Suspicious Housekeeper: Episodes 7-8

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These two episodes felt uninspired and a bit draggy. I guess it’s because we’re at the “mid-drama lurch” where the story hits a bit of a rough patch before it reaches its climactic finish. It focused on my favorite character, Sang Chul, but I quickly realized while watching that I don’t like him being so mopey and pathetic. He’s an interesting protagonist/antagonist for the drama and his children because he is very aware of his feelings for his family, and isn’t willing to lie. However it’s just no fun watching his drama with Song Hwa unfold.

Episode 7

 

Feeling helpless, Han Gyul begs Bok Nyeo to kill her. That request proves to be fruitless. First, Bok Nyeo wraps duct tape around Han Gyul’s wrists. Then she tapes her down to the leg of a table. Han Gyul struggles – she wants to die! Not be tied up like this! Then Bok Nyeo locks her up in her room. So I guess she will make Han Gyul starve to death.

But Han Gyul breaks free and starts running away from Bok Nyeo. (She wants to die… but runs away… what?) The housekeeper points out that if Han Gyul really wanted to die she already had several chances to do so. Clearly she’s afraid to die.  Bok Nyeo adds that before Han Gyul requested to be killed Sang Chul had called and ordered Bok Nyeo to stop his daughter no matter what. Bok Nyeo is just following orders in order of hierarchy.

This mysterious housekeeper even drops a hint about her past. She admits that she tried to kill herself, but didn’t have the courage to do so. Director Hong also saved her by saying, “There must be a reason for you to live… if God exists.” Though Bok Nyeo hasn’t found that reason to live just yet, she points out that Han Gyul has many reasons to live. She has a father, a sister, and two brothers who all love her and would be very sad to see her go. If she had no one to mourn her death, then she’d truly have no reason to live.

Sang Chul arrives in time to see the drama, and begs Han Gyul to rethink her actions. Though Grandpa made it sound like she was unwanted, Sang Chul insists that she was. If it wasn’t for her, her siblings would not be alive. Han Gyul finally sees reason, and she asks for Sang Chul to prove that he loves all of them. That’s a tall order for a man who doesn’t know if he does love his children.

 

The following day Han Gyul must face the consequences of her actions. Her teacher questions her innocence over that ‘paid sex with an adult’ incident, but thankfully Soo Hyuk saves the day. Using his ‘power’ as the most popular boy in school, he gets the girls who photographed her to give up the video they filmed of the incident. The video shows that Han Gyul rejected the man’s advances and ran away. Han Gyul is thankful that Soo Hyuk helped her clear up this mess but at least she’s smart enough to realize he still doesn’t like her. She quits the band that he’s a part of, much to Woo Jae’s disappointment.

 

The next scene is completely pointless, but it’s kind of hilarious how dimwitted Uh Jin’s mother is. Bok Nyeo and Hye Gyul go grocery shopping, and for every item on their list Bok Nyeo hands the girl a flash card so she could learn Korean at the same time. Uh Jin and his mother see Hye Gyul doing all the leg work of getting the food that the mother becomes outraged. “You can’t just make a kid work like that! Isn’t that child abuse?” the mother cries. Hye Gyul explains that they’re playing a game, and Uh Jin chirps, “I wanna play too!” Since when did having a kid pick up some bananas and fish at the supermarket become child abuse?!

 

The kids become increasingly curious of Bok Nyeo’s past and they try to get more information from Manager Hong. However the manager remains tightlipped. We then see Uh Jin’s father, the reporter, filming a news story about a woman who claimed her husband died of an accident to get insurance benefits, but the mother-in-law thinks it’s murder. Based on what happened in past episodes, the news report might be a clue as to what happened in Bok Nyeo’s past. And in a flashback, we see the mother-in-law blaming Bok Nyeo for her son and grandchild’s death.

We also learn that Uh Jin’s mother has been cuckolded because her husband is basically having an affair with his producer, and she keeps giving gifts to that producer to “take care of her husband” at work. Hah.

 

Back to the kids and Manager Hong: The kids figure out that Bok Nyeo had a husband and a child, with whom she went to the amusement park quite often. But then, Bok Nyeo suddenly arrives and the kids barely manage to hide under the desk. Bok Nyeo knows that Manager Hong must be telling the kids about her background, and can sense the kids are there, so she reiterates that she will not answer any questions about her past or else she’ll quit.

 

Aunt Na Young visits the kids one evening and asks if they would be willing to take back their father. The kids ask Bok Nyeo for advice, and she reminds them that it’s up to their father to decide. After all, affairs are like a drug addiction. Once one has had a taste of it, it’s hard to stop unless they consciously choose to stop. Bok Nyeo is starting to give her opinion on things! And because of that the kids think she must have a deep resentment against adulterers – perhaps against her own husband for having been one.

