Welcome to the Spoiler Zone, everyone!
This is for those of you who want to discuss spoilers, from a “I’ve seen the show and WOW now I’m noticing all these other details in retrospect” sort of angle.
Here’s a Spoiler Zone for you to dig as deep as you’d like, into spoiler territory, WITHOUT the need for spoiler tags or other warnings.
My only request is, PLEASE BE EXTRA MINDFUL OF WHERE YOU ARE COMMENTING. Meaning, please don’t get mixed up, and start talking spoilers in the Open Thread, which could seriously mar the watch experience for a new viewer, OR, a viewer who would really prefer to have the rewatch feel as fresh as possible.
Other than that, READER BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
For the main discussion of episodes 3 & 4, which only deals with spoilers up to the point of the group watch, go here.
ENJOY YOUR SPOILER ZONE, MY FRIENDS! ❤️
there is one thing that i have a question about. ja’s friend (the one who helps her), tells her that he’s partially responsible for that debt that she has to return to gwang-il. i do not remember how is this explained, does anybody know?
I’ve watched the show multiple times and I don’t think they shed any more light on this than what you’ve mentioned above. As we know they all knew each other as kids…but Ki Bum and Ji An are just friends, so he couldn’t have inherited JA’s mom’s debt like JA did. His backstory is still a mystery to me, too. 🙂
There is no definite explanation. Maybe JA borrowed more money from that loan shark to give it to the friend, and then assumed the responsibility?
there is a lot of suffering in this world, but not everybody goes to rub a bank, to kill another person, or to even humiliate another person.
When the janitor was telling DH JA’s life story, he said that before she killed that loan shark, he had made her do bad things. She did everything he told her to do to protect her grandmother from the beatings. When grandmother found out, she collapsed. The janitor didn’t say exactly what it was. I could be wrong (and I hope I am), but if she had to do what I suspect she had to do, it definitely affected her opinion of people in general, and men in particular. And she had to kill a human being. Humiliation of others is nothing to her.
I’m pretty sure they played soccer more than once a week. When DH was going home after a fight with the loan shark, the soccer team had just finished their game. It definitely wasn’t a weekend. Also, we don’t see it in “My Mister”, but in other shows I saw women also get together to drink, talk, etc. But on the whole, you are absolutely right. Korean society seems to be more paternalistic and misogynistic than the western ones.
do you think he sexually abused her? i never thought in this direction. or is it just petty crimes? what’s your impression? may be when i’ll rewatch this scene it will become more clear to me.
It’s hard to tell. Maybe himself. Maybe others too. The janitor didn’t specify. We know that once the grandmother learned about these “activities”, she collapsed (became paralyzed). It must have been more than petty crimes.
I can’t edit my previous post. I wanted to add that DH got tears in his eyes at the moment he heard about it. It made me wonder.
Eda harris and Maria, I was wondering the same thing, what the “bad” things were that Kwang Il’s father made JA do. She was only 14 or 15 when she killed him, but she must have lived through an extremely difficult time up until then. Poor thing. Her love for her grandma, at age 14, is incredible really. Love that DH felt so much compassion for her and even went to KI’s to try to pay off that debt.
sweetroad and maria, now that i think about it, it just might be that maria is right and it was most likely sexual abuse. and it just might be that the younger shark, the son saw it, and it exited him but also created this jealousy. he is totally hung up on ja, i mean he is infatuated, or simply desires her desperately. and he’s angry also because he can not have her
We can only speculate. The younger loan shark’s feelings are complicated. As horrible as he is, I feel sorry for him too. He definitely cared for JA, when she was a young girl. When she killed his father, things change. The older loan shark was a terrible human being, but he was his father. Again, family loyalty, in some twisted way. So he didn’t know how to handle his feelings for JA. Sad. He also might have been jealous of JA being able to develop connection/ relationship with someone else, while he is still lonely and full of hate.
Lonely and unloved.
who’s lonely and unloved? the thug? sorry, i can not find an ounce of sympathy for him. if you think of it, every killer will have something as a human that can make you feel for him or his cause. somebody who can beat up so viciously a woman is just a sick monster, no matter the reason. unfortunately he is not an isolated case, this kind of mail intense cruelty is a horrible part of human existence no matter what part of earth they reside.
I didn’t say that I feel sorry for him, because he is lonely and unloved. I said he was jealous of JA, since he was still lonely and unloved, and she had DH.
I do feel sorry for him a bit, because he had a bad luck being born into a terrible family (and worse yet, might have inherited his father’s genes). But, of course, he could have chosen a different path in life. There is no excuse for his behavior.
