Scandal Episode 22-23 Recap
I’ve got to say this-even if this drama doesn’t deliver as awesomely ahead as it has so far, even if the world crumbles all around, Scandal is worth watching for these episodes alone! I’ve loved Jae Won since his Can You Hear my Heart days (never saw May Queen or any other of his series as lead hero, for that matter) and even started Scandal late in the game-ten episodes had aired by the time I saw the first. And in this episode, Jae Won wins your heart and the already hook, line, sinker you fall even deeper!
In Episode 22, Ah Mi goes to get Eun Joong and bring him back but he refuses to leave just yet, at which she decides she’ll stick to his side until he wants to go back.
“I won’t go back alone! I’ll definitely take Detective Ha with me.”
“It’s not Detective Ha, it’s Eun Joong sshi!”
“What’s that important now?”
“It’s important now… to me!”
They bicker until he concedes and so spend time together eating and playing-which she promptly cheats at but gets caught by him. When she sneaks off to make a call to Myeong Gun, he stands by the beach side and stares out at the ocean.
Eun Joong finally remembers the truth then and it devastates him to no end. As he stands on the beach, looking out at the waves, a sudden pain overwhelms him and as he grips his chest, the memory of the moment he was shot, and what he heard after that comes crashing his world.
“He’s your son, Jang Tae Ha! He’s your son! The kid I kidnapped all those years ago – that was my son Eun Joong. My Eun Joong is your son!”
As the truth dawns, he stands there stunned, his life crashing down, just like the waves in front of him break each other. Finally, as if not even realizing what he’s doing, he walks into the waves, on and on until he’s knee deep in the water, still walking forward.
Ah Mi watches him sadly from behind, unsure of how to approach him but when she sees him walking into the waves, she runs after him, calling his name. When she reaches him, she holds on to him tightly, calling out to him, “You can’t! Eun Joong sshi! You can’t do this!”
He doesn’t even seem aware of her as his mid flashes back to his childhood and the moments when Myeong Gun had rejected him.
And as Ah Mi watches him, holding on tightly, he breaks down in front of her, crying so poignantly, as if it were from a deep scar and she’s so overcome she can’t keep from mirroring his hurt!
He turns to her to face her and asks her, “Do you want to go somewhere far… far away with me? You’re having a hard time too, right? Everyday is like a hell to you, right?”
She doesn’t know how to answer him, and her mind is more occupied with worry for him so she begs to answer the question once they’ve both gone out of the water, knowing it will be bad if his surgery wound gets wet.
But in response, he simply hugs her and holds her close, letting all his inner feelings, doubts and sorrows pour out in that unguarded moment.
“I’m afraid. . . I’m scared . . . Of my past . . . And my future. That I might remain like an empty shell… Me…”
She stands there as he hugs her, unsure of how to comfort him or what to say, shaken by his grief.
Come morning, when he wakes up, he’s surprised to find Ah Mi had tied a rope around his foot which she also tied to her hand, afraid he may go off without telling her, or worse, that he might walk into the ocean again with his dark thoughts.
As he sees her sleeping while in a sitting posture, having kept vigil at his side, his heart beats fast and he raises a hand to it, finally admitting the reason for his care and worry for her.
“What should I do? More and more . . . I like you… But I’m not allowed to do anything… I might even be the son of your enemy… from now on!”
Yet he can’t help himself and with a teasing glint, pulls at the rope tied to her wrist so that she falls to her side and jolts awake. Looking up, she finds herself face to face with him while he smiles at her and mutters, “Good Morning!” She’s taken aback at the closeness and pulls back, muttering a meek response. hehe!
They make a deal to return on Saturday and remembering his words to call him ‘Eun Joong’, she corrects herself mid-sentence from ‘Detective Ha’ in her joy at having him return.
Tae Ha, meanwhile, confronts Myeong Gun and forces him to sign a death certificate for Ha Eun Joong so he can bring back his own son ‘Jang Eun Joong’. Myeong Gun does as asked but when Tae Ha points out he’s lost both his sons – Ha Gun Young and Ha Eun Joong, Myeong Gun says it’s okay , “Since they are both inside me!” means they both live in him! *Fistpump*
Unfortunately, Tae Ha has vowed revenge, which starts by unveiling Myeong Gun to the world and disillusioning Su Young about him. He vows to pay back the pain Myeong Gun has caused him through his daughter. *shudder*
What’s worse is that Tae Ha decides to do the same to his wife, Hwa Young and has the doctor switch her medicine to one used for mentally ill patients. Used on Hwa Young, it will render her unable to move and cause her to lose her senses, little by little, becoming a mental patient herself.
He literally feeds her the medicines himself and watches as she helplessly lies there, twitching her fingers but unable to move otherwise. He then asks Man Bok to clear Eun Joong of all suspicions by the police, which Man Bok proceeds to do.
But Man Bok finds out that a crucial piece of the evidence – Tae Ha’s confession, is missing. The said piece of evidence was hidden in Eun Joong’s gun – which Tae Ha used to shoot Eun Joong but somebody removed it.
We realize it is Eun Joong as he holds it on the beach, but decides to listen to it later, instead opting to spend the time with Ah Mi by teaching her to fish.
As expected, Ah Mi is a total klutz at fishing at first, not having done it ever before. When she tries to throw the hook into the water, it gets struck in her shirt instead. Eun Joong helps her remove it and volunteers to teach her how it’s done.
But when he moves behind her, holding her hands and the fishing pole, for the first time their closeness seems to register on her and uncomfortably, she tells him she’ll learn it on her own. He doesn’t pick on her nervousness and tells her to learn it while he’s teaching since it won’t do her any bad and then shows her how to do it.
When he asks her if she understands, she just nods at him with a nervous yes and fidgets, as if to move away. Realizing that she’s nervous, and unable to stop himself, Eun Joong draws her back against him for a hug. Mutely, they stay that way for a while.
As they sit by the beach later, he puts his coat around her, telling her to wear it even if she doesn’t feel cold since it bothers her. She tells him not to worry about the back hug – she’s thinking of it as giving someone who was drowning some strength and apologizes but his expression tightens at her words, as if thinking something. Finally, he turns to her.
“Woo Ah Mi. I like you. I like looking at you, I like being with you, I like talking to you.”
Shocked, she simply mutters that it can’t be so he continues and lays his feelings clear for her.
“The day when you said, “come back safely”, it seemed like you would be waiting, so I kept looking at the clock while working. The day when you said, “please drive carefully” I really tried to follow the signals and drove with an effort. I didn’t know what these feelings were, but I’ve realized after I came here. I didn’t hug you for no reason. Since last night, I wanted to hug you. I tried to resist myself but I couldn’t resist any longer. That’s why I hugged you. I will not ask for more, so just relax. I will not be able to say to go further, so you don’t have to worry. If I don’t say this now, I don’t think I’ll be able to say this for the rest of my life. That’s why I just said it. That’s why. I like you, Woo Ah Mi.”
And so he returns on Saturday, but instead of going home, he goes to Tae Ha’s house. As he stands there, Tae Ha just comes out of the house, intending to head towards a press conference to unmask his son’s kidnapper to the world. When he sees Eun Joong, he approaches him, glad to see him up and about and hugs him. Eun Joong stands there, taking it all in, not replying but not pushing him away either when Tae Ha hugs him.
In Episode 23, we see Eun Joong make the decision to go back to Tae Ha and acknowledges him as his father, offering to become the son he wasn’t. Knowing Eun Joong though, I’m sure there’s a catch somewhere. He’s not a person who can live with evil – and Daddy Tae Ha is evil. Eun Joong once promised Ah Mi he would find the truth about Gi Chan’s death at any cost, and I’m betting all that’s one promise he’d never break.
When he asks to see Hwa Young, Tae Ha makes an excuse that she’s not feeling well, a fact which Joo Ha corroborates since she sees Hwa Young asleep in bed, not realizing that Tae Ha has fed her medicine.
