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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.

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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.

 
COMMENTS

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?

 
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Ugh, that first picture is so cute, and Eun Ki is so cute in the scene, but Ma Ru is all doom and gloom and the difference (and irony) just breaks my heart.

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"premature eguiltulation" omg I'm rolling on the floor with laughter. smh.

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Woah. I left the first comment? And I didn't even say thanks? Eep! Thanks so much, HeadsNo2! Another great recap for another fab episode.

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LOL headsno2's recap quote of the day

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LOL. I was actually trying to find the definition.
MOON CHAE WON, you make me question my gender :)

Love you!

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Quote of the century, that was!

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wow. the previews for this ep. got me thinkin maru was falling into jae hee's trap with that kiss.
but i was fist pumpin' when he took that blackmail photo.

Thanks HeadsNo2!

still watching 30 minutes into this episode.

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What was the point of Jae Hee wanting to kiss Maru in front of Eun Ki when she was so shocked when Maru took a picture of them kissing?

Did she not mean what she said? If she didn't mean it, what was the point of that?

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I think her kissing Maru would actually destroy only Maru's and Eun Ki "relationship" (without evidence does father believe in Eun Ki words? very unlikely), while the picture is clear evidence to destroy everything Jae Hee achieved.

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oh sorry, I thought it was just a comment (not a comment in a comment), so I just answered without thinking :)

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Plus she could have been bluffing.

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I think that Jae Hee is really still in love with Maru, in her crazy way. Her kissing him is not really a totally calculated act. Nor is his kiss in return.

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not exactly. Jae Hee is damaged goods in that she always wanted to be loved...she recognized Ma roo as a good catch..that he liked her adored her made her feel good..even back then she never loved him...i think she was in love with the idea of being in love..otherwise she wouldn't have allowed him to take the rap. or after he took the rap, she wouldn't have married chairman douchebag. Anyways...In spite of all I just said...I want a hot love scene btw JaeHee and MaRoo.

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I think JH by all appearances did and does love MR and even though he hates himself, MR is still in love with JH. I like their twisted love story because it has depth and so much energy.

They had plans to marry as we saw with his diary entry and then her keeping his the tuition money. So when she called him for help, it was his fiance calling. Choco does not know everything about their relationship and MR does not divulge his business so freely.

Anyway, she was going to turn herself in. It looked MR was wanting to see if she would when he told her since it was self-dense, it would be okay. Perhaps that was his plea deal as well and why his sentence was five years.

They are crazy.

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@ nesiessi,

"In spite of all I just said…I want a hot love scene btw JaeHee and MaRoo."

Haha...me too, me too!

But, I think JH and MR still love each other very much. It seems their love is written in blood.

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That hard kiss up against the wall had passion in it. If JH had returned that forceful kiss, poor MR would have been a lost to her forever. ;)

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Jae Hee thinks no one is a match for her. But that's her weakness. Because she mistakenly thinks that, she can only react to the one-up-manship that Eun Ki and/or Ma Roo dish out. She plots, thinks she has it in the bag, then she is outsmarted and reacts to that.

When she kissed Ma Roo, regardless of her motive, she thought it would evoke a can't-live-with-you-can't-live-out-you reaction in Ma Roo. Which it might have. But she didn't think about it backfiring. When he turned it on her by taking the kiss one step further and snapping a pic, it suddenly became potential blackmail. She was short sighted~her flaw.

However, I have to say that, in the world of kdramas, no one lands on her nine cat lives feet every time better than Jae Hee.

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can't live without you, that is

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Well said. Kissing Maru was a total power play by Jae Hee, to prove that she still has a hold on him. And I think that, emotionally, she absolutely does. But she underestimated him. It's interesting that the only times she's lost her footing so far have been when Maru and Eun Gi called her bluff (Maru in this scene and Eun Gi when she had Maru arrested on bribery charges). She's so used to using her sexuality/power to get what she wants, that she's blindsided when someone actually calls her out on her bullshit.

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Back in episode 1, Ma Roo handed Jae Hee his life for hers. She didn't ask for that, but she took what he offered and he lost what he gave away. How can that really ever work out? Answer: it can't. Now, years later, there are unspoken, unresolved, and immeasurable ramifications that have left them both a total mess. That's what we get to watch every week. So cool.

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Yeah... off to read.

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thanks for the recap! This episode was mindblowing! And the opening scene was amazing...and creepy..

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same here ... i also find it creepy especially his last sentence, “I promise, my start is Jae-hee Noona. And my end will also be Noona. I promise that.” aaaack! i hope it will not have a tragic ending.

i wonder if Maru is the father of her son ... poor Eun-ki.

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Me to. Cause that look was so cold I think both girls are in for a ride.
Thanks for the recap.

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Wow! What a thought! Is the timing right for the boy to be Maru's son?

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I've been wondering that too. But wouldn't "I only trust women 30%" check it out. Especially if she had the kid only 9 months after the first get together. I will be disappointed with the writer if it turns out that way.

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Hmmm...The 30% trust was enough. He probably should have lowered it to 0%. kkkkkk

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I think the President is JH's father. So I guess ES could be his, but GROSS.

That's why she was in the hotel room getting whatever was in that envelope to "protect" him. And that's why she was an organ doner match.

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I've been saying the child is his, which will make their ending oh so tragic when his parents destroy each other.

Like JH alluded to MR in the bar, "I got this one" so he can take his hands off because she's going all the way.

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@ mskololia

Yeah, I'm on the same ship as the one you're one cuz the child has to be Maru's by the laws of drama-land. If so, I'm already nervous that Jae-hee will die at the end and leave him their son so Maru can live on. Otherwise without JH, how can he?

I also thought the same as your 2nd sentence. She's a woman on a revenge mission and she wants MR out.

