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53

Marriage Contract: Episode 3

Hye-soo and Ji-hoon flesh out the details of their fake marriage, and immediately start to butt heads. They’ll need to get on the same page if they want to not be found out, and that may be the hardest part of this whole escapade. It doesn’t help that the plan is way too big to keep quiet for long, and neither of them seem very good at keeping secrets, anyway.

EPISODE 3 RECAP

Hye-soo tells Ji-hoon that she’s willing to marry him, and when he asks how much money she wants, she makes it simple: She just wants enough to last until Eun-sung is old enough to be on her own. Ji-hoon easily agrees, provided that she’s a match to donate her liver to his mother. Hye-soo gets the test done that day.

Ho-joon is glad to hear the news on the one hand, but he’s also still nervous. He doesn’t understand why Ji-hoon is going to such lengths for his mother, and Ji-hoon just wryly smiles that it must be strange, seeing him act like a good son.

That night, Hye-soo tells a sleepy Eun-sung that she’s found a way to take care of everything. She visits her doctor and asks if she can postpone treatment for her brain tumor, since she’s asymptomatic at this point, and she can’t afford the treatment anyway. Once things improve, she’ll come back and accept treatment — she’s determined to survive.

She meets with Ji-hoon, who gives her payment in advance, because her test results are back, and she’s a donor match. It doesn’t mean they’re in the clear, because they still have to make sure the hospital staff believes they’re a married couple, and not let on that he’s paying her for her donation (what they’re planning, organ selling, is extremely illegal).

He makes it clear that if anything goes wrong because of her, he expects all of his money back. She passes him her signature stamp so that he can get the marriage license, and he tells her that once the surgery is over, they’ll get a divorce.

They go to have wedding pictures taken, and I’m sure that there’s a flicker of… something… in Ji-hoon’s eyes when he sees Hye-soo in a wedding dress. The physical closeness required for the photos seems to make them both a little overly-aware of each other, especially when the photographer tells them to kiss.

Ji-hoon has a whole story cooked up to make sure the hospital doesn’t suspect that they married for anything other than love — they got engaged secretly a year ago because his mother didn’t approve, and neither of them told their families. He tells Hye-soo to start working at his restaurant again, so that he can keep an eye on her and make sure she’s not making trouble, and she looks pretty pleased about going back to work at Promise.

Ji-hoon goes to see his mother that night, but she’s refusing to speak or respond to anyone. She does speak to her son, to ask him to take her home, and Ji-hoon tries to tease her out of her self-pitying mood. He refuses her request, telling her that he may have found a donor, so she’s to stay here and grow strong enough for surgery.

Chef Soo-chang seems happy to see Hye-soo working at Promise again (for certain grouchy values of “happy”), and he even defends her from a snarky server. Seung-joo is suspicious, wondering how Hye-soo paid the loan back all at once, but she just vaguely says that she got some help. She shuts down his further questions, and tells him to put it out of his mind.

Seung-joo doesn’t listen and makes a call that sound as if he’s trying to borrow some money himself. Given that we know he used to be involved with some bad people, it’s worrying.

Ho-joon calls Hye-soo to his office and hands over some personal information about Ji-hoon. She gives him the same information about herself, to pass to Ji-hoon. He thinks of more things they need to iron out, such as an explanation for why they got married so quickly and how to make it look as though they’ve been dating for a while.

He tells her that starting today, she’s to stay after work to study with Ji-hoon. Ho-joon admits that he’s really more worried about Ji-hoon: “He has only one face. The angry face.” HAHA, that is so true.

Ji-hoon finds Hye-soo studying his information on a break, and she peppers him with additional questions. He gets angry that she’s reading this in front of her coworkers, but honestly, his anger is starting to be more cute than scary. There’s just no real heat behind it.

Ji-hoon reports the restaurant’s progress to his father, and they discuss plans for a second restaurant later in the year. President Han shows him a photo of a girl he’d like Ji-hoon to consider for marriage, telling him that he’s stalled long enough, and that he expects his son to get married after Jung-hoon’s wedding.

He mentions to Ji-hoon that he hasn’t heard from his mother in a while, saying that it makes him nervous. Ji-hoon just claims that he had a talk with her.

It’s the night of Na-yoon’s recital, and since he’s here at the house, Ji-hoon has no excuse not to go with his stepmother. She does seem to genuinely like him, and she’s not entirely heartless, as she asks if he thinks his mother might benefit from seeing a psychiatrist.

Na-yoon is a harpist, and she looks beautiful at her recital, though her face goes carefully still when she sees Ji-hoon in the audience. Ji-hoon doesn’t go to see her after the performance, claiming that something came up, but Na-yoon finds him still in the lobby.

She tells him not to avoid her, calling him a coward who’s still running away. If he’s not willing to just tell his family that they used to date, then he shouldn’t be rude to her. But Jung-hoon sees them talking, and seems to be getting a bit suspicious.

