Smile, Donghae Episodes 78-83 Recap

Yes, it was a Smile, Donghae marathon…of course I only watched 5 episodes, but still… not bad. These episodes really play on situational irony to the max. Anna knows the truth, Kim Jun knows the truth, Sae Young and Tae Hoon know the truth, Pil Jae knows the truth, and even Hye Sook found out. Who doesn’t know? Do Jin, Donghae, Bongi, Songi, and the Lee parents. It’s really amazing how Donghae is desperately searching and there’s all these people who know, but won’t tell.

Really the arc of these episodes revolves around Anna learning the truth as well as Hye Sook and Kim Jun struggling to fess up to his current family so that he can leave them to be with Anna and Donghae at long last.

Anna’s horrified and heartbroken that Jun didn’t keep his promise to her. It’s even more heartbreaking because she genuinely likes and cares for Hye Sook. Who would have thought that the second nicest person to her in Korea would end up being married to Anna’s first…only…love? This really throws Anna for a spin and she runs out of the house. Hye Sook immediately thinks her son and daughter-in-law must have been bullying Anna, but they both deny it. Saewa then has her mom go over to Anna to tell her she must never see Jun again as he has a family and Anna will be doing a bad thing if she keeps seeing him. Jun does try to explain that he’ll leave his wife and son, but Anna can’t have that. Jun is bad. He can’t do something like that. Of course, Anna has no idea how miserable he was in his marriage, but at the same time, you know Jun never really tried to make things work like they could with Hye Sook and he only just started after giving up on Anna all those months ago and now he’s back to square one.

What is funny is that Donghae and Bongi perceive Jun’s behavior towards Donghae as odd, but neither of them can put two and two together that Jun’s acting all lovey and fatherly because he’s Donghae’s missing father! Typical. So Jun learns about Donghae’s trouble with the hotel scouter and he decides to force the hotel’s hand by airing the commercial for the survival program which has footage of Donghae in it. Do Jin and Saewa are livid. I do like that Bongi overhears Saewa’s conversation and learns that she was behind the whole scandal and she decides to get Saewa to confess with her mother-in-law in the vicinity. Saewa is in shock and lies by saying she was only agreeing with Bongi because the girl was super annoying, but Hye Sook isn’t an idiot and after everything that’s happened so far, she knows Saewa is no angel and is completely capable of being such a sneaky witch.

So just as Do Jin’s and Saewa’s marriage is finally back on track, Hye Sook is pushing for the divorce more and more because she can’t stand the conniving young woman. Hye Sook…I have really mixed feelings about her character. I don’t hate her, but I don’t 100% like her either. She’s her own worst enemy with her obsessive love of her husband. She attempted suicide in order to bind him to her and she’s held onto him for 27 years knowing full well he never once loved her like she probably deserved. Yes, when she finds out the truth she blames Saewa for being the reason Donghae and Anna are in Korea and the reason why they are working at the hotel, but if we go back farther, isn’t it all really her doing with her own machinations to keep Jun all those years ago? Hye Sook is definitely a complex character, though and I really do love Jung Aeri as an actress. She’s made me hate her, love her, etc. in other dramas—proof of being a good actress. She’s played the evil mom well, the misguided mom well…this character isn’t too new in her repertoire, but she does make you dislike Hye Sook, sympathize with her, and all that jazz.

Anywho. Of course Sae Young overhears the truth which means it won’t be long before she spills the beans and it happens when she goes to take the babies back from Tae Hoon who took the babies to live at the Lee house. That was his and Sool Nyeo’s plan to get Sae Young to shape up and stop her modeling job. Sae Young has no chance but to quit when her husband sees the photographer put his hands on his wife. Nothing horrible, but it was suggestive. Anywho, she blurts out the truth when she learns about the kimchi factory collaboration with the hotel. They stop arguing and talking about it when Donghae comes into the kitchen to prepare for the first round of the televised competition. In their room, they continue talking and Pil Jae overhears everything and boy does he blow a gasket. They have to stop him from rushing out to beat Jun to a bloody pulp for destroying a young woman’s life by getting her pregnant and abandoning her to live on her own for nearly 30 years.

It’s kind of funny. Donghae would be about 26 then. We all know Ji Chang Wook was only in his early 20s when filming this drama 4 years ago. Plus, Donghae, who has matured, is the hyung to Do Jin who is still very much immature…but at the same time, it feels like Do Jin should be the hyung to me and not the other way around even though I do know Donghae was born first.

Somewhere in Jun’s odd behavior, Hye Sook suspects another woman. She tries to get confirmation to no avail. She happens to find a receipt in her husband’s pocket and goes to visit the place where she learns of Anna’s and Jun’s meetings. Of course, she has no idea the woman is Anna at this time, but she puts two and two together when she sees the harmonica that Jun gave back to Anna in Donghae’s hands during the televised competition. Ah, and I really like Yu Jin standing up to Do Jin and quitting and getting a new job so fast at a new hotel in order to compete with Donghae once more. She’s another part of the reason Donghae still got to compete because she was the alternate and then she quit.

During the filming of the show, Hye Sook confirms Anna’s and Donghae’s true identities and she is one unhappy and verging on cray-cray woman. Pil Jae confronts Jun letting the man know he knows the truth, but he keeps quiet as he feels bad for Do Jin when the young man comes up to save his father from Pil Jae’s wrath. Hye Sook rushes back to the TV station after confirming it was Anna with her husband at the café. She fantasizes about slapping Jun and calling him out, but her pride won’t allow that. She’s downright scary in her demeanor and treatment of Anna. Oh, it’s not horrible or anything, but she’s got that evil aura exuding. Funny how no one really picked it up. Anna rushes out and Donghae follows. He’s upset with his mother’s rudeness and the fact she’s hiding something from him, but what can he do when his mother won’t confess.

So in this great giant cesspool, Hye Sook starts making her moves. She sends Do Jin away so she can chase Saewa out of the house. Hye Sook blames Saewa for everything. I have already said that. She does tell her daughter-in-law that the divorce is going to happen whether she likes it or not. Hye Sook then says she will take care of everything one by one to protect her family. She even goes so far as to call up the program and try to replace Donghae even though the first episode has already aired. She then goes to the Lee house to talk about the kimchi deal and you know that she’s probably going to do away with the whole lot now and that’s just wrong. I get that she has this defense mechanism to fight for her family, but seriously? Going to the extent you know she’s going to attempt is just insane. Oh…she doesn’t like Anna and Donghae now…just wait until she learns of their second secret identities. She’ll hate them even more then.

On the upside, even though you know problems are around the corner, it’s touching to see the Lees banding together to get the money for the factory, cleaning it up, and getting their old employees back from like 12 or more years ago. Also, it was nice that our childish married couple get back together in a roundabout way as they try to submit their divorce papers. Sool Nyeo…I get that she’s a mother who wants the best for her daughter, but enabling Saewa’s bad behavior has never been good. Sool Nyeo is not innately evil, but she does the wrong thing for her daughter. I do like how she does tell Saewa to stop everything now, but Saewa refuses to listen. Saewa is, in part, a monster of her mother’s creation. It’s hell isn’t it?

Anna tries to get Donghae to quit the competition and hotel, but in the end, she lets up on him for one reason on—Bongi. Donghae and Bongi confessed their relationship to Anna and she gave the kids her approval, but Donghae needs to win in order to gain the Lee family approval to date/marry their precious daughter. Poor Anna. None of this is her fault, but she’s taking quite a few punches, isn’t she?


  • Thanks for doing these recaps! I was able to skip thru some dragging episodes! I hope to read more of your summaries for this drama!!

Wanna share your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.