Open Thread: My Mister Episodes 15 & 16

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! It’s surreal to think that we are at the end of this journey. Thank you for joining me, in enjoying this very special, beautiful show. ❤️

Some announcements, before we begin:

1. There is no Spoiler Zone this week, since this is the final Open Thread. You can discuss everything about the show now, without spoiler tags!

2. If you’d like to check out my review of My Mister, you can find it here.

3. I’ll be putting up a brainstorming post on what we should watch next as a community, you can check it out here, and share your inputs too!

My thoughts

Episode 15

What a pivotal episode this works out to be, not only for our story, but for Dong Hoon and Ji An as characters.

The moment Dong Hoon starts to reach out to Ji An, to acknowledge that he knows about her wiretapping him, everything starts to shift.

As much as Ji An is addicted to the sounds of Dong Hoon and his life, the amount of guilt and shame that she appears to experience, at being found out, feels equivalent in measure. And the closer Dong Hoon gets to actually reaching Ji An, the more panicked Ji An is, at the prospect of him possibly finding her.

Although it’s a complicated situation where Ji An is running from the law, it seems to me, that her primary reason for wanting to avoid being found by Dong Hoon, is the guilt and shame that she feels, for doing him wrong. The urgency with which Ji An packs up and runs, is so visceral; I can feel it through my screen.

And it feels like the more she runs, the more the guilt mounts – until she breaks down in the middle of the street, eking out her ten apologies, the way Dong Hoon had once told Manager Kim to apologize. Oof.

The way she cries, is so raw and vulnerable. In the context of how impassive and stoic Ji An’s shown herself capable of being, this feels particularly momentous.

At the same time, the more elusive Ji An is, the more determined Dong Hoon becomes, in reaching out to her. I feel it’s a deep-reaching decision that he makes, to discuss it with Yoon Hee, to agree to being candid about her affair, all to set Ji An free from the burden of being on the run indefinitely.

I mean, Dong Hoon had once been determined to live with this secret, telling himself over and over, that it’s nothing, as long as nobody knows about it. And now, for Ji An’s sake, he’s willing to let everyone know about it, because he wants to set her free. That’s really sacrificial of him, isn’t it?

I’m also struck by the fact that, in Dong Hoon’s conversation with Yoon Hee, the overall tone of their conversation about Ji An, is that of compassion.

Even when Yoon Hee talks about picking up on the fact that Ji An likes Dong Hoon, and that it was likely the sound of Dong Hoon’s voice, that kept her going, there’s no anger, hatred, jealousy or judgment. Instead, I find compassion for Ji An, as a fellow human being, and I like that a lot.

It’s all so.. serene and calm, like Yoon Hee’s finally at peace, now that she and Dong Hoon have decided to come clean about her infidelity.

The urgency growing in Dong Hoon, as time passes, and he still doesn’t hear from Ji An, feels like a big deal, because Dong Hoon is typically so measured and easygoing. I found it poignant to see him randomly talking to his phone, with increasing urgency, because he wants to find Ji An that badly.

When Cleaning Ahjusshi calls Dong Hoon, out of concern for Ji An, who’s injured, and refusing to eat or drink, the way Dong Hoon takes off running, says so much. Even though he knows where she is now, it’s like he doesn’t want to wait an additional second than absolutely necessary, to see her.

That moment when Dong Hoon enters that room where Ji An’s huddled, feels so complex and nuanced. The look in Dong Hoon’s eyes is filled with what looks to be a mix of relief, trepidation, and.. pain, like it pains him to see Ji An like this. On Ji An’s part, the moment she realizes Dong Hoon is right there, she looks terrified, guilty and ashamed.

This is so different from the Ji An whom we’ve come to know, that it honestly throws me a little.

Of course, in typical Ji An fashion, she goes for the offensive, because, with everything stripped away, that’s just the kind of feral cat that she’s learned to be. Attack, or be attacked; that’s how she’s survived all these years, and that’s what she defaults to, now that she feels threatened.

Dong Hoon, however, isn’t even fazed by this, and attacks in his own way – with kindness and compassion.

“Thanks. You listened to everything going on in my pathetic life… and yet, you took my side. So thank you. Thanks. I shouldn’t want for anything else in my life now.

I can’t… stand seeing you in pain because you pity me. And I… can’t stand the fact that you’re so pitiful. How could someone as young as you… How could someone as young as you… feel so sorry for an adult like me… That… breaks my heart too much for me to bear.

If I can’t show you that I’m living a happy life… you’ll continue to be in pain because of me. And when I think of you, in pain because of me… I will be in so much pain, that I won’t be able to go on.

So, just watch. All right? Just you watch! Watch and see just how happily I live my life. None of this is a big deal. Being humiliated? People gossiping about how my life is ruined? None of that is a big deal. I can live a happy life. I won’t be broken. I will be happy. I’ll be happy.”

It’s profound, the way Dong Hoon cuts to the heart of the matter, to the things that are really important. It’s because Dong Hoon cuts through all of the excuses and pretense, to the heart of it all, that Ji An meets him there, “I really want… you to be truly happy, Mister!,” and then breaks down sobbing, all her defenses gone. 😭

I’m so glad that Dong Hoon brings Ji An to Jung Hee after having her arm treated at the hospital, because Jung Hee really is the warmest, most welcoming person that I could have asked for, to take care of Ji An.

The way Jung Hee plays it, it’s like Ji An’s doing her a favor, by staying with her, and I love that. I love that Jung Hee looks genuinely glad to have Ji An with her, and takes her under her wing so naturally. If not for the fact that Ji An needs to get things sorted out legally, I’d actually like Ji An to stay with Jung Hee indefinitely.

The scene where Ji An deletes the wiretapping app from her phone, feels so profound. She’s so used to hearing Dong Hoon’s footsteps, and the sound of his voice, and his breathing, that it feels like she’s cutting off a lifeline, in uninstalling that app.

Her world literally goes silent, the moment she deletes the app; it feels like she’s cutting off a crutch, and now has to learn how to walk on her own, all over again.

I really like Chairman Jang. He’s so wise, and above all, so kind. Even though Dong Hoon tells him everything over lunch, and expresses his decision to resign from his post, Chairman Jang won’t allow Dong Hoon to do something so hasty, and insists that they think about it for a while.

Not only that, he also earnestly instructs Dong Hoon to get Ji An to call him, once she’s done paying for her crimes.

Ahh. He’s a good man. I really, really like him.

This episode, Kwang Il finally gets to confront his complicated feelings for Ji An, a little bit, when he listens back on the recordings, and finds the one where she talks about his complex feelings for her, and her, for him.

“He used to be a kind person. He used to be nice to me. And sometimes, when his dad used to hit me… he tried to stop him, and he would get hit instead of me. Back then… the look in his eyes wasn’t the same as it is now. Kwang Il.. He…is being tormented by his memories of the time that he liked me… and I… am tormented by the memories of when he was nice to me.”

Ji An’s words summarize it all, and hit Kwang Il right in the heart, it seems, from the tear that spills from his eye. It feels like this single sentence makes him feel seen, perhaps too seen, and that’s why he tries to seek Ji An out so aggressively afterwards.

At the same time, when Kwang Il begins to realize that he’s lost all traces of Ji An, and may never actually find her again, there’s a sense of loss about him that feels deep and raw. Ji An’s been a part of his life for so long, and means so many complicated things to him, that it feels like he might not know what to do with himself, without the assurance that she’s there, if he needs to see her.

On a tangent, I have to confess that I found it endearing, that Ki Hoon and Sang Hoon would take it upon themselves to live somberly, because of the hard time that Dong Hoon is going through.

It’s a little ridiculous and extreme, sure, but it’s also kinda sweet, that they care this much about Dong Hoon, and feel that it’s only right that they feel pain, if he feels pain. Aw. The solidarity!

I like the scene where Ji An sits with the gang at Jung Hee’s bar, and is treated like one of them.

To them, this feels like the most natural thing in the world, and to Ji An, this is likely one of the most precious experiences in the world. She’s never had a community to belong to, and now, just like that, she has people who are so warm and kind to her, without her having to do anything but be herself.

It feels like such a big step forward, when Ji An tells Jung Hee that if she were to be born again, she’d like to be born into this neighborhood. I mean, Ji An had previously talked about not wanting to be reborn; she’d been so jaded with life.

And now, Jung Hee’s telling Ji An happily, that yes, they will meet in the next life, and just thinking about it makes her happy. Ji An’s forming connections and finding comfort in those connections, and that.. comforts me.

Episode 16

Ahh. What a beautiful, beautiful ending.

I don’t know if it actually crystalized for me the same way, during my first watch, but this time around, watching this finale, it was a lot clearer to me, that this journey, for our characters, was one of coming to a place where they could find healing and comfort, for themselves.

There can and should be people to help you along the way, but the most important part of the healing, has to happen on your own, from within.

What we see in the first part of the finale, is still not yet the part where our characters start to heal on their own.

I love, so much, how Dong Hoon and his entire community come to Ji An’s aid, when Gran passes away.

Sang Hoon’s gesture, of spending his savings on making Gran’s funeral as grand and full of pomp as possible, is so kind, and it’s endearing to me, that he gains so much satisfaction from doing this.

More than that, though, it really feels like Dong Hoon’s community has absorbed Ji An as one of their own. It feels so important and so precious, particularly at such a vulnerable time in Ji An’s life, when she’s lost the only family that she has in the world.

I also love how Dong Hoon basically drops everything, in order to be there for her, from her going to the morgue to identify Gran’s body and hold her, one last time, to supporting her through the entire wake and funeral, and even helping her to find a crematorium and columbarium.

In asking Ji An to call him, when Gran passed, Dong Hoon had pledged his complete support, and it’s so touching, really, to see it all play out.

I also wanted to say, I loved that Ji An touched her forehead to Gran’s urn, and then touched her forehead again, to Gran’s niche, because it’s always been her signature bonding thing, with Gran. It feels comforting to know that she’s still able to find a way to express her love for and closeness with Gran, even though Gran has now passed. So poignantly beautiful, I thought.

On Kwang Il’s side of things, it appears that hearing Ji An’s honest, non-judgmental words about him, has really awakened him to the part of himself that he’s lost. And, seeing as how he works so hard to get those recording files to Dong Hoon, for Ji An’s sake, he wants to reclaim that part of himself, finally.

That is encouraging to see, honestly.

And, jumping ahead a little bit, I also just wanted to say that I’m glad for Ki Hoon as well, that he does eventually find his way back to his passion for film, after stoically avoiding it for so long.

I love that Ji An texts Dong Hoon to ask him to buy her a meal, and they meet at their now-regular bar-restaurant. This has become their little place, and I like that idea of familiarity and regularity, between them. I also like that the tone of their conversations is, as before, friendly and matter-of-fact.

It’s sad that Ji An is moving to Busan, but on further thought, it makes sense to me, that she would want a chance for a fresh start, in a place where she doesn’t have any history, so that she can write a new history for herself.

The goodbye is teary and poignant, and it feels like there is a lot that Ji An and Dong Hoon might want to say to each other, but can’t. However, I’m glad for that hug that Ji An asks for, and finally gets, and I’m also glad for the watery “Fighting!” that they say to each other.

It feels like they are each cheering the other on, to the next stage of their journeys; a stage that they can only take alone.

Ji An needs to heal alone, and Dong Hoon does, too.

In that scene, where Dong Hoon starts crying in his living room, after Yoon Hee’s left to go to the US, I’d wondered for a bit, why he was crying. And I came to the conclusion, that he’s crying for himself. His whole life, Dong Hoon’s been measured and placid, almost always bottling things up, so as not to worry others. And now, I feel like he’s finally crying for himself.

And that’s the first step to healing, isn’t it? While it hurts my heart to see Dong Hoon weep, it also feels necessary and cathartic for him.

I feel like the time skip is essentially time for both Dong Hoon and Ji An to heal, on their own, and rebuild their lives, in ways that would support their desire to live happy lives.

I’m glad to see Dong Hoon set up his own company, just like Yoon Hee had once encouraged him to do. He really does look happier doing his own thing, and what a bonus, that he confirms that he does actually make more money now, than when he’d worked for Saman E&C.

I’m also happy to see Ji An settled in her new job, and getting along well with her new colleagues. It’s nice to see her finally not have constant bags under her eyes. She finally looks fresh and well-rested, not just from a rough couple of nights, but from many rough years in her life.

I think it’s perfect, that the way Ji An finds Dong Hoon at the coffeeshop, is by picking his voice out of a crowd, and following it.

That’s from hours and hours of listening to his voice, and becoming familiar with the timber of it, such that, even in a crowded coffeeshop with many different voices speaking at the same time, she can’t help but single out his voice, from among them all.

Like Ji An had talked about before, Dong Hoon looks genuinely glad to see her, and she, to see him.

It’s so poignant and warm at the same time, how Dong Hoon asks to shake her hand, just once. And she, in turn, tells him that she’d like to buy him a delicious meal, just once.

Show leaves it open to interpretation, in terms of what happens next, for Dong Hoon and Ji An, but y’know what, where I am right now, it doesn’t even matter.

I know that they are deeply, warmly grateful for each other, for the other person having been there, for the most difficult and trying times of their lives, and being that guiding light and helping hand, when they’d each felt their most lost and hopeless.

