After an influx of marriage/affair/divorce dramas this year, my expectation level for SBS newest Mondays & Tuesdays drama One Warm Word (Kind Words) was extremely low. Moreover, the writer’s previous drama Can We Get Married was pretty hard to digest (for me) that I stopped watching on episode 7, it was too realistic for my liking. So I embraced the first episode of One Warm Word with extreme caution (ha!). Surprisingly, the first episode surpassed my expectations – it quickly introduced the main characters and their different perspectives (& approaches) towards marriage, divorce and affairs.
Each character has their own weaknesses and strength; which makes them very interesting to watch. But my favorite character is none other than little Kim Yoon Jung (Lee Chae Mi). A very wise, mature and curious 7 year old girl who (I hope) will do everything she can to help her parents to rekindle their marriage.
One Warm Word (Kind Words) Episode 1 Recap
Song Mi Kyung (Kim Ji Soo) and Na Eun Jin (Han Hye Jin) attend the same cooking class.
Eun Jin narrates: when others look at me, it’d look like I live a normal life. I’m learning to cook for my family and I’m a good neighbor to my friends. I thought a criminal would become someone special. But I can’t smile. From some day on, I’ve lost the fun in my daily life.
Mi Kyung glances at Eun Jin suspiciously, as if she can read Eun Jin’s mind.
Eun Jin receives a threatening letter asking if her husband knows her secret. She’s shocked that the sender labeled her as a criminal and she should be jailed!
She narrates: Those who want to cry should get a slap. I should do something that I have decided. Now I cannot postpone it.
Eun Jin returns a jewelry box to Yoo Jae Hak (Ji Jin Hee) as she tells him that this is the first time she’s asking a man to break up with her so she’s unsure if she’s doing things correctly. Jae Hak gives the box back to her, advising that it’s better not to do anything when she doesn’t know what she’s doing.
Eun Jin doesn’t know if she’s making the right choice or if she’s just following the choice which has already been made / pre-determined / her fate. But she believes that this break-up will be the wisest choice she’d ever made. As a relationship without a future is not fun in present time. Although she can simply ignore the other person (Jae Hak), but she wants to end their relationship (which is not a normal relationship) the right way. This relationship doesn’t suit them, as one of them is free while the other is attached (married). [who is the free one here? Jae Hak? Maybe Eun Jin doesn’t know that Jae Hak is a married man?]
Her phone rings and it’s her husband Kim Sung Soo (Lee Sang Woo) who’s furious that Eun Jin didn’t pick up her phone. When she finally picks up the phone, she talks to him in a formal speech. He’s suspicious that she’s at the movie theater. He complains that he’s working incredibly hard earning money for his family and he accuses her of lazying around watching a movie. Eun Jin hangs up.
After calming himself down, he calls again – he tells her that his father has passed away.
Worried because Eun Jin dashes outside without telling Jae Hak what happened, Jae Hak offers to get her a taxi. But she refuses his kind offer, they broke up and she wants both of them to go their separate ways. From afar, someone is taking their pictures.
Mi Kyung’s step brother Song Mi Soo (Park Seo Joon) insists to carry his noona’s bags, as he tells noona that when a woman is too strong, then a man will get lazy. For her, he’ll always be a little kid, then he suddenly hugs her tightly asking if a kid would ever do this kind of thing. Ha… Mi Kyung is surprised – she’s afraid people will misunderstand if they see this. She advises him that he can sabotage a marriage as she’s still a pretty woman.
When she brings up about marriage, he mentions that it’s still a long way – he wants her to take care herself and promises that he will always be there for her. He will “deal” with anyone who bothers his sister.
She cutely informs him that she’s the mother who raised two sons, she’s able to protect herself. So he doesn’t need to get discouraged as noona will always be there for him. He refuses to tell noona where he’s going.
