Marriage for Hwi-roo and Seok-moo wasn’t easy, but divorce isn’t easy for them either. Their confident choices in filing for divorce seems to backfire on the two as they realize that maybe they aren’t exactly done with each other just yet.
Matrimonial Chaos: Episode 3 Recap
The episode starts off with flashbacks of Yoo-young and Seok-moo when they were still in college. We witness how the two originally met and eventually fell in love with each other. As hinted before, Seok-moo used to pursue music during college and would often play his guitar for Yoo-young. However, this is all simply in the past and Yoo-young and Seok-moo are now married to two different people respectively.
In the present, Seok-moo and Yoo-young have a conversation with each other over dinner at Yoo-young’s place. Seok-moo points out Yoo-young’s change in behavior since reuniting with her and wants to lend her his support. However, Yoo-young snaps Seok-moo out of his delusion and adds that she never liked Seok-moo. She had no good memories of him even when they were together. This renders Seok-moo speechless and he sits in disbelief across from Yoo-young.
Meanwhile, Hwi-roo attends a concert after-party at a nearby restaurant with Ma-roo’s friends. Since Ma-roo is out running errands with Soo-kyung, Hwi-roo is left alone by herself at the restaurant. Thanks to all the teasing and awkwardness, Hwi-roo is set on leaving the outing. However, the main star of the party who sang at the concert – Kim Shi-ho (Wi Ha-joon) – arrives just in time for the afterparty and seats himself right next to Hwi-roo. It seems like she’ll be stuck at the party for much longer now.
Seok-moo walks back home and has trouble processing what just happened at Yoo-young’s place. Back at the restaurant, Shi-ho and the group all create small talk with one another. Hwi-roo eventually leaves to check up on Ma-roo and Soo-kyung who are back at home. Soo-kyung has fallen sick so Ma-roo is taking care of her. As Hwi-roo is about to leave, Shi-ho witnesses her walking out and stops her just in time. They exchange introductions with each other before Shi-ho is taken back to play games with the rest of the group.
Seok-moo and Hwi-roo bicker with each other once again when they both get home. Seok-moo doesn’t seem to have a clue as to why Hwi-roo wanted to go forward with the divorce; he just assumes she said yes because he suggested the divorce first. Seok-moo reveals another bombshell to Hwi-roo later on that night: he’s put the house up for sale. Hwi-roo has trouble accepting the news, but Seok-moo reasons that they’re divorced so they shouldn’t live together anymore.
That night, Yoo-young is left alone in her apartment as Jang-hyun spends the night with another woman. She considers calling him, but ultimately decides not to. The next morning, Hwi-roo and Seok-moo brainstorm some house rules they are to follow until they sell the house. The two take turns jabbing at each other and eventually come up with six different rules such as ‘no touching’ to ‘no trespassing into each other’s rooms’ to ‘dating is not prohibited.’
Jang-hyun heads to work after spending a night at another woman’s house. He’s a art professor at a university and the woman he’s having an affair with is his teaching assistant, Song Eun-joo. Meanwhile, Seok-moo talks to himself again on his work break but this time about Yoo-young. Just like all the other times, his co-worker Dong-koo listens in on his conversations and gives him advice. He suggests that Seok-moo follow Hwi-roo’s social media account to check to see what she’s up to.
At Grandma’s cafe, Grandma welcomes an elderly lady inside to have some snacks and drinks. While Grandma and the elderly lady converse with each other, Hwi-roo enters the cafe with a box full of fruits and ingredients that her mom’s sent her. Grandma introduces Hwi-roo to the elderly lady. During a restroom break, Ma-roo asks Hwi-roo when she plans on telling Grandma about her divorce. Hwi-roo responds that she’ll do it soon and asks Ma-roo about her living situation. If Ma-roo marries her boyfriend, Hwi-roo will move in to her place and live with Soo-kyung.
Seok-moo’s dad writes down his will on a piece of paper. Mom joins him afterwards and picks out certain things that he’s written. While Dad plans on leaving things behind for Seok-moo, Mom complains how Dad doesn’t have anything he plans on giving her.
Seok-moo and Hwi-roo engage in a petty battle of making the other jealous. While Hwi-roo hangs out with Shi-ho and posts photos of their hangout on her social media, Seok-moo does the same during his hangout with Dong-koo as well. The two try to one-up the other by visiting different restaurants or by making it seem like they’re on a date with someone of the opposite sex.
While at the bar with Dong-koo, Seok-moo is approached by the same woman who was sexually harassed by Seok-moo’s university colleague. Her name is Song Mi-ri and she ends up joining the two guys at the bar. She learns that Seok-moo is divorced which only gives her another reason to be more friendly with Seok-moo. She follows Seok-moo on his Instagram account and vice versa. Seok-moo doesn’t forget to check Hwi-roo’s social media account though and grows jealous with the new photos she’s posted.
