The Atypical Family – K-drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

Episode 4 of The Atypical Family picks up with Gwi-ju accidently embracing Da-hae in order to save her from a bike. Da-hae eventually takes the flowers from Gwi-ju as he disappears into thin air, yet again. Gwi-ju lands near the entrance of the Bok family in present time, and tells his father that he was able to save someone in the past.

Soon-gu, his father, takes him to the library, inside a secret room where records of their ancestors and their superpowers are securely kept. They learn that some of their ancestors were able to enhance and evolve their superpowers when the right person came into their lives as a catalyst. Soon-gu wonders if Da-hae is a catalyst for Gwi-ju.

Now, Gwi-ju enters the house to find Da-hae running about in pure terror after her encounter with a reflection-less, drenched Gwi-ju from the apparent future. She meets the Gwi-ju from the present, tells him about how he was upstairs just seconds ago and faints with the Bok family surrounding her. Don-hee confesses that Da-hae might have seen her floating in the air and also puts forth her suspicions about Da-hae’s presence in the Bok family vault.

Later, she reasons that Da-hye is asleep and tells Man-heun that Da-hye might be putting sleeping pills in her tea. Naturally, Man-heum brushes off this conjecture.

Later, Man-heum has a vision where Da-hae is carried out of a sauna and taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She relays her fears to her husband. The next day, Da-hye wakes up and makes breakfast for the family while being terrified of their presence. This is when Man-heum relays her pre-cognitive dream to Da-hae and warns her to stay away from saunas for the time being. Listening to the correct description of the sauna that she lives in, Da-hae is clearly flustered and quietly sneaks away to visit the sauna with Gwi-ju secretly following her.

She confronts the sauna owner, Baek Il-Hong, whom she calls “mom”, and tries to persuade her to change their target to some other family. However, Il-Hong has set her eyes on the Bok family and reminds Da-hae that she still owes her. It’s revealed that Il-hong and the others are not Da-hae’s biological relatives. Da-hae first met Il-hong at her father’s funeral. She’s actually a loan shark who had lent money to her father, and with his death, it passed on to Da-hae.

Meanwhile, Gwi-ju arrives in the sauna looking for Da-hae but is stopped by Noh Hyung-tae. Hyung-tae buys time and makes Gwi-ju change his clothes and warns him about sweat as he tries to contact Da-hae and Il-hong in vain. Gwi-ju finally finds Da-hae and Il-hong and overhears Da-hae addressing Il-hong as “mom”. Just then Il-hong signals Hyung-tae, who turns on the fire alarm leading to Da-hae having a traumatic response.

Gwi-ju tries to get Da-hae out but he slips on the floor due to sweet and pushes Da-hae as well, leading to her being unconscious. She’s taken to the hospital where Il-hong tells Gwi-ju that she’s not Da-hae’s biological mother. She also plays the pity card and tells him about how Da-hae survived a fatal fire at school, the cause of her trauma. In reality, when Da-hae wasn’t able to pay for her hospital expenses, Il-hong took her in and since then, has Da-hae work for her so that she can pay back her debt.

Eventually, Gwi-ju warms up to Da-hae’s situation and takes her back home. He also tells her about his family’s powers and explains how Da-hae’s past is his future. He further explains how she’s the only one who can see and touch him.

Back at the house, Man-heum confronts Gwi-ju about telling Da-hae the truth. We see a flashback where Gwi-ju is struggling to cope with Se-yeon’s death especially because he’s unable to change the past. It’s revealed that Se-yeon was expecting another child which Man-heum believes to be somebody else’s. She tells Gwi-ju that Se-yeon was cheating on him.

They discuss about whether their powers should be used for the welfare of others but Man-heum is against it since she knows many of their ancestors have suffered while trying to play a hero. It’s also revealed that Man-heum hasn’t been able to have a dream about their financial situation for 7 years which is why the Bok family is struggling.

Meanwhile, Da-hae locks her room and tries to strategize her next steps since Il-hong has made it clear that she wants the marriage registration of Da-hae and Gwi-ju.  While she’s locked in, the rest of the Bok family thinks that she’s dealing with the sudden revelation about the family’s powers.

I-na is admitted into the dance club. Ko Hye-rim, her classmate who wanted I-na to join the club, notices that her crush, Joon-woo, is interested in i-na. Later, she meets I-na separately and manipulates her. I-na accidently reads Hye-rim’s mind where she says that if I-na wants to be friends with Hye-rim, she better not like Joon-woo. Since, I-na colossally lacks friends, she blurts that she thinks Joon-woo is a jerk. Unfortunately for her, Joon-woo overhears this conversation and leaves them alone.

Meanwhile at the gym, Grace explains Dong-hee about how her fiancé kissed her first and asks why Dong-hee did not do anything. Dong-hee tells her that she hates when women become each other’s enemies and takes responsibility for not taking care of herself better. Grace is impressed by her replies and it seems like she has begun respecting Dong-hee.

Elsewhere, Da-hae is cooking something up with the marriage certificate. Gwi-ju reflects on the happenings of the day and feels that he now has a purpose – he can save Da-hae. He travels back in time to the sauna and follows D-hae into…the lady’s changing room and well, sees things he shouldn’t have. Coming back to the present, he stands underneath the shower to focus better, transports and lands up right when Da-hae saw Dong-hee flying. As Da-hae slips, a drenched Gwi-ju holds her as Da-hae sees him with no reflection, screams and leaves.

Back in the present, as Gwi-ju dries his hair, Da-hae enters with a signed marriage registration and claims that Gwi-ju from the future gifted it to her. She further claims that the person who saved her from the fire in the past was also Gwi-ju. All these are clearly made-up claims on Da-hae’s part to get Gwi-ju to marry her. Gwi-ju is baffled at the sight of the registration but emphasis that the order is wrong: marriage comes after love. Saying so, he leans in and kisses her.

The Episode Review

Well, episode 4 of The Atypical Family was the best until now! It’s great to see such an interesting plot back on track. Now, that we have more information on Da-hae’s past and her relationship with Il-hong and the others, the plot has suddenly taken a turn for the better. We also have a background on Bok family’s powers and it seems, their powers are inherited from a long chain of historical ancestors.

Even though the origin of their powers is unknown, this little information greatly improves the setting of the show. Character motivations have also become way clearer than in the previous episodes, where we now understand why Man-heum has her suspicions about I-na’s parentage because it’s impossible for her to not have any powers. This suspicion might even be the basis where she thinks that Se-yeon’s second child is illegitimate as well.

The highlight of this episode was hands down, the Gwi-ju’s time travels and how well they are placed in the episode, where all incidents from the past and the future connect in harmony. There are some unclear details though, for instance, how was he able to take the flowers from the present and give them to Da-hae in the future? How could nobody see the flowers until Da-hae held them?

We have no clear answers and so, we can only suspend our belief regarding these little details since the show itself is quite entertaining at the moment. It is possible that we’d soon get an answer in the following episodes.

Dong-hee’s character had a shining moment in this episode where her otherwise stereotypical character was portrayed in a good light. It might not be ideal but this is definitely a great beginning to her character development.

Lastly, the last scene was a stroke of genius with Da-hae manipulating Gwi-ju’s situation to advance her plans. It is clearly in line with Man-heum’s comment that when others find out about Bok family’s powers, they either run away or take advantage of their powers. Since, Da-hae hasn’t run away, she’s definitely chosen the second path to follow.

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