Eun Jin picks up her daughter Kim Yoon Jung (Lee Chae Mi). She’s sad that they won’t see her grandpa again, she initially think that her father is very sad too. Then, she believes her father won’t be too sad as he’s not close with grandpa as they never talked when they were together. Eun Jin explains that people can be close even though they don’t talk because we can read other people’s mind just by looking into each other’s eyes. Smart Yoon Jung knows that both grandpa and dad didn’t look into each other’s eyes. So Eun Jin is trying to explain that parents and child are close although they don’t talk for hundred years.
A first grader Yoon Jung doesn’t want mom to stop lying – she knows the truth. Unable to convince her daughter, Eun Jin is trying to wrap up this discussion telling Yoon Jung that they’ll talk about this later. But Yoon Jung knows that mom has lost it! Haha…
When asked if she likes her father, wise Yoon Jung replies that because he’s her dad, she cannot hate nor like him. When asked who she would choose if she had to choose between her father and mom to live with, she asks how long does she have to answer this question which requires lots of thought.
Sung Soo packs his bag then throws it to the floor. His wife and daughter are nowhere to be seen. When they finally arrive, Yoon Jung tries to explain that they tried to come home as quickly as they could. Eun Jin doesn’t say anything to her frustrated husband, so this prompts Yoon Jung to ask if a couple would be close even though they don’t talk for a hundred years.
Both mom and dad are speechless, so Eun Jin tells her daughter to pack up her bag. After she leaves, Sung Soo explodes in anger, blaming Eun Jin who told non-sense things to Yoon Jung. Then, he questions her if she went to a cinema and if she was with someone. But she doesn’t want to answer this question, urging him to stop pretending to be interested on her whereabouts.
Jae Hak is surprised to see his wife at his office – apparently he left the house very early in the morning and Mi Kyung is here to give snacks for him. His cold attitude towards his wife doesn’t really affect Mi Kyung though, she’s happy doing all these for her husband.
She then asks if there’s something wrong, he confidently tells her that nothing is wrong.
Eun Jin’s younger sister Na Eun Young (Han Groo) is having a hard day at work – she’s trying to be patient and maintaining her composure when explaining about stocks & interest rates to a customer; and much to her relief, the customer leaves after receiving a phone call. But the next customer (cameo by Kim Jin Soo) drives her crazy!
He begs her to accept yogurt as his token of “gratitude”. He complements her beauty and talks to her like she’s his close friend – then he winks at her.
She looks annoyed but is aware she has to serve her customers politely. She quickly finishes the transaction for him, then presses the next number – hoping he’ll leave her alone soon. But he took two tickets so the next number belongs to him. Ha… Thankfully he didn’t take three tickets, much to his disappointment.
Her mother sends a text message letting her know that her sister’s FIL passed away. She opens the message and ignores it. She’s not close to Sung Soo’s family and rarely met them.
At home, Mom praises her meticulous & diligent daughter-in-law Yoon Sun Ah (Yoon Joon Hee) – she’s extremely close to Sun Ah. Sun Ah tells mom to understand Eun Young more, her personality has changed a bit since she left house and live alone. Since she’s working in a bank and now she rarely smiles. Mom really wants to talk to her daughter again, but she closes herself up. Sun Ah thinks maybe she had a difficult customer when mom texted her.
Mom praises Sun Ah – it feels like she’s her daughter and Eun Young is her daughter-in-law. Sun Ah explains that she’s her daughter born from her heart – as she’s her daughter after she married her son.
Sun Ah calls Eun Jin who’s getting ready to leave to the countryside with Sung Soo and Yoon Jung. Eun Jin tells her that she doesn’t need to come, they could come back as soon as the coffin is borne out. Sung Soo tells her to hang up – upset that they couldn’t even see him at his last moment, they didn’t help his family preparing for his funeral, and now, she wants to leave right afterwards. Sung Soo is the oldest son!
Eun Jin then calls her cooking class instructor – letting her know she’ll miss today’s class. The class comprises of Eun Jin’s friends and Mi Kyung – Mi Kyung was the one who begged the instructor to make a spot for her. [Obviously because she wants to keep close to Eun Jin]. The instructor knows that Mi Kyung is a great cook, and she doesn’t really have to learn more. But Mi Kyung advises that life is filled with things to learn so she’ll keep learning until her time in this world is up.
