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  1. I do not mean something bad about Lee Byung Hun, but I thought LSK's acting was a much more nuanced and sensitive portrayal of a complex guy. Anybody can be a hero, but it is hard to be a man who has been downtrodden and then has the courage to grief, and finally stand up again. I'm crying with all of you
  2. Hi everyone, it has been a year already? Happy 1st anniversary MA! Thank you to all MA Soompiers, watching this awesome drama is that much more meaningful thanks to all your sharing, comments, gifs, homemade videos, art and poetry, website, etc! Passed by this pub in Tsim Sha Tsui when I was in Hong Kong. Let's hang out here one day? One of the effects of reading the Soompi posts is I became very sensitive to the music. Upon rewatch of Episode 7, there was one song that caught my ear Towards the end of this clip, there was a tune hummed by Jung Hee, Waves of the Danube. It seems really fitting because it's another melo Russian/Eastern European tune in the minor key of the kind which I think KWS is crazy about. It was also adapted into Korean during the Japanese occupation era, sung by Yoon Shim Deok who was recently featured in Hymn of Death (starring Shin Hye Sun and Lee Jung Seok - Sorry, I could not watch beyond the first 30 minutes of it. I heard many like the drama a lot though.). I think Koreans would probably identify more with the Yoon Shim Deok version of the song when they hear it. The lyrics go like this: Through the vast wilderness, in this life of uncertainties You are running (달리는 - dallinen), yet where are you going? In this lonely world, through the rough seas What are you searching for? Chorus: This world that will become tears, will everything end if I die? Those lives searching for happiness (행복 - haengbok), it is really sadness that you are seeking for. Those smiling flowers, and those crying birds Their destinies would all be the same. Engrossed in living this miserable life, You are the one dancing on the blade of a knife. [Chorus] This far-flung life that has fallen to vanity You are being deceived, don't you know? Everything in this world to you is emptiness After you die, nothing exists anymore [Chorus] The most similar characteristic between Jung Hee and Yoon Shim Deok is that they were both not respected by society, which looks down on entertainers. Then, they loved someone unavailable. Perhaps what I found saddest about this tune is that Jung Hee's loneliness was so deep and resounded into the dark night. Isn't that what we go through when we were/are singles, belonging neither here nor there, going home to an empty room with no one to talk to after work. The meaninglessness and dreariness of trudging through everyday life. But I am fond of MA because it turns this "living in quiet desperation" around, and gives meaning to life through wonderful relationships and being compassionate to others and ourselves. I'm reading too much into things again. But I think there is meaning when, at the end of Episode 7, LJA runs (달리는) to PDH and meets him in the restaurant, and PDH, in return, toasts happiness (행복하자) to LJA. Is it really so futile to run after happiness? The drama says, "no".
  3. HK Open TV is airing My Mister. It might interfere with the artistic quality of each episode, but they edited the 1-hour-plus episodes into 45-minute episodes. And!! The series is dubbed in Cantonese. However, the live streaming is only open to those on site in Hong Kong. I also found this on Youtube, not sure if it has been shared here before, since it was first posted four months ago. I like the caution that we should respect the residents in this nice neighbourhood. I wish I could watch Skycastle. One day I will and join you all at the thread. Right now, I will have to make do with another "spy" movie "Operation Finale". YES! Maxim is the name of Lee Ji An's favourite coffee. That is why *the* mister is called Maxim. Ah, so obvious...
