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The Atypical Family: Episodes 9-10 » Dramabeans

The Atypical Family: Episodes 9-10

Our penultimate week explores all the parent-child and familial relationships that exist in the show. Our lead couple’s romance also progresses, but it’s really the younger ones who catch our eyes with their limited screen time. And just when we think everything is settled, we’re hit with a plot twist. Oops! Then again, how else will Show reel us in for the finale?


Our lottery ticket continues its journey from Soon-goo to the blackmailer, and it eventually ends up with Sauna Mom — who orchestrated the whole thing! You’d think she’d be satisfied with the money, but no. Sauna Mom still sends pictures of Soon-goo and his lady friend to Man-heum — who feels betrayed that her husband started clubbing after she stopped dreaming. I understand Soon-goo’s relief at finally being able to have hobbies without walking on eggshells around his all-seeing wife; unfortunately, this hobby gets him kicked out of the house.

Da-hae informs Gwi-ju that Man-heum has played in Sauna Mom’s hands by getting rid of the family’s supportive pillar (Soon-goo), and that everything falls back on Gwi-ju because he put his family in danger by trying to save her. They get into their usual “I’m going to save you,” and “You’re not the one who saved me” back and forth, but at least this time, we learn that the person who saved Da-hae had a red spot at the back of his neck — which Gwi-ju doesn’t have. Yet.

In other news, we also learn that Dong-hee’s marriage plans have little to do with love and inheriting the gym building, and plenty to do with Man-heum drumming it into her head that she has to get married to have a grandchild to pass down their legacy. This is probably why Dong-hee had to leave a successful modelling career — and end up stress eating. Smh. Not Man-heum being the real villain to her family.

Speaking of grandchildren, Yi-na goes missing after being bullied at school, and the resulting search for her highlights how little Gwi-ju knows about his daughter. (PS: I was going to praise how natural the Kopiko PPL was integrated into the convenience store scene with Sauna Uncle, but he had to ruin it with the “I need a pick-me-up” line. *Rolls eyes*)

Da-hae heads to the sauna to see if Yi-na dropped by, but Sauna Mom insinuates that she betrayed her by giving the lottery ticket to the Boks. Da-hae replies that she could have easily cashed the ticket and paid off her debt, but she didn’t because she wanted to remain in the sauna family. Over time, Da-hae felt that Sauna Mom cared about her like a real daughter, but now she sees that it was just her assumption. As a result, she disowns Sauna Mom and warns her to stay away from the Boks, or else. (PS: Sauna Mom’s real daughter is late.)

Thanks to his future self, Gwi-ju and Da-hae finally locate Yi-na — who was locked up in the school gym’s storage room — but Gwi-ju’s dad manual is outdated and he doesn’t know how to properly react to the situation. Da-hae steps in using her own experience with bullies, and she helps Yi-na make sense of her mind-reading power by pointing out that people’s thoughts are fleeting, and what Yi-na sees is just a tiny piece of their minds.

Taking Da-hae’s advice, Gwi-ju stops bombarding Yi-na with questions and he looks into her eyes instead. It’s an emotional moment for father and daughter, and her replies to his “I’m sorry for leaving you on your own” thoughts make him realize that she can read minds. Yi-na tells Gwi-ju that she kept it a secret because she wished the power would go away, and a flashback to the car accident reveals her mom’s last thoughts: Mom blamed Yi-na’s birth for kickstarting Gwi-ju’s obsession with the fire incident.

Yi-na’s innocent “Should I never have been born?” reply shocked — and distracted — Mom, and that’s how they got into the accident. OMG! When I said I was curious about what Yi-na read in her mom’s mind, this is NOT what I was picturing. It’s bad enough that Yi-na blames herself for being born, but she also blames herself for the accident? This is too much guilt for a child to be carrying around, and I want to reach into the screen to hug her.

In the present, Yi-na calls herself a monster, but Gwi-ju comforts her and assures her that she’s not at fault. Father and daughter cry it out and reconcile, but I refuse to cry. *Sniffs into tissues* Now that this reconciliation and offloading of guilt is out of the way, Yi-na’s confidence level spikes. She confesses to Joon-woo that she likes him too, and they become an official couple. Awwww. Yi-na also refuses to fall for Ms. Popular’s emotional blackmail when the latter is exposed at school for locking her in the storage, and I like how she pointed out that Ms. Popular’s fall from grace is solely a consequence of her actions. Yi-na is no longer blaming her mind-reading abilities anymore, and I love it for her!

