tvN’s Valid Love episode 17 – Kim Joon becomes Hee Tae

Update on my computer…it’s still not doing well 😦

I’m not really sure where this show is going. It seems to have strayed from the synopsis and Il Ri has unfortunately become a character who no longer makes sense. Her anger at Hee Tae, her eagerness to rush to another burden instead of solving her own issues, and the fact that it seems like she doesn’t really love Hee Tae or Kim Joon. I’m sure there might be something about her father that could tie all this together, but until my computer feels better I don’t know what it is.

There’s another thing I’m curious about too. If Hee Tae’s mom dragged Kim Joon away from his home without a jacket, how on earth did he have it on when he ran into Il Ri and Hee Tae?

5-Line Recap:

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1. Kim Joon is invited over to Hee Tae’s place, where he’s forced to act like Mr. Jang for the sake of Miss Go.

I appreciate the scenes between Hee Tae and Kim Joon, because this is a friendship that I wanted to see develop. The cheating kind of ruined it, but I do like the chemistry that the actors have. My only complaint, and I suppose it’s kind of a big one, is that it feels like the show is forcing them to be together instead of it happening naturally.

The dementia storyline came out of left field, even though there may have been a sign here and there, but it seems like its being used to force the three together instead of letting them work out their own feelings in a proper way. Instead of growing as people and maturing from the experience, the characters seem to be almost to be regressing. Instead of meaningful talks, we get pissing matches. Perhaps this is the grand scheme of things though. The dementia is meant to mirror the after effects of cheating, because no matter how strong you are you won’t feel like yourself once it all comes out.

I might be over thinking things though.

At least we got to see a more human side to the original recipe Mr. Jang. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to show that he isn’t entirely selfish. He’s hurting too, but he doesn’t know how to express it and ends up shouting with his wife over her dementia. He knows it isn’t her fault, but what’s happening is scaring him and he doesn’t know what to do about it. Hopefully this makes him appreciate his wife and what he put her through.

2. Il Ri was meant to go straight to Kim Joon, but Hee Tae’s mom keeps her occupied so she can’t meet with him.

All of a sudden, these characters forgot that they own phones. Nice ones too, which do a good job when it comes to calling people or texting people.

Oddly enough, this somewhat mirrors Hee Tae’s anxiety a few episode back, when he tried to call Il Ri after getting more photos only she never answered and he had no idea where she was. She ended up being with Kim Joon, which would have angered him if he knew. Unfortunately for Kim Joon, he knows where Il Ri is and doesn’t like it at all. He’s waiting for her to talk to him, but she isn’t doing it quite yet.

After a long time, Il Ri does discover her phone though but she uses it to cancel her plans with Kim Joon. He’s not that happy about it though. I don’t feel bad for him, since he brought this on to himself.

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But I do feel terrible for Sun Joo. She actually behaved properly and waited for Hee Tae to be available before saying anything and she keeps getting shafted by the writers. Out of everyone (minus Hee Soo) I want her to have a happy ending. It’s getting depressing seeing her get kicked around like a lost puppy whenever Hee Tae subtly gives her the cold shoulder.

3. Her name is Soo Young!

It took seventeen episodes, but I finally learned what the bully turned friend’s name is on this show.

Anyways, Il Ri’s mother came to her to get her to convince Il Ri to leave Hee Tae’s place. Since Hee Tae is at the cafe, the mother in law and her son in law have a heart to heart. She begs him to bring her daughter back, because she loves her daughter more than him and doesn’t want her to suffer.

If the cheating and divorce didn’t happen, I wonder if she’d still have the same feelings that she does now. Even though she was angry, I kind of feel like she thinks the whole affair thing was a blessing in disguise since it ‘almost’ got her daughter out of the Jang house.

Hee Tae says that he’ll send Il Ri home, but when he’s about to talk to her they end up dancing instead. It’s awkward and funny to watch. You know who won’t be happy to see this happening? If you said Sun Joo, you’re right. She would be devastated to see the stiff dancing that is happening in the Jang house. First it’s stiff dancing, but the next the hearts start to soften and by the end of the song feelings happen.

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Thankfully the writers just have Kim Joon show up and act angry about the entire thing. Kind of like a, “How dare you dance with my girlfriend…even though she’s still technically your wife and I kind of did the same thing to you, only it was much worse since it was actually cheating and this isn’t..but still! How dare you!!”

Surprisingly, this is similar to the scene when Hee Tae caught Kim Joon hugging his wife. Hee Tae did nothing, but he wanted to do what Kim Joon did in this episode. All that built up anxiety took him over the edge and he stormed into the Jang residence, where he screamed and dragged Il Ri away from her in-laws.

4. Il Ri and Kim Joon have their first fight as a couple.

Wow, the similarities just keep rolling on out. During the fight, Il Ri tells Kim Joon that she would have a reason for being late and to trust her. He tells her that the Jang family has her by the ankles and she rebukes him for talking about them so carelessly.

For Kim Joon, he felt like Il Ri sees him as family so when he hears that she still considers her former in-laws to be important to her, he starts to wonder where he stands. Even though the situation is different, this did remind me of the scene between Il Ri and Hee Tae when she held him almost by the ankles and told him that she loved another man. For Hee Tae, he thought that he was the only one that Il Ri could see as a husband and a lover, so finding out that there’s another guy who is taking up space in her heart upset him.

