Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeat
Life is like a river, not a beautiful one, it’s a river of shit.
Kang Chil grabs hold of Jina’s wrist and asks her who she is. After some awkward strained moments in which she’s trying to wrest her wrist from his grasp, he lets her go and apologizes, saying that her hands were similar to someone he knew. The lights go out and they’re both in the darkness, Jina still apprehensive to be alone with this potentially dangerous stranger.
Kang Chil’s mom and Hyo Sook are arguing over Kang Chil. Hyo Sook says that Kang Chil has the right to know that the reason why his mom hung up on his call when he was wounded was because of his no good, low down scum of a father.
Kang Chil’s Mom tells Hyo Sook that she better not mention his father to Kang Chil, and to just let the situation stay as it is. Apparently she’s told Kang Chil that his father is dead when he really isn’t. KC’s Mom also doesn’t want Kang Chil to find out that his brother Kang Woo died running away from their father because he was being beaten in Kang Chil’s place.
Gook Soo pops out at this moment. Both women are ready to make him leave, but he charms them with a smile. He tells them that he only beat up Kang Chil to prevent him from being even more violent and get thrown back in jail. He’s Kang Chil’s guardian angel!
Back in the vet hospital, Kang Chil fixes the light switch, but warns Jina that it’s only temporary, and that she needs to get a lot of things fixed for the hospital to run properly.
After looking at her a while, he finally breaks their strained silence, ” You look like someone who has studied a lot. I’ve fixed a lot of things for you recently, did they never teach you to say thank you?” He also tells her that he doesn’t like it that just because of his appearance she judges him as less than her.
Jina gets mad that she’s being schooled by him and tells him from her point of view he’s in the wrong. She never judged him on just appearance, but what was she to think? Normally people don’t open cars with a wire and fix them, from her perspective he might have fixed it so he could steal it from her.
Kang Chil does finally realize how his actions might have been misconstrued, but he’s still mad, because he’d never had a thought of stealing from her. He makes to leave, but Jina grabs him and sits him down roughly. She’ll take care of his cut for him, because even though she’s not that close to Hyo Sook, she’s not so far that she won’t do her a favour.
While she’s treating Kang Chil’s wound, Jina receives a call from the hospital. They tell her that the person she ran over(Kang Chil) has liver cancer and needs to have additional tests done, so if she sees him could she please send him over? She apparently doesn’t realize that the guy is Kang Chil and asks to be kept posted on news about him.
As Kang Chil is leaving Jina’s sunbae & ex-boyfriend sneaks up on her, but she doesn’t scare easily and merely greets him quietly.
After the Sunbae leaves Kang Chil asks her what her relationship is with the man and she doesn’t give an answer, merely asks him why he hadn’t left yet. Kang Chil sniffs annoyed, and says that of course he’s leaving, it’s not like he lives there, and then manages to hit the bookshelf. Jina smiles at his bumbling.
Gook Soo comes running up a hill chased by Kang Chil and his shoes. Gook Soo asks that Kang Chil stop being mad and just accept the hits he received as a way to avoid going back to prison. Kang Chil remarks that Gook Soo is more like and Angel of Death than a Guardian Angel.
Kang Chil, his mom, and his ex-girlfriend get all riled up at each other. Kang Chil says he won’t stay with his mom, his mom tells him to go ahead and leave, he decides he’ll stay to make her miserable, and so he orders Gook Soo to spread out the blankets. They’ll stay with his mother.
Early in the morning, one almost naked Gook Soo stares at a pan and wonders at who the boy he saw in the bus is.
Kang Chil’s mother comes out at that moment and is surprised to see him in his boxers in the cold air. He laughs and tells her that because he’s turning into an angel his wings are growing he has to sleep nude. Kang Chil’s mother wonders about now having a guy who should be in an institution living with her.
Gook Soo follows Kang Chil’s mom around during her morning product buying rounds and though she’s rough and keeps saying he’s a bother, she accepts him. He calls her mom and tells her that he’ll be Kang Chil’s dongsaeng and her youngest son from now on.
Kang Chil’s mom can’t buy any of the good fish because the bitchy lady from the spot next to her has saved it for herself in advance, leaving KC’s mom without new stock.
Kang Chil and Hyo Sook show up and call KC’s mom and Gook Soo over. They have a picnic together. Gook Soo won’t eat until Kang Chil tells him he can eat, too bad for him that Kang Chil is too busy stuffing his own face… oh boys and their petty vengeances.
Gook Soo starts going on about all the repairs they’ll make in Kang Chil’s mom’s house and how they’ll earn a lot of money. Kang Chil spent his time in jail mastering skills and licenses : woodworking, electrician, auto repair, masonry among other things.
Hyo Sook asks how such a handsome guy like Gook Soo was in prison with Kang Chil. He says that he was in for armed Bank robbery and attempted murder. Food goes flying out from both women’s mouths as they’re surprised about the severity of those charges. Gook Soo explains that because his family didn’t have money to get treatment for his mom he took an ax to an ATM machine, and then because he was scared he picked up the ax when the police were arriving and that became his attempted murder charge.