As far as male cruelty goes, yes, it does exist. And it’s terrible. But women can be pretty terrible too. Have you seen all these videos on the internet? Of course, women are physically weaker than men, so often they choose other means to get what they want. I wonder what their behavior would be, if by nature they had the same amount of physical strength and testosterone.
For centuries women were at disadvantage, one reason being is that the world was very physical, so men’s strength gave them a huge advantage. With development of technology, automation, etc. physical strength became less crucial (in certain situations), so women got a better chance at equality. Cultural differences persist, of course, which make the struggle more difficult and success uneven.
But women can be pretty terrible too. Have you seen all these videos on the internet? no, i have no idea what video’s you are talking about. but the way, you asking this question makes me think that probably i would not want to see something of this sort. or should i? i am not too much into any things that come up on the computer, except for doing research on things that interest me on google. that’s about it. and emails.
anyway, when you mention “terrible things that women can do”. o, yes. i just finished watching ruyi’s royal love in the palace. all the 87 episodes are filled with images of most beautiful women – concubines, consorts, ladies of the court, in the most dazzling outfits, outlandish but mind-bogglingly beautiful hairstyles, that look like sculptures on their heads adorned with equally smashing jewelry. they all live in the most glorious palaces, with interior designs that the “architectural digest” would be embarrassed with their own interior design presentations. and they all compete for A NIGHT of serving (sleeping) with the emperor – their supposedly husband for one night, sometimes more than one night, if lucky, where the top of success in this business is becoming pregnant with a royal child, preferably a son. and the head of them is the main “pimp”, the empress, who is the only legal wife, but has to take care and accommodate all the other women for the emperor. and each episode is filled with the most horrific, conniving, cruel tricks and machinations that these women come up with to defeat and annihilate the competition. the juxtaposition of the suffering and dirt that results from these cat-fights to the spectacular palaces they live in is overwhelming. many times i had to stop watching it for some time, because i could not take the abuse of my nerves and all my senses, i literally felt like these poor animals swimming in the grease and oil after a gas spill in the ocean. and no amount of showers a day could wash off the dirt that seemed to stick to me. so i know how women can be (i did not know to that degree). it was super depressing. of course, this is the extreme (although this drama is one of the most historically accurate, and that was one of my reasons to see it.) but the sheer beauty of it is also overwhelming, watching it is like finding yourself in the metropolitan museum. and although it was hundreds of years ago, human nature is human nature.
so yes, women can be equally cruel, using different tools.
I don’t think you’d want to watch these videos. Sometimes I watch them on twitter.
Eighty seven episodes! I could never finish that show. I usually develop adhd after the first 25-30. And it sounds terrifying. I’m already kind of disappointed in the humankind. Don’t want things to get worse.
i am not on twitter – don’t even know how it works. all these social media platforms do not attract me and i have no time for them. this blog is my highest achievement in this department. (you can laugh at me).
yes, it was quite an undertaking to watch 87 episodes. but look at it like you are watching 3-4 dramas all in one. what’s the difference?
I’m not on twitter per se either: don’t have an account. I just browse postings sometimes.
Interesting point about watching more than one show though. I’ll have to think about that.
i always try to watch one chinese (preferably historical), one korean and one or even two rewatches. plus the group watches. the reason – i get obsessed and can not stop if the drama totally sucks me in, so this mildly reduces my craze. i force myself to move on to smth. else, although not always successfully. but at least it is a bit better. and i also sometimes pick up a movie (meantime sticking to korean and chinese) in the middle of all this. you might want to experiment with my method, if you have a problem like me.
I don’t have this kind of problem. Yet. 😊
But honestly, there are very few shows that can suck me in. “Secret love affair “ and “My Mister” are the ones that I can’t stop watching (and rewatching).
It’s probably a blasphemy to say it here, but I don’t watch too many Asian shows. There are just a few of them that I liked for some reason. So I rewatch them. Objectively, they are not necessarily that great. I can’t even tell what attracted me to them.
Here is my problem: I don’t like western shows any more I find their content unsatisfying. But I can’t get into Asian shows either. There is a British/Japanese show on Netflix called “Giri/Haji”. By the way, I thought it was very good. It takes place in Japan and in London. The main characters are British and Japanese. Creators of that show said in an interview that one of their casting challenges was to find Japanese actors (male and female) that could act in a western show. I guess I’m used to a understated, nuanced style. I have a problem with “over the top” acting, characters over 30 with emotions of teenagers, movie tropes, etc. As I said, blasphemy.
These are great comments, Maria. No such thing as blasphemy here. Also, I have been tossing up whether to watch Giri/Haji for quite some time – you have convinced me that it is well worth a look (plus I like the actors as well).
