Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 15
This episode is all Mu-gyul. Unfortunately, it’s all Mu-gyul being petulant and mopey, which tends to put a damper on things.
I’ve already lost my mind trying to follow the wacky logic of this drama, and the last episode pushed girlfriday over the edge. Which means… now it’s time for Mu-gyul to lose his hold on sanity. I love ya, Jang Geun-seok, but I spent all episode dying to wrangle some sense into you. Alas, it seems you can wrangle sense out of lots of things (like this drama), but not into. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation for that.
SONG OF THE DAY
Paloalto – “어쩔거야 ” (Whatcha gonna do?) [ Download ]
EPISODE 15 RECAP
After being caught in that backhug with Jung-in, Mary chases Mu-gyul out of the house, trying to explain that she was only here in order to end the fake marriage for good. Mu-gyul retorts that her hug sure didn’t look like it was “ending” anything, and walks off in a snit.
And so, Mary returns to the empty studio, where her sad little birthday party for Mu-gyul sits, unfulfilled. The girls call to invite her to join the posse for a Christmas party, but Mary’s not in the mood, and barely holds her composure together as she declines. The friends notice her teary voice, but figure the couple has just had a minor lovers’ quarrel.
Mu-gyul broods his way through the bus ride home, ignoring the obvious interest from the other passengers who recognize him from his recent performances and sneak phone-photos of him.
When he arrives at the studio, to Mary’s relieved apprehension, he barely engages with her, ignoring her attempts to lighten the mood.
Mu-gyul tells her that the hardest thing for him was “changing myself suddenly” — but it was because of Mary that he could endure the embarrassment of changing his music style and standing up there onstage. OH REALLY NOW. That makes sense, since Mary held a gun to your head and told you to change everything about yourself for her sake and declared your old self unworthy… OH WAIT. That’s just the revisionist version in your martyr fantasy.
He wants her honest answer about what Jung-in means to her; shaking his head in disgust, he calls the Mary he saw today “a stranger.” Unwilling or unable to hash out their issues tonight — he’d prefer to let it fester — he asks for alone time, and Mary trudges off heartbroken.
After seeing Mary’s father working on a stack of wedding invitations, Mu-gyul’s mother hurries to the studio to express her dissatisfaction about Mary to Mu-gyul, who doesn’t want to hear it. Even in his funk, Mu-gyul sighs that Mary’s not that kind of girl, so Mom produces the invitation to prove her point, saying that a wedding can’t happen without the bride’s permission. You’d think that, wouldn’t you? Maybe you’d like to have a word with a certain drama writer…
Mu-gyul tells his mother to move out of Mary’s father’s place, since he returned the ring and she is no longer beholden. Mom happily phones Mr. Wee to tell him good riddance, and berates him for selling off his daughter to a rich family. Wait, but two minutes ago you were expressing how disappointing you found Mary’s character for agreeing to marry another man… Oh, that would be Logic talking, who has no place in this drama and is therefore speaking at a frequency inaudible to our characters. I bet the dogs and cats agree with her, though.
Kicked out of the studio for the time being, Mary comes home to Dad’s. Trying to keep the mood light, she merely explains her presence by saying she missed him, but when Dad asks about Jung-in, she admits that she asked for a divorce. He’s alarmed (at his meal ticket running away), and pressures her to beg for forgiveness. (“Forgiveness” — agh! That is just the most bass-ackwards way of looking at this scenario, like she’s somehow empirically wrong for not accepting his affections, that she needs to beg to be allowed his grace again. You are just the worst dad ever.)
Figuring this Mary’s gloom is all about that playboy rocker, Dad reaches for his phone to give Mu-gyul a piece of his mind (which would be a woefully small piece, I’m thinking), but Mary bursts out in protest. Fighting tears, she says it isn’t about him — today’s been a really crap day, and she doesn’t have it in her to fight with Dad like this.
As for the drama: In the wake of Mu-gyul’s hit performance at the showcase, it’s smooth sailing again for the production team of Wonderful Day. Jung-in suggests a company workshop in a scenic spot, and wouldn’t you know, the drama has coincidentally received a sponsorship offer by such a place.
