If episode 15 puts us on the crazy train, then episode 16 first pushes us onto the tracks and then proceeds to run us over. Hang onto your hats, kiddos; this is not going to be a smooth journey.
Se Yoon watches as Chae Won is verbally abused by a customer in the fish market. She deals with the situation in her usual conciliatory manner and, though the customer leaves having not bought anything, Chae Won seems perfectly content.
Chul Gyu, meanwhile, is on a steady downward spiral. He drinks and sleeps at work and steadfastly refuses his mother’s matchmaking attempts. He clearly misses Chae Won, but she won’t take his calls and so he decides action is required.
He calls a press conference and announces the company’s decision to give away a very large chunk of money (around $5m), much to his mother’s dismay. She interrupts, saying that although they will be giving some money away, they’ve yet to decide on the amount. The reporters, at first all abuzz with the news, leave, disgruntled.
Choon Hee comforts Hyo Dong, who believes he’s been a bad father for not seeing his child’s pain, and he compliments her inner strength. Into this peaceful moment storms Kang Sook, who demands payment for keeping quiet about their relationship. Choon Hee merely sighs and hands clothing and jewellery from her own closet. These people, I swear.
Se Yoon watches Chae Won on her long walk home, driving a step behind her like a creeper. Why couldn’t you just have offered her a lift, like a regular person?
Upset over Chae Won’s ill-treatment at the hands of her ex’s family, Grandma has taken to her bed. Grandpa wonders if Chae Won really doesn’t want to take over the noodle factory. She deflects, instead saying that someone more senior should inherit. Wait, so is she saying she does want to, but would rather not risk further family discord? Hm.
When Se Yoon returns home, it’s to an uncomfortable sight: Joo Ri has once again dropped by unannounced. He makes his displeasure known and she slips into his bedroom to ask if he’s that upset to see her. He isn’t, exactly, but his heart hasn’t caught up to his head and he asks for more time. Having little choice in the matter, she agrees, but with a warning: she wants a fast decision, as she’s waited for him for three years and it’s become tiring. Er, when did your one-sided crush become his responsibility?
Back at the Bang homestead, Chul Gyu is staging a further mini-rebellion, by bringing home bar girls as marriage prospects. Predictably, the witch hits the roof and, when a curious Joo Ri wonders at his phrasing (he speaks of his “fraudulent divorce”), she brushes it off as Chul Gyu not being in his right mind.
Chae Won stays up late preparing her resume (she’s apparently now a qualified nutritionist – seriously, how much time passed between episodes 14 and 15?), while Se Yoon lies in bed thinking of her. Um, not like *that* (I don’t think).
The next day, Chae Won and Choon Hee meet; Chae Won thanks her for her help and seems to approve of the match between Choon Hee and Hyo Dong, which is a nice change of pace. She ignores Chul Gyu’s calls, and his increasingly desperate-sounding messages.
Se Yoon seeks her out at the supermarket, but rather than tell him it’s her new workplace, she lies and says she’s shopping. And it isn’t the last lie she spins, either, as when they meet for coffee on her lunch break, she claims to be happily married to Chul Gyu and planning their emigration. He knows the truth and is clearly irritated by her continued deception, but chooses not to call her out on it.
When talk turns to his girlfriend – she referring to Joo Ri and he to Eun Seol, his dead love – he jokes that it almost sounds as though she’s met the other woman, which is an impossibility as she’s travelled “somewhere very far”.
He watches her leave with a wistful expression, then realises she’s left her resume behind, which she’ll surely need if she’s going to an interview.
One of the Chae Won’s supermarket co-workers hears Chae Won’s ringing phone from within her locker and, thinking she’s doing her a favour, answers it. Chul Gyu’s on the other end of the line and she makes the mistake of telling him where Chae Won now works.
He dashes out the front door, dressed in his snazzy suit (which his mother assumes is for the benefit of his matseon), to find Chae Won. So she turns her attention to her second child, wondering why she’s yet to meet Se Yoon. Joo Ri insists that all’s well in her relationship but won’t tell her mother any more than that – including Se Yoon’s name – for fear that her mother will ruin it (which is not un unfair assumption, really).
Kang Jin hears of Grandma’s ailment and decides to offer his help, but in Do Hee’s eyes, this takes on a sinister edge and she assumes he’s attempting to con Grandma out of the big inheritance. She apprises the others of the situation and hot-tempered Ki Choon goes after him, fists a-swinging. They fight and just when you think things have calmed down, Ki Choon accidentally breaks Kang Jin’s arm. Oopsie?
At the supermarket, Chae Won can’t find her resume but puts that worry aside to calm a difficult customer. She can’t placate her and the woman demands to see the manager. In walks Chul Gyu, who rebukes the customer before dragging Chae Won out of the store and forcing her into his car. When she demands to know where he’s taking her, he replies, starkly, “To the end of the earth”.
Chul Gyu kidnaps Chae Won and when she tries to call for help, he throws her mobile phone (including the cute accessory Se Yoon had bought for her, aww) out the window and declares he’s going to see this to the end. Well, that sounds ominous.
Se Yoon has been trying to contact Chae Won, ostensibly because he has her resume in his hot little hands and not at all because he wants an excuse to see her again. He thinks back to their earlier coffee shop conversation about emigrating and wonders why she lied to him.
In one of the nine circles of hell, Joo Ri and the witch are shoe shopping and run into Se Yoon’s mother. This is worrisome for Joo Ri, as she fears her mother will somehow ruin her chances with Se Yoon, but the two mothers seem to get on well enough, even agreeing that they should try to give their children a little push, or they’ll never get married.
With the first meeting over, the witch rejoices; Se Yoon is, indeed, a quality match. She’s less excited to discover that Chul Gyu has blown off his matseon and becomes enraged when he won’t answer his phone.
Back in the car of doom and despair, Chul Gyu freely admits that he knows he’s basically abducted Chae Won, but you know, she wouldn’t take his calls, so what else is a guy to do? When he tells her they’re going to start a new life together, she scoffs derisively and threatens to leap out of the moving car if he won’t stop, but even that doesn’t faze him – if she does, he’ll follow her, because he now has nothing to lose. Yeah, ‘stable’ is not a word I would use to describe Chul Gyu at the moment – or ever, come to think of it.
We rejoin our noodle factory family and find Kang Jin threatening the boys with a visit to the police station – but not because of his broken arm; rather, he claims, it’s his pride that’s been damaged. They hurry to placate him and he blackmails Choon Hee and Hyo Dong into becoming his ‘helpers’.
Over a plate of cut fruit, Sul Joo mentions running into Joo Ri and the witch and, despite Se Yoon’s pleas to slow down, she seems determined to marry him off as soon as possible. But then, she also describes the witch as “nice, honest and compassionate”, so her judgment isn’t exactly stellar.
Chul Gyu and Chae Won arrive at their destination: a remote villa belonging to a friend of his. Attempts to escape are futile, he warns, as there are no neighbours, no buses at this time of night… and it’s winter. Like it or not, she’s going to have to spend the night with him.
So it is that Chae Won finds herself seated in a dark room, while Chul Gyu cuts up vegetables for dinner, armed with his own demented determination and a very sharp knife. He seems to have a brief moment of lucidity, when he allows Chae Won to make a call to her father to let him know all’s okay but sadly, that doesn’t last long and he literally cuts the cord to prevent her for calling for help (!), before promising to make everything better this time around.
Chae Won is incredulous, because they are never getting back together (like, ever) and so, back into the car they go. But not to return to Seoul, oh no; instead, Chul Gyu drives them to the edge of the pier, revs the engine and tells her to make a choice: be with him, or die.
She chooses death but he can’t do it and instead tries to jump off the edge of the pier. When Chae Won grabs onto him to stop him, they both fall off, with Chae Won taking the brunt of the fall. He manages to get them both back to the villa (don’t ask me how, because he can’t seem to walk, let alone drive or drag someone up a rocky cliff) but instead of calling an ambulance for the unconscious and clearly badly-hurt Chae Won, he calls… his mother. Of course. *sigh*
Back in Seoul, Kang Jin takes advantage of his broken arm and asks Choon Hee to help him with his morning ablutions, something Hyo Dong thankfully puts an end to – by doing it himself, ha.
Then it’s back to the noodle factory, for a family meeting. A few secrets are now out in the open (everyone – save Grandpa – now knows of Do Hee’s ‘affair’ theory and Ki Choon is aware of Hyo Dong’s budding romance with Choon Hee), but the air seems no less strained, particularly when Grandpa announces his new plan to decide on his successor: a points system, though as the points will be doled out by him, it doesn’t seem any less than autocratic than it was before.
Anyway. The witch, having decided that Chul Gyu’s disappearance must be a result of Chae Won trying to cling to the innocent Chul Gyu, visits the noodle factory, where she runs into Chae Won’s aunts and grandmother. They don’t appreciate her encroaching on Chae Won’s ‘territory’ and, enraged on Chae Won’s behalf, proceed to literally flour the woman and give her a good slap-down. Ah, that feeling right there? It’s satisfaction.
She staggers outside and bumps into Se Yoon, who’s heard of Chae Won’s abduction by a be-suited man and is understandably alarmed. The witch decides that he and Chae Won must now be engaged and so, when Chul Gyu calls to ask for help, she asks Se Yoon to go instead.
He’s happy to oblige and is shocked to find Chae Won unconscious and bleeding. He picks her up and carries her to his car, with Chul Gyu hobbling after him and screaming for Se Yoon to let go of ‘his’ woman.
Se Yoon asks if Chul Gyu is crazy (uh, yes? have you not been watching this episode, Se Yoon?) and then coolly says that Chul Gyu is mistaken: Chae Won is no longer ‘his’ woman.
So, that… actually happened. Chul Gyu has cracked like a walnut and we got to see it, in all its crazed attempted-murder-suicide glory – now, don’t you feel special?
Honestly, I really don’t know what to say. He needs some serious psychiatric care, because you can’t push someone to that extent and have them just come back from it with the help of some hot tea and a cuddle. But why do I somehow doubt the show will take us in the direction of actual healing and allow itself to address real psychological issues? Oh, right: that whole makjang thing. *eye-roll*
I just hope the Bang/Kim clan get their just desserts, or I will not be responsible for my actions.