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Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 3

Every time we open in Joseon, I struggle with wanting to stay there and watch that drama unfold, because the emotional and romantic conflict seems inherently fuller in that timeline, even though it’s not technically the main drama. Today I’m even more conflicted because the past timeline develops its backstory into what I think will become a very compelling romance. But the good news is that the present-day story has begun to mirror the past in little ways, which is definitely the kind of thing I’ve been waiting to see.

 

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

In Joseon, the mermaid swims up to the surface when she sees lanterns lit up above—the sign that Dam-ryung wants to see her. He floats in on a small boat into a valley lit up with hundreds of lanterns, and asks for the mermaid’s name. At last!

She tells him that her name is Se-hwa, and Dam-ryung says that he had a sister who died young named Se-hwa. He starts to explain that the name means “bright, shining child,” but Se-hwa finishes his sentence, shocking him. She says that there’s a story behind the person who gave her a name, and asks if he wants to hear it.

As she narrates the story, we flash back twenty years to a group of young boys playing at the water’s edge. One is challenged to swim a distance, and begins to drown in the process. But as he sinks, he opens his eyes and sees a young mermaid swimming towards him.

She takes the boy by the hand and swims up to the surface, saving his life. He tells her that his name is Dam-ryung, and when she doesn’t respond with her own, he decides to give her a name and calls her Se-hwa, telling her what it means. The young mermaid smiles and they splash in the water playfully.

Se-hwa narrates that the boy soon returned to the capital city, but he yearned to return to the ocean and threw tantrums until his father allowed it. The boy delighted in bringing the mermaid new foods she had never tasted and flowers she’d never seen. And over the years they grew up together.

But one day as a young man, Dam-ryung brought her flowers and said that he’d have to be married soon, and the mermaid naturally didn’t understand what marriage meant. He described it as living with another woman and caring only for her, and Se-hwa’s face fell, asking if it meant he wouldn’t return to the sea.

He asked if Se-hwa couldn’t live on land, and she said that a mermaid could do so as an adult—she’d have legs and be able to walk once she grew up—but for now she was bound to the ocean. Dam-ryung said he didn’t want to leave her and marry someone else, but she silently shed a tear and swam away, leaving a pearl behind.

Dam-ryung returned home and was married, but on his wedding night he ran away, riding on horseback for hours until he reached the sea. He called out for Se-hwa and walked straight into the water… and immediately began to sink. Se-hwa narrates that Dam-ryung knew—the mermaid would stop at nothing to save him, knowing that he couldn’t swim.

“But he didn’t know something important—that mermaids have a special ability,” Se-hwa narrates. As Dam-ryung sank deeper, the mermaid appeared and gave him a kiss, but with that kiss she also erased herself from his memory. Se-hwa: “And like that, the mermaid disappeared from the boy’s memory like a bubble.”

Adult Dam-ryung tells the mermaid that his wife died early, but she always resented him for running away on their wedding night, even though he could never remember why he did it. “Am I… that boy?” he asks. (I know the answer is obvious, but that still gave me chills.) Se-hwa swims up to the side of the boat and looks into his eyes…

In the present day, con artist Joon-jae sinks to the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Spain, and when the mermaid swims over to him, his eyes widen at the sight of her tail. She pulls him in for a kiss, and in that moment we return to the memories they’ve shared, except time stands still and the mermaid vanishes into bubbles in each scene, right before his eyes.

She erases herself from all of his memories one by one, until finally she disappears before him in the water, leaving him all alone. Joon-jae wakes up on the shore as the mermaid’s voice rings out like a faint echo: “I love you.”

He shakes his waterlogged brain and recalls everything about the thugs and the chase and jumping off the cliff, though all without the mermaid. He wonders why he’d jump into the sea like a crazy person, and then notices the jade bracelet that the mermaid slipped on his wrist, confused about where he picked that up. And just like back in Joseon, beside him on the beach is a small sparkling pearl.

Joon-jae flies back to Seoul, and from the plane he stares out at a tiny spot in the ocean, which gives him pause. He shakes it off, but down below the mermaid is swimming to keep up with the plane as it flies overhead, and she looks heartbroken as she watches him fly farther and farther away from her.

As Joon-jae arrives at the airport, the local news broadcasts a breaking story about a murderer who escaped police custody. The suspect’s name is MA DAE-YOUNG (ah, this is the man played by Sung Dong-il in the present timeline, who was entering the prosecutor’s office in handcuffs), and he happens to be at the airport curb just ahead of Joon-jae. Dae-young is dressed as a parking attendant and writes a receipt for a man’s car, clearly intending to steal it.

Joon-jae returns to his house to find partner-in-crime Nam-doo taking out the trash like he lives there, looking surprised that Joon-jae returned alive. Nam-doo swears up and down that he knew Joon-jae would be fine, but he scuttles into the house to avoid any more hounding.

Joon-jae scoffs to see their hacker partner Tae-oh staying there too (Tae-oh characteristically doesn’t even say hello), and Nam-doo tells him to get comfortable like he owns the place, and Joon-jae has to remind him that it’s HIS house, not theirs. He figures that Tae-oh broke in, and Nam-doo says proudly that there’s no lock Tae-oh can’t hack.

Nam-doo says their places have already been tossed by the scary loan shark CEO Jang and her henchmen, and the only house untouched is this one that Joon-jae bought recently with a clean identity. Aw, con man sleepover?

What Nam-doo really wants to hear about is that jade bracelet, and he takes Joon-jae to the terrace to discuss it privately. Of course, Joon-jae has no memory of stealing it from the mermaid or telling Nam-doo all about it, and Nam-doo gets his feelings hurt thinking that Joon-jae is trying to con him out of his share.

Nam-doo insists that Joon-jae met a weird girl in Spain, and we cut to the mermaid swimming in the ocean with sunglasses on, and carrying a giant seashell like a clutch bag. She waves at her mermaid friends and swims off like she’s modeling it, ha.

Joon-jae argues that he never met a weird girl and never sent Nam-doo those pictures of the bracelet… except he does have the bracelet itself. He can remember quick flashes of using his lighter to take it, but his memory is hazy and he doesn’t quite know how he came to have it. He decides to hold on to it for now, because something doesn’t feel right about it.

The mermaid comes above water and looks at the moon, and she thinks back to the day Joon-jae told her about Seoul, where his home was. Talk of home had made her look out at the ocean wistfully, but Joon-jae had eagerly talked up how much she’d like it in Seoul, with its late-night food and fireworks above the Han River, which is a great view from the 63 Building.

He swore that he wasn’t trying to seduce her into going to Seoul with him, but he’d wanted her to go, and when she said yes, he lit up and told her that it was a promise, and promises were made to be kept.

In his sleep, Joon-jae has dreams of being underwater, and the mermaid’s voice saying, “I love you” startles him awake. He clutches his pounding heart and wonders what this is, and where that voice came from.

Three months later, Joon-jae turns on the TV and sees CHAIRMAN HEO IL-JOONG giving an interview about being a pioneer in real estate development. The last names can’t be a coincidence, so this is likely his father, and Joon-jae turns the TV off with a sigh.

Chairman Heo plays golf with an associate, while his wife is there with Shi-ah’s sister-in-law Jin-joo, waiting for their husbands. Over lunch, Jin-joo’s husband Dong-shik puts his foot in his mouth by bragging about his son and how DNA can’t be fooled, and Jin-joo drags him from the table to warn him that there’s a rumor about Chairman Heo’s heir not being his biological son.

Jin-joo says that according to rumor, that is his second wife who kicked the first wife out, and the chairman’s son left home without a word. The second wife brought a son into the marriage, and so the chairman’s stepson is the one working for the company at present. Dong-shik gapes at the scale of the biological son’s rebellion, and Jin-joo agrees that he must be crazy.

Cut to: Crazy, sighing at the state of his empty fridge. He blows his top when he discovers Nam-doo drinking the last beer and Tae-oh eating the last ice cream, and wonders when they’re moving out.

Nam-doo argues that they’re still being chased to within an inch of their lives, and that Joon-jae doesn’t know their pain because the henchmen think he’s already dead.

Meanwhile, the mermaid has made it all the way to the coast of Korea, and she pops up to ask some fishermen where Seoul is. They point her in the direction and ask if she plans to swim there, and when she just disappears into the ocean, they freak out and wonder if she was a deep-sea diver, or a ghost.

