I’m back, I didn’t die. Let’s dive into the great story that Buamdong Revenge Social Club has to tell us.
The first episode of this drama was all set up and let’s get to know our characters, which is understandable. What is INCREDIBLE is the way it did so that made it so easy to fall into the story and be whole-heartedly on our ahjumma avengers’ side.
We start the day with a chase. Some poor secretary is chasing a kid he keeps calling young master. Said young master jumps into a fishing boat and sails away from his pursuer with a smile on his face.
Back in Seoul Jung Hye (Lee Yo Won) is at a birthday party for her father in law and completely bored or done with the whole thing and it might have to do with the fact that her childlessness seems to be a sticking point with the family. The grandfather seems to love his granddaughters but clearly adheres to the ‘must have a male heir’ school of thought so that he tells his granddaughter that the perfect gift for his is that she tell her parents to have a boy.
Grandfather clearly wants a male grandson and has apparently vowed to leave the company to the son that provides one. Which is when Jung Hye’s husband decides to drop a bomb: he has an illegitimate son and he has the DNA test to prove it. His smugness can be felt even through the screen and I kind of want to sock him in the mouth for so proudly displaying his profligate ways. Jung Hye stoically stays silent but I can almost feel her anger sizzling beneath the stiff facade she’s created for herself.
The teenage boy that was being chased in the opening receives an urgent call on his cellphone which makes him jump ship and swim back to the port. He runs all the way to a hospital where he sees his grandmother receiving CPR without apparent success.
Meanwhile Jung Hye and her husband have gone back home but it’s apparent that there isn’t much communication or love between them. The first thing that Jung Hye does at home is go to a nursery that was prepared before she had her miscarriage some unmentioned number of years before and she holds and stares at a musical toy that she bought the day her pregnancy was diagnosed.
You’d think that when the husband sees her holding the toy meant for their child that never got a chance to live, he’d actually be compassionate and ask for forgiveness for cheating on her sincerely, but nope he does nothing of the sort. And somehow he makes it seem like it’s her fault that they didn’t have children since he was being “considerate” of her feelings after her miscarriage, but now he has a son so it doesn’t matter in the long run.
She answers him with the best put down ever, asking him if his son looks like him, because if he does then it’s a loss for the son. His Royal Smugness has no answer to that and she walks away giving baleful looks in his direction.
The next day the son arrives to meet his father. And it’s Soo Gyum, the boy that was being chased around the wharf. And though he says that he’s happy and thankful to have been called and asked to live with his dad, he has a mysterious look as his bio dad walks away.
High school in dramas are always full of bullies and this particular high school has one that is particularly obnoxious. He sees a boy who is quietly studying and he decides that it’s time to bully someone. The quiet boy’s name is Hee Soo and it’s clear by how calm he stays as he gets ridiculed for smelling fishy as a reference to the fish shop Hee Soo’s mom owns that the bullying is nothing new. However the bully takes it to the next level and begins to trash talk Hee Soo’s noona and mom and that makes Hee Soo lose his cool and start a physical fight.
It’s not long before mom is informed about the fight and we see Do Hee (Ra Mi Ran) fly through the market place in a distracted hurry. She is so intent on catching a taxi that she disregards the red light and is almost run over by Jung Hye.
Jung Hye hurriedly gets down from her car and insists that Do Hee go to the hospital and get checked over by a doctor, but Do Hee declines the offer and assures her that she’s fine. But after being unable to find a taxi she does
get in Jung Hye’s car asking her for a ride to her son’s high school . Jung Hye complains that she’s not a taxi service but complies with the requestwhen she sees how stressed DO Hee is.
After a hurried goodbye in which Do Hee almost leaves without her cell phone, they part ways in no way suspecting how intertwined their futures were going to get from that point forward.
As she drives away from the school, Jung Hye receives a message from her husband informing her that Soo Gyum had arrived and that they should behave like adults. She scoffs at his attempts to remind her to be like an adult when he’s such a douchebag.
Dohee finally arrives and sees that her son is seated with the teachers and campus police. She’s informed about the incident with the bully (though nothing is said about how he started the fight by taunting Hee Soo) and apologizes to the teachers for the bully’s scraped elbow.
After all the usual talk with the teachers, Do Hee and Hee Soo walk outside together, Hee Soo tries to apologize for causing problems, but Do Hee just tells him that kids are supposed to trouble their parents and she’d been worried because he’d been so calm all this time and had never caused trouble. His job, she says, is to smile and let her handle it from this point on. Before she leaves him she hurriedly stuffs his pocket with money in spite of his protests, so that he can buy something good to eat .
As she’s walking away Hee soo notices that his mom’s jeans got ripped and points it out to Do Hee telling her to go home and change. She’s surprised but laughs about it and jauntily says that it’s alright since it’s not that visible. She walks away smiling and waving at her son, but as soon as she’s out of sight, her smile fails and her shoulders droop. She’s clearly worried about the fallout of the fight.
After her run in with Do Hee, Jung Hye goes for a solitary drink at a cafe where she people watches. Her study subject is a group of women, and more specifically an elegantly dressed woman who seems to have OCD as she keeps lining up the streak of blue on her coffee cup with the blue streak on it’s little plate.
