Suspicious Housekeeper: Episodes 15-16

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While a lot happens in these two episodes, nothing unpredictable really occurs. These two episodes really act like a bridge for what’s to come, which hopefully will be more exciting and fast-paced than these two episodes. It feels like the series is dragging as it tries to reach twenty episodes. Honestly this series would have done better with being just 16 episodes.


Episode 15

 

Bok Nyeo leaves for her date with Do Hyung. It’s a traditional date: movie and dinner. Do Hyung seems to enjoy himself, more because he’s on a date with Bok Nyeo rather than actually enjoying the witty conversation that they’re having. They’re “caught” by Mr. Shin and his wife at the theater, who are confused as to why she’s going out with that “suspicious looking man” when she’s supposed to marry Sang Chul.

As they leave, Bok Nyeo spots a piece of popcorn on Do Hyung’s face. Instead of pointing it out, she says, “Could you close your eyes for a second?” and then gently brushes it off. That’s it. That’s all their physical contact extends to, and Do Hyung looks as fluttered as if he just had his first kiss.

 

They head to dinner, and Do Hyung makes the (incorrect) assumption that she’ll leave her puff jacket on. But not only does Bok Nyeo removes the jacket, she reveals a prim uniform of a sweater-and-button-down outfit that shows off her slim body. Do Hyung is happy to see this other side of Bok Nyeo, even though she’s as aloof and distant as ever. He asks if he’ll be able to see her smile tonight. No, Bok Nyeo replies, because she’d appear too easy if she smiled on the first date. If she were to smile on the second date, that would be entirely up to Do Hyung.

 

The following day the kids are all super curious as to how her date went, but she diverts their attention by pointing out their flaws. Hye Gyul ought to learn how to hold her chopsticks properly and Sae Gyul ought to memorize his words for his vocabulary test. Bok Nyeo doesn’t want to hear any more questions about her personal life. However, Sang Chul takes it upon himself to ask what has changed. She had hated Do Hyung so much but now she’s going on a date with him? Bok Nyeo replies, “If I say I want to end his miserable life, would you understand?” She means it both ways – not only does she want to kill him, but you could also interpret it as her wanting to end the lonely life he lives.

As for Manager Hong, she’s happy to hear about Bok Nyeo moving on in her life, even though Grandpa (a permanent fixture at Happy Company now) thinks she’s “cheating” on Sang Chul. Pfft. Mind you, Manager Hong also still does not know Do Hyung is actually Seo Ji Hoon. As the oldies argue over whether Bok Nyeo is cheating or not, they bring up their own deep-seated issues of playing hard to get with each other years before. I guess Grandpa left Manager Hong, and she decided not to wait for him any longer because she didn’t know if he’d come back. How cute.

 

Bok Nyeo goes on to meet with Song Hwa as part of their “consultation” exercise but also to inform Song Hwa that she knows Do Hyung is Ji Hoon, which is why she chose to go on a date with him. Bok Nyeo is planning her own way to get Do Hyung’s confession, and she doesn’t want anyone interfering. She asks that Song Hwa continue to do whatever Do Hyung tells her to do, and that Sang Chul be kept in the dark.

Meanwhile, Do Hyung is very happy with the way things are progressing, and he thanks Song Hwa for being “on his side” and not revealing his true identity to Bok Nyeo. Pah. Just because he thanks her, though, does not mean he won’t threaten her. One misstep and she’s going to pay.

 

Do Hyung spends his day obsessing over Bok Nyeo, asking if she thinks of him during the day and calling her constantly. Bok Nyeo doesn’t pick up calls while working though, thus forcing him to leave messages like, “If you don’t go on a date with me, I might really die.” So on to another date they go.

On a Sunday, Do Hyung takes her to Chinatown and explains that he grew up in this area. Just then, her phone rings. It’s Hye Gyul. The younger trio have decided to call Bok Nyeo and pester her with questions to interrupt her date with Do Hyung! Hye Gyul asks about her cat’s cradle set, and then Sae Gyul calls her about his upcoming math competition. It annoys Do Hyung so much that she pays so much more attention to the kids than to him, that he ends up leaving her at a park bench. Wow – bratty.

 

It turns out that Song Hwa and Sang Chul are also in the area because they’re scoping out the location for their building plans. They bump into Bok Nyeo and are surprised to see her alone. Sang Chul is indignant on Bok Nyeo’s behalf and irritated that Do Hyung’s phone isn’t on. But Song Hwa remembers about his sickness, and she quietly goes looking for him.

