Drama Recaps
Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 16 (Final)
by | December 6, 2007 | 35 Comments

Last episode is here!

To be honest, I kinda dragged my feet on this one, not just because episode recaps take much more time than anything else, but because I didn’t want to face the blankness of having nothing to watch for the immediate future (and don’tcha know, avoidance always solves problems!). Plus, I feel that final episodes deserve a little more time and effort to give (good) series their proper send-offs. (Bad series can just suck it.)

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CASE No. 16: “But Life Goes On”

Episode 15 ended with the secret chamber starting to cave in on itself after Grandpa Treasure Hunter worked some trick-keyhole mojo to find a hidden compartment of old books and scrolls, propelling our heroes (and one anti-hero, Baek Min-chul) into The Sequence That Began It All, namely the Indiana Jones-y crumbling-rock-and-sand intro that kicked off the series in Episode 1, only now the sequence carries with it a lot more dire undertones than it did initially, since we can see it in its proper context.

Booyah. Ain’t nobody got a leg up on me in the long-unwieldy-sentences (and extended-hyphenated-modifiers) category!

Quickly, the four friends make a dash for the nearest exit (or rather, three conscious friends take one knocked-out Eun-jae with them).

Min-chul sees that Grandpa’s unconscious — and I suppose we are to assume that he is either already a goner or soon to be one — and grabs the scroll. Interestingly, the guys dash out to grab Min-chul and pull him to safety into another corridor.

After the dust and falling rocks settle, Yong-su fearfully calls out to see if all his friends made it alive. The sequence is the exact same from Episode 1, but now all of the emotions — the fear, Mu-yeol’s angry aggression toward Min-chul, his outburst that it’s all Min-chul’s fault, the two men’s fight, Hee-kyung’s furious interference — make sense in light of their dangerous circumstances.

Hee-kyung yells at everyone for wasting strength and air — she refuses to die like this. She’s going to make it out alive.

Mu-yeol looks after Eun-jae, while Yong-su and Min-chul inspect their surroundings. The search reveals that they’re locked in — the exit to the main chamber has been sealed by caved-in rock, and the other side leads to dead ends.

The friends recall that construction is set to open the next day (the day after Christmas), and once people see the state of the basement, they’re sure to come after them. So all they have to do is hold on for eighteen more hours or so. Yong-su assures them they can survive for days if they can handle being a little hungry.

The sound of an alarm cuts short their optimism — it’s their oxygen meter. With no ventilation, their supply is limited, and they’ve only got ten hours left. They won’t make it long enough to be rescued tomorrow.

Frantically, Hee-kyung starts digging at the caved-in entrance, and the others join her. But they all know it’s futile — plus, if they keep digging, they might get trapped if the unstable ceiling were to cave in again. Hee-kyung stubbornly keeps digging while one by one the guys stop, and Min-chul forcibly pulls her away until she calms down.

When Eun-jae awakens, there are only eight hours of oxygen left. Interspersed with these dire underground scenes are short snippets showing the upbeat, cheery Christmas going on aboveground, in eerie contrast.

At every hour interval, the oxygen meter beeps its loud warning, and when the five-hour mark rolls around, Eun-jae starts panicking in earnest. (Min-chul tells Mu-yeol to put pressure on the back of her neck, which will cause her to go unconscious, but the tip just angers Mu-yeol.)

Yong-su asks with tired calmness if they have any last words to leave in a text message. Although they have no reception now, they could leave a message to be found eventually.

Hee-kyung voices a long-unspoken regret:

“I’ve wanted apologize to Kyung-mi for a long time. Every now and then, I think of her. I shouldn’t have told her about her mother meeting the miller. If I didn’t, her mother wouldn’t have been kicked out of the house… and her brother wouldn’t have had to take out bonds… and Kyung-mi wouldn’t have left home at seventeen and gotten pregnant.”

Yong-su says it wasn’t her fault, but Hee-kyung contradicts him. It was her fault: “I hated Kyung-mi. I hated the girl for having prettier shoes than me. I hated the girl who only left me out when playing jump rope. I wanted to say sorry. I really wanted to say that… but it looks like I won’t be able to.”

Mu-yeol regrets his last words with his father, in an argument over money — he’d complained that other fathers bought their sons apartments and set up businesses for their sons, but his father was insisting he pay back his loan with interest. Yong-su wisely tells Mu-yeol if that’s his last regret, it means he’s lived a pretty good life.

Mu-yeol asks what Yong-su’s regrets are: “Everything about how I’ve lived my life.” Not one particular regret, just a general sense.

 

Min-chul doesn’t participate in the conversation, but he looks down at his scarred hand in a silent admission of his own life’s regrets. At the same time, his mother waits longingly for her son to return to her.

 
Suddenly, the tension overcomes Eun-jae, and she starts sobbing to herself. Seeing her anxious state, Mu-yeol reluctantly asks for Min-chul’s help doing what he’d suggested earlier. But before he can, Hee-kyung appears in front of Eun-jae, her expression distant as she says in an unusual tone of voice, “Eun-jae…”

Eun-jae senses something strange, and Hee-kyung keeps her gaze steady as she tells Eun-jae, again in that deep, grave voice loaded with meaning: “Jo Man Gi died in the wall. Jo Man Gi died… in the wall…”

Hee-kyung’s intense words creep the guys out, but Eun-jae looks and whispers incredulously, “Dad?” Then, not believing it, “That’s a lie.”

Hee-kyung touches a hand to Eun-jae’s face, crying herself, and starts saying that phrase that Eun-jae’s recalled so often in her memories, that nobody else knows: “Daddy… loves Eun-jae… And Eun-jae…”

Eun-jae finishes the sentence in tears: “…loves Daddy so much.”

Believing her now, Eun-jae sobs openly and grabs Hee-kyung in a hug, just as Hee-kyung falls over in a faint.

When Hee-kyung recovers, they ask if she really can’t recall what she said “as” Eun-jae’s father. Hee-kyung does remember, but it was strange: “It wasn’t like I was talking. No, well, I did say the words, but they just came out automatically.” Supposing it really WAS Eun-jae’s father, the friends mull over her words. “Jo Man Gi died in the wall.” What’s the significance of that? What could Eun-jae’s father mean?

They ask Min-chul for his thoughts, and he recalls how seventeen years ago, Jo Man Gi simply disappeared. He’d found a way into the palace, but soon after cut off contact. Min-chul had gone to Jo Man Gi’s room in the Gold Building (which he took because of its proximity to the palace) with Eun-jae’s father and the antiques grandpa — and despite the fact that the door was locked from the inside, there was nobody in the room.

The friends figure that if Jo Man Gi found a way into the palace, he took a different route than they did, since the flower puzzle and the booby traps were still in place. If he died in the walls of the Gold Building, his way into the palace must’ve been via the Gold Building.

Which means there’s another exit to their underground maze.

Re-energized with hope, the friends scour the area, hurrying because they only have one hour and twelve minutes left. They find what must be Jo Man Gi’s partially blocked tunnel, and take turns digging in the tight space. It’s exhausting work, and the clock’s ticking, and there’s no way to know how much further they have to dig to reach the basement — if they will at all.

When they make the last shift change, Mu-yeol readies to go in — and Eun-jae looks at him with worry. During all the times that Mu-yeol had encountered danger previously, he’d joked just before and after that Eun-jae should express her affection to encourage him on. Each time, she’d silently ignored his light-hearted jokes, not sure what to do with them.

But this time, the situation is different. Mu-yeol sees how concerned she is for him — and he swoops in for the kiss.

Woo~!

I like the kiss for being sudden and without extra fanfare. He hugs her and tells her there’s nothing to worry about, and starts digging madly. Eun-jae’s fears nearly overcome her and she chokes backs sobs as Mu-yeol energetically digs, with something like twenty minutes left on their clock.

This part keeps with my point that there’s a reason THIS particular group of oddball friends was able to succeed in finding the treasure when more experienced, better-equipped people have failed for the past hundred years. Again, it’s not their outstanding skills or unparalleled intelligence. It’s their motley set of skills, the pieces of information they each bring to the scenario, the dynamics of their friendship, all combined with luck, which have brought them this far.

For instance, the moment Mu-yeol went into the wall, I thought it made perfect sense, that it HAD to be Mu-yeol doing the last shift. As motivated as everyone else is, HE’S the one working himself to the limit, digging furiously, pushing himself as far as he can go and perhaps just one bit further. He’s spurred on not just from his love of Eun-jae but also his dogged stubbornness. And in a situation where every second counts, you need him doing this job.

Back in the tunnel, the friends feel the effects of their dwindling air supply, and can do nothing but sit back and await their fate.