This lady is Mi Sook (Myung Se Bin), our third member of the future Revenge Club. For now it’s not apparent why she would need revenge since the she seems to have a charmed life with money, a smart ambitious husband, and smart good looking children, at least according to her friends. She does however seem to be stressed and soon leaves the group citing an important prior appointment. Jung Hye just keeps watch from her seat.
When Jung Hye makes it home she’s greeted with the sight of her husband having fun bonding at the pool with his son and she barely acknowledges them as she walks away.
But bonding with his son isn’t the only thing her husband has been up to while she’s been out. As she walks up to the entrance and finds the the nursery furnishings outside which spurs her to the room that used to be the nurser and has apparently been transformed into Soo Gyum’s room. She walks back out and takes looks for the toy she always hold and when her husband shows up to ‘explain’ the situation she drops the toy and goes directly to her room ignoring everybody around her.
The next morning again she’s greeted with her husband and Soogyum wearing matching sweaters and looking like the closest father-son pair ever, and again she simply ignores them and continues on her way.
Some undisclosed amount of time later we see Jung Hye at a party apparently being held in honor of Professor Baek, as it turns out it’s Mi Sook’s husband. Jung Hye takes in all the fake schmoozing her husband does with disgust quite apparent on her face. She is clearly not happy and doesn’t like her husband’s friends as she’s rather reluctant to shake hands and she makes sure to wash her hands thoroughly right after.
As she leaves the bathroom after her vigorous hand washing she chances upon a strange moment with Professor Baek and Mi Sook. Mi Sook is very clearly subservient and even bends down to clean her husband’s show with her napkin but as soon as he reaches for her she lets out a little startled cry and falls backward.
During Professor Baek’s boring speech about his plan on reforming the education system, Jung Hye watches Mi Sook, and such vigilance pays off when she notices a bruise on Mi Sook’s arm as her long sleeve slips for a second.
After a photo-op with their husbands Mi Sook and Jung Hye are left in each other’s company. Jung Hye doesn’t hesitate and asks Mi Sook to join her in getting revenge on their spouses. Mi Sook tries to deny having anything to get revenge on, but Jung Hye makes it clear that she knows that Professor Baek is an abuser, and Mi Sook is his victim. She tells Mi Sook to meet her at a coffee shop to continue discussing their next move,and warns her that she’ll publicize Baek’s crime if Mi Sook doesnt go meet her.
The day comes around and as luck and drama convention would have it, Do Hee is also at the cafe where Mi Sook and Jung Hye are meeting, she’s come to negotiate with the bully’s mom. It’s clear where the bully got his attitude from since his mom is as bad or worse a bully as she loudly starts berating Do Hee on how she educates her children. Do Hee is obviously infuriated by the comments on her children but she swallows it all and lowers her head and begs forgiveness on behalf of Hee Soo. Because it wasn’t obvious how crass and mean spirited the mother son pair are, the bully confirms it by pouring juice on Do Hee’s head while recording it on his cell phone. (His hand in a sling is very obviously not injured)
The Bully mom just smirks and tells Do Hee that she will not forgive Hee Soo and that she’ll get back to her on the compensation. Do Hee chases after her and grabs her legs desperately begging that she forgive Hee Soo, but the Bully Mom doesn’t want to be a decent human and instead keeps threatening Do Hee. They make a stop right in front of the table where Jung Hye and Mi Sook are sitting. The bully mom notices that Jung Hye is at a table watching the goings on and she quickly changes her tone and tune and says that she’ll forgive Hee Soo just so that she’s able to get away before leaving a bad impression on Jung Hye.
After the Bully mom leaves, Mi Sook tries to help Do Hee clean up the juice that was poured on her and sits her down at the table to drink something and calm down. Jung Hye in her typical robotic fashion asks why Do Hee allows herself to be treated like that by the rude woman questioning if she has no self respect. Do Hee takes issue with that remark and says that her self respect is in protecting what is important to her. Still Jung Hye wonders if it’s not better to take revenge on the woman for treating her like that. Mi Sook squirms as Jung Hye issues an invitation for Do Hee to join their revenge club.
Do Hee refuses because she doesn’t have time to be doing childish things and she’s also offended by how Jung Hye keeps telling her that she’s poor. She stomps away thinking that while Jung Hye LOOKS normal she definitely isn’t normal at all.
Mi Sook also refuses the offer to join the revenge club and warns Jung Hye that she’ll tell Jung Hye’s husband about the club if she doesn’t leave her alone.
After both her recruits walk away from her, Jung Hye quietly sips her coffee looking completely baffled on both women refused to join despite having adequate reasons to want revenge on the people who mistreats them.
During a bout of retail therapy Jung Hye runs into her husband and Soogyum. Her husband being his usual smarmy self sees nothing wrong in happily proclaiming to other chaebol women that Soogyum is his son not a nephew. Thereby completely destroying any face Jung Hye might try to preserve in front of the women.
And then as she is getting into her car Smug Bastard tells her to drive Soo Gyum home like it’s a given that she will accept his requests. That was the straw that broke the camels back and she gets out of her car slams the door and walks away leaving both father and son behind.
