Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oohlala Spouses Episode 16 Recap

  This episode reminded me of the things I love about this show. Too bad there aren't more of those moments in the 2nd half.

  As Soo Nam walks toward his gate, he hears his name. He turns, but it's (only) Man Soo. Man Soo says at least someone had to see him off, but wonders where Yeo Ok is. This brings up the question of whether or not she's sick, although he's not sure it's really worth mentioning. Soo Nam starts piecing things together and decides he needs to check up with her, just in case. 
  Yeo Ok and Hyun Woo play on the beach, chasing the waves and then running from them as they come in. (Btw, why does Yeo Ok wear heels in every beach scene? Especially this one, which was a planned trip to the beach? It's totally distracting as I contemplate how uncomfortable it must be.)
  They go to the fish market and a vendor remarks on what a cute married couple they are. Hyun Woo looks at Yeo Ok and playfully asks "Yeobo, shouldn't we get some of this for a stew?" Yeo Ok seems stunned by him calling her Yeobo, but then they both grin like lovesick fools. (Aww, I've missed this adorableness between them!)
  Soo Nam goes to the hospital and convinces a doctor friend of his to tell him what's going on with Yeo Ok. The doctor hesitates to breach patient confidentiality, but Soo Nam persuades him anyway and finds out everything. He tries to call Yeo Ok, but her phone is off.
  Yeo Ok and Hyun Woo head to a cabin and make dinner together. More cuteness ensues. At dinner, they toast, but Yeo Ok only pretends to drink her wine. Hyun Woo presses her and she takes a tiny sip. He asks about what the fish lady said earlier, and if she felt anything then. She laughs and says she felt a bit guilty, like they were pretending to be married. She says it's a different story after 10 years of marriage and 1 kid, but he says they'd just have to give in a little. Hyun Woo promises to make her always feel this romantic atmosphere. She heaves a huge sigh, and he asks why. 
  Soo Nam desperately searches for Yeo Ok at her apartment, but she's not home. He waits for hours but she never comes home.
  At the cabin, Hyun Woo sleeps on Yeo Ok's lap in front of the fire. She strokes his hair and thinks to herself that she's starting to understand why he pushed her away all those years ago. Thinking of that time, she realizes how much it will hurt him if she leaves and tells herself that she should be trying to make him happy. She cries as she apologizes to him repeatedly.
  Hyun Woo wakes up alone. He finds Yeo Ok outside staring at the stars. He sits next to her and they cuddle under her blanket. 
  Yeo Ok goes for a walk alone on the beach in the morning. Soo Nam calls Pushy Mom to find out if she's seen Yeo Ok, but she says he needs to leave her be for now. If she's avoiding him, chasing after her will only make her run farther away. 

  He heads to Hyun Woo's office and asks if he knows where Yeo Ok is. Hyun Woo is upset that he seems to think it's any of his business and that he didn't go to the Philippines because of her. Soo Nam yells that she turned in her resignation and disappeared and Hyun Woo reassures him that they were together up until yesterday. Soo Nam insists again that she resigned, so Hyun Woo calls her boss and confirms it.
  The boss is upset and has decided not to process her resignation yet. Victoria overhears as she contemplates turning in her own resignation, and asks the boss about Yeo Ok. He tears up Yeo Ok's resignation angrily. He wonders why everyone seems so interested in Yeo Ok—"First Soo Nam, now the General Manager. . . ." Victoria asks if Soo Nam is still around and runs out to find him. 
  Hyun Woo paces his office. Victoria finds Soo Nam and asks if Yeo Ok resigned because they're going to the Philippines together. He notices her resignation letter and asks if she's leaving too. She answers that without him there, she has no reason to stay. He squeezes her shoulder and tells her to find happiness in Sweden before leaving, as she cries silently to herself.
  Yeo Ok comes to Pushy Mom, who tells her that Soo Nam has been calling and asking about her. Pushy Mom wonders why she wants to hide from everyone. "Are you a criminal, or something?" Yeo Ok lies and says she has some vacation time and so she doesn't want to be disturbed while she's vacationing. She says "Mom, mom, mom" over and over and teases her mom. They playfully fight and Yeo Ok hugs Pushy Mom's arm.
  At home, the doorbell rings, and MIL and Il Ran wonder who it could be. Jin Goo calls out that he's there to visit Il Ran. Il Ran freaks out, saying he's crazy and she told him she never wants to see him again. She begs MIL to say she's not home and goes to hide. (I'm pretty sure he heard everything, since the door is very thin and Il Ran was so loud. Hahaha!)
  When MIL opens the door, he pushes his way in, kneels, and shoves the gifts he's brought into MIL's arms. She figures out that he's that one blind date Il Ran met, and he begs MIL to "Give me your daughter, please!" She yells for Il Ran to come downstairs and greet her guest. Jin Goo grabs at MIL's feet, thanking her effusively, just as Soo Nam comes home. Soo Nam confronts the now terrified Jin Goo, who obviously thought it was safe to court Il Ran with Soo Nam out of the country.
  MIL finally catches on that they work together and asks if they're friends. Soo Nam hurriedly answers no, while Jin Goo obsequiously says they are. Il Ran runs in and tries to get Jin Goo to leave. Soo Nam suddenly realizes he's there for Il Ran and asks what they are—"Is this—you know—the other day when you stayed out—it was him?!" Il Ran denies everything, but Jin Goo just grins and laughs to himself. 
  Il Ran insists that they're not anything to each other, and, when asked, Jin Goo says "Well, we're not not anything to each other. All the days we've been together. . . ." He chuckles and rubs his hands together. Il Ran and Soo Nam try to push him out, but MIL insists that as a guest in their home he should come in and feel welcome. 
  Soo Nam sits down next to Jin Goo, with this awesome air of nonchalant hostility. MIL insists that Il Ran make them some tea, and Jin Goo tries to ingratiate himself with Soo Nam. Until he notices his glare. He grabs Soo Nam's hand and nerves himself up to ask Soo Nam to give his little sister to him, but Soo Nam takes offense at being called hyungnim, since Jin Goo's older. Soo Nam insists that the relationship doesn't make any sense, and Jin Goo promises that he'll convince him.
  Il Ran runs over and drags Jin Goo away. Soo Nam tells her that he'll never approve of this guy for her and she yells back that she doesn't need or want his approval! As Il Ran drags him out, Jin Goo insists that he'll be back. Soo Nam says they don't want him back. MIL just laughs happily to herself.

