Open Thread: Money Flower Episodes 13 & 14

Woof. This show sure has a way of going faster and further than one would expect, and this  pair of episodes, that feels truer than ever. Excuse me for a second, while my head explodes. 🤯

I hope you guys are ready to chat about Money Flower episodes 13 & 14! 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 thoughts

Episode 13

More twists. More turns. More surprises. 😳🤯 Show never seems to run out of them, and I am a happy – albeit slightly dizzy and slack-jawed – camper. 😅

After Congressman Na’s funeral, and as Mo Hyun and her mother grieve, we see that aside from Grandpa Chairman, Yeo Cheon had also visited Congressman Na at the hospital, and pressured him to commit suicide. What?! 🤯 What makes Yeo Cheon’s visit different, is that he basically threatens Congressman Na that if he doesn’t kill himself, Mo Hyun would be served evidence of how her father had sold her through a marriage of convenience. Yikes. 😳

I feel like more than Grandpa Chairman’s threat, this is the threat that would have more definitively moved Congressman Na’s hand. We know that the last thing he’d wanted, was to disappoint Mo Hyun, and he’d already been so crushed at her disillusionment, after she’d learned of how he’d received illegal funds from Cheong A. I can imagine that he’d do anything to protect her from further shock, even if it meant giving up his own life.

Ugh. How awful of Yeo Cheon, to do this. The apple certainly doesn’t fall far from the tree; he takes after Grandpa Chairman so effortlessly. 😧

I was wondering what Pil Joo had in mind, with the way he deliberately has Yong Goo save the audio file from Grandpa Chairman’s final conversation with Congressman Na, and then moves to return the phone to Mo Hyun. As I was watching him do all this, with that signature unreadable expression on his face, I couldn’t help wondering why he would allow her to be hurt further, since she’s already in so much distress over her father’s death.

On hindsight, however, Pil Joo’s intention actually makes a twisted sort of sense; he’s trying to get Mo Hyun to divorce Boo Cheon herself, and get herself as far away from Cheong A’s toxic environment as possible. He’s essentially being cruel to be kind, and it’s clear from Pil Joo’s expression, as Mo Hyun leaves the car to sob in shock and disbelief, that this is hurting him too. I believe that in this moment, Pil Joo does regret having dragged Mo Hyun into this situation, where she’s ended up being so hurt.

As an aside, Grandpa Chairman is such a hypocrite, honestly. He refuses the health drink that Ms. Han brings him, saying that he’s supposed to be in mourning, and thus taking care of his health like this is considered disrespectful. This, while he’s enjoying a massage in a fancypants massage chair. I mean.. is that not taking care of himself? 🙄

Plus, the fact that Grandpa Chairman can ask about Pil Joo’s alternative plans to make Cheong A Tower happen, on the night of Congressman Na’s funeral, no less, is just mind-blowingly cold and self-centered. To quote several other characters, he really is a piece of work. 😳

On a related note, I can’t say I’m exactly surprised that Mal Ran wants to abandon Mo Hyun, now that Mo Hyun doesn’t have a useful congressman of a father who’s in the running to be President, but man, that’s still cold. Mo Hyun’s father has just died, and his death is directly related to Cheong A, and on the night of the funeral, Mal Ran’s talking about abandoning Mo Hyun and finding Boo Cheon a better, more useful and more fertile wife. She’s honestly no better than Grandpa Chairman, whom she’s just criticized. 🙄

As for Boo Cheon, this episode, Show backs up Ele‘s defense of him; we can see that he is trying to be a good father to Ha Jung, and now, he seems even more markedly cold towards Seo Won. At the same time, while Show isn’t super clear on this, my gut feels that this coldness towards Seo Won is something relatively new. He hadn’t seemed cold like this towards her in the plane, while they were on their way back to Korea from the US, for example. So.. I still hold it against him, that he had kept a whole other family, from the very beginning of his marriage to Mo Hyun. 😪

To Boo Cheon’s credit, he does seem to sincerely want to do right by Mo Hyun now, and is even willing to give up the Vice Presidency of Cheong A Bio, in order to protect Mo Hyun. That’s no small deal, especially in the very dysfunctional waters of Cheong A, and Mal Ran’s sharp displeasure at Boo Cheon’s actions says as much. It’s also very significant, that Boo Cheon’s essentially defying his mother, who has basically always run his life, in order to protect Mo Hyun.

