Bad Papa Episode 7-8 “Re Action”
Yoo Ji Cheol (Jang Hyuk), his wife Choi Sun Joo (Son Yeo Eun) and young daughter look at the ultrasound pictures of the baby boy. They are excited a new addition will be added to their family.
Ji Cheol is upset that the money he invested with Kim Yoon Soo is gone. Ji Cheol declares he sunk all his money into the scheme. He wants to meet with Yoon Soo who in return declares he’ll be out of town for a period of time and hangs up.
Ji Cheol is slated to fight the young upstart Lee Min Woo. While training Ji Cheol falls to the ground. At the hospital his manager calls. Ji Cheol assures him the doctors will find nothing wrong. Ji Cheol gets a call from an unknown person offering $80,000. Ji Cheol asks why he’d want to be a pawn in a gambling game with scum like him. The male voice replies Ji Cheol knows why.
His wife bubbles with excitement over a house they should purchase for their expanding family. Ji Cheol thinks about his money woes and the offer that would erase it.
The match between Ji Cheol and Lee Min Woo (Ha Joon) is underway. Just as Ji Cheol goes to land a big blow he pulls back and Min Woo lands a blow that knocks Ji Cheol to the ground. We see the man in a hat (likely the ZD producer that tempted him with the cash in the past and present) in the crowd. Ji Cheol gets up. Once again just as Ji Cheol goes to land a big blow he pulls back and Min Woo lands a blow that knocks Ji Cheol to the ground. Ji Cheol gets up again put wobbles until Min Woo knocks him down again. The match is over. The man in the hat smiles and leaves (it is the ZD producer). The crowd can’t believe it. Sun Joo can’t believe it. When Min Woo is announced as the winner, the crowd boos over the sloppy match Ji Cheol gave them. Even though he won, Min Woo is livid that this match wasn’t a battle and isn’t a triumphant moment for him.
The editing made me wonder, was Ji Cheol unable to land the big blows or did he pull back?
The rumor is the match was fixed. This is confirmed when news of a large sum paid to Ji Cheol is reported.
The boxing association want to believe his denials. They bring in Min Woo who reports that Ji Cheol wasn’t fighting with 100% effort. Min Woo sneers that Ji Cheol’s less than stellar effort smears the profession and his family. Ji Cheol lunges at Min Woo. He’s held back. Min Woo taunts that Ji Cheol should have put that much effort in the boxing ring. He leaves. The head of the boxing association declares he can’t touch the money, it’s the only way to declare his innocent.
Sun Joo listens to people on the bus talk about her husband. She starts to have cramps. She passes out.
Ji Cheol is expelled from the boxing association.
Ji Cheol stands alone in the gym.
Sun Joo miscarriages.
Ji Cheol comes to the hospital and hands Sun Joo divorce papers. He leaves. She can’t believe it.
Ji Cheol returns home after drinking. Sun Joo is there and supportive. He can’t believe she’s not admitting her grief. He sees his daughter on the steps watching them. Sun Joo cries. He leaves.
Ji Cheol returns to the gym. He lays on the ring’s floor.
What a terrific sequence. All the things hinted at and snippets we’ve seen now actualized into the sequence of events. I’m concern with the ZD promoter being the man in the hat from long ago. It seems logical he’s the one that set up Ji Cheol years ago on the phone. Terrible to serve your wife with divorce papers after she has had a miscarriage. I didn’t quite understand if Ji Cheol pulled away from hitting Min Woo or somehow couldn’t.
In the cage, the blue pill takes effect. Ji Cheol has three minutes to defeat his opponent. He hits him so hard he’s flung against the cage. Min Woo, the ZD producer, Kim Yong Dae (David Lee), the announcers, the crowd are stunned at the turnaround. His opponent tries to tackle him but it doesn’t faze Ji Cheol. He realizes he better fall to the ground. His opponent delivers blow after blow that Ji Cheol dodges. Then he delivers the blow that knocks out his opponent. The announcers call it lucky. The big boss collects his money and smiles (he bet on Ji Cheol to win). The ZD producer shakes his head and leaves. Min Woo wonders if Ji Cheol will come gunning for him, should he continue to win. The police cohorts cheer. Sun Joo and her sister are stoked.
Detective Cha Ji Woo (Kim Jae Kyung) isn’t warming up to her new partner Lee Hyun Soo (Kim Wook). She looks at the current list of missing persons. The test subject (gave the bottle of blue “nutritional supplement” pills to Ji Cheol) is on the list. His missing man’s name is Choi Yong Woo.
