K-Drama Mid Series Check: “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” Continues To Wrench Hearts With Sorrowful Stories While The Ongoing Mystery Intensifies
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay keeps getting better with every episode as it heals away all the pain with its unique storytelling that is realistic but also optimistic at the same time.
Halfway through the series and the main leads of It’s Okay To Not Be Okay are helping each other to change for the better. Moon Gang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) and Go Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) are just too adorable together making viewers root for their happy ending.
Meanwhile, the lingering mystery still persists rousing curiosity of the viewers. Additionally, the intriguing sub-plot and meaningful quotes makes the series even more wholesome.
Episodes 7 & 8 Recap
The Promise of Staying Together
On seeing how badly Go Moon Young was haunted by her nightmare, Moon Gang Tae ends up taking care of her the whole night. Next morning, he takes a day off from work because he was worried about her. After dropping Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se) to Jo Jae Soo’s (Kang Gi Doong) pizza place, he also gets the medicine for Moon Young.
Meanwhile, the worried Lee Sang In (Kim Joo Hun) comes back to Moon Young’s place again to check on her. Thereupon, he realises that the author has been suffering from sleep paralysis again. On further enquiry, Moon Young discloses that she had been having nightmares ever since she had set foot on that house. Hearing that, Lee Sang In tries to take Moon Young away but Gang Tae stops him from doing so.
After ousting the publishing company CEO, Gang Tae takes Moon Young out so that she can alleviate her worries. During that time, the writer shares that her bad dreams have always been about her mother. The duo then spend the day together having meals and taking a walk. Moon Gang Tae then discloses that even if Moon Young had told him to get lost, it felt like she was asking him stay and therefore he intends to stay by her side.
The Painful Mistake of a Parent
Kang Eun Ja (Bae Hae Sun), a patient who had collapsed after her encounter with Go Moon Young finally regains her actual memories. The lady recounts on how she had a loving daughter (Kwon Ha Young). On one particular day, Kang Eun Ja’s daughter bought her an expensive shawl by spending her entire paycheck.
Angered at her daughter’s actions, the two had a fight. As her daughter leaves, Kang Eun Ja also commented on anger that she does not want to have a daughter like her. Unfortunately, those were her last words as her daughter meets with a traffic accident and ends up dying. The mother laments that if she had known that she would lose her daughter, she would have never said that.
Moon Gang Tae feels emotional at that story as he is reminded of his past. Later, that night, while he was at Jae Soo’s place, he tells his friend that he wonders whether his own mother had ever felt bad for him. Kang Soon Duk (Kim Mi Kyung), who overhears the conversation of the two friends tells Gang Tae that while mothers might not be perfect, he should try understanding his mother’s side of the story too.
It’s All a Matter of Perspective
After his hangout, Moon Gang Tae returns home in a tipsy state. As he lies next to his brother who is about to sleep, he suggests that they should go to the jjamppong restuarant that they frequented when they were younger.
Moon Gang Tae mentions how much Sang Tae had loved the jjamppong from that place. But, Sang Tae corrects him by saying that it was actually Gang Tae who loved the food there and would ask their to take them to that place. Another flashback shows the Moon brothers and their mother (Choi Hee Jin) at the noodles place. While their mother had ordered the food for her sons, she does not order anything for herself.
Moon Gang Tae then remembers that as they were leaving the place it was raining badly. He lags behind and gets drenched in the rains. But then a few steps later, his mother realises that he is not there and calls for him. Gang Tae breaks into tears realising that his mother indeed cared for him but he could not notice the small things that she did for him.
Cutting the Leash
Another fairy tale creation by Go Moon Young which also relates to her life is the story narrated in The Cheerful Dog. The Cheerful Dog is about a dog that had been tied to a tree. Everyday the dog would happily play with the kids in the neighborhood.
But when night comes and he is alone, the dog would cry because he wanted to run in the beautiful spring fields. Then one day, a voice within the dog asked him why doesn’t he cut the leash and run away. To that, he replied that he had been tied for too long that he forgot how to to free himself.
For Moon Young, her long hair represents the leash her mother had on her. When she was younger, her mother had told her to never cut her mane. So much was her mother’s influence on her that even if she tried she couldn’t. But finally, after a long time, she cut away leash along with Moon Gang Tae’s help.
Oh My Darling, Clementine
Oh Ji Wang (Kim Chang Wan) learns that Go Moon Young had briefly mistaken Kang Eun Ja for her mother during his conversation with Moon Gang Tae. It is revealed that Moon Young’s mother who is also a successful author suddenly went missing one day. Five years after the disappearance, Moon Young registers the death of her mother.
On going through the previous interviews with Go Dae Hwan (Lee Eol), the hospital chief learns that the patient had mentioned about his wife briefly talking about how she hums the song “Oh My Darling, Clementine”. Meanwhile, the mysterious happenings continue to occur at the hospital as Go Dae Hwan suffers from another attack. He mentions having heard the very song.