On the shore, an ajumma brigade picks up trash, excited to see the moment when the water recedes and makes what looks like a sandy bridge between the mainland and a small, uninhabited island. So naturally they’re shocked when the sand bridge appears with a woman walking along it—the mermaid, dressed in sweats she picked up off the shore, still carrying her seashell clutch.

The ajummas can’t make heads or tails of her, and the mermaid asks if this is Seoul. When they say it isn’t, she lets out an exasperated sigh, wondering how much farther she has to go when she already swam till she puked.

Thankfully, the ajummas are from Seoul and offer her a ride. They drop her off on a busy street, and the mermaid looks around in a daze before whining, “There are more people than anchovies! How am I going to find Heo Joon-jae?”

Back at Joon-jae’s house, he opens up a secret compartment in his closet, which leads to a second closet as big as a house. This must be his batcave, because it’s lined with all sorts of different uniforms. Today he picks the airline pilot suit.

Downstairs, his garage has all the vehicles to match, from ambulance to police car to taxi, and as he heads out with his team, Nam-doo gets all fluttery with excitement at starting a new job. Joon-jae just tells them that they have to move out after this one.

On the street, the mermaid stops random passersby to ask if anyone knows Heo Joon-jae, which obviously gets her nowhere. And in the car, Nam-doo talks about what a coincidence it was to run into the person they conned on a golf course, but Joon-jae tells him that Seoul is smaller than they think, and you’re bound to cross paths with everyone.

At that very moment, they stop at a light, and the mermaid is just ahead at the crosswalk. She walks right past them, focused on the food stand because she’s so hungry, but the vendor turns her away when she has no money.

Joon-jae’s car whooshes past her, sending autumn leaves flying into the air, and the mermaid reaches out and catches one.

She trudges along, growing tired and hungrier, when she comes upon a group of schoolgirls ganging up on a classmate to take her money. Oh no. Thinking that this is how it’s done, the mermaid sidles up to a tiny child and bullies her for her lunch money, except the little girl is savvy enough to call her out on it.

The kid buys the mermaid an instant ramyun at the convenience store and teaches her not to steal people’s money. The precocious little girl tells her to get a job and work hard because you need money to live, and the mermaid asks when you’re supposed to be happy if you work so hard that you can’t see your family, like the little girl’s mom does.

The girl doesn’t have an easy answer for that, but she wishes the mermaid luck in finding Heo Joon-jae, and then turns back to put her last 1000 won in the mermaid’s hand. Aw.

The girl waves goodbye to the mermaid and rounds the corner… and walks smack into Joon-jae of all people. She snaps at the ajusshi to watch where he’s going, and Joon-jae gets all huffy at the little girl for calling him an ajusshi. Nam-doo pulls him away and says it’s not like he’d be her oppa (lol, she called the mermaid unni though), and again Joon-jae and the mermaid miss seeing each other by mere seconds.

The mermaid comes upon the same schoolgirls still bullying their classmate, and this time she speaks up, having been taught that stealing lunch money is wrong. She asks if they don’t have Mom’s credit card, which the little girl taught her was “something like money,” and insists that they stop stealing.

The girls smirk and charge at her, but the mermaid just rolls up the flyers she’s collected all day and whaps them over the head and sends the leader flying into the air.

The mermaid makes them promise not to steal money again, but one girl swears that they’re friends with the bullied classmate—she says the slang version of “we made friends,” which is literally “we ate friends.” The mermaid’s jaw drops in horror: “You… eat… friends?! You’re not supposed to eat your friends! Don’t do that! Eat something else!” LOL.

The lead bully is fuming mad as they run away, but she answers the phone with a smile when her mom calls. Her mom happens to be CEO Jang, the scary loan shark that Joon-jae conned. As she gets in the elevator, Joon-jae steps in with her, and from the roof Tae-oh cuts the power and stops the elevator on its way up.

Joon-jae steps in front of CEO Jang and takes off his sunglasses, and then he flips his nifty hypnotic lighter on, instantly putting her in a trance. He tells her that there’s a back door in this elevator that opens out, and that her son is hanging on the ledge just barely, by his fingers.

She cries out to her son and tries to help him up, but Joon-jae tells her it’s too late and makes him fall to his death. She collapses in tears, and he tells her to remember this feeling, because the student who committed suicide because of her son’s bullying had a mother, and she felt this way too. He tells her to forget those who’ve wronged her, and only remember the people she’s wronged, and live making it up to them.

It works, and CEO Jang comes out of the elevator in tears, demanding to see the victim’s mother so she can apologize. The boys strut to the car after a job well done, and the hyungs stop in their tracks when Tae-oh pipes up and asks Joon-jae how he hypnotizes people.

Nam-doo urges Joon-jae to hurry up and answer his question, amazed at how curious Tae-oh must’ve been to open up that mouth of his and speak words. Joon-jae smiles and explains all his fancy tricks, which essentially boils down to showing someone a trigger, and turning their gaze elsewhere where he can manipulate what they think they see.

Tae-oh instinctively lowers his gaze and doesn’t make eye contact when he hears that, and Joon-jae pets him on the head affectionately, saying that you can’t just hypnotize anyone.

As the boys get in the car, the mermaid is just a few feet away, digging head-first through a clothing donation bin while a homeless woman (cameo by Hong Jin-kyung) keeps watch for her. She gives the mermaid all the tips and tricks to living on the street, like how she’ll never leave Gangnam because the people throw away designer clothes, and she’ll give up on hot meals if it means maintaining a fashion sense.

The homeless woman sighs to hear that the mermaid came all this way to look for a man who didn’t even leave her a phone number, and advises her to start looking in places that he might have mentioned offhand. The mermaid remembers the 63 Building, so she uses her last 1000 won to take a bus there, and the driver is nice enough to let her on even though it’s not enough money.

She sticks her head out the window and enjoys the ride, while Joon-jae sits on his terrace contemplating the mysterious jade bracelet.

The mermaid stares up at the 63 Building and wonders if she’ll be able to see Joon-jae from all the way up there. She manages to slip inside just as it’s closing, and she finds her way to the aquarium, where she licks her chops in glee, relieved that she won’t go hungry. Wait, you’re going to eat all the fishes? She plops into the giant tank and happily goes diving for her dinner.

The next morning, Joon-jae’s college classmate Shi-ah asks the housekeeper to make her seaweed soup for someone’s birthday, and the housekeeper says that today happens to be her son’s birthday too, and she made the soup the way her son likes it.

Sister-in-law Jin-joo teases Shi-ah for trying to seduce her classmate with food, and Shi-ah grits her teeth and says it’s for a co-worker. But she brings the birthday spread to Joon-jae’s house after all, though he seems annoyed that Nam-doo told her where he moved.

Joon-jae doesn’t seem very enthused about his birthday, but one taste of soup has him remembering his childhood, and the special place where he and Mom went every year on his birthday.

Nam-doo gets excited about throwing a birthday party and Shi-ah happily suggests a location, but Joon-jae says he already has plans and just walks off, not giving Shi-ah the time of day. She lets her smile fade the second Joon-jae is out of the room, and Nam-doo mutters that he’s not falling for it and passes her a wad of money. Huh. What are you two up to?

Shi-ah worries that Joon-jae’s birthday plans are with a girl, but Nam-doo says it couldn’t possibly be the case because Joon-jae will never let a woman past a certain line. Nam-doo gobbles up all the food and asks if Shi-ah really made this, and she says that her housekeeper did.

The housekeeper looks forlornly at an old photograph of herself with Little Joon-jae, confirming that she’s the mother he’s been looking for all this time.

Mom and Joon-jae’s special place turns out to be the aquarium at the 63 Building, and Joon-jae arrives there by himself. The mermaid has eaten her fill and wakes up from a nap to find the place swarming with visitors. Thankfully this aquarium features human divers in a mermaid show once a day, so no one thinks it odd to see a mermaid swimming around in the tank, though behind the scenes the workers are confused to see the real diver show up for work.

The mermaid is blinded by all the visitors flashing their cameras at her, but behind the wall of picture-takers, she catches a glimpse of Joon-jae walking past. She taps on the glass and follows him, and when he rounds the corner into a quiet tunnel, he finally hears her tapping furiously on the glass.

He turns to look, but there’s no recognition in his eyes as he stares at her. Joon-jae just turns around and walks away, and the mermaid rushes to the surface to go find him. Above the tank, her path is cut off when the aquarium workers discover her and demand answers.

Joon-jae gets a text from Nam-doo saying that he just ran into their friend Thomas (the con artist at the church), who showed him proof that Joon-jae was with a woman in Spain. The picture makes Joon-jae’s eyes widen: It’s him with the mermaid he just saw, and she’s wearing that jade bracelet.

The mermaid is cornered by the aquarium staff and ends up throwing one of them into the tank because she can’t control her own strength, and she runs off with an apology.

Joon-jae runs through the aquarium looking for her, and goes past a little boy who then runs into the mermaid’s arms. When she gets up again, Joon-jae is standing at a distance looking right at her.

He slowly walks over to her, his steps and his breath echoing loudly in his ears. All he does is walk to her, but by the time he reaches her, the mermaid’s eyes are brimming with tears.

As they gaze into each other’s eyes, the mermaid flashes back to the beach in Spain where she left Joon-jae. She said she was sorry and put the bracelet on his wrist, telling him to keep it because she knew he liked it.

Tears spilled down her face as she said he wouldn’t remember her now, but she vowed to keep her promise and go to him: “Whether a storm comes, or the sun is too hot, or I’m lonely, or afraid because it’s a road I’ve never taken, I will endure it all and go to you. I love you.”

That’s the voice he heard as he was coming to, but by the time he opened his eyes, she was gone, and all that was left behind was one shining pearl.

 
COMMENTS

I didn’t think this episode was as fun because we had to spend most of it with the couple apart from each other, but bookending it with Dam-ryung and Se-hwa’s backstory and then Joon-jae and the mermaid’s reunion and parting was a good way to keep me emotionally invested. There were some slower parts in this episode—family exposition to slog through and some basic resetting of the world—but overall I think I’ll end up enjoying the story in Seoul because of the con man trio and the witty banter between Joon-jae and Nam-doo.

The two partners have a really interesting dynamic where they’re clearly very good friends but always distrusting and on guard in some way, and now we know there’s possibly another long con in play with Nam-doo and Shi-ah. Are they after Joon-jae’s inheritance? Using him to get to Chairman Dad? Or is there something stranger going on? Whatever it is, I like this twist, since it’s a lot more interesting than a second lead pining over a guy who obviously doesn’t care for her. I’m suddenly very curious about Shi-ah, her connection to Nam-doo, and why she leads this double life.

I could’ve done without all of the coincidences in this episode, because they were piling them on pretty high. I know that this is fantasy through and through, and there’s a very strong element of fate here, but everything just happened to fall into place and lead the two lovers back to each other, and the ease of it all kind of diminished the whole I-will-endure-the-storm speech. I know, she swam for three whole months and crossed the globe, which is no small feat—it’s just that we didn’t see any of that, and it seemed rather simple to get to Seoul and find one dude there. Obviously I care more that the leads are together, given that the drama is about eighty percent less interesting when they’re not sharing the screen (okay, it’s really that it’s less interesting without Jeon Ji-hyun onscreen), so I’m happy with the outcome, in any case.

The mermaid’s fish-out-of-water hijinks continue to be amusing, though I find it more enjoyable when Joon-jae is around to witness her crazy. Despite it being early in their love story (as far as we know), I think the amnesia was effective. It’s a nice way to tie in the classic mermaid mythology of vanishing into bubbles, while using a classic drama trope—it creates an ardent one-sided love that the mermaid must carry alone. And because the trope is used twice in parallel storylines on both Dam-ryung and Joon-jae, the emotion actually builds cumulatively, making us feel for the present-day mermaid because we’ve seen Se-hwa live the same fate and erase herself from the boy she loved, and then carry a torch for him for twenty years.

I mean that the emotion builds for us as viewers, since I don’t think of her as the same mermaid living from then till now. Until the drama tells me otherwise, I’m going to believe that Se-hwa and the present-day mermaid are two different people, despite the similar sacrifices they made for love. Or maybe it’s what I hope—that Se-hwa only ever loved Dam-ryung, and that our mermaid will similarly only ever love Joon-jae, and that it was Dam-ryung and Se-hwa’s ardent (and probably tragic) love that made the second romance possible. The mermaid’s tears at the very end do make me wonder though—did she fall in love that hard, in that short a time? Or have they known each other for much longer, the way Se-hwa remembered Dam-ryung by herself? Maybe when you love a mermaid, you can never be sure when Day One of your love story was.

 
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so far I watch Jun Ji Hyun dramas
Makes me come into conclusion:

You'll get amnesia after kiss a mermaid
and you'll be faint after you kiss an alien

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Sorry, I mean the alien will faint after kissing you

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I think the writer is plagiarizing herself!

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That's what I thought! I was like...I think I've seen this before. Does this writer just want to make it hard for the audience to enjoy an OTP kiss?

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Or maybe she's plagiarising the movie 50 First Dates. Lol, ok,maybe not but i kept thinking this is where we are heading, everytime he kisses her, he forgets, but she will have photo's lined up on their wall and videos as proof that they're together, married with kids just like that last scene in the movie. They might also live on a boat in the middle of the ocean just so she's close to home.

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Omo, only got 10 minutes into this episode and had to take a nap. I dreamed of 50 First Dates and particularly the boat set up and the her immediate family there too!!!

Get out of my head.

Lol, what a coincidence. It would be an interesting end to the drama.

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There are other ways to express affection aside from kissing...

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I thought of 50 first dates too!

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There's something upsetting about her erasing JJ's memory. I mean... it's his memory. Don't rob it from him! Plus, is that even necessary?

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My questions:

1. Is his memory automatically erased everytime they kiss? Or is she able to choose when it happens?

2. Why would she erase his memory and then turn right around and go find him? The only reason I could think of was to keep herself secret from the gangsters. But again, why would she then go find him?

I'm a little confused and wish we would get more info. This writer likes giving info in very tiny bits and revisiting scenes later to show what really happened. I didn't mind it in MLFAS but it is kind of driving me a little crazy here for some reason..

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1) I reeeeaaallllly hope not. One of my least favorite aspects of MLFTS was the inability to kiss. You know after the whole inability to know when they would next see each other. But whatever. I'm not bitter or anything.

I hope it's a choice matter. She said ability rather than curse. To me, if they can't control it, it's not really an ability.

2) that was frustrating. All I can think is to ensure that he would leave Spain. Like maybe if he kept the memory he wouldn't go to Korea. And he would get discovered. Maybe it was for his safety. And was a selfless act. Idek

I wish it has been that she was giving him air instead. Like mermaids can go surface and grab enough air to maintain a dying human until they get to shore.

How did he even survive her pulling him all the way ashore? In both timelines?

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I think she chose to erase his memory because he saw her mermaid tail and she thinks she only has a chance to stay with him as a human (normal).

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Ahhh, this makes sense.

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ok that makes more sense. thanks for making that point! i didn't get it either. i thought maybe she did it to save them both from pain & then regretted it once

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regretted it once she saw his plane fly away. but the end of this episode proved that she always planned on following him back! so i didnt quite get why she'd erase his memory either.
but there are clearly many "mermaid rules" we don't know about yet!

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1) I think this will only occur if she kiss joon jae as a mermaid

2) I think she is scared how joon jae will react thats why She erases herself from all of his memories.

Thats one of the point of watching this kdrama to make us confused and wait for each episode spine-tingling

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Same. I thought it was rude.

In the past it was justified and selfless.
In the present, it's just confusing.

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I thought it was less of a kiss and more that she was giving him breath because he was deep in the water and needed air and memory loss was less of an unintended side effect? This would make her speech to him on the beach easier to understand for me since she knew she had been erased by putting her lips on his in a "kiss". Anyway, that's how I'm taking it.

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This is how I understood it too!

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I am sure once his dormant merman genes awaken.. or ther emust be loophole to allow these guys to kiss and make out..

In the alien theory, making out was plain impossible :P

The same concept copied in a recent manga - untouchable (although highly recommended.. man is cleanliness freak and woman is a vampire who feeds on human energy)

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It's a webtoon/manhwa.

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The past life story line makes me so sad.

This drama is so breathtakingly beautiful.

