New Tales of Gisaeng review: episodes 31-40 Sa Ran and Da Mo

In this section of the drama, Sa Ran continues trying to make Da Mo leave her alone and she decides that the best way to do this is to have her ‘hair raised’ by a wealthy CEO in a gisaeng-style marriage! But at the last moment Da Mo manages to stop her and they have a reconciliation and decide to get married. The next hurdle is to persuade his father to accept Sa Ran – he does not want a poor gisaeng as a daughter-in-law. But in episode 40 we have a wedding anyway… 

 Sa Ran, New Tales of GIsaeng, SBS, 2011

Everyone is shocked to hear that Sa Ran plans to have her hair raised! Especially Da Mo. Shaken, he goes to see the CEO who refuses to stop seeing Sa Ran and suggests that what Da Mo feels is infatuation, not love. Da Mo has no choice but to try again to change Sa Ran’s mind. But she is determined to be a gisaeng and says he can raise her hair instead of Mr. Ma if he likes! But she thinks he is too worried about what people will think to actually go through with this. Da Mo leaves frustrated and Sa Ran calls his mum and tells her that their relationship is finally over. His mum is relieved. Da Mo goes home and drinks himself to sleep and the next day his mum finds him on his bed with an empty bottle of what looks like whisky..

Da Mo’s mum feels bad about Sa Ran’s plan to have a gisaeng marriage and so wants to give Sa Ran a bracelet as a gift, but she refuses to accept it saying it would remind her of Da Mo. She is determined to break all ties with him. She is very stubborn at this point and not thinking clearly. Sa Ran’s dad and step mum meet Mr. Ma and her step mum is all over him – she doesn’t disapprove of the marriage at all like most mothers would. In fact she is spending her time dreaming about living in a big house and being able to shop for expensive jewellery!

Before her gisaeng wedding, Sa Ran is allowed to go home for one night. She calls her friends and they go out and Sa Ran has a lot to drink. (I’m not surprised!) Mr. Ma, her future husband, has her watched closely by one of his people. Meanwhile Ra Ra’s aunt and Sa Ran’s step mum happen to go to the same karaoke box with their friends and they meet in the toilets where there’s a very odd toilet incident! Later, Sa Ran is drunk so Gong Joo comes to drive her home. Gong Joo doesn’t want Sa Ran to go through with the wedding so while she’s asleep in the car, Gong Joo calls Da Mo and asks him to take Sa Ran away until the ceremony is over. She seems to be the only person in the family who really cares about Sa Ran. But Da Mo just carries Sa Ran up to the flat. He knows this is not the way to win her over.

Da Mo goes to the family holiday home. He told his parents he was going abroad for a while but now his mum discovers he has not gone abroad. He thinks that if he watches the ceremony then he will be able to forget Sa Ran and get on with his life. The gisaeng house is busy getting ready for the ceremony. A bath is prepared filled with petals and herbs. Ms. Han is back in the kitchen but she feels bad for Sa Ran and wonders how her parents could let her go through with this! Oh the irony.

The traditional ceremony is carried out at the gisaeng house. Ms. Han watches from a distance and looks upset. Da Mo, Gong Joo and Son Ja are also there looking glum. Da Mo’s mum feels bad at home, but his dad doesn’t know anything yet about Da Mo and Sa Ran’s relationship. He just nags his wife to find a rich wife for Da Mo. After the ceremony Da Mo watches the couple leave to go to their room. Mr. Ma’s subordinates clap and cheer shouting words of encouragement to Mr. Ma for his night with his new bride! Gross. Da Mo imagines Mr. Ma undressing Sa Ran and that’s it – he runs in (with his shoes still on) kicking over a screen in the newlyweds room! There’s a punch up between Da Mo and Mr. Ma who ends up flying across the room into a table. Da Mo has a split lip and Mr. Ma gets taken to hospital. Sa Ran looks on in shock. Now in a dramatic scene Da Mo breaks down and they both cry as he says he will raise her hair if that’s what she wants him to do. He will do whatever she asks as long as they can be together. He would rather die than be without her etc. etc.

Still emotional, Sa Ran leaves the gisaeng house just in case Mr. Ma comes back to claim her. Da Mo takes her home but her step mum is worried that she didn’t go through with the ceremony. Meanwhile Mr. Ma turns up at the gisaeng house. He seems subdued and has a bandage on his head. But he wants her back.

But that is not looking promising as Da Mo and Sa Ran have got back together. Da Mo finally explains to Sa Ran why he broke up with her – he was worried that he was starting to like her a lot and he knew his father would never approve. She understands and now wants the engagement ring that he tried to give her before.

But Sa Ran still feels bad about what happened with Mr. Ma so she arranges to see him. He is having acupuncture on his back after the fight with Da Mo. They meet later while Da Mo waits in another area. She tells him that she has chose Da Mo even though he has lots of shortcomings and he is immature and selfish! They part amicably and Mr. Ma asks if he can make their story into a film! Then Mr. Ma goes home alone to his villa and pays a female dancer for a private show while he drinks whisky with flashbacks to his time spent with Sa Ran. Oh dear. Then in anger, he throws the glass on the wall and it shatters into tiny pieces…

Da Mo plans to tell his parents about their marriage. He is convinced everything will be fine. But Sa Ran is not so sure. Her step mother on the other hand is so happy to hear the news that she faints! But when Da Mo’s dad hears the news he looks like he is about to pop! Especially when he hears the whole truth about Sa Ran’s background and that she is a gisaeng! Da Mo suggests that it’s fate that they be together since it was his grandmother who had suggested the dance student Sa Ran as a wife for him before. But his dad doesn’t think it’s fate since Da Mo’s grandmother died soon after she told them about Sa Ran. His dad storms off. He doesn’t want to listen anymore. And he’s still fuming at breakfast time and even refuses to let Da Mo sit at the table. So he ends up sitting on the floor! After breakfast, his dad arranges to meet Sa Ran at his office. Oh no…

When Sa Ran arrives, Da Mo’s dad is eating – he says he’s hungry and has been busy all day, but this seems rather rude. On purpose? He hardly looks at her as he eats and asks her questions about her feelings for Da Mo. Then he calmly agrees to let them live together. This seems odd – what does he have planned? Sa Ran looks confused too. She as expecting him to be against their marriage. And sure enough there is a catch. Da Mo is told that he can be with Sa Ran if he leaves home. He can’t stay at home and marry Sa Ran. His mum tries to persuade him that this is just infatuation – first love. But he is quite old to be having a first love at 29! Doesn’t this usually happen to teenagers?? 

Da Mo packs his things – everyone in this drama packs their suitcases with the hangers still on the clothes. Who really does this?? Da Mo leaves home and checks in to a really huge suite at a hotel – not really roughing it. He is being very naive thinking that he can live like this when he is going against his father’s wishes! He is excited to talk about their wedding when he meets Sa Ran for breakfast but he doesn’t realise that his father is arranging for him to be disinherited! His dad freezes all his credit cards too – everyone except Da Mo could see that one coming! Did he think he could just keep on getting money from his family for doing nothing? His dad is also having him followed. Sa Ran realises that Da Mo has not got his father’s blessing and that he might not even come to the wedding. She is upset about this, but Da Mo is in denial. He is used to luxury and to Sa Ran’s dismay thinks they should find a large flat together. He isn’t satisfied with the small places they look at.

Sa Ran wants Da Mo and his father to get along so she secretly goes to his parents’ house. Da Mo’s dad is surprised to see her and says he has no intention of going to the wedding. Sa Ran gives a very long speech about her family circumstances and how she doesn’t want Da Mo to lose his family over this problem. She even suggests that Da Mo could give up his inheritance if his father came to the wedding. She doesn’t want to get married if his parents aren’t there. But his father is stubborn and refuses. Again. He can see that she is a nice girl but he can’t accept her family circumstances.

Da Mo and Sa Ran go looking at rings. But later when they go to see a movie, Da Mo tries to buy the tickets and discovers that all his cards have been cancelled. He storms over to see his parents and realises that he has been disinherited and they have a blazing row. He still resents his father for never doing ‘dad’ things with him when he was a child because he was too busy working at the company. He ends up leaving, knowing he is now financially on his own. He even leaves his car behind.