Through the CCTV cameras, Oh Ji Wang notices that another patient Park Ok Ran (Kang Ji Eun) was present at the corridors during the time Go Dae Hwan had an attack. He summons her and asks her if she was singing the said song, which she denies.
The Fight For The Same Thing
Moon Sang Tae starts noticing that his brother might be drifting away from him after the intrusion of Go Moon Young. Things also start getting sour between the writer and her illustrator as the latter comments that he liked her long hair better.
Later, he notices Mang Tae on her hand and thus, begins a fist fight. Mang Tae is a doll that Gang Tae had crafted for his brother since he used to have nightmares too. However, he gave the same doll to Moon Young without consulting his brother.
Therefore, when he returns home he sees a nasty battle between Sang Tae and Moon Young while Mang Tae is split into two pieces. Later, Gang Tae convinces his brother to give up Mang Tae for Moon Young. Sang Tae agrees to that stating that he can give up Mang Tae but not Gang Tae.
Breaking Free And Running Away Together
At the hospital, Lee Ah Reum (Ji Hye Won) is visited by her ex-husband (Kwon Dong Ho). The reason behind the couple’s split was that the husband was very abusive and would always beat his wife. But, now he wants to get back together.
Ah Reum rejects the suggestion of her ex-husband. She also mentions that she loves someone else and intends to live with him. This irks the man who tries to force Ah Reum but at that moment, Moon Young meddles in their affair. The man then hits Moon Young causing her to fall on the ground.
Next, before anyone could process what had occurred, Gang Tae comes forward and hits the man forcefully and would have harmed him even further if no one had stopped him. As a consequences of his actions, Gang Tae gets suspended from work.
Though Gang Tae is in a dire situation and is supposed to be sad, he is not. Rather, he bears a smile which does not leave his face. He rushes to Moon Young, tells her how is in a mess and suggests to run away together like she had suggested before.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay Mid-Series Afterthoughts
With every episode, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay continues to amaze with its excellent narrative and cinematography. Observe closely and there are too many minute details that adds so much beauty to this one-of-a-kind series.
Just as Moon Gang Tae is the safety pin for Go Moon Young, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay serves the same purpose for weary hearts. Depicting the most complex emotions in a human’s life, the drama makes viewers empathize as well as relate to these pains. Additionally, there are also some valuable life lessons which if followed can make our lives better.
Thoughts on Episodes 7 & 8
I teared up a bit when I saw Gang Tae crying as he embraces his brother and thinks about his mother. Even if parents live their children, sometimes they can also make mistakes unknowingly. As for the children, they tend to think only from their perspective.
There are always more sides to every story and no judgement can be passed by knowing only one part of the story. Maybe Gang Tae would have been a little happier if his mother had a conversation with him about how she truly feels for both her son’s.
I am glad to see Gang Tae finally breaking away his chains and deciding to have a little bit of fun. He had been enduring patiently for so long and the boy deserves to have a break. Although, I am a little bit worried about how this change will affect Sang Tae. Both Sang Tae and Moon Young are quite handful and with both of them being equally possessive for Gang Tae, it is going to be chaotic.
— tvN 드라마 (@CJnDrama) July 12, 2020
The fight over Mang Tae was too funny. Moon Young and Sang Tae were like those annoying kids quarrelling over a toy and Gang Tae being the frustrated parent. I also loved how brutally honest Sang Tae is. Moon Young might evoke fears in everyone’s hearts but Sang Tae will nonchalantly rebuke her if he thinks that she is wrong. Their chemistry is awesome and I hope it still continues.
Expectations from the second half
The second half of the series can be expected to be loaded with action as the answers to the pre-existing mysteries will be revealed. We are still yet to know what actually happened to Moon Young’s mother. From the given circumstances, it appears like her mother might be present at the hospital planning her vengeance.
Park Ok Ran is suspicious but I don’t think she is the mother. I am also curious about the blood stained body that Moon Young saw as a child in her house’s basement. It is definitely not her mother’s because Moon Young did consider the possibility of her mother still being alive while she was at the hospital with Kang Eun Ja.
Next is the butterflies which brings nightmares to Sang Tae while on the other hand, Moon Young was the executioner of butterflies. So, there seems to be a common antagonist for both the cases.
Asides from the mysteries, there will be more hurdles in Gang Tae’s life. Throughout his life, Gang Tae’s top priority has always been his brother. It was the two of them against the world. With Go Moon Young in the picture, there will be some misunderstandings going forward.
Also, Go Moon Young is not someone who will back then. So, I am curious to how Gang Tae will work all these out. Regardless, I want all the three to have a happy conclusion.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay airs every Saturday and Sunday via tvN and is also available for streaming on Netflix.
Image Credit: tvN
Video Credit: The Swoon