Ji-hoon heads home, where Ho-joon tells him that the hospital called to set up their interview. Hye-soo is still at Promise, and Ji-hoon tells her to stay in his apartment above the restaurant for a while — he can commute from the family home.

She assesses the place and declares it too big, but says that the old empty employee lounge would work perfectly for her and Eun-sung. Ji-hoon doesn’t answer but Hye-soo treats his silence as assent, and promises to stay close to him as he wants.

They have their first official study session, and the first order of business is to learn more about each other. Ji-hoon asks Hye-soo a lot of uncomfortable questions, such as when her husband died (the year Eun-sung was born) and why they took the loans out (she declines to answer). They work on their backstory, and Hye-soo decides to keep as close to the truth as possible — they met when he hit her with his car.

Eun-sung is pouting that her mother is staying out so late, and I love that Joo-yeon isn’t above teasing her that Mom must have gone somewhere really fun without her. Eventually Eun-sung drops off to sleep, but Joo-yeon is up to see Ji-hoon dropping Hye-soo off.

She wants to know why the new boss would give her a ride home after working Hye-soo so late, jumping right to the naughtiest conclusion. Eun-sung wakes and hears Joo-yeon ask if Ji-hoon likes Hye-soo, but pretends to still be asleep.

Mi-ran’s nurse lets slip that it’s Mi-ran’s daughter-in-law who’s going to donate her liver for her mother-in-law, which confuses Mi-ran. She calls Ji-hoon to ask if he secretly got married, and he admits that he did. He tells her that he’ll explain when he sees her and asks her not to mention this to anyone.

But Ho-joon gets to the hospital first, and Mi-ran uses his obvious terror of her to try to wrangle information out of him. He acts twitchy and nervous, but says that he has to talk to Ji-hoon first… then spills the beans when she threatens to ask the doctors.

He tells her the backstory that Hye-soo and Ji-hoon decided on, claiming that Ji-hoon didn’t tell his mother because Hye-soo has a kid. Ha, he’s so scared of Mi-ran that he’s actually sweating and squeaking.

Seung-jo helps Hye-soo move into the restaurant storage room (conveniently on the same floor as Ji-hoon’s apartment), and it makes him suspicious because he knows that Ji-hoon would never allow something like this. Hye-soo just claims that she begged him, and that she knows his Achilles’ heel.

Ho-joon thinks Ji-hoon should just tell his mother that the marriage is fake, but Ji-hoon knows that his getting married means too much to her, and that she’d never agree to the transplant if she knew the truth. Poor Ho-joon is beside himself with worry that they’ll get caught at the hospital interview.

Ji-hoon gets his first taste of married life when Eun-sun’gs jumping rope makes a racket on the balcony, though she just glares at him when he complains. Hye-soo comes out of her room with Seung-joo, and Ji-hoon complains that they look awfully close, and warns Seung-joo not to go in her room again. Jealousy, so soon?

Eun-sung starts playing with the hose, and when Ji-hoon tells her to stop, she just grins and aims the water right at him. HAHA, she’s awesome. He ducks and Ho-joon gets soaked, but Eun-sung is entirely unrepentant.

Ji-hoon lays down some rules regarding Eun-sung – she’s not to run around the restaurant, or make a lot of noise near his room. He’s all, since you insisted on living here, but I distinctly remember you telling her to take your room to keep her close to you, mister.

He asks why Eun-sung can’t stay with her grandmother since she’s such a burden, and smirks that Hye-soo takes on too much, even her dead husband’s debt. Hye-soo agrees that she’s foolish, so foolish that she’s even selling her liver. Touche.

Ji-hoon warns her not to say anything like that to other people – they’re committing a crime together, and it can’t get out. He makes sure that she’s memorized the answers to the questions the hospital committee may ask, and gives her a new list, this time of things to say to his mother. He had to make up a few things about her background, but his real concern is her widow status and her daughter.

Hye-soo gets that look in her eye again, the one that says he’s offended her, and tells him to be more respectful. He keeps talking about the fact that she grew up without parents, or is a widow with a child, as if those things are something to be ashamed of, but she says that he’s the one with the twisted view.

This isn’t the first dangerous or illegal thing Hye-soo has done to make money and keep her child, and she doesn’t like putting her life on the line, either. He mocks her again for being overly-dramatic, and Hye-soo can barely hold in her furious tears.

Chef Soo-chang assumes that Hye-soo was being chewed out by the boss, and tries to cheer her up by telling her that it’s probably not personal. He says that Ji-hoon is conceited and knows nothing about cooking, and Hye-soo agrees that she doesn’t like him either. They all see Ji-hoon standing right there listening and Hye-soo follows him, but he just huffs at her and waves her away.

