tvN’s Valid Love episode 13 – all I wanted is a bromance…

Some interesting things that I’ve been hearing some people say about the show. I know there is a strong divide between those who love Kim Joon and those who feel like Il Ri is in the wrong (unfortunately for him, there’s not really a vocal group for Hee Tae at this time). However, one thing that I’ve read on different commenting sites is that Hee Tae is unreasonable because Il Ri didn’t even cheat on him. So for him to jump to divorce is stupid.

I understand this view, but I disagree with it. Il Ri did cheat, because she actively pursued a man who wasn’t her husband. She kissed him and placed herself in situations where she was alone with him. In the end, she ended up falling for him. Emotionally, she was having an affair with Kim Joon. And physically, she was close to it. If she did sleep with him and their relationship was purely physical, then Hee Tae wouldn’t be so angry and hurt right now. But the fact that she gave half of her heart away to another man is what kills him.

If my significant other told me what Il Ri told Hee Tae, then I’d be devastated. I think by saying that Il Ri didn’t cheat is downplaying her role in the destruction of her marriage. She was wrong, even though it may have felt right and the moment she started developing these feelings she should have just left Hee Tae. But she didn’t. She chose to have her cake and eat it too and that’s why I feel like she cheated.

….enough about that, let’s just talk about episode 13, which incidentally, is my favourite number so I’m expecting good to happen here.

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5-Line Recap

1. Kim Joon is Hee Tae’s hoobae.

The bromance lives! Okay, maybe not, but Hee Tae did call Kim Joon his hoobae…and okay, he said it so he could steer the conversation away from how Kim Joon and Il Ri are related….and okay, maybe he said it to steer the conversation away to protect Il Ri. But I’m going to believe that this is the new start of their bromance.

Il Ri’s mother isn’t happy with Kim Joon being there and smacks Il Ri and him a few times to get her point across. Even though our little Carpenter is feeling jealous of Hee Tae and isn’t a bad guy, I do think he overstepped the boundaries here. Calling Il Ri’s mom, mom is insulting and insensitive at this point since she views him as someone who ruined her kid’s life. If he wanted to win her over, this wasn’t the way to do it especially when Hee Tae is in front of her.

If both stay there, then there might be another fight. So Il Ri sends them both away. Only, their cars have been towed, so they have no choice but to spend some more time together as they get their cars back. Then Hee Tae’s car doesn’t start, so they have to spend even more time together.


2. Il Ri rips up the divorce papers and asks Hee Tae to take her back again.

Hee Tae still had the divorce papers, but left it at the hospital. When one of the ajumma’s sees Il Ri she mentions that Hee Tae forgot something and Il Ri runs out thinking that this is a sign that her marriage can be saved. When she confronts Hee Tae about it, he says that he did feel weird about the entire process, but only wanted to settle his feelings first.

He doesn’t want to take her back though and Il Ri walks away even more depressed than before. The strange thing is that Kim Joon is just sitting in the background watching her walk away. He may not have intended to stay with her and was just going through what happened in the car ride with Hee Tae, but it’s still kind of weird. He even goes back to pick up the ripped up divorce application.

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After taking Il Ri to the hospital (let’s hope that she isn’t pregnant), he gets some hard truths told to him by Il Ri’s bully turned friend. He’s told to think of things from Il Ri’s perspective and to stop playing God when it comes to her. He then reads the details from the divorce papers and starts to understand things from a different view.

3. Kim Joon visits Hee Tae at work and the broamnce gets stronger!


Kim Joon was curious about Hee Tae, so he came for a visit and then asked for food. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to start up their epic friendship. It was so he could get Hee Tae and Il Ri together so they could talk. Just like how he was able to stop the fighting in the last episode, he’s going to work his magic here too. He also apologizes and says that he’ll take responsibility for the affair.

They don’t talk though. Hee Tae tries to look forward, says his piece and then leaves. Il Ri then tells Kim Joon not to see her again and that what she did was wrong. She then leaves and all three of them have a sad montage about being sad.

Meanwhile, Hee Soo had a flashback about the guy she saw at the movie theater and Hee Tae’s mom is still depressed.

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4. After a night of crying, Il Ri looks like she’s finally moving on and embracing the single life, while Hee Tae can’t stop thinking about her.