Jung Chan Joong (Park Ji Bin) watches the dead test subject Choi Yong Woo zipped up into a body bag. He demands that Doctor Cha tell him when the drug won’t kill people. Chan Joong’s assistant, Mr. Park, reports the man has been reported missing but the location of their lab is a secret, so no one knows he died here. Chan Joong tells him to get rid of the body. Doctor Cha wants to perform an autopsy.
The ZD producer treat Ji Cheol to congratulatory meal. He gets a phone call and steps on Ji Cheol’s watch (his talisman watch) as he steps out of the room.
Doctor Cha is upset. The young scientist apologizes. Doctor Cha demands the body be secured. Mr. Park and his men roll the body out. The young scientist makes a phone call saying the body is being moved and to come quickly.
Sun Joo works on Min Woo’s autobiography. She smiles at the memory of Min Woo called her “Writer Choi”. She turns off the TV when she sees another report on Ji Cheol’s surprise win and grumbles about Ji Cheol. Their daughter Yoo Young Sun (Shin Eun Soo) tells her mother to stop bad mouthing her father. She’s not interested in her mother’s justification.
Young Sun’s defense of her father is telling.
Mr. Park gets in an accident. When men stop by to help, he goes to the trunk, takes a part of the body and walks away. Curious the men go to the turn scream at what they find.
The next morning Sun Joo dishes up Ji Cheol a fresh bowl of rice. She almost slips and says she’ going on a day trip with Min Woo. Instead she lies that it is a training session for her job. Ji Cheol asks if she likes the dress he got her. She says it is too expensive and should be returned. Ji Cheol chides her to wear it. He chuckles at her hiding her pleasure in the gift.
The mean girl classmate tells Young Sun that nasty comments about her father’s ethics due to his past behavior are rampant online. The girl’s mother stops Young Sun from hitting her daughter. She pushes Young Sun to the ground.
Ji Cheol goes to school and is scolded and warned by the mother, the next time, she’ll press charges. Ji Cheol sees the cut on his daughter’s hand. He tells the mother it takes two hands to hurt. Outside Ji Cheol counsels Young Sun not to hit others. She counters he does it. Ji Cheol retorts that is his job. He asks if she likes him coming to school to apologize. Young Sun get upset saying it is hard listening to the hateful things others say about him. Ji Cheol tells her to trust in him, even if the world says bad things about him. Young Sun retorts that he never earned her trust.
Nice scene. Young Sun is admitting her love when she can’t stand what other say about her father. But Ji Cheol’s behavior has earned him a daughter that can’t blindly believe in her father.
Detective Cha finds Ji Cheol and he shares his daughter’s reaction. She tells him not to take that. Ji Cheol says she’ll understand when she has a child. Detective Cha says she watched the match and was impressed by his body. She urges him to continue and fight for the championship. She offers a token to support his journey to the top. She teases he was cool today. He can’t help but smile.
Sun Joo smiles when she looks at the new dress. Min Woo tells her she’s pretty in the dress. He knows Ji Cheol got it for her. Sun Joo smiles at her husband’s taste.
Young Sun’s friends encourage her to return to ballet. She startles them when she falls from the low balance beam. She rips off her wrist bandage. They chase her giggling.
Later Young Sun considers deleting all her videos from her YouTube channel.
Min Woo is the star at his charity event. Sun Joo gives him a thumbs up. He smiles.
Ji Cheol tries to find someone to fix his watch. He calls Yong Dae and tells him to fix the watch. Yong Dae can’t believe he summoned to fix on old watch. Ji Cheol retorts isn’t not just an old watch, it is the first present his daughter gave him. Yong Dae counters his daughter is just like him.
I love knowing the significance of the watch.
Min Woo tells Sun Joo the editor likes her first draft. Sun Joo is pleased. He cajoles her to get her feet wet at the beach. They end up splashing each other until soaked. Min Woo pulls her to him. They stare into each other’s eyes.
Ji Cheol and his old manager drink and eat until they are drunk. The manager moans he misses his daughter. Ji Cheol brags his daughter is a great dancer. He looks up her YouTube channel and finds the videos deleted.
A friend asks Young Sun if she deleted the videos because of her father. Her friend shows her the audition flyer for a dance contest. The friend says the mean girl classmate is supposedly a lock to win. She encourages Young Sun to compete.
