Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! This was a rather tough pair of episodes again, but this moment between Bom and In Sang gives me hope, 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! 😉
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! ❤️
This was a tough episode, you guys. Arguably the toughest so far, in our journey with In Sang and Bom, because this is the first time they’ve actually been on opposite sides, and dang, it sucks.
I hadn’t been super cognizant of it before, but it’s as Trent said last week; the bond and solidarity between Bom and In Sang really has been a big anchor for our story.
And now that they appear to be splitting up – for real, even; it’s doesn’t seem to be pretend 😩 – I feel all out of sorts, while watching the goings on.
It hurts even more to see, because it’s clear that Bom and In Sang don’t actually want to be apart. They don’t dislike each other; they’re being driven apart by a key difference in opinion – one that’s important enough that they both feel they need to stand by their beliefs.
It’s hard to see In Sang punch that framed poster and hurt his hand, and it’s just as hard to see Bom crying, saying that In Sang should be the one to come over since she has less, and then shoving her feelings aside, to say that she will pull herself together.
I find it endearing that the household staff all don’t want In Sang and Bom to split up, and try to persuade In Sang to give it some time, but it’s just as troubling, to see In Sang be so resolute in doing the necessary, to complete Bom’s move back to her family home.
The dynamic over at Bom’s family home is somewhat similar, with everyone except Jin Ae trying to get involved, to tell Bom how to salvage the marriage, with Chul Sik insisting that he’ll withdraw the lawsuit.
I do think that on this point, Jin Ae’s the one who has it right, when she says that everyone’s just looking at it from their own points of view.
Even though Bom and In Sang are young, this is their marriage, and their little family, and so they really should be given the space to figure things out between them.
That said, I can completely understand Hyeong Sik’s concern, around how Bom’s going to make a living, to support herself and Jin Young.
Given that Bom is the holder of a GED certificate at best (I’m assuming she passed, after taking the test), she doesn’t have all that many options, since she also has to take Jin Young into account.
The divorce isn’t even finalized yet – I mean, the decision was made so recently! – so it’s extra unsettling to see things being cleaned out of Bom’s room in the Han household, and to hear Bom and Mom talking about whether or not they can continue to use some of Jin Young’s things, from before.
This is all part of the painful process of separation, and to me, this untangling of the day-to-day things between persons, might actually hit harder than the actual formalization of divorce.
The meeting between Bom and In Sang is pretty sad and painful to watch, because they clearly still care about each other, but there’s also so much raw emotion eating away at the both of them.
I feel bad for In Sang, that his goal to live with Bom for the rest of his life, looks like it’s flown away with the wind, and I feel bad for Bom, that she’s so upset with herself, for acting like someone else, in order to gain her in-laws’ favor.
And, when Bom calls out In Sang for being wishy-washy, in much the same way he’d been wishy-washy about jumping into the Han River, I’m sure that hits a nerve, because of the way In Sang actually contemplates going to the river, on his way home.
(That really is such a great analogy though; our Bom really is so sharp, isn’t she?)
The ripples over at Hansong due to Chul Sik’s case aren’t small either, with Je Hoon more or less confronting Jung Ho about the fact that Jung Ho really does have a hand in Chul Sik wanting to withdraw the lawsuit.
Jung Ho denies it and says that Je Hoon can continue working on the case, but I’m pretty sure that this behavior by Je Hoon isn’t going to sit well with Jung Ho.
I wonder if that’s why Jung Ho decides to speed up the divorce by visiting Bom’s family home, when he’d originally thought to take his time with it, so that his financial assistance would come at a time when Bom would be most grateful.
I gotta say, I get so annoyed with Jung Ho when he puts on his puffed-up, “I’m so important” act, which is exactly what he does, when he gets to Bom’s home.
The way he acts like he can’t remember anything that he’s done for the family in the past, and needs to be constantly reminded by Secretary Yang about the details, is truly exasperating, and I want to clunk him on the head to help him jog his memory. Grrrr. 😠
His fake-serene statement about how he and Yeon Hee have made a decision to respect In Sang and Bom’s decision, is also very annoying.
