One of the many things I love about “Angry Mom” is that I never know where it’s going. After episode 12, in which Kang Ja’s cover was blown, I didn’t even bother trying to guess what would happen next, because I knew I would be wrong. So what I love so much about episode 13 is the way it shows that, even though “Bang Wool” has been exposed, everything is still fundamentally the same for Kang Ja (Kim Hee Sun). She’s still going to fight to expose the Myung Sung foundation for just what it is. As Kang Ja or as Bang Wool, in a uniform or not, those details don’t matter. What matters is protecting Ah Ran (Kim Yoo Jung) and all the other students.
These were my five favorite scenes of “Angry Mom” episode 13:
1. Kang Ja breaks down
I found the aftermath of Ae Yeon’s betrayal painful to watch. It’s a wonderful scene for Kim Hee Sun, as we see Kang Ja become hysterically, pathetically desperate at the prospect of the sinners saving themselves yet again. Honestly, I felt that desperation along with her, and that’s a sign of just how fully “Angry Mom” has immersed viewers in its world. I felt Kang Ja’s terror that no matter how loudly she shouted the truth, no one would believe her. What a powerful, harrowing way to start the episode.
2. Kang Ja goes back to school
After being so thoroughly defeated, Kang Ja loses none of her spirit. In fact, the minute she can, she returns to school, in her uniform but as a mother, to stage a one-woman protest. She knows that Myung Sung wants to make the story about her, and not about their corruption, and she won’t let them.
This scene also gave us yet another wonderful clash between Bok Dong (Ji Soo) and Jin Sang. It turns out that the revelation that Jin Sang really is Kang Ja’s husband doesn’t exactly impress Bok Dong.
3. Noh Ah and Sang Tae have a talk
I am absolutely loving the way that Noh Ah (Ji Hyun Woo) has grown into a confident nurturing figure in his students’ lives. Seeing him begin to build a relationship with Sang Tae is nothing short of precious. He’s just familiar and friendly enough to make Sang Tae let his guard down, but he still respects his student’s boundaries (not pushing to know why Sang Tae wants to go to San Francisco, for example).
My favorite part of this conversation is when Sang Tae tries to rebuke Noh Ah, asking if they are friends. Of course we’re not, Noh Ah replies. I’m your teacher. To me, that’s such an important line, and such a great summation of how well “Angry Mom” portrays its young characters. The students of Myung Sung High School are not always good people. They can be rude and abrasive and just as prone to corruption as their parents and teachers. But what makes them redeemable is their youth. They might feel like world-weary adults, but they are children, and “Angry Mom” takes that seriously. These students have adults who are responsible for them, and those adults have failed in their duties. Of course Noh Ah can’t be Sang Tae’s friend. That was never an option. Noh Ah is here to guide Sang Tae, to show him the right way to be and to help him to grow into a good man. I love how thoroughly Noh Ah and “Angry Mom” understand this.
4. Sang Tae takes a stand (finally)
There is a part of me that wishes that Sang Tae had the moral backbone he displays in this episode for the entire drama. But let’s look on the bright side: if Sang Tae had always been good, then the moment when he finally, decisively stands up to his father wouldn’t have felt so satisfying. His insistence that he can’t live without his friend Ah Ran, even if she eventually betrays him, broke my heart. And his decision to use his motorcycle as a battering ram made me fist-pump. I think it’s official: Hong Sang Tae has joined the team of good guys. Or at the very least, he’s left the team of bad guys.
5. Chairman Hong somehow becomes even more horrifying
It takes a special kind of crazy/evil to watch the video footage of a child’s murder and respond with uproarious laughter. I don’t know why I’m surprised that Chairman Hong is just that crazy/evil, but I am. At least Bok Dong was eavesdropping, and therefore knows just what sort of ammunition Chairman Hong now holds.
How did you like last night’s episode? How fantastic was that last scene, with its confrontation between Kang Ja and Ae Yeon? Let us know in the comments below!
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Watch episode 13 of “Angry Mom” here: