Episode 5 Review: Heard It Through the Grapevine (2015)
That’s why i love South Korean dramas, a preview can be everything and a preview can be nothing. It may give you some basic points, but it doesn’t mean that much necessarily. A preview is nothing more but sparse moments of the forthcoming episode(s) and it could never be perceived as palpable proof of what is about to happen . However, it possesses the power of intriguing, henceforth it enforces upon yourself a deeper sense of longing and feeds your mind with hints of what could happen, but not about what will eventually happen. And Heard It Through the Grapevine’s preview concerning the 5th episode served it purpose well. It instantly fed the hunger for more after the end of the 4th episode, it intrigued and it eventually kept the audience’s longing at high peaks for a week’s time, revealing seemingly a lot, but just a few in the end as the episode itself started unveiling its very soul and essence before the eyes of the audience. And the 5th episode appeared as a reward by keeping its ratings above 8%, 8.3% to be more precise. Hopefully enough the 6th will have an even greater impact in the vicious world of ratings!
I was fooled, i thought it would be darker whereas in fact, it was overly pleasant, highly humorous and utterly representative of the sudden turn of events without losing its darkening aesthetic whenever the scene asked for it. The 5th episode is all about realization and acceptance, but also moving forward in a masterstroke manner so as to keep shut all the mouths waiting in the corner to start talking. Realization, because it was too sudden for everyone, even for those craving for it. Acceptance, because some have already accepted it wholeheartedly as they were longing for it in the first place, but some others consider it still their worst nightmare, but they have to accept it, progress through it and set the trails of the forthcoming events. As for moving forward, a new reality dawns as the sun of the great secret has already set and it’s a reality that affects everyone partaking in Heard It Through the Grapevine as the world starts turning in a different tempo and the drama itself keeps up its fast pace. The 5th one was one of these episodes that felt plenteous of closeups and facial expression that did justice to every single feeling lurking in the air. All actors and actresses were highly representative of the episode’s vibes and the director caught on camera perfectly well everyone’s great mood swings through the overall ambiance. It’s an episode that divides itself in many characteristic and memorable lasting scenes, depicting the interacting characters’ emotional charge through the variety of feelings that overrun them.
In Sang stands by Seo Bom and Jin Young’s side, so much affection and chemistry in a single scene! He’s so absorbed by the baby’s existence, but he’s so into Seo Bom’s adorable presence at the same time, one could say he’s divided his heart equally by offering one piece respectively to each one of them whereas at the same time both of them hold his own heart as a whole. They still can’t believe they’re husband, wife and child, all together as a family and the cinematography enriches the warmth of the moment. Seo Bom’s thankful towards In Sang for the courage he has shown so far and applauds his inner strength despite the circumstances. They are one beautiful family and the house personnel agrees!
However, inside madame Choi’s chamber and attorney Han’s office the walls reflect their woeful cries! The tissue industry is happy, as for the almighty couple, i can’t really say the same! By their side stand secretary Lee and secretary Yang respectively trying to either present an acceptable plan or encourage them in their darkest hour! I never thought sobbing would sound so amusing without becoming disturbing! Attorney Han’s voice sounds heroic even through his glorious lamentations! I cried so many tears of laughter i nearly choked in front of the screen!
At the same time, at Bom Bom’s house you can say that everyone is kind of satisfied with the overall outcome, but not totally pleased, it’s too early to celebrate! The climate breathes somewhere between distress and relief countering one another right in the middle, but the mother remains the sane voice of logic and doesn’t totally blame In Sang’s parents and their silent withdrawal after the marriage without apologizing for their attitude, but also Bom Bom’s father and uncle who didn’t miss their chance to do their own calculations when the memorandum appeared before their very eyes! She can measure the circumstances pretty well and do justice to everyone’s words/actions whether they are part of the family or not. Leaving Jin Young at the enemy’s field was one of the father’s phrases, i highly enjoy the fact that both fathers, attorney Han and Hyeong Shik ahjussi use militaristic terms to refer to the overall situation from time to time, it’s indeed a battlefield, a civilized one!
