My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 9
It’s about time people start talking and sharing information, although we’ve still got a ways to go before everyone is communicating properly. Our uncommunicative parents are having to come to terms with the effects of holding everything in, not just on them but on their kids. In particular, new revelations make both daughters reevaluate their perceptions of and relationships with their parents. When it rains, it pours for this family.
In the moments after his memory returns, Sang-shik recalls his recent “shameless” behavior and is amazed Jin-sook put up with it. When he was 22, Jin-sook had appeared like “destiny” as he desperately wished for a reason to live. He’d wanted her to be as happy and in love as him.
We flash back to when she’d left with Eun-joo, and Sang-shik had come home to find Eun-hee sobbing outside. He didn’t know what he’d done wrong to make her leave and promised himself to live only as the kids’ father if she returned. That sounds familiar …
At home, Eun-hee questions Jin-sook about Eun-joo’s birthdate. Jin-sook tries to blame the inconsistencies on Sang-shik’s memory, but her shaky voice and hands give her away. Tears roll down Eun-hee’s face as she asks why her mom only took Eun-joo that day and left her behind.
Jin-sook merely says she was young, but Eun-hee wants real answers. After that day, she worked to stay on her mom’s good side so she’d take her with her if she left again. That’s so sad. Eun-hee just wants to know it’s not that her mom hated her, saying she feels guilty for being mean to Eun-joo her entire life.
Jin-sook confesses she realized what she’d done to Eun-hee after she got back. The confident troublemaker Eun-hee turned cautious and constantly looked around to make sure her mom was there. Jin-sook apologizes in tears.
At Eun-joo’s wedding, Eun-hee overheard her dad sarcastically saying he was sorry for not being suitable to be Eun-joo’s father. Now she understands what he meant. Eun-hee embraces Jin-sook who sobs that she’d planned to take this secret to the grave.
She blames Sang-shik’s amnesia and is sick of it all. No matter what, he’s Eun-joo’s father. She wouldn’t have put up with him for so long otherwise. Eun-hee begs her mom to tell Eun-joo personally so she doesn’t hear it secondhand.
Ji-woo arrives home but pretends not to have heard them, even when Eun-hee asks him directly if he heard. She notes his telltale bouncing leg but says nothing.
Meanwhile, Tae-hyung sits Eun-joo down to respond to her confession. She’s been his sole family and confidant, and he wants her to take time to adjust and start fresh. She should find a man who can give her what he can’t: love and a child to raise together.
Eun-joo doesn’t like being told what to do and brushes him off. Although it’s hard to forgive him, she’s glad to not live with the anxiety of the unknown anymore. He agrees to give her time to figure out what she wants, seeing as he dumped this on her suddenly.
At P&F, Kyung-ok shares that Geon-joo is taking time off. Her suspicion that he’s spending time with Ha-ra does nothing to ease Eun-hee’s mind.
Ji-woo tells Chan-hyuk that Eun-hee found out about Eun-joo. Chan-hyuk is alarmed when Ji-woo says Eun-hee probably won’t contact Chan-hyuk about it since Ji-woo told her to keep her distance. Chan-hyuk reprimands Ji-woo for scolding his own older sister and gently tells him to stay out of their business.
Over the next few days, Eun-hee works overtime and worries about Geon-joo’s continued absence while Chan-hyuk pulls all-nighters. Eun-joo, meanwhile, stops by the café and acts all awkward with Hyo-seok who informs her he’s quitting. Eun-joo doesn’t respond.
At the meditation center, Eun-hee discovers that Chan-hyuk is coming for a meeting that day. She waits around for a bit but decides to leave … and, of course, runs into Chan-hyuk (who also found out about her meeting there that day).
They both downplay their excitement at seeing each other, and Chan-hyuk – who literally ran there – pretends he somehow ended up being early. Ha. He ignores his buzzing phone and asks her to hang out with him until his meeting.
Eun-hee admits she wanted to call him the previous week. He asks if she didn’t because he told her not to contact him, but she says it was “just because.” She asks if Ji-woo is doing well at work and confides that he used to lie sometimes when he was little. So she “hypnotized” him into bouncing his leg whenever he lies. Ha! That’s such an older sibling move.
Eun-hee turns serious and says Chan-hyuk knows, right? Chan-hyuk admits Ji-woo confided in him about it. Eun-hee supposes that means he relies on Chan-hyuk more than on her, but he reminds her it was right after she’d made up with Eun-joo.
