Marriage Not Dating: Episode 11
Hey all! I’m covering both of this week’s episodes of Marriage Not Dating while girlfriday is at KCON (so jealous!)… so please bear with me, I’m not as super-fast as she is! Let’s send her and javabeans our best wishes for a fantastic weekend and a safe return!
Ki-tae and Jang-mi aren’t bound to their pretend engagement anymore, but they find that it’s not going to be as easy to go their separate ways as they thought. Some new feelings are discovered, and some relationships begin to take a turn for the better. But just when things are looking up, the Green-Eyed Monster rears its ugly head to ruin everything.
EPISODE 11: “Confession (Go back)”
Ki-tae stands in the middle of a tea-candle heart, surrounded by heart-shaped balloons and holding a bouquet of roses. He smiles shyly and excitedly, as we see a woman’s feet walk down a tea-candle pathway towards him.
Back in the present, Ki-tae and Jang-mi have been on their knees for quite some time in front of Grandma, who upbraids them for lying about being engaged. They each try to cover for the other but Grandma isn’t in the mood to let them off the hook.
Jang-mi tries to explain that she understands how Ki-tae feels about wanting to be alone, after experiencing his family. Grandma yells at her for meddling in someone else’s family, but Ki-tae defends Jang-mi, saying that she thinks of others before herself and that he used that to his benefit.
Jang-mi insists that she used him too, because her parents were so happy after meeting him and their relationship improved. Awww, seeing them sticking up for each other is sweet. They even argue over who has to tell his mother and face her wrath, and Grandma just rolls her eyes and grins. Grandma always knows. She makes some cryptic remarks about them not being ready to come clean, and that it can wait. She instructs them to do well and sails out, but neither of them has any idea what she’s talking about.
Hoon-dong picks up Hyun-hee with his mother in tow, and they stop at a restaurant where his mom says Hyun-hee is pregnant and her parents are gone so someone should take care of her. But when they get inside, Hyun-hee jumps like a cat when she sees one of the waitresses, and tries to use her morning sickness to get herself out of there.
She’s not fast enough, and the waitress sees her, hollering for everyone to hear that her daughter is here. Oh no. Hoon-dong’s mom asks if her parents are already back from their cruise, and when Hyun-hee’s mother clearly has no idea what she’s talking about, Hoon-dong’s mom leaves without a word.
Hoon-dong and Hyun-hee follow her and Hyun-hee apologizes, explaining that she thought Hoon-dong’s mom would be ashamed of her parentage. His mom says that she’s not disappointed that Hyun-hee’s mother is a waitress…she’s disappointed that Hyun-hee is ashamed of her mother. That’s…surprisingly awesome of her.
Ki-tae and Jang-mi sit in awkward silence at his place, unsure what to say now that it all seems to be over. Ki-tae grumbles that he still has to see her because Yeo-reum is still living with him. Yeo-reum shows up and offers to make dinner at home for the three of them, since he needs to talk to Ki-tae.
Jang-mi trails after Yeo-reum in the kitchen, offering to help, while Ki-tae trails after her, grouching and getting in the way. Ki-tae says he can cook too, and Yeo-reum proposes a cooking contest to see who can make the better pasta dish out of ramyun. Loser grants the winner a wish.
Yeo-reum definitely knows his way around a kitchen, but Ki-tae is a hot mess. That or he’s brilliant, because Jang-mi steps in to help him, and he takes full advantage of the excuse to get close to her while Yeo-reum glares at them.
Jang-mi judges Yeo-reum’s pasta to be delicious, but hesitates to even eat Ki-tae’s, which is just a huge congealed lump. She finally tastes it but apparently her mother taught her that if she can’t say something nice, don’t say anything, and she simply declares Yeo-reum the winner. Ki-tae immediately demands best two out of three, and this time wants a man-to-man contest that doesn’t involve Jang-mi as a judge.
Cut to: Jang-mi lining up a loooong line of beer shots, HAHA. The guys play mook-jji-bba, a rock-paper-scissors game with tougher rules, and proceed to get staggering drunk. Eventually Jang-mi offers to be Ki-tae’s “black rose” (the woman’s version of the black knight, where she drinks in place of the man) and Ki-tae gets all giggly about her name, which means rose. Yeo-reum wins again and tries to claim his wish, but Ki-tae now insists on best three out of five, at least until he passes out gracefully. Hee.
Next they head to a noraebang, where the machine will declare a clear winner and loser. But it backfires on Ki-tae when Yeo-reum turns out to be a great singer (no surprise there, ha) and Jang-mi gets all googly-eyed at his pretty voice. Ki-tae turns off the music and sings an upbeat song, and soon the competition is forgotten as the three of them have a great time singing and dancing together.
Back at home Yeo-reum claims his wish, having won every round – he asks to borrow five million won (about $5000) so he can get his own place. He feels that as long as he’s living here, Jang-mi will stay entangled with Ki-tae, and he wants freedom for both of them. It’s telling that this seems to unsettle both Ki-tae and Jang-mi.
Ki-tae talks with Hoon-dong and notices he’s avoiding Hyun-hee’s calls, and asks if he’s going to dump her like he dumped Jang-mi. But this time Hoon-dong actually looks conflicted and swears he just needs time to think. Yeo-reum brings Ki-tae’s food and asks when he’ll get the money, but Ki-tae balks.
The whole conversation is made hilarious by Hoon-dong side-eyeing the both of them, still thinking Ki-tae is gay and crushing on Yeo-reum. Finally Hoon-dong can’t hold it in anymore and yells, “Ki-tae likes you!”
The whole restaurant goes silent, and Ki-tae is all, What in the what now? Hoon-dong says that it looked like Ki-tae doesn’t want Yeo-reum to leave, but Yeo-reum just says seriously that once he leaves Ki-tae’s house, Jang-mi won’t have reason to go there anymore either. Hoon-dong finally figures out that Ki-tae’s feelings are actually for Jang-mi, and Ki-tae doesn’t bother to deny it.
Ki-tae’s mom calls Jang-mi’s mom to tell her she needs to talk to her, then heads to the department store. Jang-mi and Hyun-hee are on their very best work behavior, as executives of the store are there doing inspections, until Jang-mi notices a very familiar-looking pink diamond ring on the hand of a shopper.
Ki-tae’s mom shows up to talk to Jang-mi just then, and Jang-mi accidentally yells at her in her nervousness. Mom and Mistress see each other and both visibly start, and Mom turns to go but Mistress asks her snidely if she needs her ring again. Wow, that’s super bitchy.
Mistress says that Mom’s future daughter-in-law must be stupid, since she knows the situation but not that the ring is hers. She makes more snarky comments about how the daughter-in-law is a gold-digger, and how humiliating it must be that her husband doesn’t love her, as both Mom and Jang-mi try their hardest to keep their dignity.
Finally Jang-mi invites the woman, with her best customer service smile, to shut up. She yells that she’s the “stupid gold-digger,” as the executives gape at her. But Jang-mi is all riled up now, and confronts Mistress for daring to insult the woman who is trying to keep her family together while Mistress destroys it.
Mistress keeps it up, getting even nastier if that’s possible, and Mom takes Jang-mi’s hand and tries to lead her out. Mistress sneers that if her life was so great then Mom wouldn’t always avoid her. Jang-mi yells that Mom avoids her because she’s dirty, earning a slap across the face and a cut from the ring.
That’s all Mom can take, and she shrieks, “How dare you lay a hand on her! That’s my daughter-in-law!” as she grabs Mistress’s hair and starts yanking. Go Mom! The two women grapple, and Jang-mi joins in with her own battle-cry: “That’s my mother-in-law!” Soon they’re all rolling on the floor screaming (Jang-mi and Mom winning of course, because they’re bad-ass like that).
Afterwards, Jang-mi and Mom sit outside looking like they’ve been pulled through a hedge backwards, neither of them speaking. Jang-mi meekly apologizes for her behavior, and Mom doesn’t answer but starts making odd choking noises. She starts to giggle, then guffaw, then points and laughs at Jang-mi until Jang-mi joins in and they both laugh until they’re out of breath.
But Mom suddenly sobers up and says blandly, “I really don’t like you. I hate kids like you.” Jang-mi is baffled, and Mom explains that that’s what she used to think, that she didn’t want to get in a mess getting rid of someone like Jang-mi, but it happened anyway. She says they should cancel the wedding and return all the gifts, and Jang-mi breathes a sigh of relief and agrees.
But Mom says next, “Let’s start over.” She says she wants to try again and treat Jang-mi better this time, though she tells her not to get too excited because she only said she’ll try, and she still might pull out Jang-mi’s hair later. Okay, who knew Mom was so funny! Jang-mi is shocked, but admits to herself that she’s a little excited that Mom finally likes her.
Later Ki-tae meets with Jang-mi’s parents and tells them that he doesn’t want to cancel the wedding. He’s spoken with his mother, and she’s said that she doesn’t expect any gifts from their family, no need to take out loans, and he says that Jang-mi herself is all he needs. He really looks sincere, too – awww, sweet boy.
Ki-tae and Dad drink together again to celebrate, and are pretty sloshed by the time Jang-mi comes home. She demands to know what he’s doing, and he just slurs that he didn’t want all their hard work to go to waste. And seriously, Ki-tae makes the cutest drunk faces ever. Dad invites Ki-tae to spend the night, and he’s just so giggle-happy to accept, it’s precious.