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My thoughts exactly!

*well, except for the present day love story theme song - if Subway had theme songs, they'd show up like that.*

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Shhh, don't give them any ideas.

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Personally I love *pun unintended* the present theme song. That's how a 3 day based love/infatuation feels.

"This IS Love Story!!!"
All dramatic like that, it's like it's poking fun at the drama's romance. At the same time as acknowledging it for possibly being more deep.

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It's like back in the good old days when we listened to radio dramas and every step is described so the listeners could imagine.

I'm swimming up now.
I'm almost there.
I can see the water's surface.
Ah, I'm finally here.
I can see him now!

(Insert: This is LOVE STORY!!!)

Lol

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Maybe that's it. What is it with LMH shows and overbearing theme songs that state the obvious? Where they become more punchline than punctuation.

PDnim has already shown us it's a love that spans centuries. It's an unusual love between a human and a mermaid. And we're watching JJH and LMH, for crying out loud.

So, um, yeah. It's love, and it's amazing. We got that already. Please stop yelling at us.

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@Gidget

Ha ha.. I think they include these english lyrics in lee min ho's dramas because of his hallyu status. You know, for the international fans to get engaged with the OSts. Also, they have to keep it simple enough, so that the korean audience are not put off by the excessive or complicated english. This is just my theory, though. Hence, I guess we get lines like:
This is love story
I love you.
I miss you.
I owe you.
I need you.

Lol.. :P

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Am I the only one who gets bothered that "this love story" needs the article "a" in there? Weird me I don't know why it keeps popping up in my head every time that song plays

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I remember MLFAS being the same way with the loud, overbearing, song cueing us for another Romantic Moment. Dang. I found it off-putting before and now. I like this story lots so far, and I LOVED MLFAS. I think the not-so-BGM was one of my few points of contention.Please fix this, pretty please?

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OMG!!! That little actress from Marriage COntract!!!

Please... please... please... don't tell me she's just a cameo...

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The cameo I liked was the comic store owner from You From Another Star as the homeless fashionista. Nice reunion.

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Yeah... She'd rather starve herself than dress badly. What a true fashionista. No wonder, she's a model in real life anyway. LOL.

Btw, I liked seeing them together again in one frame too. It brings back a nice old memory of YFAS.

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I couldn't stop laughing, i was so happy seeing them together, best cameo ever! I wish they became friends in this drama too.

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Haha, that would've been fantastic! Her cameo should've totally stretched out a bit longer so she could help the mermaid find Joon-jae! I can already imagine her going, "THIS is where he said he'd be? Girl, you're never gonna find him in this gigantic building! You sure he didn't give any more hints? On second thought, we really need to get you out of those crazy mismatched sandals!" I was actually surprised the mermaid didn't find a pair of boots in the donation bin!

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Yeah, I really got a kick outta her cameo/reunion. She's so funny! "I'd rather starve than give up my fashion!" What a true fashionista!

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That little girl is a gem!

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Ikr!? That scene was both hysterical and so sweet. At first I thought she'd jump in to defend the schoolgirl but when she learned how to smuggle money from the bullies and then jumped at the little girl I was like "Omg, bwahaha! No no no no no!" But then the little girl turned out to be smart and sassy, so I'm so happy that whole scene played out the way it did!

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Yay you answered my question before I even asked! It was driving me nuts trying to place where I've seen her, she was the cutest part of this episode

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*gasp* She's the one??? I loved loved loved that young actress, hope she grows up into a fine one!!!

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I don't understand... why does she keep erasing his memories then come searching for him?? Seems rather fruitless...

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I agree, this was the thing that confused me this episode, because I don't understand the logic.

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Tip of the day: if you're planning to follow some guy halfway around the world, don't make him forget you first.

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Exactly! LOL

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????

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Are we sure this mermaid is the same mermaid from 400 years ago? If so, why are their tails different colors?

I figured both mermaids -- modern-day Jeon Ji Hyun and sageuk Shin Eun Soo -- did not intend to erase his memory. They were purely trying to save Young Dam Ryung and Joon Jae from drowning. Their kiss was to give them air. The mermaids would rather sacrifice being forgotten than watch them die.

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I really like this theory

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ooh i like this theory also! i thought they might be different also because the mermaid told joon jae that she doesn't have a name. if she was the original mermaid then why wouldn't she have just said her name was se-hwa?

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Very simple answer. This is a different maid and she still doesn't know how to control her powers yet

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Just a thought but maybe she had to turn into a mermaid under the water to save him, and she did not want him to remember that so she kissed him to erase his memory.

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my thoughts exactly

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I think it's because she doesnt want him to remember/know that she's a mermaid. He already figured it out once he saw her swimming towards him and she doesn't have a choice but to save him. Remember the conversation that they just had about her being weird/different and the mermaid has this thought that if she's not that different, she can stay beside him for a long time? By erasing his memory, she can still look for him and be beside him without him knowing her true nature.

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?

I approve of that detailed theory.

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Of course, it would take time to understand that. How can you tag it as fruitless when we have only covered 3 episodes (out of 20)?

I am not trying to sound rude, but that's what I believe. The writer has this speciality. I have been seeing this in her past 2 dramas- unanswered questions take time to be answered.

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She didn't want to him to forget about her completely, but she had no other choice. She had to erase his memory because he saw her as a mermaid and she thinks she only has a chance to stay with him as a human. That's what I think!

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I had this same thought. What was the point of the memory loss? Especially since she went looking for him anyway. I hope she can that at will because if that happens every time they kiss, it is going to get old fast.

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Maybe she's a masochist? ?

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Why did she take away Joon Jae's memories if she was going to go find him again?

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hmmm... I do not think she is doing it. It is mythology. When a mermaid kisses a human, human forgets her. So, she can't help it. She has so far kissed him to save his life. Him losing his memory is because of that - not that she wants to erase them.

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Yeah, I saw that as a curse that she can't help. Although I was hoping for a deeper twist than that. But this is a rom-com so it doesn't have to go dark. JJH is really connecting with me as Se-hwa. I'm invested in this cute character though somewhat cliche character because she's owning it.

I hate to keep mentioning it, but... mermaid saves boy underwater but he couldn't remember her when he woke up, mermaid meets him again as an adult and boy is still clueless, mermaid searches for boy in the city, Seoul might as well be New York City. Without the reincarnation/Joseon-lore tell me this isn't the 1984 fantasy rom-com film directed by Ron Howard?

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Very simple answer. This is a different maid and she still doesn’t know how to control her powers yet

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I think it’s because she doesnt want him to remember/know that she’s a mermaid. He already figured it out once he saw her swimming towards him and she doesn’t have a choice but to save him. Remember the conversation that they just had about her being weird/different and the mermaid has this thought that if she’s not that different, she can stay beside him for a long time? By erasing his memory, she can still look for him and be beside him without him knowing her true nature.

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She didn't want to him to forget about her completely, but she had no other choice. She had to erase his memory because he saw her as a mermaid and she thinks she only has a chance to stay with him as a human. That's what I think!

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This episode was kind of slow and I didn't feel like much happened, the story was kind of spinning its wheels. Honestly don't understand why in it was necessary for her to give him an amnesia inducing kiss. Was it because he saw her as a mermaid? I mean otherwise they would have just gone back to Seoul together I guess and then this episode wouldn't exist. So was the amnesia just to fill time?

I'm wishing that the Joseon storyline was the drama I was watching since I find it more compelling then the modern day storyline. But honestly I'm in this drama for the brilliance that is Jun Ji Hyun.

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Weird is it not? I mean, he did not drown just yet, why couldn't she just bring him to surface instead of kissing him and erase his memory of her.

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She didn't want to him to forget about her completely, but she had no other choice. She had to erase his memory because he saw her as a mermaid and she thinks she only has a chance to stay with him as a human. That's what I think!

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Yea agreed this episode came pretty slow to me too. For once I felt the frustration all over again about those missed encounters lol However like some say maybe this is now the real beginning of the series.

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don't you think it's that she is "breathing life into him" by that kiss, thereby saving his life from drowning - but the aftereffect is that all memories of her will vanish...

