It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Episode 14 “The Hand, the Monkfish”
Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) strides out the psychiatric hospital. Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) catches up with her. Moon Young knows that butterfly brooch with 3 pairs of wings was designed by her mother. Moon Young doesn’t know how that butterfly was incorporated into Sang Tae’s mural. Moon Young wants to be alone and think. She tells Kang Tae she’ll talk to him later. In her car, Moon Young cries. Kang Tae calls Publisher Lee and asks him to check in on Moon Young.
Joo Ri’s mother says Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) (Kang Tae’s brother) won’t come out from underneath the sink. Kang Tae talks to his brother he is upset that the butterfly killed his mother and infested his mural. Kang Tae clarifies the butterfly has 3 pairs of wings, not a mom and baby butterfly. This is common he assures. Sang Tae says he’s never seen that butterfly. Kang Tae believes the addition to the mural wasn’t malicious. Both brothers agree adding to Sang Tae’s mural without permission was rude. Kang Tae promises to find the person that did it. Sang Tae agrees to come out. Kang Tae reminds Sang Tae that he promised not to run even if a butterfly appears. Sang Tae agrees not to run away. He asks Kang Tae’s help to overcome. Joo Ri’s mother enlists Sang Tae to help in the kitchen so Kang Tae can leave.
Director Oh Ji Wang finds everyone staring at the butterfly someone painted on Sang Tae’s mural. The patients want to remove the butterfly. Director Oh agrees.
Kang Tae goes to Director Oh’s office. They are surprised when the CCTV footage shows Head Nurse Park Haeng Ja painting the butterfly on the mural. She looks directly in the camera. Kang Tae remembers interactions with Head Nurse Park and her interest in Moon Young.
Moon Young searches her mother’s belongings but can’t find the butterfly broach. She knows it was there. She remembers her father believing she’d end up like her mother, Kang Tae’s mother being murdered, and Sang Tae’s distress. She remembers her mother telling Moon Young she was her mini-me.
Director Oh feels terrible. Kang Tae wishes he’d realized what Head Nurse Park was capable of. Director Oh tells Kang Tae to stay with his brother and Moon Young for the time being. Director Oh doesn’t understand why Head Nurse Park worked at the psychiatric hospital for so long.
Head Nurse Park (aka Moon Young’s mother) remembers moments that gave her pleasure at the psychiatric hospital.
Flashback…Moon Young’s father tells Head Nurse Park he has no regrets. Head Nurse Park says he never told her he loved her. Head Nurse Park says he killed her. She says she’s waited 20 years for this moment. She strokes his face. She says watching him live in pain was her pleasure. She laughs when he gasps. She says the CCTV cameras, fooling Director Oh, etc. was fun. Moon Young’s father tells her not to bother Moon Young. Head Nurse Park says she’s had to hold back from engaging her daughter.
Flashback…Head Nurse Park enters a patient’s room and offers to help him die. She brings him a knife. He encourages him to get revenge.
Flashback…Head Nurse Park tells Moon Young’s father she doesn’t like who their daughter behaves. She says she must punish Moon Young by taking what matters most to Moon Young. Then she’ll be the compliant daughter she wants. She turns off his machine. She smiles for the camera as she walks out of the room and listens to her husband die.
Publisher Lee arrives to find Moon Young brushing her hair. She asks why he’s there. He says he wants to know about the book. Moon Young reminds him she emailed it that morning. Moon Young tells him to go so she can get a nap. Publisher Lee leaves. Publisher Lee calls Kang Tae and says he has a bad feeling. He promises to wait until Kang Tae arrives. Kang Tae promises to come soon.
Done with helping Joo Ri’s mother, Sang Tae finds Kang Tae and offers him an allowance from the money he made. Kang Tae returns the money and offers Sang Tae a ride to their apartment at Joo Ri’s house. Sang Tae asks if Kang Tae and Moon Young fought. Kang Tae says Moon Young is angry with her and make it right. Sang Tae tells his brother it is better to kiss than fight. He gives Kang Tae advice on how to make up with Moon Young.
