Random Psychiatric Intern: “The mind takes over the body.”
Woah. We finally get the whole truth behind the murder 13 years ago through a beautifully executed scene where Jo sunbae visits Jae Yeol’s childhood home. By physically being present in the actual location where the “crime” took place, he was able to recreate and visualize the murder scene. And of course, “Hero” by Family of the Year plays in the background, which means I’m all tears by the end of the sequence. You kind of need to just watch it.
We find out that as hyung was piggybacking Jae Yeol out of the house to the hospital, mom had one last physical altercation with the step-dad. She couldn’t take his aggression anymore, so almost as if something finally snapped, she made the decision to light some papers on fire to burn the house down. Jae Yeol happened to gain consciousness in that moment and he saw what mom was doing in a mirror; that was the scene we saw in Jae Yeol’s nightmare from episode 9. He pointed his finger at hyung because he was protecting mom! This is just tragic any way you slice it.
Lawyer Kang: “It’s just a conjecture, but Jang Jae Yeol probably knew that his mother was the culprit. So in the beginning, he stayed silent. But when I said that the cause of death was not the stab wound but suffocation by smoke, he said that the culprit was his hyung instead of his mother at court. Sadly.”
This explains so much about Jae Yeol’s internal turmoil. His mind is fighting against itself, trying to justify what he did to hyung in an act to protect his mom. His love for her seriously knows no bounds. He’s always been aware that hyung was innocent yet to protect mom he had to keep insisting that it was hyung. All of this guilt has slowly been eating away at him since he does in fact love hyung a lot as well, yet in the situation the befell him, he was forced to choose between mom and hyung and he chose mom; probably knowing that hyung would get a lighter sentence than mom. This is why he’s tried so hard to compensate hyung, regardless if it means a threat to his own safety and well being, but he believes that no matter what he does, it will never be enough to re-pay hyung for the time he spent in jail. That kind of guilt definitely messes with one’s psyche.
Young Jin: “It seems like his guilt towards his hyung was huge.”
That’s why Kang Woo only showed up after Hyung stabbed him 3 years ago. Hyung’s reappearance into Jae Yeol’s life coupled with Hyung’s anger towards Jae Yeol regarding the betrayal re-ignited that deep-hidden guilt that Jae Yeol has tried so hard to bury. Even though he spent most of his life trying to act optimistic and happy, his emotional and psychological scars can only be bottled up for so long before they start wearing him down in more ways than one. This is why I still believe that his mental state is projecting itself as a physical illness, as the heading quote suggests, “The mind takes over the body”.
Jo sunbae: “By the way, did Kang Woo go to the hospital? You told me that he was sick before…something about his hands shaking and coughing often.”
Jae Yeol: “He told me that the hospital said he’s okay.”
Jo sunbae: “How did you become friends with him?”
Jae Yeol: “Writing, because for us, writing is everything. No, maybe because we grew up in an abusive family. I don’t exactly know.”
Jo sunbae: “When did you start seeing him so often?”
Jae Yeol: “Before, he used to come by occasionally, but after I started seeing Ji Hae Soo, he started coming by more often.”
Jo sunbae: “Were you always bright like this?”
Jae Yeol: “I hate talking about this kind of stuff.”
Jo sunbae: “Come on, tell me! I told you everything that I didn’t want to.”
Jae Yeol: No. When I was young, I was naïve and afraid. After the incident, I put in an effort to live optimistically. For my poor mom, I tried to stay strong. Every day, I looked into the mirror and even if it wasn’t funny, I practiced smiling. I practiced making jokes and fighting. I pretended to be macho. Do you know about the camel in the desert?”
Jo sunbae: “Of course. A camel that is forever tied down by a trauma. Even when the owner unties the rope in the morning, the camel can’t leave because of his memory of the tied rope at night.”
Jae Yeol: “I, personally, don’t want to become that camel. The camel should realize that the sun has risen. So, I…try to control my mind. The past is the past, it doesn’t exist anymore. I’m free. I’m strong, very strong. Like the sun that pushes aside darkness. Bright and vibrant. Like the light that swallows darkness, very, very bright…and strong.
Jo sunbae: “Compared to who? Your hyung?”
Jae Yeol: “Hyung is weak. So weak that he can’t even beat me. Hyung needs compensation.”
Jo sunbae: “You already did. Tae Yong told me that you gave him almost all of what you own.
Jae Yeol: “That’s true. I did compensate him. But does that actually take care of anything?”
