Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! We are officially at the halfway point of our story, and boy, are things starting to ramp up in a big way! 😬😅
I hope you guys are ready to chat about Money Flower episodes 11 & 12! Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:
1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
My gosh. Some hefty truth bombs get dropped this episode, and my brain is still spinning a bit, from trying to keep track of the implications of it all.
First of all, I have to admit that I’m quite surprised that Pil Joo tells Mo Hyun the truth about why he’s at the house (well, minus the part about his true identity, of course). I guess Pil Joo’s always been so evasive and vague, when his past connection with Mo Hyun’s come up in their interactions – like when Mo Hyun had told him about the boy who had given her honey – that I’d expected him to continue to skirt the truth like he always has.
However, I suppose there really isn’t any way out of the situation, with Mo Hyun walking right up to him, and concluding that he’s Jo In Ho, the name that she remembers from the literature book she’d picked up from the ashes.
The time that Pil Joo and Mo Hyun spend together at the abandoned house, feels like such a special, precious pocket of honesty, really. Ok, to be fair, Pil Joo continues to withhold some very key information from Mo Hyun, like his true connection to Cheong A, and also, the fact that he was instrumental in causing her path to cross with Boo Cheon’s. On the emotional front, though, it feels like there is more honesty there than they’ve allowed themselves thus far, and I think this is why this pocket of time feels freeing.
Pil Joo’s answer, about why he’s never told her the truth before now, makes so much sense; it’s a part of his past that he doesn’t wish to remember. While it’s true that Pil Joo’s actively seeking to avenge his brother’s death, I do feel like, somewhere deep in his soul, he wishes that he could put away the past.
The way Pil Joo talks about his thoughts as he was in the water all those years ago, determined to endure it, so that he would be able to be reunited with his family in death, is so haunting and so full of tamped down emotion; I completely believe that Pil Joo is speaking from his heart, in this moment, and I believe that Mo Hyun feels it too. The way she speaks to him is full of her trademark empathy and compassion, and it’s just like her, to remember that he’d once said that he needed to do something for his brother, and ask about it.
It’s really telling, that Mo Hyun feels able to tell Pil Joo how she feels about Boo Cheon, when it relates to such a painful and personal matter of Boo Cheon’s infidelity. She clearly trusts him and feels comfortable with him. That empathy and compassion flows both ways, and we see Pil Joo give Mo Hyun the jacket off his own back, to warm her up, as he tells her that it’s ok to cry.
Even though there is a lot of emotional honesty between Pil Joo and Mo Hyun in these scenes, and therefore an implied added closeness in their relationship, it’s notable that through it all, Pil Joo keeps a respectful emotional distance from Mo Hyun, like in the way he steps aside, in order to give her some space and privacy to cry.
I think it’s partly out of decorum, because Pil Joo is acutely aware that he needs to draw those lines because Mo Hyun’s married to Boo Cheon. At the same time, I feel like Pil Joo’s expression contains lashings of ruefulness, and it makes me think that he does feel sorry at some level, for dragging her, who had been innocently living her life in a carefree manner, onto his chessboard of revenge.
Boo Cheon getting all up in a twist because he can’t reach Mo Hyun was quite satisfying to watch, for me, because I’m mad at him for treating Mo Hyun in such a disrespectful fashion.
The fact that Boo Cheon can act all petulant in front of his mother, because he feels hurt by the idea that Mo Hyun doesn’t want to talk to him, says SO MUCH about the kind of mentality that he has. After all that he’s done to hurt Mo Hyun, when she goes missing and is uncontactable for hours and hours, he mainly only cares about his own hurt feelings. Ugh. I just can’t, with him. 🤦🏻♀️ Even Mal Ran, who’s always coddled him and protected him, says, “Does such a trivial matter bother you? Think what you’ve done to her. You deserve worse than this.” It feels so strange, to actually agree with Mal Ran, for once. 😅
How ironic, that Mal Ran says that Boo Cheon takes after his father in every way – including his softheartedness (in relation to his other family). I guess Boo Cheon is still his father’s son, even though he doesn’t share his father’s blood.
The more I see of Boo Cheon this episode, the more disdain I feel for him. When he can’t deal with the implication of the sight of Mo Hyun being able to sleep soundly in the car while sitting beside Pil Joo, he can’t take it up with Mo Hyun, since he’s basically in the dog house with her, and therefore he takes it out on Pil Joo instead. Huh. That’s such cowardly behavior.
