My Father Is Strange – ep 51 recap

Mi Young thinks she is going to surprise Joong Hee when he enters his apartment, but she is the one who gets the surprise of her life when his mother enters. With a look up and down his mother asks, “Who are you?” Joong Hee arrives a moment later and quickly assesses the situation, wincing at how awkward it is for both women.
“Mom! When did you get here? You should call before you visit your 36 year-old son’s apartment….” Standing there in a perfectly adorable candy striped shirt, he introduces Mi Young as his girlfriend; she bows. Then he awkwardly tells Mi Young to grab her bag, here’s the door, weren’t you about to leave? She practically trips over herself running out. He texts her that he is sorry he can’t bring her home with his mother’s sudden appearance. So much for a nice, relaxing evening together.   

So–his mother has come on the news that his father, her ex-husband–is dead, and Lee Yeon Seok used his identity all these years. Dad didn’t only fool him, she says; she too thought Han Soo was alive those thirty-five years. The truth, Joong Hee tries to explain, is that fire has already been put out. While he understands that his mother wants an explanation of all this from Lee Yeon Seok, he tries to get her to see his point of view. He came to love the family and was happy living there. Not only that, his career has taken off because of the drama. But, can she not explode when he tells her the next thing he asks? Mi Young is that man’s daughter. What? Mother can’t let that go easily.

Dad returns with Mom and Hye Young from the Sokcho courthouse where the retrial petition was filed. His children are waiting and want to know if the real culprit will be caught and tried. Hye Young explains that is another matter. First, Dad will have to be found innocent before the investigation can go in that direction. It is frustrating. Hye Young decides to set up her office in the empty Snackshack for the time being. She will have a lot of preparation for the defense.

Mom and Dad talk about the weird experience of walking into that courthouse in Sokcho where everything happened thirty-five years ago. Mom says she imagined Dad as that seventeen-year-old, even though they didn’t know each other at that time. For Dad, that building had filled him with fear and distress, but this time-with his wife and daughter-he was encouraged. They reminisce on how well their children have turned out; they brought them up well. With that Mom toasts, “Congratulations on your retrial Yeon Seok.”

The girls are asleep in their room. Well, not Mi Young. She lies awake and wonders if she should tell Mom and Dad that Ms. Ahn (Joong Hee’s mother) is in town. Joong Hee texts that he spoke with his mother and she promised not to show up at their house, Mi Young shouldn’t worry. Joong Hee is trying his best to be a go-between for his mother and his girlfriend. It isn’t easy.

As Hye Young and Jung Hwan get in the car to go back to his parents’ house, Mom is a bit sentimental. She hugs Hye Young and thanks her for all she has done for Dad. “I don’t think I deserve you,” she tells her daughter warmly.

Landlady Oh and Husband take a walk together. She is making an effort to join him in his hobbies. She can’t help but notice the attention that he gives Chico. When they get back to the house, Hye Young and Jung Hwan are there, too. Hye Young reminds them that their month trial before graduating from marriage is over. It is almost as if Husband and Landlady Oh have forgotten about that. Hye Young suggests they write a graduation contract. There are questions that should be answered before the graduation takes effect. First, she asks, are they going to allow the other to enter into relationships? They agree that it’s a no since it’s not a divorce. Second, how often will they meet up after the marriage graduation? Once a month? Jung Hwan suggests once every three months. Husband stutters a bit and thinks that once a month is all right if Landlady Oh agrees. So, that’s settled. Third, what if there is sickness of hospitalization? Will they rely on each other or go it alone? Husband speaks up and says he will be her guardian. Landlady Oh agrees to do the same. She seems startled by Husband’s agreeableness during this discussion. Husband complains that there are too many questions and asks Hye Young to leave the contract with them to review and get back to her.

Uncle and Aunt have come up with another pizza recipe. Grandma and Min Ha think it’s a winner. They discuss whether to use the prize money to open a restaurant or save it for the upcoming babies. After all, the expenses will add up. Grandma, always full of surprises, hands Uncle a bank book. She tells him that she saved it little by little for Min Ha’s schooling, but they should use it now when they need it. She asks Min Ha if he is disappointed, but he is happy and vows to get a scholarship anyway. He leans over and hugs Grandma. They are so cute together. Aunt apologizes for always taking, but Grandma says parents are happiest when they can help out their family. She promises Min Ha that she will continue to save here and there for him.

Ra Young gets an offer (from the Chairman himself) to host the home shopping channel for GB Corporation. She calls Cheol Soo for moral support. Chairman asks why he is there – is he her manager? No, her boyfriend, Cheol Soo replies. Ra Young is willing to consider the offer to host “picky part-timer’s picky eater picks,” she tells Chairman, but doesn’t he owe her an apology? He sheepishly gives her a wrapped apple he has prepared – a play on apology and apple. Cheol Soo starts to say that Chairman has it wrong, but Ra Young understands it is his way of apologizing and accepts it, along with the home shopping offer.

Joong Hee leaves for work. His mother stays at his apartment. She immediately makes a call to Mr. Kang to ask for Mi Young’s phone number. Next, she calls Mi Young to come over. Mi Young is stressed at the face-to-face meeting with Joong Hee’s mother who reads her the riot act. Who are you to date my son? Shouldn’t you break up? Don’t you have any sense of what is right? Mi Young politely stands up for herself. She tells his mother that she did force herself to stay away from Joong Hee. She did turn him down. But it was bad for them both. Joong Hee was hurt by that. She completely understands how mother feels and knows she and her family probably comes off as shameless and brazen.

“But Mother, if anyone cherishes Joong Hee as you do, it is my family.” Joong Hee’s mother seems taken aback by this. Mi Young continues, saying that she really loves Actor Ahn a lot. She isn’t worthy, she knows, but she can be a safe haven for him. He can rely on her and tell her everything. She is healthy and can protect him. Above all, she truly loves him. “Will you please give me permission to date him?”

A smiling Joong Hee stands in the hallway. He has heard most of what she has said. “Why are you confessing this to her and not me?” he asks with that killer grin (and dressed in an adorable cupid shirt). He has a decent relationship with his mother and tells her that he found out she called Mr. Kang and was worried that something like this would happen. He even stopped the filming. He uses it as a way to prove to his mother how much he loves Mi Young. So, please stop trying to break them up, he asks, and he can get back to filming, and will be home late for dinner. With a cute wave and finger heart to his mother, he scurries out the door to take Mi Young home. Joong Hee has a way of winning over hearts.

Mi Young is a little embarrassed about Joong Hee walking in on her groveling. She tells him to stop chuckling. “Then say it to me, I want to hear what you told my mom” he teases. He gives her a sweet kiss. She is worried that someone will see. “I want to go public. I want to walk the streets with you. I want everyone to know you are my girlfriend,” he tells her. Mi Young looks into his eyes and softly says, “I love you.” Without an instant of hesitation, Joong Hee says, “I love you, too.” Obstacles removed!

Husband can’t decide how to fill out the graduation from marriage contract questions. He is unsure how Landlady Oh feels. Hye Young and Jung Hwan stop by, expecting the forms to be completed. Husband finally admits to Landlady Oh that he has changed his mind. After all, he got scammed and injured and who was there for him? None other than his wife. In a roundabout way he tells her that he would like to stay. Jung Hwan teases that his father just told his mother that he loves her. Hye Young quickly texts Landlady Oh: Use this opportunity to push through your requirements. She tells Husband that if he will agree to her requirements she will agree to stay together.

Her requests are simple: “Treat me like how you treat Chico. Take me on walks. Spend time with me. Compliment me like you compliment Chico. Do you know how envious I’ve been because of Chico?” In a way, it is sad to hear a wife ask her husband to treat her as good as he treats his dog. But she makes her point and Husband smiles and agrees.

He requests an increase in his allowance. How about five, well, um $400 he asks? Okay, then $500 it is, Landlady On agrees, upping his allowance in her moment of generosity. “What? You never let me down. From now on my motto is ‘Oh Bok Nyeo forever,’” Husband adds. Jung Hwan tears up the contract and everyone claps, happy this crisis is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

Jung Hwan congratulates Hye Young on being the one who convinced his parents to work through their issues and come to a good conclusion. Now that they are back in their upstairs quarters, they don’t have to sleep in separate rooms like they did at her parents. So – to the bedroom!

When Landlady Oh uses the restroom, Husband waits outside. He recalls her words: You compliment Chico even when he just poops. When she comes out, Husband claps and compliments her just like Chico. ‘Yebo!” she shouts. One should be careful of what one wishes for, I guess.

Jun Young has done some footwork for the retrial and tracked down the detectives from the incident to see if they will cooperate. Dad is so pleased. The children ask Dad what he wishes for when this is all cleared up. He wants a food shop in his real name. “That’s it?” Ra Young scolds. The girls give him a hard time–Mom says they never go to travel so shouldn’t he offer to take her places? He promises to do so after he opens the shop, but Mi Young and Ra Young say wrong answer. “Mom, you should really leave him,” Ra Young says crossly. “Should I?” Mom teases back.

