This hour can be regarded as a ‘Back to the Past’ segment, with most of the characters whose names we’re already familiar of make their appearance, although they only exist in the memories of the people who are still alive. Although the end is just on the horizon, it does feel strange to get to know what happened to the elders and the kids – who have grown up with scars inside their hearts – after being teased with bits and pieces of the past. It’s still the angst season in the drama, so consider yourself warned before diving into this episode!
Everything felt like a dream for both Do-hyun and Ri-jin, as they recalled the real owner of the name Cha Do-hyun. Little Ri-jin also told Do-hyun his real name, but we didn’t get to hear it just yet. The shock was too much for Ri-jin to handle and she started crying while gasping for air, before her family gathered around her. Do-hyun reached for the teddy bear and hugged it tight, as the memories of little Ri-jin, the abuse, and the fire, flashed in front of his eyes. He could only screamed out loud in frustration, realizing that he had taken away the identity of Cha Do-hyun while the real owner disappeared from the world without a trace, bringing together with her the proof of her abuse..
The swing scene in the real Do-hyun, or Ri-jin’s memories, was actually from the time she spent in the US together with her mother, Seo-yeon. The little girl even said that she came from her mother’s belly, just like how she came from Mama Ji’s heart. It was back in 1993, and the late Chairman Cha (who was still alive at that time) went to meet Seo-yeon. He was well aware that little Ri-jin (for simplicity sake, I’ll stick with the character’s current name!) was Seo-yeon’s daughter with the man she loved even before she married Jun-pyo, but he needed Seo-yeon’s help in managing the company. He still had the divorce papers of them in his hands, so Seo-yeon was still legally married to Jun-pyo.
Chairman Cha also knew that Seo-yeon was desperate since she had spent her entire fortune for her lover’s hospital bills, and he gave her an irresistible offer: go back with him and little Ri-jin could be added to Jun-pyo’s family register, because Jun-pyo would never return after cutting all ties with Seungjin. Instead of living by themselves in the foreign land, Seo-yeon could return to Seungjin, and little Ri-jin could be groomed into a person valuable to Seungjin since she resembled her mother. So off the mother-daughter pairing went back to Korea, but Seo-yeon couldn’t hide her guilt when Grandma Seo (she wasn’t the chairman yet at that time) greeted little Ri-jin warmly, thinking that the girl was the one and only blood of Jun-pyo.
Except that Jun-pyo’s already raising a child of his own while living in Yeosu and known as Mr. Park. Little Do-hyun wondered why his father let people call himself Mr. Park although his family name was actually Cha, and Jun-pyo said that it was because he wanted to live freely, and he could do so, to some extent, by living under a false name. Jun-pyo then explained what his opinion on the real definition of living freely: doing things he like such as buying a boat, traveling on that boat, fishing, reading books, painting pictures, writing, and then resuming his daily work once he returned to the land. Little Do-hyun offered to buy his father a boat, and Jun-pyo already had a name for the boat: Ferry Park.
Do-hyun was already asleep by the time Madam Shin went back to their small house from her job at a restaurant, and she continued to remind Jun-pyo about Do-hyun’s need to register for school on the following year. Although Jun-pyo thought that it would be okay for them to include the kid in Madam Shin’s family register, she refused to do so and urged for Jun-pyo to go back to his family so that their son could be included in Jun-pyo’s family register. The boy stirred up awake because of their argument and the first thing he did was to look for his father, showing how close they were. Madam Shin insisted that Jun-pyo go back to his family, for the sake of his son. They boarded the bus to Seoul and the boy could see that his father wasn’t that happy to meet his family; however, Jun-pyo put on his happy face and assured his son that it would be okay with meeting grandpa and grandma, and they would bring Madam Shin later after settling his school matters.
Jun-pyo’s return to the mansion was truly unexpected, and Seo-yeon couldn’t look into his eyes when he asked about little Ri-jin. Chairman Cha threw back the divorce papers at Jun-pyo and made him choose between staying married to Seo-yeon or take his son out of the house, because Seo-yeon was the only useful person to him. Jun-pyo suggested that Chairman Cha deal with Seo-yeon’s child first, because he had never touched that woman ever since they got married, and there’s no way for that girl to be his. Grandma Seo heard their conversation (or argument?) and barely able to hold on to the tray she was holding at that moment.
Little Do-hyun went outside and little Ri-jin approached him, asking him the question that was too familiar: what’s his name? We got to hear Do-hyun’s real name this time, as the boy introduced himself as Cha Jun-young. The girl then told him her name: Cha Do-hyun, and they played together, jumping on the big trampoline in front of the house.
Back to the present, Chairman Seo’s day didn’t start very well, as she had to deal with news articles related to Jun-pyo. She was furious and left the house in a huff, while Madam Shin smiled victoriously after the chairman left. The article was about Jun-pyo’s vegetable state and his thin chance of making a successful recovery, and it’s easy to guess who released the details to the media. Madam Shin contacted Young-pyo to remind him about his promise, that was to hand over the management of the department stores and the car manufacturing business to Do-hyun, in return for the info she gave him. Ki-joon thought that it could be a move that would stab him in the back, but his father assured him that it was a move needed in playing the politics game.
Chairman Seo had a visitor waiting for her in her office, and it was Chae-yeon. She was there to discuss something about Do-hyun and her, after reading the articles about Jun-pyo before coming there. As for Do-hyun, he was still mulling about the family register, and Secretary Ahn had informed him that there was an application made to adjust the family register right after he entered Seungjin in April 1994 and one month later, the gender of Cha Do-hyun was changed from female to male in the register. He realized that the matter was Chairman Seo’s doing, and leaned on to the teddy’s big head. Poor guy, he’s always alone at times like this 😥
Chae-yeon told the chairman that Do-hyun was the reason she broke her engagement with Ki-joon, and she was there to offer her family’s help in return for Chairman Seo’s favour. She wanted to receive the green light for her relationship with Do-hyun and she wished to see Do-hyun get a higher position in Seungjin, since she couldn’t bear having the person beside her staying in a low position. Chairman Seo was willing to listen to her requests, because Chae-yeon’s family held a considerable amount of stocks in the company, and Chae-yeon could easily persuade the other stockholders with her family’s influence.
Do-hyun spent his morning running on the treadmill and Secretary Ahn visited him with the news about Jun-pyo’s articles published in the media, but Do-hyun was already aware of it; however, Do-hyun didn’t want to offer his help first, because he wanted to wait until his grandma herself went to ask for his help. He would make Seungjin Group his, but it’s not the time yet for him to make his move. Secretary Ahn received the photo of the servers and chefs during the garden party held at the old Seungjin mansion on the day the fire incident happened, and Do-hyun recognized one of the faces in it: Mama Ji. He realized that the person who rescued little Ri-jin on that day was her.
Dr. Seok made a visit to Ri-jin’s house on that morning but when asked if Ri-jin received a big shock before she fainted, the family only explained that it was because of her secret physician job that didn’t end up well. Dr. Seok called Do-hyun and the latter apologized for not telling about Ri-jin’s contract earlier, but Dr. Seok contacted him to inform him about Ri-jin. The doctor guessed that both of them had remembered their forgotten memories and they were not that pretty, but he was also worried that Ri-jin could experience repetition compulsion if she’s not treated properly. Do-hyun was stunned, and someone should really give this kid a break from all this cray-cray.
Ri-jin opened her eyes to see Mama Ji nodding off beside her bed, and she told Mama Ji that she remembered everything: from how she was saved from the basement during the fire, to her real name, Do-hyun.
Ri-jin: But..but then. why that person became Cha Do-hyun? That person…how did he lost his own name? Why, and for what reason both of us had our names snatched away? You know, Mom..I really liked my name. I am really thankful to Mom and Dad, who made me into Ri-jin today. And..I really liked that person’s name. But now…what should I call that person? What should I call him?
Do-hyun’s taking the shock quite the hard way, because he went to vomit whatever he had eaten before that. He could only laugh bitterly at the memory of him proudly introducing himself to Ri-jin and ironically, that name was not even his. The headache attack happened again and Do-hyun went searching for his pills in the study, but he saw a flash drive with a small note attached to it. It was from Ri-jin, with the note, “Watch this when you need your pills!” He plugged in the drive and the video Ri-jin recorded before they went on their farewell trip played on the laptop screen.
