I’ve been replaying the first 10 minutes of Episode 15 of Healer for the umpteenth time before I can take the first step off the cliff into the twilight zone of Valid Love…
Holy Mackerel, only 3 more episodes left to this dragged-on Makjang storyline…
It’s the break of dawn and MIL is happily preparing breakfast for… Mr. Jang. Next we see her banging and making such a ruckus at KJ’s gates and drags him to her house. And as they walk downhill, they meet IR and HT who were worried sick about her sudden disappearance yet again.
They all enter the Jang household and IR gently asks a favor from KJ to play along just for that day. While the ladies set the table for breakfast, KJ and HT have a “discussion” about his sudden appearance in the house. HT tells him KJ should’ve kept his mum at his studio instead of being in his parent’s house. “How could I? I just woke up and she dragged me here,” says sleepy-eyed KJ. He then questions why he allowed IR to stay there when HT had told KJ to take responsibility for her. “I tried. But she doesn’t listen to me anymore. Why don’t you talk to her?” HT tells him.
KJ’s gets a heaping bowl of rice compared to the rest and MIL urges him to begin eating the breakfast she prepared at the break of dawn. He waits for her to begin eating but she insists “Mr. Jang” must be the first to take a bite. KJ looks at IR and HT for some guidance and the latter subtly signals to him to play along.
During casual breakfast chat, HT learns for the first time that KJ has no family. Doesn’t even know who his parents are. IR tries her best to steer MIL away from such a sensitive topic. And then enter the molotov cocktail. Insensitive Mr. Jang a.k.a Husband gets upset over why he wasn’t included at the breakfast table. MIL naturally goes into “get this Old Man out my sight!” mode. Lordy. The Over The Top (OTT) family bickering begins. HT drags his dad back to his room and IR ushers MIL into hers. KJ stands alone in the dining room, stupefied.
However what hurt him was the unfamiliar air.
KJ walks toward the big family portrait hung on the wall, and scan the other picture frames below: Mr. and Mrs. Jang on their wedding day, HT and IR with HT’s family on their wedding day.
In this house, there existed an air only we knew. The air created by a family’s layered inhalations and exhalations.
KJ drags IR out to the main gate, determined to have her out of that household. IR tells him they’ll have their time for their talk, so please return to Castadiva. Wait for me, I’ll be there soon.
So the guy began to dread. Anxiety started to cripple him.
Hmmm. Am not a fan of where this bricked-road of Kim Do Woo is taking us, chingu. KJ begins to dread at episode 17? I’d better summon the Kraken to be on stand-by…
IR puts on her coat to leave the house, but MIL intercepts and wants her to have tea. At this point IR could’ve, you know, texted KJ she would be late? As in, courtesy?
MIL: My name is Go Jung Hee. I was born in Seoul, Pyongwon Kaechol Utgol. My maternal grandfather was a village leader. His traditional home with 99 rooms was taken from him [IR covertly checks her wrist watch] We escaped from North to South Korea during the war. It was when I was three. My father and mother took both my older sisters and carried three-year-old me and escaped North Korea. Without any money.
And chances of escaping the Jang household: Zero.
KJ is keeping his mind off IR by doing some work in his studio, but he stops to check the time: 2:10pm. IR is a no-show. Anxiety is festering…
Just when IR thinks she can make a getaway, MIL is dressing up to go to the store. “Where’s my car keys?” And so IR ends up volunteering to be the driver. Fester, fester, fester…
Evening rolls in. KJ returns to his studio after a quick errand. And finally, finally, a text from IR: I’m sorry. I can’t go today. I’ll call you.
HT returns home to see his mom being playfully chased around by dad. IR tells him MIL suddenly recognized him when a certain music was played. GT gets an idea to make his parents dance a waltz as a means to help jog her memory.
FIL: Right. You’re dancing well.
MIL: Sway to the flow.
FIL: Right, that’s nice.
I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my promise to my mother-in-law tonight (sending IR back to her) Yeah. It won’t be too late to send her tomorrow.
Nurse: Who are you? Look here, young man! Who are you to do this?! Madam!!
KJ: Get out right now! [Fester explodes in nuclear proportion]
GT: Is that bastard insane? Hey! How dare you yell here? Come out.
KJ: Hurry up and get out. (How dare you? Get out. Get out! – GT)
FIL: Who’s that jerk talking to?
MIL: Mr. Jang! We were just dancing. This old man kept begging me.
HT: Get out. Get out… talk to me.
KJ: Let go.
GT: Why talk to this bastard? Just kick him out.
HT: I’ll talk to him. Go in.
IR: I’ll talk to him. Let’s go.
HT: Hey! Let go of her hand!
IR: I got it. Let go… I’ll go on my own. Let go!
HT: Kim Joon! You’re upset. Calm down and talk.
KJ: How can I not be upset? Why do you keep staying here? (So calm down and talk. You go in, honey – HT) (No, you go in, honey. Let’s go – IR)
IR: How could you? All the elders were there! How? Forget me. What does that make HT?
KJ: You said you’d come. You should’ve, even if you were late. Was that why you couldn’t come? Dancing… Laughing and talking…
IR: Is that all you can say knowing Mother’s condition?
KJ: That’s why I told you not to go.
IR: This isn’t something I need your permission for! You should’ve trusted me. Whatever I do, I must have a reason. You should’ve trusted me.
KJ: It’s not that I don’t trust you. I don’t trust that family. Everyone’s holding onto your ankles!
IR: Don’t say that. That family… don’t talk carelessly about that family.
KJ: Then, what am I? Hmm? Then what am I to you? (Don’t you know? – IR) NO! I don’t know. I don’t know! I think I’m less than that family to you.
Sweetie, I’m on camp KJ here. You haven’t declared anything to him. I can vouch for that. Sixteen episodes worth…
IR: When we first met, did you know it would go this far? [KJ’s expression of You-Have-GOT-To-Be-Kidding-Me is priceless] When we first met…
Flashback: How old are you? Are you even thirty? – IR (What is that? – KJ following behind IR) It’s nothing – IR (Then throw it away. Why carry it around? – KJ) Why are you following me? – IR (Who? – KJ) You’ve been following me – IR (Me?… I’m taking a walk – KJ) Then go ahead – IR (I’m resting because my legs hurt – KJ)
IR: Did you know it would get this far? You were just excited. You thought it would stop there. Did you know you would roll around a bottomless pit and end up standing here like this? Who’s fault is all this? Who are you to me? If you were nothing, why would I be standing here like this? I came this far following my heart. My heart only followed you. If you ask “What am I?” Then, what becomes of my past?
KJ: Then just stay here. Don’t go.
IR: I know you’re mad. But you made a mistake today. You’re not the only one who’s mad. I’m mad too!
KJ: Is it me or that family? Is my question wrong? Is it me or Dr. Jang? Answer.
Next day IR calls KJ, but he doesn’t answer her. KJ is also not doing any filler work in his studio, but nursing a couple of soju bottles at a nearby watering hole.
KJ: Go.. just go… What’s with this? Darn it… (Who is it? – HT) Who do you think? It’s Kim Joon. Open the door! Dr. Jang! I said open the door. Open the door!
HT: What now? What’s wrong? … Hey KJ! Stop there! Hey KJ! HEY!!
MIL: Earlier you –
GT: Hey! What is this? You’re good mom! (Mr. Jang! – MIL) Why is this bastard here again?
HT: Get out KJ. Let’s talk outside.
KJ: Let go of me! I wanna live here too… Let’s just all live here together! Okay? Come here. Everyone come here! Come here!
Do I have any energy left to see this drama through?
Oh. My. Lord
One thing I must say about LSH though, this may just be his breakthrough role.
Valid Love for LSH is what Secret Love Affair was for YAI.
Le Sigh ❤ ❤ ❤