The Good Bad Mother – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Patient

Episode 3 of The Good Bad Mother begins with a distraught Young-soon visiting a comatose Kang-ho at the hospital. She remembers all the times she never let him eat properly, kept the temperature freezing so he doesn’t fall asleep and threw away the TV when she caught him watching baseball. While the other mothers in the ward give her condolence, she declares that her son is still alive and she will make sure he doesn’t die. 

Director Song is told about the accident and he visits Kang-ho. His team tells him that it is a burner truck that crashed into Kang-ho, hinting that it is no accident. Turns out Tae-soo and Ha-young planned the whole thing. She spikes Kang-ho’s water so he falls asleep; throws her scarf and pretends to get it; and waits outside while the truck crashes into the car.

Ha-young looks regretful for a second but is worried about herself when it is revealed that Kang-ho is still alive. At that moment Song calls Tae-soo and they exchange false niceties. Song finds him suspicious and orders his men to find the hit-and-run driver while screaming everything is ruined. 

The locals too worry and offer to help Young-soon out. However, while eating lunch at Sung-ae’s she complains that Kang-ho is being punished for being an impudent son. They wonder if he turned out like that because Young-soon was too harsh on him in his childhood. Sung-ae’s own husband points out that their son, Sam-sik is worse and they start bickering.

Elsewhere, Mi-joo’s nail salon business is booming. The women gossip about a rapist and murderer stalking the neighbourhood and Mi-joo feels like someone is watching her from outside. After closing the shop, her kids video call her and hope to see her soon in USA. She feels sad but at that moment the kids notice a man behind her. She ends the call and starts running as she remembers the customers’ gossip.

As the man chases her, she stops and starts beating him. He takes off his cap and she is surprised to see it is Sam-sik who has been discharged and working on a fishing vessel. As they catch up, it is revealed that he was used by a gang that made him the scapegoat. He brings up Kang-ho as he feels jealous that she fell for him. He gifts her towels and says the only thing he will steal now is her heart.

At Jou-ri while Sung-ae waits for her son she remembers the time Sam-sik got her a huge ruby ring. She had been proud for a moment before the cops had come for Sam-sik and revealed that the ring is stolen.

While she and her husband wait for him at the prison to no avail, the guards say they remember he was discharged a week ago as he stole towels on the way out. Sung-ae says he had asked for 5 million won for a discharge deposit and the husband is frustrated as he tells her that there is no such thing as a discharge deposit. 

Months go by and Young-soon takes care of Kan-go till he finally wakes up. But when she goes to him he gets scared. Along with a broken spine and leg that has left him paralysed from the neck down, he has retrograde amnesia which means he only has memories till the age of 7. Young-soon is shocked and hides Kang-ho in her home.

The next day, she is surprised to see Andrea, a Canadian that the locals have hired to help at the pig farm. The women help with her greenhouse while Sung-ae complains about Kang-ho being an ungrateful son as they think he has gone back to work in Seoul. Young-soon pays them well for their help and they feel bad. 

Back at home, Kang-ho looks blankly at the photographs of his graduation ceremonies while Young-soon tries to jog his memory. She then makes a lavish meal but he refuses to eat. The women bring her some food and catch sight of Kang-ho in bed. She cries and the women try to comfort her. They promise to keep it a secret but tell their relatives and warn them not to tell anyone.

Of course, that continues with everyone telling the next person not to spread that Kang-ho is now ‘stupid’ and in the end, the whole village finds out. But Young-soon is not deterred and promises that she will not give up on him She takes care of the farm, takes care of Kang-ho and prays to all the gods. However, every day he refuses to eat and she is at her wit’s end. 

Sung-ae’s husband and the chief bring food for Kang-ho and she is touched. They even bring books and movies that can help with his physical therapy. She tells them not to help as she will want to rely on others and become weak. They feel sad and tell her that she will be strong no matter what.

She goes through Kang-ho’s things and remembers all the happy times they shared. She takes his toys and places them in front of him but he just blacks out after not eating for days. The doctor suggests that due to a sense of loss, such patients may lose the will to live. Young-soon is worried and she tries to force-feed Kang-ho while shouting at him. He finally speaks as he says being full will make him sleepy and then he won’t be able to study.

She regrets it and starts crying as she wonders if this is why he hasn’t been eating all these days. She says he can now eat all he wants and sleep whenever he wants. They tear up as she asks for forgiveness and says she did all that because she thought it was the best for him. He finally eats and she cries and hugs him.

Meanwhile, Song’s men find the hit-and-run driver Yang Gu-man who is dead. They tell Song who realises that Oh Tae-soo must have killed him to cover up the incident. At the Ohs, Tae-soo tells his manager to get rid of everyone linked to Song’s Woobyeok Group. Inside, Ha-young starts screaming as the maid gives her the scarf that she had been wearing on the day of the incident. Tae-soo runs to her and tells her that nothing will happen to her.

The lesser fortunate parent and child duo also seem to be doing well as Young-soon and Kang-ho are finally amicable. He keeps looking at his toy robot and she places it in front of him. She then contacts a rehab centre for his broken leg but they do not have an empty slot. While she is on the call, Kang-ho suddenly moves his hand and pushes the toy.

Young-soon sees it and they are excited. She tries to make him do it again but he isn’t able to. She keeps losing her temper and he starts sweating. As she keeps berating him, he finally snaps and shouts that he is hungry.

In Seoul, Mi-joo tries to reach her friend, Sun-young who is supposedly sick. She makes food for her and goes to the nail salon only for the customers to surround her outside. They tell her to give back their membership money as the nail salon has shut down. She is confused as the new owner shows up. She tries to call Sun-young but her number has been deactivated. She realises that her friend took all their earnings and sold the shop to someone else.

At the pig farm, Andrea and Young-soon see that a piglet has jumped over the fence because it was famished. She hopes this tactic can work on Kang-ho and she leaves food in front of him. She pretends not to hear him ask for help and then takes the food away by claiming he must not be hungry enough to eat on his own. It hurts her to be a bad mother again but she hopes this will give him enough motivation to finally move his hands.

Despite having started his physical therapy and improving his arm movements, Young-soon continues with the tough love tactic. He can finally sit straight and move his fingers with which he grabs rice. He tries to cheat by moving his head to his hands but Young-soon stops him. One day, she hears back from the rehab centre and goes to inform him. She is pleasantly surprised as she finds Kang-ho eating properly on his own.

The Episode Review

Looks like everyone has their own selfish reasons to help while the woman Kang-ho hated is the only one who truly cares for him. Even though on the outside it looks like Director Song is worried for him, it seems obvious that he only wants Kang-ho to recover as he has the trump card to control Oh Tae-soo.

As for the recovery scenes, it can irk some viewers for not being too practical. How can someone go through physical therapy and improve when he doesn’t get any food for days? Did Kang-ho not faint because he refused to eat just at the beginning of the episode of The Good Bad Mother?

But this new dynamic between Kang-ho and Young-soon is definitely fun to see a mischievous side to him while she tries to control her temper which does seep out from time to time. Lee Do-hyun keeps surprising us with his range as he suddenly goes from a cold and ruthless prosecutor to a scared 7-year-old in a heartbeat.

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You can read our full season review for The Good Bad Mother here!


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