Oh, Cute. You sure do go a long way with these two. I wish your sister Conflict could visit with as much regularity. And we won’t even talk about your third cousin Logic. There’s just no sense in crying over him. Then in the meantime, could we… maybe… get those handcuffs back?
EPISODE 9 RECAP
We open on the alley of smooches, as Mary and Mu-gyul pull away post-kiss. A tear falls as Mary looks up at him. Just then, her phone rings. It’s Jung-in, and he’s waiting for her outside of Mu-gyul’s place. Well that’s what happens when you promise to marry one guy and then kiss another. Things get sticky.
Seo-jun can’t believe that Jung-in is going to be engaged to Mary of all people, and didn’t tell her. Oh, because his marriage is somehow all about YOU, isn’t it?
Mary and Mu-gyul show up not only handcuffed, but holding hands. Aw. They look at each other and brace themselves for the onslaught. Seo-jun: “Are those…handcuffs?” She can’t take this double whammy from both men all at once, and leaves.
As soon as she’s gone, Cop Rock arrives with the handcuff key. Jung-in takes it and frees Mary, taking her away for their engagement. She stops him, saying that she can’t go, and he drags her away anyway. Mu-gyul intervenes, shouting that she said she wasn’t going.
Uh…awkward conversation instead? Okay, then. Inside, Mary tells Jung-in that she needs to follow her heart. She falters at Jung-in’s disappointment, but Mu-gyul puts his hand on hers silently, in a show of solidarity.
Jung-in sighs and agrees to call off the engagement, but asks what they plan to do from here on out. Mu-gyul says that it’s their problem now, but Jung-in reminds him that it’s all three of them still in this, since legally, HE’s her husband. Oh, right. Eep!
Jung-in reminds Mary that she’s the one who said that loyalty was most important, and tells her that it’s the time for her to be loyal to him and their deal, concerning their fathers. He asks her to keep the contract, giving their fathers and his business time to stabilize.
With that, he walks out, and only outside does he let the disappointment show on his face. Perhaps if you tried more romantic words than “business deal” and “contract” regarding your relationship, you might have a flying chance in hell. Just a thought.
He shows up to the engagement dinner alone, and tells the fathers that Mary was too distraught after visiting her mother’s grave today, so he was the one who called off the engagement. Aw, points for deflecting.
Mary’s dad jumps to the conclusion that there’s something about Mary (keh) that Jung-in doesn’t like, and announces that he’ll fix her right away. Guh. And Worst Dad of the Year goes to…!
Jung-in insists it was his idea, and his own father’s health starts to weaken at the shock. Jung-in hangs his head as he watches his father leave, disappointed in him yet again.
At home, Mary tells her dad that she can’t go through with a loveless marriage. He pinpoints right away that this is about Mu-gyul, and he can’t understand why she’d fall for such a bad seed. Mary: “He’s not like that!” Dad: “What, do guys like that wear a sign on their foreheads? How do you know?” Pffft. Now I’m getting all sorts of ideas. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if people walked around with their most dominant personality trait stamped on their foreheads? Dating would be SO much easier.
Dad cries that his biggest regret in life was watching Mary’s mother go, without having been able to provide her with anything. His one wish is to have his daughter not repeat her mistake. And yet, she married YOU for love, didn’t she? So you’re the Mu-gyul to Mary’s mom, and still you have not an ounce of understanding for Mary in this situation? Gah, parents. Do as I say, not as I do.
He grounds her and takes away her phone. Uh, aren’t you like, 24 or something?
Jung-in has the doctor check on his father, who tells him to just fold now instead of dragging out a losing battle. Jung-in tells him that he may have started this for his father, but he’s going to see the contract through for himself—he wants Mary to be his wife now.
Mu-gyul sits at home, folding paper airplanes and sending them flying all over the room, as his mom prances around trying on different outfits to take to Paris. She’s all aflutter for the big move, while he sulks that she seems to be so pleased to leave. She notes that he used to fold paper airplanes when he was little and missed her. Well then can’t you take a hint that he doesn’t want you to go? Also, adorable that he’s doing it now as a sign of missing Mary.
He flashes back, and we see little Mu-gyul flying paper airplanes at his mom’s window, where she’s shacking up with her boyfriend-du-jour. She sends him home with a wave from her window, and little Mu-gyul walks home alone. “My Precious” plays, and now we see that the song was probably written about his mom, not a girl. Aw, Kang Mu-gyul, you’re kinda breakin’ my heart.
Mary angsts over the two men in her life, when she hears something at her window. She opens it to find Mu-gyul flying paper airplanes from below, in an explosion of cuteness. She sneak out past Dad, who’s camped out in front of the door like a sleeping guard dog.
She takes Mu-gyul to look at the moon over the Han River, and yells out, “I’m ruined!” Yeah, we all felt that way the day Jang Geun-seok fell onto our radars. Whadduya gonna do?
