Love & Marriage reminds me of the exchange in Clueless — Cher: “He said you gave him a toothache.” Tai: “How’d I do that?” Cher: “It’s an expression. It means he thought you were sweet.”
If this drama were a type of candy, all my teeth would have fallen out by now.
SONG OF THE DAY
Love & Marriage OST – “이젠 나를 붙잡아” (Hold onto me now) by Jung Jae-wook [ Download ]
EPISODE 15 RECAP
With the month-long break over, Kang-hyun and Hyun-soo are back together and loving it. They’ve gotten simple gold couple rings, and the romance isn’t just limited to them: Hyun-soo’s brother is doing so well with the housekeeper Kyung-ae that they’re intending to marry. Hyun-sung says, “Marriage will be hard… but I’m loving it to death.”
Hyun-soo brings up the note Kang-hyun had left on the rooftop the day before. It has numbers scrawled on it — what does it mean?
Kang-hyun explains the first calculation as how much money Hyun-soo makes in a day (30 x 24). The second is how much he makes in a year (365 x 720). And the last (55 x 2.628 billion)…
Kang-hyun says that it’s how much he would make over the remaining 55 years — it’s the monetary value she will have gained through meeting him. But don’t think she’s being a gold-digger, because she tells him, “Help me earn back that amount for the rest of my life!”
Or, in other words, she’s proposing.
Hyun-soo is so touched that he makes out with Kang-hyun right there on the bench they’re painting, giving them matching pink-stained jeans (that look vaguely heart-shaped).
Later that night, Kang-hyun blames her lost alcohol tolerance on Kyung-hwan — to encourage him to study, she would go out with his classmates instead and set them up on dates and ruined her stomach with alcohol. Hyun-soo doesn’t think that makes scientific sense, so he suggests they test her ability to drink, and it turns out she’s fine. The metaphor extends to her love life, because Kang-hyun had thought she had drunk for the last time, and loved for the last time. Both of which are now proven false.
Hyun-soo thanks her for proposing, but wishes he’d thought of it first. He blames his dating inexperience, but Kang-hyun happily says that it’s not a big deal — there’s no reason the man should always propose first.
She may have proposed first, but Hyun-soo feels the liquor first, and passes out. Kang-hyun helps him back to his hotel room, and starts to undress him because he’s sweating. A glimpse of manly chest makes her jump back nervously, but then she decides to take a peek.
But the thing about Love & Marriage is that it promotes equal-opportunity ogling, so in the morning, Hyun-soo awakens to find Kang-hyun sleeping on the ground at the foot of his bed. When transferring her to his bed, he falls on top of her (of course!) and has, shall we say, a libido-driven moment. And then he takes a cold shower.
Kang-hyun wakes up as he’s emerging from his shower. With a smile, she calls his washboard abs “chocolate” (for the grid-like pattern), but he says, “The chocolate has melted. I haven’t been able to exercise lately.”
Back at work, now that the month is over, the offices of Last Love are back in business.
All the couple managers push for a welcome-back company dinner, but in the month break, Sung-ho has become serious, spouting Confucian-esque sayings with the grave air of a poet sage. And then they tell him that Hye-sun called off her wedding and he cheers up instantly. (We don’t see exactly how that occurred, but I think it’s safe to assume that she was having second thoughts and was moved by the way Sung-ho let her go and wrote her his goodbye poem.)
At dinner, the other couple managers complain how they spend all their time setting people up on dates but never find love themselves. Kang-hyun spies how Dong-joon and Sun-hee act around each other (comfortable, though not romantic) and starts seeing a potential match forming in front of her eyes. (She then plants the idea in their heads in the following days by telling Sun-hee that Dong-joon likes her, and vice versa.)
Hwa-young, on the other hand, is still single without a good prospect in sight. She tells Kang-hyun that she had asked for her to be her couple manager because she’d seen how Kang-hyun brought about the change in Hyun-soo, and wanted to get to know her better. The tenor of their acquaintance has taken on a friendly, almost warm tone, and they both declare the desire to become friends.
Hyun-soo is visited (again) by his celebrity client from episode 1, Lee Bi-yin. Her short-lived second marriage is failing, and she calls her husband a wife-beater and a liar (he’s accused her of cheating). Although Hyun-soo is uncomfortable around her because she’s always throwing herself at him, the case seems pretty clear, so he proceeds.