It’s a very different atmosphere between Do Hee and Hee Soo as they laughingly chat about their day and conspire to not inform noona about what happened to him at school. Just as they turn a corner they are almost run over by idiots on a motorcycle, and they hear an almighty shout of indignation which turns out to be noona running after the motorcyclists who almost ran her over too.
Hee Soo and Mom hurriedly check that noona is alright albeit a little scraped up and her purse a lot worse for wear. After ascertaining that everything is alright they laughingly tease each other on the way home.
Next we’re treated to an exclusive view of vile drunken violence heaped on frail looking Mi Sook. Her husband beats her around as he drunk rages at her even kicking her as soon as she’s on the floor. and just like it began it stops as Drunk Ratfink falls on the couch and passes out.
Mi Sook hurriedly tries to right everything before her daughter So Yeon sees the mess, but of course she doesn’t make it in time and her daughter can’t understand how she can continue living this way. Her daughter advises her to leave the house and go visit grandma in the hospital to avoid meeting dad when he wakes up from his stupor.
Mi Sook does end up visiting her mother in law in the hospital. Grandma (sung Byung Sook) turns out to be a dementia patient who is actually very perceptive. She immediately notices that Mi Sook has been crying and has been hit,and tells her not to cry because it makes her want to cry. Mi Sook easily deflects and distracts grandma by asking if she could join in popping the bubble wrap. Grandma smiles and tells her that she can and they spend the night popping bubble wrap together quietly.
The next morning Hee Soo is cleaning the school collecting trash when he overhears the bully laughing with his lackeys that Hee Soo’s noona can’t do anything to them for scaring her her with the motorcycle since she has no evidence that they did it. Hee Soo loses it and drops the trash can he was carrying and starts to chase the group around the stairs, but unfortunately he slips on the trash hde dropped and falls hitting his head and knocking himself out.
The bully and his lackeys hightail it out of there leaving Hee Soo knocked out on the ground. Soo Gyum watched them escape and runs over to check on Hee Soo.
Thank goodness Hee Soo wakes up in the hospital raring to go home, but mom convinces his to stay the day and night to make sure he doesn’t have a concussion. They again make a pact to not tell noona the actual reason he fell, since she’d probably go on a rampage. And true to form noona comes in ready to do battle for her brother but once she sees he’s awake she hits him for scaring her and being clumsy.
As they’re talking mom receives a call that turns out to be Bully Mom asking for 10 million won as compensation for her son’s injuries. Do Hee tells her that it’s to much when her son is the one that is tormenting them even going after her daughter on his motorcycle. Bully Mom begins to shout and raises her demand to 20 million won and hangs up warning that if Do Hee doesn’t meet her demands she’ll go to court for it.
Do Hee walks out of the room despondently and crosses paths with Mi Sook who is leaving her mother in law’s room. They stare at each other for a moment and decide to sit down and talk. Do Hee asks Mi Sook about Jung Hye and Mi Sook is as lost on that as Do Hee so she offers to give her Jung Hye’s phone number so that she can call her.
Later we see Jung Hye receiving calls from both Mi Sook and Do Hee each determined to get their revenge. Assuring Jung Hye that they wouldn’t back out from doing so again.
Cue spy sounding music and each woman strutting under the rain towards Buamdong Coffee Social Club for their first official meeting of the Buamdong Revenge Social Club or Avengers club for short.
Jung Hye’s husband is such a douche. It’s pretty obvious that they didn’t marry for love since they don’t seem to be at all compatible personality wise and they don’t share any pastimes or interests. So in all likelihood they married as a way of merging companies together and that is what is also keeping her from divorcing him. I do think that just based on the fact that there wasn’t much love lost between them that Jung Hye could have overlooked his cheating if he’d talked to her about Soo Gyum first and letting her save face by letting her be the one to introduce Soo Gyum to their social groups instead of him one sidedly declaring to all and sunder that Soo Gyum is his son. I hope he gets his comeuppance.
Hee Soo has got to be one of the sweetest sons in dramaland and it’s obvious that Do Hee has raised him and his sister right and with lots of love and laughter. I think that she’s actually the luckiest and the most emotionally strong one since she has two good children who will cheer their mom on, and I hope that she can also become a strong bastion of moral support for the other two ladies.
Mi Sook is the one that i worry about the most since she’s clearly very dependent on her husband and she’s not very strong by herself. I hate the husband so much, he just feels slimy talking about how to make a better environment for kids at school when he’s toxic waste in his own house. I hate the fact that he uses liquor as an excuse to beat up his wife and take out his frustrations. My worries are that because he blames her for his problems during his drunk rages and because she has put up with the abuse for so long that she might have already begun to believe that she deserves it. Her daughter clearly is not coping well with all the violence in her family life so she shuts herself up physically and emotionally maintaining a barrier between her and the rest of the world by shutting herself up in her room and always having earphones on. She has to find it in herself to fight for change in her life and maybe she’ll see that even if she ends up divorcing her husband it’s not the end of the world.
So excited for the next episode!