Open Thread: Heard It Through The Grapevine Episodes 17 & 18

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Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I’ve got this screenshot headlining our post today, because it’s such a rare and precious moment, for Hyeong Sik and Jin Ae to have time with Jin Young like this. 🥰

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 17

Jung Ho continues with his Young Ra obsession this episode, and goodness me, this reminds me of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

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If you’re perhaps not familiar with the tale, that story is about how an emperor believed that he was wearing special clothes that were invisible to those who were stupid or incompetent.

Which is how the swindlers who sold him the idea, got away with giving him clothes that he couldn’t see, and that’s how the emperor ends up parading nekkid, through the city.

Jung Ho thinking that he’s doing such a fiiiiine job of being subtle about his interest in Young Ra, while everyone rolls their eyes &/or fights to keep a straight face (whether from amusement or fury), reminds me of exactly this story.

He thinks he’s fooling eeeveryone, when in actual fact, he’s the only one who’s unaware that everyone can see right through him.

Which is certainly very awkward, especially for Yeon Hee, at that painfully embarrassing luncheon, where Jung Ho makes a big show of being magnanimous, when everyone can see that he’s only there because he wants to see Young Ra.

So Jung’s right; Yeon Hee’s practically superhuman, for enduring it silently, and maintaining her composure, for the entirety of that meal.

But Yeon Hee’s trials don’t stop there, since she needs to maintain a facade of unruffled elegance in front of the staff and the kids as well. How frustrating it must be for her, since it’s a case of “I know that you know that I know that you know.” 😝

That almost throwaway line that we hear Young Ra say over the phone to Jae Won, confirms my assumption all along: the only reason Young Ra even made a move on Jung Ho, was to get at Yeon Hee.

Ugh. How horrible.

I mean, this had all been triggered by the news that Yoon Je Hoon was dating Noo Ri instead of Hyun Soo.

And now, it’s clear that Young Ra doesn’t care that Yeon Hee has nothing to do with the fact that Yoon Je Hoon’s dating Noo Ri. She’s just looking for a way to lash out, as long as that lashing out is somehow related to Noo Ri, no matter how tangential.

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I didn’t actually have that great of an opinion of Young Ra to begin with, but wherever my opinion had been on the ladder of respect-worthiness, with regards to Young Ra, it’s now at least 10 rungs lower.

Speaking of which, it’s the same with Jung Ho.

I hadn’t had that great of an opinion of him either, but now, my opinion of him is that much worse, given his current behavior.

Not only is it painfully obvious that he’s got his eyes on someone other than Yeon Hee, it’s painfully awkward how he’s amping up his big booming Big Cheery Persona, to overcompensate.

It’s no wonder Yeon Hee’s silent percolating fury builds to not one, but two bursting points, this episode.

That whole bedroom fiasco, where Jung Ho keeps trying to put the moves on Yeon Hee, until Yeon Hee eventually bumps his nose with her forehead, to get her message across, is really quite ludicrous, heh.

Serves Jung Ho right, though. How clueless and obtuse can he be?

Not only does he not seem to notice that his behavior’s put Yeon Hee is a low sort of mood, he also doesn’t seem to notice that she is absolutely not interested in any sexytimes with him.

On top of that, he gets Secretary Yang to send Yeon Hee jewelry, with a note telling Yeon Hee that he’ll be the magnanimous one and forgive her first? Oh my.

And even worse, he gets Secretary Yang to buy the exact same necklace for Young Ra, and includes a note about a covert rendezvous in Singapore? Oh my oh my.

AND THEN. He even gets into a big ol’ rant with Secretary Yang, after that phone call with Hyun Soo, because he’s so upset that Hyun Soo’s in the way of him getting to talk with Young Ra.

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What boggles my mind, is how self-righteous Jung Ho sounds, during his rant, as if it’s his right to be cheating on Yeon Hee.

With his, “Why should I be more cautious?!?,” even the usually imperturbable Secretary Yang says that he’s being peculiar and she doesn’t know what to tell him.

The way I see it, Jung Ho’s like a walking time bomb with crazy Young Ra eyes.

It’s no wonder Yeon Hee arranges for everyone to spend a night away from the house, down to In Sang, Bom and Jin Young, so that she can confront Jung Ho in her own way.

It’s quite strange, really, how Jung Ho acts in such a nervous, jumpy manner, the moment he realizes that he’s home alone with Yeon Hee. That’s definitely his guilty conscience talking, right?

I don’t know how effective Yeon Hee’s warning to him will be – that there will be no one around him eventually, if he keeps living like that – but ok, perhaps Yeon Hee knows Jung Ho and his deepest fears best?

