Suspicious Housekeeper: Episodes 3-4

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Here go the weecaps for episodes 3-4! The ratings are middling for this drama, hovering around the 7-9 percent. It’s close behind Secret and trades places with Goddess of Fire Jung Yi for second place. It’s a bit amazing how fast the drama goes, and each episode seems episodic so far. In episode 2 we dealt with Sang Chul’s adultery. In episode 3 we deal with Hye Gyul’s desire for a unified family rather than a broken one, and in episode 4 we deal with Sae Gyul’s bullies.

Episode 3

 

With Bok Nyeo spreading the news about Sang Chul and Song Hwa’s affair, both their jobs are at risk. Song Hwa is rightfully angry about it and refuses to talk to Sang Chul. The fact that his wife killed herself and his daughter revealed their secret just reinforces the idea that they’re not meant to be together. The controversy forces their bosses to take action. They start an inquiry into the affair. Song Hwa unfortunately lies by saying that Sang Chul just sexually assaulted her, and that it was a one-sided love affair. That costs Sang Chul his position. Even though his concept for the new building complex won, he would not be able to take charge of it. His rival Manager Choi ends up heading the project from his desk, and Sang Chul is sent to oversee the actual construction on site — pretty much a demotion for him.

 

When Sang Chul returns home Han Gyul gives him the cold shoulder. She is relentless. She forces Bok Nyeo to repeat what she said at the office, and shows her siblings the card that their mother wrote. When they all realize that their father cheated on their mother, they can’t stand to live with him anymore. It hurts all of them that Sang Chul doesn’t even know if he loved their mother. To be fair – he was forced into the marriage. It was his mistake to get Sun Young pregnant before marriage, but she also threatened to kill herself if he made her abort the child. They had more children because Sun Young hoped it would make him love her more.

Han Gyul takes all her siblings to their grandfather’s place and lies that the plumbing broke in their house.

 

Before Bok Nyeo leaves for the night, she gives Sang Chul a panda origami figure that Hye Gyul worked hard to make all night. Inside there’s a message: “Hye Gyul loves Dad. Dad, do you love Hye Gyul, too?”

The following morning, Na Young calls up Sang Chul to find out what happened exactly between him and the kids. She doesn’t believe that the water pipes broke. In front of Bok Nyeo, he finally tells Na Young the truth about his affair. Na Young is shellshocked but manages to keep enough wits to know not to tell her father what she just heard.

 

Hye Gyul is the only one who wants to go back home because she misses her dad. Sae Gyul is more pragmatic, noting that it’ll be difficult for all of them to survive without their father. He also blames their mother for abandoning them even though she was betrayed by their father. I have to agree with Sae Gyul’s reasoning here. Even though she is a woman whose heart was broken by the man she loved, she still had a responsibility to her children. The children then arrange to have Hye Gyul picked up, since Bok Nyeo won’t be coming for her today.

Since Sang Chul has no need for a maid now that his children have left him, he orders her to quit. And she does, leaving promptly and thanking him for the employ. The nosy neighbor rushes to tell her husband about Bok Nyeo’s firing, which disappoints him because he just bought a telescope most likely just so he could spy on her.

 

After school, Sae Gyul picks up Hye Gyul, who wants to go find Bok Nyeo. While picking up her son Uh Jin, their neighbor tells them that Bok Nyeo most likely quit. The two then track Bok Nyeo to the amusement park and ask for her help. Hye Gyul wants Bok Nyeo to help reconcile her father, Han Gyul, and Doo Gyul. She wants to move back to her father’s house. Bok Nyeo can’t help her, since she technically has nothing to do with the family now. They also can’t afford to pay her for one day to help them.

 

Meanwhile, Han Gyul is at school looking for her classmate Choi Soo Hyuk (Seo Kang Joon), with whom she nearly slept with. She’s too shy to approach him, but then bumps into her old friend Woo Jae (Park Ji Bin – the cutie all grown up!). Woo Jae knows that Soo Hyuk is a sleaze, and overhears him talking to “his girl” about Han Gyul’s “whining.” He tries his best to keep them apart, but Han Gyul is too enamored by this guitarist boy who listens to her complain about her family problems. I love that Woo Jae is being set up to be Han Gyul’s “one twoo wuv” – if it’s possible – because I like Park Ji Bin a lot.

 

Na Young goes to Sang Chul’s home to pack up the children’s clothes and books. She bumps into her brother-in-law, and ends up scolding him for betraying her sister. She wants him to reconcile with his children and believes that it’s possible as long as he is sincere about it. He thinks otherwise so Na Young goes back home and tells the children that their father is very sorry. Clumsy with words as she is physically, she accidentally reveals to Han Gyul that the only reason why Sang Chul and Sun Young married was because they had her.

Hye Gyul is the only one still determined to reunite her family, and she asks Na Young for some money so that she could hire Bok Nyeo. She manages to get enough to hire Bok Nyeo for five hours, and together they concoct a plan that would get her siblings and her father together. Hye Gyul has Bok Nyeo call both parties and say that she kidnapped Hye Gyul. The only way they can get Hye Gyul back is if they work together and apologize to each other.

 

The trick works, and they all gather at the Happy Company to see if anyone knows where Bok Nyeo could have taken Hye Gyul. No one is willing to apologize just yet, but at least Sang Chul is taking action to show that he cares about his children first. At first the children don’t want to work with Sang Chul at all in finding Hye Gyul, but they eventually realize it’s faster if they just ride in the car with him. Also, if Bok Nyeo calls, at least all of them will be around to hear the message. At one point Song Hwa calls up Sang Chul, but he rejects her call because he’s only going to answer calls from Bok Nyeo.

 

The search goes throughout the night and finally they realize that Hye Gyul is actually back at their home. Bok Nyeo is standing in the lawn patiently as the family frantically searches throughout the house. And then they see her – sitting on the ledge over the balcony railing. Hye Gyul threatens them to not come any further or she’ll jump. She wants her family to apologize to each other and live together again, but they’re all a bit too preoccupied with getting her to come back to the balcony safely.

Just then, Na Young arrives and cries out in shock at the chaos before her. Her presence shocks Hye Gyul, who drops her treasured box to the ground. As she’s reaching for it, she falls too!

 

Sang Chul and the siblings race to catch her but it’s too late. They look over the ledge and Hye Gyul is safely tucked in Bok Nyeo’s arms. The housekeeper had been waiting in the lawn to catch Hye Gyul just in case.

 

Sang Chul rushes downstairs and instead of hugging Hye Gyul, he slaps her across the cheek. “Don’t ever do this again! Do you know how much I worried about you?” he yells. As shocking as it is to see him slap his child, the siblings don’t say anything because he’s also right. Hye Gyul cries and apologizes, and then discovers that she’s missing one rock – the one that represents her father. She goes off to search for it but can’t find it in the lawn. Han Gyul remarks, “This is good actually. There is no dad in our family.”

Hye Gyul starts begging her older siblings to make up with their father. She asks Sang Chul if he read her letter in the panda origami, and asks if he loves her. Sang Chul freezes. He cannot reply. Everyone’s prodding him to say he does, but all Sang Chul can say is, “I’m sorry.”

And just then, Bok Nyeo leaves. Her contract with Hye Gyul is done.

Episode 4

 

Not so fast Bok Nyeo-nim. The kids want Sang Chul out of the house; If he doesn’t love them, he has no reason to stay at the family home. Since they don’t have an adult around (Na Young not included), they request that Bok Nyeo stay on as their housemaid. Sang Chul acquiesces, rather than fighting to stay with his children. It causes some consternation for Na Young, who can’t believe her brother-in-law can’t even lie about his love for his children, but it’s better this way. Honesty is the best policy, and it gives us some time for Sang Chul to grow to love and appreciate his children. As he leaves, Bok Nyeo also hands him the rock that represents him. She found it but didn’t give it to Hye Gyul, suggesting that Sang Chul can return when he’s a true father. She’s interfering!

 

The following morning, Bok Nyeo cooks breakfast for the four children and asks whose orders she should follow. Doo Gyul thinks it should be him (heaven forbid) but Han Gyul is the more obvious choice. Han Gyul settles on having all of the siblings discuss first before making any decisions on Bok Nyeo’s orders. First on the ‘agenda’ is Sae Gyul’s parent-teacher meeting. He needs their father to go to the meeting before he can transfer to an international middle school in Korea. Bok Nyeo contacts Sang Chul at his hotel about the meeting, but just in case he can’t make it (and he doesn’t because of work), Bok Nyeo also heads to the school for the conference.

When Sae Gyul goes to school, he’s immediately bullied by a classmate, who calls him ‘Philippines’ for where Sae Gyul came from. The bully forces Sae Gyul to use his transportation card money to buy some snacks and junk food for him and his gang. They push him around a lot, which causes a lot of stress for Sae Gyul because he can’t quite stand up to them. He tries to ask Bok Nyeo for more money for his transportation card, but she sees through all of his excuses on why he needs the money. It’s only when she goes to the school for the parent-teacher conference that she witnesses Sae Gyul being bullied. However, she doesn’t say a thing or tries to stop it.

 

Bully wants Sae Gyul to give him and his buddies the answers to the upcoming math exam. A perfect score would ensure their entry into a good international middle school. Sae Gyul is already stressed out about his own grade and doesn’t want to deal with helping Bully, but feels forced to when Bully pours a bucketful of sewage water over his sneakers.

 

Meanwhile for Sang Chul, he’s working hard at the construction site but misses Song Hwa terribly. She is too ashamed to see him especially since she accused him of sexual assault. So she starts being friendly with Manager Choi. Ugh. A construction-related emergency prevents Sang Chul from going to Sae Gyul’s parent-teacher conference but he learns from Bok Nyeo that he’ll have to sign some forms for Sae Gyul’s school transfer. He has Bok Nyeo come to his hotel to drop the forms off, and that’s when Song Hwa also decides to visit him to talk everything out.

 

Bok Nyeo and Song Hwa end up in the same elevator, and the housekeeper chooses to hang back and wait outside the hotel room while Song Hwa goes in to talk to Sang Chul. Inside the room, Sang Chul says he doesn’t care if Song Hwa accused him of sexual assault. He understands that she needed to do it for her own survival. As long as she truly loves him and is willing to be by his side now (especially with no children around) he would accept her. He asks her to trust him and believe that he’ll have a plan for their “escape.”

Just as he offers to drive her home Sang Chul opens the door to find Bok Nyeo there. Both are startled and angry that she was standing outside for 51 minutes and 45 seconds, possibly listening in on their conversation. Bok Nyeo doesn’t give a damn what they did but she does force some change of clothing and the school forms into Sang Chul’s hands. Of course, Song Hwa angrily storms off because she can’t exactly trust a guy who won’t change his suspicious housekeeper.

 

It just so happens that when Bok Nyeo leaves, Grandpa passes by in a car and notices that she’s walking away from Sang Chul, who’s standing outside the hotel. Immediately Grandpa jumps into the conclusion that they’re having an affair. Ha! Incensed, he calls Sang Chul in to his office and wants him to sign over all parental rights to him. Sang Chul hesitates. At least he still has a conscience and small desire to raise his kids.

 

After picking up Hye Gyul from school, Bok Nyeo visits a local butcher for some meat. She’s quite precise in how much she wants but the butcher Shin Jung Man (Jung Suk Yong) has a thing for her and gives her some rib eye on the house. Too bad his wife Mi Ja catches him and gives him a beating for it. Uh Jin’s mother is also a regular customer at Jung Man’s shop and, when she notices Jung Man’s bruises, Mi Ja warns her that Bok Nyeo can be quite the flirt even though she doesn’t smile. Uh Jin’s mother doesn’t think her husband could ever stray. HAH. Let’s see who’s the bigger cuckold in the end because I’m pretty sure that telescope he bought was not for the stars.

Sae Gyul returns home with dirtied shoes, but he doesn’t want Bok Nyeo to wash them yet for fear of Bully’s wrath. He wonders desperately if there’s a way to pass the test with 100. Bok Nyeo replies, “You will get 100 percent if you know all the math problems.” Crazy idea: Can she steal the math test?

 

It ends up being FAR EASIER than one would think. Bok Nyeo literally strolls up to the school at night and knocks on the door. She tells the security guard that she’s here to pick up a test, and the guard assumes that she’s here to pick up the exam that the students already took. Some students forgot to pick up the exam, so some parents had to come and get it for them. Bok Nyeo then goes into the testing room and literally picks up a copy of the math test tomorrow.

 

Sae Gyul is just as shocked as we are when Bok Nyeo fulfills his order. He struggles with the dilemma of whether to cheat or not but ends up getting so irritated with Bully that he asks Bok Nyeo to go kill him. After all, Bully’s probably going to grow up as a criminal and he doesn’t deserve to live. He even has a fake gun to play around with! Bok Nyeo then goes to Bully’s hideout, ignores his gun pointed at her, and proceeds to choke him to death.

 

Thankfully Sae Gyul thought better of his order and comes just in time to stop her. He’s surprised that she has no qualms about going to jail and decides that the better option is to try to stand up to Bully — even if it means getting beat up. Suddenly realizing he has power over the situation again, Bully starts beating Sae Gyul up and tells him what the code is for all the answers. Depending on what the answer is for that question, Sae Gyul is to touch certain parts of his face.

