[Just a heads up that the finale recap will be delayed tomorrow to around 7pm EST, because I’m moving cities!]
We start of right at the climax of the previous week’s episode. Daehyun hands her the tulips asking if she’s willing to accept them. Saetbyul looks like everything’s she’s wished for is coming to life before her eyes, but something stop hers. She says she’ll give him her answer later.
Daehyun looks awkward until Saetbyul clarifies that she’s not aiming to get to his current status in life but
Daehyun smiles, looking relieved and says she’s waited this long for him so he can definitely wait a little more. And thus begins episode 15!
He sweetly tells Saetbyul that she’s achieved a lot already and doesn’t need to force herself to reach a super high position in life. “You’re amazing enough as is,” he says, and there’s no girl in the world who didn’t swoon hearing that lol.
Daehyun plants the tulips to keep them alive and him and Saetbyul drink some wine while taking in the view.
At the store, Yeongpil’s in charge, and freaks out when Jangmi shows up. She’s still desperate to find Boonhee and asks if he can scour the alumni associations for her. He vehemently denies having seen her in 40 years, just as Daehyun and Saetbyul return, looking very confused. Daehyun’s about to ask why Yeongpil’s pretending not to know his wife and Yeongpil stops him the only way he knows how lol.
When Jangmi identifies herself, Daehyun realizes this is his dad’s first love and give shis dad this look.
Yeongpi all but kicks Jangmi out and tells her to forget about Boonhee. Daehyun yells at him for even interacting with his first love when he’s married to Boonhee and says that Boonhee should be aware of this. Yeongpil makes Daehyun promise not to say anything by outling that while Jangmi was his first love, he was Boonhe’s first love. Add to that the women’s former friendship and you’ve a recipe for disaster if they meet. Saetbyul remembers Boonhee telling her about Jangmi and how she never wanted to see her again and Yeongpil uses that as further proof that Boonhee and Jangmi are not to cross paths.
Saetbyul disagrees thinking that Boonhee should be told about this though. Daehyun’s disgruntled enough to make Yeongpil take care of the store overnight and takes Saetbyul back home. Boonhee’s home early and both Daehyun and Saetbyul feel so guilty about keeping the secret from her that they massage her feet and shoulders respectively.
Later, Saetbyul swoons thinking back to Daehyun’s confession but wonders why she couldn’t give him a direct answer. She’s still thrilled though aww.
Daehyun texts her saying they should have ramen, and both sneak out of bed to the kitchen to make some, and of course, Boonhee shows up then and asking why the two of them are up. They make up excuses and end up having to return to their rooms sans ramen.
Daehyun suggests coming up with signals. Saetbyul’s favourite fruit is a grape so he says that should be code for: “let’s meet up“. Strawberry means ‘no’ and so on. Saetbyul teases him for being a kid, but Daehyun’s having too much fun to stop lol. And Saetbyul loves it.
The next day, Yeonjoo’s over to go over the new contract with Boonhee. Daehyun has to rush over halfway due to an emergency at another store but winks at Saetbyul, whispering “grapes” over and over. Boonhee has no idea what he’s on, but Yeonjoo guesses that it’s some sort of secret code between the two and looks pissed.
She waits until Daehyun to leave to gift his mother with a very expensive crocodile leather bag [because money always makes up for a lack of morals]. Boonhee’s flattered and delighted. Saetbyul can’t watch anymore and exits the store for fresh air. Yeonjoo follows her out and thanks her. Saetbyul’s worried the moment she hears that because whatever Yeonjoo has to say can’t be good.
“Isn’t it a little to late to realize that?” Saetbyul retorts, but Yeonjoo smirks saying they’ll see about that. Saetbyul grouses for a bit but get a call that sends her flying into the store. Turns out, they’ve caught that real-estate scammer Manbok!!!! Saetbyul meets with the rest of the scammed tenants at the police station and hears they’ll get their deposits and any money they’re owed back. The other tenants sigh in relief that they can finally move out of their parents’ homes and friends’ homes. When Saetbyul mentions that she was staying at her boss’s home, they look at her with pity and say it must’ve been hard. When Saetbyul insists that she was treated like family, they laugh and say her boss must’ve been uncomfortable but not known how to show it. Saetbyul looks troubled.
