It’s Okay To Not Be Okay Review: Episode 6

As our leads get closer, the stakes get higher. Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji) and Kang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) already have a lot to deal with when it comes to their past, but add to the mix their family—namely Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) and Moon-young’s father (Lee Eol)—and things get even more convoluted. Moon-young has hatched an outrageous new plan to keep Kang-tae by her side, but will she be able to truly let him in?

Episode 6 begins with the reveal that Kang-tae has known about Moon-young being the girl from his childhood since the first time he laid eyes on her. To me, that opens up so many layers to their interactions so far. I have to say, though, that while I enjoy the mystery and reveal that comes with a childhood connection arc, it feels like every other drama is doing it now, and it’s starting to get boring.

Kang-tae reveals that the only reason he never forgot Moon-young was because he hadn’t thanked her for saving his life and wants to put an end to feeling obligated. This, Moon-young senses, might have been the thing drawing him to her. So she appeals to his caregiver side, trying to convince him that she needs him as much as Sang-tae, until Kang-tae finally cracks and admits that he doesn’t enjoy being a caregiver. “It’s because you saved me,” he says, “that I’m living such a messed-up life.” Wow. This admission was sudden and just goes to show how far we’ve come in Kang-tae’s arc.

Unfortunately, Sang-tae has already signed a contract with Moon-young and one of the conditions is for him to move it with her. This puts Kang-tae, who wants to cut all ties with Moon-young, in quite a predicament, and we come to see the first real fight between the Moon brothers. Sang-tae wants to stay and while raining blows at Kang-tae, yells, “You don’t own me. Moon Sang-tae belongs to Moon Sang-tae.” Such an important statement, especially in the context of those with mental/development disorders who are often robbed of their agency by the same people who care for them.

With Moon-young blatantly asking Kang-tae if he would abandon his brother or let him dictate his life again, I’m not sure what she’s trying to do. My first instinct is to rebuke her actions as selfishness, but the way she phrases that question makes me wonder if she has something up her sleeve. All in all, her kidnapping of Sang-tae, tricking him into signing the contract, and putting Kang-tae in a bind is a seriously weird progression of events that left me feeling weird and slightly uncomfortable.

The fight between the Moon brothers ushers another devastating flashback from their childhood—of their mother once again pushing the burden of protecting Sang-tae on to the younger Kang-tae, even at the cost of his own happiness. Back then, this had led to Kang-tae yelling the same words Sang-tae had yelled—”I don’t belong to hyung.” God. I cannot even begin to imagine little Kang-tae having to deal with the concept of ownership and belonging at such a young age. No wonder he seems to have almost no sense of self-fulfillment—be it professionally or personally.

But the thing with kids is that they find it easy to forget and forgive. And so, Kang-tae’s anger had dissolved as hyung ran after him and together they play over an ice lake, while little Moon-young watched from afar. Three things happen in this scene that are completely unexpected and set the stage for the dynamics between Kang-tae, Sang-tae, and Moon-young. First, Sang-tae falls into the lake, and Kang-tae almost leaves him to drown before jumping in to save him; second, Sang-tae actually leaves his brother to drown; and finally, it’s Moon-young who saves Kang-tae despite her hesitation. This scene also tells us that Kang-tae has always nursed feelings of hostility and bitterness at being made his brother’s caregiver. He’s more like Moon-young than we thought—just better at hiding it.

Some might say that Kang-tae is stuck in a one-way caregiving relationship with his brother, but the show reminds us often that Sang-tae also loves his brother. From running after him to cheer him up in the flashback to the adding his own condition to the contract—a camping van as payment, because his little brother hates moving. One night apart and you can already see how much they miss each other. I’ve never felt such a complicated mix of emotions where I know a relationship is toxic and needs change, and been heartbroken by how much love there is at the same time.

So, of course, Kang-tae packs his bags the next day and moves into Moon-young’s Cursed Castle. The mansion is straight out of “Beauty and the Beast,” complete with a giant library and some secret rooms. Moon-young’s story too shares quite a few parallels with the fairytale. The two brothers have never lived somewhere so lavish, and it’s adorable watching them try to fit into Moon-young’s life. It’s extra adorable when they add little homely touches to the mansion by cleaning it and making an actual meal in the house. Moon-young seems stunned at this display of domesticity. Honestly, I would love for her to get used to this. This girl lives a rough life.

This episode’s fairytale of focus is the Bluebeard’s story, which is used to develop the mystery of Moon-young’s past in the house. There seem to be hints about a murder here, which I’m excited for. There’s a creepy basement in the house, the one which we’ve seen Moon-young discover in flashbacks, filled with blood that could be her mother’s. When the Moon Brothers move in, she forbids them to go near it. Over at the hospital, Moon-young’s father deteriorates, and Dr. Oh wonders what caused him to attempt to strangle his own daughter. Dr. Oh wonders if he saw someone else’s face in Moon-young’s.

This episode’s case at OK Hospital sees Bae Hae-sun make a cameo as a patient with psychotic depression, mistaking Moon-young for her dead daughter. Moon-young is left feeling both stunned and terrified to be addressed as someone’s daughter, leading her to have a meltdown during her literature class. She proceeds to have some creepy flashbacks involving her house’s basement, and in a fit of anger, reveals that she found her mother with her skull cracked, limbs wobbly, and blood everywhere. God, is the show hinting that her father murdered her mother? And Moon-young saw the body? Just the possibility of this is making me squirm uncomfortably.

That night, Moon-young freezes in bed as the body of a woman looms over her. Eventually, she breaks into sobs but this time, she’s not home alone. And this is how we end up in the most tender and vulnerable moment Moon-young and Kang-tae have shared so far—her sobbing in terror as he holds and soothes her. Her mother’s threat of killing her prince fresh in her mind, Moon-young frantically tells Kang-tae to run. But he reads between the lines—in the way she desperately clutches him, and replies that he will never leave.

Indoor Enthusiast

Indoor Enthusiast (Esha) is usually found going on rants about how Ji Hae-soo from It's Okay That's Love and Sung Bora from Reply 1988 are the best heroines to grace our screens. Thrillers like Secret Forest and rom-coms with sprinklings of feminism à la Because This Life Is My First hold a special place in her heart. She can be reached at [email protected]