So, I’ve caught up with ENA’s “Strangers Again” this week and this week’s episodes were definitely something, lets talk about them.
Its been some time since I’ve seen many in our kdrama community take such a divided stance on something and I think it has a lot to do with perspective and certain biases, it also depends on each one’s character.
So in short, in “Strangers Again” episode 3 and 4, we finally find out why Kang So Ra And Jang Seung Jo’s characters divorced and it was NOT what anyone would have been prepared for, for better or worse.
Eun Beom and Ha Ra face off against each other because she just can’t let go of the fact that he cheated on her, so she intercepts his ongoing child custody case and through some kdrama type of logic, two lawyers from the same company face off against each other.
In court, she reveals Eun Beom’s client cheated, and Eun Beom ends up spilling the truth, revealing that he did not in fact cheat but was sick and tired of her so much so he faked it to get out of marriage.
Before going into biases and personal opinions, its important to note that Korean law around divorce differ and you can’t just get a divorce if you’re just ‘sick’ of someone who does not realize that yet, if that someone does not also want to let go, it wont be easy to separate.
So in his mind, Eun Beom saw the best solution would be to fake cheating to effectively cut her off. By that, she will not pester him or demand much of any answers.
For a reason… I kinda… or sorta…. actually like it!
I expected the reason to be more ‘dramatic’ and kdrama-like but it turned out to be more grounded than I had ever expected, this shocked me in a good way.
What I like about “Strangers Again” so far, and I’ve said this in episode 1 and 2 review, is that it does not frame one party as the obvious one at fault while the other is completely blameless, it takes two to tango, and its rarely just one person’s fault 100%. In divorce settlements, couples get lawyers involved because it becomes messy and emotions run high, everyone thinks they’re in the right which complicates things even more.
However, the screenwriter acknowledges that in many cases, both parties handle the situations poorly, unlike adults.
I want to start off by saying this, I don’t like either characters, yet, but I feel a bit more sympathetic towards Eun Beom because he was the one yielding most of the time and at least in my opinion, it seems he’s trying to navigate the situation rather more maturely after divorce, but I say this knowing that he’s aware of why it actually happened, hence his calm-er attitude towards the situations.
I also say this while comparing him to Ha Ra, who I see as someone who is extremely impulsive, in her own world, dominating and difficult to handle. I also did NOT like how much she hit him. You’re divorced, its over between you two, no need to use violence whenever you see him, very tacky.
Ha Ra is righteous and a great lawyer, but I find it difficult to imagine how she’d ever be able to excel as a wife with such an attitude because people like this tend to wear you off.
Eun Beom is a coward, we’re not debating that.
I personally believe there is more to the story because the way the screenwriter has been handling the script in that aspect so far is to my liking.
Many say, ‘why didn’t he calmly approach her and discuss this?’ to that, I believe we’ll likely have an answer by next week. Its either he never did which makes him an equally horrible partner, or that he did and she just persisted in her attitude which makes the fact that she was so taken aback by the ‘cheating’ more ridiculous.
I also suspect the two did not live together prior to marriage hence why he found her difficult to handle. Love alone cannot sustain you, both parties need to do 100% and we obviously know one of them wasn’t.
I like how the screenwriter was not afraid of framing our male lead as a coward with his backhanded approach to the divorce matter, I also like how the screenwriter didn’t mind exposing Ha Ra’s own biases and issues. I like that we clearly know both are at fault to varying degrees.
A lot of people are upset by the drama’s premise thus far and the way its progressing but I actually like it. I think it portrays what happens in marriage and divorce relatively realistically. I’ve seen it around me many times.
When you’re in love, to a degree, you become blind. From an outsider perspective, it might be easy to say ‘why didn’t you do this or that…’ but in reality, applying the said obvious fair action to a situation becomes far more challenging.
In Eun Beom’s case, it seems he’s not to keen on confrontation with Ha Ra or might have been scared to approach her regarding the situation knowing how physical and emotional she becomes, I feel he loves and still cares for her while knowing well he cannot make her happy due to their characters clashing so terribly like that.
I also liked how Ha Ra just accepted the situation and showed maturity and acknowledged that she did not yield to him that much. Another thing I liked was how Eun Beom bowed out before they had a baby, that was the wisest part of his decision, he would have been miserable, they would have both become miserable and made a tiny human who becomes miserable with them too.
I personally do not want them to end up together, at all. Not unless both go through some major character changes, but even then, in my opinion, I feel it will always be a relationship destined to fail. I still see that Eun Beom cares her for but it could be because of guilt, and I see that Ha Ra likes him, still.
Some people are better off as friends and not lovers, I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT if the screenwriter goes with the unconventional approach and not have our leads end up together. I realize this has like a 5% possibility but a woman can dream.
Regardless, I am really enjoying this drama right now.
So what did you guys think of the reason behind their divorce? do you think it makes sense?
Being married for almost 10 years and having two kids – I like this plot immensly. It is really down to earth and realistic. It also shows how living together before marriage can make you reevaluate your decision about your future spouse. I would also root for a nonconventional ending, for now they would have to change their entire personalities to make any sense together.