The Family is coming (2015) Episode 5 Korean Drama Recap

The Family is coming (2015) Episode 5 Korean Drama RecapWhat happened last Episode?

The Family is coming (2015) Episode 5 Recap

떴다! 패밀리

Hello. This is Professor AKIA Talking and this is a recap of episode 5. The title of this episode is

The Ladies’ Secrets

This is not a good title! It is more His secrets than hers.

The Family is coming (2015) is an interesting show that seems to be like a hybrid between Japanese and Korean drama/comedy. Definitely what I view as the first chapter of this show, from episode 1 to 4, is heavily influenced by Japanese shows. Entering the next chapter, Episode 5 is actually the most Korean drama feeling episode of this series yet.  This may have to do with the fact that it is essentially a backstory episode with relatively little plot progression.

The episode is not totally void of wacky elements that tend to be the bread and butter of many Japanese shows. However, I get the feeling that the show is not quite sure how to integrate that element on a consistent basis especially when there is not much to do on screen.

This may be just a problem with this episode. We’ll have to wait and see.
So, to the episode.

 Jung Kkeut-Soon’s main plot
The plot starts with Jung Kkeut-Soon tired and rather forgetful. The show is subtle in regard to whether this is actually a sign of something or just a representation of the fact that she is an old lady. The show has been toying with the question of whether she is sick or not. The tests done on her at the hospital said that she was fine for her age but Jung Kkeut-Soon said that she may not live a very long time before. No specifics so… who knows where that will go.

Any case, the Jung Kkeut-Soon had announced that she will be giving out 5 tests to decide who will be her heir in the previous episode. This time she gives out the details of the first test or more accurately quest.  There are 3 components to the first quest. First, get a job in a month. Second, bring back your paycheck in 2 months. Third, live a week on only $10 dollars.

Interesting quest requirements.

If you think about it, none of the family members except for the daughter, Choi Dal-Ja, have a source of income. It was not clear before but it seems that the restaurant where the grandfather and Choi Dal-Ja meet up to scheme was hers.

A problem with this show is that it is not always great at conveying information even though it is not the show’s intention to be vague.

While the first two requirements are relatively straight forward, the third is difficult to verify. Thus, Jung Kkeut-Soon hires people in neon yellow winter jackets with the face of Jung Kkeut-Soon on the back and their charge’s faces on the front. These people are meant to be personal referees that will cover each member of the family.

This actually happens in the later part of the episode. Until that point, I was wondering if the episode will end without anything really wacky happening.  And this should qualify as being a wacky event. The problem is that this is not well executed to maximize its wackiness. As mention previously, this episode is very much like a typical Korean makjang show overall.

Beyond the test stuff, Jung Kkeut-Soon’s old acquaintance’s wife is just waiting for the hands of death to take her. The two meet and it seems that they were close once. The relationship they have is your typical Korean drama relationship. Jung Kkeut-Soon was in love with her husband when she was young. Her old acquaintance was in love with her. The old acquaintance’s now wife was in love with the old acquaintance. It is a common Korean drama love rectangle that ended up in typical Korean drama melodrama.

Jung Kkeut-Soon wants to find her old acquaintance before his wife dies. She tasks her right and left arms, Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson and Choi Dong-Suk, with finding him based on the information she got from his wife.  They all most find them but misses him again but not before trying to convince him to come to the hospital before it is too late.

Jung Kkeut-Soon’s old acquaintance’s wife dies at the end of the episode.

The new Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson subplot
Last episode’s cliff hanger was the doing of American loan sharks who were confronting Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson. Choi Dong-Suk comes in to save the day.

Well to get roughed up more accurately.

He pretends to be her boyfriend and is forced to sign a contract of paying her adopted parents’ debt of half a million dollars. But wait!

The show’s way of showing thatChoi Dong-Suk’s smart is that he changed the unit of currency on the contract from dollars to Wons without anyone noticing. Thus, half a million became $500.


The show treats this as a solution. If you think about it, Korean dramas’ understanding of contracts is very primitive. I think it’s less sophisticated than how people understood contracts in the Victorian era.

This maybe an interesting idea for an editorial for later.

What is off for this show is that Choi Dong-Suk is supposed to have legal training. First, the contract he signed has not legal value. Second, does Choi Dong-Suk think that loan sharks will care about the actual legality of contracts?

In any case, this is just a story device to get the two more close together and kick off the romance. And it is working as the two are actually always together after this. And there is definitely warm feelings brewing down under.  

Another thing about this show is that it follows in the long tradition of all non-Asian Americans being bad guys. You have the loan sharks. You have the white guy, whose actor is definitely not American and not an actor, who hangs out with Jung Joon-A. Even the Asian Americans tend to be bad-ish guys.  You have Jung Joon-A, Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson. Even the real lawyer, who Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson is impersonating, ends up being shady.

So, on to the romance plot.

The Romance plot
This event brings the two closer and Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson corrects Choi Dong-Suk’s misunderstanding about what he saw last episode with her and her brother. They end up talking about their past love lives and it seems that Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson has never ever dated anyone before and Choi Dong-Suk had loved only one woman for 10 years. Choi Dong-Suk looks rather pleased with that information.

Korean drama strikes again with its anti-sex agenda.
It feel that it is good that a female over 30 has never dated.
And it is not something surprising.

With this fuzzy feeling inside, Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson goes shopping and finds the exact model of pen of his that she broke the first time she met him. Not only does she begs the show owner to sell this pen that is not for sale but engraves her name on it.

Through flash backs, we see that the pen was a gift from Choi Dong-Suk’s old girl friend who is now married to his friend. However, she does not know that.

The Con plot
This episode has the Con plot on the back burner for most of the time. It is mostly about the real lawyer who Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson is impersonating.  Jung Joon-A is bugging that real lawyer’s communications with his white sidekick and finds out that he is leaking information to another firm…?

The problem is that the actual sub plot here is not well explained. Later, Jung Kkeut-Soon asks Choi Dong-Suk to meet up with a representative of her American legal team in regards to liquidating her assets over there. That person ends up being the real lawyer. Have no idea why this is so. It just is.

Thus a plan is hatched in which Jung Joon-A confronts and blackmails the real lawyer while Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson intercepts Choi Dong-Suk. In logical terms, I do not know why this whole thing would work but it seems like it does and the episode ends with this cliff hanger.

So, to the small stuff.

As a back story episode, we also get more information about Choi Dong-Suk’s old girlfriend and him.

Choi Dong-Suk’s old romance subplot
This subplot continues in this episode with Choi Dong-Suk’s friend married to his ex-calling him out to get a drink which is rather weird since they were hostile to each other when last we saw them together.

Choi Dong-Suk goes out like the fool he is and his friend suggests that Choi Dong-Suk use his grandmother’s money to invest in his company. He is obviously drunk at this moment.

He says a sly remark about Choi Dong-Suk’s ex and they start a sloppy brawl that ends up at the police station. There, the boarder character who is a cop is handling the case. Up till this point, this boarder character had no reason to be in this show and this episode does not show us anything more about him.

In any case, the problem he is having is that Choi Dong-Suk and his friend is having a dick showing contest. Both are claiming to be the aggressor and trying to pay for damages. It is like being the aggressor would prove who is more macho and on the right. This is when Choi Dong-Suk’s women show up. I mean Choi Dong-Suk’s ex and Choi Dong-Suk’s now acquaintance and future love interest show up to bail them out.

At the station, Na Joon-Hee / Susan Johnson pretends very awkwardly to be Choi Dong-Suk’s girlfriend in front of the others. Later, Choi Dong-Suk’s ex shows up and begs him to invest with her husband as he is in dire straits. I mean begging on her knees.  Choi Dong-Suk leaves her at the coffee shop they were meeting at with a new found determination about competing for the inheritance. He says to Jung Kkeut-Soon that there is so little he can do with his effort and dreams alone. Jung Kkeut-Soon says in return that “it is not money that is scary but the power of money that it.”

For one, what she says made no sense. Second, we have not seen Choi Dong-Suk trying at anything. At best, he is an entitled guy who thinks having a hobby is making an effort. I do not want to rant on about Korean dramas and Koreans idea of money.  Just say I am surprise that we are living at the level we are currently at. Many say it will not last for more than a decade before everything collapses. However, that is a different political article.

Getting back to this subplot, I think that this relationship is meant to mirror the relationship his grandparents had with their old acquaintance and his wife.

The family subplots
 Once again, the family did not do much in this episode. The most we got are two minor threads. First is with the younger married eastern medicine doctor daughter, Choi Dong-Joo, gets some screen time as she gets into a cat fight with her sister as they argue about Choi Dong-Suk’s ex. It seems that they all knew each other before and the older sister is still close with the ex.

The second tread is with the grandfather as he is going to the funeral of his old acquaintance’s wife. We get a flashback in regards to their love rectangle in which a woman got between two good male friends.

The other members of the family did pretty much nothing in the episode as usual.

We got a lot of back story in this episode about the grandparents and Choi Dong-Suk’s ex. The result of this is that the episode dragged more than the prior episodes. However, this has been a trend as the show has been settling into a more typical Korean drama.  

With this trend, the character of Jung Kkeut-Soon has become less interesting than before. She is being demystified from the wacky but oddly powerful creature she was to just a typical Korean drama character. The problem is that the situation she creates requires a wacky but oddly powerful creature and not a normal old Korean drama character.

It is a matter of tone!

So, let’s see how the next episode goes. 

Thank you for reading this recap of episode 5 of “The Family is coming” (2015).

Recap Series
Episode 4 Korean Drama Recap
Episode 5 Korean Drama Recap

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  1. I think your blog will grow in popularity with all the new updates and look. I never realized there were so many Kdrama blogs out there in the USA. I can only keep track of a few. :p

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