Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I sure hope you guys have the appetite for more dramatic tension and more twists, because Show doesn’t seem to have run out of either, this pair of episodes. 😱
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! ❤️
Dang. What an episode of reveals and twists! I love how Show dangles me on the edge of my seat so effortlessly and so deliberately; how does Show manage to feel so breathlessly exciting, even though it never feels like Show’s in a hurry?
Also, just look at that handsome sleeping dragon. 🤩 He feels so powerful, even when he’s not awake.
The most satisfying thing for me, is seeing how completely lost everyone at Cheong A is, without Pil Joo there to fix everything. Even Grandpa Chairman is antsy and eager for Pil Joo to recover, so that Cheong A can benefit from Pil Joo’s expert guidance. And then there’s how Mal Ran, who’s always so controlled and coiffed, loses her cool in front of a sleeping Pil Joo, because she just can’t stand that he’s not there to help her. I feel so gratified on Pil Joo’s behalf, that Cheong A’s “dog” as he’s disparagingly known, is actually so precious to the vultures of Cheong A.
At the same time, the tension ramps up, as both Mo Hyun and Boo Cheon come to separate hypotheses about Pil Joo, while he sleeps.
Mo Hyun’s getting enough circumstantial evidence, from the way Pil Joo shields her with his own body during the crash, to the realization that he’d been the one who had been part of the bird-watching group, to start to piece together the idea that he’s the one who had saved her and taken care of her when she’d been drunk, and he’s the one whose loving presence she’d felt. Ooh. That’s significant indeed.
And then there’s Boo Cheon, who’s intrigued enough by his sister’s passing remark about Pil Joo getting a blood sample taken at around the time of his own accident 5 years ago, that he’d start to wonder if there’s a chance that the sample Pil Joo had said he’d switched with Boo Cheon’s, for the DNA test, had actually been his own. Eep. 😬
On top of all this, the relationship between Boo Cheon and Mo Hyun continues to grow more distant, even though Boo Cheon continues to say sweet and comforting things to her, like how it’s not her fault that Pil Joo’s in a coma. I can’t blame Mo Hyun, though, since, along with her growing conviction that Pil Joo was the one who’d loved her, goes the growing suspicion that Boo Cheon had lied to her, in order to falsely win her heart.
I can’t blame Boo Cheon for growing uneasy. That flashback, when Mo Hyun’s in a stretcher and being loaded onto an ambulance, says everything. Even though she’s shocked and hurt, the only thing she asks him, as she grasps his arm, is what happened to Pil Joo.
It does say something about Boo Cheon, though, that despite how this must have hit him in the heart in a big way, he still chooses to put himself in danger, by driving the car that was assigned to Mo Hyun, into an accident. His whole intention around that, is to demonstrate to Mal Ran that she shouldn’t try to harm Mo Hyun. And the fact that he did this, in a moment when his confidence is shaken because Mo Hyun only seems to care about Pil Joo, says a lot.
I can understand Boo Cheon’s desire to rebuild his relationship with Mo Hyun, but it really does seem like it’s too little, too late, for him. I can’t help but notice that when Boo Cheon moves to hug Mo Hyun and thanks her for staying with him at Mooshimwon, Mo Hyun says in voiceover that the only reason she’s able to hold on, is because she cannot allow Mal Ran, who’s in the wrong, to win this battle. Mo Hyun’s fighting instincts have definitely been awakened, and I do agree with you guys, that this isn’t revenge per se, but more like the other side of the coin; Mo Hyun wants to fight for the justice that she feels her family is due.
It feels like the truth is closing in on Pil Joo, and while that makes me nervous for him, it also feels like the moment Pil Joo wakes up, his personal power completely takes over.
I love, love, love this shot of Pil Joo, getting dressed and readying himself for battle. His every move feels so deliberate; like his restraint is the only thing that’s keeping his coiled panther potency in check.
What a catalyst Pil Joo’s return to Mooshimwon turns out to be. It seems that everyone has a reaction to Pil Joo’s comeback.
While it may seem rather reckless of Mo Hyun to rush to approach Pil Joo the way she does, I realize that this is in keeping with her characterization. We’ve always known Mo Hyun to be a romantic, who’s willing to stake her life on something or someone, when she’s convinced that it’s meant to be.
Now that she’s come to a tentative conclusion that Pil Joo is the man who loves her, I can believe that she would waste no time in confirming her suspicions. And I would believe that she would take some risks too, in order to do so.
I’m not at all surprised that she would face Pil Joo so openly, with emotional, tear-filled eyes, even though Boo Cheon and Mal Ran are nearby.
I love that Pil Joo’s first order of business, is to dismantle the Strategy Team, and remove President Jang from his position, while positioning everything as a way of helping Cheong A Group gain favor from the new ruling party. Dang, that’s shrewd. He gets what he wants, while allowing Grandpa Chairman and Mal Ran to think that he’s acting completely in their interests.