Mu-gyul barges into Jung-in’s office wearing a glare and accuses Jung-in of planning this all from the beginning — that he’d intended, all along, to force Mary into marriage. Gah, now Mu-gyul’s making as much sense as Dad, which is to say, not any.
Maintaining his composure, Jung-in tells him not to misunderstand yesterday’s events, since Mary came at his request. Then he exercises some massively poor timing by handing over Mu-gyul’s schedule for the upcoming week. Yeah, good luck getting him to cooperate with your business plans. Unsurprisingly, Mu-gyul declares that he’s through working with him.
Mary asks her father if he really wants her to marry Jung-in. Dad assures her that there’s no father who wouldn’t want to see his daughter well-married to a rich man who is eager to marry her, and declares that “I want nothing but your happiness.” Also, “Love and reality are very different things.” I think he’s confusing “different” with “mutually exclusive.”
Mary seeks solace in the bookstore, and who should come by but Jung-in. Rather than making his presence known, he takes a seat one bookshelf over and waits for her to notice him.
She catches a glimpse of him just as he gets a worried call about Mu-gyul being a no-show for a TV appearance — mention of that name gets Mary’s attention. Figuring that he can’t have gone far, Jung-in heads off in search of his errant rockstar.
Mu-gyul is at the moment busy proving how rock he truly is, playing noisily on his guitar while his friends cover their ears and worry about his mental state. They know better than to mess with him when he’s in a dark mood like this, but Jung-in comes right in and unplugs the guitar cord from the amp. (Eee, might this be sign of impending romance in the air? Oh right. Wrong drama.)
Mu-gyul glares and starts to leave. Jung-in asks if he has always been this irresponsible (hello? Have you even seen the beginning of this drama, Jung-in?), and asks if he really wants to say goodbye to his career like this.
Mu-gyul reasserts that he won’t work with Jung-in. So Jung-in reverse-psychologies him, saying, “Neglecting your promises and doing whatever you please must be what rockers do. How cool. If the man Mary liked only ever amounted to this, then I guess I still have a shot.”
Jung-in adds that he can’t let Mary go to a guy like Mu-gyul, causing the latter to bristle — who is Fancypants to decide whether to “let go” of Mary or not? Jung-in replies that if Mu-gyul wants to make him give up his pursuit, he’ll have to take care and watch how he behaves.
I actually like this tactic — provided that Jung-in is doing this, as I suspect, as a way of jolting Mu-gyul out of this nonsensical self-destructive spiral, and not as a genuine challenge for Mary’s love.
The posse tries their hand at stepping in to spur the couple toward reconciliation. The boys call Mu-gyul to call him over with a fake reason, saying that one of the bandmates has decided to give up on music and get a thoroughly unrockerly job. Shudders!
Likewise, the girls call Mary: So-ra fakes sobs while Ji-hye explains that she’s just been through a tough breakup.
The false pretenses succeed in getting them to the same place, and Mu-gyul is first to arrive where the crew has set up heart-shaped candles and romantic music. He turns right around to leave, running into Mary, who’s much happier to see him than he is to see her.
Still in his pissy mood, he takes a deliberately obtuse approach, as though he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. He takes off, ignoring the calls of his friends, who emerge from hiding and try to urge him back.
He goes back home, still peeved, and receives a call from Seo-jun, whom he meets for drinks. She’s done Mu-gyul the favor of stepping in for his absence today, and senses that something went down between him and Jung-in. She tells him not to be too much of an ass with Jung-in, because that’s no way to repay the man who helped him make a proper debut.
He balks at her description, not wanting to admit to Jung-in’s help. Seo-jun is unimpressed, tsk-tsking, “How petty of you, Kang Mu-gyul.” She makes sense, actually, which is messing with my head. Is she back to being cool now? How is it that the self-absorbed Seo-jun became the mature voice of reason here? Did Mu-gyul’s lost sanity leach its way into those around him instead? Now, if his mom starts acting like a reasonable parent all of a sudden, my brain will be paralyzed with its inability to process.
Preparations for the wedding proceed, under President Jung’s pleased and watchful eye, while Jung-in gets the drama workshop organized.
