HT reads IR’s letter and when he stumbles upon her by chance at the zebra crossing, he realized he began to feel that fluttery excitement in his heart. The light turns green for pedestrians but they both remain rooted in their position. As the timer runs down to the last 10 seconds, IR decides to walk across and HT wonders if her heart is excited seeing him again.
IR: Long time no see [smiles]… I’ll be going.
It took 5 more seconds before HT invites her for a drink… canned drinks at a public park. He notices IR’s latest purchase at the Art store and remembers her artwork since high school. He encourages her to pursue her artistic passion.
HT: I heard you’re leaving with Carpenter Kim. I heard from him. That’s what you decided… Have a good life. That’s all I can say to you.
IR: You mean it? You hope I’ll be happy with some other man?
I answered sincerely. Just live under the same sky. Be healthy.
IR: I guess you don’t love me anymore.
KJ is cleaning up his studio and his sixth sense kicks in when he turns to look at his window. MK had been peeking into his place and leaves when he realizes his presence is known. He calls MK over and invites him to have jajangmyun.
HT tells IR he has something to give her and they both walk back to the home they once shared for seven years…
HT: Go in. (What is this? – IR) I ordered it a long time ago. It’s to celebrate your new beginning.
Flashback: Did you take the order knowing he was my husband? (I had a reason – KJ) You accepted the order without telling me. You shouldn’t have done that. (I wanted to make it for you! … A comfortable chair to rest in – KJ)
HT: I’ll load it for you (No, it’s okay. Just leave it here – IR) Why? (I don’t have a place to put it. Your gift makes me uncomfortable – IR) I ordered it, but that guy made it.
IR: That’s why. You ordered it. Carpenter Kim made it. I really did… something bad. (You didn’t know – HT) Even still, I created it.
HT: I told him it was a divorce gift. I felt bad to you while we were together. I was so sorry that I thought that was love. Now I don’t have to be sorry. But you’re leaving.
IR: I’ll make you dinner.
What’s with cooking meals for HT, IR?
It’s night time and MK is still at KJ’s studio, but engrossed with his phone. KJ wants to know what the fuss is all about playing games on cell phones (because he still hangs on to the old clam-type hand phone). MK ends up begging to have his phone back when KJ has turned into a certifiable game-addict within minutes 😀
My wife and I ate together for the first time in a while. Unexpected memories came to mind. The thousands of meals we ate here over the past seven years. Was my wife thinking the same?
It might have been because of the warmth. My wife’s temperature along with the heat of the bean paste stew. The house was so warm.
So much has happened. Hatred and apologies disappeared.
[They both break down over dinner at the dining table].
The fact that we were able to sit and eat together was exciting and thankful.
That night my wife didn’t leave.
Meanwhile Ms. Go calls up nursing homes for herself and Mr. Jang intercepts her call. How could she check herself in when she still has a husband and two sons? It’s obvious she doesn’t recognize him anymore and tells him to put her in the nursing home if her condition worsens. She couldn’t as her kids to do, but Mr. Jang, a stranger, could. “I’ll pay you adequately, okay?”
Mr. Jang: Okay. Let’s go together. (Why would you? – Ms. Go) Without you, I steamed bun with no filling. Should I eat cold rice alone here? Let’s go together. I’ll help you. Let’s hold hands… and go together.
It’s daytime and KJ enters his studio for work… but there’s a well-dressed female customer waiting for him already, “Long time no see, Carpenter Kim… [KJ looks perplexed] The door was open… ” He remains silent and she continues the one-sided conversation. “It was hard to find you. It’s bigger than your old workshop. It must be comfortable to work in.”
You know how his old workshop looks like?
Ahjumma. You stalkin’ my Joonie?
KJ: What is it? I’m not taking any orders.
Lady: Did I upset you so badly over that?
KJ: Bringing a picture and asking for a replica is nearly… (Ah! I’m sorry. I didn’t know back then. I won’t do it again. Today I’d like to order something else – Lady) I don’t think so.
Lady: Then… can I have a cup of coffee?
KJ reaches for the jar and shows her that he has run out of coffee. She leaves his studio, and then HT enters, walks through the studio and opens the door to the deck. KJ follows him outdoors.
HT: Were you okay that day? The sashimi we ate… My stomach hurt all day. Was it the sashimi? Well, I always feel that way when I see you.
KJ: You want money for treatment?
HT: No… as long as I don’t see you. (Why’d you come? – KJ) I told you. To see the view. (Leave if you’re done – KJ) I will… (Aren’t you leaving? – KJ) IR’s at my house.
JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE 😥
HT: Others would laugh if I say this to you… but, thanks. (You can’t be – KJ) I can’t help being grateful. Many problems I wouldn’t have known about if not for you… IR and my mother. Family can hurt you. But it’s the biggest consolation. (I don’t care – KJ) You don’t know why I’m smiling, huh? It’s satisfying. I experienced it and you will, too. At least once in your life. Take care.
IR waits outside in the cold for HT. She wants to see her husband return home from work…
Without someone to sacrifice for or feel sorry to.. We were able to spend time together. But it wasn’t the same as before. We needed more time.
As for Hawt Carpenter KJ…
Lady: Aren’t you drinking any? (This is the last cup – KJ) You ran out of coffee again? (I’ll accept your order – KJ) I didn’t think you would. But I came to ask you once more.
KJ: In exchange, don’t come here for the time being. If you’re doing this because you want to see me, hold yourself back for my sake.
Lady: I knew… you knew.
KJ: I’ll call you. I’m going to move. I’ll give you my number… I have to get your apology. Someday I’ll probably call you Mother. I need time. Like someone said, what you have to experience, it’s best to do so quickly. I don’t think I’ll change that much though… I’ll do it now. Please wait.
And we get the last few shots of KJ’s simple yet inspiring studio that started it all…
MK comes by and is shocked to see KJ has packed up his things. He is understandably upset, but KJ gives him one of his tools as a means to cheer him on. MK bumps into HT near the park and the latter was surprised to learn from MK of KJ’s move.
Honestly, I wanted to shake hands. I wanted to tell him I’d cheer him on wherever he went. I wanted to tell him let’s never meet again. But I didn’t want to see him for the last time.
But… what about my wife?
HT calls KJ later in the evening while he has drinks @ XYZ cafe with IR’s high school friends (ergo his ex-students).
HT: It’s Jang Hee Tae… can we meet right now?
But in reality, he set up IR to bump into KJ at the neighborhood street…
IR: Where are you going? (Far away – KJ) By chance, the house you lived in with your harabeoji?
KJ: No. I’m going to work with others this time… Dr. Jang called me to meet him here.
And then they both realized HT made this happen for them. They smile, yet can’t look at each other’s eyes..
KJ: Tell him I said thank you. (Okay – IR) And… Mrs. Kim too. Tell Mrs. Kim I said thank you.
IR: What will I tell her? (For everything – KJ) For everything?
KJ: Yes. I was happy to have met her . I did things I never did before… I even became Mr. Jang. (I’ll tell her – IR) One more thing, tell her my hand is still hot. Thanks to her I found someone hotter than me.
And they walk their separate paths…
The chair was comfortable. My wife loved the chair. The chair I ordered and that guy made… was one of a kind.
The heartsick person found love [his mother]. The physically ill person attained freedom over love.
After loving, you always gain tree rings of growth.
Is there an invalid love in the world?
We’re weak enough to fall in any kind of love. We break and shatter because we’re weak. But grow bigger in the process. Is that why?
The sliver of sunshine on the inevitable spring day is so welcome.
To end my “torturous” mini recap of this drama:
Kim Do Woo, please take a long vacay and reflect on the pain you caused for thousands around the world.
We want our time back.
Hands down, Valid Love is LSH’s turning point as an Actor ❤ ❤ ❤