Our quest through fairyland continues with a cursed castle, ghosts and even, a Sleeping Beauty (or two)! Along the way, we get further insights into our main characters Moon Young and Kang Tae. My recap of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020) Chapter 3 Sleeping Witch begins now.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020): The story of a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who lives on 1.8 million won (approximately $1,520) a month and a storybook writer suffering from an antisocial personality disorder. A man who denies love and a woman who doesn’t know love defy fate and fall in love, finding their souls and identities in the process. Moon Kang Tae is a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who was blessed with everything including a great body, smarts, ability to sympathize with others, patience, ability to react quickly, stamina, and more. Meanwhile, Go Moon Young is a popular writer of children’s literature, but she is extremely selfish, arrogant, and rude. (Source: Soompi & Koreandrama.org)
Episode 2 Recap
In the hospital we learn was built where a cemetery used to be (Poltergiest anyone?), Moon Young meets Kang Tae again, whom she calls her red shoes. So they speak and Kang Tae basically tells her he doesn’t want her there, and she tells him that she’s surprised by the way he grew up, how he evolved to which he replies, does she know him? She tells him that when she wants something pretty, she takes it, steals it and otherwise make sure she gets it.
Then Moon Young goes to see the director of the hospital about her father and she seems completely uninterested in what he says, as the doctor/director tells her her father seems to have a brain tumor, his memory is messed up, and he keeps saying things that makes no sense. Moon Young just says maybe he (her father) is possessed and she should get an exorcist? But the Director Oh wants Moon Young to conduct a class at the hospital.
Afterwards, Moon Young hunts down her prey, Kang Tae and tries to touch his chest while he’s changing his uniform, and Joo Ri sees them. She wants to know how Moon Young knows Kang Tae? We see bits of their meetings as Moon Young says she’s doesn’t how to describe their relationship.
Later when Kang Tae is getting off work, Moon Young tries to get him to leave with her but he refuses. So she is driving up a mountain side by herself in the dark, when she thinks she sees something and almost has an accident. But there is just a deer in front of her and they yell at each other basically in a bizarro scene, lol.
Meanwhile Kang Tae is having dinner with his friends as Moon Young arrives at a decrepit looking house or mansion. We also see her CEO Sang In discussing the ‘Cursed Castle’ as he calls Moon Young’s house with his assistant Seung Jae and she wonders why Moon Young never got rid of it, but he says it’s not sell-able. The assistant wonders why she went there, but he says it because she told Moon Young that Kang Tae was there. We see Moon Young going to her spooky room and lying in the bed and it’s very macabre while at the same time we see Kang Tae and friends having a nice dinner together, a little matchmaking going on cuz Joo Ri’s mom likes Kang Tae, but very nice and normal. A great little moment of compare and contrast going on here.
There, with Moon Young lying in her bed, amidst the dust, cobwebs and ghosts? (a ‘Welcome’ is written by someone, something? on a window), we get a story of a Sleeping Princess. It is the story of Sleeping Beauty, which you can read more about at the link. The main theme of the story seems to be you can’t escape your destiny and there appears to be a ghost over the body of Moon Young and she just lies there shaking and trembling and the ghost says ‘I will kill that Prince’. It’s unclear how much of this is real, how much is a dream.
But we next see Moon Young as a little girl, standing, looking into the water and we hear the words ‘Save me’ being repeated over and over again.
Moon Young wakes up and she’s terrified and she thinks of Kang Tae and she imagines that he’s there. We see herself soothing herself, using the butterfly hug technique Kang Tae taught her.
The next morning, a new guest has appeared at the hospital, Gi Do, the son of an assembly man. Moon Young is speaking with her CEO about how to manage her PR. Meanwhile, Gi Do strips for the camera in his hospital room. Apparently he has manic episodes and the staff talk about them. Gi Do talks about what happened to him and we see his story playing out onscreen as if he’s actually there going to a club where he tells everyone he’ll pay, only to find his dad reported his credit cards as being missing and so he’s running away, being chased by the people from the club. Good example of showing a story, not just telling it.
A fairy tale is a cruel fantasy that illustrates the brutality and violence of this world in a paradoxical manner.Moon Young
We next see where others are working. It turns out that Sang Tae is working at a pizza place with Jae Soo, drawing pictures for people as a promotion for the place unbeknownst to Kang Tae who thinks he’s elsewhere. We get to see Moon Young at her job too, teaching a class on fairy tales, and it goes about as well as can be expected, as she in turn enthralls, alienates and shocks the class. She waits for Kang Tae after class, wants to get him to admit to being unsatisfied and tells him she had a dream about him, again bringing up their sexual chemistry. She tells him if he wants to have fun, have fun and calls him a hypocrite. She sees him so well, that he might pretend to be above the fray, his only desire is to be the perfect little brother, but the reality is far from that. More on that later.
As she’s leaving, Moon Young walks past her father in his wheelchair and we see flashbacks and he starts having an attack. Sang Tae is there and he sees her and follows her, but Kang Tae catches him and stops him from following Moon Young. Apparently he’s there to see the director so we see him diagnosing him.
Director Oh immediately goes into a spiel about the stegosaurus which captures Sang Tae’s attention and interest. Kang Tae asks if his brother mentioned anything about butterflies, but nope they got along fine and Sang Tae even gave him a gift. He tells Sang Tae he wants him to paint a mural on the wall for the hospital, but Sang Tae says he has to pay him. Later at home, Kang Tae wonders why Sang Tae needs money and it turns out Sang Tae wants to buy a camping van so they can always have a home when they move and of course Kang Tae is very touched by that 😀.
In the last part of the episode, we have Gi Do meeting Moon Young after he escapes from the hospital. He exposes himself to Moon Young, but she just derides him, calling him ‘Teenie Weenie’. She does help him escape by offering him a ride and they go on a wild car ride. Kang Tae hears about the escape and commences to chase them, even catching up to them at one point, but he lets his guard down and they get away.
They end up at a campaign event that Gi Do’s father is hosting and Gi Do takes over the microphone and starts talking about his dad and how he basically looks down on him cuz he’s stupid, so he says he did a lot of things to try to get his dad’s attention. Moon Young and Kang Tae watch as he tries to evade the people after him to prevent him from speaking, laughing and whirling around.
And Kang Tae is looking at him like, yes that’s me, I’m that free and we see an image of Kang Tae in place of Gi Do, as if he’s the one dancing around invading his captors, as if he’s the one… that’s free. Very powerful moment, and so telling as we see Kang Tae turn to Moon Young and ask, ‘Should I just have fun with you?’
The episode ends with the story Gi Do told of him going to the club, running from people and getting in trouble, only this time, the setting is in the hospital as he really told the tale and we don’t see the club, the dancing, the chasing. It’s as if that was how Kang Tae saw it, like he was transported to that world through Gi Do’s story.
There are so many little things that make the characters’ in here great, like the impressive acting by the main leads, but also small character moments, like how Moon Young drags her umbrella on the pavement, holds her fingers out like scissors to have a paper placed in them. Lots of little character details like that really make the character, but I can’t really say if they’re planned or on purpose, from Seo Ye Ji or the director or the writer. Regardless, it all combines together to make Moon Young a real character. And in this episode, we finally begin to get a glimpse of the real Moon Young behind her careless, brazen facade, we finally get a more vulnerable Moon Young as she shivers in the darkness all alone after her nightmare.
But the one who has really been exposed in this episode is Kang Tae. I’ve mentioned before in my previous recap about how Kang Tae is framed in the drama in a variety of scenes. He is boxed in, shut in, and doesn’t reveal his true self. He wants to have the freedom of Gi Do (or Moon Young) to act crazy, but he is the nice brother, the smart brother, the dependable one. All of this is a burden on him of course, Kang Tae loves his brother, but it can still be a heavy burden at times to have to care for family. There was a series of great articles on mydramalist.com by 3GGG on boxing and other visual cues that will give you a lot to think about it regards to this and other dramas I recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about visual cues in dramas.
There are so many things I want to say about what I suspect will happen later, but I won’t go into it because, 1. I don’t want to spoil things and 2. I could be wrong, and 3. I want to keep the ideas flowing and if I write them down, they’ll become too heavy for me to have any flights of fantasy about what will happen next. I’ve tried deliberately to keep these recaps as brief as possible in regards to speculation because I want to really enjoy the journey without knowing too much about what is coming next. Moon Young is not the only sleeping beauty here and I only hope that Kang Tae will wake up to achieve some measure of freedom and Moon Young will get someone who’ll comfort her and understand her truly.