As Sung Soo’s car drives away, a car is trailing them.
Eun Jin’s friends arrive, one of them is talking about adultery and divorce. She believes that because she’s a housewife, then she’ll be out of job if she gets a divorce. Hence, the country should pay compensation. But the instructor believes it’s her own choice, she’s the one who chose to marry that man and she chose to be a housewife. So, she has to bear the consequences herself. The contract on marriage is only based on two people. But she insists that they registered their marriage – so the country has to take responsibility too.
Mi Kyung believes that women can make their husbands go to jail if they have a proof he committed adultery. But how can they make their own husband a criminal?
The other friend knows that Eun Jin has one firm perspective about adultery: everyone who committed adultery should get a divorce. A woman is incompetent to live with a man who had an affair.
Because Eun Jin is not here, so they’re free to talk about Eun Jin’s secret. Eun Jin doesn’t even know that her friend saw what happened 5 years ago. Eun Jin is the kind of woman who once she set a goal, she will accomplish the goal no matter what it takes.
At that time, she knew about Sung Soo’s affair and she confronted the other woman in public! She got even angrier when this other woman advised her to treat Sung Soo better when she had him. But her patience run out when this other woman told her to let Sung Soo go and she’d take him.
Sung Soo arrived after that woman contacted him. Eun Jin wanted to know what would happen after he’d divorce her – will he live with her? He hesitated to answer this intimidating question, unable to choose between these two women. Most importantly, he’s embarrassed because all these happened in a cafe.
Unable to contain her disappointment, Eun Ji slapped him – she’s furious that her husband, the man who she waited for 5 years (3 years at university, 2 years while he’s in the army and 1 year preparing to get a job) was weighing his option between his wife and his other woman. While her heart never changed all those years, she only loved and devoted to him. But he couldn’t even stay loyal to his wife who went through difficult postnatal depression which made their relationship went a bit astray for one year. Is this what he call love? She wanted to know why his love was really weak.
Back to the present time, Sung Soo plays a music and Eun Jin looks to the back seat – Yoon Jung is reading a book and she asks her daughter to sleep. Sung Soo asks Eun Jin to put on her seat belt, but she refuses. She wants to discuss one important thing to her husband; but decides it’s best to talk about it after the funeral. Sung Soo sarcastically praises his wife’s kind consideration toward his dad, she didn’t treat her father-in-law nicely when he was alive.
Eun Jin asks Yoon Jung to cover her ears – as she doesn’t want her daughter to hear her parents’ fight. Yoon Jung tells mom that she’s not a little kid – they can fight in front of her. Because Eun Jin insists, so Yoon Jung obliges.
Because Sung Soo wants her to talk, so Eun Jin calmly asks Sung Soo for a divorce. She believes they’re done emotionally, they don’t talk to each other nor trust each other anymore. Sung Soo can’t believe what he just heard – as he’s mourning his father, now his insensitive wife asks for a divorce!
Eun Jin apologizes, this is the reason why she wanted to talk about this after the funeral. Sung Soo is wondering why his wife couldn’t choose warm words when she talks to him but she argues that Sung Soo talks without thinking anyway so don’t expect any warm words from her.
He knows the culprit behind this is from his affair 5 years ago – Eun Jin still can’t forgive him.
Sung Soo is also frustrated with that car which keeps trailing him, so he yells at the driver. Then, the car speeds up and hits Sung Soo’s car which spiraling out of control.
Eun Jin friends are still talking about Eun Jin – she looks happy from the outside – but they need to dive down inside to see if she’s really happy. Mi Kyung listens to everything and before she leaves, she helps the instructor carrying heavy water bottles. Everyone looks at her with envy, believes that her husband will be dead meat if he has an affair. Mi Kyung tells them that she doesn’t hit her husband – hence, they whispers to each other that the person whom her husband is having affair with, will be dead. Ha… They’re curious with Mi Kyung’s life because she never talks about herself nor her family.