At the nurse’s station Nurse Nam Joo Ri wonder who added the butterfly to the mural. Head Nurse Park on vacation for the next 5 days. Joo Ri wonders where the CCTV of the lobby is. Director Oh says he moved the video to a flash drive to give it to some but won’t say who.
Privately Director Oh asks Joo Ri to file a resignation for Head Nurse Park. She’s surprised. He won’t say why just yet. He suggests she handle the position in the interim. Joo Ri agrees. She suggests he talk to her mother if he’s troubled. That makes Director Oh smile. He says he might become jobless soon.
Publisher Lee sees Kang Tae drive up to the house. He’s shocked by what Kang Tae tells him. He can’t believe Kang Tae still wants Moon Young. Kang Tae points out Moon Young is still Moon Young even though her mother is a murderer. Publisher Lee shares that Moon Young’s mother dropped out of medical school and became a writer. Her marriage severed her family ties. He doesn’t know more about Moon Young’s mother. Publisher Lee shares that publishing companies pressured Moon Young for the rights to publish her mother’s last work. But the final draft disappeared.
Kang Tae finds Moon Young’s bedroom empty.
Kang Tae goes to the basement and finds Moon Young staring at her family portrait. She asks if her mother killed his mother. She asks if the butterfly that tormented Sang Tae was the brooch worn by her mother. She asks if she’s wrong. She wants to be wrong. She realizes she’s right and Kang Tae knew. He admits he recently found out. Moon Young cries. Kang Tae tells her she’s not her mother. Kang Tae promises not to leave her. Kang Tae says he’s liked her since he was a boy and that hasn’t changed. Moon Young calls him a hypocrite. She leaves the room.
Moon Young sobs in her room while giving herself the butterfly hug.
What an apt name for that hug.
Jo Jae Soo (Kang Tae’s friend) asks Sang Tae if Kang Tae really had a fight with Moon Young. Jae Soo worries the couple is getting intimate while they are together. Sang Tae says Moon Young’s face showed sadness and fear. He wonders why.
Joo Ri’s mother visits Director Oh in his office. She asks if he’s going to retire. Director Oh says he was betrayed by someone he trusted. Director Oh admits he thought he doing great things but pain only came. Joo Ri’s mother points out mistakes are the right of human. She reads his saying “its okay not to be okay.” Director Oh asks if she wants his job. She shakes her head and leaves.
Publisher Lee returns home to find Joo Ri’s mother, publishing coworker Yoo Seung Jae, and Joo Ri making rice balls. Seung Jae says she’ll bring food to Moon Young and Kang Tae at Moon Young’s house. Publisher Lee is touched and declares he loves her. Joo Ri’s mother chides him either eat or tell her daughter he likes her. Joo Ri smiles. Publisher Lee eats. Joo Ri asks to speak with him when he’s done eating.
Publisher Lee enters Joo Ri’s room after dinner. She has him take a seat. She does the same. She asks if Kang Tae will be okay. She asks if he knows what it going on. Publisher Lee tells her that Kang Tae isn’t her concern. Joo Ri corrects him that she’s worried about Moon Young. Publisher Lee blurts out that he likes her. Joo Ri agrees she likes Moon Young. Publisher Lee says that is touching and leaves. Joo Ri smiles.
Joo Ri texts Moon Young and tells her to call her if she’s bored.
Through the door, Kang Tae tells Moon Young he was shocked too. He couldn’t believe these things happened. He says that doesn’t matter. Because her smile, makes him forget everything else including the butterfly, her mother, etc. He says they are important. He says they’ve done nothing wrong. Moon Young cries.
Director Oh invites the orderly to get a drink with him. He refuses. Director Oh says a son shouldn’t refuse his father. Director Oh admits he gets wrapped up in his patient’s lives. He asks for leniency. His son asks if he wants soju or beer. Director Oh grins. Cha Yong smiles. Director Oh apologizes to his son.
Sweet unexpected moment.
Kang Tae and Moon Young sit back to back. Flashback of their moments abound.
The next day, Sang Tae is surprised to find no calls from Kang Tae. He worries Moon Young and Kang Tae haven’t made up yet.
Joo Ri is surprised to have no texts from Moon Young. She calls but it goes straight to voicemail. Patient Yoo asks where Kang Tae is. Joo Ri says he’ll be back soon. Patient Yoo asks if her father called. She says if he does call, she’ll talk to him. The staff is surprised by the change of heart.
Kang Tae knocks on Moon Young’s bedroom door. He asks her to let him in. She opens the door. Her eyes look dead. Kang Tae explains he found out her mother was alive when strange things happened around her father.
Moon Young asks if Patient Park is her mother. Kang Tae tells her Head Nurse Park is her mother. That surprises Moon Young. Kang Tae says yesterday Head Nurse Park drew the butterfly on the mural. Moon Young doesn’t believe it. She would have recognized her mother. Kang Tae says Moon Young’s father and Director Oh had no idea either. Flashbacks to moments with Head Nurse Park. Moon Young can’t believe it. She realizes her mother has been watching father and her. She yells Kang Tae must get out of the house. Kang Tae vows he won’t leave her. Moon Young begs him to leave and protect Sang Tae. Kang Tae hugs her. Moon Young sobs and begs Kang Tae to save himself and Sang Tae.
Sang Tae calls Kang Tae to ask if everything is okay. Kang Tae says she’s not feeling well. Sang Tae asks if she’s whimpering in pain. Kang Tae cries that she is. Sang Tae tells his brother to cut her leash. Sang Tae realizes Kang Tae is crying. Kang Tae claims he’s okay and Moon Young will be okay too.
Sang Tae wants to deliver the food to Moon Young and Kang Tae. Jae Soo says Sang Tae needs to stay there until Kang Tae returns. Sang Tae asks Joo Ri’s mother to make porridge.
Patient Joo asks where Kang Tae is. He had hoped to share the pictures from Patient Lee he received. He flashes the pictures. He says he wants to be discharged to see Patient Lee. The doctor marvels how popular Kang Tae is. The nurse shares that Joo Ri liked Kang Tae for a long time. Joo Ri coughs. The police arrive to speak with Director Oh. Orderly Cha shows the officers to Director Oh’s office.
Sang Tae and Jae Soo arrive at the house with the food.
Sang Tae takes Moon Young porridge. She cries and repeats she’s sorry. Sang Tae notes you need to looks someone in the eye when apologizing. Moon Young does and her sorrow is evident. Sang Tae urges her to eat a couple of spoonfuls promising to forgive her though he doesn’t know what for.
Jae Soo has figured out the Moon Young’s mother killed Kang Tae’s mother. Jae Soo tells Kang Tae that he’s a weak person who wanted a kindred weak person which is why he and Moon Young are a great pair. Jae Soo pushes Kang Tae to tell him the truth. Kang Tae unburdens himself and shares the truth. Jae Soo promises to keep Sang Tae safe.
Sang Tae tells Kang Tae that Moon Young ate some food. He promises to protect Kang Tae. At Kang Tae’s request he hugs his brother.
Kang Tae finds Moon Young’s book “The Hand, the Monkfish” wrapped on the front porch. The story is of a mother that did everything for her beautiful daughter. Eventually the mother tires and asks her daughter to feed her. Her daughter reveals she has no hands because her mother always fed her. Her mother wants her daughter to carry her. Her daughter reveals she has no feet because her mother always carried her. The only thing she has is a large mouth like a monkfish. The mother dumps the daughter in the sea where she bobs endlessly calling for her mother. The inscription on the back of the book from Moon Young’s mother notes this book was her least successful in sales but her personal favorite.
