Happiness Battle (Season 1), Episode 2: This episode gets us hooked with the most unexpected twist at the ending. The show takes us on an emotional journey filled with anger and hate as it all culminates in that ending. The story is very well-written and manages to evoke strong emotions in us, for the characters, within the first two episodes.
This article contains major spoilers.
Happiness Battle (Season 1), Episode 2 Recap:
The episode begins with Yu Jin pulling herself together and tending to her husband’s needs while Jang hides. The doorbell rings, and she tells her husband that it is the other mother and sends him inside. Jang tells Yu Jin that she has returned the money and she was going to leave. Yu Jin stops her by saying that they need to talk and that she would ask the guests to leave and get back to her.
Yu Jin tells Jung she is not well and closes the door, but Jung notices the money on the floor. When Na Young asks her if they are going to back out, Jung tells her that she says she was sick. What else could they do? All the mothers leave along with Jung. Yu Jin was listening to this from behind the door.
Jang asks Yu Jin why they aren’t leaving. Yu Jin tells her they will leave and starts putting all the money in a drawer. Jang asked her what she was afraid of being caught. Yu Jin ignores her, and they walk to the elevator. As the elevator door opens, Jung Ah and Yu Jin come face to face. Jung tells Yu Jin that she was coming over to ask if she wanted some porridge, but she had a guest over.
She looks at Jang and asks her who she was. Jang tells her about the event and mentions that she isn’t Yu Jin’s friend. Jung cross-questions her, asking if she is working on a Saturday, and Jang responds by saying it is the only convenient time for both of them. Jung leaves them to talk.
Jang asks Yu Jin if she is the problem. Yu Jin tells her it wasn’t like that. Jang tells her that she has not changed, and Yu Jin offers her money to keep her from revealing the truth about her to anyone. Yu Jin argues, saying Jang was the same. Jang tells Yu Jin that she has more to lose than her and asks her to keep her mouth shut if other people are not to know her actions from during their school days and leaves.
Yu Jin comes home to her family, pretending like nothing has happened. She sees her husband struggling to peel mangoes and takes over. Her husband asks her if she wasn’t going to take a picture that day, and she says that she will and takes a picture of her two kids and husband.
She uploads it on social media with the caption that reads ‘My husband was in-charge today and was struggling to feed the children’. Her husband teases her about it, and she says that she gained so many followers because she posts happy things, and people don’t like to see upsetting things on social media. Jang contemplates if she was too harsh on Yu Jin.
Jang’s boss calls over her and Jin Seop to discuss the photoshoot idea. He tells Jang that her idea was liked by the chairman and the set-up had to be done by the next day. Over lunch, Jin Seop asks Jang if he should call Yu Jin on her behalf and also says that she has not moved on from her for so many years. He asks her about their relationship, and Jang tells him to shut up and eat. On her way home, Jang gets yelled at by her mother for not taking her calls and complaining that she is tired every day. Yu Jin is following Jang in her car.
Yu Jin receives messages from Jung about what the other mothers are saying about her. She asks her to devise a wise plan so the mothers don’t bring up what happened two years ago. In her house, Jung feeds all the husbands. The principal calls everyone for a meeting to discuss the performance.
Yu Jin tells the mothers she was the one who wanted to have the meeting with them. She tells them that her child won’t be playing the role of Snow White and that they should cancel the ‘Red Shoes’ performance. Instead, they should do several plays like Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Robin Hood, so that all the other kids can play the lead role. The other mothers gladly agree.
Yu Jin asks Ji Yul if she is upset as she cannot play the role of Snow White. Ji Yul tells her that she is fine as she can play Cinderella and Peter Pan. Yu Jin tells her that she will ensure she shines the brightest on stage. Yu Jin calls Jang’s office asking about the photo shoot, and they give her an update saying the vice-chairman has decided to do a shoot with her. Yu Jin is happy to hear this.
Yu Jin, on her computer, opens a folder called ‘Pandora’s Box’. The folder has dirt on all her enemies. She has pictures of Na Young with some men and more images and videos in Jung Ah and Ji Ye’s folders. She opens a folder named ‘Song Jung Sik’ (Seo Byuk Joon) which has two videos. We hear some screaming as she opens the first video. Yu Jin plugs her earphones in and enjoys watching the video.
Jang calls Yu Jin, but she ignores her call. Jang messages Yu Jin about why she wasn’t answering her calls, especially after calling her team lead and agreeing to do the photoshoot. She also messages her, asking her to call her back when she gets a chance to read the messages. Yu Jin enjoys reading those messages. She sees Na Young and her husband. Na Young’s husband asks Na Young to go back and change as she is underdressed. After Na Young leaves, her husband and Yu Jin exchange looks.
At the winter festival event, Yu Jin asks Jung Ah’s husband how his work was, and Jung Ah interrupts and tells her that he is very capable and came with the detox drink; Yu Jin asks Jung Ah to stop advertising on her social media; otherwise, people will think that she does not trust her husband. Jung Ah tells her that she does the advertising because it’s effective and she is capable. Yu Jin ignores that comment and starts talking to her husband.
The kids’ performance begins, and as Na Young enjoys the show, Yu Jin captures images of Na Young. Jo A-ra sends a message to someone in the audience saying he looked so handsome that she fell for him all over again. She receives a response saying ‘Same here, princess’. Na Young’s daughter starts crying on stage as she does not want to say the term ‘getaway’.
Everyone has a hearty laugh at that. As Ji Ye’s kid gets on stage with a star-shaped wand next to Ji Yul and starts performing, waving her wand, Ji Yul gets scared and falls and begs Ji Ye not to hit her. Yu Jin gets up on the stage and asks Ji Yul if she is okay, and she tells her mother that she is sorry. The principal calls for a break.
Ji Ye asks Yu Jin if Ji Yul is all right and Yu Jin responds by saying that she is okay and that kids make mistakes. Ji Yul must have been startled as she got hit by So Won’s wand. Ji Ye is shocked, follows her outside, and confronts her by stating that the want never touched Ji Yul. Yu Jin tells her that she never expected Ji Ye to apologize, but she is disappointed as she thinks Ji Ye still holds a grudge against her and says absurd things.
Ji Ye puts her in a spot by stating that she lied about Ji Yul being allergic to peanuts, and that she is making up stories even now. She tells her that there were CCTV cameras in the auditorium and many parents have captured the footage, meaning she can prove that So Won never touched Ji Yul. One of the mothers comes forward and opens her phone to show the footage, and Yu Jin stops her and tells them that the event is for kids and they should observe their behavior. Ji Ye asks her why she was changing the subject. Was it because she had no proof? Yu Jin walks away with her family.
On the elevator at their house, Yu Jin’s husband tells Ji Yul that she can tell them why she reacted that way. Yu Jin looks at the CCTV camera and tells her husband to stop asking questions, and tells Ji Yul that they can go home and she can draw her favorite things. At home, Ji Yul tells her mother she wants to draw princesses and race cars, but her mother insists on her drawing a tree first.
Yu Jin refers to an art therapy book that describes a person’s character and nature by observing how they draw an image. Through Ji Yul’s drawing, she realizes she has inner frustrations and a feeling of helplessness. She also realizes that Ji Yul’s desire to accomplish things could have been minimal. So she asks Ji Yul to draw the fruits on the tree in a particular way.
Yu Jin receives a phone call, and she answers it without checking the name. After receiving the call, she hears Jang’s voice. Yu Jin asks Jang why she had not come to her with the proposal first, and Jang tells her that she had sent her the details and that she was to do the photoshoot with her kids. Yu Jin tells her she wasn’t sure if she wanted to do the shoot anymore as her kids would be too exposed.
In anger, Jang tells her not to if she does not feel like and Yu Jin blackmails her by saying if that is the case, she won’t, and she would inform her boss. Yu Jin reminds her that Jang was in line for a promotion. Jang tells her not to make any decisions and to inform her once she has made up her mind.
Yu Jin’s husband is shocked and panics at seeing Ji Yul’s drawing. It was a drawing of someone hitting another person. In the ‘Pandora’s Box’ folder, she creates another file named Jang Mi Ho. Yu Jin messages Jang that she has made up her mind and has decided to go ahead with the photoshoot.
Jang and her team are setting up for the photoshoot. As Yu Jin prepares, she asks her children to say ‘Hi’ to her aunt Jang. Ji Yul says they have many aunts, and Yu Jin tells her that she is a real aunt.
Yu Jin goes live on her social media, showing the arrangements the bank had made for them. While Yu Jin takes her audience around the set, Jang watches Yu Jin’s kids playing. Na Young overhears Ji Ye complaining to the principal that the video clearly shows that So Won never touched Ji Yul. The principal asks her to leave it behind and move on. Ji Ye asks her what kind of mother can do that. Ji Ye finds Na Young outside and asks her to look at the footage.
