It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 12 Recap

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 12 “Romeo and Juliet” 

Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) wakes to find his brother’s bed made and empty. He’s surprised at the time and rushes downstairs. He finds the remnants of breakfast prep, and his brother and Moon Young eating breakfast. Writer Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) invites him to have toast which she made.  Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) (Kang Tae’s brother) notes Moon Young burned many rounds of toast while he cleaned and did laundry all while Kang Tae slept. Moon Young says they couldn’t wake him. Moon Young teases she tried to kiss him awake. She and Sang Tae turn their attention to her new book. It’s based on the camper van picture but she doesn’t have details. Kang Tae points out today is his day off. They ignore his suggestion they take a drive. When Sang Tae and Moon Young start bickering Kang Tae tells them he’s heading to his room. They ignore him.

Back in his room, Kang Tae calls Jae Soo who is getting ready to go to work. Kang Tae asks if he wants to hang out. Jo Jae Soo (Kang Tae’s friend) guesses that Sang Tae and Moon Young rejected his offer and now he’s down to his third choice. Jae Soo calls him sly, entreating him when he needs him and ignoring him when others fit the bill. Jae Soo gets Kang Tae to say he likes him better than Moon Young and Sang Tae then tells Kang Tae to come to the eatery.

Publisher Lee Sang In gives Joo Ri’s mother supplements. He says he’ll give the same box to his parents later today. Joo Ri’s mother tries the supplements. He tells Joo Ri that something came up at home and he’s leaving to see his parents for a normal monthly visit. He explains his father has broken ribs. Publishing coworker Yoo Seung Jae says Publisher Lee is lying. Joo Ri asks if Publisher Lee is lying. He’s forced to admits his father has arranged a blind date, noting he does this once a month. Publisher Lee leaves.

Jae Soo watches Kang Tae sit alone while the female customers stare. He texts the photographic proof to Moon Young, who quickly speeds to get her man. Jae Soo presents Kang Tae a try every flavor pizza. He warns Kang Tae that women are eyeing him and one woman in particular might not appreciate that. On cue, Moon Young walks in. She eyes the female customer with disdain and joins a surprised Kang Tae at his table. She marks her claim on him. She tells him they will be leaving. He tells her he’s going to eat first.

Jae Soo’s call was answered quickly!

Sang Tae arrives at the psychiatric hospital and tells the ducks and chickens to get along. Director Oh Ji Wang watches him come up the path and smiles. Head Nurse Park Haeng Ja enters Director Oh’s office. Director Oh asks if she clean out Patient Park’s bed. Head Nurse Park confirms that. Director Oh doesn’t want Moon Young’s father to be forced to leave even though his brain tumor is now a death sentence. Head Nurse Park wonders why Moon Young’s father attacked Patient Park several days prior. Director Oh believes Moon Young’s father hated and feared his wife. He notes she killed someone. Sang Tae enters. Head Nurse Park leaves the men to talk.

Moon Young and Kang Tae watch children play at the eatery. Moon Young declares she doesn’t like children because they are whiners and unreasonable. Kang Tae thinks children are cute just like she is. He smiles. Moon Young declares she won’t have his children. Kang Tae motions Moon Young closer. He flicks her forehead and informs her not everyone can be a mother. He gets up to leave. Moon Young watches the children.

Sang Tae and Director Oh sit in silence until Director Oh asks if he’s upset about being forced to paint butterflies. Sang Tae declares Director Oh is changing the terms of their agreement. Director Oh wants Sang Tae to stop running from butterflies. Sang Tae says butterflies scare him. Director Oh says in Greek a butterfly was a symbol for a cure. He says butterflies can be overcome if they work on it together. Sang Tae likes the idea of a cure.

Kang Tae asks about her next book. Moon Young says on the camping van trip their counter egos will meet interesting characters. Kang Tae says he wants a happy ending this time. Moon Young agrees and smiles. Kang Tae says they are going to the grocery store to get more bread because she burned most of it.

In the grocery store, Moon Young tells Kang Tae she wants them to have a son. She demands his cooperation. The other shoppers assume Kang Tae won’t or can’t have a child. Kang Tae tells Moon Young to ratchet it down and get them some milk.

Joo Ri hopes Publisher Lee will call. She’s surprised to hear a staff doctor is getting married soon after a recent blind date. Said doctor appears and gives them wedding invitations. He says the blind date yielded his perfect woman.

As Kang Tae unpacks groceries, Moon Young grabs him and suggest they share a bed. Kang Tae counters he shares a bedroom with Sang Tae. Just then Sang Tae returns home. Moon Young calls to him. Kang Tae has no choice but to agree to meet Moon Young in her room. She releases him and murmurs she’ll wait for him in her room.

Joo Ri reads one of Moon Young’s books and looks at her phone. Publisher Lee hasn’t called all day. Seung Jae enters the room. She pretends to have a phone call with Publisher Lee. She notices Joo Ri’s interest. Seung Jae reports that Publisher Lee’s blind date went well.

Sang Tae reports that Director Oh told him butterflies were a cure and together they could overcome his fear of butterflies. Kang Tae asks if Sang Tae believes that is possible. Kang Tae leaves to take a shower.

Moon Young waits in her room for Kang Tae. He arrives after a shower to find Moon Young draped on the bed waiting. He heads for a chair. He pours them a drink. Moon Young joins him. After a silent pause, Kang Tae shares Sang Tae news. Moon Young cuts him off and declares if he talks about Sang Tae, he must down an entire glass. Kang Tae counters that if Moon Young swears, she must down an entire glass. Moon Young agrees. Soon, Moon Young is drunk. Kang Tae tries to put her to bed, but Moon Young pulls him down to the ground next to her. She puts her head on his shoulder and declares she’s happy. She says having Kang Tae and Sang Tae back in the house is wonderful. Kang Tae smiles. He holds her close. After a while he puts her to bed. He gives her a sweet kiss. He wishes her good night. He puts Mang Tae the nightmare catcher doll in her hand.

Kang Tae unpacks drawing supplies for Sang Tae at his desk. He finds a card with a butterfly tacked to it. The card says I’ll come for you soon.

Flashback…Patient Park puts the card with the butterfly on Sang Tae’s desk.

Shocked, Kang Tae sits in his brother’s chair.

Flashback…Sang Tae cries to a young Kang Tae that the murderer will hunt him down and kill him too.

Flashback…Sang Tae cries in his closet that the butterflies will come for him.

Kang Tae considers what the card means and what to do.

Kang Tae sees his brother peacefully sleeping. He looks at the butterfly and note. He crushes the butterfly.

The next day Patient Kan is set to enjoy a day out. Director Oh and Patient Lee wish him well. After Patient Kan leaves, they agree he’ll get on a bus, circle around and return. Patient Lee surprises Director Oh with Patient Kan’s claim that he’s killed many. Director Oh says he couldn’t handle it and broke down.

Patient Kan looks at the waves and gets on the bus.

Sang Tae finds Patient Kan in kitchen. Sang Tae asks Patient Kan if he slept well. Patient Kan lies he did. Sang Tae confirms that he has a counseling session. Even though butterflies mean cure, he’s still afraid of them and worries they’ll return. Kang Tae suggests they stop running. Kang Tae points out he’s a good fighter. Sang Tae agrees. Kang Tae tells Sang Tae to stand behind him. Sang Tae says as an adult he should stand for himself. Kang Tae counters he’s hid behind his brother all his life.

Joo Ri is disappointed when Publisher Lee doesn’t call. Head Nurse Park asks her to take Moon Young’s father for a walk.

Kang Tae looks at the index cards from Patient Park and compares them to writing on the butterfly card. Head Nurse Park asks him double check for dangerous items holding up a razor the other orderly missed.

Moon Young’s father sits on the bench with Joo Ri. He asks if he’ll die soon. He wonders if he’s been punished enough.