Moon Young’s mother burns a family picture.
Moon Young pulls out the final chapter in her mother’s last book. She calls the reporter from the early episode and offers him a scoop.
The internet article appears claiming Publisher Lee’s firm will publish the last book. Publisher Lee tells Seung Jae to tell the callers it is true. He heads to speak with Moon Young.
Moon Young dresses with a flourish.
Sang Tae gets a phone call from Moon Young’s mother. She’s outside the apartment. Sang Tae is amazed how different she looks. She’s not wearing the butterfly pen.
Publisher Lee finds her calm and collected. She’s using the article to lure her mother. Publisher Lee says he has a meeting set up with her mother. Moon Young insists he include her.
Kang Tae searches for Sang Tae. He’s not in the apartment.
Moon Young’s mother calls Kang Tae and says she has Sang Tae.
Moon Young and Publisher Lee drive to the meeting location. Publisher Lee doesn’t have specifics on the location. Moon Young realizes Publisher Lee is getting her out of the way and Kang Tae is in danger from her mother. She forces Publisher Lee to pull over. She gets out of the car and starts running home.
Kang Tae arrives at the house. He finds Moon Young’s mother in the library. He sees Sang Tae sleeping on the couch. Is he drugged? He looks to Moon Young’s mother who laughs manically.
This was the build to confrontation with Moon Young’s mother. Writer Jo Yong made it clear the Head Nurse Park is Moon Young’s mother. She survived Moon Young’s father’s attack and subsequent drowning in the lake but we don’t know how. Moon Young spent a large portion of the episode upset and unable to cope with the horrifying fact that her mother killed Kang Tae and Sang Tae’s mother. Sang Tae’s solution of food and forgiveness was straightforward and sweet. Moon Young decided to lure her mother. Moon Young’s mother decided to secure Sang Tae. Kang Tae decided confronting his mother’s killer to save his mother was the only option.
Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) didn’t leave Moon Young’s side. Kang Tae was supportive and kind. Kim Soo Hyun is a superb crier. You feel his heart in those scenes. The hug with Sang Tae was lovely. While Kang Tae is the care giver, Sang Tae is a care giver in his own right. Sang Tae sees this now and can lean on his brother in certain aspect. It was lovely. But nothing whips up the protective spirit like taking someone you love. Moon Young’s mother took Sang Tae. Without hesitation, Kang Tae went to the house ready to confront and save his brother.
Writer Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) struggled to deal with her mother’s murderous ways. Moon Young was bereft and immobilized by her mother’s actions. Sang Tae didn’t leave her and she couldn’t push him away. Stylistically the back-to-back bedroom door scene hit the mark. Moon Young and Sang Tae were together but separated by the wall of her grief and shame. Kang Tae is Moon Young’s prince. Moon Young’s mother once vowed to eliminate Moon Young’s suitor, a young Kang Tae. Moon Young knows that threat wasn’t idle nor faded with time. Nothing whips up the protective spirit like a threat to those you love. Her decision to take on her mother and save her family was the only logical solution for the Moon Young we know now. She’s evolved and found her family. But Publisher Lee took her away from the house with the ruse of meeting Moon Young’s mother. She fell for it. Moon Young soon realized it was a ruse. In dramatic fashion, she forced Publisher Lee to stop driving and ran down the pavement to save Kang Tae, her prince charming, the man she loves.
Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) (Kang Tae’s brother) soothed a bereft Moon Young. Sang Tae was worried about Kang Tae and Moon Young. He wanted them to make up. He cares for his family. He decided porridge will help an ailing Moon Young. He was unfazed by her tears and tenderly fed her. When Kang Tae requested a supportive hug, Sang Tae not only complied, he felt it. Of course, Sang Tae had no idea that Head Nurse Park was Moon Young’s mother and had no qualms about meeting her. Now he’s sleeping at the house with Kang Tae ready to do battle to save his brother.
I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.