Ri-jin: Are you watching, Cha Do-hyun? Are you listening, Cha Do-hyun? You’re going to take the pills, right?! I caught you! Don’t think of lying to me~ Since you’re watching this video, something difficult must have happened that caused you to go for the pills. It’s not that the pills are bad. You said it before..no matter what happens, you wanted to overcome everything with me, replacing the unhappy memories with good memories together with me. So, what is going to happen today? We are going to take the train and make lots of good memories, right? Just get rid of all the pills you have bought, and keep yourself full of good memories. Are you ready?! I’m ready! And..I have something to confess. I couldn’t confess since I thought of all the professionalism as a doctor…
Ri-jin confessed that she liked Do-hyun, and the pitiful guy could only sigh in front of his laptop. She really liked him a lot, and the video ended there. Ri-jin let the tears roll down her cheek back home, while Do-hyun cried and released his pent-up anger by punching the desk. Arghhhhh this is painful ㅠㅠ
Ri-on went to Ri-jin’s room but she didn’t response to his questions at all. He couldn’t take it anymore and demanded to know how long she was planning to stay in that condition. She tried to fight back, but Ri-on had his reason for screaming at her, because she had been suffering by herself and at the same time, causing the entire family to be unable to function for the whole day. Just like how they ‘introduced’ themselves when they first met in the past, Ri-on stated that he preferred a strong sister to a crybaby and he won’t treat her as his sister if she continued to cry. Ri-jin admitted that she was wrong this time, and Ri-on was the reason she became stronger over time. She pleaded for him not to say such thing again, because that was the thing she was most scared of when they were young, that was to lose him as her brother.
Ri-jin followed Ri-on’s every word, from eating to strolling at the park together with Rina. They spent their time running around and lying on the ground while communicating through their minds. Ri-jin thanked Ri-on for giving her some of his family’s love and being her family. She expressed how much she loved him and Ri-on thanked her back for loving him. Ah, these two ㅜㅜ
The lonely Puppy Do-hyun was still crying but he decided that it was time to make his move, smiling at the thought of Ri-jin before preparing to go out. Before he could get on his car, another car stopped in front of his door and it was Chairman Seo. Do-hyun wasn’t interested in listening to her, moreover she was still haughty as ever despite being in a difficult position. He wasn’t thinking of returning to Seungjin anytime soon and he would do so after giving more thought about it, but the chairman offered to tell him what exactly happened 21 years ago. Although he wanted to find the truth himself, it couldn’t be denied that Chairman Seo was the only person alive who knew about the secret of their family.
They went to visit Jun-pyo at the nursing home, because Chairman Seo wanted Do-hyun to promise in front of his father that he would go back to the company after hearing about the past from her, but Do-hyun wanted to hear to the story first before making his decision. We traveled back to the day when a party was organized to congratulate Jun-pyo for becoming the Chairman of Seungjin Group, somewhere in May 1994.
Grandma Seo was so proud to see her son finally taking his rightful position, and the other elders like Young-pyo, Madam Yoon, and Chae-yeon’s mother were also present at the party. The grandma went to check on the food preparation and Mama Ji was also there, since she was a part of the chef team. Moments after Grandma Seo left the preparation room, little Do-hyun went inside and asked the housekeeper to get something to eat, but the boy also put the food prepared for the party into a plastic bag before hiding it inside his backpack. The housekeeper told Mama Ji that the boy was actually the illegitimate son of the newly appointed chairman.
Madam Shin was waiting for his son when Do-hyun went to his room and she explained that Jun-pyo would introduce him during the party. Little Do-hyun was worried for her, but Madam Shin was willing to live avoiding the public until little Do-hyun inherited the company from his father, because she was willing to do anything as long as Do-hyun got to be the owner of Seungjin. Dang it, so she had been brainwashing that boy since then! Jun-pyo made the announcement to introduce his son to the guests and the ladies started to gossip about the accident (which killed Chairman Cha and Seo-yeon) and Do-hyun being a mistress’s son.