*heart breaks* How sad is that conversation? Jae Yeol has spent his life trying so hard to overcome his own trauma yet his mind has failed him. He no longer has control over his own mind. Just like the camel in the desert, he has been tied down by the trauma of betraying his brother to protect his mom. Of course, he method of coping, wherein he’s in denial about how much the past has affected him is seriously not healthy. He needs professional help so that he can work out what he has experienced and I’m glad that help seems like it will be coming from all directions. This is when he needs his real and makeshift family the most.
Jo Sunbae: “ ‘I had no choice but to sacrifice my brother for my mother who lived under an abusive relationship.’ ‘I had to support my mother.’ ‘I am innocent.’ ‘The problem is the fact that this kind of thing has happened. I didn’t do anything wrong.’ This is how he should have healthily justified himself, but because Jae Yeol was too kind, he couldn’t forgive himself. But instead, he created Kang Woo, who’s like himself, and is protecting himself.”
We also know for certain now that Jae Yeol has been seeing Kang Woo more now since he’s been dating Hae Soo. Soon Kang Woo won’t be needed so now he’s fighting back to gain control of Jae Yeol. Jae Yeol created Kang Woo, a child who resembles himself, so that he can protect him, something that he couldn’t do for himself when he was abused by the step-father. Now Kang Woo acts as a shield from the reality of Jae Yeol’s internal chaos. If/when Kang Woo dies/disappears, how much will this affect Jae Yeol? Even Young Jin says that it will be very difficult to persuade Jae Yeol that Kang Woo does not actually exist.
Then we also have the question of mom. Does she know the truth or is she still in a dissociated state, not remembering her own actions from that fateful day? If that’s the case, then why was she so shocked and almost fearful when she heard from Tae Yong in episode 9 that Jae Yeol visited his childhood home? I really hope that the discovery of Jae Yeol’s mental illness will be the catalyst to bring everyone together, even hyung, since hyung’s love for mom is probably on par with Jae Yeol’s love for her. Hopefully he will understand and forgive Jae Yeol because he probably would have done the same. If he knew, he probably would have willingly took the blame to protect mom.
In the end, Young Jin and Jo sunbae decided that they needed to tell Hae Soo that Jae Yeol is mentally ill so Hae Soo will find out by the next episode. I’m actually really glad that Hae Soo finds out soon, because I want her to love Jae Yeol regardless and be there for him, when he needs her most. And after seeing how much they love each other, I think they’ll be able to overcome this obstacle together and will be stronger for it.
However, this revelation had to happen right as soon as Hae Soo and Jae Yeol were learning how to interact and treat each other in much more mature ways to show their love to each other. Who else swooned at Jae Yeol’s multiple proposals to Hae Soo?And wasn’t Jae Yeol being drunk, but not wanting Hae Soo to see, even though she totally does, super adorable??? And him giving her a new wallet already filled with money and a couple picture was so cute. I seriously love, love, love this couple so, so, so much!
Jae Yeol’s reason for wanting to marry Hae Soo was legitimately moving. Who wouldn’t want to marry a girl that understands him and his family situation without judging? And I like the detail of how Hae Soo’s expression slowly turned more and more serious as his speech went on, but he warned her about how this might make her feel burdened…:
Jae Yeol: “I sleep in a bathtub, not a bed, and my mom sleeps in a cold open windowed living room all year. And about my brother staying in jail for 14 years, I don’t have the courage to tell all this to any other woman except you. Even after hearing and seeing all that about me, instead of not liking me or pitying me, do you think there’s another woman out there who could calmly listen to all that, like you? I don’t think there are any out there. Hae Soo-ah, if there’s another woman like that, please tell me. So I won’t hang onto you too much.”
Awwwww. And then his little “post-its” to Hae Soo was so sweet, especially after her complaint to him about how he gave one to Soo Kwang but not her.
Jae Yeol’s Text: “I, who has OCD, because I longed for you, I don’t clean up the traces of your visits and I just leave them there. I hope that all of these traces become our daily life, even if we don’t get married. I love you, Ji Hae Soo.”
I also wanted to mention the meeting between Soo kwang and his dad. It was really sad to see how a father can reject his son for a disorder that he has no control over. Hopefully dad will come to accept Soo Kwang for who is. Society as a whole is already harsh enough, so if one can’t even rely on family, life would just be too brutal. But I am glad that So Nyeo has finally stepped up her game, since I was getting real tired of her attitude and her manipulation of Soo Kwang. So glad he’s found a girl that accepts him and gives him a kiss even after witnessing one of his episodes. I’m just going to go with the mindset that age is but a number for this couple.
Oh, and it looks like Choi Ho will be moving on, but more importantly he decides to drop the Jae Beom segment since he still has some morals in him.
We’re heading into our second to last week so I hope more lovely readers will join in on the discussion! 😀 Would love to know what others are thinking about this show and the episode!
Preview For Episode 13