Scandal Episode 11-12 Review

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Scandal is one of those slow thoughtful stories that unfolds emotions as much as it reveals characters. The above pair is my favorite, because despite the silent air and formal manners that exist between the two, they both care for each other more than their own selves-as any parent child would. And that’s why it hurts your heart to even imagine the worst that’s yet to come!

When I start writing the review and comments, I end up looking at everything in even more depth than before and it totally makes me fall in love with the show. Now that I’ve nothing else on my plate (Two Weeks doesn’t start until tomorrow) I am so enjoying my whole week full of thoughts with Scandal!

Episode 11-12 Review:

Ah Mi loses her baby because of her fall in the fire. She’s quiet and withdrawn all the while as the doctor checks up on her and Ha Eun Joong watches. Finally, he calls up his father and the conversation is so loaded with emotions-especially from his end that it tears at you.

He asks his father if they have a lot of seaweed at him and asks him to make some soup. Dad thinks he wants it for himself but Eun Joong clarifies.

“Woo Ah Mi… she lost her baby, Father. I’m at the hospital right now. At this time, someone should be with her. I think you’re a better choice to stay with her than me. Make some soup and come to the hospital please. You know hospital food has no taste.”

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Dad is shocked. He brings food for Ah Mi and assures her he will take care of her now on, calling her his daughter now. Later, when he runs into Ha EJ waiting outside the hospital room, an enraged Eun Joong tells Dad with a determined expression that he has a pretty good idea about who may be behind the fire and will definitely catch that person.

Eun Joong’s superior calls up dad and assures him that Eun Joong is off the case, like he wanted and asks Myeong Gun to come out of retirement and help out the police like he used to.

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Joo Ha tries to wiggle out of her impending marriage to Jin Wook but for some reason, he seems fixated on the idea and wants to go ahead with it. As Tae Ha, the minister and Jin Wook go out for a night of drinking, his forlorn attitude and silence makes Tae Ha think he has a woman he cares for and looks at him thoughtfully while Joo Ha stews at home with drinks. She runs into Jang EJ and asks him if he’s the one who exiled Ha EJ from his office. He denies it, so she assumes it was Dad and muses that Ha EJ isn’t one to back away easily. But if he were to come after them again, Dad won’t let him go so easily.

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Ha EJ visits a store to find out more about the cuff pin and the investigator Hwa Young-and subsequently Jang EJ hired tails him and takes pictures. The store clerk tells Ha EJ to check with the brand that the person wears since the trend is to have the cuffs made along with the suit.

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What I found fun was that we’ve no indication that Ha EJ knows he’s being tailed but he confronts the guy by dragging him out of his car when he least expects is and tells him curtly, “I think you know who I am already so the only introduction left is your name.” ha! The man reveals he’s an investigator and that Jang EJ hired him.

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Ha EJ sees the photos the man has taken of him and his jaw tightens when he sees one with his Dad and sister outside the house. He turns back to the investigator and tells him in a dangerous, no contradictions accepted tone that he’ll pretend he doesn’t know he’s being tailed so that the investigator can turn in his report and get the compensation he deserves. However, the only pictures he’ll forward would be of Ha EJ and not of his dad or sister. He warns the man he won’t let him off the next time if he messes with his dad or sister. Awww, I love how Eun Joong is always thinking of his family!

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Joo Ha and Joo Pil’s competition for the President’s seat starts getting obvious but Joo Pil isn’t fazed and tells Joo Ha that she might have hold of the Chairman’s arm/favor at the moment, but soon he, Joo Pil will be coming after the Chairman’s heart. Damn, he means to use Ha EJ as a pawn!

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Just to push Jin Wook’s buttons, Joo Ha pretends familiarity with Ha Eun Joong the next time she sees him in a hotel and Eun Joong is with her. Jin Wook curtly introduces himself to Eun Joong and tells him of their impending marriage. When he tells Eun Joong to end all ties by that time, an incredulous Eun Joong asks, “So you mean it’s okay to keep meeting until then?!” Lol! However, as Jin Wook walks away, his expression tightens and you know he isn’t as unaffected as he’d like Joo Ha to think.

