Nice Guy: Episode 6
Feelings become more sincere, at least on one end, which leaves Maru wrestling with his better self and losing while he’s at it. Our star-crossed twisted human beings finally get to hash things out, leaving one thing clear – no one’s going to let go of their grudges any time soon. And if that means leaving a trail of hurt feelings in their wake, then so be it. Surprise surprise, Maru’s not such a nice guy after all.
Ratings are still going up, up, and away, with Episode 6 clocking in at 16.0%. Nice.
SONG OF THE DAY
Aqualung – “Extraordinary Thing” [ Download ]
EPISODE 6 RECAP
During a flashback of Maru and Jae-hee’s first meeting, we hear Maru say in voiceover: “To be exact, my dream came true on that day. The one who made my heart flutter at the sound of her name, Jae-hee, was in front of me, smiling at me.”
Flash forward to their college years, and then to Maru writing all of this in a letter. In it, he’d written to Jae-hee how much he would cherish and love her.
And over that same line, we pick back up with Maru and Eun-ki’s kiss… Only Maru opens his eyes to give that soulless look of his, which means this kiss was all a calculated plan on his part. Shame on you, Maru.
“I will never let you feel lonely,” Maru’s love letter to Jae-hee continues. “I won’t ever leave you alone. No matter what, just like now, I will never let go of your hand.” As he says that, we see him and Eun-ki watching the parade as he interlaces his fingers with hers.
“I will always be standing close enough for Noona to reach out to me.”
Somehow, Eun-ki loses Maru in the crowd and runs through the street, terrified at all the foreign sights and sounds assaulting her. Maru stands nearby, watching.
“I promise, my start is Jae-hee Noona. And my end will also be Noona. I promise that.”
She finally spots him across the way, and couldn’t look more relieved. He holds up two drinks innocently, like he’d just meant to be gone for a moment, but Eun-ki just throws her arms around him like he’s the only piece of driftwood keeping her from drowning.
“I wish for Jae-hee Noona to have the same feelings.”
Maru hugs her back with dead eyes staring forward, mentally checked out again. That stare gets scarier every time I see it.
Eun-ki is literally glowing on her ride home from the airport, and can’t help telling Secretary Hyun why there’s such a skip in her step: “It’s because I’m in love. This thing called love, can it make humans helpless and absurd? What was I doing all this time?” My ‘Feel Bad for Eun-ki-O-Meter’ has now been turned up to a ten.
Secretary Hyun keeps her lips sealed, especially since she remembers how much Chairman Seo hated Maru. Eun-ki doesn’t care, and fills the silence with talk of getting a new wardrobe (with more feminine stuff, like dresses and clothes) and learning how to put on makeup. Hah.
She makes Secretary Hyun promise to keep this a secret from Dad, and weirdly enough Secretary Hyun offers her some calming pills for the trials ahead, which Eun-ki rejects on the basis of her being her fly self.
Eun-ki isn’t surprised when she sees Joon-ha standing by a pile of all her packed things. Jae-hee wheels Chairman Seo out so he can give Eun-ki a good talking to, and meekly excuses herself to bathe her son.
Dad is kicking Eun-ki to the curb, and tells Joon-ha to confiscate all her credit cards and keys, and to make sure that no employee gives her even a cent in aid.
Eun-ki’s prepared for all this, but adds: “Perhaps, just maybe, ‘You did well. At least our Eun-ki protected the resort. The resort we were about to sell to con men. The last thing my wife left behind, that resort. My daughter protected it.’ Can you not, just once, know how to praise me like that?”
The answer to that is a big fat no, because of the money lost with the contract. He even claims that Jae-hee stopped him from filing a police report against her.
And while this is going on, Jae-hee and Eun-suk play happily.
Poor Joon-ha tries to mediate the situation as best he can, but it’s a no-go since Dad wants her to apologize and she isn’t apologizing for a thing. Eun-ki: “Saving Aomori Resort was the smartest and greatest thing I have done in my life. If this were to happen again, I would make the same choices.”
Dad orders her thrown out, and Eun-ki chooses to leave with only the clothes on her back. Once she’s gone, Dad grips his chest in pain.
After failed attempts to get Eun-ki’s attention by calling her “Director”, Joon-ha switches to the informal and adorable “Eun-ki-ya.” He tries to give her a credit card, not as an employee of Taesan but “as Park Joon-ha, the Oppa who has known you for a long time.” Aww.
Regardless, Eun-ki doesn’t want to cheat, and hands over her wallet after removing the cash. Joon-ha asks if she’s really going to leave like this, but Eun-ki recognizes that she doesn’t have a choice after causing such a big loss.
She asks him to take care of her father before heading off, all while Jae-hee smiles and praises her son for being the best.
Eun-ki hikes up to Maru’s house, but hesitates at his door. In the yard, Jae-gil is intent on dancing away his Yoo-ra related sorrows, leaving Choco to answer the door.
She recognizes Eun-ki from the time she picked her up with Maru, and tells her Maru’s work address when she asks.
As for Maru, he’s tending his bar while standing face to face with Jae-hee. She’s reserved the whole club so that her and Maru can be alone, and Maru doesn’t look too happy about it.
There’s a strange moment when Jae-hee asks him to stop playing around with Eun-ki, because she already makes Eun-ki’s life miserable and there’s no need for him to add more to her suffering. So… is she protecting her?
Maru serves her drink with reluctance and tells her to go home. Jae-hee: “When I said I will go back to you, I was being sincere. I also couldn’t forget someone like Kang Maru.”
This seems to get Maru’s attention, but they’re interrupted when Jae-gil sends Maru a warning text that Eun-ki is on her way, giving him time to get rid of any girls he’s with. It’s why Jae-gil chose to take Eun-ki via cab instead of just giving her Maru’s address, adhering to the Bros Before Hoes rule.
Maru gives Eun-ki a call, but leaves her on speakerphone so he can look Jae-hee dead in the eyes while he tells Eun-ki, “I thought I was going to die missing you.” This… is just wrong, on so many levels.
He even tells Eun-ki that he prepared a room at his house, knowing she’d get kicked out. “In my room, come live with me,” he tells her, all while taking pleasure in watching Jae-hee squirm.
But before she hangs up, Eun-ki nervously ekes out: “I love you.” When he doesn’t answer right away, she says it louder: “I love you!”
Jae-hee looks like someone just killed her family and ate her sandwich, while Maru just smiles darkly at Jae-hee as he replies, “Me too. I love you, Seo Eun-ki.”
Something does seem to be going on with Jae-hee protecting Eun-ki, since she tells Maru that Eun-ki sounds 100% sincere. “Using a pathetic girl who knows nothing, how are you going to be able to live with this later?”
To that, Maru asks if she’s sure he’s 100% false. “To an innocent, intelligent, beautiful, bright, and lovable girl on top of that… Does it seem like I’m 100% false?”
Personal opinion? Yeah, Maru. It kinda does.
Jae-gil acts like a Nervous Nancy the whole drive over, I guess not trusting Maru even though he just called Eun-ki.
To Maru’s credit, he is trying to kick Jae-hee out but she turns on him and asks, “‘Let’s just destroy ourselves together.’ Do you want to do that, Maru?”
And instead of giving him time to react, she grabs him in a kiss instead. That certainly gets his attention.
Jae-hee votes that they kiss when Eun-ki comes, that way she’ll learn everything about who’s using her and why in one fell swoop. Jae-hee: “Let’s destroy ourselves together, Kang Maru.”
Just when it seems like Maru is wiping Jae-hee’s cooties from his lips, he does a one-eighty an traps her against the column with a rough kiss, one that’s got her wanting out. He manages to snap a photo of their locked lips with his phone before pulling away, wiping his lips after.
He doesn’t think Jae-hee knows what “destruction” really is, and shows her the picture on his phone with a smirk: “Destruction is done like this, Han Jae-hee.”
Outside the bar, Eun-ki gets a text of a different set of locked lips – Jae-hee and Min-young’s illicit kiss. She dials Joon-ha.
Jae-hee thinks Maru’s lost it, but he asks her how a person with nothing to lose could win against someone with a lot to lose. That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
“Didn’t you say you would come for me? Didn’t you say you would drag me down? No matter how high you go, you can’t have me.” And just like that, Jae-hee changes up the power dynamics in her favor, with Maru hanging on her every word.
Even though the depths to which she’ll sink may be bottomless, Maru still plans to bring her down (or up, if we’re going with this metaphor). Now knowing that he has no plans to stop, Jae-hee announces that she doesn’t plan on stepping down, either.
Jae-hee: “What can we do but go all the way? Let’s go as far as we can.”
But Maru can’t hide his concern when he sees Jae-hee stumble in pain. Either this is all part of the show, or Jae-hee’s sick. (And not just in the head.)
Min-young comes to pick her up, and when asked about her health, Jae-hee simply replies that her hip gives her trouble once in a while. She speaks frankly with him about his greed, and tells him to just take advantage of her instead of liking her. It’ll be easier for him that way.
Jae-gil is surprised to find Maru alone in the bar, and guesses something fishy went on with Jae-hee. Either way, he tells Maru that Eun-ki had to leave urgently and that he wants Maru to be his friend and help him get over his breakup.
There’s only one coffee shop in all of Seoul, and that’s where Eun-ki storms in to demand answers from Joon-ha.