Song Hwa discovers Do Hyung hunched over by some steps, in pain from his sickness. He asks if Bok Nyeo is still waiting for him. Song Hwa says she is, adding that Bok Nyeo looks worried that Do Hyung may be mad at her. (So not true.) She also wonders if it means Bok Nyeo is starting to like him, which makes him happy despite the pain. I like seeing Song Hwa help Bok Nyeo in this small way, removing any doubts Do Hyung may have about Bok Nyeo, even though it’s motivated by her own desire to survive.

 

Sang Chul takes Bok Nyeo home, but she later waits outside of Do Hyung’s home in hopes of patching things up with him. Do Hyung is no longer interested in her because she doesn’t seem to care about him enough. He doesn’t care if she still thinks he’s Ji Hoon, and he doesn’t bother responding to her texts. What he’s really doing is playing hard to get. Ugh.

Sang Chul is disgusted and furious when he discovers Do Hyung’s dirty tactic of getting Bok Nyeo to cling on to him. He’s so close to punching the bastard when Song Hwa drags him outside and tells him to let Bok Nyeo take care of herself. Sang Chul doesn’t believe for a second that Bok Nyeo doesn’t think Do Hyung is Ji Hoon, and thinks that Song Hwa may know what Bok Nyeo is up to.

 

Before Song Hwa can admit to Bok Nyeo’s plans, she gets a threatening text from Do Hyung. Instead of revealing that Bok Nyeo knows Do Hyung’s true identity, she reveals that Bok Nyeo knows she was the last person to see Sang Chul’s wife… and that she caused Sun Young’s death. Poor Sang Chul, he’s so shocked to hear this that it finally makes him understand his wife’s pain. As for Song Hwa, she’s so mad and hurt that she had to reveal this secret that she asks to quit everything – her job and her position within this strange web of deceit.

 

Now a side story with Han Gyul, who’s mostly missing from the episode nowadays unless it has to do with her band. She tries to convince Soo Hyuk to audition for K-Pop Star with everyone in the band, but he doesn’t want to. It’s not like the audition will give him money to pay off his father’s debt. But if they win… he could. And the band needs Soo Hyuk to stand a chance.

Second side story: Mrs. Oh and her husband fight over his affairs, and she demands an apology. Mr. Oh refuses to give one: “Honey, don’t you look at the mirror? You are not a woman. It’s normal for me to cheat on you.” Oh no he didn’t! Bok Nyeo overhears the fight and suggests that the wife show Mr. Oh she’s a woman.

 

The children soon learn that Bok Nyeo can imitate any sound or voice she hears. Since she can cook like their mother, could she imitate their mother’s voice? They show her a video of when the kids and their mother were in a picnic together so that Bok Nyeo could hear Sun Young’s voice. It ends up dredging up sad feelings as the kids miss their mother even more.

 

Just then, they receive a call from the hospital. Sang Chul just collapsed. The children rush to the hospital, and find their father waking up with a lot of regret. He regrets not loving their mother enough, and for making her die. I guess Song Hwa’s confession hit him a lot harder than we expected.

Meanwhile, Sang Chul’s coworker Dong Shik is busy flirting with Na Young at her camping store. It’s actually amusing because she has no interest in him whatsoever, and she happens to be not clumsy around him. She gets word that Sang Chul is in the hospital and rushes over.

 

Sang Chul is asleep but he wakes up to see a silhouette of a woman behind his bed curtains. He thinks it’s Sun Young, and the woman/ghost tells him to take care of the children. She forgives him for all the pain he’s caused her. Turns out – it’s Bok Nyeo! She’s actually imitating Sun Young’s voice and reading a script that Sae Gyul wrote for her to tell their father. But then she goes off-script when she asks the father to guide the children down their respective paths toward their destinies.

All the kind words just add to Sang Chul’s guilt, and he wishes he could die. But then Na Young bursts into the room, turns on the light, and asks, “Bok Nyeo – what are you doing?” Woops. Sang Chul is angry that they’ve tricked him and he sends them off, but then Bok Nyeo uncharacteristically speaks up: “You’re wrong. It’s wrong that you don’t deserve to be loved, because you have an honesty that can’t cover love with lies.” It’s admirable that he chooses to tell the truth than to lie about his love for someone. His children agree – they know deep in their hearts now that Sang Chul truly loves them, even if he doesn’t say it out loud.

 

Sang Chul recovers and returns to work, and tells Song Hwa to stop feeling guilty about her involvement in Sun Young’s death. Everything has been his fault, so he’d like for Song Hwa to remove those burdens and just be the confident gal she once was. Aw. It’s an admirable move of owning up to one’s own mistakes that might make Song Hwa love him all over again.