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Joo Ha is understandably pissed at Jin Wook’s reaction and proposes to Eun Joong that they fake date for a month. At first he refuses-her company’s worker died and a fire in his house caused his wife to miscarry the child in her belly. He calls her out on closing her eyes and ears to the whole thing since it has nothing to do with her. He walks away, telling her they’ll talk when there’s info on the cuff link pin and walks away. However, a thought changes his mind and he walks back to her, agreeing to her deal.

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Turns out, Ha EJ had called Joo Ha out for a meet and a hilarious conversation ensues. Not because it’s supposed to be hilarious, but because of the double meanings that it imparts and confuses Joo Ha.

Joo Ha: “Why’d you call me out today?”

Ha EJ: “Because I wanted to see you.”

Joo Ha: “What do you mean? What did you want to see?”

Ha EJ: “Your face!”

Joo Ha (spits out drink in surprise): “WHAT?”

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Turns out, Ha EJ wanted to see her face when he confronted her about the cuff pin. She covers up her knowledge of who the pin belongs to well enough, but Ha EJ is also quick to catch on that she’s covering for her father and reveals where it was found-in the house that was most probably deliberately set fire to.

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The next morning, she asks her father about ‘the cuff pins I gifted you’ and is surprised to hear Dad passed them onto his secretary/minion ‘Shin’ (He has a name! Did he have it before and I didn’t notice?) So she confronts Minion Shin about Gi Chan’s house fire-was he responsible?

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He denies it so she raises the issue of the pin, laying out the situation for him-Ha has it and will come looking for him soon. What she wants to know is what was so important in that house that they had to blow it up. He says he can’t answer so she doesn’t press but tells him he’d better cover his tracks well enough so nothing blows back to her father. Ah, so the girl isn’t evil herself, but is helping to keep the family evil secret for now. I was really hoping she’d be the good person in the family once she realized how bad her father was. Well, there’s still plenty of time and hope. Meanwhile Eun Joong also learns that the pin was purchased by Joo Ha to gift her father.

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Jang Eun joong confronts his mother about her search and I LOVE the interaction that follows. When she asks why he called her out like this-making her believe she was going to see her real son, he tearfully tells her he wanted her to feel the pain he was feeling, to show her the wound she gave him and know exactly what she’s doing to him. With a shaking voice, he asks her who he is, what he means to her and why she’s doing this to him. “What am I to do now? What am I supposed to do now?”

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He knows she must have missed her son so much all this time and perhaps that’s why she’s never looked at him with such love while every day that he’s lived with them, he’s done each and everything-following his mother around, becoming a lawyer, it was all so he could become HER son.

“What am I to do now? Because you’re my mother… you’re the mother who made me Jang Eun Joong… so you decide!”

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As she cries, Hwa Young assures him she thinks of him as a son too-she has two sons. But Jang EJ points out she can’t have both of them by her side. What I love is that his voice is desperate, hoping she will choose him and not even the slightest bit manipulative-he truly is leaving the decision up to her and like a little kid who wants his mother’s love, he’s hoping she’ll choose him. “Our family cannot have two Jang Eun Joong’s. If you don’t have the thoughts of losing me, please stop looking for your son! If you’ve no intention of bringing him back to his rightful place when you find him, you have to stop! Stop looking, please! Please don’t do anything. I’ll find him and I’ll bring him. I’ll find him for you. Please let me do it.

Hwa Young agrees. It’s a one on one session between both mother and son let bare their emotions and by the time they finish, it feels like they’ve become true mother and son since there are no secrets between them anymore and their love for one another is now without burden.