The ZD producer watches Ji Cheol get pummeled by his sparing partner at the gym. He suggests stopping for a drink. He waxes on about trust and how a man cannot guess what his wife or daughter is thinking. Ji Cheol says he likes his daughter complicated or not. He advises confessing feelings. Ji Cheol thinks of the blue pills. The producer claims Ji Cheol reminds him of younger days. The producer states he ignored his daughter when she was Ji Cheol’s daughter’s age. But he waited too late. He advises Ji Cheol not to make the same mistake.
Min Woo drops off Sun Joo.
Ji Cheol knocks at Young Sun’s door. He’s drunk. He wants a serious conversation. She opens the door to her room. He falls to the floor. She sits next to him and complains about the stench of the alcohol. Ji Cheol tells her he loves her and would do anything for their family. He says he’s making good money now.
Sun Joo enters the house and overhears their conversation.
Ji Cheol tells Young Sun she can pursue what she wants. Young Sun doesn’t want to hear it. She tells her father she quit ballet because of him.
Flashback…Ji Cheol, Sun Joo, and Young Sun watch a news report about winning the ballet competition for her age bracket. But when the announcers discuss that Young Sun’s skills were inherited from her father, the smile and sense of personal accomplishment is wiped away.
Flashback…Young Sun wait alone while her mother miscarries. Young Sun sees her parents argue.
Young Sun tells Ji Cheol those events made her decide to quit ballet. She knows he was in pain when she was young. He tells her that wasn’t her burden. Young Sun counters criticism of him, affected her. Ji Cheol says he doesn’t care what other say about him, he cares that she pursues what she wants. Ji Cheol smiles and says he’ll leave his pretty daughter alone. Tears fall from Young Sun and she watches him exit her room.
As a Jang Hyuk fan, the intimate moments are stellar moments. I felt the connection of love and pain between father and daughter.
Sun Joo finds Ji Cheol asleep on the couch and murmuring her name. She tucks him in.
Young Sun thinks about what her father said. She goes on YouTube and considers uploading her videos again. She sees the video where the little girl from the bus accident identifies Ji Cheol as the man that saved her and her mother. Young Sun recognizes her father from the footage.
At the dance auditions, all the contestants warm up. When mean girl Sang A, she brings an entourage and a swagger of confidence. Young Sun arrives much to the delight of her friends.
Ji Cheol is thrilled. He just bought their house. He goes to Sun Joo’s work to share the good news. But she’s not there. As goes to Ji Cheol call her, he overhears coworkers say that his wife is often absent when she goes to be with Min Woo. That gets Ji Cheol’s attention.
Ji Cheol drives to Min Woo’s office. He hesitates knowing he’s doubting his wife but he has to know. He enters. He sees Min Woo and his wife. Sun Joo stares at her husband in shock. He locks eyes with her.
This story is about a family not just a fighter. Writer Kim Sung Min featured the entire family separately but connected this episode. Ji Cheol managed to win the fight with the help of the little blue pill. He’s going to have to be more discreet about the power, because everyone watches saw a definite shift after he swallowed the pill from the water bottle. Sun Joo met secretly with Min Woo for the autobiography and had a moment with him on the beach. I don’t sense any desire for Min Woo on her part, but his desire for her is obvious. Young Sun listened to her father’s words to pursue her dreams regardless of what is happening with him. She came to the dance audition. Am I looking forward to Young Sun beating snooty entitled mean girl Sang A? You bet.
Yoo Ji Cheol (Jang Hyuk) is riding the positive of the money. He bought the house. He bonded with his daughter. He longed for his wife. But there are forces at play, forces that destroyed him in the past. The scenes from the past knitted together the deliberate destruction of Ji Cheol. We don’t know every detail but it appears that Ji Cheol rejected the offer to fight as a backer wished. When that didn’t work the backer framed him, slandering Ji Cheol’s name with the end result of expulsion from the sport of boxing. I did find the fight with Min Woo unclear. Did Ji Cheol stop the punches from free will or was he unable to punch? When Min Woo sneered that Ji Cheol besmirched the sport of boxing and his win was tarnished, you could see his point. Min Woo wanted to defeat the champion and earn the title and respect. Instead he won under a cloud of suspicion stemming from Ji Cheol’s actions, tainting his moment. Is that part of the message of this series? Ji Cheol’s actions have consequences to those in his orbit – friend or foe. Even though Ji Cheol counseled his daughter to ignore the chatter about him, that’s easier said than done. Finally, the spotlight on the ZD producer and his appearance in the past video makes me think he’s the one that destroyed Ji Cheol in the past and is setting him up for another fall. But why?
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My episode ranking chart is below.
The first song of the OST “Don’t Remember” by Ha Dong Kyun is full of feeling: