Angry Mom Episode 12. Good episode. But evil won this round. Can the good team bounce back?
Our Mom, Jo Gang Ja (Kim Hee Seon) visits her daughter, Oh Ah Ran (Kim Yoo Jung) in the hospital. Hong Sang Tae (Baro) overhears Ah Ran call her Mom. Gang Ja details they will take down Chairman, Principal Do and the foundation in one fell swoop. Sang Tae recalls his father’s words that he has no friends because people wait to stab the rich and powerful in the back. As Gang Ja leaves the room Sang Tae watches her go and says “you dare stab my father in the back?” Ah Ran finds Sang Tae outside her door. She encourages him to talk to Gang Ja and become friends. Those words hurt. He says “there are no such thing as friends. They will stab me in the back, given the chance. I never should have been nice to you. I thought you were different. I’m done with you. Tell your mother, she’s done playing at school.” Ah Ran takes off after him.
It’s too bad that Sang Tae overheard. It feels like a cross road moment. He was potentially on the path to kindness but hearing Gang Ja plot against his father, but him on the path to emulating his father. Too bad.
When Gang Ja returns to the hospital room the girls tells her Ah Ran went after Sang Tae who said that mom’s time playing at school is over.
Boldly, Ah Ran steals into Sang Tae’s house. His father, the Chairman, is out. As Sang Tae calls him, Ah Ran grabs his phone. She begs him to let this go. He asks why she can protect her mother but he cannot protect his father. He vows to protect his father from her mother who wants to put his father in jail. Ah Ran hears the front door and hides.
Chairman Hong Sang Bok (Park Yeong Gyu) and Ae Yeon enter the room. Sang Tae starts to talk his father about school. Angry, his father turns to Ae Yeon and tells her school is a mess and she’s partly to blame. She flinches knowing he may strike her. Seeing his father clearly, Sang Tae hesitates then tells his father to go back to work. After Sang Tae leaves the Chairman tells Ae Yeon he’s been too easy on her lately but that ends now. They leave the room.
In a beautiful scene, Ah Ran finds Sang Tae in his room. He cries upset at the betrayal of his violent father and his mother leaving him alone. Gently (just like Gang Ja) Ah Ran puts her hand on his back to comfort him. Ah Ran admits that not having a father was a bitter road for her mother, who had to fight for Ah Ran’s rights. Ah Ran hates fighting because tears always follow.
She opens herself to Sang Tae and tells him if he exposes her mother, and she loses her mother, she won’t be able to go on. Tears falls on her face. Sang Tae looks at her imploring eyes and feels sympathy and protective towards the girl he likes. Just as he leans in to kiss her…
Gang Ja (who has been eavesdropping) bursts into the room and pulls Ah Ran away. She shakes her fist at Sang Tae admonishes him for almost kissing Ah Ran. She tells him they will talk later and takes Ah Ran away. Sang Tae is gobsmacked his moment with Ah Ran ended like that.
Wonderful moment between Sang Tae and Ah Ran. Those young actors worked that scene like seasoned pros. I’ve sensed the tender side of Sang Tae but with a bully for a father, how could he not emulate that pattern? Can the cycle be broken? Ah Ran has two suitors that have major issues – Sang Tae and Bok Dong. Sang Tae definitely likes Ah Ran. Bok Dong is still dealing with the loss of Gang Ja but he is protective of Ah Ran. Will it turn into more? One more thing…that scene is an excellent example of a poignant moment balanced by the camp of a mother finding a guy putting the moves on her daughter. Perfection!
Chairman tells Ae Yeon to make a duplicate set of accounting ledgers that implicate Principal Do. He orders her to bring the item Principal Do has from his mother. Recall Principal Do is blackmailing his father (Minister of Education running for President) with that item and the Chairman is working with him.
Ae Yeon turns to leave the room and sees Gang Ja and Ah Ran (who has been eavesdropping). Gang Ja asks Ae Yeon to give her the item from Principal Do once she retrieves it. You can practically see Ae Yeon think “are you nuts?”. Gang tells her that neither the Chairman or Principal Do are her life lines. Ae Yeon tells her she does not know what she will do. She requests Gang Ja not bother her again and leaves.
Ah Ran tells Gang Ja that Ae Yeon tattled on her to Dong Chil. Ah Ran does not trust her. Join the crowd, join the crowd. Gang Ja has a blind spot when it comes to Ae Yeon.