That’s precious, and enduring, and can never be taken away from them. I believe that whatever happens, they will always be precious and special to each other, and that this connection will transcend whatever necessary – circumstances, definition, obstacles – so that it will not be broken. ❤️

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MC
MC
7 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I have missed BE’s insightful commentary so I’m glad to know you’re ok! Recover well and take care, no hurry to force words out when you can’t!

j3ffc
j3ffc
7 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I was indeed worrying. Thanks so much for letting us know. To @BE, no worries. Take care and we look forward to seeing you when you are up to it.

the_sweetroad
7 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Good to hear that BE is OK. Get well soon. Some hibernation is nice sometimes!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
7 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Thanks Fangurl – I was really getting worried.

@BE – keep the faith baby! Thinking of you and take care of that back!

the_sweetroad
1 day ago

It’s been a while! KFG, I know you skim all these comments so just a note that I hope you’re doing well. 🙂 This summer got a bit out-of-control and I had to take a break here right at the Heard it Through the Grapevine group watch. Feels like ages ago.

@MariaF @actionscript and others: A lingering question that I have not had time to look into: Do you recall off the top of your head if Dong Hoon was actually demoted (and, more importantly, paid less) when he was moved from the Design Team to the Safety Team? I had the strong impression it was a lateral move, but I re-read an old post on Soompi where even I said he had been demoted.

the_sweetroad
1 day ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Actually, I’m going to post this on the Ep 13 – 14 spoiler thread, where there are fewer comments and it will be easier to pick up discussion. 🙂

beez
5 months ago

@MariaF @the_sweetroad – I tried to watch ep10 in the wee hours this morning. My plan was to ffwd trying to find the slap, but – DANG IT! – I got engrossed in it 😡 but then fell asleep 🤬.

I’m going to be pretty busy the next 2 days but I’m determined, I’m going to see this slap.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez, It’s a good episode, isn’t it? 🙂

Keep going – it’s at the very, very end. Part of the context is that slimeball CEO Do Joon Young wants her to produce results in the next 2 days, and that plays into her confession. But it’s a real, raw confession from her. The goading…maybe not as real.

eda harris
eda harris
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

beez, let me know when and where you find the “hidden gems”.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago

Consider that in addition to sharing the same values in terms of family, they also have the same love for the neighborhood. She wishes to be reborn there. I really, really found it disappointing that in the end the wife couldn’t get to see it through DH and JA’s eyes (or the viewers, and possibly even his kid’s -at least he appreciates his extended family-). I thought that with the scene where she accepts his offer and asks him to buy her beer, she would have turned the page and found a newfound appreciation, seeing things more through Ji An’s eyes (after all, the neighborhood comes together for JA’s grandma’s funeral, and she is there as well). DH’s brother ever pays the funeral out of his own pocket, with all his possessions.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago

Re: ambiguity, it’s not clear to me his wife’s plans for the future… I mean, given he different legal system I don’t know how transferable her skillset would be in the US

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

Also, about what is the source of income supposed to be while she is studying there. I mean, he did get a promotion, but then he had to build his own company, which would have required some capital investments, and while she was wealthy, I am sure that the cost of living wouldn’t be a joke, and living multiple years without a source of revenue would be an issue.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

Not sure they mention what she is going to study, maybe English, which seems kind of strange to me, in terms of her age/skillset.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago

Most surprising fact on rewatch was realizing that there was a sister in law in the US, while I always had the impression their kid was staying in a boarding school. Still, we basically never see her, she is mentioned only once in passing, is not in any of the photos. He is basically living alone, away from his parents.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

I kind of makes you wonder how little the woman is mentioned.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

Adds another person to wonder about why is missing in the photos, apart from DH.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago

Seeing the scene where Ji An finally makes her appreciate Dong Hoon calling her to ask whether she needed anything, I was stuck at the parallel, like a closing circle, with the first episode.

In the first episode, she has the first scene with her lover, where she attacks him over not carrying a second phone, accusing him of not wanting to contact her, and questioning his commitment. She checked the phone 15 times a day.

On the other hand, she ghosts Dong Hoon and his family’s marriage event in order to be with her lover. He is disappointed. She does that frequently -only to then blame him for being there without him-, like in episode 7. We later learn that she tried to do them favors and spend time with his brothers in an attempt to get into Dong Hoon’s graces, so he would accept to let her mold him into who she wanted him to be. Then resented him for him not letting her change a core part of his personality and life (it would be the same as asking Ji An to distance herself from her grandma).

Compare this with Dong Hoon’s brother paying Ji An’s grandma’s funerals with most (all?) his possessions, without expecting anything in return. We see how the neighborhood comes together with her for the funeral, how Dong Hoon’s friend houses her no questions asked.

His wife sees it too, yet I don’t think she ever fully appreciates the value of this extended family, of this community, the way she (finally) ends up appreciating Dong Hoon calling her. She gets her nuclear family, living abroad with the kid, but Ji An, Dong Hoon and the viewer see the beauty in the neighborhood, their simple, beautiful humanity, their quick acceptance of anyone that genuinely wants to be a part of them (like Ji An). So the viewer knows that she is missing out on something truly precious, only because she never really wanted to fit in with them, but was biding her time, waiting to mold Dong Hoon.

Anyway, he is disappointed in her missing the event, and even more disappointed at her not calling him all day (he always calls her to ask whether she needs something). Back at home, she reorders some clothes after her day at the beach, and they talk about the day.

He is generic about the wedding, embarrassed that his brothers stole gift money (and he was the only one not knowing of the plan) and his brother publicly fought with his wife.

But when she asks about herself and the wedding (everyone is now habituated to her missing events, they are surprised when she shows up), he just shuts down, swallowing down the pain, bottling everything up. The disappointment at her making excuses (lies) to miss the event, spurning someone precious to him, his family.

Fortunately, he does not know that she did it to be with his worst enemy. The disappointment of her not calling him all day. Compare this with her active approach, reaching out and fighting her lover for not calling her. An interesting parallel. Dong Hoon calls his wife, who calls her lover. The thread does not go back.

We see from the fight with her lover that she waits his calls impatiently. But later we see her treat Dong Hoon’s calls to ask whether she needs anything snappily, taking her frustrations out on him. And in this chapter, we see her appreciate the gesture for the kindness that it entail, the message of “I am thinking about you, about your needs, every time I come home”.

I think it spurned a new appreciation of her for him. Which is why I didn’t quite get the open ended finale (while understanding that it allows everyone to imagine what they wish in their future). Her living abroad, alone with her kid. Well, she got the nuclear family she wished, but what did she miss in that little special neighborhood!

matrice
matrice
5 months ago

Wondering whether their mother knows of the affair in the end, or the neighborhood (apart, of course, his brothers). The colleagues at work obviously know because it involved someone from his company, but maybe the police did not divulge this information to the public at large. I don’t get the feeling that anyone besides the people at the office know (and his brothers, and the people that already knew), otherwise the interaction with his mother would have been very different (the interaction with his friends at work certainly was).

It was unfortunate that Dong Hoon’s wife, even after witnessing the kindness and acceptance of the neighborhood, his brother’s willingness to pay for Ji An’s grandma’s funeral with all his possessions, without asking or expecting anything in return (compare this with her own favors to his family and time spent with his brothers, done with the intent of ingratiating herself to Dong Hoon, biding her time and trying to mold him into something she wanted).

Not sure if she fully grasped their value, or ever saw them with the eyes of Ji An, Dong Hoon, maybe her own child (his extended family, at least), and with the eyes of the public, that appreciates their value. They were so accepting to those that really wanted to fit in with them (see them at Ji An’s grandma’s funeral, see them housing her, see his brother pay for the funeral with everything he has).

In the end, however, she goes abroad to live with her son… well, at least she has realized her ideal of the nuclear family -her and her son-. Would have lied the show to have elaborated on this (why are the new photos only with her and the kid? Why is Dong Hoon nowhere in there? Does he/they never visit?). This was really a show where I wish I could see the continuation with a sequel, though I understand that the finale answers all the questions the authors wanted to answer.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago

Yeah, the contrasts really matter in the scene post time-skip. The fact that he used to have a family photo on his desk, and now there are 3 photos of just Yoon Hee and Ji Seok. To me, that seems to firmly establish Yoon Hee’s presence in the US. But YH and Dong Hoon are still on good terms (enough for her to send him photos and for him to frame them!) so that’s good.

And I mentioned this earlier (multiple times throughout all these threads, haha) but the fact that he called Yoon Hee “chib saram”(wife) several times throughout the show (ep 2, 10, 15 x 2, 16) and then at the very end referred to her as “ae omma” (my kid’s mom) shows a distancing in their relationship, not an even-closer relationship. These things were done on purpose, I believe. Viki has the correct subtitles; Netflix does not.

And while he’s reflecting a more distant relationship with Yoon Hee than previously, he calls Ji An “Ji An” instead of “Ji An-ssi” or “Lee Ji An” at the end. This reflects a closer relationship with Ji An than before! Even if it’s just in his mind, it’s still closer. Many of us think it’s actually a future conversation between DH and JA, though, an idea I totally get on board with. 🙂

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

All that to say, the more I watch the show, the more firmly I believe that show’s trajectory for YH and DH is toward divorce. And show’s trajectory for DH and Ji An is for them to be back in each other’s lives in Seoul. I think it will be of a romantic nature – they already loved each other deeply, and we know he already thought of her as pretty and nice. If he’s a free man at the end, and if Ji An still loves him (which I think her eyes show she does when she sees him again at the cafe)….then these two whole, stable, thriving people could be very happy together in the future.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad
I agree! But you already know that😊

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@MariaF,❤️ 😊
In fact, your comments, logical insights, and observations during the group watch helped me be even more confident.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Thank you! Same here. 🎈

I think we had a truly thoughtful, insightful conversations during the group watch. Even our disagreements didn’t create tensions, but helped us to see the versatility of the show and it’s characters.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Absolutely. I spent so much time on these threads during the group watch! Haha. And learned so much.

I just finished another re-watch, and noticed even more elements. For example, @actionscript had pointed out that he heard a siren in some of the scenes, and he didn’t know if it was deliberate or a coincidence. When I re-watched, I noticed several more siren scenes, and the siren always sounded in key moments of Dong Hoon or Ji An’s story (or both). So my conclusion is it must be deliberately added in. Which just shows how much Show values “show, don’t tell.” 🙂 🙂

matrice
matrice
5 months ago

Regarding Ji An, I think that she finally realized how good she was to her husband, and it kind of humbled her given the way she treated him.

Regarding him opening his own company, I cringed a bit at the reference to his wife’s plan, because that was a self serving, manipulative request (playing up his supposed insecurities at working under a younger person), and he had very good reasons to fear this step (he needed to maintain his family, his brother had multiple failed business and he saw how it destroyed his family, forcing him to take care of both his brothers). His wife only told him that he could find a new job if he failed (doubtful, with what references, those of the boss that was sleeping with his wife, that kept trying to fire him and continued to put him down? if the job marked was so easy they wouldn’t be in their current company being put down and bullied), but he was also worried about the responsibility towards his eventual subordinates.

You cannot really use success in the future to predict success in the past. In the future he had more confidence, more capital, and his family was economically secure, so he was not responsible for them anymore. He also had the experience of managing at a higher lever thanks to his promotion at his previous job.

Note that when his wife proposed him this, she was convinced nobody would follow him (show how she knew him… he was beloved by his team, and people did follow him when he opened his own company), and told him to mortage his house. She was doing this because she wanted him out of the company when she divorced him and went official with his younger boss and worst enemy. This means that the business was destined to be a complete disaster, as his confidence would be crushed and he would be emotionally shattered by the blow (with no Ji An to help) right during the crucial startup phase of the business. It’s easy to see that while it might have been a good idea *now*, it would have been suicide then.

This is the reason I found the reference to his wife’s suggestion disturbing: they were completely different circumstances, and in order not to feel bad about herself she was ready to get him to risk his house on a project where she didn’t expect others to follow him, that was destined to failure given her purpose was to get him to leave when she divorced him for his worst enemy, and in a moment in time when his entire family was relying on him to bring home the money.

This was not the same proposal at all. And the fact was that she was trying to risk his career, house and family’s income for her own interest: she started trying to convince him when her lover was planning to fire him for his convenience, enlisting the help of an accused murderer (here I will note in passing that neither of those actions by her lover were a deal breaker to her, but lying about camping was a step too far… had he been *just* someone willing to hurt her husband she would have still been with him… don’t know if I am the only one finding this disturbing).

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

@matrice
I agree with everything you said, except one minor thing:

neither of those actions by her lover were a deal breaker to her, but lying about camping was a step too far…

It wasn’t just lying about camping.

The wife heard her lover’s recording. He said he was having an affair with her, because, as a married woman, she’d be discreet. And that he wasn’t ending their affair only because she was still in love with him, and she could cause some trouble.

She drove to the camp site to confront him, but he wasn’t even there.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I am not sure of that, meaning that I got the feeling, watching the show, that she was still weighting Ji An’s words (maybe she though she had caught him in a trap with the recording… let’s remember that when she discovered him trying to get her husband fired she bough his “he will try to get revenge” line hook, line and sinker, apparently not knowing her husband at all -given he just asked him to break up and not mess with him on the job unfairly, and in regards to her, he was even concerned about her wellbeing when confronting her lover, taking him to task for him not wanting to marry her due to her family background-), and that things might have been different had the discovered he didn’t lie about going camping like Ji An claimed.