Turns out he sent the picture to her just as an incentive to take a deal made with her father on how to return to the company. With her dad’s health waning, if she wants to stop Jae-hee, she has to be reinstated. Eun-ki registers all this while trembling in rage.
Chairman Seo calls Min-young to set up Jae-hee’s phone as a tracking device, so he can know where she is at all times. He’s grappling with chest pain in a half-empty bed, yet Min-young still lies to him about Jae-hee’s current whereabouts.
And when he tries to get Jae-hee off the hook, Chairman Seo reminds him that he still doesn’t trust women. Jae-hee, enjoy your last day as a free woman.
While Jae-gil gets thoroughly wasted, Maru remembers how Jae-hee originally hurt her hip – her father had mercilessly beat her to take her money, but since Maru had given it to her, she protected it with her life.
He swigs half a bottle of soju at the memory, and ignores Eun-ki’s calls.
She’s already moving fast on her reinstatement deal, which depends on her ability to negotiate with the protesters who’d previously egged her. She has Joon-ha there as a notary, and gives the Protest Head a challenge.
If he can beat her in a drinking contest, she’ll listen to his requests. Likewise, if she wins, he has to listen to her. They’ve got one crate of soju bottles and the whole night. Game on.
Choco comes to the bar to find Jae-gil passed out on the floor and Maru sleeping in his chair. She feels responsible for the whole Yoo-ra thing, and tries to make it up to Jae-gil by interpreting his drunken gibberish to mean “Maru’s watch.”
She doesn’t think twice about taking Maru’s watch and giving it to him, ha. Then she literally drags him out of the bar, leaving Maru to take care of himself.
The drinking contest begins, with two bottles of soju per bowl. Even if Eun-ki is a drinking champion, there’s just no way she can escape alcohol poisoning on this one. I love that Joon-ha’s facial expression sends such a clear message: This is a terrible idea.
She excuses herself for a moment and a concerned Joon-ha follows, but she reveals it as a tactic to get the ajusshis to take pity on her because she’s cute.
I like that she wants to solve this union strike without resorting to methods her father would use, like hiring professionals to beat those on strike. She knows her dad has given her a nearly impossible task.
So she lets Joon-ha in on her new grand plan… to run away before the ajusshis notice. Haha. But, she’s gone by the time Joon-ha brings the car around.
Meanwhile, Maru wakes up to find Jae-gil and his watch gone. Eun-ki calls him as he makes his way home, looking like she’s found her way to his house. When he asks if she drank, she lies that she had one bottle of soju. Whatever helps you
sleep at night get your stomach pumped, Eun-ki.
She asks Maru what he’s done to her that has her thinking of him all day, every day. While she’s slurring, Maru follows the sound of her voice and finds her sitting near his house.
Haha. When he kneels in front of her, Eun-ki reels like she’s having this totally rad imagination party, dude. She even pokes him, saying, “It’s 3D!” Win.
Maru’s expression grows serious as he tells her: “It may be something you regret when you look back in time, but just think that you’re having a nightmare. You can wake up from nightmares. As time goes by, you wonder what you dreamt of, not being able to remember anything.” This sounds like a bad case of premature eguiltulation, especially if Maru is still planning on being awful to her in the future.
He takes her to his house to get some rest, and spends a long time just staring at her. He ends up talking to Joon-ha when he calls her phone, and reassures him that he’s caring for Eun-ki as her boyfriend.
Eun-ki wakes up the next morning to find Maru sleeping next to her, and smiles giddily. In contrast, we see Jae-hee wearing a sour expression as she lies next to the sleeping Chairman Seo.
While Joon-ha checks up on the kiss cam footage of Jae-hee and Min-young, he ends up seeing something he missed last time… footage of Maru bringing Eun-ki home. Uh ohhh.
He recognizes him from the picture he’s been using to investigate Jae-hee’s past, which is just bad news bears.
Eun-ki’s there to tell Maru good morning when he wakes up, and she asks about what she said or did the night before: “Did I say I’m crazily in love with you?” Affirmative.
She then asks him if he had a reaction, and he admits to it before trying to change the subject. Eun-ki won’t take her eyes off the prize, and keeps pestering him to tell her what he said, clearly wanting even just one loving word in return.
Meanwhile, Joon-ha is on Maru’s scent as he calls Secretary Hyun to confirm whether Eun-ki’s boyfriend is the Kang Maru.
Eun-ki asks Maru again, and he looks her square in the eyes and tells her that she’s unlucky because she got caught by the wrong man named Kang Maru.
Maru: “Do you want to run away while you can? Get up now, put on your shoes, and run away with all your might. You only have one chance.”