Later in the episode, Boo Cheon also talks about how brokenhearted he’d felt, when he’d seen Mo Hyun fighting to hold on, even when she’d been in deep despair over Seo Won and Ha Jung. It does feel that, for all of his flaws and limitations, he desires to be good to Mo Hyun now. It’s too bad for him, that it does feel like Mo Hyun’s heart has grown cold towards him. Now, when he embraces her, he looks grateful and relieved, but she just looks.. lifeless and hollow. It looks like too little, too late, for Boo Cheon.

How clever of Pil Joo, to turn the situation around, such that the fight for control over Cheong A Bio between Yeo Cheon and Boo Cheon ends more in a tie, with Boo Cheon gaining ownership of the company, while Yeo Cheon gains management rights. And just coz he’s such slime, it was really quite satisfying, to see Yeo Cheon’s completely blindsided expression. Muahaha. 😏

After seeing Mo Hyun be so meek and docile for so much of our story, I must say that it came as a bit of a surprise, to see her show some steel, this episode.

First, we have her decision to go back to Mooshimwon, even after hearing that awful recording of Grandpa Chairman suggesting suicide to her father, as pleasantly as if he were suggesting that he take a walk in the park. And then, we have her speaking up in front of everyone, to tell Grandpa Chairman the truth about her miscarriage, even though she knows that everyone else is actively trying to keep it a secret. That’s really ballsy.

And then, we see her seeking out Pil Joo and asking him for help, so that she’d be able to find out the truth about her father’s relationship with Cheong A. What’s surprising about this, to me, is how she frames it as a fair trade for saving his life, rather than as a favor. This implies that she has the right to expect this from him, and that’s quite unlike the Mo Hyun that we’ve come to know, thus far. To be fair, Mo Hyun’s gaze is an earnest, pleading one, so it’s not like she’s demanding Pil Joo’s assistance. It’s still different enough from what we’ve seen of Mo Hyun, to land as rather suprising.

Finally, there’s how Mo Hyun reacts when Mal Ran tells her to divorce Boo Cheon, and to name her alimony price. I mean, not only is she not cowed, Mo Hyun threatens Mal Ran right back – and so calmly and pleasantly too – with the fact that she knows Boo Cheon isn’t a biological Jang. Woah, that’s bold. And when Mal Ran gets violent and throws something, which causes both Boo Cheon and Pil Joo to come running, Mo Hyun doesn’t even flinch. Wow. Our girl’s found some serious inner steel, and I like it! 🤩

I can’t wait to see how things develop from here on out, between our newly steely Mo Hyun, and our manipulative and cruel Mal Ran. Plus, there’s that thing where Mal Ran now knows that someone’s run a DNA test comparing Yoo Cheon’s and Boo Cheon’s DNA. That’s definitely going to haunt her good and proper, since she absolutely has something to hide.

Episode 14

Dang. The way Mo Hyun gets up so calmly to shut the door on Boo Cheon and Pil Joo reeks of unruffled control. She definitely comes across as a woman who knows what she’s doing, and who doesn’t need either Boo Cheon or even the mighty Pil Joo, to rescue her from the situation. She might be facing a formidable snake in Mal Ran, but in this moment at least, it feels like she’s not the snake’s prey, but possibly even a bit of a snake charmer.

