Monday, November 12, 2012

Oohlala Spouses Episode 12 Recap

  This episode really feels like a major turning point in our series. So much happens and there's just so much development. Which, this late in the game, could cause problems in the resolution. But, Oohlala Spouses got a 2-episode extension, and I have faith that this director is going to give us a nice, tidy package at the end, so I'm not worried about things being left unresolved. I am left with an increase of love for this drama, though.

  At the impromptu housewarming party, Hyun Woo wonders why Soo Nam is at Yeo Ok's house. Ae Sook explains that they're all friends and asks who Hyun Wook is, since they know everyone Yeo Ok associates with. Yeo Ok stammers out that he's the GM of the hotel and Lawyer Lee is suddenly suspicious. Does the GM visit all employees when they move? Hyun Woo explains that he's from Yeo Ok's hometown, and Yeo Ok asks him to come another time. This whole time, Soo Nam just glares at him.
  Yeo Ok sees Hyun Woo to the elevator, and Ae Sook comments to Lawyer Lee and Soo Nam that there's something more to the relationship than childhood friends. At the elevator, Hyun Woo guesses that Soo Nam is Yeo Ok's ex. She asks why he couldn't just pretend he didn't know. 
     HW: If my ex-wife showed up at my house on my moving day, wouldn't you have grabbed her by the throat?
     YO: I'd have done more than that. I'd have pulled her hair out.
  She apologizes as he leaves and then sighs as she goes back inside.
  At school, Ki Chan uses the ever-reliable "Roll Your Pencils to Divine the Answers" method to take a math test. (P.S. How adorable is he in his red glasses?)
  Back at the new apartment, everyone stops for a ramen break. Lawyer Lee points out that there's really not much to do, since Yeo Ok doesn't really have much. She observes that they really didn't need to come because of that, and Soo Nam snarks at her, asking if that's why she called Hyun Woo over. Ae Sook asks if she even had to call him, and Lawyer Lee starts arguing, but they decide he probably came on his own. Yeo Ok admits that she didn't call anyone over—not Lawyer Lee, not Ae Sook, and not Soo Nam. The Lees chime in that as friends, they don't need to be asked to help her move. 
  Yeo Ok continues, saying that if she needs a man to help her, she's not going to call Lawyer Lee or Soo Nam. The logical choice is Hyun Woo. "What about it? What right do you have to say anything?" (Amen, sister!)
  Hyun Woo drives, but keeps thinking of the situation he left behind. He flips a u-turn and rings Yeo Ok's doorbell again, just as everyone's settling in for tea. Yeo Ok answers and says "Oppa!", which makes Soo Nam freeze and Lawyer Lee and Ae Sook jump to their feet in protest. Hyun Woo steps in, looks triumphantly at Soo Nam, asks Yeo Ok if she's mostly done unpacking, and then grabs her hand and drags her out. 
  Lawyer Lee blusters that Hyun Woo is impressive, just like him (Whut?! Hahahaha!!), and that's just the way to get things going with a woman. No matter how indecisive she is, she'll always fall for that move. He and Ae Sook bicker for a bit, and suddenly Soo Nam jumps up and runs out. He gets to the parking lot just in time to see Hyun Woo and Yeo Ok drive off.
  Yeo Ok is surprised that Hyun Woo has this side to him. He admits that it's something he's learning, and sighs that he even learned to put on an act before to drive her away. But now, he's never letting her go. She replies that he should have been like that before, and he agrees, saying that he drove her off, thinking that was what was best for her, but he now knows it wasn't. She's had to suffer in agony all this time.
  He points out that if she keeps hanging out with those people, she'll get stuck in that rut, but she asks what she can do, since they're the  shadows of her past life? He tells her to just lean on him, and he'll save her. (It's a nice sentiment, but I'm not sure she wants saving. Support and respect, yes. Saving, not so much. Tone it down a little, friend.)
  Soo Nam sighs to himself and Lawyer Lee asks why he even chased after them. Ae Sook points out the obvious, but Lee just asks if he wants her back now that their divorced. Did he fall in love with her again when they were in each others' bodies? Soo Nam answers that he's not sure, but he can't just let her go like this. He learned to understand Yeo Ok more by living in her body.
  Lee points out that you can just do that by trying to see things from the other person's perspective, and Ae Sook asks if he's ever tried seeing things from hers? "Of all people, you should have to live in my body for a while." I really don't think you'd want that. He wouldn't respect your body at all
  The doorbell rings, and they think it's Yeo Ok, but it's really a deliveryman with the washing machine Hyun Woo bought as a housewarming gift. Lee is in awe over the perfect gift and gives Soo Nam a hard time about his toilet paper and paper towels, since they were even buy one get one free. Haha! Soo Nam just sighs.