Hye Young has set up her war room in the Snackshack with articles and pictures pinned up to help her make her case. The sisters are helping her clear out the space. Mi Young excuses herself to go upstairs. She finds Mom and Dad in the kitchen. She has something to say: Joong Hee’s mother is in Seoul. She wants them to be prepared in case his mother stops by to see them.

Mom asks Dad if he wants to see Ms. Ahn. Dad says yes; Mom thinks they should see her together.

They meet her at Joong Hee’s. Dad apologizes that it took this long to meet with her. He doesn’t feel like he can ask her for forgiveness, but still he wants to apologize. “I did a terrible thing,” Dad tells her. He promises to make it up to her son from now on. Mom also apologizes. Ms. Ahn says she was angry about what they did to her son. And that their daughter is dating him. But she can’t stop her son. Furthermore, Joong Hee stopped her from barging into their home and suing them. It’s because he told her he was happy in their home. She always felt guilty that she wasn’t able to give Joong Hee the attention so she couldn’t say anything and when he told her he was happy the words cut deep. But, she was glad to hear that he felt happy and loved.  “So, as of today I think I’ll try to forgive you both,” she generously offers.

Dad and Mom look up. Their words “thank you,” say it all and at the same time could never say enough.

Joong Hee orders coffees for his mother, enough variety to make sure he brings her something that she likes. He wears a mask, but a couple of high school girls mistake him for Lee Joon. “It’s not,” one says. “Lee Joon is so much better looking,” (cute inside play on Lee Joon).

Handing her several carriers of coffee flavors, Joong Hee enthusiastically asks, “Mom, what do you think about Yeon Seok?” She scolds that he is asking too much of her. But they are close and he teases cutely so she can’t refuse to answer his questions the way he wants her to. She agrees they are nice people. But that doesn’t mean she is giving consent for dating. If he asks to marry she may say no. That’s enough for Joong Hee, though, and he holds his mother closely. He is sure, he tells her, that if she meets Mi Young a few more times and she will fall in love with her, too.

Jun Young meets with the detective from the old high school who agrees to tell what he remembers if it will help. He wants to help Hye Young clear Dad’s name and give him back his identity.

Jung Hwan and Joong Hee have the same idea to bring food to Hye Young as she works hard on the retrial. Joong Hee remembers how he was put in his place by the family and bows to his sunbae and older brother-in-law. The siblings are all gathered, catching up on the day’s results. Jun Young teases Joong Hee as the youngest one dating a family member and expects him to greet him properly.

Of course it is all in good fun and they share a lighthearted meal together for a change. When Jung Hwan and Hye Young call each other Walnut and Cracker, Joong Hee complains that being called Actor Ahn by Mi Young is the worst. “What should I call him, then?” He thinks “bigbro” is good, but they can’t allow that!

Hye Young has something to say: when Dad’s surname is recovered, we will go from Byun to Lee. They will get new ID cards and records and if they want they can introduce themselves to new people as Lee, but they can also keep the Byun family name with family. How do they feel about that? Yoo Joo would like their future baby to be named Byun and Jun Young agrees. Joong Hee asks Mi Young if she remembers what he already told her: he doesn’t care if she is Byun Mi Young of Lee Mi Young. Oooo! The others joke that it’s cringe worthy and corny to say such a thing.

Everyone is ready for the big day. “Are you nervous?” Mom asks Dad. Hye Young solemnly reviews what she is going to say. “Do I look nervous?” she asks Jung Hwan. He shakes his head no, but she admits that she is. Mom gives her a reassuring nod.

Mi Young pulls up in a bus for the entire family, Grandma et al. It is a heavy and important occasion – on the will be life-changing for Dad. Hye Young steadies herself with a cheer, “You can do this, Lee Hye Young.” Did you catch that name switch she made?

The reporters are waiting in front of the courthouse and begin snapping pictures the second Dad steps out. He freezes. Hye Young steps up and makes a statement: “With trustworthy testimony, I think the results will be good.” When asked how she feels about defending her father she answers, “No lawyer in the world is as desperate as I.” Mom and Dad look on gratefully.

Dad can tell how much pressure his daughter is under and tells her that she can relax, now. The case is called. Hye Young addresses the court. After a very long pause, she begins her opening statement. She is articulate, accurate, and sure as she recounts the facts. She is prepared and steady as she faces the judge. Her family is proud.

