These two are too cute. Kim Bum is so much better as a noona-killer than as the oppa. He should really be banned from playing oppa roles until he’s out of the army.
Two episodes left and I still don’t know how things are going to end. Because this drama is more realistic than most others — in the relationship dynamics, if not the comic situations — I can see it taking multiple different directions that wouldn’t surprise me.
SONG OF THE DAY
The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry OST – “다가가도 되나요” (Can I come closer?)
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EPISODE 14 RECAP
Before Sang-mi’s unannounced visit to Shin-young’s apartment, Bu-ki actually had fired off a quick warning text telling her to clean up and act surprised. However, in her furtiveness (to keep Sang-mi from seeing), she hadn’t noticed that the text failed to deliver.
Before Shin-young opens the door, Min-jae suggests facing his mother honestly, but Shin-young feels this is the wrong time for that; it’ll just make things worse. So he hurries to the spare bedroom while Shin-young greets Sang-mi warmly. Bu-ki takes Shin-young aside to warn her that this is a very important step — the fact that Sang-mi is here indicates that she’s starting to open up to her, so they can’t mess this up. No pressure!
Min-jae listens at the door and accidentally steps on something in the dark. He tries to contain his pain but bumps into something, so Bu-ki quickly covers, pretending she banged her leg. She then goes to her place to prepare snacks, offering the two women a chance to chat.
Sang-mi’s feelings haven’t changed about not wanting Shin-young and Min-jae to date, but her goal today is merely to talk together. Her attitude is slowly loosening up, and today she treats Shin-young with more civility than she has before — if not quite warm, she’s at least no longer cold.
Wanting to gain more insight about Shin-young’s character, Sang-mi asks her what time was most difficult in her life. Shin-young’s answer is honest if a little awkward — it was when Sang-woo dumped her. But she doesn’t vilify him, explaining that he was young. Now he’s matured, and she sees that he truly loves Sang-mi. She admits her own part in the failure of their relationship, because she was selfish and too focused on her career: “To be accurate, we weren’t close enough to marry.”
A cell phone rings under the table, and neither woman immediately reaches for hers. Clearly this must be Min-jae’s, forgotten in his haste to hide himself. Shin-young is cool under pressure and answers it like she’s talking to a co-worker about business. And then, another phone rings — from her own pocket. Shin-young answers this one too, then explains to Sang-mi that she has one phone for work, and another personal one. Thankfully Sang-mi accepts this without suspicion, and the mood remains pleasant overall.
Sang-mi does a crafty mom trick by prefacing a request with a story to make Shin-young sympathize with her position, and confesses that she’s afraid Min-jae will make the mistakes her husband made. He married after a momentary passion, and spent the rest of his life wandering around, making them both unhappy. She doesn’t want that for her son, so while she knows she can’t rip the couple apart, she asks Shin-young to promise that before he graduates, don’t do anything to force him to “take responsibility” for her. This is a euphemism for “Keep it in your pants, kids!” and Shin-young understands. She promises, and Sang-mi answers that she’ll trust in her.
Having satisfied her curiosity, Sang-mi soon leaves, escorted by Sang-woo, who comes by to pick her up.
The two lovebirds sigh in relief after the guests leave, feeling pretty good about how things turned out. But they stand around awkwardly, with Sang-mi’s request ringing in both their ears. Dare they continue their plans, or do they heed her wishes? And this just had to happen on the night they were going to spend together! I said Sang-mi was crafty, didn’t I?
It’s pretty clear there will be no fun sexy times for them tonight (or anytime soon), so they go off to their respective rooms, somewhat reluctantly.
It’s a different matter for the newlyweds. Although Da-jung is worn out and unhappy about her day being overrun by the kids, Ban-seok asks her to be patient, and then sweeps her off her feet. Literally.
Meanwhile, Shin-young and Min-jae are far from falling asleep. Coming back outside, they decide they’re not ready to call it a night yet and wonder what they ought to do tonight. They end up playing games where the loser gets flicked on the forehead by the winner. Such kids, these. There’s something innocent and very young about their courtship despite their ages, and it’s a little jarring to imagine that they were going to take the relationship to a sexual level when their replacement activity is to play little kids’ games.
Not yet sleepy, they follow up their games by heading out for a midnight stroll (technically 2am). Feeling hungry, they decide to make something to eat, and head back to roll mountains of kimbap. They eat, then sit together in Shin-young’s living room. Not the night they were planning, but a pleasant one anyway.
In the morning, Da-jung joins Ban-seok on his way to work, despite the fact that their schedules don’t match and she has gotten up extra-early just so they can head out together.
