The Gates of Hell have been busted open.
HT collapses on the rooftop. Unable to believe what he just witnessed via the binoculars.
The moment IR crosses the threshold into KJ’s studio, he embraces her like she is the most cherished person in the world. Her silence since dropping her off at the ER had been troubling him all this while. He is truly concerned for her.
Before saying anything, he draws the curtains first and turns off the lights, cocooning them both in the soothing dimness. He then brings her deeper into the studio, and hugs her again, as though sensing IR needs just that.
Unable to control his rage, HT runs from the rooftop all the way to KJ’s studio. Shouts like a mad man about his wife being in KJ’s place. Let her out! How dare you both do something like this? Kim Il Ri! I know you’re in there! Get out! He grabs a plywood cut-off and smashes KJ’s door.
All this was running amok in HT’s mind.
In reality, he is still on the rooftop, but the rage is in the process of being encoded into his DNA…
After a long while, KJ detaches from the hug and tells IR if she knew how worried he was. She updates him about HS, saying she’s doing better and will be discharged from the hospital in a few days.
KJ: That’s not what I meant. You – (he turns to look outside where HT is likely to lurk or cross paths with her) IR requests for ramen… and we know this is her last request of him. She’s ending “things” that night.
HT is still on the rooftop, festering, very likely to be thinking of possible torrid scenes in the dark between IR and KJ, but in reality, KJ is making supper for IR who has come to say goodbye. She eats alone and KJ wonders if she has had dinner looking at how she wolfs down the simple dish. IR swats the question aside and asks for radish or kimchi to go with her ramen. KJ had also nicely packed her clothes and shoes she left behind. But his sweats somehow was “stolen” when she hung them to dry on the clothes line. Who would the culprit be, I wonder?
IR: Maybe since it’s the last time, this is really good. [It took milliseconds for the subtle statement to hit KJ, but he remains quiet] I’m not coming here anymore.
They both look at each other, and KJ abruptly leaves his seat and walks to the side to take deep calming breaths. This warm, quirky, sweet Ahjumma is walking away from his life after turning his solitude upside down.
I can feel KJ’s exasperation, anger, sadness all in his breathing.
KJ: Did we make a promise or something?
KJ: Did we ever start anything? What did we do for you to say things like that? … Ah… our outing? Are you doing this over the outing? You don’t answer your phone. You don’t reply to my texts. You drive me crazy for days and now… Now you want ramen? Is this a restaurant? You come anytime to eat and that’s it. Don’t come if you don’t want. That’s up to you. Right?
In other words, only You can make decisions? My words and feelings don’t count?
IR: Don’t eat too much ramen. Apply the lotion before bed. I’ll say hello with my eyes if we bump into each other.
KJ: Not me. Married woman isn’t my type.
IR: Is your hand still hot?
KJ: Leave. Hurry.
But deep down, IR is not ready to let him go. He has profoundly affected her in a way HT has not. And probably will not be able to…
IR: I’m still hot… My head’s hot. And my heart is hot. My fingernails and toenails…
They both have unshed tears in their eyes…
I haven’t done it until now. I’ve never even hit anyone with a flower.
KJ: Hit me instead.
HT: KJ, look at me. Who are you? Huh?! Who are You?!
Rock bottom. This is rock bottom. No, someone said this… It’s only the beginning when you think you’ve hit rock bottom. This is only the beginning.
And the Ugly begins.
IR is in the bathroom brushing her teeth when I-have-the-right-to-be-angry HT barges and pees in front of her, stopping IR from putting up the seat with his foot.
IR: Is something wrong? Did you drink?
Without even washing his hand, he reaches for his phone in his pocket and throws it into the wash basin. A photo of KJ dragging IR by her wrist into his yard. IR is shocked. Without saying anything, or even asking for an explanation, HT hits IR across her face.
Granted HT feels like a cuckolded husband, and he saw his wife step into KJ’s studio and given a hug. And then the lights went out. And so all rational thinking blasted out of his mind.
AND HE HITS HER.
Throws things all over the house, throws a tantrum on the floor, throws whatever love or care he has for IR out of his system. He can Never forgive her for this mistake. He throws accusing looks at her, dripping with discontent and wants to throw her out of the house too.
IR begs him not to… and the first time she cries her heart out in front of HT.
IR: It’s true. I like him. I started to like him. That’s why I met him. You being like this is obvious. I’ll get out if you want, but help me once! I like You! I’m going crazy because I made you suffer! I like when you eat my food. And I like when you smile at me. I like when you read books and write. I really like that you’re my husband! … But I like that man too. Because I know he only talks mean. I know he acts like he knows everything. He’s always alone though! He eats and plays alone! His hands are hot too! You’re smart. There’s nothing you don’t know. Please teach me! How can I like two different people? I like you when I’m with you. And I like him when I’m with him.
It’s interesting to notice HT doesn’t do much for IR, but KJ is the total opposite. HT doesn’t even bother to find out more, but becomes judge and jury instead. So, what about your own father? The philandering lothario? Why don’t you have a similar reaction to that? Because he’s your father? Or because there’s a difference between a male and female instigator?
HT: Kim Il Ri. I’m not your teacher any longer.
Unperturbed, IR cooks up a storm in the kitchen, prepares a feast for HT and packs them all nicely and takes the bus to his workplace. She still believes there is something to fight for in her marriage. But when she arrives at the doorway to his office, she sees him comfortably laughing with his female hoobae, Seon Joo, who was sitting rather “intimately” on the table right next to his. IR’s unplanned presence seemed to vaporize the flirtatious mood in HT’s office.