Thank you seankfletcher!
I think it’s worth it to at least start watching Giri/Haji to see, if you like it. This show is pretty dark. There is violence. But there is also plenty of love and humanity. The acting and the writing are superb.
Cheers, Maria. I am going to pencil it in – i.e. it has jumped the queue re all the other dramas I have on standby 😊
maria, no blasphemy, we are all different, and that’s the beauty of it. imagine if we would all think the same, world would be very boring.
i think that chinese/korean productions are way more interesting, professional, in many cases artistic. the acting is also somehow more convincing, introspective, just more in-depth (does it make sense?) as you say, i am kind of done with western productions, lost the appetite. i discovered the chinese quite by chance, and amazingly it was really “love at first site”. the connection was quite unexpected, but instantaneous. i think my case is kind of unique, and then i added the koreans thanks to kfangirl. that’s my story. but which dramas or movies did you see and found not to your satisfaction?
and if you like secret love affair and my mister, may be you should try other works of the same directors? like heard it through the grapevine, it’s the director of SLA. i would say, may be you should give it some more chance, after all there is vast potential in these productions, surely you can find some that will satisfy you.
i’ll add this japanese-british drama you like to my very long list, one day the day will come, it’s just like i do not even want to listen to english any longer in such dramas.
I’ve started watching quite a few Korean shows. What’s wrong with secretary Kim, Her private life, Pasta, Lovestruck in the city, Itaewon class, She was pretty, My love from the star, Que Sera Sera, and many others. Many of them I finished. But at some point I just stopped watching new shows and settled on a few that I liked. They are my very guilty pleasure and comfort food.
I don’t have aversion to English language. And when I find decent shows, I watch them. I try to avoid American ones though.
maria, i did not see any of the ones that you mentioned. i basically try to choose very carefully, mostly by kfangirl recommendations and people from the group here. but i also do at least minimal research of what it is about, and most important i try to go by art directors whose work i appreciate, (check what else they created) and actors who convinced me that they are worth my time. so far i had relative successes with this approach. american productions… been there, done that. so i feel pretty similar to you. europeans (scandinavians in particular) are better, and middle easterns, but i am so into these asians that i can not spare the time at this point to watch any others. but i would say, may be be more selective with your choices of the asian shows.
I guess I’ll have to do more research and go not just by actors, but by writers and directors. It might not always work (the same writer wrote My Mister and Another Miss Oh, for example), but it’s definitely a very good way to vet a show.
i was rewatching eps. 5 and 6. it completely slipped my mind, when he comes to her in his formal attire, drunk, after the memorial for his father, and reminds ja that she is the one who is responsible for that. and he says something that really makes me feel sorry for him, ya, he has nobody to share the food from the memorial. and it hit me, that he’s truly miserable himself, so alone in this world. the gloom… it’s all around him, ja, and dh. for now.
I think Kwang-il thought he had to hate JA, out of family loyalty. He didn’t know how to get over his anger and hate, and have a good life. His late father definitely didn’t teach him that.
Still, this can’t excuse his behavior, but…
Isn’t it amazing that listening to DH’s recordings (not matter how creepy and invasive it was) not only transformed JA’s life, but, hopefully, Kwang-il’s too? As I mentioned in an earlier comment, JA told DH that he helped her understand what it meant to be human. I believe the same could be said about Kwang-il. Listening to those recordings was the best thing that could ever happen to him.
“He also might have been jealous of JA being able to develop connection/ relationship with someone else, while he is still lonely and full of hate.” This is a new thought for me, and I think you might be right. This might explain his turn at the end, when he felt like Dong Hoon (and Ji An) understood him and extended him some sympathy for going through a hard time because of one bad adult.
DH was probably the only person on earth, who had sympathy for him because of the tough times he had during his childhood and possibly after his father’s murder. And it’s after the guy beat DH to the pulp! It’s like JA said to DH: “For the first time I understood what it means to be human”.
Poor thing indeed. Abandoned by everyone but her grandmother and that friend.
We’re not sure if there was sexual abuse or not, as the show did not give any further clues in that regard. One thing seemed certain though, the way Ji An and Ki Bum planned and fulfilled their schemes on Dir. Park and partially on Dong Hoon, it seemed they have had some experience doing them. So we can be certain they did some of those for Kwang Il’s dad. Actually I’m more inclined to think JA was used to seduce or to put married men in compromising situations which Ki Bum would then take pictures of, and then these victims would get blackmailed and bled dry off their coffers. That could have led to some broken families and lives destroyed, due to the dried coffers and perhaps the compromising photos.