In any case, we are talking about a distinction without a difference (plus, I wanted to make the phrase more snappy, and adding “badmouthing her too” seemed unnecessary: the point was that he slighted her by being insincere, either by talking behind her back or lying about camping), we could amend the phrase to:

him mistreating and trying to fire her husband with the help of an accused murderer was not a deal breaker, him badmouthing her behind her back and lying about camping was

Bit more of a mouthful, but the point about her priorities stands. As does the fact that this was all happenstance, and the whole situation was kind of “created” by Ji An and Dong Hoon’s interference (mind you, I agree with Dong Hoon that he wouldn’t have married her, so sooner or later she was bound to find out that he prioritized his immediate career goal/prospects -not wanting a wife with a poor family background-).

Last edited 5 months ago by matrice
MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

she had caught him in a trap with the recording

How? What kind of a trap can excuse what he said and the tone of his voice, when he was saying it.

him badmouthing her behind her back and lying about camping was

It wasn’t just badmouthing or lying. He did not love her. That’s what set her off.

It turned out that she traded her husband (who was a decent man and a father of her child, but who supposedly didn’t love her enough) for someone, who didn’t love her at all. And who was a piece of s***.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Regarding the last line, again, with regards to him being an unsavory character, we are talking about someone that had an affair with the wife of a subordinate he mistreated, and wanted to fire said subordinate for his convenience (when he said himself that as a CEO he could have easily found another job -and was certainly more socially mobile than Dong Hoon-… not that it mattered, since he was his enemy and was sleeping with his wife, so his wellbeing was not really one of his priorities).

And the “trading with” was exactly my point as an evaluation of her priorities. The guy was threatening to fire her husband, a man she had known for years, the father of her child, with the help of an accused murderer. And that was not a deal breaker. Him badmouthing/lying to her was not. She would have been happy with the trade had he merely hurt her husband, but not badmouthed her behind her back/lied to her about camping and obviously, by extension, shown what he would have otherwise shown later by not marrying her.

I actually wouldn’t be so sure about his feelings -he did seem hurt when she talked him in his apartment-, but I certainly agree that he did not love her enough to marry her, or to prioritize her versus her job. But yes, probably he didn’t love her at all (though he never admitted not to to her face).

I cannot make a definite statement about whether she would have dropped him on Ji An’s recording alone, since it was not made explicit or spelled out, so this is only my interpretation (we are in any case arguing about a moot point, because my general point was about him being a fake -either by lying or badmouthing her behind her back-).

But my general idea is this: she went there to check whether he was present or not, whether Ji An had told her the truth or not. If she had found him there, that would have been one thing that Ji An had said that didn’t check out, and she could have bought a lie about him trying to do damage control and not wanting to expose a weakness for Ji An to exploit.

Let’s remember that she bought his argument about her husband wanting revenge, when the guy only asked her lover to break things off and not treat him unfairly at work, and as for her, he still cared about her so much that even when one would have supposed he shouldn’t have cared about her at all or even hated her, he still cared about her wellbeing enough to take her lover to task about not wanting to marry her (plus the kindness to her snapping at him/nursing her back to health after the breakup we see in her flashback).

Of course, eventually she would have found out, him not marrying him at some point in the future would have been kind of a big hint to ignore.

Last edited 5 months ago by matrice
MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

since it was not made explicit or spelled out

There are very few things in this show that are spelled out. It leaves a lot for interpretation and imagination, and that’s what makes it great.

But I disagree with your interpretation of the break up situation.

The wife didn’t go there to check if JA told the truth. JA didn’t say anything. She just played the recording.
The wife went there to confront the CEO. Him being there wouldn’t have changed the outcome.

Funny enough, the CEO himself thought that it was his lie that set her off. He had no idea that JA recorded their conversation and the wife heard the recoding.

I agree with you about other things. The wife’s behavior was terrible, inexcusable. And if the CEO loved her, she might have gone along with his scheming.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Okay, then maybe I took the CEO’s position as the truth… I thought Ji An had told her to check out the campsite when she confronted her, blocking her care -are you sure she didn’t? I won’t go back to check, since this is really a meaningless distinction, an example of the same point (him being duplicitous and not who she though he was)-, so it really does’t change the basic point I was trying to get at, namely the disproportion in the severity of what triggered her reaction:

  • A disloyal lover.
  • Someone that would hurt the husband whose wife he was sleeping with (mistreating him at work, trying to get him fired)

The last point seems like an indication of “scumminess” much more remarkable, even if he did it to someone she was not related with… in this case the target was her husband and the father of her child, which made things worse, but frankly even learning of his conspiracy to get rid of other opponents she was unrelated to with such criminal cartel-like methods (like the manager that ended up taking the bribe by mistake) would have give me pause.

Up until that point, for example in the first encounter, he gave off the impression of “regular CEO trying to improve his career by doing a good job”, then we discover that he was really slime that threatened others/set others up to get his way, with mafia-like methods. I mean, she was a lawyer to boot, not to put too fine a point on it.

In any case, I don’t want to give the impression I thought this was the wrong characterization, it was perfectly compatible with her being willing to cheat on her husband for a year (with his worst enemy to boot). It’s something I found it hard to relate to on a personal level (I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything remotely similar to what she did), but it was fitting, though it made it difficult to be convinced of her “very last minute turnabout” (after she discovered he know, which was basically the very last chance -had she not felt any guilt even then, she would have never felt it full stop-).

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

In any case, she might have gone there to confront him (or to check whether he was lying to her), but in certainly solidified in her mind the idea that Ji An’s words were true (after seeing how she bought his line of reasoning with regards to her husband seeking revenge, I wouldn’t put him being able to spin it around past them, had he actually been there at the camp, but it’s really a moot point).

 if the CEO loved her, she might have gone along with his scheming.

Actually, in terms of the plot line, he really only needed to not deceive her (by badmouthing her behind her back or lying about camping). It was not necessary for him to love her, he just had to be exposed a bit later (obviously, when he didn’t marry her, the truth would have necessarily dawned on her).

I mean, there is no “might have” unfortunately, that’s what we factually see her do in the show: her standing by his side as he did this, while orchestrating her own manipulation, playing with her husband’s emotions and supposed insecurities, to make herself feel better by making him quit and make it appear as if it was his own decision, rather than something she manipulated him into for her own convenience… unfortunately for her, he suspected/knew of the affair and in any case could see the absurdity of the proposition… even more so after I realized how actually poor he was, by seeing his bank account in the first episode, and that had to financially support the rest of his family. The deal breaker here was the situation Ji An/Dong Hoon orchestrated (by exposing him to her and making him break up with her and thus lie about camping), which made him display something he might have otherwise only exposed the moment he didn’t marry her.

Let’s remember that until she learned he knew, even in the interim period between her breakup and her discovering he knew the truth, she felt ashamed of her choice of lover, not of having betrayed her husband in and of itself (consider their lover’s nest scene versus the rooftop scene, in the former she says she is ashamed to have loved him, in the latter that she is ashamed to have loved him, and to have betrayed Dong Hoon -I didn’t like how that came second and more softly, because it felt kind of like an afterthought, while it should have been the central and only point, but I think that narratively it works… it’s her working through the fact that yes, she choose a scummy lover… but that even if she had chosen someone that was better -defined as not deceiving her, not necessarily as not hurting her husband-, it would have still been something to be guilty over).

Last edited 5 months ago by matrice
matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Okay, I went back to check the scene… in effect Ji An does not seem to have told her, she received his text message, then went to the campsite after hearing Ji An’s recording. The thing that probably planted the impression in my mind that she was still hesitant about whether to believe Ji An was the fact that the dialogue of his words is repeated over the scene of her looking at the campsite. It’s at the campsite that she breaks down crying, so I guess the idea/feeling I got was that she was hurt, but still kind of gave him the benefit of the doubt/hoped he had an alternative explanation, but when she found the empty campsite it dawned on her that it was true, and she passed from angry face to crying. More or less what I thought, with the mistaken detail of Ji An telling her .

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

What kind of trap can excuse…

Something along the lines of:

“She discovered our affair, I had to run damage control and pretend this was nothing, in order to not expose a weakness she could exploit. I had to show her I was in control, but I was only acting, etc.”

Probably something much more articulate along those general lines. It does not have to make sense/fit their characters, for example his argument about Dong Hoon seeking revenge as an explanation for him wanting to fire him:

  • Logically speaking, he could have just as well resigned himself, as by his own admission he was able to find a new job easily and he was more socially mobile, and after all he was the one that was sleeping with his subordinate’s wife in the first place… of course, he would have never had done this because he was Dong Hoon’s enemy who was sleeping with his wife, and firing him was exactly the point.
  • In terms of characterization, we know that Dong Hoon would not have reacted that way (because when he found out he didn’t).

Not saying that she would have bought the explanation, but he could have given it a college try (he kind of did try to make it seem like he loved her, but he was also in the process of breaking up the relationship as it interfered with his career).

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Actually, I am not sure we can definitely say he did not have any feelings for her. Probably not, but the show is admittedly ambiguous with his expressions… the way her words in their private apartment seemed to hurt him (but maybe it’s because they hit the nail on the head), the way they threw around different perspectives, without taking a stance on what is the truth. The facts certainly tell us that it was not a feeling strong enough to stop him from throwing her away as soon as it became convenient for his career, and I am positive that he would have never married her. But I agree, I am basically positive he did not love her.

Last edited 5 months ago by matrice
MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

@matrice
This is a response to a few comments:

She discovered our affair, I had to run damage control

You do damage control by denying an affair. You don’t do it by admitting to it, and then explaining that you are having this affair, because you count on your partner to keep her mouth shut (since she is a married woman).

After DH hit him at work, the CEO denied having an affair during the subsequent meeting. That was damage control.

the way her words in their private apartment seemed to hurt him (but maybe it’s because they hit the nail on the head),

Nail on the head, for sure. That’s why he also got mad at JA during the police interview. Because she saw right through him.

Logically speaking, he could have just as well resigned himself…
he would have never had done this because he was Dong Hoon’s enemy who was sleeping with his wife, and firing him was exactly the point.

That wasn’t “exactly” the point. He couldn’t quit. He had a bigger fish to fry. The chairman was childless and ill. The CEO wanted to take over the company. That’s where all these firings, scheming, etc. were coming from.

I’m leaving alone events that led to the breakup. We are going in circles. So I’m done.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

You do damage control by denying an affair. You don’t do it by admitting to it, and then explaining that you are having this affair, because you count on your partner to keep her mouth shut (since she is a married woman).

Yes, I said that it was an excuse, and that it didn’t have to make sense (but the argument he made about Dong Hoon similarly didn’t pan out, so it was not necessary in order to convince her). But maybe Ji An had/he thought he had some evidence of the affair, so he couldn’t deny it? Well, I am not too attached to this specific explanation, I am not a writer so it’s the best I could come up with, but maybe he could have found some other excuse. Maybe believable, maybe not.

You do damage control by denying an affair. You don’t do it by admitting to it, and then explaining that you are having this affair, because you count on your partner to keep her mouth shut (since she is a married woman).

Yes, my point was that he would have had, by his own admission, other options (but of course, he didn’t want to remain in his position, but to climb up).

It was just something speculative, I am not saying that he would have convinced her, I am saying that given the precedent of the husband, I am not sure that, had he found him at the camp, he would have been done for (she was angry, but when she found the empty tent she was devastated).

But it’s a moot point, either way, a distinction without a difference. Simply means she just needed one slight, not two.

You were right, of course, about Ji An not telling her about the camping thing, but her lover doing it and her going ther herself. Apologies.

Last edited 5 months ago by matrice
the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

I think Do Joon Young probably did have some feelings for Yoon Hee, especially dating back to college, where the show has hinted that both Dong Hoon and DJY liked the same person in their college club. However, he will always come first in his heart 🙂 .

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

You are probably right about the past. I’m not so sure about the present.

DJY lost then. I think, in his sick mind, he sees this situation as a some kind of rematch, where he is the winner. And Yoon He became collateral damage.

Also, when we look at YH, we see a modern, educated woman, a lawyer. We expect her to be rational, a bit cynical and even merciless (due to her profession). But that’s not who she is. Or, maybe, what/who she’s become.

Well, she’s been merciless towards her husband. But other than that, what does that fantasy of hers (having a husband who sees only her, and pays attention only to her, etc.) make her?

Needy, insecure, unkind, unable to properly assess people and situations…
Not a pretty picture. I can’t help but wonder, if their unhappy marriage and DH’s “emotional freeze” somehow did it to her?

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yeah, I can see this, @MariaF.

DJY lost then. I think, in his sick mind, he sees this situation as a some kind of rematch, where he is the winner. And Yoon He became collateral damage.

From their college days, I think popular, handsome, and smart DH has always stuck in DJY’s craw. DJY mentioned he always had wanted to be DH’s friend. And even now he was always going on and on about “Why are all the women around DH like this?”

So for him to have an affair with Yoon Hee was a personal triumph against DJY. I agree.

