Angry Mom Episode 3. Our Mom does not realize that her past will affect her quest to find justice for her daughter until the last moments of this episode. The tight story telling, the dark overtones, and Mom’s moxy impress me. I’m on board for this series!
First day in school and our Mom, Jo Gang Ja (Kim Hee Seon), is bullied by mean girls and Ko Bok Dong (Ji Soo) whose voice she recognizes as the one that threatened her daughter if she didn’t stop interfering. She threatens the means girls and puts Bok Dong and Park No A (Ji Hyun Woo) in her grip. Principal Do (Kim Tae Hoon) appears at the classroom door and yells at her to stop. She releases Bok Dong and No A only to spin and punch Bok Dong.
Vice principal is on the phone cooing to Han Gong Joo (Ko Su Hee) that her daughter’s transfer was his pleased to help her with. Recall Gong Joo is pretending to be Gang Ja’s mother while she is undercover finding her daughter’s bullies. You’ve got to admire that Gong Joo perpetually wears a crown and has her henchmen do the same.
Principal Do cannot believe that Gang Ja wielded a stick on fellow students just because her desk was messy. Gang Ja is not shy and argues with Principal Do asking if violence in school is ok as long as he cannot see it.
After they are released from the Principal Do’s office, Gang Ja and Wang Jung Hee (Lizzy) have a chat. She tells Gang Ja that Bok Dong is a leader of the school but Hong Sang Tae (Baro) has the most power and status because he is the son of the school’s president, Chairman Hong Sang Bok (Park Yeong Gyu). Bottom line Sang Tae has the power and Bok Dong is his muscle. Jung Hee shares that Sang Tae used to like Oh A Ran (Kim You Jung) (Gang Ja’s daughter). Her support of Yi Gyeong (Yoon Ye Joo) made Sang Tae sanction bullying against A Ran.
Vice Principal recommends leniency for Gang Ja since this is her first day at school. Principal Do accuses the Vice Principal of covering for Gang Ja and asks why he allowed her to transfer when the school does not accept transfer students. LOL when No A claims it is all his fault and Principal Do tells him he has only been on the job 3 hours, it cannot be all his fault.
On the side No A learns about the power struggle between the Vice Principal and Principal Do. Things are more complicated than he imagined.
No A beseeches Principal Do to be lenient on Gang Ja. The Principal refuses, saying violence cannot be sanctioned by ignoring it. He presses the point that the only difference between a victim and the assailant is who has the power. He declares the school must protect the student. Unbeknownst to both men, Gang Ja overhears the conversation. She is impressed by Principal Do’s beliefs.
No A asks why Gang Ja got violent on her first day at school. Gang Ja refuses to say why. She speaks plainly. No A is weak and cannot protect her. She is alone and must protect herself. For her own protection, sometimes she must fight. I like how matter of fact she is about power and self protection. On the bus ride home she makes note – No A is a pushover, Principal Do is a good person, Bok Dong is low life.
Principal Do visits the Director of Education. He is not happy to see Principal Do who calls him father (that’s a surprise). Principal Do says he’ll need support again. Driving away Principal Do recalls his father’s cash payoff when his mother died. Tears fall from his eyes at the bitter memory.
Gong Joo tells Gang Ja this is more complicated than they imagined. She reminds Gang Ja tangling with the chairman is difficult as she learned 17 years ago. Gang Ja ignores that, saying she is wiser and a mother. Gong Joo asks who the father is. Gang Ja demurs there isn’t one. Is the chairman Ah Ran’s father? Gang Ja frets that Ah Ran is completely withdrawn. Gong Joo declares she will literally knock sense into the culprits heads. I am loving their friendship.
On the bus, someone is watching Gang Ja.
No A tells his father the judge Bang Wool (Gang Ja) is bold. He wonders if he’s too soft. His father correctly tells him bad behavior will happen no matter what he does. He shares some of his experience. He encourages his son to keep trying and be positive. Nice bonding.
Gang Ja takes Yi Gyeong to see Ah Ran who is like a statue. Yi Gyeong vows to tell the secret and protect her. As she turns to leave Ah Ran stops her and tells her not to speak. Wow, Ah Ran is back! Ah Ran warns her if she talks she and Ah Ran’s mother will be killed. When she leaves Ah Ran’s room, Gang Ja demands answers but Yi Gyeong claims she knows nothing. Gang Ja is frustrated. She declares she find the culprits and bring them to justice. She tells Yi Gyeong to keep quiet about her identity. Gang Ja vows to Ah Ran she will protect her.
Flashback to when he knew Gang Ja was involved with his brother. He did not like it. He questioned Gong Joo and Ae Yeon (chairman’s assistant, that surprised me) about Gang Ja and told them to warn Gang Ja to back off. Next he holds Gang Ja at knifepoint (is this after he beat her?). His brother intervenes saying Gang Ja is his only friend. The ensuing violent scuffle leaving the knife in the brother much to the horror of Gang Ja. He dies!
