Recaps for Familiar Wife

66 August 4, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 1

by LollyPip

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect From Familiar Wife (aka The Wife I Know), tvN’s new time-travel drama, but so far, so cute. We have a husband who is unfairly henpecked (in his opinion) by his shrill, red-faced wife, and an unplanned encounter with his past makes him wonder what could have been. Just as he decides that he wishes he’d done things differently, he gets an unusual opportunity to change everything. The setup is solid, so let’s dive in and see if the execution can live up to the hype!

 
EPISODE 1: “There’s a monster in my bed who beats me.”

A car drives down a lonely, desolate road, while the radio reports on a nearby star that’s rapidly turning into a black hole. Scientists worry about the effects this black hole will have on Earth and its gravitational pull on the moon, anticipating earthquakes, tsunamis, or worse. The driver pays at a toll booth, then suddenly, the car disappears.

At a different time, that same car weaves through heavy traffic towards Incheon Airport as the driver scrambles to grab his ringing cell phone from where it’s slid out of reach. A voice laments the strange nature of the world, such as why forced winter strawberries taste better than summer ones, or the fact that it costs three cents to make a penny.

The driver causes an accident while reaching for his phone, and as he tries to rouse himself, the voice muses, “Among all the strange things in the world, the strangest is love. You marry because you love each other to death, but you end up becoming enemies you want to kill. You run into many enemies in your life, but the strongest and most atrocious one is…”

The driver picks up his phone, which is still ringing shrilly, to reveal the caller: “My Wife.” His eyes roll back in his head, and he passes out as the plane he was rushing to catch takes off.

Sixteen hours before the accident.

A baby cries until its mother rouses to comfort it, while the father helpfully hides under his pillow. Later, Mom kicks Dad out of bed, literally, so he can feed the baby while she takes care of the toddler. Dad seems pretty bad at this, and the baby obviously knows it.

They both wake in a panic later when the alarm doesn’t go off. They fight to get ready for the day, each blaming the other for their lateness. Mom tells Dad to take the kids since they missed the bus, but he shrieks that he’s already late, and she fires back that she’s late, too.

Dad, whose name is CHA JOO-HYUK (Ji Sung) runs at top speed all the way to his job as a loan officer after missing his train. He sneaks in like a ninja, even grabbing a used coffee cup from the trash to make it look like he’s been there a while.

Joo-hyuk nearly makes it to his desk before his supervisor, MANAGER BYUN, yells at him to stop, aware of what he’s doing, and even notes that his friend was helping him sneak in. He tells Joo-hyuk that this is his third strike, resulting in points off his upcoming evaluation, plus extra points just because.

The branch manager arrives and asks what mistake Joo-hyuk made today, but he calls Manager Byun a perfectionist and gets Joo-hyuk off the hook. He jovially invites Joo-hyuk to go bowling after work, and Joo-hyuk collapses in his chair, already exhausted.

Later, Joo-hyuk goes to the roof with his coworker JONG-HOO (Jang Seung-ho), where they complain that Manager Byun is just frustrated because he’s not getting the promotions he wants. Joo-hyuk sighs that he’s exhausted, and Jong-hoo blames it on the kids keeping him up, though he says that one day he’ll miss these times. He has twins who are talking now, and he hilariously mimics their tiny voices asking endless questions.

Jong-hoo lifts Joo-hyuk’s spirits with some movie impressions, and Joo-hyuk gets into his own portrayal of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Jong-hoo praises his flexibility, which leads to an awkward splits competition (owie owie owie), ending when Joo-hyuk rips his pants, HA.

Joo-hyuk goes back to work and begins to see customers, but one customer creates a fuss when his number is skipped over because he was in the restroom. The customer gets so loud that he’s escorted out by security, but throughout the encounter, Joo-hyuk keeps his cool.

Later, he tells the employee next to him, Kim Hwan (Cha Hak-yeon, aka N from VIXX), to stop primping and take some of the cash customers. Hwan complains haughtily, but he negotiates to go home early in exchange.

Joo-hyuk’s wife, SEO WOO-JIN (Han Ji-min), is having an equally frustrating day at her job in a skincare clinic. She texts Joo-hyuk to pick up the kids after work, but Manager Byun is picking a fight with the cash department over some missing money. One cash team employee remembers belatedly that she asked the loan team for help, which leads to the discovery that Hwan made a huge error while exchanging currency.

Manager Byun wants to know why Hwan isn’t there, which lands Joo-hyuk in hot water for letting him go early. He’s ordered to fix the mistake, but he learns that the customer just left for the airport. That’s how Joo-hyuk ends up racing for the airport while Woo-jin tries to reach him about the kids.

When she can’t get ahold of him, she asks to leave work early, but her boss yells at her that this will screw up a huge group reservation. Woo-jin grows furious when Joo-hyuk still doesn’t answer her calls, unaware that he’s in the hospital recovering from his accident.

He wakes to find Hwan kicking his hospital bed. He says he had the car sent to a shop and even paid Joo-hyuk’s hospital fee — with Joo-hyuk’s credit card, naturally. Hwan reports that the client has left the country, blaming Joo-hyuk for his mistake by making him do the exchange in the first place. LOL, Joo-hyuk’s face.

Hwan says that Manager Byun is furious and threatening to string them both up in front of the bank. Joo-hyuk searches for his phone to call Manager Byun, but what he finds on it is a serious of increasingly angry texts from Woo-jin, wanting to know why he’s not picking up the kids or answering her calls.

He stumbles out of bed and runs home, forgetting all about work. As he runs, he thinks, “Socrates once said ‘If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.’” Joo-hyuk tells himself that he’s a philosopher as he bravely enters his apartment, where he’s immediately whacked in the face with a flying stuffed animal.

Woo-jin orders him right back out again, throwing anything she can get her hands on. When Joo-hyuk tries to explain, she threatens to staple his lips closed, screaming at him to shut up at the top of his lungs. She tells him how she had to run to pick up the children while the teacher called and he wouldn’t answer the phone, wanting to know why he couldn’t send a single text.

She shrieks that she didn’t give birth to their children alone, asking why she has to do all the work caring for them. Joo-hyuk tries to calm her down, but when he says he just now saw her calls, it only makes her angrier after having tried to reach him for hours.

She starts to laugh crazily and unleashes a string of obscenities, then goes to the kitchen for more things to throw — this time it’s a crab leg that was slated for dinner. It grazes Joo-hyuk’s cheek before making a perfect bulls-eye in a dart board.

Joo-hyuk gets out as ordered, and ends up scarfing ramyun at the Common Sense Bar, where Jong-hoo joins him. Jong-hoo tells SANG-SHIK, the bar’s owner, about Joo-hyuk’s terrible day, and Sang-shik sighs that in some ways, being a business owner is a lot less stress than office work.

As they chat, Joo-hyuk finds a crab claw in his soup, which gives him flashbacks. He slams down the crab claw and declares, “I want a divorce.” He explains that he’s scared of Woo-jin’s emotional switches, and that she’s no longer the cute, sweet woman he married.

He describes some of Woo-jin’s classless behaviors, like using the toilet while he’s taking a bath and refusing to cook for him anymore (and hissing like a snake when he asks). Jong-hoo says that’s just how married men live, defending how much mothers have to do for their children.

Joo-hyuk says that he’s tried to be understanding of all that, even admitting that his lack of competence makes Woo-jin suffer. But he also says he can’t take her “intermittent explosive disorder,” which is what he calls it when Woo-jin loses her temper and screams at him. She does it in the store, turning bright red with fury and letting loose with loud profanities when he loses their place in line because he forgot something.

Trying to find a silver lining, Jong-hoo says that at least she doesn’t beat him up, but Joo-hyuk sobs that she’s totally violent. He asks desperately if he should have to live with a woman like that for the rest of his life, but all his friends can do is sigh in sympathy.

In the morning, Branch Manager Cha reminds the team that if a robber ever comes to the bank, to just give him money and not risk their lives. There’s also a team dinner after work, paid for by the bank president, so he asks the loan department to make sure their paperwork is all in order by the end of the day.

Manager Byun calls the loan team together, and Hwan has a cute little fit that his manicure is interrupted. Joo-hyuk meekly promises to make sure team performance is up today, prompting Manager Byun to show them that their ranking has dropped among the Seoul branches. Manager Byun orders Joo-hyuk, Hwan, and Jong-hoo to hand out flyers and bring in business during their lunch hour (hee, Joo-hyuk gives Hwan the majority of the flyers).

Hwan pouts and refuses to help, offering to write an apology letter instead of passing out the flyers. Joo-hyuk asks how he’s so brave, and Hwan is all, “My family is rich, though we only own two buildings in Gangnam.” LOL.

Joo-hyuk tries to get rid of flyers by stuffing them in a nearby apartment building’s mailboxes, but that only gets him in trouble with security. He’s recognized by a tenant as he’s being shoved out of the building, and he freezes when he sees her.

She thinks he’s forgotten her and reminds him that she’s LEE HYE-WON (Kang Hanna) from college, but I’d say from his slack-jawed expression that he remembers the beauty quite well. They go to lunch, where Hye-won explains that she’s been in the U.S. for a while and just recently came home.

Joo-hyuk seems touched and a little awed by how much she remembers about him, and the way she loads up his plate like a doting girlfriend. He goes quiet, and admits that it’s been a while since someone looked out for him, and she laughs at his pitiful puppydog expression.

Hye-won tells Joo-hyuk that her music career was going well in the States, but she missed her family and Korea, and even him occasionally. Joo-hyuk chokes a little at that, but he recovers enough to say that it sounds like she was lonely.

She mentions that she heard he’s married, and that his wife is very pretty, and admits that she’s a little jealous, since she used to like him. That revelation puts Joo-hyuk in a daze, and nearly gets him in trouble at work again.

He spends the afternoon remembering Hye-won’s voice saying “I liked you” over and over again, and wondering how he never knew that the girl he liked, liked him back. He remembers those days when he was young and in college, and he had a job filling the snack and drink machines on campus.

One day he’s mesmerized by the lovely sound of someone playing the cello in a classroom. It’s Hye-won, and Joo-hyuk falls for her music as much as her beauty. Someone bumps into him as he watches Hye-won play, causing him to accidentally dive headfirst into the classroom. He apologizes nervously to Hye-won and quickly leaves, missing her amused smile.

He sees Hye-won on campus again on another day, surrounded by admirers, and Sang-shik, who’s his college roommate, informs Joo-hyuk that she’s a sophomore, and the beauty of the music department. Sang-shik immediately notices Joo-hyuk’s infatuation and advises him to give up on her, but instead, Joo-hyuk joins the music club just to be near her.

On her birthday, Joo-hyuk plans to confess with a single rose, but he gives up when he sees another guy delivering a huge bouquet. He overhears Hye-won say that she’s missing a signing event by her favorite cellist, so he scurries to the event to get the musician’s autograph. He takes it to her later, pretending that he just happened to run across the event and wishing her a belated happy birthday.

Later, Joo-hyuk’s little sister, JOO-EUN (Park Hee-bon) delivers him some food from home, reeling at the mess and stench in his room. He tells her lovingly that she’s put on weight, and she snaps at Sang-shik, who’s pretending to be asleep on the floor, to get up.

He pops up and introduces himself, and Joo-eun orders him to put some clothes on before she goes blind. Both guys lunge at Joo-eun when she notices something in the closet, but they’re too late — their extensive porn collection ends up all over the floor, and they both blurt out, “They’re his!” Surprisingly, instead of being scandalized, Joo-eun just asks if she can borrow a few magazines. Oh. Ooooh.

Running late seems to be the default for Joo-hyuk — he’s late for class again, but he screeches to a halt when Hye-won calls out to him. She invites him to a recital with her tonight, and Joo-hyuk is so happy that he barely notices when he’s nearly run over by a deliveryman on a scooter.

He’s on Cloud Nine all day, and spends a long time getting prettied up for his big date (awww, he even polishes his sneakers!). He ends up on the bus with a mousy little high school girl, unaware that she’s his future wife. Woo-jin gets groped by a creeper, and she grabs the jerk’s hand and calls him out loudly while Joo-hyuk watches, but the jerk insists he didn’t do anything and nobody on the bus can back up Woo-jin’s story.

Joo-hyuk speaks up that he saw the guy grope Woo-jin, and soon the passengers are demanding that the driver go straight to the police station. The groper is arrested and Joo-hyuk quickly leaves, worried about being late for his date with Hye-won. Woo-jin tries to thank him, but he’s already gone.

The concert is in progress by the time Joo-hyuk gets to the concert hall. The next day he apologizes to Hye-won, but she turns down his offer to buy her dinner to make it up to her. As he’s heading back to class, Woo-jin finds him and offers to buy him lunch to thank him for saving her, but he declines.

He tells her that her skirt is too short and tries to leave, but she follows him to his part-time job at an ice scream shop like a bouncy little puppy. Praising Joo-hyuk’s strong arm muscles, Woo-jin invites Joo-hyuk on date after date, only to get turned down every time. But she’s relentless, and when she offers to pay him to tutor her in math, he can’t resist the money.

Of course she’s not the slightest bit interested in studying, preferring to discuss things like kissing with her handsome tutor. Frustrated, Joo-hyuk asks what she wants to be when she grows up, and she says matter-of-factly, “Your wife” (while brazenly exposing her collarbone, hee).

She tells Joo-hyuk plainly that she likes him and puts his hand on her head, then announces that the top of her head is an erogenous zone, LOL. Joo-hyuk goes bright pink, and although he tries to scold her, Woo-jin just giggles at how cute he looks.

The phone rings, then Woo-jin’s mother starts to wail — her father has died unexpectedly, and Joo-hyuk goes to the funeral to pay his respects. He’s upset by the sight of Woo-jin sobbing, and when he goes to leave, she clutches his sleeve and begs him to stay.

Back in the present, Joo-hyuk is at the team dinner where Jong-hoo asks what’s bothering him today, but Joo-hyuk waves him off. A drunk Branch Manager Cha announces that he and Joo-hyuk are like brothers, and Jong-hoo asks when Joo-hyuk is going to tell him that they’re not actually of the same Cha lineage.

Apparently Joo-hyuk has been lying about it to gain favor, and he argues that Cha isn’t a common name so they’re all connected somehow. He says that with his current situation, he needs all the advantage he can get, even if it means lying about his family.

Jong-hoo tries to calm him, but Joo-hyuk lashes out, drawing attention to himself. Jong-hoo smooths it over as a lover’s quarrel, but Joo-hyuk whispers that he hates Jong-hoo, his wife, and this job. As the night goes on and Joo-hyuk gets drunker, he ends up at a karaoke bar, singing terribly, and his coworkers guess that something is going on with him.

Joo-hyuk drags his drunk butt home and makes it to the bathroom just in time. Woo-jin just whisper-yells at him not to wake the kids, then bans him from their bed in case his drunken state makes him snore. He shuffles to another room, calling himself crazy for marrying that evil woman.

He bursts into frustrated tears when his contraband video game system refuses to work. His muffled whine turns into real sorrow as he wonders how he never realized Hye-won’s real feelings for him.

Joo-hyuk is barely awake on the train the next morning, so he doesn’t register the doomsayer yelling about the nearby black hole creating a wormhole in space and time. He rouses in time to see the guy collapse, and he’s the only one who offers to help the man to his feet. The doomsayer puts two 500-won coins in Joo-hyuk’s hand, looking completely sane just for a moment, then goes on his way. Joo-hyuk notices that one was minted in 2006.

At the end of the workday, the loan team get word that a team member’s mother died, but everyone makes excuses to get out of the funeral tomorrow. Exhausted, Joo-hyuk stretches widely, and Manager Byun assumes he’s volunteering to attend the funeral. He does his duty, then calls his mom after the funeral and promises to visit his parents soon.

The funeral was a long ways away, and Joo-hyuk feels tired and woozy as he drives back to the city. His radio seems to be malfunctioning and he sees a double moon, and as he approaches an intersection, he sees a billboard that says, “Your life can change, too. Get a fresh start.”

He approaches a tollbooth, which he doesn’t remember passing on his way out of town, and he pays the toll, but the machine doesn’t register his coins. He notices that it only takes 500-won pieces, so he tosses in the 2006 coin from the doomsayer on the train, and this time it works.

Joo-hyuk continues on his way, but nothing looks familiar and his GPS goes haywire. Suddenly the car accelerates without his input, and Joo-hyuk panics when he realizes he can’t brake or steer. He screams, and the car disappears.

Joo-hyuk wakes up at a pounding on the door and a voice calling out, “Oppa!” He looks around and realizes that he’s in his old dorm room, Sang-shik asleep on the floor and Joo-eun knocking at the door. Dazed, he lets Joo-eun in, and she hands him the food she brought as he wonders why this seems so familiar.

He realizes what day it is just as Joo-eun dumps his porn out of the closet. She asks to borrow some of the magazines, and he sees the date on the calendar: June, 2006.

COMMENTS

Familiar Wife is a little darker than I anticipated, but I like the setup so far, which feels realistic and painful with its depiction of Joo-hyuk’s dissatisfaction at how his life has turned out. There are still funny moments, which feel more gritty and High School King of Savvy-like than bright and Weightlifting Fairy-ish (more on that later), but I appreciate that the show isn’t making light of the misery and regret Joo-hyuk is feeling. He’s kind of a terrible husband, though it’s not deliberate and I think he believes he’s doing his best, but that’s the beauty of it all — he has no idea how much he’s contributed to his current situation. I can’t wait to see the horror on his face when he realizes how much of his life is his own dumb fault.

I fully expected this show to present Joo-hyuk as a well-meaning man who works hard to be a good husband, but whose picky, shrieking wife never gives him the benefit of the doubt. I’m happy to see that things are a lot more complicated than that. Joo-hyuk is a good guy, and he does his best as he understands it, but he’s not as thoughtful or helpful as he could be (example — his only taking care of himself and leaving Woo-jin to get the kids and herself ready for the day). On top of that, he’s got pretty unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a family… he truly believes that his wife should take care of the kids, work a job of her own, AND have dinner waiting on the table for him at the end of the day. I don’t blame Woo-jin one bit for turning shrewish and screamy under those circumstances, because she’s doing most of the work and still being judged lacking. Neither of them are bad people, or even necessarily bad spouses, but they just get angry and fight instead of sitting down and talking about expectations versus reality.

I wondered what it was that Joo-hyuk originally saw in Woo-jin, and then we got to see her as a teenage girl, and holy moley, it’s no wonder he couldn’t resist. She was a firecracker, a girl who knew what she wanted and set out to get it without playing coy games or pretending to be what she wasn’t. Now I wonder what on earth Joo-hyuk did to her to make her so angry and resentful, though I imagine that years and years of unrealistic expectations and thoughtless behavior can turn even the brightest spirit dark. It actually hurt to see what Woo-jin was, because she was so happy and bouncy and optimistic, and the thought of that spirit being stamped out is painful. We know that Joo-hyuk is a good man at his core — we’ve seen him repeatedly be the only person to offer help to someone in need — but neglect can change a person as thoroughly as outright abuse, under the right circumstances.

It’s no wonder Joo-hyuk is so blown away by his reunion with Hye-won, the way she starts flirting and doting on him right away. What Joo-hyuk fails to understand is that Hye-won is like that, not because she’s a nicer person or likes him more than Woo-jin, but because she doesn’t have Woo-jin’s years of history with him. Nobody can remain as romantic as a new couple all the time for years on end, and if Hye-won was juggling a job, two small babies, and an irresponsible husband, I doubt she’d still be beautifully put-together and sweet as pie, either.

I gotta admit, while I generally only give passing notice to a show’s behind-the-scenes crew (writer, director, etc), when it comes to Familiar Wife, 95% of my excitement is because the people behind this one have been responsible for some of my all-time favorite dramas. You tell me that the writer of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju, Oh My Ghostess, and High School King of Savvy (source of my very favorite drama quote, “You’re just needlessly tall!”) banding together with the PD of Shopping King Louis to make a supernatural drama starring Ji Sung, and I’m so in that I’ll probably never get out again. This also means that my expectations are sky-high, but I have faith that this band of merry creators can meet, and even exceed my expectations.

This first episode was all setup, so I’m looking forward to diving into the second episode where hopefully I’ll find some back-in-time school shenanigans and omg-what-have-I-done regrets back in the present. Is it too much to hope for to see Joo-hyuk and Hye-won married in the present, and Hye-won turned into the shrewish wife while Woo-jin is the glamorous one that got away? I’d love to see that, and watch Joo-hyuk realize that it’s not that he chose the wrong woman, but that it was his own selfish actions and borderline neglect that would cause any woman to turn angry and resentful. Overall the show looks like it will be sweet and funny, but also a little wistful as Joo-hyuk tries to regain the life, and wife, he didn’t appreciate when he had them.

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48 August 6, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 2

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk is having a very interesting day, as he finds himself twelve years in the past, on the most crucial day of his life. He’s realizing that his life isn’t anything like he expected to be, and that he’s not happy. So when he sees an opportunity to change all that, it’s no surprise that he jumps at it. If you could go back and change your biggest regret, wouldn’t you want to see what lies down the road not traveled?

 
EPISODE 2: “Life is a maze full of choices.”

Joo-hyuk uses one of the coins the doomsayer from the train gave him at a tollbooth, and the next thing he knows, his car goes out of control and he wakes up in 2006, back in college. He recognizes the date as the day that his crush, Hye-won, asked him out, and although he leaves his room a bit more cautiously than last time, he still gets hit by a bowl of wash water the same as he did in 2006.

He wonders if he’s dreaming, but everything feels too realistic. He stubs his toe on a newsstand and overhears a couple of teenage girls complaining about Brad and Angelina’s marriage being too perfect, remembering that all this happened before. He knows when he’s about to run into Hye-won, and he’s struck dumb by the sight of his old flame, looking exactly as she did ten years ago. She invites him to the concert just as he expects, and he accepts like before.

But then, instead of swerving to miss the scooter that nearly hit him the first time around, Joo-hyuk forgets to move and is knocked unconscious. He wakes in his own bed back in the present, and when his wife Woo-jin comes in, he asks her what day it is. She tells him it’s August 29, 2018, and Joo-hyuk is surprised that it’s Wednesday, and not Friday like it should be.

Joo-hyuk waves it off and assumes that what just happened must have been a dream after all. Woo-jin tells Joo-hyuk that he got himself home just fine last time, but after she leaves for work, he wonders why he doesn’t remember anything after losing control of the car. Flustered, he doesn’t notice the small scar that suddenly appears on his right wrist.

Joo-hyuk heads to work, meeting his friend Jong-hoo on the way for a food cart breakfast sandwich. He asks Jong-hoo if he’s ever had a dream so vivid that it felt real, so Jong-hoo says he once dreamed he was dating Han Hyo-joo, and afterward her kissing scenes made him angry, hee.

He tells Joo-hyuk that he’s just stressed lately and invites him to play video games after work, but Joo-hyuk pouts that his game system broke. He suddenly notices his new scar, but Joo-hyuk says that he’s had that ever since he’s known him. Weird.

On the way into the office, a pair of female employees say they’re going on a coffee run, and Jong-hoo hilariously fakes a call from his wife and abandons Joo-hyuk to pay. He reluctantly hands over his credit card, and they end up buying coffee for the whole office on him. But they forget to get one for Branch Manager Cha, forcing Joo-hyuk to hand his over.

Joo-hyuk goes to fill the ATMs for the day, and while he’s there, someone answers his ad looking for a used game system. It’s a good price, so Joo-hyuk rushes to close up the ATM so he can show Jong-hoo the amazing deal, and he makes arrangements to meet with the seller after work.

At her job as an aesthetician, Woo-jin deals with a spoiled, demanding customer (“I’m so exhausted from my trip to Bali!” Barf). The customer snaps at her for obviously upselling when she mentions a new skincare line, cooing condescendingly that she guesses Woo-jin has to sell something, either cosmetics or her conscience.

Joo-hyuk is anxious to leave at the end of the day, but his last customer forgot her ID and asks him to wait while she goes home for it. Knowing that he’ll miss the meeting time with the game console seller, Joo-hyuk offers to push her loan through without the ID, getting her promise to bring her ID in tomorrow.

Joo-hyuk goes looking for Branch Manager Cha to ask permission, but he’s out of the office, so Joo-hyuk logs into the computer with Branch Manager Cha’s password. He overrides the loan approval without authorization, then asks Manager Byun if he can leave for the day. He gets permission, and heads out to meet the console seller.

Meanwhile, Woo-jin gets a call from her mother’s landlord, who’s upset at the junk piling up outside her mother’s apartment door. Woo-jin’s mom appears to have early dementia which has led to some hoarding behavior, and Woo-jin yells that she can’t just let unusable things pile up.

While Woo-jin is still there, Mom calls out to her husband, and before Woo-jin can remind her that her father died years ago, she asks when Woo-jin got there. Oof. The landlord tells Woo-jin that her mother is getting worse and needs to be in a nursing home.

Joo-hyuk meets the console seller and carefully checks the machine, which he learns is for sale because the owner’s wife told him to get rid of it the day he bought it. The seller is pretty upset, but he whines that he values his life, and Joo-hyuk promises to cherish the console.

Sang-shik wilts when a lottery ticket turns out to be a dud, and Joo-hyuk’s sister Joo-eun says he may as well donate his money for the good karma. They bicker over Joo-eun’s tendency to work at her part-time convenience store job, study, and work out at the same time.

Woo-jin arrives, so Sang-shik nervously sidles out of the store. Joo-eun asks if Joo-hyuk is busy lately, since she never sees him, and Woo-jin nods vaguely. She asks about a friend of Joo-eun’s who works at a nursing home, wondering how much it costs, and the amount makes her cringe.

Unaware, Joo-eun says that the children usually split the costs, but as she’s already complained that she barely has any money, Woo-jin’s mood sinks even lower. Joo-eun tries to tease Woo-jin out of her funk by joking that she’ll never find a boyfriend if she doesn’t wear makeup, but it doesn’t work.

No fool, Joo-hyuk covers his new game console with a trash bag to smuggle it into the spare room and successfully hides it. That night in bed, Woo-jin starts to tell Joo-hyuk something, but she changes her mind. Instead, she asks if he thinks he’ll be getting a promotion soon, but he just stammers that he’s not sure.

Joo-hyuk asks why Woo-jin hasn’t visited her mother lately, and why her mom never makes the kimchi he likes anymore. Instead of telling him about her mom’s decline, Woo-jin snaps at him to make the kimchi himself if he wants it.

Joo-hyuk pretends to go to the bathroom and heads to the spare room to fire up his new game console. He shuts it off and hides it again when he hears the baby cry.

In the morning, Joo-hyuk gets a call from Hwan, who’s already at the bank and scared — the audit team is there. Joo-hyuk worries that it’s about the loan he approved with Branch Manager Cha’s log-in and without ID, so he calls the customer and impersonates Branch Manager Cha, saying that he needs her ID right away.

Over at the bank, the audit team leader tells Branch Manager Cha that this audit is because some personal information was leaked from their branch. They find that the leak originated from Hwan’s desk, while Joo-hyuk, still thinking this is because of him, calls Jong-hoo to have him stall for time until he gets there.

He goes to the customer’s workplace, but she’s in the middle of a presentation, which will take about an hour. So Joo-hyuk crashes the presentation, pretending to be bringing drinks and ending up in front of the customer, looking at her expectantly.

Jong-hoo attempts to slow down the audit by asking the team leader if they went to the same school, failing spectacularly. He’s forced to tell Manager Byun what’s happening, so Manager Byun gets in on the stall tactics by pretending to trip and drop the vault keys, which Jong-hoo then kicks under the copier. They pretend that it’s going to be sooo hard to get the keys out, until Hwan is all, “Here they are.” Brat.

Joo-hyuk gets the copy of the customer’s ID and takes a taxi to the bank, only to find the entire office staring at him accusingly. Busted. Manager Byun chastises him in front of everyone, informing him that he even got Branch Manager Cha in trouble, and that there’s no way he’s getting that promotion to team leader.

Jong-hoo finds Joo-hyuk on the roof, ready to throw himself off out of guilt. He rants that he’s been depressed, and the idea of the new game console got him so excited that he lost his mind. Jong-hoo promises magnanimously that when he’s made team leader, he’ll look the other way whenever Joo-hyuk is late, but that just makes Joo-hyuk feel worse.

He asks if he should quit, but Jong-hoo cutely reminds him that he doesn’t own land or buildings, so he can’t afford to quit. They scream over the building edge at the hypothetical owners of the nearby buildings that life is unfair: “Enjoy your wealth! I want a comfortable, fabulous life, too!”

At home, Woo-jin gets the kids to sleep then surveys their messy apartment. She cleans up as best she can, and as she’s putting things way in the spare room, she finds Joo-hyuk’s contraband game console (he wasn’t very smart to hide it behind the diapers). When Joo-hyuk gets home, he goes to the spare room to see the trash bag his console was in on the floor, empty.

He goes looking for Woo-jin and finds her in the bathroom with his console in the bathtub, covered with water. He tries to rescue it as she reminds him that his dead console was supposed to be his last, since they can’t afford to spend money on games.

She cuts him off every time he tries to speak, and eventually he yells at her to stop interrupting him, and to listen to him sometimes before going off. He defends that he didn’t use their living expenses to buy the console, but his own money that he saved for years.

Woo-jin growls that he doesn’t understand her, but Joo-hyuk complains that he always has to be the understanding one. He says that he just wants to be able to rest at home, but he’s more exhausted at home than at work because his wife is more difficult than his customers.

He storms out, but only gets as far as the building steps before he starts to feel bad about his outburst. He heads to Sang-shik’s bar, but it’s closed because his friend has a cold. Jong-hoo is out running errands, leaving Joo-hyuk with nobody to talk to, so he scrolls through his contact list and runs across Hye-won’s number.

Wisely, he scrolls past it and instead calls his colleague whose mom recently passed. He goes over to visit, but the guy’s mom is there, shocking Joo-hyuk, since he very clearly remembers going to her funeral. The strange part is that she supposedly died in an accident while on her way to her son’s place to bring food, yet she’s here now on that very same errand. On his way home Joo-hyuk wonders how the woman could be dead one day and alive the next.

Suddenly, he remembers his ultra-vivid dream and how when he woke, he was shocked to find that it’s Wednesday and not Friday. Not to mention his mysterious new scar and the crazy out-of-control car. He thinks that maybe it wasn’t a dream after all, and decides to try to recreate the events that led to the strange flashback.

He finds the billboard he saw that night, but the tollbooth isn’t where he expects it to be. He backtracks, then goes to look for the tollbooth again, and this time it’s there. Creepy. He flips the second coin from the train doomsayer into the basket, then continues on expectantly.

Soon he sees the same strange purple glow in the sky, and his GPS starts to malfunction just like before. The car takes over, and after reaching a frightening speed, it disappears.

Joo-hyuk wakes up in bed in his dorm room with Joo-eun knocking on his door. He pops up happily, realizing that it worked, and he’s back at the day in 2006 when Hye-won asked him out. He lets Joo-eun in, kicks Sang-shik to get up, then runs to cover up the porn before Joo-eun sees it.

He heads out to campus, and this time he stops the neighbor before she throws water on him and avoids tripping over the newsstand he usually bangs his toes on. He tells the teenage girls who are always whining about Brad and Angelina getting married, “They get divorced later, so just focus on studying.” LOL.

Joo-hyuk makes sure he’s in place for Hye-won’s arrival and grins to himself when she calls out his name. He waits for her invitation to the concert and accepts happily, then deftly sidesteps the scooter deliveryman who usually mows him down. Later he gets ready for his date and goes to catch his bus.

He’s momentarily frozen when he sees young Woo-jin at the bus stop. He can’t help but notice how happy she looks, and wonders why that happy expression looks so unfamiliar. He even checks out her legs in her short skirt, making her frown at him.

This time, when the groper grabs Woo-jin, Joo-hyuk wants to speak up but stops himself. Eventually another woman says that she saw the guy grabbing Woo-jin, and when the cops come to take the guy away and Woo-jin gets in the cop car, Joo-hyuk thinks, “Goodbye, Seo Woo-jin. And have a good life.”

He realizes that he’s running late and steals someone’s taxi, and this time around, he finds Hye-won still waiting for him at the concert hall. During the concert, he badly wants to hold Hye-won’s hand, and she notices and teases to focus on the music.

After the show and dinner, Hye-won tells Joo-hyuk that she hates men who use money to charm women, and prefers sincere men. She says shyly that he’s that sort of man, then gives him a sweet little kiss. Joo-hyuk moves in and kisses Hye-won again, then everything fades away.

He wakes up in the present again, and he jumps out of bed, gasping for air. He turns to the woman in the bed, wondering if it’s Hye-won or Woo-jin. He slowly reaches out to her, and she turns in her sleep to face him… and it’s Hye-won.

Joo-hyuk is so happy he nearly cries, as his old bedroom transforms into a larger, fancier one. The calendar shows that he’s woken up on Friday , June 1st instead of Wednesday, August 30th, as he does a quiet little happy dance on the bed, thrilled that his plan worked.

Elsewhere in the city, Woo-jin jogs on a bridge over the Han River, looking relaxed and happy.

 
COMMENTS

Interesting. It figures there would be some time travel back-and-forth as Joo-hyuk tried to fix his mistakes, but I didn’t anticipate Joo-hyuk to figure out what happened and deliberately set out to change his life so soon. But I got my wish, that Joo-hyuk ends up with Hye-won in this new timeline, so I’m very eager to see where the story goes next. It was interesting that Joo-hyuk struggled for a moment when it was time to ignore Woo-jin on the bus, and that his internal goodbye seemed so sad. It wasn’t as easy for Joo-hyuk to give up the life he knows as I thought it would be, and he really did seem to feel the weight of what he was letting go. It was a taste of the regret he’s going to feel later when he decides to try to get his wife, and life, back, and made me feel like this story is going to take us to some really interesting places.

I realize that I was a little focused on Joo-hyuk’s wrongdoing in his marriage in the first recap, so I want to clarify that that’s not because I’m on Woo-jin’s side or think she hasn’t done some wrong of her own. But since the first episode focused on Joo-hyuk (and it’s really his story, after all), I kept most of my comments limited to him. Woo-jin is certainly no saint — her anger may be justified, but she’s definitely out of control, and it’s never okay to scream in someone’s face or throw things at them. She gets angry in situations that don’t call for such an extreme reaction, and treats Joo-hyuk terribly in public. But I also notice that she used to be bright, cheerful, and happy, and while Joo-hyuk hasn’t changed much since college, Woo-jin is practically a different person.

She doesn’t even tell him about her mother’s mental illness, which tells me that whatever is wrong in their marriage, it’s been wrong for quite some time if she feels she can’t lean on her husband. Maybe I identify with Woo-jin a little too much because I’ve been where she is (in my case it was a mountain bike, not a game console), but I definitely don’t agree with her destroying Joo-hyuk’s console. First of all, it was just cruel, and second, it was stupid to ruin it when her complaint was the money it cost — she could have just had him sell it like the first owner.

I do think Woo-jin was unfair to be so angry with Joo-hyuk over buying the console without even asking him about it, and I felt he was justified in telling her to stop talking over him all the time and let him explain. Like he said, he saved for it for years, and it’s not like Woo-jin has been honest with him about their expenses… she must have been aware for quite some time that her mother would need a nursing home eventually, but she hasn’t even told Joo-hyuk about her mom’s illness, much less her looming financial needs. But Woo-jin is already worried about money and her mother’s mental decline, and she’s so conditioned to fly into a rage at everything Joo-hyuk does, that she goes too far.

At this point in their marriage I think that divorce isn’t too drastic of a solution, so I’m very curious to see how Joo-hyuk’s apparent good fortune at landing Hye-won as his new-timeline wife changes things. I anticipate the answer to that to be: not much. Having a different wife won’t change Joo-hyuk’s fundamental nature, and although it looks like they have a slightly nicer home and likely no children, that doesn’t mean that Joo-hyuk’s irresponsible nature and unrealistic “man of the house” expectations will be any different. But for now, everyone seems happy — Joo-hyuk has the wife he wants and what appears to be a beautiful home, while Woo-jin looks healthy and contented. Right now the switch seems like it’s put everyone in a better place, so I’m very eager to see the truth that makes Joo-hyuk change his mind and wish for his old life back.

 
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Familiar Wife: Episode 3

by LollyPip

Our dubious hero has managed to change his life, and at first, the changes seem awesome and exactly what he’d hoped for. But reality eventually steps in, and he finds that his choice hasn’t just affected his own life, but the lives of a lot of people around him. He’s about to realize that “prettier” doesn’t necessarily mean “better,” in a lot of unexpected ways.

 
EPISODE 3: “The swapping of two women.”

Joo-hyuk goes back to the past with the goal of changing his life. He deliberately doesn’t help Woo-jin on the bus on the day they met, wishes her a good life, then meets his old flame, Hye-won, for their originally ill-fated date. This time when Joo-hyuk wakes back in the present (though nearly three months before he left) he finds himself in bed beside Hye-won — it worked.

He does a celebratory happy dance then climbs back into bed beside her. She wakes and snuggles up to him sleepily, making his eyes go wide, and he barely manages to relax enough to touch her.

