My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 11
Our adorable friend pair spend some time reminiscing about their past and contemplating their future this hour. After years of repressing and ignoring any feelings of the romantic variety, they finally have another chance to get everything out in the open. Now they just have to decide what they want and whether they’re willing to seize the opportunity to go after it.
We pick up where we left off with Chan-hyuk striding determinedly up to a smiling Eun-hee. He gets close … and she starts whacking him upside the head with her purse. Pfft. He’s naturally taken off guard by her intense mood swing.
Eun-hee declares she’s angry that they spent years not talking. Couldn’t he have called her first? Chan-hyuk reminds her it was her decision to cut off contact. Eun-hee wonders what could’ve been had they remained friends. In her mind, she asks if they might’ve dated. Chan-hyuk steps up to her and slowly leans in to kiss her.
Except she’s imaging it, and poor Chan-hyuk in real life is once again confused by her sudden outburst. She rambles that their cutting ties was an inevitability since they would’ve fought eventually. Chan-hyuk half jokes that all her relationships these days end with cutting ties.
Chan-hyuk asks if she’s done with her affair, and Eun-hee admits she is. Simultaneously, like in their younger days, they signal to each other to walk another round. When he asks Eun-hee why they’re here together, she ventures that they must miss their past, which clearly isn’t the answer he was looking for.
We return to Sang-shik and Jin-sook as he accuses her of being in touch with Eun-joo’s dad. Jin-sook smashes some fruit and can’t believe he’d have the audacity to think that. But Sang-shik insists he saw it.
At Eun-joo’s wedding, Sang-shik felt out of place as he watched Jin-sook handle everything gracefully while he found it stifling. He saw Jin-sook smiling at some man who looked just like he envisioned Eun-joo’s father looking. Wait, so that’s it? Seriously?
Jin-sook shares my sentiments and finds his extrapolation ridiculous. Of course she was smiling at her daughter’s wedding. In reality, a couple had come up, and the wife thought she recognized Jin-sook from university, although Jin-sook had nervously denied it. Sang-shik had seen her talking to the husband.
Jin-sook frustratedly cries that he could’ve just asked her. Instead, he assumed and started making her life harder after the wedding. Sang-shik is left speechless and ashamed.
Eun-hee tells Chan-hyuk that it was fascinating to see how her dad changed when his memory was lost. His eyes were truly like those of a 22-year-old. She gives Chan-hyuk this somewhat disturbing doe-eyed look meant to be reminiscent of a 20-year-old. Ha.
She blasély confesses that, at that age, she stole glances at Chan-hyuk and reviewed mental pictures of his smile every night. Did he ever feel like that about her? He’s shocked into silence. Eun-hee says she knows he’s never seen her that way and finds it “comfortable and nice.”
Eun-hee gets up and starts walking, but Chan-hyuk sits frozen. She notes his expression, but he denies having something to tell her. Oh, come on, dude. She gave you an opening!
Sang-shik drowns his sorrows in soju and drunkenly calls Man-ho out to join him. Soon, they’ve reached the drunken singing phase. Sang-shik stops mid sorrowful song and has to be restrained by Man-ho as he wails that he’ll never forgive himself if it truly was a misunderstanding.
That night, Eun-hee receives an email from Geon-joo. He found her car key on her desk and wanted to drive her car to her place but didn’t since it’d make her uncomfortable. He praises her work on the manuscript. Eun-hee sends a professional reply.
The following morning, Eun-joo shows Tae-hyung the detailed spreadsheet she compiled of their finances to be split. He worries his mother will hire a lawyer to fight this; she’s spiteful.
When Eun-joo claims she’s spiteful too, Tae-hyung sighs that she doesn’t know herself well. She isn’t spiteful, but she does seem like she’s purposefully picking fights. He encourages her to stop, but she tells him to watch from the sidelines.
At P&F, the employees gossip in the breakroom about Geon-joo dumping his rich ex after getting successful. Eun-hee silently works while they speculate that he’s having an affair with Kyung-ok. Geon-joo comes in and wants to hold a “meeting” with Eun-hee.
He gives her some children’s books after noticing she was gathering them. Eun-hee explains she suddenly got a nephew. Aw, are they for Yong-gyu? Once work is less busy, they decide to meet to have a final talk (Is that really necessary?). Meanwhile, Chan-hyuk stands outside a driving school but turns away.
