Drama Recaps
Nice Guy: Episode 20 (Final)
by | November 16, 2012 | 365 Comments

And so it ends, and we have to say goodbye to the nicest guy we’ve never seen anywhere in the world – the drama world, anyway. More than just coming full circle, our characters (and especially our side characters) are able to finally move on from the shackles of their pasts in a satisfying way, even if they might have had to jump through one too many off-screen hoops to do it.

Some payoffs inevitably feel more earned than others, but at least we’re offered something sweet and hopeful to chase away all the bitter suffering. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t need a box of tissues for the journey ahead.

Final episode ratings clocked in at an even 18.0%, a solid and successful finish to a solid and successful show.


Eun-ki doesn’t even seem to waver at Maru’s offer to run away together, and coolly pulls her hand away. “I think you’ve misunderstood something,” she says. “We have already ended our relationship long ago.”

And right now, justice for her father, Taesan, and Joon-ha are all more important to her than Maru.

He wrist-grabs her into a hug as she tries to leave, and it shakes her resolve. It’s with a smile that he tells her to go, but he steadfastly holds onto her sleeve until she’s out of reach. Even though he’s letting her go, he doesn’t want to.

(I had to go back and check another episode because I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but today’s opening credits are different – the clock in his hand is moving forward at a normal speed, not speeding backward, and he’s smiling through his tears. Seriously, what an awesome touch.)

Eun-ki confronts Secretary Jo about Joon-ha’s accident, and he chalks his appearance that night up to coincidence. She acts understanding and sweet as she asks him to take a seat… and then kicks the chair out from under him. Eun-ki-ya! Why did you ever have to have amnesia?! You and your bad self were gone for too long.

She grabs him by the collar and demands to know who hired him. To say that he’s afraid of her is an understatement, but neither of them are aware of the spy listening outside.

And of course, that spy reports straight to Min-young.

Maru tells Jae-hee that it’s time to turn herself in, since the death recording will make its way to the police tomorrow regardless. Jae-hee threatens to reveal the slush funds Eun-ki’s dad took out for her and ruin her, but Maru is unaffected.

He explains how he was so scared of her threat that he wanted to run away with Eun-ki, but she rejected his offer because of all that needs to be done. “Seeing that side of Eun-ki put me at ease,” he confesses. “Because it’s her, she would be able to handle anything that comes her way just fine. Now it’s okay for me not to be next to Eun-ki.”

Jae-hee still has no intention of turning herself in, and getting Maru’s empty shell as payment is unappealing to her. She’d rather die.

On that note, she asks Maru, “Do you want to die together? Let’s die together. Even if we live or die, we can only go to hell.”

Maru: “If you want to die, then die alone. I am not going to die. Why would I die? I didn’t even do anything wrong. Even without love, I can live fine alone. It’s not like I’ve always had what I wanted. I was never selfish or full of greed in my life, not even once. The things I want to do, the things I want, the things I wish for… Have I ever had any of those for at least once in my whole life? I can live fine without love. I will find a way to survive. Dying is hell. Why is living supposed to be hell? I definitely won’t di-…”

He gets cut off by a sudden wave of pain. Well, that hematoma certainly has a knack for dramatic timing.

Eun-ki thinks back to Maru’s offer as she tends to Joon-ha. She notices his fingers starting to twitch, and tears fill her eyes. He’s waking up. (Rejoice!)

Jae-gil comes home to find Maru passed out on the floor. His horrified reaction Breaks. My. Heart.

Choco can barely contain herself when she arrives at the hospital. Jae-gil’s eyes are bloodshot from crying as he stands vigil outside Maru’s door while the doctor is inside, and Choco confronts him about keeping Maru’s illness from her.

He doesn’t deny that Maru didn’t want her to know, and even admits he thought it was for the best, too. Choco breaks down, blaming herself for not noticing sooner, when Maru would be able to notice when she had the slightest fever. Time for a tissue break.

Jae-gil comforts her, at least, in telling her that Maru could do that because he’s her older brother, and she’s his younger sister.

She steels herself to go inside, but turns around at the last minute and leaves. Is it too much to hope she’s gone to get Eun-ki?

Maru finally stirs, and it’s Doctor Suk at his bedside. Yet they don’t act like strangers who haven’t seen each other in years, as Doctor Suk tells him that his surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. And because of all Maru’s dilly-dallying, his chance of survival is now 50%.

Then the reveal, as Doctor Suk admits that what he regrets most is doing as Maru asked, and treating Eun-ki. So it wasn’t coincidence that she was seeing Doctor Suk – Maru had arranged for it all along. Which means he must have known where she was after the accident.

He regrets it because he knew Eun-ki would go after Maru the moment she regained her memories. But it’s with a smile that he tells Maru that he better live, or else.

Joon-ha finally opens his eyes. Eun-ki’s there for him and cries in relief.

Jae-sik saunters into Jae-hee’s dark dining room, nonchalantly munching on a corn-dog while she sits in silence.

He’s eating it for a reason, as he explains that he’d gone to juvenile detention once for beating up a kid who made fun of their mother’s prostitution. When he’d been released and found Jae-hee eating a corn-dog with her friends, he’d asked for a bite. She’d thrown it on the ground instead.

“Since then, you’ve treated me like this,” Jae-sik adds. “Like a stupid dog that’s just passing by. Not even once calling me Oppa.”

But then, he tells her that he was fully planning on killing Maru, despite Jae-hee being against it. He claims he couldn’t pass up on an officetel, and was planning on just shutting his eyes and killing Maru.

The only thing that stopped him and his greed? Choco, whom he affectionately calls Chici-Chici-Choco-Choco. Because she’d regularly fix meals for the man who came to kill her brother.

And even when he went yesterday to kill him, she’d cooked him seaweed soup for his birthday with the beef he asked for. “So how can I… how can I kill that guy, her oppa? How can I kill him after I ate her seaweed soup for me?” Pump the brakes, Jae-sik has a conscience? This scene is amazing in ways I can’t describe.

However, he’s NOT happy about losing the officetel, and blames it all on Jae-hee. If she’d ever shown him an ounce of human kindness, then Choco’s kindness wouldn’t have affected him as much, and he could have killed Maru for the officetel. Er. Well, when you put it that way, both Jae-hee and Choco saved Maru’s life.

Of course, Jae-sik is holding back since Maru’s dying anyway. His lack of conscience returns as he wonders if he can pass off Maru’s natural death as his doing so he can get the officetel, but Jae-hee has only heard the “Maru is dying” part and demands to know more.

That night, Maru thinks back to Doctor Suk’s words, about doing everything he needs to before tomorrow’s risky surgery.

Jae-gil finds Choco singing her heart out in a norebang, and chides her for not being at Maru’s side. She refuses to see him until after the surgery, because she doesn’t want him to feel at peace if he sees her.

She knows because she’d almost died while Maru was in prison, and the only thing that kept her alive was the thought that she couldn’t give up without seeing him. “So my Oppa, also, if he gets the surgery without seeing me… By chance, while getting the surgery, if he’s having a very hard time and is in so much pain, if he thinks he wants to quit everything… ‘No, that’s not right. I didn’t get to see Choco.’ He will think like that and gain strength, so he won’t die and come out alive.”

Jae-hee calls them to ask about Maru, and she can barely hold herself together as she dresses to go. She remembers Maru proclaiming vehemently that he wouldn’t die, and now understands the meaning behind it.

She catches Eun-ki on her way in for a change of clothes, and remembers Maru saying that he could survive without love. So when she decides to tell Eun-ki the truth about Maru being sick, she’s chosen the higher path – what’s best for Maru, and not herself.

As Eun-ki zombies her way through the hospital hallway, we hear Jae-gil in voiceover telling her that Maru sustained the hematoma from their tunnel of love. She’s also carrying the guilt of Maru delaying the surgery because he’d wanted to help her regain her position in Taesan first.

Eun-ki hesitates at the door, as Jae-gil’s voiceover continues: “Maru said he was very happy being together with you, Eun-ki.” As for the surgery outcome, no one knows.

She can’t work up the courage to knock. Maru, perhaps sensing her, opens the door… but she’s not there. Is someone going to be there for him?

The sad realizations hit Eun-ki one by one. She flashes back to the Wedding That Never Was, and all the cruel things she’d said to him. How he didn’t say a word in his defense. She eventually breaks down in tears.

Jae-hee, alone in her room, also breaks down into sobs.

Min-young calls Jae-hee from his car, his tone rushed and nervous. He’s taking the blame for everything, and says the story he wants to go to court: He manipulated Jae-hee out of his greed for Taesan. So he alone is responsible for the Chairman’s death… and Eun-ki.

Oh. No. You. Didn’t.

Jae-hee starts freaking out, knowing very well what he’s capable of. She tries to talk him out of it, but he’s intent on taking out Eun-ki so she has no more obstacles in her way. And then he’s ready to take the fall alone.

He puts on a black hat once he sees Eun-ki stumbling down the street. No. You. Aren’t. No you are NOT, you crazy bastard! (*flails*)

Jae-hee’s shaking as she tries calling Eun-ki to warn her, but Eun-ki ignores the call.

Jae-gil visits Maru to lie about being unable to get ahold of Choco, even though he’s more interested in the fact that Eun-ki came to the hospital, but never showed up. Aww. Was Maru waiting for her?

Maru runs outside to look for her, his spidey sense tingling. Just in case we forgot he made the “Run away with me” offer, Eun-ki flashes back to it again as she wanders on the street.

Finally, she turns around and starts running back toward the hospital. Maru spies her from the other end of the crosswalk. Please no Truck of Doom. Please no Truck of Doom. Please no Truck of Doom.

He smiles brightly, and the light changes. She notices him too, and they start closing the gap between them…

But Maru sees a shadowy Min-young approaching her from behind and runs forward, throwing his arms around Eun-ki as he spins around just in time to save her, getting stabbed by Min-young in her place.

Silence. Min-young leaves the knife in his back and walks away, disappearing into the crowd.

The light changes, and Maru just keeps holding her. Does she know what happened? Does she know what happened?!

Maru just holds her tighter in the middle of the crosswalk as traffic moves around them.

Cut to: Jae-hee, calm and collected in front of her mirror. She makes a call: “This is the police station, correct? I want to turn myself in. My name is Han Jae-hee.”

Maru sits on a bench with Eun-ki, using his hand to cover his stab wound. Eun-ki. I know you didn’t really pay attention when he was the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but for the love of all that is holy, pay a little attention to how he looks. His hand has blood on it. Maybe try giving that the once-over.

To his credit, Maru struggles to hide his pain from her. Using the excuse that he’s tired, he tries to send her on her way. Everything they need to say can be said tomorrow. They both keep saying ‘tomorrow’ as though it’ll really come true if they say it enough.

She has one thing to ask before she leaves: “At that time, in that tunnel, why didn’t you avoid my car?” Question of the year.

His face is tense and his words are rushed, since he clearly wants to get rid of her before she notices he’s got a hole in his stomach.

He claims he doesn’t really remember why, but he’ll think about it and tell her tomorrow. She seems to accept it, only to surprise him by swooping in for a kiss.

Jae-hee gives her statement to the police, confessing not only for her crimes but Min-young’s as well. She even takes the blame for Joon-ha’s murder attempt, claiming that she seduced Min-young and forced him to help her.

She even brings up the murder from seven years ago, finally confessing as the killer and admitting that Maru took the blame. I love that even the policeman stops writing the confession, in a “Are you sure you don’t want to check yourself before you wreck yourself?” fashion.

But Jae-hee declines a lawyer, and chooses to keep confessing.

Eun-ki and Maru kiss, and he’s loathe to pull away. She tells him she’ll come back early tomorrow, and that she’s grateful to Jae-hee for one thing – in letting her meet Maru. (Girl, I love you and you’re my favorite character, but how dense can you possibly be? Even if you can’t see the blood, wouldn’t you think it’s odd that he’s keeping that hand to his side? AHHHH. *headdesk*)

Maru stumbles alone on a deserted street, his sweater dripping blood. He falls to the ground, struggling with all his might to get up. But he can’t.

“Eun-ki asked me, at that time in the tunnel, why didn’t I avoid the car? Even though I told Eun-ki that I don’t remember, I remember the reason very clearly.

At the time, I was exhausted by the world and by my lot in life. And this present life of mine, even if it ended this way, I thought it wouldn’t make a difference. And that in the next life, I would definitely meet Eun-ki, and we’d experience that ordinary kind of love that everyone does, the simple kind of love that everyone in the world, no matter who they are and what they do, gets to experience. That ordinary kind of love.

I want to start all over again. This is what I think I prayed to God.”

He gasps for air as he remains sprawled on the ground. Slowly but surely, his breathing begins to slow, until there’s only still and silence.

Seven years later.

A little girl smiles for the camera, as she says in both Korean and English that Park Jae-gil is her father and Kang Choco is her mother. Choco sighs – her name is Jeon Ji-yeon, not Kang Choco.

Hah, and her daughter even says “heol” (bull) like her mother. As they go downstairs to meet Dad, we see Choco and Jae-gil’s wedding pictures on a shelf. Look what happened while we were gone!

Jae-sik is making an honest living working in a fried chicken shop, which Jae-gil stops at in the morning. Secretary Hyun pops in too, to sourly give back a love letter Jae-sik had written to her. Aww. That’s weirdly adorable.

She’s not totally averse to the idea of Jae-sik, and they bicker back and forth over the “love letta” while Jae-gil smiles knowingly.

We find Jae-hee sleeping in her car outside of a prison, apparently waiting for Min-young’s release. He sees her waiting, but chooses to leave before she wakes.

She tries to follow him, but she’s stopped by Joon-ha, who really looked like Maru for a second. (Or is that what they wanted us to believe?) He tells her to respect Min-young’s decision. And by his words, it sounds like Jae-hee was only released from prison a few months prior. Her dreams these days are much more simple than they ever were.

Joon-ha asks her about Eun-suk, and she admits she hasn’t seen him yet. Apparently Eun-ki has been taking care of him, and they’ve been getting along great. That’s so sweet – he finally got his Eun-ki Noona.

Speaking of, we see Eun-ki in Maru’s old neighborhood hiking a sick child up to the local health center. But the doctor isn’t in. Can we dare to hope…?

When she returns to the clinic later, we hear a familiar voice. And the doctor is, indeed, Maru.

Alive. Maru’s alive. Cue collective gasps of relief.

He explains everything that happened in one convenient fell swoop, but all we need to know is that he got the brain surgery, and it was obviously successful. And now he’s a doctor again.

BUT, the little girl goes on with her exposition sickness to add that Maru lost his memories after his big hematoma surgery. He can’t remember anything or anyone he’s ever loved, nor can he recognize faces. (It explains why he looked a little confused when he first saw Eun-ki in the office, even though he smiled soon after.)

Despite his lost memories, the little girl mentions that it’s odd for Maru to always go to Eun-ki’s Bakery, because the food there is terrible and everyone knows it. But he eats there every meal. So why?

Maru just smiles. We find him next at Eun-ki’s Cafe, and she sneaks a couple of pictures of him. (If there was a drinking game for how many products have been placed in just this final episode alone, I’d be getting my stomach pumped right about now.)

He discovers her, and with a sour look, ushers her over. Her camera is full of his pictures, and he asks, “Are you interested in me?”

Eun-ki shyly admits that she is, because he’s her ideal type. “Since when have you been interested in me?” Maru asks.

She pauses. “It’s been a while.” He presses her for more details, but she doesn’t give them because she’s embarrassed. He scoffs and leaves.

We hear him in voiceover as he ends up wandering back to her shop when she’s not there – what we’d heard as he was not-dying, about wanting to start over again with Eun-ki in another life and experience an ordinary kind of love.

Maru: “What kind of person she is… I would ask those who know her. And at times, I’d hang around outside her house. And at times, because I want to look good in front of her, I’d learn the old school trot dance that her father likes, and learn baduk, and learn how to eat all different kinds of foods without being picky. And at times, I’d memorize all the songs of her favorite pop artists. And at times, I’d go to the place she frequents and wait for her the whole day.”

He says this as he ends up waiting for Eun-ki on a road she frequents, and she goes to sit by him once she sees him.

“I’d tell her I miss her if I miss her, and I’d say I long for her when I do. I’d feel excitement and gratitude. To date like other people… I think I prayed for it.”

He sits awkwardly for a moment, before he passes over a ring box. She opens it to reveal two couple (wedding?) rings inside.

Maru turns to look at her, the old him filtering through his gaze as he smiles.

They stare at each other, both smiling happily. The last lines of Maru’s voiceover follow:

“And I say my prayers again: Thank you. Now, I am happy.”


What a ride that was. And were it not for these final minutes, I would have walked away feeling a lot more dissatisfied. Not that a happy ending cures all – the ending could have been happy or sad, as long as it made sense – but thematically, it definitely worked. Narratively, not quite as well.

I couldn’t help thinking, once Maru was revealed to be alive, how moot most of the big conflicts ended up being in the long run. There was an inevitable rushed feeling that came from having so much thrown at us in these final two episodes, yet most of it didn’t emotionally resonate with me as it should have, simply because we weren’t given adequate time to really process what was happening.

Up until the forty-five minute mark, almost every auxiliary story going on was more interesting and immediate than Maru and Eun-ki’s story, which shouldn’t have really been the case. But it’s a small complaint, considering that we did get such nice wrap-ups for our side characters. Excluding Joon-ha, even though it’s good to know he’s fine. I do wish there had been more time dedicated to his accident and subsequent coma, because as it was, it felt like a throwaway device employed to spur Min-young into action. And Joon-ha, as a character, deserved a little more respect than that.

Nice Guy was never a show that delivered huge twists and jaw-dropping surprises, and most of the time it was just a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The surprises sprinkled in, like Joon-ha’s accident or even Maru’s stabbing, didn’t pack as much punch as was probably intended. Joon-ha’s accident-and-recovery inattention was probably a time constraint, but Maru’s stabbing was just frustratingly meaningless. And it had the added side effect of making me think less of Eun-ki, a character I love, because too many coincidences had happened just so and at just the right time to allow Maru to do what he does best: Sacrifice. And she got to do a whole lot of nothing.

And in that sense, his saving her was absolutely nothing new. I had hoped that Eun-ki could regain some of her lost traction by saving him from saving her, which would have done a nice job of subverting expectations. But then we’re supposed to believe that even after ALL of that, she couldn’t be bothered to notice a thing? And then it was never brought up again on screen where we could see the aftermath? Yes, his face is beautiful and it’s hard to look away, but the whole stabbing/noble sacrifice scenario felt oddly fabricated compared to the fairly organic storytelling we’ve had till now.

I loved how Jae-hee’s trajectory ended, and thought her arc was one of the more satisfying ones of the series. While I wish we had been able to learn a little more of the Jae-hee that left Maru for the Chairman, I appreciated that she was never evil just to serve the plot, nor was she ever without her own twisted justifications for her actions. The way her morally questionable actions always had immediate and terrible consequences fit in nicely with the eventual change she made for the better. Her choosing to turn herself in, without being literally forced, was as perfect an ending for her as any.

In that same vein, I was surprised that Jae-sik was also afforded a decent arc, and found myself liking his character regardless of his moral compass. This might speak more to how well he was acted, with an ease and total lack of self-awareness that you don’t normally get in your usual villain stock these days, but his refreshing honesty about how awful he was made what could normally be a frustrating character not only palatable, but also dynamic and interesting.

His realization that he couldn’t kill Maru because Choco treated him like a human being was moving, even when his thought process remained so very flawed. The fact that time was spent giving him a happy ending was a little surprising, but it was nice to see that both siblings were able to correct their past mistakes and turn over a new leaf. That was some 2+ Grade Satisfaction.

Where I find myself held up is the completion of Maru and Eun-ki’s arcs, and more Eun-ki’s than anyone. The epilogue we reached was sweet if not slightly confusing (as to whether he had his memories or not), and even though everything changes with time… What happened with Taesan, again? Not that I held any love for that company, but after making it the biggest deal for the past nineteen episodes, was it all for her to give it up and own a shop in the countryside? Not that there’s anything wrong with that decision, but if that’s where we were going, then why oh why did we spend eternity trying to get her to the top of a company she may or may not have wanted?

By leaving the hematoma reveal until the last minute, and by not letting Eun-ki catch on to Maru’s sacrifice, she ended up being so woefully removed from what was happening around her that it felt almost criminal. She was in control of nothing while Maru, up until what might have been his last moments, protected her from everything. This speaks more about him than it does her, since I think that by the time the hematoma news hit her I’d lost sight of who she really was. Who knows, maybe it dates back to the car crash, when the first sprinklings of disillusionment hit. Or maybe it was when Eun-ki 3.0 took the stage.

While I do wish we were allowed more time to spend in the aftermath of the reveals we all saw coming, I did like that the ending worked so well for Maru thematically, and thus worked for Eun-ki by extension, in allowing her to be happy with the man she loves. And while his journey wasn’t about faith, the fact that he started with none and gained it by the end to pray for what he wanted – a fresh start – was a nice touch. He was granted what he needed to live again, not in another life, but in this one. Finally, time is moving forward again. Maybe it’s moving forward for the first time.

In the end, and to an almost frightening degree, Maru proved that there is such a thing as nice guys. Endlessly fascinating and fantastically portrayed by Song Joong-ki, Maru will probably forever remain as one of those characters I liked watching from a distance, but one I wouldn’t necessarily want to know personally. I’ll gladly leave him to Eun-ki and their future soccer team of the world’s most beautiful children. They’ve earned it.


365 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 51 Opal

    I am so glad it’s over.. i only followed this drama for a while and just continue with the recap. Honestly just read the recap has made me exhausted (not because of the recapper as headsno2 is definetely awesome). It’s just the story….

    I am the minority but I really think Maru is the most stupid kdrama hero instead of nice. The title should be read as stupid guy. Still a fan of SJK though.

  2. 52 Aryast

    It was a good run, slightly bland plot in some instances but I enjoyed SJK, MCW and PSY(Park Shi Yeon, not the Gangnam guy)’s solid acting through and through.

    On that note, I shall leave you guys with this :


    • 52.1 jinjoo

      LOL thnx for sharing that, he’s so cute & unstoppable being so young! hahaha he’s awesome in that vid

    • 52.2 Awe

      how i wish i could “unsee” that. kinda freaked me out. but thanks for the link, i guess.

  3. 53 graceface

    Honestly, I must say there were some glaring flaws with the drama, especially in some plot and EUNKI’S OBLIVIOUSNESS. I MEAN REALLY?! But I enjoyed this drama because of those few really moving moments. The time when jaegil finds out about maru’s sickness, the parts when maru contemplates his happiness, choco’s crying scene in this last episode, the final scene… Such great acting and such great emotion. I definitely teared up a bit. The amazing small parts were worth the whole.

  4. 54 priya

    i love this final episod, just perfect end for every one. Jae-gil,Choco,Jae-sik,Jae-hee,Min-young and our most perfect couple Maru & Eun Gi

  5. 55 byul

    For being a silent reader throughout the recaps,I would like to express my gratitude towarda headsno2 for them.
    I watch the drama because of your wonderful recaps!!!
    TQ TQ TQ…..

  6. 56 subject

    I just finished watching the last episode and despite the fact it was an happy ending, and somewhat I looked up for a good one, I can’t avoid the feeling of unbelievable forced happy ending. It’s like 19 episodes written by Lee Kyung Hee and the last written by/for the viewers by someone else. I guess I need more time to process the ending after all.

    Thanks HeadsNo2, you’re my favorite writer. You always pick projects not by its cover but base of interest of its story, and I really admire that ability not follow after cheap populism to gain an audience excited by pop bands/Idol/young studs with abs and not really came to watch the program itself. Thanks for always taking us hand by hand and share with us your wise insights and thoughts. See you at King of Dramas soon.

  7. 57 Bunde

    I liked the ending because it really was Maru’s story, and this is what he wanted originally. He wanted another rebirth and love eun gee like any ordinary person. The very lazy writing would have been for everyone to be waiting for maru to appear and which he finally shows up at the very last minute (city hunter). Or an ending where maru dies and everyone cries for him (49 days etc).

    Some say he was too stupidly noble. However, it makes sense that he really wanted to cherish his moments with eun gee – even though it’s frustrating as heck to watch it as he is once again abused – when he was stabbed and pretended nothing happened.

    It was obvious that he knew eun gee at the end. Many reasons were provided by others.

    btw… The ring he gives to eun gee at end is the same ring set he bought in an earlier episode.

    So, in this way, we are always guessing what maru really thinks but he has been consistent. He hid his emotions because he couldn’t trust other people. And I think he couldn’t trust eun gee with his true feelings because he needed to protect her.

    And to very end he protected everyone. When they didn’t need protecting, this also was a part of the happy ending.

    I want add that Taesan wasn’t important for everyone at the end. Many times maru had asked eg and Jae Hee to run away, and both women considered this as real option. It would have been nice to show what happened to taesan, but it would be kind of lame to just say oh Jae Hee is now running it as CEO. For me I wouldn’t care unless there was a really interesting and solid twist to it.

    I agree however with many people here that they threw too many things into the last two episodes. As result we couldn’t fully appreciate some of the happenings, like the lawyer’s coma.

    Everyone has varied experiences watching some scenes. For example I thought episode 18 was not very good and served as filler while others thought it was great and had a lot of significance to entire plot.

  8. 58 Laurita

    When I saw the starting bits with Maru smiling through his tears and the clock moving forward, I was sold. It seemed so … meaningful.

    The stabbing scene. Although I feel bad that Eun-ki wasn’t able to see Maru’s wound (I kept repeating: really? You will not? Really???), this bit actually helped to sadden me to a waterfall of tears.
    And it also affected the ending. Every happy part of the show seemed so fragile and show retained that effect for me till the very end (I trembled through the whole “happy ending” for fear that it might just be a dream. It wasn’t – yeey :)). I felt something was missing in the ending, but since I don’t know what, never mind.

    One thing kind of bothered me for a second: Jae- hee comes out after 7 years? And that other guy as well? For all these (/attempted) murders? But it’s probably because at the same time I was watching other drama where for machinations a girl was locked for much longer…

    I really love this drama. Sometimes it felt over the top with all the angst and so on, but… Because of it I asked myself some questions about life, the importance of family (the drama and recaps made me think, not just watch) and it was enough to make this drama good from my perspective.

    Thanks for recaps – it was as good as the drama itself, thank you πŸ™‚

  9. 59 mskololia

    Thanks HeadsNo2. Love all of the actors/actresses.

    Unfortunately, this SW’s drama goes into the bin of forgetfulness.

  10. 60 misa.. lover

    girl I loved this drama … but disappointed by happy ending…..

    maa ki chut

  11. 61 Peridot

    For some reason, I was not too satisfied with the ending of an otherwise good drama. I wanted Maru to really have a happy ending without having to suffer any brain damage or being unable to to recognize faces from his past. I wanted him to somehow recover from his surgery and truly move on from the hurt (both the hurt that he suffered and the hurt that he caused others) and live a happy life with Eunki. I did not expect a literal starting over. I am glad that someone in an earlier post explained what Maru’s condition actually encompasses, so that makes me feel a little better. And while the ending scene was slightly ambiguous, I was (and remain) convinced that it is an indication of his remembrance of Eunki. Whether or not he could recognize her, he did seem to be drawn to her on a subconscious level.

    As for Eunki, I was very upset at how oblivious she was. She could spy on Maru talking to Jaehee on a park bench and look on with jealousy, but not notice him clutching his head in pain moments later. Then, she doesn’t notice that he is clutching his blood-stained side! Ugh…drama writers, why? But maybe she was just too shocked from everything…who knows?

    I am glad that Jaehee acknowledged her wrongs and took responsibility without being made to do so.

    One of my favorite scenes was between Jaehee and her brother, where her brother basically said that he wanted her to recognize him as a person. Amazing, even with his otherwise twisted logic.

    • 61.1 pogo

      yeah, the not-noticing about the stabbing frustrated me – Eun-ki for not noticing, and Maru for choosing to walk away into that darkness instead of, y’know, getting into his own cab and to the hospital where there are people who can SAVE HIS LIFE. idk, did love hit them both with the stupid stick or something?

      • 61.1.1 jubilantia

        Heee, definitely the stupid stick. That happens a lot in dramas. I mean, I guess it was supposed to be*~poetic~* and all, with the sacrifice/noble idiot theme, but after the fourth time of her almost getting in the cab, it got a little silly.

    • 61.2 pogo

      to be fair to Eun-ki about the hematoma headache she witnessed, what she saw probably didn’t look worse than a migraine.

      I mean, you don’t see an otherwise healthy 20/30something grip his head in pain and think ‘this guy has a life-threatening disease’, you think ‘ugh, migraine, take some pain pills’. If you’re not trope-savvy that is, lol.

  12. 62 Jushi

    By the way, it was only at the final scene where I actually appreciated Joong Ki’s song. Not that it’s bad but because he sounded like a boy…at least to me. The way he reaches the higher notes sounds similar with those of kids who are still learning how to sing. It sounded cute actually and not bad at all. Since he wasn’t really a singer it’s forgivable. Anyhow, it fitted really well on the finale because it complemented the overall vibe of the final scene – easy breezy light.

    Magnolia remains to be my fave among the OSTs though and I love love love how they used it on the Jae Hee and Ahn scene at the prison gate or wherever that is. The heavy orchestration of the piano and cello (I think) during the darker days of Eun Gi (episode 2 era) was changed into a heartbreaking guitar plucking. Mmm.

  13. 63 Lilian

    First things first, I loved that we got a happy ending….however, everything feels too rushed. why the 7 year jump? was it becoz Maru was also in jail for 7 years? I loved the ending for the supporting characters and totally agree with this. “His realization that he couldn’t kill Maru because Choco treated him like a human being was moving, even when his thought process remained so very flawed.”

    awesome ending for him! overall, not too bad , but we could have had less amnesia issues, and I personally feel we didn’t need the last stabbing at all….

  14. 64 anita

    Wow…ending of nice guy is really nice, I have watched final ep three times.
    LKH makes my week end wonderful, I am happy all days long.
    Thanks for the recap.

  15. 65 Unnursvana

    Wait…. isn’t that hospital that Maru owns now where the Vet in Padam Padam lived, and worked? It looks SO similar!

    • 65.1 Unnursvana

      * I am sorry if thus is totally random and has nothing to do with the story or anything, but this bugs me a lot. I need to know for some reason if it is the same place, because to me it looks so similar.

      • 65.1.1 RockPaperScissors

        I have know idea if it is the same locale, but when I first watched this scene, I got the same feeling it was also used in Padam Padam. Could we both be wrong? It appears to be a seaside community…

      • 65.1.2 Anduril

        It probably isn’t, but that was the same thought I had.

  16. 66 rose

    I have 4 simple word to say:I liked this drama!!!:)

  17. 67 msk

    I am glad maru lives. Didn’t anybody notice that dramas mortality rate are high. Similar too amnesia

  18. 68 pogo

    I thought it was a fitting ending, and it’s lovely that it works towards redemption and hope for the characters instead of letting them all turn into a pile of bodies. I was especially moved by Jae-hee finally finding herself in the world and this time figuring it out alone with no men to hide behind, I’m glad she’s at peace now.

    And we did get the one thing we all wanted, which was one proper admission of love between Maru and Eun-ki with no more lies and secrets between them, even if the ‘stabbed in the side’ bit had to ruin that, ugh. (and Maru’s smiling face in the opening credits! YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!)

    I’ve really enjoyed Nice Guy, and it’s been great watching it along with everyone here – Jeon Woo-chi doesn’t look like even half as good a followup even though I love fantasy, but this is going to stick in my head as one of Lee Kyung-hee’s better dramas <3

  19. 69 szufontana

    I don’t know what it is about Korean dramas, but why are they so adverse to killing off the characters? Yes, some fans all want a happy ending and judging by the many cheers in the comments about Maru living, I suspect the writers chose this ending as a form of fan-service.

    And this is the reason why the ending didn’t work for me. The stabbing I can take. The oblivious Eun Gi, sure, I’ll believe her. And that scene where Maru was lying on the ground, all alone, bleeding from his stab wound and reflecting on another life with Eun Gi, that is how his life should have ended. It was too jarring to see the next scene of them living happily ever after.

    So yeah, the ending sooooo didn’t work for me.

    • 69.1 Silverteem

      “Adverse to killing off the characters?”

      Man, you must be living under the rock.

      This writer is notorious in killing off her characters. That’s why everyone is cheering for Maru and happy when he actually lived. Because this was unexpected.

    • 69.2 Carole McDonnell

      As a writer, i’ll say that killing off a main character is the easiest way to end stories. Happy endings are harder to write. This ending has just enough of the consequences of the character’s past actions and the wiping away of his guilt to fulfill happy but bittersweet ending requirements. If a writer can make an ending bittersweet instead of flat-out nihilistic depressed-with-no-sense of redemption or hope then I say “Bravo!”

    • 69.3 Jushi

      Honestly, Maru’s death is the last thing I wanted to happen in the series. He’s been through hell throughout the show and it will be a disservice to his humanity if the writer will just kill him off.

      What is the point of writing a character who wanted to die a multiple times if not making him realize that there is more to life than being a masochist with a savior complex? Him wanting and being ready to die are grounded on the wrong principles and we wanted to see a Maru living and realizing the wrong things he has done. Yes, he is a Nice Guy but a stupid one at that.

      I think the reason why even the 7 year time gap from his operation worked for me is because the healing process he needed would really require such a long time. And I love the fact that he is far away – far from all the responsibility he’s been juggling for the past 7 years – Jae Hee, Eun Gi, Choco. Even Eun Gi gave him space and probably only followed him when he decided to go back to Korea. They needed a time apart. He needed his space and to indulge on things he never experienced because he is too selfless.

      • 69.3.1 missjb

        I completely agree with you. MaRu’s death ending would be serves a wrong messages to the audiences. I like the fact he finally be able to pay back 7 years he has been lost due to his selfless but wrong acted in the first episode. He choose to studied in USA to pursue his dreams as a doctor first along with his recovery, before come back to Eun Ki later.

        But I just can’t ignore the fact his age already reach 37 years. Though, still a HOT one. Lol
        In real life, there is a possibility he already get married with another woman in USA. he is HOT and smart right?

  20. 70 Momi

    Thank you HeadsNo2 for perfectly summing up my thoughts on the finale! I wasn’t sure as to why I didn’t feel as invested the last few episodes and I think it was simply the way it was delivered. Plus, way too many coincidences. The ending was sweet and wrapped things up pretty well but I just didn’t feel that ‘pull’ I always get with dramas. I had that feeling most recently with Arang, but definitely not Nice Guy. I think it’s a pretty forgettable drama when it all comes down to it. :/

  21. 71 Lady Seoul

    Couldn’t agree more with you headsno2! Thank you so much for all your recaps~ until your next drama, agyong!!!!

  22. 72 twubble

    I’ve been reading with interest all the comments. I skipped the first six episodes of this series because I’m not a fan of melodrama. All the weeping, secrets, conniving and really ridiculous plot devices would always make me stop watching a series after at most 2 episodes. It is to the director’s and actors’ credit that I actually followed this series. The storyline is typically melodrama, we were only missing a “Maru-Eunki half-siblings but not” arc.

    Here’s my penny’s worth……the stabbing scene and after, beautifully shot but really illogical. It was I presume to reinforce the depth of Maru’s sacrifice for the love of his life but really to move to a park bench after the being stabbed??? A former med student would never do that!!! Granted it is difficult to die from an abdominal stab wound but it’s the blood loss that kills!! Okay so we suspend disbelief and assume the haematoma made him an idiot and dropped his IQ, like his survival rate, by 50%…..but the entire conversation between him and Eunki was all about talking more the next day…no earth-shattering confession about their love, nothing, zilch, zero.

    By the way, I think that Maru does know Eunki in the epilogue. When he was talking to the little girl, he was indirectly teasing Eunki. It was the same with the photo-taking scene, finally some light banter between them. This was the aspect that was missing in their relationship previously. When she was not around he was back to being anxious and on the lookout for her. Then of course the rings…..why would you give a ring to someone you don’t remember or know! I think giving her the ring was him taking the relationship to the next level.

    I’m just going to assume that the Taesan group is in the hands of Lawyer Park….he didn’t get the girl but he’s got the company to run with Eunki being just the majority share holder.

    • 72.1 jubilantia

      Yeah, I wondered if he was faking too. Wouldn’t be the first time.

      I agree with you on the stabbing scene, but if you accept the illogical parts, their spoken parts were pretty spot on. This is a case where the writing really comes through, in that the characters aren’t saying exactly what they mean, but it comes through anyway. I think if they had confessed their love then it would have been too “on the nose”, and I don’t think either of them were emotionally ready to do that. So in that way the time-jump makes sense, although I would have liked to see enough about Tae-san to wrap it up, and more of Maru’s recovery.

      • 72.1.1 pogo

        yeah, Maru totally remembers her in the last scene, you can see it in his face even if the ring box wasn’t a clear enough sign.

        And I agree about them not needing to actually say the words at the end – surely the looks on their faces when they saw each other, and the hug and Eun-ki’s kiss, should ell us enough πŸ˜‰

  23. 73 huiting

    Tears everywhere on my face. Thank you for the excellent recap. πŸ™‚

  24. 74 neener

    A happy ending is always HAPPY πŸ˜€

    I had a great ride SHOW!

  25. 75 Skunk

    Hmm… this seems a little, unexpected, if not, disappointing! After a whole deal made out of Taesan, it seems fitting that Eun Gi would put down everything for Maru, yet it seems strange that she would do that. I find the whole trajectory puzzling. Plus, why they would need so many time skips is beyond me. I get the whole point about starting new again, but this hardly needs amnesia and prosopagnosia. If instead he could have woken up after the surgery with Eun Gi by his side, I’m sure it’d have been more satisfying than the slightly stilted and thoughtful ending provided. Or maybe, I’m just one for direct romance after all the drama that happened in this episode. While it was nice to have a good round up in the other characters’ story, I’m quite saddened that this episode tried to do so much, and lost some of its beauty from its original conception.

    Kudos to Song Joong Ki though, he certainly drove this show to its very best, and even if I’m biased towards his immensely pretty face, I’d say that his acting with Moon Chae Won was pretty much what drove the intensity of it. Sure Jae Hee and Lawyer Min were there as the antagonists, but with Maru’s complete destruction of their antics, it looked kinda amusing and I’m glad he had such an interesting and layered character =D

    Really liked the series and here’s hoping to him acting in another one soon! =D

  26. 76 Silverteem

    Did anyone notice that every kiss that they have had was during the night?


  27. 77 ju

    Thanks for all this time! Well, well no tragedy here but I think that drama likes to avoid the explanation between people. I mean it creates a big mess but don’t let us see how they resolve it. I understand that it’ll be long but I think that it would have been interesting. Well, not that I am disapointed or anything…

  28. 78 foolmoon

    I love happy ending. You can have sad ending in a movie, but for drama that you’ve invested 16 hours or more (and you know there is open option for happy ending), a happy ending is a must, or someone is gonna flip tables!

    So, I’m not gonna complain about NG’s ending. In the end, everybody is happy, even Eun Sok ’cause he is taken care by his Eun Gi noona.
    Ma Ru, after his brain operation, only suffer a propog-something condition, while his exceptional intelligence and beautiful body remain intact and can still become a doctor. (Who says this man has bad luck?)
    Eun Gi opens her new bussines and since she is a wealthy heiress, she doesn’t have to be worried about her cooking skill, because she only need that to be closed to Ma Ru ( I bet she is still taking care Tae San for weekend.)
    What I don’t like is the unnecessary scenes that make us lose the focus and the finale just becomes meh. The flashbacks (the minute it starts I already sense the drama is in trouble), Choco in noraebang (and I thought Choco is the one with ordinary people logic), the stabbing (WHAT’S THE POINT?).
    The plot could have been tightened and we could see more relevant scenes, like Eun Gi accompany Ma Ru in the hospital ward, holding hands (and we can still have voice over, y’know )

    All and all, Nice Guy is just a good drama, supported by fabulous acting from all, good directing, but not really much in the story itself -too many “strange” decision by the characters without enough explanation and coincidences (one is still the question of the year: how was the tunnel crash happen? did they make an appointment? ) push my logic out of the window

  29. 79 Kel Lea

    I loved this show, even with its flaws. But if I have one comment to make, one thing to say that sums up my feelings it’s this: HOW FREAKING AMAZING AN ACTOR IS SONG JOONG KI?! Perfect looks aside, he’s as good as anyone we have acting in Hollywood.

    • 79.1 pogo


      My feelings exactly. He’s just brought something special to every single role of his I’ve seen him in (even SKKS, where he took a character who could have been a one-dimensional flirty playboy and stole the whole frakking show AND nearly made me cry in the process)

      I hope that his military service flies past when it does come, because it’s criminal to take someone that good off the screen for that long, unless it gives him an experience that ultimately benefits him as an actor and makes him even better.

      • 79.1.1 Gasenadi

        ABSO-TIVELY!! Can’t put into words how flabbergasted I am at this young man’s acting prowess. He was cute, okay, in Scandal and recognizable in the others I’ve seen him in. But, THIS?! Just blew me AWAY! I even forgot he had a baby-face, he was that good. And there was great synergy with the rest of the excellent cast. Loved it.

  30. 80 ahjummaMAMA

    can i just say that i LOVE this drama unconditionally, loopholes and all. sometimes we just need to let some minor details go. for me, the true staying power of a drama is how it makes us feel, and how it affects us even after we watch it. i have to admit after watching the last 10 mins for the 3rd time, it still makes my heart smile. I’m just so happy that God granted maru’s humble wish.

    props to the writer (i think he intended to have a happy ending from the start- SJK’s haircut was the same in the opening credits, both the crying and the smiling one), the director, and most especially the cast. please don’t let joong ki enlist until he does a few more dramas to keep us company for 2 years.

    i will really miss this drama. definitely one of my all-time top 10! πŸ™‚

  31. 81 simplevi

    “She tries to follow him, but she’s stopped by Joon-ha, who really looked like Maru for a second. (Or is that what they wanted us to believe?)”

    i agree on that. i was in a big gasp and thought it was maru, and it took me a few seconds till i finally realize it was joon ha :p

    the ending was awesomely confusing that left me hanging and wondering for a moment till i finally…understand.

    but who cares since joongki was sooo goood being noble idiot nice guy πŸ˜€

  32. 82 Carole McDonnell

    Okay, now i can watch the last five episodes. Not as nihilistic depressing as i had feared. Thanks so much for the recap and i had to laugh at the dramatic hematoma comment. So funny.

  33. 83 Betsy Hp

    Thank you so much for your recaps, HeadsNo2. This final one in particular has helped me process the ending (along with sleeping on it ;)) — especially since I was so thrilled with the ending being happy, and there not being a final twist to the happy coda where it’s just a vision of Maru’s as he died (which I was so scared of) that I was very “Puppies and rainbows for all!” for a while there. πŸ™‚

    But… now that I’ve slept on it, here are my thoughts:
    Choco and Jae-gil: Loved how their arc ends. From Jae-gil being the one to finally get Maru to the hospital and Choco’s reason to not see Maru pre-surgery, to their goofy wedding pic and content life. It fits.

    Jae-sik: This one I kind of o.O at. His past gets white-washed, especially with the romancing of Sec. Hyun, but… I think it’s part fan-service because the actor did such an excellent job with the character so… I handwave. Be cute, Jae-sik. Be cute.

    Joon-ha: I did like how his arc was handled. His personal journey ended when he turned the tape over to Maru and gave Min-young a chance to turn himself in. Once he’s nearly killed and all, that part is all about Eun-gi. So I think showing the car accident would’ve been gratuitous. (For me, he was an adorable character, but very much secondary and not that interesting. And that view probably shapes my take.) I did like that we see his teddybear heart in action in the coda: being kind to Jae-hee and Min-young as he’d begged the Chairman to do in the beginning.

    Min-young: I liked his part of black-horse villain, striking when you least expect. But I also liked that in the end he really was loyal to Jae-hee in his robot-way. And that he realized they were toxic together and just walked away from her. (Or realized she’d be coming to him the empty-shell Maru offered to give her.)

    Jae-hee: Liked her ending, too. Agreed with all you said on her, HeadsNo2.

    Maru: I’m incredibly satisfied with his story arc and its ending. He comes to some massive realizations by the end (when he told Jae-hee he trusted Eun-gi’s strength and ability to handle anything Jae-hee threw at her, including the dirt on the Chairman, I may have fist-pumped a little :)) and he finally, finally wants to live.

    Which is why I am cool with Min-young’s knife hitting him. Because we needed a visual of Maru actually struggling to survive, pulling himself along that dark path towards the life-saving hospital (I assume? maybe that part could’ve been clearer).

    Okay, and part of my pleasure is that it fits the “Beauty and the Beast” theme that he struggles to live after Eun-gi finally admits to loving him. Still. Again. (whatever.) Their promise of tomorrow, etc.

    And finally, Eun-gi: I agree that her arc isn’t as satisfying. I think the deciding or concluding story for her was turning back to run to the hospital and Maru. That’s when she fully comes into her own. I also like her fierce protectiveness of Joon-ha and how it drove home for Jae-hee and Min-young what it meant to be always suspected. And I liked her persistence in moving to Busan (I assume? going by the coast-line that looked similar to “Equator Man”) to get near Maru and win him all over again.

    But there was a piecemeal quality to it all. I have to work to link those moments together and I think that means the show failed that aspect of the story to a certain extent. I’m not sure how it could have done better… Seeing Maru’s injury and getting him back to the hospital? That would have undermined his fighting to live, though. Maybe her coming back and finding him or something? I don’t know.

    However, piecemeal as it was, I was pleased with where Eun-gi ended up. So, on the whole, while it wasn’t perfect, I really, really enjoyed Nice Guy and am really pleased I watched it live and commented on the recaps and basically gave a chunk of my life to this show and this community. Puppies and rainbows for everyone! πŸ™‚

    • 83.1 Awe

      greets Betsy–
      thanks for a really nice post. puppies and rainbows for everyone, for sure. πŸ™‚ i enjoyed the Nice Guy ride, too. thankful to dramabeans for providing a place for community of shared interests and ideas. hope to see you again, soon.

  34. 84 Almontel

    Thanks for your recap…

    i totally loved this series and am satisfied with the ending…who doesn’t love happy endings…
    and just the other day, i was telling my dtr that it looks like it’ll be a sad ending because of Maru’s hematoma and all…

    then again, like you mentioned, when they showed the usual beginning with the clock and Maru, i did notice too that he had a smile on his face and that the clock was moving forward instead of backwards…so that kind of made me think…whoah…will it be a happy ending?

    and sure enough, it was….
    well since it’s titled Nice Guy, i know that the focus of the show was about Kang Maru and how unselfish he is to the point of giving up his life for his love ones…
    he did endure all those suffering and in more ways than others he tremendously affected the lives of everyone around him: JaeGil, Choco, Jaesik, JoonHa, JaeHee and Eunki, well even the doctor…at the start of the show Maru proved him wrong when he correctly diagnosed the sick child…
    i love that in the end…his prayers were answered, it’s a good show because i believe that God answers all of our prayers, we just need to know to be patient because it happens at the time God wants it to happen and not when we want it…

    Khamsamhida!!! now i’m sad because then we’ve got one less good show to watch…only I miss you seems likely a better replacement to watch…so far it’s pretty good too!

  35. 85 pigtookie

    I was left feeling slightly unsatisfied too, but the ending voiceovers had me crying at the sweetness of his love, which was one of the things that rung most with me throughout this drama.

    • 85.1 pigtookie

      And oh, the product placements reminded me of the drastic measures taken to ensure that orange juice was featured in King of Dramas ^^

  36. 86 jinjoo

    arghhhh, it’s one of those kdramas i wished they’d extended to at least 24 or 30, it’s so good that i’m already experiencing a withdrawal syndrome of sorts! he’s indeed the nicest guy i’ve ever watched & song is awesome as well as moon chae, i hope they get together again in another drama! their chem is just as good as when moon was with park shi hoo another face of mine! i am not reading this recap yet coz i want to watch the vid first then i’ll be back here to share my input! woah hard to believe it’s now ending! one of da best i’ve seen this year! i was enjoying may queen too but this one is far more interesting! kudos to the actors who did well & i hv a new fave aside from song it’s lawyer park or lee something πŸ™‚ he’s awesome here too as well as the tall actor i am bad with names sorry but both of them are awesome too!
    i’ll miss you maru & seon gi

  37. 87 James

    I wanted to first say that I really enjoyed this drama. I think overall the writing and acting was very good. There was very little in the way of the extraneous characters or subplots which was refreshing for me. Just a few loose ends to keep you guessing right? After all if every moment added up to something then it would be way too predictable which would have been bad for a story that really only had one question for myself. Would it be a happy ending or a sad one? Having watched a few Kdramas now I get that this is a main part of the fun.

    Honestly my only critique would have been to ask for a little more backstory on the friendship between Maru and Jae Gil, but it really wasn’t too hard to accept them seeing each other as a brother and supporter they relied on.

    I am a little suprised that so many other viewers were so freaked out by the absence of any reference to Tae San or business in the end. I say this because my understanding of the story was how damaged people find out what is most important, Love. Not power or revenge or money. So for me it seemed absolutely necessary for everyone to abandon that which created the motivations for their worst choices and behaviour. It was certainly entertaining to see how Fate and personal ambitions created all of these obstacles and passions and where they led each of the characters.

    Personally I do not believe that Maru had amnesia after his surgery. I think he was just granted the wish he asked God for. A chance to meet Eun Ki again and find Love with a fresh start. If she thought that he didn’t remember her it would be a perfect chance for her to change her mind if she still had any trust issues in either his character or her judgement and also give him an opportunity to distance himself from everyone in his past and his own personal demons. Remember what he told Jae Hee at the table scene? He wants to finally do something that was just for him, so he finally becomes a doctor and waits to see if she would find him.

    After all it seems to me he was definitely the kind of person who would have the patience and hope that if he went to America and studied that she would seek him out when he returned. He really wanted her to make him her choice, after all he did that time after time before and the fact that he gave her the couple’s rings that he meant to give to her right before she regained her memory would be a perfect way (in my opinion) to express this since she never knew about those rings. I also liked the touch of them reconnecting (again) by looking at the pictures on the camera.

    Oh yeah, I was glad it was a happy ending.

    • 87.1 latebloomer

      Yes to everything! I too found the absence of Taesan to be fitting. And yes about Maru and Eun Ki!

    • 87.2 twubble

      I agree with you. I had forgotten that several episodes back Maru had said that after she re-gained her memory and she wanted to give Taesan up then it was her choice to make. Also when Eunki was all giddy about marrying him, he put a stop to it by saying that when she re-gained her memory and she still wanted to marry him then he would not let her go.

      The writer, I think, likes things to come full circle. Jae Hee chose Taesan over Maru and now we have Eun Ki choosing Maru over Taesan.

    • 87.3 Awe

      greets James–
      nice call on the removal of Taesan from the last episode. and i agree with you that MaRu did not have amnesia and that he wanted to EunKi to choose him—seek him out. nice post, btw. thanks!

    • 87.4 Gasenadi

      Thanks, James, for the insights. Agree wholeheartedly.

  38. 88 RealKDramaaddict

    Well, it looks like JH wasn’t forever evil, witch, and bitch.

    The ending feels disjointed. The writer probably succumbed to demands of drama fans.

    • 88.1 Silverteem

      Sung Shi Won’s mother called and pestered LKH to give them a happy ending. πŸ™‚

      But I don’t think that the ending was due to LKH just succumbing to the fans, I felt that she had two ending in mind but as far as the trend goes w/ her dramas, I think she opted to the happy ending, otherwise she’ll just always be stereotyped.

      I for one, actually think that the happy ending was more fitting than what’s been painted of doom in the story. I think LKH stuck with her theme: “nothing is how it seems”, and tied the drama coherently. Headsno2 pointed this out too, although a better execution could have been done… but overall, it is fitting.

  39. 89 personainnominatum

    I was ready to hate the ending of this drama, but it’ nice of them to have Maru alive and well at in the last few minutes. Still, i can’t help but rant about the stabbing scene. That’s just plain stupid!

    Lawyer ahn: you’re gonna turn yourself to the police, might as well have a last minute killing spree is that it? And oh! Thank goodness, it’s the finale, the mastermind had to go out, and do the dirty work himself; which is a good thing for our protagonists, he was lame at it. You don’t need a criminal mind to know that if you’re planning on killing someone, you should do it in an isolated area. Good for him, smart maru chose to be an idiot.

    Maru: i thought at that point in time, you wanted to live?? That you have a reason to live?? I do understand that you don’t want to scare eun gi, but the tough eun gi’s back remember? And you should’ve at least told her that someone tried to take her life, what if min young came back for her after you send her off? Let’s not get to how no one noticed something’s wrong with someone.

    I apologize for that long rant. Don’t take me wrong, i love the drama as a whole. I also like the finalΓ©, just not that scene:)

    So how old exactly are the main characters by the final chapter? We’ve had lots of time skips!:))

  40. 90 Alexa

    I abandoned the show a few weeks back, but just noticed that the last still seems to show Tongyeong in the background. When did the story relocate there? Was it just for the final scene?

    • 90.1 Jushi

      Yes. For the last 10 minute or so. Hehe.

  41. 91 ck1Oz

    I don’t care what everyone else thinks, this was one of the best melodramas I’ve watched. The plotlines held for 18 episodes without the makjang elements.

    I absolutely hated the other melodramas this year plus the ones everyone raved about- the original ones. This, Nice Guy, held my attention for the writing, directing and acting. This is a drama… not a cryfest. Made my heart pained but not made me want to throw something at the screen.

    Thank you for the recaps. Ep 20’s final ending’s execution was a bit jarring but upon reflection, as usual the writer has woven the story’s ending quite well.

    So yeah, no regrets watching this drama. Heaps better than so many I’ve heard you guys raved about.

    • 91.1 asianromance

      I don’t watch many melodramas, but it’s definitely one of the best dramas, overall, I’ve watched. I was riveted from episodes 1-20 and mostly followed the drama weekly on Weds and Thurs from the 2nd week onwards. I don’t do that with many dramas. Sometimes I’m a few days behind. Sometimes I drop them.

      “This is a drama… not a cryfest” — very apt description of the drama. Drama can be had without being crying, screaming, and going slap happy. For the most part, I didn’t feel like that drama is trying to manipulate me into feeling sad. Lines were delivered by all our actors and actresses with depth. I feel like I need to go back and rewatch the series again to see if I will notice something new that I haven’t noticed before. The restraint the drama has shown has been impressive overall.

    • 91.2 Jushi

      Hah. That could be the reason I never really shed a tear while watching the show.

      I have to be honest though that there were times I no longer watch the show and just rely on recaps because there are certain laughable moments and scenarios necessary for the build-up. But overall I feel happy that I got on board because this is a story with ‘soul’. The coat the keeps the show warm however dire it gets during the majority of it runs made me stay. This is a story of people who are trying to make the wrong things right, mending the things that cannot be repaired, only to realize that the best thing to do is to give up and walk away.

      It brings to mind the saying that ‘something that started wrong will never end right’. I know I got the words wrong but I think I was able to capture what it wanted to say.

  42. 92 Sunny

    Dang I was pissed off at the ending. Perhaps the only really good thing about it was that it had a bittersweet feeling, which matched up with the rest of the drama. However, i REALLY dont like how the writer just THREW that stabbing scene in..it felt so meaningless because they didnt even resolve or talk about it, nor did I feel that the Ahn dude get proper punishment (ok 7 years in jail after having murdered a man and almost murdered a second? Wait did they even catch him for the latter? Ughh) I just feel like it was another stupid little schmuck of a subplot that was added to make Kang Maru an even bigger sufferer. Seriously..when they added that part, I just felt annoyed because it felt like they were making the guy a freaking martyr or something. And it felt like they were just trying to make us hate Seo Eun Gi more since she is yet again protected by Maru. And what do you call a show that dares to have BOTH protagonists encounter amnesia and be struggle to be together for up to a decade? A korean drama, that’s what. So i loved this drama up until the last two episodes because it felt like the drama stopped making sense…..

  43. 93 george

    Thanks HeadsNo2 for wrapping it all up for everyone.