When he finally gets out of bed, he gapes to see that they live in a huge house with beautiful furnishings. LOL, he’s even got a brand-new state-of-the-art gaming console with all the latest games, and a dedicated chair and television just for gaming.

Hye-won amazes him again by making him a gorgeous breakfast, and as he eats, he thinks to himself, “Yes, this is a blessing. It means I deserve to be happy for once. I have the right, like I’ve been given a bonus. Thank you!”

He wilts a bit to learn that he’s still a banker, but he cheers up again when Hye-won follows him out the door pouting that he forgot his “vitamin,” and she kisses his cheek. He cheerfully offers to take the day off, hee, but Hye-won sends him off to work — in his very own flashy new car.

He walks into the bank to the sound of Manager Byun yelling at newbie employee Hwan for being late. Joo-hyuk runs over to apologize for also being late due to an accident on the highway, but instead of being angry, Manager Byun fawns all over him asking if he got hurt.

Branch Manager Cha arrives, complaining of a hangover and making dumb jokes, and the team laughs dutifully. Joo-hyuk’s friend Jong-hoo mutters that he envies Joo-hyuk for not being obligated to kiss up to the boss, since his father-in-law is the bank’s biggest VVIP. Wait, what?

Joo-hyuk learns that said father-in-law is CEO Lee of JK Group, which explains his and Hye-won’s opulent life. This is cause for even more celebration, and he’s so happy that he volunteers to buy coffee for the whole office.

Joo-hyuk smiles all day, and as the bank is closing, Hye-won sends him a text urging him to come home soon. He’s surprised to see Jong-hoo flirting outrageously with one of the cash team ladies, and while they’re flirting, they accidentally knock some loan applications that Manager Byun gave Jong-hoo to finish before the end of the day behind a desk.

Joo-hyuk asks Jong-hoo when he got to be so flirtatious, warning that he’ll get in trouble, but Jong-hoo mutters that it’s fine because they’re all single. He takes Joo-hyuk’s surprise for jealousy, but Joo-hyuk just laughs and asks about Sang-shik, who’s single in the first timeline.

They head to Sang-shik’s bar after work, and Joo-hyuk gets a huge kick out of watching Sang-shik working with a baby strapped to his back. He stops laughing abruptly when he meets Sang-shik’s wife — his sister, Joo-eun. Joo-hyuk nearly beats Sang-shik to a pulp for defiling his baby sister, and Joo-eun nearly beats Joo-hyuk up for attacking her husband.

When he calms down, Joo-hyuk asks Joo-eun why she married Sang-shik (“this guy who’s like a consolation prize,” ha). Sang-shik says it was obviously his sex appeal, but Joo-eun sighs that it was food. She reminds her brother how she was always on a diet, even at his wedding to Hye-won, and says that after the wedding she and Sang-shik went to eat together.

They ate enough food for ten people, and afterward Joo-eun saw Sang-shik go to a pharmacy for medicine for his upset stomach. Realizing that he made himself sick so that she wouldn’t feel bad for how much she’d consumed made her fall for him right then and there.

Joo-hyuk asks Jong-hoo why he’s still single, and he says he just hasn’t met The One. Joo-hyuk asks if he’s ever met a woman he’d wanted to marry, and Jong-hoo tells them that he dated a girl for three years. They fought and broke up, and two months later he learned she was leaving to study abroad.

He tried to chase her to the airport, but some jerk stole his taxi, so he missed his girl’s flight. HA, that was the taxi that Joo-hyuk stole to make it to his date with Hye-won in time, but he doesn’t realize it, and he tells Jong-hoo that if that jerk hadn’t done that, he’d be married with twins now.

Sang-shik runs upstairs to check on the baby, which reminds Joo-hyuk about his kids. He pulls out his phone, and he finally notices that instead of the picture of his babies as his wallpaper, it’s a picture of him and Hye-won. It just now hits him that his children no longer exist, and he collapses to the floor, wracked with guilt.

He staggers out to the street, crying miserably as he begs his babies never to forgive him. Thunder cracks, snapping him out of his despair, as woman jogs past him. She reminds him of Woo-jin, but he guesses that he must though the saw her because he was so upset. He doesn’t know that it really was Woo-jin.

When Joo-hyuk finally gets back to the spacious home he shares with Hye-won, he’s stunned when she steps out of the bathroom in only her robe. Later, in bed, he flinches whenever she touches him and tries valiantly not to stare at her chest, which is right in his face — from his angle, they’ve only shared one kiss.

Hye-won tells Joo-hyuk about their summer vacation plans with her parents. She thanks him for keeping his promise to her parents to live near them, eat with them on weekends, go on vacations with them, and visit them first on holidays. She takes his face in her hands and he jumps again, and she asks why he’s so tense today.

Fortunately for Joo-hyuk, Hye-won finds his cute, nervous behavior a turn-on, and she jumps him. He’s in a great mood the next morning on his way to work, until a clap of thunder scares him so badly that he slams on the brakes. The thunder booms again, so he stops at a pharmacy for something to calm his nerves, wondering what’s with all the thunder lately.

Woo-jin is in the same store, though they don’t see each other. When Woo-jin checks out, she finds Joo-hyuk’s phone which he left on the counter, so she takes the phone with her.

On the subway, a man sidles up behind Woo-jin so that the swaying of the train has him rubbing up against her. Woo-jin accidentally-on-purpose crushes his toes with her high heel, and she fake apologizes loudly until that he moves away. At her stop, she pauses to murmur to him sweetly, “Don’t live that way, you bastard.” I already love this timeline’s Woo-jin.

Joo-hyuk doesn’t realize that his phone is missing until he gets to the bank, and he borrows Jong-hoo’s phone to call his phone in case someone picked it up. Woo-jin answers breathlessly, and they make arrangements to meet at lunchtime. Joo-hyuk thinks her voice sounds strange (the way she’s panting sounds pretty suggestive), but mostly he’s just happy to be getting his phone back.

Woo-jin was only breathing heavily because she was talking to Joo-hyuk while running up the stairs in her office building — she seems very health-conscious. She takes a break and looks at the screensaver on Joo-hyuk’s phone, a picture of him and Hye-won being cute, and she tells her friend that Joo-hyuk is totally her type. They wonder who the woman is, and Woo-jin thinks it’s just his sister, but says that there’s still hope even if it’s his girlfriend.

Manager Byun realizes that one of the loan applications he gave Jong-hoo to finish is missing, and Jong-hoo belatedly remembers his flirting session and realizes that one application must have fallen. He spots it… just as Hwan is putting it in the shredder. Nooo!

Jong-hoo, Manager Byun, and Branch Manager Cha all race for the shredder, but it’s too late. The application was for a huge VIP client, so they spend the morning trying to piece the shreds back together. As lunch time approaches, Joo-hyuk works up the nerve to ask to leave, and Branch Manager Cha lets him go.

He runs to the coffee shop Woo-jin told him about, and on the way, he stops to retrieve something a schoolgirl dropped. At the same time, Woo-jin gets a call from her aunt and has to leave, and they come within inches without seeing each other. Joo-hyuk goes inside to find that the woman he’s meeting left his phone with an employee, and he seems a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to thank her.

The bank’s VVIP client is incensed when he learns that his loan application wasn’t processed and vows to take his business to Garam Bank. Manager Byun is furious with Jong-hoo, having worked weekends and gone on multiple camping trips (which he hates) with the client in order to land that account.

Jong-hoo is still downcast after work, and he wonders if he should resign over this mistake. Joo-hyuk gets an idea — he’d overheard the client talking about an executives’ meeting, and he realizes that the client works for Hye-won’s father.

He calls Hye-won and learns that the meeting already started. Joo-hyuk hurries there but when the executives’ meeting ends, Joo-hyuk’s father-in-law doesn’t see him. Rather than give up, Joo-hyuk takes a chance and shouts, “FATHER!” Joo-hyuk has never met this man in his memory, but he seems happy to see Joo-hyuk.

In the morning, Joo-hyuk is the hero of the bank, having talked his father-in-law into giving them one more chance with the loan. In the men’s room, he teases Jong-hoo that he saved his life, happy to have been able to help his friend (who then wipes pee on his jacket, because boys are weird).

Manager Byun holds a meeting, having decided that they’re making mistakes because they’re shorthanded and tired. Branch Manager Cha laments that he’s been told by the head office that it’s hard to transfer Loans employees, so Joo-hyuk suggests they hire Hwan into Loans, then hiring a new person to take Hwan’s probationary job in Direct Banking.

Ha, Manager Byun balks at the idea, but Team Leader Jang, the Direct Banking manager, thinks it sounds fantastic since it gets Hwan off her hands. Hwan is all, “Uh, I’m right here,” so Branch Manager Cha asks him which department he was planning to choose. Hwan says haughtily that he didn’t care until just now, but now he wants to work for Loans because he likes Jong-hoo (the only one who said something supportive to him).

That afternoon, Joo-hyuk gets a sudden flurry of notifications that his credit card is being used at a department store. Hye-won tells him that night that she went shopping because an old school rival won some award, and it depressed her.

She shows Joo-hyuk one dress she bought on sale for a still-astronomical price, and Joo-hyuk looks shocked but wisely just says it’s pretty. He goes to put away the groceries and finds older, unopened packages that have gone moldy, and it reminds him how Woo-jin would insist they eat up expired food before it went bad. But he sighs that nobody is perfect, explaining away Hye-won’s wasteful spending to her rich family.

Joo-hyuk gets a call from his mom asking when he’s going to visit. He promises to come soon, and she complains she feels like her son was stolen, then hangs up. A little saddened, he goes to visit Joo-eun and Sang-shik at the bar, though Sang-shik has gone to drop off their son, Joon, with his grandmother.

Joo-hyuk tells Joo-eun that their mom didn’t sound good, and he asks if she’s angry with him for something. Joo-eun says it’s more like disappointed, and that she and their parents often get the vague feeling that Hye-won looks down on them. She points out that they always travel instead of visiting on holidays, and that Hye-won rarely calls their mother.

Thoughtful, Joo-hyuk asks Joo-eun if she’s happy with Sang-shik. She answers that she’s happy compared to some people, adding that Sang-shik is a great husband and father. She tells Joo-hyuk that Sang-shik always gets up in the middle of the night to take care of Joon so she can sleep, and that he’s the kind of man who makes her a better person.

In the morning, Hye-won asks Joo-hyuk if he wants to go home together after her class this afternoon, surprising him that she teaches cello. He suggests they visit his parents this weekend, and Hye-won gets fidgety and says she’s uncomfortable there because their house is so small and only has one bathroom.

She reminds him that they promised to have dinner with her parents anyway, and he starts to argue, but says they’ll discuss it later. He heads off to work, and the scornful face Hye-won makes behind is back is… not pretty.

While on their rooftop break, Jong-hoo muses that the loan incident made him decide to wait as long as possible to get married. He says that if he was married with kids and got in big trouble at work, he’d be forced to stay at the job. Joo-hyuk sighs that he’s immature and needs to meet a smart woman.

The arrive back downstairs to find everyone crowded around the new Direct Banking employee, a transfer from the head office — Woo-jin. Joo-hyuk stares when he finds himself face-to-face with this happier, healthier-looking Woo-jin, who looks nothing like the screaming, miserable Woo-jin he left behind in his old timeline. He has a flashback to her attacking him and screams bloody murder, accidentally setting off his handheld tear gas gun.

Joo-hyuk’s screaming triggers everyone else, and soon the entire team is running and yelling. Joo-hyuk trips and falls, and Woo-jin, blinded by all the tear gas, also trips and almost lands on him, traumatizing him even further. He jumps up and escapes out the back door, leaving the rest of the team behind, ha.

Hye-won walks through campus in the rain after her class, and she suddenly finds her umbrella occupied by a handsome young student, who explains that he has a class presentation and doesn’t want to show up with wet clothes. He disarms her with a shy smile and takes her umbrella handle, promising to buy her lunch later in the cafeteria. I don’t care for the besotted way Hye-won watches him.

When things calm down at the bank, the teams look like they’ve been through a war, ha. Woo-jin takes it in stride, joking that she feels like they had a special event to welcome her. Joo-hyuk is hiding in the break room, shaking and wondering what to do, until he’s summoned back so they can properly welcome Woo-jin.

She introduces herself as someone that’s pretty easygoing, but that can have a short fuse on occasion. Everyone is introduced to her, and she earns Hwan’s loyalty when he’s introduced as the group troublemaker and she whispers that she likes rebels better than nerds.

Joo-hyuk steels himself for his own introduction, and he manages to say a polite greeting and look Woo-jin in the eye. She finally leaves, and when she arrives home, she finds her aunt in a panic — her mother has wandered off again. Woo-jin looks for her mom in the usual places, and finally finds her at the hairdresser.

Woo-jin walks Mom home after her appointment, and she gently tells Mom not to go out alone again. She puts Mom’s tracker watch back on (she’d taken it off) and gets snapped at for nagging, but Woo-jin seems to know exactly how to handle her, and she just apologizes and compliments Mom’s hair.

That evening, Joo-hyuk sits in the bathtub musing whether there’s some power or force that controls everything in the world. He decides that whatever it is must be messing with him, and wonders how the Woo-jin he met today could be the same harpy he wanted so badly to escape. There was a moment when she’d looked at him almost as if she knew him, but he tells himself it’s impossible.

Hye-won is busy thinking about that cute student, who’d been surprised to learn she’s a teacher. She smiles and tells herself that he has great taste in women.

Woo-jin has a soju before bed and makes her mom a glass of milk, and they sit to talk. She tells Mom that her new coworkers seem nice, and that she’ll be close enough to come home quickly if Mom needs anything. She promises to marry a man who lives a long life, because she can’t imagine not having someone by her side, and that he’ll be someone who can handle her cheeky personality.

Mom grows sleepy and threatens to fall asleep on the table, so Woo-jin pretends to carry her to bed. They end up giggling wildly, and after Mom is asleep, Woo-jin rubs her feet and tells her how pretty she looks when she’s sleeping.

She complains that her dad was a bad man to leave them so soon. She herself dreams of meeting a man when she was young, falling in love, and getting married, but she can never see his face. She wakes and wonders why she’s been having such a vivid dream for so long, and why it doesn’t feel like a dream.

In the morning, Joo-hyuk arrives at work first to air out the room and get everything ready for the day. Woo-jin arrives next, and she cheerfully offers to help Joo-hyuk, who can barely look her in the eye.

He tries to start working but he gets a weird feeling, and turns to see Woo-jin pointing one of those tear gas guns at him. It scares him half to death, but she points it at him again, and this time she gives him an odd look.

She steps closer, and Joo-hyuk tenses up, scared that she recognizes him. Woo-jin slowly asks him, “By any chance… “

COMMENTS

Last week, Joo-hyuk made a pretty bad first impression on me for not only throwing away the life he had with Woo-jin, which may not have been happy but was a decent life, but also for obliterating the lives of their two small children without even a thought. Joo-hyuk had some legitimate complaints about the way Woo-jin treated him, but he was far from perfect, and he didn’t even try to work on his relationship with the woman he must have loved at least enough to marry her (and I hope we get to see more of their original relationship).

I don’t begrudge him the money he spent on the new gaming system — he did save his own spending money for years for it, and as an avid gamer myself, I believe that everyone deserves a tension-reliever. Joo-hyuk’s wrong was in hiding the money he was saving from Woo-jin, hiding the new console from her when he knew she resented it, and in not helping her enough that she could develop a tension-relieving hobby of her own. I also think that Woo-jin was equally wrong to destroy the console in a fit of anger. But all of these things are really just symptoms of a bigger problem — Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin had long since stopped talking, and were just seething in a stew of resentment on a daily basis and making no effort to change the situation in any way.

It really bothered me how entitled Joo-hyuk was when he first woke up to his life with Hye-won. He never gave Woo-jin and his children a thought for over a day — not to wonder if the kids even existed anymore, much less to worry about what kind of situation this change may have put Woo-jin in. He was better off after his time-travel adventure, but he had no guarantee that Woo-jin was, too, and it never even occurred to him to check on her. So I was gratified when the weight of what he’d done finally hit him, and he realized that he had erased his children out of existence. Not that it makes it okay, but I can see how Joo-hyuk just got so caught up in the possibility of changing his life that he just acted impulsively, and I bet that he wouldn’t have done it if he’d thought of the kids first — in other words, I don’t think he purposely erased his children, or even did it passively. I think it just genuinely didn’t occur to him. I’m actually glad that Joo-hyuk was devastated by their loss, because I see it as the first change that will make him decide he wants his old life back… there will be more clues that this life isn’t perfect or even better than what he had before, and they’re already starting to creep in, but it’s fitting that it’s Joo-hyuk’s babies that were the first tragic casualty that will lead to a change of heart.

It’s interesting how it only took two days for the bloom to start coming off the Hye-won rose for Joo-hyuk. Having lived with Woo-jin for so long, even things he didn’t like — like having to eat old food — now seem preferable to throwing out food that never even got opened, or buying an $800 dress just because it’s “on sale.” I like that Joo-hyuk is already developing reasons that he misses Woo-jin, and it’s poetic justice that those reasons are things he previously saw as annoying or even personality faults, because he’s realizing that the other side of the coin isn’t necessarily better. I think he’s about to learn that while Woo-jin changed for the worse because of their situation, that she’s fundamentally a good person, while Hye-won…. well, isn’t.

Speaking of Woo-jin, I loved seeing how carefree and capable she is in this new timeline — she’s even learned to handle gropers all on her own, hee. She has the same fiery personality in both timelines, but in the original, she was so beaten down by married life that all of her energy just burst out as screaming and physical violence, but left to mature on her own, she’s quite an impressive woman. Her healthy relationship with her mother and the competent way she handles her mom’s dementia is lovely, because it shows that the screeching, resentful Woo-jin of the original timeline isn’t who she really is, and that under better emotional circumstances, she’s actually very compassionate and patient. I even like that she developed a little crush on Joo-hyuk from his cell phone picture, because it’s exactly what happened in the original timeline — she saw him and decided that was her man, and that was that — so it’s very in-character for her. Of course she’s going to find him attractive even in the new timeline! It will be interesting to see how her come-ons have matured, and how much the new Woo-jin impresses Joo-hyuk, once he gets over being freaked out about working with her.

44 August 13, 2018August 13, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 4

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk’s new life isn’t turning out to be as rosy as he expected, which has the interesting effect of making him remember the good times from his old life. He’s feeling pulled in several uncomfortable directions as he learns that Hye-won isn’t as perfect as she seems on the outside. And as he’s forced to spend time around Woo-jin at work, Joo-hyuk is seeing a side of her that he hasn’t seen in many years — the side he fell in love with.

 
EPISODE 4: “Who are you?”

Woo-jin advances on Joo-hyuk, giving him a strange look, and he seems both afraid that she’ll recognize him, and fearful that she won’t. She asks, “By any chance… did you lose your phone recently?” Whew.

She asks if the woman on his phone’s wallpaper is his girlfriend, or maybe his wife, and Joo-hyuk hesitates. Finally he stammers, “Wi-wife,” so Woo-jin puts him firmly in the “married and unavailable” category.

Joo-hyuk can’t stop staring at Woo-jin and comparing her to how she was as his wife, like how she wears her hair down now, which she never did before even though he expressed a preference for it. But every time he notices something positive about her now, he remembers a time she yelled at him or hit him, reminding him that this isn’t the same Woo-jin.

Hye-won is particularly dressed up for classes today, wearing a fancy skirt and extra makeup as she thinks about the cute student she saw yesterday and how he offered to buy her lunch as thanks for borrowing her umbrella. She’s drawn to the last place she saw him, and sure enough, he soon exits the building and makes a beeline for her.

She pretends not to recognize him right away, and when he mentions lunch, she sneakily removes her wedding ring and starts to accept. But he’s joined by a cute little coed who chirps that she wants pizza for lunch, so Hye-won declines.

She hurries away, ignoring him calling out to her, and he looks genuinely sorry to see her go. His friend tells him that Hye-won is a chaebol daughter who only works here as a hobby, which seems to intrigue him.

Woo-jin’s encounter with a difficult customer goes downhill fast — he’s there to withdraw money from his daughter’s account, but his PIN is wrong, and he locks himself out of the account. Woo-jin tells him that he’ll have to show proof of family relationship before he’s allowed to reset the PIN, and the customer blows his top.

He demands to be allowed to try again, but Woo-jin politely but firmly tells him that he can’t, and calls her next customer. He yells and threatens her until security gets involved, but Woo-jin coolly ignores his tirade. It’s pretty impressive, to be honest.

Branch Manager Cha offers to buy everyone coffee at the end of the day, since they’ll be working late. Woo-jin is in the back room when Hyang-sook from Direct Banking takes everyone’s orders, and without thinking, Joo-hyuk thoughtlessly blurts out that Woo-jin doesn’t drink coffee and will want a strawberry shake. Whoops.

He shakes as Woo-jin returns and Hyang-sook tells her that Joo-hyuk says she prefers strawberry shakes to coffee. Woo-jin gives Joo-hyuk a strange look, wondering how he knows that, so he ad-libs that he never saw her drink coffee all day and everyone likes strawberries. Luckily, it works.

Later, Branch Manager Cha asks Woo-jin how her first day went. She says she found it interesting and energizing. Team Leader Jang mentions the difficult customer from earlier and how they suspect he’s addicted to online gambling. The Direct Banking team tell Woo-jin about several more “famous” customers, like the guy who constantly changes his password because he thinks there’s a bug planted in his body, and one customer who even stealth-poops on the lobby floor.

As they talk, Woo-jin starts stretching, explaining that she’s not used to sitting all day. Branch Manager Cha thinks that stretching sounds like a good idea, and soon the men are all getting into it. But the women gossip about Woo-jin later, complaining that she’s too flirtatious and seems like someone who’s nice to your face, but mean behind your back. Well, takes one to know one…

They decide to put her in her place a little, so when she comes to get her things and go home, Team Leader Jang asks her to tie her hair back from now on, because she’s not here to show off her looks. Woo-jin says that she has an unsightly scar on the back of her neck that she hides with her hair, making Team Leader Jang feel bad, but Woo-jin immediately says it’s just a joke and happily agrees to tie her hair back.

As she bikes home, Woo-jin accidentally runs smack into a pedestrian, who turns out to be Joo-eun. They argue over whose fault it was, each taking the blame, so finally Woo-jin just offers to bandage Joo-eun’s scraped hands. They like each other immediately, so Joo-eun invites Woo-jin to visit her bar often.

Both ladies feel like they’ve met before, but although they figure out that they were born the same year, they didn’t go to school together. They decide that it’s just friend-chemistry, agree to speak banmal together, and shake on it.

Woo-jin gets home just in time to find Mom trying to sneak out. Mom makes a run for it and leads Woo-jin on a merry chase through the neighborhood. Woo-jin resorts to shouting that Dad is behind her, making Mom stop and shuffle in her direction so Woo-jin can catch her.

Joo-hyuk has dinner at Sang-shik’s bar, where he’s so distracted that Sang-shik asks if something is wrong in his marriage. Instead of answering, Joo-hyuk poses a question: What would Sang-shik do if an ex-girlfriend came to work at the bar? He’s all wide-eyed innocence when Sang-shik asks if an ex is working at the bank, saying that this is about a friend, obviously.

Sang-shik says that it would be difficult, especially if the ex is still pretty, and asks if one of them could transfer to another branch. Joo-hyuk latches onto that idea, but Sang-shik’s comment reminds him of how pretty Woo-jin was when they first met, how much she changed, and how beautiful she looks in this new timeline.

He calls Human Resources the next day to ask if any other branches are looking for an assistant manager, but there are no openings. However, he does learn that there are opening in Direct Banking elsewhere, so he asks Woo-jin to help him move some boxes, and while they’re working he talks about how hard it is to work at this branch.

Unfortunately, Woo-jin says that she likes the hard work because she learns faster. Joo-hyuk lies that Team Leader Jang is a sociopath, which is why people keep quitting her team, lol. He tells her about an opening at a rival bank, but Woo-jin just says that there are difficult supervisors everywhere, and anyway she likes it here.

Joo-hyuk tries a new tactic, yelling at Woo-jin for little things in an attempt to make her want to quit. Everyone stares to see him acting so out-of-character, and on their break, Jong-hoo asks Joo-hyuk why he’s being so hard on Woo-jin. Something about the way he defends her makes Joo-hyuk look at him sideways.

He warns Jong-hoo not to judge Woo-jin so quickly, because for all he knows she might be a psycho. LOL, she pops up right under their noses, having come to get the keys from Jong-hoo. But if she heard anything, she doesn’t give it away.

Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo get back downstairs to find Branch Manager Cha reading a negative (and not entirely factual) comment about Woo-jin left by her difficult customer. Team Leader Jang says that they know she didn’t do anything wrong, but she needs to be extra careful with the more angry customers.

Joo-hyuk takes this opportunity to berate Woo-jin again, making everyone feel super awkward, until Jong-hoo finally drags him back to his desk. Woo-jin apologizes, and Team Leader Jang promises to smooth things over with the customer.

They call him in and offer him several VVIP gifts, and the customer snarls that he’s not a beggar then demands different gifts. Woo-jin apologizes but he says that she sounds insincere, then starts yelling again when Manager Byun and Team Leader Jang both say she sounded very sorry to them.

Woo-jin apologizes again and asks if she should kneel, but he even manages to take offense to that (“You’ll be the person willing to kneel down for your bank, and I’ll be the crazy person!”). He demands a formal deep bow and triple apology, threatening to keep posting negative reviews if she doesn’t. It looks like Branch Manager Cha is going to defend her, but Woo-jin gives the jerk the apology he wants.

The Direct Banking ladies eavesdrop and report back to the others about what’s happening. Hwan is incensed that Woo-jin was forced to bow to such an ass, but Jong-hoo says that Woo-jin must feel the worst of them all. Joo-hyuk grins at the idea that she might transfer back to headquarters.

Jong-hoo heads to the break room and finds Woo-jin sitting alone, shoulders shaking. He goes over to console her, but HA, she’s perfectly fine — she’s just stuffing her face since she missed lunch in all the commotion. Jong-hoo backs out of the room slowly, and he’s giggling by the time he tells Joo-hyuk that she’s not upset, just eating.

When Woo-jin makes her way back to her desk, Jong-hoo moons at her like he’s already half in love. Joo-hyuk is disappointed, having hoped that she’d be so distraught that she’d quit.

Woo-jin walks with Joo-hyuk to the parking lot after work to ask about customer complaints, but Joo-hyuk just snaps at her for asking so many questions. She asks if she annoys him, confessing that she heard what he said on the roof. She says that she prefers straightforward people and invites him to meet with her on the roof if he has anything bothersome to talk to her about.

Joo-hyuk bounces in place, anxious to get away from her, but she disarms him by telling him, “My first impression of you was very good. I thought you were friendly, and you felt familiar. I’m not trying to gain your favor, I really mean it.”

Joo-hyuk notices the direction Woo-jin bikes home, making him wonder if she still lives in the same house she grew up in. He impulsively follows her, and he recognizes the alley she turns into and thinks wistfully that it’s been a long time since he was there.

His mother calls, surprising him that she and his father are in town. He convinces them to stay at his place for the night, and he enjoys seeing his parents relaxing in his nice home, probably because he’s never been able to do this before.

Hye-won is not so happy to see her in-laws, however. Joo-hyuk’s mom doesn’t help by commenting on Hye-won’s shopping habits and the fact that she has a maid clean weekly, and Hye-won then makes it a lot worse by chirping that her mother pays for everything.

She assumes they’re staying in a hotel, and the look Joo-hyuk gives her is just brimming with disappointment. He follows her to the bedroom and says she’s being rude to her in-laws, but she retorts that it’s rude of them to show up unannounced.

Joo-hyuk reminds her that he invited them, but Hye-won complains that it’s inconvenient for her to host strangers in her house. She realizes how that sounded and says that a hotel would be nicer, but Joo-hyuk points out that she’s not offering a hotel for them, but for her own comfort.

He runs downstairs when he hears the front door slam and finds his parents in the street. His mom says they can either stay with Joo-eun or her sister, and Dad snaps that Hye-won has never treated them like in-laws.

They leave, and Joo-hyuk goes back to the house to find Hye-won looking contrite. She claims to feel bad, though she immediately says that his parents made her look like the bad guy. She offers to start sending them allowance money, but Joo-hyuk says that money isn’t the issue — it’s her unwelcoming behavior.

Hye-won says that his mother always criticizes her way of life, but Joo-hyuk replies that his mother isn’t wrong about her lavish spending. Hye-won whines that she’s lived this way her whole life, but Joo-hyuk counters that living opulently is difficult for him because of his humble upbringing.

He mentions how even expected to see her parents all the time while his can’t even spend one night in their home. Hye-won points out that he made that promise before they were married, and challenges him to give back everything her father has given him if he doesn’t like it.

She storms out of the house, leaving Joo-hyuk to call Joo-eun to ask her to console their parents for him. He stays up late playing video games, eventually getting a text notification that she’s booked a room at an expensive hotel.

As soon as Jong-hoo sees Joo-hyuk’s face in the morning, he guesses that he fought with his wife. Jong-hoo spots Woo-jin and calls her over, and she decides to have one of the breakfast sandwiches they’re eating.

Jong-hoo asks her about herself, and she tells him that she graduated college two years late because her father died when she was in high school, so she had to work part-time jobs for two years to make money for school. She says she’s an only child, so she always wanted to get married and have a lot of kids for her mom to enjoy.

She reveals that her mother is unwell, which snaps Joo-hyuk out of his pout, and he asks worriedly in banmal, “How is Mother unwell?” making Woo-jin and Jong-hoo blink at him. Woo-jin says that she’s only a bit ill, and that she’s happy.

Still in her hotel room, Hye-won stews angrily that Joo-hyuk hasn’t tried to call her. She finally calls him to order him to call her, since it hurts her pride that she had to call first. He does, though he’s annoyed about it.

He asks when she’s coming home, and when she says that it depends on whether he begs, he says the words dutifully. Hye-won accepts it, and she coos that she’s going to the hotel spa before heading home.

The jerk customer saunters back into the bank later and plunks himself down at Woo-jin’s counter. Obviously drunk (and now sitting on the counter), he announces that he’s had a celebratory drink after hitting it big, but he’s still thirsty.

Manager Byun gets a cup of water for him, surreptitiously spits in it, then hands it off. The customer cheerfully complains about Woo-jin’s attitude, then offers her a pile of bills as “pocket money,” which she refuses to take. It makes him mad, so Woo-jin reaches up to scratch her forehead — with her middle finger. MWAHAHA.

She uses that same middle finger to push the money back towards the customer, and he finally notices that she’s insulting him. He grabs her hand, which has Joo-hyuk lurching to his feet, but Jong-hoo pushes him back down as he rounds the counter himself.

He yanks the customer away and invites him outside for a little chat, but the customer shoves him violently to the floor. Suddenly, Woo-jin appears out of nowhere and twists the customer’s arm, them flips him onto his back. That. Was. Awesome. Everyone freezes in shock, including Woo-jin herself.

They all go out after work, where Manager Byun can’t stop talking about how amazing Woo-jin was. She apologizes, but Branch Manager Cha says that she did the right thing — they should treat customers politely, but violent, drunk customers are another thing.

Woo-jin says that before she worked for the bank, she was a bodyguard at the National Intelligence Service. Jong-hoo remembers seeing her on television, and they both marvel at the coincidence… until Woo-jin admits that it’s just a joke. LOL. She and Jong-hoo high-five as everyone says they’d make a great couple, making Joo-hyuk seethe.

Jong-hoo muses that attraction can happen in just a couple of days, and later when he runs across Woo-jin in the hall, they bond over their similar offbeat sense of humor. Joo-hyuk runs across them laughing and borderline flirting, but he keeps his distance.

Later, Woo-jin impresses everyone with her drinking ability. It reminds Joo-hyuk of a time when she got drunk and complained about her horrible life, sobbing that she wanted her life back. Joo-hyuk realizes that he forgot how much she used to smile when they first met.

He recalls one day after her father’s death when he’d been tutoring her, and she’d talked him into taking a kimbap break. She’d told him that zero is her favorite number because it holds absolute power in multiplication, but none in addition. She’s said that zero loves addition the most, so it’s weak to it, which reminds her of her mother’s steadfast love for her father.

She’d thanked Joo-hyuk for tutoring her even though they couldn’t pay him anymore, and he’d claimed it was just out of loyalty. Woo-jin had gotten right up close and asked if it was only loyalty, and Joo-hyuk had poked her face and asked what else it would be.

She’d said it could be love, and asked if she could be his girlfriend once she became an adult. Joo-hyuk told her gently that she wasn’t his type, making her pout, until he called her “Woo-jin-ah” and cheered her up again.

Joo-hyuk nods off while remembering their past, and when the team leaves the bar, Woo-jin hangs back to wake him. He stares at her and asks, “Who are you?” He follows her outside, where watches in horror as Woo-jin steps right into the path of a motorcycle.

He runs and grabs her out of the way, yelling, “Woo-jin-ah!” as he pulls her into his arms. His voice calling her name resonates in Woo-jin’s mind, and she stares at him in shock until he lets her go.

When she gets home, she tells her mother that when Joo-hyuk called her name, she actually cried a bit. She wonders why it felt so sad, but she snaps out of it to tease her mom about wanting more ice cream when she just polished off a whole pint.

On his way home, Joo-hyuk remembers another day with Woo-jin when she was older, and their study sessions had started looking more like dates. He’d stopped hiding that he was falling for her, and seeing her smile had helped him make it through the difficult days. He’d walked her home and they’d had a hard time leaving each other, so they’d just walked each other back and forth between her door and the end of the alley. So cute.

Back in the present, Joo-hyuk stops his taxi at Woo-jin’s alley and walks to her house, then turns to go. But he runs into Woo-jin, who’s surprised that he knows where she lives, so he pretends he got lost looking for a friend’s house. He seems strangely happy to see her, and when he tries to leave, Woo-jin stops him.

She says she knows it will sound strange, and asks if they’ve met before. Before Joo-hyuk can answer, her mom comes outside, and with a huge grin, she says, “Son-in-Law Cha!”

COMMENTS

Well, that’s going to take some fancy explaining. And how intriguing, if Mom’s dementia allows her to remember the old timeline. I can see some pretty fun shenanigans resulting from Mom’s insistence that Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin are married, while Woo-jin is experiencing her own confusing dreams and vague memories. Obviously this little time-trip hasn’t erased the old timeline completely, which makes me feel a lot better (especially about the four children, Joo-hyuk’s and Jong-hoo’s, who were casualties of Joo-hyuk’s bad decision).

I can so relate to Woo-jin’s difficulty in fitting in at her new job, because I know how it feels to have a quirky personality and want to be accepted for it, only to have everyone think you’re a weirdo. It says a lot about her “new” easygoing personality that she takes the snide comments and outright meanness from Joo-hyuk in stride and doesn’t let it get to her. It also highlights how truly awful those years married to Joo-hyuk must have been to have changed her so drastically, because she started out so unusually resilient and accepting of her own “extra” behavior (and it’s not just the stress of the kids, who came along later in their marriage). It’s interesting that the show has chosen not to give us more than glimpses of what happened between Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin to cause her to change, but lets the contrast between her old-timeline self and new-timeline self do the talking.

Speaking of which, the drama is doing the same thing with Hye-won — not openly telling us about her personality, but letting us infer the type of person she is by her actions. On the surface she seems perfect (rich, beautiful, sweet) which is no doubt why Joo-hyuk held her on such a pedestal for all those years. But in reality, she seems quite nasty — she spends astronomical amounts of money to console her jealousy of a friend, she monopolizes Joo-hyuk’s time for her own family and acts like a complete spoiled brat (and that’s me being nice) when he wants to spend time with his parents, and worst, at the slightest show of interest from a handsome man, she hides her wedding ring.

It’s possible, even probable, that Hye-won is acting out in her own way to life with Joo-hyuk — after all, he has most likely been the same husband in both timelines. They won’t have had the money problems he and Woo-jin had, though they obviously still have some money problems, just of a different kind. But Jh has almost certainly been the same thoughtless, selfish, careless person he was before. We do know that Hye-won’s life is very different, since she’s just a cello teacher now instead of a world-renowned artist, and even with her parents’ money, she can’t be happy or feel like she contributes much. No doubt that’s taken a toll on Hye-won like it did on Woo-jin, but her reactions are just different.

It’s going to be such poetic justice if Jong-hoo decides that Woo-jin is his “The One” and starts pursuing her right under Joo-hyuk’s nose. He obviously finds her very attractive, and Joo-hyuk has definitely noticed Jong-hoo’s interest, and it’s clear he doesn’t like it. Even if he was sick and tired of the way Woo-jin treated him, she was still his lady for twelve years, so it’s natural for Joo-hyuk to feel possessive. But I think he also feels jealous — which is very different — because this timeline’s Woo-jin is so much more likable, and Joo-hyuk would have to be a rock not to find her attractive when she looks and acts so much like the woman he fell in love with again.

