A Wife’s Credentials: Episode 2

[Softy wrote the following paragraph in her heartfelt and personal comments at the end of this recap, but I’m extracting and moving it up here because it encapsulates my own feelings watching this drama. There’s just such an infectious warmth about A Wife’s Credentials. Do watch it along with us! –thundie]

It may come as a surprise to most of you who know me when I say this because I am not a “fist bump in the air” kind of person, but that’s what I wanted to do countless times during these 16 episodes. You never suspect from an overlooked cable drama to have so many thoroughly satisfying moments, but this drama is packed with them – moments that stand out in your mind so clearly that you find yourself either grinning about it or feeling moved again as you recall those lines. In the end, isn’t that why we all watch great kdramas? For temporary escapes from our own reality to vicariously experience what’s on the screen. As someone who has already gone down this road, trust me when I say this, you won’t regret the little adventure you are about to embark on with A Wife’s Credentials.

Characters

SR – Yoon Seo-rae
SJ – Han Sang-jin (SR’s husband)
G – Han Gyeol (SR and SJ’s 5th grade son)
MR – Yoon Mi-rae (SR’s younger sister)
T – Kim Tae-oh (dentist who is married with a young daughter)
Hong – Hong Ji-seon (runs her own academy)
MJ – Han Myeong-jin (SR’s sister-in-law and SJ’s younger sister)
HT – Jo Hyun-tae (MJ’s husband)
YJ – Jo Yoon-jae (MJ and HT’s older daughter)
EJ – Kang Eun-joo (HT’s other woman)
FIL (SR’s father-in-law)
MIL (SR’s mother-in-law)

Episode 2

MJ tells SR to get some consulting. “It’s expensive but it’s the best way because the woman advises on everything from scores and everything else and after getting all the facts and information (about G), she will give you a prescription for how to proceed. There are hardly any people who failed after following what that person said.” SR gets ready and goes out to meet that person.

At the café for mothers, the consultant looks through G’s academic records. She asks: “Aren’t there any scores from exams like TOEFL and other scores from standardized tests for math and other subjects?” SR says there aren’t any. The woman says then that one test G took is all of it. SR: “Yes, but don’t make your decision just based on that. He wasn’t able to solve the problems properly because they were unfamiliar to him.”

The consultant says just being able to solve the problems as they are is in itself an ability. “From what I can see, your son needs to go on a different path.” She suggests athletics or arts. SR says, “Of course, my child likes sports and art and is good at them to an extent, but he isn’t good enough to major in them.” The woman says he has to go to college. “Whether it’s running or musical instrument, you have to choose one and get lessons for him and hold onto a specific line.”

SR says she was hoping the woman would help her son get on the path for academics after looking over his records. The woman says the result of looking over his records is that he should go into athletics or art. If academics isn’t going to work out, it’s best if SR decides quickly what G should do. She takes out her business card and says, “You can deposit the cost of the consulting here.” SR: “OK.” The woman says, “After you decide what he should do, if you need help again please call me.” SR: “Thank you for making time for me.” The next woman in line asks the consultant for her child to get assistance for writing essays so the consultant says that’s good timing because there happens to be an essay class.

When SR goes out she runs into EJ. SR says, “You must have a gathering here.” EJ says she is here to meet the moms whose children passed and got into that class (that G failed to get into). SR congratulates the mom for JH’s admittance. EJ: “Thank you. When I think about G, I feel sorry too.” SR: “What do you mean by sorry? It’s because my ability lacked.”

EJ: “But I think it might have been a good thing G didn’t pass. I’m not that happy that my son got into that class because now he can’t avoid studying a lot.” She goes on to say how SR can raise her son without any pressure and can continue teaching G the way she has been doing without having to be concerned with the rest of the world. SR thanks her for her words of encouragement. She tells EJ to go.

SR gets a call from her MIL and says “I am going there now.” SR’s FIL says: “I am afraid to set a date to play golf with MJ’s FIL just in case he might bring up talk about our grandchildren’s education.” MIL points out that that side’s education has all been top notch. “This is the first time we had to worry about something like this.” FIL: “Of course it’s the first time.”

MIL tells SR that they never had to worry about their children’s (MJ and SJ) education even once. The FIL says now they are going through this because of their grandchild. MIL says a kid’s grades are the parent’s grades. MJ tries to stick up for SR and says they are taking this too harshly – that G’s parents will take care of this well. MJ asks if SR got the consultation from the person she mentioned. SR: “Yes, a while ago.”

Both grandparents ask what the consultant said. SR says what that person said won’t be much help. MIL asks: “What did you say?” SR: “We have our own plans – since G said he would study the way people here in this neighborhood do…” But FIL interrupts and says there is no reason to drag this out. “Hire a tutor. I looked into it and so did your mother-in-law. We also spoke with MJ; there is no other way.”

FIL tells MJ to contact the teacher that helped YJ and get her to contact SR right now. MIL says do that – get Teacher Hong. So SR asks, “Isn’t Teacher Hong (the owner of the academy G was trying to get into)… You mean YJ got private tutoring from Teacher Hong?” MJ says, “Yes, once when YJ’s grades were fluctuating a bit. I don’t have the confidence to say she will meet you because other moms are waiting in line.” MIL says to SR: “From here on it’s all up to you.” FIL tells SR to meet Hong no matter what and to control how the kid studies.

SR goes to the academy to try to meet Hong but the receptionist asks if she has an appointment. SR says no so the receptionist says “I will put you on the waiting list.” SR asks when and the girl says her schedule is full till April. “I will contact you then.” SR says YJ’s mom put in a call in advance. But the girl says there is no way to add any more appointments than the ones already on the list.

SR calls MJ and asks if she spoke to Hong. MJ says, “I did and was about to call you right away after I spoke to her but I was worried you would be disappointed. Since his score was that low, she turned him down right away. Saying that if he is at that level, there is no need to meet. Normally she wouldn’t turn down my request. Yes. I am sorry, Unni, for not being able to help.” SR: “No, it’s OK – it can’t be helped.”

FIL mutters, “It’s not like we are asking her to take him on for free.” They were going to pay for her to teach him but she turns that down. How bad must the kid’s ability be for her to do that. MIL points out that if MJ made that request, that Hong would have followed it. MJ says, “The teacher decided there was no possibility for improvement. I just ended up being embarrassed (by making that request).”

SR calls her sister asking “Why didn’t you pick up? I let it ring 20 times.” MR says, “I was grocery shopping so I didn’t hear. Why did you call? Because you were worried about news of Mom? I told you I was going to Mom’s today.” MR lectures her sister for moving into that neighborhood and only being focused on her child. “Just pay half that attention on Mom.” She goes on and says how their mom’s teeth hurt and can’t eat so she throws tantrums. The doctors there are too scared of their mom and won’t lay a hand on her.

SR says:”I will go there after I solve G’s problem so calm down. I have something to ask. Didn’t you say you were close with the housekeeping ajummas in this neighborhood? Can you find out some stuff through them?” MR says if the chance arises, “who is it (that you need to know about)?” SR asks, “Do you know who Teacher Hong is? Have you heard of her? Can you find out some stuff about her? Not what everyone else knows. I will go there now.”

As she leaves the café, she runs into T who was on his way in. He says hello. She asks what he is doing here at this time. T: “I dropped by nearby. You must be busy.” She says yes and was about to leave. She turns back and asks if implants hurt a lot. “It’s someone old – will it be ok?” T: “I have to see the condition.” SR: “I will meet her and consult you again.” They bow to each other and she leaves.

When SR gets to MR’s home, MR comes out of her downstairs neighbor’s home. SR asks if she looked into Hong and MR says yes. That woman (Hong) seems to be very meticulous. SR: “Tell me everything.” MR: “OK.” They go into MR’s home.

MR says how Hong started out teaching here and there and suddenly got popular. “Because she teaches so strictly. She takes complete control over the kid, not in a pushy way but in a sneaky way. By being strict or lenient when she needs to. So all the mothers fell for her and cling to her. They say she earned a lot of money. That academy building belongs to her and her husband is a dentist and that practice belongs to her too. So she told her husband don’t get greedy about money and just be a good dentist. So her husband goes around doing charity dental work for poor people and that’s how they live.”

SR asks, “Are you close with that home’s housekeeper?” MR: “I don’t know her directly; have to go through two people (her connections).” SR asks to send something special to them that her sister makes. MR says that won’t work. “Because she never accepts what mothers give her (meaning Hong won’t take bribes). Some mother on Teacher’s Day gave her money in an envelope and was humiliated.” SR mutters there is no way in then.

