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What Happens to My Family Ep 23: Kang-shim & Tae-joo

Another wonderful episode. Tae-joo grows momentously, and I really look forward to his character. Kang-shim isn't making much progress yet, but hopefully the turn of events this episode will facilitate her growth.

However, the true star of this episode was Daddy Cha. He was sweet, lovable, and heartbreaking.

Kang-shim grills her father about who that lady was, and Dal-bong parrots in a whiny voice next to her. Aunt Cha and Young-sul say they're overreacting, but Kang-shim tells them that it's their matter. She tells Daddy Cha that the woman looks too young and is suspicious of her intent. Dal-bong continues to whine that he doesn't want to see another woman next to his father. Geez, even Tae-joo wasn't this bad with the Chairman.

Daddy Cha says they don't have to worry because he has no thoughts of dating that woman. He leaves, and Aunt Cha blows up. She calls them self-centered and yells that they'll all leave once they get married and it'll be their father who will be left all alone in the end.

Tae-joo and the Chairman sit down at the dining table while Eun-ho waits in the bedroom peeking out the door. The Chairman asks why Tae-joo punched someone earlier that day. He inquires if it was related to Kang-shim. Tae-joo's silence is enough of an answer, and the Chairman is frustrated.

"Why can't you quit? I told you she was off limits. Do you know how hard it is to find a secretary as capable as her? Do you really want to lose someone like her over some small feelings?"

"My feelings are quite serious, Chairman."

"How serious can they be if you aren't even considering marriage?"

"Just because I'm not thinking of marriage, don't belittle my feelings."

"That's all a delusion! Your subordinate takes care of you and you spend a lot of time together. You're comfortable and mistake that for love. That's how I made your mom suffer. At first, your mother was also a capable and responsible secretary like Cha Kang-shim. When Sul-hee got married to a judge, she comforted me, and I mistook comradeship for love. Look what happened in the end, she couldn't endure me and ran away. You can't mistake comradeship and love. One person suffers, and if there's a child, that child will too. There might become another child like you who can't eat with others in this world. Do you understand? I don't want to lose you or Cha Kang-shim. So Tae-joo, please straighten out your emotions. This is your father's request."

Wow, that was a lot. First, the Chairman's lecture really explained a lot about his relationship with Tae-joo's late mother. Also, it explains why he's so adamantly against their relationship because to him, it reflects what happened in his own life. For the Chairman, it didn't work out, and he doesn't want that for his son.

The Chairman leaves, and Eun-ho stays behind. Tae-joo continues to sit, frozen and lost in thought. Meanwhile, Kang-shim walks out into the yard looking burdened.

Eun-ho approaches Tae-joo, still calling him pervert-hyung, and tells him he's been sitting there for an hour. Tae-joo isn't in the mood for love advice and tells him to go back. Tae-joo plops onto his bed, still in his suit, and stifles his tears. Omo, Tae-joo the germophobe didn't change into his pajamas before getting in bed! He looks so defeated. Poor Tae-joo.

Kang-shim goes to work quietly in the morning because Kang-jae was the prodigal son last night asking for his inheritance from Daddy Cha. Unsurprisingly, Aunt Cha was furious and now the whole household is tense. Kang-shim sees her father before leaving and tells him to perk up. She hates seeing him hunched over and depressed. She tells him that Kang-jae just wants him to stop working and rest for once in his life. Though her delivery is blunt, Kang-shim does care for her father, but she still needs to express it more.

Tae-joo wakes up and enters his living room. He's stunned to see his place trashed, and Eun-ho is in the kitchen making breakfast (the kitchen is also a huge pigsty). Tae-joo yells at him for using his kitchen without permission. He orders him to clean up his mess, but Eun-ho says he's not good at cleaning up. No one's born good at cleaning, Eun-ho. Get up and clean up!

Apparently Tae-joo is a lot nicer than I am because he grabs a garbage bag and starts to clean it up himself. He still grimaces as he picks up the leftover pizza. Eun-ho tells him to sit and eat before his eggs get cold. Tae-joo yells that he never agreed to eating with him. Eun-ho says that's what he needs to fix first if he wants to convince the Chairman.

Tae-joo sits down and wonders if the Chairman could be correct. What if he is confusing love with comradeship? Eun-ho asks how he felt when they kissed. Tae-joo stares at him blankly which makes Eun-ho say that they've kissed before, right? Tae-joo says they've kissed before but it was because of alcohol and it was her who made the move.

What about other skinship, asks Eun-ho. Tae-joo replies that the restaurant incident he knows about was the only time. Flabbergasted, Eun-ho asks if they held hands at least. Tae-joo smiles sheepishly as he recalls the day he found the scam artist and she thanked him. He says they did once but that was also done by her. Hahaha, when put like this, Tae-joo is such a sad sap and love-sick puppy.

Eun-ho stares at him in disbelief and awe. Their expressions are great.

Kang-shim meets with Hyo-jin who offers to give Kang-shim 5 billion won right now. Hyo-jin explains that the land is worth around 15 billion won, so each sibling would get 5. She says that if the other siblings hand over their land rights to Kang-jae, they'll get the cash sum right now. Mind you, Hyo-jin is merely acting as her mother's puppet (she still hasn't developed a will yet), and Kang-shim seems to be genuinely interested in the offer.

She walks to work and all she can think about is the money. She says having that much cash would pay off the loan and then some. Looks like Kang-shim has fallen for Hyo-jin's evil mother's plan.

Tae-joo is in his office and nervously pacing. He thinks back to Eun-ho's advice: kissing is the best method to understanding your feelings! Okay, I'm not an expert by any means but that advice sounds sort of stupid. Anyways, Tae-joo exits and nearly runs into Kang-shim. He can't stop staring at her lips and involuntarily gulps. Hahaha, Tae-joo is so horny, it's great.

Kang-shim hands him documents, and he asks her to stay and help because of the large quantity. They sit down to work, but all she can think about is money and all he can think about is kissing.

While working, Kang-shim gets a text from Young-sul reminding her that today is her mother's death anniversary. Tae-joo asks if anything is wrong, and she says everything is fine. Right then, Kang-shim gets a call about a sudden inspection. Tae-joo can't believe it, and Kang-shim gets down to business right away.

Daddy Cha, Aunt Cha, and Young-sul continue preparing for the anniversary, but even after they've finished, none of the Cha children have arrived. Kang-jae is being kept by his father-in-law, Dal-bong is partying at the restaurant for his birthday, and Kang-shim continues to work because of the inspection. She gets a text from Young-sul about Daddy Cha being all alone, but she can only sigh and goes back to work.

Once the meeting is over, Tae-joo asks Kang-shim out for a beer. She declines and tells him that it's actually her mother's death anniversary today. Tae-joo is shocked and asks if she stayed by his side today even though it was her mother's death anniversary. She says that it was her duty, and asks if she could leave now and clean up tomorrow morning. Tae-joo offers to drop her off because it'll be faster, and she gratefully accepts for today.

Tae-joo drops her off and stares at Kang-shim's lips again. He thinks back to Eun-ho's advice about kissing but then shakes his head with a smile. He says he doesn't have to do it to understand his feelings. Kang-shim asks what he means, and he replies that he's confident that he won't waver anymore. Tae-joo stares at her with confidence and gentleness as he tells her, "You said I don't even have a 1% chance. Then from here, I'll start making that 1%."

Kang-shim is taken aback and quickly says good bye. She goes to the yard and clutches her chest; his sudden and genuine proposal causing her heart to race. I don't blame her. Tae-joo is now earnest and confidence which makes his proposal even more endearing and swoon-worthy. He doesn't feel rushed and his small smile was filled with such gentleness. His whole face beamed with love, and Kang-shim was moved by his sincere and straightforward feelings.