Meanwhile, Dalshik and Geumbi are having quite the time. On their first quasi-date, they attempt to beat a rival couple on the dance dance machine. Geumbi tries to go in for a kiss but Dalshik isn’t ready and we have some bullshit there. We get even more bullshit when Geumbi says there’s somewhere she wants to take Dalshik and it turns out to be some sort of aerial silks studio but of course we have a Korean man in brownface there, saying Namaste over and over again in such a stereotypical way and I want to pull my hair out. Especially given Sam Okeyere’s current treatment in Korea.
[I don’t understand what’s so hard for the general Korean populace to understand about racism NOT BEING OKAY. As Korean dramas get more and more global, they need to understand that people will use this to look down on Koreans and Korean culture. They’re only shooting themselves in the foot. This is NOT acceptable. It’s NOT okay. And they seem to think the intention of the perpetrators is all that matters. Newsflash: what a racist piece of garbage MEANT doesn’t matter a flying whit. It doesn’t matter at all. All that matter is the EFFECT you that on people watching. As a woman with brown skin, I have no intention of ever visiting Korea because of the blatant racism that they think is FUNNY. Please keep in mind that this is being done for HUMOUR. It’s disgusting. And some commentators on this blog might think that this is not a generalized attitude held by all Koreans. In which case, I strongly encourage reading up on what’s going on with blackface in Korean right now and how Sam Okeyere, a Ghanian man was forced to apologize for SPEAKING OUT AGAINST BLACKFACE because the Korean populace lost their collective minds. This is just bullshit.]
Anyway, Geumbi and Dalshik plan to make their relationship official that day and look excited. I am not.
Back at the store, Saetbyul mulls over what the other tenants mentioned about not feeling welcome with their friends and with their parents and wonders if Boonhee and Daehyun felt the same way around her. She wonders whether or not to move out. The Daily Guru app tells her to ‘not hesitate and go for it’ and she wonders if she should just leave then. Daehyun shows up and Saetbyul can’t bring herself to do it so she says she wants dumplings lol. He treats her to pizza instead and tells her that Manager Bae will be taking his place and to tell him if Saetbyul has any trouble at all. I hope Saetbyul sticks to this because I have no doubt that trouble is coming.
While they’re eating, the most problematic couple in history next to 50 Shades of Grey, Dalshik and Geumbi show up, ready to announce their relationship.
Saetbyul and Daehyun literally cannot believe their eyes and share equal expressions of shock when they find out. Geumbi chats with Saetbyul while Daehyun talks to Dalshik and Daehyun’s aghast and how into Geumbi Dalshik is. Dalshik asks if he’s secretly dating Saetbyul. Daehyun insists he isn’t but Dalshik says they should double date and Daehyun looks like he’s considering the idea.
The next day, Boonhee strongarms Daehyun and Yeongpil into helping her clean up the store before they officially hand it over to the headquarters to be controlled by Manager Bae and Saetbyul. When Boonhee leaves to take a call, Jangmi shows up looking despondent with an old letter, saying this was the last letter she sent Boonhee after leaving Busan but it was returned to her unopened. She pleads with Yeongpil to find Boonhee and give it to her.
Daehyun sees his mother returning right then and they end up having to hustle Jangmi into the backroom. Boonhee knows something’s up the moment Daehyun and Saetbyul start insisting that they just cleaned the backroom and that there’s absolutely no need to go in there. She evades them and darts in and finds Jangmi. Daehyun and Saetbyul brace themselves.
Jangmi introduces herself and Boonhee’s agog.
Yeongpil tries to interject saying he can explain everything, but Jangmi seems to have caught on that this is Boonhee as well. She cheerfully asks why Yeongpil pretended not know her and Boonhee’s at Anger Level 1. Boonhee then hears that she recently returned from China and met with Yeongpil. Boonhe asks if this was at a hotel cafe, and upon hearing that it was the same one where she run into Yeongpil, she’s at Anger Level 2. Boonhee slowly asks Jangmi where she’s lives and when she hears the exact province that Yeongpil’s been clamoring to visit for so long, she’s at Anger Level 1000. Yeongpil is dead. Definitely dead.