  4. Happy new year everyone! Its been great scrolling through the comments one by one, like walking down memory lane. Whoa.... thanks @popai5 for sharing this poem! No way I'm skipping this. Your poem is personal and heartfelt, so full of longing... I feel that it is such a fitting way to describe their relationship, lyrics for muted roads at night and silent stares. I think you are brave to share creative works in public too. Sometimes I feel I reveal myself so much because of what I write, especially since MA brings out Everything in me . So thanks for being brave! I truly enjoyed the musical too, read it about 5 times. You melded together so many scenes perfectly. Sometimes JA and DH speak as one, and then complement one another so well as different people. Plus the traffic signals to go together, whoa... you must have given a lot of thought to this. I will keep this to remind me of MA. Yes, DH must sing more songs of longing in unison with JA @widala It must be fated! Something reminded me of MA, which is the poster of a movie (have not watched it yet) called Miss Baek starring Han Jimin, about the relationship between a sex worker and a kid. Sometimes JA stands this way as well. Isn't this the way some sex workers stand to indicate who they are. Or stand by the roadside.I don't mean this in a vulgar way, but I wonder if KWS wanted to link JA with the image of sex workers. After all she sells herself for money. Asks the CEO if she should strip in front of DH? If she should sleep with DH? (unforgettable lines ) . In fact the last part of the trailer for MA seems just like that if you do not know the context - a man hesitates in propositioning a woman, then walks away. But I guess this theory doesn't hold because by the time she stood to wait for him to give him the slippers she is in love with him... She has been waiting since Ep 2 And she waits some more... Another thing about the windswept look, isn't it a bit like the orphan from Les Mis? Sorry for the random thoughts. I must miss MA so much!
  5. Hahaha, that's funny, you are right, ID photos are an embarrassment. We had to keep our 12-year-old ID photo (when we first got it) until 17 years old. Not sure if this practice has changed. It would be great to share the post, thanks!
  6. Thanks for the encouragement @ann04! I've never said this before in my life, "long live shippers!" @widala thanks for posting on LJA's birthday! As for PDH, could it be this? June 18, 1974.
  7. Thanks for your encouraging words @t123han @sadiesmith @widala @popai5 and @arctichare! @arctichare the quote and those pictures of really seeing are so beautiful, thanks for posting them. Very clearly indeed! How am I going to move on from MA though, these pictures still bring back a lot of memories I'm so glad that the end of that sad scene is not in separate panes but bright candles! Thanks for pointing that out, the thought of them having a chance with each other in dramaland still makes me so happy. It would be a great privilege to teach your kids, I'm very sure they already have the best teacher by their side . My background is in psychology (with interest in suicide prevention/awareness), so I guess that was where MA caught me at first, with the two near-suicide scenes, at a very visceral level. Yes! That scene with so many deep, mixed feelings, thanks for bringing it up! Everyone trapped in their own snug compartment, but LJA in the open makes PDH want to break out of his beta van. If only they would break into song and dance at the end....
  8. Hi, hope it's not too late to answer this, since I'm an ahjussi fan I guess it is compulsory For me it was every time he did not take the opportunity to deny outright he did not like her. Second are the times when he stared at his phone for a long time, for example (1) the first time she asked him for a meal, he stared at his phone from "bukchon" to ... their station (I forgot the name! Time flies...) (2) After her confession he sat on the bed and considered the phone for a long time. Thanks @popai5for bringing up all the possibilities for a Japanese version. Sorry I'm not familiar with most of the Japanese names, will check them out! How about Satoshi Tsumabuki for ahjussi, is he too baby looking. I'm so happy to see MA winning awards!!! @widala I guess it's ok for LSK and LJE to walk hand in hand right? After all he did that with KSH before, I guess it would be ok??? Though my personal preference is for LSK to walk hand in hand with his wife and to mention Jeon Hye Jin in his acceptance speech. Sorry this is getting to be a very long post! I was writing something a while ago, needed to express my feelings... thanks for your patience with this long post: Seeing through a glass, darkly Glass is hard yet transparent. It blocks entry, but at the same time allows us to peer into the space it shelters. Looking through a glass window or door, we see without touching. We are able to watch and scan every object, action and expression, but we should not be fooled for there is still an invisible barrier that shuts us out. And sometimes, if we look carefully, we see our own reflection. My Mister is a drama about glass. The characters saw others and themselves through a medium—barroom, car and train windows, platform screen doors, mirrors in a restaurant or lift, a pair of shades. It was as though reality was too glaring to bear direct scrutiny, to be acknowledged in person. It was as though our characters, in their shy opacity, chose to see or be seen indirectly, to shield their vunerabilities from too much exposure, to be intimate without touching. Park Dong Hoon was happy drunk when he caught sight of a girl wearing short socks in the winter. He was intrigued not only because she was underdressed for the weather, but also because she seemed familiar. He tried locate who it was by looking at the face reflected in the train window. This was his first real sight of Lee JiAn – dark and pitiful. A few episodes later, through her reflection in a platform screen, he indirectly saw the same face looking at him intensely. He looked back at her in person, and acknowledged her uncomfortably. By then, he had found out that she was not only sharp tongued and guarded, but was also a kind girl who took care of her grandmother. Progressing from knowing her as an undefined shadow, he was now holding real conversations and dining with her. DH had thus far looked at JA indirectly and hesitantly, but JA had no qualms about staring at DH directly in his face. When he received a bribe and when he said he had never beaten a woman before, she had stared directly at him through her shades. Just like when she wiretapped him, she was able to scan him thoroughly while remaining inscrutable herself. After JA had heard from JY that “if he dines and drinks with you, he likes you,” her reflections on their relationship were likewise modulated by the dark train windows. It was as though JA’s contemplations were unacceptable and had to emerge from an alternate, darker self. Likewise, DH’s reflection in the train window as he thought about the director’s ploy to bring JY down through him was equally dark. So much had happened when DH, JA and their colleagues ran for the last train to the tune of the OST, “A Reflection of My Heart”. Their colleagues were a step too late, and had waved vainly at them as the train departed from the station. Alone, DH asked JA why she had stayed back to work overtime, and she replied she had learned well from his admonition, to work well with the others, to be socially acceptable. Then, panning to her reflection in the window, Ji An’s dark self confessed, “I missed you so I waited for you.” She frankly described the nature of their relationship of mutual empathy and perhaps, love. He was dumb because he could not deny or agree with it on principle. It was then that JA saw the private investigator who secretly took their pictures. She walked away from DH, through door after door until she felt they had a safe enough distance between them. But DH would not have it. He pursued the PI, through the same layers of doors, until he reached JA again, and there he planted himself next to her. We see the train continuing its journey, DH and JA looking out of the glass door. But were they looking out? I later realised from the angle of their faces and eyes, that they were actually looking at each others’ reflection, JA shyly and DH, frazzled, confused, angrily. DH had come face to face with his own dark reflection next to hers. Many times we see DH and JA’s eating and drinking sessions alternately from within the restaurant itself and from the outside, through a glass window. When JA broke the news about going to Busan, for example, the separate frames in which JA and DH were captured foreshadowed their imminent separation. Their communion was a world so intimate it had to be protected from intruders. Ki Hoon could not figure out what his brother was doing with a girl wearing sunglasses at night. Gwang Il could not believe his eyes that JA was hobnobbing with a crumpled middle-aged man. Team 3 was not privy to the scandalous conversation that DH had with JA when he warned her about taking liberties with him. When DH found JA after she had run away, their charged reunion could only be observed by the dear janitor from a side window to his shed. This was true not only for DH and JA. We are obliged to see not only through the cameraman’s lenses and our tv screen, but with an additional layer of glass windows when DH told the Chairman the whole story about his wife’s infidelity, JY’s schemes, and how JA had saved him. The same privacy was given to Gwang Il when he heard JA’s words about his earlier kindness to her and his dilemma that she killed his father. Like Ki Hoon who would like to break into the TV, we want to be as near as we could get to the world that has stolen our hearts. But then we are reminded that our characters needed shielding and to maintain some face-saving distance, precisely because of the explosive nature of their pent up personalities. But I’d also like to think that this is a VIP world where the only special pass is love given and received. The random couples in Kojubang had licence of entry into the special restaurant where DH and JA met regularly. Unless we know love and are touched by it, we have no business transgressing into their world. Seeing through a glass darkly, we see each other imperfectly. Even if we were to understand each other closely, such as the level of knowing that DH and JA had of each other, we still have barriers that prevent complete expression and communion. My Mister is a story about making a moral choice between the rightful and the wrongful way to satisfy our needs, whether it be a transgression of forbidden boundaries that inevitably hurts others, or holding back just enough to be intimate without violating the sanctity of rightful relationships. Therefore, the barriers that shield an unprepared and vulnerable soul, or which separates a rightful from a wrongful relationship, should not be lamented but is to be treated with gentleness and respect. Ironically, because “good fences a good neighbour make”, the barriers that DH erected between himself and JA allowed for the further development of their relationship at the right time. I believe this drama is appealing to so many of us because it fleshes out our thwarted longing for full understanding, expression and communion in our relationships. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” JA finds DH through an open café door
  9. I was just rewatching some of KWS's dramas, and I thought, "Oh Gwajang and Jang Geurae in Misaeng, that's platonic. Lee Je hoon and Kim Soohyun characters, that's platonic. DH and JA - not platonic." If KWS had wanted DH to be platonic towards JA, he knows how to make their relationship intimate and meaningful without being romantic. No, KWS knew what he was doing. Those "heart wrenching looks" were ace! You write so intimately well @popai5! I feel like I'm in Ji An's head just by reading about her room. The last paragraph is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I really like and enjoyed it. @sadiesmith thanks for the location pics from picbear. I've been doing some digging, and found the location for LSK's favourite scene mentioned in the interview: (from https://givemeslippers.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/iu-i-couldnt-even-bear-to-hear-the-soundtrack/) I like this place because it looked quaint and quiet. Mulderim, or "watering place" (or is it water dream?), the place where the three brothers cried buckets (and Ji An and Yoon Hee on the phone too), where DH finally teaches his brothers what he needs and how he wishes to be comforted, where Ki Hoon saw a righteous man being totally broken. This was one of the three "countryside" (or outskirt?) places where we hear "amu geotto anida" - once in Jeongsusa Temple, once near grandma's nursing home, and finally here in Mulderim (I'm not counting the time when Yura said it in JungHee's bar). Every time DH comforts or is comforted by this phrase, he has to get away from Seoul. Here's an article on Mulderim, they even gave the address It's about 25km from Seoul, in Siheung City. It has a cafe and you can do cloth dyeing and soap making for a small fee. 천연염색 체험학습장 물들임까페: 물왕동 47-4, 402-1005 (pictures from http://m.culturein.co.kr/a.html?uid=8955)
  10. Thanks @sadiesmith for your open invitation to write on our favourite locations. Here is another attempt. The countryside in My Mister “In the mountains there you feel free” ~ T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland @rellea translated a post in DC Inside, which pointed out that PDH’s bag symbolises the weight of life that he carries. I think one place where he consistently does not hold on to his bag is in the countryside. The countryside in My Mister is a place to which our characters escape to find peace and rest, and the insights they glean during their excursions often constitute a turning point in the characters’ development. In contrast to the city wasteland, with its crammed alleys and the neutral tones of office cubicles and subway stations, the countryside is replete with life and lush colours and wide open spaces. These qualities allow our characters to see clearly the most important facts of their lives for the first time, and to gather strength to act on these insights. Yumyeong Mountain (Gyeonggi-do Gapyeong) Yumyeongsan first appears as one of Joon Young and Yoon Hee’s getaways. We later realise that this setting is the place where the irrevocable deaths of both Yoon Hee’s marriage and affair would happen. When DH found out that YH has cheated on him with JY at the campsite, he goes there to confront JY, perhaps for the first time, setting clear expectations on what JY must do to end the affair. His visit to the campsite is a death blow to his marriage, because he lands on the very spot where YH and JY could be making love, in the tent. He also confirmed with JY that YH has known all