On a tangent, am I to understand from Secretary Yang’s story, that when Jung Ho had been  in school, his mother had given him a pretty college girl as a tutor, so that she could sleep with him..?

Is that what they mean, when they refer to Jung Ho’s mother bringing him up like a prince..? And according to Housekeeper Jung, lots of rich mothers are doing similar things..?

Ohmygah. This peek into the lifestyles of the rich and powerful is rather more discombobulating than I’d expected. I have to wonder how much of this tidbit is based on actual truth. 😅

How significant, though, that through all of this, Secretary Lee makes it a point to report privately to Bom, to give her updates on the situation with Yeon Hee.

Looks like the impression that Bom made on Secretary Lee is deep and long-lasting – which is a thought that gives me a fair amount of gratification. 😁

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And, I also like the fact that Bom’s gaining favor with Yeon Hee, as she continues to express her support for her mother-in-law.

The details around Chul Sik and Secretary Min’s brother’s case still aren’t super clear, but this episode, I’m getting the idea that they’d been physically wounded or injured, as a result of the case.

Otherwise, why would Bom mention that Chul Sik’s not able to wear short-sleeved shirts in the summer?

It’s nice to see Bom and In Sang put their heads together, to find a way to prove that Chul Sik and Secretary Min’s brother have been wronged, and it’s also nice to see that Teacher Park is giving them guidance.

But, at the moment, it does seem like the odds are stacked against them.

If Secretary Min, with all her shrewdness, resourcefulness and know-how hasn’t been able to find evidence in support of the case, despite having joined hands with Attorney Yoo, what makes her think that putting this in In Sang’s and Bom’s hands would be any better?

But that’s also exactly why Bom starts to become more cognizant of why it would be useful to have power.

Without power, she really can’t do much to make good out of this situation. She can only do something, if she actually has power.

I do like that she talks it over with In Sang, and In Sang encourages her to just do well from now on. How cute, that he calls it living a double life (while being kind), and says that it’ll be thrilling, just like when they’d dated in secret, heh.

I do love how supportive In Sang tends to be, of Bom, regardless of what it’s about, and whether she’s positioned to do better than he. He’s just so pure that way.

And it’s right after this conversation, when Bom’s alone with Noo Ri, that Bom articulates so well, what her current situation is like, and what she’d like it to be.

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“My power isn’t ready yet. Right now, I’m just riding on the back of a tiger. I can fall anytime, and I can be eaten anytime. The real power happens when I can control the tiger.”

Ooh, yes, yes please. I’d love to see how Bom is going to go from hitching a ride on the tiger, to controlling the tiger – because that essentially means taking over the entire household, doesn’t it?

Watch out, world – Queen Bom is coming! 👑

Episode 18

Well. As it turns out, Jung Ho’s home alone time with Yeon Hee works out to be a bit of a wild circus that’s more bizarre, weird and entertaining than I’d imagined, heh.

Which means that Yeon Hee’s plan to torment and confront Jung Ho is really more than simply making him face his potential future of isolation.

My bad, I’d spoken too soon.

It actually makes perfect sense that Jung Ho would hate being ignored – which is Yeon Hee’s core strategy here – because he has this obsession with feeling big and important. And when you’re pointedly ignored, you feel.. the opposite of big and important.

Which is probably why he gets even more shouty, blustery and downright ridiculous, in the face of Yeon Hee’s cold shoulder. The fact that she tells him point-blank, that he’s stupid, just makes it even harder to bear, since that also hits him where it hurts.

It’s absurd – but also, believable – how he follows her around the house, and does things to provoke her, because he hates feeling small and unimportant so much, that he’d choose being in battle, over being ignored.

The way that all escalates into Jung Ho and Yeon Hee facing off with golf clubs in their hands is rather alarming, to be honest, because it looks like Jung Ho had picked up the club first, and Yeon Hee’s got one too, only to be on the defensive.

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This is played for comedy, but I find it a very disturbing thought that Jung Ho would actually threaten his wife with a golf club. That’s not cool under any circumstances, but the fact that he’s the one in the wrong, with his Young Ra fixation, makes it so much worse.

I’m actually glad that Yeon Hee acts quickly to gain control of the situation, when Jung Ho slips and falls – by climbing on top of him and getting hold of his hair – which he’s so precious about.

