I know, an episode involving handcuffs and the kinkiest moment we get is a hair shampooing scene! One guess whose.
To be honest, I’ve been bored out of my MIND with Mary for the past few weeks. Normally I’d just drop a drama when it got that painfully dull, but I stuck with it this time, and this is the first episode that has started to upturn for me. I started to care about the characters again, which has been hard in recent episodes because people been acting so nonsensically and selfishly. But now that the fake-marriage jig is up, it’s forcing them to be more honest with each other and themselves. Not a moment too soon.
SONG OF THE DAY
Standing Egg – “넌 이별 난 아직” [ Download ]
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Mary admits that she and Mu-gyul aren’t married to the conveniently gathered group, who react in varying degrees of surprise. Seo-jun is the first to leave, stalking off peevishly as though this fake marriage is all about her. Really, she has the least right to be upset of any of these people, doesn’t she?
Jung-in’s father faces his son and gives him a good slap, although again, I’m not sure he has any right to be upset since Jung-in was just as surprised by the lie as he was. Oh, right. This is Mary. Logic does not dictate plot.
As the others leave, Jung-in stands out in the cold, alone.
So now it’s Day 51 of the contract, although both dads figure that there’s no need to go through with the formality of the 100 days anymore. They can hurry the kids along into an engagement next week.
The president has prepared a regimen he creepily calls “Making of a Cheongdam-dong Daughter-in-Law.” Can’t you and your yakuza money afford one of those robots instead? Creepier still is that Dad’s reaction isn’t “Get the fuck away from my daughter” and instead “Wow, thank you!” as he reads off categories like “culture,” “foreign language,” “etiquette,” and the like. Dad promises to turn Mary into the best bride ever, as though there’s some bride pageant out there by which to measure her worth. (By the way? Bride pageant = possibly the worst idea in the history of the world, yet also HILARIOUS. Me-ow. Coming soon to Fox.)
While cleaning, Mu-gyul finds the crumpled copy of Mary’s “Love’s Car Accident” story, which he throws out. He throws out her blue mittens, too, and quits as musical producer. Looks like Seo-jun was right about reluctant lover boy cutting and running as a defensive maneuver.
Despite Jung-in’s disappointment over losing Mu-gyul from the drama, he defends him to a snotty Manager Bang, who calls him irresponsible. But they have even bigger worries at hand, because a new scandal has popped up online regarding Seo-jun and her co-star. Now Seo-jun’s already sizable anti-fan numbers are growing because she’s supposedly dating oppa, and they’re starting to dig into her background, family, everything, as though she’s Tablo. If Tablo had murdered puppies and sold children into slavery instead of attending a prestigious university, that is.
The matter is too big for Jung-in’s own PR team to block, and since Seo-jun is unaffiliated with a management company, she has nobody to mitigate negative press for her. Hear that, Jung-in? That’s your Very Obvious Cue to swoop in and be her white knight!
Manager Bang offers to help with Seo-jun’s damage control, which seems about as helpful as accepting an antidote from a viper. Jung-in declines, instead seeking Seo-jun out in person.
He finds her working out at the gym, acting as though she’s impervious to the random gossips who snicker in her direction. She tells Jung-in she’s fine, and tells him that his idea of taking legal action won’t help matters.
While waiting for her engagement dress appointment, Mary tries to write a series of text messages apologizing to Mu-gyul for ruining things for him. However, her courage falters, and she can’t quite bring herself to tell him she’s getting engaged tomorrow.
When Jung-in arrives for his own tux fitting, the air is strained and quiet, and they both stand there awkwardly. Jung-in still seems upset over the lie, and Mary’s not sure how to act around him.
That evening, both families dine together, with dads smiling in satisfaction and the kids silent and uncomfortable. Jung-in finally speaks up when Mary announces her intent to visit her mother’s memorial tomorrow before the ceremony, offering to accompany her.
That night, Jung-in sleeps fitfully and wakes from a nightmare sweating and rattled. By his bedside, he sees the socks Mary had bought him; she’d told him that wearing them during the night would keep the nightmares away. He smiles to remember her telling him that the past can no longer hurt him and puts the socks on. Then lays down to sleep IN HIS SUIT.
Engagement day, also Mary’s birthday. Jung-in takes her to an arboretum in the morning, taking her hand as he leads her along, easing their tension somewhat.
Mary apologizes for the lie, saying that she was reacting to being forced into a marriage she didn’t want. He understands, having felt the same, and admits he’d felt angry. But not with her, as she assumes, but with himself.
Giving her the photo of the two of them as children, Jung-in tells her that he had a good dream last night. It’s really more of a memory, of the day the photo was taken.
It had been after Mary’s mother had just died, but she’d been too young to understand what that meant. Jung-in had been crying on the phone to his mother, begging to be sent back to Korea. So when Mary burst on him happily (“Oppa!”), he’d told her harshly that her mother was dead and gone forever.
Young Mary had burst into tears, and to make up for it, he’d carried her on piggyback. He’d tripped on the stairs, sending them both falling and causing the scar on her head. After that, he made the promise to protect her forever.
Jung-in apologizes again for Mary’s head injury, but she reminds him smilingly that the past can’t hurt her.
Upon returning home, Jung-in surprises her with a room full of her favorite books, his engagement present to her. You do know the way to a bookworm’s heart. Mary is touched, but this also reminds her of another incident, one involving Mu-gyul, and she gets lost in thought for a moment.
Jung-in gets an emergency call that Seo-jun is dropping out of the drama, so he promises to come back soon in time to visit her mother before their engagement ceremony. Before he leaves, he turns back to kiss her forehead scar and wishes her a happy birthday.
Upon checking her text messages, Mary discovers one that came from Mu-gyul, which reads simply, “Let’s meet.” She finds him at his usual spot in the park, playing before a small crowd, and laughs as Mu-gyul is attacked by a trio of ardent fans/students.
Conversation is stilted as they try to act pleasant and normal. He says things are back to normal — peaceful, just as he likes it. Mary says the same goes for her.
The bandmates show up, deciding that it’s about time to change Mu-gyul’s style concept, which makes them my new best friends. I might have more faith in their abilities if they weren’t dressed up like Fabulous Stripper Cops at the Boy-on-Boy Disco… but one produces handcuffs and slap them on Mu-gyul’s wrist, and this takes my imagination to fun places, so…
Mu-gyul has called Mary to pay her back for the deposit, which he’s earned by teaching music at a sunbae’s academy. Hilariously, Mu-gyul’s bandmate takes the handcuff and attaches the open end to Mary, locking them together. The boys agree that they need time to work things out, and drive off, promising to meet Mu-gyul later for their audition.
That leaves Mary and Mu-gyul stewing, stuck together for the time being. He suggests they wait it out till the 5 o’clock audition, but Mary can’t afford the time — not when she’s getting engaged later.
With some time to kill and Mu-gyul complaining of needing a shampoo, Mary is roped into helping him wash his hair. It’s either that or smell his dirty hair. You could say her hands are tied. Snerk.
Jung-in arrives at Seo-jun’s apartment to discuss her dropping the drama. She treats him coldly, acting like this is just a product of her fickleness. She changed her mind and doesn’t want to do the drama anymore.
Jung-in admits that she’s not in violation of her contract, but tries to appeal to her anyway. Her patience wearing thin, she bursts out that she’s not at all bothered by the rumors, though clearly her heated response proves just the opposite.
He hangs around for a while, growing concerned when she remains in the bathroom with the water running. Cautiously opening the door — which, dude!, could end really embarrassingly, just sayin’ — he finds her sobbing in the shower.
A short while later, a subdued Seo-jun asks what she did that was so wrong. Jung-in assures her that she did nothing — it’s just that people will believe what they want to.
He surprises her by guessing that her reason for remaining quiet on the scandal is to protect her family. You get the sense nobody knew that about her.
Mary’s more relieved than disappointed when Jung-in calls her to say he won’t be able to take her to her mother’s memorial after all, because she’d be hard-pressed to explain the whole handcuffed-to-my-former-fake-husband thing.
She goes with Mu-gyul instead, though she asks him to keep his headphones on so she can have a private moment with her mother. He complies, and Mary tells her mother she’s getting engaged today. She’d wanted to fall in love like her mother had — running away to marry in spite of parental opposition — but alas, that didn’t work out. And while she doesn’t love her fiance, he’s a good man and she intends to give it a good try.
