This week both Ji Yoon and Saimdang are given life-changing news. Ji Yoon is told her husband is likely dead after a terrible car accident, and Saimdang discovers not only that her husband has been cheating on her, but also that his mistress is pregnant and scheming to share in as much of Saimdang hard won wealth as possible. Once they learn these truths, both of them are left to live with the results, including their broken hearts. But cheer up, things can’t be this down in the dumps for long! Saimdang and Ji Yoon will make some wise choices to help their children through the difficulties that arise. These tragedies may even clear the way for greater happiness to come. Join Wendilynn and I, Kate, as we discuss this week’s episodes of Saimdang: Light’s Diary.

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Wendilynn: I cannot believe what our girls went through this week. Ji Yoon’s husband disappearing. (I refuse to believe he’s dead yet) and Saimdang learning her husband has betrayed her and his children. It was hard watching them hurt so much. But, these women are amazing and we know they don’t let things stay in one place. I knew Saimdang’s husband was a weak man, but he always loved his family and that was his redeeming grace. But he has shown that the weak man who would sell his family’s home is still the same sniveling weasel.

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Kate: I too want too see a body before I will grant that Ji Yoon’s husband is actually dead. But I also want to register the possibility that Saimdang’s husband may just be dead soon, if I can figure out how to reach inside the tv and throttle him. His actions ticked me off. Layer upon layer of bad decisions led him to this point. Sure, he’s cheating on his wife. That’s not something to sneeze at. But then to allow his mistress to manipulate him into stealing and selling his wife’s paintings--ALL OF THEM!!!--- not in order to make sure that his mistress and their child are saved from poverty and hunger, but to provide them with wealth. After leaving Saimdang to cope with poverty when he was cheated out of selling the family home, and she worked so hard to support the family, even bringing it wealth, eventually. After benefiting from her connections to get his cushy job! Let me at him! I want to help Saimdang’s friend smash jars and pull hair!

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Wendilynn: I could not believe his gall in selling his wife’s paintings. All their wealth was due to her hard work and he sells her paintings?!! She was slaving away and he took advantage to satisfy the greed of his mistress. I get he felt small to Saimdang and felt loved and comfortable with the mistress, but good grief. What a betrayal all around.

Kate: That little speech about how he felt small and lesser in their marriage was just the cherry on top. To take that last step and tell her that he’s cheating on her because she’s too good? After all he hasn’t done for his family, this woman makes him feel more welcome? Of course she does; she is manipulating you! I’m definitely not sure that the mistress cares for him beyond the money he can bring her. Her eyes lit up when they first met and she realized he was a scholar because she sees him as a meal ticket. Even though he thinks he’s moved to a relationship of equals, he’s still with someone who is smarter than him. But now, his new partner is not trying to make things better for them both, she’s only out for her own good. What is the saying, you make your bed, now you have to lie in it? I hope Lee Won Soo discovers that fully as events move on.

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Wendilynn: She is smarter than him and he’s too weak to see it. The difference is that Saimdang wanted him to improve to become better and the mistress just wants him to give her money to fulfill her own greed to be rich. She doesn’t care if he’s a better man or not. I could not believe she had the gall to act superior to Saimdang. She has absolutely nothing on this woman, and yet she wants to act mighty because she’s sleeping with her husband? All that wealth comes from Saimdang…..I just could not believe the gall. Lee Won Soo I don’t think will care. He’s comfortable and relaxed for the first time since getting married and he has no ability to appreciate what he lost. If he did, he would have risen to teh challenge his strong wife presented him, not wither and feel inadequate. When Saimdang reproached Lee Gyeom all those episodes ago, what did he do? He found renewed vigor and excelled.

Kate: Were you fooled by Saimdang’s little reverie when she discovered her husband with his mistress? For a whole second while I watched Saimdang beat them both up I thought that this was uncharacteristic of Saimdang, but thought maybe she’s finally too overwhelmed? Then I decided it must be a fantasy sequence, which the show confirmed. Still, she watched as her friend threw the mistress around and broke things without really speaking up… I bet this was as far as she could lose control over this. She’s usually so incredibly controlled and proper, I bet it was just a little nice to watch as someone else did what she dreamed about doing.

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Wendilynn: I loved the imagination sequence. It would be so nice to see her let go and you can tell she wants to. But, she’s been trained to not do that. I’m sure she felt a little relief that someone could say what she could not. On the flip side of that, though, is how she doesn’t let status determine everything. While she holds herself to an exacting standard, she also recognizes that her children need to bloom how they should. I loved when she let her son be a blacksmith. That’s where his love was, and she didn’t stand in his way.

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Kate: That was a very sweet moment. Her eldest’s strengths were not in scholarship, and it showed love and wisdom to tell him to embrace his talents in smithing. Though it did show an interesting dissonance with her marital relationship. She spent years encouraging Lee Won Soo to be a scholar despite his lack of ability. Is it her mother’s love that allows her to encourage her son to take a different path? Or the fact that they now have more wealth and don’t have to worry as much about pursuing the most financially beneficial path? Speaking of mother’s love for their children, didn’t you feel terribly sorry for Whieumdang’s sons, the eldest studying all alone and comforting his little brother? I’m not sure how comforting Whieumdang would have been if she would have been around, she seems more ambitious for her sons rather than caring, but even that must be sorely missed by those little boys all on their own.