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@news, when they read his diary and the way he ended his entry, it will be him with JH by extension of their son in the end. She did feel the same way about him.

This is the love that will restore MR. The child is like a dead ringer for MR and that's why he froze on the plane when he saw him. The drama needs to have these two in the same space and interact....

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I think it's a letter he wrote her, not his diary and I agree, she did/does feel the same way about him too.

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@news,

In the FB shown to us, MR knows JH will do something till the end even if she dies trying so I do expect her to die in the end but the writer has to tell us MR is the father in the end also. What other surprise is there in store for the audience---after all of the damaged caused, he comes to himself and falls madly in love with EG and they live HEA? Ok, if that's what the writer wants.

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@ mskololia

waitaminute...are you speculating that MR will eventually fall in love with EK or it IS going to happen? Ah, don't break my heart already!

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I also loved the "I'll Find Away" song by Rachel Yamagata used in the scene with MR and JH.

JH did find away to see MR everyday in the face of their son.

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@news,

No, I'm prepared to go down with this ship. If the writer wants to give them a shot at happiness, I will only accept that outcome if ES is MR's son. I don't know how they would end up together in the SK society where he has an illegitimate child and is a former gigolo though.

He may fall in love with her "innocence" and whatever else, but I cannot see a white picket fence for them with JH's child always between them.

Sorry...Did not mean to throw you. :(

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At first I thought Maru was the father as well, and then I went with my pleasegodno instinct and decided that there was no way. This got me thinking, what if she slept with the lawyer guy who likes her when she was drunk or something. I refuse to believe its Maru's, but I also don't think its the presidents. Oh the drama! On another note, despite his bastardlyness, Maru is one fine specimen and I think that he needs and deserves someone like Eun-Ki to save him from himself. Someone who genuinely loves him and will never leave him. Despite all he is putting her through at the moment, he has actually never lied to her. Thats something that I noticed in this drama, regardless of his situation he never actually lies to ANYONE. He either tells the truth and they interpret it how they will, or he says nothing. I still feel so much sympathy for him. He gave up everything for the woman he loves and she treated him appallingly, saying he sells his body, etc. In my opinion its time for Eun-Ki to step up and show him what real love is like.

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Maru's told Eun Gi that he loves her repeatedly. That seems like a pretty big lie to me.

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Like men don't say that?

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@mskololia: Sure, men say it (so do women), but I was responding to lostmystuffing's comment that Maru doesn't lie. Yes, he was backed into a corner, but he's no saint. In fact, I'm beginning to see him as more underhanded than Jae Hee.

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it's unlikely his the father his was in jail for murder or manslaughter hasn't he been in the jail longer than the boy has been alive.
wouldn't the chairman check it out anyway seeing how distrustful he is about women

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It is mentioned by Maru's friend that she visited him at prison every week, then every month, then every other month. Kind of hard to hide a pregnancy doing that, especially when she has a bad leg and pregnancy makes you waddle at some point.
The ligaments are softened up by hormones in preparation for delivery I think.

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I am sure some of that bar scene phone conversation with EG was mirroring those he and JH had while he was in prison. He missed seeing her and could not wait for her next visit.

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Yeah, I LOVED that opening scene.

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Thank you!! Off to read the recap first :)

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Maru is so good and yet so bad and yet I love him so much!

This actor is really doing a fantastic job. The first drama I saw him in was Sungkyunkwan Scandal. His light hearted humor and extravagant yet loyal character had me from the start and the little bromance between him and the other guy was hilarious. I really think this role as Maru is really challenging him because of how complex the character is...but like I said, he is definitely surpassing my expectation.

As I attempt to get over my Answer Me 1997 withdrawal, I'm glad Nice Guy is here to distract me :)

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Yeah, Joong Ki was amazing in S Scandal. Even though he had a small-ish part, I walked away from that drama thinking he was hands-down the one to watch out of that cast. He imbued what could've been a throwaway character with such heart, humor, and depth. Truly amazing. He and Seung Gi are my favorite actors of their generation, I think.

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@ rearwindow

Yeah, me too. He was my favorite character in SS. And it's great to see him take on such a different character in this drama.

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My first drama of his was TwDR and his scenes blew me away so he is why I'm here. :)

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Oooh, I haven't watched TwDR yet but I hear he was phenomenal in that!

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thanks for the recaps of this captivating k-drama...SJK & MCW...love them...thanks again :)

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Poor Eunki :(( Run away while you can!
Your lawyer's a nice person.

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Hee I love lawyer Joon Ha.

He was so cute when he told her he is also her oppa. OPPAAAAA!! :D:D

I want to see if she ever finds out he isn't gay..

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Me too! The lawyer is great husband material! He's cute, sweet, smart, and concerned. Forget Maru!

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Was the lawyer supposed to be gay? I somehow missed that.

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He was just pretending in order to draw a boundary between himself and Eun Gi. For whose sake, I'm not sure.

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@ Annie: Wait... were we told he was just pretending? Or is that just a popular theory? Or a spoiler?

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Betsy, we weren't explicitly told so I guess there is a small chance that he really is gay. The directing and acting really seem to suggest that he has some romantic inclination towards Eun Gi.

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Ah, okay, thanks for answering, Annie. :) I worried I'd missed something.

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@Betsy. He is not gay. Lols, official character charts states he has a one-side love for EG. :)

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@kgirl: Oh, that's probably why everyone's talking as if his not being gay is an already given thing despite that opening conversation. I was wondering why it seemed to go beyond speculation/hope. Thanks for answering. :)

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Every time I read the title of this drama, I automatically go "Nice Guy(s)...finish last, that's why i'll treat you like trash..." Lol

Anyway, it was difficult to watch Eun Ki fall so hard and know Ma Ru has an ulterior motive. But I think that will change soon seeing some of his reactions to her in this ep. It may be reversed, even.