Boonhee looks even more upset when Jangmi says it’s been so long. Instead of getting angry, she tears up and tells Jangmi she never saw her today. She walks out of the store in tears. Yeongpil, Saetbyul and Daehyun try to go after she but it’s like she’s in a trance. Daehyun whacks his dad for hurting her, while Yeongpil can’t understand just what he’s done wrong.
She gets drunk by herself and ignores Daehyun’s repeated calls. She sighs that she can’t even turn off her phone when she’s upset because a client might call. She hates her life, not even being able to turn off her phone. Right then, Yeonjoo calls saying they’ve finalized the franchise contract. Boonhee says Yeonjoo could’ve Daehyun instead but Yeonjoo insists she wanted her to be the first to know. She hears Boonhee asks for another bottle of soju and insists on joining her. Boonhee grouses that she wouldn’t like the locale but Yeonjoo says she’ll decide that for herself.
At home, Daehyun makes Saetbyul ramyun. They worry over Boonhee.
But this time, Daehyun thinks Yeongpil crossed the line.
He says letting go of the store was weird but he’s glad he opened it. Thanks to that he got to meet Saetbyul and grow to really like her. They giggle and right then a very drunk Boonhe shows up assisted by none other than Yeonjoo. I swear this couple can’t have a moment of peace.
Boonhee fawns over Daehyun, saying she doesn’t need a husband or friends. All she needs is her handsome executive son who makes $100,000 a year. She says Yeonjoo brought her home in a really nice car and even kisses Yeonjoo on the forehead and asks Daehyun to be nice to Yeonjoo and drive her home.
Daehyun is not interested in doing this
But ends up having to when his mother forces him. Saetbyul doesn’t mind and tells Boonhee to teach Yeongpil a lesson, but Boonhee thanks her, calling her “Yeonjoo”.
She tells “Yeonjoo” to take care of Daehyun. Boonhee says she never got to do to what she wants in life, but Daehyun can live better and to please help him get somewhere in life. Saetbyul looks hurts but pretends it’s okay. [I have a feeling we’re going to have a bout of noble idiocy coming up]
The next day, Boonhe makes breakfast awkward but bringing that Yeonjoo told her she wants to apologize but Daehyun won’t let her. She asks Daehyun to make time for dinner with Yeonjoo tonight. Daehyun refuses saying he has plans, but Saetbyul says it’s alright. Boonhee looks suspiciously between them and Saetbyul says he was just treating her to a congratulatory meal.
At the store, she gives Yeongpil a bouquet of white tulips telling him to give them to Boonhee and apologize. He comes clean to Boonhe about why he met her and the money she owed him but Boonhe is done. She’s tired of everything and says he isn’t even worth a beating. She whacks him once and leaves. Jangmi waits for her at a cafe and catches her leaving. She begs for a chance to explain why she left but Boonhee doesn’t want to hear it. Jangmi finally just slides the letter she sent all those years ago over and tells Boonhee to stay well. Saetbyul sees the interaction and looks worried.
At dinner, Yeonjoo sincerely apologizes for everything, including her mother’s behaviour. Daehyun points out that she’d called it an ‘accident’ back when he confronted her and she apologizes for that too. She says Boonhee’s a great person and she didn’t give his family a fair chance. Daehyun accepts the apology.
Yeonjoo says that they promised to always be honest with each other but she failed to keep her word. She says she’ll always be true to him from now on but Daehyun says he just wants them to be remain as good colleagues.
Meanwhile, Boonhee opens the letter and finds that Jangmi ran away to marry someone she loved. Enclosed is a picture of the two of them when they were young. Boonhee looks at her past self and apologizes for how she grew up to live. At the departure gate, Jangmi waits hoping Boonhee might show up.
Daehyun drops by to visit Saetbyul after dinner and disinfects himself a whole ton before stepping near her.
Saetbyul squirts some hand sanitizer on him and they spend 10 seconds how people in the US how it’s done.
They return home in a good mood but Boonhee kills it by fawning over Yeonjoo and asking if Daehyun treated her right. She goes on and on about how classy Yeonjoo is and Saetbyul looks more and more hurt. Daehyun asks her to head upstairs and confronts his mom on her elitism. He asks how long ago it even was that Yeonjoo’s mother hurt their family but Boonhee says that’s what it takes to make connections. That’s life. It isn’t the first time she’s been treated that way and it won’t be the last. He yells at her to date Yeonjoo herself if she likes her so much and Boonhee yells that she’s not doing this for herself. She just wants Daehyun to get wealthy enough to bring the family out of poverty. [Look they even have a house, if this is poverty, then I’m Queen’s Elizabeth]
Saetbyul looks more and more hurt as the argument gets heat and ducks away when Daehyun enters his room and slams the door.
The next day doesn’t get any better. She arrives at work to find Manager Bae taking out the desk and study materials Daehyun had gotten for her, saying he runs the store now. He’s very evidently nasty and has brought a female worker, PARK KYUNGHEE, to edge Saetbyul out of her position. He makes Saetbyul do everything from rearranging all the store supplies to repositioning everything. Saetbyul finally heads to the backroom and thinks of all the good times she had here. She looks forlornly at the empty spot where the desk used to me, remembering when Daehyun hugged her. She thinks back to Daehyun bandaging her wounds. Everywhere she looks she imagines Daehyun’s gentle smiling face.
She returns home, where Boonhee’s still in bed. Saetbyul doesn’t know what to say when Boonhee sighs about how she can’t understand why Daehyun doesn’t want to get back with Yeonjoo. She says her worst fear is her child living as poor and difficult a life as she did. She cries saying she doesn’t have a lot of money saved up and doesn’t have a rich husband. All she has is Daehyun, so why can’t he grab at every chance in life. Saetbyul looks hurt but can only say that she understands.
Skip to Daehyun and Saetbyul having sausage stew and Daehyun’s delighted when she, unlike Yeonjoo has ramyun. They both agree that it’s the best way to do things and even agree on when to scoop out the ramyun. Daehyun asks her about how things are going and the store and Saetbyul lies that it’s same old. She asks him to apologize to Boonhee but Daehyun stands firm. He says that he always listens to Boonhee but this is different. He asks her not to take what Boonhee said to heart but it’s too late. She watches him eat with a sad smile and thinks to herself that Daehyun didn’t have to fight for her but he did. She’s the issue here and she’ll get out of the way.
That night, she leaves the room thinking she’ll never be able to find one as warm and cozy as this one. She sees Boonhee and Yeongpil sleeping with the door open and mentally thanks Boonhee for taking care of her and says she doesn’t want to cause Boonhee more fear. She gives Daehyun’s sleeping form one last glance and thinks that she was happy and anxious when he confessed to her because deep down she knew this might happen. Although, it didn’t last long, she’ll never forget how happy he made her.
Noble idiocy rears its ugly head but I can’t say I don’t understand. I do and it’s all the more painful because of it. Let’s just say I’m going through a rough financial patch so I definitely understand. You can’t fault Boonhee for wanting a better life for her son but you can fault her for guilt-tripping her son into seeing a woman he has zero interest in dating. Your child’s life is not yours. She’s being as heavyhanded as Yeonjoo’s mother was in forcing Yeonjoo away from Daehyun. It’s up to Daehyun to go with what HE WANTS. Boonhee can advise him against it but in the end she has no right to meddle in his life and force her financial fears on him.
I understand financial fear. I really do. I can’t explain just how horribly I do. But this is different. Yes the real world requires you to choose between your heart and money but she shouldn’t foist the choice on her son when he’s already working his way up. She took the store from him by wheedling about how making all the executive money mattered and now she wants to take love from him. At least give the man something to do look forward to at the end of the day.
Money is everything. It is. I’m not going to deny it because we live or die by money. But you have to balance it out by keeping happy in other ways. Be it your love for your partner, your pets, the hobbies that make you smile, exercise. We all need something and someone to fuel us so we can keep at the grind the next day and no one has the right to take it from us.
And that, friends, is why Boonhee is wrong.