  Hyun Woo takes Yeo Ok on a hike through the gorgeous fall foliage. At one point, their hands bump, and they awkwardly pause, acknowledging the moment before he buries his hands in his pockets and she crosses her arms. So cute! They head over some rocky terrain and he holds out his hand to help her. She instinctively grabs for it, but then hesitates. Finally, she takes it and he repeats the process a few more times, each one less awkward than the last. Smooth, Hyun Woo. I approve of your methods. 
  They end up at the monastery and Jin Woo runs out calling "Dad!" This startles Yeo Ok and Hyun Woo sweeps Jin Woo up in his arms, and tells him to wave at the pretty lady. 
  They play soccer together as Yeo Ok and the monk drink tea. He points out how pure Jin Woo is and says that an abandoned baby was taken in and loved by Hyun Woo, who is also pure. "Aren't they alike? Since they've both seen the depths of hell, they're looking at heaven now. So. . . don't ever let him go through hell again."

  He explains that Hyun Woo's problem way back when wasn't the cancer, it was Yeo Ok. He had to let her go so he could embrace his cancer, but he held her so tightly in his heart and wouldn't let go. It was then that the monk learned that the human tie is more powerful than life itself. He begs her again to never hurt Hyun Woo, and if she's worried about hurting him, then she should stop before things really get started. 
  Some hikers pass by, and we see that they're Wolhwa and Moo San. Wolhwa points out that that monk's will is something else, and Moo San answers that that's why he was able to save Hyun Woo when he was halfway dead. Wolhwa agrees, and then pauses, thinking that no matter how strong the will, you can't extend life. There must have been another force at work. Moo San: "Of course. That's the power of pure love." Wolhwa growls at her. 

  On the drive home, Hyun Woo can't stop staring at a sleeping Yeo Ok. They pull up to her apartment, where Soo Nam is waiting in his car. He watches, burning with jealousy, as Hyun Woo leans in as though to kiss Yeo Ok, but pulls back and kisses his finger instead. When he places it on her lips, she wakes up. He apologizes for wearing her out more on her moving day and sends her in. She pauses and they gesture at each other to go on. (It's so adorable how these little things show their rapport and concern for one another.) Soo Nam just watches, powerless and angry. 

  He heads up to her apartment, but can't bring himself to ring the doorbell. As he drives home, he remembers preparing for baby Star by putting up pictures of himself. Yeo Ok gets after him, saying she worries the baby will take after him, and expresses her hope that Star will grow up to be a  gymnast. He then remembers when she blamed him for the baby's death. As he drives, he cries to himself.
  Yeo Ok calls Ki Chan and lies that she's still staying with Pushy Mom. He asks if she's feeling better and asks her to come home soon. She tells him she has lots she wants to tell him as tears roll down her face. He answers that she should just nag him, like she usually does. She asks if he's playing computer games, and he says he has to go. He says "I love you!" in an adorable way and hangs up. 
  Soo Nam confronts Jin Goo about tattling on him and says that he should still show him respect, especially since they're no longer on the same level. He would never have done the same, no matter how bitter their rivalry. 
Well, hello there.
  Hyun Woo enters and announces that they've decided to fire the laundry ahjumma. Jin Goo gloats openly and Soo Nam tries to argue, but is cut off. Hyun Woo also assigns him to start working in the marketing department, since their revenue is decreasing and they need someone to fix it. If Soo Nam can't turn things around, he'll be finished at the hotel. Jin Goo gloats some more.
  The men burst into Chef Man Soo's office, brawling. Soo Nam lands a good punch to Jin Goo's lip before Jin Goo manages to run around the table. They explain their positions to the chef and he tries to take the middle ground. Soo Nam yells that Jin Goo should have at least had the decency to talk to the laundry ahjumma first, and accuses him of brown-nosing. He throws papers all over and storms out.
  Jin Goo gleefully says that he can't wait for Soo Nam to be out and explains the new situation to Man Soo. He's excited that Soo Nam will be gone soon, since marketing and sales are all about performance and he has no experience. He finally notices his split lip and laments the fact that he has a blind date. Man Soo asks if he's still going on blind dates, and he answers that finding a girl he likes is like finding a needle in a haystack (it's probably the other way 'round, buddy). He swears that he and Soo Nam must have been enemies in a previous life.
  Flashback to the 30's where Reporter hands off his grenade to Conspirator, who throws it, disrupting Japanese Emissary's arrival. Hahaha!
  MIL lectures Il Ran about her upcoming blind date (I see where this is heading). There has to be at least one man out there who will like her! Il Ran pouts that there are many men out there who like her, but she doesn't like any of them. (I know the feeling.) 
  Jin Goo prepares every last detail for the date, down to the angle of the table and his posture. He practices opening a book, leaning forward just so, and how his hair will fall over his face, "blind date style." (I'm not making this up. I swear.)
  Soo Nam sends the laundry ahjumma off with a referral for a new job, telling her to mention his name. He apologizes that he's not a manager and can't use his position to save her job. She begs him to get his place back, since he's done so well rejuvenating the laundry.
  Il Ran shows up for the blind date and Jin Goo's jaw drops as she comes toward him. Romantic harpsichord music starts and her hair blows in the wind as he watches her. She plops down and gulps her water.

  Suddenly, Jin Goo's leg starts cramping, so she licks her finger and touches his nose. He sees it as a romantic gesture, but she's just being helpful. When he has calmed down, her first question is how much he makes. He tells her he does pretty well for himself, and says he's a manager at Elvin Hotel. She laughs hysterically at this. I'm not sure if she has realized he's her brother's nemesis or if she just doesn't believe him. 
  Yeo Ok shows up to clean Hyun Woo's office and notices the model home on his desk. She remembers him promising to build her a beautiful villa when they were children. She tears up a bit. Someone knocks on the door and she puts the model down, then jumps when she sees it's Victoria, who is also shocked to see her.
  Victoria apologizes for last time and then stammers something about Soo Nam avoiding her and acting different lately. Yeo Ok answers that she already told her they can do as they like and asks what she wants from her. Victoria asks her to help her grab on to Soo Nam. (You shameless little hussy! You are making me so angry right now!) "If you weren't around all the time. . ." 
  Yeo Ok says she'll cut ties completely right now and calls Soo Nam to say there's no way in hell she'll ever reconcile with him! He needs to get Victoria out of her sight right now! He runs to save Yeo Ok. Yeo Ok asks Victoria to just ignore her if they meet in the future and warns her that if she pulls something like this again, she won't hold back. 
  Soo Nam runs up just in time to see Hyun Woo enter his office. Hyun Woo asks what's going on, seeing the two women in tears, and Yeo Ok says they'll just talk outside. They leave, and Victoria goes over to Soo Nam, who takes her away. Hyun Woo seems to be figuring things out. 
  Soo Nam takes Victoria to an empty room and asks what she was doing. She explains that seeing Yeo Ok every day is hard on him, so she was trying to make things easier for him. Plus, it makes her uncomfortable too. He tells her it's "our problem," and she balks at his use of the word our. He tells her that everything is his fault and that he never realized before how hard it was for Yeo Ok. Now, all he can think about is his wife. He wants to be forgiven and to make things right. Victoria asks what that means, and he answers that if she'll forgive him, he wants to live with his wife.
  Victoria needs to move on, now, too. He apologizes as they both cry, then reaches out to wipe away her tears. His hand hovers over her cheek for a long moment, then he instead squeezes her shoulder and apologizes again. 