She tells him that they hurt so many people with their relationship’s beginning, and wants to do well from here on out. Mu-gyul promises to be good this time. Mary says she wants to see the ocean, so they decide to go right then, on a whim. Love it. They set off to see the sunrise.
Jung-in arrives early the next morning to see Mary, but he and her dad discover that she’s gone.
The sun’s already up, but Mary and Mu-gyul are still driving, wondering if maybe they left too late to catch the sunrise. They wonder why they didn’t see the sun come up, only to realize that they’re heading to the Western coast because it’s the closest, without realizing that duh…you can’t see the sunrise from there. Heh.
They decide to turn back, only the car decides to conveniently die, so they wait while a mechanic fixes it. Mary calls her friend to have her explain to Dad (why can’t you call him yourself?) and gets a call from Jung-in. He asks to speak to them both, but Mu-gyul takes the phone and tells him to stop calling, and hangs up.
He asks Mary how long she plans on living under her father’s thumb, since clearly, he’s never going to approve of their relationship. She can’t believe he just thinks it’s that easy, and they fight over their respective parents’ meddling.
Seo-jun calls Jung-in and asks to see him, and he takes her to his version of an arboretum—the bookstore. He sees her eyeing a copy of Walden, which Mary had done just the other day when he gave her that library. He asks if it’s a book she likes, and she says that she came to like it because of Mu-gyul. Well, it’s pretty spot-on that of all things, Mu-gyul would spread his love of individualism to each girl he dates. But I don’t think you’re as happy being self-reliant as you’d like to believe.
Mary and Mu-gyul sleep while the car gets fixed, and wake up apologizing for their fight. Mu-gyul offers to go see her dad to convince him, making Mary beam. They decide to take a day trip somewhere, since they’re facing some separation time once they return.
Meanwhile, Dad hears from Mary’s friends that she and Mu-gyul went to the ocean to watch the sunrise, so he takes the girls with him in search of Mary. Only they head to the East coast, of course, since that’s where they should be, logically.
Mary and Mu-gyul arrive at a campsite in the woods, and lie down in the cabin, dead tired from the long night. They get cozy and Mu-gyul moves in for some smoochies, only Mary finds the situation a little TOO cozy for comfort. She pulls away and awkwardly suggests they go outside, while Mu-gyul just snuggles up closer and wants to stay in. Rawr.
To his dismay, she drags him out.
Jung-in takes Seo-jun to the market next, basically retracing his steps from his last date with Mary. Despite both being upset over Mu-gyul and Mary, they do have a spark with each other.
Mary and Mu-gyul go bike riding and build a campfire, noting the happy nuclear family camping one cabin over. Mary asks if Mu-gyul has ever wanted to build a family like that, and he says that he’s never really considered it as a realistic possibility. He grew up essentially without either parent, so he didn’t ever think he could be a good father or husband.
Mary muses that that must be the reason why he’s such a serial dater. He admits that it’s freeing to only date casually—he can come and go as he pleases. She notes that it’s really only one-sided then, since he basically only dates girls when it suits him.
He adds that girls all tend to be the same though—they start out all “you’re so cool,” and then end up nagging him to death. Kyah, the eternal male-female struggle. Mary assures him that she won’t be a nag, and he beams, saying that a musician’s ideal woman is someone who doesn’t nag.
She asks him to teach her how to play the guitar, since she’s a rocker’s girlfriend now. Gah, could they be any cuter?
Back in the city, Seo-jun plays guitar for Jung-in, as she tells him that her family wanted her to marry someone like him, but she refused because she wanted to live her life for herself. She thought that Mu-gyul felt the same way, that marriage was just an institution meant to shackle love. But she realizes now that it was just an idealistic fantasy.
Mary and Mu-gyul sit by the campfire and watch as an old couple walks by, both envious of such long-lasting love.
Mu-gyul: How many moons do you think it takes to live half a lifetime together?
Mary: It’s probably not possible with just love.
Mary: Yeah…with loyalty, it might be possible. It’d be nice if we could last a long time with loyalty.
Mu-gyul: With you, somehow I can paint that picture in my mind…
They lie down for a quick nap with plans to watch the sunset this time (heh), and Mu-gyul falls asleep watching over Mary. But when he wakes up, he’s in for a rude awakening as Dad looms over him and announces Mary’s permanent exit from his life.
Mu-gyul and Mary end up on their knees in front of Dad back at home, and ask for his permission. He doesn’t budge, of course, and keeps Mary from leaving with him. Mu-gyul does find out that Dad married Mary’s mom in opposition to her parents, and announces that he’ll be back.
Jung-in comes by to ask Mary to go somewhere with him. She doesn’t want to, but then he tells her that his father isn’t well. Oh, that old ploy?
Mary’s dad doesn’t realize that she’s gone off with Jung-in, and heads over to Mu-gyul’s place to find her. He runs into his mother instead, and the two have another yell-a-thon at each other, that strangely devolves into a mutual sympathy session at their difficulty single-parenting.