With only about five minutes to go, Mu-yeol makes it to the end. Only, there’s no opening. Perhaps the ground has resettled over the years, perhaps part of it has been blocked off again, but the hole in the Gold Building basement doesn’t line up with their tunnel. Mu-yeol stares straight into a wall of concrete.

In anger, Mu-yeol drives his fist into the wall, over and over in a futile gesture — but of course, nothing happens. It’s solid, and the friends can hear the loud, repeated thuds giving testimony to their impending doom.

The oxygen meter beeps its final ominous warning as their air runs out, and everyone sits back, defeated. Yong-su starts to type in a final text message, which reads: “Mother, Father… I’m sorry.”

Mu-yeol’s fist repeats its dull cadence even after their air is gone, even though his friends are slowly slipping into unconsciousness, even though his own breathing grows labored. Even when his blood dots the wall and his weakened punches barely make any noise, he continues.

And then, miraculously, the wall gives.

The aging concrete cracks and crumbles, and Mu-yeol’s fist breaks through into the empty air of the Gold Building basement.

Almost immediately, the fresh influx of oxygen revives the friends, and they scramble excitedly to make their way through the wall.

Once they’re in the basement, they find the door locked and shout for someone to let them out, but nobody hears their muffled yells. But the deaf lady who lives in the building, the mother of the young puzzle-loving boy, readies to go to bed and puts her hand on the wall light switch to flick it off — and feels the reverberations in the building. (Honestly? How clever.)

She grabs the landlord, who grumbles as he trudges along to open the basement door — and out spill the five treasure hunters…

… who rush out into the open air.

And let me complete my thought about why it had to be these friends who found the treasure, and why it had to be Mu-yeol digging in the wall — because that’s the only combination that would have worked. Only Mu-yeol would have dug with such fevered intensity, and only he would have kept punching the wall stubbornly in aggravation when anybody else would have faced their inevitable deaths. In any lesser combination, they would have died, and they know it.

Even Mu-yeol says with trembling relief, realizing just how close a shave they had: “What a relief. I was about to give up. What a relief.”

All around them, Christmas continues on as normal, but this time, instead of being creepy and nerve-racking, it’s celebratory.

In the days following, the basement passageway is inevitably discovered, and makes big news:

Researchers flood the underground tunnels to explore, and naturally make it impossible for anyone to go back because of the high level of scrutiny.

The outside world hasn’t yet uncovered the secret chamber or the gold, but it’s probably safe to assume they will, eventually.

Furthermore, Min-chul sends Emperor Gojong’s scroll to a scholar, which starts off more speculation about the emperor’s supposed hidden funds and the last, unknown royal descendant (erased from the official royal register for some disgrace or other).

As for Eun-jae, she returns to her father’s mausoleum, but this time, she’s able to look at her picture without feeling the disillusionment and disappointment she’d felt previously. She’s found her peace.

 

The three others deal with their close miss with wealth in different ways. As we might expect, Hee-kyung is caught up in the what-ifs and desperately wants to come forward to claim the gold. It’s theirs! They found it fair and square!

Yong-su points out the various legalities involved, and Mu-yeol says if they can take the gold, they’ll take the legal ramifications that come with it. But there’s no way the government and the royal descendants would let them claim the gold without exerting their own claims first. Yong-su reminds them that a false move on their part might endanger their own stash:

It’s the gold they were able to carry off from the palace!

(Hehe. I’m relieved, because I knew they probably wouldn’t be able to keep the entire treasure. That kind of wealth doesn’t suit our simple-hearted friends anyway. But I did feel it was too bad they didn’t get ANY rewards for their efforts — so that relatively small amount of gold strikes me as being deserved and appropriate, in light of the situation.)

 

Six months later, their lives are more or less the same: Hee-kyung’s big decision of the day is whether she should’ve ordered jjamppong instead of jajangmyun (ah, the eternal dilemma!). Yong-su observes, “Life is like that. If you gain one, you’ve gotta lose the other.”

But one thing is different — Eun-jae is now completely one of them. She even quibbles with the delivery boy about their free side dish, just as the boys did back in Episode 1.

The delivery boy presents them with a confusing situation that has been bothering him for some time. There’s a woman living nearby who always orders three dishes — but there’s only one person living there. What do they think could be the reason? The guys posit a bunch of reasonable possibilities — maybe she eats a lot, maybe she has a child. Eun-jae casually tosses out the possibility that she’s got someone locked up.

The guys look up in surprise at her unexpected theory, then smile, saying, “Our baby’s grown up!”

And I’ve gotta admit that this last sequence totally made me laugh out loud:

We go to the apartment in question, where a woman in glasses (often frequenting the manhwa store, I believe) retrieves her three bowls of jajangmyun —

— and shares it with her two friends. (Sisters?)

Not only is this the innocent explanation for the delivery boy’s confusion, they’re also busy at work — treasure-hunting! Their apartment is covered in maps and research as they ask each other:

“If we find buried gold, does that gold belong to the finder?”

“Wouldn’t they take half?”

“I told you to look it up!”

“Where would you look up something like that?”

“A comic book?”

 
Additional thoughts:

And there you have it. Mixed-up Investigative Agency, a clever, funny, offbeat, kitschy, smart, and even suspenseful comedy that managed so sneak up the unsuspsecting viewer (i.e., me), who was won over by the warmth and wit behind such an unexpected find.

As with anything, there are small quibbles I could express about the series, but in light of the overall achievement, I’d rather just sit back and be glad that I gave it a shot despite the low initial buzz. Judging from viewer response in Korea, the fanbase might be small in terms of ratings numbers, but it is definitely a highly appreciative and devoted one. Based on early comments by the screenwriter, it seemed this series wasn’t intended to chase mass appeal, and I think for all of use who enjoyed it, it’s really for the better that the production stuck to its original vision and had enough faith in its players to let the story speak for itself.

 
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35 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Jessica

    Wow! Great series! This is one of those dramas that could use a second season :)

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  2. supersumiehime

    Thanks for all of the summaries. I’m glad you watched this one, it’s been a while since there has been a witty, funny drama. Can’t wait for any future dramas you do summaries on!

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  3. bethany

    beautiful ending (:
    thank you thank you thank you!

    such a good closing… so many things came full circle, relationships forged, lessons learned. i wonder what happens to minchul… O_o the *villan*. and once again, the mother of the son (a supposedly very insignificant character) is the one who hears them in the basement~ just like that ending sequence from a few episodes back. ah…. closing is a good thing.

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  4. Marzy

    i really really liked EIA.. i will definitely miss those LOL moments.. those weird, klutzy times.. hahaha i repeat i only want a season 2 if they can write the plot this tight and has the same cast/ PD/ writers etc.. but this drama definitely deserves recognition.. :)

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  5. glo

    ive been refreshing your page for ages for this entry. i loved the ending, it may have been one the best last episodes for me, but i wanted to hear your perspective on it as well.

    i adored the kiss. it was so realistic, so perfect, and so worth all waiting for. i also liked how all the clues fell into place, the building, jo man gi’s death, the occupations of each character… the list goes on.

    thank you for bringing this drama to my attention, i would have probably sidestepped it and missed out on such a great experience. on to 2008! may there be more drama enjoyment.

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  6. canyayasis

    I miss this series. I’m watching others right now – and INSOON is enjoyable -
    but this motley crew was a a treasure to watch.

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  7. Giddygirl108

    Thanks for writing the summaries of each episode! It was a very enjoyable read!

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  8. teokong

    Just started watching EIA and I’m hooked. Like you said Javabeans “a clever, funny, offbeat, kitschy, smart, and even suspenseful comedy”, glad I’m watching. Thanks for your summaries.

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  9. tealeaf

    “Ain’t nobody got a leg up on me in the long-unwieldy-sentences (and extended-hyphenated-modifiers) category!”

    OMG! Hahaha! Rest assured. The verbose queen title’s still yours, javabeans. What an exceptional drama. I did have some doubts at the beginning but am glad that i stuck with it till the end. Even watched this last episode raw. The ending skit is beyond clever!

    Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that MIA received undesirable low ratings. Perhaps it gained an advantage from not having to fulfill high expectations. If you’ve already started out not expecting to produce a blockbuster, i can imagine that you’re free from having to chase ratings and able to produce a drama that was meant to be made. So you honor the original spirit of the script. In turn, your actors excel because they are given the freedom to perform. It’s an example of wanting to make a superior product in spite of fully knowing that it might not be successful. That’s commendable.

    I thoroughly enjoyed MIA. It was a series with a lot of heart. The drama was intelligent, undeniably original and entertaining. I laughed often and was rarely bored. Great ensemble cast. Yong-su! What a memorable character. Mixed-Investigative Agency is my treasured find for 2007.

    Thank you for spending the time writing up this series, javabeans. With this series (more than others due to its inherent plot intricacies), your recaps proved most invaluable. And you did it in style. You rock, girl!

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  10. 10 creidesca

    haha…my theory on the 3 girls? That the one who frequents the manhwa shop is actually hiding the 2 who might have been former owners of the investigative agency that our foursome now has taken over. We never did really learn what happened to the former owners (just Yong Soo’s own theories), nor seen their faces. Imagine what Gold Building’s owner would do if he found out where they were! ^_^

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  11. 11 ELLE^^

    tnx for the post..
    but to bad lee min ki didn’t end up wit the gerl….

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  12. 12 Kiongna

    Javabeans..I have been waiting for this one!

    What happened to Min-Chul I wonder…it doesn’t say…so perhaps Season 2 ?

    Fav. character in the drama – Hee Kyung..
    Thanks!

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  13. 13 lovekoreans

    Thanks javabeans for the summaries and comments. I really likes these series. It’s different from other Korean drama. So many reasons i like these series. All the main actor suits their characters well. And they are so many funny and hilarious moments too. One of my fovourite moments is Mu Yeols’s confession to Eun Jae at the hospital. But the ending is a bit disappointed for me. I expect their lives are somehow changed after they found the gold but that not happen. Secondly, it seems Mu Yeol didn’t end up with Eun Jae. I thought that they finally love each other and develop relationship after that kiss in the underground tunnel. And finally there are no conclusion about Min Chul character. I wonder what happen to him. And same with others I do hope that there will be second season for this series…

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  14. 14 Billy Joe

    I truly love this drama! I can’t believe its over..I’ve been following the drama and being a true fan of this drama! When this drama ended, i felt a little sad because such a great drama has come to an end..I hope there will be more drama like this in the future even though this series has no love story but it has funny and offbeat in it! I truly hope that there will be season 2!! ^^

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  15. 15 creidesca

    “Secondly, it seems Mu Yeol didn’t end up with Eun Jae. I thought that they finally love each other and develop relationship after that kiss in the underground tunnel….”

    The PD did this subtly…Eun-Jae in the final scene of the drama, is in a bright green dress. And if you had taken a look at Mu Yeol’s “color image”, which is found in the style section at the drama’s homepage, it is described as being “nature green”.

    In earlier episodes, we’ve seen Eun-Jae wear blacks, creams, whites, browns, blues, reds…but never green I believe. Eun-Jae’s “color image” is described as being “white, black&white, pastel tone”.

    As for Min-chul, his “part” in this particular story pretty much ended when he fullfilled the dying grandpa’s final wishes, sending the historical society the scroll that would absolve the grandpa’s father of any connection to the Japanese which allowed the their names to finally be included in the family registry. We did see Min Chul pay his last respects to the grandpa’s father at the gravesite.

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  16. 16 shro

    omo!!!!!!!!!!! i missed like the best part of the episode. i should have seen the kiss and how they got out. i love this drama. i thought i would have never wanted to see some mystery drama but i stayed devoted because lee min ki was hilarous.

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  17. 17 lovekoreans

    Thanks creidesca for ur explanation. But if I’m not wrong grandpa’s body is never found. Is there any chance that he is still alive? I don’t think he died that easily. Perhaps he’s still alive and somehow find the way out before the excavation team arrives and be back in the second season hahaha…

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  18. 18 Mics

    Thanks javabeans for the great recaps! I’ve read them all yet I haven’t watched the drama at all. I’ll be keeping it in my to-watch list =)

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  19. 19 trang2610

    thanx sooo much for your great summaries
    lol^^
    I was reading the first episode summary then started to watch it
    such a underrated drama but I really enjoyed it
    ^^

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  20. 20 bajing

    Tho it’s late…I’m so glad I watched this drama (Just finished watching the awesome final episode). Thanks Javabeans, dalhee and thunderbolt for your articles. Without em I wouldn’t even dream to watch this drama.

