A Wife’s Credentials: Episode 3

[After this episode, I can never look at tugboats in the same way again. Neither can Seo-rae and Tae-oh. Perhaps Softy, too. This whole episode left me breathless and then a little teary. Not tears of sadness, no, but tears of gratitude. Often when I watch a drama, I just want things to speed along. Not so for A Wife’s Credentials. I want to bottle each moment; I want to pour out the exquisite storytelling, drop by drop, and gaze upon it as it shimmers on my palm. There is such courage in this drama, and also such foolhardiness, and for all of it I’m humbled and grateful. Thank you for your labor of love, Softy dear! —thundie]


SR – Yoon Seo-rae
SJ – Han Sang-jin (SR’s husband)
G – Han Gyeol (SR and SJ’s 5th grade son)
MR – Yoon Mi-rae (SR’s younger sister)
T – Kim Tae-oh (dentist who is married with a young daughter)
Hong – Hong Ji-seon (runs her own academy)
MJ – Han Myeong-jin (SR’s sister-in-law and SJ’s younger sister)
HT – Jo Hyun-tae (MJ’s husband)
YJ – Jo Yoon-jae (MJ and HT’s older daughter)
EJ – Kang Eun-joo (HT’s other woman)
FIL (SR’s father-in-law)
MIL (SR’s mother-in-law)

Episode 3

Starts with SR baking and remembering back to the previous night on the boat. (Flashback) She told her husband over the phone that she borrowed a boat. “I’ll tell you the details when I get home.” Right after she said “took a cab,” she falls down from the rough waves and drops the phone. She says hello into it and realizes SJ is no longer on the line. T shields her with his body from the falling boxes around them and each time they roll back and forth, he ends up getting hurt more than her.

The boat docks and the two of them are sitting there across from each other looking seasick and tired. The boat owner opens the latch and says they arrived. T tells her she suffered but she says: “No, you’re the one who got injured because of me.” He gives her a hand up to stand and then starts piling fallen boxes back up. She grabs her bags and he gets the rest of her stuff. She says he doesn’t need to carry her stuff and asks him to hand it to her, but he says: “It’s ok I’ll carry them.” He is about to walk up the steps, but he feels compelled to stop. He puts her things down and turns around to look at her.

T: “This is something else. It’s really strange.” He pulls her close and hugs her. Just as he was about to kiss her, she pulls away. She looks into his eyes and then suddenly she holds his cheeks and kisses him. She pulls back after letting go of him. This time he steps forward and kisses her.

Present time: SR recalls that kiss and looks like she is still trying to process what happened that night.

Back to that night: T and SR get out of the cab near her home. He hands her the bag and tells her to go in. He stands and watches her walk for a while and then leaves. In the elevator while going up to her home, she tells herself: “You are crazy. You’ve gone insane.” She fixes her hair and goes inside her apartment.

SJ is up eating a cheese stick with his can of beer. She is surprised to see him and asks if he hadn’t slept yet. SJ asks if she saw a ghost (since she seemed so alarmed). SR asks about G so SJ says “he is sleeping.” SR: “You worried, didn’t you?” SJ: “What happened and why do you look like that?”

SR explains how she went for a walk with her mom and how her mom threw a tantrum in the mud wanting to play so it ruined her clothes. He asks if she borrowed (rented) the boat. SR: “Yes.” He says, “Must be nice that you were able to,” so she starts to reply truthfully but then switches to a lie by saying: “I wasn’t the one who borrowed the boat – it was because there were a few people who missed the boat.” SJ changes the subject and says wake me up an hour earlier (for his studies with his son). SR: “OK.” SJ goes to bed.

Present time – the next day: SR finished baking her cookies. She writes out a card, but rips it up.

T is at his office when there is a knock on the door and the nurse comes in saying “You have a guest.”It’s SR carrying a basket. He welcomes her in. T: “Did you sleep well?” SR: “Yes.” She puts down the basket and tells him to pass it around (to the other nurses) and eat it. He looks inside and says “you didn’t have to do this.”

SR: “Yesterday because of me you must have spent a lot of money so I put some expenses in there including the cost of renting the boat.” She bows and tries to leave but he holds her arm and says “wait a minute. This isn’t right.” He holds the card and says “I will look at this first.” He sees her thank you note and a sketch of T with her mother.