Sang Tae reads a book on the bus when Patient Kan sits next to him. Sang Tae declares Patient Kan is an adult. Patient Kan says it always wonderful. Patient Kan compliments Sang Tae’s mural. Sang Tae notes Director Oh broke his word by refusing to pay him unless he draws butterflies. Patient Kan asks why Sang Tae can’t comply. Sang Tae says he’s scared of them. Patient Kan asks why. Sang Tae doesn’t answer. Patient Kan tells him not to get trapped by the past. Patient Kan says he’s trapped by the past and can’t leave the psychiatric hospital. He tells Sang Tae not to let that happen to him.

Patient Kan searches rooms and finds contraband. He finds a picture of Moon Young’s family. Her mother’s face has the glass smashed.

When the bus stops next to a jackhammer being utilized, Patient Kan is affected. Sang Tae notices. Patient Kan says the sound. Suddenly the bus is surrounded by a battle field of people, planes and explosions. Patient Kan falls down and grabs his head. The other passengers surround him full of concern. Sang Tae puts his jacket of Patient Kan’s head and tells the passengers to call the psychiatric hospital. He croons to Patient Kan that everything is fine.

Visually perfect and powerful scene.

Patient Kan asks Director Oh to kill him. Director Oh says everyone dies eventually and not to be anxious. Sang Tae looks in the door. He says he wants to lend a book to Patient Kan. Director Oh likes the thought.

Director Oh tells Kang Tae that Sang Tae was instrumental in getting Patient Kan back to the hospital safely.  Kang Tae tells Sang Tae he did well. Director Oh urges Sang Tae to share what Patient Kan told him. Sang Tae says that Patient Kan said the past can trap you.

Head Nurse Park shares that Patient Kan has PTSD from the war.

Patient Kan tells Patient Lee that there were kids with bright eyes he killed. He sobs he killed innocents. Patient Lee points out Patient Kan was following orders. Patient Kan counters only a beast would blindly follow orders but a human with a heart wouldn’t. He sobs he’s not even human. Sang Tae book sits on the nightstand.

Awk! Tears!

Sang Tae quotes the book “Don’t forget, remember the past and overcome. Or you’ll be the kid with a soul that doesn’t grow”. Sang Tae says he’s an adult and won’t run away anymore. Director Oh praises Sang Tae. He suggests that Sang Tae tell him about that day. Sang Tae agrees.

Flashback…Sang Tae and his mother are walking home. A cat runs across the road. Sang Tae chases the cat. His mother calls for him then says she’ll leave without him. She enters the tunnel. Sang Tae enters the tunnel holding the cat. He sees his mother fall to the ground clutching her throat. A woman with a butterfly broach is holding a pen dripping in blood.  The woman tells Sang Tae’s dying mother that she’s the one that takes care of her child. The cat wriggles out of Sang Tae’s arms. Sang Tae stares at the woman’s face. The woman walks towards Sang Tae. His mother grabs the woman’s ankle. The butterfly broach is illuminated. The woman easily steps away from Sang Tae’s mother and approaches him. She asks why he looks frightened. She tells him it will okay. She strokes his head. She warns him to never tell anyone about what he saw. Even if he runs, she’ll chase, catch and kill him. She roughly grabs Sang Tae’s neck and demands that he speak. Sang Tae runs away.

Sang Tae declares there was a butterfly on the woman’s jacket. Kang Tae notices it was a woman. Director Oh holds up his hand to stay questions and asks if Sang Tae remembers what the butterfly looked like. Sang Tae says he does. He struggles to articulate. Sang Tae says there was a baby butterfly on the mom’s butterfly’s back. Kang Tae realizes he saw a butterfly broach on the picture of Moon Young’s mother.

Wow, terrific scene. Sang Tae was so brave!

Shocked, Kang Tae walks down the hallway realizing he’s involved with the daughter of his mother’s murderer. The woman he thought was his destiny and she did too. Kang Tae slams a door. He cries at the thought that he and Moon Young would have a happy ending. Kang Tae’s eyes fill with tears. He hits the door repeatedly.

