Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 14 Recap

UncontrollablyFond_14_21

We make some headway with this episode. I’m not going to bother with an intro – let’s just dive in.

No Eul refuses to leave Joon Young’s side. That also means, she’ll stay the night with him. Okay… But if you say you’re going to stay by his side, why do you close your eyes and brace yourself for an onslaught of pain or something?

Joon Young pulls back because of her wincing expression  to give himself a moment to rethink his actions. He calls up his mother from the hallway, who’s really busy at the restaurant, to ask for a reminder on why he should not be with No Eul. He decides to pretend that there are no reasons, and resolves to do everything he can to be with her.

Somehow No Eul slips past him and hunches over her knees outside the hotel. How’d she get past him?!

The next day, Joon Young sets up a camera facing himself. Dressed in a suit, he introduces himself and confesses that his doctor told him he did not have much time left to live. Looks like he’s recording his last will and testament?

Meanwhile Young Ok seems to have had a change of heart regarding her son. She’s now willing to welcome Shin Joon Young fans into her restaurant, at least. Gook Young is back washing dishes because he can’t stand Joon Young for what he did to No Eul. Jung Sik smacks his son silly for badmouthing Joon Young, and Young Ok yells for them to stop. She wants to know what Joon Young did exactly to No Eul, the girl he claims to love so much. Presumably Gook Young tells her, and it makes Young Ok wonder if things could have been better for Joon Young’s future had she just stayed with Hyun Joon back then. In fact, could all of their futures have been better now. Jung Shik bets that if Young Ok just went to Hyun Joon now, he’d go back to her. After all, he saw the look on Hyun Joon’s face when they were together.

No Eul is called to her brother’s high school to meet with his teacher, who’s very concerned that the smartest kid in her class refuses to apply to college. No Eul drags No Jik out by the ear and berates him for giving up on his future so easily. He fires back that he’d rather No Eul find them a decent place to stay and pay off all their debts to the loan sharks first before thinking about his college. He knows that his sister is struggling to gather funds for college, so he wants to help earn money and put it off until they can afford it.

With great timing, Eun Soo calls up No Eul right after this argument.

Joon Young welcomes Pororo back into his house. PORORO! I missed you little fella! Now that No Eul isn’t returning to his place, Pororo can shed his hair everywhere. He sees a small thread in Pororo’s fur and tries to pick it off, only to find his motor skills and vision worsening again. He even has trouble picking up his phone when the doctor calls.

His good ol’ doctor wants Joon Young to come into the hospital for treatment already. I’m betting he heard about Joon Young’s worsening condition. Joon Young stubbornly refuses, as he doesn’t want to die in a hospital, and threatens to sue if the doctor notifies Joon Young’s family about the diagnosis. And after he hangs up, Joon Young successfully plucks the strand off Pororo’s fur.

He then receives a visitor: Jung Eun, who wants to return a beautiful diamond key necklace. Jung Eun thinks it’s him flirting with her, but Joon Young says that he gave that gift to the entire crew. (I think he’s lying, but she doesn’t know that.) You can tell she feels a little guilty and wants to take the necklace back, but she can’t or else it’d make her look bad. She thanks him for getting down on his knees to apologize to Seo Yoon Hoo, and he replies, “I couldn’t let a beauty like you get on her knees.” Cue slow close-up on to Joon Young’s face, and you can feel yourself getting lost in his eyes just like Jung Eun.

She hurries to leave, and then asks what it was that he said the night he saved her from the pool. He refuses to tell her, as that would reveal all his cards too early, so he pretends it was something inappropriate and he can’t tell her because she’s “engaged.”

Jung Eun doesn’t leave though, as she spends a moment on his private pier looking out at the river. She wants to know about Joon Young’s feelings for No Eul, and he honestly admits that he loves her very much – so much that she’s too precious for him to have, and that’s why he’s mean to her. Jung Eun can’t believe that such a love exists, what more for a girl that she believes is beneath her. It actually makes her even more angry that both Joon Young and Ji Tae love No Eul, and she stomps off – only to break her heel in a grate and twist her ankle.

Joon Young isn’t a total asshole to her, and he helps her into his house to ice it. She’s impressed (once again) by his kindness, only to hate him again when he says he has a lot of practice treating No Eul’s ankles. She decides it’s time to leave – but then asks Joon Young to drive her home because she can’t press on the pedals. Ugh, this girl… During their car ride, Jung Eun proposes to seduce Joon Young, make him hers to make No Eul feel the pain and loss she felt in getting jilted at her engagement party. She also wants Ji Tae to feel jealous for losing her to Joon Young. How about it? Would Joon Young let her?

When they arrive at her apartment, he rejects her. Shut. Down! Jung Eun could never steal his heart away from No Eul, suggesting that she is not as attractive when compared to No Eul. (And I don’t just mean by looks.) That pisses Jung Eun off a lot.

Meanwhile, Ji Tae is now working in the shipping facility for KJ Group. This is like, the lowest of the lows in demotions, and he was sent here by his parents. His former secretary Kang Gyu Chul comes to see him and, now that he can speak informally to his friend, lightly scolds him for disobeying his parents in pursuing No Eul. He adds that No Eul just arrived at the KJ building to meet Eun Soo. Uh oh!

No Eul gets right to the point: she’s not leaving Korea. Eun Soo agrees, as how could a Korean live anywhere else but Korea? She too gets right to the point and gives her a check for 1 billion won. With it, she expects No Eul to leave Ji Tae alone.

Ji Tae bursts in at that moment and snatches the check, ready to rip it. But No Eul grabs it back and accepts it, as long as it’s not a forged check. Yeah, she totally sold Ji Tae out for 1 billion. Ji Tae chases after her and tells her to return it, thinking that she should have acted more nobly in turning down the money and demanding an apology. Because that is what she deserves – an apology from his parents for ruining her life. But No Eul takes a pragmatic approach to the situation: What does it matter if she takes the money? No matter what she says, no one is going to listen to her side of the story. His parents will never apologize for what they’ve done. They will never stop trampling over her. So she might as well take the money that they are giving her.

No Eul heads over to Nari’s workplace and offers to buy her everything she wants. Nari thinks she’s crazy, especially when No Eul gets her everything she wants from an expensive designer store and the bill comes up to over 8 million won. But No Eul flashes her 1 billion check and hands it over to the cashier. Heh – they don’t accept checks though, especially ones that huge. (I don’t get why No Eul didn’t even bother going to the bank first to deposit the money or cash it in.)

Ji Tae arrives with his credit card and offers to pay for it all himself, but No Eul rejects it. She first reveals to Nari that Ji Tae isn’t Hyun Woo, and is Choi Hyun Joon’s son, so he is not to be trusted. Ji Tae wants her to return every cent of the 1 billion. If she’s going to take his parents’ money, she ought to take everything – because that’s how much forgetting her dad’s life should be worth, right?

That evening, Joon Young heads over to No Eul and Nari’s home, choosing to hang outside the door. He quickly hides behind a parked car when Nari comes out the door to greet No Eul, who’s coming in in a taxi. She cashed the check and went back to the store to buy a whole bunch of clothes and shoes for Nari and No Jik. Nari is furious with her for taking advantage like this; she is basically voicing out what the normal K-drama cliche should be and how it should play out. But No Eul argues that her father isn’t going to come back from the dead if she rejects the money. In fact, her father would be cheering her on for finally thinking of herself and taking the money, for moving on and trying to make a stable life for her and Jik, for not being so generous this time around. Both sides have valid points, and it pains Joon Young to see the moral sacrifices No Eul must make.

Nari kicks No Eul out of her house, because she wants nothing to do with her heartless friend, and so No Eul wanders around drinking boxed up soju with all the shopping bags. Joon Young follows her, keeping an eye on her as she vents her frustrations on the stuff that she bought. Eventually No Eul passes out, and Joon Young carries her to Nari’s doorstep, rings the doorbell, and leaves.

Ji Tae returns home for dinner to overhear his mother boasting about what a wonderful job Jung Eun has been doing at work. But Hyun Joon doesn’t care because all he can think about is Young Ok, and Haru is preoccupied with waiting for No Jik’s texts. Ji Tae wants his mom to stop toying with Jung Eun and making her part of the family, as he doesn’t want to marry her at all. He adds that there is a lot of gossip around Jung Eun, saying that she is only there because she’s related to Eun Soo. Hyun Joon tunes in for this part of the conversation (mainly because he’s happy to see his son join them at dinner) and adds that many people said the same thing when Ji Tae first started until he proved he was capable.

He goes back to his room to apply a hot patch to his sore back, and Hyun Joon helps him for where he can’t reach it. Ji Tae reports to his father about what his mom did to No Eul, which I’m a bit surprised at since I thought Ji Tae was angry at his father too. By telling on his mom to his dad, it seems like he’s trying to find an ally against his mother. But Hyun Joon doesn’t sympathize with Ji Tae’s position. No Eul didn’t reject the payment, nor make speeches about how she’s too good for these bribes. No matter how unjust it may seem, it is what it is. In a way, Hyun Joon is a bit too fair for his own good. He can see both sides of the argument very clearly and can understand the moral issues at hand, but he isn’t going to do anything that isn’t favorable to him. He even questions Ji Tae’s actions: What is he trying to protect when No Eul isn’t giving him anything to protect with?

Nari calls up Ji Tae in tears, asking what he did to No Eul that’s made her so morally corrupt and greedy. She wants her old No Eul back, not this money-grubbing one. So with that, Ji Tae calls up Secretary Kang – he’s ready to take down his parents with everything he’s got.

The following day, No Jik tries to study for the civil service exam, planning to take that immediately after graduating high school to get a job. Haru is with him at the library, staring at him instead of concentrating on studying for the college entrance exam (which would be her third time taking it). He makes fun of her for her terrible grades, and then notices her jacket has Shin Joon Young pictures printed all over them. She takes it to mean that he’s jealous of Shin Joon Young, but I don’t think No Jik could ever be with their history. He tries to help her with a math problem, but Haru chooses to kiss him on the cheek instead. She just can’t resist that flawless skin and luscious lips! No Jik jumps back, a little freaked by what she just did. Heh.

