We finally end the childhood scenes with this episode. It’s been a pleasant ride so far, with the child actors doing wonderfully. It’s a whole new world after today.
Episode 6 recap
The kids make it to the abandoned hut a step too late — the only person there is Yu Kyung’s passed out dad. Not understanding what is going on and completely frustrated, Tak Gu shouts for his mother, who surprisingly calls back.
Tak Gu runs off in search of his mother, and finds her, but he’s a little too late. She is bundled up at the back of a car, unable to escape. She sees Tak Gu for the last time as the car drives off. Tak Gu keeps running, trying to catch up, but it’s futile.
He stops running, allowing Ma Jun and Yu Kyung catch up. Ma Jun assesses the situation and says that the only thing to do is to go to the police. Tak Gu ignores him. Instead, he tells Yu Kyung to take her dad home. Tak Gu won’t report her dad. Ma Jun protests — they should go to the police and tell them everything, otherwise the probability of finding Mi Sun will be even lower. Tak Gu says he’ll do it anyway. He tells Ma Jun to go home without him. He’ll keep looking for his mom.
Yu Kyung somehow manages to bring her dad home, and Ma Jun follows her. She tells him that he can sleep in the restaurant, and informs him of the bus schedule. Ma Jun asks whether there are restaurants around, his stomach growling loudly. Yu Kyung makes him some food. Ma Jun takes one look at the food, and pretty much shouts at her. “How can I eat this?” *awkward*
He lowers his voice, and asks whether there are other restaurants around. Yu Kyung doesn’t reply. She takes the food aside and starts to head out. Ma Jun is surprised by her, and demands (in a slightly panicky way) to know where she’s going.
Yu Kyung is heading out to find Tak Gu’s mom. Ma Jun says that if she’s for real, she should just report her dad to the police. She doesn’t look happy. Ma Jun follows by asking whether there are hotels around where he can stay instead. He can’t sleep in a place like the restaurant. He really doesn’t seem to understand how offensive he’s been.
Yu Kyung doesn’t lose her temper outright. She tells him that there is no hotel, and there is a Chinese restaurant but it’s closed. He can either stay and eat, or starve and stay outside. Unwilling to hang out alone, Ma Jun tags along.
I guess the road the car took led to the village center, because the next time we see Tak Gu, he’s there. Tak Gu walks around the marketplace, asking whether anyone has seen his mother, or anyone suspicious. Because it’s a drama, he stands right next to the man with the windmill tattoo, asking a vendor if she’s seen anyone suspicious, while she serves the man soondae. I have no idea why the man would stop to get soondae, when he could be driving off into the night. But oh well.
Yu Kyung and Ma Jun are also looking around town. They pass by a bakery, and Ma Jun stops to buy some bread, neglecting to inform Yu Kyung that he’s going elsewhere. Being completely oblivious, he also takes his money from a huge stack of cash in plain sight, which is further recipe for trouble. I think the three guys in the bakery noticed his wad of bills. Coming out of the bakery, he realizes that Yu Kyung is not where he left her, and starts walking around, calling for no one in particular “ya…ya…”
Windmill man hands the soondae to Mi Sun. She seems to have built up some anger while he was gone. She demands to know whether Manager Han or In Sook is involved in this. No replying, he tells her to eat up because they have a long way to go. Mi Sun, of course, asks to be released so that she can go back to her son. The man has a mother too, so surely he can understand what she’s feeling. The lady’s seriously naive, but that’s something we will just have to believe.
The guy tells her no and she will never see her son again, and they drive off, passing Tak Gu on the way of course, since this is a drama. I wonder if Mi Sun regrets insisting on letting Ma Jun go to his dad.
Predictably, Ma Jun comes to a quiet alley (everything is closed after curfew). Realizing it’s a deadend, he turns around, but comes face to face with the three guys from the bakery. They guessed that he’s run away from home, and of course, they won’t let him leave.
Being the smartass he is, he decides to inform the guys that his dad is an important man with powerful friends. The guys take the information in their stride — you just ran away from home, and now that you’re in trouble, you’re using your dad to threaten us?
After a lot of crying, Mi Sun pulls herself together and realizes that she should try to escape. Her kidnapper is focused on driving, leaving her unwatched in the backseat. After a little trying, she manages to free her hands from the rope. The car comes to a stop as they face a farmer going in the other direction on the mudtrack. Seizing her chance, Mi Sun runs for it.
She runs into the forest, and her kidnapper follows. She trips, but she keeps going. She is unwilling to die just like that. Finally she is stopped by a cliff. Although she turns to run back, she loses her balance and falls, fortunately into the pond below. Her kidnapper looks dismayed by her fall.
After some time, Yu Kyung finally comes around and finds Ma Jun. She tries to see if he’s okay, but he tells her to leave, so she does just that. Ma Jun starts to call her names…did she think that he’ll be scared if she left? That was completely unprovoked.
Yu Kyung sees him for what he is, a coward, and tells him just that. He acts mean to hide his fears. Sure he was treated roughly by the three hooligans, but the little bit of rough-handling he’s suffered is nothing compared to what other people have to face (namely herself). Since it’s curfew time*, he can either follow her, or get arrested for being on the streets.
Ma Jun follows her home, and eats the food that he rejected previously. He tries to start a conversation, and asks her what her relation to Tak Gu is. Not getting much of a response, he asks more directly whether she likes him. Instead of replying, Yu Kyung asks him why he’s here. Ma Jun can’t really reply immediately, so she tells him it’s because Tak Gu has moved his heart. Tak Gu’s earnestness and sincerity made Ma Jun follow him, just like how Yu Kyung is drawn to Tak Gu.
Yu Kyung launches her own line of tactful conversation: Ma Jun is the same age as Tak Gu right? Yet Ma Jun is a child compared to him. Ma Jun says she’s got it wrong; he’s stronger, faster, smarter and taller (I thought he was shorter). Yu Kyung tells him that given how he just put Tak Gu down, he’s lost to Tak Gu. He’s just a coward.
In the meantime, Tak Gu has given up because of the curfew, and has gone back to his old home. He looks sadly at the picture of him and his mother.
The girls notice the missing boys during breakfast. Ja Rim worries about them, but Ja Kyung says that the adults will take care of it. She goes back to studying. Ja Rim asks why she studies so much, and Ja Kyung admits that it’s not because she likes studying. She wants to become a manager, and take over the company. The only thing she can do right now is to study.
Their conversation is overheard by In Sook, who tells her to face the reality that she is a girl. She should know her place; she can’t be a working girl. This gets Ja Kyung upset, and she retaliates, telling In Sook that they are different. She never wants to be like her, trapped in a loveless marriage, with a disappointment of a son. She thinks that In Sook is taking her disappointment at Ma Jun out on the girls.
In Sook bristles at the idea of her making her children unhappy, but Ja Kyung counters that it’s not only the girls. Does she even know why Ma Jun ran away? It’s because of her! That night Ma Jun was outside…Ja Kyung stops herself but it’s too late.
In Sook demands to know exactly what Ja Kyung wants to say. Ja Kyung checks herself, and says that she doesn’t know the truth but Ma Jun thinks that In Sook is responsible for Grandma’s death. No details, but it’s enough for In Sook to worry.
Although Manager Han arrived at Cheongsan the night before with orders from Il Jung to find both kids and bring them home, the night passed with nothing accomplished. The next morning, he checks Tak Gu’s home, and finds him there. But where is Ma Jun?
Ma Jun is witnessing for himself how cruel life can be. Yu Kyung is getting beaten by her dad, who accuses her of taking the money. Drunk dad doesn’t know that Ma Jun is outside. Ma Jun looks at her scared face and doesn’t know what to do. He takes a step back, and another, and another and he turns to run, only to run into Manager Han entering the shop. Ma Jun is now safe from the real world. While he is happy to be rescued, he has mixed feelings about seeing Manager Han.
The talking outside interrupts the child-beating fest in the room, and drunk dad comes out to see what is happening. He’s surprised to see Manager Han, who doesn’t betray that they know each other. Politely, he thanks them for putting Ma Jun up for the night, and promises that they will be rewarded for it. While Ma Jun is happy to be rescued, he has mixed feelings about seeing Manager Han.
Ma Jun gets into the car, but Tak Gu is unwilling to leave. He tells Manager Han that his mother’s gone missing, and he wants to stay. Manager Han tells him not to make things difficult and to take the issue up with Il Jung when he gets back to Seoul.
The boys finally arrive home and In Sook is delighted to see her son back. She fusses over his bruises, but turns icy cold when she sees Tak Gu. She accuses him of stealing the money and giving it to his mom, and says that they should call the cops. Tak Gu denies stealing, and tells her not to make wrongful accusations. Il Jung arrives, wondering what the commotion was about.
Once again, Tak Gu denies stealing. Ma Jun who has been kind of strange since the entire runaway episode looks like he wants to admit to the crime, to rid himself of the coward label. Finally, he owns up to the crime.
In Sook doesn’t miss a beat, and says that there must be a reason for her son to do such a thing. Ma Jun says Tak Gu needed money. With two accusations against him, Tak Gu is summoned into Il Jung’s room.
Once inside, Il Jung does nothing. He asks whether Tak Gu managed to see his mother. Tak Gu gets to tell his story, and Il Jung says he will find Mi Sun. He tells Tak Gu to never leave home without permission, and sends him up to wash up. Tak Gu asks about his punishment. Il Jung says that he can tell when his son is lying…and Tak Gu has always spoken the truth.
Il Jung is actually troubled by Tak Gu’s request. The thing is, he was the one who hired the windmill man. *flashback* Windmill man saying that they can’t find her.
Coming out, Tak Gu faces Ma Jun, who is quite sure that Tak Gu was not punished. Tak Gu in turn demands to know why Ma Jun lied. Ma Jun turns the hyung thing around, and says that as an older brother, Tak Gu should cover for him sometimes.
As soon as he returns to his room, Ma Jun’s flippant facade drops. Instead, he broods over how Il Jung (might have) ignored him, and how Yu Kyung calls him a coward. He knows that he can’t be like Tak Gu and he’s not happy about it.
Back in Cheongsan, we see the last sad pieces of Yu Kyung’s life in the village. She stumbles into the police station, and collapses. Seeing her multiple bruises and her broken arm, the policemen have no doubt that her father is responsible. Yu Kyung is referred to a social worker, who tells her that she will have to move to an orphanage. There is no sadness here. She looks content to begin her new life.
Yu Kyung writes a letter to Tak Gu before she leaves. To pay for the postage, she removes a bill from a stack of money in an envelope. Yes, she did steal the money from her father.
Tak Gu receives the letter, which is more of a goodbye letter. She’s leaving the village, and maybe they will see each other when they grow up. She gives him a couple of pieces of information as a goodbye present.
1. the man who kidnapped her mother had a windmill tattoo on his right wrist.
2. the man who instigated the kidnapping is Manager Han
Somehow Manager Han knows just when people are talking about him, because he grabs the letter from Tak Gu, glances at it and tears it up. Tak Gu confronts Manager Han, and he uses the situation to his advantage. He informs Tak Gu that Il Jung will not be able to find Mi Sun. Tak Gu buys it and offers to do anything to see his mom again. Manager Han tells him to leave the household, or he’ll kill Mi Sun.
Later that night, Tak Gu lingers outside the workshop. Il Jung sees him and tells him that he should go to bed early so that they can start baking lessons on time the next morning. Tak Gu checks in again about his mother, knowing that Il Jung can’t find her.
To prolong the moment, Tak Gu asks Il Jung if there is any reason for the tai-chi handwaving he saw the other day before he started baking. Il Jung says it’s to check the humidity. The question pleases him, and Il Jung tells Tak Gu that he is special to him, and pretty much gives him the closest thing to an embrace I have seen (except for Mi Sun), which is holding him by the shoulders and stroking his hair. Ma Jun would be seething if he saw it.
Il Jung leaves Tak Gu outside the workshop. Tak Gu takes a last look at the workshop where his father is, and apologizes for leaving. He uses the word “father”, instead of the usual “president” that he’s always called his dad.
In Sook comes in to see her son. Trying to look casual, she says they should have a talk and immediately asks whether Ma Jun thinks that she was responsible for Grandma’s death like Ja Kyung said. Ma Jun doesn’t betray any emotion. He simply responds that Ja Kyung was mistakened. Hmm..Ma Jun is way better at this casual thing than his mom.
Ma Jun has some other thing on mind. He asks his mom whether he’s a coward. Of course, In Sook says he’s the best. Touched by his mom’s belief in him, Ma Jun tells his mother that he will get stronger and work hard to take over the company. In Sook is surprised by the sudden change in attitude. Overwhelmed, she’s almost crying as she thanks her son again and again.
Manager Han and a traitor guard are at the driveway with a car to take Tak Gu away. Tak Gu confirms with Manager Han that he will see his mother. He politely bids Manager Han farewell and gets into the car. We know that Manager Han doesn’t know where Tak Gu’s mom is, so where is the car heading to?