  Yeo Ok takes Pushy Mom out for a Treat Yoself day—even leaving their tiny island. Pushy Mom gets her hair permed and Yeo Ok insists she get a new coat, all of it paid for by Yeo Ok. They visit the marketplace so Pushy Mom can show off and laugh and joke the whole day. Their laughter is abruptly cut off when they get home and find Soo Nam, however. Pushy Mom goes inside to make preparations to welcome him.
  He confronts Yeo Ok about running away and turning off her phone. Did she come down here to end her life? He tells her he knows everything and insists that she return to Seoul with him. He tells her he didn't go to the Philippines because of this and he doesn't want something to happen to her where she can't get good medical care. He threatens to tell her mom everything unless she comes back with him. 
  He drops her off at her apartment, and tells her that he's taking her to the hospital in the morning. They're the same blood type, so there's a possibility he could be a donor for her. She tells him to just go and to leave her alone. He leaves.

  She sits down and the doorbell rings. She yells that she told Soo Nam to go away and leave her alone, but it's Hyun Woo. He admits that he ran into Soo Nam at the elevator and asks if they've been together all this time. She answers that he just brought her back from Seowoldo. He asks her what's going on and she finally tells him she's leaving him. With tears in her eyes, she calmly and evenly tells him that she might be getting back with Soo Nam, so it's over between them. She's letting him go. He's stunned and can't think of anything to say, except that they just had a nice trip. She replies that it was a goodbye trip, and he asks if they can finish this another time.
  As soon as he runs out, Yeo Ok crumples in pain. Hyun Woo gets to the elevator, but decides to go back and hash things out. He finds Yeo Ok on the floor and rushes her to the hospital. Dr. Wolhwa informs him of the situation and asks about possible donors. Hyun Woo volunteers to be tested right now to see if he's a match.
  Soo Nam comes to her house and shows her his preliminary test results. They indicate that he's a match, and he urges her to go and get further tests. She tells him she wants him to leave, but he insists that he won't go until he's been able to do one thing for her—save her life. He'll go away so she never has to see him again afterwards, but first he needs to do this. 
  She asks why he wants to donate his liver for her—is it because he feels guilt towards her and pities her now that she's dying? He answers that after all the years he spent mistreating her and neglecting her, she can think whatever she wants, but he's still going to do it. She yells back that she doesn't want his liver and that his insistence makes her feel more burdened. She tells him to leave and he sobs for a moment before going. Yeo Ok cries on her floor.
  The regular staff at the hotel gets farewell gifts from Victoria. One guy complains that they're losing the resident beauty. One of the bellhops (the biggest guy there) is sobbing uncontrollably and wails that he'll miss her. They decide to throw her a going-away party.
  Yeo Ok meets up with Victoria, who has the gall to call her "unni," and says since she's going away it's the only time Yeo Ok will have to hear that. This is news to Yeo Ok, and Victoria continues by apologizing to her. She says that she never once considered Yeo Ok's feelings, and only thought of herself and Soo Nam. But losing him has taught her to think about what Yeo Ok went through and she's truly sorry. 
  Yeo Ok clutches her stomach and says that if Victoria really sees her as an unni, she should take this advice: find a man who will love her till the end, not someone who will throw her away so easily. Victoria tells her that she's heard about her liver and prays that she'll recover. They smile at each other, seemingly at peace.
  Soo Nam visits a preoccupied Hyun Woo and asks for his transfer to be revoked. Hyun Woo says that it's too difficult, so he needs to just go. Soo Nam insists that he has reasons to stay and then asks how much Hyun Woo knows about Yeo Ok's cancer. He begs Hyun Woo to convince her to take his liver donation. Hyun Woo cuts him off and says that she's his responsibility now, and he'll make sure she's well taken care of.
  In the hallway, Soo Nam calls the hospital to find out if Hyun Woo is compatible. Hyun Woo finds out from Dr. Wolhwa that he isn't compatible and they'll have to find someone who is.