Awk! Tears!

Moon Young looks over the water on the bench. Joo Ri sits next to her. She says her book is good. Moon Young says she knows that. Joo Ri asks if Moon Young has heard about her father. Moon Young asks how much time her father has left. Joo Ri doesn’t think he has much time. Moon Young says she’s heard that before. Joo Ri suggests a walk with her father. Moon Young doesn’t want to. Joo Ri nods.

Sang Tae tells Joo Ri’s mother about his actions on the bus. She’s impressed. Sang Tae says Patient Kan is grateful. Moon Young arrives and tells Sang Tae they should leave together. Sang Tae states Joo Ri’s mother is older and she should show respect and address her first. Moon Young says good day Joo Ri’s mother. Moon Young suggests they go out to eat. Sang Tae wants to eat at home. Joo Ri’s mother declares they are acting like family. Sang Tae clarifies Moon Young isn’t real family but is like family. Moon Young counters the last name isn’t everything. Moon Young struggles to define what family is. She states if a photo is taken, they are family. Joo Ri’s mother chuckles that Moon Young and Sang Tae are similar. She leaves. Moon Young declares they don’t look alike. Sang Tae begs to differ and cites her hair.

Moon Young finds Kang Tae tending his hand. Concerned she asks what happened. He pushes her hand away. She demands to know who did this to him. Kang Tae doesn’t answer. She asks if he’s upset with her. She wants to be sensitive to his feelings. Kang Tae says he’s tired because he didn’t sleep well. He asks her to take Sang Tae home as he has to work the night shift. Moon Young declares if he has tomorrow off, they can take a family portrait. Kang Tae thinks of Moon Young’s family portrait. He says they can do the portrait another day. She presses. Kang Tae snaps and tells her to leave. He says he must work. Moon Young turns and leaves. Tears fill his eyes. He falls to his knees and cries with the anger still pulsing through him.

Awk! Tears!

Sang Tae is excited about the portrait and holds up a jacket he might wear. He wonders if he looks cool.

Moon Young doesn’t understand why Kang Tae is upset with her. She wonders if she said something wrong last night when she was drunk. She yells in frustration. Why is Kang Tae angry? Jae Soo asks what if that’s a question to be answered. He asks if she ordered 10 pizzas just to get him to her house to answer the question. She confirms that. She asks why Kang Tae is upset. Jae Soo says Kang Tae doesn’t open up. He says he’s managed to stay close physically but never know what’s going on in Kang Tae’s head. He warns her not to force the issue and quietly wait. Jae Soo says that’s what he does. Kang Tae was forced to become an adult too quickly and still has the heart of a child. How can adults understand that? Can adults understand their own child?

Moon Young looks at a photo of herself as a child. Kang Tae sits in the classroom where Moon Young teaches. He looks at the title Romeo and Juliet. Moon Young believed they were fated, while Kang Tae believed they were ill fated. Kang Tae wants to erase the title but can’t. Director Oh sees him through the door. He says nothing is wrong with Kang Tae’s hand but his heart is controlling. Kang Tae admits he believes the butterfly that kill his mother was Moon Young’s mother. Director Oh asks if he’s sure. Kang Tae says even the possibility is scary. Kang Tae wishes he’d never had this knowledge. Kang Tae declares it cruel. He was finally enjoying life just like everyone else. The butterfly changed his life. How can he cope if it is Moon Young’s mother? Kang Tae believed he’d destroy the butterfly but now he can’t. He’s racked with guilt for his mother and brother. He promised his brother he’d fight the butterfly. They should stand and fight. Kang Tae sobs everything is messed up. He sinks to his knees and declares he wants to run away. He cries. Director Oh pats his shoulder. Kang Tae doesn’t want Moon Young to suffer, so he hopes she never finds out. He’s glad she doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. She can continue to live without emotions.

Moon Young didn’t kill Kang Tae’s mother. Kang Tae must identify Moon Young’s mother as the culprit. Moon Young has to deal with the truth just like Kang Tae has to.