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The truth sank in for Jang EJ when he heard Joo Ran confronting Hwa Young about the lie. She finally reveals herself as the one who took the letter and sent it back-hence there’s no way Jang EJ would have it. The woman playing Hwa Young is a brilliant actress and you feel her pain every minute as she tries to hold back the pain, anger and desperation in her voice. She asks how Joo Ran could be so cruel when she knew how Hwa Young was suffering, how she’d been waiting and asks if she’s even a person. Joo Ran tells her to leave Tae Ha’s side and she won’t let out the truth-she’ll even let Man Bok (Jang Joo Ha’s real name) off the hook and stay as the real son. Jang EJ has been listening to this whole exchange and leaves before anyone knows he was there. He wanders around, remembering all the memories from his past that pointed to him being Man Bok, not Jang Tae Ha.

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So when Hwa Young realizes Joo Ran may have the tape, she asks Jang Eun Joong for help and he promises to sort it out. When he meets his step mother and checks the videotape, he remembers the incident clearly in his mind and finally realizes who the real son of the Jang family is. “Ha Eun Joong” was the name the boy had told him and now he knows for sure that Ha is his mother’s real son.

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Since both Hwa Young and Jang decide to keep the truth a secret, she decides to let go of her search. At that time, Myeong Gun comes to find her with documents that act as proof of her husband’s illegal activities-bribing, faulty construction and what not. She tells Myeong Gun she cannot deal with these since Tae Ha is her husband but Myeong Gun already knows that. When she realizes that he’s come to her for help, she promises to think about it and let him know. Before coming here, he’s come clean with Ah Mi about the situation and visits Gi Chan’s remains to beg forgiveness and promise to take care of Ah Mi.

As they part ways that day, Tae Ha is outside her office and when he sees her smiling and laughing with Myeong Gun, his temper flares. It’s obvious now that he wants to be in his wife’s good graces and is always asking her to sit and eat with him or drink with him. He’s looking for ways to spend more time with her, looking down when she refuses or complies half heartedly and asks her not to smile at others, but only at him. Dude, that ship sailed eons ago! Hwa Young’s attitude towards him is good and tolerant, but it’s obvious she hates the man to her core.

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Ah Mi finds out Ha EJ is Myeong Gun’s son when he drives the two home. What I love about Ha EJ with her is that he’s always considerate while egging her to hold her own. As they drive home, he addresses his father and starts telling him about the case, but the way he looks into the backview mirror, it’s obvious those words are meant for Ah Mi-especially when he assures, “I will definitely catch the culprit.”

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Ah Mi asks to go see her apartment and Myeong Gun tells her to rest for a few days before she goes there but Ha EJ tells dad they’ll visit the apartment, since she wants to go there. Once there, tears fill Myeong Gun’s eyes as he looks around at the black charred surface in every corner-everything burnt to ashes. Ah Mi looks around before going into her bedroom, staring at the burnt place and trying to be strong.

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Her cool gives way when Ha EJ brings her a box that the neighbors deliver saying they accidentally accepted it. She takes it to a corner and opens it up-it’s full of children’s toys. Oh! *Sob*Ha EJ eyes widen immediately and fly to her face when he realizes what he just delivered.

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Ah Mi checks out the toys one by one and unable to hold back tears any longer, just sobs. Ha EJ stands behind her, helpless to do anything or help her in any way.

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When Soo Young refuses to cohabitate with Ah Mi, Dad asks Eun Joong to give up his room-which he promptly does. Once he shows her the room, he tells her, “If something’s unavoidable, there’s nothing to be done but to endure it. If it was inevitable, you just have to live. Without any choice, you have to live on.” The words touch Ah Mi and her eyes tear up. He continues. “I don’t believe people who commit suicide died because they were weaker than me-it’s because they’re more depressed than me, under more strain than me, in more pain. It’s because they can’t see beyond themselves, all they see is themselves. But Woo Ah Mi, if you continue to live like that, your husband will forever be someone despicable who received bribes and killed himself. So you have to live. Live so you can remember him, Live so you can remember the distorted truth, remember and reveal it. Live like that.

