Mad for Each Other episode 12 recap – “Love That Didn’t Hurt Too Much”

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 16, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Mad for Each Other season 1, episode 12 - Love That Didn't Hurt Too Much


Episode 12 is uniquely important as it highlights the trauma caused by domestic abuse. This is a precise chapter that feels different from the rest of the series.

This recap of the Netflix k-drama series Mad for Each Other season 1, episode 12, “Love That Didn’t Hurt Too Much,” contains major spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

I’m actually shell-shocked to how meaningful this series has become — from its first silly chapter, we’d have never thought we’d get an emotionally enticing chapter like this. It’s a wonderful surprise.

Mad for Each Other Episode 12 begins with Hwi-oh returning home to see his ex-partner outside his apartment. She tells him that she no longer part-owns the place, and when she senses that Hwi-oh is seeing someone, she wonders if the woman knows he has no job and that he partakes in therapy; she’s needlessly cruel, and Hwi-oh is not in the mood for it. His ex-partner then raises how she is getting married soon to an accountant, then states she is worried about his mental health. Hwi-oh is irritated and wondered why she broke off the engagement when he told her to wait until the investigation was over. He didn’t appreciate being abandoned during his worst time. His ex raises he was not the only one suffering.

Hwi-oh asks the important question, “are you happy?” because he realizes that happy people do not purposefully bully or hurt others. He confirms that he wants her to be happy and never wanted the worst for her. He hopes she is happy like he is.

A cruel trick on Min-kyung 

But kindness is clearly not in Hwi-oh’s ex’s DNA as she performs a cruel trick on Min-kyung, which triggers an awful set of events.

While Hwi-oh grabs her things, she checks out the jewelry that he bought Min-kyung — it’s a symbolic whistle on a necklace. And then, Min-kyung hurriedly knocks on the door, and his ex answers it — she immediately sees the whistle on her, and then ex calls her Hwi-oh “babe,” which was a horrible thing to do. So Min-kyung heads back to her apartment and assumes the worst — she throws her whistle on the floor and sobs.

Relive the moment Hwi-oh braved the rain to help Min-kyung in her hour of need:

Min-kyung’s trauma impacts her trust issues

Trauma is a difficult experience, and episode 12 understands how it can impact relationships and force you to wall up and push people away. Unfortunately, Min-kyung suffers from trauma, and so does Hwi-oh — it’s not a good mix.

When Hwi-oh’s ex leaves, Hwi-oh visits Min-kyung, but she’s not interested in talking to him. Hwi-oh explains it’s the first time he has seen his ex since breaking up. Min-kyung does not care — her past experiences feel traumatic and relatable to her, and she slams the door on his hand. Hwi-oh is frustrated that she will not listen to him. Min-kyung collapses to the floor and sobs and reveals that her dog is sick and believes her ex did this to punish her. Hwi-oh feels this is another episode and hugs her. It’s awful to watch her sob in pain.

However, Min-kyung senses that Hwi-oh doesn’t believe her about her ex doing this to her dog — he tries to calm her down, but she pushes him out. Hwi-oh gets angry, saying she doesn’t believe him either.

Looking into Seon-ho

This no longer feels like a romantic comedy — the messages are serious and thematic and slightly relatable for me, the author.

Hwi-oh looks into the CCTV to see if what happened to Min-kyung is true. He then looks into the dating violence case, and a video shows Seon-ho beating Min-kyung up. Hwi-oh gets increasingly angry at the footage — it’s personal to him, and he’s struggling to contain himself because of his feelings. When he returns to his apartment, he sees Seon-ho trying to get into Min-kyung’s place by ringing a locksmith. He chases after him until they are outside in the rain — he grabs Seon-ho, who starts mocking him about Min-kyung, asking if he wants to see the intimate video he recorded of them together.

Seon-ho puts the phone down on the police and starts beating Seon-ho. Min-kyung watches from a distance, and she tries to stop it. Hwi-oh knocks her over and hurts her, and she’s suddenly scared of him. She starts screaming and covering her head. This one moment has surfaced a lot, and it’s awful to witness in a narrative sense.

The police station

At the police station, Seon-ho lies and says he headed to her apartment to say sorry to her. Hwi-oh admits to assaulting Seon-ho because he deserved it. Seon-ho wants to sue him for assault. Min-kyung sees Hwi-oh at the station and walks off. His colleague tells Hwi-oh to settle immediately. Hwi-oh runs after Min-kyung and begs her to speak to him, but she isn’t impressed that he beat Seon-ho up — she knows he took his anger out on him and wonders how he’s any different to her ex. He apologizes, but she doesn’t want to hear it, saying Hwi-oh is the person hurting her the most. Hwi-oh admits he is angry and it’s making him insane. He doesn’t like seeing her in so much pain, and it makes him angry — he gets emotional.

There’s so much frustration in this scene — it feels like both characters cannot overcome it; they need space. The way the two actors perform here is perfect.

The ending of Mad for Each Other episode 12

Tensions rise between both characters as they scream and shout at each other. Hwi-oh returns home and looks through the photos on his phone of him and Min-kyung. Min-kyung does the same in her apartment. The next day, both characters bump into each other outside their apartments. Min-kyung tells him they should end whatever they were because it’s too hard for her. As she walks to her taxi, Hwi-oh shouts down and tells her to wait, but she gets into the car. But Hwi-oh doesn’t care — he runs after the car. Min-kyung tells the driver to keep driving.

Episode 12 is uniquely important as it highlights the trauma caused by domestic abuse. This is a precise chapter that feels different from the rest of the series.

Additional points
  • After she sang in public, Lee See-hyeon’s singing performance has tended on YouTube. It’s a big moment for her, but she dismisses it as just a moment that she sang.

What do you think of Mad for Each Other episode 12? Comment below. 

Netflix, Weekly TV
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