MR continues and says: “Anyway, she is someone who knows exactly what she wants. Whether it’s taking care of herself or her body. The one I was the most surprised by is without missing a single day, every morning she exercises and it’s not working out at a health club or golf or yoga – it’s Yudo (like taekwondo). Without missing a single day for one hour starting from 8am.” SR gets up and says: “That’s it.”

Hong’s driver pulls up and drops her off. She is carrying a change of clothes. SR spies on her through the shrubs.

SR watches Hong practice Yudo on her own. Sort of like tumbling and throwing herself on the floor.

Hong is in the lockers about to shower so SR does the same. She joins Hong in the shower and asks for some shampoo. SR pretends to be surprised to meet her. SR: “I’m HG’s mom – the one who was last. Meeting you like this – it’s really nice to meet you. Like a person to person.”

They ride together in Hong’s car. SR: “I should say this while buying you a drink, but your schedule is so tight you don’t have extra time. I’m very grateful to you for giving me an opportunity like this. I was hoping you would decide to take my son’s side. My child has never taken any lessons up to now and I taught him. Not because I had some special abilities or anything, but because my kid was severely sick ever since he was young. That’s why the time I spent with him was a lot and that’s all. That’s why after moving to this neighborhood, he got so much shock, but still I don’t regret the way I did things. I made him think about the reason for everything, question, and found the answer together. So I improved and so did the kid. My child knows the order of thoughts. He knows what being together is. Because of the bad score, he is being belittled for all those positive qualities so it feels so unfair.”

SR starts to cry so she apologizes. “In these days of tutoring, I am against it but I want to get acknowledgement for my methods from a top teacher like you. To be more honest, if you take on my child, it will prove he isn’t hopeless and it will convince other people who look down on me. I know that sounds childish.”

SR hands over the tuition fee for 6 months. “I heard someone gave you a car so compared to that, this is not much at all, but this is everything I have.” She takes out her bank book and says, “You will know what that money is when you see this. For the sake of my child, it’s something I didn’t spend even once while my child was sick. I was going to go on a trip with him so I saved up.”

Hong: “Do I have to know all this?” SR: “That’s not what I meant.” Hong: “Please put that back in.” SR puts the bank book and money back into her purse. SR asks the driver to stop the car. SR: “Thank you – just for hearing me out I am very grateful.”

SR is about to get out of the car but Hong asks: “Do you think you can fit him into my schedule? And you have to do everything I tell you to do. Let’s give this a try. Teaching someone who is last and seeing how it turns out – it is my first time doing this.” SR is in tears and is about to thank her but Hong says it’s not because she is overconfident or anything, she just wants to teach a kid once – one who has played in other waters (meaning another neighborhood).

Hong: “Starting from tomorrow, send him right after school. And make sure he isn’t late since I am sharing my time. For starters – 50 minutes every day. I am going to teach him English, Math, and Science all at once.” SR: “All 3 subjects at once?”

Hong: “You are special so I am teaching you especially. That’s what it is. Because what he needs the most right now is confidence.” She says how if he gains confidence he will catch on better. SR promises: “For the rest of my life, I will not forget this great favor.” Hong: “I will hear that kind of remark later (after he does well).” SR bows and gets out of the car.

All the moms get texts about what happened. EJ: “This is trouble.” MJ: “How did she do it (meaning what method did SR use)?” FIL says Hong should have done this earlier.

Hong apologizes to G for giving him easy problems. “But your solving time is a little slow so we are warming you up (meaning like when you stretch before you run – to loosen up your body).” She tells him to start and times him. G starts solving.

SR is on the phone at the supermarket apologizing for not having a housewarming party after moving. She is speaking loudly for others to hear, saying it’s been so busy these days because G is attending an academy. “When I lived over there, I said I would do this without tutoring but there is a reason why people do it. Thankfully he met a good person.” She yells out the name of the academy and Hong’s title and how she is down to earth (like other humans) and her abilities are amazing.

Hong poses a question and doesn’t give the answer and says: “I would like to hear your answer.” After G explains the answer, she says: “You are the best, G.” She asks him to say what he just said in English. He does it pretty well except for some mistakes in grammar but she doesn’t notice them and says “good job.” She then makes him use that same problem to turn it into a math problem.