What does the government stand for? Who does the government protect? The court at that time hurriedly pinned an innocent boy with a crime he did not commit. He lived in pain for the rest of his life. Yes the Constitution promises certain rights to all citizens and equal and fair treatment. “It’s a lie,” she boldly concludes to everyone’s shock!

Dad can tell how much pressure his daughter is under and tells her that she can relax, now.

The case is called. Hye Young addresses the court. After a very long pause, she begins her opening statement. She is articulate, accurate, and sure as she recounts the facts. She is prepared and steady as she faces the judge. Her family is proud.

What does the government stand for? Who does the government protect? The court at that time hurriedly pinned an innocent boy with a crime he did not commit. He lived in pain for the rest of his life. Yes the Constitution promises certain rights to all citizens and equal and fair treatment. “It’s a lie,” she boldly concludes to everyone’s shock!

“That is contempt,” she is told.

“Your honor. Please make the right decision and approve my retrial. Scold me for what I said and prove me wrong.” Hye Young has one shot at this and gives it her all. She continues, “Don’t’ give parents a reason to tell their children to turn a blind eye when they see injustice.” How could anyone disagree with that?

With a bow to the judge, she asks for a chance for a retrial. Dad, too, stands and bows to the judge.

Comments:

  • What a cliffhanger! Hye Young went out on a limb and put herself in a precarious position with a strong statement against the government for her father’s trial that was inadequate many years ago. Still, no one can disagree with what she said. She simply reiterated what the Constitution upholds for each and every citizen. It is her professional estimation that those rights were not granted to her father. Although the court may be outraged by such an accusatory statement from a lawyer, they have the burden to look into the testimony and witnesses that she has produced and compare it to the allegations, sentence, and prison stint that Lee Yeon Seok did. Being bold and forceful, Hye Young makes it an all-or-nothing case from the very opening statement. She has proved herself prepared, smart, and gutsy. Her family must be very proud of her tenacity and stamina.
  •  I said before that I like Joong Hee’s mother and I haven’t changed my mind on that. She came for an explanation that she deserved from Mom and Dad and had every right to be angry and ready to sue for fraud and damages. But, she listened to her son and you can tell that they love each other and are comfortable as mother and son who can speak freely. Sure, he is thirty-six and has lived on his own for a long time, but there is nothing a child wants to receive more from a parent that approval. Ms. Ahn realizes this, and knows that she can’t stop her son; she concludes that it is better to work things out by understanding his position and trusting his judgement about love (even though it gets into troubling waters with the Dad connection). Her conclusion to Mom and Dad that, as a mother, she can understand what they did and because they are sincere in coming to her and apologizing she can begin to forgive them – well, that’s big.
  • Joong Hee is so cute with his mother, too, bringing carriers full of coffee just to let her choose what she likes the best and hoping she will say what he wants to hear. He even threw her finger hearts, what a loving son!
  • Joong Hee is just such a cutenik all around wanting to hear Mi Young say to him directly the things she told his mother. Finally, they can say “I love you” without hiding, feeling guilty, or thinking it isn’t going to work.
  • I love the Lee Joon cameo, well – sort of. The high school girls think the guy behind the mask is Lee Joon (ha) but then decide that he is handsomer than this guy. I had a big grin on my face over that one.
  • The way Landlady Oh and Husband came around is fitting as well. It turns out that a month waiting period before going forward with such an arrangement is a very good idea. A couple who are too familiar with each other that every move the other makes is annoying needs a way to get a different perspective. Nothing is ever black and white. I did feel sorry that Landlady Oh only wished to be treated as well as Husband’s dog, Chico. But then, he got Chico in the first place as a companion that he didn’t have in his wife. Taking a step back helped. Of course, Hye Young’s legal approach shed light on the subject that most people probably don’t consider either, so they had that advantage. Hye Young is some smart cookie.
  • It is good to see the siblings together, ribbing one another lightly as well as sharing the more serious matters, like the close family they have always been.
  • Chairman’s apple apology wasn’t lost on Ra Young. She’s a pretty sharp one herself. Everyone’s story line has follow through in a good way that doesn’t leave us hanging. I like that.
  • Did I miss anything? Are you ready for the grand finale?
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5 thoughts on “My Father Is Strange – ep 51 recap

  1. hahaha “the riot act” made my day. Joong Hee is such a sweetheart swooooon can’t believe one more to go. Much appreciate your recaps thanks

    Like

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