with Hye Young. Her friend doesn’t know anything, either. Jung Hwan is worried. He asks her to have a nice meal with Hye Young and go for a massage together – he will pay for everything. Maybe Hye Young will open up and if so, would she let him know if there is anything serious going on? The friend agrees.

Mi Young sits by as Joong Hee is interviewed. She receives a text from Mom: come home early tonight. I have something I want to say. The siblings form a group text asking if anyone knows what’s up. No one knows for sure, but they don’t have a good feeling about it. Mi Young wonders if it has something to do with Actor Ahn and Dad…

When Mi Young drops Joong Hee off at his apartment, she mentions that Mom called for a meeting with her kids. As she drives off, he looks over his shoulder. What is Mom up to?

Mi Young is the last to arrive home. Mom starts out that she has a story to tell them. Beginning with “there was a man that I loved who was an ex-convict…” Mom reveals details of a story that her children listen to closely. Jun Young shifts nervously, wondering what Mom is talking about. Ra Young’s mouth hangs open, seemingly confused at Mom’s words. Mi Young stares. As she layers the details of their story, the picture starts to emerge. “Than man who died was Byun Han Soo. The man who lived was Lee Yeon Seok.”

“What are you saying?” asks Mi Young.

“Joong Hee is Byun Han Soo’s son,” she finishes as her children try to piece together the mind-boggling tale she tells them.

Hye Young confidently walks into the police station as Dad confesses and provides details of his story. He looks up at her, surprised. She holds out her hand to the police officer and introduces herself: “I am Byun Han Soo’s attorney, Byun Hye Young.”

Comments:

  • Hye Young is amazing. She is so shaken by what Mom and Dad confirm that she takes off a week from work. She isn’t even able to tell Jung Hwan just now. But when she meets with Mom who fills in important details, we see the capable, smart daughter jump into action. Hye Young is level-headed, smart, and willing and able to reassess a situation as facts emerge. Just like a (good) lawyer. And she is able to set aside her doubts, fears, and emotional turmoil to plow ahead when timing is everything. Mom and Dad are lucky to call her their daughter. What can she do? What does Hye Young have in mind? We can be sure she has a plan.
  • It’s cute to see Joong Hee and Mi Young act shy around each other. At least they know their “like” for each other is legit. But, Joong Hee has asked for a little time, and so, as usual, things are up in the air for them. Mi Young is adorable without makeup (such pressure to do wear it). But she wants to look special for Joong Hee and checks her outfits, too.
  • I don’t know what to think of Cheol Soo. He’s not much of a critical thinker and flies by the seat of his pants, so I’m not sure his idea of getting married is well-founded. He is rather bland, too. I like Ra Young more and more every episode. She is the youngest and probably used to being looked at as the baby of the family, but she is every bit as sharp as her siblings with her distinct personality. Like Hye Young, she too, is level-headed. It comes natural for her. I don’t know if Cheol Soo is smart enough for her.
  • Dad. *sigh* I am disappointed in how he continues to be a coward. He hides behind cooking meals for his children as his way of loving them while living a lie all along. Even on the day he turns himself in, he dumps on Mom to do the hard work of telling the children once he goes to the police station. Mom enables him to act this way, but it has been their MOA for 37 years now, so it is no surprise. What choice does she have at this point? They created a tangled family story that can’t be undone. Is it better late than never to reveal it? Maybe not better, just necessary. Let the aftermath chips fall where they may.
  • Yoo Joo’s character is becoming more likable. I think marrying Jun Young is a good, stabilizing thing for her. He has given her room to learn to trust him; it wasn’t that he couldn’t be trusted so much as it was her unwillingness to trust and rely on someone else. But, she has come around and I loved how she gave him the money to pay off the loan he took out for her mother, understood why he didn’t tell her, and asked for his help. Jun Young has stepped into the role of civil worker nicely and is a kind person.
  • Min Ha’s reaction to his parents having twins was charming. I love him!
  • The marriage school is kind of fun at this point. I can’t wait to see what Husband and Landlady come up with for seven positive points about each other.
  • So, now it’s about fixing hurts, repairing relationships, straightening out family truth, and forgiving.
  • How are you liking the direction of the drama at this point?
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7 thoughts on “My Father Is Strange – ep 44 recap

  1. Whoop, you are the best. Thank you for the recap.
    The drama is doing a good job of keeping us in enough suspense, though knowing they are now tying all the loose ends. Joong Hee will be torn between saving Dad and maintaining the father son relationship and choosing Mi Young. Both Miyoung and JoongHee should be prepared for the turbulent times coming ahead, in terms of their relationship. I love Minha too. The twins plot is a bit bland for me. Ra Young, they better not marry her off to Cheol Soo, he is too much of a softy and shallow thinker. Their relationship will be like what Mom is to Dad. Though a bit more romance and screen time for them would have done good service to the drama.

    Liked by 1 person

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