The latest episode of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay brings some deep wounds to the surface for the two brothers. This was quite the gut-wrenching moment but quite necessary. As this drama shows, it’s always important to not keep things inside for many years but to talk about it. Unfortunately for the brothers, it is not easy for them to communicate as they have had a very difficult life so far.
Episode 9 of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay starts with Moon-Young and Kang-Tae leaving for their trip. She suggests going abroad but becomes angry when she finds out he doesn’t have a passport. After also telling her that they can only be gone for a day, Moon-Young becomes even more irritated and starts speeding. After she stops, Kang-Tae tells her that she needs to count to three before acting impulsively. Moon-Young throws him out and drives off.
In the hospital, the director has lunch with Sang-Tae and Ju-Ri’s mother. The director jokes that he used to have a crush on Soon-Duk before getting interrupted by Sun Byeol. The family of A-Reum is here to get her discharged after what happened with her ex-husband. The director wants her to stay but is unable to keep her so he lets her go. When Jeong-Tae finds out, he breaks down in tears but his friends do their best to console him.
In the evening, Moon-Young and Sang-Tae bond over a TV show. She claims they are best friends just as Kang-Tae returns. There, they talk on the balcony about finally settling on a trip for the next day. Moon-Young claims that he is taming her but actually quite the opposite is happening; he’s doing things around her that he would never normally do. Just as they are about to kiss, a loud grunt from a deer interrupts them and Kang-Tae says goodnight. Later on, both toss and turn as they are unable to stop thinking of their conversation.
The next day, the director takes a walk with Dae-Hwan. When the director mentions Moon-young, Dae-Hwan tells him that she is just like that woman; a monster who killed someone. He then mysteriously claims that she is now dead as he killed her.
Back home, Kang-Tae is surprised to see Moon-Young wearing a fancy outfit for their trip. She tells him that she feels comfortable then starts emptying his bag of all the food he planned to bring. The director then calls him to have lunch. Kang-Tae asks him why some people always wear fancy clothes. He explains that this would be a protection for them, like an armour. They then discuss Moon-Young’s mother whom Kang-Tae wonders is still alive. The director then tells him that he should protect Moon-Young as the woman would definitely come and see her daughter.
After lunch, Moon-Young and Kang-Tae finally leave for their trip. The latter takes her up a mountain and to a suspension bridge. After some initial fear, they eventually cross. While taking pictures of themselves, Kang-Tae receives a call from Jeong-Tae who has run away from the hospital to be with Ah-Reum. He finds them in a guest house but they have no money to pay.
Jeong-Tae blames Kang-Tae for this because Ah-Reum’s family came to get her after he punched her ex-husband. Moon-Young then pays for the room next door and suggests that they stay overnight to keep an eye on them.
In the evening, Kang-Tae calls his brother to let him know he might spend the night away. As he returns to Moon-Young, she can see that he feels guilty and tells him that she is fond of her brother. Kang-Tae reveals that his mother’s biggest wish was for Sang-Tae to have a true friend who truly understands him. In a flashback, we see Ju-Ri being bullied and becoming close friends with Moon-Young. One day, the latter became jealous when Ju-Ri made other friends. Moon-Young then made sure those other friends stayed away from Ju-Ri, which upset her greatly.
After drinking, Moon-Young and Kang-Tae lay next to each other. He reveals that he has fun with her and she makes him smile. They then start to wrestle which ends with Moon-Young in his arms where she asks him to caress her hair so she can fall asleep.
Back home, Sang-Tae wakes up at his desk, upset that his brother hasn’t come home. He tries calling but he doesn’t pick up while Kang-Tae brings Moon-Young flowers and they finally have their first kiss. As they walk back to the guest house, they see Jeong looking sad. We learn that A-Reum wanted to run away but he admitted to her that he wasn’t fully recovered from his addiction to alcohol. They then all drive back to the hospital.
Kang-Tae heads in to see his brother who seems upset that Kang-Tae didn’t pick up the phone. Meanwhile, Cha-Yong overhears Jeong-Tae speak to another patient about his night away with A-Reum. He jokingly suggests that they could be a double wedding in the future with Moon-Young and Kang-Tae. The nurse then tells another doctor in the toilet, which Sang-Tae overhears.
After this revelation, Sang-Tae returns to his painting and when he hears his brother telling another nurse that he didn’t see Jeong-Tae on his trip, he calls him a liar. He then asks repeatedly if he likes him or Moon-Young better. Kang-Tae of course replies that he likes Sang-Tae better but the latter calls him a liar again and soaks him in water.
He starts shouting and repeats what his brother used to say when they were younger; that he wanted him to die. He tells everyone that he pushed him in the ice lake and ran away. This causes Kang-Tae to collapse on the floor in a full meltdown, crying and repeatedly saying that it is not true, while Moon-Young watches the scene with tears running down her face.
The Review Write-Up
Just as Kang-Tae finally started to let his guard down and spend some happy moments with Moon-Young, he is dealt a heavy blow when his brother reveals just how he felt about that fateful day. The incident in the lake has been weighing on them heavily ever since and this is clearly shown in the last scene of the episode. The performance by the two actors was excellent and the highlight of the series so far, which I must admit gave me goosebumps while watching it.
It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here and how the relationship between our three main characters will develop. Will Sang-Tae ever agree to share his brother with Moon-Young? It is certainly a complex situation as each have many issues they need to deal with. In the meantime though, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay remains a very original and entertaining drama to check out.