Not sure how they could have their father prove his love for them, the children decide to have Bok Nyeo relay the following message: “If he ended the relationship with ‘that woman’ for sure, then he can come back.” Thing is, Sang Chul isn’t exactly over Song Hwa. When he visits the office he overhears Manager Choi saying that he’s just using Song Hwa as a toy. It infuriates him, and it makes him realize that he still loves her. So no, he can’t go back home yet.

 

Grandpa finally learns that Sang Chul had an affair on Sun Young, and that his daughter committed suicide. He confronts Song Hwa first (quite ballsy) and she goes on the defensive, showing him a picture of the divorce papers that needed Sun Young’s seal. Sang Chul and Sun Young were already about to divorce so it’s not her fault that Sun Young died. Grandpa becomes even more furious when he sees Sang Chul waiting for Song Hwa outside her apartment. He’s there to warn her about Manager Choi hurting her feelings, but Grandpa sees the whole scene differently.

 

Sang Chul finally returns home, much to the children’s surprise. But then Grandpa barges in with the document for giving up parental rights. He wants Sang Chul to sign it with his thumbprint immediately! The kids rise to their father’s defense, saying that Sang Chul is actually sorry. Grandpa doesn’t believe it and wants to blow Sang Chul’s brains out with a sculpture piece.

 

Hye Gyul screams for Bok Nyeo to stop the attack. She does, and proves she is stronger than Grandpa thinks she is. Sang Chul stands behind Bok Nyeo, telling her to move since she might get hurt. Instead, she flips him over her shoulder and slams him to the ground! Bok Nyeo: “I told you not to stand behind me.” Sang Chul is knocked out and taken to the hospital.

 

Later that evening, Bok Nyeo heads home, and she senses someone following her. It’s the mysterious guy, and she leads him to a construction site. Before he knows it, she’s grabbed him by the collar and pushes him against an unstable wall of concrete blocks.

She really doesn’t like people standing behind her.

Episode 8

 

The mysterious fellow is actually amused at Bok Nyeo’s violent tendencies and warns her that if she doesn’t let go of him, she’ll have another murder on her hands. My guess is he’s related somehow to her mother-in-law, as he reminds her that she’s a murderer and that he’ll keep watching her. He thinks she wants to cause some harm to the Eun family and so he warns her to stay away.

Sang Chul is left to rest in the hospital for his concussion with the kids at his bedside. Han Gyul is relieved that Bok Nyeo actually flipped him over because it prevented Grandpa from seriously hurting their father. But the kids think that he only came home to meet Grandpa, and not because he truly loved them. Sang Chul wakes up to hear this, but pretends he’s still asleep.

 

Grandpa is still bitter about Sang Chul but he does sit in the waiting area of the hospital. Manager Hong appears next to him like a ghost and requests that he stop harassing Bok Nyeo. She’s like the children’s mother so he should stop acting like a twisted old fart. Grandpa slowly realizes that Manager Hong is his uncle’s former housekeeper, one that gave him many nightmares when he was younger. HAHAHA. Guess she was a younger version of Bok Nyeo back in the day.

Meanwhile, Song Hwa learns that Manager Choi really has been playing her like a fiddle. He’s now engaged to the boss’ daughter and he knows that Song Hwa can’t tell anyone that they’ve been dating. He goes so far as to say, “If you had my baby no one would believe it” because she already accused Sang Chul of sexual harassment. Her reputation has already been stained in some way, so she might as well just resign. Or just stay as Manager Choi’s woman on the side.

Hye Gyul happens to have a school play for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and she’s going to play Dorothy. The thing is, she wants Bok Nyeo to make her a dress but is afraid that because the request has nothing to do with household chores, Bok Nyeo wouldn’t do it. Turns out Bok Nyeo is quite skilled in making dresses. Hye Gyul then asks Bok Nyeo to extend an invitation to Sang Chul for the performance.

 

Bok Nyeo visits Sang Chul in his hotel room, only to overhear him comforting a heartbroken Song Hwa. His former mistress just realized that she’s been played by Manager Choi and wonders (jokingly) if he could take her back. Of course, Song Hwa isn’t too happy to see Bok Nyeo outside the hotel room again.

After Bok Nyeo relays the invite (the play being Sang Chul’s last chance to return home to his kids), Song Hwa confronts the housekeeper outside. She hates how Bok Nyeo makes her feel completely humiliated for making it seem like she’s stealing Sang Chul away, and wonders if Bok Nyeo has a hidden agenda. Bok Nyeo merely replies, “I’ll look after them [the children] well.” She also keeps the whole rendezvous a secret from the kids, per Sang Chul’s request. It becomes interesting because when the kids ask Bok Nyeo whether or not Sang Chul is still seeing Song Hwa, Bok Nyeo completely avoids the question. It’s a bit still in line with her character since she does follow Sang Chul’s orders first and foremost, and then the kids’.

