We’ve got mostly happy characters this episode, save for some who are in for some really rude awakenings. I guess it’s safe to say we’re in for most likely the second last leg of tis drama, which should see lesser major conflicts, and more resolutions, before we head for the finale. A wedding should be round the corner, while I’m taking the bet that no one divorces for realsies. Which is a shame, really.
Ho-bak heads home, sees her wedding photo on her dresser, and throws it onto the ground.
Uncle Don sends the landlady back to her place, and she tries to seduce him. She tells him she can take care of him and she has lotsa money. I love how Uncle Don imitates her trademark action. Uncle Don escapes when she tries to swoop in for a kiss. Grandma, Dad and Soo-bak wait for him at the door, and when he refuses to answer to their queries, Dad takes it that he’s too shy. Uncle Don tells Grandma his night was too scary.
Hye-bak prints out the schedule of household chores, and Grandma tries to wriggle her way out of it but fails.
We cut to the bootcamp, where the remaining girls take their last test, which is a test of physical strength. Young Dal leads at the cycling segment, but Gwang-bak wins at the last stretch of running across the beach dragging a tire behind. She’s ecstatic beyond words, but Sang Nam’s Dad’s unhappy. When it’s time for the prize giving, Dad unwillingly hands her the plaque, and Gwang-bak had to snatch it away. Sang Nam meets Gwang-bak when she’s back from the bootcamp, both giddy from happiness with her win.
Grandma unwillingly does the dishes, and Mom happily picks fault with Grandma. Ho-bak comes along with some samgyeopsal, and announces that from now on she’s going to stop being thrifty. Gwang-bak comes home with Sang Nam in tow, and announces the date of their parents’ meeting.
Dinner began in a happy mood, until Ho-bak announces she’s divorcing Se Dal. She tries to make everyone be happy for her, but Mom looks genuinely upset. Uncle Don heads outside and tries calling Se Dal, to no avail. Dad catches a moment with Ho-bak, and she comes clean with Dad:
“I’m okay with everything else, but I really didn’t want my children to be without their father. I feel saddest and most apologetic at this. But Dad, I’ve tried my best and I don’t have regrets. I was kidnapped; no it wasn’t a real kidnapping. I only wanted to know his real feelings. But he wasn’t even frantic, even though it’s about my life-and-death. He should have done something, shouldn’t he? However, he’s unreachable; he turned off his phone because he found the whole thing irritating. What kind of family is that? I don’t want to live with such a person. I staged my own kidnapping because I wanted to hold on to him; no, perhaps it’s because I’m looking for reasons to let go of him cleanly. Only so then can I let him go cleanly. That person, he is my first love. I’m only 36; I shouldn’t cling on to such an unsuitable marriage. If the kids really need a fatherly figure, there’s always Dad and Uncle Don, isn’t it so? If even with Dad and Uncle as the paternal figures can’t work out, it is the kids’ fate. I have no regrets now.”
The landlady waits for Uncle Don outside the pizzeria he works for, and brings him to a KTV. She sticks to him like a leech, and Uncle Don gets really uncomfortable and shakes her off. She tells him she feels they’re fated to be together, for it’s the first time she feels she wants to spend all her money on him. Uncle Don rejects her outright for good and walks out of the KTV room, only to have a group of spectators who’re snickering outside the door breaking apart.
Gwang-bak slips back the ring box (with the couple rings in it of course) into Sang Nam’s windbreaker, and they both promise not to remove the ring ever again. If they do, I’m having words with you, Show.
Uncle Don heads for a ponjangmacha, and Young Dal ends up sitting at the same table as him despite her hoping otherwise. Young Dal and Uncle Don quarrels endlessly with each other as they keep drinking. And the next we know, it’s the next morning and they end up in some motel on the same bed. Young Dal wakes up first and gives Uncle Don a tight slap. They start quarreling immediately, and blames each other for seducing them. It ends rather badly because Young Dal is really mean with her words and tries to slap Uncle. He gets really angry and reaches out to grab her wrist. What I didn’t really agree with was he pushes her pretty roughly to the bed and leaves. That strength was a lil uncalled for, though I think Young Dal deserves all the scolding. Uncle Don heads home unhappily, and blames Soo-bak for his predicament.
Ho-bak sits Mdm Park and Young Dal down, and tells them about her impending divorce. Mdm Park is all smiles and totally congratulates her for it, and Young Dal does the same.
Dad asks Mom what would she do if he gets kidnap, and Mom asks him back the same question. Dad tries to explain to Mom that Ho-bak may be happier being divorced, although it is tougher on divorced females in the Korean society.
Mom suddenly receives a call from Soo-bak, who asks her to go to Ae Ji’s talenttime at school on her behalf, without explaining why (Suspicious Ex insists she goes with him to meet an investor).
Shin-tong and Bang-tong are home alone and drawing, and Shin-tong asks his younger brother to remove Dad from his drawing. Ho-bak buys them pizza, and Shin-tong guesses correctly that Ho-bak has something to tell them, because she always buys them pizza when she has something to say to them. Ho-bak tells her sons Mom and Dad are divorcing, and Bang-tong immediately breaks out in tears. Shin-tong pulls him into their room, and tells to Bang-tong not to make Ho-bak more tired than she is now; he’s have friends whose parents also broke up, and they cope with it as best as they can. He tells Bang-tong to tell him if he’s being teased by his friends. I love Shin-tong, he’s such a thoughtful little boy.