    Drama without romance? heh..not my cup of tea…that’s my initial thought..and boy..oh boy…I would’ve been very very sorry if I had missed this drama…It’s awesome…fantastic…brilliant….(I have lost my words from giddiness :lol:). the cast, the acting, the plot, the mystery, the wit, the humour, the romance , the episodes’ ending skit, etc..etc..are all awesome… (think I’d better stop now since have repeated awesome 3 times, heh..:lol:) What an enjoyable ride…

    In light of the romance, to my surprise I LOVE the way the writer make the romance as the background instead of the main plot. The limited existence of romance during the episodes make me appreciate more the small gestures of affection between the supposedly couple, like when Min Chul kept Hee Kyung’s shoes’ accesory. I even cried when Mu Yeol took his turn to dig and kissed eun jae before hand. Now I can even say that I’m glad the romance was not the main plot (wow..what a revolution…I have surprised even myself…), the gestures are more than enough to warm my heart…and the plot is even more than sufficient to engage my interest…Too bad it’s so underrated…sigh…

    And just like you javabeans, I hesitated to watch the last two episodes since I dreaded seeing a very wonderful drama comes to an end. It has survived me thru HGDWS, so my dismay is even greater as the series comes to its final conclusion…Since now no more WORTHY distraction from HGDWS..huhuhu…:tears: I shouldn’t call this drama a distraction tho (since I’m as addicted with and lost my sleep due to this drama as much as with/due to HGD). I can officially call myself a devoted fan of MIA and proud of it! I even recommended (and forced a bit..haha) this drama to all of my friends. Once again, Thank U…Thank U…Thank U…for pointing me in the direction of this series…………I think I will start with White Tower next.

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  21. 21 teong

    haha,I also love this drama so much
    they are so cute and funny
    especially Lee Min-ki ,his performance is so attractive
    When I was watching it,they let me feel so relax and also worried for them but at last it is a good and suprised ending,haha!
    you are so great,even cut out all the scene to arrange!good job~~
    ~~ fighting for you ~~haha.thanks

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  22. 22 Nonbirira

    Once again, thank you SO much for insisting that people watch this! Was quite sure this drama wasn’t for me but at the end of a long and miserable term I needed something that would make me laugh. That’s when I finally decided to give this a try based on your recommendation. Took a few episodes before I started to understand what you liked about it so much – but NOW I get it! What a HOOT! Delightful, goofy characters with an extremely well-written script that kept me laughing, crying and sitting on the edge of my seat. I am SOOO sad to see this end.

    As for Mu Yeol and Eun Jae – it never crossed my mind that they weren’t together at the end! She’s there and obviously one of the group! Just because they aren’t sitting together or holding hands…sheesh! Does it have to be so obvious?

    As as for Min Chul – well, he redeemed himself in my eyes. Still a bit scary but certainly has possibilities. It’s clear that he feels some tenderness towards Hee Kyung so I figure that relationship has been left to be resolved in EIA Season 2! (Please, PLEASE tell they are thinking about producing one!)

    Sigh…I’m going through EIA withdrawl. What to watch now?! Nothing else seems anywhere near as much fun…

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  23. 23 Kippy

    I still don’t understand why Junsu was killed … what did he come across? Was it the secret tunnel leading from the Gold Buildling to the treasure? I’m so confused :(

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  24. 24 tweedledi

    i just finished the series and i loved it!! your episode recaps were amazing too (i would read them sometimes before, during, or after watching the episodes themselves to either heighten or lessen my anticipation!)-it was like you were reading my mind!!! hahah i’m glad i stuck with M.I.A. (there were a few episodes in the beginning where i wasn’t sure how i felt about the drama)-i felt like the series got better and better towards the end and i definitely came to love the characters. i only wish that Min Chul and Hee Kyung hooked up at the end!! :) hahah

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  25. 25 Chionga

    ok, i try watch this after good review by javabean, and i got bored with BOF which i stop halfway. this is good and refreshing drama.. im finished it in 4 days and really enjoy the series, the story is well written, the plot didnt turned draggy but getting more interesting untill finall epiosde.. im m going to use your drama review as a guide for my next drama, dalja spring. maybe. thanks a bunch!!

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  26. 26 swui

    Thanks javabeans for the great recaps (I love to read them after every episode I saw)…I haven’t been watching kdramas for a while so I have a lot to catch up on…and since there’s so many to choose from, I read reviews to make my selection…I have been through your blog and your guests bloggers and selected a few (admittedly not all your choices are my cuppa tea), but I did discover a new found love for actor Lee Min Ki since I saw him in Dalja’s Spring…and so I hunt down all his series …and discover another great series…MIA. Granted, I’m a romantic like millions of other girls and love dramas with romance…however run-of-the mill romance are getting boring and repetitious… I was looking for something different… it never hurts to try something different ..and I love this series to bits. So sorry the ratings were so ridiculously low.

    I’m still trying to find out where I could watch Taereung National Village which comes so highly recommended as well..It’s an old and not too popular drama and it’s difficult to find info on it…

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  27. 27 Carissa

    Thank you so much for your great recaps on this show. It helped fill in the small parts I missed from people’s inconsistent uploading!
    This has now become one of my favorite series, and I am so glad I was introduced to this story,Ye Ji Won and Ryu Seong Soo. There acting was heartbreaking and hilarious!

    I have nothing to watch now :(

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  28. 28 mariolawpanda

    i am super late with the fandomness(or lack of it) of EIA. i think this is my second fave series, behind Coffee Prince (sorry i was just sold with that one). this series was just hilarious. seriously.

    i guess i loved that the love connection was not played in the series, although there’s EunJae and MuYeol, but it was never the central of the story. my favorite character is HeeKyung, because of the character itself and because of the great acting. every line was sold, every moment was perfect. and the little quirks they have, like when they start stabbing each other with chopsticks or wondering what to order was really brilliant.

    i am a newbie with kdramas, and i consider myself a very casual/bordering addicted kdrama watcher. i thank EIA and Coffee Prince for making me into one. LOL. currently watching every single (positively reviewed) drama out there, thanks for the awesome blogging! (i am searching for english subbed Return of Iljimae, if anybody knows of it let me know. ^^,)

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  29. 29 migratorybird

    Like mariolaw panda, I’m discovering this drama really late – just discovered Dalja’s Spring and absolutely loved it. Am now hunting down other Lee Min Ki shows and came across the recaps…Am dying to watch it!

    Would be grateful if anyone could point me to where I might be able to find it with en sub or even raw…sighs…

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  30. 30 Jossy

    actually quite disappointed I didn’t pick this drama up earlier and admit I did look past it sooooo many times due to it’s apparent lack of a romantic line but I was totally pleased with the drama and am actually quite fond of it now hehe.. Its a goodie!!!! :)

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  31. 31 antonia

    Just ended this drama and i must say it’s sooo good. i love it!!!! and when i discovered that you recaped this it was like a gift!!! Thank you so much!!!!
    i love everything about this drama: the acting, the plot, the friendship, the funny momments, the touching ones… it was a perfect mix! but i need to makek a special mention on Hee-kyung, never seen her before… but she was true gold!!!

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  32. 32 Kira

    I like it :) I like it alot! …but i’m curious. What about Minchul and 0770? D: i really liked this drama but i think its a teeny bit too open-ended. OH WELL NO DRAMA’S PERFECT. This one came really close though. :)

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  33. 33 Gasenadi

    Enjoyed it immensely. Thanks, JB and Dramabeans for including it in the year end reviews – have thoroughly relished the ones recommended so far, (Alone in Love, was mentioned, for example; LOVED IT!) One tiny quibble. I would’ve thought MinChul could dispatch his “guys” to search for his Mom, especially since it seems his old house was near the restaurant. I mean, a CARAVAN followed him the next day! Oh, well. Then YS wouldn’t have been able to bond with his enemy’s mother.

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  34. 34 colors

    Ah, I love stories about friendships and I’m glad this friendship was well-dealt with. The “four friends” were realistic in their dynamic and as javabeans pointed out, their being themselves is what made their investigation successful.

    The humor of the show was perfect because the anti-climatic scenes didn’t dimish the emotions displayed before. And the plot was enjoyable and consistent and sensible at the same time. As for the ending, it didn’t let me down, so yay!

    Anyways, I’m glad I watched this drama thanks to javabeans’ reviews.

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  35. 35 Cocoboo

    I barely read any info on this drama, but decided to watch it these past few weeks.
    And I gotta say that I really liked it.

    It started off a bit slow, but things got better. For me watching a 2007 drama in 2014, I thought there would be some things that would be too dated. But that wasn’t the case.
    Sure, some of the songs were old. But the songs fit the show just fine.

    I love seeing the friendship between Yong Su, Hee Kyung, and Mu Yeol the most.
    There was so many times where I saw how close they were to each other.
    Eun Jae was ok. I like that she is finally one of them at the end. Making jokes like the others.

    I was totally pleased to see that they still had obtained a good amount of gold.
    Would have been disappointing if they hadn’t gotten any.

    Anyway, this drama felt SO REAL!
    Even with the story about a gold treasure hunt, it still felt real.
    The characters, their history, and their environment.

    It felt like a movie more than a drama too.
    I’m glad I randomly gave this show a chance.

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