It’s a more hectic morning at Shin-young’s, and they’ve got the opposite problem — they’re both headed to UBN but can’t be seen arriving together if they want to avoid making gossip. Therefore, while one couple goes out of their way to be together, the other deliberately staggers their arrivals to keep up appearances.
And to give us a third example, Sang-mi heads to court that morning to finalize her divorce, emerging single for the first time in her adult life.
As Bu-ki and Da-jung shop together later that day, they find themselves being followed by a man in a suit. He’s more sleazy than scary, and introduces himself as an agent who’s looking for a CF model in her late 20s. He noticed them because they’ve got just what he’s looking for!
Anyone with the least bit of sense would be able to sense that he’s working some sort of scam, and these two cotton on right away. However, they’ve also got a friend who’s busting her ass trying to come up with a story to fill in for a last-minute dropped item, so they decide that they’ll go along with this guy’s act to give Shin-young an item.
Thus they act giggly and excited, giving the guy just the naive responses he’s looking for as he says he’s looking to promote a diet drink. The CF does require a few revealing shots, but they’ll be done tastefully, he promises.
Tasteful like a porno!
Bu-ki and Da-jung play the parts of wide-eyed ingenues as they relocate to a shabby studio for a test shoot. The set pretty much looks like a porn set and the costumes are ridiculous, but they go along with it. The guy is more than happy to hear that they’ve called a third friend — an “aspiring actress” — to join them.
Bu-ki dresses up like Sailor Moon, Da-jung like Marilyn Monroe, and Shin-young like… Velma from Scooby Doo?
While the director is busy filming them individually, Shin-young sneaks the door open, allowing her own cameraman to silently tape the proceedings.
The result is a story featuring today’s footage as well as film of previous victims who were tricked into fake photo shoots by the shyster. The UBN deputy director is pleased with her work, and the program will air tomorrow.
Min-jae is still staying with Shin-young, but Shin-young makes it clear that he can’t stay much longer than a few days. He doesn’t have a problem with being her roommate on a more long-term basis, but she is intent on honoring her promise with his mother.
He promises to cook something special for her that evening, and gets cracking. He doesn’t do this with the most skill, but it’s the thought that counts, right? In fact, it’s refreshing to see that finally there’s something he’s bad at, and he calls Ban-seok for advice.
Da-jung is working at home when Ban-seok’s sister comes by again with her son, letting herself in with the door passcode. Once again Da-jung tries to bear this politely, unable to point out how rude her sister-in-law is being by borrowing Da-jung’s clothes and purse freely.
This segment is another one of those scenes I have to step back a bit from because this character, ridiculous though she may be, is an all too common specimen in the real world. What’s worse is that she’s not outwardly mean or rude, so Da-jung can’t complain — the sister-in-law heaps effusive praise on Da-jung for being so chic and well-dressed, using that as an excuse to take what she wants. If she were to complain, no doubt she would be painted as a snooty, haughty woman who hates to share.
Myung-seok has been haunting his gym for another sight of Bu-ki, who hasn’t been around in recent days. Finally when she reappears, he jumps on the chance to talk to her and challenges her to another match, where he pretty much gets his ass handed to him on a platter. It’s quite satisfying seeing him not only beaten, but pretty much humiliated.
Undeterred by the physical abuse, Myung-seok tries to engage her in conversation. She’s utterly uninterested and doesn’t even spare him a second glance, so he grabs her phone and calls himself in order to get her number.
When Ban-seok comes home that evening, he finds Da-jung dispirited and at the end of her rope — she can’t do this. She can’t watch the kids every day, tutor them, and manage her own career as well. It’s asking too much.
Filled with remorse, Ban-seok insists on washing her feet for her. I’d tell him to skip the footbath and change the passcode — or grow a spine and tell his younger sister to have some respect — but this is a lesson for Da-jung to learn, I suppose.
That night, Shin-young oohs over Min-jae’s food, but he catches her adding water to the soup behind his back. I like that he talks about it straightaway, which lets them defuse the situation swiftly rather than escalating into a big argument later. Min-jae admits that when he took the kimbap they made to the rehearsal hall, the response from his friends was decidedly negative. This shows to him that Shin-young really does love him, because she ate his kimbap without complaint (and would have done the same for the soup had he not caught her).
They spend tonight playing Go-Stop, and it’s again nice to see another instance where Min-jae isn’t automatically awesome. She kicks his butt, and he tries to end the game with a fake excuse that he has to record a melody before he loses it.
She doesn’t let him off the hook so easily, and tells him to hum the tune to her; she’s got a great memory. They topple to the ground, and Min-jae holds her as he hums softly.
She tells him, “I’m so happy.”