Shi-ho invites Hwi-roo to his small studio so that he can pay her back for the food. Of course, Hwi-roo doesn’t miss the opportunity to post a photo of it on her social media which freaks Seok-moo out when he sees the photo. Ma-roo notices the photos and scoffs at how childish the two are being with each other. She has problems of her own to worry about though when her ex-boyfriend, Chan-jin, spams her cell phone with text messages.
The childish antics don’t stop even when Seok-moo and Hwi-roo get home. While Hwi-roo receives a good night text from Shi-ho, Seok-moo doesn’t receive any text from Mi-ri. Instead, she posts a photo of the two of them on her Instagram account later on that night which he likes.
Jang-hyun spends some time drawing and sketching in his sketchbook. When Yoo-young joins him not too long after, he shares with her a story to explain to her why he was gone overnight. Of course, Yoo-young is suspicious and doesn’t buy into his story. Later on that day, Jang-hyun performs some magic tricks in front of customers at Grandma’s cafe. It’s obvious that he’s quite the talented and popular type.
Hwi-roo is at home awaiting the arrival of their last guest house customer. Grandma is also at her house to keep her company and the two make some plans to grab food after a game of curling the next week. When the guest arrives, Hwi-roo and Grandma unexpectedly encounter Yoo-young waiting at the door. Yoo-young’s friend is the guest, but Yoo-young accompanied her to the guest house without knowing it was Seok-moo’s house.
The three talk with one another from topics like Seok-moo to Jang-hyun. Grandma seems to approve of Jang-hyun and adds that he’s easy to talk to. Speaking of Jang-hyun, he has a conversation with Seok-moo about popularity and fame. Ma-roo listens in on their conversation, but finds herself distracted with a surprise visit from her ex-boyfriend Chan-jin.
Grandma invites Yoo-young to stay a little bit longer at Hwi-roo’s house and to try some of her bread. Meanwhile, Ma-roo has a talk outside the cafe with Chan-jin. Chan-jin apologizes for his mistakes and refuses to break up with Ma-roo. After confessing his love for her, he leans in to give her a kiss, but Ma-roo is uncomfortable with it. At that moment, Seok-moo witnesses Ma-roo struggling to push Chan-jin away from her so he moves towards them to stop Chan-jin. Just as he’s about to rescue Ma-roo, Ma-roo kicks Chan-jin in the leg which prompts Chan-jin to accidentally hit Seok-moo. The situation escalates seconds later when Jang-hyun also enters the equation and begins to fight Chan-jin.
Jang-hyun eventually has to help take an injured Seok-moo home. The two agree to cover up the incident by lying that Seok-moo got into a fight with another person and was saved by Jang-hyun. When the two guys enter Seok-moo’s house, they find both Hwi-roo and Yoo-young inside together.
Grandma is at the police station alongside Soo-kyung, Ma-roo, and Chan-jin. The police assumes Chan-jin and Ma-roo just simply got into a lover’s quarrel as a couple, but Ma-roo reiterates that she and Chan-jin are not in a relationship. Plus, regardless of whether they were dating or not, Chan-jin shouldn’t have forced himself onto Ma-roo without her consent. What he did to her was basically sexual assault.
Jang-hyun and Yoo-young spend some time with Hwi-roo while Seok-moo takes a rest in his bedroom. Hwi-roo quickly checks in with Seok-moo and expresses how uncomfortable she feels talking to Jang-hyun. He’s cheating on his wife, how is she supposed to talk to him? Plus, they have to keep their divorce a secret from Yoo-young and Jang-hyun too. However, Seok-moo reassures Hwi-roo that Yoo-young already knows about their divorce. That’s when Hwi-roo pieces the puzzle together and concludes that Yoo-young was the person Seok-moo visited on that rainy night. She must be his ex-girlfriend. Seok-moo doesn’t deny the allegations, but he also doesn’t say much about it.
Hwi-roo eventually leaves the room to return to Jang-hyun and Yoo-young. Seok-moo also joins the trio and sits in the living room to listen to them talk. Jang-hyun points out the list of rules posted in their house and notes it’s a good thing Hwi-roo and Seok-moo are attempting to make amends. Hahaha.
Ma-roo and Chan-jin are eventually released from the police station. Though Chan-jin pleads for Ma-roo to give him an explanation or reason as to why she wants to break up, Ma-roo doesn’t give him an answer. Soo-kyung and Grandma takes her away from him.
Hwi-roo finds it amusing that Jang-hyun and Yoo-young rarely argue; they’re quite different from Hwi-roo and Seok-moo who bicker over every little thing. Though Yoo-young rarely gets mad at Jang-hyun, there was a time when she was angry over her ex-boyfriend in college. Things quickly get awkward since Seok-moo is there in the living room listening to them. Though Yoo-young tries to quickly excuse herself, Seok-moo prohibits her from leaving. He wants to know why Yoo-young didn’t like this so-called ex-boyfriend.
Yoo-young eventually sits back down to share with them details about her life. As a young child, Yoo-young had many great memories with her dad. However, her life went downhill ever since her dad passed away when she was 14. Eventually, Yoo-young found solace and comfort in a song sung by band Jaurim which is why she pursued music as a hobby in college. That was where she met Seok-moo and why she started dating him. However, Seok-moo was quite the honest and harsh type and he criticized her songwriting without knowing it was her song that he was criticizing.