He compliments her drawing for being so accurate. Next he says he will look at the second envelope. T pulls out $400 in checks. She says she thought it would come out to that much – the cost of the boat rental, transportation (paying for gas), his dental services for treating her mother, and also because he left his car behind there. “It’s only right I should pay for that to be returned to you. Also for how hard you worked because of my mother. No, that’s not something I can never repay.”

He tells her to sit for a minute but she says no – just please take it. He says: “Let’s make some accurate calculations. Sit down.” He makes a list of the costs starting with his dental services and so on. $8. $15 (in Korea it’s this cheap because of discounts for elderly and if you have insurance). For the cost of going there, since he would do that anywhere (charity work) he says “pass” (he will ignore it).

T: “Let’s see what else is there. For the cost of renting the boat, since it was my fault for driving slow and missing the boat, this also “pass” so the total is $23.” He shows her the total and checks his pockets. He says: “I don’t have any change right now so just put this back in (he puts the money into her purse).” T: Just give me $23. You can charge it on your credit card if you like (he holds out his hand).”

She says no and takes out her wallet. SR: “If I pay that, it will seem like I don’t have a conscience (meaning it will seem like she is taking advantage since she should know better than to let this happen since he is being too generous by charging her so little).” He ignores her remark and holds out his hand and says “give it to me.” She slowly counts out the money and he puts it in his pocket.

He tries to tell her she has a fleck of dough in her hair, but she doesn’t know where so he ends up taking off the cake batter that was matted to her hair.

She gets up and asks when he is getting his car back. T: “Around tomorrow.” SR: “It must be uncomfortable not to have your car.” T: “No, (I ride) my bike.” He says he will eat one of the cookies now. She says it just tastes average, but he says it’s delicious. SR: “Thank goodness.” He asks her to eat some too but she says no, she has to leave now but then she stops.

SR: “About what happened yesterday. I would like that to be nothing much (as in no big deal).” T: “What?” SR bows and says goodbye.

SR fans herself as she walks out saying: “That’s it. This is the end of it. Don’t think about it anymore.”

SR went and told her sister what happened. MR: “But still, you gave him that? That you would end it with just giving him only $23.” SR: “Then what could I do?” If I don’t give it to him, then our conversation would have gone on longer and I would have felt more sorry.” MR: “They said Hong’s husband was a dentist too.” SR: “That’s what you said.”

MR: “That person sure is ok.” SR: “Yes.” MR: “It would be nice if he went again.” SR: “Again?” MR: “It would be nice because you can’t end it with just one dental appointment.” SR: “You have to know when to have a conscience (meaning it would be too much to ask again).” She takes off her shoes to lie down. MR: “Do you want to eat lunch?” SR hugs the pillow and says: “I will sleep for 30 mins.” MR: “Then do that.”

T is looking at her card again and munching on her cookies. He reaches for another one only to realize he ate the whole basket of cookies. He looks at the basket and remembers how she grabbed him and kissed him.

T rides his bike and lies in the tall grass remembering how SR said, “About what happened – it would be nice if it was nothing much”(as in no big deal).” It’s like he knows those words carry no meaning since it’s the total opposite – everything has changed for him now.

SR does her grocery shopping in a daze. On her way home she runs into T who is riding his bike. They awkwardly say hello to each other.

T: “I’m on my way back from eating lunch.” SR: “Grocery shopping.” T: “Oh. Now that I see – we’re living in the same neighborhood.” SR: “t seems like we are.” She walks around and leaves. He says he is going tomorrow to get his car back so would she like to go together, but she says “no – I am sorry.” He says there is no need to feel sorry. She bows and says she will be going now.

T goes back to his office and the nurse asks what he ate for lunch. He doesn’t reply and just says, “What did I eat.” She reminds him how he has back to back appointments starting from 2pm. T: “Ok.” T goes into his office and just sits there rocking on his chair.

SR goes home and prepares dinner. While G is eating, SR reads off a math problem for him to solve. She pauses and asks if he understood up to there. He says yes so she continues reading, but he tells her she already read that part just now. She says she will start over and reads again. After she is done, she asks if he knows how to solve it and he says he does so she runs over and says he is impressive and hugs and kisses him. She ends up making him spill his milk because he was just about to drink it when she swooped in for the hug.

