Back for another emotional chapter, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay returns with more intense moments as we slowly find out more about our two main characters. Both carry some deep emotional wounds in them which have affected their lives growing up. They seem to have some things in common but there is also quite the interesting contrast on how they dealt with their dark pasts.
Episode 4 of It’s Okay To Not Be Okay starts in the aftermath of Min-Seok’s outburst during his father’s election campaign event. One of the staff warns Moon-Young about the consequences of her actions but Kang-Hae comes to her rescue. As the assembly man gets taken to hospital, Min-Seok’s mother slaps him and blames him for everything. This makes him understands that she does really love him after her reaction.
In a flashback, we see Kang-Bae getting reprimanded by his mother when he let his brother walk home alone.
Kang-Tae then decides to get in the car with Moon-Young which doesn’t please Ju-Ri. In the car, they talk about flowers; Moon-Young mentions that she doesn’t like flowers as they lose their petals one by one. Kang-Tae replies that he doesn’t like them either as it represents the beginning of spring, meaning it is usually time for him to leave.
Meanwhile in the publishing office, Mr Lee finds out from Seung-Jae that the injunction against the book Zombie Boy has been approved. This prompts him to leave and find Moon-Young. On his way, he calls Kang-Hae to warn him against Moon-Young. He also reveals that her book sale has been stopped and she needs to start writing a new one.
While sharing some ramen, Kang-Tae tells Moon-Young that her book has been banned and asks her if it is because of what she did for her brother. She tells him it’s because people think the illustrations are too grotesque and that they are not able to see the message behind it. However, she tells him that he should read it.
As they start driving again, Kang-Tae asks her why she never takes her father for a walk. It turns out he has dementia and his body is like an empty shell so she doesn’t want to waste her time. After telling him that she did some background checks on his parents, Kang-Tae tells her to stop the car. As he walks away, he tells her he should have known better because she is not like others. Annoyed that he is not staying with her, Moon-Young repeatedly shouts “I love you” to him but he ignores her and carries on walking.
In the hospital, the staff meets to discuss the incident with Min-Seok. The nurses think they should fire Moon-Young but the director decides to see what the patient’s condition is before making a decision.
In the evening, Kang-Tae picks up his brother from school while Moon-Young arrives at her mansion and finds Mr Lee waiting for her in his car. He comes inside with her and asks to come back to Seoul with him and start writing a new book. He doesn’t think she should stay in this house though and soon leaves. Later on, Moon-Young brushes her hair and remembers her mother holding the brush and creepily telling her how special she is. We then see her standing behind a locked room where a bloody corpse lies on the floor.
The next day, assembly man Kwon arrives in the hospital and angrily asks for Moon-Young and Kang-Tae to apologize to him. The latter arrives and gets reprimanded by Kwon. Kang-Tae tries to defend himself and the director tells him that the incident has actually improved his son’s condition. Kwon calls his son useless and declares that if he has to, he will keep moving his son to different hospitals so he stays locked up. His words angers Kang-Tae who tells him that children shouldn’t be useful for their parents. Kwon then slaps him after Kang-Tae tells him that he shouldn’t have had him.
Later on, the director shows Byeol the footage of Kwon slapping Kang-Tae. He tells her he is thinking to use it to blackmail him and make him donate money to the hospital. At the same time, Moon-Young arrives in the hospital and comes face to face with Sang-Tae who is star-struck when he sees the woman. The two take selfies together when Ju-Ri sees them in the reception. Moon-Young tells her she is here to walk her father as she heard someone got angry when they found out that she hadn’t kept her promise.
After work, Kang-Tae finds his brother and Moon-Young talking outside. He doesn’t seem too happy though and takes her aside, which upsets Sang-tae. She sees that he has been slapped in the face and insists to know who did it. Instead, he tells her she is actually empty inside. Before leaving, he claims that she should stop acting like she understands him as she never will.
Ju-Ri later brings Dae-Hwan to Moon-Young who asks him if he has really forgotten everything. He looks at her and asks why she is still alive and as he tells her to die, he jumps out of his chair and strangles her, calling her a monster. Moon-Young stays on the floor though and starts to laugh while a tear runs down her face.
Kang-Tae is unable to take Sang-Tae home as he is still upset so Ju-Ri’s mother promises to take him back later. On the bus back, he sees Moon-Young walking alone by the side of the road. She remembers her conversation with Kang-Tae and thinks that he will also never be able to understand her.
At home Kang-Tae reads the Zombie Boy book, which tells the story of a mother who gave birth to a zombie boy. She locked him up to hide him and fed him animals and eventually her own limbs in secret. Finally when all that remained was her torso, he held on to her and told her how warm she was. This reminded Kang-Tae of how he used to feel neglected by his mother and how he needed her affection while growing up.
Jae-Su returns home to find Kang-Tae sitting on the floor looking upset and deep in thought. He asks how he is after what happened then mentions Moon-Young being strangled by her father. This prompts him to run out and borrow Jae-Su’s motorcycle to go and look for her. Eventually he finds her walking in the rain barefoot. She smiles when she sees him, prompting him to put his jacket around her shoulders. As she falls into his arms, the episode closes.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay delivers another intriguing episode with some deep themes surrounding mental health issues. The drama is doing a good job so far at showing how childhood trauma can affect people and what they become later on. Kang-Tae has clearly been bottling up his past deep inside him while sacrificing his life for his brother. Meanwhile, Moon-Young has lacked love growing up and is unable to show her emotions towards others.
The drama has been quite the interesting one so far and I am looking forward to see the characters develop throughout the next episodes. For now though, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’s dark and meaningful premise makes this new drama well worth checking out.