While Gook Soo and Kang Chil are in the hardware store, Jina and her sunbae come in to ask about someone who’ll come and repair the hospital. The owner says that the guy has refused saying it was too much work and too little pay. Hyo Sook overhears and promotes Kang Chil and gets the job contract for him.
Kang Chil and Gook Soo are loading their work materials at the hardware store when they sense someone is observing them. Kang Chil suddenly drops everything and chases the hidden observer (it’s the ahjusshi who observed DA Park dealing with drug dealers by the Han RIver). They don’t catch him, but they do see a familiar face.
Warden Kim has come to see them, he’s come to pick them up and take them to Seoul. He was contacted by the hospital when they realized that the lost patient was a released prisoner.
Meanwhile DA Park receives a picture and a text message. It’s a picture of Kang Chil and the text tells the DA that he’s near Kang Chil and he hasn’t received any money yet. So Da Park is being extorted by the strange man in a baseball cap?
While Gook Soo and Warden Kim are waiting for the doctors to finish all the tests and scans necessary on Kang Chil, the insurance company representitive is trying very hard to pursuade Gook Soo to take the money and please not contact the car owner. Gook Soo doesn’t want to talk about money or anything, and asks the rep to just leave. The rep places the money next to the warden and scurries away before the warden can react.
Meanwhile Jina is walking in to the hospital, she wanted to talk face to face with the victim and tell him that if anything happened because of the accident he should call her. The rep tries to block her, she haults as she sees Kang Chil walk out of one of the doors in hospital clothing. She turns to the rep who’s now telling her that she shouldn’t have any contact with the victim since he’s the scum of society, a criminal.
Kang Chil decides to go have a drinking fest when he finds out about the liver cancer diagnosis. He says he’s not upset, after all that’s life, the “unlucky stay unlucky” and “life’s a river of shit.”
He says he can’t be angry or mad, because to do that there has to be someone to blame for his cancer, and there isn’t. Then suddenly he hits Gook Soo, “I thought you said you were my guardian angel. Did God decide that I wasn’t worth saving after all?” “I had a shit life getting beat up by my father, my brother dies, and then I go to prison, and now that I’m out I have cancer? Was that the plan to get rid of the useless person God? When I die I’m going to go figure out why Me?”
Gook Soo was silent when he was cuffed on the head, but after a few seconds he asks. “Why not you?” Kang Chil can’t believe he’s said that, but Gook Soo continues “Would you rather Warden Kim got cancer? that your mom who’s been beaten by her husband, who’s eldest son was killed and who’s youngest son went to prison, would you rather she have cancer? Would it be better if I got cancer? Would that be fair? So hyung, why not you?” Kang Chil has nothing to say to that, though he does try to say that of course it’s not what he wants.
In that moment Gook Soo gets an epiphany. The boy he saw in the bus next to him, it’s Kang Chil’s son. The one who Kang Chil rejected right before his accident. Since he’s KC’s son he should have KC’s same blood type (though it still doesn’t guarantee compatibility since there are many different elements involved in blood type besides the Basic ABO types, also there has to be tissue-compatibility, and that’s why often even relatives who share genetics with each other are sometimes incompatible) Gook Soo runs out of the restaurant like his pants are on fire, without a word of explanation to Kang Chil or the warden.
The next morning Kang Chil gets dropped off by warden Kim near a bus stop. The warden asks Gook Soo to not give up and keep hoping for the best. Kang Chil smiles and apologizes for his bad-temper last night, in truth he’d really been scared and had taken it out on them. He tells the warden that having cancer doesn’t mean he’ll die soon, so he’ll live each day as it comes.
As he’s walking along the road, Kang Chil takes out the angel wing stone that Gook Soo had given him and wonders if he’d dreamt Gook Soo’s promise for two more miracles.
Jina hadn’t had an easy night of it, she’d been worried about Kang Chil, even though she didn’t want to admit it. She was worried because she’d heard from the insurance rep that he was diagnosed with liver cancer which could only be cured through a liver transplant.
She decides that a hike through the woods to see deer would help clear her mind. When she makes it to the clearing she expected to see more, she spreads out food for the deer as she’s walking. She suddenly notices a deer with a bandage around it’s leg, she calls it “Taily” it’s a deer she’d previously taken care of.
When she walks back to her car she notices that Kang Chil is leaning on her car. He’s taken off his shoes as if they were hurting him. She approaches him. He smiles when he sees her and tells her that he’d spotted the car from the road while he was walking. He’d been waiting for the bus that would take him to Tongyung but it hadn’t come and he’d started walking and now his feet were hurting him, so would she be kind and let him grab a ride from her.
She looks at him and doesn’t answer yes or no. She opens her trunk and drops her backpack in it and then gets into her car and turns on the engine. He scowls, she’s really not a nice person and he starts walking away. Suddenly honks come from the car, she nods her head that she’ll give him a ride and his face brightens up (for reals everytime I see his genuine smile I feel like I’m seeing a little boy on christmas opening up his most wished for gift.)
