Episode 11 of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Hundred Million Stars from the Sky) could also be called, “The Turn.” Who is good and who is bad clearly gets turned on its head, which is, of course, what keeps us watching. That, and the improbably cute love story.
I’m going to go through this episode by relationships, because that’s the core of what’s going on and how some are behaving well and some not.
Kim Moo Young and Yoo Jin Kang. The writers are selling this love story hard, hopefully not to meanly pull the rug out from under both us and the characters at the end, but in the meantime it’s adorable to watch. See in Gun and Jung So Min have great chemistry onscreen and should consider future projects together. Both are phenomenal actors. Whether biologically related or not, Moo Young and Jin Kang have a bond that seems like it’s going to stick and Moo Young is really on his best behavior. No shenanigans from him this episode as he lets Jin Kang tame and domesticate him. They do fight briefly over the fact that Officer Yoo does not accept them as a couple, but it’s a standard lover’s quarrel and Moo Young continues to be honest with Jin Kang.
Deputy Tak and Officer Yoo. These too already have a relationship where unsaid secrets reign. Tak is in love with him, and he’s maybe in love with her, too, but they avoid speaking about it at all costs. With this as the state of their friendship, we maybe shouldn’t be so surprised that Tak has been eagerly helping Officer Yoo keep the truth that she’s not his biological sister from Jin Kang.
Tak appears to know more than that, but she did not know that Officer Yoo murdered someone. No one did. Up until this point in the story I had thought Tak to be a good soul, a bit stupid for loving a man who won’t try and win her or may not even love her back, but that’s common enough and more to be pitied than anything else. This kind of love can be unhealthy, however, and this episode brings that to light: Tak isn’t horrified at finding Officer Yoo is a murderer. No, she, in fact, has empathy for him: Officer Yoo, how on earth did you live 25 years with all of this guilt? Tak is also firmly on Officer Yoo’s side in any disagreement with Jin Kang and like Officer Yoo seems unable or unwilling to see Jin Kang as an adult with her own agency. I have a feeling that Eom Cho Rong may be the one to pull her out of this. He genuinely seems to care about Tak as a friend, taking the time to ask about her, if only briefly. Cho Rong has also become a bit disillusioned by Officer Yoo as Officer Yoo lied and held back information from him. They are still friendly, but Cho Rong is a bit more guarded now, more grown up. He’s starting to watch events more like a detective or officer, I think.
Officer Yoo and Jin Kang. This relationship is where things get really sticky. When Tak asks Yoo Kook how he got through 25 years of guilt at being a murderer, he answers, smilingly: Jin Kang, that kiddo, Jin Kang. In some stories perhaps this would be a sweet admission; in this one, no. It’s suddenly crystal clear that Officer Yoo has dumped love and care into Jin Kang largely to assuage his guilt. Whether or not the guilt is directly connected to her, we still don’t know, but we do learn she is a replacement for the burned child (Kim Moo Young) that he lost at the Haesan hospital so many years ago. I am not sure at this time if Officer Yoo’s intentions towards the missing child were good. He probably thinks they were, but he may have just as likely been preparing to pump the kid for information to make sure Moo Young really didn’t remember who shot his dad. Officer Yoo is going to be in real trouble when Moo Young fully remembers what happened.
Officer Yoo is livid to find out that Jin Kang lied to him and went with Moo Young to Haesan and dived into a relationship with him. With what we know about Moo Young, it’s understandable for him to be upset, especially as Jin Kook is a father figure for Jin Kang and wants to protect her. But his level of outrage shows that what he told Jin Kang, that she is free to make her own choices, was indeed merely a tactic. Jin Kang is only free to make the choices Officer Yoo wants for her. Add to that the fact that both know they aren’t really biologically related, but can’t talk about this and bring it into the open because Jin Kook especially must keep up with the charade. What an unhealthy relationship! Both need to read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend.
No, seriously. Officer Yoo has placed all relief of his guilt on not only the truth not coming to light, but also on Jin Kang’s delicate shoulders. She is his saving grace, something he felt he’s done right in his life, only he won’t allow her to grow up and make her own choices and her own mistakes. Jin Kang yells at him that growing up she always felt like baggage to him, when in reality she was probably just feeling the weight of Officer Yoo’s problems upon her. If that’s not emotional and psychological harm to a child, I don’t know what is. In this light, their relationship is downright creepy. In this episode Moo Young is clearly the one loving her and fighting for her best interests.
Partway through the episode Officer Yoo de facto shuts down all of his emotions and common sense. This is after he visits Tattoo girl, Im Yoo Ri, in prison. He’s fishing for information on if Jin Kang actually knows the truth she’s not his sister. In the course of their conversation, Yoo Ri tells him that no woman who falls for Kim Moo Young will ever be free of him. Perhaps if Moo Young rejects them, but probably not even then. All hope that Jin Kang will make the choice he wants is essentially swept away for Officer Yoo, and it’s written all over his face. His worry isn’t truly for Jin Kang, but for himself, although he himself may not understand just how afraid he is of the truth. Tak actually gets angry with him at one point, asking why it would be so bad for Jin Kang to at least know that he took her in and raised her. At this suggestion, Officer Yoo is apoplectic, and Tak tells him so. Perhaps she will wake up from supporting him eventually.