And, to echo something that we’ve seen before, it seems that Pil Joo has more confidence in Mo Hyun than Boo Cheon does, judging from the way Pil Joo stops Boo Cheon from attempting to enter the room a second time, and then walks away himself. That’s a statement of confidence in Mo Hyun all on its own; she doesn’t need him to hover nearby, at the ready to jump in if she needs saving; she’s got this, and that’s why he is able to simply walk away.

I just have to love the very serene manner in which Mo Hyun assures Mal Ran that she will never speak of Boo Cheon’s birth secret, as long as Mal Ran doesn’t ask her to divorce Boo Cheon. She is so soft, and yet so resolute; I can see why Mal Ran doesn’t quite know what to do with her, right then and there.

It’s only afterwards, that we see that Mo Hyun’s shaking like a leaf; it’s not that she isn’t scared, she’s just been holding it in. And that act, of putting up a strong front despite her fear, endears her to me. It’s one thing to show courage when you don’t know to be afraid, but it’s a whole other thing, to choose to be brave, even when you are very much afraid.

How shrewd of Pil Joo, to assure Mal Ran that President Jang has been duly misled with regards to the DNA test comparing Boo Cheon’s genes to Yeo Cheon’s, while casually impressing on her how loyal and helpful he is, even when she isn’t looking. That’s pretty darn masterful, I’d say, and I feel like this would make Mal Ran trust Pil Joo even more than she already did before. But of course, trust Mal Ran to immediately consider how regretful it is that “Cha Tae Young” is dead, because they wouldn’t be able to use his DNA anymore. Pfft. 😏

The way Mo Hyun presses her way into Cheong A Foundation is so dogged and so fearless, honestly. Even when it requires her to face Mal Ran – and then Grandpa Chairman, through whom all Cheong A Foundation hires must go through – she pushes her way in, and doesn’t even seem to hesitate, when it comes to using the cards in her hands. I have to admit I was kinda shocked, that Mo Hyun would reach so quickly for the card where she quotes her father on Grandpa Chairman’s promise to take care of her and her child.

I do wonder at Mo Hyun’s daring, in that, does it mean that she feels that she has nothing to lose, and that’s why she doesn’t hesitate to face down her key enemies, with indications that she knows their secrets..? This does seem a little.. reckless, I’d say, because Mo Hyun is still relatively unschooled in the extent of Cheong A’s means and methods. Does she not realize that she is literally putting her life in danger, by trying to tame the devil? 🤔

Pil Joo appears fully aware of the danger, though, which is why he keeps trying to get Mo Hyun to drop her mission and leave Cheong A. I think he does worry for her safety, for real.

I have to admit, I was rather stunned to realize that Mo Hyun was visiting Seo Won at her home, but at the end of it, it does still come across in keeping with Mo Hyun’s characterization. Although her manner towards Seo Won is cold – why wouldn’t it be, since Seo Won had triggered Mo Hyun’s miscarriage? – Mo Hyun’s primary purpose of going there, isn’t to have it out with Seo Won, but to find out why Boo Cheon had felt he’d needed to bring Ha Jung to Grandpa Chairman, with such urgency.

This scene, where Mo Hyun finds out that Mal Ran had sent someone to kill Seo Won and Ha Jung, feels like the first time Mo Hyun has any real idea of the kind of people she’s up against, at Cheong A.

For the record, I don’t buy Seo Won’s Poor Me act, where she explains she’d decided to reveal the truth to Mo Hyun because she’d feared for her life and the life of her son. She’d definitely taken a twisted pleasure in showing Mo Hyun those photos; that was not the face of a woman who’d felt afraid. 😑

Mo Hyun going to Mal Ran and talking to her about having met Seo Won, and requesting Mal Ran to help Ha Jung take on the Jang family name, feels quite naive to my eyes, because clearly, this is not something that Mal Ran actually wants to do. Mo Hyun is pretty shrewd, to position it as something that will help Boo Cheon, because Boo Cheon’s always been Mal Ran’s priority. However, I still think Mo Hyun’s belief that Mal Ran would actually do something about Ha Jung’s last name, is an unpracticed newbie move. As we see later in the episode, this only puts her life in greater danger. 😬

