Orange Marmalade: Episode 3
Let the cute commence! Our leads stop hiding their feelings and decide honesty is the best policy, though Ma-ri’s big secret is still one she holds close to the vest. They even make new friends as the band is finally formed, which does good things for Ma-ri’s confidence and Jae-min’s maturity. He’s not ready to forgive his mother yet, but for now at least, he decides to stop punishing himself just to get back at her. Baby steps.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Ma-ri plays her guitar and thinks back on her interactions with Jae-min. She only just now realizes that the boy who helped her on the train, the boy who followed her to the station, and the boy who kissed her neck in front of her house were all the same person. “Every time… it was you.”
Shi-hoo is staying with Ma-ri’s family for the time being, and he finds the sheet music of her song and hums the sweet tune. He crumples the note from Jae-min about starting the school band, but then remembers Ma-ri saying she felt like she was changing for the better, and reluctantly puts it back.
Still thinking of Jae-min, Ma-ri worries about his sweet-smelling blood, which makes him a person that’s hard for a vampire to be near. She wonders why he has to have that blood, because it’s dangerous for her to like him.
Ma-ri rushes off to school in the morning and Shi-hoo follows her, but she warns him not to make it obvious at school that they live in the same house. Shi-hoo says he’s not there because he wants to be, but Ma-ri claps a hand over his mouth when he starts to say something about vampires sticking together.
Frustrated, Shi-hoo asks if Ma-ri isn’t tired of always worrying about what humans think, but she points out that he’s going too far in the other direction, doing interviews and giving away vampire secrets. He tells her that he’s blacklisted now, and been given a warning from VCS that the next time, his punishment will be severe.
Ma-ri says that this is the school she’ll be graduating from as she’s tired of transferring, but Shi-hoo is convinced it’s because of Jae-min. It’s obvious Jae-min likes her, and he doesn’t seem trustworthy. Ma-ri says that’s just another way of saying he’s good-looking, calling out Shi-hoo’s jealousy.
But Shi-hoo knows of Jae-min’s vampire prejudice and warns Ma-ri that he’ll turn his back on her once he learns the truth. He half-threatens to out her as a vampire just to see what Jae-min will do, and Ma-ri yells at him to shut up.
The tension is palpable at school that day, as everyone watches everyone else. Ma-ri avoids Jae-min’s eyes, but stares whenever he looks away. Ah-ra and Shi-hoo both take in the couple’s nonverbal interactions, looking distinctly unhappy.
Later Shi-hoo sits on the school roof, remembering the day he met Jae-min — the day Jae-min’s mother and Shi-hoo’s uncle were married. He seems to have been a sensitive boy, and played a bit with Jae-min on their guitars, trying to make a connection. Unaware that Shi-hoo was a vampire himself, Jae-min had told him a “scary” secret, that his mother had just married a vampire.
He’d gone on to say that vampires should all die, and set down his guitar and walked away from his music. Shi-hoo had called after him, but Jae-min just told him to keep the guitar or throw it away. Inside the guitar case, Shi-hoo had found a photo of Jae-min and his mother.
Jae-min plays basketball in the school gym while his bevy of female admirers chant from the stands. Shi-hoo enters and issues a silent challenge, and the two play an aggressive game that has very little to do with actual basketball.
Shi-hoo sneers that Jae-min can’t really be first in school academically, since his memory isn’t great (meaning, he doesn’t remember him). He does his best to rattle Jae-min’s cage, saying he and Ma-ri don’t look good together and that he’s too closed-minded to get along in the world. He’ll never be able to understand Ma-ri.
Confused and angry, Jae-min shoves Shi-hoo down and makes a basket, winning the game. Shi-hoo glares up at him, the loser for now.
Shi-hoo plays his guitar alone that night, trying to adapt Ma-ri’s song to get her attention. He mutters that it’s useless, liking a human, wishing Ma-ri understood that. Little brother Joseph silently takes his hand and leads him outside — happy for a distraction, Shi-hoo indulges him.
Later Jae-min wanders past Ma-ri’s house, and she runs outside on the phone with Shi-hoo, who’s lost little Joseph. She tells Jae-min that her brother is missing, and he grabs her phone to find a picture of the boy. He sends it to himself, then puts it out in a group text to their schoolmates, asking them to help find the missing child. That’s sweet.
Shi-hoo frantically looks for Joseph, and runs into Ma-ri’s parents who are also searching. He apologizes for losing their son, and Dad reminds him that young vampires, before they start talking, have no control over their instincts. Without adult vampire supervision, Joseph could bite a human. Oh dear.
Jae-min’s text mobilizes the students, and all his friends help look. Someone sees a kid alone at a nearby park, so Jae-min calls Ma-ri to tell her, and she rushes to find him. But Jae-min finds Joseph sitting on the slide first, and unaware of the danger, he says he’s noona’s friend and opens his arms to the child.
Joseph puts his arms around Jae-min’s neck, and goes right for the jugular. Thank goodness, Ma-ri gets there in time and snatches Joseph away, which confuses Jae-min. But she can’t explain that she’s terrified of what almost happened, and just runs away leaving Jae-min to wonder what he did to earn that look from her.
Ma-ri takes Joseph to a quiet bench and, still upset, fusses at him that he can’t bite people. But apparently vampire children develop slowly (since they live longer than humans, about 150 years according to Shi-hoo), so Joseph doesn’t understand why his noona is angry, and just bursts into tears. Awww, poor little peanut, he’s had a hard night.
Frustrated and scared, Ma-ri cries right along with him, and when their mom calls she tells her they found Joseph. Mom is worried by Ma-ri’s tone of voice, but Ma-ri can’t express why she’s so upset and just sobs. She and Joseph hug it out and cry together.
Everyone is talking about Ma-ri at school the next day, assuming that Jae-min helped her find her brother because he likes her. They’re not wrong, but Ma-ri is intensely uncomfortable at being the center of attention like this. She runs into Jae-min in the hall, but he’s still hurt by her behavior last night and avoids her.
In class, Ah-ra’s mean little posse talk loudly about how much they dislike Ma-ri, right in front of her. Ah-ra herself looks thoughtful, and changes the subject. Ma-ri’s seatmate Soo-in asks if she and Jae-min are dating, which Ma-ri denies. Soo-in blabbers on and on about it, until Ah-ra interrupts and says Teacher Han is looking for Ma-ri.
Ma-ri is pleased to hear that her teacher is a vampire too, and he pleasantly offers to share some synthetic blood with her. As they eat, he tells Ma-ri that he’s worried about Shi-hoo. He also gave up his music and started acting out, but his uncle thinks that if he gets back into music, it could re-open his heart.
Ma-ri says she barely knows Shi-hoo — he lived with them when they were children, but only for a couple of days. Han says that at that time, his parents were taken away by the VCS, and are receiving the same “Ahn-chi” punishment that Shi-hoo has been threatened with if he causes more trouble. Their punishment still has five years to go.
He tells Ma-ri that Ahn-chi is when the least amount of blood is provided to keep the vampire alive, which sounds horrific, though we don’t hear why they’re being punished. But the way Ma-ri’s face contorts, it looks like it’s probably the worst punishment a vampire can receive.
Ah-ra finds Ma-ri, and she’s being suspiciously nice — I don’t trust her one tiny bit. She says that her friends want Ma-ri to join their dance team, but Ma-ri has a different idea. She offers to join the school band with Ah-ra instead, and she actually smiles her first genuine smile. Ah-ra doesn’t look too thrilled at not getting her way, but whatever plan she’s cooking up depends on Ma-ri thinking she’s her friend.
Heh, afterward Ma-ri bonks herself on the head for being an idiot and falling for Ah-ra’s nice act even though she knows better. But she’s in whether she likes it or not, and heads over to the music room to find Jae-min in there alone.
His feelings are still hurt by the way Ma-ri looked at him after he helped find her brother, but today she thanks him sincerely. She apologizes for everything, all the way back to her behavior on the train, and he’s surprised to learn that she didn’t even know it was him. Aww, poor puppy, his little romantic bubble just burst.
He softens when Ma-ri says she’s mostly sorry that they’ll have to avoid each other, since everyone is talking about her now because of him. Being Mr. Popular, he wonders what’s so bad about that, and she points out that he wouldn’t know since he’s used to being good at everything. Ha, he’s simply gobsmacked when she says that not everyone is like him.
Ma-ri explains that she doesn’t like being the center of attention, and that she’s started to hate herself because of it. But adorably, Jae-min just says that now that she’s actually opening her mouth, Ma-ri turns out to be pretty good at talking. He says that words are great, but if she’s really thankful, she’ll listen to him play one song all the way through.
He plays her song on his guitar, which he’s turned from a bare tune into a gorgeous love song. Ma-ri’s face softens and she taps her fingers along with his playing, and she watches Jae-min with a new awareness. Outside the room, Shi-hoo listens in and hangs his head in defeat, knowing that Jae-min’s version of Ma-ri’s song is better than his.
Ma-ri does stay for the whole song, and Jae-min thanks her — he’s playing the guitar again because of her. He tells Ma-ri of his parents’ divorce and his father’s death two years ago, and that he lives alone. He says that his mother was a music teacher and taught him guitar, but no matter how much he loves it, he refused to do anything his mother wants.
Ma-ri agrees that he looks like someone who holds a grudge, which makes Jae-min laugh in agreement. But he says that flipping through her music book weakened his resolve, and he realizes that refusing to play music didn’t actually change anything. That’s refreshingly mature.
He admits that he’ll never understand his mother, but from now on he wants to do what makes himself happy. He asks what Ma-ri plans to do to start over, and asks her to join him. Ma-ri thinks to herself that she may eventually regret this moment, but she takes the guitar from Jae-min and starts to play.
And so, they get to work forming the band. Soo-in joins to play percussion, and Jae-min’s class-clown friend (whose name I still haven’t caught) is the drummer. Shi-hoo reluctantly agrees to play backup guitar, with Ah-ra on keyboard. They all practice a song that Ma-ri writes, and Jae-min only withdraws a little whenever Teacher Han checks in on them.
When the group stops for snacks, Shi-hoo watches Ma-ri incredulously as she eats a bit of kimbap to fit in. She thinks that she doesn’t want to avoid beginnings anymore just out of fear of the ending. She and Jae-min stay late to work on the sheet music, playing an adorable game of I’m-Not-Looking-At-You, while totally checking each other out.
Jae-min casually puts a package of cookies on the table and Ma-ri thinks how he makes her the most nervous, since his sweet-smelling blood is such a danger to her. Overwhelmed, she abruptly leaves the room, confusing poor Jae-min. He eats the cookies alone while Ma-ri peeks back into the room and smiles, vowing just this once to do what she wants.
The group draw a band name at random, and the name they pick is Orange Marmalade. Ma-ri admits it was her idea, and they create a cute logo that everyone loves. Jae-min and Ma-ri grow closer as they go from practice to an actual outdoor concert, which Jae-min’s mother and Shi-hoo’s uncle attend.
The band is pretty good! They have a ball making music together, though not everyone is as happy as Ma-ri and Jae-min. Shi-hoo and Ah-ra both watch the happy duo as they play, seeming discontented at how close the two are becoming.
After the concert Jae-min’s mom interviews the band, asking band leader Jae-min why they chose the name Orange Marmalade. He says that he’s the band leader but Ma-ri actually chose the name, and turns the mic over to her.
Shyly, Ma-ri says that when you eat oranges, you throw away the peels. But when you make orange marmalade, you include the peels in order to improve the taste and texture. To make something special, even the parts that you would usually trash are needed. Awww, I like that, that even the misfits are necessary. Everyone applauds at the explanation, though Ah-ra rolls her eyes.
After the concert, Teacher Han tells Ma-ri that he was impressed by the deep meaning to the band name. Especially since she’s never actually tasted marmalade, ha. Teacher Han acknowledges that it’s hard living with being different, and that getting caught by humans is scary.
Ma-ri says she never gets used to the feeling of being caught out, and Han even likens it to bungee jumping. You know you won’t die, but the fear is the same. He tells her it does get better, especially when you get lucky enough to love someone who also loves your secret.
Speaking of whom, Jae-min’s mom finds him alone and tries to talk with him, and he visibly stiffens. He addresses her formally as “Teacher” and refuses to talk about anything personal, but she ignores this and says it makes her happy to see him playing guitar again.
She tries to take his hand but he jerks away in disgust, says he doesn’t want his personal relationships revealed, and walks away from her. He goes for a walk but Teacher Han intercepts him, and cryptically asks if he’s heard of the “Wishing Lighthouse.” If you make a wish there, it will come true.
Ma-ri is currently climbing up to that lighthouse with her guitar. But she can’t think of a wish when she gets there, and guesses that it’s because she doesn’t believe in wishes.
We see Jae-min’s mom looking sadly over the water, and Teacher Han watches from a distance. Ma-ri had asked him if he ever loved anyone whose blood tasted sweet, and he’d answered yes, and that it’s still sweet to this day.