Gang Ja’s husband and mother in law lay into her for interfering in the construction project. Gang Ja tells them that the illegal activities of this construction project must be stopped. She tells her husband he was made head of the project so he could be blamed when/if the project fell apart. He doesn’t believe that Principal Do would do that to him. Frustrated that Gang Ja interjects herself he tells her just go along with it. Common folks have no power and will be hurt if we try and go against the powerful. He tells her a divorce may be the next step if she continues.
A central theme of this show has been the “weak” going against the “powerful”. The viewed futility of that was expressed perfectly by the husband. Frankly, Gang Ja could do better in a man. Will she continue to settle for him and the status quo of her life?
As Gang Ja and Ah Ran approach school, Gang Ja spies Ko Bok Dong (Ji Soo) and drags him off for a conversation.
Sang Tae walks up next to Ah Ran and wonders if the vice principal in the office. There is a hint of playfulness in his tone. Ah Ran suggests they get a snack in the cafeteria and talk. Sang Tae cannot pass that offer from the girl he likes. They saunter off. Cute!
Gang Ja says she knows that Bok Dong has feelings for her. Irritated he cuts her off saying she’s the one that tied his shoelaces first indicating she had feelings for him. A construction vehicle drives past them and Gang Ja takes off after it leaving Bok Dong sputtering. Cute!
Dong Chil walks by and tells Bok Dong to answer his phone once in a while. Is that Dong Chil demonstrating he cares?
Gang Ja spies the committee investigating the construction leaving. Park No A (Ji Hyun Woo) tells them they must do more than switch subcontractors. The department head listens then orders Principal Do to write a detailed report on every issue, cracked walls, missing rebar, underpaid subcontractors, and get back with him. As he turns to leave he runs into Gang Ja. She gives him a wink. Principal Do asks if they know each other. He denies it and leaves. Principal Do tells Ae Yeon to look into Gang Ja. He notes Gang Ja makes her nervous. If she continues to bother him, he will get rid of her.
Gang Ja implores and attempts to blackmail the department head to do the construction investigation properly. He says his orders come from the top. Gang Ja states this is Minister of Education.
She tells No A that the Minister of Education and Chairman Hong were the ones that planned and assigned the construction project to Principal Do. The money is siphoned to fund the Minister of Education’s presidential campaign. No A notes going against a presidential candidate will be difficult. Gang Ja shares they believe that Principal Do is the Minister of Education’s secret son. Gong Joo has the blood test results and it is a definite match. Thrilled No A hugs Gong Joo. She enjoys the hug. The lackeys get jealous. LOL! Jung Hee calls Gang Ja with the news that Principal Do’s mother, a eatery owner, died 10 years ago.
Ae Yeon recalls the Chairman’s words that Principal Do will discard her just like he did his mother. She decides to look for the evidence Principal Do is blackmailing his father with. She finds a cassette player and listens. Principal Do startles her when he enters the room and finds her listening.
No A and Gang Ja agree they should use the complicated relationships between Principal Do, the Chairman and the Minister of Education to make them suspicious of each other and eliminate each other.
No A and Gang Ja plan to attend the presidential campaign the next day. Bok Dong overhears and is concerned for their safety. No A wrestles with Bok Dong who wins. Dong Chil texts Bok Dong to watch Gang Ja so nothing happens to her.
The gang hands out fliers that show the Minister of Education asking for the secret item his wife left behind and implying Principal Do is his son. The Minister of Education gets angry. The gang scatters. Chase scene of Gang Ja. That scene felt like filler.
Someone grabs her. Wanna bet who it is?
The Minister of Education is angry when the Chairman and Principal Do visit. As planned, he accuses one of them as revealing the secrets. Principal Do has his thinking cap on and says he has a suspect he will check out. But his father doesn’t care. He warns Principal Do to be careful if he wants to maintain what he has. The chairman suspects Ae Yeon.
Yep, Bok Dong took Gang Ja aside. His earnest irritation with her is sweet. He is truly concerned for her safety. She tells him the secret, Principal Do is the Minister of Education’s secret son. She guesses the Dong Chil is using Bok Dong’s concern for her to make him do this. Bok Dong admits that Principal Do killed Yi Gyeong. At Gong Joo’s, Bok Dong confirms Principal Do killed Yi Gyeong. Gang Ja declares finding out the evidence that Principal Do’s mother left is crucial.
Principal Do listens the cassette tape of his father declaring he (Principal Do) is a stain he wants to eradicate from his life.