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omgthankgod

I thought I was the only one having the song play in my head.

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Thank you... so much... for singing the YTF song and getting it stuck in my head. You kind of rock for that.

It's going to be hard watching Ma Ru sink as low as he is promising to do. I'm not sure I'll be able to find him redeemable enough for Eun Ki.

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HAHAHA oh my goodness, me too!

And it totally suits this drama, lol..

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SO GOOD... it hurts my heart every episode but i can't stay away! I don't think I can wait till next Wednesday!

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i've been watchin with a heavy heart as I see Maru’s expression became darker and darker….. owh how this drama kept me on the edge of my chair…. I love SJK character but at the same time hate him as Maru….or should I say love him as Maru….. Huarghhh now I’m in conflict…. But really he’s done a good job potraying Maru….. Hurm…. Just wish that Maru will really fall in love with Eun-Ki…. Pity her….

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Maru will eventually fall for Eun Ki but by then she'll realize that he's been using her (don't you think?).

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on the same token.... i love the Lawyer... i don't think he is a gay after all.... just pretendin.... hahahaha...

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He looked really hurt after talking to maru on the phone. Bb needs some lovin.

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i absolutely love him.
he obviously genuinely cares about eun-gi, calling himself oppa that looks after he and what not. squeel.
sometimes i wish they can just run away together and make cute babies and just leave behind all the twisted-ness that comes along w. maru and jae hee.
Of course, that would mean there would be no story

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I like the way you think. Who needs a story when Eun Ki can be happy?

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Agree with you,
Who need when eungi not happy.haha
at first I want maru-eungi to run away n hve a happy family,but after this episode I want eungi ang junha please.
maru and jaehee suit eachother,let them together,I don't want maru for eungi.

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It can be one of those dramas where the romantic lead switches half way through.

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oh yeah. and i was going to flip when he dropped to banmal and called her eun-ki-ya

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I'm with you. I'm not sure I'll be able to take it if Eun Gi ends up the sacrificial lamb in all this misplaced vengeance. At this point, I'm fine with Maru and Jae Hee digging their own graves. Just please let Eun Gi get out in one piece!

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Oh boy! We r only 6 eps in and the heartbreak vibes have started to creep in already, this ain't gonna be good...where's my kleenex at?!!

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LOLOL kleeenex~

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I'm still wondering if the writers are still going to use the story line of EK getting amnesia. I'm kind of hoping that they scrap that idea. I feel soooo sorry for EK and the heartbreak she'll have to face in next week's episode after finding out about KM and JH past relationship.

I've also been fangirling over SJK this whole time, but lately I find myself more and more attracted to Joon Ha. He is Hot! The previews for next week's episode looks really promising!! I'm so addicted to this show and to Arang <3

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Totally on board with you.
I hope lee kyung hee changes her mind about eun-gi having amnesia.
because as of now, i cannot see how her having amnesia would do the story any good. and i don't think execution would be good, either.
I was just oogling over joon-ha earlier too. flawless face.

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flawless indeed:)

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I really like this drama, I honestly don't know why I find melos to be my crack. (; I just have one small problem though... I think it's a personal thing but I feel that Jae Hee recovers from conplete shocked to complete bitch too fast. I mean, one moment she's scared out of her pants and the next she's cool as a cucumber, manipulating people perfectly... Uhmmm well I guess I would want her to be at least faltering sort of when she's manipulating after Maru scares the crap out of her but she's like 180 degree turn, bitchface after. I think it's just me though... sorry if I make absolutely no sense...

I love this drama though, Song Joongki's character makes me always on the edge, looks can be sooooo deceiving......

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I really could settle in for Eun Ki and Lawyer Joonha. Maru could run off with Jae Hee into this whole string of revenge for all I care. Eun-ha couple lol. Maru-ah, take your obsessed Jae Hee noona elsewhere~ I want my Eun-ha. /heart/

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OH AND I FOUND MOAR BTS

MOON CHAE WON IS SO CUTE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc5t0QIe-9g&feature=g-all-u

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why sho cute MCW?!

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OOooooh I am shipping these two so hard!

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f************ck.

i am just going to shut the frak up and stop speculating. i give up. i surrender to this ride that is Nice Guy.

still, the eternal optimist, i can't help but hope that our little Kang Ga Ru's not as willing to destroy his soul over Jae Hee's betrayals and supposed dissent into evilbad as he asserts that he is.

Choco, you just might have a shot at being his unintentional saving grace before he completely mindf*cks and permanently damages our wounded-but-tough-as-nails-sharp-as-razors, angry-at-the-world EunGi.

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It's official.
I like Jaehee character the most. She is the most interesting and mysterious one. No one knows what is in her head ( and heart) unlike Maru and EG.
Jaehee and Maru deserve each other and I ship them (EG is too perfect for me when I love the gray and realer characters)

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Yay am not alone! She is my fave character too! And I ship her with Maru.

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OMO !!! Me too.. Jae Hee is daebak !! I hope she will ends up with Maru.

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Even though Jae-hee looks vulnerable on the outside, she's made of steel on the inside which is one of the reasons why I like her character the most. And it totally makes sense considering the way she grew up - a victim of abuse and poverty.

She's the perfect foil to Eun-ki who acts strong outwardly but is really very vulnerable.

Please more scenes of Jae-hee!

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Me 5!!! Jae Hee-Maru shipper.

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When the writer torpedoes our vessel, lets not forget the life preservers ladies....

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Ah, so many times in this episode I just wanted to reach out into the screen and yell at Eun Gi to run for her life, away from Maru and his obsession with Jae Hee. He is living in a hell of his own doing and I'm sorry but I really can't sympathize with his character, much as I LOVE Joong Ki.