Ma-ri had told him of someone whose blood smells sweet to her that way, implying that she might be falling for him, and she thinks of Jae-min as she plays guitar at the lighthouse. Out loud she says, “I miss you, Jung Jae-min.” As if she conjured him, he steps out from behind the lighthouse and watches her play.
He gives her the sweetest smile when she notices him, and says that they say your wishes come true here. It must work, because his wish was that she would be here. Ma-ri stands to face him, and says that her wish just came true, too.
While she was sitting here, she’d thought that she missed him. She steps forward and gives him the lightest of kisses, and tells him that she’s not who he thinks she is. “But… I like you. I’m sorry.”
Still smiling, Jae-min says that if that’s the case, she should continue to be sorry as much as she wants. This time he moves into her and leans down, and Ma-ri thinks that at first she was nervous because every time she saw him, she couldn’t resist his sweet blood. But as they slowly kiss, she realizes — that’s love. She, a vampire, loves a human.
Awww, what a sweet confession, on both of their parts. I’m happy that Jae-min and Ma-ri finally got on the same wavelength, because I would much prefer to see them fall in love sooner rather than later, and spend our time exploring the fallout when Jae-min learns that Ma-ri is the thing he hates most. I like that Ma-ri’s love for Jae-min is teaching her to be more confident and take risks, and I hope that falling for Ma-ri does the opposite for Jae-min. He could do with a dose of introspection and maturity, and learn to be more accepting of people who are different than he is. Or at least to realize that not everyone is like him.
It’s so cute, watching Jae-min learn that the world doesn’t revolve around him. His expression when Ma-ri said that not everyone wants to be popular and the center of attention, was just too cute. He’s so used to being good at everything and having people love him for it, he has no idea that some people may not want to be a focal point. He’s not really arrogant, at least not in a mean way, it’s just that he takes his popularity and talent for granted and honestly has no idea that someone might actually want to fly under the radar. In that sense, meeting and falling for Ma-ri is going to be very good for him. Seeing her slowly but surely topple him off his self-erected pedestal is going to be so fun.
As much as I love our main couple, though, I find myself drawn strongly to Shi-hoo as well. He has the saddest eyes, and I want to know what changed him from the sweet, caring boy at the wedding to this angry, reckless young man we know now. I’m certain it involves his parents and their punishment, and I’m dying of curiosity to find out what they did to earn it. I have a sick feeling that whatever it is, Shi-hoo blames himself. He’s so potentially self-destructive, I almost think he’s trying to get himself the same punishment his parents are currently enduring.
But what I appreciate about Shi-hoo, and also what breaks my heart, is his willingness to step back for Ma-ri’s happiness. He’s not always (or even usually) gracious about it — he’s very vocal that her attraction to a human is stupid and reckless. Not to mention pointless, since the moment Jae-min learns her secret, he’ll turn on her, and in that sense Shi-hoo is giving Ma-ri some very good advice. But he sees the positive changes in her, and puts her feelings before his own. Not that he isn’t prepared to fight for her, since he’s not shy about getting in Jae-min’s face and pushing his buttons where Ma-ri is concerned. He not even above threatening to tell Jae-min that Ma-ri is a vampire, just to try to force the issue and cause a rift between them. But in the end, the sensitive and caring boy that we saw at the wedding, the one who worried about the boy who was so lonely and upset, wins out. He’ll tamp down his own wants and feelings if it means Ma-ri will be happy, even if he knows it’s only temporary.
I really love the pacing of this show, which feels languid and relaxing while still delivering a lot of information. I learned a lot about vampires in this episode without even realizing it, because there’s no exposition fairy — the details just come out in natural conversation without feeling stilted. The writing really flows in that sense, and I love that I never feel, as a viewer, that I’m being spoken at or that a scene has to take a pause to teach me something. It all just happens naturally, which feels very real and allows the scenes to breathe. All in all, I really appreciate where this show is going and how it’s taking us there, and I hope it stays on this track all the way through. Do you hear me, Show, don’t change a thing! You might be strange and different, but we love you just the way you are. Sweet vampire blood and all.
- Orange Marmalade: Episode 2
- Orange Marmalade: Episode 1
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- Bashful high school crushes in Orange Marmalade
- Vampire kisses and Yeo Jin-gu tears in Orange Marmalade’s first teaser
- Vampires get schooled in Orange Marmalade
- Yeo Jin-gu falls in love with vampire for Orange Marmalade
- Yeo Jin-gu courted for new KBS fantasy romance drama