Not so for Da-jung, whose happy mood evaporates when Ban-seok brings up the suggestion of taking mini-trips every weekend, either to his parents’ house or on trips with them. They can play games and fish and bond. After all, it would be good to get used to spending all that quality time together now, since they can live with them once they’ve had kids.
Er, what now? Da-jung is taken by surprise to hear that Ban-seok intends to take care of his parents. He’s the second son and normally this task would fall to the first son would (hence Da-jung’s rule against dating first sons), but Ban-seok explains that this brother is probably going to settle down in the States. Not noticing his wife’s faltering mood, he explains excitedly that he has always dreamed of living in a big family with three generations, taking trips every weekend.
She agrees weakly, then slips out later that night to sit by herself in the dark kitchen, telling herself, “It’s still better than when you were alone, right?”
Despite that attempt to convince herself she’s fine, Da-jung arrives at Shin-young’s apartment, disgruntled and bearing makgulli. Her explanation is merely that she couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to bother her husband, not ready to admit that maybe her fantasy isn’t all it was cracked up to be. She even says that she likes being married, but in a dull voice.
Before Shin-young can stop her, she heads to her old room for a nap, making for an awkward discovery. At least she didn’t jump on top of Min-jae while he was sleeping, which would have been awkward. Er, more awkward.
Sang-mi seems much happier these days, and more relaxed. Her relationship with Sang-woo is going well — he even wants to introduce Sang-mi to his mother — and her attitude toward Shin-young is warming as well. That evening, she cooks and packs food for Min-jae, who she believes is living at his studio.
She uses this as an opportunity to extend another hand to Shin-young, packing the food with a note asking her to deliver the package to Min-jae and to help herself to the food.
This she drops off at the guard booth to Shin-young’s apartment, then turns to leave… But having escaped once this episode, it’s just not dramatically feasible to have Shin-young escape discovery again and Sang-mi spots her walking home with Min-jae. It looks like they’ve gone grocery shopping together, and to make their living situation absolutely clear, Min-jae suggests they stay up all night long talking.
So when the guard knocks on Shin-young’s door to deliver the food, Sang-mi bursts in behind them — wearing a bitchface that, for once, is perfectly warranted — and orders Min-jae to leave.
Sang-mi reminds Shin-young of her promise, unappeased by Min-jae’s explanation that nothing happened, and that he was only staying for a few days.
Instead of heeding his mother’s order to leave, Min-jae grabs Shin-young’s hand and leads her outside, simmering with emotion. Shin-young asks in confusion where he’s headed, and he turns to her: “Let’s marry tomorrow.”
This episode was all about the juxtaposition of the Shin-young/Min-jae relationship with the Da-jung/Ban-seok one. I don’t think they’re making a statement about which is better, because both have their share of issues, but it’s a clear way of showing the extremes of these two dynamics.
At first I interpreted this comparison along simple lines — Shin-young good, Da-jung bad — and it’s certainly easy to draw that conclusion. For instance, Shin-young’s relationship is chaste but she sighs to Min-jae that she’s happy. Across town, Da-jung is in bed with her husband, but she has to leave the room and try to lie to herself that she’s content. Plus, even though Shin-young is still battling the parental opposition issue, which Da-jung has won for now, the latter sees that there are further complications afterward.
And yet I think it’s a little too pat to make the good-bad argument, at least not yet. I’m not sure Shin-young and Min-jae will stay together through the end of the drama (no spoilers, please!) so until I know how the drama ends, it’s hard to draw conclusions. The drama seems to be showing us that nothing’s perfect on either side, not arguing that one is destined to work and the other will fail. Maybe Da-jung and Ban-seok aren’t doomed, and their issue will be in learning how to compromise. It’s interesting that for all their similarities and shared values as a couple, Da-jung is not on the same page with Ban-seok about their future — she’d be lucky to be in the same book. Forcibly getting her way (speeding through the courtship to get to the marriage) may have gotten her wed, but she still has to face the stuff that comes after that. And there’s no way to fast-forward her way past that.
On the other hand, I worry for Shin-young and Min-jae’s future because their situations in life are so different. I feel like she is sorta where Sang-woo was when they were dating; she’s at the point where she can see settling down comfortably, but Min-jae may still need to stretch his wings. But what I can appreciate is that this couple finds ways to look at things in constructive ways, and issues that could derail another couple are used to strengthen their bond. Shin-young and Min-jae are emotionally in tune with each other in a lovely way that many couples don’t ever achieve. Furthermore, this kind of emotional understanding seems to come to them quite naturally, which is really a gift.
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 13
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 12
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 11
- Park Jin-hee: Calling Shin-youngs everywhere!
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 10
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 9
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 8
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 7
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 6
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 5
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 4
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 3
- The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry: Episodes 1-2