Snerk. Serves him right for threatening her with a golf club in the first place, I say! 🤭

It’s priceless, the way all the staff come rushing back after getting that concerned call from the security company about potential violence on the premises, only to find Jung Ho on his knees, at Yeon Hee’s mercy, because she’s got him by the hair. 😂

Teacher Park quickly taking out his phone to capture this on video, is also just the sort of surreal and bizarre thing that I’ve come to expect from this show, heh.

We see that he sends that video to Bom and In Sang, to keep them apprised of the situation, but I can’t help wondering if Teacher Park also plans to keep this video as potential leverage. Hmm. 🤔

It’s nice to see Bom and Yeon Hee bonding over this, with Yeon Hee even talking rather freely with Bom, saying that she survived the night.

Later in the episode, Yeon Hee even tells Bom that Bom’s support had made her feel better. Aw, that’s pretty great to see.

It’s also heartwarming to see the two moms being so warm and cordial over that video chat. It feels like so long ago, that Jin Ae was storming Yeon Hee’s house, eh?

How interesting, that Yoon Je Hoon is taking an interest in the case involving Chul Sik and Secretary Min’s brother.

It’s kind of implied that Bom and In Sang talk about it with him and Noo Ri, since we do see Bom and In Sang muse together, over whether Yoon Je Hoon and Noo Ri would be on their side in this matter, but I do wonder if that really was the thing that piqued Yoon Je Hoon’s interest in the case?

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Because, this episode, we even see him connect with Secretary Min, and also, reveal to Attorney Yoo that he’s interested in “that case,” which I take to be the case involving Chul Sik and Secretary Min’s brother.

And, when Attorney Yoo asks if he’s at Hansong just for that, his reply, “I guess you can say that,” pretty much confirms it.

Perhaps Je Hoon has a personal connection to the case too?

Either way, it looks like Je Hoon’s interest in human rights is giving Noo Ri pause, because being married to a human rights lawyer is not the direction she’d like her life to take.

This really does shine the spotlight on the different ways in which the two sisters approach love and marriage, doesn’t it?

Bom’s all about love, and she did emphasize it last episode, when she’d said to Noo Ri, that she hopes Noo Ri and Je Hoon will really love each other.

However, it’s becoming clear that Noo Ri’s priorities aren’t just about love; they’re about image and social standing too.

I’m really rather curious to see how this pans out, because it looks like Je Hoon really might end up leaving Hansong. After all, he’s mentioned several times now, that he might not work there long.

For now, it looks like his plan is to work on this case, and then leave Hansong.

As we get into the final stretch of the episode, Jung Ho keeps on being obsessed with Young Ra, and it becomes a season of reckoning for In Sang, when his respect for Jung Ho gets seriously challenged.

I can’t blame In Sang, though. It’s hard to maintain respect for Jung Ho, when you know the facts.

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And the facts right now, are: 1, Jung Ho’s been taken to task by Yeon Hee, for his straying affections, and yet, 2, there’s evidence, supplied by Hyun Soo, that Jung Ho is unrepentantly still putting the moves on Young Ra.

That text message, where he asks Young Ra to seduce him, is maximally cringey, even without the context that he’s been very recently confronted by his own wife. UGH.

Even Secretary Yang, who’s famous for her loyalty to Jung Ho and his family, is disgusted with the way both Jung Ho and Young Ra refuse to end their tête-à-tête at the company lounge, even when she personally drops by to intervene.

And, despite his wayward actions outside, Jung Ho appears to think he’s faultless, and is back to demanding that Yeon Hee wait on him hand and foot, as before.

This is dancing the line between comical and gross, and I can’t decide how I feel about this. I’m leaning towards gross, with a rueful sheen of comic.

I think Secretary Yang has a very solid point, in the way that she says that Yeon Hee can’t possibly control Jung Ho while protecting his reputation. If Yeon Hee wants to control Jung Ho, she’s got to let go of her desire to preserve his image.

We finally get some solid insight into how Hansong had been involved in the case involving Chul Sik and Secretary Min’s brother.

Apparently, it’s not only a case of wrongful dismissal, but of the company shirking responsibility for an industrial accident (thus the injuries), by moving the date of dismissal, to before the date of the accident.

Ooh. That’s horrible. And very wrong. No wonder everyone who’s affected, and everyone who’s got a conscience, is so keen to have this wrong made right.

For a hot second, I kind of thought that the episode would end on another brawl in the Han household, what with Jung Ho trying to throw a punch at In Sang like that, but In Sang’s too quick to duck and run away, ha.

It feels significant, that this episode, Teacher Park goes to Secretary Lee’s home, and tells her that he’s regretful that he’d wanted to be like Jung Ho, and now vows to become a better man.