So, even if I know its utterly hopeless, I'm on Team Lawyer Park. For once, I want the smart, caring, and dependable guy who's always there for her to win in the end. Maru and Jae Hee deserve each other and they can both self-destruct to the bottomless depths, for all I care.

Of course, since we are in K-dramaville, that will probably never happen but I really can't root for a hero who gave up on his dreams, left a sick sister, went to jail for a crime he didn't commit, and STILL hasn't learned his lesson, INSTEAD he insists on taking a twisted revenge plan that does not make sense and uses an innocent and fragile girl in the process. Its like Maru has this superhero complex, he believes he can take Jae Hee away from her own hell, but he doesn't listen to her when she says she wants to stay in that hell. Argh, this drama. Not good for my blood pressure!

Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2! :D

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You can only hate passionately that which you have loved passionately. Or something. >___>

Either way, my heart breaks into pieces for Eun-ki already. *sob*

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Ahhh true that. Those 2, they totally deserve each other. I don't see how I'm gonna be rooting for Maru x Eun Ki.
Anyways, the acting here is awesome except for the ultimate filler roles of Jae Gil and Choco. Remind me again what purpose those 2 serve to the plot?

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they're there as fillers :D hehehe I skip their scene sometimes 'cuz it's just ....

but I want to know more about Jae Gil's family...it has some kind of depth on it and I want to know more :D

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I think Jae Gil is like the opposite of Jae Hee. Jae Hee is doing whatever she can not to go back to the poor life she used to live, even if it means she needs to manipulate and be evil and all that stuff. Jae Gil voluntarily fled from his chaebol life because he didn't agree with his father's methods. It's pretty much the opposite. I hope he'll get more depth instead of just being comic relief ~
Besides, I think Jae Gil and Choco are supposed to be Maru's voice(s) of reason... But that doesn't seem to be working out very well.

Apart from any use in the plot, I bet all the Running Man fans are excited to see LKS acting together with SJK.

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@neener and @D
Yeah exactly... agree with the voice of reason and interesting runaway chaebol part. It ain't being hashed out pretty well for now though. Hopefully they get some meatier parts in the later parts.

And oh!! I was so excited when I heard that SJK and LKS were casted together! As friends no less! :D

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I really like your take on Jae Gil!

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Thanks for this. Exactly why I can't like maru's character at the moment. Why can't he leave jae hee alone, the girl earned her way up and is just fighting for her and her son's security in the only way she knows how - desperately. But I'm pretty sure maru eventually makes us root for him and eun ki, and i look forward to how theyre going to do that. And I love lawyer park.

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Oh, I'm only rooting for MR's well being in the end, but I think the cost to others in the drama will be heavy.

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He was going to leave her alone. That's important to remember. Even though the show is about vengeance, it didn't open with MR hating JH.

Just like JH goads EK and made EK into a worse enemy than she might have been otherwise, she couldn't leave poor MR alone.

Like he said in EP 5, she couldn't just leave him with a few good memories, she had to destroy everything. TWICE she's let MR take the fall for her crap and put his sister's health at risk while doing it.

Heck, even JK acknowledged it when she told her lawyer-toy that she was still trampling over MR.

It's not like JH did anything good to earn her way up. She targeted a rich man and became his mistress. She torments his daughter. And they haven't come right out and said it (I'm only up to this EP), but it's obvious that she was already working on this plan at the time of the murder. So all that bullshit about how she couldn't claim self defense because it will ruin her career? Just another con.

And there's a shit-ton of levels of security that she can attain for her child without doing all she's doing. It's not like the only 2 options are president or pauper.

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So, even if I know its utterly hopeless, I’m on Team Lawyer Park. For once, I want the smart, caring, and dependable guy who’s always there for her to win in the end.

THIS EXACTLY!!!!!!! I shipped them anyway, and shipped them harder after learning what a cold bastard Maru is, but there's still a chance for redemption with him.

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Dd'awwww eunki darling, you deserve a hug!

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that one scene reminds me of A Love To Kill

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Such such suuuucccchhhh a good episode! I really dislike Ma Ru right now, but I want to like him, for Eun Ki's sake and for the sake of my poor shipper heart. His being so self aware does suck, because it means he's consciously choosing to screw Eun Ki over. Each time he does something to her he's choosing again, and again, and again, like stabbing someone over and over. And his whole telling her to leave him thing is such a cop out; he's being so cryptic that she has no idea what he means, and it in no way justifies what he has already done to her or what he's planning to do.

As for Jae Hee, I didn't really read her telling Ma Ru to leave Eun Ki alone as her protecting Eun Ki. I read it as her doing some much needed damage control. She knows Ma Ru is using Eun Ki to get to her, and if she can dissuade her from doing that then it's one less tool he's got to hurt her with. But maybe I didn't get the full measure of her words because of some subtlety that was lost in the translation?

And Eun Ki. Oh, Eun Ki. So cute, so ballsy, so happy to have someone love her and so willing to love in return. I love her so much. You know, I'd be perfectly happy if she and Joon Ha got together and screwed everyone else in this drama over.

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i loved this episode too but aghhhh i'm beginning to get frustrated at maru's constant back-and-forth with jae hee. I know obviously with their relationship and past you can't get over someone just like that. And i know if he showed no feelings for her he'd be the ultimate cold bad guy. BUT, the fact that eun-gi is part of this twisted little game just totally breaks my heart considering i LOVE her.
And DOUBLE agree with you on eun-gi's cuteness/badassery in this episode. Especially with the alcohol bet with the ahjussis? her solution: flee!
haha. and i mentioned above that she and joon-ha should just run away and make cute babies.