But she starts to break down into tears as she says, “But on a day like this, I wish I had someone I love and you by my side.”
Mu-gyul’s song fades out and he looks over at Mary crying beside him. Pretending his music is still playing, he drapes his jacket over her but assures her that he can’t hear.
On the bus ride home, Mary reminisces of childhood, when she’d wished most for her mother on rainy days. Other kids were picked up from school by mothers carrying umbrellas, but Mary’s dad worked and told her to wait in the classroom, since he hated seeing her wet from the rain.
Mu-gyul’s mother was always off working, too, so he never had her around to carry umbrellas for him either. Mary listens with sympathy, though he maintains a dispassionate tone as he explains that he’s hardly ever lived with her — only for brief spells before getting kicked out of one place or another.
He does have one funny memory of him with Mom, though — she used to take him into the women’s public baths when he was young. Mary has that in common with him, since her dad would take her into the men’s side. They laugh about how embarrassing that was — and in fact, people thought he was a girl till he was 8. And I say: Only 8? It’s not like your current look is helping, since you look more like Mary’s boho unni, not her would-be husband-boyfriend.
At home, it’s Mary’s turn to wear the headphones as Mu-gyul hears from his mother that she’s off to Paris. She’s tired of her on-again, off-again relationship, and figures that going to a different country with the boyfriend will help the relationship. (Or strand you in hell together?)
Mom adds that it’ll better for Mu-gyul if she leaves, since she’s caused him so much trouble, but that triggers his temper and he yells a retort before calming himself and sitting sullenly.
His mother turns to Mary, asking her to take care of Mu-gyul, but he cuts her off and storms out angrily, dragging Mary along with him.
Hurt and upset at the desertion, Mu-gyul takes it out on his bandmate’s voicemail, demanding that they come to unlock the cuffs. To his surprise, when he turns around, Mary holds up a bunch of lettuce — like he’d done for her once — and urges him to cheer up. It’s so unexpected that he’s momentarily shocked out of his temper.
Jung-in plays guitar for Seo-jun for a while, and she responds to his comment about protecting her family — they’re all doctors, lawyers, and government officials, and the only way for her to satisfy their expectations was to marry. So when she went into acting, she cut ties with them.
Jung-in has to stop playing when his hand cramps up, and Seo-jun half-jokingly asks if his scars are self-inflicted. To her shock, he admits, “Yes.”
He explains that back when he was studying abroad, his guitar was his only friend. But his father told him to stop, because music makes people weak, playing on emotions and sentiment. He dutifully quit, but it was painful to look on a guitar he couldn’t play, so he ended up hurting himself.
The story drives his point across when Jung-in tells Seo-jun that she’s admirable for choosing her own way despite her parents’ opposition, because he couldn’t.
Audition time comes, but Mary is still cuffed to Mu-gyul as the band preps to perform for a prospective manager. The problem is, the bandmate can’t find the handcuff key, so the band hurriedly presents Mary as part of their “backup dancer concept,” and Mu-gyul instructs her to play along.
Mary is a poor dancer and she huddles behind Mu-gyul for the first verse, but finally he shoves her out into view and she forces herself to go along. As warned, she’s pretty awful — she looks like an uncoordinated hippie sprite
flower lettuce child trippin’ out to Fleetwood Mac — but she’s also adorable, and it makes everyone laugh, including the manager.
Jung-in drives himself and Seo-jun to Hongdae, where he’ll drop her off and pick up his fiancee. Seo-jun hadn’t realized today was a big day for him and apologizes for holding him up, but he assures her that it’s fine, because she was important too. A nice answer to a potential future love interest, no?
Seo-jun says a bit wistfully that she’s curious and envious of his fiancee, and he answers that he’ll introduce her after the ceremony. More like before, if meddling Fate gets its way.
While the friends search for the missing key, Mu-gyul fiddles with a screwdriver. Finally, he gives up in frustration, and they bicker as she worries about the engagement party; it’s almost as though he’s goading her to call him that hated phrase, “unlucky bastard.”
Instead, Mary tells him not to talk about himself that way, because in fact he’s the opposite — a lucky guy, since he’s blessed with good looks and musical talent.