I’m very curious about how the time travel mechanism works, especially since Joo-hyuk has used up both of the coins that enabled him to go back in time. Even if he wants to change things back, he can’t, at least not the same way. It’s interesting that this timeline begins three months before he left the old one, so I’m guessing he’ll have to make a decision when the three months are up — stay in this reality, or go back to the old one. I hope that staying but trying to be with the new Woo-jin isn’t an option, because Joo-hyuk has a lot of wrongs to right with the original Woo-jin, and getting together with the “good” Woo-jin would be a cop-out. It may not even take three months though, because he’s only been in this timeline for a few days and he’s already learning that Hye-won isn’t as perfect as he thought, and that he may be responsible for the way Woo-jin changed. He’s already feeling wistful for the Woo-jin he met years ago, so I’m hoping that he chooses to go back and do whatever he can to make things right, and make her happy again.

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17 August 18, 2018August 18, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 5

by LollyPip

The more time Joo-hyuk spends with Woo-jin, the more he remembers about the good moments they’ve spent together. And the more he recalls about how it felt to fall for her, the more he feels regret for what he’s done. This episode is all about the past, but not the miserable past Joo-hyuk ran away from… it’s about the good times he and Woo-jin forgot as they went through life, and whether or not it’s possible to get them back.

 
EPISODE 5: “Like how it felt back then.”

Woo-jin finds Joo-hyuk outside her house, and she asks him if they’ve met before. He’s trying to think of a way to answer when her mother joins them and chirps happily, “Son-in-Law Cha!” She’s so excited to see him, and she asks why he hasn’t visited in a while as Woo-jin tries to tell her that Joo-hyuk isn’t her husband.

Mom insists on pulling Joo-hyuk inside, to Woo-jin’s mortification, and he’s stunned at how much the house still looks like he remembers. Mom tells him that she keeps dreaming about him, so she made his favorite mustard leaf kimchi. She runs to the kitchen, and Woo-jin apologizes and explains that this is what she meant by her mother being unwell.

Joo-hyuk just watches Mom, looking like he might cry, as Woo-jin says that Mom has Alzheimer’s. Woo-jin urges Joo-hyuk to leave while Mom is distracted, and outside, he grabs her arm to ask when Mom got so sick. He lets go when he realizes that he’s touching Woo-jin familiarly.

Woo-jin says that Mom started getting forgetful a year ago, and that it’s gotten worse as time goes on. She tells Joo-hyuk how Mom confuses the past and the present, and leaves the house unaccompanied, but she says that it’s not that serious yet.

Changing the subject, she asks if it’s really a coincidence that Joo-hyuk was at her house tonight. He grumbles a denial, then Mom comes out again to grab him in a big, warm hug and give him a container of kimchi.

As he goes, Joo-hyuk wonders if Mom really remembers him, or if it’s just her dementia making it seem so. He also wonders how he never noticed her getting sick, and he only now realizes that Woo-jin had tried to tell him she was worried, but Joo-hyuk had blown her off.

He arrives home to find Hye-won waiting for him with a sour look on her face, angry that he hasn’t been picking up her calls after their fight. Joo-hyuk fibs that the kimchi is from the owner of the restaurant where they had dinner, and Hye-won complains that they can easily get kimchi at the department store.

Joo-hyuk dutifully apologizes for getting mad at Hye-won, but she petulantly threatens to divorce him if he does it again.

Woo-jin has a hard time getting Mom to settle down for bed, because Mom keeps telling her to go home to Joo-hyuk. She insists that Joo-hyuk is her son-in-law, even when Woo-jin explains that he’s just an assistant manager at her new job. Woo-jin asks if Mom likes him, and Mom says he’s her favorite person in the world.

Mom starts to nod off, but she sleepily tells Woo-jin to be good to Joo-hyuk, because he was the only one they could rely on after her dad died. She talks about how he tutored Woo-jin for free and would come over to change their lightbulbs, but Woo-jin just mutters that Mom’s good at making up real-sounding stories.

The next day, the bank is held up at gunpoint by two men hiding their faces behind bandannas. They order the women to lay on the floor as Manager Byun tells them they can have whatever they want.

They toss a bag at Hwan and tell him to fill it with cash, which he does, but he makes the mistake of mentioning that most of the money is in the vault. The robbers ask who’s in charge of the vault, and Woo-jin raises her hand… to ask to go to the bathroom. LOL.

One of the robbers points his gun at Woo-jin’s face and asks if she thinks this is a joke, but she swears that she really just needs to go. The distraction gives Hwan a chance to push the emergency call button, and soon the police are on their way.

The SWAT team swarms the bank and subdues the robbers… and Branch Manager Cha announces that the simulation is over. Wait, that wasn’t real? I’d wondered where Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo were — they were the robbers!

There’s an evaluation based on everyone’s performance afterward. Woo-jin is criticized for antagonizing the robbers, and she explains that she was buying time for someone to hit the emergency button. Hwan is proud of himself for taking advantage of the opening Woo-jin created, but Manager Byun reminds him that he also told the thieves to rob the vault, ha.

Manager Byun says that Hwan could have been seen pushing the button and made the robbers start shooting. Woo-jin argues that if robbers know the policy is to push the button after they leave, it might make them more willing to rob a bank. Branch Manager Cha says that in a dangerous situation, safety comes first.

He hands out some information on voice phishers, since one has been hitting banks in the nearby area lately. As they start the day, the Direct Banking team members wonder how they would react to a real robbery, but Jong-hoo assures them that in his seven years in a bank, nothing dangerous has ever happened.

Woo-jin pulls Joo-hyuk into the break room to give him an herbal supplement she brought for a hangover and to thank him for his kindness to her mother. Joo-hyuk asks if Mom is being seen by a doctor and taking medicine, and Woo-jin confirms that the medicine slows down the memory loss. He tells her that a friend’s friend’s sister-in-law is an expert in the field and may be able to help, if she likes.

Hye-won is at the gym when the cute student (whose name is HYUN-SOO) recognizes her and says he’s a member, too. She politely sends him off to exercise, but she keeps sneaking glances at him until he returns to help her. She jumps like she’s been shocked when Hyun-soo touches her shoulders to help her with her form, and he invites her to have that meal he still owes her.

She’s surprised to see that Hyun-soo drives a fancy sports car, and he explains that his father is a self-made man and has promised to give the car to him when he graduates. Hye-won mentions his girlfriend, but he says they broke up because she was too obsessive.

After work, Branch Manager Cha heads off to a meeting with the CEO of a big corporation about a loan, promising to hand it off to Joo-hyuk as a reward for saving the loan they almost lost with Hye-won’s father’s company. Jong-hoo invites Woo-jin to have dinner with him, but she says tonight isn’t good and offers to take him out soon.

Joo-hyuk leaves work so fast that Jong-hoo assumes he misses his wife, but in reality he trails Woo-jin on her way home. She bikes slowly tonight, so Joo-hyuk thinks she’s tired and wonders if he should offer her a ride. He tells himself that it’s harmless to offer a colleague a ride when they’re going the same direction, then talks himself out of it.

But he slams on the brakes when Woo-jin takes a fall, and he runs over to her when he sees her limping. It gives him an excuse to offer her that ride, and he reaches into the glove box for bandages, making Woo-jin remark that this would be a romantic scene if it were a movie.

She asks whether it’s true that bank branches keep specific cash on hand to give over in case of a robbery. Joo-hyuk confirms that it’s part of a bank’s expenses, but Woo-jin think it’s just incentive for someone to rob the bank if they know there’s cash set aside for that. The idea of actually getting robbed makes Woo-jin seem excited, so Joo-hyuk warns her to do nothing if it ever happens.

Meanwhile, Hye-won has the student take her home after they eat. He pouts that she wouldn’t let him buy her dinner, and says that his being younger than her doesn’t mean he’s a child. He offers to train her at the gym every day, grabbing her phone to exchange numbers, and he leaves Hye-won bouncing her shoulders happily at the attention.

Joo-hyuk drops Woo-jin off at a convenience store to pick up ice cream for Mom on her way home. As he drives away, Joo-eun runs by on a jog, and she asks if the guy who just left was Woo-jin’s date. Woo-jin says regretfully that he’s just her married coworker, so Joo-eun offers to introduce Woo-jin to her husband’s friend.

Later, Joo-eun tells Sang-shik that Joo-hyuk should have married someone like Woo-jin. Sang-shik counters that marriage and children can turn a normal person into a monster, then he wisely insists that Joo-eun isn’t like that at all when she asks if he’s talking about her, heh. He jokes that she never changes, then tells her that she’s sexy when she’s angry and suggests they go make Joon a little brother or sister.

Hye-won makes Joo-hyuk a perfunctory reheated department-store dinner, claiming that she ate with some colleagues. She hides a text from Hyun-soo asking if she’s sore from working out, and when she slips away to read it, Joo-hyuk grabs the kimchi from Woo-jin’s mother and chows down.

He gives Hye-won a ride to work in the morning, and she finds herself sitting on Woo-jin’s broken nametag. Yikes. Joo-hyuk anxiously explains that he just gave a coworker a ride, and Hye-won doesn’t get a chance to get mad because she gets a “good morning” text from Hyun-soo. Ha, they’re both so nervous.

Jong-hoo arrives at work early and uses the excuse of making coffee to look for Woo-jin in the break room. The Direct Banking ladies discuss which of them he’s flirting with, both of them obviously crushing on him.

Woo-jin is doing some in-place exercises in the break room, explaining that it’s so she can eat a lot later in the day. Jong-hoo asks why she doesn’t drink coffee, and she says she just doesn’t like the taste. She catches Jong-hoo looking at her oddly, and he jokes that he’s making sure she’s not an alien (because of the funny faces she makes).

She heads back to her desk a bit later to find her now-repaired nametag by her keyboard. She asks around, but nobody saw who put it there. She impresses Branch Manager Cha by knowing the answer to his nerdy joke, then Branch Manager Cha tells Joo-hyuk that he landed that big loan last night.

Joo-hyuk heads out to take the loan paperwork to the company’s CEO, and on his way, he spots a suspicious-looking guy in a motorcycle helmet looking nervously through the bank windows. While meeting with the CEO, he overhears that a composite sketch of the voice phisher has been released, and the guy is wearing a helmet even in the sketch.

Joo-hyuk tells himself that wearing a helmet doesn’t mean the guy he saw was the phisher, but he can’t stop thinking about how Woo-jin impulsively distracted him during the mock robbery. He races back to the bank just as the helmeted guy takes a number in the bank lobby.

Joo-hyuk sees the guy reaching into his pocket as he’s being called to Woo-jin’s desk, and, thinking he has a gun, Joo-hyuk tackles him to the floor. But it’s just a bottle of breath spray, and Branch Manager Cha sheepishly explains that they’re all on edge due to the voice phisher as Joo-hyuk apologizes profusely.

At the same time, Woo-jin serves an older lady who seems anxious to close her savings account, while behind her, a man stands… holding a motorcycle helmet. Woo-jin warns that she’ll lose a lot of money if she closes the account before it matures in two months, but the lady insists on getting her money in cash.

Woo-jin asks if the man with her is her son, noticing that he has what looks like a gun handle sticking out of his pocket. She gives the woman the forms to fill out, and when Joo-hyuk walks by, she blinks at him furiously, then sticks her finger up her nose (a “signal” she joked about the night before).

Joo-hyuk suddenly realizes what’s happening, and he disappears around the corner as Woo-jin continues to stall, counting the money several times and purposely fumbling with the bag. Annoyed, the phisher grabs the cash, but he turns to find Joo-hyuk behind him and gets a faceful of tear gas. Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk cough and celebrate as the security guard apprehends the phisher.

After Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin make their statements at the police station, Branch Manager Cha gives them permission to head home early. They squeal together over an article that’s already out about the thwarted robbery before Joo-hyuk remembers he’s not supposed to be this friendly.

He criticizes Woo-jin for putting herself at risk, but she argues that she was trying to protect the lady’s savings. Joo-hyuk grumbles that she’s always brash in such situations, making Woo-jin wonder how he knows such a thing about her. She offers to buy him a meal as thanks for saving her life, and takes him to her favorite ddukbokki place.

She doesn’t know that he’s been there with her before, early in their relationship. They’d sat at this very table, and Woo-jin had written their names on the wall, with a heart between them. Of course, the names aren’t there in this timeline, but Joo-hyuk smiles (a bit sadly) when Woo-jin eats her tonkatsu all in one piece like she did in the old timeline.

Woo-jin asks Joo-hyuk to speak banmal with her like he does with the other Direct Banking ladies, which makes him uncomfortable at first, but he can’t think of a good reason to refuse her. He orders Woo-jin’s favorite strawberry shaved ice dessert, again impressing her with his supposed intuition into what she likes.

It’s raining when they’re ready to leave, and Woo-jin spots an empty planter by the door. They hold it over their heads and make a run for the bus stop, laughing together at their theft and the carefree way they feel in the moment.

Joo-hyuk watches Woo-jin as she smiles up into the sky, another memory coming to him. She’d once found him nodding off while he studied in the library, and she’d been excited to be meeting a friend, who was treating her to a buffet on her birthday. Woo-jin had said she only came to see Joo-hyuk and bring him a drink, then bounced off.

It had been raining when he left the library, and Woo-jin had run over to hide under his jacket. She said she’d been on her way to her friend’s party when it had started to rain, so she’d come back to bring him an umbrella, thoughtlessly forgetting to get under it herself.

Looking at her now, Joo-hyuk thinks, “Yes, maybe that was when my heart first fluttered for you.” Woo-jin catches the wistful expression on his face, but he says it’s nothing.

They make it back to the car, and Woo-jin gets a call that her mom got out of the house alone again. They get to Woo-jin’s house to find Mom trying to take a taxi to see her dad, but she eagerly jumps out of the taxi when she spots Joo-hyuk. Woo-jin tries to stop Mom from inviting Joo-hyuk home for dinner, saying he already ate, but he fibs that he’s starving just to get Mom to cook for him.

Mom is difficult when Woo-jin tries to encourage her to eat, but she happily eats when Joo-hyuk loads her spoon with fish. Woo-jin remarks that Mom sure likes men lately, but Mom says he’s not “men,” he’s Son-in-Law-Cha. Joo-hyuk looks touched and calls her “mother-in-law,” eating heartily even though he’s already full.

When Woo-jin walks him out, he says that it was nice to have a home-cooked meal. Woo-jin thanks him for going along with Mom’s delusion that he’s her son-in-law, but Joo-hyuk asks her to stop apologizing, because it makes him feel even guiltier.

He asks if it’s hard for her to have her mother like this, but Woo-jin says it’s not hard at all, because Mom is her “medical team” — she listens to her, vents with her, and comforts her. She heard a psychiatrist on the radio say once that people without such support teams are the ones who come to see him, and Woo-jin jokes that Mom keeps her from needing counseling.

As he drives away, Joo-hyuk looks at Woo-jin in his rearview mirror and thinks, “Woo-jin is still smiling. Does she remember how she hated this road? She didn’t like that it was a one-way street… She likes roads and human relationships to be two-way. Saying we should never be one-way in our relationship, she smiled brightly, like now.”

He thinks about how they got married and started fighting, and he wonders which one of them forgot their promise to be two-way — or if it was both of them.

That night, Woo-jin dreams about her mystery husband, but this time she sees his face… Joo-hyuk’s face. She hears his voice calling her name, and when she wakes up, she thinks that his voice sounded familiar.

In the morning, everyone at the bank is talking about how famous they are online after catching the voice phisher. Woo-jin heads to the storage room, and Jong-hoo makes an excuse to follow her and ask her questions about what foods she likes. He segues into what style of man she prefers, and she says she likes the casual type.

Towards the end of the day, Team Leader Jang realizes that she forgot to make some customer calls, complaining that she has to go to her college reunion. The Direct Banking ladies grit their teeth and offer to stay, and Manager Byun objects to Team Leader Jang leaving while her subordinates do her job. He brags that his team finished their tasks and lets them go early (lol, Hwan can’t run out the door fast enough).

Team Leader Jang also leaves, and Hye-jong and Hyang-sook complain that they both had appointments, too. Woo-jin negotiates for early lunch all next week in exchange for making all the calls herself. Joo-hyuk worries about leaving Woo-jin at the bank alone, but he leaves as well.

His father calls him as he’s driving home, to thank him for the allowance he sent. Joo-hyuk asks to talk to his mother, but she grumpily says she’s busy making kimbap (his parents run a kimbap restaurant). After he hangs up, Joo-hyuk’s dad asks his mom how long she plans to sulk about their recent fight with Hye-won.

Thinking of his mom’s kimbap reminds Joo-hyuk that Woo-jin is always hungry. He heads back to the bank with some kimbap, practicing a speech about how he just happened to have extra, but her desk is empty. He follows a pair of voices to the break room, to find Jong-hoo presenting Woo-jin with kimbap, watching her eat like he’s completely besotted.

Not only that, but instead of fibbing about the food like Joo-hyuk planned to do, Jong-hoo openly admits that he specifically got the kimbap for Woo-jin. She praises him for being such a gentleman, but he says he’s not just being gentlemanly. Looking her right in the eye, he tells her, “I’m showing my interest.”

He even confesses that he changed into casual clothes to impress her, and tells her again that he’s interested in her. As Joo-hyuk watches, unseen, from the doorway, Jong-hoo asks Woo-jin if she would go on a date with him.

 
COMMENTS

It was a punch to the gut to see Joo-hyuk learn, in this alternate timeline, that Woo-jin’s mother has dementia. It’s obvious that he loves Woo-jin’s mom very much, and the realization that she’s so ill, combined with how clearly she remembers him despite the changes he’s enacted, really seemed to affect Joo-hyuk. I had forgotten that Woo-jin never told him about Mom’s dementia in the original timeline, so the knowledge that this has been going on for a yeaar and he never knew is only adding to his growing guilt over throwing that life away. It’s also another symptom of how Woo-jin didn’t trust Joo-hyuk enough to confide in him, and although I still don’t hold Joo-hyuk completely responsible for the breakdown of their marriage, something made Woo-jin feel he wasn’t a safe person to talk to about the painful things in her life.

Speaking of Mom, it’s an interesting storytelling mechanism to have her be the one person who speaks for Joo-hyuk’s good side. She’s an unreliable narrator, both with having dementia and with her memories surfacing in the “wrong” timeline, yet she’s the one who defends Joo-hyuk’s good points. She remembers him being there for her and Woo-jin when her father died, how kind and generous and reliable he was, and she describes him as her “favorite person in the world.” It’s an interesting way of giving the audience a glimpse into what makes Joo-hyuk a good person — just when we’ve been convinced that he’s thoroughly selfish, self-centered, and thoughtless, here comes Mom to remind us that although he may be all those things, they aren’t the sum of who he is. Joo-hyuk has a lot of good qualities, too, such as generosity, loyalty, and a sunny personality. They may not always show themselves, and they certainly didn’t when he made the stupid choice to change his past (though I still maintain that he made the choice impulsively and wouldn’t have done so if he’d really thought about the consequences). But Joo-hyuk is fundamentally a good person, he just needs to be a more deliberately good person.

It was an imteresting moment when Woo-jin told Joo-hyuk that her mother is her support system that keeps her from needing counseling. That’s very true, that the people in our lives who are there for us keep us mentally and emotionally stable, but it highlights again that in the original timeline, Joo-hyuk wasn’t that person for Woo-jin. Marrying her took her away from her mother in a way, but Joo-hyuk didn’t then step up and become that support system for Woo-jin, which is likely a big reason she became so miserable. She didn’t even trust him enough to tell him that Mom was sick, for an entire year, which just proves that he wasn’t a safe place for her to confide her worries and concerns.

I had expected this drama to show Joo-hyuk regretting his decision to erase his marriage with Woo-jin when he saw how much happier and healthier she is in the timeline where they didn’t get married, and that’s definitely happening, but something else seems to be happening that I didn’t expect — he’s falling for Woo-jin again. It makes sense, because she’s so much more like the girl he fell for in the first place, so it’s natural that he would feel himself drawn to her bright personality and carefree spirit. But you can also see the sadness Joo-hyuk is feeling as he realizes that something killed that part of her in the original timeline, and I’m not looking forward to the moment he finally understands that he contributed a great deal to that. I don’t blame Joo-hyuk entirely for Woo-jin’s drastic change, because his carelessness and inattention was never malicious, he just never thought about it enough to realize that he was leaving Woo-jin to feel responsible for everything. But it’s clear that she regretted marrying him, and mourned what that decision forced her to give up.

It’s really telling that the moments Joo-hyuk is remembering from his and Woo-jin’s past aren’t the big dramatic moments, like say, the day he confessed, or their wedding day. He’s remembering the small beats in time, like when she visited him just because, and skipped her party to bring him an umbrella. It’s those moments that are easy to lose as life gets complicated, but which all add up to falling in love with someone, and it’s those moments that he and Woo-jin forgot as the drudgeries of life piled up on them and made them unhappy with each other. So I think it’s really important that those are the moments Joo-hyuk is being reminded of now, because they’re showing him that that happy, cheerful girl is still there, and maybe they will give him hope that he can go back to his original timeline and find her again.

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35 August 19, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 6

by LollyPip

Poor Joo-hyuk is thoroughly caught in the jaws of vicious jealousy as he’s forced to watch another man fall for Woo-jin. There’s not much he can do, as he’s not even supposed to know Woo-jin in this timeline, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. This leads Joo-hyuk to the discovery of some cold hard truths, and carries some unexpected side effects that could totally change everything, past and future.

 
EPISODE 6: “Wrongful encounter.”

Joo-hyuk watches, hidden, as Jong-hoo asks Woo-jin to date him. Woo-jin stares at Jong-hoo for a long moment, then laughs loudly and says he made her heart flutter for a second. When he asks if that’s all, she admits that it’s not, but she asks for some time to get to know him better before answering.

Joo-hyuk starts to leave, but he accidentally makes noise and alerts Jong-hoo and Woo-jin to his presence. He fibs that he left something at his desk, and all three laugh awkwardly.

Later, Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo end up at Sang-shik’s bar, where Joo-hyuk looks like he might be sick as Jong-hoo tells Sang-shik that he’s in love (Sang-shik: “Again?”). Jong-hoo is practically glowing, but Joo-hyuk snaps that he’s against this relationship, telling Jong-hoo that he knows nothing about Woo-jin. He points out that it could be bad if they broke up and had to work together, but Jong-hoo swears that they’d never break up.

Joo-hyuk tries to entice Jong-hoo away from Woo-jin by offering to introduce him to one of Hye-won’s friends, but Jong-hoo isn’t interested in anyone that isn’t Woo-jin. He whines to Joo-hyuk to help him with Woo-jin, and Sang-shik warns Jong-hoo to just date her and not even think of marriage. Joo-hyuk says he isn’t allowed to do either, trying to put his foot down, only for Sang-shik and Jong-hoo to override him.

Woo-jin and Joo-eun have a beer at the convenience store nearby, where Woo-jin tells Joo-eun that she got asked out by a coworker. She admits that she likes him and they have fun together, and that all the women in the office seem attracted to him. But she also says there’s no “spark,” and Joo-eun tells her that that sort of thing only happens in movies.

She says that often, you don’t recognize your fate right away — she knew Sang-shik since high school, but it took years for her to notice him. Woo-jin takes that in and decides to be more open-minded about Jong-hoo from now on.

On her way to work the next morning, a little girl runs out in front of Woo-jin’s bike, hurting herself. It makes Woo-jin late to work, and when Jong-hoo is worried, Joo-hyuk snaps at him to mind his own business. Woo-jin sneaks in a few minutes later with Jong-hoo’s help (he tells her about Joo-hyuk’s trick with the coffee cup), making Joo-hyuk worry that they might actually start dating.

While talking to one of his superiors, Branch Manager Cha learns that an employee has complained that he “forces” them to go to team dinners. It puts him in a bad mood, and he goes inside yelling about everything from the banner at the front door, to the plants in the lobby, to Hwan’s socks.

Joo-hyuk runs over to literally get between Jong-hoo and Woo-jin when Jong-hoo tries to ask her out again. Later, Woo-jin and Jong-hoo are sent for lunch break at the same time, so Joo-hyuk claims not to feel well from hunger and is sent out, too.

On the way to lunch, Jong-hoo asks Woo-jin questions about herself (and gets silly answers like that she’s a chaebol daughter). Joo-hyuk runs to catch up with them, claiming that Manager Byun told him to eat with them. He does everything he can to thwart Jong-hoo’s attempts to impress Woo-jin, and after lunch, Jong-hoo drags Joo-hyuk into a convenience store to ask what his problem is.

He shoves Joo-hyuk’s hand into the ice cream freezer to bully him into admitting what’s wrong (and HA, they grin at Woo-jin awkwardly whenever she looks in at them). Joo-hyuk reminds Jong-hoo that he told him Woo-jin isn’t the one for him, citing that they work together and he’ll spend too much money on food because she eats so much, but all he can think of for a third reason is, “She’s my ex-wife.”

He can’t say that, so Jong-hoo releases him, saying that his reasons aren’t good enough to make him lose interest. He tells Joo-hyuk to stop acting like a parent who’s against his son’s marriage, and he warns that if Joo-hyuk keeps acting jealous, he’ll assume he likes him as more than a friend, adding cheekily, “And you’re not my type,” hee.

After a particularly tiring rush, Branch Manager Cha slumps out for lunch. Manager Byun wants to tag along, but Branch Manager Cha grumbles that lunch is off-time and he doesn’t want to make them uncomfortable. Manager Byun and Team Leader Jang wonder what’s put him in such a sulk, until Hwan mentions that in last week’s evaluation, he wrote that the team dinners make him feel like he’s working late. Everyone gasps, and Manager Byun angrily chases Hwan around the office.

Hye-won goes to the gym again, looking around anxiously until Hyun-soo shows up,. He follows her out when she’s finished, asking her to buy him a meal, and she complains that she ate with him once because he’s cute, but now he’s taking advantage.

Hyun-soo suggests that Hye-won make him her “some” (as in, not dating, but not not dating), and confesses that he likes her. She says that it’s just a noona fantasy, and he doesn’t argue the point. He admits that he saw her wedding ring, so Hye-won tells him to date someone his age, but Hyun-soo says that if she thinks it’s that easy, then she’s never really been in love.

He starts to leave, but he turns back and comes to stand very close to Hye-won, staring at her intently. He watches her reaction, smiles to himself, then walks away, grinning to himself.

Hyun-soo drives his flashy sports car to an underground valet, tossing the keys to his buddy who works there. His friend complains that pretending to be a college student wasn’t enough, and now he’s borrowing clients’ cars pretending to be a chaebol. Hyun-soo counters that to land a rich woman, you have to take big risks, and he’s got a big fish on the line this time. Oooo, you jerk.

When Branch Manager Cha returns from lunch, the employees make sure he sees Manager Byun chastising Hwan for writing that evaluation. Team Leader Jang makes a big deal about how kind and generous Branch Manager Cha is to buy them food, and they all pretend to cry at the thought of him ever retiring, which is pretty over-the-top but works like a charm.

At the end of the day, Branch Manager Cha reminds Woo-jin that there’s a new employee training workshop this weekend. There’s also leadership training, so he tells Joo-hyuk to go, and keep an eye on Woo-jin in the process. Jong-hoo asks if he can go instead, and Branch Manager Cha says he doesn’t care which of them attends. LOL, Joo-hyuk’s face is priceless.

Leaving work, Jong-hoo sheepishly admits to Woo-jin that he’s attending the workshop to spend the weekend near her. He’s also gotten a bike so he can travel partway home with her, but she warns that he may not be able to keep up. He argues that he’s got strong thighs, but Woo-jin leaves him wobbling in her wake, gasping for air.

They stop at the convenience store for a drink, and Sang-shik finds them and asks why Jong-hoo is biking when he said they’re bad for the knees, ha. Jong-hoo just pointedly presents Woo-jin, and Sang-shik is hilariously happy to meet her, though he gets hit for mentioning how many women Jong-hoo dates. He invites Woo-jin to his restaurant so he can treat her to soju and chicken feet, and Woo-jin says she’s got training in the morning, then excitedly accepts anyway.

Joo-hyuk is at the restaurant with Joo-eun, when Sang-shik returns with Jong-hoo and Woo-jin in tow. Joo-eun is surprised to see Woo-jin, but Woo-jin is more shocked to see Joo-hyuk here. Sang-shik marvels at what a small world it is as he serves the food, especially the part where Joo-eun wanted to fix Woo-jin up with a guy who’s already in love with her, while Joo-hyuk looks like pure misery.

The women go to wash their hands, and Sang-shik comments on how ladylike Woo-jin looks, when she’s actually pretty quirky. He tells Jong-hoo that Woo-jin seems to like him, and he gets hit again, this time by Joo-hyuk, when he mentions an overnight trip he took Joo-eun on when they were first dating.

Jong-hoo asks Joo-hyuk for another favor, this time to borrow his car so he can drive Woo-jin to the training in the morning. Sang-shik asks if he’s planning to score over the weekend, and narrowly avoids getting seriously walloped this time. Jong-hoo giggles that he’s going to try to take things with Woo-jin to the next level.

Joo-hyuk is stuck going golfing the next day with Hye-won and his in-laws, though in this reality, he has no idea how to golf. He claims to be tired, blaming his distraction on being busy at work, but he really just can’t get the thought of Jong-hoo making a move on Woo-jin out of his head.

As they drive to the workshop, Jong-hoo gets busted by Woo-jin for claiming that he made food for the drive, when Woo-jin recognizes the sandwich. Jong-hoo says that women usually pretend not to notice things like that, making Woo-jin ask if he’s dated a lot, but Jong-hoo nervously says it’s not true.

Of course, as soon as they get to the training facility, Jong-hoo is recognized by a woman who doesn’t say anything specific, but acts a little salty towards him. A second woman mentions that he never answers his phone and warns Woo-jin that he makes women go crazy. Jong-hoo makes excuses, but Woo-jin just chuckles that he doesn’t owe her explanations.

Over lunch, Joo-hyuk’s father-in-law mentions their family vacation this summer, but Joo-hyuk is still obsessing about Jong-hoo making a move on Woo-jin. He sees a couple making out in the elevator and imagines them as Woo-jin and Jong-hoo, so he slaps himself to try and snap out of it.

During a break, Woo-jin talks on the phone with her mom, who’s upset about something. Jong-hoo approaches and smiles as he listens to how kindly she handles her mother, but when she hangs up, he sees that she looks a bit sad so he respectfully pretends he just arrived.

Joo-hyuk goes to Sang-shik’s bar and demands spicy food, complaining that he’s sick of eating steak at every meal. Sang-shik mentions that Jong-hoo isn’t answering his texts, and he asks how things are going for Joo-hyuk’s “friend” who keeps running into his ex.

Joo-hyuk says sadly that the ex is seeing someone else now, and that his “friend” is incredibly upset because he can’t stop it. Sang-shik says that he must still have feelings for her, but Joo-hyuk loudly insists that his “friend” is just worried because he knows what she’s really like. Sang-shik counters that if things are over then he should let her date whoever she wants, only for Joo-hyuk to bark at him to shut it.

Sang-shik tries to call Jong-hoo, who still isn’t answering his phone. Joo-hyuk grumps that he’s at training, but Sang-shik jokes that love blossoms at the training center, giving Joo-hyuk some pretty upsetting ideas about Jong-hoo and Woo-jin and condoms. He runs out of the bar and grabs a taxi to the training center.

Jong-hoo and Woo-jin are being a lot better-behaved than Joo-hyuk gives them credit for, going on a walk and talking about their families. Woo-jin says she’s an only child, while Jong-hoo is the maknae in a family of four kids. Woo-jin admits that she was always jealous of kids with lots of siblings.

She brings up her mother, and tells Jong-hoo that she has dementia. Jong-hoo says thoughtfully that he’s always thought of dementia as the body naturally breaking down when used for too long, and Woo-jin tells him that he’s more considerate than she originally thought. He’s touched, then he pouts when she says he’s especially considerate towards women, ha.

As soon as Joo-hyuk arrives at the training site, he goes looking for Jong-hoo and Woo-jin. He almost has a panic attack when he finds a couple making out, but luckily it’s not them. He finds them on their walk and gets Jong-hoo alone, but Jong-hoo doesn’t believe Joo-hyuk’s story that his father-in-law needs his car tomorrow.

Joo-hyuk somehow convinces Jong-hoo that it’s true, and Jong-hoo whines that he was so close to taking things with Woo-jin to the next level. He kick-chases Joo-hyuk across the room, nearly in tears, but Joo-hyuk just smiles and asks if he can crash with Jong-hoo for the night. Jong-hoo actually drops to his knees and begs Joo-hyuk to leave and let him date in peace, ha.

Woo-jin joins them and invites Joo-hyuk to stay for dinner, which he happily accepts. Jong-hoo mopes while they eat, but he enjoys a glass of wine with Woo-jin. Joo-hyuk knows that Woo-jin doesn’t have a high wine tolerance, but Jong-hoo urges her to drink anyway, making Joo-hyuk wonder what he’s planning.

Jong-hoo comments casually that in romantic comedies, things work out well when a man and a woman go on a date in a place like this. Woo-jin says she doesn’t care for rom-coms, because they’re so unrealistic. Joo-hyuk smugly thinks to himself that Woo-jin prefers melodramas, but she tells Jong-hoo that she likes comedies that make her laugh.

She continues that she watches melodramas only when she feels like crying but doesn’t want to seem weak. A lightbulb goes on for Joo-hyuk, and he excuses to the bathroom for a moment, shaken. He remembers one evening when he came home late from work on Woo-jin’s father’s memorial day, to find her crying over a sad movie.

He’d tried to change the channel, but Woo-jin had quietly insisting on finishing her movie. When Joo-hyuk tried to charm her into letting him watch his game, Woo-jin had exploded, screaming that she said no. Joo-hyuk had retreated to his game console, and when he heard the sounds of Woo-jin crying in the other room, he’d left her alone.

Now he recalls that Woo-jin had asked him to come home early that morning, and he understands that she wasn’t crying over the movie — she was crying because he broke his promise. He goes back to find Jong-hoo stepping away on a call, and Woo-jin asleep with her head on the table. Internally, he says to her:

You must have wanted to cry then. You must have wanted to be comforted then. You must have been deeply lonely then. Driven by work, I thought I was struggling the most. I was already facing a lot of trouble, so I wanted you to deal with your trouble on your own. I turned a blind eye to you, knowing how you suffered.

He remembers how easy it was to make her happy with just a little attention, and he realizes that she didn’t become a monster on her own, but that he made her into a monster. He reaches out, patting her head like he used to do, as he thinks, “I’m sorry, Woo-jin-ah. I’m so sorry.”

Woo-jin opens her eyes and looks up at hi, while he still has his hand on her head. Joo-hyuk’s heart pounds, but he says she had something in her hair and pulls his hand away. Woo-jin seems shaken, and can barely look Joo-hyuk in the eye.

While Joo-hyuk drives home, he berates himself for going there and acting like a jealous husband, telling himself that he shouldn’t have made this choice (to change the past). As luck would have it, when he stops for a red light, the doomsayer who gave him the time-travel coins walks right in front of his car.

Joo-hyuk pulls over and follows the doomsayer underground to the subway station, but he loses sight of him around a corner. When Joo-hyuk catches up, the doomsayer is gone, and he can’t find the man anywhere.

In her room, Woo-jin can’t stop thinking about waking up with Joo-hyuk’s hand on her head. She massages her pounding chest and wonders what’s wrong with her.

Monday morning, Joo-hyuk approaches Woo-jin outside the bank to ask if he made her uncomfortable, but she makes an excuse to leave. Later he offers to help her with a paper jam in the printer, but she refuses his help and accepts Jong-hoo’s. Jong-hoo chirps to Joo-hyuk that Woo-jin seems more open to him after the weekend, but Joo-hyuk just grumbles that he didn’t notice.

In the break room, Hwan is on the phone with a friend and ignores Hyang-sook’s request for help getting something from a high shelf. When she reaches for it herself, her top rides up, revealing a tiny tattoo on her side. That gets Hwan’s attention, and he suddenly finds her every move intensely interesting.

Meanwhile, Hye-won visits a department store, and she hears a familiar voice in the parking garage. It’s Hyun-soo at work as a valet, but neither of them sees the other as he drives a car away. Hye-won calls Joo-hyuk to see when he gets off work so they can have dinner together.

Manager Byun tells Jong-hoo to visit a client’s factory in preparation for another loan before he goes home. Having planned to bike home with Woo-jin again, he makes a face at Joo-hyuk, who argues that he can’t do it for him tonight. Jong-hoo petulantly knocks over Joo-hyuk’s pen cup and runs out, hee.

Joo-hyuk is the last one left at the bank when Woo-jin comes back to her desk for something. They politely wish each other a nice evening, but Woo-jin doesn’t leave — instead she approaches Joo-hyuk and says she needs to check something. He stands, and Woo-jin apologizes in advance for what she’s about to do. She takes Joo-hyuk’s wrist and lifts his hand to her head, then looks up at him with wide, sad eyes.

