My Father Is Strange – ep 50 recap

Dad can’t believe that Lim Jong Hwa is willing to testify. It feels like a dream to him. He thanks Hye Young for all she has done to make this happen. But she warns Dad that this is only the beginning and they will have to see if a retrial is granted. If nothing else, Dad can resolve the forty years of hard feelings. For that, he is thankful.

Mom is recuperating at the hospital. Mi Young and Ra Young give her plenty of attention. Dad asks her on a date so they can talk alone – how cute. But Dad’s expression looks pensive and Mom wants to know what’s wrong. She asks if he found out the biopsy results . . . but that’s not it. Dad tells her the shocking news: he met with Lim Jong Hwa – he and Hye Young went – and he said he would testify. Dad chokes up. Mom beats her chest and cries out, “I’m so grateful.” Never in their wildest imaginations did they dare think this day would ever come. Dad lays across Mom’s chest and sobs at the lifetime of being wronged he suffered and the prospect that finally he can lay that burden down. 

Hye Young treats her siblings to a meal which makes them nervous. “I have good news and bad news,” she tells them. The bad news – she quit my job. The good news: she is going to apply for Dad’s retrial. She fills them in – the man who is the key witness has agreed to testify. They’re stunned. Jun Young thinks that if the retrial is granted, that in itself will get the public’s attention and Dad’s innocence will be known. Hye Young’s siblings cheer her on and tell her that they believe in her.

“Walnut!” Jung Hwan calls out. “What’s with that look?” For once, Hye Young looks relieved and happy. She tells him that she successfully got Mr. Lim to testify. She cries tears of joy and relief. He tells her how proud of her he is and hugs her tightly. They truly are a couple who is there for each other.

The daughters show up at the hospital to bring Mom home. Dad is already there, however, tending to her needs. Mom is pleased with the attention, joking that all her daughters who have lost their jobs are showing her so much attention. Is that something to be proud of, she jokes? They giggle at Dad’s attention to Mom, too.

Once Mom is settled in bed at home, Dad and Mi Young go to the market together. They ask the vendor for garlic at the same time, realizing that they both looked up anti-cancer foods. When Dad asks for several other items, Mi Young takes out her list – it’s the same. Like father like daughter. Both have Mom’s best interest at heart.

Hye Young has tea with Jung Hwan and his parents. Landlady Oh mentions that things keep happening, didn’t her mother just have surgery? Husband adds that he heard about a possible retrial for Dad? Hye Young fills them on the details about the retrial. Husband even offers to call his media connection in the news department if that would help. And . . . they want Jung Hwan and Hye Young to come back. Husband elaborates with a quote from The Great Gatsby. (Husband paraphrases it in the kdrama, but the quote from the book goes like this: Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.) With a sideways glance at Husband, Landlady Oh says they have decided to be understanding and they want them to come back.

The atmosphere is different this time when Hye Young visits Mr. Lim. She has come to take his statement and he is cooperative. As she writes his story, they both have to stop along the way to wipe away a tear and take a deep breath. Recalling the details of that day and hearing them is an emotional experience. With the details in place and her research completed, Hye Young takes a big step and fills out the form: Request For Retrial.

Husband and Landlady Oh are shopping. He seems to be looking for something special and picks up some good ginseng for Mom as a get well gift. But Landlady Oh tells him to put it back; she has already reserved something. The butcher hands her a lovely package of meat. “Good job,” Husband tells her. Dad is surprised when he answers the door and finds his in-laws standing there. Apparently in her busyness, Hye Young forgot to tell her parents that her in-laws would stop by.

Well, some things haven’t changed; they are awkward around each other. Landlady Oh goes in to Mom’s room to visit and can’t help but go on and on about the quality of the beef she has brought and how she would have thought to bring anything less for Mom’s recuperation. Yes, thank you, Mom repeats. Dad and Husband have little to talk about: how’s the weather? Dad apologizes and says that he is ashamed to face Husband, but Husband replies that Dad was the one who went through so much. Even Landlady Oh compliments her d-i-l to Mom. For in-laws, this is as good as it gets.

Ra Young looks for a job but she isn’t sure what she is good at. Cheol Soo tells her that she is good at sales. Just then, he gets a call from Twin who is looking for a home shopping salesperson. Ta-da! Ra Young is the person they need! She isn’t as enthusiastic as they are, feeling inexperienced. But, what the heck, she’ll give it a try. On air: they are selling healthy foods from GB Corporation.

Ra Young is unfiltered in her comments, saying that she doesn’t actually have a good relationship with the Chairman, but he does use the best ingredients since she, as a part-timer, was sent to the fields to check on that. On the charts, the sales are increasing! Next, she comments that a particular product is bitter. But you can taste the pure ingredients and feel yourself getting healthier. And if you are very picky, just try this (she holds up another GB product)!

Sales increase again! Twin and Cheol Seo are all smiles. Chairman is watching, he can’t deny the results. “Nice. Sold out!” he shouts.

Dad has prepared a very healthy meal with lots of garlic and vegetables. “I’m planning on making healthy food from now on,” he informs the family. Mom comments that her results aren’t even out yet, but he is cooking foods that are cancer-fighting. The taste is different, but it is healthy and the family is willing to change their diet for Mom’s health benefit.

Mi Young gets a text from Joong Hee: I have a shoot tonight. I think I’ll be up all night. I miss you.

You must be tired. Finish your shoot and rest at home.

Joong Hee is going crazy not seeing Mi Young. Is that all she can say when he tells her that he misses her? Jong Hwan wakes up startled to find Joong Hee next to him. “What are you doing here?” he asks. Joong Hee says, “That’s my line,” and explains that he came in late after a night shoot.

Before Jong Hwan can tell the family that Joong Hee is asleep upstairs, he comes bouncing down the stairs. Everyone is thrilled to see him except for Mi Young who is a bit self-conscious about her pjs and messy morning appearance. She gets up from the table, puts on a cute outfit and tidies up her hair, and returns with a shy smile. Joong Hee smiles back. He comments on the healthy food and Mom fills him in on Dad’s plan to keep her well with cancer-fighting veggies.

“Garlic and cabbage must be the menu today,” Joong Hee says and everyone laughs. It’s good to see everyone sitting around the table enjoying a meal together.

The timing seems right for Dad to take Joong Hee to Han Soo’s gravesite. It is a solemn occasion. Joong Hee stands by stiffly as Dad tells Han Soo that he has brought him his son. He apologizes that he it is so late in coming; nevertheless, son and father meet for the first time under the sad circumstances. Dad holds traditional rites and suggests that Joong Hee pour his father a drink. He obliges.

After they pay their respects, the men sit down and talk. Joong Hee is honest and wonders out loud why he has mixed feelings. Shouldn’t he feel something? On the contrary, he doesn’t feel emotional at all. Maybe, he reasons, he missed having a father, but since there are no memories to look back on, it is a strange feeling. A disconnect, somehow. Dad apologizes, but Joong Hee asks him not to anymore; it isn’t Dad’s fault that his father died before he knew him. Maybe after this long and painful ordeal, Joong Hee and Dad have come to some sort of peace about it all. Dad asks Joong Hee if he would really like to become his son. But, that complicates things and Joong Hee stutters, not sure what to say. Dad tells him that he felt that he should offer such an arrangement, but perhaps leaving things as they are is best. Next time, they will visit his great aunt in the care home, Dad suggests. Joong Hee agrees.

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Mr. Kang calls Joong Hee with the latest rumor: he and Hye Rim, his co-star, are dating. “What?” Joong Hee cries out. When he and Dad reach home, the family already has seen the rumor. Mi Young storms to her room. The guys tease Joong Hee for being involved in at least five rumors, is it now? Ra Young is sharp enough to read what is going on between Mi Young and Joong Hee and makes a way for him to go and talk to her alone. He apologizes and insists that the rumor is absolutely false. He didn’t do one thing that would lead anyone to such a conclusion; however, he is willing to make calls – anything – to set the record straight. “I only love you, Mi Young,” he promises. But Mi Young is too sad to listen.

Finally, Joong Hee blurts out, “Okay. Let’s just tell everyone we’re dating!” As Mi Young replies that they can’t do that, it is already too late. Every one of her siblings and spouses heard what Joong Hee just said. Oops!

The cat’s out of the bag. Joong Hee and Mi Young kneel before her entire family. They confirm the truth that they’re dating. Joong Hee takes some ribbing from Jun Young and Jung Hwan, but everyone is tickled, if not a little surprised. Joong Hee fluctuates between too-casual speech and awkward formalities now that the relational  hierarchy has shifted. “Hey, Sis,” he all-too-casually talks to Hye Young. She reminds him that she is the oldest sister and he can’t possibly be serious about her younger sister if he is going to speak that way. He will refer to her as “Lawyer Byun” for now.

The discussion quickly changes to who should pay for the chicken Ra Young ordered. the new boyfriend should, she says. As Joong Hee gladly takes out his wallet, Jung Hwan insists on paying as the oldest son-in-law of the family. It is a cherry time for all, except for Mom who has a look of concern on her face.

