Open Thread: Heard It Through The Grapevine Episodes 13 & 14

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I thought this little stolen moment of kisses between In Sang and Bom was super cute, which is why it’s headlining our post today. 😍

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 13

“The ascension of Bom,” as j3ffc puts it so perfectly, continues, but it’s not straightforward nor easy. In fact, it just seems to get more complicated, as things progress, as far as I can tell.

Or perhaps this episode serves more as a set-up episode, where the problems are laid out, and next episode will be the one where Bom steps in to win the way, in the most unexpected manner possible?

At least, that’s what I hope? 😅

Noo Ri is the bigger issue, this episode, which I have to admit I find rather surprising.

I’d always pegged Noo Ri as a pretty sensible person, based on the various glimpses we’ve had so far, into her thinking and general approach to things.

And yet, things get out of control, in a way that feels fast and slow, at the same time, this episode.

From the time that she receives the clothes and shoes and other support, it feels like not a whole lot of time passes, before she starts to get noticed by others – and thus gets invited to that questionable soirée, where it looks like things take a wrong turn.

Of course, I do think that a lot of that has to do with Noo Ri’s fast-growing impatience.

That impatience shows itself in the small things too, like how she chooses to take a taxi to work every day now, because the expensive high heels are just too difficult to manage on the subway.

Mom’s idea of wearing sneakers on the way to work, and then changing into the fancy shoes there, totally works, but it seems to me that it’s important to Noo Ri that there isn’t even that short break, in projecting the perfectly coiffed image.

And then there’s how she tells Mom that whether it’s work or people, she needs to grab onto something more certain.

Putting that together, it would seem that Noo Ri’s impatient to climb the social ladder, whether it’s by her own work accomplishments, or as the significant other, of someone with influence.

We don’t know what really happened that night that she came home at the crack of dawn, but the circumstantial evidence, including the fact that her texts to Se Young, her date of the night, are going unanswered, does seem to indicate a one-night stand.

That feels like a bad gamble by Noo Ri. I’m guessing that she’d misjudged the sincerity of Se Young’s feelings for her, and had thought to snag him quickly, by bedding him.

I could be completely wrong, of course. But that’s my educated guess, at this point.

To that end, even all of Jung Ho’s instructions to keep Noo Ri under “management,” don’t seem to be enough to keep Noo Ri out of trouble.

Secretary Min might be able to identify that Noo Ri’s in a precarious situation, and she might be able to inform Chul Sik, but when it comes down to it, there’s nothing that either of them can do, to stop her.

And, in establishing her dominance over Secretary Lee previously, it seems that Bom’s turned Secretary Lee against her.

The way Secretary Lee’s a lot more snide towards Bom this episode is quite obvious.

And, when it’s implied that loose-lipped Secretary Kim tells Secretary Lee about Noo Ri’s unfortunate situation, Secretary Lee walks in to work with a skip in her step, and talks about how fresh the wind is, ha.

Despite this, however, Bom continues to do excellently on the home front in front of Jung Ho and Yeon Hee, and also, in terms of deflecting the prickly darts that Secretary Lee is throwing sideways in her direction.

First, there’s the way she talks with Jung Ho and Yeon Hee about her concerns for her father and sister, and asks that Jung Ho assign a strong advisor to her father’s case. It’s so smart, really.

She gets their approval for sharing her concerns with them so honestly, because it demonstrates her trust in them, and it even makes them glad to manage the situation of her family, because she’s made them feel trusted and important.

And, when Yeon Hee summons Bom to give her opinion on the painting that So Jung would like to sell her, Bom does brilliantly.

Not only does she give a suitably insightful interpretation of the painting, she even advises Yeon Hee not to purchase it, because it has sentimental value for So Jung, and isn’t actually a valuable asset.

Way to gain favor with Yeon Hee, while crushing Secretary Lee’s barbed remarks about being worried for her, heh.

AND! When Bom overhears Secretary Lee talking about Bom, being sarcastic about how Bom had seen “the sure benefit of the legal contract called marriage license,” Bom smilingly throws out, “Legal contracts are important. If you get married with Teacher we’d call you Mrs. Park.”

Ooh. Burnn.

And, way to poke at what turns out to be touchy topic for Secretary Lee, who then can’t seem to get the idea of marriage out of her head, pfft.

Bom seems aware of it, too, judging from the tiny smile that we see her leak, when Secretary Lee keeps hovering near the study door.

For the record, I don’t think that Bom’s being malicious; she’s just not a malicious person, the way I see it.

I think that she’s playing Secretary Lee’s game a bit, since that’s the way Secretary Lee wants to play it.