along the plan to sack him and yet did nothing. From then on, he will stay with YH, but only as the corpse she has made him. As karma, it is at this campsite also where YH confirms JY has been lying to her. Jeongsusa Temple PDH’s mother first visits the temple to calm her fears and heartbreak about her sons. PDH also runs to the temple for respite from too much pain from discovering that YH knows he knows about her affair with JY. Because this means their marriage façade will be too difficult to maintain. @africandramalover wrote beautifully about the significance of the song El Condor Pasa which accompanies him there. He bumps into Sang Won stranded by the roadside from a flat tyre, and gladly throws his bag onto the truck before helping SW to change the tyre. Later, at the temple, SW tells DH off about sacrificing his own happiness for others when he would not allow his own son to do the same. DH needs to recognise his needs and be more shameless in fulfilling them (cf. @justamom). Finally, SW comforts DH with a “not a big deal” hug. As a result of this visit, DH feels sufficiently freed to punch JY for the affair, quarrel with JA about taking away his slippers, and break down completely in front of his wife. Ironically, the sage-like Sang Won could not find peace in this temple 20 years on after his abrupt flight from Hugye. He is stranded like his truck. He only inhabits this temple physically, because like every good Asian son and boyfriend, his soul is still tied to Hugye in a suffocating cycle of blame and guilt. His left-behind never-to-be bride, Jung Hee, likewise mourns for 20 years and hopes to guilt trip him back to her side. Finally, she follows after Omma and DH’s footsteps to meet SW at the temple. Seeing that she is here, SW delivers a lecture on widening our circle of love instead of holding on bitterly to something we cannot attain. It is a lecture not unlike that of Dag Hammarskjöld’s writings on his singlehood, characterised by “longing, like carnal desire, but directed toward earth, water, sky, and returned by the whispers of the trees, the fragrance of the soil, the caresses of the wind, the embrace of water and light.” But JH misses the message, thinking that baby mountain kids are worth more than she is. Perhaps SW is not very convincing, because he is as bound as JH is to each other. Rattled by her visit, he meditates in his cell for a few days, during which I believe he finally understands he cannot achieve peace unless he resolves what he has been leaving hanging on his conscience. So, instead of hiding in the monastery, he goes back to Jung Hee on a clear sunny day to find a resolution, bringing yellow flowers that symbolise friendship and happiness (https://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/6-rose-colors-and-their-meanings/) I wonder what allows Jung Hee to move on after the visit? I think it’s because she realises that he does love her enough to suffer from this much guilt.The fact that she is loved and does matter reverses Jung Hee’s suspicion that she is not worth much and therefore should not live properly. And her forgiveness frees our monk to finally find the peace that he has been seeking for the past 20 years. His visit symbolically closes the gap between the temple (sacred, solitary, free) and Hugye (down-to-earth, secular, strong kinship ties). Instead of obtaining peace by running away from real life and hiding in some monastery, he embodies the peace that he has been seeking, and may now become a real sage who brings peace to everyone wherever he goes. Grandma’s nursing home (somewhere over the rainbow?) The elderly living facility to which grandma shifts is also in the countryside. After they move in, grandma thanks DH for taking care of JA. Depending on your point of view (and as was pointed out by a fellow poster), this could also be seen as a symbolic gesture of passing the baton of taking care of JA to DH. JA gains a few insights here. On an unknown road between the facility and the bus stop, DH tells JA that her past is not a big deal if she stops harping on it. In essence, he is telling her that she should let go of her guilt (my own words) and live up to her name, reaching comfort/peace (an/安/안). Before her death, JA and DH visit grandma at the nursing home for the last time. With falling blossoms in the background, Grandma tells JA about the widening circle of love. Her relationship with DH is undoubtedly very precious. So is every relationship she develops – with the brothers, the neighbourhood ajusshis, with Jung Hee and Yu Ra. So, please live in gratitude by living well. The failure to grasp that love can be widely shared in community, as much as it can be deeply felt towards a certain person, is something which causes Yoon Hee a lot of bitterness. But for DH and JA, they are able to live well because they have learned their lessons in the countryside well – (*edit) for DH to love himself more, and for JA, to let her original love ripple out to embrace the rest of the world.
  11. It's just so good, @h2ogirl, I think I can do the whole drama just listening the to sound and not looking at the pictures Thanks, I have not moved on too @ann04. I tried watching non-korean non-drama, like the movie Beirut. Even that reminded me of something familiar (1) despairing ahjusshi who drinks (2) spy who went rogue Hi @emmafaye, I felt like I went through the same journey reading through posts in this forum from the beginning, I was luckier because it ended around 260 pages at that time. All the angst, all the insights! All the delulu comments too! It made me feel the drama viewing was a more complete experience. And yes! they deserve each other so much. @noklek Why do I like PDH? Because I'm a woman
  12. Hi here is a post on the river scene, I have adapted from a previous post. My apology, the name of the bridge is Hangang, and not Mapo as I mentioned in an earlier post. It appears both of them have comforting words written on the railing to prevent suicide. Hangang Bridge This scenic bridge has been featured in a few Korean dramas (link to: https://koreandramaland.com/listings/hangang-bridge/). Because Park Donghoon’s (Lee Sun Kyun) character is portrayed with subdued subtlety, and does not betray his true thoughts and feelings to others easily, clues to his inner life are conveyed indirectly through external associations. The Hangang Bridge is the exact location which the production team chooses to portray the state of Donghoon’s mind the day after discovering his wife’s infidelity. Park Donghoon has been wandering through the streets of Seoul for half a day, after leaving the morning football team in a huff. It is late afternoon, and the sun is setting when he plants himself in the middle of Hangang Bridge. There are comforting words written on the bridge railing to his left, but the panel where he is standing is blank. There is no fanfare, no extreme show of emotion, and any sound he makes is drowned by passing traffic. His sight pans to the river below. But when the scene shifts to Lee Jian, we sense the urgency of the matter. All is not well. This is the Hangang Bridge. Underneath the external calm, Park Donghoon’s breathing is ragged and laboured. There is no doubt as to his thoughts during that exact moment. Hangang Bridge Her bus stops abruptly by a random roadside and she runs to him, and does not stop running until she gets him in her line-of-sight, seeing him being found by his brothers. To drive the point home, Donghoon’s brothers ask him repeatedly, “Where have you been?” He does not answer: they must not know. Portraying suicide in films and dramas is controversial, especially when using a certain location associated with this topic. However there is a need to lift the taboo surrounding suicide, an understated problem among middle-aged and elderly men. I believe the production team does not use the location just for dramatic effect, but also as a potent anti-suicide message: when driven to the brink, we can choose to bravely walk away from the temptation to end our lives, even if the only barrier between us and the false comfort that we seek is a bridge railing. Following the rest of Park Donghoon’s life, we find that he has continued to live a full life, and that it is worthwhile to persevere through the indignity we suffer. However, at this moment, the Hangang Bridge scene conveys the full extent of Donghoon’s heartbreak – muted, barely noticeable, but very lethal. I was also wrong in an earlier post on drawers, stating that Ki Hoon was the one who mentioned DongHoon was always slipping things through the cracks of his drawer. Actually, it was Sang Hoon, the one who is always wrong about Dong Hoon
  13. Thanks for pointing this out @riazni, so true that the foot kicking was the first act of pure kindness! I love so much that PDH said with some sarcasm something like "you wake me up like a slave" in the lift, causing everyone to turn around and JA feeling very awkward. We've got plenty of innuendoes in the first few episodes. Perhaps these early episodes were shot before they had to tone it down? She does get prettier and prettier I'm really grateful and am enriched by all the timeline studies. It bothered me that she took the cast out within a day (or so I thought)... so it took about a month to heal, which is more realistic. And the time given to DH to grapple with his wife's infidelity is slow in dramaland but it is realistic too. The more I watch, the more I feel this drama is about delaying gratification. KWS said he wanted to use he drama to give a good impression of Korean ahjussis. What type of Ahjussi is he trying to market to his audience? Someone who is upright and mature, able to love in the true sense of the word, both self and others. I would just like to add that for each of his temptations, he got interviewed by the company - for the bribe, the burner phone list, and finally, for LJA. He got stronger with each interview, perhaps to project the character growth that had happened to pass each "test". And the ending of the drama shows the reward for good ahjussis: PDH got his money (his company did well), status/power (he was director, then CEO), and naturally, his ... (...). But not before dying to each of them, and to find them magically "reincarnated" in a roundabout way.
  14. Hi @sadiesmith my mind is also blown away by the complexity of this drama, the more I rewatch it, and terms like "straighten me up" I will not be able to forget until the end of my life!. When DH received a call from KH after the bribe was found in Ep 2, I believe that was where KH guessed (wrongly) that DH had found it behind/under his drawer. I hope I'm correct on this detail. *Edit: Sorry I just checked and it was Sang Hoon who (as always) guessed wrongly in Episode 2 (around 53:30) that the money had fallen through the cracks of his drawers, and he was always doing that since the past
  15. You are all truly awesome! I have been reading back some pages and articles on the fansite, and they have sustained my interest in the drama apart from the real world I’m inhabiting now. I’m very thankful for the posts and observations and analyses, etc. I wonder if someone has commented on what DH keeps in his drawers? Unseen, private and potentially shameful stuff that others must not know about. The unconscious parts of his desires in which he sometimes loses (aka forgets, represses) stuff when they slip through the cracks and fall behind/below the drawer compartments, as Ki Hoon complains: “He is always losing something behind his drawers”. 1. The bribe – It was his first temptation. DH succumbed momentarily to a temptation he had never encountered before, perhaps out of desperation to resolve his financial situation. He covered the bribe with a file and put it into his drawer. Through the bribe, he received the full backlash of breaking a clear moral principle. Everyone knew about it! From his colleagues to his family. It was only through a miracle that he escaped the consequences and emerged as a phony righteous man. He knew he was not the virtuous man he appeared to be. He learned a big lesson about shame and not doing the right thing from this temptation. The bribe was also his first link to Ji An. JA, suffering from similar/worse financial problems, also wanted the bribe money. Using covert means, she stole it from DH, only to relinquish it when she was unable to use it. The material nature of the bribe reflected the first level of desperation which both DH and JA were both facing. Money is important for survival. 2. Joon Young’ burner phone number list – This was the temptation of power, of using crooked means to have the upper hand on DH’s enemy. As usual, DH placed the phone list in the drawer. I think it slipped through the crack again (as Ki Hoon observed) and therefore was not traceable by the fraud/investigation team. DH was not comfortable about using the list as a weapon against his enemy, not attempting to open it when he first contemplated it during his bus ride home. This was not his style. But desperate times required desperate measures; when he was once again egged by JY to the point of suicide, he decisively retrieved the envelope from his drawer. Again, the “power” that he obtained from the phone list was unusable on one level – revealing his wife’s affair was a double edged sword that would hurt JY but literally kill him (hence the Mapo river bridge scene). But on another level, the phone number list provided JA with the opportunity to help DH intentionally for the first time, by giving him a clue about the origin of public phone numbers. The underdog helping another underdog. It also broke the “see no evil, hear no evil” policy which DH had kept in the past in order to insulate himself from deep, hurtful realities. 3. Ji An’s slippers – Did DH wise up after being burned by the two previous temptations? After all he had tasted the consequences of near-public humiliation and of digging too deep into reality for his own peace of mind. The slippers had all the consequences of the first two temptations. So what did he do with the slippers? Put them in his private, unmentionable drawer. It occupied such a big space this time that removing it created a big hollow in the compartment. However, it was a temptation he could not return to Jian to “make things clear”. Whenever he removed his work shoes, he instinctively opened the drawer, tempted to wear those slippers. @africandramalover and others mentioned, this was DH reaching for his comfort. However, he was not able to show it to the public. When Chief Song asked, “You bought a new pair of slippers?” DH acted as though his deepest, darkest secret was revealed, and he covered the slippers and hid them again. I like that the writer/director used the analogies for the three temptations of money, power and sex/love in PDH’s life. They were all morally/ethically wrong. Especially loving Ji An at this point of his life. No matter how much we sympathise with the third temptation, there are no moral exceptions to the temptations that beset PDH. I like that in the drama Pasta, LSK’s chef character was warned by his sous chef that mixing love and work in the kitchen is unethical, as a chef’s position gives prestige and power, and this power could be abused against those who have less power. Thus, if DH had used his superior position, maturity, knowledge, etc. to woo JA or to accept JA’s love to fulfil his emotional needs, he would be breaking these universal ethical laws. (I’m not saying JA is not powerful, wise, intelligent in her own right, but we must acknowledge that it was still an economically, socially, emotionally imbalanced relationship that put JA in a vulnerable position with a married man). Therefore, it was only when the coast was clear, when JiAn had left the company, when he was at a safer position at his workplace and the threat of scandal was gone, that DH was able to bring the slippers out of the drawer and wear them publicly and comfortably. @justamom thank you for pointing out the similarities between ITMFL and MA. Really? Down to the last handshake? I'm just "wow" *edit @sadiesmith thank you for the analysis of cars. They are so prominent in MA, especially the pink sensitive van who is beta male . By the way the white chevvy which Yoon Hee drives was always dirty and needed cleaning according to DH, before and after DH found out about the affair.
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