Open Thread: Heard It Through The Grapevine Episodes 5 & 6

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I feel like it’s such a rare thing now, for In Sang and Bom to be together with their baby, that I might have shots like this one headline our posts for a while. 😅 Aren’t they so precious together, though? 😍

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

SPOILER ZONE

2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 5

Y’know, because Show is 30 episodes and therefore a good chunk longer than most prime time kdramas, I’d been a little worried that it might be slow &/or draggy, since there’s so much more screen time for Show to fill.

Heh. Judging from what Show’s served up so far, I needn’t have worried.

One of the things that I find myself most pleasantly surprised by, is how quickly Show tends to trot along. I literally haven’t had a chance to feel bored at all, so far, and that’s very excellent indeed.

This episode, I’m most entertained by Jung Ho’s schtick, of leaking tears wherever and whenever, despite his efforts to remain businesslike and stoic.

Yu Jun Sang’s elastic expressions make these moments even more OTT and ridiculous than they already are, and I have to admit, I got a really good chuckle out of this one thing alone.

The other that really captured my imagination this episode, is how Jung Ho and Yeon Hee are busily making adjustments to their strategy – while falling head over heels for their new grandson.

Pfft. No wonder they avoided seeing the baby for as long as they did. They probably had an inkling that the moment they set eyes on him, they’d be total goners.

On that note, I am very amused by how Jung Ho goes from being utterly miserable at the situation he finds himself in, to completely smitten with Jin Young, to the point of already thinking about his education, and whether Jin Young would get priority on the waiting list, since he’d be a third generation attendee.

I love how that turnaround happens at the speed of light, and it occurs to me that the one with the true power in that household, is actually Jin Young himself, heh. 😁

I am still loving Bom’s parents, who are continuing to be goodhearted and endearing in their own ways.

I especially love the way Jin Ae keeps things in perspective, when Hyeong Sik grumbles at how their in-laws didn’t invite them over, nor apologize to them. Jin Ae’s really got her priorities straight, and I love how steady she is, in keeping them top of mind.

“Just the fact that my daughter almost became a single mom but got married and my grandson Jin Young’s birth was registered by his own parents… That’s all I need.”

Gosh, I love her. I mean, it’s so easy to get distracted by all the other pieces of this situation that are floating around, but Jin Ae’s decided what the most important things are, and refuses to be distracted from them. She’s awesome. 🤩

I’m a little concerned about Yeon Hee’s intentions with the talisman that she gets from Shaman Lady.. That conversations has some ominous overtones to it, especially given that they talk about how they can’t use other methods because of the baby.

Show isn’t clear on what the talisman is for, but.. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with trying to break up In Sang and Bom.

Still, it does somehow make me feel better, that Jung Ho and Yeon Hee are at least making positive-sounding birth announcements, and giving out gifts to their peers and employees.

I mean, I know that it’s all in the name of strategy, but it still gives me a measure of assurance to know that Bom is being formally acknowledged as part of the family. It makes me feel like Bom’s safer, somehow. 😅

I can’t blame Bom for feeling unsettled and out of sorts, though.

Despite the smoothed-over genteel surface, it’s clear that Jung Ho and Yeon Hee don’t truly welcome her nor approve of her, and being as sharp and smart as she is, how could Bom not pick up on that?

Plus, there’s that whole thing where Yeon Hee had tried to pretend to Jin Ae, that she wasn’t In Sang’s mother. How awkward.

I feel bad for Jin Ae as she thinks back on this incident and cries, thinking that she’s done a terrible thing and is making things worse for Bom. I’m glad Bom’s there to tell her, all over again, that she did an awesome job, in standing up to Yeon Hee.

The thing where In Sang and Bom go back to the dorm where they’d unintentionally had their first night together, felt somewhat random, but I rationalize that there’s some sense in them wanting to relive the moment, especially since their reality now must feel so surreal.

Perhaps it’s also a way of reminding themselves that everything is real, and this is where it had all started?

I did enjoy the intersplicing of the present scene, with flashbacks to when they’d first been overcome with passion for each other, in that same room. The juxtaposition of the scenes does bring out quite nicely, how they’ve changed and grown as a couple, in the time that has passed.