This episode, it’s really quite nice to finally get some context for In Sang’s relationship with Bom, when Hyeong Sik asks about what In Sang had liked about Bom, in the first place.

That really helps to color in their relationship for me, since, when we’d started this story, all we’d seen had been the encounter during the youth camp. It’s just nice to know that there had been a lot of shared memories between them, before they’d gotten pregnant together.

It’s also nice to see In Sang be so happy and comfortable spending time with Bom’s family, even when Bom’s not with him.

As we end the episode, I can’t help wondering what Noo Ri has in mind, in leaving the house.

She’s clearly not heard from Se Young, so is she perhaps planning to go to his house or that hotel, to confront him?

Yikes. That might not help matters, and could end up making things worse than they already are. 😬

Episode 14

Wowww. At this point, I’m convinced that Bom could pretty much rule a country, if she set her mind to it.

Even though it’s not an easy time for her, Bom still wins the episode, hands down, with flying colors, and with smarts and grace to spare.

Dang. I am in awe of her, and I love that she’s our heroine. 🤩

I mean, Noo Ri’s situation is on everyone’s minds this episode, and it’s safe to say that no one who would care to manage the situation, actually really has a clue on how to salvage the whole situation.

Even Jung Ho and Yeon Hee, as upset as they are, only think about how to distance Bom from her family, because her family has caused trouble. With all their experience and influence, it doesn’t occur to them that it might be possible to turn the whole thing around.

BUT BOM DOES IT.

And, Bom is the Little Madam who spends all her time cooped up in the family home, either studying, breastfeeding Jin Young, or fulfilling her other household duties, like making sure that her table manners are on point.

She has no overt power, really, and yet, she pulls off this whole coup, while remaining completely respectful of her in-laws, and she doesn’t resort to doing anything against their wishes, or against the law or anything.

She just uses whatever information and resources that are available to her, and she takes one careful step at a time, and she pulls off this amazing thing, which is nothing short of masterful.

And the thing is, it’s clear that this is something that shakes Bom’s emotions a great deal. It’s not like she’s emotionally distant and detached, which would have made it easier for her to see things in a strategic manner.

No; she’s completely torn up and in tears, when she realizes what’s happened to Noo Ri, and sobs into Housekeeper Jung’s comforting embrace.

Gosh, I love Housekeeper Jung; she’s so kind and non-judgmental.

When it comes to seeing Noo Ri, it’s so like Bom to accede to her in-law’s wishes, for them to meet at a genteel place that the family is familiar with, and then pass that test with flying colors.

She’s firm with Noo Ri, and manages to channel the genteel Little Madam vibe that is expected of her. At the same time, there’s a touch of gentleness and empathy about her, even when she tells Noo Ri that her greed’s taken her too far.

It’s no wonder that even Secretary Lee is impressed, listening in from the outside.

The way Bom talks to Noo Ri, and tells her about the only reasonable way forward, if she wants to be in the good books of her in-laws, is firm, but non-judgmental.

I love that Bom takes care to tell Noo Ri that whatever’s happened, Noo Ri’s still the sister whom she loves, and to not be scared, and just quietly wait for her in-law’s decision on next steps.

I dunno; I imagine myself in Noo Ri’s shoes, and I imagine that it would be comforting to hear these words, because not only am I being reminded that I’m loved, I’m also being told what to do as my next step, at a time when I feel lost and don’t know what to do.

Noo Ri cries a lot when Bom leaves the room, but I don’t think these are pure tears of shame; I imagine that there are tears of relief, at least in some measure.

And then there’s the way that Bom calmly faces off with Secretary Lee, and warns her (and I paraphrase) not to let her hear Secretary Lee speak ill of her family – or of Yeon Hee – or to risk losing her job.

The way Bom goes about it is so quietly elegant, and completely in line with Jung Ho’s and Yeon Hee’s expectations of her, and yet, the way she asserts her authority, both present and future, to Secretary Lee, is so amazing.

I can see why Secretary Lee bursts into tears, the moment she gets a private moment away from her employers.

Just like what Housekeeper Jung says, Secretary Lee had essentially misjudged Bom. She’d been snide to Bom, thinking Bom to be an easy target – without realizing that she’d picked the smartest, shrewdest politician in the entire household to go up against.

It’s pretty mind-boggling that it’s not long after, that Secretary Lee seeks out Bom to apologize – on her knees!

The thing is, through all of this, we can see that Bom’s having a hard time. We see her cry over the phone to her mother, and we also see her shed a few tears on her own, after the call. She’s not going through this effortlessly, by any means.

But she’s enduring it so well, that she’s got Secretary Lee literally on her knees. Woah.

Even Yeon Hee’s so startled and impressed, that she can’t help but ask Bom, out of curiosity, what she’s done to Secretary Lee.

And I kinda love that in answering Yeon Hee, Bom’s the same, sweet, somewhat shy personality that she always is, with Yeon Hee. I kinda love the idea that Bom chooses to be honest with Yeon Hee about what’s been going on, and explains that she tends to hold a grudge.

I feel like this would not only impress Yeon Hee, it would also serve as a subtle warning to Yeon Hee, to treat Bom right – since Bom tends to hold a grudge and all. 😉

Also. How smart is Bom, to glom onto stuff that In Sang tells her about Se Young’s family’s history with Hansong, and then devise a plan – by the very next morning! – on how to turn the tables on Se Young, and make him pay for what he’s done to Noo Ri.

Gosh. The way Bom’s mind works is scary brilliant.

And, how very smart of Bom, to make this Secretary Lee’s first proper mission from her, since she’d mentioned to Secretary Lee, that she’d need Secretary Lee to start acting like a proper secretary now.

This is Secretary Lee’s official chance to prove her usefulness and worth to Bom, after that apology, so of course Secretary Lee would want to do a good job of it.

The fact that Bom’s plan is for Secretary Yang to plant the idea in Jung Ho’s head, that Se Young had targeted Noo Ri on purpose, because he’d had it out for Hansong, is freaking brilliant.

The way Se Young starts to see things very differently, very fast, is also so great.

And then, the way Secretary Yang gets Noo Ri that visitor pass, so that she can go directly to Jae Won’s penthouse hangout, to deliver her demand, that Se Young apologize in person at her office, where there would be plenty of witnesses, is just the perfect finishing touch.

With the way this all shakes out, Noo Ri comes out as the one who’s been misunderstood, and Se Young comes out as the one who’s been hanging on to her, rather than the other way around.

Way to flip things on their heads, Bom. SO FREAKING BRILLIANT! 🤩

I’m so glad that this gives Noo Ri a chance to start over, and that this all happens without causing any kind of rift or misunderstanding between her and Bom.

I’m not surprised that even Secretary Min is impressed, and is taking an interest in the “Little Madam” now.

And, I’m actually pretty pleased that Jung Ho, upon witnessing Bom thanking Secretary Lee, who now shows a new sheen of respect for Bom, realizes – with some pleasure! – that Bom had made good use of him, to turn the situation around.

ALL HAIL QUEEN SEO BOM, I SAY!! 🤩😁

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Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago

I still don’t understand what is Secretary Min’s agenda, but I am keeping away from spoilers and continue watching. Bom’s mom is my favorite character. I also liked In Sang’s visit to his in-laws. I really hope Bom will keep her heart warm and her mind raisor sharp, and not turn like her in-laws.

J3ffc
J3ffc
3 months ago

I thought that Noo Ri’s story was very well told and completely understandable for a young woman in her shoes. She wants to have a successful career and it’s perfectly reasonable to be hypnotized a bit by a sense of how the other 0.1% lives – to the point of getting a bit confused by what is happening through her own abilities vs. her newly-found lucky circumstances. Aside from the poor judgement in that one-night stand (and I suspect that, nowadays, that’s more common than many of us would like to think), she behaved pretty similarly to any career-minded person might in her (expensive new) shoes.

eda harris
eda harris
3 months ago

in sang is really a very outstanding young man – his openness, his warmth to bom’s family is so genuine and organic in nature, totally deserving our admiration. i really love the way he melts into bom’s family, and his interactions, his willingness to understand and even adopt their ways is also a sign of how unusual of a young man he is, just like unusual bom is (a lot of other men of his status and upbringing would look down on a family like bom’s) and it gives us another glance of how these two got so attracted to each other. i also think that instinctively his desire to get closer to bom’s family is a way to better understand and get closer to bom herself.

he not just enjoys the company of his new family, he trusts them, which is very important. he can open up to her father, and tell him the story of their romance (i thought it was a very clever way of the drama to reveal it to us, that it was not just a one-night stand, but a legitimate dating and courting story for a while, which was cute).

one more thing i wanted to mention. there was a recap of bom’s and in-sang’s story, which i thought was really in the right place and at the right time – it added and took us back, reminding us of all that went on till now, kind of a necessary refreshment of our memories (in a lot of korean dramas there are an obsessive amount of flash backs that gets on my nerves, but this one really had it’s value).

this drama it’s truly a psychology trip. that’s just one aspect how the drama engages the viewer, although it might seem a bit slow, but never losing it’s march forward and never letting you drop the interest.

J3ffc
J3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Completely agree on the suitability of In Sang as a partner for our heroine. While not as intellectually formidable and strategic as Bom, he has the self confidence – and more importantly, the right kind of self confidence – to engage and support her while pursuing their shared happiness. I hope it lasts (and think it will). And, good point, @Eda, on the flashbacks; it would have been easy to forget how they got to this point without a little reminder.

