This was a slower episode, but it put a lot of characters on the same page. I call it a necessary evil of K-dramas where you need that one “everyone learns the truth” episode but it’s also superbly melodramatic and slow-going for no reason.
So just to backtrack a bit on how Joon Young got to where he was at the end of episode 9, he’s already in his dressing room when he hears from Man Ok that No Eul is here. He goes looking for her and overhears most of the conversation between Hyun Joon and No Eul, especially the bit on how Hyun Joon doesn’t remember her. (Keep in mind, Joon Young knows that Hyun Joon covered up the root cause of No Eul’s father’s death.)
Joon Young snatches the money away and throws it to the ground, demanding an apology from Hyun Joon. Not to be outdone, Hyun Joon then claims that Joon Young was raised quite badly by his parents in being disrespectful: “Why should I apologize and own up to a stupid cat’s mistake?” Wow. For a moment, I really dislike Hyun Joon here. On top of that, he quite clearly reveals that he remembers exactly who Joon Young is and that he had hoped for years to see him return to his Prosecutor’s Office. But now he has no hope for Joon Young: “I didn’t realize that you degenerated to this.” The insult is quite excessive because really the person who was wrong was Haru. She was in charge of the kitten and she was supposed to apologize on behalf of the kitten. Hyun Joon also didn’t help in raising his daughter badly.
After the father and daughter leave, No Eul picks up the money. She’s been overly insulted at this point but she’s also willing to just take the money. Joon Young gets so angry with her that he rips up the money (what a waste!) and she furiously tells him to stop butting into other people’s business. She just referred to herself as “other people” – it’s like they’re not even dating.
Joon Young angrily returns to his dressing room where he finds out that CEO Namgoong is going to accept the award on behalf of Joon Young’s mother (since Young Ok refuses to show). Joon Young asks Gook Young to call up his mother, who picks up the phone and claims that she is too busy to talk to him. In reality, she’s at the bathroom of the festival, all dressed up. She was going to show up but her pride kept making her deny that she was going. She probably was going to fade into the background instead of going onstage too.
Joon Young grabs the phone and asks what did he do that was so wrong in choosing the celebrity life over the prosecutorial life. He tells her that he didn’t deserve being a prosecutor because he was corrupt, and he knows he wouldn’t have helped the poor like his mother would have wanted. Young Ok is stunned, and she brings up how he stood up for a bullying victim back in high school. She asks him if he’s rebelling against being a prosecutor because of her past at a hostess bar or for stealing sweet and sour pork for him back in the day, but those are definitely not the reasons. Joon Young tells her not to come, and then announces that he won’t accept the award. He changes out of his tux, and CEO Namgoong passes out from the stress. Heh.
No Eul heads straight to her car, unable to even get her head on straight to work. She doesn’t even pick up the phone when Joon Young calls her. At the same time, Hyun Joon sends his wife and Haru home as Eun Soo really isn’t feeling well. (I bet the stress of potentially seeing Joon Young face to face is stressful for her.) He has to stay behind to save some face with his colleagues. He totally misses seeing Young Ok walking right past in her nice outfit, leaving the festival after being rejected by her son.
Once Haru and Eun Soo leave in their car, Hyun Joon picks up a call from another assemblyman outside. Someone honks behind No Eul, and she sees an opportunity in front of her: Hyun Joon near the road, not paying attention to his surroundings. She flashes back to when her father proudly treated her to Chinese food for rising up to 59th place in class when she used to be 138th, and when No Jik outed her as white-outing the “1” from “159.” She then flashes back to the night her father was killed, and how the police said that Hyun Joon’s involvement changed the entire testimony and direction of the case.
Honestly, it was the longest flashback ever and all I could think about was the car behind her, waiting to pass.
No Eul starts driving, and slowly aims towards Hyun Joon. Joon Young sees what she’s doing as he exits the hall and pushes Hyun Joon out of the way. No Eul swerves and slams into a pillar, narrowly avoiding Joon Young. The car crashes with a terrible crunch, and she’s knocked out, bleeding in the head. (She got herself into a car accident again!) Joon Young gets up, spraining his shoulder, but doesn’t bother to wait to hear Hyun Joon thanking him for saving his life. (Not like that prideful prosecutor would anyways…) He carries No Eul to the hospital and screams for help, but all the nurses and doctors are rendered useless at the sight of a world-famous star. What kind of hospital is this?!
Hyun Joon wonders why No Eul would have gunned for him, as he really doesn’t remember her, but he doesn’t want to press charges. He wants it written off as just a driving misdemeanor. Eun Soo hears though, and she’s not too grateful that Joon Young saved her husband’s life. It doesn’t help that Haru just keeps singing Joon Young’s songs because she’s heartbroken over how her father scolded Joon Young. Ugh I want to kill off this character…
Ji Tae also hears of the accident and he heads to the hospital to see Joon Young, all dressed up. He introduces himself as Hyun Joon’s son and a section chief of KJ Group, and that because of his true identity he gave up on No Eul. Joon Young replies: “So what?” He doesn’t care who Ji Tae is, or why his family should make him give up on No Eul. Joon Young heads out to visit No Eul’s room, where she’s sedated, and apologizes to her for leaving her alone after that fight with Hyun Joon and Haru.
A week passes, and No Eul’s healed better. She hasn’t told No Jik though, who thinks that she’s still working in the editing room. No Jik meets with Haru to get his kitten back, but she shamefully admits to losing it. UGH THIS WOMAN. He grabs her while she’s on the swings and she’s nearly thrown off by how close they are to kissing – and how cute he is. That’s when No Jik lets go of the swing and she falls to the ground. Yeah! Don’t like her! This irresponsible silly girl!
It turns out Joon Young wants him and No Eul to go on a month-long trip together where they can just ignore the rest of the world and hide together. And surprisingly, No Eul is actually quite receptive to the idea. She washes off the hospital grime while Joon Young packs the bags, buying her underwear, pajamas, and matching jackets for them while disguised under an oversized scar. When he arrives at her room, he’s relieved to see that she hasn’t run away, but was in the bathroom applying some makeup.
No Eul wishes that they could hide away for a year, and Joon Young is game even though he knows he won’t be alive that long. This time she asks for the kiss, and he gives her one so deeply that I’m almost sure some paparazzi is snapping pics of them through the hospital window. They head to the parking lot where Joon Young goes to retrieve the car. But that’s when his headache attacks and he falls, crippled momentarily and losing his vision.
At the same time, a couple of detectives come to arrest No Eul for attempted murder of Hyun Joon. It was totally because of Eun Soo – and when Ji Tae hears of it he accuses his mother of putting her in jail out of revenge. Haven’t they caused enough grief upon her family? His mother apparently also sued her for defamation when No Eul dug up evidence of KJ Group’s slush fund (which was true), thus completely ruining her finances. Thankfully Hyun Joon overhears this argument between Ji Tae and Eun Soo when he returns home, and that’s when he finally remembers who No Eul is exactly. It remains to be seen what he’s going to do about it, but I have a funny feeling he won’t be such a good dad for long…
Joon Young meanwhile couldn’t stop No Eul from getting arrested because of his crippling disease. But he manages to get home and call up his lawyer to try and get No Eul out. The lawyer’s hands are tied though as CEO Namgoong won’t let him get involved in No Eul’s affairs anymore. On top of that, Joon Young is under lockdown in his room, not allowed to leave or see No Eul at all.
Jung Eun makes a dinner for her father, who praises her cooking skills and wishes that he wasn’t marrying her off to someone as “second-rate” as Ji Tae. She asks if her father knows what happened to the man she hit all those years ago, and Chairman Yoon says he died. “That’s a relief,” Jung Eun replies. “I heard he was in a coma. If he was in a coma all these years it would have been very hard on the family.” Such cold-hearted compassion. And she moves on to commenting about the good wine as if they were just talking about the weather.
As No Eul spends the night in a cold cell, giving her clothes to another older woman suffering beside her, she sees her father’s vision before her. He scolds her for not taking care of herself, and guilt washes over her as she confesses to accepting Choi Hyun Joon’s money and settling out of court so that she could have the surgery to live and be with No Jik. She admits to trying to forget her father and moving on, feeling that she accepted blood money, but her ghostly father just hugs her and tries to comfort her.
Meanwhile, No Jik pleads outside of Joon Young’s door for his help. He can only think of Joon Young as someone rich and powerful enough to save his sister. Unfortunately Joon Young can’t answer the door from his room, and his headache keeps coming and going. It gets to the point where Joon Young calls up his mother – and Jung Sik picks up. Good thing it was Jung Sik, because only his uncle will hear him out.
Jung Sik’s voice grows increasingly worried for Joon Young’s condition, which means it’s serious enough to spur Young Ok into action. The both of them head over to his house immediately and Young Ok caresses her son’s clammy cheek. It’s hard to describe just how relieved he seems to see his mother finally at his side. She wants to take him to the hospital immediately, but he wants to go to No Eul first. He has to see her.
This episode left me with this strange feeling that nothing happened, and yet a lot of things did happen. Technically a lot of character growth happened. People are reaching their turning points where Eun Soo and Hyun Joon are going down the dark road of Evil-dom, Haru is becoming more and more infatuated with No Jik, No Eul has finally accepted Joon Young but is once again confronted with her father’s death, Joon Young has faced off with his father in a way that cemented their positions on opposite sides of the Moral River, Ji Tae is starting to crumble from the burden of his family’s secrets, and Young Ok is finally coming to terms with her son’s decisions in life. Everyone is pivoting now, and I expect a lot of crying and angry faces from this point on.
At least now all the characters are on the same page, but I still feel a bit emotionally empty inside. Again, it’s a necessary episode, a necessary evil for us to move on to the next phase of the drama.
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 9 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 8 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 7 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 6 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 5 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 4 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 3 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 2 Recap
- Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 1 Recap