Genre: Romantic Drama
Ko Moon-Young is a successful children’s book writer who has a temper. She met Moon Gang-Tae at one of her book reading events in a psychiatric hospital. A patient was being unruly, and while Moon-Young was about to stab the patient, she stabbed Gang-Tae.
They had multiple other encounters, and Moon-Young made it evident that she likes Gang-Tae. Gang-Tae is a busy man; he works at a psychiatric hospital and takes care of his older brother, Sang-Tae, who has autism spectrum disorder. Sang-Tae is a massive fan of Moon-Young’s fairy tales and was very happy when he had the chance to meet her in person. However, he caused trouble, and Moon-Young, aware that is Gang-Tae’s brother, stepped in. She was caught cursing the parents who hurt Sang-Tae, and after that incident was uploaded on the internet, she was bashed, and her upcoming book was compromised.
Since Gang-Tae lost his job at the psychiatric hospital after the incident with Moon-Young, he decided to work at OK Psychiatric Hospital, located at a Gangwon-do province, where they originally came from. Gang-Tae and Sang-Tae moved back to Gangwon-do and stayed at Ju-Ri’s house, an old friend who secretly likes Gang-Tae. That province is where their mother was killed, and their mother’s murder was why they kept moving as they were afraid that the butterfly would follow them. The butterfly is the brooch that Sang-Tae saw on the woman who killed their mother; ever since he has always been afraid of butterflies. He was traumatized by that incident and couldn’t clearly narrate what happened that night, he was with their mom when she was murdered, but he got distracted by a cat. When police asked him what happened, his only answer was his mom was killed by the butterfly.
Since Moon-Young is being criticized for cursing, she moved back to Gangwon-do, where her parent’s mansion is. She moved back to their creepy mansion and taught literature class at OK Psychiatric Hospital, as her main intention to move back was to be with Gang-Tae.
Moon-Young hired Sang-Tae as her illustrator for her next book and made him sign a contract, and both Sang-Tae and Gang-Tae moved in with her in the mansion. The three of them bonded, and most of the time, argued.
Moon-Young’s father is admitted to the hospital since he has dementia and has a brain tumor. When he was dying, he narrated what happened – he tried to ask forgiveness for killing his own wife, Moon-Young’s mother. She fell down the stairs when he pushed her, as he was provoked when she seemed so relaxed and happy after she killed their housekeeper, or Moon-Young and Sang-Tae’s mother. He also denied trying to kill Moon-Young, since he was just trying to prevent her from becoming a monster, just like her mother.
Sang-Tae was trying to recover from his fear of butterflies. He did slowly recover with the help of Dr. O, the hospital’s director. He was able to narrate what really happened – he chased a cat, and when he came back, a woman had already slashed their mother’s throat. The woman then turned to him and threatened him. He clearly remembered the butterfly brooch, and Sang-Tae realized that he saw the clip on Moon-Young’s mother’s photo. He cried when he realized that it was Moon-Young’s mother who killed their mother.
Gang-Tae was distant from Moon-Young, but then he eventually realized that Moon-Young is different from her mother and should not be blamed for her sins. He tried to forget this fact and also hid it from Moon-Young and Sang-Tae. However, they discovered one day that someone had painted a butterfly on Sang-Tae’s mural, the same design as the brooch. Sang-Tae freaked out and mumbled that is the butterfly that killed their mom. Moon-Young heard this and realized what her mother did. She was depressed and refused to see Gang-Tae and Sang-Tae. Gang-Tae tried comforting her, assuring her that they don’t blame her for her mother’s crime. Sang-Tae also fed her, and even though he doesn’t know the truth, he assured Moon-Young that he had forgiven her since she kept asking for forgiveness.
Dr. O reviewed the CCTV to know who painted the butterfly and was stunned to discover that it was the head nurse, Park Haeng-Ja. It turns out, Park Haeng-Ja didn’t die when she fell down the stairs. She underwent plastic surgery and pretended to simply be a nurse at OK Psychiatric Hospital, when in fact, she was watching her husband suffer and was waiting for Moon-Young.
After knowing that her mother is alive, Moon-Young provoked her by announcing that they would be publishing her last novel. Haeng-Ja asked to meet them – but first, she kidnapped Sang-Tae and drugged him. Gang-Tae arrived, trying to save Sang-Tae. Moon-Young also came and saw that Haeng-Ja was attempting to hurt Gang-Tae, so she immediately proceeded to stab her, but Gang-Tae stopped her and had his hand pierced instead. Haeng-Ja rolled to breaking Moon-Young since Gang-Tae fainted. Fortunately, Sang-Tae woke up and bashed Haeng-Ja in the head.
Haeng-Ja was taken by the police. The three of them were safe. When Gang-Tae woke up after a long sleep caused by the drug that Haeng-Ja stabbed him with, Moon-Young asked to talk to him. She asked that they move out since she wanted to be alone again. She plans to retire and just be left alone. This is not what she wants, but it is what feels suitable for her. Both Gang-Tae and Sang-Tae refused to go since they are family and kept coming up with excuses every time she asked them to leave.
Moon-Young and Gang-Tae eventually made up after spending the night together. With the help of their other friends, she stopped asking them to leave. She also decided to publish her new book with Sang-Tae’s illustrations. When Sang-Tae saw the book with his name and photo on it, he ran to show it to their mom, which refers to the tree they planted at the hospital.
Gang-Tae quit his job, and Dr. O also decided to retire. As a payment to the mural, Dr. O gave them a camping car to go on a trip.
The three of them went on a trip, just like the three of them dreamed of. After days of traveling, Sang-Tae expressed his desire to work. He told them that he wanted to work as an illustrator and Moon-Young and Gang-Tae could continue traveling. Gang-Tae and Moon-Young were okay with this and were very proud of Sang-Tae.
The end of It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.