Things are never like what they seem. Looks and appearances can be deceiving and there is always more to a relationship than what it seems. Hwi-roo and Seok-moo pretend to be nonchalant and careless around each other, but they struggle to confront the feelings that they feel otherwise. Meanwhile, secrets that were always hidden and kept under wraps are beginning to show itself in Yoo-young and Jang-hyun’s marriage.
Matrimonial Chaos: Episode 5 Recap
After arguing with Seok-moo about their marriage, Hwi-roo runs out of the house to escape the chaos and to get things off her mind. Yoo-young follows after Jang-hyun after he leaves the house, but she stops herself halfway though and vows to not get into any of his business. Yoo-young encounters Hwi-roo a few seconds later.
Seok-moo heads out to search for Hwi-roo. While wandering around, he witnesses a couple walking together and feeding each other some snacks. He’s reminded of the moment when he and Hwi-roo fed each other some baked potatoes too on a snowy night. It was also that night when Seok-moo suddenly brought up the topic of marriage and asked Hwi-roo to marry her. Times were happier back then.
Seok-moo eventually finds Hwi-roo walking with Yoo-young to Yoo-young’s shop. There, Hwi-roo tries on a wedding dress that Yoo-young had stitched together. Meanwhile, Jang-hyun is at a hotel with another woman. Her name is Yoo Ji-hyun and she’s had an affair with Jang-hyun for a while now. They discuss about the recurring nightmare that Jang-hyun suffers every once in a while. He dreams that he’s riding on a train through a tunnel on a snowy day. For some reason, the dream is more vivid and clear when he’s spending the night with another woman.
Seok-moo follows Yoo-young and Hwi-roo to a karaoke bar. Once the two sing finish singing their hearts out, they’re approached by a group of guys. Seok-moo watches the two women interact with the guys from the corner and desperately wishes for Hwi-roo to walk away from them. When she doesn’t reject their offer to grab some drinks, Seok-moo steps out from the corner to interrupt them. However, he ends up tripping and falling to the ground and embarrasses himself in front of the group.
Seok-moo is admitted to the hospital and is visited by Dong-koo and Mi-ri. While Dong-koo leaves first, Mi-ri stays behind to accompany Seok-moo. Hwi-roo visits a while later and eats some macaroons with Seok-moo and Mi-ri. When Mi-ri leaves, Seok-moo admits to Hwi-roo that he was searching for her which is why he was following after her. He’s repenting and reflecting on himself and his actions. Hwi-roo adds that Seok-moo should repent on the actions he’s committed to others as well. When Hwi-roo leaves, Seok-moo checks the bag she left by his hospital bed. It’s a bag of his favorite macaroons that she got him.
Yoo-young shares with Jang-hyun the incident about Seok-moo. They laugh over Seok-moo’s ridiculous antics, but quickly change the conversation afterwards to Yoo-young and Hwi-roo. While the two were out together, Jang-hyun lies that he was gone over night to finish up a project. Hwi-roo and Grandma engage in their weekly game of curling. Meanwhile, Jang-hyun heads to work and is approached by Eun-joo in his office. She finds the document of Jang-hyun’s marriage registration with Yoo-young hidden inside of a book and confronts him about it. Jang-hyun ignores the document and doesn’t say anything about it.
At the cafe, Ma-roo receives a bouquet of flowers from Chan-jin as a form of apology for his actions. Seok-moo enters the cafe a few seconds later and has a discussion with Ma-roo about the divorce. Ma-roo won’t feel as comfortable working at the cafe once Seok-moo and Hwi-roo finalizes their divorce. Though Seok-moo claims that Ma-roo can still hang around the cafe, Ma-roo disagrees. Seok-moo should take his divorce more seriously; what does he take divorce for? Plus, Ma-roo never really had a good first impression of Seok-moo, but Hwi-roo always stood up for him and said good things about him to her. Seok-moo processes the new details.
After curling practice, Grandma and Hwi-roo spend some time at Grandma’s place. Hwi-roo ponders whether Grandma would still have spent as much time with her if they were strangers, but Grandma notes that even family members are strangers to each other. She also reveals that she was the one who gave Seok-moo his current apartment. That evening, Hwi-roo heads home and helps Seok-moo put on his waistband. He thanks her afterwards and asks her if she would like to play a game with him.
Seok-moo heads to Yoo-young’s shop the next morning to check out the security alarm system. On the way there, he witnesses Eun-joo breaking the shop’s glass window and shattering it into pieces. Seok-moo chases after Eun-joo and warns her about the crime she just committed against Yoo-young. However, Eun-joo isn’t worried. She didn’t do anything wrong and plus, Yoo-young and Jang-hyun aren’t married to each other. He didn’t even register their marriage, hence, Eun-joo and Jang-hyun aren’t having an affair with each other. Eun-joo encourages Seok-moo to be with Yoo-young if he wants to because Eun-joo is dating Jang-hyun.