Tae-joo makes a call to the Chairman and asks about having dinner with him, Baek, and Eun-ho this weekend. He confidently states that he means dinner and not tea and smiles. The Chairman is astonished and wonders if he heard correctly.

Tae-joo also makes a call to Eun-ho which is adorable. Eun-ho laments over the fact that Tae-joo missed his chance at a kiss but also admits that he missed his chance today, too. Eun-ho then eagerly asks if he wants to have a talk over pizza today. Tae-joo hangs up, and Eun-ho stares at his phone in disbelief but then breaks into a smile. Aw, these two are so cute. Eun-ho definitely wants to be brothers, and I love the fact that Tae-joo probably called Eun-ho to tell him about today's events.

While Tae-joo is being adorkable in his new found confidence, the Cha household is about to erupt. Kang-shim sits in the yard lost in thought, and Kang-jae arrives soon after. They both go inside, and Aunt Cha immediately yells and scolds them. She's a bit harsh because she's lashing out about all the things they've done especially Kang-jae trying to steal his father's land. She calls the children spoiled and even yells at her brother for raising them to be ungrateful brats. Though Aunt Cha doesn't mean to hurt her brother, in her anger, she's just adding fuel to a burning house.

Kang-jae leaves, and Kang-shim chases after him. She tries to calm him down and get him to at least bow to their mother. He's unreasonable and shouts that if they only see him as a greedy son, then he might as well cut ties with the Cha family. He yells at his father to live well with Aunt Cha's family since he's always put others before his children. First of all, Kang-shim felt like a real older sister in this scene as she tried to soothe her brother and tell him she understood his feelings. However, Kang-jae went too far in his anger.

Hammering the final nail into my heart, Daddy Cha sits alone in his room having heard all the fighting and shouting. He cries silent tears and his face contorts into raw sadness. The picture of his late wife stares at Daddy Cha as he sits alone with his tears.

The next morning, creepy Byun comes by the tofu shop and asks if Daddy Cha wants to sue anyone today. Daddy Cha stares at him with a blank expression and says he does. He names his children and says he's suing them as tears brim his eyes.

Final Comments

The Chairman's speech was enlightening and something Tae-joo needed to hear. In addition, despite Eun-ho's questionable advice, he did play a crucial role in pushing Tae-joo to change and convince the Chairman otherwise. With the help of his family, Tae-joo reexamined himself and found his confidence. Like I said before, Tae-joo's greatest weapon is his earnestness. Now that he also has confidence in his feelings and won't waver, Tae-joo is now slowly overcoming his shortcomings and becoming a dependable man. Now we just have to wait for Kang-shim to overcome her obstacles and grow, too.

Also, the Tae-joo and Eun-ho bromance was epic this episode. They are slowly becoming brothers, and I would even say their interactions seem more familial than between the Cha siblings who have not really interacted with one another or are just usually portrayed as fighting. I want to see more sibling love both between the new stepbrothers and the Cha siblings!

Comments on Other Stuff

Though Tae-joo brought the laughs with his expressions and made me swoon at his confession, it was Daddy Cha who made my heart break and was the center of the episode.

There was good build up to the climax of suing that made Daddy Cha a sympathetic character who was pushed to the brink. I enjoyed the scene where Daddy Cha got the scarf but then took it off while apologizing to his late wife. It was endearing and sad to see how much he still thinks of the children's mother after all this time.

Also, the scene where Daddy Cha cried was so heartfelt and intense. Yoo Dong-geun is amazing and really makes the character sympathetic. Daddy Cha is nice, and some might argue that he's too nice which I think is stupid. I hate it when nice people are blamed for being "too nice" when it's really the manipulative jerks who should be blamed. Sure, he might be indecisive, but that's because he's thoughtful and doesn't want change. He's content with his life, so when he said he wanted to sue his children, Daddy Cha was probably conflicted and downcast about it. The build up to the final scene was well paced so that the audience was cheering Daddy Cha. But really, it's amazing what good acting can do for a character.