Little Do-hyun sneaked out of the room but Mama Ji called him, asking him where the basement was. The mention of basement made him nervous and he grabbed the chance to hide when he realized that his father had went out of the banquet room. Mama Ji didn’t think too much of it and walked away, while Jun-pyo went to call Do-hyun. He saw that Do-hyun was not in his room and he followed after Do-hyun, with Mama Ji watching him closely behind.
Do-hyun’s destination was the basement, and he apologized to little Ri-jin for being late. He urged her to pack her belongings, because they should run to a faraway place by taking the train. The girl was excited at first, but then, she realized that she didn’t have any money with her. Do-hyun assured her that he’s got enough money and took her hand since they had to leave before his father knew about this, but it was too late for them.
Jun-pyo was already standing in front of the door to the poor kids’ surprise, and he didn’t wait for too long to drag Do-hyun out of the basement room before entering the dark room. Little Do-hyun could only cry from outside of the room, pleading for his father to stop hitting ‘Do-hyun’. Grandma Seo noticed that Jun-pyo had been gone for a while and she went to find him, but she saw something in the basement before hearing someone shouting, “Fire!”
The present Do-hyun concluded from his grandma’s story that someone started the fire instead of it being an accident, and he demanded to know who was the arsonist. The grandma continued her story, and the person she saw in the basement hallway was little Do-hyun, walking slowly while dragging with him a bottle of kerosene. Do-hyun was the one who started the fire, and Chairman Seo had to bury the truth because her only grandson was the arsonist, and her only son was hurt while trying to save Do-hyun.
Do-hyun slowly withdrew himself from the room, and he couldn’t believe what he just heard from his grandma. His headache grew worse, and another wave of memories hit him. Little Do-hyun screamed and knocked on the door to the basement but Jun-pyo won’t open it, and he started to blame himself for causing little Ri-jin to be beaten by his father. The boy experienced the same headache as the present Do-hyun, and a voice inside his head offered to save the girl in his stead, because he couldn’t do it.
The boy grabbed the box of matches (the brand New Century = Shin Se-gi) he saw beside the heater and he was not crying anymore; little Do-hyun was determined to do whatever he was thinking of doing at that moment and he sent the kerosene bottle tumbling down the stairs before lighting up the place with fire. Another figure joined him watching over the fire, and it was Se-gi.
Se-gi: You made me at that moment. I saved that child. The person who saved that child was me.
The present Do-hyun was lying there on the floor without any reaction, and then he started to tap his fingers like he usually did. Was it Se-gi?
Oh yes, that was really him…because he went straight to Ri-jin after that.
Se-gi: Sorry for being late. Let’s go.
[END of Episode 17]
Do-hyun is Ri-jin’s;
Se-gi is a box of red matches;
Ferry Park is (just) a boat’s name;
X is unknown;
Nana is a teddy bear;
So Yo-sub is upset;
And Yo-na is excited?
Jun-young, poor boy!
I can’t even begin to describe my feelings while I was watching the episode, because they ranged from intense sadness to intense rage. We’re getting to the bottom of the whole problem, but who is the real sinner this time? It’s overwhelming, and it’s hard to determine the person who started it all, because it’s like a domino effect going into all directions. Every single piece of domino fell, just like how everyone involved in the secret in the first place was affected.
Do-hyun/Jun-young is no doubt the person who became most scarred from the incident compared to others, and it’s amazing that he still manage to keep his sanity for this long. Shock after shock, torture after torture, and he faced it all by himself. At least Ri-jin still has her family and the awesome Ri-on to support her, but Do-hyun can only hug that teddy bear.
I am so upset, because I pity him so much.