Aw, that’s totally sweet, and just the right thing to say. Mollified, Mu-gyul asks, oh-so-casually, if she’s ever liked him. You know, not that he cares — it’s just that they’ve already ended things and she’s about to get engaged and he’s curious… He admits, “There was a time I had feelings for you, in the middle somewhere.”
She reminds him that he doesn’t see her as a woman, so he says that it was more that he saw her as… and then trails off.
He gives her the context: It was back when she went to Jung-in’s father’s mansion, when he was left eating ice cream alone. That’s when he felt something, when he waited for her.
Mary stares at him, stunned, while Mu-gyul gets the call that the key has been found. As they head over to get uncuffed, Mu-gyul gets a glimpse of Mary’s disturbed expression and asks why she’s about to cry. Does she even love Jung-in?
Mary says she doesn’t know — she’s not even sure what love is yet. Now the conversation turns prickly and he’s picking at her wound, so she retorts that he doesn’t know what love is, either — how could he, with his constant string of short-term girlfriends? When she calls out his fear of attachment, he bristles at Mary talking like she knows him so well.
She fires back that he’d better fix that, or he’ll never be able to love. That sets him off, and he yells, “Who are you to act so high and mighty when you’re marrying a man you don’t even love?”
Which is when the trio of student-fans spot Mu-gyul and bound over excitedly… until they see that he’s cuffed to a girl. Suddenly they get mean and aggressive, asking who Mary is — and you know what they say about a fangirl scorned…
Mu-gyul tries to calm them down, but he can see the trouble brewing, and yells at Mary to run.
Arriving at their destination, Seo-jun asks to borrow Jung-in’s cell phone to make a call, but Mu-gyul, who’s currently being chased by angry fangirls, understandably can’t pick up. Ending the call, Seo-jun notices that all of Jung-in’s latest phone calls have been to Mary. What could this mean? (Other than she’s nosy and about to fly into yet more righteous anger to which she has no claim.)
And then, instead of returning Jung-in’s phone, she CALLS MARY. Talk about interfering, missy. She gapes in shock at the photo that accompanies her name — their engagement picture.
Mary and Mu-gyul run through the streets until they find an alley, and duck into it. They laugh as they catch their breaths, but when the girls run by, Mu-gyul grabs Mary close to shield her from view. As he looks down on her, the moment turns more intimate.
But when he leans in for a kiss, Mary turns her head away at the last minute and calls him a player for trying to kiss her when it means nothing to him. Now it’s her turn to come clean: “That time, it felt like my heart would burst.”
Mu-gyul realizes what she’s confessing — so she DID feel something for him — but Mary reminds him that he doesn’t see her as a woman. He reminds her that she didn’t see him as a man, either.
Mary: “You told me not to like you.”
Mu-gyul: “You told me you didn’t like me.”
Thankfully for us, things change.
What turned this episode around for me is probably when Mu-gyul admits he liked Mary, even though he makes sure to couch it in qualifiers and say it was in the past, in a self-protective measure. Jealousy is fun and all, but I can only take so many angry punches before needing something more, and no amount of faux-bromancey moments can make up for that.
So it’s a welcome relief that both Mary and Mu-gyul are finally fessing up and being straight. It’s more of a game-changer than even the revelation of the fake marriage, because now the question is: Whatchoo gonna do about it?
This episode also goes a long way to showing Mary’s effect on both men, which we’ve seen in the last few as well. We already know that she’s a positive influence on both men, and brings warmth to both of them, both emotionally and physically. (Btw, what do you suppose it means that she gives one mittens and the other socks? Or is it just a case of choosing two extremities?)
But nowhere is her impact more clear than when she tells Mu-gyul that he’s not an unlucky bastard, and furthermore, he’s quite a lucky one after all. It’s sort of like the difference between hearing “you’re fucking ugly” your whole life and then suddenly having someone tell you, “you’re fucking beautiful.” They’re just words, but somehow they have the power to tilt your axis, shift your worldview just a little, jar you out of your funk and make you see a slightly different angle. She said a similar thing to his mother previously, telling her to think more positively about her life because good energy brings good luck, just as bad energy brings bad luck.