Now wouldn’t knowing your granddaughter was involved in destroying people’s lives even be a bigger cause for the collapse? It depends on one’s perspective. Others would rather be victims than the one doing the victimizing. In sexual abuse, you’re the victim. Some might find that more palatable compared to being the evil doer. (ugh, if there’s such a thing..) Anyway, my point is that I’ve read many people equate grandma’s collapse to have to do with sexual abuse, when in fact being a tool to destroy lives could just be as bad, if not worse for some people.
Oops.. I can no longer edit my comment. I just recalled JA killed the dad when she was 14 or 15, so no way could she have been used to seduce at that age. Ok so now that would indeed put more credence to the abuse angle.
I’m sure it’s all of the above, including petty crimes. This girl had a terrible life until she met DH. To her credit, she didn’t see him as just one more victim, so she didn’t complete her “assignment “.
By the way, it’s kind of comforting for me to know now that other people also thought of a possibility of sexual abuse. When I first suspected it, I thought I had a twisted mind.
Anyone else who wants to punch Mr. Yoon in the face?
Lol. The actor who played Mr. Yoon can be very proud. Good job!
I just remembered. Dong Hoon did it for you.
in the nose, sorry.
Ahh! The way Dong Hoon stood up for Sang Hoon made me cheer, knowing that later on Ji-an would also be a recipient of his vengeance – is him saying “you’re part of my family. You’re part of us, and I will protect you”. For someone who is so lonely due to her situation, how comforting and how amazing it must be for her to realise that she does have a family and does have a tribe that will stand for her. So when Jung Hee’s opened and all the men were so happy there, I smiled cos I remembered how they would become her tribe in time to come. I used to think these middle aged men were kinda losers but honestly I would be so lucky to have that sort of “I got your back and you got mine” sort of gang at that age.
Yes! I love how the show slowly introduces things over the episodes, like Jung Hee’s bar here – which *is* a key part of Dong Hoon’s life but we didn’t know it until now. And in Episode 6, they’ll introduce his morning soccer club. The ahjussis have all failed in life but they are resilient and love and support each other. So realistic (the failure) and heartwarming (the community).
Yes. Loyalty is very important to DH. And he doesn’t let people go easily, when they are important to him. When JA took back the slippers and told DH to fire her, he absolutely refused. It looked like the mere possibility of JA not being in his life made him panic. On the other hand, he told his wife during the confession scene: “If you weren’t satisfied with me as a husband, fine, you just should’ve divorced me”.
It’s like what Dong Hoon’s mom said when they got together for her birthday party – as long as spouses are loyal to each other they don’t have to fear anything. That’s a value DH’s family had, so presumably when he saw Ji An’s loyalty to him during their time together, it was attractive to him. But Yoon Hee’s betrayal and disloyalty was not a small thing.
Right. That’s how DH was raised. That marriage is gone. I don’t know how anybody can think that DH will get back together with his wife and live happily ever after. He tends to endure things for the sake of his family, but he is not spineless.
I don’t remember which episode it was, when JA told DH about the CEO “Get promoted and get that sob fired!” DH asked “Why are you so against him? Have you even spoken to him?” And JA answered “Because you hate him”. Loyalty! And the look on DH’s face when she said that…
Funny – I just watched that scene again last night. It’s in the beginning of Episode 9, when they’re walking together after she’s missed her metro stop. Ji An is surprising in this exchange – Do Joon Young just gave her money to eat and drink with Dong Hoon, and she presumably has that money in her pocket even in this moment. But she’s starting to see that the CEO is “trash” (as she calls him later in this episode) so her loyalty is swinging toward Dong Hoon. And yes! The look on his face when she says that. He’s not sure what to do with it so he scolds her and tells her to call him “Pujangnim” instead of ahjussi…and then he walks faster. LOL.
what is pujangnim? i could not find a translation.
Hi Eda, it means Department Head. It’s what Team Three (and others in the cubicles) call Dong Hoon until he gets promoted. It’s also what he tells Ji An to call him instead of “ahjussi” when they’re walking together at the beginning of Ep 9 and she makes him uncomfortable. 🙂
After his promotion he’s known as sangmoonim (Managing Director).
thank you . i am still unfamiliar with all these terms.
🙂 This article helped me make sense of it all a few months ago: https://www.asiaoptions.org/korean-company-hierarchy-structure-business-titles/
If you scroll down you’ll see “boojang” and they usually add the -nim to be more polite. In this article boojang is Team Leader, but in the subtitles I think they translated it as Department Head for Dong Hoon.