Hong gave SR some instructions to help out G. SR has to use morning time for G to study with his dad and converse. And she has to give G tips in advance of what he has to read for the day and make him read and study vocab in English. SR writes post-its about how well G did and to praise him. She also asks SJ to sing Swanee River and record it. So as G packs for school, his dad sings the song for him. He congratulates G for doing well. “Let’s eat.”

HT goes to an officetel. EJ is already inside. This is their home just for the two of them where he comes either from his work or in between work. When he spends time with EJ and his son (JH), he tells his other family (MJ) that he is on a business trip. His son currently thinks he is working and living in America. EJ brings him a drink before he leaves. She asks about his morning schedule so he tells her and asks why.

EJ: “I need time from you in the morning for JH. JH’s friends all study in the morning with their dads. Even if they come home drunk the night before, they still wake up at 6am sharp. They are the most scared of their kid. Since in our home, his dad is in America, JH hasn’t said anything yet but it’s right before he goes into puberty (rebellion stage) so you have to play your role as a father correctly. This is an important time for boys. Even though she (MJ) probably doesn’t know that well since she doesn’t have a son.”

HT: “If you compare like that, it makes me sad.” EJ: “Isn’t there a way?” He says he will speak English with his son then. She says how the neighbors across the hallway (SR’s home), the son memorizes 15 vocab words a day. After Teacher Hong took him on, he is motivated. HT wonders why it had to be their neighbors directly across from them because it bugs him. (Because his other wife goes there a lot.) EJ makes a sad face and says: “I want to raise him well since we live like this. Even more.” HT: “I know that.” EJ: “You can’t cause me any more heartache.” HT: “Of course.”

Hong shows the test she gave G and it’s different from your average test and shows SR the good results. SR thinks it’s because of Hong’s teaching skills. Hong says there is a vacancy in her top class. The kid’s family has to leave with his father because the father got work overseas and Hong is thinking of putting G into that class. Except for one kid, the rest of the kids go to school with G. SR says she didn’t know G could go into that class so soon. Hong says, “I have a meeting with the moms in that class. You should say hello to them.” SR: “Now?”

The moms are already in the meeting room. They say how they are worried if G can follow along with the rest of the class so they want to proceed without filling in that empty spot. And the mood of the class is good as it is right now. One suggests opposing so the other mom tells the eldest mom to interfere and oppose when Hong brings it up. She says she will and asks what EJ thinks. EJ says, “Let’s hear what Hong says first.

The moms greet Hong when she comes in with SR. Hong says, “As you all know, after Ellen left there is an empty spot so HG will go into that spot.” Hong tells SR to say hello because she will meet with the mothers often from here on. SR: “Please take care of me well. And teach me a lot.” The eldest mom says, “We just discussed this amongst ourselves just now. But we agreed that it would be better to keep going without adding anyone new. If someone new comes in the middle, the classroom mood becomes disrupted. Also, that kid’s score on the test, we all know there was a huge gap between him and our children.”

EJ: “There is no need to bring that up.” The other mom says why not – that’s important. EJ tells SR: “Don’t misunderstand – we just want what’s best for each other.” The other mom says, “Even though Hong said the kid was good enough to follow along in class, we don’t know if he is at the level where he can handle that class. Also, they are concerned whether he can follow along at the same pace as the other kids.” Hong tells them: “You don’t have to worry about that. It’s up to me to decide what to do with the class and I decided G is plenty ready to study with the rest of the class.”

G gets added to the class and Hong resumes teaching them. SJ and his family come home. SJ is saying how much his parents loved it (that G got into that class). “You feel good too, don’t you, G?” G: “Of course. Like Grandfather said, from here it – it really starts.”

As G gets into bed, SR asks how it was to attend that class. Wasn’t it hard? G: “It was doable.” SR: “Do the kids answer well?” G: “A little.” SR: “How about JH?” G: “He does well.” SR: “You are going to the dentist tomorrow.” G remembers what he did to T and says: “How can I face the doctor?” SR: “You aren’t the only one embarrassed. I am embarrassed too.” G: “But that doctor’s heart is the best, isn’t it?” SR: “Yes. Sleep well.” G: “Good night.” She squeezes his cheek and says: “My son is so cool.” G: “Stop praising me.”