  After he leaves, Victoria gets a call from MIL to set up a lunch date for the next day. Il Ran comes home just as MIL hangs up and yells at her for hanging out with Victoria. MIL says she has her reasons, then asks about the blind date. Il Ran says he was totally old and weird. Also, he works in oppa's hotel, but MIL didn't even know that? This earns her another shoulder slap, and MIL tells her to ask her brother about him and go on 2 more dates. Il Ran screams "NOO!!"

  Yeo Ok pushes her cart, lost in thought, when Hyun Woo pops up and helps her push it. She talks to him formally and then whispers that he shouldn't act like that in public. He stops the cart short and pulls out two tickets to a musical. He warns her that if she doesn't come, he can't go either, and slips the tickets into her pocket. He smiles at her and then skips away, looking so attractive in his 3-piece suit. Yeo Ok contemplates the tickets, then answers a call from Ki Chan's teacher.
  She runs to meet with her and is shocked to see Ki Chan's low grades. The teacher tells her that he's been rebelling a lot lately and wonders if something's going on at home. Yeo Ok asks if it could be puberty, but she says he's rebelling more than entering puberty could explain. She wants to get him tested for ADHD.
  Yeo Ok takes Ki Chan out for pizza and he asks why she didn't tell him about the divorce. He admits that he overheard MIL talking and knows, but he's been telling MIL to be nicer to his mom. Can't she move back home and live with him again, even if she is divorced? He promises to be her ally.

  With a sense of tearful pride she marvels that he understands what it means to be an ally. After a moment, he tells her he's lonely. She asks if he knows what that means, and he says he doesn't like being alone and his heart feels cold. "But I don't feel like that right now!" Yeo Ok continues to cry as she watches him eat.
  Outside the hotel, Soo Nam happily runs to meet Yeo Ok, but stops short when he sees that she's crying. She asks what kind of father he is and tells him about his grades and needing to be tested for ADHD. "Because there were so many people around, I thought it would be best for him to stay and live with you, that it would make things easier for him. But after seeing him today, I no longer think that's what's best for him. I'm taking him to live with me." 
  Soo Nam answers that the best solution is for her to move back home. He promises to do better, and reminds her of her former pleas to treat her with 1/10th of the care he gives his hotel guests. But now, he promises to treat her like a VVIP. She uses one of his phrases in return and tells him to stop talking crap. He yells after her as she leaves and then curses Ki Chan for being a scoundrel.
  Alone in his office, Jin Goo tries to control his fantasies about Il Ran. When he hears a knock, he looks up and sees her approaching with sexy music again and her hair blowing in the breeze. She licks her finger and touches it to his nose, and suddenly we see a very confused hotel employee watching Jin Goo react to his fantasy. After she leaves, he fights with himself over calling her. He convinces himself that she's starting to think about him right about now, and he needs to hold out long enough for her to want him more. Haha! Good luck with that. 
  Il Ran is at home, apparently not thinking about Jin Goo at all. Victoria lets herself in and Il Ran complains about her acting as though she lived there. She yells for MIL to come out. MIL and Victoria sit together, and MIL asks exactly what is Victoria's relationship with Soo Nam?
  Victoria sits awkwardly, then explains that he feels a lot of guilt towards Yeo Ok, and is even talking about reconciliation. MIL snaps that that's unacceptable. Why, just the other day a man came calling for Yeo Ok and she had to chase him off with her hose! She's not letting a woman like that back into their home! She offers to step in and help Victoria's case. 

  Ki Chan comes home and MIL introduces him to Victoria. Victoria asks if he likes motorcycles and he says he loves them. Next thing we know, they're riding together, and he's having a blast. 
  Hyun Woo jauntily leaves the hotel, giddy with excitement for his date. Yeo Ok gets a text telling her he's excited and will meet her at the theatre. "Don't be late!" Yeo Ok is less than ecstatic.
  Victoria turns her head to ask Ki Chan if he's cold, and doesn't see the huge truck that has veered into their lane until it's too late.
  Soo Nam is working and gets a call from Victoria. He rejects it, but picks up the second time she calls. He runs out of the hotel and calls Yeo Ok as she's on her way to her date to tell her that there was an accident on Victoria's motorcycle and Ki Chan's in the hospital.
  Hyun Woo paces impatiently outside the theatre.

  Yeo Ok runs into the hospital and punches Victoria in the face. (Nice! I prefer a good punch to your run-of-the-mill slapping and hair-pulling any day!) Soo Nam pulls her away and explains that Ki Chan's okay. She runs to find her son while Victoria cries to herself. She finds Ki Chan, who quickly hides his phone (I assume he's playing games on it) and has his arm in a sling. She wraps him in a giant hug and he cries that she's hurting him. He reassures her that he's just fine and holds up his arm. 
  Out in the hall, Yeo Ok confronts Soo Nam and says she's taking Ki Chan. He argues that she's not thinking straight, and that he's upset, too, but she persists. He tells her that it's not a battle worth fighting, and will just tire them out. Plus, who will take care of Ki Chan while she's at work. 
  "I'll help her." They turn to see Hyun Woo striding up. Soo Nam dismisses him by saying this is a family matter, and he replies "This is my woman's business."
  Oh, snap! The gauntlet has been thrown my friends. I didn't think it was possible, but Hyun Woo just jumped about 5,428 points in my estimation. I don't care if some people find this to be interfering, because I see it as a man who will do anything to help the woman he loves. It's not that he's trying to take away any hardship she may face, but he's showing that he's willing to support her and sacrifice for her so that she can be happy. Especially because her happiness is so tied up in the happiness of her child.
  Honestly, I'm often really annoyed by the tendency for the heroes in Korean dramas to just take over and drag the heroine along on their ego trip. But that's not the case here. Maybe it's because I feel that Yeo Ok is the type of person who won't be dragged anywhere she's unwilling to go. And it's also because the attitude Hyun Woo demonstrates isn't a domineering or dominating one, but an instinctual understanding of what Yeo Ok needs. 
  For example, the trip to the monastery was actually what she needed in that moment—not just so Hyun Woo could open up to her, but so she could find some inner peace away from the people who have been so involved in every aspect of her life lately. I like that most of their hike was spent in silence, just enjoying the moment and the environment. And Hyun Woo didn't really spend much time with her, but let her talk to the monk, whose wisdom and tranquility seemed to help heal her wounds. 
  Speaking of the monk, Wolhwa mentioned another god of fate in an earlier episode. I'm wondering if that god is personified by the monk.
  Something that bothered me about Soo Nam in this episode is his continued self-absorption. The whole issue with Ki Chan for him revolves around trying to get Yeo Ok back. It's not about finding what's best for his son. Of course he's worried after the accident, but before, when they first discussed custody, his only solution was that she should move back home. Ki Chan is just such an incidental part of Soo Nam's life.
  Also, despite his change of heart and desire to win Yeo Ok back, Soo Nam can't even tell if he loves her or not. Sure, he's realized she's important to him, but it doesn't seem like that's motivated by any kind of love. When Lawyer Lee asked him, he couldn't say he loved her, and he didn't use that as a reason with Victoria either. In fact, his argument was that he wanted forgiveness. It's all about him. He's never said that he wants to make things right for Yeo Ok. Or do anything for her, really. Which brings back Hyun Woo, who does everything for her.
  The place where Soo Nam shines the most is definitely in his work. I loved to see him fighting so desperately for the laundry ahjumma, and I feel like he'll do very well in his new position. And although I don't want to see him get back together with Yeo Ok, and while my desire to see him end up happy with Victoria is waning, I really want him to succeed professionally. Because he's so passionate about his job, and is a really talented man. These are really his best qualities.
  On to Victoria. The accident can be overlooked in my mind, because it could happen to anyone and she wasn't at fault. Plus, MIL apparently authorized the ride. And who's to say that the same thing wouldn't have happened if Soo Nam had been the one behind the handlebars? What really gets me is her plea for Yeo Ok to help her relationship with Soo Nam. I think it's that (possibly unintentional) cruelty and selfishness that made me happy Yeo Ok punched her. She totally deserved it for the conversation, not the motorcycle accident. So, although that justice was delayed, I have to admit I cheered a bit for Yeo Ok when it was served.

