Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! This little family reunion is such a sight for sore eyes, which is why it’s headlining our post today. 🥰 Just one more week, you guys!
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! ❤️
As I’d more or less expected at the end of our last episode, all the various bumps in the road, with people choosing to defy him instead of walk on eggshells around him, puts Jung Ho into a Very Black Mood.
But, as also can be expected, this doesn’t lead him to do any sort of self-reflection. Far from it.
Instead, he rants to Yeon Hee about how it all comes down to money, and these righteous-sounding people who object to slush funds and the like, only really want to get some of the very money that they’re protesting against.
Well. I suppose that’s one way of rationalizing it, in order to avoid putting blame on himself..?
At any rate, just like what Teacher Park says, Jung Ho just does whatever he wants, particularly when he’s in one of his emotional states.
It’s almost like the kind of sageuk situation where people are afraid of the King going insane, because he’d be unstable and unpredictable, while holding absolute power.
It kinda-sorta feels similar here, with all the household staff tiptoeing on eggshells now, and not just walking on them, because they have no idea what Irate Jung Ho might do next, and if they might just end up being in the line of fire.
I must say, the person who surprised me the most, this episode, was Hyun Soo.
All this time, Hyun Soo’s struck me as being more trouble than she’s worth, particularly during the season when she wouldn’t leave In Sang alone, because she couldn’t shake her crush on him, despite knowing that he was married.
But this episode, Hyun Soo actually does not one, but two things that seem to be in support of In Sang and Bom.
First, I’m surprised that she would seek Bom out at the convenience store where Bom’s starting working night shifts.
This is Hyun Soo really going out of her way, isn’t it, since she doesn’t live anywhere near Bom’s neighborhood, and she’s never actually been close to Bom in any way.
And yet, she goes there, to sit and talk with Bom, to tell her that she feels sorry for In Sang, with everything that’s going on.
And then, later in the episode, there’s the way Hyun Soo pretends to go along with Young Ra and Yeon Hee’s, matchmaking plan – only so that she can flatly tell Yeon Hee to her face that she is absolutely not interested in living with her.
Wow. I mean, this is considered rude, certainly, but I can’t help cheering on the inside, that someone’s willing to put aside all the fake niceties, and just be blunt with Yeon Hee.
I never thought I’d say this, but Hyun Soo’s my MVP, this episode. 😅
As for In Sang, even though he’s going through the motions of the divorce, and complying with his parents’ wishes, it’s clear that he still misses Bom and cares about her.
The way he mopes at the river, thinking about what Bom had said to him about only being capable of dipping his feet into the water, does indicate that he’s wrestling with some questions of self-identity, I think.
And, even though he gets outwitted by Jung Ho (darn Jung Ho!), In Sang really does do his best to ensure that the divorce conditions protect Bom and her desire for custody of Jin Young.
In fact, Jung Ho seems to make it his mission, this episode, to outwit and corner as many people as possible.
First, with In Sang and Bom’s divorce papers, and then with the settlement papers for Secretary Min’s brother, and beyond that, an attempt to buy Hyeong Sik’s loyalties with the offer of a big sum of money.
Seriously. Secretary Min’s brother is comatose; did they really think that anyone would actually buy the idea that he’d signed the settlement papers with his own hands?
No wonder Secretary Min is so upset, and no wonder she basically openly declares war on Jung Ho.
On that point, though, I do think that Show’s making a valid point, that it’s exhausting and draining on family members and caregivers, in cases like these, where they’re in a long fight for their rights.
It’s been years that Secretary Min’s brother has been in a coma, and therefore Mom has been caring for him for years as well, while dealing with lawsuits and investigations. I can’t actually blame her too much, for deciding to accept that settlement, in a moment of weakness.
Also, after seeing Secretary Min be so calm and unruffled for so long, it was rather startling for me, to see her cry like that, while alone in the hospital washroom. She really must have bottled up so much, over all these years, poor thing. 😥
I also feel bad for Hyeong Sik, who finds himself in conflicted over the offer of money via Secretary Yang.
On a different note, I have to say, as much as I roll my eyes at Jung Ho’s ridiculousness so much of the time, he really plays in the big leagues.
I mean, to solve his problem of potentially having his slush funds exposed, he’s going to take down the Prime Minister (by framing him, using his son Jae Won, it looks like?) and put a new Prime Minister in his place?
Wow. That’s.. not how most people solve their problems, that’s for sure. He really is quite the kingmaker, in that sense, isn’t he?
But also, I guess that’s also why he’s so full of himself; he probably literally sees himself as being above the Prime Minister, yes?
I feel really bad for Bom, when the divorce papers are delivered, and she sees the addendum that Jung Ho’s added.
Our Bom is sharp enough to realize right away, that the addendum is there to pave the way for Jung Ho and Yeon Hee to take back Jin Young, when they see fit. I don’t blame her for getting so upset.
I’m so glad that Jin Ae’s there to be the soothing voice of reason, when Bom needs it most.
I like that Jin Ae doesn’t blame In Sang, and even tries to get Bom to see his difficulties, saying that it’s hard for him to escape from the shadow of his parents.
At the same time, I like how Jin Ae encourages Bom not to lose heart, and says that she will do the same as well. Aw. I love Jin Ae so much. ❤️
In the morning, though, when In Sang seeks out Bom after her shift at the convenience store, and asks her to give in, because he’s been sooo good for never having looked down on her family, or showed off his wealth in front of her, I cringed.
That sounds like such an entitled thing to say.
And also, the fact that In Sang thinks he’s done well by not looking down on her family, indicates that deep down, he thinks that her family deserves to be looked down upon. That’s why he did such a good job by NOT doing it. Ugh.
It’s no wonder Bom shoots him that disgusted look, before walking off. I hate to say it, but you deserved that one, In Sang. 😏
Well, it does look like In Sang needs to sink to the lowest low, before he starts coming out of his funk.
I mean, just look at the text that he sends Jin Ae, after his foot-in-mouth meeting with Bom. The nerve of him, to ask Jin Ae to kick Bom out, along with Jin Young, so that she’d have no choice but to go back to him.
Gah. That’s a really horrible request, and I have to admit that I’m sorely disappointed in In Sang for even attempting this.
But, I will rationalize that he’s really that desperate to be with Bom again, that he’d try anything, even if it’s something of a jerk move like this.
I’m glad that Jin Ae doesn’t budge, and I have to say, I’m impressed that she takes it so calmly, even. She really is a saint.
Previously, I’d wondered at In Sang’s plan of divorcing Bom, then remarrying her, in that I’d been unable to see how that would actually help in any way. This episode, it becomes clear.
In Sang’s plan had been to divorce her and thereby get his inheritance – and then marry her again, with inheritance in hand, so that he’d be able to have his cake and eat it, too.
I suppose that’s good in theory, but as it turns out this episode, it’s also a pretty naive way of approaching things, since, as we’re reminded this episode, it will become a problem, that In Sang’s inheritance was made via a whole bunch of illegal means.
This episode, I’m glad for Je Hoon, who candidly sets In Sang straight about what was so wrong about what he’s said to Bom. I’m mollified to see that in response, we do see a flash of contrition on In Sang’s face.
I also appreciate In Sang’s honesty, in admitting that he doesn’t think he can live on two million won a month, as much as I appreciate Je Hoon throwing it right back at In Sang, saying that all he has to do is just try it.
I do credit Je Hoon for probably being the one to give In Sang the push he’d needed, so that he ends up going to Bom’s family home like he does, later this episode.
In other news, it does seem like the stress of the family situation is getting to Yeon Hee, since she’s apparently hearing music from Jin Young’s toys, when it’s not actually moving.
I’m glad, though, Secretary Lee gets a chance to visit Bom because of this, on the pretext of giving her all of Jin Young’s toys, on Yeon Hee’s orders.
It’s really so poignant to see that Secretary Lee genuinely misses Bom, and wants to see her.
It’s pretty clear that Secretary Lee is quite affected by the experience, not only because she’s missed Bom, but also, because she feels sorry for Bom, for being in such a situation.
I really appreciate that Secretary Lee is showing so much continued respect for Bom, with the respectful term of address of “Little Madam” and the deep bows, both of which are technically not required of her now.
There’s something touching about the fact that Secretary Lee willingly shows respect for Bom when she doesn’t need to; it shows that Bom really has won Secretary Lee’s heart, and isn’t just arm-twisting her to cooperate with her, like she’d had, at first.