Sae Gyul feels helpless once again and asks Bok Nyeo for advice. She says, as usual, “That’s for you to figure out,” but Sae Gyul wants a better answer than that. So Bok Nyeo replies, “There’s a way for you to figure it out. Why do you want to go to international middle school?” That gets Sae Gyul thinking, and he goes to school the next day feeling more confident.

 

During the test Bully coughs to signal that he wants answers from Sae Gyul. And – sadly enough – Sae Gyul starts reciting all the answers to the test through gestures. But then, as soon as the test is done, the teacher comes in to recite all the answers… and the Bully gets it all wrong! As soon as the teacher leaves Bully is right on top of Sae Gyul, ready to punch the living daylights out of him.

But Sae Gyul shows him the test. Look, he got a zero too! Suddenly it makes sense. To screw over Bully, Sae Gyul screwed over his own chances to get into the international middle school. He knew the answers to most of the problems, but realized that the reason he wanted to go to the international school was so he would hear his mother praise him. But she’s no longer around to do that and she would not have wanted him to get in through cheating. That’s why he didn’t bother looking at the test that Bok Nyeo stole for him, and that’s why he wasn’t afraid of failing the test to teach Bully a lesson.

“I think you did an amazing thing,” Bok Nyeo says, giving him a small smile. Oh my God she’s giving an opinion!

 

That evening, Doo Gyul returns home and finds a new letter in the mailbox. It’s an anonymous note with cut-out letters: “Your housekeeper is a murderer.”

Doo Gyul turns around. Bok Nyeo is standing right there behind him. Dun dun dun!

Thoughts and comments

I really liked how quickly these two episodes went. I even mixed up some scenes together, thinking that something happened in one episode when it really happened later. Hye Gyul, Sang Chul, and Sae Gyul got the most screen time in these two episodes, so I’m expecting to see some problems for Han Gyul and Doo Gyul in the near future that Bok Nyeo will have to help with. For Han Gyul, it’s most likely going to deal with her dalliance with Choi Soo Hyuk. Woo Jae has already tried to intervene with Soo Hyuk’s “smooth moves” over Han Gyul but the problem is she herself doesn’t realize that Soo Hyuk’s a sleaze. I can’t imagine what Doo Gyul’s “issue” will be, though right now it seems he’s the only one that will be intent on finding out Bok Nyeo’s past.

In these two episodes I found myself pitying Sang Chul a lot. I know he’s a terrible father but, at the same time, he didn’t exactly ask to be stuck in this loveless marriage with his wife. He was young and irresponsible in getting Sun Young pregnant, but I do think she was quite unfair in threatening suicide if he didn’t want the child. I also think it was unfair that she left the children alone rather than choosing to support them with her love and care. I don’t exactly mind that he chose to abandon his kids, or as he puts it, “The kids abandoned me.” I’d rather that a father be a good father if he’s to be around his kids. If he can’t provide for them emotionally or physically then he ought not to be around them. It’s also quite pitiful that he’s getting played by Song Hwa. Not only does she betray him publicly, but she also starts flirting with Manager Choi. It doesn’t help that her colleague Lee Dong Shik (Jang Seo Won) has a huge crush on her. I’m pretty sure Lee now realizes what a selfish woman she is. I get that she did it for survival in the company, but it’s not like she learned her lesson about office romance. It makes Sang Chul even more pathetic as a man. Sang Chul does catch her inviting Manager Choi into her house. The question is whether he will confront her about it or choose to think that it’s a “work-related” matter.

Another thing I found strange about these two episodes is that the news on TV seems to foreshadow what will happen in the episode. In episode 3, there was a news report about a housekeeper kidnapping the seven-year-old child from the household she works at. The footage even looks a lot like Bok Nyeo and Hye Gyul. And then, guess what? Bok Nyeo “kidnaps” Hye Gyul. Then in episode 4 there’s a news report about a sixth grader who was bullied to the point that he was driven to suicide. We end up fearing that Sae Gyul might do that. He doesn’t, thankfully, but he is bullied to the point that he’s driven to desperate measures.

I’m not sure how I feel about this little TV motif. On one hand it’s not witty or amusing. On the other hand it gives it a “J-drama” feel to it. Generally J-dramas are a little more over the top and a little more exaggerated in everything they do. They can get a little ludicrous, and so the news report scenes would be in line with that. This drama feels like a J-drama inserted in a K-drama format, which might explain for the odd juxtaposition of really melodramatic moments with strangely hilarious moments side by side. I don’t mind it too much because it makes the drama even quirkier. It’s not your typical K-drama. It’s not your typical J-drama. It’s a weird in-between-drama all on its own. Let’s see if that will change in the coming episodes.

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