Later, Eun-hee stops by her mom’s. Jin-sook acts nonchalant about Sang-shik moving out, but she lets Eun-hee know there’s kimchi in the fridge if she wants to give it to him or whatever. Pfft.
Eun-hee tells “Miss Sook” (heh, she’s really taken to the nickname) that at least her dad wasn’t having an affair. She makes her mom laugh as she playfully holds onto her. But Eun-hee runs away when Jin-sook worriedly asks if she isn’t dating anyone.
At Chan-hyuk’s, Ji-woo ignores the barrage of texts from Eun-hee scolding him for avoiding the family, especially when Eun-joo has something to say. Chan-hyuk berates him for ignoring “his friend.” Eun-hee raised him while their dad was hospitalized, so he should listen to his sisters.
Ji-woo wonders what Eun-hee did during the years she struck out on her own. Chan-hyuk sputters that it’s not like he’d know, and Ji-woo eyes him suspiciously. He suspects that Chan-hyuk knows everything about his family.
Eun-hee visits her dad’s temporary place (a trailer) to drop off the kimchi and the kids’ books for Yong-gyu. Sang-shik asks her to keep his living situation from the family. He lets Eun-hee know these things because she’s strong and considerate, just like her mom.
Since Eun-joo takes after him, she’ll just be mad. He thinks Eun-joo must be disappointed in him, but Eun-hee says they’re all just upset he didn’t tell them. Sang-shik argues he couldn’t have since he was afraid he’d go to jail, wouldn’t be able to provide for them and Jin-sook would leave.
Eun-hee thinks he doesn’t know Jin-sook very well, and Sang-shik sadly notes he does now, lamenting that he can’t go back in time. Eun-hee gives him a copy of the 1982 photo and shows him the footage from the police they all watched. What was he thinking as he looked at that flower?
Sang-shik pastes on a smile and some fake enthusiasm to say he must’ve turned 22 because he was thinking about how pure that flower was. Eun-hee comments she clearly got her skills at faking happy from him. He promises to live better now and asks her to delete the footage.
Inside, Sang-shik has a sudden episode of tinnitus and double vision. Uh-oh. On the drive home, Eun-hee gets a call from Eun-joo. She plans to ambush Ji-woo at his office the next day and tells Eun-hee to get Chan-hyuk to hold him there. Ha.
Eun-joo stops by the café and notes Hyo-seok’s relaxed appearance (glasses and un-styled hair). He’s been waiting for her since he’d like to end their friendship on good terms. When she agrees, he asks to meet up later.
Ji-woo comes home late to find his mother sleeping on the couch, waiting for him. She tries to get him to talk, but he retreats to his room after promising to talk later.
Chan-hyuk finally bites the bullet and starts attending driving school. At P&F, Eun-hee thanks Geon-joo for the kids’ books but admits to feeling a little uncomfortable with his help, which makes him upset.
Chan-hyuk has some pep in his step as he meets Eun-hee outside P&F to tell her he passed the written driving exam. Eun-hee congratulates him and offers to teach him driving which he plans to hold her to once he gets his permit.
Eun-hee speculates that he’s doing this since having no license is crimping his dating style. Chan-hyuk rolls his eyes. Eun-hee reasons he must’ve chosen this area since there’s so many driving schools and pats herself on the back for her powers of deduction while Chan-hyuk smiles adoringly after her.
When she catches him staring, he says he wanted to try stealing glances and taking mental pictures of her too. She does this awkward laugh thing that he mimics, telling her to stop being awkward. Ha.
At work, Seo-young is shocked to hear from Ji-woo that Chan-hyuk is getting his license. Ji-woo didn’t think much of it, but Seo-young indicates there’s a reason he avoided it until now.
At home, Jin-sook makes way too much food. Her assertions of how refreshing it is to be single are punctuated by the clangs of the broken containers she roughly pitches in a bin. Sang-shik texts Jin-sook, looking for an excuse to see her. Eventually, he resorts to saying she should meet him if she’s curious whether he tried to kill himself. Wow.
He waits for Jin-sook in the retro café he found listed online as a good date spot for older couples. He’s disappointed the café is full of young’uns, but he presses on. Following online dating advice, they sip coffees and he shows her pictures on his phone of the onions he’s growing. Aw.
She sees the many photos of Yong-gyu on his phone and bemoans that he’s taking responsibility for another life. Sang-shik finds watching him grow up is beautiful and interesting. It reminds him of their kids. Jin-sook is done with the chitchat and wants to know about that night.