SR goes out and remembers her sister’s words: “Just pay half the attention you give your son to Mom. She can’t eat so all day she throws a tantrum.”

G and SR are waiting for T to show up. When he comes in she says hello and says: “We are both really embarrassed.” T: “It’s OK.” He starts his procedure on G and afterwards he tells him it’s all over. “You did well.” He tells G to rinse and tells SR that G needs to come in only one more time next month. She thanks him.

T: “Last time you seemed busy so I didn’t get to tell you, but that implant – who is going to have that done? You?” SR: “No, my mother.” T says, “Implants might not be the right way to go. If there is even a little root left, there are other options. When your mother has time, bring her in.”

SR: “Thank you for saying that, but I can’t do that because she is in a hospice retirement home and I can’t bring her out. Her condition is severe because normally she loves to eat, but all 4 of her wisdom teeth are destroyed. The emergency room there can’t handle that. She has a lot of fear so she won’t let anyone touch her. It’s a major problem.”

T says he suddenly feels drawn in. SR: “What?” T: “I majored in patients with problems.” That he can even endure being hammered in the face (by her son’s forehead). He tells her the dates he has available so it’s possible for him to go on dental trips.

MR gets a call from SR. MR: “Really? Is that for real?” SR: “That’s what I said. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything. But he said to do that so easily. That he would go.”

HT wakes up at 6:10 and lies to MJ that he has a meeting at 7am. “You sleep more.” EJ wakes up JH and says, “Hurry and wake up. Wash your face and turn on the computer. You agreed to talk with Dad on video to study in the morning.” HT goes online and speaks English with his son. HT says: “You haven’t completely woken up yet, have you?” JH: “Yes.” He asks what time it is where his dad is. So HT says subtract 7 hrs from the time there and change am to pm. JH figures out it’s noon over there. HT: “It’s lunch time here. So every Friday let’s study in the morning even though we can’t do it every day.”

SJ quizzes G on vocab words and G replies in Korean and gives the definition: SJ: “Consider,” “deny,” and the last one is kind of hard – “altruistic.” SJ praises G for getting all of them correct. SR tells them to eat breakfast. SR tells SJ: “I am going to my mom’s today. During all this time I didn’t go enough.” SJ: “I should go and see her once too. Sorry.” SR tells G that after he comes home from the academy, “your aunt will make you dinner.” G is happy (he loves his aunt MR).

SR waits on the curb for T to pick her up. She gets in the jeep. T: “Thank goodness the weather is nice.” SR: “Yes.” She looks around the backseat at the equipment and says there’s dental equipment there. T says he just prepared a few things. He changes the subject and asks what she normally takes to get there.

SR: “When I go with my younger sister, her car, and when I go alone, the bus. But normally I go alone because it’s not easy matching up the same time to go.” He asks if she has adjusted to life in this neighborhood. She says: “Yes, I have to be as a mother.” T: “That’s good. Humans have a lot that they lack.” SR is very cautious as she adds: “There is something I haven’t told you.” T: “What is it?” SR: “To tell you the truth, my mom doesn’t know who anyone is. She has dementia. She acts like a child and changes moods suddenly. Do you think you’ll be okay?” T: “I have experience with people like that.”

They have to take a ferry boat to get there. When they arrive, SR brings her mom out and introduces T as G’s dentist. He says: “Hello, it’s the first time we’ve met. I am Kim Tae-oh.” Her mom looks at him and says: “You are good looking.” SR laughs and T thanks her mom. The mom asks: “Is this young lady your girlfriend?” The nurse says, “You are starting again.” Her mom asks what age SR is. Nurse says: “She is your daughter.” Her mom says: “When did I have a daughter?” SR: “What do you mean? When did you have me? If you do that, then I will be sad.” Her mom smiles at T.

T shows her mom one instrument at a time. T: “This is a mirror for your mouth. You open your mouth wide and look into it. These are tweezers to pick things up like this. Try using them.” Her mom does and he says she did well. He says: Inside your mouth is dark so this is how you use this (he’s holding a mini flashlight).” He tells her mom to examine inside his mouth with those instruments. She tells him to sit by the window where there is more light so he moves over and tells SR it’s okay for her to leave.