Because, when Jung Ho confronts Teacher Park and questions him on how he’s doing his job, which was to instill a sense of unquestionable obedience in In Sang and Bom (pfft), Teacher Park actually straight-up tells Jung Ho that his way of doing things is going to go extinct, and In Sang and Bom need a different way to survive.

Aw yeah, you go, Teacher Park! You are becoming a better man!

While this is going on, Yeon Hee overhears In Sang say to Bom, that Yeon Hee taking Jung Ho’s side, is the reason Jung Ho doesn’t know his place.

Ooh. How separately confronting, for both Jung Ho and Yeon Hee, as we round off the episode. Will they choose to change their approaches and strategies now?

Because if they do, that would definitely spice up our next set of episodes!

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eda harris
eda harris
5 months ago

this drama truly benefits on a second watch. there are so many main characters and personalities, and situations that many details, words thrown here and there, are simply lost or not understood, or seem like disjointed incidents. it really ties it all up neatly, when you already know the characters and where it is going.
there are multiple MAIN CHARACTERS, as i see it, but also characters consisting of 2 or more people, becoming a character by itself. like bom and in sang together, like each of their parents together. i can also see the house help and the office stuff, (although there are individual interesting on it’s own personalities), i see them all together as a one “unit character”, for lack of another word for this. it’s pretty amazing, like they are all involved in the lives of the “palace” or the office, or sometimes even acting all together combined as a “double unit character” – especially when they all gather together, in the kitchen or one of their houses. they gossip, break down events, spy, think of solutions and outcomes, even get emotionally involved in the entirety of the lives of their bosses. and run all together to save them from themselves… this whole scenario is pretty fascinating and funny to me, i mean the degree of their involvement.

and of course, the portrayal of yoo joon sang of the character hung ho is nothing less than perfection, rare ability to show serious/sophisticated and funny/sarcastic almost bizarre behavior molded together at the same time. i have not seen this actor before, but am eager to see more. if anybody can recommend.

but i believe that his wife yeon hee deserves much praise as well, her facial micro expressions, without any word spoken talk on their own and she created a totally worthy opponent to hung ho, whether in character or as an actress creating this character. (in addition, she has the most adorable profile, her little nose, and has pretty fashionable clothes, whether she picks it or the costume designer. i do enjoy these additional details).

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
5 months ago

“You are sleeping alone tonight! That’s your punishment!” Bwahahahahaha!

Trent
5 months ago

I found these two episodes absolutely delicious, seriously. We are firmly settled into the dynamics and worldview of the show at this point, so it can just unspool its wackiness and somehow make sense within the confines of its own framing.

Jung-ho is just completely off in fantasy land, of course, and everyone around him is quietly aghast at what a tone deaf jackass he’s being, but it’s very much like that saying (conveniently borrowed from the just-concluded Bloody Heart) that “the King has no shame,” i.e. the big daddy can do no wrong, formally, even when he is in fact, doing wrong. And of course, now the project is for the other actors to hold him to account. Yeon-hee, of course, but also Bom and In-sang with their plans and the Secy. Min case.

I kind of love the newly forming and shifting alliances; Bom and Yeon-hee are more and more sympatico… Secy. Lee is seemingly pretty firmly in Bom’s corner now (side note: I just binged One Spring Night this last week, and kind of wild to see Seo Jeong-yeon as the ML’s boss/friend there, after getting used to her as Secy. Lee here). Seeing In-sang as continually supportive and affectionate toward Bom is always great (the family’s sojourn to stay overnight at Bom’s family home was awesome–real holiday type feel); I did find it interesting that there at the end of ep. 18, In-sang was seemingly so overwhelmed by his father’s perfidy that he was all damn the torpedoes, go in and confront him, despite Bom counseling patience and trying to put the brakes on his impulsiveness. Very curious to see where that leads now..

And yes, final note, I was…aghast? amused? horrifiedly amused? at the suggestion that the average chaebol matron deals with her horny adolescent son by contracting a young pretty maid or “tutor” to, ah, “take care of him,” if you know what I mean. No wonder these guys are such a toxic stew of arrested development and unthinking privilege. Yikes!

Really looking forward to seeing where this goes next. Show is exceeding expectations…

Last edited 5 months ago by Trent
J3ffc
J3ffc
5 months ago

I thought it was so interesting to see Bom explicitly express a desire for power. No surprise that she is able to accurately describe what having real power would entail (and what a metaphor!), but to my recollection it’s the first time that we see she has shifted from defensive to strategic/offensive attitude.