Na Dae Ho (Yoon Joo Sang) and his wife Kim Na Ra (Go Doo Shim) arrive at the hospital because their daughter Eun Jin and her family got into accident. They meet Eun Young and their son Na Jin Chul (Yoon Jong Hwa) at the hospital entrance; it’s like an impromptu family meeting. Ha… Mom is worried Eun Jin is hurt a lot, so she hurriedly looks for her daughter while her husband is chasing closely behind her.
Sung Soo asks the police to catch this crazy guy and there’s no cctv camera and he can’t remember the car plate. He’s sure that the driver was a man because no way a woman would drive crazily like that.
Yoon Jung is okay, as she was wearing her seat belt and Sung Soo is also okay. So Na Ra is upset that her daughter is the only one who got hurt (her stubborn daughter refused to wear a seat belt!). When mom finds out about it, she blames Eun Jin for not listening to her husband’s advice. But thankfully she’s not badly injured.
Sung Soo and Eun Jin are arguing because of the seat-belt which prompts Yoon Jung to break tell what happened. Dad was upset, drove recklessly because her mom asked for a divorce. Then, a car behind them hit their car. She tells her grandparents that her family is not a happy family, when they’re together – her parents either fight or don’t talk. While people think that their family live happily, but it’s not the truth. Then, she also informs them that she’ll choose to live with dad.
Uncle Jin Chul takes Yoon Jung out to get a fresh air – praising her bravery. She didn’t even cry when she spilled out that secret. But Yoon Jung tells uncle that she used to cry a lot in the past, but now her tears can’t come out anymore. She loose strength when her parents fight. And she doesn’t want them to hide this problem as it will get bigger when they hide it. She heard this wise quote from a drama.
Na Ra can’t believe that Eun Jin asked for a divorce in front of her young daughter. There’s things she can say and not say – she has to be wise here. Yoon Jung is really smart – they need to choose their words correctly in front of her. Moreover, Eun Jin has to be more sensitive and shows her condolences for her husband who just lost his father.
Na Ra is wondering if Sung Soo had an affair or doesn’t work which prompted Eun Jin to suddenly ask for a divorce. Or did he hurt her?
Eun Young informs her family that he cheated on her sister. Sung Soo is panicked, explaining it all happened 5 years ago. He has seek her understanding and moved on. He ended that relationship and obeyed Eun Jin.
Na Ra is furious as she believes one or two or more affairs are the same. The first one might be the most difficult and the next affair would be so much easier. She can’t forgive an affair and is now siding with her poor daughter who’s having a hard time all this time. Her husband is trying to defend Sung Soo believes that as parents they should stand in the middle – but overacting and over-protective mom asks him to stay quiet. If her daughter wants a divorce, then, do it!
Mom sympathizes with her daughter who couldn’t even tell her family about her husband’s affair and overcame all these difficult time alone. She then tells Eun Jin that she doesn’t have to attend the funeral, people will become strangers after their divorce anyway. She believes an affair is something that kills their partner’s soul. How will Sung Soo pay back Eun Jin’s life?
Perfect housewife and daughter-in-law Mi Kyung serves her mother-in-law Madam Choo (Park Jung Soo) obediently, Madam Choo believes they can’t find any man as good as her son Jae Hak.
After finishing up her never-ending housework, Mi Kyung calls her son who’s currently studying in the States. She encourages her son “you can if you will”, a quote she learned from her son. She really misses her sons who both study overseas. Then, she calls her husband who’s busy rock climbing – so obviously he can’t pick up her call.
Flashback to Jae Hak’s first meeting with Eun Jin, which she mistakenly treated him as a pervert. He explained that in this world, there’re more normal men that the weird ones. After realizing that he’s not a pervert, she apologized.
They then meet again at his office – Eun Jin was there for an interview explaining that she’s not a reporter, she’s just an ahjumma who’s here to earn her own living. He gave his name card and introduced himself. Curious Eun Jin asked if he was always this rich or did he start this company on his own.
They could easily talk to each other and it’s the start of their blossoming forbidden romance.
Back to the present time, Eun Jin asks her sister how did she find out about Sung Soo’s affair. Both Eun Young and Sung Soo work at the same bank, although they don’t work in the same branch, but his “secret” was widely known at his workplace.
Eun Young asks if her sister still can’t forgive Sung Soo after 5 years. It’s a long time and she shouldn’t hold her grudges this long. Eun Jin knows that it’s not only Sung Soo’s fault. When asked if Eun Young likes living alone, she nods – as it’s better to be lonely alone that to be lonely living together.
Because everything is okay, Eun Jin is discharged from the hospital. Mom doesn’t let her to go to the countryside to attend her father-in-law’s funeral, although she insists to go.
In the end, Jin Chul drives Sung Soo and his family to the country side.
Mom believes Sung Soo is having another affair because there’s no way Eun Jin asks for a divorce for something which happened in the past. A man rarely cheats only once. Meanwhile, Dad believes Sung Soo would not lie to them. Eun Jin is the problem here as she loves to linger with the past and could not let go of the painful past mistakes. Sung Soo has already apologized and promised it won’t happen again. Eun Jin and her family must trust him as men would go astray if women don’t believe him. He’s not taking his side, but dad doesn’t want Eun Jin to divorce Sung Soo.
Mom really wants Eun Young to contact her more frequently because people although they’re blood related will become strangers if they don’t see and call each other. She doesn’t want to lose her independent daughter.
Sun Ah is listening to her recording about adultery which requires a definite evidence. She didn’t realize that her son Na Hoon (Yang Ohn Yoo) is studying in the same room. He throws a surprising question to her; so she quickly finishes off her job and takes Na Hoon out of the room. Thankfully his grandparents are now home.
Sun Ah is discussing her findings with her mother-in-law, she is bewildered that women these days also have a lot of affairs. And it happened with lots of married couples – probably because they can start relationship without any pressure and without any responsibility. Na Ra is relieved that none of her children is having an affair.
Jae Hak arrives home – very late at night. Mi Kyung notices that he had showered somewhere else, he tells her he went rock climbing. Obviously something was bothering him, but he goes straight to his mother’s room.
Mom can feel that Mi Kyung is out of her mind lately, but Jae Hak defends her that after 18 years marriage and now both their sons are studying in the States, she must be really missing her sons. Mom advises her son that when their home is happy, all goes well. The end life of a man depends on his woman. He really protects his wife in front of his mother, so she doesn’t have any other choice but being harsh and fussy on Mi Kyung.
Mi Kyung has prepared a nice shower gel for Jae Hak – and she has made appointment for his mother’s health check. Jae Hak simply thanks her and she’s tired of his “thank you”. She wants him to start saying “I love you” – he can practice saying these words to her continuously. He’ll get used to it.
She advises that word comes from their heart and actions come from their words – I love you is not just a “word”. She then tells him she loves him, he answers with I’m sorry. She repeats “I Love You”. He can’t say the same word – blaming his wife for pressuring him to say those words.
Mi Kyung doesn’t want to pressure him again, so she’s preparing dinner for him. She doesn’t want Jae Hak to eat unhealthy food outside, so it’s not bothersome for her to prepare dinner although it’s late at night.
Min Soo arrives home (he lives in the same house as his sister). Mi Kyung really wants him to stop working at a bank and start establishing a noodle restaurant as it’s his passion. She has extra money to help him with this business – but Min Soo refuses noona’s help, he wants his sister to use the money for herself.
He asks her why she didn’t abandon him back then (he’s the son of a woman who made Mi Kyung’s mom suffered), why did she accept and raise him up lovingly. Mi Kyung explains that it’s because he’s the only one who knows her sadness and the pain she experienced living with her parents. Without Min Soo, Mi Kyung would lose her own family – he’s one of the most important person in her life. She cheers him up with the same quote she told her son earlier.
Jae Hak keeps thinking about what Eun Jin said when she wanted to break up with him, unaware that Mi Kyung is standing in front of him. Mi Kyung tells him that he’s her man, so don’t ever forget that very important fact.