 

Bok Nyeo completes the dress for Hye Gyul and they proceed to rehearse the play. Of course, Bok Nyeo plays the Wicked Witch and boy is she frightening! Mainly because she doesn’t smile.

The following day, Song Hwa informs Sang Chul she’ll be resigning. That prompts him to go to the office and start a fist fight with Manager Choi. It’s a bittersweet revenge, as Manager Choi still comes out on top but at least got a good beating. Sang Chul is fired that day too. He calls Bok Nyeo out that evening to tell her the sad truth, and that’s when he realizes his stone is missing.

He doesn’t know that Song Hwa actually picked it up after the fist fight, and is holding on to it.

 

Sang Chul wants more time to get his life in order so that he can really prove he loves the kids. Out of desperation he asks Bok Nyeo to postpone Hye Gyul’s play so that he can attend at a later date. Bok Nyeo obeys and phones a threatening call to the school to postpone the play. The police arrive to investigate, as the teacher is worried someone might harm the children, and that’s when Sang Chul realizes the enormity of what Bok Nyeo has done. He apologizes to everyone (including Uh Jin’s mother) and because of his housekeeper Hye Gyul loses the part of Dorothy in the play.

 

The kids later learn that Sang Chul was fired and they become worried as to why he hasn’t come to see them. They start searching for him throughout the town and find him in the same river his wife died in, walking deeper and deeper to his death. Seriously? He’s already ready to commit suicide?

The kids want Sang Chul to stop running away and abandoning them. They really want him to return home. Hye Gyul even puts on a performance of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ with Bok Nyeo, Seo Gyul, Doo Gyul, and Han Gyul’s participation. Sang Chul tears up. Their mother would have loved to have seen this.

 

Eventually, Sang Chul is accepted back into the family, and the kids take pictures of themselves with their father. They try to sneakily include Bok Nyeo in the photo, but unfortunately Na Young arrives and completely blocks the shot. Heh. As Bok Nyeo walks Sang Chul out the door so that he can return to his hotel she gives him a piece of presumptuous advice: “You said last time that fatherhood needs to be learned. As a student needs to stay close to a desk and chair to learn something, a father that wants to learn about fatherhood should stay close to his children.”

Meanwhile Song Hwa is feeling guilty about Sang Chul’s unemployment status, but her coworker assures her that Sang Chul is quite talented and owns several patents for his home designs. He’ll be fine financially. She is still holding on to his family stone though so she calls him up to meet.

 

He invites her to his hotel room, where he’s already packing up his stuff to go back home. Instead of handing him back the stone, she says, “I now realize that your love for me is real (because of the fist fight). If it’s not too late, can I take responsibility for you?”

What the heck?

Little does she know, Bok Nyeo is actually in his bathroom packing up Sang Chul’s toiletries. She emerges after Song Hwa’s little “proposal” and says, “Are you done packing?”

End scene.

Thoughts and Comments

My brain fell asleep, so no thoughts.

Well there were some thoughts, but I have to admit that these two episodes weren’t as great as its predecessors. We did get a lot of insight into Bok Nyeo’s past, and she is starting to get more involved in the family’s problems than she did before. As her stalker noted to his employer (perhaps her former mother-in-law), she seems to be happy with the family even though she doesn’t smile.

As for Sang Chul and Song Hwa, I want them to break up desperately. They’re no good for each other, and they lack any chemistry on screen. Song Hwa comes off as pitiful rather than a scheming and independent woman. Perhaps the guilt of inadvertently causing Sun Young’s death has made her feel more powerless, but I still wish she didn’t waffle between wanting Sang Chul or not. Her “romance” with Manager Choi was also unbelievable and I thought that she was just putting on another show to make Sang Chul jealous. And finally, I wish she would stop blaming Sang Chul for Bok Nyeo’s unwanted presence. It’s not even his fault she appears without warning and stands there, waiting for their conversation to be over.

There are a couple of side stories that occur:

 

1) We meet Soo Hyuk’s father, who’s a deadbeat dad that relies on his ex-wife for money. He needs to make a settlement with a victim and wants to sell Soo Hyuk’s guitar and amps for some extra cash. If not, he’s willing to prostitute his own son for some money. Woo Jae overhears this but he doesn’t tell Han Gyul. It’s possible he’ll help Soo Hyuk his own way. In the meantime, he needs to woo Han Gyul and get her back on the band.

2) Uh Jin’s mother visits Producer Kwan to pitch an investigative story on Bok Nyeo because she smells something fishy about her. At first, Producer Kwan thinks that the wife has caught on to her husband’s affair, and is visibly relieved when the visit is not about that. The fact that she and the husband are so happy their secret is intact makes me sick, but also makes me laugh. I love seeing Uh Jin’s mother be fooled.

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