It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 9 recap – Sang-tae reveals his true feelings A soft episode but with an explosive ending.

3.5

Summary

Episode 9 is a pivotal episode that is mostly uneventful but ends in dramatic circumstances.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 9 contains spoilers.

Access all the episode recaps.


How does It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 9 open?

Mun-yeong asks Gang-tae where he would like to go and then learns he does not have a passport which immediately irritates him. Suddenly, Gang-tae is backing out of the random trip so Mun-yeong asks if he truly wants this trip with her, speeding up the car to threaten him. As she puts the brakes on, Gang-tae asks her to count to three before being impulsive and then Mun-yeong kicks him out of the car. It’s easy to be on Mun-yeong’s side — what is Gang-tae playing at? It’s clear that he hasn’t thought this random trip through now the adrenaline has worn off, starting a soft chapter.

Not ready to be discharged

After the aftermath of the last episode, A-reum’s family want her discharged. The director comes over and cools the situation and allows the family to let her go. One of the nurses expresses that she isn’t ready yet. Jeong-tae finds out what has happened and he is distraught.

The near kiss

When Gang-tae returns home in episode 9, he wants a talk with Mun-yeong who is clearly annoyed at him and feels like he is taming her. Gang-tae expresses how he keeps doing stuff he wouldn’t usually do because of her — she tells him that what he did (protecting her) was stunning. As they are about to kiss, they are distracted by a deer’s noise but they’ve at least planned their trip. During the night, both characters cannot sleep as they replay their conversation. The tension between them both is reaching boiling point.

Overdressing

The next day, Gang-tae and Mun-yeong organise their trip but both characters have different ideas. Their trip is paused slightly as the director wants a quick bite to eat with Gang-tae — Gang-tae asks him what’s the psychology behind people who overdress and want to all be fancy (referring to Mun-yeong). The director explains that people who overdress do it for protection. Both men discuss the possibility that Mun-yeong’s mother could be alive — the director hopes she isn’t but asks Gang-tae to protect Mun-yeong. This part of the story is fleshing out way too slowly.

Have you ever hated Gang-tae?

Sang-tae tells Mun-yeong only he can play with Gang-tae because she has Mang-tae, referring to the bear in the last couple of chapters. Mun-yeong asks a specific question — “Have you ever hated Gang-tae?” which provides no response so she asks him about the story of “King Donkey Ears” and states he needs to let things out or he will get stressed. In hindsight, this was bad advice…

A worthwhile trip

Mun-yeong and Gang-tae head to the mountains and reach a bridge — we learn that Mun-yeong is scared of heights. Gang-tae walks first to encourage Mun-yeong to start walking. While out on their enjoyable trip, Gang-tae sees A-reum and Jeong-tae; the patient fled the hospital to spend the day with her. Jeong-tae said he couldn’t help himself after seeing Gang-tae punch her ex-husband. Mun-yeong tells Gang-tae to apologise as it was his fault that this happened.

Stay the night

Mun-yeong suggests that she and Gang-tae stay overnight on their trip because if he doesn’t, his patient will continue to run away — Gang-tae is annoyed at Mun-yeong putting him in a tight corner, knowing full well he didn’t want to stay over, mostly because he’s worried about his brother. Mun-yeong is playing games again and it’s working to her advantage.

Ringing his brother

At the halfway point of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 9, Gang-tae rings his brother and Sang-tae asks when will he be back — Gang-tae asks his brother to go to bed without him. He’s clearly not used to leaving his brother on his own and it’s bothering him. When he puts the phone down, Mun-yeong tells him that she’s fond of his brother.

The reason Nam Ju-ri does not like Mun-yeong

We see a flashback of a young Nam Ju-ri getting bullied at school and asks Mun-yeong if they can be friends. Mun-yeong narrates how she enjoyed the friendship but there was a single problem — Nam Ju-ri wanted many friends — Mun-yeong asked the other kids not to associate with her so she could have Nam Ju-ri all to herself. This was a manipulative move by Mun-yeong and she regrets it. This explains the whole context with Nam Ju-ri’s discontent of Gang-tae getting close to Mun-yeong.

Caress my hair

As he drifts to sleep, Gang-tae admits to Mun-yeong that he has fun with her and she makes him smile. This leads to play fighting. Eventually, they find a comfortable position and Gang-tae caresses her hair and asks her to go to sleep. It’s obvious how much Gang-tae struggles with intimacy but she’s drawing it out of him.

Flowers

At home, Sang-tae stayed at his desk all night, upset that his brother did not come home. He tries to ring Gang-tae but there’s no answer. Meanwhile, Gang-tae gets Mun-yeong some flowers in a sweet moment which she appreciates. Gang-tae kisses Mun-yeong and she is surprised and they both end up laughing. This is the opposite of what happened when he was younger when he tried giving her flowers.

Wait for me

Jeong-tae tells A-reum that he doesn’t think they should run away as they have not recovered enough yet. Jeong-tae hugs her and tells her he needs to recover. He asks her to wait for him. Mun-yeong and Gang-tae take Jeong-tae back to the hospital. Mun-yeong tells Gang-tae that she’ll never let him go.

He lies

Gang-tae finds Sang-tae in the hospital — his brother is a little frustrated as he tried ringing Gang-tae seventeen times. Gang-tae lies about where he has been. Meanwhile, Mr O overhears about Mun-yeong’s and Gang-tae’s close friendship and spreads the gossip to a couple of caregivers and a psychiatrist — he makes out they will be getting married soon. Sang-tae overhears in the bathroom.

How does It’s Okay to Not Be Okay episode 9 end?

And then the dramatic ending and surely a pivotal moment…

Gang-tae looks in Sang-tae’s artbook and sees a drawing of himself, Gang-tae and Mun-yeong on a camping trip — this is Sang-tae’s unit and you can see why it could negatively affect him if it goes wrong. One of the caregivers asks Gang-tae if he saw Jeong-tae while on his trip and he denies ever doing so.

Sang-tae arrives in the conversation and tells the caregiver that Gang-tae is lying — “I told you not to lie. Who do you like more? Me or Ms. Ko Mun-yeong?”. Sang-tae gets emotional, repeating the same question and Gang-tae states he likes his brother more. But Sang-tae believes it is a lie and throws water over Gang-tae. Gang-tae apologises but Sang-tae quotes him — “I just want my brother to die. You said that — you said that you wanted me gone. You said to Mom every day that you wanted me to die. That’s why you pushed me into the river that day”.

Sang-tae tells his perspective of the story with the ice and the river and repeatedly shouts that Gang-tae wanted to kill his brother. Gang-tae collapses in tears as his brother continues to shout. Mun-yeong stands there and cries. Gang-tae hyperventilates, repeating “It’s not true”. Episode 9 is a pivotal episode that is mostly uneventful but ends in dramatic circumstances.

Additional points
  • Jae-su tells Gang-tae that Mun-yeong has given him the “lunatic” virus.
  • Mun-yeong tells Sang-tae that they are best friends and he is overwhelmed.
  • Nam Ju-ri tells Lee Sang-in’s assistant that she had hoped she could fill Gang-tae’s empty life.
  • Ko Dae-hwan tells the director that Mun-yeong is just like that “woman” — an angel on the outside but that she’s a monster. He tells the director that he killed the woman but she came back to kill him.

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Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

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