Elsewhere, Jin-sook takes Eun-joo to her childhood home, saying she has something to tell her. Eun-joo is surprised to hear her talk about her childhood. Jin-sook gets emotional talking about her “greedy and spiteful” mom, recalling Eun-joo’s similar accusations against her.
Abashed, Eun-joo off-handedly comments she said that out of spite. Plus, people say that about her all the time. Eun-joo senses something is off and lets her mom lead her around the neighborhood by the hand.
Eun-hee tells Chan-hyuk she always took her mom’s side, but now she kind of hates her. She’s going to start taking her own side instead. “What’s the use of family at my age?” That’s bleak.
Chan-hyuk suddenly confesses that he got there early on purpose so he could pretend to run into her. Eun-hee looks dazed, and he literally snaps her out of it. He says he was too harsh and immature before when he said she shouldn’t call. He was worried about her and Eun-joo after hearing from Ji-woo, so he ran over.
When he says she looks disappointed, she replies she is. Hearing he ran to see her made her heart skip a beat, and she considered asking him out. Chan-hyuk sits stunned until Eun-hee jokes, “Is that what you wanted to hear?” They each give forced chuckles and sneak glances.
Jin-sook holds Eun-joo’s hand as she tells her that being an unmarried, pregnant student was a “disgrace to the family.” They told her to abort Eun-joo and exile herself to a temple somewhere. Geez. “I chose you,” Jin-sook says with conviction.
Eun-joo images her young mother on her own and narrates that unwed, expectant young mothers had nowhere to go back then. The abandoned 22-year-old pregnant student married the 22-year-old who had long been in love with her.
Jin-sook nervously trails after Eun-joo, asking her to please say something, but Eun-joo doesn’t know how to respond to this unexpected news. She supposes it’s good she found out at this age rather than earlier. Should she be asking about her birth father?
Jin-sook assures her that’s not necessary; she never thinks about him. When Eun-joo asks if she loved him, Jin-sook doesn’t answer. Did having Eun-joo ruin her life? Jin-sook furiously shakes her head and claims she loved him and never regretted having Eun-joo.
Eun-joo takes her mother’s fidgeting hand and visualizes a young, frightened Jin-sook staring back at her. She thinks, “Thank you for not giving up on me, Mom.”
Eun-hee has avoided talking to her mom and sister after telling her mom to come clean to Eun-joo. She muses morosely that everyone – her, the family, Tae-hyung and his family – has been cruel to Eun-joo. Chan-hyuk comfortingly grabs her shoulder. She’s taught him that you have to put effort in even with your family.
He likes that she puts effort into her relationships. She’s a decent person, and she shouldn’t blame herself for everything. Chan-hyuk heads to his meeting, but they each turn back once as they walk away.
Eun-joo thinks her mom must’ve given up a lot to keep her, but Jin-sook doesn’t see it that way. She was so happy in that small apartment, and Sang-shik adored Eun-joo. He used to drive all night just to see her.
Eun-joo derisively asks if he really adored her. Jin-sook adamantly claims he did and looks crushed when Eun-joo states, “He isn’t my father.” She softens it, saying it’s all confusing right now. Eun-joo leaves to wander around by herself and think.
Chan-hyuk’s studio does a baby shoot for old friends of his and Eun-hee’s. The wife is ecstatic he and Eun-hee are friends again. She shares with the room that, when Chan-hyuk was doing his mandatory military service, Eun-hee even pretended to be his girlfriend and wrote him a “sexy” letter for a competition that won him five days of leave.
Everyone begged to see a photo of Eun-hee, but she sent one of Eun-joo instead that he had to carry around as evidence in his wallet. Ooooh. The husband comments that Jong-min was super jealous, but the wife thinks that’s reasonable considering the contents of the letter.
Chan-hyuk is uncomfortable and angrily tells them to drop it. Ji-woo watches Chan-hyuk as the wife continues that Eun-hee should’ve dated him instead of that jerk Jong-min. The couple chatter away, oblivious to the tension in the room.
Elsewhere, Sang-shik finds Young-shik who has been looking for his little boy’s mom so they can go back together. Young-shik cries as he asks why life is so hard.
Late that night, Geon-joo finally shows up at work. He explains Ha-ra was sick and apologizes for not calling. When Eun-hee argues he could’ve sent a text after that disastrous phone call, he wonders why she didn’t call him instead. Isn’t there anything she wants to ask?
Eun-hee doesn’t see the point in pestering him to answer questions about him and Ha-ra. “At my age, I’m not going to have such a childish love.” Eun-hee throws his hand off angrily and goes to leave, but then she turns around.
Tae-hyung gets worried when Eun-joo doesn’t come home and checks the café. He runs into Hyo-seok who tells him to live honestly from now on, but Tae-hyung argues it’s okay to not be honest with people who will cause you pain. He calls Eun-joo, but her phone is off.
At P&F, Eun-hee says she worked late waiting for Geon-joo every night. But as the week dragged on, she realized now she can end things without feeling responsible. Geon-joo selfishly tries to pin it on her, claiming he thought she’d understand why he couldn’t contact her.
Eun-hee gets that he’s not the type to secretly contact her when he’s caring for a sick person, which she thinks is good. But she’s done. He says they should talk about it later, but Eun-hee firmly announces it’s over and walks out.
Tae-hyung calls Eun-hee about Eun-joo, but she hasn’t heard from her either. She promises to call back after checking on the situation. To her surprise, she finds Eun-joo waiting outside her apartment.
Inside, Eun-joo is in a fightin’ mood and starts in on Eun-hee for sending their mom to talk to her alone. Then she attacks her for being in her business. She notes that Eun-hee is right – they don’t have much in common. Maybe she’s more like her birth father.
Eun-hee insists nothing has changed, but Eun-joo disagrees. Their mom stayed with a man she didn’t love because she was alone and afraid. How does that not change anything?
The sisters shift roles as Eun-hee argues in defense of her father that they did love each other, but Eun-joo says that’s way in the past. Jin-sook can’t speak up because Sang-shik scares her when he’s angry. “Is that love? That’s abuse.” Eun-hee furiously claims Sang-shik isn’t violent.
Eun-joo was the one who always respected him for his hard work and called their mom selfish for looking down on him. Eun-joo says it’s because she never knew she was Jin-sook’s weakness that Sang-shik used against her.
Eun-hee yells that Sang-shik never used her. He’s always thought of her as his daughter. Eun-joo accuses her of seeing what she wants to see, but Eun-hee thinks that’s better than being so high and mighty you miss what’s in front of your face.
The import of her words hits, and Eun-joo acknowledges that’s what made her miss what was going on with Tae-hyung. Eun-hee narrates that family knows your fatal weaknesses and can deliver a killing blow. Eun-joo waits until she’s outside to break down.
Eun-hee berates herself and runs after her sister. She finds Eun-joo sobbing on the street, but Eun-joo pushes her away when she tries to help her up. They each sit in the street, crying. When Eun-joo’s sobs turn heaving and she has trouble breathing, Eun-hee rushes to her.
Worried about Eun-joo, Jin-sook calls Eun-hee and asks her to go see her sister. Eun-hee agrees and informs her mom Ji-woo knows everything already. Jin-sook stands outside Ji-woo’s room but doesn’t knock.
Eun-hee took Eun-joo to the clinic where she tells Tae-hyung this isn’t the first time Eun-joo has suddenly had trouble breathing. He thinks it’s stress related but will do an examination the next day. When he asks if there’s anything else going on with Eun-joo, Eun-hee lies that there isn’t.
The following day, Sang-shik finds Jin-sook at the care facility with Seon-il who gives them space. It’s obvious Sang-shik truly got his memory back this time, and he shocks her by saying he started following her last year when he saw her getting into Seon-il’s car.
Sang-shik says she should’ve left him long ago and been with someone who could give her a better life. Jin-sook drags him inside where she takes him to see Seon-il’s wife who’s a resident at the facility. Sang-shik is embarrassed at his mistaken assumption.
Outside, he yells, “How did we get like this?” Even if he’s to blame, he wants to know where things went wrong. Jin-sook frustratedly points out that he wouldn’t have listened anyway, so what could she say? Sang-shik doesn’t want to fight and asks for one final favor. He has something to say to her and the kids.
At P&F, Eun-hee and Geon-joo discuss Chan-hyuk’s photos for the meditation center’s book. He seems touchy about it, but she assures him that this has nothing to do with her and Chan-hyuk’s friendship. Chan-hyuk’s pictures are good, and the author chose him.
Chan-hyuk anxiously tidies up his place (and himself) clearly preparing for someone to visit. At home, Eun-joo tells Jin-sook this will be her last family meeting while Eun-hee and Ji-woo are hiding out in his room. Eun-hee tries to drag him out with her, and in a bid to disorient her, he desperately tosses out that Chan-hyuk is going on blind dates to find a marriage partner. Pfft.
It throws her off for a second, but she isn’t so easily dissuaded and yanks him into the living room. The atmosphere is stiflingly tense as they all wait for Sang-shik. Meanwhile, Chan-hyuk receives his visitor: Geon-joo. This could go poorly.
At home, things are awkward when Sang-shik arrives, but they get even more awkward when he calls to someone to come on in. Did he bring Young-shik?! Yep, he did, as well as Young-shik’s little boy. The siblings stare in shock as he says they’re all family, so they should get to know each other. Bombshell dropped.
I’m glad that Sang-shik decided to confront the Young-shik issue head-on, but he could’ve at least warned them first. Say hi to the family member you’ve had for decades but didn’t know about doesn’t seem like the way to go. Recent events have forced everyone to communicate, which is something this family sorely needed to do, but they clearly aren’t practiced at it yet. Now that Sang-shik’s memory has returned, it’s nice to see more of his side of the story. Not to excuse his completely unacceptable angry outbursts and disrespectful behavior toward Jin-sook, but his anger and confusion is understandable since he had no idea why Jin-sook turned cold toward him. It was interesting that he made the same promise with himself – that he’d live only for the kids – as Jin-sook. How sad that if they’d just talked, maybe they each would’ve harbored less anger, bitterness and pain.
Eun-joo’s reaction to her mom’s revelation was somewhat surprising. I didn’t expect her to turn on her dad like that and take her mom’s side unequivocally. I know bloodlines and such have a lot of weight culturally, so I can understand her not knowing how to feel after learning Sang-shik isn’t her biological father. But I’m confused as to why she decided this means he’s not her father when he’s raised her since birth. Eun-joo has such extreme, black-and-white reactions to things, but I expect her position could soften a bit once she has time to process. Because once again, Eun-joo has made assumptions without obtaining all the facts. I get how she could feel upset after hearing from Jin-sook that she stayed with Sang-shik because he treated Eun-joo well. It’s quite the leap, though, to assume that means her dad used that against her mom when he’s never showed any hint that he doesn’t genuinely love Eun-joo. Of course, Eun-joo is a teensy bit overwhelmed at the moment, so it’s reasonable that she might have extreme or even irrational reactions.
Eun-joo and Eun-hee have such complicated relationships with their mom. It’s interesting that the sisters’ positions regarding Jin-sook have completely flipped after finding out the truth. Eun-joo sees the sacrifices her mom made to keep her despite being young and alone, while Eun-hee sees the lies and secrecy. Jin-sook really hurt those girls with her lack of communication over the years. They’ve both spent years wondering if their mom hated them, mostly because of that one decision she made when she left with Eun-joo. What gets me is why in the world Jin-sook didn’t address it later. She even admitted she knew how much she’d hurt Eun-hee, but she did nothing. There’s no excuse for that. If you know you’ve damaged your kid, you try to do what you can to fix it. You don’t keep silent and hope they figure out you don’t hate them. There’s that destructive lack of communication again.
Thank goodness Eun-hee ended things with Geon-joo. Hopefully, this breakup sticks because I’m seriously over that dude. I couldn’t believe he actually tried to pin the responsibility on Eun-hee for not “understanding” him after he ghosted her and his ex-girlfriend harassed her. That’s just gross. I say good riddance to both him and his unpleasant ex – they’re both toxic. Of course, it probably won’t be that simple. It is a drama, after all. I feel like Geon-joo is the type that might cause trouble if he doesn’t get what he wants, all while acting innocent and put-upon. Him showing up at Chan-hyuk’s after checking that Eun-hee wasn’t going there seems sketchy. I’d like to think he’s just doing his professional duty, but I somewhat doubt it since he’s been jealous of Chan-hyuk from the start.
Apparently, being jealous of Chan-hyuk has been a theme with Eun-hee’s boyfriends, according to that mutual friend. Thanks to her, we now have pretty decent confirmation of Chan-hyuk’s feelings toward Eun-hee back in the day. And both his and Eun-hee’s reactions when he “coincidentally” ran into her and they had that talk basically confirmed their feelings now. Her face when he said he ran to see her, and his face when she fake confessed said it a lot. It’s looking more and more like his “crush” on Eun-joo was a diversion. Or, perhaps, he just gave in since Eun-hee has been seemingly pushing them together since college. You know, I’m not typically a fan of red herrings, but I appreciate that they’re used thematically in this drama. Like our characters, we think we know what’s going on from the bits and pieces we see, but we’re missing crucial elements, so we make incorrect assumptions. It’s a clever way of getting the point across, I’ll give them that.
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