This definitely wasn’t what she was expecting to hear, but she’s so enamored that she thinks he’s joking. When he tells her that she hasn’t given him an answer yet, she asks if it isn’t too late… and kisses him. Omo.
Jae-hee gets treated to a photo shoot in her wedding gown, and I can’t really tell the difference between Min-young’s angry face or Min-young’s placid face.
She’s the perfect picture of a smiling bride, until she answers a phone call from her biological brother. We know he’s a terrible person, but he even sounds skeezy on the phone as he makes his little sister’s eyes go wide with terror.
Maru comes home (presumably from dropping Eun-ki off) to find Choco tending to Jae-gil’s broken face. Jae-hee’s brother, fresh out of prison (I wonder if he and Maru were pals in there?), beat him up to find out where Jae-hee was and stole Maru’s phone to get her number.
It’s worth noting that Jae-gil wanted to keep this a secret from Maru to save his friend from getting involved, only it doesn’t really work out with Choco around.
Meanwhile, Eun-ki meets with the protest ajusshis wearing the same clothes she had on yesterday, and without even a pen to sign the contract. She goes over their stipulations line by line, checking the ones she agrees with.
There’s one stipulation that requires her to pay for their children’s educations, and she agrees to sell everything she owns and take out loans to meet the demand. Joon-ha is not happy about this.
She even agrees to sacrifice her personal salary to reinstate fired workers, which has the Head Ajusshi asking if she’ll be okay.
“Even if I won’t be okay, at most, it’ll just be eliminating me from the family register and disinheriting me,” Eun-ki shrugs. Then she has the nerve to say they should finish early to go drinking. HA. I like her spunk.
Afterward, Joon-ha tries to get her attention while she waits for the bus, but Eun-ki’s too exhausted to think. He hands her an envelope and sends her on her way. That’s the Maru evidence, isn’t it.
A neighborhood ajumma stops her on the way to Maru’s house with an oddly-timed gift, a photo frame for Maru. But Secretary Jo’s presence in the background suggests that this is all part of a plan.
Eun-ki turns the frame over to see a picture of Maru and Jae-hee together at a graduation ceremony.
She looks shocked at the photo, and hides it when Maru pops out of his gate, all smiles for her. She doesn’t smile back.
I love how this show continues to play with our perceptions, since one episode ago I was half-heartedly rooting for Maru while wishing Jae-hee would just disappear, to now seeing Maru as an evil genius and Jae-hee as an almost, allllmost pitiable person.
Writer Lee Kyung-hee has a penchant for creating antiheroes that we can simultaneously scorn and love, an emotional roller coaster not unlike what our heroines end up going through. But as my pity and understanding for Eun-ki grows with each episode, so does my unease with Maru. I want to like him, and I was never really on the Jae-hee/Maru ship, but this episode was a first in that I finally thought that those two should end up together because they deserve each other.
Literally everyone is a victim in this drama, so now we have multiple tiers of victimhood and a sliding scale of douchebaggery. Jae-hee used Maru to get where she is, Maru is using Eun-ki to get where he wants to be, and Eun-ki doesn’t seem to be using anyone, surprisingly. Even Jae-hee could tell from listening to her on the phone that Eun-ki’s feelings for Maru were 100% sincere. Maru argued that he wasn’t being 100% Douche, and while there are shades of grey in that moniker, I think being 50% Douche, or even 25% Douche, is already too much douche for someone like Eun-ki to handle.
It’s almost worse that Maru is so self-aware, especially when he had enough guilt to tell Eun-ki that later on, she’ll look back on this whole thing like a nightmare and eventually forget about it. Why don’t drama characters understand that this never works? Especially with Maru saying these words, the very same Maru who’s embarking on a journey to the ends of the earth based on the memories of a woman he wants to abracadabra Jae-hee back into. Square peg, round hole.
What was the icing on the cake for Maru’s guilt scene was that not only does he know how innocent and trusting Eun-ki really is, he’s had her number one enemy say, to his face, that she’s innocent. And then in the same breath, that enemy tells him that he’s going above and beyond the level of misery she dares to inflict on Eun-ki.
So, if Jae-hee, the freaking mayor of terriblepersonville, asks you how you’re going to sleep at night for what you’re doing to someone, for God’s sake Maru, listen.
But, I guess we wouldn’t really have a drama if he listened. It’s definitely intriguing to watch Maru grapple with his vengeance/guilt, and I’ll be more interested to see whether there’s hope for redemption in his future, or whether he’ll lose himself in his struggle to reconcile his past with the harsher realities of his present.
The thing is, I’m down with the ends (bringing Jae-hee down a couple notches) but not necessarily the means (massacring Eun-ki’s hopes and dreams and shattering what little trust she has left in humanity). Maybe there’s another way to make everyone sad forever without permanently scarring Eun-ki in the process?