 

Bok Nyeo still tries to make amends with Do Hyung, but he claims to be too busy for her. Little does he realize Bok Nyeo is recording all of his voicemails and calls. She records some lines and stitches them together so that she has him saying, “It’s me, Jang Do Hyung. I think I’m going to die. It’s urgent. Bye.”

Meanwhile her mother-in-law visits Detective Lee to see if he can re-investigate Bok Nyeo. That she-devil… Of course they can’t, because there’s a lack of evidence!

 

Since Do Hyung doesn’t seem willing to meet Bok Nyeo, she follows him to the supermarket. He’s annoyed that she’s following him around (the irony) but she pleads with him, “Let me be your stalker. I don’t want to lose you.” A tear slides down her cheek for added effect. Convinced that Bok Nyeo truly does like him, he offers his hand. If she doesn’t want to lose him, then she should never let go.

Yikes, it’s like a deal with the devil.

Episode 16

 

Bok Nyeo holds Do Hyung’s hand, but little does she know the rest of the Eun children are also at the supermarket. Hye Gyul marches over and angrily separates their hands; Bok Nyeo’s hand belongs to her!

Though Bok Nyeo and Do Hyung leave separately from the rest of the family, the kids pretty much stalk them home. They hide even though Do Hyung knows they’re there. As much as Do Hyung wants to act like a real couple with Bok Nyeo, he feels like he’s stealing a mother away into an affair since no one in the Eun family is very happy or comfortable with the idea that she’s dating Do Hyung.

 

Do Hyung shares his happiness over reuniting with Bok Nyeo with Song Hwa, whom he sees as a friend and ally – albeit unwillingly. She wonders if he’s just putting on a show about his fatal illness, or if it’s really crucial evidence that will prove he’s Seo Ji Hoon to Bok Nyeo. When Do Hyung meets a client, Song Hwa quickly calls Bok Nyeo. She’s worried that Bok Nyeo may try to kill him. Bok Nyeo does, but she’s stopping herself so that she can gather more evidence about his crimes and have him be judged by the law.

 

Back at home, Han Gyul composes a song for the band to sing and shows it to Bok Nyeo. It’s a beautiful song, but they both know they need Soo Hyuk to win the competition. Unfortunately, Soo Hyuk’s father won’t let him leave the bar easily. So Bok Nyeo takes matters into her own hands. (Yay – a glimpse of the old Bok Nyeo!)

The housekeeper barges into the back room of the bar, where Soo Hyuk’s father is eating, and throws the bowl of jjajjangmyun in his face. She warns him to back off and stop using Soo Hyuk as his bank. While Soo Hyuk is grateful for Bok Nyeo’s help, he knows his father won’t ever leave him alone. Bok Nyeo points out that he’ll also be letting Han Gyul down, especially when he’s her first love. She shows him the song Han Gyul composed, which is called “First Love.”

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Hye Gyul worries that Bok Nyeo will leave her in favor of Do Hyung, so one day, instead of going to school, she goes to Do Hyung’s place to strike a deal. She wants him to let Bok Nyeo be her mom.

Sang Chul and Bok Nyeo learn from Hye Gyul’s teacher that she never went to school, and Do Hyung soon calls Bok Nyeo about the little girl. She finds them at the toy store where Do Hyung has bought Hye Gyul a lot of toys as a sort of bribe. The little girl is so easily thrilled that she starts calling him Uncle Jang and agrees to let Bok Nyeo go to him. It reminds Bok Nyeo of the time when Do Hyung had bought her son so many gifts to buy his affection. Now that Do Hyung has Hye Gyul’s approval, he proposes to Bok Nyeo.

 

Do Hyung drops them both at school, and Bok Nyeo scolds Hye Gyul. The girl must promise to never ever return to Do Hyung’s house. Hye Gyul’s afraid that she made Bok Nyeo mad even though she’s already come around to liking Do Hyung. Sang Chul arrives in front of the kindergarten in time to see this, and it puzzles him why Bok Nyeo seems to be shielding his family from the man she supposedly loves.

That evening, Hye Gyul plays with her dolls at the dinner table, which annoys Bok Nyeo. She forbids Hye Gyul to play with it, and takes away her food if she’s not going to listen. Sae Gyul tries to come to Hye Gyul’s defense, but Bok Nyeo points out that he should be focusing on practicing for his math competition. The kids are now scared; What has happened to Bok Nyeo to make her so detached from them?

 

Sang Chul considers calling Detective Lee about his suspicions about Do Hyung, but he tracks the detective down at a gambling parlor. It’s unnatural for a detective so hellbent on getting justice to be wasting so much time gambling.

 

After work, Do Hyung walks Bok Nyeo home. He’s eagerly waiting for her response regarding the proposal, but she wants to get someone’s approval first. She wants to go back to her hometown and bring him to her father’s grave first. Do Hyung is excited and takes this as a yes to marriage. He also is extremely happy that Bok Nyeo still hasn’t recognized him. (What a dim-witted idiot.)

The following day at work, Do Hyung announces – much to Sang Chul and Song Hwa’s consternation – that he is getting married. Worried, Song Hwa calls up Bok Nyeo and asks if it’s really true. She suggests that Bok Nyeo tell Sang Chul about everything before it’s too late, but Bok Nyeo refuses. She’s almost at the endgame.

 

Now that Bok Nyeo is leaving to “get married,” Manager Hong hires someone else to take her place. Bok Nyeo gives the new housekeeper specific instructions on how to maintain the household and take care of each of the children. She knows the children so well that talking about each of their strengths and weaknesses brings tears to her eyes.

 

Na Young learns about Bok Nyeo’s marriage through Dong Shik, who visits her camping store yet again in an attempt to get a date. She visits the house, where Hye Gyul shows her an amethyst she picked up to represent Bok Nyeo’s family stone. Unfortunately, Na Young breaks it to Hye Gyul that Bok Nyeo is getting married and leaving their home. The children are surprised, and Hye Gyul hopes that Bok Nyeo could still keep the stone even if she’s married.

Bok Nyeo takes it… and throws it away. She will never be a part of their family, so she doesn’t want the stone at all. In her opinion, Hye Gyul is getting too old to play with stones.

 

Na Young takes the news to Grandpa, who finds it his duty to meddle once again in Bok Nyeo’s life. He gives her the choice between Sang Chul and Do Hyung, which is amusing because he’s gotten attached to the housekeeper in his own weird way and doesn’t want to lose her to another man either. Bok Nyeo turns the attention to them by pointing out that they’re both not getting any younger, and so should consider moving in together. Ha!

 

On to the side story about Mrs. Oh. Following Bok Nyeo’s advice, she uncovers everything about her husband and threatens to spill it to the public. He is willing to give her everything – the house, the car, the money, his stocks, and even their son. Mrs. Oh is shocked that he’s willing to abandon his son and just pay child support rather than be involved in raising a son.

 

Back to Bok Nyeo: she prepares for her departure by ordering a lot of meat for the house, checking over Sae Gyul’s practice math questions, and leaving a book of Sun Young’s recipes for Doo Gyul to review and learn. She makes Hye Gyul develop good habits by having her always wash her hands before she eats and learn how to use chopsticks the right way. If Hye Gyul doesn’t do it properly, she can’t eat. Poor Hye Gyul suffers through dinner, and even though Bok Nyeo is being harsh no one else can deny that she’s doing it for Hye Gyul’s own good.

After dinner, Bok Nyeo makes Hye Gyul practice using her chopsticks properly by picking up some plastic toy stones and putting them in the box. If she doesn’t complete the task she can’t sleep. Harsh!

 

Meanwhile, Detective Lee asks Do Hyung for some money, since he spent a lot on gambling. In exchange, Do Hyung wants information on where her hometown is. He also reminds Detective Lee to never call him: he’ll call first if he needs anything. He heads home and takes out the old photo of Bok Nyeo, burning it from existence.

 

Hye Gyul gets so frustrated and angry at Bok Nyeo’s harshness that she runs to her room and cries. Her siblings all try to comfort her but she’s inconsolable. Na Young and Sang Chul arrive home to see Bok Nyeo scolding her for no longer practicing her chopsticks, and suddenly Hye Gyul cries out, “I hate you Bok Nyeo! I hate you!”

Hurt, but unable to display it, Bok Nyeo leaves the house. She pauses in the front yard, and silently lets out a tear as the photo of her old self burns up in Do Hyung’s house.

 

Thoughts and Comments:

I find that the last shot of Do Hyung burning Bok Nyeo’s photo being juxtaposed with her crying is a bit symbolic. While Do Hyung is burning the old, loving Park Eun Soo, she’s also getting rid of her cold-but-nurturing self, which is the “new” version of her. In a way, even though Do Hyung thinks he’s got the new Bok Nyeo, in reality she’s reverting back to her old self because she’s been so deeply touched by the Eun family. They’ve changed her. And while she does have a mission to kill, she can’t help but feel like a mother once again.

I found Do Hyung a total idiot in these two episodes. How can you not realize that Bok Nyeo is not interested in you? He’s so blinded by his obsession over her that he doesn’t even realize what’s going on. That frustrates me because he becomes a far less compelling villain. And not to mention, there is a possibility that his illness is all an illusion.

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