I kinda love that Bom refuses to be gaslighted and shatters the illusion of niceness, by calling out Jung Ho on not actually allowing her and In Sang to handle things on their own, even though he says he is, but man, that also feels like a pretty critical move.
I mean, she’s outright saying that Jung Ho’s not a man of his word, which she’s right about, and which I’m sure he will take very personally.
That may be good for putting a stop to the gaslighting, but that’s probably not so good for any possibility of a long-term relationship.
Does this mean that Bom’s just cut off any last remaining shred of hope for a reconciliation with In Sang..? 😬
This episode, one of the key arcs is Jung Ho grappling with (and mostly rejecting) the idea that things are changing, and he’s just not as powerful or influential as he would like to think.
I’m actually pretty glad that Secretary Yang tells it to him like it is, at the top of the episode. It feels like she’s the only one who can get away with being so blunt with him, while everyone else walks on eggshells and panders to his whims and fancies.
Unfortunately, even though Secretary Yang does get away with it (in that, Jung Ho only gets upset, and doesn’t fire her), it doesn’t look like she’s made much of a dent, in getting Jung Ho to actually take her advice on board, and actually start to do things differently.
Ugh. I do hate how Jung Ho says so self-righteously, that Bom has loose morals, and that, because of her exposure to unrefined knowledge and information at home.
I’m glad Secretary Yang specifically calls that out as a vulgar comment, and reminds him that Yi Ji herself had been caught reading racy comics in middle school.
The nerve of Jung Ho to be so self-righteous about that, when he’s the one who had been chasing after Young Ra, while married to Yeon Hee! Hmph. 😤
Over on Yeon Hee’s side, I’m rather disgusted, really, that she and her so-called friends are already talking about a new partner for In Sang. I mean, Bom’s only been away from the Han home for a night!
And, it really is bizarre to me, how Young Ra’s scheming to have Hyun Soo be that new partner for In Sang. Isn’t there some amount of stigma around divorce in Korea? Or does that only apply if you’re not set to inherit lots of money..? 🧐
It gives me a perverse sense of pleasure, this episode, to see Jung Ho being defied by the people around him, quite systematically.
First, there’s In Sang, who keeps telling him to stop meddling, and there’s Yi Ji, who won’t even pretend to be respectful and now says she wants to go overseas.
And then there’s Je Hoon, who puts in his resignation, so that he can continue working on Chul Sik’s case, against Jung Ho’s wishes, and there’s Secretary Min, who declines to follow up with the list of information that Je Hoon found during his employment, even if Jung Ho lets her go from her job.
And of course, there’s Secretary Yang, who keeps reminding him to look around and wake up to the new reality that he’s living in a new era where his old methods aren’t working anymore.
It’s no wonder Jung Ho gets all up in a twist, as all of these different examples of his efforts to intimidate all fall flat. Muahaha.
It feels like a parallel of sorts, that when Yeon Hee attempts to take Hyun Soo and Min Jae out to lunch, in order to feel out Hyun Soo as a potential daughter-in-law replacement, both Min Jae and Hyun Soo duck out, without showing due respect or remorse.
Yep. I do think Show’s making a pretty pointed statement about how Jung Ho and Yeon Hee, with their old school “I’m social royalty” type of thinking, are passé, and becoming in danger of becoming irrelevant.
Also, I’m glad that when In Sang senses that his parents are bulldozing through things in their own way, he just ups and goes to Bom’s house, even though they’ve agreed to split up.
The way he wakes up and groggily mutters, “It’s Seo Bom,” and then moves to hug her and kiss her, is so lost and hungry, like he’s been starved of her presence for too long and feels like he’ll die, if he doesn’t recharge himself soon.
Honestly, I felt a sense of relief and release too, seeing In Sang and Bom together, even if just for a little while.
I know that it looks like In Sang forces himself on Bom for that embrace and that kiss, but because I know that Bom misses him a great deal too, it somehow feels less of a trespass than ordinarily?
And, it does look like they might be one step closer to reconciliation, in the sense that at least Bom is telling In Sang to come to live at her house, which is more than before.
However, it looks like that isn’t quite what In Sang has in mind, as he tells Teacher Park that he can’t imagine them living in poverty.
For a hot second, I was afraid that In Sang was going to give up on reconciling with Bom, BUT, it sounds like In Sang has some kind of plan that involves them getting a divorce first, then getting back together with Bom.
To be honest, I’m not sure how this would solve their problems, but.. I’m glad that the household staff seem thrilled, and I’m trusting that there’s some kind of logic to this, even though Secretary Kim’s doubtful that In Sang’s plan will work.
In the meantime, Attorney Yoo basically refuses to do as Jung Ho wishes, on In Sang’s divorce case, at the cost of her job.
Ooh. Burnnnn, Jung Ho.
Whatcha gonna do, now that almost everyone around you has decided that it doesn’t suit them to align themselves with your every whim and fancy? 😏
divorce and separation, (in all aspects of it) are brutal and emotionally tearing one apart. witnessing it is almost as painful, especially if you care about those people and their relationship. so, that is where we are. and of course, it’s one masterful drama, to make us feel their pain so deeply.
i must admit, at first, it looked that in sang was rushing forward full speed with the divorce , discarding his love and the woman he loved (and his child i must add), including all her possessions in the house (filling up boxes of her clothes to donate – disgusting!!!), sending her the ID and his stamp to change her place of residence… it just seemed so bizarre, so heartless, so not like in sang we saw before – i was unapologetically furious with him, thinking that it seemed like the apple does not fall far from the tree, and in sang is turning to be like a mini-jung-ho.
and then we saw, that it was all concocted by bom – so self-centered, so ego driven, without even a consideration for her parents or her child. refusing any alimony or child support (really, child support?!) – it’s all good and fine, to have strong principles, but when it comes to feeding your child, not even having enough for the formula for the baby, somehow her principles should have beeen reconsidered in light of the situation. she says, in sang has no income. first of all, he has stocks and what not in his name, and second, he can go to work and come up with the child support, like many other dads do.
we all said she’s sharp, and smart, where did this all go? and i understand they are young, but she has a child now, and has responsibility which seems she’s not taking very seriously. even her mother will now have to get a part time job at a restaurant, to help support bom and the child. does she give any consideration to her parents, when she refuses to take child support, but expects her parents to support them. something is really wrong with this picture.
and i am not even talking about reconciliation with the man she supposedly loves and the father of her child, this does not even enter her consciousness. they were a team, and a very solid one at that, but she is not willing to budge from her principles, right or wrong, and sit down and find a solution. to me, bom’s behavior is extremely disappointing.
in sang on the other hand is not giving up, and i commend him for his efforts. will he be successful? but at least he’s trying.
I agree. It was painful to watch.
But I also agree with the writers who made Bom and In Sang break up. They both needed a jolt.
Otherwise they would’ve gotten stuck with in sang’s family forever.
It’s like a swamp or quicksand. They would’ve gotten used to and normalized one thing, then another, then another.
All that plotting, playing power games, being waited on hand and foot, etc… Before you know it, they’d become in sang’s parents.
And it makes sense that bom initiated the break up: she is pretty quick to make decisions (even when she is wrong), and the consequences be damned!
you certainly have a point.
But I also agree with the writers who made Bom and In Sang break up. They both needed a jolt.
i usually look at the entirety of a drama, i mean production, story, acting, directing, casting, lighting, photography, costumes… and on and on. but i somehow never or almost never try to get into the writers’ heads, which you ALWAYS do. i somehow think that it is more important what we as viewers and many times “active participants'” in the events of dramas, perceive and interpret whatever we watch and the ways the director or the entire production achieves it here or there. (and that is the value of this blog for me). but we discussed it before. with time, following your comments, i did learn to appreciate your extensive, very detailed “mind picking” of the writers or directors… (you trained me well!) and right now, pointing out the possibility of a necessary “jolt” in our drama, it is not only interesting from this perspective (which i never thought about), but it’s a very valid and important way of looking at it, and i think you are right.
i am still worried though of how would they proceed with life, without having any means for continuing education and supporting themselves. that might be super tough. how would they adjust to poverty. i think they should have thought of a way to out smart the “monsters” – which they failed to do (and which would have required cooperation and discussions with each other). it would have been more satisfactory to me if the writers would have come up with something like this.
but they definitely needed to wake up.
