Episode 7 is all about suppressing feelings as both lead characters start to soften.
This recap of Netflix K-drama series It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 7, “The Cheerful Dog” contains spoilers.
How does It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 7, “The Cheerful Dog” open?
Episode 7 sees the lead characters spend time together — the mind games are getting less and less as they are softening in each other’s presence. Episode 7 begins with Gang-tae walking to Mun-yeong’s bedroom as she has a nightmare and checks if she is okay. He comforts her as she is distressed. The next morning Mun-yeong asks why he is here. Afterwards, Gang-tae tells his brother he is going to take the day off so offers to go on the bus with him. It’s obvious that he’s taking the day off so he can spend time with Mun-yeong.
What was said between them?
At the hospital, the doctors and nurses talk about Ms Kang and her delusion. They reckon problems started when Mun-yeong came to the hospital. They want to understand what was said between Mun-yeong and Ms Kang.
Are you still having sleep paralysis?
Back at her place, Mun-yeong keeps reliving her memories with her mother — her anger and controlling behaviour. Mun-yeong gets out scissors and as she is about to cut her hair she hears, “Save me”. Lee Sang-in arrives and sees Mun-yeong has broken her mirror. She tells him she wants to cut her mother again but she can’t. Lee Sang-in asks Mun-yeong if she is getting sleep paralysis and hallucinations again and suggests she moves out of the place. Gang-tae comes home and tells Lee Sang-in to stop and then Mun-yeong pushes Lee Sang-in down the stairs. Gang-tae catches him. Mun-yeong asks Gang-tae to kick him out so he does. Gang-tae looked comfortable doing as Mun-yeong asked — again, both characters are softening.
Get some fresh air and talking suppression
Gang-tae asks Mun-yeong to get some fresh air so they head out. Every time he asks her what she wants to do she makes it sexual. The pair go out to eat. Gang-tae apologizes to Mun-yeong for calling her an empty can. Mun-yeong tells Gang-tae that he seems to have no desires at all — he admits he is suppressing himself. Mun-yeong wants to know what happens when Gang-tae doesn’t suppress himself. The sexual tension is heating up between them.
Mun-yeong explores the prospect of dating
While Gang-tae and Mun-yeong go for a walk, Mun-yeong takes Gang-tae’s phone off him so he can focus on her. Nam Ju-ri calls and Mun-yeong tells her that Gang-tae took the day off for her. Mun-yeong asks Gang-tae if they can date but he reminds her the number of times she’s told him to get lost. Gang-tae stood his ground at this right time here — he doesn’t want to play games anymore and he’s learning how to deal with his relationship with Mun-yeong.
Nam Ju-ri blames Lee Sang-in for all of this
At a cafe, Lee Sang-in is upset that Gang-tae is getting close to Mun-yeong while Nam Ju-ri is getting upset that Mun-yeong is getting too close to Gang-tae. Lee Sang-in tries giving Nam Ju-ri his business card and she slaps him, claiming that it’s all his fault that this all happened. Lee Sang-in suddenly realizes the drunken lady is nurse Nam Ju-ri.
Does Mun-yeong miss her mother?
At this midway point of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 7, “The Cheerful Dog”, Mun-yeong tells Sang-tae that they should just have fun. Meanwhile, at the hospital, the director asks Gang-tae if Mun-yeong has a boyfriend as he’d like to introduce his son. The director asks if Ms Kang bugged Mun-yeong after their confrontation. We are offered a narration by the director — apparently Ko Mun-yeong’s mother was an author who wrote a book series, disappeared and then was declared deceased 5 years later. The director believes Mun-yeong misses her mother but Gang-tae suggests the opposite — “What if she doesn’t?”. This scene goes to show that the audience and the characters have no idea how Mun-yeong truly feels about her mother.
Ms Kang’s story
Gang-tae and the nurses talk to Ms Kang. She talks about her really expensive shawl that her daughter bought for her boyfriend. Flashbacks show she got angry at her daughter and asked her to get a refund because they had little money. Her daughter walked out in anger at Ms Kang’s cruel words. That night, her daughter was run over and she died. Ms Kang breaks down due to her regret and sadness over the story.
Gang-tae cries over his mother
In the middle of the night, Gang-tae visits Jae-su with drinks but he’s still angry at him. Gang-tae asks Jae-su if his mother ever regretted how she treated him and starts crying. Nam Ju-ri’s mother joins them and says all mothers are sinners and that it’s difficult to raise children without a husband.
Gang-tae made a doll for his brother
Late in the night, Mun-yeong believes Gang-tae is ignoring her as he returns to her place. She has waited for him on the stairs and fallen asleep — she can smell the drink on him. Gang-tae tells Mun-yeong that if they both got drunk it would be very bad. She tells him she wants to pull out his safety pin. Gang-tae tells her to close her eyes. She does but she purses her lips — Gang-tae shows her a teddy that’s apparently a nightmare catcher, which will help her sleep comfortably. He explains he made it for his brother.
Gang-tae explains further how his brother was tormented so he made him this doll. Mun-yeong admits the doll is cute. Gang-tae then drunkenly visits his sleepy brother and spoons him. Gang-tae remembers the time that their mother took them out and she didn’t eat but she paid for both of her sons. He cries again, the past with his mother clearly inflicting his mind. Gang-tae tells Sang-tae that he misses his mum. This is a breakthrough for Gang-tae, a character that keeps everything inside and suppressed — he’s finally opening up.
Mun-yeong confronts Ms Kang
The director walks with Ms Kang outside. He tells her that it’s okay to take a break and one day she will be able to run again. Mun-yeong sees Ms Kang and stops in her tracks. Ms Kang apologizes for putting her in a difficult position. Mun-yeong is angry because she’s been fired and then she picks up Ms Kang’s shawl and asks for compensation by keeping it. Ms Kang tells Mun-yeong she can keep the shawl, thus releasing her burden.
Gang-tae tells Mun-yeong that his brother is obsessed with one of her books — “The Cheerful Dog”. At night, the dog used to always whine and weep every night because he wanted his leash off. Gang-tae tells Mun-yeong that he’s been on a leash too long. He places her hand on her head and tells her she did a good job by helping Ms Kang cut free by taking away the shawl.
How does It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 7, “The Cheerful Dog” end?
On the way out, Mun-yeong’s father tells Mun-yeong that she won’t be able to escape but she tells him she’s different. Mun-yeong goes home and finally cuts her hair so she has less resemblance to her mother. Gang-tae returns to her place and he notices what she’s done — “Cut off my leash”. They both laugh. At the hospital, Mun-yeong’s father escapes his room and has a psychotic breakdown. At home, Gang-tae tidies Mun-yeong’s hair. She looks in the mirror and smiles. Gang-tae tells her she looks pretty. She’s happy that Gang-tae is finally removing that safety pin and a single tear rolls down her cheek. Episode 7, “The Cheerful Dog” is all about suppressing feelings as both lead characters start to soften.
- Sang-tae tells Gang-tae that he still whimpers in his sleep.
- Gang-tae asks Mun-yeong to keep the house locked when she’s alone.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.