Kang Tae returns home. He finds Moon Young asleep in her bed. He touches her face.

Flashback…While under the influence, Moon Young says she’s happy that he and Sang Tae live with her. She hated this house. Her Dad went crazy here and her mother died here. Blood spilled from her head. Her father locked her in the basement. But she vanished. That surprises Kang Tae. Moon Young admits she doesn’t know if here mother is dead or alive. She assumes her father knows. Kang Tae asks what she’d feel if her mother returned. Moon Young says scared and suffocated…but she is her mother.

Kang Tae sees the partial family photo on Moon Young’s nightstand.

Kang Tae stares at the family photo with his mother and Sang Tae. He cries.

The next day Moon Young waits for Sang Tae who is dressed for the family portrait. He tells her Kang Tae won’t participate. Moon Young suggests they do the family portrait another day. Sang Tae doesn’t want to wait. Moon Young holds out her hand. Sang Tae takes it. She tells him they can take photos for the new book. That pleases Sang Tae.

Kang Tae stares at nothing. The garment bag has the address of the photo studio.

Sang Tae and Moon Young arrive at the photo studio. Moon Young checks her phone but there are no messages from Kang Tae. Sang Tae asks if the photo will be in the book. She assures him it will. She asks him to show her his cool poses. Moon Young says those are fake. She tells him to relax and be himself. Sang Tae murmurs the real Sang Tae? He sees himself in the mirror.

The photographer positions Sang Tae and Moon Young. They smile for the camera. Then Kang Tae arrives. Sang Tae sees him and points him out. Moon Young is surprised and stares at the handsome man she loves. Kang Tae steps forward resplendent in a dark suit. He asks if he’s too late. Sang Tae smiles. Moon Young smiles. Kang Tae smiles.

The camera snaps this new family portrait.

My Thoughts

Bravery takes different forms. Writer Jo Yong allowed Sang Tae to relive and share what happened the night his mother was killed. I was proud that Sang Tae articulated so well and felt the flashback. That night it was Sang Tae walking with his mother. He chased a cat and was separated from his mother. When he rejoined her, the murderer had plunged a pen in his mother’s throat. The murderer appears to be Moon Young’s mother. The murderer said to Kang Tae’s mother she was the one to raise her child. How did Kang Tae’s mother cross paths with Moon Young so that her mother felt threatened, angry, and willing to commit murder? When Kang Tae saw the butterfly pin on Moon Young’s mother in their family portrait, his world imploded. He’s in love with Moon Young. Her mother likely killed his mother. He vowed to protect and slay the butterfly to Sang Tae. Kang Tae can’t see anyway to not hurt the people he loves most. Kang Tae pulled away from Moon Young. But he couldn’t disappoint Moon Young and Sang Tae. He bravely put on the suit, put on a smile and went to the photo shoot. This episode had several powerful moments, teaming with emotion. The emotion of the bus scene with Patient Kan wasn’t overshadowed by the CGI magic of the production team. Patient Kan was surrounded and overwhelmed by the war memories. Sang Tae offered support by shielding Patient Kan and directing the psychiatric hospital be notified. Can you believe it? We’ve only got 4 episodes left of this stellar series.

Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) believes Moon Young’s mother murdered his mother. Were Romeo and Juliet ill-fated or fated? Are Kang Tae and Moon Young ill-fated or fated? Kang Tae was working towards a new family to be captured by a portrait. But the shocking realization that Moon Young’s mother likely murdered his mother cruelly cut Kang Tae. He shut down and got angry. Moon Young felt that anger. She didn’t understand why. Thankfully, Kang Tae was able to unburden himself to Director Oh, an able listener, who prompts people with perfectly placed questions and support.  Kang Tae must identify Moon Young’s mother as the culprit. Moon Young has to deal with the truth just like Kang Tae has to. Are you suspecting that Moon Young’s mother isn’t dead? That she’s directing Patient Park’s actions? She’s ready to harm Kang Tae and Sang Tae for involving themselves with Moon Young?