While Yu Jin’s kids are getting their photo shoot done, Yu Jin tells Jang that she had misunderstood her the other day, assuming she wanted to blackmail her because of the past. Jang tells her that she never intended to do that and they should apologize to each other and move on. Yu Jin shows her attitude towards Jang and asks her why she had to apologize to her as nothing she did in the past was her fault. Jang asks her if she has no conscience, and Yu Jin turns the tables against Jang.
Ha Yul had swallowed a candy and couldn’t breathe. Jang rushes towards her and gives her a Heimlich while Yu Jin tries to push Jang away. After Ha Yul spits the candy out, Yu Jin is angered and asks who had kept the candy within reach of the children; Jang apologizes, and Yu Jin takes the opportunity to yell at Jang. She tells her that she won’t let this slide as she had nearly killed her in the past, and today, she nearly killed her daughter. Jang is perplexed by this behavior.
The other moms were drinking coffee together and were envious of seeing Yu Jin’s post on social media. Na Young tells the other moms that maybe Ji Yul was being abused because of her behavior during the winter festival. Yu Jin hears this and warns them that they will pay the price for insulting her family. Na Young asks Jung for help but gets scolded by her for running her mouth senselessly.
Ha Yul asks her mother to put a band-aid on her knee, and as she goes to get it, she sees the money Jang returned and remembers everything she had said. She applies the band-aid and takes a photo of it and a photo of her and Ha Yul with the caption stating Ha Yul got hurt during the shoot and her since kid’s well-being was important to her, so she decided not to go through with it.
Yu Jin writes an accusation post against Jang. Yu Jin brings sunglasses to Na Young and Ji Ye, who love the present. Two weeks later, the social media event is completed successfully. Jin Seop and Jang get praised by their team lead. Jang visits Yu Jin. She sees Yu Jin’s social media post and realizes that she is home. She drops the cake in front of her door, rings the bell, and is about to leave when Yu Jin angrily opens the door, ruining the cake.
Jang asks Yu Jin how Ha Yul is doing, and that regardless of their past, this time, it was her fault, and that she had come to apologize. Yu Jin asks her to go away, but Jang tells her she is being too harsh. Yu Jin tells her she wants her dead, scaring Jang. Jang bangs on the door, telling her even she has a right to say what she wants to and tells her that she is horrified by Yu Jin. After saying that, she leaves the building.
She sits on the bench, and Yu Jin calls her. Jang asks her why she has called, and that she had left the building as she had ordered. Yu Jin, on the line, tells Jang to help her and that nobody else can know about her situation. She pleads her to delete it when the phone gets hung up. Jang calls her back, but she does not receive it. Jang ignores her and goes away.
The episode ends with everyone talking about a famous person on social media being dead. Jin Seop shows the article to Jang. The headline speaks of a murdered married couple with what seems to be an image of Yu Jin’s family picture. The final scene of the episode is the hand we saw in the first scene of the first episode. We see Yu Jin’s dead body hanging from her balcony.
Happiness Battle (Season 1), Episode 2 Ending, and Explained:
What a brilliantly made episode! Throughout the episode, the story builds our emotions into hating Yu Jin’s character to our core. So much so that we want her gone, and guess what? That’s what the show does. In the final episode, they kill off one of the show’s main characters. But this shock is too good to be true, so we can speculate that maybe Yu Jin did not really die or there are other mysteries revolving around her death. The timing of her death is brilliant as well. She accused Jang of nearly killing her during their school days, in front of many people, so now her death will only make everyone question if Jang is the culprit.
The first two episodes focused on Yu Jin and her bitter character, making us feel she was the main character driving the episode. Was Yu Jin’s death a suicide to put all the other mothers and Jang in trouble? If the police catch hold of Yu Jin’s computer, the truths and lies she has recorded about each and everyone will be revealed, leading the other characters to go through hell. Was this her perfect revenge?
The costumes for each scene were brilliant. Especially the last exchange between Jang and Yu Jin, with Yu Jin dressed in white, giving us a creepy vibe. Yu Jin’s acting was on point. If an actor can make you hate them in such a short period, then it’s a true mark of the actor’s talent. Will Jang steer the show now? If Yu Jin really is dead, we can hope for more Game of Thrones-like scripting throughout the show. After setting such high expectations, hope the show can live up to its brilliant start.