The theme of the wicked mother-in-law continues in full force, affecting every family in the series…or so it seems. Other than that tiresome plot device, I found the rest of the episode enjoyable, especially as we start the episode with Se Yoon and Chae Won and end with those two. As for the wicked mother-in-law, I’m really really going to enjoy the moment when she realizes that she has not only ruined her son’s life, but also her daughter’s life. You’ll see what I mean in just a moment. Enjoy!
Video link: here
Episode 3: The episode picks up with Chae Won in the new hospital, thinking that Se Yoon is her husband. He denies it and then calls his sunbae at Chae Won’s previous hospital to inquire about a runaway/lost patient. Then, when he tries to leave, Chae Won begs him to stay with her. In an attempt to humor her, he agrees to take her to “their” home and instead drives her back to her old hospital.
At the sight of the hospital, though, even though she doesn’t remember her identity or her past, she cowers in fear and clings to Se Yoon’s arm for dear life. At a loss for what to do, Se Yoon decides to take her to his sunbae’s house nearby for the time being. As he drives away, one of the mother-in-law’s lackeys phones in and reports the new development. Intrigued, the mother-in-law tells him to trail the couple and take pictures/videos. Uh-oh.
At Chae Won’s grandparents’, the grandparents tell their children to drive back to Seoul safely. However, when they eventually tell the patriarch that they don’t want to celebrate the noodle store’s 100th anniversary, especially since the factory is going to be shutting down soon since none of them want to take over the business, the grandfather angrily commands all of them to change into work clothes and meet him in the noodle factory. Heh. He reminds them that they wouldn’t be where they’re at now if it weren’t for the noodle factory and the hard work of their ancestors. What ensues is hours of hard labor and some hilarious noodle disasters as the errant children reluctantly comply with their father’s demands.
Nearby, Yang Choon Hee unexpectedly receives a visitor and has her ramen/dinner eaten by the odious man. Poor Choon Hee.
As for Chae Won and Se Yoon, it turns out that the sunbae and his family had to drive to Seoul due to a family emergency–grandfather is sick…how convenient, huh?–and so, Se Yoon decides to stay with Chae Won until they can go to the police station the next morning. It’s during this conversation that he calls her an “empty can,” a moniker that she vehemently dislikes, reminding him that she’s an amnesiac, not a half-wit.
As Se Yoon helps Chae Won back into the house after their conversation, the Wicked Witch’s minion stands outside the house, taking pictures/videos.
The next morning, Chul Gyu and his reluctant mother arrive at the police station. Chul Gyu, now intent on saving his marriage to “his Chae Won,” vows to protect Chae Won from now on and be the husband that he should have been in the first place. As they prepare to take Chae Won with them, Se Yoon notices that she doesn’t recognize them and belatedly remembers their conversation in the bathroom in which Chae Won urged him to lend her his phone because she had been involuntarily incarcerated in the mental hospital. Asking for verification that they are, indeed, her family, Se Yoon lets her leave with them against his better judgment. How could he not when the Wicked Witch showed him Chae Won’s wedding picture?
On the drive back, Chul Gyu promises a still disoriented Chae Won that he’ll take really good care of her from now on while his mother barely holds back her irritation. When they arrive in Seoul and have Chae Won medically evaluated, the doctor determines that the amnesia is due to severe emotional and psychological trauma and that her memory will eventually come back. When it will, no one knows.
While waiting for Se Yoon to return from seeing his sunbae, the mother reveals to her husband that the mere thought of meeting his mother in the afterlife makes her want to hang on to life on earth so that she doesn’t have to face her. Even now, though she is no longer alive, the thought of his mother sends her heart and pulse racing. Aw…perhaps she’ll be a nice mother-in-law to Chae Won then…perhaps?
Meanwhile, we learn that Se Yoon’s mother and Yang Choon Hee (the woman Se Yoon met on the plane) are somehow connected. Choon Hee comes to Se Yoon’s father’s company to try to get in touch with Se Yoon’s mother. In panic, Se Yoon’s mother tells her secretary that she doesn’t know such a person and to not give out her personal phone number.
Choon Hee leaves empty-handed, but not before revealing to the viewers that she’s been away for 30 years and that she and Se Yoon’s mother share some “unforgettable” connection. Hmmm…sounds ominous, especially given Se Yoon’s mother’s reaction.
Settled back at home, the grandfather’s third child–Ki Choon, the slacker–sleeps away the morning after having labored in his father’s noodle shop the night before. His ex-wife comes in to wake him up and tells him to clean the house for a real estate agent who is going to be showing their house to some potential buyers. When he complains that he didn’t get that much sleep, she reminds him that she was right there alongside him, and she still went to work this morning…without any sleep. In the tussle to wake him, she falls, and her ex-husband attempts to seduce her…to some sad results.
She physically intimidates him into listening to her. And the irony? His “Mr. Happy” shirt only serves to underscore how very unhappy he is right now. Awww….
As for the grandfather’s fourth and youngest child, Ki Ok, she continues to run into her nemesis (Kang Jin), who has been hired to work with her in teaching the local women classical music at a music academy.
With the doctor advising that Chae Won get as much rest and quiet as possible, Chul Gyu prepares to move out of his mother’s house. Of course, we know how that decision is received. The mother throws a hissy fit and takes to her bed while Chae Won tries to get her husband to apologize to his mother. Ugh…so close! Chul Gyu knows that in order to have a shot at happiness with Chae Won, he needs to move out of his mother’s house, but of course, he gets manipulated once again by her theatrics. Ugh.
Meanwhile, Se Yoon goes to pay his respects to his deceased fiancee, Eun Seol, and apologizes for taking so long to visit her.