Mu-gyul hears his mom crying and goes outside to get her to stop (’cause it’s embarrassing) and Mary’s dad softens a little bit in light of his mom. He finds out that Mary isn’t there and leaves.
She arrives to meet Jung-in’s father, and Jung-in asks her if she’s given any thought to their contract. She doesn’t reply, and he takes her silence to mean that she won’t go through with it. He asks her for one favor: to keep up appearances for his father’s sake, since his condition is aggravated by stress. She doesn’t want to lie anymore, but Jung-in reminds her that she’s the one his dad adores, and asks her again. Sad that he feels like he can’t be a source of joy for his own father.
She does as he asks, and smiles for Jung-in’s father, though with a heavy heart.
Mu-gyul has a drink with his bandmates, as they discuss the trials and tribulations of mixing rock and love. Haha. They don’t come up with any answers of course, since Mu-gyul’s life isn’t exactly one that screams “I am stable husband and son-in-law material.”
Interestingly, I find that this is one of the first times that the drama is being realistic about its world—that a young man who has worked his whole life to keep from having attachments and responsibilities is now scared in the wake of signing up for the whole horse-and-cart, so to speak. If this is going to be the main conflict from here on out, I MUCH prefer this to the earlier wedding-vs-wedding shenanigans.
He texts Mom with an “I miss you,” and asks her how the Paris-prep is going. He wonders why she doesn’t marry. She laughs at the thought, and says that she doesn’t want to be tied down, and she doesn’t have the confidence to make it work, but she IS going to give Paris a try. She adds that it might be her age talking, but that she does get really lonely, especially when she thinks of what she’ll be like when she’s an old grandma. Mu-gyul reminds her that he’s always here. She smiles at that and then wonders, “But what about you?” He sighs, lost in thought.
Mary comes home and Dad goes another round with her, refusing to budge on Mu-gyul. She begs for him to understand—this is the first guy she’s ever loved, so can’t he cut her some slack? Dad says that he’ll never approve of Mu-gyul: “You have to receive love in order to give love. He’s surrounded by darkness.” Whoa. That sounds eerily close to words out of my own father’s mouth. Why are all dads the same?
Mary insists that Mu-gyul is adorable and full of love. Aw.
Dad says that first love isn’t meant to be. Mary reminds him that he and Mom were first loves, and he says that’s why she was unhappy—because first love blinded her from reality. He insists he wants Mary to be happy, but it’s clear that he’s more interested in making sure she doesn’t repeat her mother’s “mistake” than in her opinion on her own happiness.
Mary tells him that being with Mu-gyul is the happiest she’s ever been. She’s lived so long with so much on her shoulders; she begs him for the chance to dream and be happy.
Jung-in tells Seo-jun that he plans to keep Mu-gyul on as the music producer (or get him back, I suppose) and asks if he’s okay with it. She says that she’s fine and that she’s just going to focus on work for the foreseeable future.
Jung-in goes to meet Mu-gyul, to discuss work but also Mary, and the two have another face-off. I’m pretty! No, I’m prettier! Oh, is that not what they’re fighting over?
Jung-in reminds Mu-gyul that he’s Mary’s legal husband, so if anyone’s going to end this love triangle, it’s him. Well, you’re the one who insists on staying in the game, so I suppose it’s your own grave you’re digging. He asks if Mu-gyul is ready to marry, since he is. Are you proposing? Oh, you mean to Mary. Got confused. Mu-gyul scoffs at Jung-in’s “marriage preparation,” which amounts to money, and nothing else. But it does give him pause.
He heads home lost in thought, and finds Seo-jun waiting for him outside his place. She returns the necklace he made for her, which he tells her to throw away. Her armor begins to crack at that, and she tosses it on the ground.
She tells him that she’s done pretending to be friends. He tells her to stop coming by unannounced then, and she agrees, declaring that she’ll leave with one last goodbye…
…and she kisses him. Mu-gyul doesn’t kiss back, but he doesn’t pull away either.
Mary rounds the corner with groceries for dinner in hand, and comes upon the exes in liplock, and stands there, frozen.
Gah, I’m so not in the mood for a second lead like Seo-jun right now. She’s all about the idealism and the love-is-free-from-shackles (made funnier by the use of handcuffs to bring our couple together, heh), but then in practice she’s just as bound by love as anyone, if not worse, since she refuses to face the giant pink elephant in the room: he’s just not that into you.
Now that we’re getting to the heart of the realistic conflict that Mary and Mu-gyul face as a couple, I really wish this drama could go back in time and skip the double-contract-marriage plot, and just go straight for the Hongdae indie rock-n-roll vs. the Making of a Cheongdam-dong Daughter-in-Law. So much more interesting, especially since the contract wasn’t really used to its full potential.
At least that seems to be where we’re headed from here on out: the battle of First Love vs. Arranged Marriage. One guess as to who wins.