I’m glad that Mo Hyun seems to have a very clear mind about things now. Even with Boo Cheon’s efforts to cuddle up to her and act like a concerned husband, I like how Mo Hyun is able to point out, later in the episode, that he should have told her first, before taking Ha Jung to see Grandpa Chairman. Mo Hyun is right; Boo Cheon’s actions speak louder than words. He may say all the right things, but he’s always sidelining her, such that she’s the last to know, and the first to get hurt.
Mal Ran’s uncomfortable with the realization that Pil Joo had slept in the car next to Mo Hyun, and her expression is.. complicated, to say the least.
My first thought is that the jealous lover in her is acting out again, because the sight of Pil Joo – whose affection she craves – having a moment of apparent intimacy with another woman, would be hard for her to bear. At the same time, I do think that she’s also concerned about the implications of what this might mean to Mo Hyun’s marriage with Boo Cheon.
Additionally, I do think it also contributes to eroding her trust in Pil Joo, at least a little bit, judging from the way Mal Ran tells Pil Joo to keep his hands off Mal Ran’s plan to get rid of Seo Won. Hm.. actually, I wonder if there’s a bit of a petulant lover acting out, in her statement of suspicion that Pil Joo is actually helping Seo Won.
I almost feel like that scene, where Mal Ran literally grabs Boo Cheon by the hair and shakes him, is not only driven by her exasperation at Boo Cheon’s stubborn shortsightedness in bringing Ha Jung before Grandpa Chairman, but perhaps also a convenient outlet for her frustrations that have to do with Pil Joo.
Whatever the truth might be, I just found it very satisfying to see Boo Cheon being shaken by the hair, like a hapless cat who’s being shaken by the scruff of his neck. 😆
I wasn’t expecting it, but on hindsight, it’s not surprising that Grandpa Chairman would also put money into backing Congressman Na’s opponent. Like Mal Ran says, he’s not the faithful sort. He cares more about his desired outcome of building Cheong A Tower, than about who the person is, who’ll help to get him there.
I have to admit, I was a little surprised at how Grandpa Chairman protects President Jang in front of Pil Joo, when Pil Joo reveals that President Jang had stolen the funds meant for Congressman Na. I guess for Grandpa Chairman, blood does flow thicker than water – or at least, it should, on the surface of things. In the end, Grandpa Chairman does punish his son, by removing him from management duties, saying that he will personally manage things, while Cheong A Tower is being built.
I guess Pil Joo does understand Grandpa Chairman very well, after all. I feel like even though Grandpa Chairman made a fuss and accused Pil Joo of being arrogant, when Pil Joo revealed the truth, in the end, Grandpa Chairman does act in line with Pil Joo’s expectations, to punish President Jang for daring to cross his own father.
With Secretary Oh snooping around Gapyeong, to the extent of breaking into Pil Joo’s old family home and finding the real Kang Pil Joo’s tablet, I was really nervous about what this might mean for Pil Joo and his ability to keep his true identity a secret. But Show turns things around in one fell swoop, with Pil Joo instantly gaining the upper hand, as he dangles Secretary Oh’s secret over him instead; that Secretary Oh is, in fact, Boo Cheon’s biological father. Woah. 🤯
It looks like just about everyone’s shifting gears into playing hardball now, and as a result, stuff.. is starting to hit the fan. Uh oh? 😬
I’d vaguely remembered from my last watch, that Boo Cheon’s father was Secretary Oh, but the reveal is still no less impactful this time around. I’m stunned that Pil Joo has had this knowledge tucked away as potential ammunition for years, since, as we see from the flashback, he’d learned of it in the lead-up to Boo Cheon and Mo Hyun’s wedding. How like Pil Joo, to quietly keep such a world-tilting piece of information so close to his chest, and then calmly utilize it when he needs it, as if it’s the most casual thing in the world.
The thing that strikes me the most about Pil Joo’s conversation with Secretary Oh, is Secretary Oh’s deep fear that Boo Cheon might find out their relationship. There’s so much.. shame embedded in Secretary Oh, and I feel that it’s because of his own inconsequential status. I know Secretary Oh is a murderer – I mean, he killed Kyung Cheon, and is now actively trying to kill Eun Cheon – but I do feel rather sorry for him, that he would feel so ashamed of who he is.
The other thing that strikes me about this conversation, is how.. hardened Pil Joo comes across, when talking with Secretary Oh as Eun Cheon. Gone are the amiable niceties which Pil Joo’s always used with Secretary Oh, and in their place, there’s a cold disgust which makes complete sense, since Kyung Cheon did die at Secretary Oh’s hands, but which I still find rather startling.
