Hurricane Mary, coming through! This drama goes out the same way it began…totally insane. But you know, by now it’d be even MORE schizophrenic if the drama did a total 180 and started to make sense. So it’s best we go out with as much crazy as we started with. It’s time to embrace the mental instability. Or at least start drinking heavily…
SONG OF THE DAY
Mary Stayed Out All Night OST – Jang Geun-seok – “I Will Promise You” [ Download ]
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
Mu-gyul gets his non-answer to his stupid Choose Me Now or Forever Hold Your Peace question and walks away without looking back. Mary immediately gets a call that Jung-in is awake. (So, if Mu-gyul had waited two minutes, you would’ve been able to answer? I guess that’s not the point, but…)
Mary rushes in and Jung-in looks up at her lovingly. While Mu-gyul goes home to clear his studio of Mary’s belongings and the curtain that divided their bed, Jung-in talks to his father about the wedding.
Jung-in: Father, does this wedding have to happen? I love Mary sincerely. So I want her to be happy. But if she marries me like this, she’ll never be happy.
Finally, some reason. Dad thinks after the wedding will be plenty of time for Mary to change her mind. Ha. Words are meaningless to you. Jung-in asks if Dad is trying to make him even less fortunate than himself. He calls Dad out for loving another woman for thirty years. Jung-in: “It must’ve been hard for you. But it was harder for me, and Mom, who stood by your side.” Oof. Heartbreaking.
And now it makes sense (?!) why Jung-in is so quick to let Mary go, despite loving her. Because he spent his whole life loving his father, and watching his mother love him, while he loved someone else. To live that all over again, in his own marriage, would be the height of cruelty. He asks his father to reconsider the wedding once more, to which his father turns a blind eye, because he is a heartless shell of a man.
Mu-gyul packs up the rest of Mary’s things with a heavy heart (which runs so counter to your actions earlier, schizo-boy, but whatever). But Mary comes running in, short of breath.
Mary: THIS is my answer, Stupid.
And, Quote of the Day goes to Mary! Mu-gyul sighs, utterly relieved, as he clutches her tight in a hug. He thanks her for coming, even now. Um, YOU were the one who put a time limit on her answer, dummy. It’s a sweet reunion, if only because the actors play it as such, but frankly, there’s no dramatic tension in it at all, and makes me even angrier about the hospital breakup scene…all that, for this?
Jung-seok ponders for a while, then decides to hurry the wedding. Oy. Even Mary’s dad wonders what’s gotten into him, as it seems rushed with Jung-in’s condition and Mary’s state of mind.
As soon as they’re reunited, Mu-gyul gets a call from Jung-in asking to see him concerning Mary. He heads over to the hospital, and Jung-in tells him that the wedding is still on. Mu-gyul points out that his words don’t match up, and Jung-in just says that he’s being honest, man-to-man.
Mu-gyul leaves and Jung-in says to himself that he’ll see in due time. Oh, jeez. I see where this is going, and it’s not totally out of character for Jung-in to go all Fairy Godmother on them, but it’s still crazy.
Mary gets called home to talk over wedding prep with Dad, and she goes along, too defeated to resist anymore. Dad calmly tells her that he’s not doing this because of Jung-in’s wealth, but because her mother married him for love, but ended up with such an unfortunate fate. He tells her that starting love is easy, but maintaining it, preserving it, is the hard part. Well, now, that makes a whole lot of sense, and is delivered in a non-hysterical fashion. Could you not have been this way from the beginning, dear Papa?
He tells her that all he cares about is her happiness. Well then maybe, just once, you should listen to what your twenty-four year old daughter is telling you, about what she wants for her own life.
Mary texts Mu-gyul that night, asking him to wait three more days for her to end things with Jung-in. Okay, now I’m starting to take Mu-gyul’s side with all this. Why do you keep extending things? Mu-gyul agrees and they plan to meet on the third day.
The day arrives, which is of course Mary and Jung-in’s wedding day. Both she and Jung-in prepare with long faces, and she texts Mu-gyul to wait for her. He takes his guitar and plays a new song in the park, waiting for her to arrive.
Meanwhile, the wedding begins, and guests start streaming in. Seo-jun arrives and greets Jung-in, and then calls Leo to ask why they’re not here, as Mary’s friends. It’s news to everyone else that Mary’s going through with the wedding, so they rush over to find Mu-gyul and send him off to crash the wedding and get Mary back.
He runs like the wind, and arrives to find Mary and Jung-in standing at the altar. Although he ran there to stop it, he takes one look at Mary in her wedding dress, smiling at Jung-in, and tears well up. He turns away and leaves, just as their friends arrive on the scene.
So Mu-gyul leaves, and their friends arrive just in time to witness the real reason for the wedding: to stick it to their fathers. Jung-in announces that he’ll love Mary forever (aw) but he won’t marry her, as this wedding is something orchestrated by their families and they don’t intend on becoming husband and wife. Mary apologizes to her father, and says that they’ve chosen to preserve the love that they’ve chosen.
Well, finally a definitive statement from her. Why it required going through with the wedding to announce to their fathers that they have no intention of getting married doesn’t make much sense, but I suppose it’s been pretty well established that neither father will listen to reason, and well, the drama simply wanted to create the dramatic not-a-wedding scenario. Although it’s unclear why, as anyone could see this coming a mile away.
Their friends stand around and call Mary instead of Mu-gyul, telling her to go find him. Why didn’t anyone think he might need to know what went down at the wedding after he left? Do your job, friends!
Mary finds out that Mu-gyul was there, and rushes off to find him. Meanwhile, Mu-gyul comes home, crying over losing Mary. It’s sad for him, but lacks all dramatic tension because we know that it’s just a matter of time before he finds out the truth.
And to that end, Seo-jun comes by to tell a sulking Mu-gyul that he should’ve stuck around at the wedding, long enough to watch Mary and Jung-in run out, and even sign divorce papers to end it all. Mu-gyul immediately perks up, and rushes out.
Aaand, we’re back to running! Run, Mu-gyul, run! And why all of a sudden do lovers not have cell phones in moments like this? I mean, I agree that running in the snow is way more dramatic than texting, as far as the audience is concerned, but it’s also conveniently not an option when the drama decides it’s dramatic running time.
Over in the land of errant fathers, Jung-in apologizes to Dad for taking it that far, but tells him that it was the only way to stop him from forcing that marriage till the end. He adds that while he loves Mary, he can’t marry her in place of his father’s love for her mother.
Mary’s dad walks in and overhears their conversation, realizing for the first time why Jung-seok has been pushing this marriage. He declares it wrong (yes, so, so wrong), and leaves, disgusted with him. Thank goodness for that.
Mu-gyul runs and runs and arrives at the playground, to find Mary huddled and waiting for him. He runs over calling her name, and her eyes fill with tears as she asks what took him so long. Mary: “I ended things with Jung-in and came. But you weren’t here. I was so scared.”
Mu-gyul apologizes (oh thank god for the disappearance of pissy Mu-gyul) and hugs her, sorry for not trusting her, and himself.
Back at home, they’re back to being cute, and Mary fills him in on one important detail that she so conveniently left out: that she and Jung-in signed divorce papers while he was still in the hospital.
Jung-in gets disowned by his father, and kicked to the curb. He expected as much, and plans to head out on his own. Good for you. High time for you to be an adult now. He meets with Mary to finalize the divorce and part ways. She thanks him for everything, and he wonders how things might have been if they had met under more natural circumstances. She’s relieved that things can go back to the beginning, which they can’t for him, since he’s fallen in love with her. He watches her walk away, lingering for a moment.