Hye-won arrives in the parking lot to pick up Joo-hyuk, where she runs into Hwan. He lets her inside, and she sees Joo-hyuk standing there with Woo-jin. She calls out to him, and Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin both look at her, Joo-hyuk’s hand still on Woo-jin’s head.

 
COMMENTS

It occurs to me that, while it bothers me when Hye-won flirts with her cute little scam artist, Joo-hyuk’s jealousy over Woo-jin doesn’t bug me at all. I suppose it’s because Joo-hyuk hasn’t experienced the last twelve years with Hye-won, and he never actually married her, so it doesn’t feel like cheating in his case. In his memory, they have zero history together — all of his memories are of falling in love with, marrying, and making a family with Woo-jin. So it doesn’t “feel” like his jealousy over Woo-jin is cheating, because this Joo-hyuk didn’t fall in love with or marry Hye-won. On the other hand, this timeline’s Hye-won did marry and make a life with Joo-hyuk. So, because Hye-won does have the history and memories with Joo-hyuk, her interest in Hyun-soo is very much cheating behavior. It’s a fine line, because Joo-hyuk is definitely emotionally cheating on Hye-won, in this timeline’s reality. But it feels different to me as an observer, because I know things about Joo-hyuk that the other people in this timeline don’t know.

Early on in the show, I’d wondered how Joo-hyuk could have driven Woo-jin to such anger and disappointment that she’d fly off the handle even when he was being cheerful, because he seemed pretty sweet and gentle even then. But the scene where he came home late on her father’s memorial day made me realize that his cheerfulness was a big part of the problem, because it translated to neglect when Woo-jin needed him the most. Joo-hyuk tends to pretend that things are fine even when they aren’t fine, as if he’s hoping that being in a good mood will make it okay that he missed an important event. But Woo-jin didn’t feel she could rely on him to take things seriously when needed, so she lost faith in him and stopped leaning on him for support. Yes, Woo-jin should have told Joo-hyuk that she needed him to step up and be someone she could rely on when things got tough, but she probably felt that he’d just blow that off like he did everything else. No wonder she felt so alone, and got so depressed and angry.

I didn’t expect to feel Second Lead Syndrome for Jong-hoo, of all people, but he really touched me in this episode. He’s single in this timeline through no fault of his own, and he’s got a bad reputation with women, but it’s not his fault that his The One got taken from him in the timeline change. At least his feelings for Woo-jin do seem genuine (and who can blame him? She’s awesome). I feel bad for him because he’s trying so hard to get her to notice him romantically, but it’s a bit hollow when she’s having to make an effort to feel something more than friendship for him. Then to complicate matters, he’s got his best friend acting like a jealous ex for no reason anyone but Joo-hyuk can understand. Poor Jong-hoo doesn’t stand a chance, and I’m not looking forward to seeing his heart get broken.

It’s obvious to all of us that Joo-hyuk is insanely jealous of Jong-hoo’s feelings for Woo-jin, and it’s no wonder, with the way he’s been remembering how it felt to fall in love with her. Seeing him flail and stew over Jong-hoo is fun and funny, but what I really wanted to see was Joo-hyuk casting off his denial and doing some serious reflecting on himself, and what caused things to go so horrifically wrong in the original timeline. I keep saying that I don’t entirely blame him for wrecking his and Woo-jin’s marriage, because it takes two to tango, and Woo-jin has some responsibility for letting her anger and frustration change her so much. But Joo-hyuk certainly has some truths that he needs to face, and I’m glad to see him beginning to face them.

I touched on this before, but it’s worth saying again, that I really hope the answer isn’t that Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin end up together in this timeline. I want Joo-hyuk to go back to the original timeline and make right the things he did wrong, and to work hard to make that Woo-jin happy again. If he gets to be together with this timeline’s happy, unsullied Woo-jin, it will feel like a cop-out, and as if somewhere in the universe, there’s an angry, hurt Woo-jin who will never get an apology or a chance to be happy. I’m hoping that the three-month difference in time between the old timeline, and when this new timeline started, is a clue that possibly this new timeline isn’t a real one, but maybe a sort of test to see what Joo-hyuk will do once he realizes that changing wives doesn’t change the person he is, and that he’s only brought his problems along with him. But I’m also worried that the only way to get the old timeline back is for Joo-hyuk to go back in time and speak up for Woo-jin on the bus again, and he’s already used both of the coins he was given that allowed him to go back to that day. So I’m very concerned (in a good, can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens sort of way) about how this is all going to get resolved, and glad to see the that the doomsayer is still around, because he seems to be the only one who can fix this whole mess.

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26 August 24, 2018August 24, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 7

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk’s jealousy over Jong-hoo’s interest in Woo-jin continues to deepen, and it doesn’t help that the three of them seem to constantly be together, both at work and in their free time. Woo-jin is also experiencing some confusing feelings that she doesn’t know how to deal with, but without the information Joo-hyuk has, she does her best to cope. But a crisis forces everyone’s feelings to the forefront, and Joo-hyuk starts to realize that the life he truly wants might just be the life he left behind.

 
EPISODE 7: “Memories over love”

Apologizing in advance, Woo-jin puts Joo-hyuk’s hand on the top of her head, then looks up at him. But before she can say anything, Hye-won arrives and finds them like that, and Joo-hyuk stammers a lame excuse that there’s something in Woo-jin’s hair.

Hye-won recognizes Woo-jin’s name, having found Woo-jin’s broken nametag in Joo-hyuk’s car. After Woo-jin leaves, Hye-won tells Joo-hyuk that she assumed the nametag was a man’s, and Joo-hyuk goes overboard, gushing about how Hye-won’s name is so much prettier and more feminine than Woo-jin’s.

Even after making a quick getaway, Woo-jin can’t ignore her heart pounding in reaction to Joo-hyuk’s touch. She goes to Sang-shik’s bar for a drink, where Joo-eun guesses that something is bothering her. Through Woo-jin’s vague answer, Joo-eun correctly reads that Jong-hoo confessed, but Woo-jin has feelings for someone else.

Woo-jin admits that it’s been so long since someone confessed to her that she got flustered, but she refuses to tell Joo-eun who it is she’s attracted to. She says she’s jealous of Joo-eun because she obviously loves Sang-shik (who’s listening from the kitchen, cute) so much. Joo-eun advises her to leave her heart alone, and it will probably settle after a while.

At home, Hye-won asks Joo-hyuk how old Woo-jin is, if he thinks she’s pretty, where she lives, etc. Joo-hyuk is intentionally vague with his answers, and Hye-won orders him not to give rides to female coworkers because it could lead to rumors. Joo-hyuk tells her not to worry.

The following morning, Woo-jin wakes up to find that Mom turned off her alarm while she was sleeping, making her run late. She rushes to work without eating breakfast or washing her hair, and finds Joo-hyuk waiting for her at the door. He asks if she was flustered by his wife popping up yesterday, and Woo-jin says breezily that it’s no big deal.

He starts to ask her something else, but Jong-hoo runs in, also late, and grabs Woo-jin on his way in. He’s thrilled to get extra time with Woo-jin when she’s sent with him to set up accounts at one of the bank’s client companies that afternoon.

Jong-hoo suggests they play hooky from work when they finish the task early, but a call about Woo-jin’s mother sends her straight home instead. On her way out, Woo-jin witnesses an employee berating a delivery boy, but she doesn’t interfere.

Woo-jin’s mom is missing again, having slipped out while her carer thought she was sleeping. The carer complains to Woo-jin that it’s getting too difficult to watch Mom every second and suggests that Woo-jin put her in a nursing home, but Woo-jin says they can discuss it after they find her.

Mom has gone to the bank to bring Joo-hyuk his favorite side dishes, and when she sees him, she loudly yells, “Cha Son-in-Law!” where everyone can hear her. She’s about to mention Woo-jin, but Joo-hyuk grabs her and tries to ushers her out of the lobby.

Manager Byun stops them, assuming that Mom is Hye-won’s mother, and kisses up hardcore. They draw a crowd when Branch Manager Cha joins them and insists that Mom stay for tea. Joo-hyuk is freaking out by the time he finally gets Mom away from everyone, and his coworkers talk about how down-to-earth Joo-hyuk’s (supposedly) rich mother-in-law seems.

Joo-hyuk drives Mom home, unable to reach Woo-jin by phone. He admonishes Mom not to leave the house again without telling anyone because it worries Woo-jin, and Mom complains that she knows, but Woo-jin never lets her go anywhere. She offers to make Joo-hyuk more food any time, and he sweetly thanks her.

She tells Joo-hyuk that she knows Woo-jin isn’t easy to live with because she’s stubborn and holds grudges. But she also says that Woo-jin shows Joo-hyuk her feelings because he’s her husband, and that Woo-jin even said Joo-hyuk was her lifesaver after her father died. She’s clearly talking about the original timeline when she thanks Joo-hyuk for saving her daughter’s life, and Joo-hyuk looks stunned.

Taking a chance, he asks Mom how she can remember him after he changed everything. She says simply says, “I remember you because you’re my son-in-law. Relationships can’t be made or broken like flipping your palm. It’s not like you know every way of the world.”

Joo-hyuk starts to ask her to clarify what she means, but she suddenly lets out a bloodcurdling scream. LOL, she’s just seen an ice cream shop, so Joo-hyuk obediently buys her ice cream. As she eats, he says that he didn’t know she liked vanilla ice cream, and he asks her why there are so many things he doesn’t know.

Back at the bank, Hwan whines when he’s told to distribute several hundred flyers. He flounces out, and it’s not until he’s gone that Team Leader Jang notices that there’s a serious typo on the flyers, making it look like they’re calling their customers a rude name.

They try to call Hwan back, but he doesn’t answer his phone, so Manager Byun goes looking for him. Hwan is slacking off when he spots Manager Byun, so he hurries to pass out a bunch of flyers and look busy. Manager Byun runs over screaming for him to stop and even runs after the people who have flyers, hee, then breathlessly shows Hwan the typo.

Woo-jin finds Joo-hyuk having ice cream with mom and asks how they came to be here together, and Joo-hyuk looks sheepish. He drives Mom home and takes Woo-jin back to the bank with him, and she asks why her mother likes him so much. Joo-hyuk jokes that older women just looove him, so Woo-jin teases that such jokes don’t suit his personality, and that his serious nature is his charm.

He scoffs at that, so Woo-jin tells him that he’s also kindhearted, melting him a little. He counters that he’s not kindhearted, but Woo-jin says thoughtfully that she’s oddly comfortable around him, as if she’s known him for a long time. She adds that he also handles Mom well, seeming very natural around her.

Suddenly, Woo-jin asks if Joo-hyuk was Mom’s son-in-law in a past life, coming so close to the truth that Joo-hyuk slams on the brakes in surprise. He apologizes, stammering that he was distracted.

Back at the bank, everyone laboriously corrects each of the misprinted flyers with stickers. Woo-jin pitches in, but she notices that Jong-hoo isn’t back yet, so she offers to go back and look for him.

Meanwhile, Hye-won runs into Hyun-soo again on the school campus. She starts to say something to him, but as he promised, he walks right past her without a word. He meet up with a female friend, leaving Hye-won huffing indignantly.

When Woo-jin arrives back at the company where she left Jong-hoo, she sees him helping the delivery boy that was being yelled at earlier. As they walk back to the bank, she notices that Jong-hoo scoots away whenever she tries to walk near him, and he confesses that he’s feeling self-conscious because helping the boy made him sweat a lot. Woo-jin reassures him that she has a bad sense of smell, and feeling better, Jong-hoo asks for an answer to his question now (of whether she’ll date him).

Still correcting flyers, Hyang-sook reaches across the table, revealing the tattoo on her side again. Hwan pulls on her top and grumpily tells her to cover up. The women ask why he’s so grouchy when women show way more skin wearing bathing suits, especially when they’re all here because of his mistake.

Woo-jin isn’t quite ready to answer Jong-hoo, so he fidgets on a bench asking how much longer while she tells him “five more minutes.” She asks what he likes about her, and he answers that he likes her smile, her wild side, and that she’s a caring daughter. Hearing that, Woo-jin says she’ll date him.

She admits that she’s not completely sure about this, but that he’s a great person and they get along well, and she has fun with him. It’s enough for Jong-hoo for now, who’s thrilled to get a positive answer (such a bouncy puppy!). He says they can always break up if it doesn’t work out, but he’s confident enough that he asks her to commit to dating for a month, and they agree to keep it a secret at work while in this trial period.

Joo-hyuk has dinner at the bar, ignoring calls from Hye-won because, he tells Joo-eun, he’ll have to leave immediately if he answers. He’s not very happy when Jong-hoo and Woo-jin arrive together for dinner, and he chokes on his food when Joo-eun notes that they look like a dating couple. He glares at them, and they adopt not-at-all-innocent expressions.

At the news, Sang-shik pours congratulatory beers while Joo-hyuk looks like he feels sick. Jong-hoo pouts at him, asking if he’s not happy for them, and he somehow manages to eke out a congratulations.

Sang-shik mentions that he booked a vacation house in Jebudo for his and Joo-eun’s anniversary next weekend and invites everyone to come along. Joo-eun suggests they not bring Hye-won since she’ll ruin the mood. Jong-hoo says that Woo-jin probably can’t go, but she says her mother is visiting her aunt that weekend.

As he drives home, Joo-hyuk recalls a day back when he first knew Woo-jin, right before her college entrance exams. He’d been more nervous than she was, and had given her some snacks to bolster her energy. She’d asked him to feed her, then bitten his fingers when he complied, ha.

Later, Joo-hyuk had been with Woo-jin when she learned whether she got into the college of her choice. His face had fallen when he saw that she wasn’t accepted. She’d ended up comforting him, saying that at least they could spend the next year together, but he’d refused to be consoled.

One day, some time later, Woo-jin had begged off studying early, saying she didn’t feel well. Sang-shik had stolen Joo-hyuk’s books so he couldn’t study and made him go to a party at a bar., and he’d found Woo-jin working there, looking totally busted.

Joo-hyuk had dragged her into the alley and yelled that she wouldn’t get into college if she didn’t study harder, but Woo-jin had argued that unless she worked, she couldn’t pay for college anyway. Angry, she’d asked what gave him the right to get mad at her, when he’d said he didn’t have feelings for her. He’d asked if their relationship was so shallow that he couldn’t get mad at her, so Woo-jin had tearfully demanded that he clearly define their relationship.

When he didn’t answer, she’d sniffled that they didn’t have any relationship at all. She’d turned to go back inside, but Joo-hyuk had stopped her, pulled her close, and kissed her. Joo-hyuk had leaned back and seen her shocked face, so he’d pulled her hoodie over her head with a sweet smile, then kissed her again. This time, she’d returned the kiss.

Hye-won ends up going on the group vacation after all, and Joo-hyuk tries to manage her expectations in advance, saying that this might not be like the vacation homes she’s seen on TV. Joo-eun told her that Woo-jin and Jong-hoo are dating, and she says that Woo-jin is pretty bold, getting a boyfriend almost as soon as she started working at the bank.

Joo-hyuk says that’s not necessarily true, and Hye-won asks why he’s defending Woo-jin. He huffs that he’s not, looking wistfully back at Sang-shik’s car, where everyone else is enjoying snacks and jamming out to music. Woo-jin asks how Sang-shik and Jong-hoo got to be friends, and Joo-eun tells her that Joo-hyuk brought Jong-hoo to the bar, and he was soon absorbed into their close-knit group.

Jong-hoo says that he feels like the others will always be on his side, no matter what. Sang-shik barks that nope, if Jong-hoo ever fights with Joo-eun, he’s taking his wife’s side, no matter what. Joo-eun decides that if Sang-shik and Joo-hyuk ever fight, she’s taking her brother’s side, no matter what. So cute, these guys.

As expected, Hye-won looks a little horrified at the vacation house, which is small and has no showers. She asks Joo-hyuk if they can stay at a nice hotel instead, but he tells her to just put up with it for one day. She whines loudly that their room stinks, and Joo-eun yells at her for being so picky on their first trip together.

There are only two bedrooms, so everyone wants the girls in one room and the guys in the other. Hye-won points out the living room and suggests they split up by couples, but Joo-hyuk vehemently protests, since Woo-jin and Jong-hoo aren’t married. Hye-won asks why he’s being so old-fashioned, but Joo-eun snaps that Hye-won is the one acting strange.

Joo-hyuk volunteers to get supplies just to get away from the awkward situation. On his way back from the store, he runs across Woo-jin, who’s checking in on Mom by phone. They walk the rest of the way back together, and Woo-jin confesses that she’s gone five days without bathing before, joking that even mosquitoes wouldn’t bite her.

Laughing, Joo-hyuk blurts out, “I know,” then has to backpedal when it sounds too much like he was there at the time. He asks Woo-jin if she really likes Jong-hoo, and she tells him that Jong-hoo is handsome and has a good personality. She says she never feels lonely when she’s with him, because he’s interested in her and talks to her.

When they get back to the house, Hye-won has moved on to moaning about the air conditioning. She turns up the air, which makes Woo-jin cough, so Joo-hyuk asks Hye-won to turn it back down a bit, but she selfishly refuses. Joo-eun tells Hye-won to come help in the kitchen, rolling her eyes when Hye-won turns out to be prissy and practically useless when the food isn’t mostly pre-prepared.

Over dinner and drinks, Jong-hoo tells everyone about an online community he’s a member of, where office workers post stories about office life. Joo-hyuk adds that some employers read the site and learn about rumors in their companies that way, and sometimes employees get in trouble.

Woo-jin coughs again, and this time she blames it on the smoke from the grill. Jong-hoo playfully accuses Joo-hyuk of aiming the smoke at Woo-jin, and Sang-shik pours her a straight soju on her request. It seems to make Hye-won jealous, how easily Woo-jin has been accepted by the group, so she asks for soju, too.

Joo-hyuk is confused, since Hye-won only drinks wine and claims that she can’t drink soju, but she says that that’s just by choice. They all watch while she drinks, then grabs the bottle and offers to do a shot with Woo-jin. It looks friendly on the surface, but makes everyone a little uncomfortable.

Before long, Hye-won is passed out snoring, and Joo-eun notes that Hye-won seems to see Woo-jin as a rival. She says that Hye-won is one of those people who need to be the center of attention, but Woo-jin thinks Hye-won is kind of cute.

Joo-eun asks if Woo-jin is happy with Jong-hoo, and she says she’s happy, but not “happy to death.” Joo-eun decides that it’s wise to marry someone you don’t love completely, since you see the worst of each other when you’re married. But Woo-jin sighs that she still wants to marry someone she loves a lot, even if she gets hurt.

Sometimes in the night, Joo-hyuk gets up for a drink of water, and he runs into Woo-jin, who looks extremely ill. He barely manages to catch her as she passes out, and he wakes the house calling for help. They get Woo-jin back to bed, where Jong-hoo hovers over her, worried that her fever isn’t going down.

Joo-eun says that she gave Woo-jin a fever reducer, but Joo-hyuk suddenly remembers that there’s only one kind that works for her. He slips out of the house and drives into town, but he can’t find a pharmacy that’s open this early. A local man finds him banging on the doors of one store and asks what’s wrong, and Joo-hyuk blurts out, “My wife is burning up…”

He stops, then says it again: “My wife has a high fever and she can only take a certain medicine.” The local murmurs that he must love his wife very much, then points Joo-hyuk to the home of the pharmacy owner. Joo-hyuk wakes the owner and convinces him to sell him the medicine, but when he gets back to the vacation house, they’re loading Woo-jin into the car to take her to the hospital.

Joo-hyuk tries to tell them that he got medicine that will work, but Joo-eun overrides him and sends Jong-hoo to the ER with Woo-jin. She asks where he’s been so early, so Joo-hyuk hides the medicine and says he just went for a walk.

At the hospital, Woo-jin’s fever finally goes down, and she wakes to find Jong-hoo feeling guilty for giving her drinks last night when she wasn’t well. She croaks that she didn’t want him to stop giving her drinks, so she purposely didn’t tell him she was sick.

She flashes a weak little smile, but he still seems uncomfortable. She asks if he’s changed her mind about dating her, and he asks for time to think about it.

Jong-hoo eventually drives Woo-jin home, and she’s asleep when they arrive. He looks at her face for a long moment, brushing a lock of hair off her forehead, then gently unbuckles her seat belt. He freezes when he finds his face very close to hers.

Joo-hyuk steps onto the porch and spots the car, and all he can see is the back of Jong-hoo’s head — and it looks like he and Woo-jin are kissing. Joo-hyuk whirls around to face the other way, gasping for air.

Back in the city, Hye-won notes that Joo-hyuk has been quiet on the drive home, and she grumbles that Woo-jin was a nuisance before getting out of the car. Joo-hyuk bangs his head on the steering wheel, seeing what looked like Jong-hoo kissing Woo-jin replaying over and over in his mind.

All of a sudden he sits up and dumps all of his loose change into the passenger seat, frantically looking for another 2006 coin. He can’t find one, so he lets himself into the closed bank and digs through the coins from the vault. He finally finds a 2006 coin, and outside, thunder cracks loudly.

 
COMMENTS

Awww, that was hard to watch. Even though the breakdown of Joo-hyuk’s marriage was in large part his fault, and it’s all his fault he’s stuck in a timeline where he’s married to Hye-won but falling back in love with Woo-jin, I still feel bad for him. It would be different if any of this was a result of malice or meanness on Joo-hyuk’s part, but the poor guy genuinely had no idea of his responsibility in how badly his life was going. I feel awful for him, that he’s feeling so much regret but there’s nothing (for now) that he can do to fix anything. Hopefully, finding a coin will give him the chance to make some different choices, but at least he knows now that he wants to make them.

I’m definitely feeling a lot of Second Lead Syndrome on Jong-hoo’s behalf, because you can see that he genuinely likes Woo-jin, and for all the right reasons considering what a short time they’ve known each other. On the surface they seem like such a perfect match, being at the same place in their lives at the same time, and they even have similar silly senses of humor. Even Woo-jin can tell that she should like Jong-hoo, because he’s got everything going for him — he’s got a good stable job, he’s handsome, he’s very much into her, and best of all, he’s single. But I think her heart somehow remembers Joo-hyuk and how he was her white knight at a very difficult time in her life, so it’s difficult for her to develop real feelings for Jong-hoo when she’s so drawn to Joo-hyuk.

We got another glimpse into what made Woo-jin so unhappy when she confessed to Joo-hyuk that she never feels lonely when she’s with Jong-hoo. I think that was her main problem in the original timeline — that even though she was married to Joo-hyuk, and she loved him deeply, he made her feel alone and lonely. His worst sin was just being inconsiderate… I still don’t believe he was a bad husband, or knowingly mean, he was just complacent and self-absorbed. But there’s a saying that it’s better to be alone, than lonely with someone else, and Woo-jin is a good example of how horrible it feels to be lonely with someone. Joo-hyuk just didn’t realize that he was the reason Woo-jin was so miserable, which is, yes, partly her fault because she never told him how his behavior was affecting her. She screamed and threw things, but she never sat down and just talked to him about how his neglect, benign though it was, made her feel alone in their marriage.

But he’s realizing it now, when it seems to be too late to go back and fix anything. He’s got everything he ever thought he wanted… the beautiful wife that “got away” in the first timeline, money, a nice house, respect at his job. But none of it is anything Joo-hyuk actually earned, so even if Hye-won wasn’t such a spoiled rotten brat, I don’t think he would have been happy once he understood that everything he has now is because of her, and her money, and her family connections. Seeing Woo-jin as a happier, more emotionally healthy person has been a huge wake-up call for Joo-hyuk, and he’s remembering how much he really loves her and how her moods directly relate to the way he treated her. And now that she’s dating Jong-hoo, his jealousy is just pushing everything right over the edge.

Joo-hyuk seems to finally be accepting that his love for Woo-jin was based on a real connection that they nurtured and developed over time, rather than the shallow “gosh she’s pretty” feelings he had for Hye-won. Hye-won looks better on paper, but her spoiled, selfish, nasty behavior and critical comments only serve to highlight that while Woo-jin turned into an unhappy person, Hye-won is naturally entitled and judgmental. No amount of money is worth being stuck with a wife that Joo-hyuk’s own family can’t stand to be around, and now that Joo-hyuk remembers how much he genuinely loves Woo-jin for the funny, quirky, wonderful woman she is deep down, I hope that his desire to go back to his real life means that he’s decided to fix what he’s done and start treating her better, helping her out, and most importantly, listening to her.

 
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38 August 25, 2018August 25, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 8

by LollyPip

It’s time for Joo-hyuk to grow up, stop thinking of himself first, and make a decision that will affect a lot of people for a long time to come. He’s feeling deep regret for the selfish choice he made, and he realizes that he needs to think of others, and not just himself anymore. It’s not an easy choice, but Joo-hyuk does his best to do the right thing, even if it means not getting what his own heart wants.

 
EPISODE 8: “Forever”

Joo-hyuk sees what looks like Jong-hoo kissing Woo-jin in the car, and when he gets back to town, he heads to the bank in the hopes of finding a coin made in 2006. He finds one, and drives back to the road where the mysterious toll booth was both times he went back to the past. But no matter how many times he drives past the spot, it’s not there.

He gives up and heads back to the subway station where he last saw the doomsayer, and after scaring several homeless men, he finally finds the doomsayer sleeping in a men’s room stall. He tells the man that he heard him talking about the star turning into a black hole and creating a wormhole in time, but the doomsayer refuses to wake up.

Joo-hyuk kneels and apologizes for turning Woo-jin into a miserable monster while thinking that he was the one doing all the work. He confesses that he ignored her needs, and he starts to cry when he thinks about how he promised to love Woo-jin for the rest of his life, but didn’t live up to that promise.

He asks the doomsayer if he can go back, sobbing and begging for an answer, but the doomsayer just complains about the noise he’s making. He calls Joo-hyuk crazy, and Joo-hyuk wails that he is crazy, but he needs to know how to save himself.

Suddenly the doomsayer’s voice changes, becoming deep and booming. He says to Joo-hyuk, “You slacker. What’s done is done. How can you stop something you’ve already done? You were so desperate back then. Does it hurt? Does your heart hurt?”

Seeing Joo-hyuk’s desperation, the doomsayer gently takes his hand and tells him that it was fate for him to make the wrong decision and end up here. He tells Joo-hyuk to wish Woo-jin happiness like a real man, then he lies down and goes back to sleep.

Bereft, Joo-hyuk ends up on a bridge overlooking the river, seeing Woo-jin’s young, happy face all around him. Although it looks like it kills him, he thinks about the doomsayer’s advice to wish Woo-jin happiness, and he throws his 2006 coin into the water.

The next morning, Hye-won finds Joo-hyuk up early, cheerfully cleaning the house. She asks what he’s so happy about, and he chirps that he’s decided to live diligently and responsibly. That earns him some happy snuggles as a reward for his new positive attitude.

Woo-jin heads to work, leaving Mom staring longingly at an old photo of her father. She tells Mom’s carer that she’s got the day off tomorrow (for her father’s memorial day). She’s surprised to see Jong-hoo outside, and he insists on taking her to work in a taxi since she’s still recovering from her fever.

Joo-hyuk is still in a great mood when he gets to the bank, and he goes in throwing shadow punches at Hwan. Hwan shows him how it’s really done, impressing Hyang-sook, who admits that he actually looked pretty manly. Joo-hyuk isn’t fazed when Jong-hoo and Woo-jin arrive together, not even when Hye-jong mentions that they come in together a lot and asks if they’re dating.

Jong-hoo stammers, and Woo-jin says nervously that they keep running into each other on their way in. Hwan says her terrible acting makes him even more suspicious, so Joo-hyuk distracts him by mentioning that he’s noticed that Hwan always follows Hyang-sook when she leaves work. He squints at Hyang-sook when she denies (a little too vehemently) that anything is going on, and the distraction works.

Woo-jin follows Joo-hyuk into the vault later, where he tells her that yep, she was pretty obvious back there. He asks if she’s feeling better, and she explains that she always gets a high fever when she’s coming down with a cold.

Again, Joo-hyuk accidentally blurts out, “I know,” then hurriedly says he meant “I thought so.” Steeling himself a bit, he sincerely wishes Woo-jin luck with Jong-hoo, even playfully offering to beat him up if he’s ever mean to her.

He says that her friendship with Joo-eun makes her like a little sister, and Woo-jin smiles, saying that she’s lucky to have found a boyfriend and an oppa at the same time. But as Joo-hyuk walks away congratulating himself on being mature about all this, Woo-jin’s smile fades.

Back in the office, both Manager Byun and Team Leader Jang learn through a chat room that a new company vice-president has been chosen. Team Leader Jang posts that it might be a branch manager getting promoted, but someone else replies that the new VP was hired from overseas.

There’s also a rumor that the new vice-president may secretly inspect the branches before they officially start the job. Team Leader Jang posts a bunch of rapid-fire questions before Manager Byun can type a single sentence, making him growl in frustration.

He blows up at her, demanding she give him a chance to post something, but she just snaps at him to type faster, ha. Branch Manager Cha walks in and asks what the fight is about, and again Team Leader Jang talks over Manager Byun, saying that the new vice president is coming to do a secret inspection.

Hye-won heads to the gym again, hoping to see Hyun-soo there. She even asks one of the employees if they’ve seen him lately, and she’s told that he hasn’t been in for a while. She turns down an offer to give her Hyun-soo’s number, and she worries that he’s not coming to the gym because he promised to stay away from her.

Everyone at the bank is on their best behavior due to the rumors of the new vice-president doing a secret inspection. A man in a sharp suit comes in followed by his secretary, making the bank employees snap to attention, and they listen surreptitiously as he asks Hye-jong some banking questions.

Woo-jin is in the restroom when a woman dressed like a cleaning lady comes in. She shares her hand lotion when she sees that the woman has run out, and the lady tells her she’s very kind. Wanna bet this is actually the new vice-president?

Out in the lobby, everyone is either standing in a circle around the suited man, or staring at him from their desks, which looks incredibly awkward. The all ignore the cleaning lady, so she goes to Woo-jin’s desk to ask her advice on some accounts, and Woo-jin gives her usual excellent customer service.

After work, everyone talks about the suited man, sure that he was the new vice-president, congratulating themselves on the great service they gave him. Team Leader Jang reminds Woo-jin that she’s off tomorrow, and Joo-hyuk asks Jong-hoo why. Jong-hoo says it’s for her father’s memorial day, and Joo-hyuk is shocked that he forgot.

But when Jong-hoo complains that they’re working late, so Woo-jin will have to shop for groceries for her father’s offerings when she’s tired, Joo-hyuk tells him to go shopping with her. Jong-hoo is thrilled by Joo-hyuk’s support, grudging though it is, and he happily hugs Joo-hyuk in thanks.

While Joo-hyuk stays late getting their work done, Jong-hoo and Woo-jin go shopping together. Joo-hyuk gets up to refill his coffee, and on his way back, he trips over his computer cord, unplugging the machine and losing hours of work… oh noooo. The poor guy can only wail in frustration and start all over again.

He heads to Sang-shik’s when he’s finally finished, where he finds Sang-shik and Joo-eun working on social media advertising for the bar. Joo-hyuk softly complains that he’s hungry while they fight over which photos to post, and they don’t even notice when he eventually gets up and leaves.

The next morning, Woo-jin wakes up alone in bed. She grows worried when she realizes that Mom left the house alone again, even leaving her father’s photo behind.

Branch Manager Cha announces that the new vice-president’s secretary called to say they made a very good impression yesterday, and the vice-president is on their way to the bank now. Hwan finds information on the company website, which names the new VP as Kang Eun-seon, and Joo-hyuk notes that “Eun-seon” is usually a woman’s name.

The vice-president arrives, and sure enough, it’s the woman that Woo-jin met in the restroom. HA, I knew it! She gives Branch Manager Cha some money to take the team out for a nice dinner, and asks why the nice girl who helped her yesterday isn’t there. She’s told that Woo-jin is taking a personal day, and she’s disappointed, having hoped to thank Woo-jin personally for being so sincere and kind.

After Vice-President Kang leaves, the managers all look sheepish about their misconception. Jong-hoo laments that the bank feels empty without Woo-jin there, and he and Joo-hyuk go up to the roof for a quick break.

Jong-hoo can’t stop talking about Woo-jin — how much he misses her and wishes he could see her tonight. He says he’ll visit his mom instead, and when Joo-hyuk calls him a bad son for only seeing his mother when his lady is busy, he snaps that Joo-hyuk has no room to criticize. One point to Jong-hoo.

He tries to call Woo-jin, and when she doesn’t answer, he gets concerned. She doesn’t have her phone because she’s running around the neighborhood looking for Mom, but Mom isn’t at any of her regular haunts. Woo-jin even goes to the columbarium where her father’s ashes are, but Mom isn’t there, either.

At the end of the day, the bank employees want to go out to dinner with the money from Vice-President Kang. Jong-hoo points out that they shouldn’t celebrate without Woo-jin, whom Vice-President Kang most wanted to thank. Joo-hyuk backs him up and everyone reluctantly agrees, but they all turn puppydog eyes on Joo-hyuk, begging him to change his mind.

He relents, so they all end up at dinner anyway, making lame excuses why it was okay to do this without Woo-jin. Branch Manager Cha even promises to give Woo-jin a separate reward later, and they make a toast to her in her absence. Only Jong-hoo and Joo-hyuk look uncomfortable with this whole thing.

Hwan and Hyang-sook get into another bickering fight when Hwan tries to wipe the sauce off Hyang-sook’s face, and she gets annoyed. She asks why he’s so critical of her lately, and Hwan just pouts as everyone tells them to simmer down and eat.

Branch Manager Cha brags about his daughter, who just won a scholarship, and he passes around a picture so everyone can see how pretty she is. LOL, they struggle to think of compliments for a girl who is doubtless beautiful to her daddy, but in reality, not so much. She happens to call, so Branch Manager Cha leaves the table, and everyone reaches for a drink, heh.

Joo-hyuk runs into Jong-hoo by the restrooms, staring worriedly at his phone. Jong-hoo says that Woo-jin still hasn’t called him even after all of his calls to her, and she hasn’t even read his texts. He mentions that he saw Mom cleaning Woo-jin’s father’s photo when we dropped off Woo-jin last night, and it made him feel bad. He sighs that he just wants to hear Woo-jin’s voice, and he asks Joo-hyuk if he’ll seem to clingy if he keeps calling her. Joo-hyuk says that yeah, he’ll seem clingy.

Team Leader Jang finds Manager Byun outside sitting on the curb, trying to call his ex-wife, who lives in Canada. He whines drunkenly that his ex-wife is too harsh, not letting him talk to his daughter, and even calls her by a Western name instead of the beautiful name he gave her. Team Leader Jang pulls him to his feet and takes him back inside, threatening to drop him when he tells her never to get married.

On the taxi ride home, Joo-hyuk recalls this same day in 2014, when he’d chosen to attend a work dinner and missed Woo-jin’s father’s memorial day yet again. This time Woo-jin had said curtly that she didn’t expect him to show up since he missed it last year, too. Ouch, but true.

He’d missed it again in 2015 due to work, and Woo-jin, cradling her hugely pregnant belly, had snapped that he shouldn’t have promised to be there. And in 2016, when he’d showed up late yet again, Woo-jin had thrown a towel at him and yelled that she’d begged him not to disappoint Mom this time. Joo-hyuk had argued back that his boss had emergency surgery, but Woo-jin had screamed and thrown whatever she could find at him, ordering him to get out.

Joo-hyuk goes to Woo-jin’s house and leaves a gift at the gate. He apologizes to Woo-jin’s father for being late, and asks him to comfort Woo-jin and Mom. He bows respectfully, sighs a heavy sigh, then rings the doorbell and retreats to a safe distance.

But instead of Woo-jin opening the door, she walks right past him on the street, looking dazed and out of it. She starts to cry when Joo-hyuk asks her what’s wrong, and she tells him that she’s been looking for Mom all day but can’t find her anywhere. She’s extra worried because Mom wasn’t wearing her ID necklace, and she doesn’t know Woo-jin’s phone number.

Joo-hyuk takes Woo-jin to the police station to report Mom missing. The detective kindly agrees to let Woo-jin wait at the station, and she tells Joo-hyuk to go on home. He steps away to take a call from Hye-won, who thinks he’s still at his team dinner, and he fibs that a coworker lost their mother, and he and his bosses have to go to the funeral in Sangju, several hours from Seoul.

Knowing that Woo-jin hasn’t eaten all day, Joo-hyuk runs to the store for some food, but when he gets back to the station, she’s fallen asleep sitting up. He sits with her for a while, wondering what he can do to help, when he suddenly remembers Sang-shik and Joo-eun posting messages on social media. Sang-shik had mentioned that it even works for finding missing dogs, so Joo-hyuk calls Sang-shik for his social media account information, then takes Woo-jin’s phone and copies a photo of her and Mom.

Woo-jin wakes in the morning to find Joo-hyuk next to her, nodding off with his arm stretched out and his hand cushioning her head. Awww, sweet. He wakes up and pulls his hand back, and when she asks why he didn’t go home, he just says vaguely that he explained things to his wife.

He checks the post he made last night about Mom being missing, and finds a message that someone thinks they saw her at a bus terminal. He and Woo-jin rush to the terminal, but it’s only someone who looks a bit like Mom. Woo-jin starts to cry again, saying that Mom’s never been missing this long before and scared she’ll never find her.

Another report comes in, this time from a food bank for homeless people. Woo-jin can tell from the posted photo that this time it really is Mom, and the best part is that when they get there, Mom is actually volunteering, ha. Woo-jin grabs her, wailing about how scared she was, then Joo-hyuk also hugs Mom, relieved.

They take Mom home, where Woo-jin explains to Joo-hyuk that when her father was alive, he and Mom used to volunteer a lot. She insists on walking Joo-hyuk back to his car, which reminds Joo-hyuk of when they were young and Woo-jin would insist on holding his sleeve while they walked this same alley.

He remembers a later time after they started dating, when Woo-jin had pouted that she didn’t want to go home yet. Joo-hyuk had agreed that he didn’t want to part from her, and she’d half-joked that they should just get married. Joo-hyuk had teasingly proposed, and Woo-jin had chirped a happy “yes!”

In the present, Woo-jin thanks Joo-hyuk for posting online about Mom and staying with her, saying that she felt reassured by his presence. She admits that she tries her best, but she can’t fill the void left in Mom’s life when her dad died.

She says that Mom deeply loved Dad, and Joo-hyuk asks, “Like the number zero? It’s the absolute power that turns every number into zero in multiplication, but has no power when it comes to addition because it loves addition more.” He’s repeating Woo-jin’s own idea, and she asks how he knew that.

Joo-hyuk says that he heard it somewhere, but he only now understands what it means. He tells Woo-jin, “After she disappeared… after that person left me, I regretted that I couldn’t be better, and why I didn’t know how precious she was. I regretted, felt sorry, and missed her.” Woo-jin asks if he’s telling her his old love story.

Joo-hyuk just says with a sad smile, “I’m sorry, really. I wanted to say that… to her.” He continues that he won’t be able to see that person again, and Woo-jin tells him that he hopes she gets his apology. Joo-hyuk says that his words won’t ever reach her, so he’ll just wish for her happiness with all his heart.

Looking moved, Woo-jin says that she’s not good at wishing others happiness, and just says what’s on her mind. But she says she won’t this time, because she wants to be different, like an adult. “This time,” she says, “I’ll wish only with my heart, like you said. This time.”

She holds out a hand, and Joo-hyuk shakes it, holding on until Woo-jin lets go first. She cheerfully says she’ll see him tomorrow, but when she turns to go home, something in her expression looks infinitely sad, like she senses that something important just happened.

When Joo-hyuk finally gets home, he finds Hye-won in a snit, annoyed that he was gone all night. Joo-hyuk makes up excuses on the fly, like that his boss insisted they stay for the whole funeral, and that he had to wear his inappropriately bright tie because he couldn’t find a store to buy a darker one.

Woo-jin had put Mom to bed and gone to sleep next to her, and after a while, Mom wakes up with a start. She looks down at where Woo-jin is still sleeping, and sneakily picks up her phone.

While Joo-hyuk is in the shower, Hye-won hears his phone ringing from his pants pocket. She sees Woo-jin’s name on caller ID and answers, wondering what she wants. She hears Mom’s voice, who thinks she’s talking to Joo-hyuk, calling him “Cha Son-in-Law” and asking why he left without eating first.

Hye-won says that she’s Joo-hyuk’s wife and asks why Mom is calling him her son-in-law, but Mom just hangs up. Suspicious now, Hye-won goes through Joo-hyuk’s clothes and finds the police detective’s business card, then she goes out to his car to check his GPS for the most recent location searches, and realizes that he never went to Sangju as he claimed.

Truly confused now, Hye-won plays the audio from the car’s black box, and she hears Woo-jin’s voice asking whether filing a police report will help find Mom. Fast-forwarding, she also hears Woo-jin’s breathless voice again, and Joo-hyuk assuring her that his intuition is telling him that they’ll find Mom.

Hye-won stomps upstairs to their bedroom, where Joo-hyuk has just climbed into bed to get some sleep. She tosses something into his lap, demanding an explanation, and Joo-hyuk picks up the item she threw. It’s the memory chip from the black box, and he realizes that Hye-won must have heard that he was with Woo-jin last night.

COMMENTS

Honestly, as much as I sense that things are about to get very bad for Joo-hyuk, I’m kind of glad that he got caught so quickly. Despite all of the positive things I’m about to say about Joo-hyuk and his growth and newfound maturity, I’m very uncomfortable with how much he’s been lying to Hye-won lately. If he’s decided to let Woo-jin go and be a good husband to Hye-won, then that means he needs to either be honest with Hye-won when he’s with Woo-jin, or better yet, actually stop hanging around Woo-jin so much. The fact that he’s doing the right thing with Woo-jin doesn’t excuse all the lies to Hye-won, and just proves that he may have done a lot of maturing, but he’s still got a long way to go.

That said, I really applaud Joo-hyuk’s sincere attempt to accept his decision to change his life and wish Woo-jin well in hers. In a lot of ways, he really did improve both of their lives by changing the past, because even though they’re no longer with the person they were meant to love, they’re both in more stable situations. Joo-hyuk has a beautiful wife, a lovely home, respect at work, and he doesn’t need to worry about money anymore, and Woo-jin is (mostly) happily single with a stable career, has a great relationship with her mother, is dating a great guy who really likes her, and is free to be herself. There’s a strong argument to be made that Joo-hyuk could leave well enough alone, accept the situation as it is, and be content that that he’s responsible for improving both their lives. There would be absolutely nothing wrong with that, I think.

But he can’t help the way he feels, and the reminder that Woo-jin’s father’s memorial day snuck up on him again was a huge kick in the teeth. Joo-hyuk should have remembered it just because it’s an important day to Woo-jin, and not only that, he’d already been reminded and felt guilty for blowing it off in the past. And to make it worse, we saw that he missed her father’s memorial day several years in a row, consistently prioritizing work over Woo-jin’s feelings. No wonder she was screaming and throwing things at him by the end. For Joo-hyuk to forget it again in this timeline, after everything that’s happened and after his deep regret and sorrow at throwing away their life together, is pretty inexcusable.

I didn’t really understand the “power of zero” analogy when Woo-jin first mentioned it, but like Joo-hyuk, I think I get it now. It means that even something (or more importantly, someone) that seems so strong in some situations, can be reduced to absolute powerlessness in the face of real love. It’s the way Woo-jin always felt for Joo-hyuk, loving him so much that she even gave up her sense of self by being married to him, and never left him and saved herself because of that love. Sadly, Joo-hyuk didn’t feel the same way about Woo-jin — though I believe he did genuinely love her — because he always prioritized his own wishes and needs above hers.

Now that he understands what the power of zero means, he’s realizing that he does love Woo-jin that much, enough to be powerless to that love. Until recently, he was still putting his own desires first, wanting to go back to the timeline where she was miserable just because he misses her. But now Joo-hyuk realizes that if he truly, genuinely loves Woo-jin, he has to let her go, so that she can live a happy life even if that means not being with her himself. It’s a hard lesson, but it’s one that Joo-hyuk needed to learn — that sometimes, the best way to love someone is to watch them be happy from a distance.

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23 September 1, 2018September 1, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 9

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk’s mistakes are coming back to bite him in some unexpected and interesting ways. He used to think that nobody cared what he did but himself, but he’s realizing that his actions affect a lot of people in a lot of ways, not all of them positive. One particular realization changes the whole game for Joo-hyuk, and every decision he makes from here on out.

 
EPISODE 9: “Behind”

After learning that Joo-hyuk lied to her about where he’s been all night, Hye-won confronts Joo-hyuk by throwing his car’s black box microchip at him. She asks angrily if he lied in order to stay out all night with Woo-jin, and she tells him that Woo-jin’s mother called his phone, calling him “Cha Son-in-Law.”

She asks flat out if Joo-hyuk is having an affair, but she barely lets Joo-hyuk deny it as she rants about how much she disliked Woo-jin on sight. She threatens to ask Woo-jin directly, but Joo-hyuk stops her. He explains that Woo-jin’s mother has dementia, and she disappeared last night.

Hye-won asks why he felt it was his job to help Woo-jin all night, shrieking, “Are you her family?!” That hits a little too close to home, and Joo-hyuk stammers nervously that there’s really nothing going on like she’s imagining, that he only wanted to help Woo-jin and her mom.

He apologizes for lying to her, but Hye-won refuses to be calmed and storms out. She goes for a drive, and after awhile she pulls over and calls Hyun-soo. He meets her at a bar, looking thrilled to have heard from her, though she snaps that she only called him because she has no friends.

Hyun-soo asks if she had a fight with her husband, and Hye-won says that Joo-hyuk doesn’t fight with her, he just obediently does as she says, which is why she married him. Hyun-soo asks if something changed, maybe involving another woman. Hye-won barks at him to stop making wild guesses, unwilling to admit how close he is to the truth.

He says that he’s thankful to her husband anyway, since now he gets to see her. He asks her to hang out with him tomorrow since he doesn’t need to work… quickly correcting himself that he doesn’t have class.

Later when Hye-won stumbles home drunk, she steps on the black box chip and frowns at it like it’s the source of all her problems. She gets on the computer and blearily makes a profile on the office gossip website everyone was talking about on their weekend trip. Oh, no, this is going to be very bad.

Jong-hoo shows up at Woo-jin’s house in the morning on his bike, only to learn that she’s finally bought a car. He’s so proud of her that he forgets that he’s supposed to be mad at her, then he adorably resumes pouting. Woo-jin promises to pick up his calls from now on, no matter what.

Unfortunately, she hasn’t driven in ten years, and they’re both so nervous about her driving that they’re sweating and screaming at other cars before they get halfway to the bank, hee. Woo-jin forgets to check her mirrors and uses the wrong blinkers, and poor Jong-hoo looks like he wants to cry.

Woo-jin is called to Branch Manager Cha’s office, where she gets a bonus for impressing the new vice-president. She does a little happy dance in the bank lobby, though she playfully chastises the others for going out to dinner without her.

Team Leader Jang arrives and deliberately shows everyone but Woo-jin a post made on the office gossip website last night. It names Woo-jin and the bank, and talks about how Woo-jin craves male attention so much that she seduced a married coworker. It even claims that her transfer to the branch from headquarters was due to a scandal with a man, and accuses her of having had plastic surgery.

At home, Hye-won sleeps in after her late night, but the moment she wakes, she remembers what she did and leaps out of bed to race to the computer. She stares at her own post in horror, seeing that it’s already gotten tons of responses. She feels horrible about it, but since there’s nothing she can do, she tells herself that it’s not like she made it up.

At the bank, Jong-hoo is beside himself over the slanderous post, but Joo-hyuk is downright furious. He blames the website, which allows people to say whatever they want anonymously, without proof, ranting loudly until he realizes that everyone is staring at him. He immediately backpedals, explaining that he’s just upset about the state of society these days.

Woo-jin stays calm and apologizes for being the source of upset, but everyone seems to be on her side, blaming the writer for causing problems. Woo-jin says that the claims are too ridiculous to even bother her, since she didn’t have any issues at headquarters and her face is the same one she was born with.

Team Leader Jang points out that the real problem is that someone is holding a grudge against Woo-jin. Woo-jin can’t think of anyone she’s wronged enough to have done this, but Joo-hyuk’s eyes suddenly snap wide open. He escapes to the hallway to call Hye-won, who denies having written the post, and even has the nerve to get angry at Joo-hyuk for thinking she would do such a lowly thing.

Team Leader Jang, the cash team, and Manager Byun all decide that the problem is Woo-jin’s good looks. Hye-wonan wonders if there’s something to the accusations, because even though Woo-jin doesn’t seem like that type of person, it’s uncommon for someone to be transferred from headquarters to a branch.

Jong-hoo and Woo-jin end up on the roof reading the comments on the nasty post (eek, never read the comments!). Jong-hoo is concerned, but Woo-jin keeps cracking jokes since there’s nothing else she can do. She assures Jong-hoo that this will blow over soon, but instead, the post starts to go viral.

Woo-jin ends up in Branch Manager Cha’s office for the second time today, swearing that this is just an unfounded rumor. Branch Manager Cha says he believes her, but that headquarters only cares about the bank’s image, so they need to figure out how to get the post taken down.

But the slanderous post is spreading beyond the original website. Someone even uploaded a photo of the entire team, which upsets everyone, especially since it predates Woo-jin’s addition to the team. Hyang-sook and Hye-jong are annoyed that people are commenting on their looks, and Team Leader Jang is annoyed that her looks aren’t being commented on, ha.

Interestingly, the picture is the thing that finally makes Woo-jin lose her temper, and she shocks everyone by cursing. Jong-hoo and Joo-hyuk try to get her to sit and calm down, but she angrily swipes an arm at them and storms out, driving straight to the police station.

Hye-won and Hyun-soo spend their day together shopping for expensive workout clothes, and Hyun-soo just happens to have forgotten his credit card. He claims to feel bad as Hye-won pays for his things, but it seems obvious that he never had any intention of paying.

They make plans to eat together, and Hye-won calls Joo-hyuk to tell him she won’t be home for dinner. He tells her honestly that Woo-jin reported the post about herself to the Cyber Crimes Unit, so he and Jong-hoo were sent to the station on behalf of the bank.

Hye-won looks freaked out and quickly hangs up. She tries to delete the post from her phone, but she can’t log onto the site because there’s too much online traffic. She tells Hyun-soo that she has to delete the post immediately, so they head to an internet cafe.

Meanwhile, Woo-jin is told that the issue probably won’t be handled today since it’s already late. Jong-hoo and Joo-hyuk beg the detective to do something right away, since it’s causing problems for their employer. The poor detective caves under the combined pressure of three sets of puppydog eyes, and he gets to work identifying the owner of the IP address.

Hyun-soo and Hye-won frantically race to find an internet cafe, but when they finally get access to a computer, they still can’t access the site due to heavy traffic. The site does finally load and Hye-won manages to delete the post, and they celebrate excitedly. Jong-hoo is the first to notice that the post was deleted, while still at the police station.

Joo-hyuk gets home later as Hye-won is getting into bed, and he tells her that the post was deleted before they could identify the poster. He says that their goal was to get the post removed anyway, not get the original poster in trouble. He apologizes to Hye-won again for lying to her, and when he leaves the room, she slumps in relief.

Woo-jin and Jong-hoo go to Sang-shik’s bar for dinner, where Joo-eun gets loud and angry on Woo-jin’s behalf when she hears what happened. Woo-jin just chows down, not having eaten all day, then she steps outside to take a call from the detective. He says that they were able to identify the poster after all, and asks if she wants to press charges.

When she hears Hye-won named as the poster, Woo-jin obviously knows exactly who she is. But she tells the detective that she doesn’t recognize the name and doesn’t wish to press charges.

Joo-hyuk gets a work-related message from Hwan, so he gets on the computer to check his email. He notices an unfamiliar icon on the desktop and clicks it, and it takes him to the log-in page of the gossip website. When he clicks in the username field out of curiosity, it autopopulates with the username Hye-won used to make the slanderous post.

It seems familiar, so Joo-hyuk calls the detective to ask if they learned who made the post. He’s told that it’s confidential information, but he does confirm that the post was made from an IP address in Joo-hyuk and Hye-won’s neighborhood.

That night, Woo-jin finds Mom out of bed, whining that she’s tired but can’t sleep. She tucks Mom back into bed, then goes to the kitchen for a bottle of soju, haunted by the knowledge that it was Joo-hyuk’s wife who wrote that horrible post about her.

In the morning, Joo-hyuk finds the doomsayer at the subway station pretty easily this time. He sits with the doomsayer, who mostly ignores him as he talks: “It was Hye-won. She says it wasn’t her. I’m sorry to Woo-jin. Although Hye-won is a little self-centered, she doesn’t harm other people. I think I am ruining her.”

He asks the doomsayer why he’s here, guessing that he’s not supposed to be. He suddenly seems to realize something, and asks incredulously, “Did you go through the same thing I did??” The doomsayer just stands and walks away, leaving Joo-hyuk to remember the sign by the road on the way to the tollbooth — suddenly the man on the sign seems very familiar.

Luckily for Woo-jin, once the nasty post was deleted, everyone seems to forget about it. Her coworkers want to know why she didn’t press charges, and she says she just wanted to move past it.

Joo-hyuk follows her to the storage room to say he’s sorry and to thank her, and when she asks why, he says, “I just wanted to say it.” He turns to go, but she calls his name softly and says she’s sorry too, and thanks him, but she’s equally vague about her reasons.

Joo-hyuk gives her a knowing little look before going back to his desk. He finds the fever reducers he bought for Woo-jin while on their trip in his bag, and he gets up again.

Later, Woo-jin is in the break room with Hye-jong, who’s putting bandages on her feet where her new shoes gave her blisters. Woo-jin notices a bottle of fever reducers in the first aid kit, the ones that help when she’s running a fever. She says they’re hard to find, and Hye-jong tells her that Joo-hyuk put them in there.

Branch Manager Cha is in a great mood at the end of the day, having had a prophetic dream, and he invites the team out to dinner after work. Jong-hoo and Woo-jin both claim they have appointments, and Joo-hyuk also says he’s got plans. While Branch Manager Cha calls his wife, everyone else silently play rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to leave, hee.

Joo-hyuk only gets as far as his car, and he spends the evening sitting there, lost in thought. Hye-won tries to call him but he doesn’t answer, and she gets a call from her mother to remind them that her father is having a party to celebrate publishing his memoir in two days.

In the morning, Joo-eun calls Joo-hyuk to tell him that their mother is in the hospital with a hurt back and needs surgery, and he promises to visit soon. Hye-won makes appropriately worried noises when he tells her, but when he asks her to go to the hospital with him, she says she’s busy getting beauty treatments with her mother today for her dad’s party.

Joo-hyuk talks her into coming for just a few minutes, but Hye-won looks like she’d rather be anywhere else. Joo-hyuk’s dad mentions that the doctors want his mom to stay in the hospital for a few days after her surgery, but that she’ll probably go home right after.

Hye-won says she has plans and has to go, and slips Joo-hyuk’s mom some money for herbal medicine. She makes Joo-hyuk drive her to the salon, and on the way he asks Hye-won if his mother can stay at their place for one night after she’s discharged. Hye-won whines and refuses, even when Joo-hyuk says he’ll take care of his mom himself.

She reminds Joo-hyuk that he’s expected at her father’s party tomorrow, her tone warning that he’d better not think of missing it. He says he’ll be there after making sure his mother is discharged safely, but Hye-won whines that Joo-eun can do that.

She’s much more upset at the idea of Joo-hyuk missing her father’s party than about his mother having surgery, and she demands that he stop the car. Hye-won warns Joo-hyuk that if he’s not at her father’s party, they’re through, then jumps out of the car to walk. She’s furious when Joo-hyuk actually drives away and leaves her there. Serves her right.

But Joo-hyuk is too nice so he stops the car, just as it starts to rain. He grabs an umbrella and goes looking for Hye-won, but she’s not where he left her. Joo-eun calls to ask Joo-hyuk if he can come back to the hospital to stay with their mom tonight, because her baby has a fever.

Woo-jin takes Mom to her doctor’s appointment, where her insomnia and general crankiness seem to indicate that her dementia is worsening. The doctor recommends they hospitalize Mom for two days for testing, and Mom manages to slip right out from under Woo-jin’s nose as she’s settling her into her hospital room.

Woo-jin finds Mom in a room down the hall, sitting on the bed with Joo-hyuk’s mother, and Woo-jin apologizes and explains that her mom has dementia. Joo-hyuk walks in while she’s still trying to pull Mom out of the room, and while Mom is thrilled to see “Cha Son-in-Law,” Woo-jin is mortified to realize that the people her mother is bothering are Joo-hyuk’s parents.

Before long, the women are playing Go on Joo-hyuk’s mom’s bed while the men watch, Woo-jin warning Joo-hyuk’s mom that her mother cheats. Joo-hyuk looks utterly charmed as his dad asks if Mom really has dementia, since she seems so sharp with the cards. His dad likes Woo-jin too, and Joo-hyuk tells him that she lives nearby and is even friends with Joo-eun.

Jong-hoo gets a text from Hyang-sook (I think?) about work, and while he’s on his phone, he sends Woo-jin a text asking about her mom and saying he misses her. He finishes it off with some heart emojis, then belatedly realizes that he accidentally sent it to Hyang-sook. He curls up in horror, then writes a lame and completely transparent text that it was supposed to be a joke sent to a friend.

While picking out a dress for the party, Hye-won gets a text from Joo-hyuk saying that he’s going to spend the night at the hospital. Her main concern is that she’s only getting a lousy text from him after he “left her in the street,” never mind that she’s the one who threw a fit and demanded he let her out.

Later that night, Woo-jin watches her mom sleep while hooked up to the monitoring machines and wonders what she’s dreaming about. She smiles, thinking about how much fun mom had today with Joo-hyuk’s parents, as a few doors down, Joo-hyuk also affectionately watches his mother sleep.

They end up heading to the TV room at the same time, and Woo-jin asks Joo-hyuk about the medicine he put in the first aid kit at work. He says breezily that a pharmacist recommended it to him, but something about it still seems to bother her.

They sit together to watch TV, and at one point, Woo-jin moves her hand and their fingers accidentally touch. Neither of them moves away, and Woo-jin stares at Joo-hyuk, who seems at first not to have noticed. But then he slowly turns to look back at her, and Woo-jin looks away and pulls her hand back.

They sit silently for a while before heading back to their mothers’ rooms. Both of them lie awake for a long time, unable to sleep.

 
COMMENTS

These two and their longing looks are just killing me. I love the slow burn of their feelings, as Joo-hyuk remembers what it felt like to fall in love with Woo-jin in the past, and Woo-jin learns what it feels like to fall for Joo-hyuk now. No passionate kiss could have been as meaningful as that tiny finger-touch, and even though all Joo-hyuk did was turn to look at Woo-jin, there was so much emotion in his expression in that moment — love, sorrow, and especially regret. He broke my heart in that tiny moment.

Until now, I haven’t really felt much about Hye-won one way or the other, aside from considering her an unpleasantly spoiled inconvenience to Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin’s happiness. But her selfishness is really in large part her parents’ fault, and the fault of the version of Joo-hyuk she’s lived with all these years. He allowed her to continue to live off her parents’ money, and catered to her every whim up to and including neglecting his own family, in exchange for the luxury and security that her family connections brought him. And that gets sticky because it’s not this version of Joo-hyuk that did all that, but some other nebulous, possibly-not-even-real version of Joo-hyuk who married Hye-won and let her get away with her selfish behavior. And now this Joo-hyuk (let’s just admit it) is lying and emotionally cheating on her and suddenly being annoyed with her for being the exact same person she’s always been, and I don’t really blame Hye-won for being confused and tempted when some cute young guy starts giving her all kinds of attention.

But what she did to Woo-jin by posting lies about her online was absolutely not okay, and being drunk at the time is no excuse. It’s not Woo-jin’s fault that Joo-hyuk is behaving badly to Hye-won, so to ruin her professional reputation that way was completely unforgivable. I’m glad that Woo-jin went to the police and disappointed that she chose not to press charges, because even though Hye-won did regret what she did, she then decided it was fine and left it there. She even had the nerve to threaten divorce if Joo-hyuk missed her father’s party (for his memoirs of all things — apparently the selfish apple doesn’t fall far from the self-centered tree) to take care of his mother after surgery!

At that point, in my mind, Hye-won crossed the line from benignly unaware of her own harmless selfishness into deliberately manipulative and cruel. It takes an immensely self-righteous and self-centered personality to go out and spend a bunch of money on a cute boy who openly admits he wants her, when not one day earlier, she was yelling at her husband for helping a colleague find her missing, mentally ill mother, then ruining someone’s entire professional life simply for accepting that help. And then to demand such unwavering focus from your partner that you insist he neglect his family’s genuine needs for a freaking party, and threaten divorce if you don’t get your way… I’ll only say that just the threat would have been a dealbreaker for me, if I were Joo-hyuk.

But it was another big wake-up call to Joo-hyuk to see how his behavior is affecting Hye-won, just like it affected Woo-jin in the original timeline, though in different ways and for different reasons. And I give him lots of credit for seeing it right away this time instead of it taking years. Of course, he’s not responsible for Hye-won’s lashing out online any more than he was responsible for Woo-jin’s decision to express her unhappiness with screaming and violence, but he’s understanding that what he does can cause others to change as people, and do things he never thought they’d do. Woo-jin went from a bright, happy, funny girl to a miserable, angry woman, and now Hye-won is doing things to hurt someone else when she’s never been vindictive in that way before.

It should have been a huge clue to Joo-hyuk, when he saw Woo-jin with his mother, that what he needs to do is to go back to the original timeline and make things right. It’s telling that Woo-jin was nicer to his parents in one afternoon than Hye-won has been in over a decade. I feel like, if Joo-hyuk goes back and works on making Woo-jin happy again, between the two families, they should be able to handle whatever happens with Woo-jin’s mother and her mental illness. The original Woo-jin’s main issue was that she felt alone, so she isolated herself even more out of fear of even more rejection. But seeing her with Joo-hyuk’s parents, it’s clear that there’s no need for her to be alone if Joo-hyuk is willing to step up and bring their families together.

I wasn’t expecting the revelation that the doomsayer has been through the same thing as Joo-hyuk, and from the way things look, he must have decided to just take himself out of the lives of those he was making unhappy. It’s what I’m afraid that Joo-hyuk may choose to do — to play the Noble Idiot card and leave both women, since they both seem happier without him. But that can’t be the answer to all this, because then nobody learns anything, least of all Joo-hyuk himself. Clearly it didn’t work out for the doomsayer, who now wanders both timelines, alone and homeless and half insane. I don’t want that to be Joo-hyuk’s future, but I can’t think of a solution that will allow him and both women to live their best lives. It makes me nervous, but I also love that I can’t predict how this will all turn out.

 
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43 September 2, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 10

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk started out on this journey with the intent to make himself happy, but it’s all falling apart. Not only is he miserable, but so is everyone else, and there doesn’t seem to be anything he can do about it. He’s been pretty passive so far, just letting things happen without making too much effort to fix anything, but things are getting to the point that Joo-hyuk will have to take drastic action.

 
EPISODE 10: “You have broken away from the route”

After the moment of accidental intimacy with Joo-hyuk, Woo-jin stays up late in her mother’s hospital room, unable to sleep. Joo-hyuk is equally wakeful, and they each spend the whole night thinking of the other.

In the morning, Woo-jin brings Mom to say goodbye to Joo-hyuk and his mother. Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk say an awkward goodbye, and after she’s gone, Joo-hyuk’s mother clucks that she feels bad for Mom and thinks Woo-jin seems very nice.

Woo-jin is still getting used to driving again, and she gets such a bad case of road rage on the way home that Mom begs to call a taxi, hee. Woo-jin nearly gets sideswiped, setting off another round of loud complaints, but then she grins wildly, hits the gas, and admits that driving is pretty thrilling.

Still at the hospital, Joo-hyuk overhears Joo-eun on the phone with Sang-shik trying to figure out how to accommodate their mother in their small home after her surgery. Hye-won calls him, upset that he’s at the hospital and not her father’s party. She doesn’t care that he still has things to do for his mother, snapping at him to let Joo-eun do it and get to the party immediately.

Instead, he insists on taking his parents home to Joo-eun’s place once his mother is discharged, and ignores Hye-won’s calls. It’s interesting how peaceful he appears, even knowing that Hye-won is furious.

After the party, Hye-won goes home to ambush Joo-hyuk when he walks in the door. She reminds him that she said it was over between them if he missed her father’s party, whining that she was embarrassed every time someone asked her where he was. Joo-hyuk asks if she even cares how his mother’s surgery went, but she acts as if he has no right to expect her to care.

Joo-hyuk holds his temper until Hye-won suggests he pay Joo-eun for taking care of their mom instead of doing it himself. He asks why she always throws money at problems, and she says haughtily that that’s what money is for. JW calls her selfish, only ever doing things she wants to do and never caring how her bad behavior affects other people, even if they lose their job.

She asks what he means, then it dawns on her that he knows she was the one who wrote the hateful post about Woo-jin. She admits that she did it, but maintains that she had every right. Joo-hyuk points out that she lied, but again Hye-won acts as if being annoyed gives her the right to ruin someone’s life.

Joo-hyuk tries to walk away, but Hye-won spits that he’s not the same as he used to be when he did everything she said. He asks what he used to be like, and if he would even die if she said so. Hye-won says in disbelief, “You don’t want to live with me anymore, do you? Fine, I understand.”

She leaves the house and calls Hyun-soo to pick her up. She tells him to take her as far as he can, and with a smirk, he asks how far she means. She asks him if he would go to the ends of the earth with her if she asked, and he says he’d go to the end of the universe, but he looks a bit unsettled at her strange mood.

The following morning, Joo-hyuk checks in with Joo-eun, feeling badly for not doing more to help. Joo-eun says it’s fine and asks if he fought with Hye-won, and he denies it then quickly changes the subject. After he hangs up, he looks at the photo of himself and Hye-won that’s his phone’s wallpaper, and sighs heavily.

Hyang-sook shows Hye-jong the lovey-dovey text that Jong-hoo accidentally sent her, and Hye-jong wonders who he’s dating while Hyang-sook tries to find an innocent explanation. They watch him make a surreptitious phone call, missing the fact that Woo-jin answered from over by the copy machine, ha.

JB makes kissy-lips at the phone when he hangs up, which just confirms Hye-jong’s suspicions. He leaves his phone unattended, so she grabs it and dials the last number he called. She and Hyang-sook see Woo-jin answer, and when Jong-hoo returns, they loudly exclaim, “You two are dating?!

Later, Woo-jin takes Jong-hoo to the roof, where he apologizes for not putting a lock code on his new phone. He holds his arms in the air like a schoolboy being punished, though he pouts that he didn’t think anyone would actually snoop into his call history.

He asks if they can just keep dating since everyone will think they’re crazy if they find out about their contract relationship (Woo-jin: “They already think I’m crazy.” Jong-hoo: “Yeah, they do.” LOL). But Woo-jin thinks he’s about to be in big trouble — now that Hyang-sook and Hye-jong know about this, they’ll probably cause trouble.

Joo-hyuk almost walks in on them as they’re bickering over whether Jong-hoo flirted with them and led them on. Woo-jin is right — both Hyang-sook and Hye-jong complain that they thought Jong-hoo liked Hyang-sook considering how much he flirted with her.

Team Leader Jang tells them to stop talking about it, and when Hwan asks why she looks so down, she admits that she feels depressed that everyone her age has a partner but her. Hyang-sook and Hye-jong obediently assure her that she’s not old or unattractive, while Hwan is conspicuously silent, ha.

Hye-jong offers to set Hyang-sook up with an accountant friend of hers, but Hwan (who still nurses a crush on Hyang-sook) says that she needs someone more relaxed. He says he knows a handsome sunbae who owns a restaurant in Gangnam, and offers to take her to meet him after work.

Poor Joo-hyuk is being tortured by Manager Byun, who can’t stop talking about the newest office dating scandal. Manager Byun tries to figure out every instance of proof that Joo-hyuk knew about Jong-hoo and Woo-jin and peppers Joo-hyuk with questions like when they started to like each other.

He’s mystified when he teases Team Leader Jang and just gets a baleful glare instead of an argument, as he was expecting. She wearily tells him to leave her alone, but he complains that this is no fun and invites her to blast him like usual, making her sigh that there’s no point.

A courier delivers an envelope and a small suitcase for Joo-hyuk. It turns out to be divorce papers from Hye-won, and when he calls her, she says that all he needs to do is sign them. She tells him that she’s not doing this because she’s angry, it’s because she needs someone who makes her their top priority at all times.

Devastated, Joo-hyuk ends up at Sang-shik’s bar after work, where Sang-shik is loyally horrified that Hye-won would file for divorce just because Joo-hyuk didn’t go to a party. Joo-hyuk blames himself, and when Jong-hoo and Woo-jin arrive, having heard everything from Sang-shik, he glares at Sang-shik for his big mouth.

Woo-jin just watches Joo-hyuk with a sympathetic expression as Sang-shik and Jong-hoo urge him to fight to keep his marriage. But Joo-eun blurts out that she supports the divorce, because Joo-hyuk and Hye-won are from such different backgrounds and never seemed stable anyway. She reminds Joo-hyuk that he and Hye-won don’t even really get along, and tells him to just get divorced.

Jong-hoo says that Joo-hyuk should follow his heart, and he turns to Woo-jin for backup, but she’s distracted and wasn’t listening. Joo-eun notices the way Woo-jin looks at Joo-hyuk, all her feelings in her eyes, but she doesn’t comment out loud.

Hwan takes Hyang-sook to the restaurant he mentioned to meet the owner, but when they get there, he tells her with fake regret that his “friend” isn’t at work today. He offers to buy the grumpy Hyang-sook dinner since they’re there, and to take her somewhere fun afterward. His sorta-kinda date is ruined when Hye-jong joins them, having been called by Hyang-sook when she went to the restroom.

Manager Byun even takes Team Leader Jang out for dinner, where she spends the whole time whining that everyone but her dates and gets married, even him. He says there’s nothing wrong with her, she just hasn’t met the right person yet, but she compares herself to food that’s nearly expired.

Manager Byun counters that she’s still very attractive, and that he even once had a little crush on her. Team Leader Jang cheers up at that and asks why he never told her, because she might have… but she doesn’t finish that thought, but what she was about to say goes right over Manager Byun’s head.

Jong-hoo takes Joo-hyuk home to stay with him, and Joo-hyuk sits on the floor in his bathroom, thinking about how Hye-won said he’s not the same guy who used to do everything she said. He tries to call her, but she doesn’t answer. Jong-hoo insists he sleep on the bed and adorably cuddles close to him, pretending he’s Woo-jin.

He jumps out of bed to text her a good night, and on her end, she texts back that she got home okay. She starts to ask if Joo-hyuk is okay, but she decides against it and goes to see what Mom is drawing. It’s a man, a woman, a child, and a baby, and when Woo-jin asks who they are, Mom says it’s her, Joo-hyuk, and their children.

At the bank the next day, Branch Manager Cha reminds everyone that this weekend is the company marathon, and they all groan. He tells them to do their best and win the grand prize, a paid vacation.

After the meeting, Hwan complains to Manager Byun that he didn’t take this job to run marathons, do all the menial tasks, and get no respect. Team Leader Jang chastises him in Manager Byun’s defense, throwing Manager Byun a saucy wink. Uh-oh.

A while later, Joo-hyuk gets a call from Hye-won’s father, wanting to meet with him at lunch. But it’s not about Hye-won filing for divorce — he brings along a colleague who wants to take out a business loan to expand his new company. It’s a huge sum, but Hye-won’s father leans on Joo-hyuk, saying that his company backs the man even though his business is new.

Joo-hyuk takes the man back to the bank, where Branch Manager Cha meets with him and promises to process the loan application quickly. Joo-hyuk seems unsettled and offers to do a due diligence appraisal of the man’s company, but Branch Manager Cha is happy to take Hye-won’s father’s word that the man is a safe bet and wants to nail down the loan as soon as possible.

Woo-jin approaches Joo-hyuk in the break room to shyly ask if his helping her find her mother has anything to do with Hye-won filing for divorce. He assures her that it has nothing to do with her and everything to do with him, telling her not to worry.

Hye-won calls him to tell him to sign the divorce papers today, and when he asks for some time to think about this, she threatens to come to the bank. So Joo-hyuk meets her at the courthouse, but she’s not interested in thinking or discussing this. She says they can each tell their parents in their own time, and walks away.

That evening, Woo-jin’s mother draws a more disturbing picture — a tollbooth on a lonely, remote road.

Jong-hoo takes Woo-jin to a nice restaurant for dinner, and he pauses to take a call from Sang-shik, who says that Joo-hyuk signed the divorce papers today. While they’re talking, Woo-jin spots Hye-won going into the restaurant with Hyun-soo. They end up taking food back to Jong-hoo’s place to share with Joo-hyuk, and Jong-hoo cooks while Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk sit in the living room feeling awkward. They’re rescued when Sang-shik arrives and backhugs Joo-hyuk, sobbing over his divorce.

Manager Byun makes Hwan and Hyang-sook stay after work to do some organizing and cleaning. Hyang-sook complains about everything Hwan does until he stomps away grumbling that he even paid for her evening last night, so she asks if spending money on her upsets him.

He says that’s not it, but when she tries to pay him for her meal and asks why he’s always so mean to her, he blurts, “Because I like you. That’s why I’m upset. Happy now?” Stunned, Hyang-sook stammers for him to stop joking around. He takes her hand and says he’s not joking, then warns her that he’s going to kiss her in three seconds, giving her a chance to avoid it.

He counts to three and leans in, but at the last second, Hyang-sook shoves him away, hee. Hwan snaps that he gets it, they’re not meant to be, and storms out of the bank. He keeps his composure until he gets outside, where he whines adorably that that move always works in dramas.