[+] Looks like the anger won’t go away for a while, so pardon the possible ‘explosion’ in the following paragraphs. Hmmmmm
It’s hard to pinpoint one person who caused the whole mess, because everyone contributed their own ‘share’, either intentional or not. Chairman Cha brought back Seo-yeon and Do-hyun thinking that Jun-pyo would never come back; Seo-yeon decided to accept the chairman’s offer for Do-hyun’s future; Madam Shin forced Jun-pyo to go back to his family for their son’s future; Jun-pyo made up his mind to return because of his son; and Chairman Seo became as cold as ice to protect her crumbling family. One fan in the Korean forum DC made an interesting discovery: the name Seungjin is a brand of bean powder, and the Korean phrase for bean powder (kongkaru/콩가루) is another term for a broken family. How fitting of a name to describe the exact state of Seungjin’s family.
But then, that doesn’t mean that no one was completely innocent in the matter. In my opinion, although Jun-pyo was dragged into the whole mess and had to withstand the humiliation of raising a kid that was not his, that didn’t give him the right to direct those anger at the innocent child. He probably saw little Ri-jin as Seo-yeon’s incarnation and served as a reminder for his failed marriage, and it didn’t help at all that the girl was Seo-yeon’s daughter from her relationship with her lover. There were other options for him to deal with the girl, like taking a paternity test to prove that she wasn’t Jun-pyo’s blood and then send out to the orphanage after Seo-yeon’s death, but Jun-pyo chose the worst option ever: lashing out his anger towards the poor child. Even if he couldn’t stop himself from making that decision, why didn’t anyone else try to stop him? People like Chairman Seo and Madam Shin, what were they doing when Jun-pyo was hitting and abusing little Ri-jin? Did they just stand behind and watch the whole thing like a movie?
The car accident which killed Chairman Cha and Seo-yeon had been suspicious from the beginning, and it was too convenient to be treated as a pure accident. Who was the person who caused the accident? Seungjin Group is really something, and I really hope that Do-hyun/Jun-young will wash his hands off the company forever.
Now, onto the most pitiful person ever, and the one who underwent the most excruciating pain that was not even his from the beginning…Cha Do-hyun. Jun-young is a very beautiful name, but since we have come to associate that face and those eyes with that name for 16 episodes, I’m going to keep addressing him as Cha Do-hyun.
No one could have guessed that Se-gi’s name was originally a brand for matches, but that name is pretty common to be used as store names in the country (like drugstore, family mart, etc). Now that we’ve seen how Se-gi was born, it has been proved that Do-hyun’s DID started when he was seven, and the dormant Se-gi only came out after being triggered by Jennifer’s abuse when he was 17. Now that Do-hyun realized that he was the real arsonist, no one could imagine the pressure he’s under at that moment, because from his point of view, all things happened because of him. His father changed after they entered Seungjin, little Ri-jin was abused every time he made a mistake, and now, the fire was his doing all along. His guilt seems never ending, and it’s amazingthat he still manage to keep his sanity for this long. Repeating this sentence because that’s the thing I have on my mind when I see Do-hyun in this episode.
Se-gi’s appearance was quite a surprise, because I thought that he would only appear for one last time to say goodbye to the girl he tried to protect back then. Maybe…this is goodbye for him? He is probably trying to keep the promise he made with little Ri-jin years ago….Ah, now that Ri-jin has remembered everything, I want to see how their interaction will be, although I’m a bit wary for Alex’s involvement between them. Did Se-gi have a rift with that man when he made his appearance in the US? That would explain why Alex seems to have bad intention against Do-hyun/Se-gi.
We also learned the origin of the name Ferry Park, and that alter was indeed created as the ideal image of Jun-pyo. The father-son pairing was so close when they were living in Yeosu, and the sight of a smiling and carefree Jun-pyo made it even more painful to watch. To think that he had a 180-degree change once he entered Seungjin, it was also tragic that he gave the person he cherished the most the deepest wound one could imagine. What could have happened if they didn’t go back to Seungjin? Jun-young would grow up to become an ordinary man but still above the average; Jun-pyo would live as freely as he could; and the original Do-hyun would be the heiress to the large company. Everyone would be happy…and we won’t have this drama. Heh. The pain won’t have started if Do-hyun didn’t try to find his memories, but then, would he be able to live happily while suffering from his illness?
Great, I have written to much again. Huhuhu. Thanks for all your comments, but keep it civil at all times! ^^v
I can see everything from here~