On the day of the workshop — really a bonding retreat more than anything — Mary arrives as employees are boarding the bus. Two employees give Mary a coy greeting, having received the wedding invitations — courtesy of President Jung, who sent them to the entire office — and say they thought she was dating Mu-gyul.
Uncomfortable with the truth being thus revealed, Mary excuses herself, deciding not to go after all. However, she’s prodded along by her friends, who arrive to join in the fun, having been invited by Jung-in. But… they were just playing Cupid for her and Mu-gyul last night… and now they’re playing along with the Jung-in romance angle? Fickle friends.
The employees push Jung-in into the seat next to his supposed future wife Mary, and the two sit there trying not to let the awkwardness get to them.
But during the ride, Jung-in nods off, his head coming to rest on Mary’s shoulder. She gently pushes his head back onto its own seat, but he nods off again and snuggles closer this time.
Mu-gyul sits at home in a sulk when Seo-jun calls to urge him to join them for the workshop. She tells him that Mary went too, hinting that you never know what’ll happen on a trip… He doesn’t rise to the bait, though, and declines in his surly way.
At the mountain retreat, Jung-in leads the group in a toast to their success. Mary separates herself from the group, and Seo-jun clocks her glumness and approaches.
Given her sudden bout of maturity earlier this episode, I fully expected her to share some words of encouragement, but no, instead she rips Mary a new one about her upcoming marriage with Jung-in.
Seo-jun scathingly accuses Mary of hurting Mu-gyul, saying that she has brought Mu-gyul more struggle and unhappiness than good stuff. That even despite love, there are things you can’t force with sheer will. And that it’s time for Mary to step back and leave Mu-gyul’s life.
Okay, I’m revoking your cool card, Seo-jun. Even more presumptuously, Seo-jun declares that it seems to her that Mary actually loves neither man. Oh, thanks for telling me how I feel, bitch… is what I’d dearly love to tell her.
Miserably, Mary goes for a walk in the forest, thinking back to her relationship with Mu-gyul in a series of flashbacks that culminate with his adorable public love declaration onstage.
Meanwhile, Mu-gyul sits at home and looks over the cat necklace he’d bought as Mary’s Christmas present.
As she approaches the top of a hill, Mary finds herself in a vast field of reeds. She shouts off into the distance, “Kang Mu-gyul! I’m sorry! I just gave you trouble — the marriage and living together was all my fault. But I wanted to live happily with you. That must’ve just been my greed. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry for putting you through that.”
Her words start to choke her up and she starts sobbing, which is the pose she’s in when Jung-in finds her and helps her stand.
Mu-gyul is still at home sulking when Seo-jun calls in a panic to say that Mary and Jung-in have both disappeared. They’d headed up into the mountains together hours ago, but are nowhere to be found. Now she feels guilty for her harsh words earlier, and worries about what may have become of them.
At least that pulls Mu-gyul out of his self-pity party, and he hurries to the retreat site, where the rest of the attendees have formed a search party. They scour the woods for the missing pair, but with everyone tiring, they decide to retreat to the house and wait for emergency services.
As it happens, Mary and Jung-in are perfectly fine, just lost, as they try to find their way back. That is, they’re fine until Mary trips over a fallen log — Jung-in grabs her and shields her as they roll down a hill.
His face is riddled with scratches by the time they come to a rest, and he lands hard (possibly hitting his head). Mary frets and tries to revive him, but he’s out cold. The best she can do is lean over his prone body and try to keep his blood moving to keep him warm.
Mu-gyul arrives to bad news — still no sign of the missing twosome — and decides to go looking for them alone. He declares that if he doesn’t, he’ll regret it forever, and heads into the woods with a flashlight. He finds Mary huddled over Jung-in’s prone body, crying and worried… and we’re not really going to play this supposedly dire situation for jealousy, are we? Oh, I guess we are. Because they couldn’t ruin Mu-gyul’s character enough already.
And then… cut to hospital.
Jung-in is in his third day of unconsciousness, and Mary keeps vigilant watch at his bedside, both concerned and feeling guilty for being the reason for his injury.
Mu-gyul does drop by the hospital but chooses to remain in the background, not announcing his presence to Mary.
Mom asks Mu-gyul if he really loved Mary (speaking in the past tense), and advises him to date a stunningly pretty girl next, to show her. Mu-gyul’s moping is accompanied by that universal trendy drama sign that we’re approaching the end: the flashback clip reel.
Having made a decision, Mu-gyul arrives at the production company offices, where Seo-jun has stepped up to pick up some of the slack in Jung-in’s absence. She fields a call from the director, who wants to switch production companies, and cites loyalty as her reason for sticking with it — Jung-in may be her boss, but he’s also her friend. Her words are successful in convincing the director not to jump ship.
Seeing how well Seo-jun is managing this interim role as producer, Mu-gyul offers a rueful apology as he hands over an envelope — he’s requesting a dissolution of his contract.
She calls him cowardly, reminding him of their own breakup, saying he’s always been this way. What made her angry was that he didn’t come to her and confirm his suspicions — that she was sneaking around with a sponsor — and instead decided things on his own. So now, she makes one request of him — don’t do that to Mary. While they might be able to chalk up his past behavior to immaturity, it won’t fly this time.
Aw man, she’s being cool again and now I’m confused again. Constant character inconsistencies = head hurty.
According to Jung-in’s doctors, there’s no good medical reason for why Jung-in won’t wake up, and therefore the only thing they can suggest is for Mary to encourage him to wake up.
Jung-in’s father comes by to relieve her of her watch, urging her to go home to get some rest. Reluctantly, she agrees and heads out — which is where Mu-gyul finds her and pulls her aside for a talk.
The conversation starts out uncomfortably as Mu-gyul asks why Mary’s here. She answers that it’s her fault that Jung-in’s in this situation in the first place — she can’t ignore the fact that he was protecting her when he got hurt.
Mu-gyul tells her that she’s done enough, and that nobody could accuse her otherwise. But if he doesn’t step in, she won’t be able to leave Jung-in — and they need to make this decision now. Mu-gyul first apologizes for giving her the cold shoulder and avoiding her, but declares that it’s time for her to answer his question.
Knowing what’s coming, Mary asks if he can just wait until Jung-in wakes up. After then, she can — no, she will — go to him freely.
But apparently his love has a time limit, because he says, “If you can’t answer now, you won’t be able to later, either.” (Whaaa? And why not?) He asks, “Is it me, or him?”
Mary can’t answer, and Mu-gyul accepts that as a rejection, leaving her behind as he stalks off.
I’m amazed that an episode could be so angsty, and yet also so boring. I am also exhausted by Mary Stayed Out All Night, which is trying so hard to inject some last-minute drama into the drama. If only it didn’t feel so much like kicking a moaning, wounded horse on the ground, substituting straight-up pain for dramatic conflict.
Okay, to play devil’s advocate, I CAN actually understand a bit of where Mu-gyul was coming from in this episode. He sees Mary in a clinch with his rival and assumes the worst — and his reaction, while overblown, isn’t without precedent. As Seo-jun points out, he did the same with her in assuming the worst, then cutting things off swiftly. One would assume that being in love would afford a girl some consideration, but Mu-gyul seems determined to make himself into the martyr here in refusing to even hear Mary out or accept that there might be another explanation.
But okay, let’s even accept that as plausible, given his turbulent history with his mother, which has made him skittish with women and love. I get it. (One wishes the drama actually did anything with that thread, though, to make this point actually resonate, rather than seeming so haphazardly constructed.)
Alas, all that reasoning doesn’t keep him from being an utter self-absorbed prat about it. Why does he have to put a time limit on Mary’s decision? Sure, he doesn’t like seeing her loyalty keep her by another man’s side — even if he does cite loyalty as Mary’s best feature — but this isn’t a normal circumstance. The dude is unconscious and seriously injured — can’t you wait a day or two? No, you can’t? I guess it makes sense, since everything IS about you, Mr. Pouty Rocker Man!
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 14
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 13
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 12
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 11
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 10
- Mary Stayed Out All Night replaces writer
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 9
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 8
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 7
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 6
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 5
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 4
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 3
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 2
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 1