Eun-hee can’t get Chan-hyuk’s comment from earlier out of her head as she heads to his office where Eun-joo is already waiting. Seo-young takes off before the sibling meeting and runs into Eun-hee outside. She hesitates but asks Eun-hee why she calls Chan-hyuk a player.
Eun-hee laughs uncomfortably that it’s just a jokey nickname, but Seo-young thinks he’s far from being a player. He’s equally nice to everyone. It’s strange she gets dating advice from him anyway since he’s all talk. Once she rounds the corner, Seo-young beats herself up for saying anything while Eun-hee fumes at the idea that Chan-hyuk told Seo-young about their private conversations.
At the café, Sang-shik confesses he’s not sure if he planned to live or die that night. Jin-sook angrily asks if they were nothing to him, but he says he felt so wronged he wanted to die. It felt like he was in a one-sided love, and his family saw him as a burden.
Jin-sook is aghast that it was “just because of that,” but Sang-shik gets worked up as he says that was enough to make him consider suicide. It was Eun-joo’s call that night, asking if he was okay and wanting to see him, that changed his mind. That and the daisies, which Jin-sook always liked. He decided to bury the pills in the mountains along with those dark thoughts.
At Chan-hyuk’s, Eun-hee pretends she’s okay, but Chan-hyuk notices something is off as he leaves the siblings to it (despite Ji-woo’s pleas for him to stay). Outside, he runs into Seo-young who acts all twitchy before leaving.
Inside, Eun-joo chides Ji-woo for not answering her calls. Is it okay since she’s not his full sister now? This conversation is exactly what Ji-woo wanted to avoid. Eun-hee plays peacekeeper, as usual, and speaks up for Ji-woo who’s uncomfortable.
The sisters remind him he’s an adult now. Eun-joo notes he’s not willing to be independent, yet he’s making things hard on Jin-sook by avoiding her and giving attitude. Is their mom supposed to do all his chores and cater to his moods?
Eun-hee intervenes when it looks like Ji-woo is going to cry, but Eun-joo isn’t done. Does he think about their mom’s life? Jin-sook has always lived cautiously in fear of rumors being spread.
Eun-joo calls their father “Mr. Kim Sang-shik” and asserts things will be different now. She’s not planning to announce it to the world, but in her mind, he only has two children now. (She is a really intense person.) Eun-joo leaves Ji-woo crying and Eun-hee stunned.
At the café, Jin-sook starts to say something about Eun-joo but stops. Sang-shik notes the bag full of side dishes Jin-sook made – she wanted to make sure Yong-gyu eats well. Jin-sook struggles not to cry when Sang-shik apologizes for being useless outside of work and making her take care of him all those years.
Ji-woo is still upset and worries he ran Eun-joo off, but Eun-hee assures him she’s just lashing out. Eun-joo is more sensitive than she lets on. Unlike Eun-hee, she’s not capable of cutting off contact.
Eun-hee attributes it to the fate of the eldest child and confesses she feels bad about her own rebellious phase. They snipe at each other to do better, and Eun-hee leaves. Chan-hyuk is waiting by her car since she mentioned getting a drink, but she brushes him off.
Chan-hyuk calls her out on pretending things are fine, but she just tells him to take care of Ji-woo. She needs to sort some stuff out. Chan-hyuk worriedly watches her go.
Sang-shik has another episode in his truck and thinks it’s due to overwork. He calls Eun-joo right as she contemplates calling him. Meanwhile, Ji-woo picks up on Seo-young’s nervous glances toward Chan-hyuk at work.
At P&F, Eun-hee mulls over what Seo-young said. She calls Chan-hyuk but immediately regrets it and disconnects. Later, Eun-joo calls Jin-sook to let her know she plans to tell Sang-shik everything when they meet that night.
In the office, Seo-young can’t take it anymore and fesses up to Chan-hyuk. She confesses she went through his texts with Eun-hee. Wow does this girl cross lines. She apologizes and further confesses she “made a mistake” with Eun-hee.
While eating with colleagues, Eun-hee ignores Chan-hyuk’s texts asking to talk. Fretting over Seo-young’s confession, he heads to P&F. At the team dinner, everyone asks Geon-joo to analyze Eun-hee’s personality like he did for the rest of them.
Geon-joo observes that she always chooses last and tries to lift the mood of whoever is having a hard time. She’s willing to be uncomfortable, yields to others and doesn’t like fights. They assume he’s complimenting her, but he addresses Eun-hee to ask if living that way is tiring. She escapes by finally taking a call from Chan-hyuk who asks to talk in person.
