Ok-Dong and Dong-Seok 2
Episode 19 of Our Blues starts with us back on the shore with Ok-Dong, Chun-Hui and Dong-Seok together. Having missed the boat, they decide to head out for breakfast. Dong-Seok leads the way.
Back on Jeju Island, Jeong-Jun gets ready to go and meet Yeong-Ok, who happens to be right outside his bus waiting. She’s incredibly nervous about meeting his parents and can’t even muster a smile.
Jeong-Jun does his best to quell any nerves, pointing out that his parents know everything about her family and will really like her.
Yeong-Ok decides to compromise and take her car after some back and forth over whether to even go. Yeong-Ok decides to work on “three strikes” and if they strike-out, doing anything to make things awkward or hostile it gives her a getaway. They drive up together but when they arrive, Yeong-Ok is concerned that neither of them even bother to smile at her. Unfortunately they’ve picked a bad day, as both parents are in a bad mood.
When they sit at the table as a family, Jeong-Jun’s mother breaks the ice and struggles to hold back tears. She brings up how it must have been difficult for Yeong-Ok all this time. Eventually they start warming to her and Yeong-Ok manages to ease up a little around the dinner table.
Back with Ok-Dong and Dong-Seok for now though. While they’re on the ferry boat, she urges him to join her in Madang-Ri,, which is at the very end of Mokpo. Dong-Seok even helps his mum out with her seatbelt in the car too.
Chun-Hui and Ok-Dong head to the hospital, while Dong-Seok waits outside. Man-Su is on the mend, and the doctors claim it’s a miracle – a miracle wished on 1000 moons of course!
The same cannot be said for Ok-Dong though. She’s still being sick and throwing up blood, although she’s still upright and soldiering on. Chun-Hui urges her to keep it together, at least until after the funeral.
Ok-Dong hands over a big envelope of money to her friend, urging Chun-Hui to give it to Man-Su and Eun-Gi when the time comes.
After leaving her at the hospital, Dong-Seok and Ok-Dong head out together to get things ready for the memorial service. They need to stop by Jong-U’s place. Of course, this is Dong-Seok’s step-father’s house that his son has now adopted. Dong-Seok isn’t exactly happy, especially as there are clear tensions in the family.
It’s actually a really nice segment, with all music cut completely as each of the family (minus Dong-Seok) sits down to pay their respects. Now, Jong-U and Dong-Seok don’t see eye to eye, mostly because the former used to beat him down in the past.
When Dong-Seok antagonizes his “brother”, Jong-U throws noodles across the table at him. A big verbal sparring match breaks out, with Jong-U accusing Dong-Seok of being a thief. When he left the house all those years ago, he took off with jewellery and cash.
Dong-Seok rasps back, pointing out that he and Jong-Cheol used to beat him up so it was just compensation.
When Jong-U claims he pitied him, Dong-Seok snaps and stands up for her son. She points out that it was Jong-U that’s more to blame for his father’s death, given his sudden shock over recklessly losing all that money.
When they eventually leave, with the evening a complete bust, an irate Dong-Seok decides to head back on his own, apologizing and revealing that this is the last time Jong-U and the others will be seeing Dong-Seok, given her terminal diagnosis. Oh, and they’re not welcome at the funeral either.
That night, while alone in a motel, Dong-Seok opens up about his feelings. “Why didn’t you ever apologize to me?” He asks. “Why should I?” Is her reply. This obviously angers Dong-Seok and he head outside to sleep in his truck, slamming the door on the way.
In the morning, Dong-Seok and Ok-Dong head out together, arriving in Madang-Ri just as they promised. This happens to be Ok-Dong’s village she grew up in but when they show up, it’s all gone. It’s been turned into a reservoir and they can’t even walk there.
Lunch is a complete bust too, especially when the server brings the wrong food and is late delivering their food. Dong-Seok snaps, dropping the bowls upside down on the table and storming outside. He eventually drives off with Ok-Dong.
Dong-Seok questions his mum’s attitude, pointing out that she was all smiling and happy at a puppy prior to eating (or, well, almost eating!) and compares that to how cold she’s been her whole life toward him. Ok-Dong is silent and doesn’t reply.
Dong-Seok decides to drive up to Madang-Ri after all, fulfil her wish… and then that’s it. That’s the last thing he’s going to do for her. As they drive in silence together, everything is left precariously hanging in the balance.
The Episode Review
Our Blues returns this week with its penultimate chapter, fleshing out the journey Ok-Dong and Dong-Seok have taken to make it this far. It still remains to be seen if we actually see these two make up before the end, but judging by what we’ve seen there’s so much baggage and ill-will here it’s going to be a mammoth task, despite Dong-Seok caring for his mum regardless, typified by that moment in the alleyway where she’s coughing and he’s trying to comfort her.
One of the better parts of this series though has been how all these different stories have interweaved together. The ending almost doesn’t feel like a set-up for the end of the series though.
Something like Our Blues is almost crying out for a renewal, given its anthological nature. I mean, if Taxi Driver can get a renewal then surely this can too!
We still haven’t got full closure for a lot of the storylines and I’m a bit concerned that this finale may only be around 70 minutes or so, which doesn’t feel like enough time to round everything out and say goodbye to everyone.
However, there’s been a good amount of drama across the prior episodes and the preview for tomorrow’s finale certainly looks enticing. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with that but it should be quite the emotional rollercoaster!