Hye-soo and Ji-hoon both study hard that night, learning each other’s favorite things. Ji-hoon smells Hye-soo grilling pork belly for Eun-sung’s dinner and calls Ho-joon to find out what the scent is, annoyed. After Eun-sung goes to sleep, Hye-soo studies some more, getting frustrated and flicking Ji-hoon’s picture.

She gives herself a little peptalk, assuring herself that she’s doing well. She’s paid off her debt, making sure that Eun-sung will be taken care of, and even saving a life.

The next day, Hye-soo wanders past her ex-mother-in-law’s street cart, and we see her looking sady at a photo of herself, Hye-soo, her son Da-en, and his cousin Seung-joo. It seems they were all close at one time — I wonder what happened?

The cops come to chase off the vendors, and Hye-soo jumps in to help pack up, but her mother-in-law pretends not to know her. She pushes Hye-soo away, hard, but Hye-soo keeps trying to talk to her. She says that she’s knows she’s ben a disappointment, and gives her some warm clothes and money.

Her mother-in-law refuses it agrily, and tells Hye-soo never to come back. But Hye-soo calls after her that she’ll bring Eun-sung next time to that she can see how much she’s grown.

Mi-ran lies to her nurse that her phone broke and she lost all her contacts, and pretends that she needs to call her daughter-in-law. Wow, she’s very good at faking — she comes off all sweetness and light, and the nurse falls for it.

Soo-chang wonders if he should take another look at Ji-hoon, since he’s even allowing Hye-soo to live here with her daughter when he supposedly hates kids. He’s such a big gruff cuddle-bear, I luff him.

Mi-ran calls Hye-soo during work hours, pretending that there’s a problem with the donation process to get her to come to the hospital. She asks Hye-soo not to tell Ji-hoon, but she immediately calls him, though he’s busy in a meeting and doesn’t answer. She calls Joo-yeon to babysit Eun-sung while she rushes to the hospital.

Eun-sung shows Joo-yeon their new place, and while straightening up, Joo-yeon finds Hye-soo’s packet of wedding photos. Eun-sung sees them over Joo-yeon’s shoulder and asks what they mean, but Joo-yeon hides them again. Knowing Eun-sung though, I don’t think she’s just going to forget what she saw.

Hye-soo continues trying to call Ji-hoon until she arrives at the hospital, but he’s seen her calls and turned his phone off. Mi-ran calls her again, and she’s got no choice but to go to her.

Jung-hoon is at the meeting with Ji-hoon, which is about their next planned restaurant, and afterwards he finds his brother to ask if he and Na-yoon really don’t know each other. Ji-hoon denies it, and he answers his phone to get out of the conversation. This time it’s Ho-joon, who’s freaking out because Mi-ran called Hye-soo and she’s on her way to the hospital.

Mi-ran asks Hye-soo about her relationship with Ji-hoon, and Hye-soo sticks to the story they created — they met in the States when he was studying music, and ran into each other again in Korea two years ago. Mi-ran is suspicious, knowing that her son wouldn’t enter into marriage easily.

Hye-soo says that she loves Ji-hoon, but Mi-ran doesn’t think she’s being truthful. Her voice goes from soft to demanding, and she orders Hye-soo to tell her the truth. She asks how much Ji-hoon is paying her, knowing that something isn’t right about this, but Ji-hoon bursts into the room before Hye-soo can answer. “The amount isn’t important. She’s the one who’ll be saving your life.”

Hye-soo hangs her head, and Mi-ran calls her a fake. Ji-hoon says that he really does love Hye-soo, but his mother isn’t falling for it, so he drops the act. He asks what’s so terrible — he was never planning to get married anyway, Hye-soo needs money, and Mi-ran wants to live. What’s the problem?

Mi-ran asks if his father knows about this, but Ji-hoon thinks that’s irrelevant. He asks if Mi-ran still has feelings for President Han, which sparks her fury, and she throws things at Ji-hoon while yelling that she’s just worried about him. She’s scared he’ll be caught and lose everything.

Ji-hoon retorts that if she were so worried about him, she should have taken better care of herself. Even after her cirrhosis diagnosis, she continued to drink to excess, so she has no right to make demands now. He’s made his decision, and it’s too late to change it.

He drags Hye-soo out of the room, and tells her to go back to work. Hye-soo stops him and says that he should have told his mother the truth from the start — she’s his mother, of course she would see through their act. Angry that Hye-soo is preaching to him, Ji-hoon barks that they should just end this whole thing now.

But before he can storm off, the social worker finds them. Since they haven’t scheduled their interview and they’re all here, why don’t they just do it now? Stunned but with no excuse to refuse, Hye-soo and Ji-hoon just stare at each other.

COMMENTS

I’m actually glad that Mi-ran knows the truth now, that Hye-soo and Ji-hoon are only getting married to save her life. For one, it will have the three of them being much more honest with each other, not having to keep up a fake romance. And for another, Mi-ran needs to see someone sacrificing something for their child. She’s so self-absorbed, so angry and disillusioned, that it would be good for her to see Hye-soo doing everything she can for her own daughter. I really like the contrast between all the mothers in the show — Hye-soo, Mi-ran, and Hye-soo’s mother-in-law — and the way they all approach motherhood differently. For a woman who abandoned her own son and lives so selfishly, I want Mi-ran to see Hye-soo being a good mother, and feel humbled.

If I liked Hye-soo before, I now officially love her. It’s so great how she seems to instinctively (if not yet consciously) know that she has the upper hand in this deal with Ji-hoon, and doesn’t hesitate to push her advantage. You can see where her daughter gets it. I loved when Hye-soo put Ji-hoon firmly in his place by telling him that she’s not ashamed of her life or her circumstances, because really, it’s not her fault she grew up without parents or that her husband died. She’s not afraid to tell him to have more respect, even though she’s socially and financially weaker in this relationship. But I think that she does know that he needs her as much as she needs him, and she’s not afraid to get what she can from him. Claiming the old lounge for her new home is just the first step, I think, and poor Ji-hoon is about to find these two ladies running his entire life before he can blink.

Honestly, at this point, Ji-hoon is being such an ass that he’s lucky Hye-soo hasn’t kicked him where it really hurts. Considering how dismissive he’s been of her situation, outright mocking and insulting her with that infuriating smirk of his, it’s a good thing she needs the money so badly. You can see her actively fighting with herself not to tell him to take his money and shove it when he’s so hateful to her. But there’s something so satisfying about how annoyed Ji-hoon is by everything Hye-soo does, even the smell of her cooking dinner for her daughter in a restaurant, because something about it says that he’s hyper-aware of her. And as we all know, grumpy-annoyed-chaebol soon becomes grumpy-in-love-chaebol, and watching Ji-hoon be annoyed by his own feelings, then eventually give in to them, will be all the revenge we could ever ask for.

I don’t actually think that Ji-hoon is a bad person… I think that he’s spoiled, and angry at the world because he has no control over his life. Everything he does is planned out by his father, and we know that he’s at least had to give up on music (and probably Na-yoon) in order to please his patriarch. I believe that he views poor people in a bad light, though he knows that he comes from people just like Hye-soo. It’s probably a defense mechanism, but being from a humble background on one side of his family, he feels as though he has the right to spit out hurtful things to her. I’m very much looking forward to her changing his attitude about… well, his attitude.

It’s interesting, because all the promo material told us that Hye-soo goes into this marriage to get a father for her daughter, but I don’t get that impression at all at this point in the story. Hye-soo is pretty closed-off about her plans for Eun-sung after her death, but there’s been no hint that she sees Ji-hoon as a potential father-figure for Eun-sung. I think that at this point, her plan is to give the money and the care of Eun-sung to her friend Joo-yeon (or her mother-in-law if she can get back in her good graces) when she dies, because right now Ji-hoon seems like the worst option to leave Eun-sung with anyway. I have no doubt that will change, especially as his relationship with Eun-sung changes, but it does alter the way I view the show and Hye-soo’s plans and motives.

 
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Thanks for the recap. I love this drama so much. Reading the recap made me want to watch this episode again just because.

If HS got 2 guys don't like her way at this moment, JH-SJ, she got chef-nim and manager on her side. Like whenever tried to make her sad, the other always nearby to comfort her.

It so funny that apart HS no female staff tried to approach JH in romantic way.

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idk something in this drama feels a little off to me. Its like there is something that's stopping me from fully liking it. Personally , I like UEE and LSJ individually as actors and I am glad that this is working out on the ratings front but I don't feel the chemistry here i guess? I can see the potential for sizzling chemistry but i feel like there is a wall between the two of them and I don't know if its a character thing, or a actor thing so. It also doesn't help that the story has makjang cliches left and right and not in a fun, addicting way. Most of it is really depressing and I guess i wasn't expecting the drama to be tonally so gloomy? I mean, I expected some angst but this is wayy too sombre for me to continue watching. Not that I mind such dramas but th plot or characters have nothing that interest me and i don't really think there is much point in me continuing it.

I hope everyone else watching enjoys this though!

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Well, I don't think we are meant to "feel the chemistry" at this point. They don't like each other right now, so we don't need to get any "vibe" of that.

What I find more strange (in this particular episodes) is that they seemed like they weren't even trying to pretend that they are couple. I get they are both awkward and closed-off people, but if you've got your mother's life at stake or the money for your child to be financially secure after you die... I sure would try acting like you're a couple whenever there are other people watching (whether the social worker or the photographer).

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I think you have a point here with Ji-Hoon; at the very least, he's been introduced as a playboy so he should know how to act like a caring husband. Hye-Soo's reaction seems more in line with her circumstances though; she seems isolated from anyone but her daughter so if she acts a bit distant I think it'd be ok.

Then again the argument can be made that they both don't see each other as even remotely possible marriage partners, and their spheres of interaction are so far apart(with Hye-Soo a single mom and living in debt and Ji-Hoon rolling with money) that they just aren't sure how to interact with each other. Hey, it happens, just because something's on the line doesn't mean you have to be comfortable with the circumstances. In that respect I don't think this show has any problems thus far.

And honestly, I've getting tired of happy-go-lucky shows so this dark mood suits it, but you can feel the hope there too, in Eun-Sung,in Hye-Soo's determination to live, and later, in the restaurant, and later, in the scenes of family. I think these actors have a very intriguing chemistry already even if they're faaaaar from liking each other and this is a marvelous show.

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Playboy does not necessarily translate to treating a woman well or even knowing how to treat one well. If Ji Hoon has had women falling at his feet, then there has been no need to censor himself or try to treat women well as there is always another to replace them. Which was proved by his treatment of the woman they showed in episode one. Sometimes women are attracted to money and power and dismiss the fact that they are not treated well as long as they are not abused. They see it as a trade off.

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You should keep watching because I also felt the same in regards to the leads, but to me the selling point is the relationship of the leads with EunSung. To me that is the real gem of the show.
Keep watching it gets better.

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Chaco: I know exactly what you mean. Even though the characters are not suppose to like each other yet, that should not prevent on screen chemistry which is either there or not. I have seen many a drama where the chemistry was off the charts and the characters hated each other. I gave the drama a try and watched up to ep 4 when I finally threw in the towel. Uee is doing a good job and the little girl is very impressive, but I just could not get into the drama itself.

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Chaco: I know exactly what you mean. Even though the characters are not suppose to like each other yet, that should not prevent on screen chemistry which is either there or not. I have seen many a drama where the chemistry was off the charts and the characters hated each other. I gave the drama a try and watched up to ep 4 when I finally threw in the towel. Uee is doing a good job and the little girl is very impressive, but I just could not get into the drama itself.

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These characters continue to grow on me. There's some nice writing going on here!

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I think I'm going to comment on every episode till you catch up!....this show is too good..a makjang without being one. Please dont give up on it yet...its gong to just become better. Oh saturday, please come faster:)

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Yay thanks for recap

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I really, really didn't understand how it even occurred to the social worker to ask them to do the interview RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MOMENT. I mean, who is instantly available for something that's going to take at least an hour? How can you make such an assumption? And how is the social worker not fully scheduled for the day himself?

And why Hye-soo and Ji-hoon didn't just say "No, we need to get back to work/have another appointment/have to pick up daughter (and if they have no real reason, invent any excuse because they were both super-uncomfortable & not fully prepared yet?)"?

I just don't find scenes like this remotely credible, which makes it difficult for me to buy into this drama.

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This is meant to be a cliffhanger, which leaves you with anticipation for the next episode. There they'll make the excuses and act close.

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Also, they need to schedule an appointment before they can even do the surgery, so the hospital pushing this doesn't seem completely implausible. They're all there, so why not, right? Plus it seems to be the meddlesome nurse's fault. I've seen doctors like her.

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It's not unusual for the social worker to do an improptu
Family meeting if all concerns are present.. If they
Want the transplant to be done ASAP . It's not necessary for patient /family to schedule ( it's assumed that social worker has to attend to the needs of admitted patient and family member) Of course they can refuse to meet with the
social worker but it will look that they are not advocating for the patient

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I understood the the social worker had another appointment that was unexpectedly cancelled, so suddenly became available to do this interview.

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I think the social worker is one of those occasion when he just happen to finished his business and meet other thing he can do and every thing just fit,
like the nurse suggest it and it actually not a bad idea,

maybe I understand it because making a schedule can be hard, when you just get the time suddenly and it possible to do what you scheduled to to, I'll choose to do it at the moment than make another date. Like you meet a friend you supposed to take out eating next few days and it wasn't bad to eat right now when we both has no objection.

also if they refused, it may seems that they are fake cause what exactly they afraid of? it should be something natural and easy cause it only a meeting about them as couple

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I am so in love with LSJ right now...but probably because of 3 Meals A Day. This is the first drama I'm watching with UEE but so far it's been very believable. It's terrible but I just skip through the parts with the annoying people (annoying girl server, jerky older brother, NaYoon)

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Please tell me she won't die T_T.

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Yes please! i want Hye-soo to survive and be happy together with Ji-hoon and her adorable daughter.

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Then the drama will not be as memorable. Just like Stairway to Heaven which was a huge success internationally as well in Korea. The ending was what stuck in peoples minds as painful as it was. But I know what you mean though.