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I liked this episode more than eps 1 and 2, because I can finally feel the story (there was emotion in this episode, unlike the first two eps that were too focused on comedic antics). I am also starting to get a feel for the characters, and to care about them. I also started seeing some chemistry between LMH and JJH this episode. I really hope that they will brush LMH's hair back or to the side for the rest of the eps, because it suits him a LOT more than when his hair is down.

The only thing that makes no sense to me, is what has already been mentioned by several commenters; what is the mermaid's logic in erasing JJ's memories and then searching for him?

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Maybe she just can't resist the smooches?

Or, to conceal her true identity for a while longer?

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I really hope they dial back the ballad they're using as the romantic theme. Kdramas have a bad habit of overdoing it with musical cues ("Almost PA-RA-DIIIISE!") but this one's actively distracting me with what seems to be bad English grammar in the very first section of the chorus.

Is she seriously wailing "This is love story" in that song? Every single time it plays (so: often) I stop paying attention to the plot and start trying to figure out another way to hear that line. "It's a love story" might work, or "This, a love story" would be really awkward but at least be close-ish to correct language. And I guess it could be "This is Love Story", a really bizarre shout-out to a forty year old movie with no mermaids but terminal disease... Unfortunately none of those theories seem to fit with the available syllables and consonants.

"This is love story" all on its own makes no sense, and it's breaking my brain.

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What really confused me was the proper "this is my love story" later in the song. Like can they use proper grammar or not?

All I can think is the song is supposed to be symbolic of being extremely caught up in the feelings of infatuation and the unfocused that comes with it.

I assign the song to JJH. So maybe she's just so overwhelmed that her heart is just like "this IS love story". Omo, is that why my heart is skipping a beat? "This is my love story". Okay I guess I'll stay with this guu.

I don't know. I'm so confused.

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I agree "This is Love Story" is such a bad (over-the-top) song, and it is distracting me too. This is like "Love is the moment"! and "Almost Paradise"! Both terrible soundtrack songs, and I dropped both dramas with these songs. However so far "Legend of the Blue Sea" is miles better than the other two shows.

I can only hope that the plot of LOTBS will pick up, and they stop using "This is Love Story" for good.

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What's worse was when they aren't speaking and the subtitles for the song are playing I get super distracted and it ends up being music overload as well.

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LOL these corny songs follow poor LMH wherever he goes in Dramaland!

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Oh my, I remember those songs, they were so annoying! Lol. And now "this is love story" is another one for the list.

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She didn't want to him to forget about her completely, but she had no other choice. She had to erase his memory because he saw her as a mermaid and she thinks she only has a chance to stay with him as a human. That's what I think!

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Story wise, this drama sucks.
I keep watching it because of Jun Ji Hyun. I have never enjoyed LMH as an actor and it sucks because his visual is at his peak for this drama.

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I agree (foe the most part). I just watch the show and kept thinking how it'll be if Kim Soo Hyun had taken the role instead. Somehow I just cannot connect with LMH as an actor, even though he's handsome and all. But to me he's still the most handsome in Personal Taste, after that his features seem to have somehow changed...? I'm not suggesting that he underwent plastic surgery, I don't know why that is so, but that's just in my opinion.

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He's not very aging well, a la Leonardo Dicaprio.

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And here I was thinking just the opposite. I have not been taken with LMH much in his past dramas but have found him to be very attractive in this one. Maybe his hair is different? I don't know really but I finally have been able to see why he is so popular.

Funny how we can have different perceptions watching the same thing. :)

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I beg to differ.

I am also not his fan. But he has rocked it in this drama. This is one of his best dramas ever. This is a great choice of a drama.

Secondly, it's too early to judge the story just by seeing mere 3-4 facts. I assume that you should give it some time.

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I don't see the lack or failure with the story. But then again, I'm just obsessed with merpeople. I fell this drama before story. I do think the various characters may be setting up too many potential storylines. Like the writer is going to run out of time and not truly tie some up.

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LMH is so hard to connect to. I feel that he's too concerned with looking "good" on-screen, and ends up forgetting to actually act. I need to play fill-in-the-blanks whenever LMH is on-screen. What emotion is he trying to convey here? What am I supposed to be feeling now? Just think of the scene where JJH reunited with him at the aquarium. I get SO much emotion, SO much heartache from JJH. But from LMH? Nothing.

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THIS. LMH's acting is the worst I've seen from him in this drama. Don't know what's going on. Majorly phoning it in.

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@NDKK

"Just think of the scene where JJH reunited with him at the aquarium. I get SO much emotion, SO much heartache from JJH. But from LMH? Nothing."

maybe because he supposed not to recognise her? thus the lack of emo?

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I always thought that Jeon Ji Hyun's mermaid outfit is really beautiful and different from the traditional mermaid outfit that i have in mind(those Disney kind with seashells as bikini top). And when she wins an award for this show(when, not if), she can probably just take that outfit, alter the leg part and turn it into a legit mermaid/ fishtail dress. That'll be epic hahas

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See, I'm the opposite- it bugs me out every time they have a scene with her swimming that the 'tail' looks more like a JJH in a sequinned mermaid ballgown rather than an actual otherwordly half-fish creature; I understand why they didn't have her wear a sea shell bra but where are the fish scales dammit.

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Slammin' idea! That WOULD be epic! She should totally do that.

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If they aren't careful with the kissing, they could end up with 50 First Dates. Does she have a way to kiss and NOT erase ??

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OMG someone else thought of 50 First dates lol.i think that's where we are heading coz the alien just had to kiss Cheong song yi, and since the writer seems to follow the same formula, we are bout to get the several cases of amnesia

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Stop it. Or I'm going to drag that movie out of the dvd cabinet along with The Wedding Singer.

I was tempted when I dreamt of it today, probably inspired by this drama. But now, it's all up in the comments. Guys, it's 2 am. I can't pull a movie marathon.

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I always love the Jo-seon bits although Lee Min-ho looks slightly awkward in his costume. Somehow I prefer the character of Dam-ryung so much more to Joon-jae. But they are two different people, if the mermaid is the same one, how come she falls so hard for both, especially for Joon-jae? Just because he looks exactly like Dam-ryung? It feels like YFTS again, except Chun Song-yi actually has her own charm, which makes Do Min-joon falling in love with her understandable. This undying love of the mermaid for Joon-jae is really confusing to me.

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I am not Korean but I don't know but if it is just me who feels something not quite click with Lee Min Ho's sageuk speech.

I think he looks dashing in the sageuk costume and same with you, I prefer Damryung. And it's hard to feel the mermaid of the past and present are the same because the behavior totally polar opposite. The only connection is the bracelet - either being passed down or she is actually the same mermaid?

And I thought this story is about the LAST MERMAID on earth. But, how's that possible they are still few of them?

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@Del: I actually think the mermaid is the same one. the joseon one has yet to be shown in situations where she can be the wacky one we see in modern time. i don't really see how different they are. and if they are different, what's the connection? so they are destined to love each other because they look exactly the same as their ancestors(?) who fall in love with each other?
and i agree that lee minho looks dashing in basically anything, but his facial features do not go really well with the ancient costumes. it feels like he's cosplaying someone from the past, not that someone that belongs to the time. just my opinion, and again, he's still gorgeous and i love the solemnity in damryung's eyes :)

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Well, someone below has confirmed that they are two different mermaids, but i'm still confused as to why the modern mermaid seem to look and fall for joon-jae right from the get-go?

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Agree. I think the Joseon storyline is more compelling because it's being told in such a deep and beautiful way. The story, the visuals and the soundtrack mesh perfectly and speak to the heart.

In the modern romance scenes, the insertion of that overly loud and overwrought song adds an intrusive harshness that is out of sync with the inherently quiet leads. It completely takes me out of the moment.

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Same here, really liking the Sageuk scenes more. The music also wasn't jarring and quietly added to the atmosphere. It almost seemed kinda melancholic? Hope they show more flashbacks in the next episode so we know how they ended.

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It was akward for me seeing the sageuk mermaid speaking coz she's in water, looks as if she's naked with only bare shoulders above water but speaking in this formal, elegant way?

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ep 3 wasn't as nice to me as ep 1 and 2 were cos there were so many things I didnt understand?
1. the mermaid made joon jae forget her then straight away went to find him?? why even haha
2. when did the scene in the car happen? from what I recall in ep2 their relationship wasn't developed to the extent that joon jae would want her to move to Seoul with him? I mean the dude nearly abandoned her just a few days ago?? it's not that I don't believe in their romance just that everything's moving too quickly esp for a guy who doesn't open his heart easily to girls
3. why does she talk sometimes but not other times? (this qstn doesn't stand if it turns out the mermaids were 2 diff people) cos in joseon times she spoke then in modern times she had to learn again?