Eun-joo is surprised when Tae-hyung comes home because her father wanted to see him. He would’ve found it uncomfortable before, but he doesn’t now. Tae-hyung observes he and Eun-joo have talked more recently than at any other time in their five-year marriage. Sang-shik arrives with chocolate and flowers. Before Eun-joo can say anything, he apologizes.
Once everyone has left, Geon-joo asks Eun-hee if she has any professional goals. Doesn’t she have ambition? Despite society looking down on those without ambition, Eun-hee decided to make it her goal to live without it.
She goes to meet Chan-hyuk, both of them seeming angry. Chan-hyuk is mad she didn’t answer his texts and wonders just how low she thinks he is. Eun-hee is confused, but he doesn’t explain. Instead, he declares that he’s through. “You’re out,” he states, parroting her words from years ago. Eun-hee is stunned silent as he walks away.
What the heck?! I get that Chan-hyuk is upset she thinks he’d betray her trust, but was she supposed to somehow magically know that Seo-young went through his texts? Either way, she has a right to feel upset that her private conversations were exposed to a person she doesn’t even know. Also, it had been like a day. She might’ve wanted time to cool off and think of how to approach it so that she doesn’t blow up like last time. So she takes a step back instead of being impulsive, and he goes nuclear about it before she even says anything. It seems like anything other than utter belief in his good nature was going to set him off, which isn’t fair.
I think the main issue is they’ve never properly dealt with their falling out. Rather than outright discussing what happened between them, they’ve skirted the issue. If they’re going to have a healthy relationship – friendship or otherwise – without their old mistakes hanging over them, they need to address what happened and why. Although Eun-hee might’ve been too harsh in cutting him out, he wasn’t blameless either. Chan-hyuk hasn’t apologized or given a justifiable reason why he didn’t tell her she was being cheated on back then. Their past grievances have created a fear of abandonment on his part and a fear of betrayal on hers.
I kind of wanted Eun-hee and Chan-hyuk to stay uninvolved at first, but I’ve warmed up to the idea of them as a couple. They’re just such great partners when they’re not being blockheads. It’d be a shame if they missed out on something special because they’re too busy protecting themselves to take the risk. They’ve been circling each other for so long, and someone really needs to make a move. Every time you think they’re making headway, someone steps back. Just accept your feelings and do something about it already! Watching them go back and forth like this is getting frustrating, but it also feels real. Their actions stem from their insecurities in a way that makes sense and doesn’t feel contrived.
It looks like Sang-shik is planning to try to woo Jin-sook back after learning of his egregious misunderstanding, but it’ll take more than a few coffee dates to fix the mess that has been their relationship. Jin-sook is finally ready to move forward and take control of her life, and I hope he respects that. If he’s sincere and she decides to give their relationship another chance, fine. His return to his 22-year-old self did seem to stir her feelings, but there’s so much baggage between them. I’d hate to see her settle again for a life that she doesn’t truly want. Then again, Sang-shik’s episodes of late have me worried we’re going a terminal illness route. With a drama that has introduced this much … well, drama, I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s just decided he wants to live and has started looking forward, so it’d be tragic if something happens now. And that’s kind of why I expect something will happen now.
After years of keeping his feelings pent up and letting things fester, Sang-shik is finally being open and honest. Jin-sook’s reaction to his confession regarding what led to his suicidal tendencies was upsetting. I understand it’s a difficult topic, and anger is a natural emotion in those situations. But it’s not okay to belittle someone’s feelings, no matter if you understand them or not. She wanted to know why he’d done what he did, and he willingly explained that to her, so she should’ve just listened and not gotten combative. Particularly for someone who’s prone to depression and suicidal thoughts, having a loved one invalidate your feelings like that can be extremely harmful. I hope she can be more supportive once she’s had time to process.
Then, we’ve got the extreme Eun-joo. Maybe her talk with Sang-shik will help her come to terms with her parentage and not feel like she has to take sides. She seems to think it’s either Jin-sook or Sang-shik without allowing for the possibility of neutrality. I think Eun-joo is the type who needs someone to blame. She used to blame her mom, but now she can’t do that, so it’s shifted to her dad. Her anger needs a target. This whole family just needs to get into therapy, really, because we’ve got a host of maladaptive coping mechanisms going on. It’s hard to deal with everyone else’s problems when you’re drowning in your own.
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