When Hyun-soo consults with an older colleague, he spies the wedding ring on his hand and decides to ask for some advice on how he proposed. The guy says he did it in the “usual way” — the big gesture in a fancy restaurant with a fancy ring — and then teases Hyun-soo about taking the plunge. (A bit abashed, Hyun-soo says he’s just curious, but the guy knows better.)
Not being familiar with the “usual way” for proposals, Hyun-soo consults that Source of All Omniscience: the internet. It’s cute how Kang-hyun reads over his shoulder (startling him), and tells him, “The reason women put so much importance on big gestures is because their reality isn’t romantic… I don’t need a proposal. Things are plenty romantic just as they are.”
Soon-young and the cute receptionist get a good couple forecast, and while they all agree that those forecasts don’t mean anything, it’s still satisfying to get a positive one. (Like horoscopes, or drama ratings.)
That reminds Kang-hyun of the negative forecast she got with Hyun-soo, so she goes back to her co-worker, Min-jung, to ask if there’s a way to overcome a negative reading. Min-jung takes a look at their prediction again and says that while it signals difficulty, it’s actually not a dire reading — if they work through their difficulties, her married life is perfectly capable of being successful.
This conversation leads Min-jung into musing that she’d like to be dating, too, but everyone assumes that in her occupation she doesn’t need any help. So Kang-hyun asks what type she likes, and starts forming a plan. Hearing that Min-jung likes wild, manly men, Kang-hyun takes particular note of the other cute receptionist dude at Hyun-soo’s law firm when he leaves work wearing leather. When she comments, he says that he dresses down for the office, but he’s actually a biker. Bingo!
Two birds, meet one stone. Kang-hyun calls her three co-workers out for drinks, but then calls Min-jung out for a blind date with Cute Biker. Seeing him decked out in his non-office attire and on his motorcycle, Min-jung sees the guy in an entirely new (and appreciative) light.
This also leaves Dong-joon and Sun-hee alone together, who start out uncomfortable and awkward, but manage to kick-start their romance all the same.
Now for Kyung-hwan. His relationship is going well, but he must inform Hye-sun of his decision to take a hiatus from school. Hye-sun doesn’t think his decision is necessary, and believes it’s all in his head — she saw for herself that he was competent. She doesn’t like that he’s giving up on the exam at the last moment, but her job offer still stands.
Kyung-hwan wants to be cheered up by Kang-hyun, but she’s busy with work, so he wanders up to the rooftop. This is his first time seeing this unexpected scenery, and Kyung-hwan relaxes in the chair for a nap.
(Following this is the part that was so funny in a cringeworthy Office-like way that I actually had to pause and walk away for a few minutes. You see it coming in advance, but it’s still totally awkward and uncomfortable. LOL.) Hyun-soo ends up on the rooftop and sees someone bundled up in the blanket, napping. Naturally he assumes this is Kang-hyun, and “surprises” “her” with a hug.
After the initial unease, the two men sit down and chat. Hyun-soo commiserates with Kyung-hwan about the competitiveness in law school, and recalls how he’d been an outsider by turning down invites to go out. Actually, Hyun-soo admits that he’d been curious about going out with his classmates to hostess bars (which sometimes serve more than just liquor, if you know what I mean), but couldn’t afford it. He asks Kyung-hwan to keep that tidbit from Kang-hyun, and Kyung-hwan agrees that this falls under the category of manly loyalty.
They bond, and Kyung-hwan surprises Kang-hyun when he sends her a text out of the blue that reads, “Park Hyun-soo is a good guy. You got lucky.” Manly loyalty has Hyun-soo merely smiling, declining to explain exactly what brought about this change.
Also, Kang-hyun’s parents agree among themselves that they no longer oppose her relationship, but Mom cautions Dad not to tell them right away. It’ll only get them excited and possibly cause an “accident” (i.e., pregnancy).
After a date, Kang-hyun and Hyun-soo are back in his hotel room when they are interrupted by the arrival of a drunk, depressed Bi-yin. Hyun-soo had found out that Bi-yin had lied about not having cheated on her husband, and withdraws himself from the case — if he can’t trust his client to be honest, he can’t represent her.
She bristles to see Kang-hyun with him, and when Hyun-soo identifies her as his girlfriend, Bi-yin takes a swing and they engage in a (too-short!) catfight. Bi-yin then drops to the bed, mumbling drunkenly that she’s lonely.