And, the juxtaposition of the gifts sent by Jung Ho’s and Yeon Hee’s friends and acquaintances, with the gift sent by Bom’s family, also works really nicely to bring out just how warm and personal Bom’s family is, while the overriding sentiment from Jung Ho’s and Yeon Hee’s friends seems to be.. snarkiness.

In Sang and Bom really do come from two different worlds.

And, Bom is starting to feel the reality of it, in the way Yeon Hee’s starting to train her to be the household’s Little Madam. Gosh, the rules and guidelines are so detailed and demanding, they remind of royal etiquette training for Crown Princesses-to-be, in Joseon times. 😅

Which is such a neat alignment with how the way this household is run, often reminds me of the royal courts of Joseon.

As we close out the episode, it looks like Jung Ho’s firm being involved in that kingmaker way that I’d mentioned, is getting leaked to the news. Uh oh. This is going to make things more complicated, isn’t it?

As if Jung Ho and Yeon Hee don’t feel burdened enough, with all this personal upheaval that they’ve been dealing with.

That moment right at the end, when In Sang apologizes to Yeon Hee, for being the only person who’s truly happy in this situation, and she breaks decorum to rain blows on him like the uncultured common folk that she disdains so much, says a lot about how not well she’s doing, under the circumstances.

How great, though, that Bom comes to In Sang’s rescue, and effectively saves him from being beaten further, despite not actually having any overt power in this place.

Ahhh, Bom’s going to be a force to be reckoned with, and I can’t wait for Jung Ho and Yeon Hee to realize this, going forward. 😁

Episode 6

Dang. I’d thought that with the approval for the marriage, and permission to breastfeed the baby, being separated from the baby would be at least be something that Bom wouldn’t have to worry about.

I guess I was wrong.

I can’t decide whether Jung Ho and Yeon Hee going to such lengths to separate Bom from the baby is part of a malicious plan to get rid of Bom, or whether they genuinely believe that it’s unnecessary and habit-forming for Jin Young to be coddled by his parents from such a young age.

I mean.. it is true that they themselves appear to have no experience with babies, despite having had two kids themselves, so mayyybe they really do think that this is how kids should be brought up “properly” – in the care of a professional nanny, while the baby’s parents carry on with doing ambitious life things?

On a tangent, as we see Bom look wistfully in the direction of the baby, and as we see the various members of her family kissing pictures of Jin Young, I can’t help but think that the people who have the most love to give that baby, are being kept away from him.

That’s such a pity, really.

At the same time, I can’t dismiss the possibility that Jung Ho and Yeon Hee might be playing a slow, long game of isolating Bom, such that she’s alone and powerless to fight back, if/when they decide that it’s time to get rid of her. Eep. 😬

That thought makes their “offer” to Hyeong Sik and Jin Ae feel even more ominous than it looks on the surface.

At first glance, it looks like they’re doing this to get a set of troublesome in-laws out of the way, into the countryside. Like, get out of our hair, and we’ll pay for you to have a comfortable life, out of our sight.

That’s bad enough.

But if it’s also to get them away from Bom, so that Bom loses her support network, so that she’d be easier to manipulate and deal with on her own, that makes it much, much worse.

Either way, it becomes clear why they didn’t tell In Sang or Bom that they were inviting Bom’s parents over for breakfast.

This was never meant to be a gesture to bring the two families together. This was always designed to be a power move, to intimidate Bom’s parents, and get them to go far away from them.

Also, on the topic of intimidation, the extravagance and excess of breakfast kinda blows my mind, to be honest.

I know I’ve been comparing the way this household is run, to royalty in Joseon times, but those little breakfast tablets, with what looks to be gold dishes, is straight out of a sageuk, isn’t it?!?

My goodness. I’d expected them to be seated at the dining table for breakfast, so this really threw me.

And if I get the royal vibe from this, surely Bom’s parents get that same message too, loud and clear? Like, “You are in the presence of (social) royalty here; know your place.”

Ugh. It’s no wonder In Sang and Bom get so upset.