Da Mo is worried that Sa Ran won’t want him now he has no money but they agree to work hard for a year and if his dad is still against the marriage then they will get married anyway. Sa Ran and Da Mo have their own ceremony in a restaurant and exchange rings to pledge their engagement. Da Mo is still not worried about money as he thinks he will be able to work at his friend’s company. He has lots of rich friends after all. But he has no idea that his father is meeting all his rich friends and telling them not to help him! His father cheers up thinking that his son will soon be back now that he has no job or money. His parents bet whether or not Da Mo will last a month out on his own without their help.

Da Mo turns up for work only to hear that he has no job. Meanwhile Sa Ran goes to see his mum who tries to persuade her to hurry up and have a baby – as a grandchild will soften Da Mo’s dad – but Sa Ran refuses. Da Mo confronts his dad about the job. They have another row and Da Mo brings up again how he felt neglected as a child by his father. He says he will move out for good. Sa Ran’s step mum is frustrated and wonders if she should speak to Da Mo’s dad – OH PLEASE NO!

Da Mo moves out and gets a job on a building site. Sa Ran and Da Mo are now staying at the gisaeng house to save money. So his dad meets Ms. Oh to get her to kick Da Mo out of the house. But she won’t. After seeing Da Mo working on the building site his dad has another go at trying to persuade Sa Ran to break up with him. He offers to pay for her to go abroad and give her anything else that she needs. But she refuses and he reduces her to tears telling her how she is going to ruin Da Mo. Maybe his speech makes Sa Ran realise that he is not going to change his mind because she goes to see Da Mo and tells him she wants to get married ASAP!

They plan to live in the apartment that Ra Ra was going to live in. So Da Mo’s dad meets Dr. Geum for dinner to persuade him to not allow Da Mo and Sa Ran to live in there. But Dr. Geum doesn’t want to stop them. He knows what it’s like to be in love. Da Mo tries again to talk to his father but it’s hopeless. Sa Ran tells Ms. Oh about her real family circumstances. Then she makes one last plea to Da Mo’s dad to attend the wedding. She asks him how they will explain his absence at their wedding to his grandchildren. But again. Hopeless.

So far Da Mo’s mum has meekly obeyed her husband. But when Da Mo and Sa Ran’s wedding date is fixed, she stands up to him and says she will attend the wedding even if he doesn’t. Da Mo’s dad has lost the bet about whether Da Mo and Sa Ran would stay together for a month and so now he has to wear a wig. That was the agreement. So she sends the adjummas out to buy the wig!

But on the day of the wedding, Da Mo’s dad turns up to everyone’s surprise. Maybe he was thinking about what Sa Ran said to him. But ironically, Da Mo’s parents are at the wedding but Sa Ran’s dad and step mum are in a car crash and they can’t make it to the ceremony! They call from the hospital and tell them to go ahead anyway. Ra Ra gets her dad to give Sa Ran away and Ms. Han plays her mother’s role!! Fate has been a huge theme throughout this drama but this really is the cherry on the cake! It’s emotional for Sa Ran as she walks up the aisle because her dad is not there, but it’s probably a blessing that her step mum couldn’t come! Although I would have liked to have seen her meeting and greeting Da Mo’s dad.…At the end of the ceremony when the newlyweds bow to their parents, Ms. Han cries just as Sa Ran cried when she watched Ms. Han’s wedding. So somehow the mother and daughter feel a connection that they don’t yet know they have, but Dr. Geum doesn’t seem to feel anything!

The honeymoon – OK. Very odd bits again here in this drama – WIG SCENES -!! – Da Mo’s mum wears and combs the wig she got for his dad to wear. Meanwhile on honeymoon, Da Mo dresses like a girl with a long wig and Sa Ran’s hair clip. Oh this is weird! A strange first night together indeed!

Da Mo wants to leap into bed (of course) but Sa Ran is hesitant. He ends up coaxing her onto the bed and massaging her feet. She tells him she wants to live with his parents but he is against it – he wants them to live on their own. Hang on! He told his last girlfriend that they had to live with his parents! At the end of the scene Da Mo tries to get too friendly with San Ran’s toes and she kicks him – he lands on the floor. To be continued…









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