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The Josen mermaid and the modern mermaid are two different people and i think she kissed him to save his life not to wipe his memory.

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Re: #2
I'm hoping for a twist that explains it. Like, that his mom is a(n ex) mermaid. And that's what gives him a deep immediate connection to her.

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She doesn't want to speak. I think some times she just doesn't want to as someone who lives her life talking to other mermaids through telepathy

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"Until the drama tells me otherwise, I’m going to believe that Se-hwa and the present-day mermaid are two different people, despite the similar sacrifices they made for love."

I think they really are two different mermaids. They have different scales. The mermaid's scales from Jeoseon era are gold, while the mermaid's from present time are white/silver. Plus, in this episode we know that mermaids age too like people. Unless, they're like Renesmee from twilight who grew up untill she reached certain age.

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Oh wait, I just read this drama synopses from different sources. They all say/imply that she's the same mermaid from Jeoseon era though.

Then why did she need to learn Korean language again from the internet when she had already been able to speak in Korean?

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I always suspected it was the same Mermaid.

As far as learning the language...I'm American born & raised, but, our "English" language is dynamic.. it changes constantly. We don't use the same "English" from a hundred years ago, so, I imagine, she did have to re-learn, a modern, Korean.

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I'm 80% sure that the modern characters are descendents/reincarnations of the Joseon characters. Not just conman & mermaid but also the criminal and maybe others we haven't met yet. Shades of Rooftop Prince + Love Rain, trying to make things work out the 2nd time.
But I'd be just as happy if the mermaid is the same one, and her scales changed with age from gold to silver much like my hair changed from blond to grey. I can explain her needing to learn Korean again -- I suggested last week she had amnesia too, from all the knocks on the head when storms smash her ashore :)

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Descendants!!! Since the Joseon story gives off doomed-love vibes! Actually, reincarnation works too I guess... Much more epically doomed that way.. To be born over and over and be drawn only to each other over and over and die separated/lonely, and the cycle continues.....till this version finds the deus ex machina!

And I think Joon-jae and Mermaid V2.0 might have childhood flashbacks too (though then it wouldn't make sense for the mermaid to not recognize him initially in his closet, though that might also be that she didn't recognize him as an adult and some yet-unseen anecdote from their time in Spain will show when she connected that JJ is her childhood friend/love!)

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Haha, love the Renesmee reference! XD

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I think she cried at the aquarium is more like she feels safe now meet someone she knew in strange place like Seoul. This drama is so beautiful. So many secrets and myths (?) here. Though it may not be true but its so interesting. Something we haven't seen before in dramaland. Excited for ep 4 wohooo!

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"But if all you do is earn money from morning till dusk, then when do we live happily?"
Korea's problem in a nutshell. If possible, do what I did -- get a fun job like computer programmer and kill both birds with one stone.

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Is that a Korean exclusive problem?

Seems to me she summed up the consumerism rates and materialism in one fell swoop.

Parents who have financial struggles work so their kids can have a better future. Only downside is, the lack of real parent-child relationships from 2 or 6 (if they're lucky) to about 26 - once the child has finished college, learning a trade, what have you, and have begin setting in to their own busy jobs. Then the roles are reversed. And then the child gets married without having been intimate with a couple. Not having family knowledge to draw on. Possibly not even knowing themselves enough to share important character traits and habits. Or know what they value in a mate.

Parents who a financial secure may feel unsecured and want extra money in the bank. You know save it for a rainy day. Or extra money to spend on luxury, perhaps because they couldn't afford it when they were younger. Not spending time with their children again.

Parents who are definitely financial sound but not necessarily secure such a CEOs, Presidents, fancy restaurant owners, government works, and such may be so busy giving their best at work that they have no energy when they get home. They spend all day proving why they deserve their position, that their age or family needs doesn't require them taking a slightlt lower financially stable job because the title isn't the same, that they can do the same and better than the graduates and the previous 5 years graduates who now have an added edge of experience.

For whatever reason, parents have a tendency to be away. And then their child grows up to be someone they don't know because they had no affect passed the age of 7 - 10, if they were even involved in that time.

For parents who choose to have children and be happy with them, the paradox isn't finding a job they like. It's finding a job that allows you to focus on what bring's you joy as a pair or trio.

The little girls comment of "later, later well be happy" was heartbreaking because when? When the girl can help her mom with money? In what 10 years if she does part time work, 15-18 if she goes through college? But then the daughter will be busy working. Times of happiness will have to be planned around days off or vacation days saved up. Yay! Maybe when my child is 24, I'll spend 5 solid hours around her like I got to when she was a 2 - 6 year old.

JJH simple question broke the little girl because she didn't know when herself. Or if waiting is really worth it.

I liked that tidbit.

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Now I'm imagining the mermaid going around with joon jae and demanding fish just like the gumiho did..lol

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:)

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that will be so funny

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I have always loved childhood portions more than their adult counterparts, so after watching the backstory today, I wish Legend of the Blue Sea had started with the kids and stayed here for a good two episodes. I adore how Little Dam Ryung had named her and wanted to marry her despite the fact that she was a mermaid.

Kudos to Park Ji Eun for smoothly transitioning from bittersweet to comedy. I figured the mermaid was going to rescue the bullied girl, but she learned from it instead, ha. Joon Jae's hypnosis was moving. Even though his goal was for CEO Jang to let them go, he simultaneously taught her how to put herself in someone else's shoes. Their reunion in the aquarium was breathtaking. Hong Jin Kyung's cameo was gold. I am loving this show so far, but eye roll at how he's a chaebol.

Thanks lots for the recap, girlfriday!

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So....anybody know why she erased his memory? To make him forget she's a mermaid? Even though she just swims in the aquarium?

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I think she erased his memory because she was saving him for drowning like how the teenage mermaid saved the boy, it's more like everytime she kisses him,he will lose his memory of her.

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*rubs temples*

i don't know. for how much i looked forward to this drama, and how big of a fan i am of the writer, this show continues to disappoint. i'm not even trying to compare this to you who came from another star—really i'm not. but just by itself the story doesn't flow as smoothly as it should. it's not the kind of quality that i've come to expect from this writer. i actually got bored watching it. it seems to lack that one punch/pull for me.

again, the mermaid stuff is pretty, but i cringed a little at the scene with the sunglasses/seashell clutch because it looked so campy, but i guess that can't be helped. still, i don't think it was necessary. it would have been nicer if they had shown her swimming through the seas, traveling to get to seoul.

i remain undecided about the show; i'll give it till next week to finalize my verdict, but i'm afraid it's just going to stay in this middling/okay/not stellar territory for me. i hope not though.

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Why cant she approach heo joon jae in spain rather than in seoul???

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I simply thought the money exchange between Nam Doo and Shi Ah was just a bet for whether Nam Doo could get Joon Jae to go out or not, in which he lost the bet.

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maybe...but I also think that shi ah could be interested in the jade bracelet too

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Same! I either didn't really care much for that scene/her and is probably missing something, but all I got from that whole money exchange was they made a bet on whether or not she could win over Joon-jae w/ the birthday foods and when she couldn't, she payed up b/c the friend was right–he wouldn't budge because he's just not that into you, girl.
I don't think she's after the bracelet... oh shoot, since she's into old treasures and artifacts, oh yeah okay, I can kinda see how she can be interested.

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why did she kiss him if she knew he was going to lose his memories???? she could have just helped him swim to the top..

lol yeah i agree with everyone else, too many coincidences...with the whole aquarium and everything

and i know im being too picky but it kinda annoys me how she can so easily switch in and out of (dry) human clothes..

and i duno, its weird....i mean JJH is definitely not in her twenties anymore and its kinda weird seeing her act so immature like "YOU EAT YOUR FRIENDS?!" i know its supposed to be funny but for some reason i'm not buying it...

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I don't know if anything in this drama has happened to debunk this theory. We don't know how long it takes for a mermaid to be dry.