She leaves her husband’s study room, walks slowly to the dark room, then she turns on the light. She unlocks a drawer, then takes the envelope. She keeps all pictures of Jae Hak and Eun Jin in that envelope. She cries silently looking at these pictures.
Sung Soo’s family is on the way to the country side and they stop at the rest stop. Sung Soo and Jin Chul leave Eun Jin and Yoon Jung in the car because Eun Jin wants to have a heart-to-heart conversation with her daughter. Yoon Jung innocently asks if mom hates her because she will live with her dad. Eun Jin reassures Yoon Jung that no matter what she’ll decide, she will always loves her. She apologizes that her young daughter has to make this very hard decision.
Yoon Jung explains the reason why she chose Dad – it’s because he’s the pitiful one. He would not have anyone in Seoul if she doesn’t live with him. Meanwhile her mom still has her parents, her brother, her sister.
Eun Jin informs Sung Soo that Eun Young knew about his affair at work since it was a rumor widely spread at their workplace. She blames him that it’s all his fault – if he didn’t make any affair, there wouldn’t be any rumor and she would made all those fuss. But Sung Soo chose her, he obeyed her and he never looked back. So why Eun Jin wants a divorce now? Why did she embarrassed him in front of her family? She admits what happens now is her fault.
She wants him to look from her perspective, and he expects her to do the same thing. This debate is going nowhere. Eun Jin keeps saying that everything is her fault so she will let him go and start over. Sung Soo is suspicious with her non-sense reason for a divorce. Eun Jin is wondering what happening with their marriage as they used to be able to read each other’s mind just by looking into each other’s eyes. But now, neither of them listen to each other. Sung Soo asks her to stop playing as a victim, marriage is based on sacrifice of both a husband & wife; she’s not the only one who got hurt. He also wants a divorce! Let’s do it then!
Eun Jin is being considerate, she will tell her parents that everything is her faults – she held onto Sung Soo with her dear life and she doesn’t deserve him.
But Seung Soo is still not convinced with her inability to cohesively explains the reason behind her intention to divorce him, he yells if she had an affair!
Didn’t expect the writer to dive straight into the affairs territory as soon as the drama started as it makes it harder to predict what’s going to happen with these two couples. It’s obvious that Jae Hak doesn’t love Mi Kyung – the reason why they got married will be slightly explained on episode 2. After 18 years not receiving love she deserves from her husband, it seems like Mi Kyung’s love has slowly gone astray too. The only reason she keeps holding on to Jae Hak is because of their sons. Although she’s a housewife, but I believe she has carefully calculated everything and saved money in case something goes wrong. She knows Jae Hak’s affair, she knows Eun Jin – but how long has she known about this affair? And who is the “secret” person who follows Jae Hak & Eun Jin around?
Love her heartwarming relationship with her step-brother Min Soo; and the fact that she accepted him although her own father betrayed her mother for Min Soo’s mom speaks volume of the love she has for him. Min Soo will definitely do anything to protect her loving noona and vice-versa; they’ll make a very great team. This makes me wonder if Min Soo also knows about Jae Hak’s affair and if he’s the one who’s been trailing his brother-in-law’s steps. Hmm… Is he the secret stalker? But he’s working at the bank, right? So I don’t think he can follow his brother-in-law 24 hours a day.
Eun Jin is (so far) my least favorite character, poor Sung Soo who doesn’t even know why his wife keeps holding grudges after 5 long years. Yes, he broke her trust once, but Eun Jin has to stop lingering on the past and move on. What’s the reason she has an affair with Jae Hak? And what’s her main reason to divorce Sung Soo? She wanted to break up with Jae Hak and divorce Sung Soo. I don’t understand Eun Jin’s way of thinking, she’s the most complicated character which doesn’t make any sense. She’s a mother, a wife; so she should use her common sense and prioritize her family. Try to think things through and never make any irrational decisions. She should learn from her wise daughter, Yoon Jung who chose her dad because he doesn’t have anyone in Seoul. Aww…. Sung Soo is incredibly blessed to have sweet Yoon Jung. Lee Sang Woo & Lee Chae Mi look really cute together =)
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