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ME. TOO. I actually found myself more aggravated with Maru in the past two episodes than I was with Jae Hee. For all Jae Hee's (many, MANY) faults, I get the sense that she is at least aware of her goal and honest with herself about what it will take to attain it. Maru, on the other hand, is fooling himself into thinking that he's getting revenge on Jae Hee when he's really just following her around like an abused puppy.

An abused puppy that takes its aggression out on a smaller, more innocent puppy instead of directing it towards its abuser, that is.

That was a bit of a convoluted analogy, but there ya go.

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I didn't read that as JH protecting EG either - I read it as her trying to get MR to leave EG alone because she's jealous. Very simple: she doesn't want MR anywhere near EG (who is younger, more innocent, sweet, pretty, single and rich) so she's trying to "guilt" him into leaving her alone. And I think MR pissed her off by telling her he's NOT using EG. (even if we can see he is)

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I agree with you. Jae Hee is the kind of woman who wants everything,which explains why she kissed Maru after hearing his exchange with Eun Ki over the speaker phone. Of course she has no intention of getting caught (which explains her shock when Maru took a snapshot of their kiss), but she probably just wanted to see Maru rattled and speechless by kissing him?

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Maru and Jae Hee are two peas in a pod. Both obsessive and I'm starting to think insane
I'm thinking that they don't exactly want to end up together but don't want give up the other to other people; toxic obsessive selfish crazy insane partnership. Does that make sense?

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Maru and Jae-hee ARE two peas in a pod...but the dark and tragic version of 'The Princess Bride".

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Absolutely. Remember how Jae Hee asked Maru to meet her after she heard that Maru was meeting Eun Ki for a date. I really hate her character and hope she is taken down by her husband.

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I totally agree with your thoughts on Jae Hee. The closer Maru is to Jae Hee's family/the Chairman, the more dangerous he is to her and the more precarious her situation becomes.

I am always hesitant to read any emotion into Jae Hee, because she's so two-faced and manipulative that it's impossible to discern her "true" feelings. The truth is, Jae Hee could be feeling all of these things (pity, shame, love for Maru, guilt, etc.) or she could be feeling none of them, but it ultimately doesn't matter because she ALWAYS acts in her own self-interest. Whatever her "end game" is (many people are speculating any number of things--from securing her son's place in Chairman Seo's proverbial kingdom to toppling the kingdom and stomping on the remains), Jae Hee has proven herself ruthlessly dedicated to pursuing it to the end.

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I'm seriously loving this drama, though it'll bring me so much heartache and tears in the future, I'm sure.

There's just a few things I want to mention for this episode.

About the point of Jae-hee being almost nice, I have to totally disagree. To me, it didn't look like Jae-hee was being thoughtful of Eun-ki's situation at all; I don't think she ever had any sympathy. I think, despite her knowing that she made Maru this way (cold, hell bent on revenge, etc.), she still feels like he should belong to her, or at least he should still be only obsessed with her (which he is, honestly). So I think it's a woman's pride that's speaking when she says that she doesn't want Maru to fool around with Eun-ki -- she just can't stand them being together, no matter how fake it is on Maru's part.

Secondly, I think in that flashback, it was Jae-hee's brother who's beating her, not her dad, and it's the purse she was trying to protect, which Maru gave her. ^^;; (Not really important though.)

And lastly, I just want to say, for some reason, I think my favourite scene in this whole episode was of the one of Eun-ki waking up and the parallel comparison with Jae-hee. Eun-ki sleeps together with Maru in his run-down little room, and she stares at him like he's the most precious person in the whole world; on the other hand, Jae-hee's in her luxurious bed with a rich and powerful man, yet she turns her back on him. Just lovely.

Thanks so much for the recap, Heads! Can't wait for next week. (:

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Not gonna lie, I was cackling in delight during that wake up scene. Eun Ki's waking up to Ma Ru's face, and Jae Hee is literally sleeping in the bed she made (well, a servant probably made it, but you know what I mean), with Mr. Cranky Pants Misogynist. Ugh I hate him.

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From a different perspective, I'd have to say that Jae-hee is sincere about her concern for Eun-ki. Sure, Jae-hee isn't doing her any good either, but their relationship is a matter of revenge and survival, not a matter of the heart. On the other hand, Maru is going to cause some serious emotional and psychological damage. How will Eun-ki ever recover?

I really like Jae-hee. It's easy to read her even if her motivations are still shrouded in mystery. When she's a bitch, she's a bitch; when she's sincere, she's sincere; when she's vulnerable, she's vulnerable; when she's manipulative, she's manipulative. Black and white. She has a goal so either step aside or get trampled.

Eun-ki is bitchy bitchy, bitchy nice, bitchy sincere, bitchy cool, bitchy etc.

Maru is just crazy...that's why we love him.

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MTE!!! Took the words out of my mouth. She was being sincere.

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Wow, we have totally different readings of the characters.

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I agree. I don't think Jae Hee has a sincere bone in her body. All her actions point to her wanting to take everything away from Eun Ki, and her not wanting Maru to "use" Eun Ki really meant she did not want Eun Ki to have Maru. If she really cared for Maru at all, she would not have jumped in the water to desperately bring him back. I think she has a personality disorder from being abused as a child.

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Actually, i'd have to agree with you ladida.
I didn't think Jae-hee was being protective of Eun-Gi in that moment.
I agreed with everything you said about how eliminating eun-gi from his life would be one less tool that maru can use against jae-hee.
Plus, being the kind of manipulating control freak, i'd imagine she doesn't want anyone sharing maru, the "warmest place in the world" even though she's willing to throw him to the wolves just to get what she wants.
Someone like that warrants no protective instinct over those close to her, let alone Eun-gi. Maybe her son is an exception.
When it comes down to it, i think her "protective act" is all part of her master plan to appear more human all the while knowing she is benefiting from it. Plus, if she puts eun-gi at a level much lower than theirs, then she's able to reserve the last bit of their"special" relationship since she's practically isolating eun-gi from their level. This way, maru won't have the eyes for anyone but Jae-hee.

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I'm mostly with ladida and ilikemangos on this one.

I personally think Jae Hee was playing Maru like a fiddle when she mentioned Eun Gi's well being. Not realizing how significantly she's broken Maru & how far gone he is, JH tried to appeal to his sense of guilt in order to distance Maru from the Seo family and protect her position. Not to mention the side-bonus of eliminating competition for ownership of Maru's heart (because I don't think Jae Hee has any interest in actually being with Maru).

That said, I honestly don't think it matters whether Jae Hee was being sincere or not. Because regardless of what she's *feeling*, Jae Hee has proven time and time again that she will act in her own self interest, period. For all I know, she was and is concerned for Eun Gi's well-being. I'm sure she was devastated at sending Maru to jail for a crime she committed. She very well may still be in love with Maru. But at the end of the day, she is able to completely disassociate her emotions from her actions, which makes her both terrifying and a masterful tactician.

Her blind spot, I think, is that she fails to account for the fact that other people do not operate as she does. Maru, for example, is letting his emotions towards Jae Hee basically steer his life off a cliff, in spite of all rationality. In fact, they're basically foils of each other in terms of how they approach life. This is why she was so flabbergasted that Maru wouldn't just accept her bribe and go off and make a life for himself. Because in her world, no emotion would justify making an irrational decision to destroy one's life in the pursuit of something as tenuous as "love."

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@rearwindow: "That said, I honestly don’t think it matters whether Jae Hee was being sincere or not. Because regardless of what she’s *feeling*, Jae Hee has proven time and time again that she will act in her own self interest, period."

Ooh, this is such a good sum-up of Jea-hee, rearwindow! She feels what she feels, but she can get over it to protect her position or advance. Which is what makes her so terrifying and interesting.

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I do think Jae Hee was being sincere when she was worrying about using Eun Gi, but not for Eun Gi's sake but for Maru's.

Even though I don't think she'd ever go back to her old life with him, I'm still pretty sure somehow she still cares for him and doesn't want him to completely destroy /himself/ (and erm, take her down in the process).

I guess that makes her similar to Maru. They both have a single obsession and nothing's going to stop them, but that doesn't mean they don't feel guilty.

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I dislike Jae-hee, but I also find that she was sincere in her concern for Eun-ki. It's not like Jae-hee is a complete sociopath who doesn't understand what she is doing is wrong. I think for the most part, she knows the difference between good and bad, but to her, survival is more important. Having Eun-ki heartbroken by some guy isn't relevant to her survival, so she's stepping in to say "what you are doing is wrong and watch it".

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At the beginning we see and understand that if EG gains power, she will keep her promise declared to JH early on and that is to do to her what she did to her mother.

I don't even know what JH did to Eg's mother? It's ambiguous and very misleading of the writer.

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@news: "...but their relationship is a matter of revenge and survival, not a matter of the heart."

Hmm, I'm not sure about that. Yes, from Jea-hee's perspective she's not got anything against Eun-gi personally. She's just an obstacle, an annoyance.

But for Eun-gi? Jee-hee has managed to make two protective figures in Eun-gi's life utterly betray her. Eun-gi's father has (from Eun-gi's perspective) betrayed her for Jea-hee. And the lawyer guy -- who Eun-gi identified as at least an uncle-figure if not a second father-figure -- has literally betrayed Eun-gi for Jea-hee.

For Jea-hee she's just trying to get into a new and safer life (or at least stay there). But for Eun-gi, she's trying to keep her world from being destroyed. So for Eun-gi it's absolutely about the heart. She could survive outside of her family (she's got the diplomas and smarts), but she'd be orphaned because of Jea-hee's actions. And that's not impersonal. (That Jea-hee was trying to symbolically kill Eun-gi's mother -- and knew she was doing it -- drove that home for me.)

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"That Jea-hee was trying to symbolically kill Eun-gi’s mother — and knew she was doing it — drove that home for me.)

@Betsy Hp, which episode did we see or hear about JH doing this?

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Her mother left four or five years ago and that would make a now 30 EG around 25 back then. And, I get that ppl feel sorry for the character, but I do not at this point.

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@ Betsy Hp

When I say "matters of the heart", I'm talking about the Big "L" - Love.

What you're talking about is revenge and survival which is based on hate and fear respectively. To Jae-hee, Eun-ki is an obstacle - nothing personal. If it were just Jae-hee vs Eun-ki, Eun-ki would use her hatred for Jae-hee drive her to survive. But Maru is using her heart which is basically just going to break her on an emotional and psychological level considering how much she's already fallen for him. In her own words, she's crazily in love with him.

Not only that, but we've never seen Jae-hee directly attack Eun-ki as mskololia said. There has been no concrete evidence, just speculation on our part based on Eun-ki's perspective - what she thinks is the truth. And the same goes for Maru - we can only speculate based on what he thinks is the truth.

That's why I don't understand why there's so much hatred towards Jae-hee. There's a dark and twisted world that only Jae-hee knows about which hasn't been revealed to us yet (i.e. the man she killed in self defense, the Chairman, why Eun-ki's mom left, etc.).

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@mskololia: I'm pretty sure that what Betsy Hp meant by Jae Hee's "symbolically killing" Eun Gi's mother was that Jae Hee basically singlehandedly sold off the Japan property--which was the last connection Eun Gi & the Chairman had to Eun Gi's mom, aside from the bedraggled barbie doll. Interestingly, during the business deal, Jae Hee insisted on Eun Gi calling her "mother," which drove the stake a little further through her heart.

Betsy Hp, correct me if I'm wrong with this interpretation of your comment.

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@rearwindow It wasn't JH's fault that the chairman wanted to sell that place. She was brought in after they discussed it at the meeting where every member of the board apart from EG decided to raise money by selling it. So how is it JH's fault? Shouldn't it be the chairman's fault?

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@ rearwindow / Betsy Hp

Yeah, that's my take on what Betsy Hp meant as well. But JH's motivation wasn't to attack EK; Basically, JH doesn't have a personally vendetta against her. It's just an unfortunate and tragic twist of fate that THAT resort happens to be strongly tied to EK's mother. It could've been any other person, not EK, and the result would've been the same. Whoever is in EK's position will be caught in the crossfire. Yeah, fate's a bitch. Now, if JH were taking revenge on EK for no reason (meaning EK didn't do anything to JH first), then it would be a TOTALLY different story; JH would be a hateful person.

The writer isn't writing JH's character to be THE villain and EK's character to be THE heroine. So at face value, it seems JH is all evil, but she's not. They are both the perfect foil to each other's characters: JH = outwardly vulnerable, inwardly strong; EK = outwardly strong, inwardly vulnerable. It's so DAEBAK!

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@Shiku & news: I totally agree with you that the Chairman is at fault, too. But it's very significant IMO that Lawyer Ahn is the one who suggested selling off that specific property, no? Given that Lawyer Ahn is basically in the pocket of Jae Hee, I just assumed that she was the one behind that move. Especially since, regardless of who ultimately made the decision to sell off the property, she certainly took advantage of Eun Gi's emotional connection to the property in order to assert her power over EG.

News, I don't really see any moral distinction between Jae Hee having a personal vendetta against Eun Gi and Jae Hee systematically pushing her out of the family and the company, which is absolutely what I believe her to be doing. Now, do I think that pushing Eun Gi out of the family is her only goal? No. Do her ends justify her means? I don't know, since the only information we've been given to justify Jae Hee's behavior is her ambition and her desire to have her son inherit the company. Given what we've seen of her history with Maru, I do believe there's gotta be more to her story and will be interested in unraveling that mystery in the episodes to come.

Anyway, more than enough blame to go around, I'd say. :)

News, I love what you say about there being no "one" villain in this show. So far, the Chairman is the closest thing to a Big Bad that we've got. Then again, we know the least about him, which is probably why it's so easy to hate him. I love that all of the characters have or are hinted at having such depth, even the ones we want to strangle (and I have, at various points, wanted to strangle every lead on the show). Who knows where the Chairman's trust issues came from, for example, or what actually went down with Eun Gi's mom. Add to that the fact that so much is shrouded in mystery, and it's even harder to judge.

I don't know that Jae Hee is any better or worse than Maru (or what such value judgments would even accomplish), but I DO know that Eun Gi is basically the only character on the show right now that I unequivocally love (aside from Joon Ha, I suppose, but he's got such a small role that I don't really count him). Because I am rooting for her so much, I tend to hate Jae Hee when she is antagonizing Eun Gi, and now that Maru has gotten under her skin, I am even more leery of him. That's not to say that I don't sympathize with those two (and I actually sympathize more with Jae Hee than with Maru as things stand now), just that the sense of justice is tipped so far away from Eun Gi's favor right now, that as a viewer I hate everything that brings her hardship, haha.

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Wow! Discussion got away from me -- this is awesome! :D

So, the symbolic killing of Eun-gi's mother: Yes, I'm talking about the selling off of the resort. Which Jea-hee underlines her knowledge of by being the one to state that every tree and every room in the resort was hand-picked/designed by Eun-gi's mom. She knew what she was doing. And it was a direct attack -- destroying something Eun-gi had vowed to protect for personal and emotional reasons. Then, as Rearwindow pointed out, Jea-hee twisted the knife by overtly taking over the mother-role.

I do agree with News that Jea-hee isn't doing this for personal reasons. I mean, she wants Eun-gi out of her way (which apparently means destroyed because Eun-gi isn't one to quietly get) and she's using all means at hand to do so, but it's only because Eun-gi stands between her and control of the company.

But it's very personal for Eun-gi. This isn't just a competition for a company. It's Eun-gi's family Jea-hee is taking from her -- the love of her father, the love of her mother, her role as daughter. Which is why Eun-gi is in such a vulnerable emotional state -- screaming and collapsing on the floor in a business meeting and whatnot.

Maru is doing the exact same thing as Jea-hee in that for him it's not personal. Eun-gi is a tool, not someone he actively wants to harm. In fact, unlike Jea-hee, Maru gains nothing from Eun-gi's destruction -- it would be collateral damage. Which... doesn't give him a get-out-of-jail-free card in my opinion. He's still being cold.

But again, Eun-gi is the one getting emotionally hit. Which is worse? Disowned or dumped? It's close enough (especially since it looks like one will follow the other) that I'm not sure it's measurable. At the moment it's a war Jea-hee and Maru are fighting and Eun-gi is bearing the brunt.

And Shiku is right, the chairman is screwing up royally. That his daughter is in so much pain is basically his fault (and it's her pain that's opened her up for Maru's influence). Basically, he's a piss poor dad and that's part of the reason Eun-gi's life is hell at the moment. (He did redeem himself slightly, ever, ever so slightly when he asked the cute lawyer to stay by her side no matter what.)