Mary goes to see Dad, who was initially under protest, but finally caved to reason, once he saw just how crazy Jung-seok really was. He doesn’t tell Mary about Jung-in’s dad being in love with her mom, but he does tell her that he kicked Jung-in to the curb.
Mary calls Mu-gyul and worries that Jung-in has run into trouble again because of her. Mu-gyul laughs good-naturedly and teases her for worrying about her first husband in front of him. Ha. And why couldn’t you have been this understanding before, I want to ask.
Jung-in tries to sleep on the couch in his office, which really wouldn’t be that uncomfortable, save his really long legs. He tosses and turns, and finally gives up. His solution?
…He walks into Mu-gyul’s studio and drops his bags down. Omo! This drama got REALLY good all of a sudden.
Jung-in announces that he’ll be staying here for a while, and also announces that he wants to put out a single for Mu-gyul’s song. Mu-gyul just looks at him like he’s crazy, and can’t help but laugh at his declaration that he’ll be living here.
Mu-gyul gives him a blanket to sleep on the couch, but Jung-in insists that he can only sleep in a bed. Mu-gyul: “There’s only one bed…”
Jung-in decides that they can just put up a curtain and share the bed. Mu-gyul grabs him by the arm (with love?) and tells him to follow his rules in his house (the same words Jung-in used when he made Mu-gyul sleep on the couch in his house). Jung-in recognizes the words, and goes to the couch sheepishly.
And thus begins the real relationship that we’ve been waiting sixteen episodes for. Jung-in and Mu-gyul settle into a bickering courtship of their very own, like an old married couple. It’s officially the best thing this drama has ever done.
They ride around in Mu-gyul’s bus, as Jung-in personally escorts him to every media appearance, and on their way home one night, Mu-gyul falls asleep…on Jung-in’s shoulder. Jung-in is startled for a second, and then smiles (Eee!), totally enjoying the moment. Mu-gyul wakes up and ruins it, making for some awkward tension. Ha.
It’s almost even more upsetting for the drama to give us a taste of what could’ve been…
They arrive home to Mary, who’s waiting with dinner. She finds out that Jung-in is staying there, and Mu-gyul eyes him with great displeasure, as Mary treats him kindly. Can these three just live together like this, forever? Please?
Mary sees Mu-gyul on tv and decides that he’s gotten too skinny. Mary: “That’s it. I’m gonna have to catch a chicken.” She makes chicken soup for their cozy little threesome, and Jung-in gets jealous over Mu-gyul’s extra chicken leg, to which Mu-gyul offers him a date. No…not that kind of date, although…don’t I wish.
Jung-in gets a call that Wonderful Day finally secured all its funding. Cue smiles all around, and a handshake between the two boys.
Mary and Jung-in finalize their divorce…again. Didn’t we already have this scene? At home, the crew prepares a surprise party, in honor of the divorce. Ha. I do love this group’s reasons for throwing parties. Mary and Jung-in arrive home and blow out the candles on their Happy Divorce cake.
One year later, Mary has become a budding drama writer, and Jung-in comes to see her. He’s back to greet his father, who has returned, and things seem settled between their families. While they talk, a guy runs up to her, calling her noona and sunbae, asking who the guy is. She introduces him as her first husband with a smile, and the guy balks, but decides he doesn’t care, because he’s written a song for her. She laughs that she’s got a lot of those, and Jung-in notes that she tends to attract musicians.
She goes to see Mu-gyul, playing in the park as usual. In voiceover, she says that she and Mu-gyul are the same. They broke up twelve times, and are dating for the thirteenth time. Heh. That’s cute.
At home, she complains that the studio is too warm now (successful musician = running the heat as much as he wants). She says this place was better when it was cold; they used to keep each other warm. Mu-gyul smiles and comes over for a snuggle.
Seo-jun is her usual self, and continues on her path as an actress.
Mary and Mu-gyul walk along together, sharing tunes, and happily in love.
Mary (in voiceover): In the face of many crossroads, in the youth of our twenties, we chose another path.
Well at least we got a nice last half of a finale, with somewhat open-ended, but well-wishing farewells for our characters. There wasn’t anything revelatory, but we at least got some Jung-in/Mu-gyul hijinks, which amused me. And I do enjoy the ending for Mary and Mu-gyul, that they very realistically broke up a dozen times and continue to grow up together, without easy solutions to everything.
As for the first half, don’t even get me started on the not-a-wedding. Mary refusing to tell Mu-gyul, just to “fool” (pffft) the audience….blech. Of all the things I hate, it’s manufactured conflict that really makes me sigh. I feel nothing when events in a drama unfold in a way that is solely in service of creating dramatic tension, because for me, it has the opposite effect. If characters don’t act organically, then the scenes lose all tension because I know that these are just machinations to make them breakup/makeup back and forth, simply because it’s the finale. And that’s lame.
So overall, the finale is exactly what the drama was, on a whole: bipolar. It’s the perfect encapsulation of the two ends of this drama, somehow existing in the same space. It’s both I-am-youthful-free-and-indie, and drama-tropes-on-hyperdrive. Watching this drama was a lot like Mary, yo-yo-ing back and forth between her two guys: trying to do right by both, which eventually just leads to being confused. I wish Show had done a lot of things, but choosing one tone and one path would have done a lot to buoy all the crazy.
Mostly I wish for better things for the three leading actors, because I really love them all, despite nobody getting the chance to do anything here. It hurts me to think of what this drama could have been, if they had been written as characters, and not as caricatures.
Even though I’d long given up on Mary being a good drama, the finale was even more disappointing than I was bracing myself for, because while it was a mess of non-logic, it wasn’t even the FUN kind of crazy. And for all but the last ten minutes, it was strangely morose and lethargic. The characters were sad and resigned, like they’d given upon themselves just as the drama had given up on them.
I have the same gripes about the lame wedding fake-out as girlfriday — and since the drama wasn’t very clever about the misdirect and probably tipped a lot of us off right away about being a fakeout anyway, it didn’t even have that surprise-twist factor to justify such a cheap shot. For one brief moment, I was ready to grudgingly accept the wedding scene because I thought they were going for the bookend effect, using it to parallel the drama’s opening sequence — Mary’s Tim Burton nightmare about being married off to the wrong groom — and then they DIDN’T EVEN DO IT.
Now, as for the last ten minutes — they reminded me about all that I’d previously enjoyed about this drama, which is a bittersweet thing since it came so late and was so fleeting. I’d actually forgotten the sweetness of these people, because their recent moping/sulking/brattiness has been so unpleasant to witness, on top of being jarringly out of character. But seeing the dryly funny moments between the two boys? Hilarious. Now this is the kind of stuff I was hoping for when we first heard the words “two contract marriages” — wacky hijinks between the three that gives rise to hilarious scenarios. Gah, it kills me that the writers didn’t think to bring Jung-in into the studio household earlier, which by the way would’ve contributed a better side conflict as well if they paired it with Jung-in losing funding and needing to save the drama while crashing with his wife and her boyfriend. I mean — how great would that have been? Remember all the awesome bedtime jostling scenes of Sungkyunkwan Scandal? To think we could have had that here. Arghhhhalskdjf;ajdf;akjds;fs. Bitter sad bitter.
More than anything, I feel sorry for these actors, because they’re not just good-looking fresh faces capable of cute-ing it up — they’re also some of the bright shining talents of their generation, and were utterly wasted. I’ve learned long ago that a drama with a great cast isn’t enough — that directing and writing are even more crucial — but somehow, I always fall for it every time, getting excited and then facing that crushing disappointment as you watch the cast gamely doing their best despite the sinking ship. Kudos to them, and hopefully we’ll see them soon, in something much more worthy of them.
- Mary Stayed Out All Night: Episode 15
- 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