At the academy, JH is standing in front of the class solving that math problem that SR read aloud to G earlier. Hong asks him to explain how he arrived at his answer. He gives his answer so Hong asks the rest of the class if he is correct. They all yell: “Yes, he is correct.” Hong asks if there is anyone else who solved it differently. G raises his hand so she tells him to talk. He explains how he solved it, but JH points out a problem with it. G tries to argue the same answer comes out the same since he isn’t subtracting from the total, but JH points out what G didn’t consider.

Other kids join in and poke fun at G’s answer saying G has extra time and G doesn’t have confidence. G argues that he solved the problem within the time limit. Other kid says, “You are wasting time.” JH says, “If you just sat there and did nothing, we would have moved onto the next problem.” G argues that the teacher asked if there was anyone else who solved it differently. “That’s why I answered.” JH throws in a last jab so Hong puts a stop to it and says all of them interrupted her class and makes them solve problems as punishment – they have to solve them within 10 mins.

At home, T sits and looks at the map his young daughter drew. He asks what some of the places are and she answers.

They hear the door so T says “Mom’s home.” She runs over to greet her mom. Hong says: “Mom is home” and she picks up her daughter saying: “Our daughter. Did you play well? Did you eat well? Piano? Ballet?” The girl said yes to each of those so Hong covers her in kisses.

T tells her to stop but Hong says: “What can I do when she is so adorable?” She sees the map and asks if the girl drew a map with her dad. The girl says: “Yes, a map of our neighborhood.” T had gone into the kitchen to get Hong a glass of juice without her even asking so he brings it over and puts it in front of Hong.

Hong praises her daughter for doing so well. T tells the girl, “Let’s finish this tomorrow.” He puts away her color pencils and stuff. Hong looks at her daughter and says, “Let’s work on what you memorized for today before you go to bed” (like it’s been a regular thing of theirs to do each night).

The girl recites something I can’t understand because she spoke English – all I got was something about little lambs looking for their mom (but it sounded like alligators for some reason). Hong: “And then?” The girl thinks and says “I don’t know” in Korean. Hong looks at her sternly and says: “You didn’t memorize it. Today’s stuff and tomorrow’s stuff.”

Girl says in Korean: “Let’s not do this.” Hong tells her to go get her book. Girl replies: “Yes, Mom.” Hong reminds her to bring “Book Two” so girl says in Korean: “I know.” Hong tells her to speak in English. Girl: “Yes, Mom.” T tells his daughter to do that quickly and sleep. Hong tells him in English that he needs to share the burden of parenting so he replies in Korean “ok” so she says in English – “Don’t make me the bad mom.” He says “ok” again and goes in. Hong tells her daughter to hurry and drinks her juice while waiting.

T goes to his room and thinks about the first time he saw SR. He looks up yellow raincoats on the internet – like the one SR wore that day.

Next morning as G packs his books, SR tells G to talk – something happened at the academy yesterday for sure. G doesn’t answer so she asks if it’s hard studying. “Are kids being mean?” G replies annoyingly: “Really.” She asks: “What are you getting peeved for when your mom is asking?” G mutters “it’s no big deal.”

She keeps asking him to talk even if it’s nothing. He says how his former school classmates are going on a trip this week. So if he stayed and kept living in that neighborhood he would have been able to go with them. SR says: “I know that. I want to go too.” She hugs him and says: “When your midterm exams are done, let’s go together, the two of us. If you go to school with that face, you won’t feel good all day and I will worry too.” SJ asks what they are doing. SR says: “We are going.”

As G and his dad get on the elevator, SR gives G advice on what to do when he isn’t in a good mood. EJ pops her head out and asks if her son can get on the elevator too. The three of them go down and SJ and G bow to EJ.

EJ asks SR: “Did you hear? About what happened yesterday at the academy during class.” SR: “So something did happen. I kept asking G if there was anything because he wasn’t in a good mood but he said it was nothing.” EJ interrupts and says: “Because of your child the class wasn’t able to do the work properly(as in they couldn’t resume the work as they normally would have).” EJ uses an old saying about how the kids are on the same path and objective so one kid can’t act out of line. If he is a burden then it will become a problem so take better care of him and get extra tutoring if SR needs to. She goes back into her home after being so brusque and rude.

SR goes to meet Hong at her morning yudo time. SR asks for just ten minutes of her time to discuss something. SR confides that she is worried about this and that. “Is G he not able to do the work? Is he inconveniencing the other kids? How do you see it? I’m not close with the other mothers so there was no one I could ask this to – I am so sorry for bothering you.”

