10 questions we have about Korean soap opera Mine

·Lifestyle Editor
·4 min read
Lee Bo-young (left) and Ok Ja-yeon in Mine.
It's mother vs. mother for Hi-soo and Hye-jin, played by Lee Bo-young (left) and Ok Ja-yeon in Mine.

SINGAPORE — We're six episodes into Korean drama, Mine, which Netflix is releasing two episodes of each weekend on the same day that they're telecast in South Korea. The soap opera about the rich Han family has been among the Top 10 shows on Netflix since it debuted three weeks ago.

The series opened with a flash-forward of not just one, but (what seems like) two grisly deaths in the house, making it also a murder mystery of sorts. We say "seems like", because so far the cause of death(s), or whether the victims are actually dead, still hasn't been revealed. 

The show has finally answered one big question – at least, answered it for Seo Hi-soo and Jung Seo-hyun, because we saw it coming about three episodes ago – Ha-joon's new tutor and caretaker, Kang Ja-kyeong, is in fact his biological mother. 

It turns out that Lee Hye-jin, the birth mother of Ha-joon, an eight-year-old scion of the Han family who owns the Hyowon Group of companies, was sent away by the family upon his birth eight years ago. His father, Han Ji-yong, married former actress Hi-soo, who is the sweetest and most loving stepmother you've ever seen. What everyone in the family is told is that Ha-joon's biological mum met with an accident and died. However, to avoid scandal, the family pretends to the public that Hi-soo is Ha-joon's birth mother.

Hye-jin has returned for some reason, posing as Ja-kyeong, a tutor to wealthy families, in order that she may reunite with her son. She inevitably clashes with Hi-soo, who finds her strange attachment to Ha-joon a tad too creepy. 

So, the big secret is out, but we still have 10 episodes to go and there are still lots of questions about this dysfunctional family.

Here are some issues that need resolving:

1. Why was Hye-jin banished by the Han family after she gave birth to Ha-joon, and the fact that she's Ha-joon's mother kept secret? Was it because her status as a horse-riding coach was too lowly for the absurdly wealthy family?

Kim Seo-hyung in Mine.
Kim Seo-hyung plays Seo-hyun, who deals with her family's drama while pining for her forbidden lover.

2. What was Ji-yong thinking when he helped to sneak Hye-jin into the household as Ha-joon's tutor? He apparently wanted his child to become "perfect" by enjoying the attentions of two mothers – one biological, one a stepmother. But did he really think he could keep Hye-jin's identity secret forever, and that there'd be no problems with this arrangement? Is he stupid or crazy?

3. What is Hye-jin's goal and game plan? What will she and Hi-soo do now that her secret identity has been spilled? The family has tried very hard to erase her from their history, so she's obviously unwelcome (except for when she proves useful to the Han matriarch Yang Soon-hye in installing her preferred son as interim chairman of Hyowon). 

4. Who are the two women whose seemingly lifeless bodies Mother Emma discovers at the bottom of the stairs? Are they from within the family? Did someone kill them and, if so, why?

5. Will Seo-hyun ever get together with her true love, artist Suzy Choi? Will she leave her husband Han Jin-ho, with whom she shares a loveless marriage? It's not everyday that we get a sympathetic queer character in a Korean drama. We're intrigued to see how her story plays out.

6. Will Yang Soon-hye, the nasty and screechy matriarch of the household, ever make it through an episode without bursting out in screechy hysterics on an average of three times per episode? Did she really screech her way through three different scenes without wiping away the cream from her hair and mouth, deposited by her favourite snack of cream buns, after she exploded in rage upon learning of her daughter Jin-yee's scandal over assaulting an employee?

7. Will the burgeoning romance between the family's older grandchild Han Soo-hyuk and the maid Yu-yeon eventually tie in with the main storyline?

8. Will we ever see Soon-hye's peacock No-deok again after its escape? Did we ever realise we'd root for a bird like that?

9. Will Jin-yee's abused husband ever be able to divorce her?

10. Will the family patriarch, Chairman Han Suk-chul, ever return from hospital after falling into a coma in the first episode?

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