  On a completely different note, I absolutely love the directing in this show. It's so seamless and there are always little things thrown in that make it special. Like the breakfast scene last episode that was an echo of the first modern scene in this drama. And the tiny scene where Yeo Ok and Soo Nam were putting up photos for the baby, which wasn't something we'd seen before. I wish more shows used flashbacks like that, that haven't been part of the story so far, but add to it in the moment. Instead of rehashing the same flashbacks over and over. (Although, to be fair, there is plenty of that in this show, as well. It just doesn't feel as overused as in other dramas.)
  Another great thing about that scene? The acting. Although our leads have been back in their own bodies for 2 episodes by that point, you instantly know that in this scene, they're swapped. And it's such a short scene, but says so much.
  I also loved the repeat flashback of the grenade scene. Hahaha! I love that we saw it when Jin Goo was speculating about being enemies in a past life. So often in dramas, people mention something they must have done in a past life to deserve. . . whatever—love, revenge, a hot man, etc. But for once, we got to see the correlation. And it was just. So. Awesome. And can I just say, I'm excited to see this whole Jin Goo/Il Ran thing play out. Because I mostly want to see him devastated in love. And she's just the person to do that.


  1. I admit that I'm in team Soo Nam. Episode 12 made me waver somewhat but even if I drop that I won't switch to team Hyun Woo. For me Hyun Woo is really not even a character but a plot point meant to offer Yeo Ok somebody who's totally different than Soo Nam and wants her. Hyun Woo is perfect - so perfect that it's boring and dull. Everything about him is somehow downplayed, he's mildly angry, mildly happy, mildly smiling etc. In a way I would like to like him because he really is a good guy but cannot just find any sympathy for him.

    I liked him a lot better in the past, actually. There he was clearly flawed like anybody else, he had strong emotions and conflicts. It's a shame they've put all that aside and made him a perfect cover boy.

    I could talk about Soo Nam for hours (and Yeo Ok and Victoria, too, to be hones) but I'm not gonna take that much of your time... I just like him so much as a character. He was totally nasty and verbally abusive jerk but now he's changing and that really keeps me hooked to this show. I have my reasons to wish Soo Nam and Yeo Ok together at the end but of course Soo Nam has to redeem himself before that has any possibility to happen. If he won't then he deserves to be alone. And even if he does but Yeo Ok decides to be with Hyun Woo or even totally independent, I'm cool with that too. My two wishes for this drama are for Yeo Ok to decide what SHE wants and act accordingly and to Soo Nam become a better man and a father. As said, in my ideal ending they will be together but in the end it's more about their personal growth.

  2. Oh, and btw, Il Ran and Jin Goo - that was hilarious!! It's great that this drama can find comedy somewhere even though there's none left between our main quadruple.

  3. thank you so much for the recap!! You're awesome!! :D