What does it mean to be a family? Is it about sacrificing for those you love, or staying with them no matter what? Neither Nan-gil nor Na-ri have a healthy view of what makes up a family, but if they keep going the way they’re going and are brave enough to make that commitment, they might just be able to find out what family truly means.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Na-ri confronts Nan-gil, and asks if he still likes her the way he did when they were kids. Nan-gil doesn’t answer, he just steps closer to Na-ri, and reaches out to caress her hair. He moves a lock of hair off her face, to reveal a little piece of cucumber stuck to her skin. HAHA. He dryly quips that if she was doing a facial, it didn’t work.
Na-ri snaps at him, and Nan-gil calmly admits that he does still like her. But he says those feelings are old memories, and now he only likes her as a friend. He adds that he doesn’t know the Na-ri that has a life in Seoul, nor does he want to know her. Oh, you liarpants.
Na-ri is surprised to hear that Nan-gil views Home Na-ri and Seoul Na-ri as two different people. Nan-gil says that he’s only interested in her as her mother’s daughter, and follows up by asking her not to come here anymore because she makes him uncomfortable.
He turns to go, but Na-ri stops him with a hand on his arm. She channels her inner teenager and tells him that he’s not being fair. He carried her in his arms to the hospital, and he even came to Seoul to save her. She says he’s been attentive and caring, and asks if he was just playing with her.
Of course, that tirade was only in her mind, and what Na-ri actually says is that he still managed to confess to her just then. So, he can just get to know Seoul Na-ri. She understands that him being uncomfortable just means he likes her, and refuses to listen to his rebuttal.
A voice calls from downstairs, and oh crap, it’s the police. Luckily Deok-bong is there and says he’s Nan-gil’s lawyer. When Nan-gil steps outside, Deok-bong instructs him not to say a word. The cop explains that Uncle has reported Nan-gil for assault and kidnapping, among other things, and Nan-gil is taken in for questioning.
Naturally, his previous record comes up, but Deok-bong pokes holes in the complaint against him. There’s no proof or doctor’s records of assault, and Nan-gil can prove he was at the restaurant at the times he was accused of being with Uncle. Nan-gil asks if he can report Uncle missing. He says that he was in contact with Uncle but his phone has been off recently, and he’s worried.
Wan-shik somehow knows when Nan-gil is released from questioning, and reports back to CEO Bae. He tells him that he had Uncle reported as missing, but apparently this was expected and CEO Bae says to move to the next step. He didn’t expect Nan-gil to have a lawyer, though, and tells Wan-shik to look into him.
The guys discuss the situation on the drive home, and Nan-gil says he thinks this charge wasn’t meant to stick, only to get his name on the records. Deok-bong asks why he’s listed under a different name on the Dada website, and Nan-gil tells him that CEO Bae was his adopted father, but he abandoned him.
Na-ri is waiting anxiously when they get home, and peppers Nan-gil with questions. He explains what happened, and she asks about the blackmailing charge, remembering the phone conversation she overheard that night when it sounded like Nan-gil was threatening Uncle.
Nan-gil yells, demanding to know how she knows about that conversation. Na-ri says that she only overheard it, she didn’t see anything. Deok-bong suggests they all sit and talk calmly, so they go inside.
Deok-bong shows the Dada Finance website to Na-ri in private, with Nan-gil listed as a Director. She loyally says that Nan-gil wouldn’t have done that by choice, and worries about how he must feel knowing they’re talking about him. Deok-bong suddenly asks if Na-ri needs a ride back to Seoul in two days, but she doesn’t answer and just says she wants to talk to Nan-gil.
Deok-bong is worried that Dada Finance is going to take Nan-gil to trial, and he says that nobody will believe he and Na-ri are stepfather and stepdaughter. Nan-gil could be charged with fraud and the marriage to Mom dissolved, giving Na-ri the land, which Dada will then force her to hand over. Nan-gil calmly says that the marriage and land transfer are legally ironclad, so Deok-bong says they have to act like family so that nobody will doubt things.
Nan-gil asks why Deok-bong is doing this for free, and in answer, Deok-bong asks Na-ri on a date. He says that he’s declaring his intentions so “dad” won’t misunderstand, watching Nan-gil closely.
Nan-gil warns Deok-bong not to be flippant, since Na-ri’s mother recently died and she’s still emotional. He goes into Dad mode, asking if Deok-bong’s family gets along, then reminds Na-ri that he just said they have to act like family when she objects.
Na-ri walks Deok-bong out, and says that she understands now why Deok-shim called her a player. Deok-bong insists his interest isn’t sudden, that talking to her makes him happy. Aww, he’s so cute. Na-ri thanks him, but makes it clear she’s not ready to date. Deok-bong asks her to just think about it, but Na-ri doesn’t want to keep him waiting.
Yeo-joo meets with a matchmaker who’s been setting her up on dates, and says that she no longer needs their services. The matchmaker informs her that she has a new client — none other than Dong-jin. What’s worse, his number one criteria in a woman is that she have money.
Yeo-joo figures that his mother did this, since she hasn’t met Yeo-joo yet. But as she leaves, her expression grows desperate.
Na-ri is huffing over Nan-gil’s fatherly attitude earlier, when he texts her to come to the lake. His guard is very much up, and he asks her — if she heard him on the phone, then she also saw him shirtless, didn’t she? He asks why she trusts him, and Na-ri asks if it makes him angry that she does.
Nan-gil says he knows she’s afraid to find out why he’s a legend, and asks why she wants to know if he still likes her. Na-ri tells him to say what he’s trying to say, and Nan-gil says that he doesn’t think they should live in the same house anymore.
He tells her to leave and let him handle all this. He says he’ll give her the land then leave, when it’s all over. Annoyed, Na-ri says she’ll just sell it… if he wants it protected, he should stay.
She makes it clear that she’ll be the one to decide whether to trust him, and Nan-gil can’t argue, though he asks her again to leave. She asks why he’s pushing her away, because she’s happy here and doesn’t want to go. She even felt thankful to her father for his debt, and asks why he’s so afraid when they didn’t even start anything.
Nan-gil asks if she has no fear, and tells Na-ri that he even told her mother that he was giving up his feelings for her. Na-ri says that he made that decision all on his own, and that her mother would never oppose them as a couple. Nan-gil knows that, but says that’s not the point — it’s him. He can’t say any more, and leaves.
Deok-bong and Deok-shim’s father is visiting the toy museum today, and Deok-bong tells his sister that she’s going home with Dad. She offers a deal, and they strike a tentative agreement that Deok-shim will gather information on Na-ri in exchange for being allowed to stay.
So Deok-shim shows up at the museum to greet Dad, though she insists on standing with the staff. He finally arrives, with their stepmother and youngest brother in tow, and surprisingly, Dad seems to be a pretty affable guy. He wryly greets Deok-shim as a staff member, then laughs when she returns the gesture.
Na-ri helps a local granny make mandoo. Granny complains that her son doesn’t do a lick of work, saying that children make their parents miserable, and that even Na-ri and her dad used to give her mom a hard time.
Na-ri asks for details, and learns that at one point, her father took her and didn’t come back for months. Granny doesn’t know much about it, but the town thinks he only came back because he ran out of money. Granny says that Na-ri’s parents never got along after that.
Granny’s son offers Na-ri some mandoo, and says that he used to hang out at Hong Mandoo all the time. He asks her to thank Nan-gil for helping him fix his steamers, and Na-ri is surprised they know him.
Na-ri heads back to Hong Mandoo, and instructs Nan-gil to get dressed up. She says she has somewhere to take him, and that she’ll meet him outside.
Deok-bong’s dad asks Deok-bong why he can’t handle one simple thing, the resort, correctly. He tells Deok-bong to pretend everything is going smoothly, and to make different blueprints if that’s what it takes to make the townspeople sell.
Deok-bong deadpans that it’s because of Dad that everyone calls them the worst resort company. Dad just laughs, and tells him to get this handled within the month.
Stepmom tells Deok-shim that they expect her to graduate high school in Seoul and go to college, and Deok-shim pushes back. Stepmom says they’ll drag her home by the hair, so Deok-shim sweetly promises to go full-on batcrap crazy if they do. When Dad finds them, Stepmom says that Deok-shim will be staying. Heh.
Na-ri nixes Nan-gil’s first few attempts at an outfit, though she won’t tell him where they’re going. She finally okays a turtleneck and jeans, and on the bus she reveals that they’re on a date until midnight.
Nan-gil is grumpy about it, but as Na-ri lays out the history they’ll be playing out (that they grew up together and now, as adults, they’ve decided to date), he doesn’t object much. He wants to know what Granny told Na-ri that prompted this, and Na-ri promises to tell him at midnight when the date is over.
Na-ri asks Nan-gil a bunch of first-date questions, but he refuses to play along. When she asks if his childhood dream was to marry her, he looks a little cornered — ha, busted.
We see that Granny’s son told Na-ri that he knew Nan-gil as a child, and that he was a good kid who would play nicely with anyone. He’d once told Granny’s son that he’d shoot anyone who messed with Na-ri, so Granny’s son taught him to use the slingshot that Nan-gil used to chase off her bullies.
Nan-gil says to Na-ri that he was young back then, and he thought marrying her was the only way to become family with Na-ri’s mom. He swears he had no other reason, but Na-ri doesn’t believe that for one second.
By the time they exit the bus, Nan-gil has decided to participate, and even offers to carry Na-ri’s bag. Na-ri says the bag is part of her outfit, and anyway, he’s already carrying enough for her. Awww.
Yeo-joo snaps at Dong-jin for being late for their date, saying that he’s the worst of all the guys she’s dated. Dong-jin says she can’t be upset today since he’s introducing her to his friends, and she perks up a bit.
Na-ri and Nan-gil go for coffee, and she takes a lot of pictures. Nan-gil says he’ll do anything if she’ll just stop talking cutesy, and Na-ri intends to hold him to it. She says they’ll eat and hold hands and even kiss… then stops, realizing what she said. Hee, Nan-gil betrays a little smile at the thought of kissing her.
Na-ri has only ever dated one man, so she’d googled “first dates,” and she wonders why things like where they go and what they do are so important. She says they should talk about something in common, so she asks him about greenhouses.
She knows what eggplant flowers stand for (truth), and asks about strawberries and squash, the other plants he’s growing. With a sigh, Nan-gil says strawberry flowers mean “family” and squash flowers mean “beautiful heart.” Na-ri smirks that he obviously looked it up after their last conversation, ha.
Dong-jin presents Yeo-joo to his friends, who all three seem to be annoying boors. One friend keeps calling her “Na-ri,” another asks for hookups with her fellow flight attendants, and the third is depressingly cynical.
The cynical one decides to look up old pictures, which of course include Na-ri. Dong-jin takes his phone to look at them, and Yeo-joo clocks how his expression turns sad and wistful.
Nan-gil and Na-ri continue their conversation by a bonfire, and Nan-gil invites Na-ri to ask him whatever she wants. He immediately regrets it when she asks why he decided to settle his feelings for her, and accuses her of cheating since they’re supposed to be turning back time.
She concedes, and asks if he has any questions for her. He asks why she reads self-help books, and Na-ri says they’re motivating. Nan-gil tells her to relax and let her heart heal on its own, and Na-ri says she’ll let her heart rest if he lets his body rest.
Nan-gil cheerfully says he’s healthy as a horse, then freezes when Na-ri lays her head on his shoulder. Slowly, he reaches around to pull the blanket back over her shoulder, then rests his hand there for just a moment before letting go nervously.
He piggybacks her later, since she fell off her heels and twisted her ankle. He complains that she’s a mess physically, and she gripes at him to shush. She shakes his hand at the house gate, saying she had fun, and he asks what Granny said about him.
She’d said he followed Na-ri’s mother around constantly as a kid, and when he was planning her funeral, he came to Granny to make sure she’d be there to say goodbye. Na-ri thanks Nan-gil for doing all the work for the funeral and sending Mom off well.
She says that there are things in her past that she can’t remember, that she badly wants to know. But she admits that she feels like if she remembered, she and Nan-gil would grow apart. When Nan-gil asks why, she says that she thinks it’s because Nan-gil is one of the things her mother kept from her, and now he’s hiding things.
She knows from Nan-gil’s sigh that she’s correct, and doesn’t press him. She says that she wanted one happy memory with him, and goes in to bed. She walks slowly as if hoping he’ll follow, but he doesn’t. Instead, he calls one of his mandoo chefs and says that he has to go now.
Inside, Na-ri ignores a call from Dong-jin, who’s drunk-dialing her from the restaurant. He texts that he regrets what he did by cheating on her, but he doesn’t get to send it before Yeo-joo yanks the phone out of his hands and reads it. She slams his phone to the ground and calls him the worst man she’s ever dated.
Wan-shik makes the rounds collecting payments from local store owners. Nan-gil follows, though his vision starts to blur and he weaves unsteadily through the crowd. But he manages to regain control, and slams a surprised Wan-shik into a wall.
Nan-gil wipes the smirk off his face by asking if CEO Bae knows he’s lending out company money without permission. He tells Wan-shik never to show up in front of Na-ri again, no matter what CEO Bae orders. He reminds Wan-shik that even though they hated each other, they used to be family.
He says Wan-shik was the first family he ever had, so he’ll keep his secret… for now. But he wants to know the secret CEO Bae is keeping, about what Nan-gil did to Na-ri’s family. Wan-shik laughs, and says that CEO Bae knew he’d ask that and says to come ask him personally.
Nan-gil looks ready to hit Wan-shik, but another dizzy spell stops him. He staggers away, and wanders through the streets fighting unconsciousness until his chefs find him and take him home.
In the morning, it’s time for Na-ri to go back to Seoul for good. She asks Nan-gil to go with her to check her seeds, so they walk together to the greenhouse. Na-ri says that she slept well last night, and finally dreamed about Mom.
Deok-shim is hanging around the greenhouse, but this time she comes out and asks to speak to Na-ri. She seems to be fishing for information, asking when Na-ri is leaving and barking that she needs to know what time, but she scoots away when she sees Nan-gil.
She calls Deok-bong, who’s still asleep when Deok-shim says Na-ri is leaving after breakfast. Aw, he’s pretty adorable when he’s sleepy.
Na-ri is pleased to see her seeds sprouting, and squeaks when Nan-gil pulls a weed, thinking it was a lettuce. He tells her that weeds are smart, because they look like the plants they grow near. But when the plants hear the farmer walking back and forth looking for weeds, the wanted plants grow all the better, knowing they’re protected.
Na-ri knows exactly what he means — that the weeds’ job is to help the wanted plants grow better. She gets all shy when Nan-gil looks at her closely, then asks Nan-gil to check on her lettuce often so that it can hear his footsteps. Nan-gil grows emotional, and can’t even look at her when she says this feels like a final goodbye.
Deok-bong arrives to drive Na-ri to the city, and she tells Nan-gil that she’ll see him next year for Mom’s memorial. Even though he’s been telling her to go, her words look like they sting, and he sends her off with just a nod.
Na-ri wants to stop at a rest stop on the drive, but when Deok-bong says he only does such things for his girlfriend, she takes back the request. He says he does want to take her somewhere for tea, and they end up at the same restaurant where she and Nan-gil ate just yesterday.
Nan-gil stands staring at the house, seeing echoes of Na-ri everywhere he looks. He finds the books she’s left behind, and sighs.
Na-ri is quiet at the restaurant, remembering her too-short date at this place with Nan-gil. Deok-bong tells her that Na-ri offered to spy on her for him, but she stops him and says she can’t focus. Deok-bong notices that she doesn’t look well, and they go outside.
Na-ri almost doesn’t answer a call from Nan-gil, and when she does she says she left her books behind on purpose. She plans to do as he says and let her heart heal in its own time, but Nan-gil tells her that he was wrong and she should come get her books. He so obviously just wants to see her again, even offering to bring them to her, but she says no and hangs up.
Deok-bong senses something is wrong, and says that maybe it’s too soon for them to come here together. He offers to take her the rest of the way to Seoul, and Na-ri sniffs back her tears and heads to the car.
Nan-gil sits stunned for a few minutes before getting up to go to work. He leaves the books on the table outside, which is where Na-ri finds them. She came back!
From behind her, Na-ri hears Nan-gil’s voice saying, “I didn’t think you’d come.” She says she came for her books, but he says that he didn’t call her because of the books. He says that he promised himself that if she came back, he would tell her everything.
Na-ri turns to look at him, and says, “Then talk.” Nan-gil tells her that every since he was young, and even now, the answer is yes — she’s his first love, and he still likes her. Na-ri asks why he said he ended his feelings, and he says that he was sorry.
She asks what he’s sorry about, and his answer is simple: “For loving you, Na-ri. I’m sorry.” Then he walks to her and takes her face in his hands, and kisses her over and over, not looking one bit sorry. And Na-ri kisses him right back.
Wow, what a kiss! I wasn’t expecting that quite yet, but Nan-gil doesn’t do things halfway, so if he’s going to confess that he loves Na-ri it makes sense that he’s going to take advantage of the moment. I’m just happy that Nan-gil is finally being honest about his feelings — well, he’s always been honest, he just evades like a pro when he doesn’t want to talk about something. That’s why it’s good that Na-ri is excellent at reading what Nan-gil isn’t saying, and unafraid to confront him about it.
I just love Na-ri more and more with each episode. She’s so honest and straightforward, and it’s great to see her trust Nan-gil enough to ask him the hard questions without fear, like when she asked about his phone conversation with Uncle. So many dramas would have the heroine tiptoeing around him, scared and trying to discover what’s going on without actually talking to the hero. But Na-ri just asks, openly and trustingly. She’s not accusatory, she’s not afraid, she just wants to know so that she can act accordingly. It’s such a breath of fresh air to have a drama heroine who gathers the necessary information before deciding what to do, rather than assuming and jumping to unfounded conclusions.
And that’s obviously having an effect on Nan-gil, because other than Na-ri’s mother, nobody has ever trusted him that way before. He’s the opposite of Na-ri, closed off and secretive, but in his defense he has every reason to be. He’s lived a lonely, violent life, and he’s learned not to trust anyone and to keep his real motives to himself. It makes me happy to see him relaxing around Na-ri, and not even for romantic reasons (though those are great too!), but just because he’s such a lonely little boy on the inside and he could use a friend he can be himself with.
It’s looking like the real mystery here revolves around Na-ri’s father, not her mother — he sounds like he has/had a lot of secrets. Taking Na-ri from her mother for months, the airplane ride Mom insisted never happened, the loans and then disappearing, it all sounds super-shady and frightening. And as Na-ri explained, her mother has a lot of secrets as well, such as why she never told Na-ri about Nan-gil when they were children, when Mom and Nan-gil were so close. Why would Mom keep him a secret from her daughter, does it have to do with the secret CEO Bae knows? Now Nan-gil is the one keeping secrets, and that’s another reason I’m happy that Na-ri isn’t the kind of person who’s scared of answers. Whatever the truth is, she can handle it.
To change directions just a bit, I’m just about over Yeo-joo’s “poor little neglected girlfriend” act. Honey, you don’t get to steal another woman’s fiance then be upset when he still has feelings for the woman he was planning to spend his life with. You are not allowed to take what doesn’t belong to you, then play the victim when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted. She even openly lies to him, saying that she’s never dated much when the truth is that she’s been a very active member of a dating club for years. She got exactly what she asked for — a cheater who thinks of other women when he’s with her. She has no high ground from which to judge him when she was the one who enticed him to cheat in the first place.
The show is not turning out to be as funny as I expected, but it’s delivering a poignant sweetness that I’m really appreciating. The show is all about family and relationships, and Na-ri trying to discover the truth about her own family. Nan-gil has grown up without much family to speak of, and he’s desperately trying to save one while at the same time holds himself apart from it. His analogy of a weed’s purpose being to help the wanted plant grow stronger was so sad, because he obviously sees himself as the weed, whose purpose is to be sacrificed for Na-ri’s sake. I can’t wait for Na-ri to help him understand that not only is he part of her family now, but he’s a critical, crucial part of it, and that her family can’t survive without him. More even than a romantic love between them, I can’t wait to see them truly bond as family.