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I love this recap! You captured their interactions and inner sentiments in just the right frame. This is one of my fave episodes. I just love how Ji-hoon seems so scoffing. And how Hye-soo never acts all fluttery with him and speaks her mind when she thinks he's overly rude. She's never going to bow to his whims that's for sure. They're both awesome and I can't get enough of either one, both together and as individuals.

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Sorry if this has already been adressed in previous comment but random strangers can't donate part of their liver to people who need it? I know there have been strangers in my country that have been able to do that but I guess the rules are different in Korea?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's been established in the drama that there aren't available livers at the moment via the Korean Network for Organ Sharing (KONOS)? In real life, Korea DOES have a low percentage of donors, but the number has been rising, so I guess it depends on when this story takes place. If there's one sketchy plot point it's this one; I, too, found it skeptical that there weren't any livers available, and that such a rich family like Ji Hoon's couldn't get a foreign one(or is that against the laws?)

Then again, most knowledge I gained about organ donations have been from other dramas, and the required organs have pretty much always been miraculously available, so maybe after so many dramas we just accept that as a fact while in reality it's sometimes difficult, depending on the location to get one?

Also, Ji-Hoon doesn't seem to be able to do a whole lot even if he does have money? All he's done is forge documents for the hospital, whose rules he wasn't able to override(aka by bribes, or whatever). That, honestly, is not a lot of power, so if he doesn't get an organ is it that big a deal?

But even if these excuses are made, I still come back to the same conclusion: this one particular plot point is suspicious, and most likely edited to fit the script of the story. Ah well, it's a relatively minor detail and I suppose all I have to do is convince myself that there aren't any livers available, and that's that......

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<and that such a rich family like Ji Hoon’s couldn’t get a foreign one(or is that against the laws)

Exchange of money is against the law, though it seems that both relative and non-relative living donor are allowed.

I don't think foreign countries would willingly give up an organ if they could use it for one of their own citizens.

Apparently there are organ brokers, and a market of Koreans who (openly) go to China for transplants though.

There doesn't seem to be much info on the web, at least little that's reliable.

http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/He-et-al_Living-Organ-Transplantation.pdf
http://endorganpillaging.org/organ-transplant-abuse-in-china-what-is-korea-to-do/

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From what I understand, organ donation in Korea is limited to The List (not it's name haha) and family donations; if you need a kidney or a liver or what-have-you, you can't ask a friend or a kind stranger (or foreigner) to donate directly. Plus, Ji-hoon's mother is not very high on the donor list due to her age and liver cirrhosis, so even if there were available organs she would have to wait a very long time--possibly too long, in her condition. Hence the whole marriage charade, since as a daughter-in-law Hye-soo would be able to donate directly and bypass all the waiting. But, as mentioned above, this is extremely illegal.

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From the (first) article (from 2010) I linked above:

"In Korea, the major source of kidney donations was living-related donors (47.7 percent), followed by living-unrelated (34.0 percent) and cadaveric (18.3 percent) in 1997. More than 80 percent of organ transplants are performed using organs from living donors. Korea’s “Organ Transplantation Act” (OTA) was enacted in 1999 and has been in effect since 2000. Article Six of the OTA prohibits any real action and promise for organ trafficking, but living anonymous donation is allowed. Recently, providing financial incentives to potential living donors is proposed in Korea. A couple of provincial assemblies have already legalized financial compensation for the organ donors. These acts apparently contrast to the central government’s policy and the law and this has become an enormously controversial issue in Korea."

So, I guess they can't ask. Not sure how you'd get a "living anonymous donation" – maybe by doing a social media campaign and hoping that someone steps forward without revealing their identity?

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Living anonymous donor ( falls in the category of living unrelated donor) so in the US( don't know how they do it in Korea but most likely it's more or less the same criteria they follow) a kind stranger will contact a hospital which is doing a transplant and volunteer to give an organ ,most of the time it's kidney ( the donors I know said that what prompted them to give is they saw it on the news that the waiting list is so long for patients to get transplant , I do think they are really brave and selfless ) so they get tested and get match locally and nationally ,local recipients gets the organ unless somebody has a perfect match then it goes to that person whenever he's located in the US. It is illegal for the donor to get monitary compensation except that the hospitalization is covered by the recipient insurance ( recipient need to have
Medical insurance to be able to qualify for transplant since immunosuppressant meds are pretty expensive )
Sorry for the long post ..the world needs more organ donor

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@Lil25
Oh ok, I didn't realize the "stranger donators" in the US contacted the hospital first to donate and then get matched. I thought co-workers, friends or other people in the community would hear about someone who needed a liver and go to the hospital to specifically donate to them. Now that I think about it, that wouldn't really work because you have to have compatible blood, tissue and what not. I guess that clears up my confusion. Thank you!

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I think it because Ji hoon doesn't want his father to find out about his mother condition and there's no transplant available at near moment.
The Hospital and legal system in the drama said that they can't get it from total stranger (meaning no legal relation to the donor) if they choose their own donor . They can get it from total stranger if the hospital/health care system find the donor since it's legal, other things is ofc money-body part exchanging situation which mean illegal organ donor trade.

that's what I get from the drama

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edit : They can get it from total stranger if the hospital/health care system find the donor since it’s legal, other things is ofc money-body part exchanging situation which mean illegal organ donor trade EXCEPT they had family relation

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and I don't think his mom also on the top of the list, so many people need donor and that's why people 1st looked at relative cause that donor can be specifically used for the patient.

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The other problem is her drinking. Since she damaged her own liver through drinking, she is going to be low on the list and since she is not taking any steps to stop damaging her liver (i.e. stop drinking), then she is going to be even lower on that list.

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First off, thanks for the recap, Lollypip!

Second, I personally took the glance in Ji-Hoon's eyes at the wedding pictures to be sort of somber, like this is supposed to be a happy event but instead it's a sham. Even if some people want to interpret this scene as Ji Hoon seeing how pretty Hye-Soo is for the first time, I think my first interpretation goes along with the slightly sad music and the tone better. IDK if people will agree though.

I DO think Lollypip is reading too much in between the lines here by going for the angle that Ji-Hoon already feels jealousy or feelings for Hye-Soo, or being "hyperaware", or whatever. He simply has no respectability for her in the way he treats her, and seems almost to regard her as lowly, which can be determined in his criticisms of her. It can be argued that he's kinda harsh with his words and that masks how he really feels, etc, but there's simply no warmth right now in any of his actions. I'd say interest at best, especially because they're now married(and it's Ji-Hoon's first time too) and circumstances provide it, but anything beyond that is a mute point.

It's nice to see Hye-Soo and Ji-Hoon getting closer, even by a step. Ji-Hoon scolding Hye-Soo without bite for reading his info near the employees is a cute tidbit even if there's still some distance between them during it. They're gonna be so cute! I just luuuuuuuuuuv this drama!

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Thanks LollyPip!

I was commenting elsewhere about this show... when I was just watching without analysing it, I find that I like the way it portrays the human-interest drama. There is no unnecessary angst, no contrivance to get our pity, no easy answers or pat solutions to gloss over the RL kind of dilemmas being faced. It's some situations faced in real life that as a friend of mine wisely says, is 'heightened' for dramatic effect in shows. But not overly so.

Although the topic is 'serious', the tone is not too dark or gloomy, and neither is it too light or shallow. There is a warm element of hope because there is love between mum and daughter and sick mother and chaebol son, there is regard and loyalty between friends and appreciation for Hye Soo's abilities even from scary chef. Even, as noted above, Chaebol step mother is not half bad towards the son of husband's mistress, and understands his concern for his mum.

At the moment, only poor ill-used minion/assistant/manager Ho Joon brings in a bit of laughs, however I expect to laugh a lot more when Ji Hoon tries (and probably repeatedly fails) to win over Eun Sung.

I find the possibility of the arrogant Ji Hoon falling into fatherhood love for spunky Eun Sung, the most compelling part of this show. Going from hating to depending on each other, in a natural way will be a great thing to watch unfolding, and better yet, when their hearts are caught by each other for real. :)

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I am enjoying this drama. I will be honest and say I am one of the few people that did not find Eun Sung's brattiness cute in the first couple of episodes. She started by being loud and accusatory about something that didn't really happen (her mom getting hit by the car) and to me it didn't sit with me well. She just reminded me of those people that think that they can make other people cower and give in by being the loudest and through shame and embarrassment, but I will admit that the little girl has grown on me. Now that we have six episodes under our belt, I see her as a character with more depth. I can see her bending a little and I understand more. I'm not saying that I agree with how she acted in the beginning, but I don't actively dislike her anymore and really enjoy the scenes she is in.

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I felt the same way actually. I was wondering why so many kids in dramas have the attitude of being 'entitled' and so rude towards adults. The only thing that may be said in her defence in the first 2 episodes, was that in the confusion, she really thought the car may have hit her mum, and she was acting out loud and obnoxiously partly out of fear.

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Coming in late to this discussion, but I don't think Eun-sung's bratty behaviour towards Ji-hoon is meant to be cute or entitled. It's simply realistic. She doesn't behave this way towards all adults; Seung-joo spoke nicely to her and gave her ice cream the first time they met, so she's happy when she sees him.

Even if Ji-hoon didn't hit Hye-soo, his rounding the corner fast did cause her to faint and scare Eun-sung a lot, and she took in his rudeness towards her and Hye-soo on several occasions. Because he's nasty to her, she sees no reason to be nice to him. Even Hye-soo is barely keeping a veneer of propriety for the sake of the contract and her job.