I really liked that, and count that as one of my personal highlights of this episode.
For the record, I don’t think that In Sang had stepped into the river to die, by any means. I think he was walking into the water, just to see what it felt like.
Which is why he’s so spooked, when he loses his footing, and ends up submerged in the water when he hadn’t been expecting it.
I can’t tell whether he’d left the house, already deciding that he was going to “defect” to Bom’s side, or if the fall in the water had done something to trigger it, but I’m actually glad that In Sang makes the decision to go to Bom.
It’s true that there’s a lot of stuff that he’ll need to figure out, and yes, it’s a huge decision, but.. it just feels right, that he’s reunited with his wife and son, and that they should go through any and all hardships together, as an intact unit.
Also, it’s so great to see Bom smile like that, after she hears from In Sang that he’s there because she’d told him to come. Aw. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Bom so happy, so that makes me happy.
I’m somewhat surprised that Jung Ho announces in response to In Sang’s letter, that he’s going to disown In Sang.
Does that mean that he sees that In Sang is serious about this, or does it mean that he’s doing this to intimidate In Sang..? I can’t tell.
I like that as In Sang starts to face the nitty gritty realities of independence from his parents, like how he needs to make money to cover his own expenses, he’s still cheerful and upbeat about it.
He doesn’t seem to mind at all, that there’s no one to wait on him anymore, and he has to work shifts at the convenience store.
I’d say that he’s adjusting way better than Jung Ho and Yeon Hee, who now seem all alone, as their big house gets emptier and emptier.
The question, though, is, will that loneliness be enough to push Jung Ho and Yeon Hee to do things any differently?
first i would like to note, that i enjoy yoo jun sang’s (jung ho) acting enormously, it is just so colorful. i have not seen him before, and so now he’s on my radar – any suggestioons?
now, in sang. i am sorry, but i do not see him in the same light as KFG. in sang did not choose his parents or the house he was born. the guy lives on $30000 a month (i can only vaguely imagine this kind of life, as i have never been even close to something or somebody like this). how can anybody go from $30000 a month to $1500-2000 a month, with a child and a wife and still in school. which means that realistically, if he gives up everything, he and bom and the child will have a very poor existence, for a very long time, or may be for life, as education will be out of reach, and a low paying job would hardly be able to put bread on the table and pay other absolutely necessary expenses. can in sang be happy seeing bom struggling and lacking comfort the way he sees it? i am not sure. but bom is totally evading thoughts about their future. and that is disappointing to me. it is great to have principles, pride and dignity, but what role does it play in a human’s life, when there is not even enough money to buy the baby’s formula, diapers and so on?
obviously, they both still love, care and miss each other. but it almost feels that bom is going against the stream, against herself.
on the other hand, in sang is holding on with all his might to find some kind of fix, solution. and i respect that in him. and he might end up losing it anyway due to dad’s monkey business, but who knows. even if jung ho will have to pay back and even penalties, i think he’s plenty rich, and will not become poor. in sang’s idea is a gamble, no question, but does he have another solution?
it is clear that in sang is at a crucial point in his life, he’s at a fork in the rod, and i really feel for him as his character is being forged in an internal battle.
i can not see another solution, except, as everybody around bom and in sang (especially the meerkats – help in the house, including the teacher who’s pretty smart and educated in law), who are very involved in what’s happening and are totally on the side of the couple, they all advocate for bom coming back, trying to tough it out for a year and then basically get what they want and need for their dream. but bom is stubborn… and not thinking or not willing to think. impulsive.
in regards to:
” And also, the fact that In Sang thinks he’s done well by not looking down on her family, indicates that deep down, he thinks that her family deserves to be looked down upon. That’s why he did such a good job by NOT doing it.” Ugh. -KFG
i see it completely different. a person needs to give to himself a full account of what is bad and what is good in him. i was truly surprised by how in sang, this rich spoiled kid, respected and understood bom as well as her parents. he went along with all their habits, life patterns and so on. this is admirable. i do not think that most guys his age and in his position would be able to accept it and comprehend it just like this. so yes, i do again respect him for that, and i do not see any negative down in his heart that he is aware of it (he’s a smart guy) and conveys it to bom. they are close enough, she should understand it also, and appreciate it. i do not think that he really looked down upon either bom or her family. from his behavior, i conclude that is it quite the opposite.