Hong hands her an outfit for yudo and tells her to go and put it on and come back. SR: “What?” Hong: “The mother needs to get strong first. That is how you will last in this neighborhood.” SR: “Yes.”

SR changes into her outfit. She gets a text from T. T: “I am going to go and get my car back. If you want to return the clothes you borrowed, then send it to me.” She texts back: “It’s okay; I can return it later. Thank you.”

Hong tells SR that she doesn’t even have the basics for yudo. “So you have to train your body to be able to do yudo. So this is how you start. Follow.” She starts tumbling forward all the way down the line in a straight path. When SR does it she tumbles sideways like her body has no sense of direction. At the end Hong tells her to tumble backwards now. “Relax your shoulders and do it.” SR messes up so Hong keeps saying “do it again.”

In the locker as Hong gets dressed, she tells SR: “You want to win but you are not prepared. You need to fight the way they do since they have already set it up that way.” She says how SR and G will both think: “I won’t be able to do this – it’s unfair. In that situation a human being will react in three ways. First, it’s a dirty (way) so I am going to leave this fight. Second, won’t be able to leave and keep being bullied. Third, for the time being, will try to win quietly. You and G – which one will you choose?”

SR doesn’t answer. Hong tells her to come here starting from tomorrow every day. SR: “What?” Hong: “Exercise with me.” SR starts to stutter but Hong says: “A kid can only do what his mother can do.” SR: “That’s true.”

T goes to SR’s mom’s place with his equipment for follow-up treatment. The nurse says: “You came again. He says how he left his car here so since he came for the car, he wanted to see SR’s mother. And do some more treatment. She says how SR’s mom had said she wanted that too. The nurse leads the way.

T waits for SR’s mom and nurse asks SR’s mom: “Do you remember him – the one who treated you.” The mom asks him: “Did you come alone? What about your girlfriend?” T laughs (sort of pleased to hear that) but says: “It’s not like that.” The nurse says just to go along with it because it’s her habit.

Mom asks: “Did you bring that?” T: “What?” The mom motions for the dental instrument so he says, “Yes. They are over there.” He starts the procedure and asks her to open up wide. The nurse comes in with some elderly people and asks since he came if he could treat these others and tells him about their dental problems. One has swollen gums and other keeps taking out her dentures because maybe they don’t fit right. He motions for the nurse to wait and continues with SR’s mom. He tells her she can’t chew on candies. The nurse tells the elderly couple to wait and goes out. The nurse is on the phone with MR and says how T came again.

SJ is on the phone with his mom saying he is about to do his first recording. The program is on right after the 8 o’clock news – before the drama starts. “Let’s watch together at my home.” Mom: “Let’s do that. Do well.” He says to call MJ and HT too. “Then, see you later.”

SJ gets some makeup touchups so he says: “Again?” The makeup artist asks him to close his eyes. SJ: “My wrinkles are no joke, huh? (meaning he has a lot) Should I get some botox done? Everyone does them right?” She says how wrinkles look good on guys so he asks if she means it. She says yes. He gets called to start so he asks her to take care of the monitor for him (meaning check if he looks good on camera). He squeezes her shoulders and says: “I will buy lunch tomorrow.” He practices his lines.

EJ is putting in her order to get some expensive medicine that comes in boxes – the ones you drink that are in plastic bags that are dark colored. Worst tasting medicines ever. All the candy in the world can’t kill this taste.

MJ’s voice says to HT: “Today is Oppa’s (SJ) first day of his show. He said let’s watch together while we eat dinner.” HT says: “It’s over at SJ’s? But I won’t be able to make it today. Because I don’t know when my meeting will end.” She says just come when it ends.

EJ comes over and says: “There must be a family gathering at your oppa’s.” She adds: “Don’t say anything to your sister-in-law (SR) about her son.” MJ says: “I have to act like I sensed it because I can’t act like I don’t know if my nephew is inconveniencing the others.” EJ: “Since I told her, she will understand it plenty.” MJ: “Still.” MJ orders medicine for her daughters and her husband. EJ orders some too. The doctor says: “I will send them to your home in four days.” EJ: “Please make them well.” He says of course. EJ tells MJ to come earlier and drop by her home, but MJ says it’s okay since she will have her parents with her.

HT goes to meet EJ in the parking lot. He says: “Are you crazy? Why did you come here?” EJ: “To shock you.” HT: “What?” EJ: “Since I was being too docile, I think you forgot to have fear.” HT: “Why are you doing things you didn’t do before?” EJ: “MJ got the same medicine as the one I got for you. I got hurt over that for a second so that’s why I must be doing things like this that is so unlike me.”

HT is afraid of being seen so he gets in the back seat. HT: “The two of you (meaning MJ and EJ) stop meeting.” EJ: “You aren’t thinking of joining the family across from me, are you?” HT: “Are you insane?” EJ: “MJ said even if it’s late, for you to come.” HT: “She only said that.” EJ: “You obey MJ well. While coming to pretend to be a good husband, if you run into JH out front, it will become a problem. Right?”

HT: “Hurry and go and don’t worry about that.” EJ: “OK. It must bother you that you can’t come comfortably to your brother-in-law’s (house).” HT: “Just go.” She tells him to be patient till JH is in boarding school. “Because that’s what I am looking forward to as well and being patient. Also study with JH every morning. Why only give him your time just once a week? I don’t like that. JHT shi – JH’s dad. I know you very well.”

She threatens she could explode the truth if he doesn’t do what she wants. She reminds him of his nickname so he says, “Who said such things?” EJ: “Where did you meet me? I haven’t cut ties with those people. Why? Because I’m still keeping a close eye on you.” He tells her to go before someone sees. He runs off.

MR opens containers of food and wonders if these will do or not since SR didn’t give her any warning and because she was making deliveries. SR says: “Sorry but I wasn’t thinking of dinner and suddenly he said everyone is gathering here.” MR says: “I cut up the fruit and put them in containers.” SR says: “You did well – there is only you.”

MR: “Did G go to the academy?” SR: “Yes, just now.” MR: “Oh yeah, I called Mom today and that man came again. The dentist.” SR: “Oh, that’s right. He said he was going to go get his car today. On his way there he must have dropped by again.”

MR looks at her face smiling and asks: “Why do you like it that much?” SR: “Because I’m grateful.” MR: “Of course you are thankful and it makes it hard not to compare him with Brother-in-law. Since he is someone who didn’t go even once to visit his mother-in-law.”

SR: “Don’t talk about stuff like that.” MR stares at her suspiciously and asks: “But why are you turning red (as in blushing or flushed)?” SR: “I did? Just hurry and go.” She pushes MR out the door. After she comes back in, SR mutters: “Who is turning red – when I was just so grateful I reacted.”

The nurse and SR’s mom walks T out. He says he will be going and the nurse thanks him. T: “It’s nothing.” He says goodbye to SR’s mom: “I’ll be going, Mother.” She tells him to sleep and then go. Nurse says he will come again. T: “Yes, next week.” Mom asks: “You aren’t lying, right?” T: “Of course not.” Mom: “Bring kalbi jim (meat stew) and come with your girlfriend.”

Nurse realizes the mom is wearing the watch her daughter (SR) left behind. Mom hides it behind her back so nurse says: “Let’s send it back to her through Doctor Kim.” T says to give it to him and he will pass it on to SR. Mom says she shouldn’t have left this behind. “Make sure you scold her well.” T says yes and takes the watch. He says “I will be going” and leaves.

SR gets a text as she sets out the table. T texted: “While I was here, I stopped by and saw Mother one more time. You left someone behind here. I will give it to you. I am leaving now. On my way, I will contact you again.” SR sort of smiles after reading it.

While she is heating up the dinner, she gets another text from him. “I got on the boat just now.”

SJ comes home and she asks if he did the recording well. SJ says he did. She runs back and forth placing the food on the table and tells him she prepared something cold for him to drink. She asks: “Don’t you have an office gathering after the recording?” SJ: “For now have to see the program to see what the audience reaction was and look at ratings.” SR: “Oh, so that’s how it works. That makes sense.”

MJ arrives with her parents. She’s already filled them in about what happened in G’s class so she tells her parents that she will reprimand SR lightly so the mom needs to act like she doesn’t know anything. MJ unlocks the door and goes in. SJ and SR welcome them. FIL says: “Why did you prepare so much?” MIL says: “You suffered (from cooking and preparing).”

SR gets another text from T about how he’s just crossed a certain highway.