    “..and she got to do a whole lot of nothing”..i totally agree.At the scene where she(eun ki) left on a taxi after meeting w/ maru at the crossing where they got to talk,i was hoping or rather so sure she had a gut feeling that something was wrong that made her turned back to go find Maru.

    And yes,i,too, would have wanted to have an answer or justification as to why Jae-hee left Maru for the chairman.(I wanted to believe for survival or just a simple human nature instinct to have a better life than she had then).

    I like that scene where Minyoung walked w/ a straight face away from Jaehee and when she was about to follow him,Joonha came and stopped her because he kind of knew and understand why.

    And for Taesan,i would like to think that the reason why Eunki was fighting for it when she can give it all up for Maru was so she could destroy it herself.I know that doesn’t make sense but still.kekeke…

    It wasn’t a bad ending.I was satisfied.I guess they made a room for complaints so just we can have our own interpretation.Or so i think…

  44. 94 jubilantia


    I just about broke at the changed beginning sequence, with a smiling Maru, but it came out all right in the end.

    Will I sound spoiled if I complain about how we arrived at my much-hoped-for happy ending? Because I feel like we got emotional payoff without any of the work.

    I feel like it’s been spinning its wheels with the misunderstandings and lack of communication for the last four episodes. It would have been better to have the hematoma escalate at the end of episode 19, or even 18, so we could see our main couple interact more about it, and then, MAYBE, time jump.

    On the other hand, Jae-hee finally had her shining moment! Yay for telling Eun-ki about The Dreaded Hematoma.

    And because of that we got the lovely Ahn-dressed-in-Early-City-Hunter sequence. Which, okay- why couldn’t you just push her to the ground, thereby tripping crazy knife guy, and get him in a stranglehold while she calls the police on the potential assaulter? Oh well. Then we wouldn’t have gotten to see Joong-ki’s stellar acting, I suppose.

    Still, I am very glad I watched this drama, and that poor Maru is actually happy now.

  45. 95 jubilantia

    OK, having actually read your recap (And thanks, by the way! Great job!):

    I had forgotten about Jae-hee’s arc. I agree with you, about wanting to see more of her pre- and directly post-murder. I feel like we could have gotten some of those flashbacks in the last couple of episodes.

    I also don’t really understand why she suddenly decided to confess to crimes she didn’t commit? Because Ahn was definitely a hardless crazy bastard who needed to be put away for a looooooong time. Yeah, she seduced him, whatever, but that’s still a two-way street. He still decides to go through with shit.

    And yeah, the badass Eun-ki in this episode should have appeared, like, 3 episodes ago. Or more. I would have much preferred her and Maru dueling when both of them have full knowledge of events. It was seriously almost comedic, how many times she almost got in the cab, and he’s all “I’m… bleeding… out… from Noble… Idiocy… over here…”

    You also articulated why Eun-ki dissatisfied me these episodes: as a character who was wasted when she had her agency taken away. I feel like the writer wasted an awesome character, especially since what she chose to do with Tae-san is part of her character arc and would have helped to tie up loose ends. I also agree with the not-resonating part, and I really feel like the story could have gone further between them. Still glad I watched it, though. Mostly because I am so very relieved.

  46. 96 asty

    You saved me! Been confused like hell (I really though he died!)when I watched it, and you’re recaps cleared it for me. πŸ™‚ And yey! Maru is alive!

    • 96.1 asty

      I mean *I really thought he died. πŸ™‚

  47. 97 Abbie

    Finally, we’ve reached the end! I’m happy with the ending of Nice Guy. The only problem I have with it is, what happened to Taesan? That plot line was left hanging, which I didn’t like at all.

    However, I think all the endings for each character was satisfying and deserved. No matter if they were villains or good guys, the endings were beautiful and hopeful. I do wish Joon-ha was given a better ending, though. At least he’s alive.

    Speaking of alive, MARU! When he fell from the stab wound I was so pissed, I seriously thought he had died. BUT, he didn’t. I was relieved to see him up and about and being a doctor like he’d always wanted. Yay for Maru. And now, he and Eun-ki can get the ending they needed and deserved from the beginning.

    Song Joong-ki was amazing in this and I cannot wait to see him in other things as well. He was absolutely beautiful as Maru, portraying his need for love and revenge together so well. I have seen few actors act this well, but well done, Joong-ki-sshi! You are amazing!

    All the actors were brilliant. Where the writing lacked, the actors totally blew my mind. Everything was well acted, and for the most part, well written. I am glad to have watched this drama. As far as Melodramas go, it is definitely in my Top 10.

    Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2!

  48. 98 blkasian

    Just wanted to add my way ward thoughts about Maru. I don’t think he had amnesia..did he not buy rings with the intent of surprising Eun-Ki during an earlier episode ? This was a really good drama in spite of all the ups and downs.

  49. 99 Chicky

    Okay… I feel quite upset that some people are really confused with the ending. When the thing is, the writer actually wants us to keep wondering…thinking… ’bout this show even until it’s last episode. Basically, we are left with unanswered questions…because we are free to make our own finale. That’s it. The power of imagination. This drama has that effect. It moves us. It makes us wonder. And for that…I admire the writer of this drama.

    >>>>ABOUT THAT STABBING SCENE—I am flustered as well, but I realized…THIS GUY IS KANG MA ROO. The good-guy-gone-bad-then-eventually-turned-good-again, the nicest guy found nowhere else in the world, the guy who has been SACRIFICING in the whole series…therefore, THE IDEA OF KANG MA ROO is a guy who can resist ANY KIND OF PAIN—because he’s used to it. I DON’T QUESTION WHY HE HAS TO HIDE HIS WOUND…Eun Gi’s safety is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO HIM…and he was a med student, he knows how critical his condition is, and yet again… HE RATHER BEAR HIS OWN PAIN… as long the one he loves is safe and sound.

    That scene is a subtle and yet powerful scene for me. And Eun Ki didn’t notice his wound…basically because THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS THAT TIME IS THAT THEY ARE IN FRONT EACH OTHER. Their eyes locked on each other’s.

    LOVE HAS THAT EFFECT….you forget the pain, because when love strikes you…you can move mountains. LOVE IS BY FAR, MORE POWERFUL THAN PAIN, HATRED AND REVENGE. And that’s how I understand this final episode.

    >>>>ABOUT THAT LAST SCENE. If you have paid attention to the previous episodes…it’s clear why Ma Roo and Eun Gi are in the countryside. They have always wanted to run away to a place no one knows them, right?? That’s a clean slate for them. A fresh start. Except, they didn’t run away “together”…after 7 years…they were given a chance to live their own lives. WHEN TWO PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO BE, LOVE WILL ALWAYS FIND ITS WAY.

    Let’s say Ma Roo didn’t fully forget, but his surgery affected his ability to recognize people (face blindness), but HE KNOWS EUN GI BY HEART (like what Eun Gi felt when she had her amnesia), eventually…he just bought her pastries because he felt like it, he waited for her usual spot because he wanted to… he’s doing things he REALLY WANTS this time. Whether he lost his memory or not. He’s just doing things just because.

    We don’t need too much elaboration. This is a raw melodrama, so realistic but filled with depth. And what we actually need to know is that IN THE END, NICE GUYS STILL EXIST IN THE WORLD. DOING WHAT IS RIGHT WILL SET US FREE. LOVE CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS.

  50. 100 pogo

    I know a lot of people wanted Maru killed off at the end/feel like his having a happy ending is ‘forced’, but I thought it was fitting – the guy WANTED to live, after all.

    Most of all, I’m glad that at the very end, everyone’s done hating each other and can live in peace.

    • 100.1 jubilantia

      I didn’t want him to die, but I feel like it could have been handled a bit better.

      Oh well, I’ve yet to watch a drama with a totally satisfying ending. Even my favorites. I guess it’s a recurring problem, when you invest so much time in the characters and story, that it’s simply impossible to end it well.

      • 100.1.1 pogo

        yeah, I do agree that it wasn’t spectacular, but I thought it was good and a fitting ending to the show and these characters. I’ve learned not to expect more, whether it’s from kdramas or American shows.

    • 100.2 Awe

      greets pogo–
      whether it be fan service or just out of time, i’m glad about the ending.
      you’re right. the guy WANTED to live and he wanted to start over with EunKi.

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