Eda — I only recently ran into Yoo Jun-sang myself. A couple of other shows where you can see him: he’s almost unrecognizable (compared to his character here) in The Uncanny Counter, a sort of “superhero” show that came out last year and did quite well (they announced a second season). He played one of the group of heroes, and when this show (Grapevine) started, I didn’t even recognize him at first. He’s also appearing in the currently running Alchemy of Souls, as a leader of one of the mage groups. His character there is not nearly as toxic as Jung-ho’s here, but the two characters do share some of the same social cluelessness…
Oh, and I am sorry to say that I don’t entirely agree with your take on In-sang; I tend more towards KFG’s view, and I have been #TeamBom from the beginning. Happily, it looks like the In-sang & Bom streams may once again merge and find unity by the end. Two more episodes to find out…
thank you trent, i’ definitely check out those dramas, but it will have to wait, as i am now stuck big times, stuck on the untamed , that i just finished, and already rewatching and reading the book. i just could not move on to ANYTHING, it this kind of drama for me.
in regards to in sang, i know you were team bom all along. i do not have a team, and sometimes my feelings about characters change. but we all have different sensitivities and drawn to different characters. it is always interesting to see how others perceive things.
True words, true words; it is always interesting to see what other people’s reactions to characters and plot points are.
@ Eda @Trent
I agree with Eda.
Sure, it’s easy to judge In sang and criticize him for his shortcomings.
But I think it’s not so easy to really give up money, comfort, future financial and career certainty and safety.
And in sang wouldn’t be the only one to lose them. His son and his wife would be losing them too.
In sang would also be losing his parents. One gets only one mother and one father, after all.
Also, it’s true that nobody should be looking down on Bom’s parents. They are good, kind people.
However, we need to remember where In sang comes from. He comes from a rich, successful family and self made family.
Hard work and professional success are highly valued in S. Korea. So it wouldn’t be that strange, if in sang looked down on Bom’s family a little. I think even Bom wouldn’t tell her son about her parents: yes, be just like them.
Show is set up for the last couple of episodes, and I credit it that I think it can still go several ways. From the Han house of cards completely toppling, to deux machina intervening to save Jung Ho and Yeon Hee from having to accept any kind of change in their lives (even including the return of In Sang and Seo Bom.)
I guess it will be somewhere in between, with some folks getting a rude (and much poorer, possibly incarcerated) awakening, and some people skating off to “live abroad” until the dust settles.
After all, if Show is a parody/black comedy/satire about privilege and corruption, those things surely still exist in South Korea (and everywhere), and are still protected by powerful people. There seems to always be a way out. So maybe there’ll be some enduring changes in societal structure at Show’s end – simply by the entry of a new generation and growing lower/middle class agency? – and some things will snap back to status quo, after 30 episodes of effort to change them.
Anyway, I appreciate that I’m still engaged with the macro themes of Show, as well as the family dramas embedded in it.
Speaking of which, it was hard to see In Sang wanting to compromise on his commitment to his new-found values, at Bom’s expense. Taking a big step back, though, I can see he is a 19 year old who’s had it all, literally, and I don’t want to be too hard on his struggle to change and be changed.
It reminds me again that a) the young people – Bom and In Sang – are taking on roles and actions that most of the adults in the show can’t/won’t carry, so props. And b) there is a lot of rot under the monied elegance of this clique of elite friends(enemies), exposed, in part, when it’s near impossible to find an unsullied pot of cash that could be used to honestly support Bom and In Sang’s new beginning.
I’m not sure which character said something to the effect, that they didn’t want to support the passing of ill-gained wealth from generation to generation, as it developed a genteel patina along the way. But what an apt description of the quandary.
Also, on a lighter note, I love how it’s implied that In Sang, Bom, and their teenaged-hormones will find it restrictive to live in a small and flimsy house, with the in-laws. If that won’t motivate their efforts to move up and out! 🤣
Amen to shows that leave one wondering to the final week. Having given up prognostication, I’m just a-gonna buckle and see where they take us….