And it makes sense that bom initiated the break up: she is pretty quick to make decisions (even when she is wrong), and the consequences be damned!
that is not a very admirable feature of her character. throwing everything away is a blow up, a temper tantrum, or simply a hissy fit. usually in situations like this, no good result can be achieved. bom is capable of more, but did not use it.
one more thing that i didn’t mention, but it does seem important. the way bom orchestrated the split up is actually exactly the way in sang’s parents planed it, they succeeded to drive her away, cause her to throw out everything and most important – cut in sang off, throwing him back into the lap of his evil parents. mission accomplished, complete victory for team jung ho. she did exactly what was expected of her. if this is NOT complete defeat for bom, then what is? and it does not matter how this will develop in the future, the pain will stay. things like this leave permanent damage, so that is why i would think of a different solution by the writers of how to go about this problem. up till now the drama elevated bom up to the sky, why this cruel fall, with no control and reason?
and you are probably right that the writers wanted to emphasize the “jolt” in this way, i just have a problem with their way.
im replying to the both comments.
i usually look at the entirety of a drama, i mean production, story, acting, directing, casting, lighting, photography, costumes… and on and on.
I believe I do too. But I also can’t help noticing/evaluating the input of individual members of the creative team.
I guess I can’t forget that I’m watching a show, a work of art, a product of someone’s imagination, life experiences and, of course, the talent.
i think they should have thought of a way to outsmart the “monsters”. it would have been more satisfactory to me if the writers would have come up with something like this.
Honestly, I don’t see how Bom and In sang could’ve outsmarted the parents without compromising their values. Outsmarting those monsters would require adapting and perfecting their methods, and quite possibly becoming the monsters themselves.
Actually, I don’t see how bom/in sang could have outsmarted his parents, period.
They are too young, and the parents have had a lifetime experience of being a**h**s and s** b**s.
Bom is very smart academically, but she is a daughter of her parents, after all. I think she lacks an ability to jump at any opportunity and that killer instinct.
she did exactly what was expected of her. if this is NOT complete defeat for bom, then what is?
The show isn’t over. We need to wait and see what’s going to happen next.
But for now, i wouldn’t call it a complete defeat. Bom wanted out of that suffocating house, so she got out. It’s now up to In sang to decide what he wants to do.
Also, let’s consider the opposite for a minute: Bom, staying and living the life she didn’t want for the sake of getting control over the money in some distant future. Would that be a win?
In “Because this is my first life”, FL said that she didn’t want to live her married life, constantly tricking her husband into doing something she wanted. (I saw that show a long time ago, and that’s how I remember it).
I guess Bom felt the same.
By the way, one of the things I like about this show is that the characters stay true to themselves.
We all love to see character development, but if we were realistic, we’d have to admit that people don’t change that much in real life.
So when they are confronted by different and very often unexpected life circumstances, their response is greatly influenced by their nature, their personalities.
On the other hand, I’d like to know how all of the evil parents’ children (without exception!) ended up being very decent people. I mean in sang, his sister, the girl that liked in sang.
Maybe the evilness skips a generation?
Or the writers wanted to send a message that being *** ruins families, so they gave the evil parents children who hate them.
i am still worried though of how would they proceed with life…
Poor people have children too, you know.
Of course, in Bom’s case we are more upset because of a missed opportunity (in sang’s parents happen to be very wealthy).
But that money comes at too high a cost for the young couple, so it might not look like an opportunity to them at all…
that is not a very admirable feature of her character. throwing everything away
Yep. Actually, for some reason I don’t like Bom very much in general. I like in sang better.
i hear your arguments. and yet i think they could have pulled it off. (after all we are in a drama land).
in one of the dramas a character tells another one: “revenge is better served cold” – meaning it needs patience and wait for the right time. i think may be they should have played along, study for the exam, and it was only for a year (not the whole life) after that they could have gone abroad and study there. the idea is to USE those parents and then when they achieve their goals, dump the parents.
Actually, for some reason I don’t like Bom very much in general. I like in sang better.
after that they could have gone abroad and study there. the idea is to USE those parents and then when they achieve their goals, dump the parents.
Who is supposed to pay for all that studying abroad? The evil parents? What if in return for the money they demanded that their grandchild stayed with them in Korea while Bom and In Sang studied abroad? Or what if the young couple needed help with something else? It would never end.
People such as in sang’s parents don’t give up power and control voluntarily.
Have you seen Gilmore Girls? If yes, do you remember those dinners at the Lorelai parents’ house?
Ok, if in sang’s parents were some intellectually mediocre people, living off their inherited money, I’d be more inclined to agree with you.
The way I see it, the only way Bom and In sang could stay in the evil parents’ good graces was to accept and adopt their way of life.
They could’ve done that, but then they would be different people in a different show.
There is another thing. Is there really a guarantee that Bom will become a successful attorney or a politician? I’m not sure. As I already said, in my opinion, she lacks that killer instinct. She flies.
Who is supposed to pay for all that studying abroad?
the evil parents of course. if they play it right, just for one year, and fool the parents that bom is this “good submissive” girl, smart but obedient (after all she already proved that she can totally play the game by becoming the “little madam”, and when something was a mistake in her calculation – like with secretary lee, kneeling in front of her – she quickly changes course and remedies the situation.)i believe she could have played the game, with a little patience and looking forward.
of course, her uncle is the sticky point, but she could have said that she does not agree with him and he does not listen to her.
i did not see gilmore girls.
Is there really a guarantee that Bom will become a successful attorney or a politician?
there are no guarantees for anything ever, there are different choices available to people, sometimes it can be a right choice, and sometimes not. but at some points choices must be made, there is no choice in that. in my opinion she did the wrong choice, without thinking.
could they end up being the parents’ puppets and then become like them? again, in my opinion, very slim possibility, simply their personalities do not fit in this frame. of course, everything can happen.
I agree with you that it wasn’t wise to run away and give up in sang’s family money. I do. And you are right: anything is possible and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen.
But here are two things that make Bom’s winning difficult (in my opinion):
Firstly, you say that you wish Bom behaved differently for one year. She should’ve demonstrated more wisdom, more patience. She should’ve been more conniving.
But what you are really saying is that you wish she were a different person. A more patient, a more conniving and a much wiser person. But I don’t think she is that person.
And maybe it’s one of the reasons in sang fell in love with her: he had enough of that at home.
Yes, Bom did remedy the situation with secretary Lee. But in sang’s parents are in a different league.
And there is something else.
I suspect you underestimate how personal this situation is to in sang’s parents.
Yes, Bom is bright, and all that. But they hate her. HATE her! Because she killed their dream.
In sang was supposed to study, have a successful career and then meet and marry a girl from a very, very rich and a very, very influential family. He was supposed to “marry up”. And they, as his parents, would become a part of that rich, influential family.
That was the dream.
Now, the reality is some regularly looking girl from a trashy family, who saddled In Sang with a baby at such a young age.
In An American Tragedy the main character kills his pregnant girlfriend so he can marry a girl from a rich family.
Of course, In Sang would never do that. But I bet his parents fantasized about doing something like that.
Do you think those control freaks will tell Bom:”Thank you for being submissive for a year. Now we’ll gladly pay for your education abroad and let you do there whatever you want”?
On the other hand, I might be wrong. She could’ve fooled them.
But what you are really saying is that you wish she were a different person.
not at all. she already proved that she’s capable to control her behavior, with a great effort, that’s a given. but she CAN…especially with in sang standing beside her and encouraging her. so it is not a different person, but a person who has a will (even that she’s that young) and is in charge of her own self. i saw it in her up till now, (we all praised her for that to high heavens) when she basically capitulated, giving up on her love, her husband, her DREAM (going abroad to study and gain true power – does not mean power like in sang’s dad).