In my favorite mermaid series ever *2016 killed my mermaids, goodbye I will miss you* -
They had heating powers. It allowed them to gain their legs within about 20 seconds, depending on the skill level. And the moment they were dry, they magically were wearing the clothes they had jumped in with. And the clothes were dry.

Se hwa mentioned an age to gain legs. No matter how long she was out on the rock, she had her tail. Se hwa *as an adult* was being kept wet. Our mermaid, may have dried out naturally the first time when she landed by the pool. But she would have dried herself before sneaking into the hotel room, before scaring the ahjummas on land, and when she got out of the tank.

I know its for comedy though, but what happened to her black skirt? If she can have it back on while off a different Spanish coast. And never was she carrying it, unless she threw them above before ever so slowly saving a life She should have had them in Seoul once she was dry. That was a nice outfit. Did the sea eat it? Or did she chose to change into the untidy clothes on the desert island? It wouldn't have been another case of the naked mermaid. Why didn't she keep the skirt?!

I could buy it because the character is immature. She tried toug a child. She's a sponge with a high reactivity level. And she is hecka confused. Do they really eat their friends? "Why? Don't!" Fithe perfectly to me.

And I think they were saving up for the ultimate joke at the end, with mermaid lore. "Mermaids and fish are friends they don't eat them." Oh yeah? Well what else could they eat? Kelp? They're humaniods. They require protein. Until a vegetarian mermaids finds a protein in the ocean that isn't animals, mermaids are gonna need to eat fish. The myth in the lore is untrue. I think the joke was that she was doing the opposite of what she said. The irony of her being in a bunch of water and eating what to humans is her friends. Nah, suckas that's her prey. Mermaids are predators same as we are.

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She didn't want to him to forget about her completely, but she had no other choice. She had to erase his memory because he saw her as a mermaid and she thinks she only has a chance to stay with him as a human. That's what I think!

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I'm waiting for us to get into some kinda plot here because I don't quite get what it is yet…

While JJH's comedy is gold - I know it's going to get old really really fast if we don't have some sort of story here.

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I first thought the present day mermaid didn't know that if she kissed a human, he will forget her. But in the end it was revealed that she did know. But I guess after reading the above comments, she probably kissed him to save him.

But I don't understand why a kiss should erase memories? Then how are we going to enjoy our OTP's kisses without worrying about the consequences. Or is that to make the stakes higher? Like forget about being together, they can't even enjoy a kiss? Like fate is against them in every way, but they are still choosing to be together?

When people commented last week that there was no plot, I wondered why I didn't feel like that. Now I think the leads being together made it really enjoyable. But this episode we didn't get to see them together that much, so I felt like something was lacking too.

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I was scratching my head at the no plot comments last week too, but now I get it. The leads only seem to be doing something interesting when they're thrown together (i.e. shopping mall adventures, learning how to be a human, running away from thugs). I know that the slapstick of the previous episodes didn't suit everyone's tastes but I definitely found myself missing the humor element in this one.

If I remember correctly, mermaids can control when they erase memories. So every kiss shouldn't lead to a memory loss. I'm finding myself more peeved at the current amnesia plot right now though. Why have the leads essentially have to introduce themselves to each other all over again only two episodes in?? It seems redundant.

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Erm...I mean I guess it's good that the amnesia plot line is happening this early in the storyline and not later when more important information would be lost...but I still don't really like that it's essentially brought us back to square one and undid all the development that the first two episodes worked towards. Is the memory erasing an all-or-nothing type of deal? It'd be much more convenient if she could just erase him seeing her tail instead of the entirety of their interactions. But then again, she didn't really seem to care about him/all the other spectators seeing her fish-out at the aquarium, and I doubt she'd understand the concept of a mermaid show so??? Logic, writers?

I've actually liked the "relaxed" pace of the show so far and liked that they seemed to be taking their time in dealing out information. I hate when the pilot of a show is basically just "EXPOSITION. EXPOSITION. EXPOSITION," for an hour. However, it's become apparent with this episode that they really need to start picking up the central plot-line, and make it clear as to what it actually is. I was content going along for the ride for the first two episodes, and though I did stay engaged, I definitely found myself getting a little bored with this one.

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Does the bracelet draw the two doppelgängers a toward each other?

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Hmmm. Seems like I'm one of the odd ones who actually enjoyed the show? I thought this episode's flow was better than the first 2's and emotional wise and plot wise it was way better too! Really love Jun Ji Hyun as the mermaid. She was so funny when she tried to con that little girl's money (and I'm getting Marriage Contract flashbacks, kept thinking the mother that the kid is talking about is UEE hahahah)! And that look she gave when she was desperate for Jun Jae to recognise her in the aquarium T_T Can't wait for tonight's episode!

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me too..

3 is much more controlled n flows smoothly unlike 1/2

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Don't they have it backwards? Isn't a good kiss supposed to make you forget everything EXCEPT the girl ?

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I'm enjoying all your running commentaries on this show, Lord Cobol

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Ahaha.True.
And why make him forget everything but still follow him halfway across the globe? To make him remember you again?..

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Getting more excited now for the episodes ahead...

I love more this episode as i feel connected to the emotions of our leads, specially during the Joseon era. I also believe that mermaids are 2 different characters, unless the story will give us clear lead.

I am liking Joon Jae's character that although he's a con man but then he uses also his talent or should i say hypnosis gift to change the character of their enemy or somehow their perception and life's views positively. The elevator scene was awesome, just dont know how long it will have an effect on the person.

Loving this drama :)

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OMG! I don't even know what was my favorite part.

The first two episodes were so well done that I felt a part of the story by this episode. I was locked in.

And both actors were amazing. But the highlight was probably that little girl ???

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Yes the little girl was such a surprise but also a delight! It also really highlighted the innocence of our mermaid as she wanders through Seoul.

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The second episode is more boring than the first and the third episode is more boring than the second.

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Wow, the comments. It seems like a lot of people are trying to find fault with this drama, I mean if you could watch episode 1 and 2 and still move on to episode 3 then you should know that logic is not this dramas cup of tea, so just let it go (logic I mean).
I guess am in the minority, cos I love this episode more than the first 2. It more stable than the first 2 episodes and even a little more logical (thus there is hope that along the line we might get some actual logic).
The mermaid is hilarious and am glad that she got to learn about life and money from a little girl (that little girl is adorable by the way) Seriously can't wait for the next episode.
Park Jinyoung, how can you look like you're 10 when you are actually 22, seriously did they give you an anti-aging drug? Igot7s are proud of you and some of them are probably crying cos they been thinking your lips just lost it's virginity, lol.
As a Lee Min ho fan girl shout out to my reason for becoming a K-ADDICT, Lee Min ho, I will never forget the first time I ever saw you in the poster for City hunter wearing a leather jacket and pink pants with your Justin Bieber haircut and your gun. Heo Jun Jae seems to be mean to kids, not sure if I find that funny

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What do you think is this dramas cup of tea?

I think it's humor - physical, verbal, and situation; it's melancholy in both timelines; it's fate; it's fantasy.

This about fantasy is there is logic and rules. Each author has freedom to write the rules with lore as the choose but the logic behind decisions is usually still there.

This decision was confusing. I thought I knew why she did it last week *to give him oxygen, which I've seen in mermaid lore*. But then I couldn't find much of a reason for the memory loss inducing kiss.
1) If the author's rule is that mermaids can choose when to take memories, why didn't JJH leave them?
2) If mermaids can't choose, why did she kiss him?

1) she needed him to leave Spain and go to Korea for safety. I can understand that. It's logical. It wasn't said, but if it's said tomorrow, I'll be happy. She wa's determined to fulfill the promises but he had to forget the promises or he might not be alive now. And it wasn't so much a promise as this is where I'll be, you promise to find me. The logic was there for them to meet up. I do that with my friends all the time. "Yeah, I'm going to the mall." "Okay I'll join you." Not on the 3 months later scale but it's common.
And now they can start over without either of them being in danger from the gangsters. Though, thugs are coming behind them tomorrow. Maybe she wanted him not to know her true nature and she'll hang out with him in Seoul and not be all those things that were keeping them apart. If he doesn't know, it can't keep them apart.

2) if it's a curse rather than an ability, I get it if she wanted him to lose memory of him. But if she didn't want him to lose memory of her why did she kiss him? It wasn't a gift of air kiss. It was just random.

