There’s no such thing as a filler episode in this series and even in its penultimate episode, emotions between Sun Woo and Tae-Oh continue to heat up.
I honestly thought that we were going to focus more on Tae-Oh and his redemption journey in this episode, after he berates himself at the start of the episode, realising that so many people are hurting because of him. It almost seems like he will get away with what he has done, given that Da-Kyung says after he confesses to sleeping with Sun Woo that she wants to be a bigger person and not let this ruin her life – like it did with Sun Woo.
However, in line with the source material “Dr Foster”, it’s too early for a happy ending and to be honest, Tae-Oh definitely does not deserve it. Rather than acknowledging his own wrongdoing and reflecting on his actions, he goes to find Sun Woo and asks her if she told Da-Kyung the truth to get back at him. The fact that he asks that already shows he is unrepentant. In an intense exchange of words, both of them threaten each other again to destroy each other’s lives. Tae-Oh loses his cool completely and is violent towards her, gripping her tightly.
Unfazed by his threats, Sun Woo, who knows that she has been spied on all this while, decides to go to speak to Da Kyung’s mother and father, delivering a lethal blow to Tae-Oh already. Da Kyung’s world continues to fall apart as she bumps into Ye Rim when she comes with a housing agent to view Sun Woo’s house.
Ye Rim tells Da Kyung that Tae-Oh will never get over Sun Woo and that she will just be a substitute for Sun Woo. At this point, Sun Woo and Joon Young have already left Gosan, with no concrete plans on where to go next. However, Da Kyung, clearly insecure, calls Sun Woo and arranges to meet her, telling her that she will get Tae-Oh to sign over parental rights to her, so that the two of them would no longer have any other reason to meet. She threatens to sue Sun Woo for adultery.
This is when Sun Woo decides that Da Kyung needs to know the full truth about their relationship and what’s been going on. Unlike Sun Woo who had to dig out the truth for herself at the start of the series, Da Kyung gets it all laid out to her by Sun Woo.
Sun Woo reveals to her that Tae-Oh used the same proposal song for them and even bought Da Kyung the same perfume, the same underwear and clothes. She was nothing but a replacement for Sun Woo. Why does she reveal all this to Da Kyung? Is it purely just to destroy Tae-Oh completely? Clearly not – here, she is speaking to Da Kyung as someone who has gone through what she has, and someone who deserves to escape while she still can. This pushes Da Kyung and her parents to decide to leave Gosan once again and we see Tae Oh’s world completely crumble away as his corporate credit cards are rejected and he is thrown out of both his office and his home.
Sun Woo is there to witness all that happens, but it is evident that she too cannot let go of Tae Oh. After she drives away, she is prompted by Joon Young’s question of whether she has settled things with dad to go back to him and give him some money to find a motel and find a new job. Of course, he is completely angry and pins all the blame on her again. Realising that he still does not see his own wrongdoings, Sun Woo decides to leave and she almost runs him down with her car, but turns to his side and drives off.
As the episode comes to an end, we see that Sun Woo has decided to head back to Gosan and reside at the exact same home – I wonder why though? Wouldn’t she have at least made an attempt to stay elsewhere, at least so that Tae Oh would not pester them? Of course, this does not bode well and the episode ends with Joon Young disappearing from the house and a note left by Tae-Oh that he has taken him.
Once again, this is an intense, tightly-plotted episode with little room to breathe throughout as we move from one emotional scene to the next. “Doctor Foster”, the inspiration for this series, ended on a very uncertain note that left many viewers unsatisfied. I’m hoping that the finale of “The World of the Married” gives us emotional closure and a happy ending at least for Sun Woo and Joon Young, who have been through so much. Tae Oh does not deserve a happy ending unless he finally realises all that he has done wrong and stops putting the blame on others.
On the flipside, I believe Ja Hyuk has worked hard and done enough to redeem himself. The way he handled Ye Rim’s rejection of his kiss showed so much respect and regard for her that showed he was truly repentant of his past wrongdoings. Ye Rim is not obliged to forgive him and she did do the right thing to turn him down when she is not ready. I would be glad if the both of them just continued to date and work on the relationship.
“The World of the Married” has remained consistently strong across its run, delivering intensely paced and emotionally deep episodes throughout. It certainly brings home the point that marriage brings two lives together so tightly, that when things fall apart, the best thing to do is to take steps – no matter how small they are, or how long they take – to mend it back again.