Gwi-ju is grateful to Da-hae for helping him reconcile with his daughter, and now that he has re-found happiness in the moment Yi-na was born, he says it’s time to save Da-hae using that happiness. You know, if I took a shot every time Gwi-ju talks about “saving” someone, I’d be passed out drunk by now.

Gwi-ju mentions that the point of going back to save Da-hae is so that he can meet her 13 years later — our current timeline — and fall in love with her, and I just… Call it my overthinking — yunno, since I’m drunk and all — but did Gwi-ju really lose his marriage due to an obsession with going back to the past only for the ultimate aim of falling in love with Da-hae? It’s obvious Show does not like Yi-na’s mom, but you mean she had to die for the Gwi-ju × Da-hae ship to sail? Wow! The universe/fate has some explaining to do.

Gwi-ju converts the two family rings from last week into couple rings for him and Da-hae, and they kiss. Everything is finally coming up roses for them until Man-heum has a dream that Gwi-ju will die in the fire while saving Da-hae. And now I’m as sober as a judge. Man-heum begs Da-hae to move back into the Bok mansion so that Gwi-ju can spend his last days in happiness, but Da-hae disagrees. How can she move back knowing that Gwi-ju will die because of her? “You’re a swindler, so swindle him,” Man-heum replies, and this is why she’s the villain of the story.

I get that Man-heum is jaded from not being able to prevent her father’s death after she dreamt about it, but would it kill her to allow her husband and daughter to process their feelings first before strong-arming them into the charade? I can’t believe she tried to get Dong-hee to play along by mentioning that the gym building is all hers after Gwi-ju dies, and I’m glad Dong-hee called her out on it. But ultimately, everyone joins Team Gwi-ju’s Happiness — except for Gwi-ju and Yi-na who are kept in the dark for obvious reasons.

Gwi-ju and Da-hae banter about a movie scene on their way to a planned trip, and she tells him to go back in time to the cinema to confirm for himself. Going back to the past during a car ride? This man learnt absolutely nothing from his late wife’s accident. “This is not the time to flex your superpowers!” I shout from behind my screen, but since Gwi-ju can’t hear me, he disappears. Sure enough, by the time he returns, he’s sitting in a wrecked car. To make matters worse, Da-hae is missing, and from all indications, she was hurled out of the windshield in the accident.

On confrontation, Sauna Mom denies having anything to do with the accident, but this is clearly a lie because we saw her plotting a “goodbye present” for Da-hae with Sauna Uncle. Drunk Gwi-ju wiggles his way back into the show, and Depressed Gwi-ju also loses his powers. But while the facts say that Da-hae is dead, Gwi-ju remains convinced otherwise. Yi-na also shares her father’s belief, and she’s confident that he can go back to the past to save her beloved ahjumma. Thankfully, Gwi-ju’s powers return in response to his daughter’s faith in him, but there’s nothing he can do to prevent the accident because Past Da-hae avoids him.

In the end, Yi-na goes to beg Sauna Uncle to tell her the truth, and though he insists — in Sauna Mom’s hearing — that he knows nothing about the accident, he makes sure to look into Yi-na’s eyes so she can see the truth for herself. It turns out that Da-hae and Sauna Uncle staged the accident behind Sauna Mom’s back in order to send Gwi-ju back into depression and render him unable to use his powers. No power = inability to save Da-hae from the fire = Gwi-ju remains alive. Interestingly, Man-heum was in the know of Da-hae’s noble idiotic plan to remove herself from Gwi-ju’s life, but she refused to say a word and put her son out of his misery. Such motherly love.

Gwi-ju drives down to the small beach town Da-hae is hiding at, and they do the “Why did you leave me?” and “I don’t want you to die” waltz. The back and forth ends with Gwi-ju’s love confession and a kiss, and this would have been a sweet moment to leave off for the week if Yi-na did not end up finding out that her dad is going to die when she inevitably reads Man-heum’s mind. Yikes!

The entire show has been building up to the big salvation from the fire arc, and we await next week’s finale to see Gwi-ju’s fight against fate to fulfil his destiny. Hopefully, he comes back alive. And since everyone and their daughters are flexing their superpowers in full, I want to see Dong-hee 2.0 finally relieving herself of all that pressure from Man-heum, and regaining her confidence to fly — after kicking her scummy fiancé to the curb, of course.


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