At Jong-hoo’s place, Joo-hyuk won’t let his friends badmouth Hye-won, insisting that the divorce is all his fault. Sang-shik is so beside himself that he wants to feed Joo-hyuk to make sure he eats, and finally Joo-hyuk complies just to stop his friend’s crying.

That night, Woo-jin dreams of her faceless man again. One scene comes in sharp and clear — she’s in high school, and a man grabs her on the bus. The only person who speaks up for her is her faceless man, and his voice sounds disturbingly familiar.

The next day, the bank employees show up for the company marathon, and Hyang-sook looks particularly sour when she learns that Hwan begged off. When Jong-hoo and Joo-hyuk arrive, Jong-hoo tells Woo-jin that Joo-hyuk spent the night sleepless and throwing up.

Woo-jin is worried about him running the marathon after all that, but he assures her that he’s fine. She keeps a sharp eye on Joo-hyuk during the marathon, more worried about him than about Jong-hoo, who’s huffing and wheezing like he might collapse at any second.

While out shopping, Hye-won dodges invitations from her mother then calls Hyun-soo. She asks him to hang out today, but he says he’s got classes all day. He’s actually at his job as a valet, where his buddy grins that he’s almost achieved boyfriend status.

They’re so busy crowing at how the stupid heiress is falling for Hyun-soo’s student act that they don’t see her walk right up behind them. She clearly hears Hyun-soo say that he plans to toy with her for a while and use her for her money before he breaks up with her. Hyun-soo finds himself with a purse upside the head, and Hye-won snarls that he’s a bastard and stomps off before he can say a word.

Hye-won drives off, then pulls over when she’s bombarded by memories of all the times Hyun-soo was sweet to her. She realizes now that it was all part of a plan, so she deletes his number from her phone then calls the department store to make a complaint that he drives customers’ cars without their permission.

Nearing the end of the marathon, Manager Byun grabs Jong-hoo (who looks near death, ha) to pull him to the finish line, despite Jong-hoo’s insistence that he wants to run with Woo-jin. They leave her behind, and she hears another runner say that a man collapsed with a heart attack somewhere behind them. Woo-jin stops, fearing that the collapsed man is Joo-hyuk, and she turns around to run back.

She follows the sound of sirens, and when she gets close enough, the paramedics are already loading the man into an ambulance. All Woo-jin can see is his left arm, and the watch that Joo-hyuk was wearing when she last saw him. She races to the ambulance, calling Joo-hyuk’s name, but ohthankgoodness, it’s not him.

He’s nearby though, and he sees how scared she is and asks if she knows the man. Woo-jin just looks up at him with huge, tear-filled eyes, than hangs her head.

The team go out to eat after the marathon — they didn’t win the grand prize vacation, but the cutie security guard, Min-soo, did come in third. Nobody can eat because of the guilt trip Branch Manager Cha lays on them about how it’s fine they didn’t win, though that vacation sure would have been nice, but it’s totally fine, really. Poor Min-soo even apologizes for only coming in third, awww.

Joo-hyuk watches Woo-jin as she drinks shot after shot of soju until Jong-hoo asks her to slow down. She says quietly that she’s just craving alcohol today, as she takes another drink without looking at anyone.

Joo-hyuk steps out later to call his mom, and he stops to appreciate the full moon on display. He belatedly realizes that Woo-jin is crouched behind him, so he takes her to a park to sober up and asks why she drank so much. She just tells him how she used to fall off the seesaw when she was a kid, and how her heart used to drop whenever it happened.

She asks him to sit on the other side of the seesaw with her, and he does, bouncing too hard until she nearly throws up. Soon she says she feels better, but she can barely walk, so Joo-hyuk uses an abandoned tricycle to push her back to the restaurant. She loves it and urges him to go faster, but ends up falling off. He takes her hand and asks if she’s okay, but she grabs his hand in a death grip and pulls him closer to her.

She finally looks Joo-hyuk in the eye and says, “No. I’m not okay. I’m not okay at all. I know it’s not right, and I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I couldn’t control my feelings from the start. It’s like my heart is malfunctioning. I can’t help but look at you, and I want to be goofy around you. You never felt like a stranger. You make me feel comfortable and safe. I don’t know anything anymore. Conscience? Guilt? I don’t care. One thing I know for sure is that I like you a lot.”

Joo-hyuk listens, then with a look of regret, he tells her that she shouldn’t like him. He tries to stand, but Woo-jin pulls him down and kisses him.

 
COMMENTS

Well, this is just a big old hot mess. Joo-hyuk decided to do the right thing too late, and now Woo-jin is all confused and heartbroken, with feelings she knows she shouldn’t have but can’t help. I don’t think that Joo-hyuk has led her on beyond being kind to her and her mother, but it’s still his fault Woo-jin is in the wrong timeline living the wrong life and feeling things she doesn’t understand. She’ll probably regret confessing and kissing him once she sobers up, but the damage is done.

I really don’t understand Hye-won at all, but one positive thing I will say about her is that at least she’s honest about who she is and what she wants. She’s never mentioned love in regards to Joo-hyuk — she even told Hyun-soo that what she always liked about him was how he always did what she said and focused on her. She doesn’t hide that what she wants from a partner is blind obedience and adoration, and I think she’s always been that way, because even in the original timeline, she broke off any possibility of dating him when Joo-hyuk missed one date (and for a very good reason). I’m not surprised that, even after all these years, Hye-won dumped Joo-hyuk as soon as Joo-hyuk developed a mind of his own, because she’s not exactly someone to give second chances. Complete and total devotion, or get out, that’s all she asks. It’s pretty despicable (who gets a divorce because their husband missed a party to take care of his sick mother?), but as I said, at least Hye-won is clear about what she wants.

And Joo-eun is absolutely right – Joo-hyuk and Hye-won are a terrible match. When this timeline’s Joo-hyuk was married to her, the only reason it worked was because he just obeyed Hye-won without question and never had differing wants or opinions. I can’t understand why Hye-won wants a partner who is just a shell that has no thoughts or desires of his own, but there’s no way that’s sustainable in the long term, not and have both people in the marriage be happy. Joo-hyuk is sad about this, obviously, but I don’t think it’s because he loved Hye-won — he couldn’t possibly, because he knows almost nothing about her. I think it’s because he’s realizing that he threw away a real love and family in the original timeline for an empty life. It would have been empty with Hye-won, and it will be empty now without Hye-won or Woo-jin to love. He’s careening down the same road that the doomsayer probably found himself on, having lost the thing that truly meant something and not even having the fantasy he’d hoped for as a consolation prize. He wanted to save the marriage, not because he really loves Hye-won, but because if he loses it, it means this was all for nothing.

Mostly I just feel so bad for Woo-jin, who has no idea what’s happening or why she’s so miserable. Joo-hyuk at least has the benefit of knowing why it’s all going wrong, even if he’s powerless for now to do anything about it, but Woo-jin is an innocent victim in all this. She can’t deny her feelings for Joo-hyuk, she’s having disturbing dreams that seem to be telling her that she’s living the wrong life, and she doesn’t understand why she’s suddenly so unhappy. I loved the park scene, where having Joo-hyuk on the other side of the seesaw or pushing Woo-jin on the tricycle should have made Woo-jin feel more balanced and stable, but despite his best intentions Joo-hyuk just kept making Woo-jin sick — such a perfect analogy for their marriage.

Mom drawing the tollbooth, along with Woo-jin’s dreams, is making me think that something is trying to tell them that something is terribly wrong in their lives. It’s easy to chalk up Mom’s drawings of a family to wishful thinking and dementia, and Woo-jin’s dreams could be just the dreams of a woman who wants a family. But the tollbooth drawing is too specific to be anything but a sign, and it makes me wonder exactly what Mom knows and how it all ties in to Joo-hyuk’s time travel. Whatever is going on, it’s clear that this timeline is definitely the wrong one, because nobody is happy and everything Joo-hyuk tried to do is going downhill fast. His marriage to Hye-won is over (and was terrible to begin with), Woo-jin is dating a man who doesn’t make her happy and developing feelings for Joo-hyuk, and Joo-hyuk himself is miserable because he can’t do anything to fix it. This is definitely not where they’re meant to be, but I have a feeling that Mom might be the key to figuring it all out.

 
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27 September 7, 2018September 7, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 11

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk seems to have decided on how to go forward now that everything is falling down around his ears. But as far as he’s come in his awareness of how much his actions affect others, he doesn’t seem to have learned much about good decision-making. Luckily for him (and the universe in general), the decisions seem about to be taken out of his hands entirely.

 
EPISODE 11: “Should I say I love you again”

Drunk and upset, Woo-jin tells Joo-hyuk that no matter how hard she’s tried, she can’t help but have feelings for him. Joo-hyuk tells her that she shouldn’t like him and they can’t do this, but she pulls him down and kisses him anyway.

He kisses her back for a few seconds, forgetting himself, but then he stops and says they can’t be together. He runs back to the restaurant, leaving Woo-jin sitting on the ground alone.

The next morning, Jong-hoo proudly presents Joo-hyuk with a fried egg for breakfast, praising his own expertise after ten years of bachelorhood. Joo-hyuk jokes that he’d make a good wife, though when Jong-hoo wonders out loud if he should marry Woo-jin, Joo-hyuk’s smile turns a bit forced.

Joo-hyuk creeps into work looking surreptitiously for Woo-jin, but she startles him when she runs in behind him. They’re both feeling incredibly awkward, but Jong-hoo mistakes Woo-jin’s unhappy expression for a hangover. She doesn’t correct him, but she asks for some time to talk to him after work.

Jong-hoo cheerfully agrees, but in private, he paces and admits to Joo-hyuk that he’s nervous. He tells Joo-hyuk that they only agreed to date for a month and that month is nearly over, and begs Joo-hyuk to reassure him that she’s not planning to break up with him. Joo-hyuk reluctantly but dutifully complies (ten times in a row, hee), but it doesn’t calm Jong-hoo’s frazzled nerves.

Hye-jong and TL Jang watch as a female customer gives Hwan a gift when he’s finished setting up her loan terms. It’s mint chocolate, which he says he doesn’t care for. Hyang-sook says pointedly that she loves mint chocolate, but Hwan ignores her and gives the chocolate to Hye-jong. Hyang-sook makes a cranky face at Hye-jong’s conviction that this must be proof Hwan likes her.

Jong-hoo insists on taking Woo-jin to eat before they talk, then going to an arcade to digest, obviously putting off the Dreaded Conversation. He says he’s hungry again, but Woo-jin’s expression says that it’s time, so he braces himself. He looks desperately hopeful, but Woo-jin says that she can’t see him anymore, honestly admitting that her heart lies elsewhere.

Jong-hoo looks devastated, but he takes the news with a smile and says coolly that it’s not his first breakup. He says he’d like to go back to being friendly colleagues, but he ends up at Sang-shik’s bar, pounding down beers and trying not to cry.

He whines that he thinks Woo-jin likes someone else, making Sang-shik rant that Woo-jin is a cheater, which in turn makes Joo-hyuk choke. Jong-hoo confesses that he always felt uneasy while dating Woo-jin, sensing that he liked her more than she liked him, so he tried to give her even more in the hopes that it would make her like him more.

He asks Joo-hyuk if he tried to hard, and although Joo-hyuk tells him that he did his best, Jong-hoo isn’t consoled. He’s so pathetic that he even cries over the pupae in his soup and the dried squid on his plate, awww.

Sang-shik decides to find Jong-hoo a new lady, and the guys all wind up at a club. The club is full of beautiful women, but all three friends stand awkwardly at their table, despite their insistence that they’re total ladies’ men, ha. Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo want to leave, but Sang-shik tells them to be confident and heads off into the sea of dancing bodies, but Jong-hoo keeps obsessing about how he’s supposed to act normal around Woo-jin at work tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Woo-jin goes for a run with Joo-eun, who can barely keep up. They stop to rest, and Woo-jin sighs that she feels guilty for even starting anything with Jong-hoo, but that she can’t control her heart, even though she feels that it’s steering her onto a difficult course.

Joo-eun tentatively asks if this is because of Joo-hyuk, and she can see from Woo-jin’s expression that she’s guessed correctly . Woo-jin admits that she feels even worse that Joo-hyuk is Jong-hoo’s best friend, because she usually hates love triangles in dramas.

But Joo-eun says that there would be a lot fewer love stories if everyone could control their hearts. Given that the man involved is her brother, Joo-eun tells Woo-jin kindly that she can’t support her, but she won’t criticize her, either.

Jong-hoo shows up in the morning with a smile on his face and a coffee for everyone, and TL Jang jokes that he only brought them all coffee as an excuse to buy Woo-jin her strawberry smoothie. Jong-hoo casually announces that they broke up, but Joo-hyuk watches Jong-hoo closely, not falling for his “I’m totally fine” act.

While on a break, the other employees gossip that Woo-jin must be the one who got dumped, since Jong-hoo seems pretty cheerful. Manager Byun says sagely that this is why he never dates coworkers, and TL Jang chirps that it’s not a matter of doesn’t, but can’t, ha. They leave and Hye-jong asks Hyang-sook if she should accept Hwan’s feelings, but she only gets a baleful glare in answer.

Only Hwan figures out the truth — he confronts Jong-hoo with a blunt, “You got dumped, didn’t you?” He says it’s obvious with the way Jong-hoo is on his phone looking for new classes or activities to keep himself busy, but Jong-hoo swears that the breakup was mutual.

Woo-jin takes her break on the roof, getting some fresh air, and Joo-hyuk follows her up there. He asks her to give Jong-hoo another chance, and not to be bothered by what happened between them, because everyone makes mistakes. Woo-jin says that it wasn’t a mistake, but that she’s not expecting anything from Joo-hyuk because he’s been through a lot lately, and she knows he’s close with Jong-hoo.

She says she just doesn’t want him to force anything, or to feel uncomfortable around her. She gives him permission to pretend the kiss didn’t happen, and consider it a drunken mistake if it makes him feel better.

They don’t notice Jong-hoo standing nearby, listening to every word as his heart breaks.

While at a gas station, Hye-won spots Hyun-soo and guesses that this is the only job he could find after being fired as a valet. He’s being falsely accused of scratching a haughty woman’s car while washing it (she’s hoping to get compensation money from his employer), and when she insults his parents, he loses his temper and talks back.

The woman starts shoving him, but Hye-won walks up and throws some money at the woman. She tells Hyun-soo that the car is paid for now, so he can smash it if he likes, and she even whacks the side mirror with her purse a few times. Hyun-soo joins in and kicks the mirror clean off the car.

Hye-won informs the woman that rich people use their money to protect their pride instead of hurting their pride for money, like she was doing. Hyun-soo grins, but she turns to him and tells him not to let anyone like this woman look down on him. She heads to her car without looking back, leaving him gaping appreciatively.

After work, Joo-hyuk invites Jong-hoo to have dinner. Jong-hoo won’t look at him or speak to him, and when Joo-hyuk wheedles him to talk about what’s wrong, he hauls off and punches Joo-hyuk in the face. He asks how he could do this to him, saying that you can’t control your feelings, but Joo-hyuk should have at least told him himself.

He accuses Joo-hyuk of getting a thrill from telling him that Woo-jin liked him, but Joo-hyuk insists that it’s not like that. He almost tells Jong-hoo the truth but stops himself, and Jong-hoo snarls that he’s a jerk and kicks him out of his apartment. Joo-hyuk packs hurriedly, telling Jong-hoo that it’s really not what he thinks, but Jong-hoo refuses to acknowledge him.

Joo-hyuk wheels his suitcase into the hall, where it bursts open, dumping his belongings everywhere. He sits to dejectedly pack it all up again, and only a few moments later, Jong-hoo comes out to help. He says angrily that this doesn’t mean he forgives Joo-hyuk, but he still can’t kick him out when he has nowhere to go.

He tells Joo-hyuk to consider the discomfort he’ll feel while staying with him as punishment, and carries his busted suitcase back inside. Joo-hyuk spends that night on the floor, neither he nor Jong-hoo getting any sleep, and in the morning, there’s no fancy fried egg for him for breakfast.

At work, Jong-hoo does the bare minimum when it comes to interacting with Joo-hyuk, refusing to look at or speak to him, so Hwan asks Joo-hyuk if they had a fight. Hwan also volunteers to take lunch with Woo-jin when both Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo decline, and while they’re out, he asks her if she and Jong-hoo are feeling awkward.

He accurately guesses that Woo-jin did the dumping, because the one who did the breaking up usually feels worse. He complains that the bank’s at fault for putting attractive people together for long hours until they develop feelings. He laments that he never would have fallen for someone if he’d met her somewhere else, then backpedals and says he’s just ranting.

Things are definitely awkward, with Joo-hyuk obviously dodging eye contact with Woo-jin, and Jong-hoo practically twisting himself into a pretzel to avoid going near her. She volunteers to take on a huge organizing project, and although TL Jang tries to guilt-trip someone into helping her, nobody steps up.

But Woo-jin enjoys the solitary work, so much that when TL Jang sends Hye-jong and Hyang-sook to help, she begs them to let her finish it alone. TL Jang doesn’t believe them and sends them back to their desks, where Hwan asks them to help pass out flyers.

He makes a show of only speaking to Hye-jong, reinforcing her conviction that he’s got the hots for her. She decides to go for it and asks Hwan to the movies, and she preens when he accepts while Hyang-sook just gets more and more upset.

After class, Hye-won finds Hyun-soo waiting to talk to her. She says that she’s not interested in talking to him, but he gives her some money and promises to pay her the same amount every month until he’s paid back what she gave him (including the money she spent so he could kick the car’s mirror off). He just says that he hates living like a fraud because he gets treated like a fraud, then leaves.

Sang-shik calls Jong-hoo to the bar to feed him samgyetang (I love that his love language is food), which he tells Jong-hoo that he slaved over for two hours until Joo-eun tattles that he bought it, ha. He also called Joo-hyuk over in an attempt to get the two friends to talk, but when Joo-hyuk arrives, Jong-hoo suddenly leaves.

Joo-hyuk also leaves, and Joo-eun sighs that “it finally happened.” Sang-shik whines until she makes him promise not to freak out if she tells him what she means. A few seconds later, Sang-shik runs at Joo-hyuk and drops him with a flying leap-kick, calling him a bastard for stealing his friend’s girlfriend. He says they’re no longer friends and forbids Joo-hyuk from coming to the bar ever again.

After their movie, Hwan tries to pay Hye-jong for his ticket, but she tells him that this is what it’s like to date an older woman. He’s confused, but she just apologizes for playing dumb and says she wants to try dating him.

Hwan is all What now?, and he tells Hye-jong that he likes someone else. They both feel super awkward, but Hye-jong asks if Hwan will keep being nice to her for a while to save her from embarrassment in front of someone she bragged to.

Sang-shik goes back to the bar to drink, but Joo-eun tells him that he has no right to be more upset than the people directly involved. He snaps at her to leave him alone so he can process things, which just gets him locked out in the cold, heh.

Even though it’s late, Joo-hyuk calls someone at the main office to ask if he can be transferred to a bank branch outside of Seoul. She says she can do it and asks for a little time to make some calls. Jong-hoo overhears Joo-hyuk’s plan to move out of the city, but he doesn’t say anything.

In the morning, Joo-hyuk waits for Hye-won outside their house. He tells her that he just wanted to see her face, and apologizes for making her unhappy before leaving again.

Hye-jong pointedly greets Hwan when he arrives at work, and winks at him until he asks if she got home okay last night. Hyang-sook asks her if they’re going to keep dating, and Hye-jong fibs that she’s not that into him, but she’ll see.

During a meeting, Joo-hyuk is given a choice of which coworker to help him teach a finance class for small business owners. He chooses Woo-jin, surprising her and Jong-hoo.

Afterward, TL Jang finds Manager Byun in the hallway looking upset. He says that it’s his daughter’s birthday, and he’s been trying to call her, but his ex-wife has blocked his number. TL Jang asks for his ex’s number and calls her, pretending to be calling from an airline.

She says her daughter won a contest and they need to speak to her to confirm her identity, and when she comes to the phone, TL Jang hands it off to Manager Byun. Awww, he’s so adorably over-the-moon to hear his daughter’s voice.

TL Jang slips away, and soon Manager Byun returns her phone with an achingly sincere thanks. She jokes that he’d better not fall for her again and sails off, leaving Manager Byun to mutter, “It’s not ‘again’ — it’s the first time, woman.”

Joo-hyuk’s small business class goes well, and he tells Woo-jin that these classes result in loyal customers. He offers to take her to eat, and they go to a nearby market, where they graze on the varied foods offered by the vendors and sneak cute little peeks at each other.

Manager Byun invites TL Jang to dinner after work, his treat, to thank her for doing him such a huge favor. Jong-hoo leaves with barely a word to anyone, and Hye-jong is still acting flirtatious with Hwan. Hyang-sook has enough and stomps off, texting Hwan to meet her in the break room.

He finds her cranky and snappish, and she demands to know how he can hit on Hye-jong so soon after confessing to her. Hwan asks why she’s so mad, when she rejected him. She blurts out, “Because I like you!”

Backing up a little, Hyang-sook explains that she wasn’t sure at first, but seeing him with Hye-jong upset her. Hwan grins widely, looking tickled pink that she was so irritated. He says he wants to try that whole three seconds thing again, and that she can shove him away if she wants.

Hyang-sook doesn’t say anything, so Hwan slowly counts one… two… and she closes her eyes. But he waits until she opens them again before going in for the kiss, and this time, she doesn’t push him. Hwan ends the kiss and they smile at each other, then Hyang-sook throws her arms around his neck, and they don’t come up for air for quite some time.

Joo-hyuk drives Woo-jin home as she complains that she lost control and ate way too much. He says she was always like that, but he just smiles when she asks how he knows. Feeling impulsive, he decides to take Woo-jin for a walk through his old college campus, recalling their past in the original timeline when she says it feels familiar.

Hye-jong asks if Joo-hyuk was always in the library when he was in school, but he says he also had several part-time jobs. He watches her closely when he mentions tutoring, seeming pleased when she says she can picture him as a handsome tutor. Woo-jin starts to say something serious, but Joo-hyuk cuts her off and asks if they can just walk together and enjoy the atmosphere.

She gets a call from a coworker at the main office, who happens to be the same woman Joo-hyuk asked about a transfer. The woman asks Woo-jin if something happened at their branch, since a lot of people would be upset if Joo-hyuk left. After she hangs up, Woo-jin asks Joo-hyuk if he requested a transfer because of her, and he can’t deny it, though it’s not for the reason she thinks.

That night, Woo-jin again dreams of her faceless man. But this time she sees Joo-hyuk in all the scenes, which go all the way to the present, ending with her screaming and throwing things at him.

Woo-jin wakes, shaken to the core, so she texts Joo-hyuk and asks him to meet her downstairs. She’s jumpy as she tells him about her recurring dream about a man whom she dates, marries, and has children with, and how the dream always ends with her furious at him. She says she’s always wondered who the man is, and that tonight, she saw Joo-hyuk’s face.

Joo-hyuk grows nervous and tears fill his eyes as Woo-jin asks, “What is this? Is it just a coincidence? Is it just a dream? Do you know? There are other things that bother me, too. You knew where I live, you knew my habits, and things kept bothering me. The way my mom treats you, and calls you her son-in-law, all of it is weird. Nothing makes sense.”

He calls her “Woo-jin-ah,” but she tells him not to call her that, because it confuses her and makes her feel sad. She begs him to tell her what’s happening, and Joo-hyuk tells her, “We were married, Woo-jin-ah. You and I were married.”

 
COMMENTS

I wasn’t expecting Joo-hyuk to tell Woo-jin the truth, not yet. I didn’t think he would ever tell her about the other timeline, and I’m not sure how he’s going to explain this, but I like the direction this is going. Joo-hyuk spent this episode looking like he was giving up, preparing to leave the city and live somewhere else alone, and while he seemed to accept his fate with grace, it’s not the right decision. Transferring to another bank and leaving would just be a cop-out, leaving everyone to deal with the consequences of his bad choice without trying to fix anything. But now that Joo-hyuk has been forced to tell Woo-jin (at least part of) the truth, he’s going to have to do something about it. Hopefully this is the first step towards him making things right with everyone.

Woo-jin has come under some hostile fire for confessing to and kissing Joo-hyuk, but I honestly think that what she did wasn’t that bad. I’ll agree that her timing was terrible, because the ink was barely dry on his divorce papers, but she did wait until he was a divorced man. While Joo-hyuk was married, Woo-jin kept her feelings to herself and even tried to forget about him by dating a guy who seemed perfect for her, but after thinking that Joo-hyuk had died during the marathon, I don’t blame her for blurting out her feelings, especially as drunk as she was. Woo-jin’s confession came at a bad time and under irresponsible circumstances, but I don’t think she did anything morally wrong — Joo-hyuk was single and she was only in a “contract” relationship that wasn’t working out (and she hadn’t even kissed Jong-hoo), so both of them were pretty free in that moment.

Poor Jong-hoo, I have felt bad for him for weeks now, but this episode just broke my heart. He’s such a sweet guy, and he genuinely liked Woo-jin (though I wonder how much of her allure was her emotional unavailability), and her breaking up with him was so hard on him. And that was before he found out about Joo-hyuk’s involvement. He’s been nothing but supportive to Joo-hyuk through his divorce, and he just felt so betrayed. We know that Joo-hyuk did everything he could to encourage Woo-jin towards Jong-hoo, but all Jong-hoo knows is that Joo-hyuk told him not to date her, only grudgingly accepted their relationship, then kissed her and caused her to break up with him. From his perspective, it looks like deliberate betrayal.

But the moment that genuinely made me cry was when Jong-hoo told Joo-hyuk that he wasn’t kicking him out, because it showed what a truly good man he is, and a truly good friend. I haven’t thought much about what Jong-hoo lost when Joo-hyuk made the changes to the timeline, but the truth is that Jong-hoo lost as much as Joo-hyuk did — a wife and two children — the only difference is that Jong-hoo doesn’t know it. But that doesn’t make his loss any less tragic, and I hope that Joo-hyuk acknowledges at some point that Jong-hoo is miserable and heartsick right now because of him (and not because of Woo-jin breaking up with him). The ripples of his decision affect more than just himself and Woo-jin, and putting things right means a lot more to a lot of people than just getting back the wife he belatedly realizes he loves.

All that aside, I love that Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin were finally able to be together for a little while, without a lot of baggage and heavy emotions between them. I liked the appreciative little glances he and Woo-jin shot at each other in the market, just enjoying each other’s company in a relaxed setting with no reason to feel guilty hanging over their heads. Joo-hyuk may have completely screwed up this second chance in amazingly varied ways, and Woo-jin has made a few mistakes herself, but the cosmic truth is that these two are meant to be together. They’re not perfect, in either timeline, but they’re perfect for each other. They both have a lot of making up to do to a lot of people in this timeline, then a lot more work when (I hope) Joo-hyuk returns to his original timeline and has to make Woo-jin fall for him again despite the years of neglect and pain between them. But I’m ready to see them start to mend from their hurts, in both timelines, and become a family again.

 
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17 September 9, 2018September 8, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 12

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk is a very lucky man to have people who love him enough to tell him when he’s being an idiot, because he is really being an idiot. There’s something to be said for manning up enough to admit when you’ve made mistakes and being willing to accept the consequences. But that can also become a crutch when used to avoid having to actually do the work to make things right again, proving that Joo-hyuk still has a lot to learn about making amends.

EPISODE 12: “The second confession”

When Woo-jin shows up in the middle of the night, distraught at seeing Joo-hyuk in her dreams and confused by the way he’s always known things about her, Joo-hyuk finally tells her the truth – they were married in an alternate timeline. She stares at him, disbelieving, and he admits that he hardly believed it himself even while going through it.

He tells her how they met, fell in love, and got married, and how she changed into a scary person over time. He confesses that he resented her, selfishly unaware that he was the reason she’d changed. Then one day he had the chance to go back to the day they met, but this time he ignored her, and when he came back to the present he was married to Hye-won.

Woo-jin accuses him of watching too many fantasy movies, and says that if he’s not comfortable with her feelings for him, he should just be honest. He just whispers that it’s true, and she leaves without another word.

When she gets home, Woo-jin finds her mother awake, drawing pictures again. Woo-jin asks her, “Have you always known? Is that why you called him Cha Son-in-Law?” Mom just looks at her blankly, but then her eyes clear and she tells Woo-jin not to hate Joo-hyuk, because he did a lot of good things for them, too. She says she feels sorry for them and their terrible fate, then goes back to bed.

Woo-jin looks at the picture Mom was drawing, recognizing herself and Joo-hyuk in what looks like wedding clothes. She remembers Joo-hyuk’s frightened response to meeting her for the first time (in this timeline), and how he’s always known things like that she doesn’t drink coffee, and that only one obscure fever reducer works on her. With mom’s reaction to him from the very first, Woo-jin can no longer deny that Joo-hyuk’s incredible story must be true.

She calls in sick to work the next day, and spends the morning in the park. She tried to wheedle Mom into telling her more about Joo-hyuk, but Mom is cranky and will only say that Woo-jin needs to go soon because “they” are waiting. Woo-jin passes Mom off to her carer and rushes off, looking worried.

Joo-hyuk tries to act unaffected by Woo-jin’s absence at work, but he makes so many careless mistakes that even Hwan asks what’s wrong with him. Eventually he asks Manager Byun if he can go take care of something urgent, and when he gets stuck in traffic, he parks his car and starts running. He finally sees Woo-jin right across the street trying to hail a taxi, and they both freeze.

They end up in a coffee shop, and Woo-jin tells Joo-hyuk that she’s confused, but she keeps having those dreams and her mother acts like she knows him. She says that she felt like she knew him as soon as they met, and felt as though he knew her too well. Most importantly, she says that there’s no way he could know about the incident on the bus unless he was there.

She admits that his explanation makes sense, and explains why she feels the way she does. She asks tearfully why he threw her away, and Joo-hyuk says that he was scared of the way she was changing and the thought that he’d have to live with that forever. He confesses that he didn’t know it was all his fault, starting to cry himself as he says that if he’d been more considerate and listened to her more, she’d be healthy like she is now.

He says that he was selfish and ruined it all, and made a foolish choice. He gets on his knees in front of Woo-jin and sobs heartbreakingly that it’s too late, but he’s so sorry. Woo-jin gets up and starts to walk out, but she goes back and says that it may not be all his fault, because no relationship is one-way, but she’s not the same Woo-jin he abandoned.

She says in a strong voice that she’s not that weak, and when she faces hardship, she endures it. She says that she’ll give him one chance to make this right and put everything back the way it belongs, and that if he’s sorry, to pay for it throughout his life, by her side.

Back at the bank, Jong-hoo finds Joo-hyuk sitting on the steps outside, looking dejected. He tells Joo-hyuk to man up and take his criticism, and to stop caring about others so much. Joo-hyuk starts to cry again and leans on Jong-hoo’s shoulder, and Jong-hoo allows it, though he says he can’t give Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin his blessing.

Sang-shik is still pouting about Joo-hyuk, but when Joo-eun asks why he keeps asking about him, Sang-shik insists that he doesn’t care one bit. He snaps at Joo-eun no to even mention him, but she deadpans that he brought up Joo-hyuk first, ha. She reveals that Joo-hyuk seems worried about Sang-shik and even called her to make sure he’s not drinking too much, which makes Sang-shik cry and blame it on the sardines.

Joo-hyuk thinks about Woo-jin telling him to make things right, and Jong-hoo saying to live as he likes, and he thinks that it would be too selfish and shameless of him. But then he wonders if he could do it, if he could be greedy just one more time. He runs all the way to Woo-jin’s house and breathlessly asks her what she’s doing this weekend.

Somewhere under the city, the doomsayer sees a newspaper article about a star that’s turning into a black hole. Almost as if compelled, he starts rapid-fire ranting about a time wormhole caused by the black hole, and singing a strange song about the moon.

Traffic is bad as Joo-hyuk drives to pick up Woo-jin due to an accident, so he takes an alternate route to her house. When he sees her all dolled up, he tells her she looks pretty, and she teasingly asks why he dumped her before if she’s so pretty. Instead of addressing him familiarly, she asks what she called him in the old timeline — he says she called him “Ssaem” (Teacher), until they got married, then she just called him “hey.”

Joo-hyuk takes Woo-jin to the beach, where they went on their first date. She asks what they did there, and he says they just looked at the sea and ate nice food. Woo-jin notes that it’s strange how he remembers everything when she doesn’t, then decides that they can just make new memories together.

She jokes that she just hopes they didn’t chase each other around the beach, which would be too cliche, and Joo-hyuk looks guilty and accuses, “It was your idea!” LOL. He teases her until she chases him this time too, until a call from Manager Byun wipes the smiles from both their faces.

Joo-hyuk runs to meet with Manager Byun and Branch Manager Cha, who tell him to call Hye-won’s father. It seems that the business owner whose loan Chairman Lee pushed for has now filed for bankruptcy just a week after getting his huge loan.

Chairman Lee wails that he was betrayed too, because he also lent the man a lot of money, and that even yesterday he didn’t notice anything strange with the man. He says he can’t reach the man, and he feels bad because the damage to both companies will be massive.

On Monday morning, Branch Manager Cha is called to headquarters to explain why he lent so much money to a customer without doing a due diligence inspection on his company. Jong-hoo says that he heard the man took out a lot of loans all over the place, meaning this was planned in advance. The team is worried that Branch Manager Cha may be fired or their branch even shut down, and only Woo-jin notices that Joo-hyuk is being particularly quiet.

Branch Manager Cha returns looking dejected, and he tells Joo-hyuk in private that he admitted cutting corners, but headquarters also suspects that he got a bribe for approving the loan. They don’t believe his denials, so he’s convinced he’ll be fired. Joo-hyuk looks helpless while Branch Manager Cha tells his wife over the phone that everything is fine, then hangs up and starts to sob.

On the roof later, Joo-hyuk tells Woo-jin that he feels responsible for introducing the scammer to Branch Manager Cha and not insisting on an inspection. Woo-jin tells him that the blame falls on the scammer, and that he and Branch Manager Cha were just unlucky to be chosen as his victims. She adds that the more you try to avoid misfortune, the more the universe pushes you towards it, so sometimes you just have to accept it.

Jg brings Joo-hyuk some documents he found on the scammer’s so-called company. He noticed that the seal on their certificate doesn’t match the one on their meeting notes, which means the papers must all be faked. Joo-hyuk looks through them and finds mention of Jason Lee… Hye-won’s father.

We see Chairman Lee calling someone about money he wired, and telling them to stay in Hong Kong for a while because this won’t blow over as easily as he thought. He hangs up and turns to see Joo-hyuk standing in his office doorway — he’s busted.

Chairman Lee explains that his original plan was to establish a corporation, and that he intended to return the money once he secured the deal, only it was canceled. He asks if Joo-hyuk can just look the other way and makes veiled threats about what might happen to Joo-hyuk if he reveals Chairman Lee’s involvement, since people will assume Joo-hyuk knew the truth, too.

Joo-hyuk goes back to Jong-hoo’s place and says that he’ll tell his friend everything later. He sits up all night, and when Jong-hoo wakes in the morning, Joo-hyuk is already gone. He goes to the bank headquarters and tells them the entire story, but they’re skeptical that he was ignorant of the scam, so they confiscate everything from his bank branch for an investigation.

Branch Manager Cha gets a call from headquarters, and he tells everyone that Chairman Lee’s company was behind this whole thing. They all guess that Joo-hyuk is under suspicion since they’re taking all of his documents, and they can’t deny that his family connection to Chairman Lee looks bad.

But they agree that they know Joo-hyuk better than to believe he’s guilty, especially since he voluntarily admitted his fault in the debacle. They decide to spread the word about what a good, honest employee Joo-hyuk is, so they use the company website to post anything positive they can about him and demand he not be fired.

Joo-hyuk is still being grilled about what he knows when Manager Byun and Jong-hoo arrive at headquarters with documents proving that the paper company’s seal was fake. Almost as soon as he’s released, he’s contacted by a prosecutor who’s already on the case, wanting to retain him as a witness.

Sang-shik and Joo-eun field simultaneous calls from Joo-hyuk’s parents, who are worried that he’s going to be fired and go to jail. They reassure his parents that Joo-hyuk is only a witness and will be just fine.

The bank employees get nothing done during the disciplinary meeting, too worried to work, and they all freeze when Branch Manager Cha’s phone rings. They wait anxiously while he hears the verdict — he’s getting a three-month pay cut, but Joo-hyuk has been fired. The team is devastated, and Branch Manager Cha feels guilty that he couldn’t save Joo-hyuk’s job.

Woo-jin’s mom drags her carer to a convenience store for gum, where she runs into the doomsayer. They stare at each other silently for a long time, both of their expressions suddenly lucid, then smile and nod to each other like old friends. When they turn away, confusion clouds their eyes again.

Joo-hyuk learns that he’s fired, so he goes to the subway station to talk to the doomsayer. He brings soju and snacks, and tells the doomsayer that he won’t be visiting him anymore. He says that he’s learned he’s an unlucky person who makes everyone in his life unhappy, and he wonders if this is happening because he dared to be greedy again.

The doomsayer shows him the article about the black hole and tells him that he still has a chance to make everything right. But Joo-hyuk says that he doesn’t want to become even more shameless, and besides, he’s too scared.

The doomsayer grumbles that Joo-hyuk was desperate to go back before, and asks if he’ll regret this. Joo-hyuk asks if the doomsayer regrets making the same decision. The doomsayer just looks at him, then they both laugh wryly.

When they can’t find Joo-hyuk, Jong-hoo and Joo-eun call everyone they can think of, but nobody knows where he is. Sang-shik starts to sob pitifully, and Joo-eun reminds him that he swore he’d never see Joo-hyuk again anyway, ha. Sang-shik is scared Joo-hyuk might do something to himself, and they wonder if they should call the police.

Woo-jin calls Joo-hyuk over and over, while she runs around looking for him everywhere. He’s currently sitting on the beach looking out over the ocean, ignoring his calls, but he listens to Woo-jin’s frantic voicemail.

Woo-jin finds Mom still awake when she finally gives up and goes home. She tells Mom that she has to go somewhere and asks her to allow it this one time, and Mom says that she knows Woo-jin has to go. Mom tells Woo-jin to take something that she needs more than Mom does, and gives her a 2006 coin. Wait, does this mean… ?

Mom tells Woo-jin that everyone has a moment they want to turn back, even if they don’t know how it will turn out, but chances to actually do it don’t come often. Woo-jin asks if Mom had a moment like that, but Mom just tells her that there’s not much time and shoves her towards the door.

After Woo-jin goes, Mom talks to her picture of her husband: “Honey, I did a good job, didn’t I? If I had been a little faster, I would have been able to save you, then. Woo-jin is faster and smarter than me, so she’ll be able to change it as she wants, right?” Oh no, now I’m sobbing. Poor Mom.

Woo-jin speeds to the beach, where she finds Joo-hyuk about to walk into the water. She grabs him, screaming that he’s crazy to try and kill himself, but he finally makes her listen and says he’s not planning to die. She screams at him again for making her so scared, and her screams have him backing away, saying that he got her in trouble again.

Woo-jin tells him firmly that it’s no big deal that he got fired, and that things might be hard now, but he’s got her. Joo-hyuk says that he can’t keep making her suffer because of him and tells her to leave. He says that she shines the brightest when he’s not with her, and he knows now that he was a shadow of bad luck to her.

He says he’s sorry, and that they should stop here. But Woo-jin refuses to accept that, saying that she wouldn’t have come here if she were planning to leave him. She tries to drag Joo-hyuk back up the beach by the wrist, but he just keeps telling her to go.

Finally Woo-jin says that she’ll go if he wants — she’ll go back in time and change the past back in their favor. She repeats Mom’s words that chances don’t come often, then turns and runs back to her car, leaving Joo-hyuk standing alone.

Joo-hyuk looks up at the moon, which is turning red, and realizes that time has caught up to the day he went back in time. Scared, he runs after Woo-jin.

Woo-jin drives under the full moon, determined to fix everything herself if she has to. She finds the billboard that urges its readers to change their lives, and continuing on, she eventually comes to the mysterious tollbooth. She tosses Mom’s 2006 coin into the basket, and the arm raises, allowing her through.

Behind her, Joo-hyuk races to catch up. He just barely manages to slip through before the arm comes back down, and he pulls alongside Woo-jin as she speeds up the road. But she’s set on her course, and she keeps accelerating until finally, both cars disappear.

Joo-hyuk wakes up in his college apartment with Joo-eun pounding on the door to be let in. A quick glance at the calendar shows that he’s back in June, 2006 for the third time.

Across town, Woo-jin wakes on the couch in the living room. She also stares at the calendar in shock, as a younger Mom tells her not to be late to school. She grins widely — she did it.

COMMENTS

YES, go Woo-jin! I have goosebumps, that was so awesome. Trust her to just go for it, because she knows what she wants and she’s not going to let some mopey guy decide the course of her life. I didn’t think I would have ever said this when this drama first started, but I freaking love Woo-jin. She’s so strong and determined, and I love how she refuses to let Joo-hyuk make unilateral decisions that affect her life and insists on making her own choices. In fact, it’s exactly this quality that caused her to become so loud and angry in the original timeline — she refused to admit that she needed to lean on Joo-hyuk, but she also refused to stop saying what made her so angry. The problem was that she channeled that energy in a negative way, but in this timeline she’s using it to keep him from making the idiotic decision to give up on their fate to be together.

This episode is the first time that my heart has really gone out to Joo-hyuk, particularly when he was asking himself if he has the right to be greedy just one more time. Yes, he made a stupid decision, based on the self-centered impression that Woo-jin’s personality change had nothing to do with him, but he’s suffered so much because of it that to me, it’s beginning to feel like a little unfair. He’s lost absolutely everything — his home, his job, his family, and his love — because of one stupid, impulsive decision that he didn’t even think would work, and he’s regretted it almost since the moment he did it. He’s at his lowest point, and he’s being given another chance… even if he feels he doesn’t deserve it, I think he owes it to the people who love him to at least try to make things right. The doomsayer is proof that going off to just suffer alone doesn’t do anything to fix the problem, and is just a cowardly way of getting out of facing the really hard stuff.

This show has done such a good job with Woo-jin’s mother and her role in everything that’s happened (and Lee Jung-eun is just knocking it clean out of the park, she’s wonderful). With her dementia, it’s been so hard to know if her recognizing Joo-hyuk was just a convenient coincidence, or if her illness somehow allowed to her remember things from the original timeline. I got goosebumps all over when she told Woo-jin, in a completely sane voice, not to hate Joo-hyuk… that’s when I knew that Mom knows something. And her moment of clarity with the doomsayer cemented it, that there’s something cosmic going on, and that both of them have parts to play.

Mom’s dementia makes it difficult for her to express what she knows, or to be taken seriously, but I’m floored to realize that she’s known all along that they were in the wrong timeline. And thank goodness, because her knowledge gave Woo-jin a reason to believe Joo-hyuk’s story. But I wasn’t expecting that Mom once had the same chance to change fate but failed, and it makes sense now how Woo-jin said that Mom started to change right after her father died. If she tried to go back to save him and couldn’t, then I imagine she retreated into her own mind out of grief and loss, to a place of innocence where she didn’t have to feel her guilt. And it also makes sense why she can be suddenly very clear and lucid when she needs to be, because her dementia is more of a choice than anything else. And Mom is another lesson in not giving up — the fact that she even has another coin shows that she could have tried a second time, but didn’t, out of fear.

But I was NOT expecting Woo-jin to take the reins in getting them back to the right timeline! I lovelovelove this twist, because Woo-jin is also partly responsible for her and Joo-hyuk’s marriage decline by not talking to him and letting herself grow shrill and angry. So it makes complete sense that she should help put things right, and as spunky as she is, it wouldn’t have been in line with her character to just sit back and do nothing once she knew the truth. I also wasn’t expecting Joo-hyuk to go back with her, and I’m excited for next week to see what sort of ridiculousness they get up to, with Woo-jin trying to change things back and Joo-hyuk trying to sabotage her efforts. He had no chance against her dogged determination the first time around, so what makes him think he can deter her now that she has full knowledge of what’s happening? I don’t know about you guys, but my money is on the lady with the, uh… will of steel.

 
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27 September 13, 2018September 13, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 13

by LollyPip

This is the episode I’ve been waiting for since the drama began! Woo-jin takes her life and her future into her own hands, and I love her complete disregard for the continuity of the timeline as she fights to keep her man and save her marriage. Nothing matters but their future together — until some unexpected results of Woo-jin’s time travel make it impossible for her to change her own life without condemning others to a lifetime of unhappiness.

 
EPISODE 13: “Reset”

When Joo-hyuk refuses to put things back the way they were, Woo-jin decides to take matters into her own hands. She uses the coin she got from her mother in the mysterious tollbooth, and when Joo-hyuk tries to stop her, they’re both sucked back to June, 2006.

Joo-hyuk wakes up to the now-familiar sound of Joo-eun banging on his apartment door, while Woo-jin also finds herself in her teenage body, Mom nagging her not to be late to school. The first thing she does is ask Mom where her dad is, and Mom says that he had a work trip pop up suddenly, which means he’s missing his physical yet again.

Woo-jin insists that Dad has to have that physical today no matter what, and she runs to the airport to stop him from getting on his plane. When she sees her father alive, she flings herself into his arms and sobs tearfully that he can’t leave without getting that physical. She’s so earnest that he postpones his departure and calls his boss.

While he’s on the phone, Woo-jin sees a man nearby, begging his girlfriend not to leave. Awww, it’s Jong-hoo, and Woo-jin listens surreptitiously as he apologizes for not calling his girl for two months after they broke up. She doesn’t accept his apology and starts to walk off, so Woo-jin accidentally-on-purpose runs into her suitcase.

As she’s helping the woman pick up her things, she frantically blinks at Jong-hoo, who picks up what she’s putting down and gets on his knees. He blurts out, “Let’s get married!” and turns on the big sad puppydog eyes, and Woo-jin smiles when his girl gives him a solid “maybe,” which he takes as a yes.

Joo-hyuk, meanwhile, hides in bed, scared to go to class in case Woo-jin comes looking for him, telling himself that he just has to avoid her today. He’s right about Woo-jin, who realizes that Joo-hyuk won’t take that bus since he knows she’s here and decides to go to him. Luckily, he conveniently showed her where he went to college, and she giggles at the outdated fashions as she strolls through the campus looking for him.

She runs across Sang-shik, who has no clue who she is, but he tells her that “Joo-hyuk oppa” cut class today. He’s reluctant to show her where they live, but she talks him into it, and as they walk she tells him that he’ll grow into his old-looking face, HA.

Unfortunately, they run into Hye-won, who’s also looking for Joo-hyuk. Woo-jin looks her up and down and grumbles that she’s not all that, and thankfully, Hye-won doesn’t follow them to the apartment.

Sang-shik calls Joo-hyuk to warn him that he’s with a pretty girl who’s been looking for him. Joo-hyuk tells him not to bring her to the apartment, but it’s too late, so he runs off, leaving Joo-eun to explain. Woo-jin takes off after Joo-hyuk, and she catches up when he stops to rest, but he just takes off running again when he sees her. LOL, this is hilarious.

Joo-hyuk tries to escape in a taxi, but Woo-jin shoves in after him and tells the driver to go, trapping Joo-hyuk in with her. She cheekily calls him “Ssaem” and agrees with his arguments that they’ll regret this, but she refuses to avoid him just because she’s scared.

She says that she wants to continue their original path, promising that she’ll be different this time. Joo-hyuk urges her to reconsider, because he’s not someone who can make her or anyone else happy. He jumps out of the taxi when it stops for a light, and Woo-jin gets out to chase him again.

But Joo-hyuk sees a scooter heading right for her, and he turns back to shove her out of its path. They fall to the ground together, knocking them both unconscious.

Woo-jin wakes up back in August, 2018, at her mother’s house. But something is different… Mom looks freaking fantastic, and she tells Woo-jin that she’s about to leave for a meeting. Whoa. Woo-jin is over the moon to see that her mother is of perfectly sound mind, but sadly, she also learns that her father passed away three years ago.

But Mom seems perfectly at peace with this, saying that she’s comforted by the fact that Dad died gently in his sleep. Still, she gets teary-eyed as she says she wishes he’d lived to see Woo-jin married.

Mom dons a pair of unneeded glasses, bragging that they’re part of her “sales queen” image. Woo-jin asks what she means, and Mom laughs that Woo-jin is responsible for half of her success selling home appliances. Woo-jin is scared Mom is involved in a pyramid scheme, but mom pops her in the mouth and says it’s a legit business, whew.

In this timeline, Woo-jin still works for the bank’s headquarters, and she invites her old boss, Team Leader Yang, to have a talk. She mentions that she’s been wanting to work at a local branch bank, and that she’s heard that the bank near her home is a particularly nice place to work.

She asks if Cha Joo-hyuk still works there, and Team Leader Yang says that he’s taking some time off work right now, though she’s not sure why. Apparently nobody knows why, and his absence has the whole team moping around the bank, worried since Joo-hyuk won’t even contact them except to say that he’s alive.

They all frown at Jong-hoo, who seems terribly upset over Joo-hyuk until his twins call and he coos happily to them. Then he completely changes mood again when Sang-shik calls him, worried for Joo-hyuk all over again.

Sang-shik and Joo-eun are together in this timeline too, but only dating, and instead of owning a bar, they run a food truck (Common Sense Food Truck, ha). Joo-eun complains that her mom is driving her crazy talking about shamans and talismans for Joo-hyuk, so that she can’t even talk to her mother about her own life. Sang-shik says that Joo-hyuk has been like this since college, disappearing for weeks at a time then popping back up like nothing happened.

Joo-hyuk is currently sacked out on a bench in the middle of a remote field, and he wakes up looking like nine miles of bad road. He’d already woken up earlier in the night and been surprised to find himself sleeping in a tent, and had found multiple messages on his phone from everyone, asking him to let them know he’s alright.

That evening, Woo-jin goes to what used to be Sang-shik and Joo-eun’s bar, only to find that they don’t own it in this timeline. She heads home, and when she sees Mom on the way, she mischievously sneaks up behind her and scares ten years off her life. They head home arm in arm, teasing and laughing.

Joo-hyuk spends his day walking, and when he stops for the night, he listens to his messages. There are voicemails from Joo-eun and Jong-hoo begging him to come home, but he just lies down in his sleeping bag without calling them back.

Once he gets back to town, however, he shows up at the bank ready to resume his job. They’re all happy to see him, and Jong-hoo even greets him with a tearful hug. Joo-hyuk smiles to see a picture of Jong-hoo’s family on his desk, satisfied that at least this one thing has been set right.

After a good day at work, Jong-hoo takes Joo-hyuk to see Sang-shik and Joo-eun at their food truck. Sang-shik acts like he hasn’t seen Joo-hyuk in years, while Joo-eun just offers him a grumpy “welcome back.” The three friends sit for a drink together, and they ask Joo-hyuk where he’s been.

He says he’s just been walking, and they say that with his looks and good job he should be married with a family by now. Jong-hoo even wonders if Joo-hyuk likes women since he’s never dated ever since college. Sang-shik jokes that Joo-hyuk would have hit on him if he were into men, ha, leading to teasing speculation about Joo-hyuk’s manhood. But he says he just prefers being alone because he doesn’t want to make anyone unhappy.

Joo-hyuk grabs a taxi and heads for home, and he’s surprised to see that the taxi driver is a nicely cleaned-up Doomsayer, who gives him a cheery hello. Joo-hyuk asks Doomsayer, “Why… why me? Why did you give me that chance?” Doomsayer says vaguely that Joo-hyuk looked desperate, which made it seem like he and Woo-jin were both miserable.

He continues, “Getting used to something is like two sides of a blade. It lets you give up and go on, but it punishes you by making you miserable. Humans are born foolish. We don’t get enlightened until we experience it, whatever that may be.”

He tells Joo-hyuk that he used to be a hot shot doctor in Gangnam, but he made a mistake with a patient. He went back to the past to undo it, but when he did, he got greedy about money and ended up hitting rock bottom. Joo-hyuk asks how he found him, and Doomsayer says that it’s a sort of debt payoff, and that he’s like a messenger between human and higher beings.

He says that the world is full of people walking paths they’ve never walked before, and they get to make their own choices. He looks down at the console, which Joo-hyuk sees is full of coins, and Doomsayer adds, “why don’t you stop pushing yourself and become happy?” Joo-hyuk sighs that he’s not ready, and Doomsayer asks if he knows how his ex-wife is doing.

Joo-hyuk doesn’t answer, but he can’t shake the question. Even though it’s late, he calls the bank headquarters just to confirm that Woo-jin works there. He happens to see her getting off the bus and impulsively follows her home, keeping hidden when she seems to sense someone behind her.

She notes that the light over her gate is out, so once she’s inside, Joo-hyuk replaces the bulb. But he forgot about Mom, who catches him outside the gate and startles him silly. Once he catches his breath, he stares at mom closely, noticing that she seems perfectly healthy. He tries to excuse himself, but Mom literally grabs him.

She takes him to a coffee shop… to give him a sales pitch for her skincare products (and LOL, they even make a pun about his jisung/oily skin). Mom is delighted when Joo-hyuk buys everything she has, and she runs home yelling about her awesome new customer. She tells Woo-jin that he’s a little weird, but it’s fine since it’s not like he’s going to be her son-in-law, hee.

The next day at the bank, Joo-hyuk ends up with a difficult customer, Park Yoo-shik (cameo by Kang Ki-young, with the same name as his character from What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, ha!) who wants to increase his credit line. He seems anxious, and keeps telling Joo-hyuk to hurry.

he’s turned down for the loan, so he asks that his accounts be merged instead. Manager Byun interrupts and says that Branch Manager Cha wants to see Joo-hyuk, so he sends Yoo-shik over to Jong-hoo’s window. Yoo-shik rushes Jong-hoo, too, and as soon as it’s done, he jumps up and leaves. Well, that was weird.

Branch Manager Cha sends Joo-hyuk to bank headquarters for reinstatement training. He hides when he nearly runs into Woo-jin, then almost literally crashes into her a few seconds later, though she doesn’t notice. He’s twitchy the entire time he’s applying for reinstatement, and eventually, Woo-jin finds him.

She’s definitely annoyed with him, but she tells him that she hasn’t given up. She steps right into his face and whispers ominously, like the Terminator, “I will be back.” She saunters off and makes a call about that transfer she’s been considering.

Joo-hyuk gets back to the bank to find the direct banking team being taken to task for merging a customer’s account with the account of a different person with the same name. Uh-oh. But when they hear that the name of the customer was Park Yoo-shik, Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo realize that it was their guy from earlier. They take their scolding and promise to fix the mistake.

Joo-hyuk calls the Yoo-shik who was in the bank earlier to explain, but Yoo-shik says he’s too busy to come back to the bank now to return the money. Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo decide to go to his workplace, where they find him playing games with his coworkers. They tell him to just enter his passcode on their tablet and it’s done, but Yoo-shik pretends to have an urgent meeting right now and runs off.

They chase him all over the building, even following him into the men’s room to offer him the tablet (and toilet paper, ew). By nightfall they’re staking out Yoo-shik’s house, cranky from their exhausting day and taking it out on each other.

Yoo-shik finally leaves to run to the store, and he gets a creepy feeling on his way home. He screams and collapses when he sees Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo standing in front of him, the light from the tablet reflecting on their faces like a horror film, and he finally gives over his passcode.

Woo-jin is excited when she runs into Joo-eun on her way home, forgetting that in this timeline, Joo-eun doesn’t know her. She fibs that she used to live in Joo-eun’s old neighborhood, and they end up stopping at a convenience store for a drink and snacks.

Woo-jin says she remembers Joo-eun’s brother too, mining for information, which is how she learns that Joo-hyuk periodically disappears and has vowed never to marry for fear he’ll make his wife miserable. Joo-eun suddenly grows nauseous, though Woo-jin declares the food fine.

Manager Byun decides that they need more manpower to avoid any more mistakes being made. The bank employees repeat the same conversation from the last timeline about moving Hwan to the Loans team (Joo-hyuk’s team) and hiring someone for the Direct Banking team, which Joo-hyuk knows resulted in Woo-jin being hired on last time around.

So this time he objects, saying that Hwan can’t handle the work in Loans, and Branch Manager Cha agrees. Since Loans requires someone more experienced, Woo-jin doesn’t get the transfer, and she’s told that the Loans department strongly requested this solution.

Unwilling to give up, Woo-jin finds an opportunity to help Branch Manager Cha when he struggles with a drink vending machine (and he thanks her with a familiar “Thank you very kamsa!”). She says that she really wanted to transfer to his bank because she heard he’s so wonderful to work for, but was told she has the wrong training. Branch Manager Cha is charmed, and tells her that it’s not necessarily been decided.

Joo-eun nervously fidgets, trying to get up the nerve to tell Sang-shik some news. She asks if her belly seems bigger, and gets mad when he says it’s always been big. She sighs that it will get even bigger, and it dawns on him… she’s pregnant.

She shows him the pregnancy test as proof, and he whines, “I told you I was tired that night!” HAHA. Joo-eun asks when they should have the wedding, but Sang-shik pouts that he didn’t even get to propose. Joo-eun smiles and says that all that’s important is that they’ll be parents, but Sang-shik can barely wrap his head around the idea of being a dad.

They leap apart when Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo run up, shrieking that they’re hungry like a couple of kids. Joo-eun nods to Sang-shik to tell them the news, but he chickens out and runs to make them dinner instead.

Woo-jin massages Mom’s legs while they share a soju, and Woo-jin asks if Mom likes her job. Mom says she doesn’t work for fun, but that it energizes her and gave her something to focus on after Woo-jin’s dad died.

Woo-jin asks her if she knew Dad was the one for her from the beginning, but Mom says that she didn’t even like him at first. She gets worried when Woo-jin says it must have been destiny, and asks if she’s seeing someone. Woo-jin just gives a vague answer and changes the subject.

Branch Manager Cha tells Manager Byun and Team Leader Jang that he tried to get someone for the Loans team, but headquarters said they only had people trained for Direct Banking. He claims that he has no choice but to move Hwan to Loans and take whatever help they can get. Team Leader Jang is thrilled, but poor Manager Byun looks like he wants to cry.

While on the roof replacing the tear gas canisters, Jong-hoo horses around too much and accidentally knocks over and smashes his drink. It gives Joo-hyuk an eery chill, and he looks around wondering why he feels unsettled.

Downstairs, Woo-jin approaches the bank, ready to begin her first day.

 
COMMENTS

This show continues to surprise me, because every time I think I know where it’s going, it takes a left turn and heads somewhere I never expected. It’s been Joo-hyuk’s story for so long, but all of a sudden Woo-jin is muscling in and taking the reins, and I love it. The change in emphasis on characters mirrors the trajectory of the show itself really well — when Joo-hyuk was the one who wanted to change his life, we saw everything from his point of view, but now he’s given up and Woo-jin is in charge so we’re seeing it all from her perspective.

This episode is the proof that Familiar Wife has known all along exactly where it’s going and exactly the story it wants to tell. I love dramas that are so assured in their storytelling (rather than changing direction halfway through for whatever reason), because it’s fun to look back and see the bread crumbs left in earlier episodes that show the story’s intent. There have been a lot of instances of this, but the best example is this episode’s repeat of the discussion about where Hwan should be placed and which team should get the new employee — without the setup of that scene many episodes ago, we still could have gotten to this point of Woo-jin getting the job at the bank again, but it wouldn’t be nearly as clever or fun to watch. These sorts of scenes elevate a drama, for me, because it proves that the writer is thinking ahead from the beginning and doesn’t forget what’s happened in the past, and is able to weave both together to make the story more robust and intricate.

The best part about Woo-jin’s determination to change the past and save her and Joo-hyuk’s marriage is that this Woo-jin didn’t live through the original timeline, so she has no memory of her life with Woo-jin and is just acting on faith. She’s so sure that she and Joo-hyuk are meant to be together that she’s willing to go in blind and make it happen anyway. And she has a much harder job, because unlike Joo-hyuk, Woo-jin isn’t trying to escape anything – she’s trying to restore things to their rightful place. It’s more proof of her strength and bravery that she’s taking such a leap, when all she knows about the original timeline is that it was such a disaster that Joo-hyuk wanted to erase their relationship from existence. All Woo-jin knows is that she loves him, and the timeline she lived through feels wrong, so she’s willing to risk recreating a possibly miserable married life with Joo-hyuk for the change that they can do better this time around.

It’s not going to be easy, because in the timeline where they are now, there are a lot of things that have changed for the better. Jong-hoo has his wife and twins back, which is great, but there are some new changes that Woo-jin isn’t going to want to lose. Joo-eun and Sang-shik don’t have their bar or their child from the second timeline, but they’re in love and planning a family. Woo-jin’s mother is happy and healthy since Woo-jin saved her father from dying too early, so she never had to try to change the past herself and fail, resulting in her mental deterioration. And even though Woo-jin’s father didn’t live for her to see him again, he got to live almost a decade longer and pass away peacefully instead of traumatically, leaving Woo-jin and her mother without the burden of Mom’s mental illness. I’m hoping that Woo-jin can restore her relationship with Joo-hyuk without upsetting the positive changes in the timeline, but it’s not going to be easy and she’s going to have to convince Joo-hyuk that he’s not a curse who makes people unhappy.

Early on, I wanted Joo-hyuk to learn a valuable lesson from his mistake, and to go back to his original timeline to make things right with the version of Woo-jin that he left behind. But I wasn’t counting on Woo-jin herself getting involved in the time travel, and changing her own life path independent of Joo-hyuk by saving her father’s life. Now I doubt it’s even possible to return to the first timeline, and even if it was, it would have to involve erasing all of Woo-jin’s memories as well as sentencing her father to an early death and Mom to a life of forgetful misery again, and I definitely don’t want to see that happen. But now that Woo-jin is aware and actively working to change things, I’m okay with letting the original miserable Woo-jin fade away and become an unhappy memory. Now I want to see her and Joo-hyuk create a brand-new timeline where everyone gets their happy ending.

 
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44 September 14, 2018September 14, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 14

by LollyPip

Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk are locked in a tug-of-war of feelings, with her determined to put things back how they should be, and him equally stubborn about making sure he doesn’t ruin her life again. One of them is going to have to crack to break the stalemate, but this show isn’t done handing out surprises, and what happens next is anyone’s guess.

 
EPISODE 14: “I will be back”

Woo-jin shows up for her first day at Joo-hyuk’s bank branch, having charmed Branch Manager Cha into hiring her despite Joo-hyuk’s attempts to keep her out. This time, when he startles and throws his tear gas gun, she deftly snatches it out of the air and points it at him with a triumphant grin. BANG.

Joo-hyuk watches Woo-jin warily as she introduces herself to the team. She surprises them by saying she missed them and hands out their favorite drinks, and she anticipates all their concerns, like Team Leader Jang’s sensitivity about her singlehood. Everyone takes to her immediately, except Joo-hyuk, who’s noticeably frosty as she shakes his hand.

Later, he tries to hide from her in the men’s room, and she threatens to go in if he doesn’t come out first. She finally leaves, so Joo-hyuk calls headquarters to ask about a transfer, but he learns that there are no openings.

He relaxes after work as he heads to the bus station, but there’s Woo-jin, sitting at the bus stop waiting for him. He says her name in warning, but he calls her “Woo-jin-ah,” which makes her melt a little at hearing him call her so familiarly. He asks why she’s doing this, when she has the chance to find a better man than him and live a happy life.

She admits that she doesn’t know and even feels bad for acting this way, but she says her heart just keeps leading her to him. She tells him that when she first woke up back in 2018, she thought that it might be best that they live their own lives. But then she realized that she’s happy now because he changed their fates and saved her from life as a bad wife. So she decided that this time, she’ll be the one to save him.

Joo-hyuk argues that it’s because she didn’t meet him that she’s happy, so he thinks that the only way she’ll be happy is to avoid getting tangled up with him again. Woo-jin says that’s stupid, and that they just need to do well together.

Joo-hyuk keeps saying they can’t, until Woo-jin doubles over dramatically in hunger. Joo-hyuk caves, and Woo-jin suggests ddukbokki and tonkatsu at her favorite haunt. He says that Team Leader Jang is coming over and they should invite her, and when Woo-jin looks, he runs and jumps in a taxi. Coward! But Woo-jin isn’t deterred — she just sighs that this won’t be easy.

On her first official day at work, Woo-jin makes everyone wonder if she’s psychic when she already knows where all the banking forms are kept. Jong-hoo gets annoyed when Joo-hyuk won’t gossip with him about the pretty new employee, and he nags until Joo-hyuk asks to go to lunch early just to get away.

Woo-jin also asks to go and follows him out, ignoring his insistence that he wants to eat alone. He gives in when she promises not to talk, but she breaks that promise right away, hee. She burns her tongue on her hot soup and Joo-hyuk hands her some water, which makes her smile to herself, but she plays innocent when he asks what she’s so happy about.

Joo-hyuk even trades bowls with Woo-jin when she complains that she got mostly organ meat, which she doesn’t care for. Woo-jin is touched, but she gets a text from Team Leader Jang asking her to come back because they got busy, so she has to leave. Joo-hyuk worries that she’ll be hungry later, then reminds himself that he doesn’t care. Riiiight.

On his way back to the bank, Joo-hyuk walks right past Hye-won, but she recognizes him and stops him. She’s happy to see him, but he looks like a cornered rat, and he can’t think of an excuse not to stop and catch up. Hye-won became a successful cellist again in this timeline, though she says she finds her orchestra job boring, and she asks him why he’s still single.

Joo-hyuk says it’s just easier being alone, and Hye-won makes her familiar confession that she liked him back in college. But this time Joo-hyuk jokes darkly that she had bad taste in men back then. Hye-won notes that he’s not as innocent as he used to be, but when she asks him more about himself, he simply says it’s been nice to see her and excuses himself.

Before he goes, he turns back and tells her to be happy, and not to give up on playing the cello. Hye-won is so shaken that she spills her water in her lap, and her waiter rushes over to bring her a napkin. It’s Hyun-soo, who goes back to the kitchen and resumes studying, actually in college in this timeline. Good for him.

Back at the bank, a customer asks Hye-jong to give her the statements from her husband’s account for the last two months. Hye-jong explains that only the account holder can get that information, so the woman reveals that she thinks he’s cheating on her. She gets angry when Hye-jong tells her that it’s a privacy violation, and she even accuses Hye-jong of plotting with her husband to keep his infidelity a secret.

Hye-jong professionally but firmly advises the woman to handle her personal issues at home. It infuriates the customer into raising a hand to strike her, but Woo-jin grabs the woman’s arm and tells her to calm down. Joo-hyuk returns to work in time to see Woo-jin struggling with the angry customer.

Just as the woman wrenches her arm away and grabs a plastic piggy bank, giving it a mighty swing, Joo-hyuk runs over and takes the blow meant for Woo-jin. He wobbles unsteadily, but when Woo-jin fusses and tries to look at his head, he says he’s fine and pushes her away.

Jong-hoo finds Joo-hyuk’s involvement quite suspicious, and even starts singing “I Will Always Love You” from The Bodyguard at him, lol. He and Hwan decide that Woo-jin is pretty awesome the way she handled that customer, and Hwan wonders if she likes younger men.

Joo-hyuk tries to make a sneaky escape from work at the end of the day, but Woo-jin runs screaming onto the bus and plunks herself down right beside him. She tries to check his head wound, making him cringe in pain, and he insists he would have done the same thing for Hye-jong or Hyang-sook.

Woo-jin pulls out her earbuds and puts one in each of their ears so they can listen to some music. Joo-hyuk can’t help himself and watches her enjoying the music before remembering he’s supposed to be grumpy and staring out the window again. Woo-jin just smiles to see him absently tapping the window in time to the music, and she notices that one of his cuffs has a loose button.

She follows him off the bus, pretending that she’s meeting someone who lives nearby. Joo-hyuk calls out her lie and asks if she’s trying to come to his house, and she’s all, Can I?? Let’s eat there!

When Joo-hyuk just rolls his eyes at her, she promises to stop following him if he’ll help her buy “a friend” a new shirt. While they’re shopping, he gets a call from Sang-shik and wanders off, and Woo-jin quickly buys the shirt he picked out.

Joo-hyuk goes to Sang-shik and Joo-eun’s food truck to find Jong-hoo already there, having also been called over to be their “human shield.” Joo-hyuk assumes they’re going to announce that they’re dating (which is news to Jong-hoo) and gives them his approval. But when Sang-shik reveals that Joo-eun is pregnant, Joo-hyuk attacks him for defiling his little sister, hee.

When he eventually makes his way home, Joo-hyuk finds a bag on his door containing the shirt he picked out with Woo-jin. He looks around nervously, but seems disappointed when she’s not there. He realizes that she must have seen his loose button and catches himself weakening, so he reminds himself that he’ll only make her unhappy.

The next day at work, Branch Manager Cha tries to set Joo-hyuk up on a blind date, making Woo-jin’s head whip around so fast it’s a wonder she doesn’t break her neck. Joo-hyuk politely declines and leaves for a client meeting, and after he’s gone, the managers plot to have Joo-hyuk “accidentally” meet the lady.

In desperation, Woo-jin jumps up and says she’s against it, and that they should respect Joo-hyuk’s privacy. But they all head-tilt at her odd behavior, so she confesses that she’s interested in Joo-hyuk herself. The entire team think that’s just fantastic, except for Hwan, who wilts in disappointment that his newfound crush likes someone else.

The women corner Woo-jin in the restroom to grill her about her interest in Joo-hyuk. She says he’s handsome and kind, and cute when he’s shy, and she loves his sexy eyes. They cringe at her description of him as sexy, though they obviously disagree (are they blind??), but Woo-jin just jokes that she won’t have to worry about competition.

The men also think Woo-jin’s crush is great, though Hwan pouts that she’s being too hasty since she just got here. The others decide that Joo-hyuk needs someone determined like Woo-jin and vow to support her, and Woo-jin is happy to have their help.

Jong-hoo finds her in the break room and says he likes her a lot and hopes she and Joo-hyuk end up married. Woo-jin says fondly that she likes him a lot too, and when he takes a call from his wife (who’s having food cravings, making him ask if they’re having another child), she wonders if he married the woman from the airport or someone else.

Poor Joo-hyuk has no idea why his coworkers are suddenly acting so strange, talking about how cute he and Woo-jin look together and humming the wedding march at them (hee, look at Manager Byun back there). Awww, he can’t help himself — it makes him smile, and when Branch Manager Cha outright accuses him of liking Woo-jin, he protests a little too strongly.

Sure that something nefarious is going on, Joo-hyuk takes Jong-hoo to the roof to demand answers. Jong-hoo plays dumb, but he’s a terrible liar, and he finally admits that Woo-jin confessed her feelings to the whole office. He refuses to believe that Joo-hyuk doesn’t like her back, and when Joo-hyuk rants that she’ll ruin her life by liking him, all Jong-hoo hears is that Joo-hyuk called her “Woo-jinnie.”

At Woo-jin’s welcome party that night, everyone is still urging Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk together, and by now Joo-hyuk looks like he’s trying not to cry, ha. Branch Manager Cha bluntly says they should date, and although Joo-hyuk insists there’s nothing going on, he just gets accused of being shy.

All the teasing starts to genuinely upset Joo-hyuk, so when Branch Manager Cha insists that he switch seats with Hye-wonan to sit next to Woo-jin, he blows his top. He yells that he has no feelings for Woo-jin and orders them all to stop, but seeing Woo-jin’s hurt expression takes the wind out of his sails. Dinner is silent and awkward after that, and Woo-jin starts drinking and carefully avoiding eye contact with Joo-hyuk.

Woo-jin follows Joo-hyuk out of the restaurant when the party breaks up, and asks him to have a talk. She says that she thought it would work if she just tried hard enough, but now she’s afraid she’s making things harder on him. She asks one last time if it’s really not going to work, and when Joo-hyuk shakes his head, Woo-jin says that she’ll give up.

She apologizes, says they should just live their own lives, and walks away. Joo-hyuk watches her go then drops his face into his hands.

Woo-jin shows up at work the next morning in a surprisingly good mood, befuddling Joo-hyuk with her perfectly professional behavior towards him. At the end of the day, everyone wants to go to dinner together, but Woo-jin begs off, saying she has plans with Mom. Jong-hoo correctly guesses the reason and whaps Joo-hyuk upside the head for being an idiot.

Woo-jin goes for a walk alone by the river, then runs into Joo-eun on her way home. They stop by the convenience store, and Joo-eun licks her lips jealously at Woo-jin’s beer before telling Woo-jin her little secret. She invites Woo-jin to her and Sang-shik’s wedding, and she’s surprised that adorable Woo-jin doesn’t have a boyfriend to bring along.

Joo-eun decides to introduce Woo-jin to Sang-shik (he doesn’t know her yet in this timeline) so they head to the food truck. Jong-hoo and Joo-hyuk are there helping out, and when the ladies arrive, they’re all surprised that they already know each other. Sang-shik goes through the whole coincidental connections list again (though this time it’s Woo-jin with the crush and not Jong-hoo) and decides they were all fated to be friends.

Talk turns to wedding plans, and Joo-eun objects when Sang-shik says he wants to do an expensive photo shoot. Jong-hoo says that Joo-eun is right and Sang-shik should listen to his wife, then offers to take the photos himself. Joo-eun asks Woo-jin to be there to help her with makeup and hair, and with a nervous glance at Joo-hyuk, Woo-jin agrees.

Jong-hoo walks with Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin for a while, chattering about how great it is that Joo-eun and Sang-shik are getting married. He says he has to go borrow his friend’s camera right now, purposely leaving Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin alone. Woo-jin asks if she’s making Joo-hyuk uncomfortable, and wonders what they should do since they have to see each other at work.

He doesn’t answer, and Woo-jin muses out loud if she’ll ever be able to see him as just a coworker, without any feelings attached. She asks if they’ll be able to put this all behind them, and when Joo-hyuk just looks away, she says that a friend who works at a branch in Hong Kong has been asking her to transfer there. She says she kept hesitating, but now she’s thinking about going.

She asks Joo-hyuk what he would do if he were in her place, but he just says he doesn’t know, but that it’s a good opportunity for her. His voice breaks as he struggles to say the words, and Woo-jin nods and walks away.

Mom notices that Woo-jin is watching a sad movie, which she does when she doesn’t want anyone to know she needs to cry.

On the day of the photo shoot, Jong-hoo calls Woo-jin to offer her a ride with him and Joo-hyuk, but she says she’s already on the bus. They drive past the bus stop, and Joo-hyuk sees Woo-jin standing there and knows she lied to avoid riding with him. The bus arrives, and in the mirror, Joo-hyuk watches Woo-jin get on.

As they drive, an ambulance speeds past going the opposite way. It reminds Joo-hyuk of this day in the previous timeline, when he’d gotten stuck in traffic on the way to pick Woo-jin up for a date because a bus had collided with a truck, resulting in a lot of injuries. He tells Jong-hoo to pull over and frantically yanks him out of the driver’s seat, and drives back the way they came.

When he sees the bus with the truck behind it, he whips the car around and follows them. He pulls alongside the truck and honks wildly, but the driver is too distracted to notice him. He speeds up until he sees Woo-jin on the bus, and he notices the light turning red up ahead and realizes that the accident is about to happen.

At the last second, Joo-hyuk slams on the breaks, swerves between the bus and the truck, and they all screech to a halt. Somehow they avoid a crash by mere inches, and Joo-hyuk ignores the truck driver yelling at him when he sees Woo-jin watching him from the bus. She gets off, and Joo-hyuk goes to her and pulls her into his arms.

When he can speak, Joo-hyuk says to Woo-jin, “I know it’s shameless of me. I know it’s not right. I know I can’t. But I can’t help it anymore. I don’t care about my conscience or sense of guilt, but I’m sure of one thing… I love you so much. I’ll make you happy. I’ll make sure to keep that promise.”

He hugs her again, and with a sigh of relief, Woo-jin hugs him back.

 
COMMENTS

I finally figured out what’s been bugging me about Joo-hyuk, and has since the beginning — he never makes a strong stand, never decides he wants something and goes for it, or if he does, he quickly chickens out and backs down again. He’s passive and reactive, only acting when things get so bad he’s forced to, and only to do the minimum that will get him out of trouble. It’s a big reason he and Woo-jin were so miserable the first time around… even when Joo-hyuk saw her unhappy, he would make a tiny effort to cheer her up then retreat when it wasn’t enough, hoping that if he just ignored it, whatever it was that was bothering Woo-jin would blow over. But all that did was make Woo-jin resentful and bitter, and then Joo-hyuk didn’t even have the insight to realize that he contributed to her unhappiness.

Having said all that, I can now say this — FINALLY! Finally he woke up and decided not to punish himself for one stupid mistake. I was about ready to smack Joo-hyuk upside the head like Jong-hoo if he didn’t come to his senses soon. I really like how Joo-hyuk’s discovery that he doesn’t want to live without Woo-jin happened almost exactly the way hers did in the previous timeline — they both thought the other was seriously hurt, which made them realize how they truly felt. I’m a bit concerned that he went from “never ever ever” to “I’m all in” so quickly, when he was so determined not to let Woo-jin waste her life with him again, but I’m glad that he decided to forget all that and be selfish, because despite his stupid choices, he didn’t deserve to spend his life alone and miserable.

It was fun to see Woo-jin confess her secret to the entire bank team, and it was adorable how they embraced the idea and ran with it, though they did come on just a tad strong. I didn’t blame Joo-hyuk for feeling embarrassed and cornered, and I’ll say one thing in his favor — as much effort as he’s put into trying to convince Woo-jin that they shouldn’t be together, he was never cruel to her other than losing his temper at dinner, and in his defense, his coworkers were being really out of line by that point. He immediately felt bad, which is good because otherwise I’d have been very angry with him, but for the most part he’s always been mindful not to hurt Woo-jin with his refusal to get back together. The problem is that he was wrong, because the answer isn’t to just shut himself off to that part of life, but to learn and grow and try to do better next time.

It’s good that Joo-hyuk has this version of Woo-jin to deal with, because she’s not going to let him get away with his negligent behavior if he ever backslides. She’s willing to go to the mat for their life together, even though she didn’t live through it the first time and is going on faith. She’s aware that things between them could turn sour and isn’t going to let that happen on her watch, not this time. I loved her reasoning for not giving up — that Joo-hyuk saved her from an unhappy life by changing the past, so she wanted to return the favor and save him from an unhappy life. It’s so simple, but so true, that Joo-hyuk rescued Woo-jin from a life of misery, so of course she doesn’t want to see him living a miserable life in return. I was disappointed that she did give up after that, but I understand why, because at that point she realized that her determination was making him unhappy and backed down out of love for him.

As I said before, I don’t have a problem anymore with Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin moving forward in this timeline, because for the most part, it’s the one that turns out for the best for everyone else. Jong-hoo has his original family back, Mom is healthy, Woo-jin’s dad got to live a long life, Sang-shik and Joo-eun are getting married and having a baby, and Hye-won is successful in her career. All that’s needed is for Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin to figure out what to do from here, since their first life together is gone (and they wouldn’t want it back anyway). Now they can start fresh with the knowledge of what not to do, and be happy knowing that no matter what happens, they chose each other.

 
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14 September 21, 2018September 20, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 15

by LollyPip

Both Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin have worked hard to get to a timeline in which they can be together, and it looks like they’ve finally found their happily ever after. But life and people being what they are, no timeline is perfect, and just because they’re in love again doesn’t mean their problems are over. They know that happiness will require constant diligence and effort, but they can’t control everything, and they may be about to face their biggest challenge yet.

 
EPISODE 15: “Couple”

After preventing the bus accident that might have taken Woo-jin from him, Joo-hyuk tells her that he loves her, and doesn’t want to live without her. He hugs her, and she hugs him back, both of them happy to finally be together.

Two weeks later, they attend Sang-shik and Joo-eun’s wedding. Predictably, Sang-shik breaks down sobbing during the vows, and afterward, Joo-eun snaps at him affectionately for embarrassing her. Jong-hoo tells Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin that they look nice together and can’t resist saying a friendly “I told you so” about their being a good couple.

Joo-hyuk wants to introduce Woo-jin to his parents, and she tries her hardest to resist, but loses. His mom thanks Woo-jin for saving Joo-hyuk from a life of singlehood and is impressed by her intelligence and beauty.

On their way home, Woo-jin tells Joo-hyuk that she saw him and Jong-hoo crying in a corner, hee. She says that Sang-shik and Joo-eun looked happy, and that she thinks marriage must be a scary choice, but that those two seem like they can overcome any hardships together. Joo-hyuk agrees that they’re good people who are fated to be together.

Woo-jin says she believes two people can make it work even if they’re not fated. Joo-hyuk adds that it just takes work and promises to try his best, and he pouts cutely when Woo-jin brings up that he abandoned her in another timeline. She reminds him that today is the day they can go back and threatens to find a coin, so Joo-hyuk acts silly to make her laugh.

It’s the night of the black hole, and they sit on a park bench to watch the moon split in two, like it always does on this night, though they’re usually too upset to pay attention. Woo-jin asks Joo-hyuk if he’s okay not to go back again, and he says that from now on, he’ll only look toward the future, with her. They agree to date without worries from now on, and under the twin moons, Joo-hyuk kisses Woo-jin.

But there’s another visitor to the mysterious toll booth tonight. They drive up and toss in a coin, then continue down the road.

Joo-hyuk is waiting for Woo-jin when she leaves for work in the morning. As they walk together, they decide to tell their coworkers about their new dating status today. They wait until after the morning meeting, but before Joo-hyuk can say anything, Branch Manager Cha apologizes for pushing Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin together at dinner last week. Everyone else also says they’re sorry, and they’re so sincere that Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin can’t bring themselves to say they got together anyway (ha, Jong-hoo looks like he’s dying).

They go to the roof to discuss this twist, and they decide to tell everyone soon, but not yet. Woo-jin says that secret dating is thrilling, and Joo-hyuk is all Oh really? When did you secretly date someone? She pretends there’s a mosquito on his face and tries to smack him, and it looks like they might start making out, only Jong-hoo loudly clears his throat to interrupt.

He says he’s sorry, but Woo-jin’s mother is downstairs. She runs down to find Mom getting ready to open an account, and Joo-hyuk nearly jumps out of his skin when she recognizes him. She knows him as the weird guy who bought all the skin products, and it surprises Woo-jin to learn that they’ve met.

Mom brought lunch for the whole team, and she hands out skincare samples and ends up launching into a full-on sales presentation, ha. The ladies decline to buy anything, but Hwan buys five sets to use as gifts.

At home that night, Mom tells Woo-jin that Joo-hyuk seems nice, but he was also kind of strange when she met him. Woo-jin assures her that he’s really charismatic and earnest, but Mom thinks she should date Hwan. Woo-jin nixes that thought and asks if Mom likes Joo-hyuk, and Mom admits that he’s handsome, but he’s not son-in-law material. LOL.

Woo-jin texts Joo-hyuk that Mom likes Hwan better, and the following day when Manager Byun lets everyone leave work early, Joo-hyuk makes Hwan stay late to finish a project. Everyone else wants to go for a drink together, but Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin exchange pointed glances and say they have other plans.

They go on a dinner date, and Woo-jin asks why Joo-hyuk was being mean to Hwan, thinking he’s jealous because Mom liked Hwan more than him. They panic when they see the women from work walk in, and they try to sneak out without being seen. Woo-jin makes it to the door, but Joo-hyuk gets caught by Team Leader Jang, so he thinks up a quick excuse for being at a steakhouse alone.

He makes it out to join Woo-jin, and as they try to think of another place to eat, they run across a famous chef, Kang Sun-woo (cameo by Jo Jung-seok, as his character from Oh My Ghostess) analyzing the food at a food truck for his TV show. He’s extremely tough on the truck owner, calling his food disgusting and tossing it into the trash, making the gathered audience gasp.

Woo-jin thinks that Sun-woo looks familiar, and as soon as he spots her watching, he calls her by name. She suddenly recognizes him as a sunbae from school, and Joo-hyuk gets twitchy when Sun-woo hugs Woo-jin familiarly. He says that he asks old college friends about her occasionally, and they banter back and forth until it’s time to resume filming.

When they find a place to eat, Joo-hyuk mentions that Woo-jin and Sun-woo seemed close. Woo-jin says they weren’t just close — Sun-woo was her first love, because he’s so handsome. Joo-hyuk grumbles that he’s not that handsome, but Woo-jin just keeps talking about how cool it is that he became a famous chef.

Joo-hyuk glares at Woo-jin so much at work the next day that Jong-hoo accuses him of being obsessed. He asks Jong-hoo what first love means for a woman, but Jong-hoo says it’s just first love and tells him to get it together. Internally, Joo-hyuk blames himself for changing the past so that he’s no longer Woo-jin’s first love.

He looks up Sun-woo online, but all the comments about how good-looking he is only make Joo-hyuk grumpier. He finds one calling Sun-woo pretentious and hits “Like,” hee.

Branch Manager Cha gets an exciting call, then runs out to tell Woo-jin that Sun-woo wants to take out a loan to open several more restaurants, and to move all his professional accounts to their bank. He specifically asked for Woo-jin to come do the inspection, which impresses everyone but Joo-hyuk, who slumps in his chair.

Woo-jin is told to take Joo-hyuk along, since he’s in charge of business loans. They arrive in time to watch Sun-woo at work, but Joo-hyuk rolls his eyes at having to wait for Sun-woo to acknowledge him. The chef starts flirting with Woo-jin right away, so when he shakes Joo-hyuk’s hand, Joo-hyuk tries to give him the manly grip of dominance, only to have his own hand crushed.

Sun-woo has six restaurants, and plans to open several more in Korea and Japan. He humble-brags about his popularity, saying that he doesn’t really care about things like fan clubs (though he’s keenly aware he has one, ha). He interrupts to ask Woo-jin personal questions every time Joo-hyuk tries to discuss business, and Joo-hyuk looks like he wants to kill Sun-woo with his brain when he mentions all the times he piggybacked a drunk Woo-jin home.

Walking home hand-in-hand, Woo-jin tells Joo-hyuk that Sun-woo has really changed from the shy, quiet guy he used to be. Joo-hyuk calls Sun-woo a show-off, saying that success doesn’t mean a person can’t still be humble. Woo-jin disagrees, but she’s not upset by his comments.

They discuss weekend plans, and Joo-hyuk’s eyes go wide when Woo-jin says she wants to hang out at his place. But he likes the idea, and takes extra care cleaning his apartment and stocking the fridge. They make kimbap and ramyun, and just as they’re sitting to eat, Woo-jin’s phone rings with a call from Sun-woo. He’s calling about business, but he monopolizes Woo-jin for a long time while Joo-hyuk waits dejectedly for her to hang up.

She eventually gets off the phone, but Joo-hyuk is upset that she told Sun-woo she’d call him back. She insists that it’s purely business, but he can’t let it go. Finally they agree not to fight about it, and they’re silent as they start eating.

But Joo-hyuk can’t stand it — he mumbles around a mouthful of kimbap, “Why did you smile while you were talking to him??” Woo-jin leaves angry, and Joo-hyuk grumbles that he probably shouldn’t have said that last thing. Ya think, doofus?

Sang-shik calls Joo-hyuk to visit him at the food truck now that he and Joo-eun are back from their honeymoon. He complains that it wasn’t much fun as Joo-eun’s morning sickness kicked in and she spent the whole trip throwing up. He whines that he was vomiting in sympathy, so it wasn’t so much a honeymoon as an eat-and-vomit trip. Laughing his butt off, Jong-hoo tells Sang-shik that if he thinks he feels bad for Joo-eun now, to just wait for the birth.

They notice that Joo-hyuk seems upset and guess that he and Woo-jin had a fight. He tells them about Sun-woo’s weekend calls, and his friends confirm that if he feels uneasy about Sun-woo, he’s probably right. But they also say he’s jealous and tell him to apologize to Woo-jin, because it’s not her fault men are attracted to her.

Sang-shik advises Joo-hyuk to apologize to Woo-jin… then asks Sun-woo to review his food cart on his show, hee. Joo-hyuk acts like he’s going to whup Sang-shik, which gets him teased for being “jealousy incarnate,” ha.

Woo-jin keeps giving Joo-hyuk the stink-eye at work on Monday, so he starts to follow her as she leaves the lobby, hoping to talk. But she runs into Team Leader Jang, so he chickens out and hides from them. Branch Manager Cha wants to have a team dinner after work to discuss something, but absolutely everyone has a “family event” to attend… until he says they’ll be going to Sun-woo’s restaurant to celebrate his signing on with the bank, and their commitments suddenly clear up.

Joo-hyuk is the only one who says he isn’t going even though it’s his loan deal. Woo-jin says they should go without Joo-hyuk, so they do, admiring the beautiful food as Sun-woo signs the contracts. The ladies are impressed and pose for pictures with the handsome chef, but the men begin to grumble, annoyed by his showboating.

Jong-hoo sends a text to Joo-hyuk, who’s gone to the movies, that he thinks Sun-woo has a crush on Woo-jin. After dinner, Sun-woo tells everyone to come to the restaurant any time they like, staring at Woo-jin as he says that they’re always welcome. Hwan teases that Sun-woo seems nicer than a mere sunbae, and Sun-woo openly admits that he likes Woo-jin as more than an old classmate.

Jong-hoo frantically texts Joo-hyuk again, telling him that the situation is escalating to emergency status. Joo-hyuk is already on the way — he runs in, grabs Woo-jin by the wrist, and tells Sun-woo, “The two of us are dating.” Sun-woo is clearly disappointed, but he recovers and says that he suspected so, and congratulates them.

As they walk together later, Woo-jin tells Joo-hyuk that he looked pretty sexy when he made his announcement. She takes his hand and offers to take him to eat, saying that Sun-woo’s food didn’t suit her tastes. They go to their old hangout for ddukbokki and tonkatsu, and Woo-jin writes on the wall, “Seo Woo-jin and Cha Joo-hyuk were here, September 2018.” Joo-hyuk adds the word “again” and draws a heart between their names, making her smile.

In the morning, Team Leader Jang mock complains when Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk arrive at work together. Manager Byun jokes that he’ll start meeting her before work and coming in with her, and Hwan insists he’s not the least bit jealous as Joo-hyuk high-fives everyone on his way to his desk. He stands up for Woo-jin later when a customer gets threatening, saying that he’s her boyfriend and nearly getting into a fight, ha.

Over time, Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin learn to fight without letting things get out of control, and Joo-hyuk even helps Woo-jin learn to drive. One night, Mom catches them smooching outside the house, reluctant to part for the night, and Joo-hyuk starts blabbering about the skincare products he got from her to cover for his embarrassment.

Mom stops him from leaving and invites him inside, and when he’s too nervous to eat, she assures him that she’s got no ulterior motive. The familiar taste of her food reminds him of the original timeline, causing him to accidentally call her “Mom,” but his now-enthusiastic appetite smooths over any awkwardness and soon Mom is doting on him.

He mentions how much he loves Mom’s kimchi, and after he leaves, Woo-jin gets smacked for sneaking kimchi to him without Mom’s knowledge. Woo-jin whines that there are circumstances Mom doesn’t know about, but Mom just chastises her for kissing in the street and risking getting a reputation. Woo-jin isn’t at all repentant and points out how Mom was fawning over Joo-hyuk earlier.

Woo-jin begins to think about marriage, but her hints to Joo-hyuk seem to fly right over his head. Later he brings her an account ledger and insists she prepare it for him, even though she grumps that she’s busy. But she opens it to find that it’s Joo-hyuk’s, and the deposit notes make up a letter to her:

You told me one day that what we’ve been through seemed like a long dream, and that today seemed like a miracle. At that time, I thought my miracle was you. Both in the past and present, you are my miracle and salvation, Woo-jin. If you give me your permission, I’d like to live for you again. The two of us met again after the long, long way around. My choice will be you even if I travel back in time a hundred times.

She looks at Joo-hyuk and finds him sending hand-hearts her way, and looks down to read the last line in the ledger: “I love you, Woo-jin. Will you marry me?”

Later in the hall, Woo-jin asks Joo-hyuk what kind of proposal this is supposed to be. He sulks adorably, saying that he just wants to go to sleep and wake up with her, and she admits that she’s really touched. She says she still wants the kind of proposal she’s dreamed of her whole life, and asks if he’s up for it. A little scared, Joo-hyuk asks what’s involved, which is how he soon finds himself strapped into a roller coaster, HAHA.

The poor guy is terrified, but when Woo-jin gives him the signal in the middle of the ride, he yells, “Woo-jin-ah, I love you! Will you marry me?” She screams back that she loves him, too, but he’s too sick to talk by the time the ride is over. Woo-jin gets him some water and thanks him for giving her her dream proposal while he tries valiantly not to barf on her shoes.

Finally she chirps that she’ll marry him, and Joo-hyuk forgets to feel sick. He smiles down at her, marveling, “Wow, I’m getting married to Seo Woo-jin… again!”

Three years later.

Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin almost sleep through their alarm, having been up all night again with their toddler and new infant. They realize at the same time and leap out of bed, wrestling to be the first to the shower. They get stuck in the doorway, and shoot annoyed glares at each other.

 
COMMENTS

Aww, it gives me the warm fuzzies to see Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin right backwhere they belong — married and with their kids — even if it happened a few years later this time. I almost wish that last scene were the end of the show, because it was such a cute bookend to see them doing the exact same thing they were doing when we first saw them, hopefully with a much healthier relationship this time around. Although, considering how anxious they both looked, I won’t be surprised if the finale shows them butting heads again. But this time Joo-hyuk can find a way to turn their marriage around, knowing what he knows and having made the promises he’s made.

In fact, I’d very much like to see that, because even though all their time travel adventures made it impossible for Joo-hyuk to go back to the original timeline and set things right with that Woo-jin, it would make for some nice closure to the drama to have Joo-hyuk, being human and therefore fallible, end up in a similar situation but make better choices this time. Joo-hyuk has changed a lot, but he’s still very passive and tends to be reactive rather than proactive, so I can see him slipping, and needing to step up and fulfill his promise to be better to Woo-jin this time around.

But I’m happy with the timeline they’ve settled in, which does seem to have the best outcome for nearly everyone. This timeline has Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin together with their kids again, Jong-hoo back with his wife and twins, Sang-shik and Joo-eun married and with their baby, Mom with a sound mind and body, and everyone at the bank living their happiest lives. Some things were lost from the second timeline (like Hwan and Hyang-sook’s romance, and Manager Byun and Team Leader Jang’s growing regard for each other), but no timeline is perfect, and those things may still happen naturally. What’s important is that Joo-hyuk has learned that the grass is not always greener, and that even the worst mistakes can be repaired if you just make the effort.

What worries me, though, is that short scene showing someone else going through the toll booth in 2018. Apparently, somebody has a problem with this timeline, as good as it seems to have turned out for everyone. But whatever they did in the past doesn’t seem to have enacted any significant change… yet. I’m scared that Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin will be faced with an unexpected twist of events just as they think they’ve gotten their life back where it belongs, and it’s too late to use time travel to fix their problems again, now that three years have passed since the night of the twin moons. My biggest fear is that it’s Hye-won who used the tollbooth, and that she’s going to pop up again to threaten Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin’s marriage. But I also have faith that they’ve fought so hard to earn this life back that they’ll be able to face any unexpected threats as a united front this time around.

 
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25 September 22, 2018September 22, 2018

Familiar Wife: Episode 16 (Final)

by LollyPip

Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin still have a few lessons to learn about life as a married couple, the most important one being that you never stop choosing to love. Time travel may have brought them here, but that’s only one day out of thousands, and they still have to make it through their day-to-day lives. If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that no matter what happens, they’ll always have each other.

 
EPISODE 16: “Familiar happy ending”

Woo-jin makes Joo-hyuk propose to her on a roller coaster, and she agrees to marry him. Three years later, they’re settled and their two children have been born. They oversleep, and fight to be the first to get ready for the day — looks like things are back the way they belong.

But instead of an angry, madcap scramble, this time around Joo-hyuk remembers that he set the alarm an hour ahead, and they dive back into bed for a few more minutes of sleep. When they do get up, it’s Joo-hyuk who gets the kids ready while Woo-jin showers, then they trade off so Joo-hyuk can get dressed.

They’re in a hurry, but they’re smiling and helping each other, and they get the kids to the school van and head to the bank together. Even their bickering about running late is cute.

They arrive at the bank fifteen minutes late, and they sneak in, pretending to have been there for a while already. Jong-hoo stops them and asks if their scenario is that they got to work early so went for coffee, and he points out that their bags aren’t at their desks and Woo-jin isn’t in uniform yet. Busted.

Everyone gets the giggles as Jong-hoo fusses at Woo-jin and Joo-hyuk, saying that they would have been separated if they were at any other branch. Even Jong-hoo cracks a grin when he tries and fails to pull rank — he’s the team leader now, after Manager Byun was promoted to assistant branch manager.

When Branch Manager Cha arrives at work, he announces that headquarters has approved two promotions at their branch. Team Leader Jang is moving to another location to be their assistant branch manager, and Woo-jin is bring promoted to team leader of the direct banking team. Everyone is happy for them both, but sad that Team Leader Jang will be leaving them.

Hwan brings up the fact that with all these promotions, Joo-hyuk is still just assistant manager of the loans department. Joo-hyuk says he’s happy in his position and loudly congratulates his wife, but his smile seems just a bit forced.

He congratulates her again later in private, and she says she feels guilty for being promoted first. But he says he’s happy and proud of her, giving her permission to be as happy for herself as she wants. She does a high-pitched squealing happy dance, and she jokes that even though he abandoned her once (cue grumpyface from Joo-hyuk), she’s glad she remarried him.

The bank employees go out after work to celebrate Team Leader Jang and Woo-jin’s promotions. Team Leader Jang tells Woo-jin that she’ll be great as the new team leader, then Branch Manager Cha gets a little emotional as he wishes her well at her new job, though he says it makes him sad to think that he won’t see her every day anymore.

Manager Byun tries to lift the mood by having Team Leader Jang make a speech, but he forbids anyone to cry or they’ll have to pay a toll. She says that she’s worked at a lot of branches but never one where she was so fond of everyone she works with. She thanks Woo-jin, Hyang-sook, and Hye-jong for putting up with her demanding standards, and they all get choked up.

Despite his admonitions to stay unemotional, Manager Byun looks like he’s about to burst into tears as Team Leader Jang continues, thanking the loans team for helping make the bank feel like a family. He snaps, “I thought you were unaware!” when she thanks him for all his support, and Branch Manager Cha yells for her to skip him when she remembers that he once told her she reminds him of his late sister.

Everyone pays the crying toll to Manager Byun, but Woo-jin hides Joo-hyuk’s crumpled, tear-filled face and takes his wallet when he tries to pay up, hee. Awww, even Manager Byun has to pay the toll, then he pours a round of shots to make a toast.

Later, Manager Byun finds Team Leader Jang in the hallway and calls her by name for the first time. He says he wants to keep having dinner with her after she transfers, giving her the cutest pouty-lipped face, and she agrees — so long as he pays.

Woo-jin drinks enough that Joo-hyuk has to piggyback her home, where Joo-eun is babysitting their children. Se leaves after congratulating Woo-jin on her promotion, and Joo-hyuk puts Woo-jin to bed. She pulls him down and demands his arm to lay her head on, and as she drifts off to sleep, he smooths her hair affectionately.

He gets a text from Woo-jin’s mom asking him to come fix her water spigot, which has flooded her entire yard. He patches the pipe, and Mom tells him that she could live without Woo-jin, but she can’t live without him anymore, ha. They laughs that Woo-jin knows it and gets jealous, cracking jokes that they love each other so much they should just move in together.

Sang-shik calls Joo-hyuk to come over, and yay! He and Joo-eun are running their bar again. Sang-shik fusses at Joo-hyuk and Jong-hoo for not visiting him enough, and Joo-hyuk says that he knows they’re really here because his friends are worried he’s upset about Woo-jin’s promotion. He says he’s fine, and that he’ll get promoted next time.

Jong-hoo seems particularly down tonight and admits he fought with his wife. Sang-shik jokes that he was obviously wrong and to go beg for forgiveness. Jong-hoo says that she yells at him a lot lately, and that she even re-folds the clothes after he folds them, and gripes at him for recycling wrong.

This all sounds really familiar to Joo-hyuk, so he advises Jong-hoo to put himself in his wife’s shoes, and to call her by her name instead of addressing her as the kids’ mom. He says that mothers must hate losing their names when they have children, as well as the ability to dress up and go out with friends like they used to.

His friends are impressed that he understands women so well. He tells Jong-hoo to treat his wife well, and in return, she’ll treat him well. He advises the guys to give their wives a compliment once a day, and they’re fascinated and ask for more tips.

Some time later, Manager Byun reminds Joo-hyuk about some upcoming career training and testing, which will be on his next performance evaluation and could lead to a promotion if he does well. Branch Manager Cha passes out new tablets from headquarters, but when Joo-hyuk says he’s been needing a new one, he’s told that they’re only for team leaders or higher. Everyone else gets paper diaries, which they don’t even pretend to be happy about.

Woo-jin finds Joo-hyuk in the break room and offers him her new tablet, but he declines, vowing to get promoted just to earn his own tablet. Woo-jin tells him that he’s sexy when he’s competitive and pats his behind, and when he whines that someone might see, Woo-jin says that it’s her tush to pat if she wants.

Joo-hyuk is invited to a college get-together by an old classmate, and Woo-jin offers to go with him so they have an excuse to leave early. But Joo-hyuk says that she wouldn’t like his friends, and promises to just go for a few minutes then come home.

He’s surprised when Hye-won joins them, and she tells him that she heard about his wedding and figured that’s why he rejected her when they last saw each other. His friends want to go to another bar for round two, but Joo-hyuk says he has important training tomorrow and heads home. His friends joke that he must be scared of his wife, but Hye-won says with a smile that he obviously loves his wife a lot.

The guys move on while Hye-won hangs back to take a call from her mother. A passerby walks smack into her, making her drop her purse, and we see that it’s Hyun-soo. He peers at Hye-won curiously and asks if they’ve met before, and she spots the college logo on his hoodie and figures they must have seen each other on campus. They linger, seeming inexplicably fascinated with each other.

Woo-jin is waiting for Joo-hyuk when he gets home, and he tells her to go to bed since he plans to stay up and study awhile. His phone pings, and Joo-hyuk picks it up to see that a friend sent Joo-hyuk some pictures from tonight. She spots Hye-won in the pics, so she grabs a beer and waits for Joo-hyuk to come out of the bathroom.

When he emerges, Woo-jin says that Hye-won seems even more beautiful now, and asks if she’s the reason why Joo-hyuk didn’t want her to come along tonight. Joo-hyuk says truthfully that it was only supposed to be the guys. He begs Woo-jin to trust him, but she snaps that it must have been nice to see his ex-wife again, and that his ex-ex-wife is going to bed. Ouch.

After studying, Joo-hyuk creeps into bed trying not to wake Woo-jin. But when he turns to face her, she turns her back to him, and he’s forced to go to sleep without any cuddles. She’s still grouchy the next morning when Joo-hyuk reminds her that he’ll be at headquarters until late doing his testing, so she’ll have to pick up the kids from day care.

The bank is very busy that day, and at one point an elderly woman starts to panic and yell that the ATM stole her card. Woo-jin sends Hwan to open the machine and get the woman’s card back, and she helps the woman sit and offers to get her a drink while she waits. The woman suddenly slumps over unconscious, and Woo-jin calls for someone to get an ambulance.

When Joo-hyuk’s class is over, he gets a call from the day care, wanting to know why nobody has picked up the children. He tries to call Woo-jin, but she’s not answering her phone, and neither is Jong-hoo when Joo-hyuk tries to reach him.

The bank team are all talking about the woman’s collapse, which is why Jong-hoo doesn’t notice his phone ringing. Woo-jin isn’t at the bank because she rode in the ambulance with the elderly woman.

At the hospital, Woo-jin learns that the woman has severe diabetes and her blood sugar level had crashed. Her grandson arrives, so Woo-jin finally checks her phone, to see multiple calls and texts from Joo-hyuk wondering why she hasn’t picked up the kids. She calls and quickly tells him where she is, and he says he’s already on his way to the day care, but that he can still take his test if he makes it back in time.

Instead of panicking, they make a plan. Joo-hyuk intends to pick up the children while Woo-jin takes a taxi to a location halfway between the school and the bank headquarters. If they time it right, they can hand off the kids and Joo-hyuk can get back to headquarters in time to take his test.

Woo-jin’s taxi gets stuck in traffic, and Joo-hyuk starts to worry when she’s not at the meeting place on time. He gets anxious that he might miss his test and end up an assistant manager forever. But thank goodness, Woo-jin’s taxi comes around the corner with seconds to spare, and she grabs the kids while he takes the taxi back to headquarters. He skids into the testing room with less than a minute to spare — safe!

Hwan, Hye-jong, and Hyang-sook are working late at the bank, and they play rock-paper-scissors to determine who buys dinner. Hye-jong loses, and after she leaves, Hyang-sook changes the music they’re listening to. Hwan gets excited that she likes the same singer he does, and they realize that they were even at the same concert last year.

As they talk, they discover that they have a lot in common. Hwan has tickets to their favorite baseball team’s game this weekend, so they agree to go together, suddenly aware of each other in a whole new way.

Joo-hyuk arrives home after his test to find Woo-jin waiting at the door, arms open wide for a hug. She tells him he did well before she even asks about the test, and Joo-hyuk says he did his best. He changes into his jammies and joins Woo-jin for a drink, though he sticks to soda while she has soju.

He tells Woo-jin that he barely made it in time to take the test, affectionately fussing at her for not calling him when she couldn’t make it. Woo-jin acknowledges that she should have called and apologizes, and Joo-hyuk gives her a look and says she should be punished. He insists he’s not thinking of anything sneaky, as he picks up Woo-jin and carries her to bed. RAWR.

A few months later.

Hwan and Hyang-sook glare daggers at each other all day at work, and Jong-hoo tells Joo-hyuk that they’ve broken up for the zillionth time, but will get back together soon like always. He admires their youthful energy, and confides to Joo-hyuk that he wonders sometimes what would have happened if he hadn’t chased his wife to the airport that day. Joo-hyuk tells Jong-hoo not to even think about it, making Woo-jin laugh behind their backs.

They’re getting competitive about whose kids are cuter when former-Team Leader Jang comes for a visit. She says casually that she’s got good news about Joo-hyuk’s promotion, and everyone congratulates him on his new appointment as team leader of the loans department at her bank. He and Woo-jin both burst into tears, awww. Branch Manager Cha runs in yelling that Joo-hyuk is being promoted, and they all pretend they don’t already know.

Woo-jin and his friends plan a little surprise party at Sang-shik’s restaurant that night. They dance and throw confetti, and tease Joo-hyuk that his new title is difficult to pronounce. Woo-jin presents him with a gift of a brand-new gaming console, and Joo-hyuk reflexively leaps out of his chair in fear before he realizes that this time it’s a good thing.

One weekend, Mom offers to take care of the kids so Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin can spend the day together. They’re all Well, okaaay, if you insist… and get out as fast as they can. They go see a sad movie that makes Joo-hyuk cry so loud Woo-jin has to cover his mouth, then to eat afterward (Subway, naturally).

Later they go for a walk at Joo-hyuk’s old college campus, and Woo-jin reminds Joo-hyuk of the first time he brought her here. She jokes that she’s pathetic for falling for the man who abandoned her once, and Joo-hyuk jokes back that he’s just that charming.

More seriously, Woo-jin asks how scary she was that he abandoned her. Joo-hyuk says that it’s not important — what’s important is the history they both remember. He wonders how much more they’ll face in the future, and together they imagine their son’s kindergarten graduation, their kids’ first loves, and which of them might become seriously ill first (a hilarious scene in which a tearful Joo-hyuk runs beside Woo-jin as she’s being taken away on a gurney… for a colonoscopy. LOL).

They vow to grow old together, and to band together against the kids when they give them a hard time. Woo-jin warns Joo-hyuk that if he makes her mad again, she’ll go looking for another magic coin. They admire the moon, happy to be sharing a simple, nice night together.

 
COMMENTS

Such a sweet, simple ending for a sweet, simple show. Life goes on and love continues, as Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin make the decision each and every day to cherish and support each other. They really did end up in the best of all possible timelines, but it was never because of how they changed the past — it’s how they live now and in the future that matters.

I loved all of the parallels in this episode that called up scenes from the first episode, yet with a gentler, more loving spin. The rush to get ready for work but this time helping and supporting each other, the sneaking into work together, and especially when Joo-hyuk found himself unable to reach Woo-jin about the children. It was so good to see them handling the same issues but with a lot more love and understanding, and most of all, teamwork. They aren’t perfect, and they still fight and disagree, but now they act as a unified family and deal with problems in a healthy way instead of fighting and screaming and destroying things in revenge.

Joo-hyuk has grown so much that he’s even advising his friends on how to be good husbands, which is wonderful, because there were times I feared he’d never grow up and be capable of being a responsible partner. Ans Woo-jin got a chance to be a better wife and partner because Joo-hyuk chose to be more aware of his own part in their relationship. She didn’t have her spunky, fun-loving side stamped out by neglect and disappointment, which in turn makes it easier for Joo-hyuk to be the good husband he should be. I’m so proud of them both for learning the lesson that it’s choice, and not fate, that makes a marriage work.

Familiar Wife wasn’t a show with a complicated plot or high stakes — it’s entirely character driven, and the characters were really the best part of this drama. It had some continuity issues (it never did explain how the time travel worked), but I honestly didn’t care, because I just loved all of the characters so much. It must have been fun for the actors to play three different versions of their roles, keeping true to their personalities but with slight differences due to the shifting circumstances of the three separate timelines. The bank team were such a fun part of each episode, and I never got bored of the shifting friendships and romances going on at KCU bank — I even teared up along with everyone else at Team Leader Jang’s farewell party, and when Joo-hyuk finally got his promotion. I’ll miss the quirky gang of misfits and how much they all loved each other.

Recapping this drama was an interesting experience for me, because while Familiar Wife was a sweet show and I enjoyed it overall, there were times when I really, really disliked Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin. Luckily I never disliked them both at the same time, so I was always in one camp or the other depending on who was being more horrible or hopeless at the time. But in retrospect, I appreciate that the characters were flawed and realistic, and even though the story relied on a few travels through time, it still felt grounded and truthful. Joo-hyuk and Woo-jin could be any couple who once loved each other but let their disappointment in life change them and their relationship — they just got lucky enough to encounter a bit of magic to help them find their way back to happiness. But as Joo-hyuk said in the end, what matters isn’t the past, but the memories they share and the ones they’ll make in the future. They won’t always do the right thing or remember to be good to each other, but there will always be love and happiness, if that’s what they choose.

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