Needy, insecure, unkind, unable to properly assess people and situations…

Yup. DJY and YH wouldn’t have had a great future themselves if they had succeeded in destroying DH as they planned.

I can’t help but wonder, if their unhappy marriage and DH’s “emotional freeze” somehow did it to her?

I think it definitely contributed to her insecurities. She also wanted more control over their life situation (moving out of the neighborhood, finding other friends). There are a few instances in the show where DH and YH each open the window in their apartment. They both feel totally trapped in their marriage. Someone else brought up the point that they’re always shutting doors on each other in the apartment. Neither of them feels safe and open with the other.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

There are a few instances in the show where DH and YH each open the window in their apartment. They both feel totally trapped in their marriage.

Excellent observation about the windows. It’s very symbolic.

Neither of them feels safe and open with the other.

So true. I even think that, in some terrible, twisted way, her affair was the best thing that could’ve happened to them in their marriage situation.

Otherwise, they would’ve stayed in that marriage for a long time, being miserable, quietly resenting, and eventually even hating, each other. Unhappy and resentful.

DH will be ok now. He was lucky to meet JA.

What’s going to happen to YH is still unclear. She told DJY in the hotel scene, that since he was less nervous, when he was with her, she thought she was someone special.

I guess, she needs to be less desperate and get back her self confidence, or something. ‘Being less nervous’ shouldn’t be good enough.

I realize that we all want/need to be loved. But to get involved with someone, who she apparently knew wasn’t good, just to get that validation, is just wrong…

Anyway, she is obviously not in DH’s life as a wife and a romantic partner any more, so all is well now. We also should be able to let her go.😊

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I even think that, in some terrible, twisted way, her affair was the best thing that could’ve happened to them in their marriage situation.

I tend to agree. It made both of them face up to the truth of the sorry state of their marriage. I guess Yoon Hee had already faced up to it/ given up and was seeking relief elsewhere.

What’s going to happen to YH is still unclear.

In my mind, she meets someone in the US who can cherish her and be romantic, but who can also have good arguments with her and tell her when her expectations are unrealistic. 🙂 Maybe she’ll meet an American-born Korean who’s used to being more assertive and direct!

By the way, did you know I wrote a fanfic on them? I finished it in Feb, shortly after this group watch ended. Let me know if you’re interested in reading it and I’ll post the link. (Fanfics are not for everyone, and mine is pretty long 🙂 )

Last edited 5 months ago by the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I should clarify – the fanfic is a continuation of the story between Dong Hoon and Ji An; it’s not about Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I hope so. I’m not interested in DH and YH story at all.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Ha!! I was definitely not interested in writing about DH and YH at all.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

who can cherish her and be romantic, but who can also have good arguments with her and tell her when her expectations are unrealistic.

Thats exactly what she needs!

I would love to read your fanfic.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Here’s the story, called The Road Back to You: https://archiveofourown.org/works/34061467/chapters/84728752

Easier to read on the phone than on the computer. 🙂

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad
Thank you!

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I would also have appreciated more clarity about their status at the end (we see a ton of photos, but only of her and the kid, without him in the picture… not sure what to make of it,

The first time I watched the show, I wondered as well. Especially because the Netflix subtitles have Dong Hoon still calling Yoon Hee his “wife” in the final scene. Those subtitles were wrong, though – he actually calls her “ae omma” which is “my kid’s mom”, which is an important contrast from before. Previously, he had mostly called her “chib saram” (wife).

Now when I re-watch the show, I see foreshadowing in multiple scenes of a divorce between Yoon Hee and Dong Hoon. Some of these clues are written about and scattered below on this thread, and the other MM spoiler threads. BUT if you’re interested, I compiled a long list of clues, breadcrumbs, and foreshadowing here: https://forums.soompi.com/topic/408082-drama-2018-my-mister-%EB%82%98%EC%9D%98-%EC%95%84%EC%A0%80%EC%94%A8-best-drama-at-2019-55th-baeksang-arts-awards/?do=findComment&comment=22299210

After re-watching the show a bunch of times, I’m more confident now that Yoon Hee and Dong Hoon are divorced after the time skip. Of course, this is just my interpretation of all of these foreshadowing scenes :), but there are a LOT of conversations and clues that she show did not have to put in, but did. And this PDnim is known for being very purposeful with his scenes; he doesn’t put in filler stuff.

Last edited 5 months ago by the_sweetroad
actionscript
actionscript
3 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@MariaF I replied to a different post to make my reply less indented and yet be closest to the post I’m replying to. Not sure if it will land where I expected it to be though. 😅

I’ve never studied literature nor film so my knowledge on chekhov’s gun and easter eggs are just based on google. In fact, I first encountered the term from you (thank you!) and MM was the first show where I tried to understand both concepts.

Succinctly, details that draw attention in the story should contribute to the narrative. And for me, “drawing attention” in films is often times the work of the camera/editing. Like the scenes where the camera is panning and focusing on the desk photos were apparently to draw attention to them. And the eventual payback is the different set of photos we got to see at the end.

Two other scenes do come to mind but I’m not sure if they can be considered under Chekhov’s gun.  One is DH’s “pretty” remark, which obviously drew attention. But it could be said the payback was immediate – of JA running to him to the restaurant. And that for me set the tone on the trajectory of their relationship.

Another is the scene at the columbarium when DH was helping JA place the urn inside the cabinet. The camera specifically focused on their hands, with JA’s hands accidentally slipping a bit to touch DH’s. The fact that the camera zoomed in on the shot obviously meant that touch was not random. But what could be its significance?

With ideas laid down by @the_sweetroad in GMS, I wrote somewhere that scene was part of a 3-part act in ep 16: the first was JA staring at DH’s hand while he was on the wheel at the start of ep 16. The second was this finger-touching moment. The third was the handshake at the end of the ep. We see the progression in this 3-part act, symbolized through the use of their hands, and what’s next could just be extrapolated from that progression.

There are quite a few easter eggs in MM, but the most recognizable for me was Yura’s movie that KH watched at the tail end of ep 16. That scene established the fact that Yura made it big in the movie industry, and that was part of the narrative. That Yura’s character in that movie was actually a metaphor for JA, that’s the easter egg. That one was not part of the narrative but an “add-on,”  which for me in this case, provided a window into the creator’s mind.

the_sweetroad
3 months ago
Reply to  actionscript

Thanks @actionscript for this breakdown!

Hope you and @MariaF are doing well this week. I’m getting absolutely slammed in real life (nothing bad, just loads of craziness – loong story) but I hope to jump back in soon!

MariaF
MariaF
3 months ago
Reply to  actionscript

@actionscript

In a letter to a friend, Chekhov wrote:
“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.”

If MM ended with a wedding or a confession, DH’s “pretty” remark would be considered a Chekhov’s gun: in the middle of the show DH thought that JA was pretty (when nobody else, even herself, did.)

And then there is a wedding/confession at the end of the show.

Of course, there was no wedding, but the show’s ending is open to interpretation, and the “pretty” remark can influence that interpretation. 

I don’t consider the big family portrait a Chekhov’s gun.

My understanding is that Chekhov’s gun must have some predictive value, but that portrait is all about the past: DH and his wife were a happy family years ago.

On the other hand, if the pictures from the beginning of the show didn’t have DH and his wife together (like in the end), then yes, I would’ve considered them a Chekhov’s gun, a hint that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

I don’t agree that JA staring at DH’s hand while he was driving at start of ep 16 is related to DH/JA’s future relationship and can be linked to the other two “hand scenes”.

I think it’s about DH going through changes. He is becoming more relaxed, more confident, more at peace with himself. JA told DH that he seemed like a new, different person. I think that was the main message of the scene.

The handshake at the end of show is definitely a Chekhov’s gun. The scene where JA’s hands accidentally slip a bit to touch DH’s could be significant. Or not. I’m not sure.

Which brings me back to the point I tried to make before: the gun principle shouldn’t be overused, because it can make the show too predictable, even boring. And it is not a good thing.

I wouldn’t want to watch a show, where everything can be anticipated and explained with certainty.

Life is not like that. And MM is definitely not like that. At least, I hope it’s not. 

And it’s not fair to the creators of the show to reduce MM to a mathematical equation, with one “right” answer, where characters of the show are not even “variables”. They are constants and vectors.

On the other hand, I love looking for and finding what you call “easter eggs”, while watching MM.
It might sound strange, but I still sometimes change my interpretation of certain scenes, even the ones that we’ve discussed and “settled” earlier.

It’s as if the show lives and evolves in my head and in my heart. I suspect that I’m not the only one. And I think it’s the best thing that could happen to a piece of art.

actionscript
actionscript
3 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Thank you for the additional examples and further clarifications on Chekhov’s gun. I’m learning a lot!
You’re right, the pictures didn’t have predictive value. It was some sort of a motif, with the different set of pictures in the end serving as contrast.
The show used the hands and footsteps in many occasions as motifs as well, understandably to enhance the emotions in the scenes given the stoic nature of the leads.

And yes, you’re not alone in having evolving understanding and interpretation of the scenes and the show. I myself am going through the same. In one of my previous iterations/interpretations, I toyed with the idea that the “pretty” remark was a Chekhov’s gun, with the missing confession you cited as being implied. But now I’m seeing a parallel I’ve talked about in the psychological thriller The Game (Michael Douglas). A female character who is part of the “bad guys” remarked to the male lead that he is attractive. There are no romantic overtures throughout the movie except in the last scene when she asked the male lead out for coffee. That ending scene would have felt out-of-place if not for that “attractive” remark inserted in the middle of the movie. I’m now seeing the parallel in that any romantic interpretations in the restraint (and other actions) that DH was showing in the 2nd half of the show would have felt totally off as well without that “pretty” remark. So it served to lay down the context for what’s to come.

MariaF
MariaF
3 months ago
Reply to  actionscript

It was some sort of a motif, with the different set of pictures in the end serving as contrast.

They were like “before” and “after” pictures.

I haven’t seen The Game. Maybe someday…

MariaF
MariaF
3 months ago
Reply to  actionscript

@actionscript

I just read your comment on soompi regarding the scene at the end of episode 10. Here is my take on it:

1. That confession was absolutely real.

2. Yes, DH didn’t know at the time, that JA was aware of his wife’s affair. But I’m sure he realized that JA was aware of the fact that he was not “happily“ anything, his marriage included. He told JA in the bar that he was afraid that she knew everything about him, even if he didn’t say anything. So he knew that she could see right through him. It wasn’t a secret that he was miserable.

3. Even if DH thought that JA were confessing to a happily married man, there is no excuse for his behavior. None. Especially since that’s not why he hit her. Beez, the_sweetroad and I already discussed that scene, and I stand by my words that DH hit JA, because he was frustrated. Because he was fighting his own demons: his growing feelings for her. 

actionscript
actionscript
3 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Oh yes, I’m 100% with you in seeing that confession as real. But I’ve seen others differ in their opinions, and my quotations in “confessed” was to accommodate or acknowledge that others see it differently.

And yes, I also agree with you there is no excuse for DH’s hit. The context of my post was to illustrate scenes where the characters have dissimilar information which could be overlooked by viewers.  I admit it’s not a good example, as the difference in info between DH and JA may not have been relevant in that scene.

And more about that scene, battling his own demons would explain 98% of DH’s reaction. But as things are often multi-causal and multi-everything, somewhere in that 2% is the fact that DH is seeing JA confess (or more like shout) to a married man in public, which in most instances could still be considered scandalous. Again, this is not to justify the hit, but just to pry into DH’s mind.

the_sweetroad
3 months ago
Reply to  actionscript

Hello @MariaF and @actionscript! 🙂

I’ve been re-watching MM from Ep 9 and just finished Ep 15 today. I’ll try to watch Ep 16 in quiet moments in upcoming days. This is my usual cycle, watching Eps 9 – 16 :). Have to say it’s been thoroughly enjoyable, especially in the midst of real life being bonkers.

And more about that scene, battling his own demons would explain 98% of DH’s reaction. But as things are often multi-causal and multi-everything, somewhere in that 2% is the fact that DH is seeing JA confess (or more like shout) to a married man in public, which in most instances could still be considered scandalous.

To up the ante a bit more and give yet another angle, it is really interesting that after the confession in Ep 10, we have the other Managing Directors prepping DH for his interview early in Ep 11. First they lay into him for a perceived entangled relationship with JA (“How far did you go with her? Even if you slept with her we’ll deny it.”)

Towards the end, they almost-blithely say, “We need to move on to his family issues,” and “His family his fine. He has a happy marriage, and his sister-in-law takes care of their kid in the States.”

His family warrants no scrutiny, unlike his relationship with JA, and it feels like the Directors are almost dismissive. (But the camera angles are very interesting in this scene, as we can tell DH is reacting to this rosy summary of his home life.)

I think of DH trying to juggle these two realities – one, that JA can see through him and can tell he’s miserable, as you said, @MariaF. And two, that to the world that doesn’t know him as well, he has a “fine” and happy marriage.

Yoon Hee thought DH might not want to break up the marriage because of his mom and Ji Seok, but I imagine DH felt pressure to maintain the image of a happy marriage for the sake of his promotion.

MariaF
MariaF
3 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

DH felt pressure to maintain the image of a happy marriage for the sake of his promotion.

True. DH definitely thought of that. The promotion was very important for him.

But it was a temporary consideration. In the long run, it was about DH’s family. Coworkers too (unrelated to the promotion).

MariaF
MariaF
3 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

I think here is a good explanation re divergent type (soompi question).

Take a look at the picture below.

Based on what you see, would you say the man is happy or sad?

If you believe the man is probably happy because he’s smiling, that’s an example of convergent thinking.

You looked at whatever information was available and came up with one logical, straightforward solution.

If you looked at this picture and thought, ‘It depends,’ that’s an example of divergent thinking.

The man could be happy, or he could be smiling because people expect you to smile when taking a picture.

The man is wearing professional clothing, so he might be projecting a positive attitude because he’s taking a business photo.

In reality, there’s not enough information to know whether the man is happy.

A divergent thinker is more likely to acknowledge the possibility that there are multiple answers or none at all.

34003179-2E0F-445A-AD64-8EE89E6888AD.jpeg
Last edited 3 months ago by MariaF
the_sweetroad
3 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

The man is wearing professional clothing, so he might be projecting a positive attitude because he’s taking a business photo.

This is exactly what I thought. 😄
In reality, there’s not enough information to know whether the man is happy.

Yes, if the question is “Is he happy?” there’s not enough information, based on just one photo, to make that call.

What did you think of PHY herself saying that DH was a convergent type? That puzzled me. I know he’s a logical man, but I thought one of his strengths in the story was his ability to think in nuanced ways. For example, going for JA’s more empty resume, and asking Choon Dae for more information about JA rather than just taking the loan shark at his word. He allowed for the humanity of people (“Do machines work in companies? Humans do!”) rather than settling for easy, expedient conclusions.

The academic paper on MM (that I finally read!) went so far as to say DH had an “independent, uncompromising way of thinking.” So I thought PHY characterizing DH as a convergent type seemed the opposite of that. Unless I’m missing something?

MariaF
MariaF
2 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

What did you think of PHY herself saying that DH was a convergent type? That puzzled me. I know he’s a logical man, but I thought one of his strengths in the story was his ability to think in nuanced ways.

Sorry for not replying right away, but answering your question required thinking.

Well, nobody is 100% of anything, including DH. But I agree with PHY that DH is predominately a convergent type. 

I now think that the example I included in my previous post might have been a bit simplistic.

I found another article that offers a better explanation, imho. 

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/thinking-divergently

It says, among other things, that “ Divergent thinkers are often independent, curious and risk-takers.” If the writer of this article is correct, then DH is not it. 

DH told JA that he chose her resume, because he might have subconsciously agreed with his friend monk, who said that certain skill sets or possessions don’t define a person.

So, yes, he allowed for a possibility of a different way of life.

Yet, for himself he chose a very traditional, responsible life. He chose conformity: staying married, working at a big company, being a part of a community.

He thought he found the “right” decision/answer, so he stuck with it. Never mind that his marriage and his job made him miserable.

I think his working style was also convergent. He was very organized and very focused on finding the right solution. And he chose the right profession for that.

Even the chairman mentioned once in relation to DH that all engineers are like that.

JA was a real godsend for DH. Her presence gave DH courage to try less structured life, including business ownership and no marriage. But those changes didn’t come from within. DH needed JA for that.

The academic paper on MM (that I finally read!) went so far as to say DH had an “independent, uncompromising way of thinking.”

I think having “uncompromising way of thinking” doesn’t necessarily mean being divergent. I would say it’s kind of opposite. 

On the other hand, being convergent doesn’t mean being cruel or foolish.

That’s why DH “investigated” loan shark’s claim. And that’s why he accepted the fact that people didn’t need to be perfect to work at the company. 

Besides, when it comes to JA, DH acted out of character.

His head and his heart fought, and the heart always won the battle. It just refused to accept/ believe in bad things. Every time DH had a choice between being separated from JA (for whatever reason) or staying close to her, his choice was always staying close to JA.

I’d like to make another observation.

Yoon Sang-tae was a perfect example of how dangerous it is to have a fool for an ally.

And he was definitely a convergent type. If he wasn’t so focused on making DH miserable on a daily basis and let him fire JA, it would’ve been much easier to achieve the DJY’s goal!

Also, I’d m sure YST was married. Imagine having someone like him for a husband!

Last edited 2 months ago by MariaF
MariaF
MariaF
2 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@the_sweetroad

To add: translation of what the writer said seems pretty accurate to me.

I think DH’s convergent personality could partially explain his inflexibility and even his tendency to avoid conflicts (they could have unpredictable outcomes, which could require more than one solution, which would put DH out of his comfort zone). 

the_sweetroad
2 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

So true about his conflict avoidance. Thanks for bringing all these other aspects to light, other than just his interactions with JA, which is where I started.

Last edited 2 months ago by the_sweetroad
MariaF
MariaF
2 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

Another example is DH’s marriage. DH knew that he had a troubled marriage even before he found out about the affair.

He told his wife during the confession conversation that he tried to be a good husband by cleaning and turning down tv sound.

Marriage troubles can have so many reasons. DH focused on pretty much just one solution – household activities. He either didn’t realize he needed to explore other reasons or didn’t want to.

the_sweetroad
2 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Hi @MariaF, sorry for the delay; I finally have time to re-engage here. This was another helpful example – thank you. Cleaning and turning down the TV ended up being a woefully inadequate solution in this case, didn’t it?

It made me think of Yoon Hee and her solutions for their marriage, too – moving out of Hugye, and, failing that, having an affair. In the past she was willing to talk about things and have the conflict (she probably would have been up for some creative, divergent-thinking brainstorming sessions!), but as you wrote earlier, DH avoided conflict – and disengaged when she needed his input the most.

the_sweetroad
2 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yet, for himself he chose a very traditional, responsible life. He chose conformity: staying married, working at a big company, being a part of a community.

He thought he found the “right” decision/answer, so he stuck with it. Never mind that his marriage and his job made him miserable.

I think his working style was also convergent. He was very organized and very focused on finding the right solution. And he chose the right profession for that.

Even the chairman mentioned once in relation to DH that all engineers are like that.

Great examples! I can see how DH is a convergent type now. And I agree – he tried to do the “right”, expected things even though they made him miserable.

The monk chose to get out of the system completely. And even JA didn’t conform to the system – she couldn’t – so she brought a different perspective to how he’d been living life.

I’m glad in the end he chose to stick to his profession, because his thinking and personality were the right fits for engineering, and he was good at it. I’d want an engineer or doctor to be organized, precise with their calculations, and not constantly experimental risk-takers in their approach to work.

His head and his heart fought, and the heart always won the battle. It just refused to accept/ believe in bad things. Every time DH had a choice between being separated from JA (for whatever reason) or staying close to her, his choice was always staying close to JA.

I seriously love it when you write stuff like this. ❤️

Also, I’d m sure YST was married. Imagine having someone like him for a husband!

LOL. Sounds terrible!

Last edited 2 months ago by the_sweetroad
MariaF
MariaF
3 months ago
Reply to  actionscript

I agree. JA’s behavior was scandalous on so many levels! DH was twice her age. He also was her boss and a married man.

Still, I think that, scandalous or not, DH wouldn’t have hit a young girl. Under normal circumstances. He hit JA, because he was mad at himself.

I mentioned before, that it wasn’t a coincidence, that in the beginning of the show JA asked DH, if he ever had hit a woman.
Chekhov’s gun😊

I could be wrong though…

Last edited 3 months ago by MariaF
the_sweetroad
3 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Thanks for pointing out this instance of Chekhov’s gun. I’m still fuzzy on how to tell what’s what 🙂 .

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

HI @Matrice and welcome to the thread! 🙂 Did you just finish the show?

Great points, especially about Yoon Hee’s suggestion and how much Dong Hoon would have risked if he had left Saman to start his own company when and how she suggested. Someone else has said that Yoon Hee basically didn’t care if Dong Hoon were left jobless, divorced, and in major debt if a new business failed. In short, she didn’t care if DH ended up like his older brother Sang Hoon.

As MariaF said, one major realization for YH was when she heard Ji An’s recordings. In my mind it’s here that she realizes Do Joon Young never really loved her. Do Joon Young later said he had risked a lot to love her, but she realized he had never “endured any dangers” to be in a relationship with her.

Great insight about YH being willing to tolerate a DJY willing to hurt her husband…but when she saw DJY had been a slimeball to her, too, she was done with him.

An aside: Now I’m trying to think if DJY had showed loyalty/ true friendship to anyone in the show? Even with the Chairman, DJY kissed up to him but also seemed a bit scornful of him at the campsite, when he told YH about the Chairman’s “country bumpkin roots.”

Regarding Ji An, I think that she finally realized how good she was to her husband, and it kind of humbled her given the way she treated him.

Yes! Thankfully YH realizes at the end what her own behavior to DH has been. Of course, DH’s lack of presence and investment in their marriage hasn’t been great, either 🙁 .

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad
Now I’m trying to think if DJY had showed loyalty/ true friendship to anyone in the show?

That’s a very good question. I didn’t think he had.

But I wondered what’d happened to his marriage. It lasted less than a year. Based on what I’ve seen in Korean shows, rich people often order their subordinates to spy on their relatives, to photograph them. Maybe DJY was caught doing something inappropriate?

I thought it was a bit strange that, while YH badmouthed DH, DJY didn’t say anything bad about his marriage.

In one of the hotel scenes YH offered to listen to DJY’s complains about his ex wife. DJY refused. He said there was nothing to say, because the marriage was too short.

But was it the real reason though?

On the other hand, when he mocked JA for liking DH, she asked him ‘Do you even know how it feels to like someone?’
I guess she struck a nerve with that question, because DJY left screaming that he wants to sue JA for libel and god know what else.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Great points, @MariaF. He was pretty cagey when Yoon Hee offered for him to talk about his ex.

Based on what I’ve seen in Korean shows, rich people often order their subordinates to spy on their relatives, to photograph them. Maybe DJY was caught doing something inappropriate?

Interesting! Especially since he was married into a chaebol’s family, and they probably wouldn’t have tolerated any impropriety or sliminess from him. And we all know he has a habit of being slimy and using his underlings to do his dirty work. Dong Hoon said that DJY was already like that back in college, so he probably kept on in that vein even when married.

I even wonder how in the world did he make it to be CEO at Saman? He must have brought enough people to his side. It seems like the Chairman didn’t necessarily have a say in the CEO selection (since the Board voted on it) but I always thought Chairman Jang could see that DJY was full of it. But perhaps the Chairman trusted his processes enough to put people into positions *and* remove them if need be.

On the other hand, when he mocked JA for liking DH, she asked him ‘Do you even know how it feels to like someone?’
I guess she struck a nerve with that question, because DJY left screaming that he wants to sue JA for libel and god know what else.

Yeah, I always thought that was an odd thing for him to be angry about and threaten to sue her for libel for. It’s not like she was accusing him of committing fraud or embezzlement. She was just saying that he didn’t know what it mean to really like someone!

DJY is fascinating :).

Last edited 5 months ago by the_sweetroad
MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I even wonder how in the world did he make it to be CEO at Saman?

Maybe he became a CEO while being married, and his rich in-laws recommended him?

Yeah, I always thought that was an odd thing for him to be angry about and threaten to sue her for libel for

It’s because JA struck a nerve with that question. We know she is very smart. She understood DH very quickly (that he is sick of life, etc.)
And now CEO realized that she can read him like an open book.

He didn’t know how to love, so all his relationships ended badly. And when these relationships ended, his women weren’t sad or heartbroken. They felt ashamed that they had been with him. Like DH’s wife.

So, he probably always felt inferior and envious, when it came to love, loyalty, devotion. And JA said it out loud. No wonder he got mad at her.

DJY is fascinating :).
He is an SOB.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Well, he did get an MBA, so I think he was qualified for the position in terms of degree, and I think they mentioned him having some connections. Maybe the wife?

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

As I said in my comment, most likely his former in-laws recommended him. They were supposedly rich and powerful. His wife was probably too young at the time to be that influential.

matrice
matrice
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Though, if his in laws helped, and he did something slimy that led to a divorce, it’s not clear to me why they also didn’t mess with him and make him lose the position… if they can make him, they can unmake him.

Last edited 5 months ago by matrice
the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  matrice

True about the MBA, thanks for the reminder! Dong Hoon was the one who said, “Well, he did get an MBA, I knew he might be promoted before me.” DH didn’t have as much of a problem with that, as much as with DJY’s slimy character, which he knew well from their 20-year history.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Yes. It wasn’t about his lack of qualifications. Like DH said to JA: “You don’t get fired for incompetence. You get fired when someone doesn’t like you”.

It was a power struggle for the control of the company, who will get it after the chairman is gone. Money!

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yup. And as much as the Chairman tried to have the executives cool it with the politics, they didn’t always behave.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

He didn’t know how to love, so all his relationships ended badly. And when these relationships ended, his women weren’t sad or heartbroken. They felt ashamed that they had been with him. Like DH’s wife.

So, he probably always felt inferior and envious, when it came to love, loyalty, devotion. And JA said it out loud. No wonder he got mad at her.

This is helpful for me in interpreting that police station scene. Thanks.

He is an SOB.

Absolutely. And the show lets him wallow in it and suffer the consequences. He’s one of the only main characters without a redemption arc.

Last edited 5 months ago by the_sweetroad
MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

I just realized how similar DJY and DH’s reactions were, when JA told them something they probably didn’t want to admit even to themselves.

DJY got mad at the police station.

DH went even further and smacked JA, when she suggested that he liked her. And he never apologized to JA for hitting her.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Wow! @MariaF – Do you recall which episode that was? I’d like to rewatch that. I don’t remember that at all!

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
Wow. Guest of honor😊

It happened at the end of episode 10.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I’m going to watch that tonight or tomorrow! I’m shocked that didn’t cause a crowd reaction of hate toward DH but everybody seems ok with him. (I’m saying that without having really looked at the threads though). (And knowing Jian, she probably deserved a slap into reality).

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
And knowing Jian, she probably deserved a slap into reality

That’s what we missed during our group watch – bitter spices. Because, despite differences in opinions, we all (almost all) loved JA and DH.

I commented on DH’s behavior in today’s comment- I’m not a fan of it in this instance.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Well I’ll give you my nutshell on Jian. I come from a place where every woman is Jian. Each has a legitimate sob story(ies). I feel that people often don’t look at them as a group and give them the sympathy shown by audiences to Jian. Why? Because she’s cute? Because she’s played by I.U.?

I also know that in real life, I don’t tolerate sob stories as an excuse for bad behavior in all these people that I know. So while I rooted for Jian to overcome her circumstances, I didn’t like her very much. I sympathized with her, but I didn’t like her.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
I feel that people often don’t look at them as a group and give them the sympathy shown by audiences to Jian. Why? Because she’s cute? Because she’s played by I.U.?

Maybe because she is a character in a tv show? You know it’s easier to sympathize with someone who you see on tv, rather then deal with a real person and real life consequences of these interactions.

I’m not sure people would be as forgiving, if they met JA in real life.

But I do like her, and not because of her sob story.

I like her, because she is brave. She is creative. She is smart. She can be rude sometimes, when it’s warranted. I like that she is not “girly-girly”. That she doesn’t think that everyone owes her something just because she has had a hard life. Because she loves her grandmother. And she shows her grandmother that she loves her. Because she is able to value DH’s decency and not see it as a weakness.
Because she wants to do and be better, not to drag down everyone to her level.

And because DH likes her.

I could probably say more, but I think I gave enough reasons why I like and eventually forgive JA.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@MariaF – those are all decent attributes that you’ve mentioned. Unfortunately, I can’t even remember the specific behavior of Jian’s that I didn’t approve of but I think it was something that she did to ML before she got to know him. But that’s all neither here nor there because I don’t like how sullen she is. Yes, there are people who are sullen and I don’t automatically dislike them for it. It’s a combination of the behavior and the sulleness just makes me not want to spend time with this character. That’s why I could watch show once, acknowledge it was good, but never want to watch it again. It’s too much like the reality that I escaped from. I use Kdrama as an escape so I mostly stick with rom-coms and fantasy.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Totally agree – she is sullen in the beginning, and pretty shy and still reserved as the episodes go on. But you see her warm heart (hidden at first) and how much she takes DH’s words to heart, to be kinder to people. By the end, her transformation is quite something.

But yeah, you don’t watch My Mister to escape. When I watched it the first time, I thought I’d never watch it again. Today, a year later, I’ve watched it a ton of times (probably like you and Healer) and each time I still find more things. And love the story even more.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@Maria – why does DH like her? My impression is he’s just a very good guy who had pity for her. What is it that he likes about her?
(If you guys have already exhausted this topic, then it’s okay to just tell me that it’s already been talked to death and I can live without knowing.)

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

DH likes her because she encourages him in the way he desperately needs. They also share the same values – protectiveness of family, and a fierce loyalty. When DH sees how much JA is taking care of her grandmother, he’s impressed with her – he hadn’t expected that from this cold, sullen girl. He also does think she’s pretty, which is a surprise for the audience to hear.

And the longer they are friends (which really isn’t that long), the more they fight for each other and stand up for each other. He really needed someone to do that in his life, and she’s willing to go to bat for him because of how deeply she cares about him. But she also needed that as well.

At the end of the show, post time-skip, when they’re both healthy and thriving, they don’t “need” each other as much anymore, but we can see Ji An still has feelings for him, and he’s totally smitten.

eda harris
eda harris
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

beez,
wow girls, you really go at it AGAIN! impressive. i feel that i dwelled on that drama so much that i think i said enough already. so i am out on this.
but just one jump in.
why does DH like her?
very simple. she gets him and he gets her. when somebody gets you, this is as close as you can get to the real person, it’s more than precious, and it does not happen very often. so here is the big appeal.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Haha, great to see you jump back in, Eda!

she gets him and he gets her.

Great reminder. Reminded me that he says as early as Ep 4 that there’s someone who knows him. And he knows her. And it makes him sad, at that point.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@eda, @the_sweetroad, and yes, you too @MariaF! STOP IT! Y’all are tempting me so much. But I don’t have time for it. Although now y’all have me thinking about someday giving it another watch.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

STOP IT! Y’all are tempting me so much. But I don’t have time for it.

So I shouldn’t tell you that I seriously, really think it’s one of the greatest love stories of all time. ❤️❤️
😀

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
Y’all are tempting me so much.

Remember ‘The graduate’?
”Mrs. Robinson, you are trying to seduce me.”

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I’m like Jian – “just hit me Show so I can quit liking you!”

Speaking of which, I just watched and, to me, it looked more like a shove of her arm. A forceful shove, but I didn’t see his hand anywhere near her face.

@the_sweetroad – I see no need for him to apologize at all! It was almost like he had to hit her (which I don’t think he did) to knock some sense into her and ward off what he might see as a huge complication he didn’t want in his life.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, did you not think he hit her on the back of the head? If you watch the beginning of Ep 11 😀, they’ll show it more clearly. He takes her head and shoves it.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Oh! Good for her! That’s what she gets! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

And you’re not slick @the_sweetroad. You’re just trying to get me to start ep11 cause you know I won’t be able to quit.

*hearing Curtis Mayfield “I’m yo’ pusherman” running through my head* 🎵🎷🎶

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Well. Episode 11 is one of the best episodes. 🤣

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
He hit her in the head. You could hear a sound when he hit her, so it wasn’t a light slap or something. You could see his hand on her head in the photo that the detective took. Parts of that scene are replayed in the beginning of the following episode. Maybe it could be seen better there.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@Maria F – 🎼🎶🎵 Got to get mellow, now. oooo oooo🎵

(FYI – That’s the chorus)

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez @the_sweetroad

Also, as I said in my earlier comment, what makes it worse is that he knew she’d been beaten up severely and abused by men. He saw her bruises, for G-d’s sake!
He can’t give her a hug, because he is a decent man, but it’s ok for him to hit her?

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

It’s even worse than that! As I was skimming through, there’s a scene at 27 mins or thereabouts, where he and Jian are walking toward the bus stop and he tells her “Let’s try to make it through life without getting hit”. SMH

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
Right! I forgot about that. Look who is talking.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Actually the no hug and hit are two sides of the same coin. He sees himself as a certain type of man – uber decent. The answer is “no”, he can’t give her hug because of their strong connection and feelings he’d be inviting trouble of the kind he doesn’t want. That is exactly how people who have no intention of sleeping outside their marriage slip up – even though innocent intentions. And later because Jian is forcing the issue that he’s already trying to resist. Pop goes the weasel! 👏

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
Pop goes the weasel!
😂😂😂

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I like her, because she is brave. She is creative. She is smart. She can be rude sometimes, when it’s warranted. I like that she is not “girly-girly”. That she doesn’t think that everyone owes her something just because she has had a hard life. Because she loves her grandmother. And she shows her grandmother that she loves her. Because she is able to value DH’s decency and not see it as a weakness.
Because she wants to do and be better, not to drag down everyone to her level.

And because DH likes her.

I love this and totally agree. Mind you, at first I really didn’t like JA, especially when she was scheming against Park Dong Un and Dong Hoon. However, her tenderness toward her grandmother, and the softness in her eyes when she heard Dong Hoon saying, “You don’t do that to family,” won me over by Ep 4. She’s a complicated character, but by the end her true self can shine through because of the healing she’s gone through with DH’s help. And to see her being a part of the Hugye community is beautiful. I love her story.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Great point, MariaF! Ji An certainly knew how to speak truth and goad them.

It does bother me that DH hit her, for one, and that he never did apologize. I think he did want to – he pulled out his phone at the beginning of Ep 11, and he kept getting distracted at Jung Hee’s bar and at home while flashing back to the incident. But the next time he talked to her, it was to ask where his slippers had gone off to.

Maybe he apologized in one of the conversations we weren’t privy to. I like to think that at some point Ji An apologized directly to him, too, for wiretapping him.

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad
Ji An certainly knew how to speak truth and goad them.

That’s for sure. But I didn’t expect them to react the same way. It bothered me.

Especially because DH knew JA’s story. He saw her bruises. And he still hit her. And not lightly. You could hear a sound of that smack.

DH is a very gentle person, he respects women. Even when he found out about the affair, he didn’t hit his wife. When they were having that confession conversation, he hit the bedroom door, not his wife.

And yet, he hit JA. And for what?

I know that there is a lot of non-verbal communications and understanding between them. I know that they love and forgive each other. Like DH said, when you know a person, it doesn’t matter what they do. But I still think it wasn’t right for him to hit her. And then behave as if it didn’t happen.

And that poor JA. It’s as if she thinks nothing of being hit by a man. In the show she was hit by the CEO, by the loan shark, and even by DH himself.

I like to think that at some point Ji An apologized directly to him, too, for wiretapping him.

She did show remorse by not listening to his conversations, asking him, if he hated her for what she’d done, telling him that she wanted him to be happy. But, of course, there was no formal apology. Yet.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I know that there is a lot of non-verbal communications and understanding between them. I know that they love and forgive each other. Like DH said, when you know a person, it doesn’t matter what they do. But I still think it wasn’t right for him to hit her. And then behave as if it didn’t happen.

Totally agree. I was really shocked that the show went there, when I first watched it. Guess it just shows how much JA’s words rattled him. As @actionscript (I believe) has said – at that point in the show DH was still planning on enduring in his marriage, and HE didn’t know that Ji An knew about Yoon Hee’s affair. So for him, it was like, “How dare you say I like you? I’m a (happily-) married man!” She shook up the façade he was trying to present to the world.

But of course, JA knew about the affair, knew that YH wasn’t all that committed to returning to him, and JA had to provide “results” to Do Joon Young in the next two days. So she goaded him.

But it was completely unacceptable that he hit her and didn’t apologize.

And that poor JA. It’s as if she thinks nothing of being hit by a man. In the show she was hit by the CEO, by the loan shark, and even by DH himself.

Seriously! Unacceptable on all counts, and she shouldn’t take that kind of crap from anyone. As a child she was beaten until she passed out, so I guess she doesn’t really know any differently 🙁

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

so I guess she doesn’t really know any differently

That’s what makes it so sad…

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

That’s so true.

*pssssst* Do y’all think that “pop goes the weasel” comment will count as one strike against me? 🤫
🤣🤣😂

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Hope not.
I loved it.

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Why would it? What’s it from? 🙂

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I’m just joking (because of what got me on this thread in the first place – you know – the conversation we all had over in the Healer thread.)

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@the_sweetroad _ I’m sorry. I forget we’re an international group and you may not know that Pop Goes the Weasel is a children’s nursery rhyme (in America, probably Europe too):
‘Round and ’round the mulburry bush, the monkey chased the weasel, up and down and all around – POP goes the weasel!

No one seems to know exactly what happened to the Weasel but I always pictured him flying off a merry go ’round at the moment of the “pop”. Maybe somebody else can provide a much more solid answer about the nursery rhyme because it never actually mentioned a merry go ’round.

But anyway, it can be used to indicate somebody got whacked or it can be a sexual innuendo.

In DH and Jian’s case, I meant “pop” as in the “Oo up side the head” variety😆

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

I wrote a response about what Pop Goes the Weasel means to me but had no real knowledge of where the nursery rhyme came from. My comment seems to have vanished while I was hunting down this (if anyone cares to read):

https://allnurseryrhymes.com/pop-goes-the-weasel/

But here’s the part I liked in the article:

Whatever the original meaning of the song was, when it became popular in the USA in the 1850’s, the phrase “Pop Goes the Weasel” was used as “just like that”.

DH “popped” her a good one “just like that”!

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Hi @beez, oh sorry, you went to all that trouble to type that out. I totally know that song – grew up with it! But I didn’t know why you would get in trouble for it. I had thought it was an inside joke from an earlier group watch or something like that, and I asked “What’s it from?” to perhaps get a fun explanation. But you just meant that DH popped her a good one, literally. Non-licentiously! Got it!! 🙂 🙂

Last edited 5 months ago by the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

So glad you joined us here! 😁

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad- I’m not really hear. As long as I can resist starting ep11 to check that slap. So I’m not listening to your “siren song” trying to lure me in.
*lalalalalalalalalalalala I can’t heeeeeeaar you lalalalalalala*

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Haha, it’s not *my* siren song. It’s the masterpiece of My Mister beckoning you in. You know, just to get your questions answered. Just 5 minutes of Ep 11 is all you need. 😁

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

(But if you can watch all the way until he chases after her and goes on an impassioned monologue, finishing with, “Buy me another pair of slippers!”, then your heart will expand and it will have been an even better day. Just saying.)