Once in the car he tries to make small talk, but Jina barely responds at all. He asks her if he’s really that horrible to be around with that she has to make that face whenever she sees him. She’s surprised and tells him, softening a bit, it’s not because of that, it’s that he keeps talking to her when she’s driving and she can’t concentrate and that could be dangerous (heh I’m the opposite I need chatter in the car so that I can concentrate, otherwise I fall asleep, that’s why when I’m alone I have music blaring, noise=alert.)
She suddenly breaks because she sees a deer cross the road just in front of her. It’s the deer she’d named “Taily.” It appears to be injured, however just when Kang Chil’s about to touch it, it jumps up spooked and scares the bejeezus out of Kang Chil and Jina.
Kang Chil starts laughing and laughing and laughing about how scared he’d gotten because of that dear. “I almost peed myself I was so scared!” Jina is taken in by his laughter and she’s soon laughing with him just as heartily.
As they’re walking back up the hill they’d tracked the deer down from, Kang Chil asks for Jina’s name and age, saying he’s Kang Chil age 35. She doesn’t answer right away, and he asks cheekily if it’s still a sensitive topic these days to ask a woman her age? but he really only wants it to know who’s older, you know the whole banmal/jondaemal issue.
As he’s helping her up the last bit of the hill, Jina finally answers “Jung Jina….” he starts guessing her age from 26-30. She answers “29.” He remarks that she’s younger! and then quickly appeases her that he won’t talk down to her since that would be rude.
They banter the rest of the day home. Jina’s surprised about how happy he seems at the moment, despite his diagnosis of liver cancer the day before, and asks him if something good happened to him yesterday. He answers that nothing especially good or bad happened yesterday. Then why is he so happy now? He smiles as he hums, “If something good had happened yesterday I would smile and be happy yesterday. It’s because something good happened right now so I’m happy right now. I’m not a complicated person.”
Kang Chil says goodby to Jina as he spots his mom in a fight in front of her fish market stall with the bitchy ahjumma. She’d gotten mad that the woman was calling her son a gangster. Kang Chil pulls her off the woman, and tells her that of course everybody would call him a gangster because he looks like a gangster, or does she think that he looks like a teacher? He helps her pack up her stall and they walk home.
At home Kang Chil and his mom have as close to a heart to heart as they’ve had thus far. He takes out a guitar she had in her room and asks her to sing. She doesn’t want to but he emotionally blackmails her: “When hyung asked you to sing you would sing, yet you won’t when I ask you. Am I not also your son?” She starts singing. Kang Chil’s happy to share this with his mom.
That night he doesn’t go to bed right away. He repairs the outdoor table, fixes the roof, works on pantry doors tha tdon’t close right.
Then he goes and crouches next to his mother. He looks at her and smiles that she sleeps like a baby, and he slips out.
The next morning bright and early he’s at the vet hospital tearing down walls and beginning the job he’s been commissioned. Jina’s surprised to find him their so early, he tells her that he has to work because he needs the money.
Jina’s about to leave him be and go about her day when she sees his mom peek in on Kang Chil working. Jina sees that his mom is proud of this son who’s working hard instead of being out there causing trouble.
Later while Kang Chil’s on a break he spots Jina reading a magazine. He comes over and asks her, hypothetically speaking of course, could a guy who’s 35, who’s been in prison all his life, and never had a proper life, relationship or anything good, find love like any other normal person?
Wow Kang Chil. Wow Jung Woo Sung. just wow. Ok I have to confess that I’ve only liked JWS in his movies. I haven’t liked him in his dramas granted the first one I did watch almost completely was Athena, and that was horrible horrible horrible. I hated his character for being so wishy-washy and all around a dummy who I couldn’t for the life of me understand how get got into the secret service.
Kang Chil is definitely an onion. An onion that you have to peel layer by layer. His shell/outer layer is violence, he responds violently when he feels threatened or when he’s angered. His fists are often more in command of his actions than his brain. Yet there is a layer in which he’s this confident guy, who knows his way around electrical work, construction and auto repair, he’s sure of his skills in those things. And then there is another layer where he becomes unsure, tentative, scared, he doesn’t know how to really interact with the world, and few ever see deep enough to see his timidity, all they see is the gangpae, violent exterior. Jina is beginning to see some crack in his outer layer to see the layers inside.
Gook Soo. He’s so mysterious. Is he really an angel? At the very least he’s having very prophetic hallucinations. How would he know that that’s Kang Chil’s son, he wasn’t with Kang Chil when father and son met. Yet he realized the importance of the person he’d spied in his hallucination/vision back in the bus terminal.
Links to other Recaps
Mad Dino Asylum- Padam Padam Episode 3 Recap
JBarky’s Recap on Soompi- Padam Padam Episode 3 Recap
Raine’s Dichotomy- Padam Padam Episode 3 Recap