And the shaman passes through the majestic household’s doors once again with another talisman that will find its place in hiding inside Seo Bom, In Sang and Jin Young’s room. As for the baby’s name, madame Choi doesn’t like. However, the shaman has a different opinion, she considers it a name shining with positivity for the infant as Jin stands for truthful and Young for longevity and Jin Young it will be for the first 100 days and afterwards just the last character. The shaman’s words ease madame Choi’s burden when it comes to the name of the baby and even though she can’t utterly accept it, she can’t help it but second the shaman’s thoughts. Madame Choi is traditional and superstitious to the core, going against the shaman’s enlightened proposals would inflict (even more) negativity in their household. So if Jin Young feels good then Jin Young it is! And the next generation of In Sang will use Young of longevity in the name. The distress in In Sang’s parents hasn’t ceased existing, after the first shock of the marriage the next one appears. They have to find a proper way to announce the events in pretty much everyone without leaving free space for scandals to breathe. Supporting their innocent love… is the most proper mask they can wear at the very moment, everything else would prove their weaknesses and it would have the opposite outcome. Waiting for the first 100 days to pass would be too long, acting right away is the only way out to silence everyone’s mouth for the time being by presenting Jin Young and celebrating his arrival to this world. Amidst tears, moments of weakness and heroic sobbing accompanied by the renowned quirky music they finally reach a conclusion on the lists of… thousands of people! Secretary Lee and secretary Yang will take care of every individual’s presents according to his/her rank in society’s pyramid! Yi Ji’s the last bulwark of hope in madame Choi’s world and wants her to do things “right”, according to the family’s plan, unlike In Sang!
Shortly after, in attorney Han’s study another round of heroic sobbing lamentations take place in front of his parents’ photograph! He’s so apologetic for his son’s attitude that wasn’t representative of his grandparents’ vast legacy! Once madame Choi enters the room, he tries to hide his tears! It’s about time they see the baby! They have to get themselves together and put on the mask of strength, the one devoid of pain and tears! Such a great performance from both of them!
Yi Ji’s the only member of the family who’s equally happy as In Sang and Bom Bom! She even creates some atmosphere with flowers and aromatic candles inside Bom Bom’s room as a fair equivalent of a honeymoon celebration, something that’s not fated to take place, at least for the time being! Soon the playful ambiance inside the room reaches an end once Yi Ji and the housemaid leave and In Sang gives his phone, the one he managed to get back from secretary Kim, to Bom Bom to contact her parents! In Sang leaves the room himself in order to let Bom Bom alone with her parents, even if it’s a phone call, it’s still a moment for her and her alone after all she’s been through. Before leaving he stands by the door and notices Bom Bom’s praising words towards his attitude and leaves the room full of happiness!
The discussion between Jin Ae ahjumma and Bom Bom moves in the sphere of mother-daughter caring to soon become utterly heartfelt. They recall the moments when Bom Bom’s mother broke into the almighty household for her daughter’s sake and she breaks into tears as she’s apologetic for her behavior back then, but also thankful fom Seo Bom being her daughter. It’s the father’s turn to unveil his thoughts on the phone, he’s really trying to cheer up his daughter, but i can’t say he necessarily succeeds, he’s more of the informal type of person, quite simplistic and emotion doesn’t interfere that much with his words, especially when it comes to his daughter’s pregnancy. He’s kind of stuck in the “what if” factor and the fact that Seo Bom would have gone to the university under any other circumstances. And that’s when the mother always pops up to do justice to her daughter and prevent the father from moving on forward with such thoughts.
His & her majesty, attorney Han and madame Choi, finally march towards Jin Young’s room! I’m not quite sure whether they avoided In Sang because he’s in their ignore list for the time being or because they didn’t want to reveal their intentions on visiting the baby, but i believe it’s the second option! What a scene! Madame Choi doesn’t actually know how to hold a baby even though she’s a mother of two children and receives the nanny’s instructions in order to do it properly! Her stare is frightened as if she was doing this for the first time! And it probably is judging from the fact that she and her husband never slept with their children when they were babies! There’s always a first time for everything! And once she holds in her hands Jin Young, it actually feels nice whereas attorney Han’s stare can only be compared to an owl’s wide open eyes! She’s finally accepted the fact that the name is Jin Young and Madame Choi doesn’t want to give him to attorney Han because she thinks it will be harmful for the baby’s health if his head tilts! Belated maternal instincts, madame Choi? Young master Jin Young, the aegyo master, changes location and finds himself in attorney Han’s arms and belated paternal instincts arise anew! It actually feels much better than the trouble they thought it would be, they even consider hiring a successful photographer to record all these beautiful moments with their grandson and depict family moments in pictures! It’s never too late to feel human, i guess! Suddenly, it feels so strange that he’s a grandfather despite being so young and it actually feels good in the end! Did you consider the young master the most lethal weapon? Here it is, baby poop! Chemical warfare for your nose only, attorney Han and madame Choi! Enjoy!
Shortly after, the renowned by now monkey self-head-patting takes place in attorney Han’s study! Good things in life don’t last forever and we’re back at the discipline and education duality of excessive accomplishment. A common working class family’s daughter is an anarchist according to their point of view, a hippie that corrupted their precious son’s world! And here come his views on May of ’68 and thus In Sang must follow his studying program, as for Bom Bom, madame Choi will turn her into a proper young lady in combination with the education she’ll receive! Attorney Han seems to be very fond of Chinese war tactician Sun Tzu: “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected”. At this point, we’re at the bold part, by accepting the marriage, they pretended to be weak, as for now, In Sang and Seo Bom are at ease, it’s about time they get no rest, the cogwheels of the new plan have already started turning!
In the meantime, Seo Bom’s emotional charge overruns every cell of her whole entity and she breaks into tears by In Sang’s side who entangles her in his arms full of love and affection, reminding her that he’ll always be by her side when things go dark. An expedition is about to begin, back at the place where everything began. If they can’t go on a honeymoon for the time being, they can at least recall the night they reached mutual completion as a small tribute to the feelings they have for each other. Seo Bom’s dorm has been occupied by a foreign student by now, but he’s kind enough to let them in on their own! In Sang’s thoughts that they made this room a historical place proves how great his love is and how proud he is of their special relationship and of the fact that they are a family of three at the present. Step by step they recall and revive the moments they shared at that room, climaxing the emotional charge with another powerful hug. Seo Bom bursts into tears of joy and relief, In Sang’s thankful and sorry at the same time, in the end nothing else matters, loving her (and their baby) is the utmost level of his existence.
And… the invitations arrive! Everyone’s faces are filled with surprise, they simply can’t believe in the lines they’re reading through, the truth is beyond the sphere of logic when it comes to attorney Han and madame Choi’s family! I laughed so hard at attorney Han’s spoken word part while going through everyone’s reactions, such a steady and heroic voice uttering words he would never believe in! Attorney Yoo finally realizes that attorney Han managed to steal the nanny she wanted, although later on manages to make up for his mistake and finds a proper nanny for her baby! The gossip scenes between secretaries Min & Yang in Japanese are hilarious!
Messages start arriving at madame Choi and attorney Han’s phones, messages that don’t please them, their secretaries will have to deal with that matter! Attorney Han’s phone-slide was highly representative of his distress! It’s not only messages that arrive though, the presents started making their bombastic appearance in the almighty household too! The new turn of events has encouraged the housemaid and she shows anew her pure feelings towards In Sang and Seo Bom and delivers them a present meant for them and them alone, a package from Seo Bom’s family! Dried sweet potatoes, couple jumpers and a letter from Noo Ri through which she unfolds her thoughts! So much excitement on both sides! She sure loves her sister and she’s glad she got married to In Sang who’s more than happy to witness such positive thoughts! Once again Seo Bom’s fragile self bursts into tears, she’s so overwhelmed by the moment she scolds In Sang for ruining the mood with his playful reactions throughout the letter! Bom Bom’s so overly emotional she definitely dives into every moment that lets emotions breathe and In Sang’s always by her side!