Mi Young tells Joong Hee that she can’t eat chicken as she is still traumatized from that time she was sent to get chicken during his kiss scene and gives him some cold shoulder attitude. Joong Hee can’t stand for Mi Young to be upset and assures her that he, too, can’t stand that chicken. He just wants her -them – to be okay.

In fact, isn’t it great that the news that they are dating is out and her family knows? So, what will she call him? For Mi Young, anything is all right except brother. Ain’t that the truth. Joong hee gives her a hug and doesn’t hold back. He truly is happy.

Dad notices Mom’s look and asks if she is worried about Mi Young and Joong Hee. How does he feel about it, she asks? Dad replies, “It’s complicated,” but then he wonders if it isn’t fate and if they should leave it alone. Let things progress naturally; they haven’t dated long. Mom feels that way, too. She is pleased but concerned. Happy but uneasy. It is complicated, she agrees.

The sisters are anxious about Mom’s results tomorrow. Will everything be okay? Uncle tells Aunt that he is worried for his sister. What if it’s cancer? Grandma walks in; she’s overheard. “Cancer? My daughter?” They have all tried to keep it from her, but now that she knows, she tells Mom that she wants to go to the hospital with them for the results. As the doctor begins to explain, Grandma can’t hold back. She begs the doctor for good news; fate is too cruel to deal such a blow to her daughter after all she has been through. A mother cannot watch her child be sick – can’t he just take her life instead? The doctor kindly smiles and happily informs Grandma, Mom, and Dad that no one is going anywhere anytime soon. The tumor was benign and they got it all. To everyone’s relief. Mom gets a clean bill of health.

Grandma, who is sued to holding it in, falls apart in the hallway. She couldn’t have survived with the news that her daughter might die at such an early age. They are all relieved that another calamity have been averted. Mom excitedly texts her children: Did you worry about me? Mother is fine. Come home early and I will cook a feast. No garlic, onions, and cabbage. She looks up at Dad tenderly and they laugh.

Mi Young makes spaghetti at Joong Hee’s apartment. He texts that Tae Boo is driving especially slow and there is traffic. He is happy to know that she is there waiting for him. I’ll be there in five. Mi Young grins from ear to ear. When she hears him at the door she runs to meet him. Who should walk in but Joong Hee’s mother! They are both surprised!

Hye Young, Mom, and Dad walk confidently to the court. Hye Young informs the clerk that she is there to submit a request for a retrial.

Let the legal resolution of the false charges against Dad for a murder he did not commit begin.

Comments:

  • Things are moving along nicely. Like Mi Young and Joong Hee’s relationship, now that it is out in the open. I always have a hard time with the netizens, rumors, and terrible consequences for SK idols and actors and dating. I even read a book once that addresses this, stating that the idol industry is created and maintained by the relationship they have with their fans. Thus, dating has been off-limits, or at least public acknowledgement of dating, in order to preserve the fan base who – of course – wish their male or female idol to be all theirs. At first, when Mr. Kang was so harsh about any rumors concerning Joong Hee, I though he was mean. But, he – as a member of the idol industry phenomenon – is only trying to protect his agency’s actors and idols and his agency from the realities that exist. All of this, and I haven’t even included their brother/sister mix-up from the start. Complicated, indeed.
  •  I am happy for Hye Young that she has been able to follow through, step by step, and come to the place where applying for a retrial has a chance. She has done the hard work, even finding the witness and getting his statement. That’s the proof she needed. Convincing Dad was hard, too, but her calm, intelligent approach brought him around. Dad only wanted to avoid dragging her daughter into his shameful past, but she looked at it differently. It was a chance to prove her father’s innocence through the legal system. If she couldn’t do this for Dad, what was she a lawyer for in the first place? She was persistent in the right ways and it paid off.
  • The in-law situation improved because of effort on both sides. They even stood up for Hye Young’s Dad and got hauled off to the police station for it. Slowly, little by little, Landlady Oh and Husband are moving toward and not away from each other. Maybe they do have things in common. Or maybe they can grow together in their retirement years.
  • Ra Young is the optimistic one of the family. Even though she doesn’t have any big skills on paper, her way with people is a plus. And she knows herself and stays true herself. That’s refreshing. Honesty has even proven to be the best policy in sales for GB Corporation. The chairman can’t deny that! As she pointed out, the rest of the family was so slow in realizing Mi Young and Joong Hee are dating. She is sharper than she gets credit for. I have grown to like her.
  • Mom’s news was good. It was a blurp that they kinda threw that on us late in the story. But all is well that ends well.
  • I missed Min Ha in this episode. He is always a ray of sunshine!
  • Onward to the finish, kdrama lovers!
  • Oh, I guess the one thing that still has to happen is for Joong Hee’s mother to find out the truth of her former husband and Joong Hee’s father.
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