Last edited 5 months ago by the_sweetroad
beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

🙉🙊🙈

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I’m not buying your crack today, Ms. Pusherman.

Note to self: “Just say ‘no’!”

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

😁😁🤣🤣

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I managed to only watch that 15 seconds and quickly turned it off!

I concede that his hand was splayed over her face-head. It looked more like a grip shove. But was that DH’s purposeful way to not just slap the stew out of her or is that just the way it was filmed to not cause harm to the actress?

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez

15 seconds and quickly turned it off!
The whole 15 seconds? You are brave!

Good question about the slap. Surely, they didn’t want to harm the actress.😊

I think (I hope) DH didn’t intend to strike JA with such force. But, as @the_sweetroad wrote, he was so rattled by her words, he overdid it. However, even if that were the case, it would be a poor excuse for what he’d done. DH is twice JA’s size. He should’ve found a less violent way to stop her.

Last edited 5 months ago by MariaF
the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

Good job, @beez! 🤣

Yeah, in that instance he was so shaken that he instinctively hit her that way. Even though I don’t like that he hit her at all, I think it makes sense that it was her head – it contained the mouth that was spewing stuff he found so shocking.

What’s interesting is that in all the other times Ji An or anyone else told him Ji An liked him (after this episode), he never said, “Hey, you need to stop this. It’s inappropriate, I’m married, we have no future, I don’t feel the same way, stop telling people that you like me,” etc.

Instead, he deflected with questions or self-deprecating remarks, or he said nothing. And in this instance in Ep 10, when she implied that he liked her, he reacted violently. It’s just veerrry interesting.

Thought you might appreciate that thought, since you like teasing out these kinds of interpersonal dynamics. 😁

“Quickly turned it off” – LOL.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

From what I recall, I view him like this – “resist the devil by fleeing” (that’s not the actual scripture verse), but I view DH as seeing it like this. If you entertain a thought, next you’ll act on it. He probably has to violently push it [the thought]/[her] away in order to not be “that guy”.
“That guy” being the cliche that takes advantage of young girl’s infatuation.
Look at all the men we saw exposed (morally and literally) because they thought (only in their mind) women were infatuated with them so thought it’s be a good idea to whip their private parts out in front of them. DH is not that guy, but many, many men who aren’t normally that guy, can become that guy when a pretty girl won’t let go. And Jian was setting him up (intentionally or unintentionally) to become that guy. I can’t remember if that was really part of her set up at this point in the story or if she sincerely liked him at this point. (?)

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
She was in love with him at that point.

I agree with you about “those guys” and him not wanting to become one.
But he also shouldn’t behave like one of “those guys” who hit young women, when they are frustrated, because they are fighting their own demons.

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

true dat

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad
it makes sense that it was her head – it contained the mouth that was spewing stuff he found so shocking

Didn’t he hit her in the head, because she told him to? I think she overheard him telling his deputy about mr. Kim, who was infatuated with someone in the office, “Just slap him on the back of his head, and it will all go away “ – I’m paraphrasing. Or I misunderstood that?

I’m married, we have no future, I don’t feel the same way

Exactly! He didn’t say it to her even at that moment.

By the way, she said it to him in front of the detective, so he could reject her. But I don’t think she really expected him to hit her, and so hard at that.

That’s why she took away the slippers after that scene. Because he rejected her so violently. And that’s why she thought he’d fire her.

But that slippers conversation made her realize that he will not (just can’t) let her disappear from his life completely. Not ever.

And when she was looking at him, while he was walking away, I thought she was thinking “You don’t even know how you feel.”

beez
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

yup. In ep10, I don’t recall her saying specifically “in the head”, but in ep11 she specifically almost begged him to “hit me in the head”.

I also think he may have taken her asking if he likes her as an insult like – “don’t lump me in with what you’re used to from the men you’ve been surrounded by when I’ve only been good to you and mean good toward you”.
Unfortunate that in hitting her it does sort of put him in that group but we know that’s not really who he is. In that sense, she’s toxic because she’s from a toxic environment.

I’ve had girlfriends who told me things like “I don’t believe he loves me unless he hits me”. Because that’s what they grew up seeing their parents do. It’s a warped twisted ingrained sickness. I’m not saying Jian equates love with striking her, but I believe she was not going to stop until he hit her.

(If I’m causing you guys to rehash what you’ve already said, then just ignore me, or just put links to your other comments if I’m tiring you out. I’ll be leaving for Resurrection Sunday service in a bit anyway so if you don’t feel compelled to respond, it’s okay. I understand. And I’ll probably forget what we’re talking about if I don’t see any responses in my email. ☺️) Have a blessed day, y’all!

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, I was just re-reading some of your comments and was curious if you watched any more of MM after quickly turning off Episode 11 🙂

Hope your move went well!

beez
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad – I’m still movING. 😆 I won’t rewatch My Mister for probably another 5 years or so. I really don’t like the change in tone of Kdramas so I’m not watching most of the new shows. (I’ll watch if any of my biases are in anything though.) I’ll now be catching up on all the dramas from before 2020 that I never got around to watching. Since My Mister doesn’t fit my escapism criteria, it will be a while before it makes my rotation for a rewatch although you guys made it sound very enticing to revisit.

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  beez

Makes sense! MM really isn’t all that escapist, at least not overtly so. 🙂

Moving is a lot of work. Take care of yourself and enjoy your new place!

beez
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Thanks @the_sweetroad! I have a little more time to pack than I originally thought. I have about 2 weeks but I’m going to need every day! When packing before, I could only get about 2-3 boxes a day packed, but my son is paying the lady he pays to help me clean to come extra hours to help me pack. I’m excited!

MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez
I’m excited for you! Do you know people in your new neighborhood?

Beez
Beez
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Not a one. But I don’t know anyone in my current neighborhood where I’ve been for 3 years. (The new neighborhood is almost exactly 1 mile away.) But because I don’t get out much, and then with the pandemic, I haven’t even been going to church (they don’t believe in masks down here in Florida so hundreds of people singing with open mouths…) so I haven’t met any one either.

But thanks for sharing in my excitement, MariaF🥰

MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  Beez

Yes, this pandemic is definitely not conducive to meeting people.
And with ‘hundreds of people singing with open mouths’, it would be too risky for anyone with a compromised immune system to go to church, masks or no masks.
This pandemic makes you think how vulnerable humans are…

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Seriously. I looked it up yesterday and it looks like 6 million people have died from Covid during the pandemic. I imagine the number is probably much higher. 🙁

Beez
Beez
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

😔

MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

You are right. We also can’t dismiss the indirect victims. People who missed their med checkups or whose treatment was delayed because of lockdowns or fear. Also people with mental problems, who couldn’t handle isolation. Just terrible!

the_sweetroad
5 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@MariaF,

Didn’t he hit her in the head, because she told him to? I think she overheard him telling his deputy about mr. Kim, who was infatuated with someone in the office, “Just slap him on the back of his head, and it will all go away “ – I’m paraphrasing. Or I misunderstood that?

Oh yes! You’re right. That’s why JA herself asked DH to hit her in the head. I had forgotten that, so forget my theory.

That’s why she took away the slippers after that scene. Because he rejected her so violently. And that’s why she thought he’d fire her.

Yeah, she has her own deep insecurities. As she asked Do Joon Young in Ep 8 when he talked to her about eating and drinking with DH, “What kind of nutcase would like someone like me?” So when DH called her a crazy b**** and rejected her so soundly, it was like self-fulfilling prophecy. And she really was embarrassed and thought their friendship could be done.

But that slippers conversation made her realize that he will not (just can’t) let her disappear from his life completely. Not ever.

She was shocked!! And what he said made her like him more. 🙂

MariaF
MariaF
5 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

These are my random thoughts.

I don’t think I’ll be saying anything new.

When you mentioned the gun, I thought how well MM uses JA’s name. In the begging of the show DH asks JA what her name means, in the middle of it he tells her to live up to her name, and during the last moments of the show DH asks JA if she is living up to her name.

Another example is how SH’s daughter was introduced to us during her wedding in the beginning of the show.

Later on DH mentions her, when he wants SH to stop talking dirty about JA.

That conversation would’ve been more abstract and impersonal, if we hadn’t met the daughter before.

Actually, having the wedding in the beginning of the show was a very efficient way of letting the viewers know how bad things were financially and emotionally in that family.

DH’s wife didn’t bother to attend the wedding

DH had to give DS money and buy him a suit. 

DS tried to steal money from his own daughter and had a heated conversation with his wife.

By the way, I read a couple of comments on soompi.

Someone quoted Thomas Zhang there. I assume he is the same person, who thought that DH would’ve continued working in the old office with the gossipy secretaries after everyone knew about his wife’s affair and JA’s story, supposedly to “honor JA”.

We definitely don’t see eye to eye, because I can’t agree with what he said in the quoted comment. 

“He could let his niece become a friend of JA.”

In my experience, people don’t become friends just because their uncles/bosses “let them”.

Also, in what universe JA would’ve become besties with DH’s niece (a newlywed, happy young woman), who could never understand JA’s struggles and the kind of life she was leading at the time?

They had absolutely nothing in common.

He could let the three employees with him move JA’s grandmother to the nursing home, not all by himself alone.”

Again, in what universe JA would’ve agreed to let employees from that gossipy office get involved in her (miserable) life? Especially Mr. Kim.

These are just my opinions, of course. And I didn’t read other comments. I might do it later. 

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

MariaF, I’m finally getting a moment to catch up here. (Too many shows I had to watch over the weekend!)

In the begging of the show DH asks JA what her name means, in the middle of it he tells her to live up to her name, and during the last moments of the show DH asks JA if she is living up to her name.

Great point. It seemed like small talk the first time, but then at the very end you see what a big deal her name, and living up to her name, was to the entire show. And when he first asked her what her name meant, she hesitated as if it were painful to say, “comfortable” because they both knew she wasn’t comfortable at that point.

Actually, having the wedding in the beginning of the show was a very efficient way of letting the viewers know how bad things were financially and emotionally in that family.

You are so right. What was supposed to be a happy occasion turned into a fiasco and you got a good feel for the dynamics in this family. I felt the most for the three brothers’ mom at that wedding 🙁 .

As an aside – It’s heartwarming to me that Sang Hoon’s wife still comes over and visits omma. She and omma maintained their relationship even if she and Sang Hoon were separated. It’s yet another contrast with Yoon Hee – she never made time to go visit omma, and they always treated her as a guest in their dinners at omma’s house. Who knows which came first? But even after 15 years of marriage, she was still being treated as a guest, and she still hated everyone around Dong Hoon (including his family, I assumed).

In my experience, people don’t become friends just because their uncles/bosses “let them”.

First of all, that’s interesting that you dropped into the Soompi thread there! 🙂

I hear you. I would imagine relationships are even more compartmentalized in Korea, too, than they are in less-formal, less-hierarchical societies. If I remember correctly, Thomas’s point was that Dong Hoon seemed to want to keep Ji An to himself (maybe because he didn’t know what to do with her, anyway) instead of involving his wife or his other Hugye friends in supporting and helping her. It was like Ji An was his special relationship/ treasure. But I need to go back and read.

MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

MariaF, I’m finally getting a moment to catch up here. (Too many shows I had to watch over the weekend!)

I totally understand. I’m busy myself (not with the shows though 😊).

I’m grateful that we can have these exchanges once in a while. Thank you.

Below are just a couple of thoughts. I’ll write a little bit more later.

Thomas’s point was that Dong Hoon seemed to want to keep Ji An to himself (maybe because he didn’t know what to do with her, anyway) instead of involving his wife or his other Hugye friends in supporting and helping her.

If I understood correctly, Thomas thinks that the fact that DH didn’t involve SH daughter/ DH’s wife/DH’s neighborhood friends/their coworkers in the beginning proves that DH wanted JA for himself.

My point is that it doesn’t prove anything.

DH didn’t involve anyone, because it wasn’t possible. He knew that there was no way JA would have agreed to it at the time. 

But he did involve other people, when the time was right, and when it became necessary. By that time DH and JA already developed friendship and love (platonic or not), so it was possible for JA to trust DH enough to accept help from “his people”.

By the way, that’s the important difference between DH and YH: for him, being part of a community doesn’t take anything away from a special relationship between a husband and wife (or any other two people who love each other).

Unfortunately, YH couldn’t see it that way and wanted DH to himself.

I want to say a few words about DH’s crying.

I agree that after the younger brother told DH that he didn’t need JA to heal, his process of self healing started.

But I doubt DH cried just because he lost JA. It was more than that.

DH cried for many other reasons: his ruined love for YH and his broken hopes for having a happy family; the struggles and humiliations that he and YH had to go through; his son, who would have to deal with the separation and eventual divorce of his parents (that poor boy).

It makes sense that the whole ordeal left DH heartbroken. And how could it not? Even if he moves on eventually.