Man Bok congratulates him on reclaiming his place but points out that he killed Jang Eun Joong, and Man Bok’s place to be there. Eun Joong seems repentant, but says nothing. Man Bok is surprised and suspicious of Eun Joong’s sudden turnaround and is even more suspicious when he finds the gun that went missing from the police evidence in Eun Joong’s bag. He steals it later on, hoping to find the incriminating evidence, but it’s not there. Luckily, Eun Joong has already stashed it somewhere else safely.
He returns home to confront Myeong Gun, but fights an inner turmoil on the outside steps, unable to bring himself to go in. Ah Mi, just returning from an errand then, finds him there. She remembers his confession and hesitates for a small moment before approaching him, just as he turns to walk away, unable to find the courage and drive to go inside.
She addresses him in her usual cheery manner and chides him for turning around without heading in, pointing out that she won’t come to find him this time around. When he doesn’t respond, she grabs his arm to lead him inside. Slowly though, he removes her hand from his arm.
“If you grab my arm, I want to hold your hand. If I hold your hand, I might want to hug you again!”
She’s totally stunned into silence for a moment but then calls it a normal gesture, just grabbing his arm to take him in and not skin-ship. But the deep and soulful look in his eyes makes her more nervous and she drops her hand.
He finally speaks up, warning her not to mess with him – not to worry about him, not to smile at him, not to even come find him even if he disappears without a word.
She calls it too much and wonders why he has to be so harsh so he tells her, “Because I’m no longer the person you used to know.”
“What have you become in just one night?”
“What should I say first? I became a murderer’s son? Or a kidnapper’s son?”
Realizing the implication of his words – that he knows the truth and is hurting because of it, she calls out his name and he continues.
“Even if I was a kidnapper’s son, I would never have given you up. Even if you said no, I would have waited until you said yes. But as a murderer’s son, how can I do that… to you (Woo Ah Mi)?”
Looking back at the house, he finally tears his gaze from her as tears slip from his eyes.
“It’s the same… with that person… and with you. It feels like I have to end it before it even begins. Both of you were just my one sided loves.”
Steeling himself, he turns and walks up the steps to the house, leaving a shocked Ah Mi in his wake.
Inside, he confronts Myeong Gun and declares that he’s leaving. Myeong Gun gives him the box in which he’s kept all of his stuff from childhood and barks at him to take it to his parents. Trying to drive Eun Joong away, he lies, “It gave me goose bumps every time an enemy’s son gave me flowers every Father’s Day. I tried to give you love, but it never worked. Every time I looked at you, it reminded you of my dead son, and Jang Tae Ha. I got chills every time you called me father.”
Eun Joong tells him to stop again and again but Myeong Gun continues to drive the wedge between them and unable to hold back, Eun Joong lashes out at him too.
“What I can’t forgive you for is not the kidnapping, but the fact that you made me believe you were my father. That you made me love my kidnapper. It would’ve been better if you had just killed me and sent my body to my father. Let’s see how this ends. You started this, but I’m the one who will end it.”
He goes to say goodbye to Soo Young, saying he’s going away on a case and will be back when he’s caught the criminal. She’s unaware of the family tension going on and begs him to give up being a detective.
Promising to support him, she asks that he become a prosecutor and they’d be the perfect pair of siblings – one a lawyer, one a prosecutor! Eun Joong responds by hugging her and holding back tears.
As he’s leaving, he runs into Ah Mi.
“Live well. Someday, whenever it may be, definitely meet a good person.”
She’s too shaken by him and decides to go after him (Go, go, go, GO!) but when she reaches the door, a sound from Myeong Gun’s room has her turning back.
When she checks up on Myeong Gun, he is doubled over in pain, staring at the identity cards that Eun Joong threw at him, crying silently.
I love that when Eun Joong exits the gate, he turns his face slightly, as if almost looking back but then walks away.
Joo Ha tries to ask Tae Ha to stop Man Bok from leaving but Tae Ha doesn’t even let Man Bok carry the family portrait with him. However, once Tae Ha is alone, you see the man isn’t as heartless towards Man Bok as you may believe since he watches the portrait and cries. Later, when he sits at lunch, he imagines Man Bok sitting there and says aloud, as if to convince himself and Man Bok, that there can only be one Eun Joong.
