Is someone cutting onions in here?
There is a particular scene in Kharm See Than Dorn that will be hard to beat throughout the rest of the show, for me it will go down as one of the scenes that I will remember this show by. As a side note, this show does get bogged down with different (irrelevant) side storylines, and if you’re not going to watch this show for that reason, this particular scene sums up the goal of the story.
When we meet Tiangwan, he’s rising from his past of substance abuse. He is slowly learning that there’s more to life than struggling with your past. There are opportunities to snag: whether that is figuring out what makes you tick, or giving yourself a chance at love even if your love already has someone else. Through wanting to help her, and connecting with her younger brother who is going through substance addiction, Tiangwan learns just how lucky he was and is.
Deunsip’s dad is abusive and unsupportive of trying to get her brother the help that he needs, while her mother is so soft and fearful of her husband that she buckles when she needs to step up. Realizing how much support and love he had while going through this, Tiangwan finally understands what truly matters.
So that night as he returns home after visiting Deunsip and her problematic family, Tiangwan looks at his own father and opens up to the older man how he truly felt for the first time.
“I used to hate you, dad,” he says. Dad turns around with a thoughtful look, waiting for Tiang to continue. “I hated that you never raised your voice. I hated the smile that you use to face your problems. I hated that you always followed mom’s footsteps. And I hated when you were motionless when mom acts up. I hated everything about you.”
Dad asks quietly, “You used to hate me, does that mean you no longer hate me?”
Tiang gives dad a smile.
Dad turns away to compose himself, and then he says, “Do you know that that is my approach to handling your mom? Because I love to be by her side, that is what I must do, otherwise we won’t make it. But if things go badly, I will stand up and protect and take care of my family until we make it.”
Tiang knows that now.
“I’m sorry dad,” he says and gets down on his knees. He starts to bow but dad stops him. Like he always does, dad pulls his son up to stand tall.
“Thank you dad. I love the way that you are,” Tiang says.
In this scene, they don’t even cry, but they manage to convey the love, and pain, and tenderness that their characters feel for each other. Love comes in so many different shapes and sizes, but loving your children and your parents will never go out of style.
And this scene ends with a very basic and simple sentence, but gives them both so much hope: Tiang will take more baking classes. There is nothing more promising to a recovered substance abuse victim, than to hone their skills in something they want to pursue in the future. Because if we have a strong mind and a great support system, anything is possible.
He’s going to bake one hell of a cookie.