Tak and Jin Kang. Let’s briefly go back to Tak for a minute. Although she is an older sister figure to Jin Kang, her alliance is all with Officer Yoo. Tak interferes in the supposed siblings’ argument, trying to get Jin Kang to cave in and also trying to get Jin Kang to disclose more information. Are these the actions of a good woman, a woman who just found out her best friend has been hiding the fact that he’s a murderer (we still don’t know if this was in cold blood or not) for the last 25 years?
Tak also knows this past death (she now knows it was a murder) has something to do with Jin Kang’s past, but has been happy keeping up with the charade that Officer Yoo’s put in place. She, too, has comfortably been treating Jin Kang like a child for far too long, to the point that she chastises Moo Young for arguing with her brother. This is wrong. What is happening isn’t Jin Kang’s fault. True, Moo Young seems not boyfriend material due to what happened with her friend and his connection with Im Yoo Ri, however, this is not the main concern for either Tak or Officer Yoo. Their main concern is that Jin Kang never find out the truth of her past. With that in mind, it’s really not fair to Jin Kang to say she can’t be honest with Jin Kook and tell him it’s been hard growing up feeling like baggage. She has good reason to feel that way. As a person she’s allowed her own feelings that may not agree with her brother’s or Tak’s. Jin Kang also may know the standard reasons Officer Yoo doesn’t care for Moo Young, but she doesn’t know the real reason. In any case, if they can’t allow the girl her own feelings, she may be better off with someone who does.
Officer Yoo’s perspective on Moo Young is now being called into question because he’s so afraid of anyone learning the truth about the past. Is Moo Young a monster to him mostly because Moo Young might be the spark that sets the line of explosives surrounding his carefully constructed lies on fire? Moo Young has also definitely been fishing for information and I think once he finds out Officer Yoo killed his dad he will be more than happy to dissolve any illusions for Jin Kang about her “good” Oppa, or older brother.
The Psychologist and Officer Yoo. We haven’t seen a lot of the psychologist from TV at the beginning of the show, but he’s moving into prominence as he has much to do with the past in Haesang. Yang Kyung Mo appears to be a good doctor, but then we remember that Im Yoo Ri does horrible things on her medication prescribed by him, and perhaps we wonder. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Yang has been trying to get her off the medication. In this episode, Yang meets with Officer Yoo when both discover they visit prison to see Im Yoo Ri. Officer Yoo finds out that Yang also treated Moo Young. Yang knows Moo Young is the same boy primarily because of his eyes (they are unique and probably what triggered Officer Yoo when he first saw Moo Young) and the look in them, the look of a child who has lost all his memories. I’m not sure what the odds are that two patients a psychologist treated would become fast friends, but as he hasn’t seen Moo Young for a number of years, I’d say slim to none. Did Moo Young and Im Yoo Ri meet by chance? Given the intelligence of Moo Young, does he meet anyone by chance? In any case, we learn that Dr. Yang feels he made the wrong choice with Moo Young, that it’s his fault Moo Young isn’t living well.
Both the doctor and Officer Yoo are clearly holding back information from each other. Both appear to know the truth of Moo Young’s past, but maybe don’t know the other knows it as well. I have to wonder if Officer Yoo will find that the doctor, too, threatening his constructed lies at some point.
Kim Moo Young and Officer Young. Intelligence shows in strange ways. Moo Young obviously has a great, probably photographic memory, but his real skill is in knowing people. He tries to get on Officer Yoo’s good side, to make amends for the sake of Jin Kang, but Officer Yoo is not having any of it, and Moo Young says he won’t try to impress him, then. Moo Young tells Jin Kang the same thing: He and Officer Yoo are not going to be friends or reconcile. Moo Young’s ok with rejection and isn’t going to push things. This is what they have their quarrel about and though they quickly make up, the nonemotional truth is that Moo Young is right. Some things you can’t fix, some relationships can’t be changed until the other person is willing. Moo Young is rightly not going to try if Officer Yoo isn’t willing. We saw this same trait in Moo Young the night he asked Jin Kang several times if she cared for him and she obstinately said no. Moo Young let her live with her lie, knowing perhaps that she’d figure out for herself how much she was denying her feelings. And he was right.
Perhaps its the same with Officer Yoo. Perhaps Moo Young is hoping that when Officer Yoo sees that he is also not going to give way and will continue to date Jin Kang, Yoo’s feelings toward Moo Young will soften. But Officer Yoo has built too hard and too high of a wall of lies that he can’t see crumble. At the end of the episode, as Moo Young is just walking home after buying a wine opener, he sees Officer Yoo across the street. Officer Yoo looks like a zombie with dead eyes, by the way, yet Moo Young doesn’t seem to notice this. No, that young man is looking forward to teasing the officer once again, but what he gets is a quick stab to the gut. So afraid of the truth, Officer Yoo has allowed himself to once again commit murder. This is not a good man. These are the actions of a psycho.