Mother, Episode 10

TL;DR: Should I be worried that we still have six episodes left and we’ve already hit this plot point?

In the middle of an episode that was mostly drawn-out tension of the asdfjk;l sort, it was wonderful to take the time for more than one mother to reaffirm her love for her daughter. Soo-jin’s race to find Hye-na was an obviously foreshadowed sequence, but that didn’t make it any less moving when it finally played out. I’m so happy that the two of them got to share a tearful embrace and that Hye-na finally has a parent who will chase after her instead of leaving her behind.

After last episode’s terrible family council, I’m so grateful that Yeong-sin admitted that she couldn’t go through with severing her relationship with Soo-jin, even if it would have been the intelligent thing to do. For all their problems and miscommunications (and serious crimes), Yeong-sin and Soo-jin really do care about one another. It was wonderful to hear Yeong-sin say Soo-jin will always be her daughter and that she could never be ashamed of her. (And good on Yeong-sin for delaying Chang-geun as long as she could! I admired how she took advantage of social expectations about being a good host and the “summoning” of a lawyer to keep Chang-geun and his minion in her living room.)

Hong-hee also got her moments to shine as a mother, from trusting Soo-jin and staying at her shop in case Hye-na showed up to being 100% ready to (briefly) go on the run with Soo-jin. I cackled over the fact that her best friend had ties to smuggling—looks like she made some useful connections in prison. But it was Hong-hee and Soo-jin’s little scene of closure at the beach that nearly brought me to tears. I’m glad that they were able to talk about what had happened, what could have happened, and what did happen between them. After all that time waiting, Hong-hee was finally in the right place, at the right time, to help Soo-jin, and I loved that.

Another thing I loved was that Hyun-jin stepped up big time. Once again she took Soo-jin’s and Hye-na’s side when Yi-jin was getting angry, but more importantly she jumped in to manage Ja-young. They’ve reached a tipping point in this plot, and it is inevitable that Soo-jin’s crime will end up in the media. That cannot-tell-a-lie attitude that I previously side-eyed Hyun-jin for may actually work in Soo-jin’s favor should she go to prison, because Hyun-jin won’t just run with the sensational daughter of famous actress kidnaps child headline. No, I trust she’ll dig into Ja-young and Seol-ak’s horrific abuse of Hye-na, and if nothing else, the public opinion she will incite through her article ought to be enough to keep Hye-na out of Ja-young’s hands.

(No, not all mothers have to be saints, Ja-young, but they shouldn’t keep custody of their children if they beat them and leave them outside in garbage bags to die.)

Hyun-jin is going to have to be a lot craftier than she has demonstrated being so far if her subterfuge around the article is going to succeed. She might have kept her connection to Yeong-sin a secret at work, but too much digging by colleagues who want in on this juicy story could get her caught. It’s a good thing she’s putting her reputation and career on the line for this story.

I’m a little confused by Chang-geun’s plot in this episode. I mean, yes, sure, he’s following the correct leads about Soo-jin kidnapping Hye-na, but what is the point in giving us all these little scenes where he gets to hear about how much Soo-jin and Hye-na love each other? (To the point that a complete stranger can comment in-depth about Hye-na’s relationship with her mother?) It seems weird for him to get these emotional insights into their bond if he’s going to do his job and arrest Soo-jin. So is he going to chase her forever and then just decide to let her go? (Or blame the kidnapping on Seol-ak since he technically has kidnapped Hye-na now and just brush all the Soo-jin stuff under a rug?) I think I’d be disappointed in him if he did, even if that’s what my heart wants.

I’m so annoyed that Seol-ak grabbed Hye-na at the very end. Like, clearly, it was coming, but I’m frustrated by it. Based on the preview it looks like Soo-jin will give chase? Otherwise I’m not sure how they’ll find them. (Then again, Soo-jin’s colleague left a tracker on Seol-ak’s truck, so they could probably follow that to the place where he switched trucks and then track down the license plate on the new truck from there? But that second part would definitely require police assistance…)

All right, just six episode to go. Here’s hoping my heart can handle it.

By the Numbers

  • Unnecessary tips: 1
  • Money envelopes: 1
  • Tickets purchased: 1
  • Blending in maneuvers: 4
  • Bechdel Test: 10 episodes passed

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