Joon Young is trying to exercise his hand (so that he doesn’t lose all motor control) when he gets an alert that it’s Jung Eun’s birthday. He purchases a pair of shoes at a store and then calls up someone to find out where he can find her. At the same time, No Eul wakes up in Nari’s bed and gets treated to hangover soup, because Nari is the best friend ever. She then gets a visit from Secretary Kang, who must whisk her away to Jung Eun. Meanwhile Ji Tae is speeding off to somewhere, looking quite anxious. I’m guessing that these few scenes are gonna be fleshed out next week in some weird flashback form again.

No Eul arrives at a restaurant that apparently Jung Eun owns. So she was a restaurant owner before all this (which explains her title and her being a chef the entire time). She wants a private dinner with No Eul because it’s her birthday today, but No Eul has ruined her chances with Ji Tae and Joon Young so no one is going to come celebrate with her. No Eul apologizes, as what else can a powerless woman in her position do, and promises not to see Ji Tae again. Jung Eun sounds like an angry mother trying to teach her child a lesson when she reiterates that No Eul got 1 billion won already to confirm that she won’t ever see Ji Tae.

Just then Ji Tae calls, and Jung Eun steals No Eul’s phone and picks it up. “She told on me already to you?” Jung Eun accuses. “I’m going to have to tell Mother [Eun Soo].” It confirms Ji Tae’s worst fears and he hurries to the restaurant. And I just want to smack Jung Eun for being so weak right now; her only weapon is to tell on everyone to Eun Soo and have Eun Soo solve her problems.

Jung Eun flips the tablecloth and all the dishes on No Eul in rage, and grabs her collar. She is so pissed that she has to compete with someone like No Eul because she thinks she’s better than her in every way, that she tells No Eul to go die. Yeah, why don’t you hit her with a car then? Might as well kill off the entire family. If we were in the olden times that would be the easiest way to rid yourself of enemies.

Ji Tae arrives to pull Jung Eun off of No Eul, and No Eul makes her escape, promising again to never see Ji Tae again. He yells at Jung Eun, wondering how cruel he must be to her to have her give him up after twenty years.

No Eul heads to the elevator, and the doors open to reveal Joon Young standing there, gift in hand.

Some Thoughts

I really liked the strong and honest conversations that happened in this episode between No Eul and Ji Tae. It’s refreshing to see that No Eul could easily have become a cliche: either as a downtrodden girl who cries as she gives up her love, or as a self-righteous hero of justice. But No Eul does neither. She doesn’t really give up on any love, sells out with the money easily, and understands that fighting for justice in a world powered by money is wasteful. It’s an ethos that she had when we first saw her in the first episode, and one that makes a reappearance here.

I loved that Ji Tae and Nari presented her options to be that stereotype, but she rejected it. Things don’t have to have a happy ending – just like with Joon Young’s fate. (I really think he’s going to die.) I like that No Eul gave up on Ji Tae’s parents because they’re hopeless. Even though Hyun Joon does see the moral ambiguity in his wife’s actions, he isn’t really doing much to stop it, which means he doesn’t feel all too guilty about it. It’s better to give up on them as human beings (and then get some kind of surprising reversal) than to hold out hope that they will change, that true love will last, that money doesn’t have to get in the way of things.

But then I hated how the episode ended. After being so frank with a lot of people, Ji Tae couldn’t even muster up to say to Jung Eun, “You should be the one apologizing to her since you killed her father!” I guess it’s too early for Jung Eun, as both Joon Young and Ji Tae had so many opportunities to say that to her. But it just made me frustrated as a viewer because the episode was all about facing the truth of the world! And then we couldn’t even tell the one person who caused what it is she did so wrong! I also have a really hard time with how Jung Eun is being written as a weak villain right now. She is acting as how I would expect of a spiteful second female lead, but she is constantly saying that she’ll complain to Eun Soo for every transgression. C’mon. Solve your own problems. She’s not even going to her dad. She’s going to her not-even-a-mother-in-law because she sees her as a mother. But regardless of the closeness of their relationship, they’re not blood related and I would be so ashamed in asking someone else’s mother to fight my battles for me.

(Not to mention, Daddy Yoon was way more effective and quicker in cleaning up her messes.)

I wish this drama ended at 16 episodes, mainly because then it means that things will get resolved more quickly.

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One thought on “Uncontrollably Fond: Episode 14 Recap

  1. Joon Young is killing me. Idk what his plan is with Jung Eun but you just know Eul is going to be hurt because of it. Eul needs to be stronger. Stop going every time someone summons her. Or if she’s going to go stop sitting there being a verbal punching bag.

    With only 6 episodes left I want to see the tables turn soon. I want Eul and Young Ok to have a little time with Joon Young before he dies.

    I’m so frustrated! I knew I shouldn’t have watched this drama but I can’t resist Woobs!

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