So far, the show has mostly focused on Kang In-ha’s struggle as a mother but in this episode we get to focus on Sun-ho’s dad, Park Moo-jin’s character development. The otherwise sweet couple have a disagreement regarding the reinvestigation of Sun-ho’s case, with him wanting to back out of escalating matters in his non-confrontational style. In-ha rightly points out that Moo-jin will have to give up his pacifist tendencies if he plans on getting justice for Sun-ho.
Through flashbacks, we have seen that Dad had steered Sun-ho away from the offensive side whenever he had expressed a tendency to confront someone or defend himself. In light of the bullying video, however, Moo-jin seems to be regretting that he taught his son to be non-violent like himself. Thus comes the blow-up, which builds up throughout the duration of this episode, starting with Moo-jin standing up for Su-ho when the school complains about her Blue House petition.
When Sung-jae and Ki-chan’s dads try to intimidate him with threats of dragging him to court, the man sends the contents of their table crashing to the floor and walks out without uttering a single word. The final eruption occurs when he slaps his own student, who also happens to be Dong-hee’s brother, after feeling guilt for protecting him the way Sun-ho’s teachers are now protecting the kids who hurt him. Except in this case, Dong-hee’s brother doesn’t actually seem all that bad.
Sun-ho’s dad hasn’t completely turned over to the dark side yet, as is evident when he finds Joon-seok all alone and instead of taking the chance to ask him questions or scold him, he gives the boy a sweet lecture about becoming a better person. He even drops in the news of Sun-ho’s condition improving, which was a really bad idea considering… well, everything.
Joon-seok seems overwhelmed by Moo-jin’s concern and expresses an inclination to confess but it’s sad to watch his mom’s protectiveness stop him from doing the right thing. In another case of tables turning, we have Joon-seok’s mom also letting go of her subservient attitude towards her husband and giving it back to him for not caring about Joon-seok enough. I have to say that this was refreshing to watch despite me having zero sympathy for this woman. Also, I’d assumed that Joon-seok’s mom was behind Sun-ho’s missing phone, but it seems like it’s his dad who is covering up her and Joon-seok’s tracks. The way this husband and wife keep staring at each other from across the glass walls of their posh home makes for a very eerie, The Shining-esque mood.
The source of bad blood between Sun-ho and Joon-seok is revealed to be, as we all suspected, their classmate Da-hee. It seems as if Joon-seok had involved the girl in one of his weird “games” despite knowing that Sun-ho had a crush on her. Sun-ho had tried to appeal to Joon-seok’s better side before giving him a last chance to apologize.
I’m really enjoying the fact that more than Moo-jin and In-ha doing them any real damage it’s Sung-jae, Ki-chan and Joon-seok’s parents who seem to be turning on each other. I mean, less work for Sun-ho’s family, right? But there’s also something immensely satisfying about watching these families who banded together to shield their troublemaker sons taking each other down.
No other scene in the show made me cry as hard as Su-ho’s petition did. This kid doesn’t say much, but when she does she hits all the right nerves. She writes the petition in her trademark factual, non-cheesy style but manages to detail all the facts without embellishing them while also being heartwarming? What a feat. I’m so glad dad paid her a little compliment about her writing skills because I was ready to burst into applause. The petition becomes a big deal in school and once again, all that the school authorities seem to care about is their reputation. For how blameless they claim to be, their freakout over a mere petition sure seems to be winning them points for fairness.
While things are still far from looking up, there were some positive developments in this episode. For one, it seems as if Sun-ho is on the road to recovery. The journalist who had previously gotten in touch with Sun-ho’s mom figures out a connection between Joon-seok’s dad and the police chief and begins digging his journalistic claws into Sun-ho’s case. Finally, a possibility of this case hitting the headlines.
The women in Sun-ho’s family develop some solid suspicions of their own. Su-ho, after meeting Ki-chan, begins doubting the extent of Joon-seok’s involvement in her brother’s bullying. Her mom, on the other hand, finds it odd when Joon-seok’s mother lets slip a detail about the case that she didn’t personally mention to her, leading her to doubt her friend. With how persistent Kang In-ha is, I can’t wait her till she gets to the bottom of what and how much Joon-seok and his family are hiding and expose them to the world.
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