Writer Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) didn’t understand why Kang Tae was angry. Moon Young got Jae Soo to her house with a large pizza order. Jae Soo was clear. Kang Tae had to grow up fast but never lost his inner child. Life forced Kang Tae to keep himself in constant check. Only Kang Tae can open the door to his thoughts and feelings. Everyone that cares for him must wait. Moon Young didn’t have to count to 3, she puzzled and waited though she wasn’t happy about it. Moon Young and Sang Tae are similar in many ways. Does Moon Young understand Sang Tae better than she does Kang Tae? What will Moon Young do when she learns her mother might be Kang Tae’s mother’s murderer? What will Moon Young do when her father dies? What will Moon Young do when her mother returns to reclaim her daughter and destroy her new family?

Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) (Kang Tae’s brother) bravely told what happened on the night his mother was murdered. Sang Tae continues to impress now that he’s embraced that he’s an adult and acts accordingly. He told Kang Tae and Director Oh what happened the night his mother was murdered. It was clearer than I thought the telling might be. Who wouldn’t be freaked out when the woman the murdered your mother promised to kill you if you ever told? Who wouldn’t have nightmares about that encounter? Whose nightmares wouldn’t evolve certain aspects into larger than life components of terror?

The special track OST volume 1 contains “Got You” sung by Ga Eun:


I rank this episode as almost excellent, 9.5 on a 10-point scale.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in It's Okay to Not Be Okay, Recaps
8 comments on “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 12 Recap
  1. Snow Flower says:

    Another stellar episode! Thank you for the recap and comments.
    The past is still shrouded in mystery, but little by little the truth is revealed. KT has new problems to deal with, but this time he is no longer alone. I hope that he told Director Oh about the photograph of MY’s mom and the threatening note on ST’desk. ST and MY continue to experience growth and positive changes. I too am starting to wonder if they are actually related by blood?
    4 more episodes to go…This is one of the best dramas I have ever seen. Please writer, keep up with the great work you have done so far and give us an ending worthy of this strangely beautiful and hopeful story.


    • Another stellar episode!…This is one of the best dramas I have ever seen. Please writer, keep up with the great work you have done so far and give us an ending worthy of this strangely beautiful and hopeful story
      My faith in Writer Jo Yong grows every episode. Fingers crossed 🤞 this show ends strong.

      ST and MY continue to experience growth and positive changes
      Their relationship gets better as ST gets stronger.

      Thank you for the recap and comments.
      It has been my pleasure.


  2. Snow Flower says:

    I noticed that at every 4th episode there is an important development. I see the drama as a play in 4 acts, each act covering approximately 4 episodes.

    The first 4 episodes covered KT and MY meeting as adults and the uneasy tension between them. At the end of Episode 4 (lighthouse scene) they reached a silent understanding which broke some of the barriers between them.

    Episodes 5-8 dealt with KT coming to terms with his growing attraction to MY, and MY herself opening her house and heart to somebody else. The ending of Episode 8 showed KT ready to have fun with MY and be his own self.

    In Episodes 9-12 the bonds of family were were strengthened, tested, and re-affirmed. Episode 12 ended with the reveal of a secret from the past and its potential threat to our misfit family’s happiness.

    The last 4 episodes will probably deal with our characters coming to terms with their painful past.


  3. Jane Tilly says:

    Is patient Park provoking the Ko brothers over something she heard, witnessed or did she have something to do with their mothers death❓⁉️

    It was incredibly brave of Sang Tae to relive his mother’s murder. It was amazing the fact the murderer was a woman was new to Gang Tae. It was horrifying that Gang Tae linked the butterfly 🦋 pin to Moon Young’s mother. Gang Tae’s depression was understandable. HOLY SMOKES, I melted when Gang Tae showed up in his BEST GQ❣ That suit, swept back hair and killer smile did me in.

    You just know it will heartbreaking 💔 when Moon Young eventually learns the truth … I dread that moment.


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July 2020

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