Moon Young gets her way as she welcomes two new roommates into her castle and the loneliness eases. But will past ghosts destroy the bit of happiness that is developing in her life?
Confrontation between two old friends
Kang Tae goes into the haunted castle, and after checking on his passed out brother, he goes up the staircase to confront Moon Young. She still seems stunned that he knew who she was all along and inquires when he realized her identity. Kang Tae replies that he knew right from the beginning when he looked into her eyes (am I the only one that finds that somewhat romantic?) Kang Tae goes to leave, and Moon Young yells at him to not leave her, he owes her and Kang Tae belongs to her. Before they can get more into their argument Sang Tae interrupts and informs his brother that he is now Moon Young’s illustrator and will be living with her. Kang Tae becomes enraged and rips up the contract which sets Sang Tae off. He attacks his brother and yells that he is not in charge of him. Kang Tae leaves beaten and defeated.
Left to die
As Kang Tae is leaving, Moon Young tells him that his brother has left him, and now he has to make a decision as to whether he will leave his brother to his fate. This sentence makes more sense as we witness a flashback where the two brothers are at odds. Kang Tae had won an award for his martial arts but is smacked by his mother because his brother was beaten up when he wasn’t there. Kang Tae screams that he wishes his brother was dead and runs off. Sang Tae follows him, not understanding what had happened. After letting off some steam the brothers begin playing on an ice-covered lake. But when Sang Tae falls through some cracked ice, Kang Tae hesitates over saving him. He changes his mind after a few seconds and leaps into the water, pushing his brother to safety. At which point Sang Tae has an episode and leaves his brother drowning in the icy lake. It is only Moon Young’s assistance that saves Kang Tae from drowning.
A great opportunity
Kang Tae goes back to his rooftop abode to deal with his recent physical and emotional trauma. At which point his sweet landlady comes for a chat. Upon learning that Sang Tae got offered a job to do illustrations she is thrilled. What a wonderful opportunity, that he can have a job doing something he loves and is good at. Kang Tae allows himself to see the positives of the situation and packs his bags to move in with Moon Young. It is only after she helps him that she realizes that the author who hired Sang Tae is her daughter’s rival. Oops.
One big happy family
As the three leads start cohabitating together, unexpected results occur. Where once the haunted castle was dark and covered in a layer of depressive neglect, signs of life begin to appear. Sang Tae cleans the main rooms and the brothers and Moon Young share a traditional breakfast. Something, Moon Young had never experienced previously. This mismatched group of people is turning into a cute family unit. They even carpool into work together, cute banter ringing out as they walk up to the hospital.
Are you my mother?
But things take a negative turn as one of the hospital inmates mistakes Moon Young to be her daughter. She pulls her into an isolated part of the hospital and asks her if she recognizes her after all the plastic surgery. She informs her that it is Mom and she has a really nice boy she thinks Moon Young should date. It only takes this one instance where she believes her mom might be alive to shatter Moon Young’s tough facade. The cracks widen as she realizes that this isn’t her mother and instead, is one of the patients who have some mental dementia.
This episode’s fairytale is that of Bluebeard. A rich and domineering man who brings a bride home to his house. She was pampered and the only rule her husband gave her was to stay out of the locked room in the basement. Being entitled and selfish, the wife eventually was tempted to break into the forbidden room. Inside, she found the bodies of his previous wives that he had killed. Discovering that another woman had not kept her promises, his recent wife was added to the room. As Moon Young shares the tale with Sang Tae, glimpses of her father and mother overplay the story. It is then that Moon Young informs Sang Tae that he can’t go into the locked room downstairs, just like in Bluebeard’s story. It becomes more and more evident that her emotionally abusive mother died in that room. Whether at the hands of her father, her daughter, or her own, is still unknown.
p.s.- If you want to see a really cute extra easter egg, wait til after the credits where the cast performs a silent movie version of the Bluebeard story.
Letting Moon Young in emotionally
Devastated because of the events at the hospital, it is no wonder that Moon Young would once again be plagued by nightmares. This time we see the ghost of her mother, hovering over Moon Young as she is frozen in fear in her bed. The ghost tells her that she will kill the prince who is trying to save her and there is no escape. Kang Tae hears Moon Young whimpering in her sleep and hastens to wake her up. Moon Young, tearful and full of terror, tells him that he has to leave her. As she continues to say he has to leave, her hands grasp his clothes and she tries to pull him towards her. It’s ss if her body refuses to let her mind override what it knows it needs. Finally, we see Kang Tae take the traumatized Moon Young in his arms and comfort her. Giving in to his need to be with her despite all his efforts to remain emotionally distant. Obviously, no matter how much your head says no…the heart wants what the heart wants.
Now that we are getting glimpses behind Moon Young’s facade, I am really starting to connect with the character. She truly isn’t the monster she was made to be, a fact that becomes evident when we see her interact with those with mental disabilities. She never is cruel or mean to Sang Tae or the inmates at OK hospital. Even when she was shattered and in the middle of a personal crisis, she didn’t lash out at the poor women who mistook her for her daughter. It was only at the point where her whole being shattered that she honestly shared that her mother was dead and the women needed to back off. These are not the actions of someone who is cruel and uncaring. I also giggle a little every time she calls Sang Tae “Oppa”. It is just so sweet.
I also appreciate how they are developing Sang Tae’s character. He isn’t just the token trial of Kang Tae’s life, the reason that his brother can’t be happy. The writer is integrating a story arc and character development for him as well, something that is rarely incorporated in Asian dramas. I love that for once, a drama is showing that people can have a mental illness or a disability and still fall in love, have jobs, and create connections without having some miraculous “fix.” There is no such thing as normal and these characters are finding happiness despite their lack of cookie-cutter character roles.
Until the next story,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi