We’re slowly approaching the end of Iron Man (two more weeks *sniffs*) and as much as I love to criticize the characters (especially the ones that are justified in receiving it), I think we’ve officially been introduced to the character that could possibly deserve the most criticism, Tae Hee. She’s back and my fellow dramatics are sharpening their teeth. Although, I thought I would try something a little different. Different being trying to defend Tae Hee and her actions.
First, I KNOW. Second, I haven’t lost my mind. Yet.
Trust me when I say, Zombie and I will give Tae Hee her deserved tongue-lashing in this week’s second post. Don’t you worry your pretty little head. It’s just that a critic in any capacity should be able to consider all angles of a subject, even if it kills them. So, Tae Hee is the lucky subject this week. Drama gods help us all.
We kinda knew Tae Hee was going to appear before this show was all said and done. In my ten years of watching dramas I’ve learned that if we don’t see a body (or if the ratings are really low), there’s always a possibility that a person isn’t dead. Of course with her return came more questions than we already had, but at least now there’s a possibility that all of them will be answered, direct from the source no less!
Was it wrong that Tae Hee sent her young child back to his uninformed father leaving both of them heartbroken over her FAKE death? Absolutely, but consider her situation. The man she loved couldn’t protect her from his father and the henchwoman who so violently disapproved of their union. She was beaten and scarred, both emotionally and physically. Somewhere along the way something finally forced her to disappear. We’re still finding out exactly what made her leave (my money’s on Madame Yoon), but those facts alone would force anyone to leave even their most treasured person. And she did.
Add onto the fact that while Tae Hee may have sacrificed herself over and over just to be with Hong Bin, she may have found out the existence of something that she was not willing to sacrifice. You know, like a child.
There’s a huge part of me that wants to believe that she didn’t just arbitrarily abandon Hong Bin after standing so firm for the love she shared with Hong Bin. There had to be a reason that convinced her that separating herself from him was more important than what they shared. The only viable reason I could see is the knowledge that a woman is on the verge of becoming a mother. That would force anyone to leave any dangerous situation for the sake of the innocent.
As far as her abandonment of Hong Bin, what exactly would have been the alternative? While we don’t know all the details yet, Tae Hee telling Hong Bin that she was leaving would not have gone over well. He would have tried to stop her, and he would have been successful. Even if she left without telling him, just the fact that he would have known there was possibility that she still existed in the same world would have been an obsession of his. He would have searched for her far and wide, living a life that wasn’t really being lived.
While she didn’t know Hong Bin had planned to run away with her, would it have made for a happy life if they did run away together? Would Hong Bin would have ultimately resented her for forcing him to leave the life he could have had if he stayed? Would she have resented him for not growing some cojones and standing up to his father for their love so that they wouldn’t have had to uproot their lives? Can a life of avoidance and paranoia really be healthy for a couple or even a child?
Add onto the fact that she found out along the way that she had a terminal illness. I’m not sure if she knew this before she left, but she certainly made some harsh decisions when she found out. One of the harsh decisions being that she would send her son back to his father that has no idea existed, letting both of them believe she’s deceased. Again, can’t really defend this decision, but, again, what would be the alternative? Allowing her son to see her suffer in pain, leaving him helpless and scared. She knew how it made her feel, what mother could allow her son to feel the same way? As much as I hate that she took it upon herself to remove herself from the lives of those that loved her and were affected by her, if all of her options for who could care for her son had been taken away from her, the next best thing would be his father. The father that while he is ill-tempered, she knew he was capable of loving Chang even if she hadn’t seen him for more than half a decade.
As lovely as her parents are, there was no way they could care for a young child. She sent Chang to the next best option. Although I think we all know Hong Bin has turned out to be the best option.
I’m sure I’ll have a few tomatoes thrown at me in the comment section seeing that Tae Hee’s choices are questionable and honestly maddening. Just keep in mind that Tae Hee became a woman without choices which would make anyone make questionable choices. I believe that she was desperately trying to do the right thing but, as most decisions made by ourselves on behalf of other people, did not think of the damage she could have (and did) caused.
In a strange way, Se Dong echoes the young Tae Hee that Hong Bin kept so locked in his heart. The Tae Hee we see now is older and jaded by the world. The world that ruined her young life, left her bruised and battered. The world that dashed all her hopes with its realities and hardships. The difference is that while Tae Hee has been hit by own realities and hardships, she chose to turn the bad into good. She choose to use her presence to bring light to other’s lives instead of removing herself from them. Tae Hee had Se Dong’s same light, but she didn’t know how to harness that light and the fight that she would have had if she believed in that light.
Of course, to be fair, Se Dong had a lot more support. Not only did she have her dwarves, but she had a stronger Hong Bin who was willing to fight back and had been . Tae Hee didn’t have this, but the argument could be made that she set the stage for Hong Bin to make better decisions when another person arrived for him to love. I guess that’s one of the reasons I so want to believe Tae Hee’s existence and her decisions were all for naught.
What do you think of this week’s episodes? Let us know in the comments below.
Catch up on all of The Zebussie Drama Reviews of Iron Man here:
Episodes 7 [Part 1]
Episodes 14-15 [Part 1] [Part 2]