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@Betsy and rearwindow, regarding Jae Hee taking on a mother position with Eun Ki: remember that conversation we were all having last week about the women on this show and the various ways they are infantilized? Reading over all these comments I realized that it's continuing this week with these two. When Jae Hee calls herself Eun Ki's mom she does so in a commandeering manner. She slaps her, tells her to get in line, then tries to destroy her character by telling people that she's mentally unstable (which is one of the worst things you can say about someone; a ~crazy~ person is immediately delegitimized and dismissed; a great way to take power away from someone is to imply they're crazy). Jae Hee is infantilizing Eun Ki. But Eun Ki is 30 years old; she's a grown ass woman! Jae Hee is only 5 years her senior! And it's a role that the chairman is encouraging her in, too, which is so confusing because he was the one who threw out Eun Ki's dolls in an attempt to have her grow up more quickly to be a better Taesan employee.

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@ rearwindow & Betsy HP

Whoa, this conversation is outta control! :-D At the end of the day, it's not important whether we agree or disagree, but for dialogue purposes, isn't it fun to disagree? ;-) It also makes Wed and Thur come faster! Ppalli wa juseyo!

I initially jumped into this conversation, playing the devil's advocate, because of all the hate being dumped on JH, but along the way, there are some interesting points that have been brought up.

So far I definitely find JH's character to be the most compelling, but that in no way makes me think her actions are forgivable or justifiable. But she isn't the only one who is doing the antagonizing. In fact, if my memory serves me right and correct me if I'm wrong, in every scene with JH and EK, it's always EK who antagonizes JH first. Yes, from EK's perspective, it's very personal (how can it not be?). She has every right to act the way she does, as anyone would, when a stepmother takes the place of a birth mother, but she's basing everything on face value and personal feelings, not actual truths. Did her mother leave BEFORE or AFTER the Chairman and JH got together? As I recall, the Chairman cryptically said her mother ran away b/c she couldn't handle "it". So from the get go, she already hates JH which is a normal human action, but pretty narrow-minded to me. Why blame everything on JH and never on her dad (the Chairman)?

Which is also the case with the resort. It definitely wasn't JH's idea; the Chairman and Lawyer Ahn discussed it first. And because of this, rearwindow and Betsy Hp, both of you brought up a really good point: Is there a moral distinction whether someone has a personal vendetta against someone or not if the result is the same? Which is worse and is it measurable? This is one of those million dollar questions - lots of personal opinions but never a 'right' or 'wrong' answer. From what I've observed, JH is an opportunist, not a mastermind. To be fair, she's as much of a victim as EK and MR are. In this case, analogically speaking, JH should be charged for manslaughter, not murder. I guess, my personal opinion is that manslaughter is the lesser of two evils.

But rearwindow, you've made me understand your point of view (and why many other people are loving EK and therefore 'hating' JH) in your last paragraph. It doesn't matter whether I agree or disagree, which is completely beside the point, but now I totally get where you're coming from.

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@ladida: Brilliant insights, as always! Such an interesting exploration of femininity in this show. Also, I didn't realize that Eun Gi is meant to be 30! And Jae Hee/Maru are supposed to be 35?! Is there some sort of magical fountain of youth that Korea's hiding from the rest of the world?

@news: Thanks for engaging! I love a challenging dialogue, which is why I became so obsessed with the Nice Guy threads so quickly. There's so much to debate, explore, theorize, and so many smart people with which to do all of the above :). I agree that Eun Gi has had a HUGE chip on her shoulder w/r/t Jae Hee since we first saw her. At first, I thought it was over the top, but the more we're learning about Jae Hee, the less I'm certain of that. Who knows how many of Jae Hee's actions towards Eun Gi reflect her playing into the role that Eun Gi has created for her, and how much of it is Eun Gi accurately assessing Jae Hee's hidden agenda.

All that said, I think Eun Gi talks a big game but is far less underhanded than Jae Hee. Which brings up another question: Is it worse to openly antagonize someone, or to treat someone decently on the surface but scheme to bring them to ruin? And how much do words matter/how much power do words have? My instinct is to say that actions are far, far worse than words, but look at the power that the Chairman's words hold over Eun Gi. And Maru's, for that matter.

Interesting stuff!

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@ladida: Are you talking about a discussion in Ep 4 comments? Because I totally missed that and would love to go back for a look-see. I agree Jea-hee totally used her "mother" role to present Eun-gi as a child. Right from the moment Eun-gi entered and she asked the Rollings guy if he knew any men she could introduce Eun-gi to. It was a clever way of delegitimizing Eun-gi as a business-person.

And yes, it was Eun-gi's father who got that ball rolling after that lunch with Maru. (I don't remember if he was similarly dismissive of her during that meeting when he cut her cheek. Maybe that's where it began? When she took the business in a direction he didn't like?)

@news and rearwindow: I've been enjoying the discussion a lot, too! :) I totally agree, news, that Jea-hee isn't a mastermind. At least, not from what I've seen. It's more like she's made a series of choices, each decision made in the moment and made, I think with a feeling of necessity. Which is why she doesn't fit easily into the "villain" mode. In many ways it really has been just about survival for her.

But, as rearwindow said so well, Eun-gi is such a compelling character (for those who find her such, anyway) that we side with her in any conflict.

But! (Again. ;) ) I could see Jea-hee feeling like Eun-gi wouldn't let her and her son be if Eun-gi gained enough control. Eun-gi came out with open aggression against Jea-hee and her son in the first scene with all of them. And while I can see why Eun-gi would behave that way, and can even see a certain honor in being that honest, I can also see where Jea-hee would feel like her survival (and her son's) depended on Jea-hee fully crushing Eun-gi.

And it's that messy conflict that has me so addicted to the show. (And I haven't even brought up Maru who leaves me epically confused by acting incredibly douchy while being played by SJK. ;) )

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@Betsy Hp: I think the specific discussion ladida is referring to happened in the episode 3 recap, starting with comment 35.2.1.2. We do have an (many?) epic discussion(s) in episode 4, though. We need to compile these comments into a book or something, LOL.

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