'It's Okay to Not Be Okay' Episode 4: Mun-yeong's understanding of Kang-tae scares him, forces him to lash out
The episode begins with Kang-tae's shocked look at what he uttered out loud and from there, it only goes downhill for both Mun-yeong and him
Just for a moment, Kang-tae was tempted to let go of everything that restrained him in life in 'It's Okay to Not be Okay' episode 3 but it is momentary. In a snap of his fingers, when what he had just thought out loud registers, Kang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) realizes that he had just said exactly what Mun-yeong (Seo Ye-ji) had wanted. How he faces the consequences of his impulsive confession is what we see in episode 4. The episode begins with Kang-tae's shocked look at what he uttered out loud and from there, it only goes downhill for both Kang-tae and Mun-yeong.
This episode also delves deeper into Kang-tae's childhood, and we understand his resolve to care for his brother much better now. Since when he can remember, Kang-tae was brought up as Sang-tae's safety armor. His mother even goes as far as telling Kang-tae that she gave birth to him to ensure that his brother was protected until he breathes his last.
The attention that was given to Sang-tae, and how in contrary Kang-tae was mostly left unattended by his mother influenced a lot of the person that he has grown up to be. The fact that he didn't receive his mother's love and feel the warmth of her protection like his brother is not something that Kang-tae would forget. So when Mun-yeong provokes him with further by talking about why she treats him like one of her possessions, Kang-tae's nerves are frayed.
He had already been treated like nothing but a safety belt for his brother and so, when Mun-yeong reflects the same thoughts now while showing interest in him, he is dragged back into the nightmare that haunted him as a child. Even while Mun-yeong provokes him, she also understands the child in Kang-tae who never experienced love and she voices her thoughts about the same to him. More than anything, what really scared Kang-tae is the fact that someone like Mun-yeong with no empathy for fellow humans understanding him like no one else.
This leaves him fuming and when he sees Mun-yeong spend time with Sang-tae, it somehow batters him further. Despite Mun-yeong being genuinely interested in Sang-tae, Kang-tae is not ready to accept her interest as sincere. Just moments before, Kang-tae was slapped by one of the patient's relatives and this is visible because of the bruise that Kang-tae sports. Even as he is fuming, Mun-yeong tries to get him to tell her who hit him so that she could teach them a lesson and that's when his top bursts.
He lashes out at Mun-yeong and tells her that she cannot feel any emotion and that includes the anger that she is trying to portray at the moment. He also tells her that she will never be able to understand him even in her death and that definitely cuts her deep. For someone who responds loudly to any situation, her silence speaks volumes and it is clear that Kang-tae broke her heart with his harsh words. His frustration with Mun-yeong was so potent that it even spilled over onto Sang-tae who gets upset with Kang-tae's anger. Sang-tae hides in the kitchen and repeatedly recalls his brother's angry face and concludes that this brother hates him. Sang-tae was until then really ecstatic about having his dream come true by meeting his idol, but his mood turns sour because of his brother.
What is more shocking though is Mun-yeong's experience of meeting her father after many many years only to be treated the same way that she was when she was a child. Her father takes one look at her and asks her, "Why are you still alive?" After the emotional battering that Mun-yeong experienced at the hands of Kang-tae, to be choked by her father again, who clearly intends to kill her has Mun-yeong loses hope. The expression on Mun-yeong's face as she walks away from the hospital reflects desolation. She seems to have no direction in her mind and is just walking where her feet take her, and the hopelessness of it all, especially the one moment that takes Mun-yeong back to her past is reason enough for this episode to come with trigger warning.
'It's Okay to Not Be Okay' originally airs on tvN on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 pm KST in South Korea and can be streamed on Netflix.