@40somethingahjumma examines Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee’s chances of reconciliation, and wonders if Yoon Hee and Ji An might have swapped roles somewhere along the way.
I agree that the storyline has been such that a reconciliation between DH and YH seems extremely unlikely. I also agree that before there can be any talk about a reconciliation about those two, it’s important to think through the reasons that led to the adultery. It’s a bit simplistic and cartoony IMO to believe that DH and YH can just pick up the pieces when they can’t even have a protracted conversation about why their marriage broke down in the first place. I’m relatively new to the drama compared to most so the adultery is quite fresh in my mind. It was always clear to me while watching those early episodes when we saw instances of YH and JY having their tryst that the writer was setting up the end of that marriage which was pretty much a sham, already hollowed out from within. Throughout the drama it was apparent that we saw YH spend more time with JY than she did with DH which should tell us everything we need to know about how that marriage should be understood.
With regards to the whole debate about whether DH and YH should stay together as if they are our relatives or friends, I would think that’s moot because this is a piece of fiction set in a broken world inhabited by broken people who are groping around trying to work out what they want from life. If we consider the context and other 21st century realities, marriages ending in divorce even in SK aren’t beyond the pale. It’s sad and tragic, yes… but it is part and parcel of the human condition.
I love that tvN is exploring different types of stories with all kinds of relationships… even ones that for a large swath of the audience is hard to compartmentalize. I personally believe that DH and J’A’s relationship is one of those. I think it’s a relationship that transcends the label “romance” or “paternal” because there are elements of both present as the relationship evolves over the course of the drama. J’A undoubtedly arouses DH’s protective instincts but then we see that he arouses her protective instincts of him as well. What she does for him goes beyond the “daughter” role… she is completely devoted to him to the point of self-sacrifice. She does all this because she really loves him with a maturity I seldom see in someone her age. Young people that age are usually thinking about themselves, their goals and their own freedom but J’A seems like an old soul. I’d even go so far as to say that she and YH have swapped roles.
I once knew a couple whereby the male was over twenty years younger than the female. She was a mother figure to him as far as others were able to see but somehow they made it work even with all their emotional baggage until she passed on several years ago.
Humanly speaking it will be very hard to DH to go back to YH after this. He’s had a taste of unconditional love, freely given. It will like going back to drinking tap water after drinking fresh spring water.