Seriously, any time Mal Ran starts to take Secretary Oh’s hand, I get nervous, because the only thing she ever asks of him, while holding his hand, is for him to commit murder. How insane is that, honestly? If I were Secretary Oh, I’d sweat bullets every time Mal Ran started to reach for my hand..! 😜

This time, it’s clear that Mal Ran is asking him to kill Mo Hyun, and for once, Secretary Oh finds the strength to decline. He really does love Boo Cheon as a father, and I feel sad for him, that the only thing he can do for his son, is to refuse to commit murder. That’s so twisted.

Of course, Secretary Oh’s refusal isn’t about to deter Mal Ran, as we see later in the episode.

In the meantime, I am unabashedly thrilled at the way Pil Joo puts Yeo Cheon in his place, when Yeo Cheon tries to exert his official authority on Pil Joo, to get a report on Pil Joo’s back-up plan for the construction of Cheong A Tower.

I love that Pil Joo just leans back in his seat and says simply, “I don’t want to.” HA! I love it. I love Yeo Cheon’s flabbergasted expression, and I love how legitimately alarmed Yeo Cheon looks, as Pil Joo moves towards him, to establish the pecking order, as he puts it. Clearly, even though Yeo Cheon is part of the Jang family, and Pil Joo is officially the Jang family’s “dog,” Pil Joo possesses a lot of personal power, and Yeo Cheon is visibly intimidated by him.

I half thought Pil Joo might grab Yeo Cheon by the throat or something, but instead, Pil Joo makes use of the damning evidence that he’d gleaned from Congressman Na’s phone; the recording of Yeo Cheon pressuring him to commit suicide. And when Yeo Cheon argues that he will drag Pil Joo down too, with the evidence of Mo Hyun’s marriage of convenience, Pil Joo simply counters that they should see who has more to lose, between them. Ha. Pil Joo’s so cool about this. I love it.

I have to admit that I got a fair bit of gratification from watching Yeo Cheon very nervously admit to his father that Pil Joo has evidence of his meeting with Congressman Na, and then get whooped for his wrongdoing.

The downside to this, of course, is that this also seems to awaken President Jang’s murderous instincts, because now he needs to silence Pil Joo, doesn’t he? 😬

As things start to look suspicious about the car that’s been provided for Mo Hyun’s use, I have to admit that I am quite moved by Boo Cheon’s choice, to put himself at risk instead, so that not only will Mo Hyun be saved this time, but something similar will not happen again, in the future.

I mean, it’s clear to see that Boo Cheon’s fearful at the thought of what might happen – he could literally die, since that’s why the car’s been messed with in the first place – and yet, he presses on with his decision anyway. He might be whiny, weak and something of a weasel, but Boo Cheon meant it, when he said that he wanted to protect Mo Hyun, and I have to respect him for sticking to that principle, even when it means putting himself in danger.

I do feel bad for Boo Cheon, when he sees Mo Hyun leave in Pil Joo’s car; he already feels that there’s a chasm between him and Mo Hyun, and he’s been quite unnerved by Mo Hyun’s apparent growing ease with Pil Joo. To see them leave together like this, in a secretive manner, while he’s preparing to maybe-possibly die for Mo Hyun’s sake, must be really hard on him. And yet, he persists in his decision to protect Mo Hyun with his life. That’s pretty huge, honestly.

What a crazy reveal, that Congressman Na isn’t dead after all, but is being kept in a quiet, isolated house, away from the hustle and bustle of Seoul, with an attending doctor by his side. Woah. 🤯 Show’s certainly not holding back on the insane reveals, eh?

Pil Joo’s explanation, that he’d gotten help from a doctor friend, to sneak Congressman Na out of the hospital for his safety, is a bit of a stretch, but because Pil Joo’s so well-connected and so capable, I almost feel like this is quite plausible, somehow.

When Pil Joo asks Mo Hyun to consider leaving Mooshimwon, to come stay with her father, along with her mother and brother, I finally get where Pil Joo is going with this. He’s trying, again, to get Mo Hyun to leave Mooshimwon for her own safety. I do think that it’s a good attempt, given that Mo Hyun holds her father so close to her heart. I can imagine her possibly giving it all up, to take care of her father.

However, it seems that Mooshimwon’s perhaps rubbed off on Mo Hyun somewhat, since she declines Pil Joo’s offer, because she wants Grandpa Chairman to apologize for what he’s done. That’s the most “vengeful” thing I’ve heard Mo Hyun say, and I can’t help feeling like this is a bit of a departure from her established character.

Prior to this, she’d said that her reason for returning to Mooshimwon was to find out the truth; in her words, she wanted to get to know her father. But now that her father’s been found to be alive, she still insists on staying at Mooshimwon, and now, she says that it’s to hear an apology from Grandpa Chairman. Doesn’t it feel like Mooshimwon’s vengeful vibes have gotten into Mo Hyun, at least a little bit?

As we watch both cars behave erratically, with our key characters inside, what’s even more chilling, is how the camera pans to the Jang family members, each waiting in quiet, expectant anticipation for news of successful murder. 😳

My head is spinning, even as I wonder which car it was that exploded, and who was inside. Surely Show isn’t going to actually kill off one of our key characters now? 😱

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Georgia Peach
3 months ago

Fangirl, thanks for pointing out how cozy BuCheon and SeoWon were on the plane to Korea. I’d forgotten about that. But don’t you think his attitude towards her changed somewhat when they arrived in Korea? Seems he was immediately frustrated with her call when they landed. And showed her no concern…only the child…after they arrived. Guess being closer to Viper Mom caused that. And perhaps his deeping feelings for MoHyeon.
Everyone’s comments were on point with me. PilJoo’s plans have become muddied by his feelings toward MoHyeon. Poor man. His revenge is causing him more pain than he expected. I keep hearing PilJoo say to himself… “If it only hadn’t been HER!”
For sure Show hasn’t killed off our main characters…but how did anyone get out of an exploding car????? Makjang….😜

Trent
3 months ago

As usual, I had to burn through the next two episodes, and they’re brilliant.

I had to immediately re-watch the last five minutes of ep. 16, because it is <chef’s kiss>.

Gaaaah…I love this show. There, I said it.

Leslie
Leslie
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent Your “confession” made me guffaw. Thank you.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent I LOVE IT TOO!! It totally bares up to rewatching 😊 I’m so happy kfangurl opted to group watch it.

Shyama
Shyama
3 months ago

OMG! How does this show do it? Every episode ends with a thrilling cliffhanger! The urge to watch the next one and the next one after that till it’s dawn is irresistible.
After watching the last two, I had an unbelievable urge to punch some of the people starting with Yeon Chon!
I like this fledgling dragon Mo Hyun! You go girl!
In this episode, we have Mal ran pulling Boo Cheons ears as opposed to the hair pulling from last time! Oooh boy!

Being a good little rule follower, I stopped with two episodes, but, gosh darn it, it was hard. So, I decided to look up Jang Hyuks other dramas. I’m watching Fated to Love You now….and swoooning😍😍😍
Oh my! This is as opposed to Pil Joo as you can get character wise.
I’m sooo enjoying this crazy, maniacal Lee Gon! He’s OTT, slapsticky,
( except during certain serious somber moments) but he’s totally mesmerizing! This actor is phenomenal!
What other shows can you recommend of Jang Hyuk’s.( where he doesn’t die!)
And, thank you, Fangirl and friends, for introducing me the incredible actor that is Jang Hyuk!

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

My recommendations of dramas where he is amazing and lives. Beautiful Mind, My Country (smexyyyy)

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

Thank You and Robber are Jang Hyuk dramas where he does not die.

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I almost feel like these are spoilers so I don’t want to say more 🤐 but he always either dies, “almost dies” someone he loves dies, ahhh the elusive happy endings but anyway those two are dramas I’d also recommend after having watched his more recent works.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

@Shyama If you want to just marvel at his majesty and utter command of acting skills (and, my god, I personally thinks he looks SO beautiful 😍) watch him as Bangwon in My Country. He’s not the main character but he steals the whole show.

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele Nash – Jang Hyuk is not the main character of My Country? Then why is he the only one I saw???? 😆

Shyama
Shyama
3 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Thank you, I think I’ll watch it then..for Jang Hyuk. But I’m a wuss when it comes to tragic ending, that’s why I’ve been avoiding it so long.
But you are right, I need to gaze some more at his magnificence and utter beauty. I’m having serious Jang Hyuk withdrawal after finishing Fated to Love You.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago
Reply to  Shyama

@Shyama, nobody does death scenes like Jang Hyuk! So if you are looking for cathartic tears and want to see more amazing acting from JH, do try some of his tragic dramas.

Shyama
Shyama
3 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I do want to see more amazing acting by JH for sure! But, I’m not good with tragedies. The more I love the actor, the harder it is to watch them die. So, I really really hope Pil Joo doesn’t die at the end. That’ll just kill me.

Shahz
Shahz
3 months ago

That scene and the words ” I don’t want to” was one of my favourite moments in Money Flowe😍r. JH knocking it out of the park. Cool calm collected but with the skint hint of petulance.

@Ele Nash. Dallas what a blast from the past! I also remember being in school and discussing” Who shot Jr?. Good point about why that makes it easier to just go with all the revelations. Such a shame that the BBC won’t pick this up like they do with Scandi Moore. I definitely think there is an audience out there for it!

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  Shahz

I was never into actually watching Dallas, but good gracious, that whole “who shot JR?” was such a cultural moment, way back when. Even if you weren’t following the show, it was impossible to miss the discussion.

…and we didn’t even have the Internet back then, hard as that is to imagine now.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago
Reply to  Shahz

@Shahz JR was such a great and terrible character 😍

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago

Ooh, the ending! Cliffhanger indeed.

Love your comments, kfangurl, on Mohyun – “It’s one thing to show courage when you don’t know to be afraid, but it’s a whole other thing, to choose to be brave, even when you are very much afraid.” Lovely! It reminded of the quote in Coraline by Neil Gaiman: “Because,” she said, “when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”

Hooray, Mohyun – and maybe, in relation to Trent’s comment about Piljoo’s self-loathing and needing innocent, kind Mohyun to look up to from his dark ditch, it was good that he saw that while her mouth is talking tough, her heart isn’t yet cold. Personally, I think Mohyun’s behaving in a permanent state of shock. It’s not that she doesn’t care of the consequences, she’s numb to them. Hopefully, now seeing her dad is (dum-duh-durrrrrrrr) alive 🤯 she can thaw a bit and not put herself in such unwitting danger (though it is brilliant to see her standing up for herself).

I am not entirely sure what Makjang is but the show reminds me of my childhood spent on a diet of far-fetched soap opera storylines from the likes of Dallas, Dynasty, Neighbours, Eastenders. Ooh, isn’t Mal Ran pulling Bucheon’s hair and now his ear a bit Alexis Carrington-Dexter-Colby in this?! Now, I LOVED all those preposterous storylines when I was young (Bobby’s dead – oh, it was a dream! You’re not my mother – yes I am!) I apologise if I’m the only one who understands these examples… Anyho, I think Money Flower totally feeds into this area of my brain that adores the melodrama BUT perhaps where it sets itself apart (obv music, acting, sets, camera-work) is for me the way I totally believe these characters inhabit this world. So, yeah sure, Candidate Na being alive and hidden is totally soap and silly in terms of plausibility, but I buy it because in Money Flower land, where Piljoo is Herculean in his strategy and contacts and planning, it totally makes sense. In short, I’m convinced. And I love it 😄

Bucheon is echoing Mohyun, isn’t he? Very much afraid but being brave. I love him for taking the car instead – yes, if it crashes with him driving, that’ll definitely stop Mal Ran doing crazy things like that again. Oh, but hang on Bucheon, if it crashes while you’re driving, you could get very very hurt… 😱 Agree with Leslie that we are in desperate need of more shocked, head exploding emojis!!

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

I think thats it, makjang, soap operas and telenovelas are like “cousins” 😋 To me Money Flower is like a high quality telenovela.

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I like that idea of cousins! They’re totally dysfunctional cousins, though – and at least one of them is illegitimate – oh, and that one with the mother? Yeah, that’s not their real mother, they were stolen at birth. And the dad that died didn’t actually; he had amnesia and then a load of plastic surgery to avenge his brother and is actually… Ah, no spoilers 😁

Trent
3 months ago

FINALLY! (No reflection on KFG, who is right on time)…what I mean is, I can finally continue on to the next episode to see what the ding-dang heck is up with that exploding car!! I get it, Show, you know how to do cliff-hangers!

Anyway. I feel like these two episodes are in a way Mo-hyun’s emergence from the bitter chrysalis of adversity, and I for one am here for it. She’s still taking baby steps, so to speak–she’s not a viper, nor yet a fledgling dragon, and may never be either–but she acts with undeniable bravery, and she’s clearly become aware that there are games afoot that she has long been oblivious to, and that she has some power and leverage available to use. I purely love how she so kindly and gently tickled Mal-ran’s ribs with her metaphorical shiv and threatened to shove it in, if necessary. Gutsy, and risky. Will Mo-hyun survive to become a player?

I find it interesting that Pil-joo remarks to himself that he doesn’t like this Mo-hyun that is willing to stay in the arena with Cheong A rather than flee from its sink of moral depravity. Is this an implicit commentary on himself? Some self-loathing being revealed? He himself is lost to the path of light and grace, having eschewed it in subordination to his duty and obligation to secure revenge for his murdered brother? Mo-hyun has been his eidolon of purity and goodness, and it pains him deeply to perceive her descending into the pits to contend with Cheong A on something approaching their level? This is all speculation, of course…

A question that has been lingering in my mind after the Mo-hyun–Seo-won meeting (and yes, that was yet another gutsy move by Mo-hyun). Seo-won, in the course of telling Mo-hyun that Mal-ran tried to have her killed, also tells her that Mal-ran threatened her by telling her that Cheong A had a child born out of wedlock and his mother killed by drowning them. Mo-hyun knows that Pil-joo had a younger brother; that he has something he has to do for that brother that he hasn’t done yet; and that Pil-joo tried to commit suicide by drowning (she saved him), leaving a locket by the shore (she recovered it) that is identical to his brother’s that he is carrying when they inadvertently meet at the cabin. Mo-hyun doesn’t quite have the pieces to make all the connections yet, I don’t think, but I do feel like the pieces are being quietly assembled for her to make that leap at some point–to realize that the out-of-wedlock child who was drowned was Pil-joo’s brother…which would make Pil-joo also an out-wedlock-child of Cheong A…and cast his long-time presence as, essentially, consigliere of Cheong A in quite a new light. I will be watching for this development closely. It’s all rather delicious, no?

Now. Off to see what’s up with that darn exploding car…

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yes, exactly. It’s very much a “yes, I’m damned, but I can still cast my eyes up to the saved and recall what it might have been like once…”

Tonally it’s kind of like a Samwise on the steps of Cirith Ungol feeling, trying to remind Mr. Frodo of springtime in the Shire, long ago and far away, you know?

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Awwww Samwise and Mr. Frodo 🥺 Somehow tho, in Piljoo and MoHyun’s case, the fact that she is feeling drawn to that darkness, and feeling a hint of revenge (in her case still more like justice and truth) will allow her to maybe, perhaps, empathize with Piljoo later on? At least on some level.

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I’m a wee bit embarrassed because Sam on the stairs of Cirith Ungol is him reminiscing to himself; his pep talk to Mr Frodo is later, after they’re reunited… (we don’t need LotR spoiler warnings, do we?)

Anyway, I would say Mo-hyun is definitely feeling something, or several somethings, for or about Pil-joo…

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Several somethings, you say? Aren’t we all, Trent? Aren’t we all… 🥰

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Heh. What I meant was that her feelings are in ferment and tumult and all jumbled up… but sure, it’s susceptible to earthier interpretations, why not?

I said it last thread, and I’m more sure than ever, that Mo-hyun and Pil-joo will have an intimate relationship before this is over. The narrative logic comes ever closer to demanding it.

MC
MC
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

A LoTR reference! Love it.

Love your perspective too and this is truly the best benefit of the group watch – hearing other peoples perspectives. The paragon of virtue thing sounds very legit! And the guilt of dragging her into this mess for his own plans and needs. And Koreans have this thing about first loves being very pure and heavenly, no? All of the scenes of them when they were young have this whitish tint – of course it’s to differentiate past and present but I wonder if it shows that those were purer, better times, when she was young and innocent (he was damaged long ago with the drowning but at least he was not so cynical and manipulating others then?) as opposed to the dark seedy present. I could be over thinking! But overall I’m sure he feels that he polluted and corrupted her and has tons of guilt about it.

And these 2 eps, just woah. I will just keep myself to remark on the closing scenes of all the people back in Mooshimwon – so many people plotting, orchestrating, hoping for the deaths of family/ close colleagues (Piljoo is a colleague of sorts?) crazy stuff. I wonder who Chairman Jang hopes is dead? The rest is pretty obvious. And so so well done. I can’t wait for more!! If the quality of this show keeps up – Its a strong contender to land onto my very short list of favourite shows!

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  MC

Yeah, I think that if this manages to stick the landing (a big if! it’s a lot to ask, with so much cumulative tension building up!), it will absolutely be in the running for “best drama I watched this year” when I get to the end of the year ranking time… I’m actually getting anxious for how it will end!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

The self-loathing thing made me think about Daegil (again). I think Pil Joo’s self loathing runs deeper than Daegil’s. Pil Joo has no illusion that everything will be fine once his revenge is complete. He knows that he is destroying himself in the process and he does not want Mo Hyeon harmed. But for all of his planning, he can’t control everyone…

Ele Nash
Ele Nash
3 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@SnowFlower Oh, yes, I agree. Piljoo inhabits the dark valley whereas Daegil was striving to get out. I don’t think Piljoo’s ever emotionally or mentally left that lake – maybe he doesn’t think he deserves to. 😢

j3ffc
3 months ago

More tomorrow, but for now I have a sincerely asked question:

Are we makjang yet?

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Of course! The best kind! 🤣

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I agree with this answer 100%. Plot wise, yes, but tonally and in its very precise control, it never feels like it’s spinning out of control even as it’s blowing our minds.

Leslie
Leslie
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Hahaha! “Our minds exploding all over the place.” You’ve got that right kfangurl. 🤯 (Is there really only one emoji for head explosions? Clearly, more are needed for this show.)

j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Thanks, all, for your responses. It occurs to me that if you like MF you might also enjoy Succession, which also has some thematic similarities, great performances, and an excellent soundtrack.

That being said, please excuse me while I go peel my brains off of the wall.

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Succession? I googled it. Its an HBO drama right? taking notes

j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

That’s the one!