I actually like the fact that In Sang stands up and apologizes to Bom’s parents for his parents’ behavior.

Of course, the fact that he apologizes, incenses Jung Ho, because an apology indicates that In Sang considers them an embarrassment. How very insulting, from his point of view, especially since he’s in royal mode now, and is particularly full of himself.

I kinda love how ridiculous Show gets sometimes, like with how Jung Ho throws that table and tries to climb over that railing to get to In Sang, only to get stuck, and very painfully so, with that railing lodged between his legs like that. 😆

It’s pretty fantastic, that by the end of the episode, we’ve got everyone in an all-out brawl, with arms and legs flailing everywhere. That’s SO the opposite of refined and dignified, ha!

I have no idea how Jung Ho and Yeon Hee are going to recover from this, next episode, but I know that they will surely try.

And I’m pretty confident that whatever they choose to do, will end up being quite entertaining. To which I say, bring it on, Show! 😁

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eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago

a while ago we were trying to figure out whose idea it was for our young couple to get married. so in ep. 5 we get the answer, when in sang talks to bom and tells her that the teacher is actually on their side, and it was the teacher’s idea (suggestion) for them to register their marriage. (now, i do not know if registering a marriage is the same as getting married, but it must be enough to keep the parents from trying to separate them).
also , there is a question whether just one set of parents is enough for it to be considered legit, but the teacher teaches rich kids law for the bar exam, or entrance exam (not clear to me), so he must know what he’s talking, he knows law.

also, it continues to amaze me how warm, considerate and caring in sang is to bom, wanting to protect her from sadness and pain, his hugs are full of intention, tenderness and compassion. and i truly wonder how in sang grew up such and empathetic, caring, loving human being in this environment completely stripped from any emotions, especially that it is created in this house by design.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago

i had exactly the same feeling that KFG describes, that in sang’s parents perceive themselves as royals, and conduct themselves and their household accordingly – this grandiose house with antique undertones, their strict formal attitude to everything, the greetings at the entrance when dad comes home, the servants lined up in mandatory “servants” outfits. and it especially hit me when breakfast was served to bom’s parents, each one getting their own tray with all golden bowls, and dishes, and they are all sitting on the floor in a traditional ancient korean fashion. even insisting on calling bom “little mistress”, it’s like “little princes”, and that is how the servants must address her.
and i get this feeling, that they are desperately longing for those times that they would have been nobles/aristocrats and the system would totally cover anything they would do in this world, and it would all be legit. but they are not from aristocratic families, they are third generation high caliber attorneys, that accumulated tons of riches and ascended to the top of the social society, as powerful attorneys, meddling in the highest political issues and government. sounds pretty good, right, yet, they do not have that gravitas that belonging to the aristocratic class would have provided them with, since now in modern korea they are just a part of the korean society, kind of equal to other citizens (according to jung ho’s own words). and this seems to be an internal unresolved struggle deep within their souls, whether on the conscious level or the subconscious. but they sure imagine themselves as royals, and that is the root of their hutzpah, so to say.

Trent
1 month ago

This show is really weaving the OTT ridiculousness with the trenchant social commentary, I have to say…

Also I semi-retract my snotty comments about In-sang’s total lack of feck; I mean, he didn’t have a lot of oomph at the beginning, but he really stepped up and stood up to the parents like a mensch there at the end of ep. 6, which was a solid move. It’s kind of amazing that they were so insulting with the secretary-delivered settlement offer, and when that fell completely flat, rather than learning from the experience, they followed it right up with another even-more-insulting demonstration. Look, making clear that you have done an intrusive background check on your new in-laws and their financial woes, in the guise of pensioning them off to rusticate in the hinterlands, is not generally the way to win people’s hearts, you know?

I am more and more coming to suspect that the central tension or theme or what have you is going to be the “hard” power (social, financial, etc.) of In-sang’s parents going up against (and ultimately being subverted, I suspect) by the “soft” power of the kids (and Bom’s family)–their moral superiority, smarts, and just doing the right, or even “normal”, thing.. We’ll see.

Definitely still enjoying this.