Soo-bak comes home and the first thing she says to Mom was “What did you wear to Ae Ji’s kindergarten? Ae Ji was crying because you did not wear nicely, like her friends’ Moms did.” It started another round of quarrel between Mom and Soo-bak, and this time Dad steps in and lectures Soo-bak. Min Joong pulls Soo-bak back to their room, and gives her a piece of his mind: “Why did you go out to work? Shouldn’t the main reason be to earn more money for the children? But look at you, what are you doing these days?”
Mdm Park and Young Dal heads to the villa to look for Se Dal, only to be told by the chief maid that he was being chased out wearing nothing but boxers. Mdm Park is very distraught at the revelation. They head back to Ho-bak’s place, and wonders what they should do if Ho-bak also chases them out. Their conclusion is to make breakfast the next day, but Ho-bak tells Mdm Park truthfully that she feels awkward with Mdm Park and Ho-bak still living under the same roof. Mdm Park has no choice but to tell her they’re sticking around until Se Dal is back. Meanwhile, we get glimpses of Se Dal being a homeless.
Young Dal tries calling Se Dal but he is unreachable. At least she guesses correctly that Se Dal was being too stupid to be fooled by the money, and did not realise that Director is just messing with him. Mdm Park receives a call from some unknown number, and it turns out to be Se Dal calling from a pay phone. Mdm Park gets really worked up and brings Young Dal to the villa, determined to create some ruckus. But of course, even though they managed to grab Cray Cray Director by her hair, they end up being thrown out of the villa.
Sang Nam brings Gwang-bak home, but his Dad tells them that he agrees to them getting married not because he truly agrees to it, but because of his promise at the daughter-in-law audition. Aunt tells Sang Nam to show Gwang-bak around, and his Dad burst into his room just while they were hugging, and screams that young people should not be in a closed room on their own. Wut. Sang Nam protests that they’re going to be married, and his Dad insists in his irritating way that as long as they’re still unmarried, no means no. *rolls eyes*
All the adult members of the Wang family sit around the dining table, and the Wang daughters tease Uncle Don for looking exceptionally suave and manly, and ask if anything good happened to him recently. Uncle Don replies nothing ever happened him, nope, no good nor bad things, zilch.
It’s a sleepless night for Mdm Park, Young Dal and Uncle Don. Mdm Park thinks of her poor son, wandering around the streets of Seoul half-nekkid; Young Dal thinks back to the morning after with Uncle Don, while Uncle Don is thinking of the same thing.
Hye-bak’s using Gwang-bak’s laptop to check something, and suddenly she becomes wide-eyed, and jumps out of her chair and does a cute little dance. Why is Hye-bak’s being realised in snippets? I’m guessing she’s being accepted in whatever she’s applied for, but what is that whatever?
It’s the day of the parents’ meeting for Gwang-bak and Sang Nam, they both tell their Mom and Dad respectively not to show them off to each other’s parents too much. Dad teases Gwang-bak that she has nothing to be proud of, and calls her “Unemployed”. Hee.
Ho-bak waits outside the court for Se Dal to come, but he never turns up, as expected. She calls Mdm Park, hoping to find out about Se Dal’s whereabouts, and Mdm Park hangs up on her abruptly so as not to reveal the truth of Se Dal. Ho-bak brings her sons on stationery shopping, and while waiting for Ho-bak to pay for the stuff, the boys slip out to marvel at the toys outside the shop, and Bang-tong happens to see a very much dishevelled Se Dal. Se Dal immediately runs and hides, while the boys screams for Ho-bak. Ho-bak tells them it must be someone who looks like Se Dal. They decide that it must be so, and Bang-tong says his Dad doesn’t look remotely like a beggar. And all the while, Se Dal remains in his hidden corner and peeks at them with tears.
I guess what I like about King’s Family is that despite the over-the-top characters and plotlines, IS the over-the-top story in general. As Javabeans have pointed out, King’s Family is pretty makjang, yet it is nothing hair-tearing (at least for me), and I get hints of cheekiness and good fun in the script generally. And of course, throw in a hansum guy into the mix, I pretty much forgive the narrative flaws (yes, I am THAT easy to please).
The best family drama I’ve seen so far is still You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly, for it is rooted in reality more so than most of the other family drama offerings; there’s no crazily rich chaebol, although there is a long lost son. The pace was steady throughout, and it really felt like watching a family in their day-to-day lives. It was easier to relate to due to the realistic characters, while practically everyone in King’s Family has some really crazy streak in them. I particularly cannot buy Se Dal’s character, because how can a law school graduate be such a loser AND jobless for so long?
I suppose the charm of King’s Family is despite the ridiculous characters and plot, the story the writer wants to tell is one that strikes a chord with people – the warmth of family. The titular family is one which one knows they can fall back on no matter what trouble they run into. For this, it is thus not difficult to understand the rising viewership ratings and increasing attention from international fans.