Seok-moo returns to Yoo-young’s shop after talking to Eun-joo. Hwi-roo attempts to write another children’s book, but she gets discouraged after remembering what the publishing company mentioned about her writing. Seok-moo stays with Yoo-young at her shop until the evening. When asked why she chooses to be with Jang-hyun even though she knows about his affairs, Yoo-young simply explains that it’s because she loves him. She feels protected and less anxious when with him.
Seok-moo is about to break to Yoo-young the news about the marriage registration when she switches the topic to him. His divorce is going to be finalized soon, what is he going to do? Seok-moo responds that Hwi-roo’s a good person, but he’s still going to move forward with the divorce. No matter what he does, he won’t be able to change.
Seok-moo encounters Jang-hyun in the neighborhood on the way home. He advises Jang-hyun to stop cheating and to care more about his marriage with Yoo-young. He should be focused on making her happy. Jang-hyun grows confused and slightly offended. Seok-moo married Hwi-roo and they registered their marriage, but yet they’re getting a divorce. Why couldn’t Seok-moo make Hwi-roo happy? Seok-moo grows angry and the two get into a small fight with each other. Lol.
Jang-hyun and Seok-moo make up and head to Grandma’s cafe afterwards. Jang-hyun shows Seok-moo the marriage registration file once again and shares with Seok-moo why he never registered the marriage. On the day he was supposed to file the marriage, Yoo-young fell sick so Jang-hyun went alone. However, he soon found himself occupied with other errands so he never got around to filing the marriage, but he also couldn’t bring himself to tell Yoo-young. Of course, Yoo-young is clueless about it and doesn’t know that their marriage isn’t registered. Speaking of Yoo-young, she walks into the cafe right at that moment to join the two guys.
Hwi-roo soon joins the trio and the two couples go on a double date at Grandma’s cafe. Seok-moo signals for Jang-hyun to visit the restroom with him so they can talk about the marriage registration, but Jang-hyun refuses. When Seok-moo returns from the restroom, he finds Jang-hyun and Yoo-young gone. Hwi-roo eventually discovers about the marriage registration through Seok-moo. She concludes that Seok-moo must not have told Yoo-young yet because he wants to protect her and still see her happy.
The next morning, Hwi-roo falls ill and is unable to attend her part-time job. Thankfully, Shi-ho contacts her just in time and substitutes Hwi-roo at her job. One of the teachers commend Shi-ho with his work and encourages him to continue working for the daycare program since Hwi-roo will be leaving soon. Meanwhile, Eun-joo shops around at another shop in the neighborhood. She’s approached by the store owner about her dress so Eun-joo encourages the store owner to visit Yoo-young’s shop with her one day.
Seok-moo heads to an apartment unit to check out the security alarm. When he arrives, he finds a married couple arguing with each other and threatening the other with divorce. At first, Seok-moo advises them not to consider divorce because of its many complications and challenges. However, the married couple ends up comforting and consoling Seok-moo as he complains about his divorce with Hwi-roo to the couple. LOL. They note that Seok-moo doesn’t have to agree to finalize the divorce if he doesn’t want to; if he chooses not to, he and Hwi-roo won’t get divorced.
Seok-moo heads to a bakery shop that night to buy Hwi-roo some of her favorite dessert. When he arrives at his apartment, he finds Shi-ho also waiting there for Hwi-roo. Eventually, Shi-ho is invited to join Hwi-roo and Seok-moo for dinner. Back at Yoo-young’s shop, she’s visited by Eun-joo and the same store owner who was interested in the dress that Yoo-young made for Eun-joo. As the store owner takes a look at the different designs and fits available for her boyfriend, she breaks down into tears upon seeing the model. The store owner is one of Jang-hyun’s many women and she runs out after realizing that he’s married. Eun-joo follows after her shortly.
Shi-ho attempts to create small talk with Seok-moo, but it’s obvious he doesn’t like Shi-ho. Shi-ho remains friendly with Seok-moo despite his cold behavior and even compliments him on his personality. However, Hwi-roo puts Seok-moo down in order to make Shi-ho feel better about himself. Of course, this hurts Seok-moo and he excuses himself after eating a few spoons of his food.
Jang-hyun and Yoo-young have dinner with each other that night, but it’s obvious Yoo-young is upset. She no longer wants to attend the camping tour that Jang-hyun had suggested to her a few weeks ago. After dinner, Hwi-roo heads outside to throw the trash away. While she’s gone, Shi-ho and Seok-moo have a conversation with each other. It turns out that the two know each other and have some history together, but just pretended to be strangers in front of Hwi-roo. As expected, Shi-ho has a crush on Hwi-roo, but Seok-moo pretends to act like it doesn’t bother him.
Seok-moo even gives Hwi-roo a congratulatory message on finding a new man. Shi-ho seems like a good person and she and Shi-ho would make a good couple. Seok-moo and Hwi-roo will be finalizing their divorce at the court the next day, things like this wouldn’t matter anymore. When Hwi-roo returns to the house, she has a hard time focusing on Shi-ho. Instead, she’s occupied with thoughts of Seok-moo. While Hwi-roo loves Seok-moo, she realizes that she doesn’t like him.