But in sang’s parents are in a different league.
agree. and yet, she did succeed to make them appreciate her intelligence (in sang’s mom even went around bragging about it to her friends). is she would pass the bar exam, they would view her as an asset, (at that point she would be even their pride and a show of to their friends) a future lawyer for the business. by succeeding in her studies, she would earn their support and trust (with proper behavior of course), and they would see value in sending her to study further, for their own interest.
i do not believe that they would even imagine that becoming a lawyer she would be a different kind of lawyer and retaliate. but that’s exactly what she would do!
I have a feeling we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Again.
she already proved that she’s capable to control her behavior.
Yes, but not for long. It’s like winning in a chess tournament. You definitely need to know how to play chess. You need to have a talent.
But it’s not enough.
You also need to have great mental, emotional strength. You have to be able to endure. And mental, emotional fatigue is more difficult to handle than physical fatigue.
in sang’s mom even went around bragging about it to her friends
Of course she is bragging about Bom’s academic achievements: she is grasping at straws. What else was she supposed to say?
Do you really expect her to publicly admit to her “friends” what everyone already knows: her son, who is still in high school, slept with some girl from a trashy family, got her pregnant and then married her pretty much under the gun?
I believe it’s called putting lipstick on a pig.
i do not necessarily think that we are disagreeing. i think it can go either way, so i do accept your premise, allowing the possibility that it might turn out the other way.
so we are good here.
She said, I’m sorry, baby, I’m leaving you tonight
I found someone new, he’s waitin’ in the car outside
Ah honey, how could you do it
We swore each other everlasting love
She said, well yeah, I know, but when we did
There was one thing we weren’t really thinking of and that’s money
Money changes everything
And certainly the effect of money on Bom and In Sang’s relationship, or what’s left of it at this point, has come home to roost. Jin Ae definitely had it right on how everyone is reacting from their own corner and I’m struck by how the two fathers’ reactions are driven by their own pasts. So of course Bom’s dad is worried about how Bom & Baby will get by – he’s had to worry about money his entire life. And In Sang’s dad naturally assumes that everyone around him will bend over backwards to suit his wishes – that’s the way it has apparently always been.
I was a little surprised by the tone that Sec’y Yang took with Jung Ho in E26, but then it hit me when she mentioned the orders given by Jung Ho’s father. It seems as though she thinks of herself as above the fray and an integral part of the Han firmament, which is also consistent with whatever confusing games she is playing with certain financial accounts.
I did not like the direction that whole kiss scene was going and it stopped just sort of my getting off of In Sang’s side altogether.
Finally, a little shout out to the costume team in outfitting Yi-ji with a top ironically bearing the word “lucky” on it. I don’t know if it was deliberate but it sure was delicious.
I agree, the day-to-day uncoupling of a relationship – who gets this, when should that happen, etc. – is so painful to watch. And though Bom and In Sang have been such a solid couple until now, they do have irreconcilable values-driven differences at this point, which makes their situation feel a little hopeless. 😢 Maybe the scheme In Sang is hatching to divorce and get back together will work? Not sure how…
In the meantime, our beloved pair will be doing even more rapid growing up in the weeks and months ahead, it seems. I just want them to be able to head off to study abroad, Jin Young in tow, to learn and explore to their hearts’ content. What a delightful dream that was.
Show is doubling down on the theme of times are a’changing. Really curious how that will play out for Yeon Hee and Jung Ho, on every level. It’s really satisfying to see everyone not caring as much about being part of the Han machine, as Secretary Yang puts it.
Watching these episodes, I kept thinking our couple must have some secret plan or stratagem. I was all like “but they’re just doing this as a pretense, right? RIGHT?!” As it started to dawn that they certainly seemed to be serious about splitting up, it was like, a real bummer, you know?
Meanwhile, Jung-ho and Yeon-hee continue to descend into greater and greater unlikeability and self-parody, less and less worthy of any sort of respect. No wonder Yi-ji is like, screw this, I’m outta here.
I had the same experience watching the split! I thought they were possibly just pretending, but then.. it looked more and more serious, which then became really sad. 😩