We begin episode 2 of Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) with Sa Pi-Young confronting her Mother. She tells her she’s done everything she can to be a good wife and Mother, accusing Seo-Hyang of doing all this because her husband cheated on her.
Seo-Hyang explains away her actions, saying that cheating is unforgivable (which it is) but Pi-young is not happy with her toxicity following this incident. According to her, Seo-Hyang used Pi-young as a weapon and stopped her from seeing her Father.
As Seo-Hyang starts crying, she now understands why Pi-Young holds such a grudge against her. Seo-Hyang drove Pi-Youjng’s Father to try and visit at school. Unfortunately, en-route he ended up in an accident which took his life.
Just before Pi-young leaves, she tells her Mother not to see ltitle Ji-A again. She even points out all of her Mother’s flaws over reasons why her Father may have cheated on her. In fact, Pi-Young goes so far as to try and explain away why he cheated. She even likens Seo-Hyang to an abuser!
Just to interject here, there is absolutely no excuse that can be made for cheating, despite what Pi-young is trying to do here. Like Seo-Hyang said herself, cheating is absolutely unforgivable. Anyway, back to the story.
Pi-Young heads home and tries to connect with her husband. She apologizes to Yoo-Shin for not telling him sooner about her dark past, as Yoo-Shin suggests she at least try and forgive her Mother. Instead, Pi-Young tells him not to allow Ji-A to see her Grandmother.
Pi-Young admits that this is cold and heartless, as Yoo-Shin hugs her and promises to come running and help whenever she needs it.
As we soon see, Yoo-Shin is certainly the romantic and the two wind up drinking wine together. He flirts with his wife and tries to encourage her to get in the bath with him.
Hye-Ryeong walks purposefully into her husband’s workplace with a coffee and sandwiches. As she shows up at the door, she expects the worst and believes that he’s in there with another woman. Well, the truth is he most certainly is not and he’s too wrapped up in work to care about this. Hye-Ryeong does her best to try and convince him otherwise but Sa-Hyun is having none of it.
Meanwhile, Shi-Eun does her best to try and save her marriage, leaning over and kissing her husband in bed. After a passionate night together, Park Hae-Ryun awakens with exactly the same feelings and wants to break the news to the kids about their divorce.
Shi-Eun tries again to find out the real reason and eventually he caves. Apparently it’s linked to the medical patches on her wrists. It’s a reminder of how incompetent of a husband he is and how he’s failed her. All of her hard work and his salary is only enough to pay for their children’s tuition, and he doesn’t want to feel guilty any longer.
He feels ashamed for putting her through this and continuing the marriage under the illusion that everything is okay. This is why he’s so exhausted and fed up. He also hasn’t seen her smile at him for a long time. Unless he wins the lottery he doesn’t think he’s good enough to match up to her expectations.
It’s a pretty damning assessment of their life but certainly doesn’t explain the text messages he was sending last episode. However, it’s enough for Shi-Eun to tell him to draw up the papers as she begrudgingly agrees to sign them.
Yoo-Shin surprises Pi-Young at the supermarket and the two start finding ingredients together. After praising her and kissing her on the cheek, Yoo-Shin says goodbye and claims his friend’s Father has passed away and he’ll be late home.
Speaking of late, Park Hae-Ryun fails to show up at dinner leaving Shi-Eun to break the news to her children that they’re breaking up. It’s a tough conversation, as Shi-Eun is forced to try and explain away his actions and eventually admitting to them outright that they’re getting a divorce.
This is, of course, still quite a taboo topic in Korea and the kids are understandably shaken when they hear this. Back home, she breaks the news to Hae-Ryun in bed. He promises to pack his things and leave that weekend.
Meanwhile, Hye-Ryeong is visited by her Mother, Ye-Jung, who asks about her husband and, more specifically, wants to know what her plans are for having children. This is a throwback to the previous episode too, as the conception dream topic is brought up.
Pi-Young heads back to the studio where her boss comments that the ratings are up thanks to the great choice of staff working there, especially Hye-Ryeong who’s of course the presenter. The trio head out for drinks afterwards, just like before, which sees Choi Min message Hye-Ryeong and flirt with her over text. “You dropped your beauty,” is the pick-up line he chooses. Dear me!
Later that evening, meddling Mother Seo-Hyang arrives to see Ji-A. Pi-Young sits her down and once again talks to her about the parental bond between Fathers and daughters, and how that differs to Mothers and daughters.
Seo-Hyang ignored her Father’s compromise to see her once a week or even once or twice a year. Unfortunately her selfishness caused a rift between them. Well, Seo-Hyang still can’t forgive her Father after all this time, leaving big problems between this Mother and daughter. One can’t help but feel a sense of deja vu from those early moments in the episode.
Meanwhile, Hye-Ryeong heads home and tries to get a reaction from her husband. As they both sit with face-masks on, she talks about the boys from work hitting on her. After badmouthing Shi-Eun and how she looks “worn out”, Sa-Hyun heads outside for a glass of water.
While he’s gone, Hye-Ryeong checks his phone and doesn’t see anything out the ordinary. However, a quick flash to him talking to his Mother about divorce seems to hint otherwise.
Anyway, Hye-Ryeong shows up at the work parking lot and notices Sa-Hyun sitting in the front seat. He has a different phone, stashed in his car, which Hye-Ryeong quickly grabs and tells him to explain.
The Episode Review
So episode 2 of Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) returns to our trio of ladies caught in their own web of toxic relationships. For Hye-Ryeong it seems like she may be a bit controlling and her trying to goad her husband into admitting he’s having an affair seems like a bit of an insecure move. Whether he is or not remains to be seen, as the hidden phone seems to hint that he is cheating. We’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Meanwhile, poor Shi-Eun finds herself caught in a loveless marriage and trying in vain to try and salvage what they once had. 312 years is a long time and people change over time. It’s no surprise that the pair have grown apart but once again secret messages and phone calls seem to hint that Hae-Ryun is cheating on her.
That leaves Pi-Young’s husband too who seems to be devoted to his wife but potentially doing something behind her back. Whether this pertains to cheating remains to be seen but it does seem like a bit of an overplayed trope if all three of these men are cheating on their spouses.
Then again, Love could be trying to depict the differences between age groups and how they deal with divorce. With each episode clocking in at around 75 minutes, that’s an awful lot of time to try and keep things fresh. At times the show feels like it’s manufacturing drama, with two separate fall-outs featuring Pi-Young and her Mother.
So far this makjang has got off to a relatively subdued start but whether it has enough in the locker to compete with some of the heavier hitting Korean dramas arriving next month remains to be seen.