Hoon-dong mans up and meets Hyun-hee to talk, and he says that his mother is really suspicious of this whole situation (your mom and everyone else, my friend). He hesitantly asks if it’s really his kid, but backpedals at Hyun-hee’s offended expression, saying it’s just his mom who wants to know. He says that he has to consider his mother or he’ll end up coming to Hyun-hee with nothing.
Hyun-hee just says that it must be nice to be able to walk away so easily, and asks him to go to the hospital with her – if he walks away from the baby, she’ll have to, also. To his credit, Hoon-dong looks very upset by this idea.
Back at Jang-mi’s, the family prepares a bed for Ki-tae in the living room when he coyly comes out in an outfit of Dad’s to sleep in (Mom deadpans that it’s the first time a guy has looked sexy in those clothes, HA). Everyone goes to bed, Jang-mi warning Ki-tae that it’s an old house and may have roaches, assuring that he gets zero sleep.
Jang-mi’s parents sleep in the same bed for the first time in ages, not wanting Ki-tae to know that they’ve been sleeping apart. Dad adorably snuggles up on Mom, who protests but allows it. Soon they’re spooning and sleeping peacefully.
Neither Ki-tae nor Jang-mi can sleep, both hyper-aware that the other is right in the next room. A roach crawls across Ki-tae’s foot and he freaks out, crashing into Jang-mi’s room where she’s bouncing off the door trying to decide whether to go out to where he is. He begs her to let him stay, and she wonders where the guy who wanted to be alone went.
Ki-tae wanders around the room commenting on her messiness, and finally puts on a CD and sits in her bed, oh-so-casually asking why she was hovering near her door. He guesses she couldn’t sleep with such a hot guy right outside (snerk), but she says it’s because her parents are normally working late and she sleeps in an empty house. It’s the first time her house has felt like a family was all sleeping there.
She thanks Ki-tae for making it happen, and he runs with the moment and tries to put an arm around her, only to get barked at to get out now. He says he’ll leave after this one song, but starts to nod off and falls asleep on Jang-mi’s shoulder. She tries to get him up but he just pulls her in close, still fast asleep.
Jang-mi wrestles herself free but stares at him, and tells his sleeping face that his mother called her daughter-in-law today and it made her excited. She touches his hair gently, which rouses him enough that he pulls her in again. She’s stunned by her feelings and whispers, “What do I do? I must like you.”
In the morning, Ki-tae and Jang-mi sleep in her bed all cuddled up, until Dad harrumphs at them from the doorway. They both bounce awake and try to deny anything happening, but Mom manages to drag Dad out, telling him that their fortunes make them drawn to each other. So funny how Ki-tae checks under the covers to make sure Jang-mi is dressed and his denials of anything happening are true, hee.
Mom plays the solicitous mother-in-law at breakfast, giving Ki-tae all the choicest bits of meat, and he enjoys it as Jang-mi laughs at them. Aw, they look like a real family. At least until Jang-mi remembers her realization that she actually likes Ki-tae, and leaves after griping that her parents aren’t acting normal.
Ki-tae helps Mom with the dishes, and she asks when he’s going to propose. Since they’re starting over, he needs to start with a great proposal. Mom says she’ll keep the secret so it can be a surprise, and instructs him to make it really moving.
Ki-tae’s father asks his mother (who’s sporting a really pretty new haircut to go with her new attitude) if the rumor about her fighting his mistress is true. He knows Jang-mi was involved, and regrets not getting rid of her sooner, but Mom just says it’s too late and she’s accepting her. She can tell that Jang-mi loves Ki-tae sincerely and won’t two-time him like some people. Boo-yah.
Ki-tae goes home to find Yeo-reum packed to move and gives him the money he promised, telling him to just take it since he won the bet. Yeo-reum says cryptically that the real bet starts now, and he’s going all-in, and he warns Ki-tae to be on his guard if his feelings really are sincere.
Later at work, Ki-tae gets a text from Jang-mi’s mom, telling him to make her the star of a drama when he proposes and sending a video for inspiration (hey I know that one!). He’s so focused that he misses that a patient is right in front of him. She advises Ki-tae that whoever the girl is that he’s obsessing about, he should grab her before someone else does.
Being a smart man, Ki-tae goes shopping for proposal supplies. He spends all day decorating his place with candles, balloons, roses and lights, until his whole home is a romantic wonderland. He remembers the first time he met Jang-mi, when she had decorated an entire hotel suite similarly, and smiles to himself. He adorably practices his proposal in front of the mirror, cringing at the cheesiness, and finally settles on a simple and honest, “Shall we do this for real? Marriage.”
Se-ah calls Ki-tae’s mother out for coffee, and tells her that Ki-tae and Jang-mi’s engagement has been fake all along. Mom admits that she originally thought so, but she believes now that their feelings are real. Se-ah insists that it’s still fake, and that Jang-mi even has a boyfriend. Mom is devastated and leaves without a word, and Se-ah drops her sympathetic expression so that we see the cold, calculating bitch underneath.
Ki-tae calls Jang-mi to invite her to his place after she gets off work, and she agrees since she wants to talk to him too. He gets busy lighting all the candles and finishes right as the doorbell rings. He gets into position and calls her in, looking so cutely nervous that it’s making me nervous.
But it’s Se-ah who enters, and Ki-tae immediately looks guilty and stammers as he asks why she’s here. Se-ah tells Ki-tae that she’s confessed everything to his mother, saying it was the only way to stop him. And that’s your job why?
Meanwhile, Jang-mi is on her way to Ki-tae’s but she’s stopped by Yeo-reum, who asks her to dinner. Jang-mi says that she needs to confess something, and tells him that she feels terrible because the parents think her marriage to Ki-tae is real. Yeo-reum asks if she’d really get married just for others, but she says sadly that won’t happen, because Ki-tae isn’t sincere about her.
Yeo-reum says he doesn’t care about others’ sincerity, that he’s okay as long as her feelings aren’t involved. Jang-mi replies with tears in her eyes that that’s the problem – she really cares for Ki-tae. She says she can’t help it, but she wants to be with him and she wants the engagement to be real.
Yeo-reum asks if Ki-tae knows how she feels, and she says he doesn’t yet. She wanted to tell Yeo-reum first, since that’s the right thing to do. He says that he’s glad she did, and glances over to see Ki-tae’s mother approaching as she walks home. Right on cue, he hugs Jang-mi hard, just in time for Ki-tae’s mother to see them and get the exact wrong impression he means for her to get.
As Ki-tae’s mother remembers her conviction that Jang-mi isn’t the kind of girl to two-time Ki-tae, she freezes to see her hugging another man right in the street. And at Ki-tae’s house, Se-ah steps into the heart of candles with Ki-tae and says, “Let’s get married.”
I was willing, towards the beginning of the drama, to give Se-ah and Yeo-reum a pass on their little spy plan. Yeo-reum didn’t know Ki-tae or Jang-mi very well at that point, and as soon as he liked Jang-mi he gave the money back. But this time he’s absolutely crossed the line, because this was obviously a giant pre-planned setup between him and Se-ah, to break up Ki-tae and Jang-mi. The timing was just too perfect, and the placement of all the players too exact, for it to be coincidence. The way Yeo-reum made sure Ki-tae’s mom was watching before he hugged Jang-mi was a dead giveaway – they had everything planned down to the last second.
And with that, I am officially done with Yeo-reum. I’ve given him a lot of leeway through this show, since he’s clearly got a sad past with being abandoned and truly did seem to care for Jang-mi. But when you care for someone, you want them to be happy no matter what, you don’t try to sabotage their happiness in the hopes that they’ll come to you. I’ve said this before – life doesn’t work like that. Jang-mi just told him that she has feelings for someone else, so what makes him think that taking that chance for happiness away from her will mean she’ll have feelings for him? I get that Yeo-reum has some pretty stunted emotional growth, but come on. That’s just logic.
And Se-ah is worse, because she knows without a doubt that Ki-tae doesn’t love her. He broke things off with her years ago, and had plenty of time to look her up if he missed her. Not to mention, he hasn’t once taken her up on any of her many offers (of herself or just to give her a baby), so what on earth makes her think that walking in on his obvious proposal to another woman and announcing that she’s just ruined his life will make him agree to marry her? I swear, these people got the cray-cray.
I’m mostly sad because I was so looking forward to Jang-mi and Ki-tae’s mother finally coming to an understanding. Interesting that Mom saw Jang-mi’s sincerity towards Ki-tae before she even knew it herself, which tells me that Mom is quite the observant lady in spite of her ice queen exterior. We’ve all known for weeks that Jang-mi understands Mom in a way that her family never tried to understand her, and I loved that their catalyst for making peace was a catfight with Skanky Mistress. If teaming up against the woman who ruined your family couldn’t bring Mom around, nothing could. I’m just so disappointed that their truce was so short-lived, and now they have to start back at Page One.
I’m hoping against hope that we can resolve all this soon, because I’m just heartbroken that we got so close to the resolution that we’ve been hoping for, only to have it all torn away again. Someone please put Se-ah and Yeo-reum away somewhere and let Ki-tae and Jang-mi alone for one freaking day! If they could just have one honest, truthful discussion without being interrupted, this would all be resolved so quickly. We can only hope it happens sooner rather than later.