Ever since then, Yoo-young gave up her dreams of becoming a musician and also never felt the same way about Seok-moo again. In addition to the songwriting critiques, Seok-moo’s harsh words about sharks and recent shark accidents was another reason for Yoo-young’s despise towards Seok-moo. Her dad passed away due to a shark incident, but Seok-moo commented about shark accidents without thinking about his words first.
As Yoo-young finishes her story, Hwi-roo, Jang-hyun, and Seok-moo listen in shock and disbelief. They sit in silence without uttering a word or noise.
Young Seok-moo goes Christmas shopping with his mom. As a little boy, he didn’t know how to express his emotions or feelings, but his parents already knew what he wanted or how he felt about things. However, now that Seok-moo is much older now, how will he learn to express himself and his thoughts?
We’re also shown the moments leading up to when Seok-moo and Hwi-roo coincidentally bumped into each other after an evening of their social media battle. It turns out that Seok-moo followed the restaurant that Hwi-roo had posted about on her social media which is how they were able to bump into each other seconds later. He had it planned all along.
GAAAAAAAHHHH, you messed up Seok-moo! You messed up!
Granted, it was a little unfair for Seok-moo who suffers as a result of people’s expectations and standards for him as a person. Plus, he didn’t know about Yoo-young’s late father or about her dreams of becoming a musician. To an extent it was a little unfair for him to be expected to just know these things or to not talk about these things when he didn’t know anything.
However, it ultimately goes back to the idea of how selfish and self-centered of a person Seok-moo is. He only thinks about and speaks for himself. If he truly cared about Yoo-young and had loved her, he would have wanted to get to know her better and asked her about her personal life, her dreams, her goals, and much more. However, he didn’t and he continued to be the loud and brutally honest person that he was. I think it’s so ironic just how expressive he is as an adult because he used to be so quiet as a child. As seen with the epilogue, Seok-moo didn’t talk or say much as a young child and he didn’t know how to express his emotions or thoughts. However, many years later, Seok-moo’s ability to express himself and his thoughts is what ultimately got him in trouble and lead him to challenging situations he was naive about. Because he was so caught up in his own world, Seok-moo wasn’t aware of how others felt about him which is why it shocks him 10 years later that his ex-girlfriend never liked him.
I also find it interesting how the drama is ultimately showing us a stark contrast with our two couples in this drama: one is divorced and are complete opposites, but they still have some lingering attachments to each other. Meanwhile, the married couple are still together and are pretending to be content with their marriage when in reality they’re not. Jang-hyun is expressing his dissatisfaction with his marriage by having an affair with other women while Yoo-young is sucking things up for now because that’s all she can do. The difference between the two couples is so interesting, because our divorced couple actually still want to be with each other while our married couple don’t but are simply just putting on a show. Looks and appearances can be deceiving and you can’t always trust what you see.
I like that Seok-moo and Hwi-roo are put to the test after their divorce. It’s obvious they still have small feelings for each other based on their ridiculous antics in this episode to make the other jealous. I really liked the social media nonsense because it was funny and entertaining watching them try to one-up the other, but it also proved that Seok-moo and Hwi-roo aren’t exactly done with each other yet. You assume they despise each other and are exhausted with the other because of the divorce and while that is true to an extent, you can also sense that they still care for each other. Hwi-roo and Seok-moo’s divorce is giving the two a well-deserved break that they need from each other after three long and difficult years of marriage. Maybe it’ll be during this break where they learn and realize how they truly feel about each other and what it is that they want.
I’m really glad that the drama brought attention to some really important societal topics and issues such as sexual assault and the discussions around consent. It’s not everyday that you watch a drama talk about these things, but to watch Grandma and Ma-roo so explicitly call out Chan-jin for his behaviors was so satisfying. Of course, I think there’s more to Ma-roo’s story that we aren’t just aware of yet, but I’m glad that she advocated for herself and stood up for what she believed in. She’s a strong and confident lady and these characteristics were things she must have picked up from Grandma herself.
The context behind Yoo-young and Seok-moo’s relationship was also great insight that I’m glad we got. I wished we would also get more flashbacks and background story on Hwi-roo and Seok-moo’s story. We’ve seen little bits here and there, but I want to see more of their history and how the two met and eventually fell in love. I’m totally enjoying the two deal with their divorce in the present, but I would also enjoy watching them when they were in their honeymoon phase or when they were early into their relationship. The sharp contrast would better illustrate just how much Hwi-roo and Seok-moo changed over time and how their relationship deteriorated over the years.
It’s obvious Jang-hyun and Yoo-young are getting more and more intertwined and involved in Hwi-roo and Seok-moo’s lives. The history between Yoo-young and Seok-moo makes everything much more complicated and complex, but that’s also what makes it all compelling and fun. Hopefully Seok-moo will learn to be a little more considerate of others now that he’s aware of his past actions so that he can reflect on how to be better remembered in the future.