SR goes out and watches them through the window.

After he lets her mom look into his mouth, he tells her it’s her turn and the nurse helps him make her mom lie down. Afterwards, while SR is feeding her mom, T draws a tooth and says it came out on the chart. There is some root left that’s alive. In this case, there is something called half (some dental procedure I don’t know that saves the root to use). He keeps explaining the procedure so SR tells him to eat while he talks. He says it will take some time. Today he just shaved down some of her teeth and gave her some painkillers. SR says how it’s the first time she has seen such a gentle dentist (because he was so good with her mom).

Her mom gets greedy and tries to take all the chicken. So SR tells her: “If you eat like that you will get indigestion. Just eat one bite at a time.” SR explains to T that her mom’s heart is in a hurry because a dentist finally appeared. She tells her mom to eat slowly as T puts more food in front of her mom and tells the mom to eat a lot. SR tells him to eat a lot.

They all go for a walk.

T trails behind them as SR leads her mom to the edge of the pier. She tells her how MR is living well and “I became a Daechi-dong mother. Now there is nothing for you to worry about, Mother. Mom, you feel good too, don’t you?” Her mom asks for some food so SR mutters: “All you ever do is talk about eating. I would like to go inside your head, Mom.”

When they reach the end, SR says: “Let’s go in now, Mom.” But her mom pulls away and says, “I am going farther out.” SR says: “There is only mud now.” But the mom says, “I don’t want to, I want to go farther” and breaks free. She runs onto the mud saying “let’s play – kids, let’s play.” SR goes after her and so does T. Her mom calls SR “unni” and says “let’s play.” They all get muddy as she struggles to get away from SR and T. Finally T piggybacks her mom. He falls down from her weight and because she wasn’t balanced on his back properly since she pulled away. He finally manages to carry her on his back again.

SR washes her mom in the shower while they are fully dressed to get the mud off their clothes. And T showers alone fully dressed. After that, SR watches her mom sleep while holding her hand. SR whispers: “I will come again.”

SR goes down and T is speaking with the nurse. Nurse says SR worked hard. T sees SR’s outfit and says: “Both of our fashion is a little…” He doesn’t finish his sentence and laughs along with the nurse.

They head out to the car. He is carrying his equipment and she is carrying her belongings. He puts everything in the backseat and she thanks him for today. “Also, I am really sorry.” T: “No, it’s OK. I am sorry. I assumed that this would be very hard on you but I thought I couldn’t know all of that feeling.” She faces the car and cries. She says sorry. T: “It’s OK.”

SR: “I always do this when it’s time to go back. Not because Mom caused trouble.” T: “Will you be okay?” SR: “Yes, it’s just that I feel sorry to you.” T: “It’s okay.” SR: “Should we go?” T: “Yes.” He opens the door for her but she cries again and says how her mom wasn’t originally like that and describes how good her personality used to be like – that she ended up like that after taking care of her children and stuff (couldn’t understand her words because they were muffled through her crying). T walks over and pats her back.

They are headed back to the ferry and he looks over at the time. It’s almost 9pm so he steps on it and speeds up. They miss it because it’s 9:03. He tells her to call home first and gets out of the car to make his call too. He tells his wife how he came to treat a patient and missed the boat. SR tells MR how she missed the boat when it was right in front of her nose.

MR: “How did that happen? What do we do? G has homework – something to do with the newspaper but I don’t know what it’s about. Brother-in-law hasn’t come home yet. Where are you going to sleep then?” SR: “I have to go back to Mom. I will call your brother-in-law myself. Sorry. I will ask this favor (meaning take care of G).”

T tells his wife to sleep first because there is nothing at all to worry about. After he hangs up he looks over at the car and SR is still talking on the phone. He walks over to talk to that guy by the gate who told him where he could stay for the night earlier.

T and SR are at a restaurant to eat. SR: “I don’t know what to say because I feel so sorry.” T: “It’s okay – it’s really nothing at all.” SR: “Your family must be worried a lot.” T: “Yes, a little. Did you tell your family well?” SR: “Yes.” She says how she was planning to sleep at her mom’s place and invites him to sleep there too if he is okay with that because they always have empty rooms. T gets a call and goes out to take it and tells her to wait a minute.

He asks the person on the phone: “Did you look into it? Yes, for two people. Yes, she is a woman. Right now? Okay – I will go now.” Their food arrived but he tells SR to just come out. He managed to get them a boat even if the waves are a bit rough. He apologizes to the server and pays for the uneaten food. He tells SR to hurry and come. He says to hurry and get her belongings out of the car (since they have to leave it behind; he leaves his equipment there in the car too). They run over to a waiting tugboat.

The boat is really rocky because of the waves. She is on the phone with her husband and holding on at the same time. She asks if he just came home and tells him she borrowed a small boat. “I will tell you the details when I get home.” She’s about to say she got off nearby and took a taxi but she loses her balance and falls. T asks if she is okay.

SJ: “Hello?” SJ can’t get through so he just hangs up without any concern. T hands her back her phone and she says hello into it. Boxes and stuff fall all around them as they roll back and forth. T shields her with his body.

END

Softy’s comments

Since I have already seen the entire series, it’s hard for me to hold back what I already know and only comment on this particular episode without giving away any spoilers. So here goes:

During college when my friends and I used to sit around and talk about our future marriages, I told my friends that I would never tolerate my husband cheating on me even once. That one time would be the end of our marriage. My other friend said she would give her future husband at least 3 chances. If he cheats for the 3rd time, that’s when she would leave him and get a divorce. That made us break out into an argument because I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that any woman would give her husband that many chances. Why be so liberal with your forgiveness to a man who clearly doesn’t deserve it? If he cheats once, it’s going to be that much easier to do it again if he is forgiven so easily.

I guess I have always had a thing about loyalty. I placed that trait high above everything else in a friendship or relationship. That’s why when I realized where this story was going in this second episode, I thought I would blame SR for cheating on her husband, but then seeing how miserable her life is in a loveless marriage of convenience, I didn’t have it in me to “throw stones” because I totally would have done the same thing.

I think SR’s plight swayed me over to her side in that scene where T is trying to help SR get her mom back inside. The way he was so patient earlier explaining every instrument to her mom just to get her to feel at ease enough for him to do the dental procedure was enough for me to root for this couple right away. He is good for her because he genuinely cares about SR. At this point no words or actions of like or interest were exchanged, but watching him be so quick to help SR with her mom made me realize this is what a man in love does. And then his actions in that scene where he got all muddied trying to carry her heavy mom across that swampy area cinched it for me. I didn’t care if both of them would be having an affair, I just wanted them to be happy for a change.

This isn’t the typical drama I would normally watch so I was surprised to find myself fascinated enough to finish Episode 1 and then start Episode 2. Aside from my curiosity for the lead couple, I was wondering what would happen with HT when the *&^% hits the fan and his bigamy comes to light. Especially since both his wives are friends. It’s out of this world ridiculous how close they are and yet, one friend has no clue about the other. Without giving any spoilers away, I can tell you right now I did not see some of that ending coming. It came as a complete shock to me.

So I can vouch for this drama – that it will take you to places you’ve never been and if it affects you at all, it will either make you look at your marriage differently or if you are single like me, it will make you a little more wary of the pitfalls of marriage. But at the same time, it will make you want to hurry and find someone special in your life.

thundie’s comments

Ahhhhh, bad drama! How could you make Mr. Dentist’s wife look like this?! How do you expect me to dislike her, for Pete’s sake?

And why didn’t I have a Math teacher in school like this one? I would have aced the subject instead of dreading it like I would a visit to the dentist!

Hard choices (all right, tis an unhealthy girl crush on Lee Tae-ran, so? I loved her in Comrades!) and old grievances aside, love, love, love this episode. Love how the camera loves both Seo-rae and Hong Ji-seon; they are positively luminous.

All that sunlight just gives me a glow inside. And seriously, is the cinematography in this drama breathtaking or what?

Only two episodes and you are this perfect? Are you for real, Show?

11 thoughts on “A Wife’s Credentials: Episode 2

  1. Oops, got this in the mail from a certain AWC transcapper:

    Ok what kind of comment was that thundie on e2 – yours totaled like 3 lines.

    And here I am thinking I’m the only kdrama blogger who can’t count; obviously Softy can’t count as well because… That be 11 lines, not 3!

    Kidding aside, I thought this episode both funny and uplifting. My love for Seo-rae went up several notches just because she cracked me up (when she was spying on Hong and when she deliberately spoke so loudly at the supermart). And isn’t Hong Ji-seon just awesome the way she acceded to SR’s request to teach Han-gyeol? The whole trip to see SR’s mom was my favorite part of the episode (tears and laughter, plus that scenery!).

    Everyone feels so real in this drama, so relatable.

  2. Omo! You two. You’ve SO sold this show to me. Now I can’t read any further ‘caps. Not till I’m up to date.
    It seems like a hybrid In the Mood for Love and jdorama of the ‘Human Drama’ + renzoku persuasion. Which is exactly what I’ve been craving lately!
    And then there’s Lee Tae-ran! And the promise of some raw, natural, understated acting from the rest of the reputed cast and last but but not least… the spellbinding cinematography… it’s luring me in…

  3. Hi Softy, i followed you here from Cadence. I must admit that after I read your recap and the premise of this show, I was kind of wary. To me, Kdrama is the world where I escape to, from the hum drum of everyday life. This one cuts close to home, not that I have a husband like MJ nor a dentist like T, LOL. But I am going to continue to watch this as I have not seen another drama like this before and I am curious enough to see how things will pan out.

    It’s only 2 episodes for me thus far so I have not seen how much of a jerk MJ is but I dislike him already for ‘betraying’ his wife whenever he speaks ill of her in front of his family and not respecting her as a person. I can see why T is tempting as someone so genuinely caring, so nice and an opposite of MJ. But these alone cannot be reasons for MR to stray, if there is ever a valid reason for anyone to stray. I shall reserve my judgement until I finish the show.

    Marriage is not only about love, it’s about commitment. It means making an effort to love your spouse even when you don’t feel like it or don’t feel it. You may not feel the passion or the headiness of courtship or early days of marriage, but you take those memories out every now and then, blow off the dust and rekindle what you can.

  4. Episode 2 pulled me in hook, line and sinker. (And if that wasn’t enough, the coming attractions sealed the deal.)

    Please, please to the subbing gods to find someone who is motivated to sub this and quickly!

  5. Just finished Ep 2 and will continue marching on with this gem. You don’t get drama as exquisite as this every year. It reminds me of Alone in Love.

    Thanks for the recapping, Softy. And thanks to Thundie for hosting this. It is sometimes frustrating to see real good dramas not picked up anywhere….

    Supah, congratulations! I visited Abu Dabi a few months ago and really liked the place.

    • Ooh… Look who’s baaaack! *huggies*
      Thanks hun. I’m all nerves, cold feet and hormonal about it. But I’ll make it this time. I must!
      Abu Dhabi is like my home away from home, boring, but accommodating always. Fiance is studying-working in nearby Sharjah, too.
      Excited about having you as my drama buddy, too. We’ve not done this since… Gloria? Mwah!

  6. Thanks for recapping!!

    I watched the 1st episode a while ago and finally found the subs for 2nd this week but the video didn’t work it seems.

    I understand why some Korean women don’t want to marry or delay it…I’ve read some articles about this. As a non Korean woman, I don’t feel like getting married, for various reasons, and this show certainly doesn’t make me change my mind lol As for finding a real love, hmm I’m a happy celibate for now lol… but the cheating couple does look cute and nice for each other. I’ve noticed that in Kdramas men usually fall for a weak woman who is in trouble/poor/from a complicated family, that’s what they love about the woman first, feeling manly and helpful, and the whole “I’ll protect you forever” grow in them as time goes by and then they end up falling madly in love. T’s wife is strong and independent, works a lot. She’s the opposite of the stereotypical attractive woman in a kdrama. I think that their couple could work if only they communicated a bit more and tried to compromise more in order to maintain a healthy marriage but whatever, the story doesn’t go this way I guess.

    Anyway, great drama, it’s refreshing :) I’m watching “Thank You” at the same time, it’s a lovely drama.

  7. yes it is refreshing… At first I thought wth! the leads are gonna have an affair and that their partners didn’t have an affair??? It’s different from other kdramas where the husband of the lead actress is having an affair or the wife of the lead actor is also having an affair. But I can totally empathize with SR because I also have a husband whose a first class jerk who only thinks of himself! Anyway T is such a sweet and kind person even I would have fallin for him.. hehehe

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