The Ugly Duckling
As the actors continue to give some impressive performances, It’s Okay To Not be Okay delivers one its strongest episodes yet.
Episode 11 of It’s Okay To Not be Okay starts where it left off with Ms Park arriving at the mansion and wishing Moon-Young happy birthday. She invites her in after making her tea, where Moon-Young follows the woman around, discussing her Father and how he wished he killed her too.
Not long after, Kang-Tae arrives and eventually finds Moon-Young coming down the stairs. He runs towards her and embraces the woman, relieved that she’s not hurt. He asks her where Ms Park is and proceeds to tell her he only came for the patient and not for her.
Frustrated, she tells him that he always puts his brother before walking off. He follows after her though where she confronts him about his hurtful words from earlier. Kang-Tae tells her to count to three whenever she is stressed before kissing her passionately. He wishes her happy birthday and admits that he missed her.
Meanwhile, Sang-Tae and Jae-Su spend a fun moment together when the latter suggests that he is like a brother. When Sang-Tae disagrees, it creates a brotherly squabble between the two.
Moon-Young meanwhile, tends to Kang-Tae who hasn’t been well. As he falls asleep with Moon-Young in his arms, he tells her how nice it is as he never had anyone care for him like that before.
As they continue talking, Kang-Tae tells Moon-Young that Sang-Tae has a traumatic childhood memory as he saw his mother get murdered. In a flashback, we see him as a witness to the murder and the killer had a butterfly broach.
Kang-Tae explains that every spring, when butterflies arrive, they have to move away as he starts having horrific nightmares, thinking they are going to kill him. This explains his current behaviour.
In the hospital, Kang-Tae is asked to pack Ms Park’s belongings away as they need to give her bed to someone on the waiting list. As he goes through her things, he finds strange notes scribbled out in the book “The Witch of the West”. The director comes to see him in the staff room and notices that he looks a lot happier.
Moon-Young decides to have lunch at Jae-Su’s pizzeria and speaks to Sang-Tae, asking him to move back in as they have work to do. She shows him the drawing of the bus he drew as she wants to write a story about them.
Sang-Tae eventually looks at her and claims that she can’t have Kang-Tae as he is his. Moon-Young insists but Sang-Tae just walks away. Afterwards, she speaks to Kang-Tae about her frustration in not being able to convince his brother. He convinces her not to give up as they won’t be able to live together if he doesn’t get his permission. He suggests that she earns his trust to make sure he doesn’t think that she will take him away.
We also find out that Mr Ko’s cancer has spread and is now inoperable. Ju-Ri heads to have a drink with Sang-In where she tells him about Mr Ko’s cancer. They then get to know each other and spend a pleasant evening in each other’s company.
In the evening, Kang-Tae sits with his brother and together they watch his cartoon. Using the story from his favourite one, he explains that Sang-Tae is an adult able to accept non-family members to live with them. Sang-Tae thinks about it and agrees.
In the hospital, Sang-Tae is almost done with his mural. The director tells him it is not complete as he hasn’t drawn the butterflies and explains that he won’t get paid if he doesn’t. This upsets Sang-Tae who refuses to do it.
Kang-Tae later finds him upset in the garden. He eventually follows him home where he hides in his covers. Kang-Tae confronts his brother once and for all, trying to make him face his past. He grabs him but Sang-Tae bites back.
For the first time, Kang-Tae hits him which surprises his brother. He finally stands up for himself, explaining that he has hurt many times over the years and he needs to act like a big brother for once. This angers Sang-Tae who lashes out, throwing things at his sibling.
In the mansion, Moon-Young hears strange knocking on the door. She slowly heads down to open the door and it turns out to be Kang-Tae who is not happy as he told her not to open the door to strangers. He takes her to eat and tells her about the fight.
Moon-Young wants him to be honest to Sang-Tae about his feelings for her but he is not sure how he would react. She insists and convinces him to start thinking about his happiness for once. He then tells her about his dreams, which includes going to school in a uniform. We then see what it could have been if Kang-Tae met Moon-Young at school with Sang-Tae encouraging him to make a move.
Later during the night, Sang-Tae hears his brother in his sleep saying that he really likes her. Looking at his emotion board, he realises that Kang-Tae is happy as he has never seen him like that.
The next day, Sang-Tae calls his brother at work and asks him if he has eaten. Kang-Tae replies that he didn’t have time so he tells him to go to the restaurant at 6 pm. Sang-In meanwhile reveals to Moon-Young that her father’s cancer is back. She tells him that her dad died when she was 12 and that she is an orphan.
The brothers spend a nice moment together and Sang-Tae pays for the bill. He then gives Kang-Tae money and explains that big brothers always give allowance to their little brothers.
As he walks away, Moon-Young, who has been eating there by herself, asks him to pay for her dinner or to give her allowance as she doesn’t have a family. He looks at his brother and tells him to go home. Moon-Young shouts that she wants a big brother like him. He then turns around and shouts to both of them to hurry, which means that he has accepted her.
That night in the mansion, we see a woman inside the locked room picking up a butterfly brooch. The same person then stands over both Moon-Young and Kang-Tae with the jewellery, which is where the episode ends.
The Review Write-Up
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay has done a great job so far with this original premise as we follow the adventures of our three main characters who have had quite the difficult life.
All three are helping each other and this latest installment has brought a new dynamic in the group. Watching Sang-Tae realizing that his brother is happy and then accepting Moon-Young in their tightly-knit family was very touching and heartwarming. The chemistry between the three has grown over the episodes thanks to some excellent acting all round.
The mystery surrounding the murder of the brothers’ parents is still quite intriguing but I am thinking it could have something to do with the one surrounding Moon-Young’s parents. I am looking forward to learn more over the upcoming episodes, but for now this drama is a strong contender to become one of the top K-Dramas of the year.