Confessions and Fistfights: “Valid Love” Episodes 9 and 10

Valid Love

The cat’s out of the bag. Watch that fiery passion, folks – the hotter the flame, the more painfully it burns – and everybody gets burned this time around.

We finally reach the opening scene of the first episode: Hee Tae (Uhm Tae Woong) spies on his wife, like a stalker, and his nightmare is real: his beloved Il Ri (Lee Si Young) is cheating on him, wrapped in the arms of another man.

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Il Ri, however, has not come looking for a good time, but to bid farewell to Kim Joon (Lee Soo Hyuk) – she’s bringing her affair (which, let’s face it, has chalked up merely a couple of lip locks and a day trip) to an end.

“Is your hand still hot?”  Ooh, Il Ri, don’t tempt the seducer, lest ye be seduced.  How easily we can get carried away by attraction, remember?

Hee Tae finally explodes, roughing up Kim Joon in his studio after Il Ri has left, and then confronting Il Ri at home.

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And what a moment of truth that was. Hee Tae snaps, smacking Il Ri so hard it sends her reeling across the floor, the incriminating photo on his phone (though not shocking enough, one might argue). Yikes. Hee Tae’s taken a turn – this is not the loving Hee Tae we know, not the one Il Ri loves and dotes upon, no – perhaps we’ve underestimated this man. He is not the bumbling, oblivious fool we’ve taken him for; did we expect him to roll over and disappear after discovering his wife’s cheating ways?

Il Ri, oh Il Ri. What do you have to say for yourself? 

“I like you. I like him, too.” (Cue gasps.)

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Il Ri wants to save her marriage, declares that it’s over with Kim Joon. (Sidenote: Lee Soo Hyuk, call me.) She even shows up at Hee Tae’s workplace, an olive branch of packed lunch in hand – which ends up sprawled on the floor (along with Il Ri herself), in front of Hee Tae’s colleagues. 

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Hee Tae resorts to (what else?) getting drunk – with his attractive co-worker Sun Joo (Han Soo Yeon) at a Chinese restaurant.  Sun Joo confesses to having eyes for Hee Tae, admitting that her initial reaction upon hearing about his marital troubles was to work her way in somehow. Brave admission, Sun Joo. Also the kind of thing you never say to a married man.

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Enter Il Ri. Also enter, Yi Ri and Ki Tae (Park Jung Min) settling a score in the very same Chinese restaurant. (Sidenote: shoot, that’s a lot of delicious-looking black bean noodles.) Il Ri’s younger sister sends an angry bowl of jjajjangmyun Hee Tae’s way, thinking that he’s the two-timing sleaze ball, little does she know.

Hee Tae, a hangover later, wallowing in all that is miserable and wrong in the world, regains a bit of composure.

“Why’d you do it?” Perhaps the most important question of all. 

“The feelings…just appeared.” 

Eek, catalog that under What Not To Say when trying to stay with your husband. 

Is it really over? Is Il Ri going to stop having feelings for Kim Joon?

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“I’ll try.” 

Ah, Il Ri, this is not the time for raw honesty. And Hee Tae, don’t ask a question if you can’t handle the answer.

Perhaps the question we should be focusing on is: who is spying on Kim Il Ri? Who would hold such a nasty grudge against Hee Tae as to send him those cryptic texts and photos, taunting him? 

A cop (finally) investigating the matter talks to Kim Joon – and our carpenter looks into the contemptuous face of the gumshoe and realizes for the first time that his feelings may have been in the wrong. Perhaps it’s time to grow up and gain a bit of perspective, yeah?

Hee Tae’s parents are still in the dark. They goad the couple to get to baby making, Hee Tae’s mom even picks up some lingerie for Il Ri (please categorize under What Mother-In-Laws Should Never Do). 

And the couple goes home. And Il Ri begs for forgiveness from her husband.

But Hee Tae is done, this man is done with this marriage: he wants a divorce. He’s ready to cut ties to Il Ri’s mother, who catches wind of the truth – she’s crushed to learn of her daughter’s infidelity.

Il Ri finds Hee Soo (Choi Yeo Jin) with a new caretaker – her husband indeed wants her out of his life – and his family’s included. Hee Soo’s in tears, too – Il Ri decides to take her for a drive.

And she, of course, runs into Kim Joon. Here they are, alone again. It’s those stolen moments alone that got you in this mess in the first place. He’s concerned for her safety after his meeting with the cop. (Sidenote: he gives her that whole spiel about being careful and wary of her safety, then leaves her alone in a dark alley.)

Meanwhile, Kim Joon catches a kid lurking in front of his studio – a middle schooler – and a familiar face. He’s a neighbor of Ki Tae’s, the one we saw for a split second several episodes back. He claims an interest in carpentry – nah, he knows something, this one. He’s got some knowledge on a particular spy and egregious revelation.

Hee Tae’s decision to split with Il Ri gives him some resolve, and he knocks back the soju.  And there he finds Kim Joon – already multiple shots in. Out comes a drunken apology from Kim Joon – but Hee Tae’s going to divorce her, he doesn’t care, he says.

“Then.. I can see Il Ri?” And that’s all it takes. Hee Tae loses it (again); bar fight ensues.

Enter Il Ri at the police station, finding a scratched up Hee Tae – she’s his wife still, after all. Her husband would never hit anyone, she claims. Reveal adequately bruised Kim Joon. “I’m his guardian…and his guardian.” Oh, Il Ri. You can’t have both cakes and eat them, too.

What is a marriage – or any relationship – made of, if its never been tested? 

What would you do? Salvage your marriage or call it quits? 

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