Mother, Episode 11

TL;DR: I really don’t care about your sad childhood.

(Note: This episode contains flashbacks to a suicide.)

Just in case you didn’t think that Ja-young and Seol-ak could get any worse, they raced each other to rock bottom in this episode. (Seol-ak won, of course, because he is a two-time child-killer, and Ja-young hasn’t yet murdered anyone.) Ja-young might have gotten a tiny bit weepy over the dark turn to Seol-ak’s plan to ransom Hye-na, but in the end she flat out told him that she didn’t want to know what he would do to Hye-na and that Hye-na could never come home. You lose all right to complain about how much pain you were in over the possible death of your child when you basically tell your boyfriend to murder that same daughter.

Of course people like Seol-ak and Ja-young are going to be baffled by the idea that someone could love Hye-na so much they’re willing to pay five hundred million won for her. They treated her like garbage and don’t understand how anyone could treasure her. I’m so irritated whenever they’re on screen. Especially Seol-ak.

It’s great that Hye-na is an empathetic child after all the shit she’s gone through (and is going through), but I care not one whit for Seol-ak’s sad childhood. Congratulations, not only did you perpetuate the cycle of abuse you grew up with as a child, you leveled it up by seeking out single moms so you could murder their “bad” kids and get off on watching the moms cry. I get trying to explain Seol-ak’s buttons and how Hye-na has been trying not to push them, but I truly, honestly, do not care what his damage is or that Hye-na’s abused child insight made him cry again. He murdered children and plans to murder another. I hate whenever shows try to provide backstory for these sorts of villains—it’s always the same, boring story filled with the same, overused fridged mothers trauma. Can you get arrested and/or die already?

In less frustrating news, I’m so happy that Yeong-sin continues to prove her love for Soo-jin and Hye-na. She’s bankrolling a ridiculous amount of money on the off chance that Seol-ak and Ja-young will actually uphold their end of the bargain to return Hye-na safely because 1) she has the resources to, 2) she loves Soo-jin, 3) losing Hye-na would ruin Soo-jin, and 4) she loves Hye-na. There are so many ways this can go wrong, so she does the only thing she can: prep to hand over a small fortune.

However, I’m starting to get very concerned about Yi-jin. I think Yi-jin was justified to want to involve the police, but I am worried about what ramifications her going against Yeong-sin’s wishes will have for the family. I’ve made no secret about my annoyance with Yi-jin’s petty jealousy, but she’s gaining more and more of my sympathy. From her perspective, her mother is outrageously favoring a prodigal daughter and utterly ignoring every argument she has offered with little to no consideration. Things have increasingly spiraled out of control, and now her mom is going to pay off a criminal in the hopes of saving a child without actually having the ability to ensure the child’s safety? Yi-jin is clearly scared of the fallout of her decision to call the police anyway, if her near-tears while dialing was any indication. If Yeong-sin isn’t careful, she may end up losing her relationship with Yi-jin.

Chang-geun’s investigation circles ever closer, and I’m super amused that he got irritated when his rookie pointed out how weird it is that everyone they talk to is on Soo-jin’s side even though they know she kidnapped Hye-na. This has to be a pretty baffling case for him, especially once he got word that Ja-young and Seol-ak had kidnapped Hye-na back and were demanding ransom and threatening to kill her.

As more people actively get involved in the cover up for Soo-jin, I’m concerned that they’re going to get dragged down as well. Some could probably lawyer their way out of the legal issues, but careers and reputations are definitely starting to be put at risk. I guess we’ll have to see just how Lawful Good Chang-geun is—will he arrest and charge everyone for giving Soo-jin assistance?

That’s something I can worry about later. Here’s hoping that Chang-geun can arrive at the orphanage on time to keep everyone (except Seol-ak? please?) alive. Though if Soo-jin can manage it on her own (or even with an assist from Jin-hong), that would be even better.

By the Numbers

  • Car accidents: 1
  • Crying children: 2
  • Secret messages: 1
  • Ransom demand: ₩500,000,000
  • Bechdel Test: 11 episodes passed

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