  Soo Nam visits Jin Goo to tell him to back off from Il Ran. Jin Goo says "Hyungnim, my Il Ran is the most wonderful woman and the woman of destiny that I've been waiting for." Soo Nam refuses and Jin Goo asks if he can just let them become one big happy family. No. Can't he just overlook their past this once and recognize what a catch he is? He's faithful, since he worked his way up from bellhop to manager. Still no. "Fine! Then tell your sister to never call me again!" Soo Nam's happy to, and tells Jin Goo to never call her, either. After he leaves, Jin Goo asks what he'll do, since Soo Nam is a major block in his side—no, wait, a roadblock in his life. 
  Yeo Ok calls Ki Chan and has a sudden liver attack. She pretends it's nothing and makes plans with him to visit during the weekend. They decide they'll watch movies and make snacks like they used to do and Ki Chan can even stay over. 
  Soo Nam shows up at Yeo Ok's apartment and notices Hyun Woo's car. He goes up and tries to drag her to the hospital. Hyun Woo interferes and says that he's responsible for Yeo Ok. Soo Nam snaps back that he can't save her, since they don't even have the same blood type. Hyun Woo suggests that they all go to the hospital together.
  The first half of this episode reminded me why I fell in love with this series in the first place. I love the tender scenes between Yeo Ok and Hyun Woo, but it's kind of sad to me that the hilarity has been transferred away from the main characters and on to Il Ran and Jin Goo. 
  Not that I'm complaining about their whole relationship being ridiculous and hilarious; I just wish we had more of that with our main characters. This is my biggest beef with romantic comedies in kdramas—the first half is full of comedy, but the second half is usually just full of melodrama. And they always throw in makjang elements, too. Can't a comedy stay a comedy with some light drama to move things along? Why do things always have to become so contrived? 
  I'm also a little fed up with everyone trying to force Yeo Ok to take their livers. What is she, a gumiho? (Haha! If only. Then things could be funny again.) It's her life/death we're talking here. She has a right to decide how to live it. Plus, she's still dealing with the shock of finding out. Let her figure things out a little, will ya?
  I don't agree with her decision to just roll up and die. However, I would appreciate more if the men were trying to convince her of all the things she has to live for, instead of just trying to take over any and all decision-making responsibilities. Of course they want her to live, but they need to ignite that fighting spirit in her, not emotionally browbeat her until she gives in! I kinda don't blame her for pushing them both away at this point.
  This brings up new some realizations for me about Yeo Ok's character (and by that I mean how she's written and not her character traits). The men in her life treat her like a symbol of something—a perfect Confucian wife, an ideal first love, a loving and sacrificing angelic being. She's not really an individual, an actual human being, a person with worthwhile ideas and desires and opinions.
  And the real problem here is that the show treats her this way as well. I feel like in the first few episodes we were shown a determined, strong woman who was just discovering her own power. A woman ripe for amazing self-discovery and other great personal growth. And yet, she's never really become more than that oppressed housewife. Yes, she's moved out on her own, and she's stood up for herself to some degree. She got a job and even made a few friends. But in the end she's still controlled by what the men in her life decide for her. She's never really been allowed to discover new talents or possibilities for her future—her jobs in the hotel involved laundry and housekeeping, hardly anything new for her. She's only had a few days in Customer Care, and most of that time has been spent in the hospital or running off with Hyun Woo. I just want her to come into her own, but the show keeps shoving her into the same old pigeonhole we've been told she's left behind.
  Soo Nam has at least grown emotionally in the course of the series. And he's really come to understand unconditional love, which is HUGE for him. But the other growth I'd hoped for has also been minimized in the name of "romance." There were great opportunities for him to develop as a hotel manager and a person in general, but those have been waylaid in order for the show to beat us over the head with his newfound devotion to Yeo Ok. I appreciate that he's willing to give his liver and leave Yeo Ok with no further expectations (the unconditional love thing, right there), but all his other potential has been wasted. 
  My last complaints for this post are with Hyun Woo and Victoria. While I like them both (I never thought I'd say that early on), they're both very flat characters. Hyun Woo is very swoonworthy, but there's never been much fleshing out of his character. Every scene that was supposed to do that just showed another aspect of how perfect he is. He's a one-trick pony. And Victoria has basically been checked out of the drama for the last several episodes. Again, this has to do with the writing and directing and not her acting. Why is she even still around if she's not doing anything? Where did this sudden remorse come from when 2 episodes ago she was taking drunken Soo Nam home hoping he'd come back to her and successfully buying the affections of MIL? I just don't understand.

  To end on a positive note, let's just remember Jin Goo's attempts to ask for Il Ran's hand. And then remember Soo Nam's utter refusal. Ha! 

1 comment:

  1. thank you for the recap and the insightful comments