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Joo Pil pays a visit to Ha Myeong Gun saying he found something interesting in his son’s records-a request to change Ha Gun Young’s name to Ha Eun Joong. The curious thing is how and why. Myeong Gun asks him if he doesn’t possess even a bit of the humanity he had before and remarks, as if just making the realization, “What you should be curious about right now isn’t my son’s name. It’s you’re your owner did, what he plans to do and how you are going to stop the faulty constructions in the apartments. A person died! Jang Tae Ha killed a person again! But you, why aren’t you talking about that? Do you really believe Gi Chan received a bride and killed himself? An innocent person died unfairly and you’re okay with that? Jang Tae Ha never changed. He just changed you!

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Listening to the exchange is Ha Eun Joong, now wracked with more questions to which he can’t find the answers. Since he knows his father won’t answer anything he might ask, Ha EJ starts looking up his father’s old police records.

Ha EJ finds Ah Mi wandering the lawn of the house and gazing at the stars. He tells her, “Since they’re both together now, they won’t be as lonely or as sad as you think. Because of his child, the father will also have strength now.” *Note: Ha EJ’s dialogues are just about killing me in this drama. He always says just the perfect thing, the perfect comforting words and I’m swooning*

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Ah Mi thanks him for everything he’s done and wants to know more about her husband’s case. He tells her about the faulty construction and that her husband was the whistle blower on it.

“Also, it seems he had something with him that he shouldn’t have had.

She wonders if it’s the USB he was talking about and asks what was in it. He promises to let her know when he finds out but it’s better to not know something that could put her in danger. He promises to let her know everything about the investigation as it proceeds and asks for a promise in return-that she won’t do anything without his permission, especially if it’s dangerous. Her mind half on his earlier words, she gives her promise.

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On a whole different note of cute: I particularly love that scene when Ha Eun Joong dresses up in a suit and shoes that are too large for him-both borrowed from a junior to visit Jang Tae Ha’s dressers and find out more about the cuff links.

Before she can focus on anything at all though, Ah Mi’s mother in law hears about the fire and her miscarriage and comes knocking home. She dumps a wad of wet seaweed all over Ah Mi and puts down a bottle of pills, telling Ah Mi to take them and that they’d both better just die.

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Ha EJ, just coming home witnesses this and angrily storms in, forcing Ah Mi up and shouts at her to stop bearing this treatment.

“Are you an idiot? Tell her to stop. Say ‘it’s not my fault!’ Say that you’re also hurting so much you want to die! That you can’t die even if you want to! Say it!”

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But she refuses to say anything in her defense and her mother in law demands to know what’s between her and Ha EJ whom she remembers as the detective in charge. Ha EJ asks her mother in law to leave but since she won’t, he grabs Ah Mi’s hand and tells her they’re leaving and leads her out.

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Comments:

I always think I’ll do a smaller review but end up writing so much-I just hope it’s understandable and not too hazy since I moved the order of the scenes around a bit!

Jang Eun Joong aka Man Bok was quite the surprise in these episodes. His hearbreak scenes-to finally realize his life is a lie and then to confront that lie were some of my favorite moments. He totally reminds me of Maru from CYHMH-his and Jae Won’s bromance there was my favorite bit of the series. Is it too much to hope there’ll be good bromance here too, hehe?

Anyway, the way Man Bok confronts Hwa Young and his words-telling her to see the wound she’s left on him and then pleading with her to make a decision, hoping she won’t abandon him. Before, I was a bit miffed at Hwa Young (In episode 5, when she’d evaded Man Bok’s words ‘Who’s son am I?’) but listening to her ‘I have two sons’ and seeing her heartbroken with Man Bok-both for her own pain and his won me back to her side. Moreover, she trusts Man Bok to find the real Eun Joong now (And he’s totally going to cover it up, isn’t he? *sigh* Am I not going to like where he’s headed?). The whole no secrets between them deal has brought them both peace now-neither needs to slump in his/her own misery of the ‘what if’s and whys’. Rather, they have each other for support and as confidants. They’ve both got equal stakes in the secret-they’ll both face Tae Ha’s wrath if the truth comes out. Hwa Young still wants her revenge I’m sure, while for Eun Joong-it’s probably the only way he can keep the family he loves-Dad, Mum and Noona.

And I feel that for now and the foreseeable future, no matter where these characters go, I’ll probably continue to like and support them. What can I say, the mother-son bond just gets me right in the heart! *blissful smile*

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I don’t find Myeong Gun indecisive or annoying or responsible for everything. The man really thought Jang Tae Ha had changed and that was the reason he asked Gi Chan to go to him.The lobby list was just a precaution in case things weren’t going as planned. And right up to the moment Gi Chan died, Myeong Gun believed the man had changed. It’s only the death that opens his eyes and he takes his evidence to Hwa Young. As for why he won’t do anything himself (let’s not forget he almost revealed himself to Tae Ha but stopped when he saw Tae Ha and Ha Eun Joong face to face)-above all, it’s his way of protecting Ha Eun Joong. Even if Hwa Young has forgotten him, Tae Ha would still remember him and if they were to come across one another, Tae Ha would want revenge for the kidnapping. Tae Ha may believe he has the son he lost but it wont stop him from holding Myeong Gun responsible for the time they lost. And if Tae Ha were to dig deeper, he’d ruin his own perfect family when he finds his real son.

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Ha Eun Joong is a delight to watch. Seriously. My past comments about him being a bit stiff are just that-the past! I love his nature, his dogged nature, his possessiveness and protective nature to his family which is now extending beyond that towards Ah Mi. He really does feel like her guardian angel but one thing I absolutely adore about him is the way he acts towards her and comforts her. He’s there reminding her that even if she’s lost everything, she still has a purpose to live. She could give it all up anytime, he knows that and so does she, but while he comforts her and understands the pain she’s going through, he’s right behind her and urging her to use that strength to try and rise above it. Everything he says to her, it’s half comfort and half strengthening. It’s like every word he tells her means, “You’re hurting, but life goes beyond that pain.”

He’s affected by Ah Mi’s plight more than he’d be if it were any other case and I think it’s probably because of the fact that she was about to become a mother. There have been many scenes that hint to his loneliness because he thinks he never knew his mother (It’s like that after the incident and so doesn’t even remember her) and so the fact that she was expecting made him extra sympathetic towards her plight. That’s why he’s even more angered when she ends up losing her child and now he’s determined to get to the truth at any cost. And considering the quiet and considerate person he is, it’s so hard to pinpoint the moment/time when his sympathy towards her fades into feelings for her. Perhaps they haven’t developed yet, perhaps they have. It’s something only he can be honest about.

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That aside, I LOVED the point where his jaw tightens when he sees the pictures of his family in that investigator’s camera and the way he warns the guy off-SWOON! It’s in his interactions with his family that you see how much they mean to him. The scene where they sleep in the same room and he tells Myeong Gun he’s happy they are sleeping together. These moments make you love the family even more, until you wake up from the dream and realize that when this bubble bursts and he learns the truth, it’ll just be all the worse heartbreak.

Ah, n just how CUTE was that breakfast scene! I so wish it could just continue this well, but the storm’s coming and damn if it isn’t frightening enough already!

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About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on August 6, 2013, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Dont remind me of CYHMH or I will end up watching it again, the bromance and the bed scenes HAHAHAHAHA.
    Every time I see the characters laughing or having a great time, my heart breaks, why, why I m not happy with them. Both Eun Joong’s TT
    As usual your review is awesome.

  2. Omo thanks so much… Didn’t know that you’re recapping this DRAMA!! Since I like the drama so much (thanks to @koala lol) I’ll be waiting for your recaps, they help me understand the drama more soo thanks so much!! 🙂

  3. Thanks for the recaps!! I love everything about this show, amazingly. Except for that crazy mother in law of Ah Mi *gives her the evil eye ball* why does there always have to be some irrationally crazy lady? I’m sorry, but she’s over-reacting with her “let’s die together” speeches.
    But the rest more than makes up for that bit of unfortunateness :D.

  4. Thank you so much for recap/review of this drama… I’ve been waiting for someone to recap this drama so bad and here you are working so hard…. Thank you and I hope you continue recap til the end of this whole drama lol… I love scandal…

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