SR is preparing something in the kitchen but her heart is racing. Like her mind and heart are elsewhere with someone as he travels closer to her location.

The family enjoy their dinner in front of the TV. T is caught in traffic.

MJ says: “I am done eating. Is there anything I can help with?” SR: “There is nothing to do. I already cut up the fruit in advance.” She moves the fruit from containers to the plate. MJ: “You are so well prepared.” SR says *YJ’s dad (MJ’s husband HT) must be busy (since he didn’t come).

*After you have a child, Koreans call each other by the name of the first child and add father and mother afterwards.

MJ: “I told him to come even if he is late but he said he couldn’t make it.” SR says it’s because he is so talented (that he is busy at work). MIL asks: “What are you going to give for dessert?” SR says fruit and maeshil tea. MJ says her mother eats cake for dessert. SR: “There are some cookies I baked so should I lay those out too?” MJ says do that and offers to pour the tea. SR says: “Yes, it’s in the fridge.”

MJ asks if G is studying well. SR doesn’t give a direct answer. MJ: “There must still be some stress. SR: “Did JH’s mom say something?” MJ: “I didn’t hear anything at all, but there are cases after transferring into the class when kids aren’t able to follow along and disrupt the flow of class.” G — he has to work hard and hang in there. That’s what Teacher Hong said.” MJ: “I don’t think she meant hang in there no matter what. If he can’t follow along in her class, Teacher Hong will do something about it too.”

SR gets another text and excuses herself to check it. T texted: “I am almost there but there is some traffic. I will call when I get there.” MJ: “Is something going on?” SR: “No.” MJ goes back to their earlier topic and says: “Anyway, you have to pay a lot of attention.” SR: “Of course.” MJ takes the tray to her parents.

SJ’s mom asks if he will come out after what they are watching ends. He says yes. SJ points and says it’s on. The guy introduces the “New Corner” which is like a new segment of the show and introduces SJ as Reporter Han. SR clears the dinner table so her MIL says: “Why don’t you watch this together?” SR says yes — while she clears. SJ’s segment tonight is about home rental and other issues like home ownership.

SR gets more and more distracted by the minute. MIL comments to SR: “You should have chosen a brighter color neck tie for him.” SR: “What?” MJ: “His face doesn’t ‘pop’.” SR: “I guess I should have chosen the pink one.” FIL tells them to be quiet.

T drives up to her neighborhood.

SJ gets a call from an old friend (he hasn’t heard from) so he jokes: “This program is scary since you called.” He goes to the bathroom to talk to his friend and asks how the guy’s business is doing. “Let’s meet once.”

T texts: “I just passed the tunnel just now. I will be there after 5 mins.”

SR texts: “Please leave it with the security guard’s station.” But she can’t bring herself to press send.

SJ comes out of the bathroom and SR whispers to him: “I will go out for a short time and come back.” He doesn’t think it’s a big deal and says ok. She tells her in-laws the same thing. That she has something to buy in a hurry. “And there are things I need to prepare for G’s school tomorrow too.” MJ: “Can’t you buy it on your way to school in the morning?” SR: “There will be too many kids then.” SJ says just go and come back. SR: “I will be back.” MIL says: “If cake stores haven’t closed yet, then buy some blueberry cheesecake.” SR: “Yes, okay, I will.”

SR waits for the elevator and EJ comes out. SR: “You must be going to pick JH up.” When they get in the elevator SR says: “Thanks to you I got a ‘talking to’ (sort of like a lecture) from Ahgassi (MJ).” EJ tries to brush it off saying it wasn’t to be mean to G. that it’s just the two kids butting heads (about their differences).

SR gets another text from T: that he is at the big street behind her apartment. As they walk out, EJ offers to give her a lift but SR says it’s ok. EJ: “Don’t think too much of it. It’s just the kids working out their differences.” SR: “Of course.”

SR runs out and suddenly it rains. She goes to a convenience store and buys two umbrellas. She texts T that it will take her 15 mins. He texts back: “Come slowly.”

She runs over to leave the umbrella for G and asks the receptionist to give it to him. Hong calls out “you came.” SR: “Yes, for an umbrella for G because it rained suddenly.” Hong: “It’s good timing that you came. Have a talk with us. With JH’s mother.” Hong gives the cake that EJ bought and hands it to the receptionist to share with others.

SR asks EJ: “Is it that serious -the problem with G?” EJ: “I just told her my side (from my perspective).” Hong tells her to sit. EJ says: “Yes, do (sit) since you came just in time.” SR says to Hong: “But Teacher, I have something urgent that I need to tend to now. Couldn’t we meet tomorrow? I am really sorry.” To EJ, SR says sorry. SR: “Then I will be…”

She doesn’t finish her sentence and quickly walks over to get her umbrella and knocks over the whole stand. Hong and EJ help her pick it up. After she leaves EJ says: “She must really have been in a hurry.”

SR goes to T’s car. He’s waiting outside. She apologizes and says it was because she dropped off an umbrella at the academy first. T: “It’s okay.” SR: “It took you the whole day (meaning to go and come back).” T: “Yes.” SR: “What about dinner?” T: “On the way back I ate some.” He hands her watch back.

SR: “So this was it. I didn’t even know I left it behind. A long time ago my mother bought it for me so I wore it on purpose when I went there.” T repeats her mom’s exact words: “You shouldn’t leave something like that behind. Make sure you scold her well. That’s what Mother said.” SR: “My mother said that?” T: “Yes. Why?” SR: “She knew this was mine? When she didn’t even recognize me (know who I was)?”

He starts to say that’s what her mother said but SR notices some moms walking by across the street so SR turns away. SR explains it’s because she thought it was moms she knew. T says it would be better to get in the car, but SR says, “No I will just be going.” She changes her mind and says: “I think that would be better.” He opens the door and she gets in. He offers to close the door for her.

He gets in and says: “I will drive out a little bit — out of this neighborhood.”

SJ is having beer with his parents. MIL wonders where SR went since she said she would be out for a short time. MJ thinks maybe she went to buy cake. SJ thinks she went to go pick up G since it’s time for his class to end.

G comes out of class and the receptionist gives him his umbrella saying, “Your mom gave this and left.” He thanks her. Hong walks out.

In the car with T, SR gets a text from Hong: “If you are done with your urgent business, please call me. I have something to tell you about G’s problem.” SR suddenly says aloud: “I am crazy. I’m crazy.”

She starts to cry so T pulls over.

SR: “At home all my in-laws are there but I lied and came out. It’s something I haven’t done even once after getting married. I wanted to hide that my mother has dementia, but if I do that I thought it would make me more upset so I told them everything. At my kid’s academy, she wanted to have a discussion about my child, but I made an excuse to get away. To send him to that academy, I did everything — If it’s the head of the academy asking, I should have gotten up quickly but I ran away. Because I wanted to meet you no matter what. Just now the head of the academy asked me to call but I don’t want to. I want to do it tomorrow. This is ridiculous. I‘ve gone insane.”

He suddenly pulls her close and kisses her and doesn’t stop.


Softy’s comments

For the opening kiss scene on the boat: There has never been such an undercurrent of silent emotional fireworks in a scene like this. It was like a switch was turned on and in that instant they both came to life — they stopped living for others or what society dictates they should do and started living for themselves.

Both of them are unhappy in their marriages and just existed — going through the motions of life in their daily routines until this very moment. They were resigned to their fates — neither one ever dreamed of leaving their families to seek out happiness. That was an option that didn’t even occur to them until this moment. What made this scene even more shocking was that even though T initiated it first, SR took the reins and literally seized this opportunity.

That kiss seemed defiant — as if she was daring fate to do something about it. It’s like “Here — I’ve messed up your plans for me – what’s your next move?” It’s the oddest kind of moxie, but I loved it.

thundie’s comments

Holy cow. Was the above scene burning hot or what? Such fire. Such passion. Such rawness of emotion. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it in a kdrama. It came out of the blue… or did it?

The way he has always looked at her, even before he knew her name and even from afar. The way he stares after her as her figure recedes into the distance.

The way he smiles when he sees her. How his face lights up. He can’t help it, not when she’s on his mind so much.

And Seo-rae. She can’t help it, too, the way her eyes soften and her whole face glows. I swear with every episode she looks more luminous. It must be this wondrous feeling that has taken hold of her despite her feeble efforts to swat it away.

Just three episodes (actually just two, because look at how Episode 3 begins!) and there’s no question Tae-oh and Seo-rae have fallen deeply in love. The entire process feels as delightful and natural as any unencumbered (both parties single and available) courtship should feel, and also as awkward and guilt-ridden as any adulterous relationship must feel. Oh, my quandary!