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I'm in love with this show. And yet I'm the only one I know watching it! Wahhhh!

Anyway, this is probably a good place to say that I saw Lee Seo-jin last Thursday! I was heading to the bus stop when I noticed his VERY distinctive car (that blue and white thing) parked on the street, so I started looking around and noticed a bunch of filming vans next to the park, with the crew milling around near the bathrooms. Then I saw Lee Seo-jin standing off to the side talking to someone else. (Distinctive hair, grumpy face--very easy to identify.)

I didn't see anyone else, but considering that park has a decent-sized playground I'm going to assume Eun-sung is involved. Unless they just really like the bathrooms.

No pictures, because a) I was running late for work, b) I see a lot of film crews where I live and am pretty used to them now, and c) I don't like to be the Obvious Foreigner and whip out my camera all the time. But I'll mention if I see that scene pop up in a later episode.

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Oh man, lucky you! What area was it? I'm not in Korea now but when I go, I'll just hang out there.

Also, anybody know what that car is? It's super ugly but I kind of like it.

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I'm in Ilsan, to the west of Seoul. There are several major broadcasting stations in the area. It's a planned city with a lot of parks and shopping centers and nice neighborhoods, so a lot of filming goes on here.

According to netizens, his car is a 2015 BMW i8.

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Well, darn, Ilsan is my home base when I'm in Korea but I've never seen a celebrity there. I guess they don't hang out at the LotteMart very often... :-)

Thanks for letting me know about the car. If I ever win the lottery, I may get one just to have the bright blue seatbelts and the doors that swing up.

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Haha. Jeongbalsan, Lafesta, Western Dom, and Lake Park are hot spots. There are two cafes on either side of my house that always have some sort of filming going on.

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Wow, awesome! Just because, you know, the drama is running and then LSJ is just so cool in it. And that car! Been trying to figure out what model it is, and how state-of-the-art it might be. I envy anyone living in Korea right now.

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that first screenshot, i thought thats japanese actor shun oguri. oh this is bad, i love shun and i might love seojinnie more.

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I think what really draw me into this drama is the affinity I have for all the character, especially the leads.

I feel like they really matched, the bratty Ji hoon is equal with Hye Soo and balanced out by Eun Sung.
I think people in the drama know how Ji hoon is the jerk but when I saw him in his house, strangely the situation reminds me of Crown Prince and the talented prince in lots of saeguk.
Ji hoon is the talented one but he is son of mistress, therefore he lay low and hate his situation cause well there's nothing he thinks he'll gain by being nice or not.

Hye soo give him another contrasting side that reminds him of his mom imo. How a single mom can do every thing for her daughter and she knew what she did.

Other things I liked is about people that in the leads life can read them perfectly so no one actually buy that Ji hoon and Hye soo is married, that's totally right reaction.

The last one is I love Eun Sang character so much, she said all the things I want them to hear and she just so adorably real.

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Oh man, I wanted to say thanks for calling Ji-hoon spoiled. I just started watching this week (partly for the title and partly because you guys deemed it worthy of recap) and was surprised to see many comments referring to Eun-sung as a spoiled brat while ignoring the fact that the male lead, an adult, behaved in very much the same way. Their are a lot of scenes, especially in their initial interactions, where it seems they're sort of mirroring (?) each other and, as viewers, it gives up a clear idea of how childish Ji-hoon can really seem. It's one of those things I enjoy and part of the reason I kept watching even though I found the first episodes difficult to get through.

I felt so little sympathy for the characters and I think it has to do with something you mentioned earlier about the show not really explaining much for viewers. It really does feel as though we've just been dropped into these people's lives. And, unfortunately, we've tuned in at their worst moments. Everything is sort of bleak and everyone is sort of a mess and acting in their own interests and it's difficult (for me, at least) to like anyone (excepting the put-upon manager, maybe). It makes me moody, but it also makes me a bit curious.

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Thanks for the recap??

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squeeee! I love this show- can't wait for the rest of the recaps so I can gush about everything and not have spoilers LOL).

Thanks Lollypip!!

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Heartbreaking drama. If you want the right feels for a good cry, this is a must-watch.
I've seen UEE in other dramas and don't care much for the storylines and/ or her acting .. But in Marriage Contract, she owns Kang Hye Soo - she's doing a great job!
Her daughter is so bright and has great timing.
Lee Seo Jin is a good actor; but UEE and her little girl are giving him a run for his money - lol!! They are a great team - the casting director did an awesome job.
Can't wait for ep.7.. Thanks for recapping this show.

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Thanks Dramabeans for the recap. Love it. Please continue with the recap. Really love you effort.

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I just... I love his ringtone. I can't even with this show! Thanks for the recaps!

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