Hyun-soo calls someone — her friend? manager? — to come retrieve Bi-yin, hoping this is the last he sees of her.
Things start wrapping up for the others as well: Hwa-young decides to head to Morocco, citing its rich food culture as a great job opportunity. She assures Sung-ho and Hye-sun, who are back together now, that she’ll stick around long enough to attend their wedding.
The Bi-yin incident doesn’t die a quiet death, however, and gets blown out of proportion when reporters catch wind of Hyun-soo’s involvement. They ambush him at work, and publish unfounded gossip citing Hyun-soo as the reason for Bi-yin’s divorce. (The heightened media glare catches Hyun-soo and Kang-hyun off-guard, but it’s understandable since Bi-yin and her husband are celebrities.)
Hyun-soo is maligned as a homewrecker, and the reporters hound him so much he changes hotels. Metizens gleefully rip him to shreds online, and we have a bit of meta dialogue as Soon-young delivers a tirade against internet slander (in the wake of recent tragedies such as Choi Jin-shil‘s and Ahn Jae-hwan‘s suicides). Soon-young argues for the need to regulate, while Hee-soong takes the argument against legal action.
As a result of the media frenzy, clients turn from Hyun-soo, deciding that they cannot trust a cheating lawyer to handle their divorces.
I think we can safely rule out the asshole prosecutor as a possible match for Hwa-young, because he’s still a major douchebag (as well as engaged). He goads Hyun-soo about the rumors, and Hyun-soo loses his temper and punches the guy.
Kang-hyun comforts Hyun-soo, but he thinks he’ll need to make a change in order to get over the recent chaos. Hyun-soo submits his resignation, feeling sorry for causing trouble for the firm, and declares his intention to take a break. He’s worn down and fatigued, and needs time to get away. Hye-sun tears up the resignation letter but tells Hyun-soo to take a break anyway.
Therefore, this time it’s Hyun-soo’s turn to request a vacation. He only needs a week to recharge, and Kang-hyun supports his decision.
In the meantime, our new couples all proceed swimmingly:
Kang-hyun hangs in there pretty well for a week even though she’s worried about Hyun-soo’s welfare. He hasn’t called her all week, and she tries to convince herself that everything’s okay. Her composure slips at work, though, under the watchful eyes of Hwa-young (they’re gathered to congratulate Sung-ho on publishing a collection of poems).
Just then, Kang-hyun receives a video message from Hyun-soo, and slips away to watch it. Hwa-young joins her in the stairwell to sympathize with her difficulties — Kang-hyun’s just worried that the week will stretch into an indefinite time period.
Seeing the video clip, though, Hwa-young recognizes the scenery.
Now that she knows where Hyun-soo is, Kang-hyun goes to see him. Her first impulse upon seeing him at a nearby dock is to rush over immediately, but then she reminds herself that she’d promised not to interfere with his alone time.
Instead, Kang-hyun decides to return home since she’s confirmed that he’s okay. As she’s leaving, an empy soju bottle on the ground gives her an idea. A few minutes later, Kang-hyun has scrawled a note and put it in the bottle, and sets it in the water.
Just as she’s sending it off toward the opposite dock, Hyun-soo appears on the dock behind her and calls out her name.
Hm, no man for Hwa-young just yet. Like some of you, I’d also considered the Cash King as a prospect, but while he remains one untied loose end, I don’t know if he’d be the best match for her. I feel like Hwa-young would be dating him out of pity more than them being a good match.
Then again, I may be okay with her being single (although I don’t think that’ll happen), because what occurred to me this episode is that while it’s cute and fun to bring lots of couples together, I don’t want the message to be that everyone needs to be paired up for us to have a cutesy-fun ending. Nothing wrong with romantic couplings, but also nothing wrong with leaving some of our characters un-matched.
- Love & Marriage: Episode 14
- Love & Marriage: Episode 13
- Love & Marriage: Episode 12
- Love & Marriage: Episode 11
- Love & Marriage: Episode 10
- Love & Marriage: Episode 9
- Love & Marriage: Episode 8
- Love & Marriage: Episode 7
- Love & Marriage: Episode 6
- Love & Marriage: Episode 5
- Love & Marriage: Episode 4
- Love & Marriage: Episode 3
- Love & Marriage: Episode 2
- Love & Marriage: Episode 1