He’s not there for very long when Chul Gyu’s younger sister Joo Ree comes in with flowers of her own to pay her “respects” to Eun Seol, a girl that she didn’t know very well but one whom “she misses a lot.” Ugh. The reality is that she had been staking out the place for the past few days in the hopes of seeing Se Yoon there. So low to use a dead fiancee as a means to get closer to the guy. Talk about a stalker! She’s not as bad as her mother, but then again, she doesn’t do anything even though she knows her mother has forced Chae Won into a psychiatric ward.
Wicked Witch continues her scheme to keep her son close to her and separate him from his wife by pretending to apologize to Chae Won and promising to treat her now as a daughter instead of as a daughter-in-law. Since Chae Won doesn’t remember anything from the past, she foolishly believes everything at face value…as does her spineless and gullible husband.
When they walk back to their bedroom, he kneels before her and promises to turn over a new leaf and be a loving and good husband to her. However, change like that is harder to achieve, and when Chae Won asks him why she was in that city, he lies and tells her that she was visiting a family friend’s vacation home. When Chae Won tries to remember, her head starts to ache again, and Chul Gyu hugs her and tells her not to strain herself; her memories will come when they’re ready.
As Chae Won struggles to regain her memory, her father has a different struggle of his own. When he goes to fix the electricity of Choon Hee’s new cafe/bar, he stumbles over a metal box and into her arms. At the physical contact, his heart starts to pound, giving him a fright (rabbit eyes!). He continues to be on his guard even after the electricity’s been fixed and she offers him a drink as a thank-you. However, when his mother-in-law calls to see when he’ll be home so that she can prepare dinner, he pretends that he’s on the phone with his wife and leaves the bar in a hurry. Pfffft. Silly man!
As for the Wicked Witch, she forces herself to get up and eat some of the food that Chae Won brought her. If she plans to win and kick Chae Won out of their lives forever, she reasons that she needs to regain her strength. *heavy sigh* This woman is sheer spite. *shaking head*
Meanwhile, she doesn’t realize that the plan she’s about to hatch is going to ruin her daughter’s chances of snaring her “Korea’s #1 bachelor” as a husband. Joo Ree had convinced Se Yoon to have dinner with her after visiting Eun Seol’s memorial, and the Wicked Witch interrupts their dinner with a phone call to Se Yoon, insisting that he meet her and her daughter-in-law for a meal the next day. She wants to thank him for all his help. Se Yoon tries to politely decline several times but to no avail. Eventually, he agrees to meet them for that thank-you meal.
Completely unaware of her mother-in-law’s latest scheme, Chae Won looks out pensively while her husband sleeps. She’s still bothered by a sense that all is not right and that she can’t remember anything about her life. What trauma did she have to endure to make her mind not want to remember anything?
The next day, the Wicked Witch tells Chae Won to go ahead into the hotel’s restaurant while she uses the restroom. Then, she orders two kiwi drinks, knowing full well that Chae Won is allergic to kiwis. When Se Yoon arrives, Chae Won is obviously surprised, and Se Yoon doesn’t think much about the fact that she didn’t know he was coming, including when the Wicked Witch sends a message via the waiter that she had to leave unexpectedly due to an emergency at work. Uncomfortable with Se Yoon, Chae Won tries to leave before lunch is served, but Se Yoon gruffly reminds her that he came all this way because her mother-in-law insisted on buying him a meal. As compensation for his time and efforts, he plans on having said meal.
Unfortunately, their lunch does not pass without crisis as Chae Won’s allergies to the kiwi kick in during the meal, and she has difficulty breathing. Alarmed, Se Yoon helps her out of the hotel and into his car before racing to the nearest hospital. Neither of them are aware of the Wicked Witch’s lackey, who hides and takes incriminating pictures of them leaving the hotel together, Se Yoon’s arms protectively around Chae Won’s shoulders.
Musings: Ugh…the Wicked Witch and her schemes are in full force! I’m holding on–just barely–because I fully expect the Wicked Witch to get her comeuppance. You hear me, show? She had better fully get her comeuppance. Seriously, if it’s a repeat of A Thousand Kisses in which the evil people do not get their just punishment, I will be howling my extreme irritation over the writing.
OK, having gotten that out of my system–and I promise I’ll try to keep that blood-thirsty desire for vengeance to a minimum from here on–I am staying engaged in the show because of the chemistry between Chae Won and Se Yoon. What makes this relationship work–yes, in spite of the hackneyed amnesia device–is Lee Jung Jin’s gruff portrayal of Se Yoon. It’s a realistic depiction of a man still haunted by his deceased fiancee’s death and definitely not interested in another relationship in which his heart would be vulnerable again. And Chae Won seems to be able to elicit a response from him other than aloofness. He starts to care for her welfare. Had she stayed in his company a bit longer, Chul Gyu could have had a fight on his hands. Heh.
One interesting aspect of this show is that the mother-in-laws in this particular drama seem to delight in objecting to their son’s chosen mates. We see Chul Gyu’s crazy mother make Chae Won’s life M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E, Se Yoon’s doting mother object to Eun Seol, and now we learn that Se Yoon’s mother had to deal with a crazy mother-in-law of her own, whose mere memory still sends her heart and pulse racing in stress and fear. Hmm…so far, I’m not too annoyed by the constant mother-in-law harping, but then again, we’re only on episode 3. I’m hoping the writer moves past this soon and onto meatier character development and conflict; otherwise, this little twinkie may resort to howling…sooner rather than later. 😉
Jules is going to be lending a hand in the recaps from here on out, so you can look forward to more HYI recaps on this blog in the weeks to come. Our hope? That we’ll be able to actually recap until the very last episode. Here’s hoping! 🙂