The school office is chaotic with interview requests for Principal Do.
Dong Chil spots Gang Ja and Gong Joo in the photos of the Minister of Education’s presidential campaign. He comments they are just asking to be killed. His henchman returns Yi Gyeong’s repaired cell phone. Hmm, will he use this as leverage against Principal Do to save Ah Ran?
Dong Chil fights his way through Gong Joo’s men. She tells them not to disturb them while they talk. One of the lackeys calls Gang Ja. She agrees to come immediately. She asks Bok Dong to protect Ah Ran. They are concerned watching her go.
Outside Gong Joo’s room, Dong Chil exits as Gang Ja arrives. He recommends that she take Ah Ran abroad or her death will be forthcoming. Gang Ja finds a subdued Gong Joo with 2 tickets abroad. Gang Ja realizes the bad guys are starting to crack. Ae Yeon enters and tells her things are going her way. She reveals her battered face. She tells Gang Ja to get revenge for her. She hands over a copy of the cassette recording that Principal Do’s mother left.
Gang Ja, Gong Joo, and Ae Yeon listens to the recording. “A monster made a monster”. Gong Joo wonder why Ae Yeon is helping. She admits it isn’t for them, but for her, so she can live. Gang Ja promises to extract revenge for Ae Yeon.
Does anyone really trust Ae Yeon?
No A and Gang Ja talk over their plan. When the Minister of Education denies being a father, they will play the tape for the reporters. No A’s father arrives home. Gang Ja manages to leave without him seeing her face.
A swarm of reporters gather outside the school. The vice principal calls the Chairman that Principal Do personally called the reporters. The Chairman wonders what game Principal Do is playing. Turns out that Principal Do is telling his father he will reveal his parentage. His father is not surprised his son will stab him in that back, he’s just like his mother. Principal Do offers his father the opportunity to reveal the truth, and gain public sympathy for his willingness to come clean. His father utters “I raised a viper” Dude, it takes one to know one.
Ae Yeon tells No A and Gang Ja that she will release the audio. She informs them a swarm of reporters are there invited by Principal Do. Gang Ja is thrilled this will only facilitate their reveal. But the Minister of Education shows up to the press conference and claims he is there to stop the press and the public from badgering his son. He claims he did not acknowledge his son because his wife and children would have been hurt by the child of an affair. He asks his son to forgive him for not having acknowledged him throughout his life. Principal Do says “you always did your best for me Father”. They literally hug it out. Chairman Hong looks repulsed by the scene. Gang Ja cannot keep silent and yells it is all a lie. No A texts Ae Yeon to play the audio.
Awk! The audio Ae Yeon plays is of Bok Dong teasing Ah Ran about taking care of her daughter. Betrayal rips through Gang Ja as she is exposed.
Awk! The audio is played throughout the school. Bok Dong listens, Ah Ran listens, Sang Tae listens…everyone listens. as Gang Ja is exposed to be Ah Ran’s mother.
Ae Yeon recalls betraying Gang Ja to Principal Do. What a wench! At least Principal Do appreciates the bold move. He says “thanks to the rabbit rampaging unafraid, we will be able to hunt down the lion. We will hunt the rabbit.” He hands Ae Yeon the audio recorder to expose Gang Ja for Ah Ran’s mother.
Evil won that round!
* Good episode. Evil had a moment of triumph. Certainly you must question Gang Ja’s blind belief that Ae Yeon was her friend when faced to multiple betrayals. I found it odd she brought Ae Yeon to her home. But Ae Yeon did seem sincere at Gong Joo’s when she handed over the audio of Principal Do’s mother.
* The episode seemed to lose a bit of steam once it focused on the Presidential campaign. The chase scene seemed silly and filler for the episode.
* Great ending to episode! Principal Do’s wide grin was disturbing. He successfully hunted the rabbit (Gang Ja). The Ah Ran and Sang Tae interaction at his house was wonderful.
* This show has the talent to make the evil characters have moments when you feel empathy. Dong Chil when he seems to want Ah Ran to leave the country for her safety or when he misses Bok Dong. Ae Yeon when she reveals her bruises and asks for revenge. Principal Do when you see how stridently his father rejected him. I feel zero empathy for the Chairman.
* Gang Ja (Kim Hee Seon) has been consistent in her blind spot for Ae Yeon. That came back to bite her. She does have good chemistry with Bok Dong.
* Park No A (Ji Hyun Woo) was an equal planner and resource. Nice to see him step into an equal role.