Attorney Han wields his imperial cane whereas at the same time a grandiose mission begins! The playful ambiance in Seo Bom’s room reaches an end as madame Choi and the house personnel arrive. The way she’ll be referring to the house personnel will be different from now on, Mrs for the housemaid, Butler Park for the manservant and secretary Lee for the right hand of madame Choi, as for Seo Bom herself, from now on she’ll be the young lady, the young master’s mother! This brand new world is hard to be cherished by Seo Bom, but she has to try to embrace it to say the least, for the time being. Learning the family’s customs is essential, preparing herself for the college entrance exams is a must too, she has to walk upon a long road until she becomes a fully accepted member of the family and this is only the beginning!
In the meantime, In Sang’s having a discussion with his father. It’s either X or O to In Sang’s proposals! Most of what he proposes receives a definitive X, O isn’t extinct though! Getting along with Seo Bom’s family is an X for the time being due to different cultures and classes, Seo Bom going to college is an O and it’s relieving, leaving behind the exam part is a definite X, keeping the same teacher though is relieving! Both Seo Bom and In Sang have to adjust to a new reality from now on, In Sang to his own duties and Seo Bom to the personal ladder she has to climb in order to become the young lady In Sang’s parents want her to become. In Sang’s more prepared than her, as for Seo Bom, she feels as if she just entered a bizarre cosplay world of absurd parameters. In Sang praises his personal tutor, he’s the one that gave him the spiritual courage to move forward with the marriage license plan and he’s thankful for that.
A new studying room has been prepared in the almighty household for In Sang, it’s a way to be under proper surveillance by his family, but also a way to be able to see Seo Bom and the baby, not that much since his schedule will be really tight, but it’s something, definitely better than nothing! The new house arrest era begins!
Seo Bom’s uncle and father are absorbed by attorney Han’s statements on the news and even they might not totally agree, well, they are some strange kind of family altogether now! As for secretary Yang, she’s pretty much aware that people have started talking about attorney Han’s in-laws and the difficult situation they’re in and pressures him gently to do something in order to help them. However, being part of the working class and activists too isn’t quite helpful, he’ll keep an eye on them and if they are user-friendly to the way he looks at the world he’ll make his helpful move.
Madame Choi’s friends have arrived and they want to meet Seo Bom! Secretary Lee prepares her to leave a good first impression while they’re on their way and… she succeeds! She passes the test too, the one Ji Yeong Ra put her through by testing Seo Bom’s English skills since the rumor has it she met In Sang at an English debate competition! Wow, proper English, i’m overwhelmed as much as madame Choi is while Seo Bom praises her beauty! However, she can’t really hide how uncomfortable she feels, something that doesn’t change by the time In Sang appears during his studying break! Well, he does show part of his mature self, but too much information is too much information! The good part is he takes Seo Bom away from this awkward meeting! In the meantime, the tutor’s eating his lunch at butler Park’s humble office, they have some strange, quirky and comfortable at the same time relationship from the very first time they met and it feels like the real jeet kune do master is butler Park and not the photographic memory teacher!
They call it bromance!
A beautiful interaction between our main couple takes places. I love it how they crave for each other’s presence and embrace, Lee Joon and Ah Sung’s chemistry is immense! Eventually they fall asleep, but good things don’t last forever in the almighty household! In Sang’s break is over and madame Choi can’t stand this lovely sight of Seo Bom and In Sang sleeping together! It’s the calm before the storm and once they leave the room, by the stairs, she erupts like a volcano! Slapping and punching In Sang and pulling his cheeks until his smile looks like Joker’s must be something she wanted to do for a long time now, but as In Sang is Seo Bom’s guardian angel, Seo Bom is In Sang’s guardian angel too and her sudden presence puts an end to In Sang’s martyrdom! Madame Choi has to wear the civilized mask in front of her and the music concurs!
The 5th episode was rather insightful, especially when it comes to In Sang’s parents. We had the chance to witness a different and more affectionate face when they were forced to put down their high society mask and cherish their short yet meaningful time with little Jin Young. There’s still a human side breathing deep inside of them and wealth and power haven’t corroded pretty much everything. Of course, they’re still craving for more and they are not saints, but it’s good to know that deep inside a tiny human still dances and causes riots of sincere happiness, far away from plastic smiles and fake masks that preserve their status. Off to the 6th episode i go, to drown gently in Heard It Through the Grapevine’s sparkling and sullen ongoing ambiance!