That same night, another man was up and about. It’s 2am, and he wants his cheese. After waking the supplier up and getting what he wanted, the old man walks off, and past the warehouse where he sees Tak Gu getting out of the car. He thinks it looks suspicious.
The car takes Tak Gu to a warehouse compound by the sea. Tak Gu gets out of the car, and waits aside while the traitor guard gives three men some money and told them to never let Tak Gu step foot in Korea. He then tells Tak Gu to follow the men to find his mother. The men approach Tak Gu, who asks whether they were going to bring him to his mother. The men know nothing about the mother. They tell him that he’s too naive to believe that.
The men grab Tak Gu, who struggles and bites his way free and starts running. The warehouse compound is big, and Tak Gu is able to evade his pursuers. He tries door after door, trying to find somewhere to hide, but to no avail. Suddenly a hand shoots out and grabs him. No surprises, it’s the old man. Tak Gu is safe, but disappointed.
In the meantime, Il Jung is just realizing that Tak Gu is not at his baking lesson. Instead, Ma Jun, whom he was not expecting, showed up.
The old man asks him why he’s crying, and Tak Gu tells him that he can’t find his mother. The old man offers him a tiny bread, and Tak Gu accepts it. He tells the old man that he could tell that he’s a baker from the way he smells. He also complains about the cheese, which smells like poop.
The old man is amazed that Tak Gu can smell the cheese through all the layers of packaging. Tak Gu finishes the bread, which he proclaims delicious, and looks somewhat cheered up. He’s ready to leave. Tak Gu asks the old man whether it is true that kindness will triumph in the end. His mom had told him that, but the old man is probably wiser and more experienced.
The old man asks what kind of world Tak Gu hopes for. Tak Gu likes the world his mom believes in, and the old man tells him that that is the world. Tak Gu bids the old man farewell, and walks off into the night.
Suddenly, it’s 12 years later…
It’s a busy street market with women selling vegetables. A gang of men are trashing the place, while the women begged them to stop. A young man comes to the rescue. Besides expertly beating the gangsters up, he also rolls up each man’s sleeve to check for something before throwing them aside. A crowd gathers and congratulates the hero.
The gangsters kneel in a line, begging for forgiveness. The young man tells them to be kind, because kindness will triumph in the end. Oh by the way, if they see a man with a windmill tattoo on his arm, they are to leave a message with a certain coffee seller. The young man starts to take off, but the gangsters have a question: what is his name?
His name is Kim. Tak. Gu.
A lot of things happening this episode, but nothing particularly surprising. I would actually say that I am bored. Also, I really dislike the “12 years later” thing because it was so abrupt. I realize that the show will probably backpedal next episode to show what happened after that night or something, but the flow was just really bad. It was like they had to squeeze in one last scene before the end of the episode but couldn’t, and they jammed it in anyway.
This episode sets the stage for Ma Jun’s character. He gets a lot of new stimuli by going into the real world, getting beaten up by hooligans, and being told by someone who didn’t care for his status that he’s a coward. He sees for the first time the suffering of someone like Yu Kyung, and I bet it made a huge impression.
We saw a little backstory, which I didn’t recap coz it didn’t fit anywhere. Il Jung recalls a time when he was younger, and he told his mother that he could not marry someone he didn’t love. His mom told him that it’s a choice by both parties: she wants him, and he wants to fulfill his dreams. Flashback to “present”, we see that he has little affection for his children. Let’s say he’s gender-biased. He’s still not close to Ma Jun. Perhaps he suspects that Ma Jun is not his son?
It’s that line where he says “I can tell when my son is lying”, which is ambiguous. But I think he clarifies it when he follows up with “You have always told the truth” to Tak Gu. No mention of Ma Jun.
The episode is also littered with other innuendos — like when he tells In Sook that she should stay put. When he finds the kids, Manager Han can call him *pregnant pause* or her. (Sorry, again a little scene that didn’t fit into the flow of the recap). I feel annoyed thinking that he knows that there are traitors in his household, and he is unwilling to actively remove them.
I wonder if it means anything that both Yu Kyung and Ma Jun have both stolen money from their parents.
Maybe it’s a little premature, but I feel like Tak Gu’s adult character seems a little wrong for now. Sure, we haven’t seen a lot of him, but he seems a little cocky and arrogant. He’s lost his accent too, and he’s stopped being super polite. I’ll probably think about this again in the next episode.
* Since the Korean war, South Korea imposed curfew hours. This ended in 1982 (which means the story happened before 1982).