I want to root for them so bad because I’m invested, 200 percent, in their relationship. I love how he puts her needs before his own, how he texts her continuously as he’s driving back so that she’s not left wondering and worrying.

I love how flustered she gets as his texts keep coming, even as she receives them eagerly. She’s like a girl prepping for her first date, without ma and pa’s knowledge! What a fantastic job the writing and directing and acting in this drama; the emotions are so real my heart races along with Seo-rae’s.

But it shouldn’t, it mustn’t! Because what does that imply, that I condone adultery?

Oh, I don’t know. On one hand I hate that witch Eun-joo who thinks nothing of sleeping with her best pal Myeong-jin’s husband. On the other hand I am finding Sang-jin and Hong increasingly unlikable; I doubt I’ll feel any sympathy should their respective spouses stray. (Incidentally, I expect the “straying” to intensify in Episode 4, oh my, oh yay, oh no!) That does not mean, though, that Tae-oh and Seo-rae’s affair is right. Or maybe it is, given the circumstances?

Oh, never mind, this is just a drama; stop making me all confused, you bad show! I may think you hang the moon, but that does not give you the right to force me to ponder deep and hard on matters such as love and marriage, soul mates and happiness. Can’t you be like the other drama I’m watching, the one that’s so unbelievable I never forget for a moment that it’s all fake, thank goodness? Stop being so down to earth and so moving in both understated and supercharged ways, A Wife’s Credentials!

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Categorised in: Guest bloggers, K-dramas, Recaps

13 Responses »

  1. After some searching, managed to find out the title of the song that plays in the kiss scenes. It’s Yesterday Yes A Day by Jane Birkin:

  2. Thundie, are you watching these raw while reading the recaps? I can’t find subbed versions anywhere for this episode! I may just have to read along like a novel and then rewatch when all the subs are out – which may not be a bad thing as it will be a double dose of my newest must watch addiction 🙂 Just when I think there’s nothing of substance out there in Kdrama land……

    • Oh, I watch with Softy’s awesome transcaps. She translates almost word for word and explains every scene clearly. All the times that I’ve used Softy’s translation (for AWC and other dramas), I find that I don’t need to go back and rewatch with subs. I don’t read the transcaps first as I don’t like spoilers; I read as I watch, keke. 😀

    • Some site just upload subbed version of episode 1.
      I’m hoping this will go on till the final episode.

  3. Thank you for this! I would not have watched it if you guys hadn’t liked it so much! The music in this is a bit different – The Monkees? wow I loved them when I was a tween. I had to laugh when I heard that song, Daydream Believer – wow That was a LONG time ago 😀 Thank you softy for the wonderful transcaps!

  4. Isn’t Lee Sung Jae amazing? As for subtitles, eventually they will turn up here – http://dramatic.weebly.com/subtitles.html I may soundhound the show and list the music, it’s really good stuff. Mwah! Thanks Softy!

  5. FIrst off, thank you Softy for these great transcaps! I so appreciate the time you put into it. I followed Thundie’s viewing method and agree that your narrative is more than enough to accompany the raw episodes. Reading the comments after viewing is the icing on the cake!

    Whether the whole premise is justifiable or just plain wrong, I’m sure it happens many times over in every country, every day. I find it intriguing to go along for the ride and experience these raw, and wonderfully acted I might add, emotions vicariously. The attraction, the turmoil, the thrill, the anxiety (I was right there with you and the racing heartbeat, Thundie) and inevitable heartbreak that will come along in some fashion — all delivered risk free in the safety of my own home!

    Thanks for introducing this drama to me 🙂

  6. They both came alive on that day and with that kiss. It happend just so quietly and naturally…and I don;t even think if’s our place to judge whether it is right or wrong.

    I am now up to ep 6 and totally in awe of how real and relatable the characters in this drama are. I can literally see them in my real life – practically all of them resemble someone I know.

  7. What could be better than this? My wish was granted! Thank you so much for the transcaps…reading it while watching the show works for me.

    Also, it’s great to see Kim Hee-ae in a “daring to feel” role, which is quite different from her character in “Midas”.

  8. id like to say thank you for introducing me to the awesomeness of this drama.. as you go along it makes you think of the realities in life and what you will do if you were in their shoes… i just hope their love… affection.. feeling stand the test of time..society..family and whatever comes their way.

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