How shrewd of Pil Joo to task Secretary Oh with finding Eun Cheon for Mal Ran, so that she will stop going on about it, and what an awkwardly ironic situation that creates in the scene below, where Secretary Oh reports to Mal Ran that Eun Cheon’s dead – while the real Eun Cheon is standing right there. 🤫
I must say, Mal Ran’s reactions to Eun Cheon’s death are a strange mix indeed. Sometimes she seems thrilled that he’s dead, like his death is a gift that she’s waited for, for a long time; sometimes she seems almost believably sad that he’s dead; sometimes she seems to feel almost indebted to him, to the extent that she wants to do something for him, even in death; it’s all rather bizarre. And then there are her nightmares, where she says that even in death, Eun Cheon won’t leave her alone. Altogether, she seems almost haunted by Eun Cheon, like there’s a connection between them that can’t be broken.
Another major arc that shifts gears suddenly this episode, is the deal with Congressman Na.
One minute, everyone’s gathered at Mooshimwon to congratulate Congressman Na on the progress in his political journey, and the next, Congressman Na is under investigation for having received illegal political funds. Yikes. That’s definitely not part of Pil Joo’s plan.
I guess the idea that’s thrown around this episode, that everybody has a price, is true of Sang Do, since President Jang apparently managed to get him to sell out Congressman Na.
What a huge blow to Congressman Na’s reputation, especially since he’s built his credibility on being an honest and upright politician. And what a huge shock it is to Mo Hyun, in particular, who’s always believed so strongly in her father, and who, frankly, has dealt with enough recent shocks to last her a lifetime. Poor girl honestly doesn’t need any more emotional trauma.
Pil Joo’s plan to have President Jang take the fall for Cheong A’s supply of illegal funds to Congressman Na, is quite brilliant, I must say. I mean, Pil Joo is right; it was President Jang who started this fight; without his interference, Congressman Na wouldn’t have been arrested, and Cheong A wouldn’t be getting investigated. From Pil Joo’s camp’s point of view, it makes complete sense to make President Jang pay the price for his interference.
And the plan is almost perfect too, with Secretary Woo accepting Pil Joo’s offer of double the initial sum that he’d once received, to do the job. Again, there’s that thing about everyone having a price. Plus, Pil Joo supplies Secretary Woo with a meticulous diary, that includes the alleged amounts and dates that President Jang had ordered him to deliver money to Congressman Na. Devious, but very clever, I must say. Secretary Woo is right, Pil Joo really is something else.
Unfortunately, Grandpa Chairman does seem to value blood ties after all, since he seems unwilling to let President Jang take the fall, even though President Jang is the one who foiled their careful plan in the first place.
Grandpa Chairman’s alternative plan is shockingly cold, and even though I’ve calibrated my expectations of this murky drama world, it still shocks me, that he would make the effort to have Congressman Na transferred to a hospital under the gracious pretense that it’s more comfortable, so that he’d have a chance to visit Congressman Na, and very pleasantly suggest to Congressman Na, that it would essentially be a good idea for him to kill himself. 😱🤯
I feel quite sad for Congressman Na, honestly, because he wouldn’t be in this position today, if Pil Joo had never hatched this plan about Cheong A Tower. Without any entanglement with Cheong A, Congressman Na might not have made as much progress in his political campaign, but neither would he have his in-law sit across from him and amiably suggest suicide. 😳 It’s all so surreal and bizzare.
Granted, Congressman Na has to take responsibility for his decision as well, since he could have stood his ground and turned down Cheong A’s offer. Again, there’s that implied idea, that everyone has a price. Even Congressman Na, whom everyone had looked upon as a paragon of virtue.
It’s really sad that when Congressman Na comes clean to Mo Hyun, she feels unable to understand or forgive him. I mean, it’s perfectly understandable from Mo Hyun’s point of view, since, now, to her eyes, everything she’d ever believed about her father seems like a lie. However, this does mean that Congressman Na hung himself while thinking the worst, that his daughter might never be able to forgive him.
The manic way in which Pil Joo rushes to check on Congressman Na definitely gives us a glimpse at Pil Joo’s humanity; it’s clear that he doesn’t want Congressman Na to die. However, it does seem like Pil Joo’s arrived too late. 😢 And poor Mo Hyun; how awful must she feel, to realize that after her conversation with her father, he’d decided to hang himself? 😳💔