Shi-ho and Seok-moo reminisces memories of when they were in college together. The song that Shi-ho sang at the club that Hwi-roo likes so much originally belonged to Seok-moo. He was the one who came up with the melody and lyrics to the track. While walking around the neighborhood, Seok-moo comes across a lonely Yoo-young so he approaches her. She asks for his company and wants him to walk around with her without saying a word.
Back at home, Hwi-roo receives a call from her parents. While her parents are concerned about Dad’s surgery, Hwi-roo is more concerned about Seok-moo. She cries to her mom on the phone and comments that she’s in pain. Though Hwi-roo lies that she has a cold which is why she’s hurting, it’s obvious that Hwi-roo’s referring to Seok-moo. Being in a relationship with him hurts so much.
Seok-moo eventually walks Yoo-young back to her apartment. He’s about to leave when he remembers that Yoo-young is still wearing his jacket that he gave her to keep her warm. Inside of his jacket is the marriage registration document that Jang-hyun never filed. Seok-moo panics and attempts to inform Jang-hyun about the marriage registration, but Jang-hyun is sound asleep. It’s too late though as Yoo-young accidentally stumbles upon it and takes a look at the letter. Meanwhile, Hwi-roo checks Seok-moo’s bedroom at home to find the room empty.
GAAAAAAH, Yoo-young knows! She found out the truth about her marriage registration and how it was never actually filed at all. I’m assuming this will be the start of her explosion and confrontation with Jang-hyun who she has been very patient with so far for a variety of reasons. However, many recent incidents have been forcing her to confront her reality and fears about her marriage lately so soon enough Yoo-young will have no choice but to actually talk about it. When that happens, it will be interesting to see how she goes about addressing her marital issues with Jang-hyun that she’s avoided this entire time.
The whole marriage registration situation fascinates me because it gives you insight as to why Jang-hyun doesn’t feel guilty for cheating. Just like Eun-joo mentioned, Jang-hyun technically isn’t cheating on Yoo-young because he never registered their marriage in the first place. They’re not married so his relationship with Eun-joo isn’t that of an affair. While Jang-hyun’s failure to register the marriage already speaks volumes about how he feels about Yoo-young and their relationship, he’s not exactly cheating on Yoo-young in the sense that Seok-moo originally thought he was. Jang-hyun is still wrong for seeing other women while living with Yoo-young and claiming that they’re married, but I can also understand why Eun-joo is so adamant on keeping Jang-hyun for herself. Yoo-young and Jang-hyun aren’t married in a technical sense.
Seok-moo and Hwi-roo’s relationship breaks me into pieces because I love them both as a couple and I want them to be able to work through their problems so that they can stay together. It’s obvious that they both still care for each other and still want to be together to an extent, but they still haven’t found the solution in overcoming their marital issues and problems. Seok-moo is well aware of this too because he knows he’ll never be able to change in the ways that Hwi-roo wants him to. Seok-moo will never be able to change in order to improve their marriage and relationship with each other. In this sense, no matter how much he wants to be with Hwi-roo (in which he does), he’s ultimately deciding to move forward with the divorce because he can’t bring himself to change for her. He can’t make her happy so he would rather Hwi-roo be happy with someone else (as hurtful and hard as that would be).
This sounds all good and ideal only for the fact that Hwi-roo isn’t happy with anyone else. Even though Shi-ho is clearly a great, kind, and genuine guy interested in Hwi-roo, she still obviously loves Seok-moo. A part of her misses the person that he used to be and the way that things used to be when they were first married. A part of Hwi-roo wishes to go back to those days and much happier times. However, another part of her is also facing the reality and the present and learning to work around that. She understands that Seok-moo has transformed into a person (or maybe it was just that his true colors finally started to show) that is not compatible to hers, but she’s willing to work around that. Hwi-roo is willing to do all that she can to make the marriage work and it’s an attempt she’s been trying for three years now. She can only do so much though which is why it hurts so much when she can’t get their relationship to work out. Hwi-roo’s phone call with her mother on the phone broke my heart, because you could tell just how precious this marriage is to her and just how much she doesn’t want to let it go. She still wants to be with Seok-moo and to somehow find a solution to their problems, but she can’t and that renders her hopeless.
I think Seok-moo himself is trying in the relationship as well (or at least is beginning to) with the ways that he’s repenting and reflecting on himself. Thanks to Yoo-young and Hwi-roo’s honest confrontations, he’s learning to also consider other people’s feelings and although it might be a little too late at this point, it’s a good thing that he’s just beginning at all. Seok-moo is showing some growth and development and although it might not make much of a difference at this point, it could potentially have an impact in the future in his relationship with Hwi-roo or with others.
I like that ‘Matrimonial Chaos’ has always felt like a slice of life drama and I especially appreciate all the commentary regarding marriage, love, relationships, and family. The small comedic antics in each episode is also what makes the drama so fun to watch although not a lot is happening (Seok-moo giving marriage advice to the arguing couple then ends up being the one counseled by the couple in this episode was hilarious!). While this drama does make me a bit more wary and hesitant to get married (just kidding but not really), I at least know a bit more about what to possibly expect when getting married and the types of things to look out for in a marriage.