It’s kind of funny how Il Ri is smiling and working again; while Hee Tae learned that Il Ri didn’t want to have a baby because of Hee Soo and that the father was the one responsible for sending the texts and not the son. He also sees the video Il Ri made of her and Hee Soo together. She’s moving on, while he’s still getting unwanted information that keeps him stuck in the past.

Now he’s getting the feels and remembering his love for Il Ri.

5. Hee Tae and Il Ri have a drink together at the restaurant that he used to share with Kim Joon.

Hee Tae has some flashbacks of his time with Il Ri, but all of them involve school. I really wish the show showed more of their life as a married couple and the happiness that they shared then. This is one of my grievances about the show. We saw how Il Ri and Kim Joon developed into a couple and we saw them grow from workmates into something more. With Il Ri and Hee Tae, we saw them as teacher and student. Then we jumped seven years and saw them reunited with a kiss and a wedding. Then we jumped another seven years when the cheating took place.

How can we root for a couple, when we’ve hardly seen them as an actual couple? I think it’s easy to say that because they’re married they should be together, but as a viewer there has to be something more. Not only did we not see them act like a couple, but when they had scenes together they were fighting about the cheating. Maybe they’ll showcase the love story now, but it does feel a little too late for that.

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Hee Tae does want Il Ri back now, but it looks like she doesn’t want him anymore. I guess this is the part where the synopsis comes into play with Hee Tae trying to win her back. This worries me, because if the remainder of the series is about Hee Tae changing so that he can win Il Ri, then it’s kind of saying that if a wife cheats then the husband is at fault and needs to change. But if a husband cheats, then he’s just the worse. That’s not something I can personally get behind.

Who knows though. Perhaps this reversal of hunter and prey is how they’ll properly fall in love…but for some reason I feel like we’ll see them with other people and then seven years into the future they’ll reunite and be together again.

This couple and seven years….

Preview: Sun Joo and Hee Tae look like they’re having some angsty drama, while Kim Joon is enjoying his time with Il Ri. Hee Soo has a flashback of when she got engaged, while Hee Tae’s mother looks like she’s sick. Maybe dementia? His father looks worried and says that her hands are cold.


4 thoughts on “tvN’s Valid Love episode 13 – all I wanted is a bromance…

    1. mochirochi Post author

      Thanks for the link. I think HT wanting IR back makes sense. I’ve never been in a situation like this, but I would imagine that the party that has been cheated on would feel angry first and then think to themselves, “I’m sad, but I’m lonely and want things to be normal again even if it means having the cheater back in my life.”

      This is fine, but I don’t like how the show is making it seem like HT has to fight for IR when she has hardly done any fighting for him yet and was in the wrong.

  1. Pingback: VALID LOVE. TVN. | IKurate

  2. Boon Ang

    Yet again we see that IR has difficult breaking up with KJ and HT as well. Apparently she wanted both men and could not let either go until she lost both. So her break up visit to KJ and farewell letter to HT may signal her letting go of both men. Or it was a fait accompli as both had already left her and she was just appearing to be in control and to salvage her pride? I’m just guessing and offering up a differing POV. Back to the events of this episode. If IR wanted to demonstrate her sincerity and determination to try leaving KJ as she pleaded, then why did she answer KJ’s call. She could do what other KD characters do – take out her batteries? Not only did she answer KJ’s call but informed him of her destination knowing that HT will be with her? Brazen! After the uncomfortable lunch with her mum, she even led the two men out and thanked them for their help. If she really wanted to break up with KJ, she should have just sent him away to signal her choice. But no. she sent both men she loved equally away. Later on when she found divorce application HT dropped, she rushed home and declared to HT that she still wanted to protect him and tore the application up. Come on. If IR had “stabbed him in the back” and “pulled the rug under his feet”, he’d need body armour and a good taichi stance to stay safe with IR. I agree with many posters rooting for IR to go with KJ. I think the writer was short sighted and too righteous to reconcile HT and IR. If Kim Do Woo had written HT & IR off as a couple, then she will have fodder for Valid Love 2 where KJ really becomes HT when she has another affair. He might just die of a “cardiac arrest” then. Sorry, just being pun-ny.


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