It kinda makes me wonder whether Pil Joo had already woken up from his coma, but had spent a bit of extra time at the hospital in order to consider his options. We’re not told if this is the case, plus, I’d happily accept that Pil Joo doesn’t actually need extra time to come up with his counterattack because he’s simply that brilliant, heh.
Pil Joo makes it abundantly clear, though, that this is completely personal, in the way he takes ex-President Jang aside to threaten him, very pleasantly, that the next time he attempts to harm Pil Joo, Yeo Cheon’s life will be in danger. Ex-President Jang genially laughs it off, saying the life and death are fated, but it’s obvious from his expression afterwards, that he is not at all amused. And that pleases me, honestly. 😏
I also feel some twisted satisfaction from the way Mal Ran breathily embraces Pil Joo and tells him that she’d been so scared in Mooshimwon without him; that it had been such a dark place without his presence.
The dream that Mal Ran describes, where she’d been in a car, and Pil Joo had come out of Mooshimwon to greet her, could be interpreted differently than what Mal Ran thinks, though. She sees it as a good omen, confirming that Pil Joo will always be at Mooshimwon to assist her. However, the truth is, Pil Joo is of Jang blood, while she isn’t.
The fact that, in the dream, he’s the one who comes out of the house, while Mal Ran is in a car, seems to indicate that he’s the one who belongs at Mooshimwon, while she’s the visitor. That good omen that Mal Ran is grateful for, in this moment, is probably not such a good omen for her, after all.
As we wrap up this episode, two key developments make it feel like the tension in our story is ramping up even more.
First, that Boo Cheon receives the results of a DNA test that he’s run, confirming the familial relationship between the two subjects. Clearly, this is about his suspicions around Pil Joo’s identity. It must be such a world-tilting moment for Boo Cheon, to realize that Pil Joo is actually his half-brother. 🤯 I am not sure what Boo Cheon plans to do with this information, but I’m certainly curious to find out.
Second, there’s how Mo Hyun seeks out Pil Joo and asks him, pointblank, if he’s the man who had carried her on his back, the day that she’d been drunk.
I am stunned, actually, when Pil Joo admits that he’d once had feelings for her, even though he now says that that’s in the past. I suppose Pil Joo realized that he wouldn’t be able to convince her that he’d never had feelings for her, given the strong vibes that Mo Hyun had picked up from him, before.
I have to say, I’m very impressed with Jang Hyuk’s delivery of this scene. Pil Joo’s expression is studiously impassive, but his eyes, progressively glistening with tears, say everything that his words don’t; that he still loves Mo Hyun, even though he can’t and won’t admit it.
And to amplify the tension even further, we have Mal Ran walking in on this scene. She clearly senses the unusual vibe between Mo Hyun and Pil Joo, and I feel like I need to feel afraid for Mo Hyun’s safety again, because that glare, as elegant as it is, is one that shoots daggers. 😬
Pil Joo’s true identity is starting to cause some ripples in our story world, and it’s thoroughly absorbing, breathlessly tense stuff. 🤫
Credit to Jang Seung Jo’s delivery; I really feel like there are many different layers at play, as Boo Cheon processes the truth, that Pil Joo is actually his father’s son.
I feel like there’s a sense of betrayal, because Pil Joo’s lied to him all these years, while he’s placed his full trust in Pil Joo. I also feel like there’s disbelief, like Boo Cheon is struggling to accept reality. I also feel like there’s grief, because Boo Cheon feels that he needs to put down this relationship with Pil Joo, which he’d engaged in from his heart, without holding back. There’s also fear in his eyes, like he suddenly feels unsafe with Pil Joo, for the first time in his life.
Kudos to Jang Seung Jo; as Boo Cheon’s thoughts swirl, I literally thought to myself, “He looks like he’s about to throw up” – and that’s exactly what Boo Cheon does. I thought this very difficult scene, full of warring emotions, was really well done.
The way Mal Ran lays down the law with Mo Hyun, telling her that she should not visit the annex on her own anymore, definitely feels like more than a simple case of a strict mother-in-law concerned with decorum. Mal Ran’s jealous lover instincts are definitely picking up on the pregnant pauses burgeoning with unspoken meaning, between Mo Hyun and Pil Joo, and given Mal Ran’s track record for getting rid of perceived obstacles in her path, I’m starting to feel a little anxious for Mo Hyun’s safety.
The fact that Mal Ran even tells Pil Joo what she’d once said to Boo Cheon – that he had to marry Mo Hyun, even if Pil Joo slept with her every night – makes me think that this connection between Pil Joo and Mo Hyun bothers Mal Ran more than she’d like to let on. At the same time, we’ve seen that she’s somewhat helpless, when it comes to Pil Joo. She clearly needs Pil Joo more than he needs her, and I think her relief at having him back after his accident and subsequent coma, is making her more desperate; hence the words that spell out what she fears might happen between Pil Joo and Mo Hyun.
The apple and soju scene between Pil Joo and Boo Cheon is really well done as well. With the realization of Pil Joo’s identity fresh on his mind, I’m quite surprised that Boo Cheon is this quick to take some kind of action. And in his words and actions during this scene, it’s clear that he’s looking to assert himself as much as possible, without actually revealing what he knows.
The whole dance around the knife, with each of them taking turns to slice off a piece of apple with the knife, and then feed it to the other person, is so full of tension. I almost feel like Boo Cheon’s toying with the idea of stabbing Pil Joo now, just like he’d stabbed that other guy back when he and Pil Joo had just met.
The way Boo Cheon states with such deliberateness, that becoming Cheong A’s Chairman is no longer his mother’s dream and Pil Joo’s goal, but his own dream and goal, makes me feel like he’s gathering all the steel within him that he can muster, because he anticipates a fight with Pil Joo in the future – and is choosing to warn him now, that he won’t be easily messed with.
I mean, given that we’ve seen how formidable Pil Joo is, this does come across like a kitten trying to intimidate a tiger, but the very fact that Boo Cheon is even trying to make a stand for himself, is worth something, I feel.
We are not told whether Pil Joo is cognizant of what’s going on with Boo Cheon and his weirdly tangential conversation this evening, but I can’t help thinking that Pil Joo, being as sharp as he is, wouldn’t miss the hints that Boo Cheon’s dropping.
I’m a little surprised that Boo Cheon, who’s always been such a mama’s boy, would even specifically tell Mal Ran to stop interfering in his marriage, and that he and Mo Hyun will take care of the issue of when to have children.
I feel like he’s working to embrace a more independent, self-sufficient way of living, not just in relation to Pil Joo, but in general. It’s rather refreshing to see, although I have to admit that I don’t have that much confidence in Boo Cheon’s ability to actually pull it off.
With all of this going on, in Boo Cheon’s mind, it’s unsurprising that he would start to at least attempt to put down some barriers between him and Pil Joo. That scene, where he tells Manager Lee not to tell Pil Joo about their latest product development milestones, feels significant, like it’s the first time he’s drawing a line between himself and Pil Joo.
Too bad for Boo Cheon, that Pil Joo’s not about to be deterred by his withholding of information, and simply gets the information that he needs, on his own. Boo Cheon’s forced laugh, as he concedes defeat before the mighty Pil Joo, is such a great contrast to Pil Joo’s completely unflappable countenance. Again, like a flummoxed kitten, before an unperturbed tiger.
That scene where Grandpa Chairman tells Ms. Han exactly how dangerous it would have been, to adopt Pil Joo, because he would take over the Jangs if he’s kept any closer, is clearly a foreshadowing of things to come. To Grandpa Chairman, it’s a good thing that he didn’t adopt Pil Joo, but he has no idea that he won’t need to, because of Pil Joo’s bloodline. I can’t wait to see Grandpa Chairman’s face, when he comes to learn of Pil Joo’s identity, and realizes exactly the kind of threat Pil Joo poses to the whole of Cheong A. 😏
Trust Pil Joo to be one step ahead of Boo Cheon, having moved Congressman Na back to his own home, before Boo Cheon even takes it into his head to search the country house. While I’m glad that Mo Hyun picked up on the fact that Boo Cheon was tailing her, and didn’t bring the doctor to her family home as planned, I can’t help wondering why she hadn’t changed her destination while driving, so that she could have thrown Boo Cheon even farther off the scent.
Of course, the reason Show lets Mo Hyun go to the house, and allows Boo Cheon to barge in, is to toy with us as viewers, but since the logical possibility is there, I just thought I’d put it out there.
I love it any time we get to see Jang Hyuk showcase his fight skillz, and I was not disappointed with how Pil Joo casually walks up to the guarded hotel room where Seo Won is being put up, and takes down every single guard, with a simple rolled-up magazine as his weapon of choice. The casual, sharp, controlled badassery is fantastic, and I lap it all up with stars in my eyes. 🤩
It’s quite a surprising choice, I feel, that Pil Joo doesn’t threaten Seo Won when he finally meets her, but simply gives her time and space, in a different location, to consider her decision. It’s moments like these that make me feel like Pil Joo is a lot more compassionate than he lets on. He may present things to Seo Won to influence her decision, but in the end, he’s making it her choice, and I’m sure that’s something that comes from him, rather than from Mal Ran or Boo Cheon.
What a huge development, that Mo Hyun would piece together the fact that Pil Joo is actually Jang Eun Cheon, and would confront him about it. Woah. 🤯 I certainly didn’t see that coming – at least, not so soon.
I’m rather surprised that she’d seen Pil Joo offer memorial rites for his namesake back in Gapyeong, because this is pretty huge, and yet, we haven’t seen Mo Hyun let on that she’d discovered anything amiss, about Pil Joo’s identity. Of course, Housekeeper Go’s explanation of the origins of the necklace is a huge clue as well, which is the key that helps Mo Hyun piece everything together.
I do think that as Mo Hyun returns the necklace to Pil Joo, her words to him, addressing him as Jang Eun Cheon, are not a statement of fact, as much as they are a means to test him, to see how he responds. I am so curious to see how Pil Joo chooses to respond. Will he surprise us by being honest with Mo Hyun yet again, and if so, how will this affect his plans for revenge? 😱