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

But he did involve other people, when the time was right, and when it became necessary. By that time DH and JA already developed friendship and love (platonic or not), so it was possible for JA to trust DH enough to accept help from “his people”.

Good point! There was a progression there as their friendship and comfort level increased.

By the way, that’s the important difference between DH and YH: for him, being part of a community doesn’t take anything away from a special relationship between a husband and wife (or any other two people who love each other).

Absolutely agree. Even if YH had succeeded in moving the family elsewhere, I think they would have still had the same problem, if DH had wanted to get involved in the community and meet people, and she just wanted him to focus on her.

But I doubt DH cried just because he lost JA. It was more than that.
DH cried for many other reasons: his ruined love for YH and his broken hopes for having a happy family; the struggles and humiliations that he and YH had to go through; his son, who would have to deal with the separation and eventual divorce of his parents (that poor boy).

Just to be clear: I agree with this. My strong impression upon first watch was that DH broke down crying after looking at his family portrait while he was eating. And I would imagine the bribe trauma and stress from Saman, as well as losing JA’s company, also contributed to him finally having a cathartic cry.

That impression has never really left me even after multiple watches. I don’t think he was crying only because he missed JA; that would be too narrow of a reason for someone who had never cried like that. Plus, Ki Hoon wanted him to cry his eyes out when KH found out about the affair, and was troubled that DH didn’t seem to be able to do that. So I think it was the whole ball of wax, especially the breakup of his family. Which lends more credence to the theory that he and YH separated/ divorced.

Last edited 4 months ago by the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

@MariaF,
Also, I bought the re-released script book box set!! Super reasonable price ($44USD, plus more for shipping and taxes in Europe), and it got to me in 5 days! I was so excited. I can’t read it at all except with my camera on Google Translate, but at least I have them :). If anyone wants the link to buy them, here it is. 🙂 They’re still available for sale for now: https://www.ktown4u.com/iteminfo?goods_no=74466

Anyway, two gems from the script that I thought you’d appreciate are:

Ep 16, when they meet for the last time at their regular bar: the instructions for Dong Hoon say that he’s suppressing his tears after Ji An has announced that she’s leaving, but he has to accept the news, smile, and toast her.

Ep 16, in the final scene during the handshake, Ji An asks Dong Hoon to dinner. And the instructions in the script for Dong Hoon say, (“I’m smiling so hard I think I’m going to cry, so I have to look away.”) I always thought he looked away because he was feeling shy! But the script makes it clear that he’s so happy she’s asking him to dinner that he’s emotional and about to cry!

We know from Ki Hoon that if Dong Hoon cries it’s a big deal and Something Very Important is happening, so I thought it was so interesting that in the script itself the instructions have him suppress tears or look away because he’s about to cry. Both Ji An leaving, and her coming back and wanting to re-connect, were major things for his heart.

MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

Thank you for the link!

As an aside – It’s heartwarming to me that Sang Hoon’s wife still comes over and visits omma. She and omma maintained their relationship even if she and Sang Hoon were separated. 

Yep! That relationship, SH and his wife’s constant bickering, and the fact that they sang a happy song together at DH’s promotion celebration made me believe that they would reconcile.

Which lends more credence to the theory that he and YH separated/ divorced.

Agree. I think that for DH, crying was like crossing the Rubicon: he mourned his painful past and left it behind.

DH was done with his “before JA” life and his “before JA” personality.

Of course, DH couldn’t know whether he’d see JA again. Yet, their relationship was not dead: anything could happen. DH/YH marriage, on the other hand, was kaput.

Even if YH had succeeded in moving the family elsewhere, I think they would have still had the same problem.

Totally agree. They would’ve ended up being miserable and resentful anyway. That “keeping to herself” was YH’s thing, not DH’s.

Both Ji An leaving, and her coming back and wanting to re-connect, were major things for his heart.

His poor heart! It had to endure so much! You are right: almost crying was a big deal. 

I have another question: when JA told DH after her interview that he was a very good person, DH also turned away. I wonder what kind of instructions were given to LSK in that scene.

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Happy Sunday, MariaF!

Thank you for the link!

Will you be buying the script set? 😃
That relationship, SH and his wife’s constant bickering, and the fact that they sang a happy song together at DH’s promotion celebration made me believe that they would reconcile.

Haha yes! They were so cheery singing that song, it was cute to watch. The brothers’ stories sometimes get overlooked in the shadow of Dong Hoon and Ji An’s dramatic redemption/ growth arcs, but it’s great that Sang Hoon, who was such a “failure” in the beginning of the show, ends up happy in his cleaning job and reconciled to his wife.

Agree. I think that for DH, crying was like crossing the Rubicon: he mourned his painful past and left it behind.

I had to look up “Rubicon” on Wikipedia. I learned a bunch about Julius Caesar. Thank you! 🙂 (I didn’t grow up in Europe, and I usually stay away from “boring” ancient history!)

Agree with you – that cathartic cry was a turning point and he finally realized how broken/ unhappy he was. I think he had to come to that realization before he could finally take steps forward.

I have another question: when JA told DH after her interview that he was a very good person, DH also turned away. I wonder what kind of instructions were given to LSK in that scene.

Good question. I just checked. Google Translate says,

Jian: You’re a good person. Very.

Donghoon is crying even though he has a meaningless smile. On Donghoon’s face like that.

[INSERT] Episode 11: “The moment you had an affair with that bastard, you sentenced me to death. Park Dong Hoon, even if you are treated like this, you are a cheap person, and you are a worthless person. Just die…”

At that thought, Donghoon is about to cry, so he just stares at another place and presses his sorrows and emotions like that.

(End of scene and end of episode)

Very interesting, actually! I’d always thought he smiled and looked away from Ji An because he was feeling shy since she complimented him so strongly. But the instructions just say that he’s crying and smiling a meaningless smile. Guess he really did need to hear someone say those things to him, but he’s still trying to keep up some kind of pleasant façade. Then after his flashback, he’s about to cry so he has to look away to suppress his emotions.

All this suppression cannot be good for him.

MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Hello, the_sweetroad.🍻

I apologize for not responding to your comment sooner. A friend of mine had to undergo a very serious surgery. I just couldn’t think of anything else.

I’m glad you read a little bit about Julius Caesar. My late father was a history teacher, so I learned to like history from him. I can’t remember much nowadays though. Well, maybe it’s for the best 😊

He finally realized how broken/ unhappy he was. I think he had to come to that realization before he could finally take steps forward.

I think DH always knew that he was unhappy. He just didn’t know how to free himself from the misery, how to move on.

JA and his monk friend helped him realize that he must allow himself to be happy.

I’d always thought he smiled and looked away from Ji An because he was feeling shy

That’s what I thought. I rewatched those two scenes, and DH still looks as if he were feeling shy.

I saw your question on soompi.

I might be wrong, but I never got an impression that DH routinely walked JA home after work.
They sometimes rode subway together, but they went their separate ways after that.

JA went to her second job on most nights. DH usually met with his brothers and friends at JH’s place.

That’s why DH was looking for JA to pass by the JH’s place on her way home from the second job.

My understanding is that DH walked JA home after having a meal/drinks at the bar together.

But they didn’t have to pass JH’s place on their way: they were coming from a different direction.

The one time they worked late, they went home together and immediately ran into his friends.

There is one more thing I’ve noticed. 

Throughout the show YH drank coffee from a dark cup, but in her US picture she holds a white cup in her hand.

Does this mean she has been forgiven? She has become one of the good guys, maybe…

By the way, I can’t always access soompi MM forum. Is something going on there?

the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I apologize for not responding to your comment sooner. A friend of mine had to undergo a very serious surgery. I just couldn’t think of anything else.

No apologies necessary at all, Maria! Hope your friend is doing OK; I’m sure he/she was glad to have you there.

On this end, some days are a flurry of activity on TFGV for me, and some days I don’t have a chance to come on at all. Today is obviously the former. 😁

My late father was a history teacher, so I learned to like history from him.

Nice. I should probably have a better attitude toward my husband, who was a history major and in particular loves reading about WWII. I usually glaze over when the topic comes up, which is too bad.

I think DH always knew that he was unhappy. He just didn’t know how to free himself from the misery, how to move on.

JA and his monk friend helped him realize that he must allow himself to be happy.

Very good point. I think you’re right in that DH knew he was unhappy, and that JA and Monk pointed out that he had permission to actually be happy.

JA went to her second job on most nights. DH usually met with his brothers and friends at JH’s place.

Thanks for engaging with my question here. I tend to think that they’re not in the habit of walking home together, too, and your data here is helpful. In fact, the show shows JA going to her second job, and DH spending time at Jung Hee’s, more frequently than it shows the two of them walking home together.

How are you liking the Soompi Forum, by the way? Did you start reading the MM thread from the beginning? 🙂 When I first found the forum, I could only stomach starting the thread from about page 183, right as everyone was live watching Episode 16 or so. (I didn’t think I had enough patience to start from page 1.) But even so there was a LOT of back reading to do!

Since Sunday, Soompi has crashed multiple times, so it’s not just you. I had a post all ready to go last night on the MM thread, and just as I clicked “Submit Reply” the “community could not be found.” Maybe it was my fault!

Throughout the show YH drank coffee from a dark cup, but in her US picture she holds a white cup in her hand.

Oh, interesting! I never noticed that – great catch! Seems like that could be a deliberate production choice.

Does this mean she has been forgiven? She has become one of the good guys, maybe…

Yes, I agree. She did seem repentant in the latter episodes, even if their marriage didn’t appear salveagable. And since Dong Hoon had three pictures of her on his desk, my understanding was that he had already forgiven her (but wasn’t married to her anymore, since he had disappeared from those photos).

If he still loathed her and if he couldn’t stand seeing her (particularly in Ep 10 when he went home and then immediately went back out to the street), then the fact that he was OK seeing her in three pictures on his desk might be another good contrast here. I.e. he doesn’t hate her anymore, and he has a warm enough relationship with her that he’s receiving photos from her and displaying them. She always seemed like a good enough mom, so DH is probably very happy that she can be with Ji Seok.

As a viewer, it’s nice to see DH and YH maintain a warm connection, for the sake of their son.

Last edited 4 months ago by the_sweetroad
MariaF
MariaF
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad

I usually glaze over when the topic comes up

I can’t blame you. WWII was so bloody. It also happened less than a hundred years ago. People who lived through that war are still alive.

Ancient history, on the other hand, might as well be history of Martians. Or a fairytale. The world was totally different then.

DH is probably very happy that she can be with Ji Seok.

We wondered before why DH’s son is in the States.

That’s why! So that YH can go away and stay there. It was the best way to end their marriage.

Out of sight, out of mind. It’s definitely easier to stop hating a person, if he or she is hundreds of miles away.

Did you start reading the MM thread from the beginning?

G-d, no. I’ve been reading just the last pages. So far, I have mixed feelings about that discussion. Certain posts are definitely very interesting. Others are kind of repetitive.

Maybe I’ll post something there one day.
Anyone can do it, right? People there are not going to say “Who the h**ll are you?”.

Last edited 4 months ago by MariaF
the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

We wondered before why DH’s son is in the States.

That’s why! So that YH can go away and stay there. It was the best way to end their marriage.

Good point! Just like halmeoni passing away when she did, Ji Seok being away was a convenient (and realistic) plot device. Plus, Ji Seok living away from mom and dad exacerbated the tension between YH and DH. They had no buffer in their home life, nothing to “do” together like raise a child – and no reason to be home in the evenings.

Have you heard the phrase “multi-causal, multi-maintained”? We used it in psychology classes to describe how issues and psychopathologies can begin and then perpetuate. I feel like the brokenness of DH’s marriage was multi-causal, multi-maintained, and one reason was Ji Seok’s absence.

I’ve been reading just the last pages. So far, I have mixed feelings about that discussion. Certain posts are definitely very interesting. Others are kind of repetitive.

🙂 Ha! Sometimes we are definitely re-hashing stuff for sure. And sometimes I need to have the energy and capacity to engage with some of the more detailed ideas.

Maybe I’ll post something there one day.

Anyone can do it, right? People there are not going to say “Who the h**ll are you?”.

Would love to have your insights and comments! If you read page 327, you’ll see that’s when I joined the thread. (I only know it’s page 327 because I always went to that page to see if anyone responded 🙂 ). For a few months it was just me talking to the air and getting things out of my system, until actionscript joined. Then others started joining in, one at a time, and we’ve loved hearing from all of them even if not everyone posts much or regularly.

So yes! Anyone can jump in at any time, even if you just post once, or more as things strike you. Whatever is good!

Beez
Beez
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

And y’all said that I was obsessed with Healer?!!!!

👀😏 those are side eyes. 😄😅😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

EDITED TO ADD: Oops! This comment was meant to go under the the_sweetroad’s coffee cup observations.

Last edited 4 months ago by Beez
the_sweetroad
4 months ago
Reply to  Beez

LOL! 😂

I never said I wasn’t obsessed with MM!! The crazy thing is I only watched it for the first time one year ago. Since then I’ve spent countless hours reading about it and discussing it.

What do you think about the coffee mug colors, Beez? 😄

Beez
Beez
4 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad – I barely remember the meat of the story so subtle clues the director may have been trying to convey about a coffee cup are completely stranded somewhere in my oblivious subconscious!