The Good Bad Mother – K-drama Episode 7 Recap & Review

[trigger warning – suicide attempt]

Giving Up

Episode 7 of The Good Bad Mother begins with the locals feeling sad about Young-soon. However, their attention falls on Song’s men who helped her. The two men are forced to buy Sung-ae’s farm to keep their cover but Sam-sik is suspicious as they have no clue about farming.

Meanwhile, a sick Young-soon who has started puking blood and is told that surgery won’t guarantee her chances, starts writing down instructions for Kang-ho when she dies. Kang-ho is confused by her change in behaviour and complains to the twins.

After a couple of bullies try to take Kang-ho’s money and phone, Young-soon chases them away. She then energetically decides to teach Kang-ho everything such as how to handle bullies, manage his money and care for the farm. Hijinks ensue as she teaches him to swear at fraudsters while he plays baseball with a stick at their potato farm. 

As for his peers, the owner of the gambling den finds Sam-sik and threatens his life unless he brings him 100 million won. Mi-joo, on the other hand, gets ready to open her nail salon in the pesticide shop. As the two friends catch up on call thinking that the other is doing well, they spot each other in Jouri and are surprised. They meet in person and joke that they are not in any position to judge the other. Sam-sik jokes that at least they are not worse than Kang-ho who has become an ‘idiot’ and Mi-joo snaps at him.

Sam-sik wonders if she is still in love with Kang-ho and she awkwardly deflects the question. Back home, she sees her twin boy, Seo-jin crying because he is embarrassed of going to the women’s public bath house with Geum-ja and his sister Ye-jin. Mi-joo tries to comfort him but he says he wants to go to the men’s public bath with his father and she looks sad.

The next day, Song’s men have made no headway with their real mission and are pressed for time as they need to find something before Tae-soo’s election. Before they can search Kang-ho’s place again, Sam-sik shows up and confronts them. He ends up luring one of the men with the promise of alcohol and the other man is forced to follow them after he sees Young-soon. 

Meanwhile, she and Kang-ho are on the way to their farm when they see hoards of signs demanding the closure of the pig farm. She angrily takes them down and when she reaches the farm, Hoon-ha is waiting for her. As they face off, he triggers her by asking if she wants to die. She starts shaking him and Andrea has to stop her. She declares that her husband lost his life for the farm and she’ll never shut it down but pass it down her family.

Unfortunately, that is not the case, as their neighbours’ goat farm nearby contracts the foot and mouth disease. The locals are sad as they realise that even Young-soon’s uninfected pigs will be slaughtered as part of quarantine rules. Young-soon is brokenhearted while Andrea comforts Kang-ho who cannot bear to hear the crying of the pigs. The locals cry as well while Geum-ja stares daggers at Hoon-ha who runs away.

As for Sam-sik, he comes up with a plan and begs his boss to give him a month as he can come up with 200 million won. As he tries to get Song’s men to pay for his services in helping them with the farm, they learn about the pig farm. The two men realise it’s the perfect time and that night, search Kang-ho’s home.

They find a wig and CCTV footage of him exposing Woobyeok’s misdeeds. However Song isn’t unperturbed as he points out that Kang-ho himself resolved those issues and it shows ambition as he made opportunities for himself. He tells them to focus on Tae-soo and it cuts to him arranging a new marriage for an annoyed Ha-young. Turns out the man she was clubbing with is the son of another top chaebol group, Dosang Group. 

In Jouri, Mi-joo’s nail salon starts off well. As the customers gossip about the pig farm, the owner reveals Young-soon bought herbicide. A worried Mi-joo suspects the worst and goes searching for them.

Meanwhile, Young-soon takes Kang-ho to his father’s grave. He thinks it is a picnic and then says it’s not as there is no gimbap. She then reveals that her family and her husband died when she made gimbap for them. This is why she would never let Kang-ho go on a school picnic as she was afraid. She apologises for being a bad mother and tries to open a pesticide bottle. She fails and Kang-ho offers to open it for her. He says after drinking it’s they can start afresh with Lion and a new pig farm and she looks troubled.

As for Mi-joo, she is knocking on their door and Sam-sik spots her. He wonders what’s up and at that moment they spot Kang-ho and Young-soon returning. Mi-joo sees the bag of pesticides in her hand and takes it claiming it is for her farm. She then declares that Sam-sik and Kang-ho will take Seo-jin to the public men’s bath. Sam-sik is further confused but realised Seo-jin must have asked for his father. 

As for Young-soon, she gives away the gifts Ha-young and Kang-ho had brought to Geum-ja and Sung-ae. She then makes her will and asks her lawyer to take care of Kang-ho if he never regains his memory.

At the bathhouse, the boys have fun. Kang-ho tries to blowdry Seo-jin’s hair and Sam-sik says it’s his job, taking it from him. Kang-ho doesn’t mind as he watches the TV. It shows Tae-soo’s campaign and he verbally remembers the last time the candidate had met and insulted him. Sam-sik thinks that Kang-ho is insulting Tae-soo and finds it odd.

While leaving, Young-soon thanks Sam-sik for taking care of the younger boys and he is friendly as he even helps Kang-ho into the truck. A smiling Kang-ho waves everyone goodbye, declaring that they should go together often. At home, Seo-jin comments that it was Kang-ho who bathed him and took care of him and Mi-joo is surprised. He says Kang-ho felt like his dad and Yeo-jin is furious. Mi-joo is surprised at her anger and the child claims that her father is rich and nice unlike Kang-ho who is a fool. 

As for Kang-ho, Young-soon doesn’t take him home but to a rehab centre. She says he is to stay there and tries to promise that she will return when he is better but she fails. He asks if she is going somewhere nice and begs her not to as he will be a good son. She leaves while crying and at home she places everything neatly. She finally hangs herself while Lion watches. 

Meanwhile, Kang-ho runs away from the rehab centre, trying to navigate the way home on his phone. He is almost run over by cars and his finger is bleeding from wheeling but he doesn’t stop. It starts raining and he passes by Mi-joo who is surprised. He finally reaches home and sees Young-soon hanging. He stops under her feet and holds her. It is not enough and he slowly starts standing up. As he stands on his own, he picks her up and Young-soon breathes again as the noose around her neck loosens.

The Episode Review

The Good Bad Mother has tried to warn viewers several times that while it is a healing drama, it also has a lot of angst and melodrama. But nothing could have prepared us for episode 7. From the beginning, there are hints that Young-soon is barely hanging on. Her last straw is the slaughter of her pigs. Even then, the incidents leading up to her decision make us hope that she is not about to do what we think she will.

She is not one to spit in the face of her son’s optimism when he declares they will restart the farm or when he wishes they can all always go to the bathhouse. Even Mi-joo gives her a chance to change her mind. So, it is disheartening to see someone who didn’t give up on her son, give up on herself despite the universe sending her multiple signs to live on.

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