Seon Joo quickly changes posture the moment she realizes who was standing at the door, but HT basically drags IR out of sight all the way to the stair way and angrily tells her off to stop doing such silly things to “buy” him over. Nothing is going to work. He has made his mind about their marriage. Go back. But IR still wants to reconcile and out of frustration, he throws her across the floor, scuttling the wonderful home made food she had cooked all over. And a crowd descending the stairs stop in their track, looking on at IR and the mess, while HT remains hidden in the corridor. He didn’t even attempt to help IR back up on her feet until a male co-worker stepped in to assist her. Only then did Mr. Vindictively Petty dragged his feet and make a show about cleaning up the mess.
Back in KJ’s studio, he is focused on repairing the chair HT had smashed on the night of their first brawl.
Okay. HT is now on a “I have a right to…” streak just because of IR’s “affair” with KJ. He has drinks with SJ who later admitted to feeling gleefully hopeful for a chance to be in a relationship with HT when she heard about his marriage problem rumors. HT however, has turned into a boisterous drunk that IR had to be contacted for assistance.
GT: What’s going on?
HT: I need to go home. Go home now. (You’re too drunk. Sober up first. – SJ) I’m going home. I’m fine! I’m not drunk!… It’s my wife. (I’ll take him – IR) Don’t touch me! It’s dirty. I like her. I like you too… I like you and I like you. Have my cake and eat it too. Isn’t that what you said? Hold on. Let’s drink! The three of us! Come to my house SJ. Let’s go home. (What are you doing? – SJ) What? Let’s live like Que Sera Sera. You do what you want. I’ll do what I want. This is great.
IR: Are you crazy?!
IU: Why am I crazy? Brother-in-law is. What did I say? I told you he’ll treat you badly even after all your sacrifice. What is this?! Is that why you got married? …Don’t. Don’t!
IR: It’s not like that! I’ll tell you later. Calm down. Take her…
IU: Is that why you took her? To use her up and do this? I really liked you! My mum liked you so much! How could you! How could you do this to my eonnie?!
SJ: It’s a misunderstanding.
IU: Get lost ahjumma. (Get a grip and go home. – IR) No. I won’t. Let’s end it today.
Getting angry… Scorned… Ignoring… Ruining yourself…
HT: That’s what you said… Don’t joke around. What do you want?
I was in such pain…
HT’s mother stops by at the convenience store to place an order for rice delivery and sees KJ waiting to pay for his purchase as well. She asks if he lives around the area. Yes. He looks at her a bit more closely and remembers seeing her dragging IR into a store. Oops. This is her mother-in-law. Mother of a very angry HT. He quickly dashes out after paying his stuff but forgets his ramen-in-a-cup. MIL runs after him to hand over the forgotten item and does her best to pry more information from the handsome man.
As he savors his hot ramen, KJ hears IR singing a song about ramen and even hallucinated seeing her standing right before him. He misses IR. A LOT. 😥
IR makes hangover soup with Pollack and is comforted with the fact that HT still eats her food, although begrudgingly. He tells her to sit at the breakfast table and asks her what she wants. She shakes her head. He slides over a piece of paper to IR: Divorce petition.
Already? No conversation whatsoever to determine is its’ truly the case of irreconcilable differences?
IR rips up the document. She repeats her stance: she has ended whatever it was with KJ.
HT: If you two end it, is that it? It’s like you never fooled around behind my back? [IR just looks at HT] Don’t make that expression. It’s heinous.
HT voiceover: I wanted to have a conversation
HT: Could it be just him? How many times now? [IR continues to just look at him]
HT voiceover: This cruelty
HT: Did you give him money?
HT voiceover: I told myself not to. But I wanted to step on her.
HT: Why’d you do it? … Why’s you do it? Do you dislike me? You hate my snoring now? Wanna hit the back of my head while I eat? My income is meager and insufficient. I’m worthless now that you see, right?
IR refutes him. She snores too when she’s exhausted. She had the urge to hit him but not while he is eating. His income may not be much, but she’s earning a living too and they’re doing fine. It’s also a lie to not think of him as worthless throughout their 7-year marriage, but IR chose him. So, she’s worthless too then.
But why? HT is still waiting for her answer.
IR: I’m sorry. To let myself feel that way… That was a mistake, really… But… That’s how I felt. The feelings just appeared.
HT remembers that night in the cafe when KJ finally agrees to make that gift, ” That’s how I feel…”
IR: So, don’t misunderstand. I don’t dislike you.
HT: SHUT UP!! Are you still in high school? What IRRESPONSIBLE words!! Are you two playing with me?! [IR is stunned with his outburst] Fine. Let’s say that’s the case. The feelings are still there. Right?! You said it just appeared! And now? Are they gone? WELL?
HT voiceover: I didn’t need to ask. I didn’t need to hear the answer. Those eyes. They told me everything. My wife can’t lie with words or her eyes.
IR: I’ll try.
HT voiceover: The conversation was over.
HT leaves the table and tells her there’s no need for IR to welcome HS back from the hospital. IU informs mum of the tableau she witnessed at the restaurant last night.
KJ sets the repaired chair aside, safely in a corner and a visitor enters his studio: Detective Lee Dae Ho of Cyber Investigations.
Despite HT’s harsh words not to come by his parents’ home, IR has refreshed HS’ room. New wall colors, meds all properly stocked and organized, new bed linens used… and when she happily greets HS and her in-laws’, she is roughly shoved aside by HT making it extremely obvious her presence is redundant. They can take care of HS themselves.
After telling IR to get the Ahjumma into the room to help HS change clothes, IR overhears HT’s chat with HS…
HT: HS, we need to learn to live without IR. It’ll be tough. But let’s try. I’ll help you.
HT voiceover: I decided to live without IR. That I can do it. Or I felt like I would die. I decided to leave my wife.
I’m hearing a lot of “like” rather than “love.” Why am I bit unsettled about this detail?