Leslie
Leslie
3 months ago

All hail! Tiger by the tail!

Watching ep 14 reminded me of the complex machinations of one of the Ocean’s franchises (11, 12, 13), except this was just Bom’s 2 (more or less)!

I admit I’ve lost the thread of Min Joo Young’s revenge storyline – I don’t know if it’s because of translations or subtlety of writing or… Can anyone tell me where it stands? Assistant Min has been found out and knows she’s been found out, but when did that awareness happen? Why is Han Group keeping her on again? What’s Chul Sik’s awareness of things? I think this storyline must still be important, given that Min Joo Young has not had her day, and she is a very focused woman. Thanks.

I love how In Sang loves and gets Bom, and doesn’t appear to be threatened by her magnificence at this point.. and, I hope forever. I smiled when he told Bom’s father that he was initially attracted to her because he thought she was a kindred weird spirit. 🤩 (I loved the line “she owned them”, that he uses in regard to the kids in high school who would make fun of her because of her lacking background.) I hope he continues to appreciate her unconventional – for his world – way of seeing the world, even if she continues to use the scary tools of his world to execute her developing vision.

Ko Ah Sung is doing such a great job as Bom, that I wondered why I haven’t seen more of her. A quick search of her filmography shows she is Life On Mars, which reminded me it’s available to me (on DVD) and should be moved to the top of my list pronto.

Really enjoying this weird show. 😆

Last edited 3 months ago by Leslie
eda harris
eda harris
3 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

leslie, you are asking so many questions!
but they are all legit questions.

min joo’s entire story is indeed important and will be explained later, it’s just the writer enjoys keeping us guessing and questioning – so we don’t run away from it, he he. that is my assessment. it is a little unclear, but just for now, and i remember being a bit confused while watching it the first time. but not to worry.
the story is probably more complex than a lot of other dramas, and is complex in a very different way, but that is the beauty of it, at least for me.
why does jung ho keep min joo around? she’s very important – he probably can use her and has plans for her, or at least that is what he thinks. again, it will all be revealed slowly – the operative word is “slowly”.
about bom’s uncle – i can not tell you, or i’ll slip into spoilers. but it will really be explained and it will be interesting, so just buckle up.
sorry that i can not go into details, in spite of my desire to do so.

I love how In Sang loves and gets Bom.

indeed he does, and he’s truly proud of her, proud that such a smart outstanding person is his friend and his wife. he almost wishes her to be even better than him, so his family will fully accept her and their relationship, and will appreciate her and will also be proud of her and her achievements, like he is.

Leslie
Leslie
3 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Thank you, eda! I’ll hold tight. I’m glad my confusion isn’t because I’ve missed something obvious – you never know. 😉

J3ffc
J3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

Confusion is such an integral part of my drama-watching life that I don’t even notice it anymore. Thanks, @Leslie, for asking my questions for me.

Trent
3 months ago

Yeah. I ended up not only loving this pair of episodes, but also finding them kind of fascinating. (And I have to say, at this point I’m feeling pretty good about my somewhat facetious prediction a few episodes back that Bom would end up in charge by the end. Looking good, Bom! Or as you say, all hail the queen…).

It was just such a pleasure to watch her apply the actual levers that were available to her, maneuver things just so…as one of the family retainers observed near the end, it was a “triple bank shot”; she kept her fingerprints off of everything, and everything fell out to her (and the family’s) advantage. She lowered the (velvet) hammer on Secretary Lee so effectively; impressed the in-laws; and crafted an excellent revenge for the (fleeting) humiliation of her sister’s injudicious brush with the careless maliciousness of the rich and powerful. I think (and hope) Noo-ri is smart and self-aware enough to take the lesson to heart and benefit from it.

I think this was the first set of episodes that I really had to actively restrain myself from jumping ahead to watch more episodes right away. Just about halfway through, and I am quite curious what end game in this show will look like. Where are we headed? (besides Bom being in charge, of course 😁 ).

eda harris
eda harris
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

trent,
i’m joining you (and the entire household and office of her in-laws) in being beyond impressed by bom, she has one brilliant mind and an equally brilliant ability to use it. (now where it will lead her – that’s a question)

She lowered the (velvet) hammer on Secretary Lee so effectively; impressed the in-laws; and crafted an excellent revenge for the (fleeting) humiliation of her sister’s injudicious brush with the careless maliciousness of the rich and powerful. 

it’s like min joo said to bom’s uncle: “carry out my plan with someone else’s sword”. she did it all, and all designed by herself.