Principal Do accepts the chairman’s offer to laundry money. The chairman promises if he does this well, he will be the next director of the board. The chairman offers Ae Yeon to help him.
Getting to school on time is difficult when you’ve got a husband and mother-in-law to care for before school. No A keeps the gate open so Gang Ja can slip through but she ends up tripping and falling on him. They tend wounds and No A says he remembers her from the soju incident. She is chagrined. He tells her he’ll protect her going forward. So sweet, so clueless. Gang Ja tells him not to bother.
While looking over Gang Ja’s file, the two teachers tell him that Principal Do has been promoted to the corporate planning office. The power struggle between the vice principal and principal ends with the victor Principal Do.
This is bad news for Gang Ja. Everyone assumes she will be expelled now with Principal Do’s power and belief she should go. Jung Hee is giddy when she tells Gang Ja who is busy staring daggers at Bok Dong.
As predicted Principal Do starts to pressure the Vice Principal to expel Gang Ja. But Sang Tae interrupts them. No A is waiting to speak with them as Sang Tae leaves the office. When Principal Do leaves, No A manages to ask that Gang Ja not be expelled. Principal Do says they’ve made a one time exception for Gang Ja. No A is pleased.
LOL, Gang Ja follows Bok Dong into the men’s bathroom and startles him. Sang Tae is impressed with her tenacity. I am too!
No A stops her from questioning Bok Dong. Gang Ja does not appreciate it.
Ae Yeon arrives at the school. She recalls the chairman’s warning that she better not blow this assignment to watch Principal Do. She and Principal Do meet in the library. Wow, there is a secret room behind the bookshelves. Unbeknownst to them, Yi Gyeong is watching them.
The secret room is a vault. Ae Yeon explains certain things and prepares to leave but Principal Do wants an interaction with her. He does not press it when he sees the bruises on her neck. He suggests they could help each other. Another intriguing wrinkle!
Bold as brass Yi Gyeong confronts Principal Do as he exits the secret room. He says her curiosity about things she should not know about is not good for her. She counters that she knows he’s behind the attack on Ah Ran. She says “even though I can not be your woman, I can tell everyone about that room. I can become your Achilles’s Heel.” Holy smokes!
Principal Do flashes back to threatening his father with becoming his Achilles’s Heel. Yi Gyeong was at his apartment and overheard. He tells himself “I taught too many things to that young kid”. I can only agree!
Principal Do meets with Bok Dong’s father. He orders him to take care of the matter of the girl. Bok Dong’s father says he’s working on her inside school. Principal Do orders him to ratchet it up outside school too. He wants Yi Gyeong gone. Such a sinister vibe to that scene.
Bok Dong gets a call from his father and goes to meet him. Gang Ja follows sloughing off Yi Gyeong’s pleas not get involved with Bok Dong. Desperate, Yi Gyeong grabs No A, but decides not to involve him.
Gang Ja follows Bok Dong to a club. She quickly loses the school girl look.
Gang Ja is so cool. She easy handles a drunk customer.
No A and his teacher friend come to the club. No A does not want to enter but the teacher grabs his bag and goes in. Reluctantly No A follows.
Bok Dong is stunned at his father’s request. His drunk father says murder only carries a 2 year penalty in jail because he is a juvenile. That is messed up!
She flashes back to the courtroom where she was convicted because the knife was hers. The judge (No A’s father) sentenced her to 2 years. Bok Dong’s father freaked out in the courtroom trying to strangle her for causing the death of his brother. Wow!
* Another intriguing episode that was darker and more intricate. The reveals were surprising.
** In the past Bok Dong’s father tried to stop the relationship between his brother and Gang Ja. He cornered Gang Ja and beat her (did he do more?). The brother intervened and ended up dead by Gang Ja’s knife. The judge (No A’s father) sentenced her to 2 years. Now we know why Bok Dong’s father told Bok Dong he would only get 2 years in jail. Hard to wrap my mind around his father ordering Bok Dong to kill Yi Gyeong. No doubt, Bok Dong’s father will want to hurt Gang Ja again.
** Yi Gyeong had an affair with Principal Do! Now she’s willing to blackmail him with the secret room. Yi Gyeong comes off meek but she has nerve to go after him! Principal Do certainly is not the good guy Gang Ja and No A presume him to be.
* Gang Ja (Kim Hee Seon) is fierce and awesome. She was unrelenting in her pursuit of Bok Dong. LOL when she interrupted him in the bathroom. Tae Sang was impressed with her moxy too.
* Park No A (Ji Hyun Woo) was still sweet and naive. I was proud that he was willing to plead Gang Ja’s case to the principal and vice principal. I like that he is interested and wants to protect Gang Ja. It is not just lip service.
* The second Period of the OST was released 2015-Apr-01. Clever that the OST is called “Period 2” versus “Part 2” to tie in the school reference. Two songs were released. Track 1 is “Angry Mom” by Lee Joo Han featuring Kim Min Hee. Track 2 is “Sunny Side Up” by Ashbun. Listen to the songs via the Track 1 link or Track 2 linkor the embedded videos below.