Determined to unveil the true nature of her father in front of So Young, Tae Ha gives the interview and publicly slams Myeong Gun as the culprit. Meanwhile, Hwa Young has gone missing – the family believes she went away for some air but in reality Tae Ha has her moved to an outer house and she’s too under the influence of the drugs to move.
Joo Ran catches wind of it when she finds Hwa Young gone and knows she would never leave of her own accord. By chance, she catches the medicines Tae Ha was feeding her and finds out why they are used.
She goes to Eun Joong and throwing the medicines at him, tells him to find Hwa Young before Tae Ha kills her.
At the same time, So Young and Ah Mi come home to find reporters all over the place. Ah Mi begs the reporters to go, trying to protect So Young by pretending to be the daughter.
A stunned So Young watches as her father emerges and owns up to being the kidnapper.
Shocked, So Young cries and a helpless Ah Mi watches. Myeong Gun watches So Young as he replies to the reporter’s questions, knowing full well he is causing his only remaining child to hate him.
His last answer is that even if the night were to come again, he would make the same decision. Someone throws a rock at him, causing slight injury but it is hardly registered as he stands there facing So Young’s accusing gaze.
This drama is just LOVE !
One of my favorite themes is Family – whether its blood family or by loyalty. And these two episodes made me realize something. From the moment Myeong Gun took Eun Joong’s hand and walked away when he realized there was already another person in his place in the Tae Ha household, I’ve shipped Myeong Gun as ‘the’ father to Eun Joong – he proved he loved him unconditionally from that moment onwards, and wished the truth would just stay buried so Eun Joong could be happy with him and Soo Young. But in episode 22, when he realizes the truth, it broke me and like Eun Joong, I hated Myeong Gun for what he did. (I still love him and Eun Joong together, still want their happy ending but I realize the darkness that his actions has brought out).
Myeong Gun may have given Eun Joong warmth and a family, but unwittingly, he stole so much away from him. First of all, he took away Eun Joong’s childhood, his innocence and his free-some happy spirit that he had when he was young, All those times when he treated Eun Joong harshly, they drew an invisible wall between them and to cut down that wall, Eun Joong became the person he is today, serious and harsh. He became the perfect son and perfect support to the family even when he knew he found out he wasn’t Myeong Gun’s own son (How heartbreaking was it to watch him beg Myeong Gun and promise that he’ll be even better, do even more as his son) but now to realize that there is a bigger, harsher truth behind that lie, his world has just crashed all around and he’s so lost he doesn’t know where to pick the pieces.
Moreover, Myeong Gun took away a loving mother from her innocent child. I understand Hwa Young’s anger towards him. Nothing, NOTHING can compensate all the years she spent without Eun Joong, hoping against hope that she’ll find her real son someday. Those initial days when Tae Ha and Joo Ran tortured her psychologically, she endured them all just in the hopes of seeing Eun Joong someday. The truth is that those hellish days of hers were also caused inadvertently by Myeong Gun. He never meant to hurt her, but he’s given her some of the worst scars she’s endured.
I still love his character by the way. I love watching him and Eun Joong and now that the truth is out, there is so much to be repaid, by everyone. I want them both to get together as father and son and smile away, share their meals and play together, but before that, Myeong Gun needs to pay the price for his actions and beg for forgiveness from Hwa Young and most of all, from Eun Joong.
I admire the way Ah Mi stands by the family, every last one of them – from Myeong Gun to Eun Joong and Soo Young. She’s protecting them all when needed and giving them all the support she can. It’s like repaying them for being there for her when she was in ‘hell’ after losing her husband and child – again, through no fault of her own. She’s like the only person that isn’t part of the whole scandal and maybe that’s why, she’s the best support that all of them could get. Most of all, she’s like the only person in Eun Joong’s life who isn’t connected to his past and whom he can view as an anchor to connect to.
How amazing was his confession?! *Swoon* I didn’t expect it at this moment – truly, and was so happy when he went outright and was even more direct after that – admitting that he’d have pursued her to the end – until she moved on from her past and accepted him. *HEART* I’ve watched his and Ah Mi’s scenes like a million times from the moment the episode came out.