Different, but similar, especially when you consider how Kim Joon acts when the issue of family is brought up. Just like how Hee Tae didn’t know his place with Il Ri, Kim Joon is questioning his place in Il Ri’s heart too. And just like with Hee Tae, after she says her piece she mentions that she’s angry too.

Different, but similar. Think about it. Il Ri also runs to the other guy just like before too.

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5. Kim Joon drinks his worries away and, I don’t have to say this again but I will, someone did something very similar a few episodes back after they found their wife with another man.

I know there will be a lot of people who are troubled by what Kim Joon did in this episode, but I don’t. He was stupid, but he’s also dealing with a lot of stuff. His girlfriend officially left her husband for him, but still has ties to her old life. He’s worried that he’s going to lose her, even though one can say that he stole her before.

We’ve already seen his jealous side and it’s there for a reason. He’s new and has to compete with a relationship that has more than ten years behind it. Plus, seeing as how it was easy for Il Ri to leave her husband, he’s worried that she might do the same with him. Before I continue, I want to state that I’m not putting Il Ri in a negative light for this, I’m just guessing how Kim Joon might feel about the situation.

Due to these unwanted feelings, he’s now feeling lost and his self confidence is down the drain. Instead of being reassured about his relationship with Il Ri, he’s constantly worried that she’ll leave him. Kind of like someone else that we know.

I’m sounding like a broken record now, but I think it’s very telling that this episode had Kim Joon turning into Hee Tae. There were difference, obviously, but the similarities…wow……were there many! That being said, the ending of the episode did bring me back to my first point of the writers forcing the characters to be together.

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If Kim Joon’s declaration at the end of this episode actually comes into fruition, then I’m going to have a problem with that. He’s probably related to the Jang family, but still. It’s the principle of the matter.

Preview: A dream like sequence of Kim Joon, Hee Tae, and Il Ri living it up together. We’re then taken back to reality and see a very troubling scene between Hee Tae’s mom and Hee Soo. I say troubling, because both ladies are crying and Miss Go is talking about the next life. After saying “I love you” to her daughter, she takes a pillow and tries to smother her to death.

Someone better save Hee Soo!


8 thoughts on “tvN’s Valid Love episode 17 – Kim Joon becomes Hee Tae

  1. Pingback: VALID LOVE. TVN. | IKurate

  2. iriszhang

    wonderful recap. always hate how kim joon feels like he owns ilri. but this ep…wow i really want to tell him with the biggest smirk and smiling like crazy girl on his face, now you know heetae’s feeling.

    1. mochirochi Post author

      I think he’s starting to understand Hee Tae’s anger and frustrations, but it’s funny how Hee Tae wanted to be confrontational but couldn’t while Kim Joon does what Hee Tae wanted to do.

      He’s letting his jealousy take over, which isn’t a good look for him.

  3. Boon Ang

    You noted in your recap of this episode that KJ became HT. Some may feel that the writer employed this “mirroring” device to push the plot along. It may be true. However, I feel that it provides us an empathic perspective of how HT felt. Within the story, it also gave IR insight about how life would be with KJ. It should be noted that this parallel mirrored extends from episode 1 where IR flirted illicitly with her teacher. Later on, she flirted illicitly with KJ.

  4. Boon Ang

    There are two other mirroring parallels in the narrative. Firstly, MIL’s dementia troupe came out of the blue. Yes, it surprised me too. But it did serve a purpose to move and add to the plot. I do not know enough about dementia, but MIL showed signs of regressive memory loss. Whatever, like IR (as she admitted HT & KJ in episode 11), she forgot her husband – the man she married and mistook KJ for him. Note that KJ was vastly different from Mr Jang & HT as well. Both were repressing unhappy memories and sought escape. Like IR, MIL also “fell in love” with KJ because he was handsome. Later, like MIL and Mr Jang, IR rediscovered her love for HT. A few interesting bits to note with this, MIL warned KJ to keep away “foxy” women; warned IR not to visit Castadiva; and not to flirt with KJ.
    The third mirrored parallel was evident when IR realised that she was like HS – only living and breathing. I think this realisation together with her realisation that she loved HT above all, spurred her to change and try to live independently.

  5. Boon Ang

    A final entry for this episode. I do not know if KJ read the “writing on the wall” when he asked IR to DTR – “what am I to you?”. IR gave KJ her reasons. But when he asked her to choose him or the Jangs, she removed his hand from the door knob and left. You must remember HT’s narration about IR in episodes 1 & 2 – Her actions speak louder than her words. In this situation, IR chose to return to the Jang household despite KJ’s ultimatum! Now, IR could have stayed with KJ or not returned. Did anyone in the Jang family ask her to come back? Would anything bad happen to her? Can anyone fault her? No, no, no! She wanted to belong to that family and to HT. Even though separated from HT, she had never “left” him as recorded in her farewell note to him when she said i am leaving you NOW (not before now) and I am giving up NOW (meaning she had not given up till now). Perhaps, KJ sensed this and it added to his anxious desperation.
    Contrary to KJ’s misconception (perhaps it’s his excuse for the affair), it was IR who held on to HT’s and MIL’s ankles instead!


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