Wendilynn: My heart goes out to those boys. They don’t deserve to have the parents they do, and you know the oldest son has got it out for Saimdang’s son. But, I have to believe that Whieumdang doesn’t know exactly how they are living. She thinks they are being okay. But I got the impression that they aren’t being fed well and you saw how he wouldn’t let his brother’s crying be heard. So wherever they are living, is clearly not safe. I wonder how long it will take Whieumdang to resort to human trafficking? I think it's only a matter of time.

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Kate: As much as I don’t like her, it was satisfying to hear her little feminist stand against the Japanese traders when she remarked that women aren’t products. She’s probably making that stand more out of dislike of her own feelings of having been treated as an object in the past rather than a more modern feminist consciousness, but at least she took that stand for whatever reason she did. Still, like you, I don’t think it will take long for her to reframe her ideas about the topic. She is a survivor who will do anything to keep going, and as soon as trafficking becomes necessary to move forward with her plan, I’m sure she will be able to justify it to herself.

Wendilynn: She most certainly is a survivor. We’ve jumped 2 years and Min Chi Hyung is still not dead. I guess the money he squirreled away has done enough to keep him alive even if She could not free him. Not that he appreciates that fact, I think. I don’t want to imagine how much trouble he can make once he gets free. When Lee Gyeom was walking around with the Crown Prince, I looked him up to see what type of rule he will have. He only lived like 9 months before he was poisoned and replaced by one of his brothers. So, when you add that to the growing Japanese threat, this sounds like it’s about to get nasty.

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Kate: I was more interested in the two new young women characters that were introduced, the Princess and the “blind date” for Lee Gyeom. Both have the promise of shaking things up quite a bit. Princess is a bit full of herself and seems a little selfish, though being raised royal probably contributed to that. Her interest in getting painting lessons and her little fit when Saimdang said she couldn’t at the time because of paper deadlines showed that the Princess has the potential to inflict real damage in the lives of our beloved characters. It hasn’t happened yet, but if Princess doesn’t get her way? Or if she gets poisoned (metaphorically, this time) by her new painting teacher towards Saimdang? She could do some real damage. Gyeom, on the other hand, appears to have found a serious candidate for marriage this time. It may not be Saimdang, but they seem to be matched on a level he hasn’t approached with any other woman besides Saimdang. I wonder what fallout that may have now that this is happening right as Saimdang considers herself quietly separated from her cheating husband?

Wendilynn: Saimdang is the type of woman to live her life quietly and steadfastly. She may not technically have a husband anymore, but she’ll never be unfaithful to him herself. I’m not sure if I agree that Lee Gyeom has met a woman who can match him but you are right that both women will shake things up. The previews let us know that the silly princess will be manipulated by Whieumdang. She’s such a shallow, vain person that she will be easy pickings.

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Kate: I suppose we can’t leave the modern storyline out without a little more discussion. It was nice to see Ji Yoon has a loving and supportive father that she can turn to in her time of crisis and regroup. I almost wondered where he was for the last 18 episodes when she was struggling so much. I was sad that Mother-in-Law didn’t take the invitation to come along as well, especially since I can’t imagine she won’t be able to go too far on her own selling cosmetics, but with the photographer looking into the painting, hopefully none of Ji Yoon and her allies will be on their own and down in the dumps for too long.

Wendilynn: I’m glad we were right and Prof. Min burned a copy. I just couldn’t see him burning something that was his life’s work. I’m not sure what I think of the two little bootlickers who work for him. I get that they are in a hard place because they can’t progress in their degrees without a professor, but they now have seen how he will turn on his own people even after years of devoted service. How can they believe he will not turn on them in an instant to save himself?

Kate: Power breeds corruption, and Min has power. His graduate students, with the right guidance, could make the right choices, but after so much abuse, they probably will look forward to abusing their own power in the future. Maybe they can be convinced to turn to the side of good right now, though? It wouldn’t hurt our protagonists to have a little more inside help.Then again, who knows what Rade has shaken up with his new blog post and investigations into the painting? Professor Min seems a little bit worried, and the investigation and publicity has only begun.

Wendilynn: I think that’s what Rade will provide. I think things are going to get exciting on this end as he steps into the fray. It’s going to get hot for Prof. Min. 

Will Saimdang let loose with Geom?  Is Ji Yoon's husband really dead?  Will Rade be her new love interest?  How mad were you at Won Soo?  Let us know in the comments.

For more from your Drama Club check out:

Wendilynn: As the Kimchi Turns | DF video drama club | My Shy Boss | Past Drama Clubs

Kate: Let’s Fight Ghost | Answer Me 1988 |Entertainer| Orange Marmalade| Fall in Love Like a Star

For past episode reviews



Saimdang: Light's Diary (Herstory)

Starring Lee Young Ae and Song Seung Hun

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