I love the show but I want the mythological perimeters. And it can be done. Then we'll see the logic. And whether or not we agree with the logic or if something was a logical choice given the rules. We will have our logic and be able to put together some guesses. Right now we don't have the logic.

I can't speak for everyone but I'm not "trying" to find fault with this drama. I find fault with everything. I like discussing to see if what I am stuck on means something different to someone else. Or if I missed something. Or if it's just my taste. At the moment, the reason for the kiss is my only fault with this otherwise perfect episode.

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Maybe she wanted him not to know her true nature and she’ll hang out with him in Seoul and not be all those things that were keeping them apart.

Bravo, Purpe Owl. I think, this is by far the most logical and plausible explanation for the mermaid to kiss joon jae.

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it's the only way to save him from drowning.

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I am not a Lee Min Ho-diehard fan. But seeing him here, I can understand why people love him.

I am seeing him in a new light here, as a better and improved actor. Although he did good in CH too, but here, he has to match up to so many standards, which he is doing. From Boys Over Flowers to Legend, he has definitely polished up.
It's a great thing to see that he chose a great drama, afterall.

When it comes to Jeon Ji Hyun, I am rendered speechless. She is a marvelous actress.

I am waiting impatiently to see how this story unfolds. All I know is due to many unanswered questions, I will remain hooked to LOBS for quite a time.

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I believe there is connection between Joseon era and today's story. In 3rd episode in Joseon era parts, teenage mermaid said "she cannot live in the land" but now in modern times she can transfer into human body. What I assume is in Joseon era mermaid sacrificed something to meet Heo Joon Jae reincarnation and she became immortal and so she had chance to live in land. So that is why she has the bracelet from that era.

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But in josen era she said she can not live in land until she become adult

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Do the growth hormones work differently based on an era :)

Joseon, mermaid growth rate = human growth rate

500 years later, mermain stuck at human age.. lol

****
So joseon LMH lost his sister (NOTE: not dead..but lost).. maybe that is the thing.. a mermaid and a human married.. gave birth to a son and a daughter.. daughter acquired mermaid genes..whereas son remained human.. (LMH and his sister in joseon)

Same story in present... LMH born to a mermaid and a human.. though he didn't become a merman.. but has the genes. and some talents (latent maybe).. so he has this unknown connection to merpeople without actually be one

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Ok. There could be something there. My phone is dying and I need to go to sleep so I can't discuss it. But I like the detailed theory.

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Wow!

JJH is just epic...lol. I loved this ep so much I rewatched it twice !

Can't wait for next ep!

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Everyone is asking why she removed his memory when she was gonna cross the whole world to meet him again and keep her promise to him.

My answer: maybe she is smart and knows that she won't be able to travel without necessary documents and would rather travel the way she is meant to (she is a mermaid after all- swimming is easy!) :P

Anyway, I loved this episode even more. I love the Joseon scenes because they are visually stunning but I love the modern scenes even more because it is here that we actually get to see Jeon Ji Hyun's fish out of water expressions come into full play! :)

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Repeat after me: "Fish are food. Not Friends"

....Wait a minute.

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:)
My cats agree

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Does her couture shell purse also contain pearls besides her shelly sunglasses? If so, then daebak!

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It seems this drama is trying to make all websites keep second guessing the plot...the plot is still not known apart from the fact that there is a mermaid and there is a man she is in love with ...some websites keep on changing d plot everytime a new episode airs

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I became worried after knowing that a kiss of a mermaid can erase all your memories. The first thing that came to my mind was that it'll be a sad ending after all...But then, now I realized the importance of the Joseon era story...

The Joseon mermaid tale and modern mermaid tale will both have similarities with the plot but they will end differently.

The Joseon mermaid tale will end in a heartbreaking way and the modern mermaid tale will have its happily ever after..

It's like they were both reincarnated to have a second chance at love because their first love story ended tragically....

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Done with episode 3. Now I would make it in points;
1. This drama has a very good idea. I've always loved fantasy romance, because we all fantasize about what romance would be right? So I found no faulty with the premise though, even from the other site that I've read, netizen has been accused this drama of plagiarism. I don't mind plagiarism, if they can make it into a good one.
2. This drama is visually pretty, I mean really pretty. The scenes at the beach, it always gives this melo feeling, and JJH did her part beautifully; be it swimming in the deep sea, crazy antics or looking deeply in love with her Dam Ryung/Joon Jae. This drama really cannot be done without JJH, because no one can portrayed Se Hwa better than her. JJH is a natural, especially in comedy, well to me at least. But she doesn't disappoint in potrays engaging scenes also, and that's only prove how experience she is.
3. Now off to LMH; I don't hate nor love his acting. I've seen him in BOF, The Heirs, PT, and Faith I think; but LMH doesn't quite manage to impress me. He isn't expressive as I hoped him to be; because this drama stated his character as the genius swindler, so I was hoping I could see his persona as the so called genius swindler, rather than changing suits and click the lighter on. I must say, I am not impressed with the lighter aka hypnosis thingy at all, because what I wanted to see is a real scheming; because I am a fan of the drama Leverage and currently, 38 Task Force. What's the use of this lighter anyway? I want to see the real conman, but Joon Jae seemed like a laid back and lazy character, and those fancy grandish cars and items that he had in his house; doesn't seem very conman-ish to me, well to me at least.
4. I hope for the best for this drama. Hwaiting JJH!

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That part where she bid adieu to her friends with the shell clutch and sunglasses, and when she tried mugging the little girl, I laughed so much.

She kissed him because she did not want him to remember her as a mermaid. And there was part in prev episodes where they said that mermaids can selectively choose to erase memories or not.

And the characters seem to be reincarnations, with the mermaid, jae joon, murderer guy. Shi-ah might be his past wife? And his mom is def a mermaid, so he is half merman. I like the joseon parts as little intros but enjoy the modern day more cuz it has an expanded cast and so many connections.

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Shout out to my boy Park Jinyoung playing teenage Dam Ryung! So pretty ❤

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I have an idea the pearls are mermaid tears. Every time she e she cries she leaves a pearl behind

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Sounds likely.
But sounds like a good source of income for an unscrupulous con-man. Make her cry, sell a pearl, make her cry....

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Enjoying the show very much since I'm a sucker for anything Mermaid related. And it's Jeon Ji Hyeon.

I can see why she'd want to erase his memory of her as a mermaid. Their relationship is at such a primordial stage, at best it's complicated.

He is just getting used to her weirdness. And she is just figuring this human stuff out. She's a fish out of water, but she's not stupid. Giving room to logic in a fantasy story, her decision to keep her true nature from him makes sense. Weirdo, loose screws, he seems ok with that.....half fish, half human? Hmmm, may need a little more work. It's like trying to find that perfect timing to reveal your secret to that person who may or may not be accepting of the truth. Obviously, it's too early.

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That's what I thought, she says it herself " if I were not strange and had a name, could I stay with you forever?" She doesn't want him to find out just yet.

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First of all I don't know if I should feel attacked or not because somehow I feel we are saying the same thing and maybe am wrong . Maybe I didn't express myself well enough. A lot of things about this drama didn't make sense to me (some still don't make sense) but I tried make sense of it on my own and when I can't I leave it to the drama to explain itself.
And you asked what I think this drama's cup of tea is? could be "mermaid mets boy and they fall in love " or "the main leads ". Frankly I see nothing wrong with discussions, but to say the truth it doesn't mean people can say whatever they want, I know someone will say freedom of speech or opinions but really let's think of what our opinions can do to others. Let's not bring the mood down in the comments, please, some of us are really excited about this drama.
I do have issues with this drama too but as I said in my above comment that hopefully we get the logic, I mean it is just the 3rd episode, so fingers crossed.

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I'm sorry. I didn't intend to come across as attacking. We might be saying the same thing.

I feel like most of the comments here are just confused about what's going on and trying to get information or ideas from others. Only a few said something just negative. It's the phrases "trying to find fault" "could watch... still move on" "in the minority" that puzzle me. Your comment of the discussion is paradoxical. You don't see anything wrong with the discussion but that doesn't mean people can say anything they want. Do the comments bother you? Does it seem like they aren't enjoying the drama?

Because this how beanies watch dramas. I'm over the moon about this drama. I love most things merpeople, LMH, long lost loves, one sided devotion, and basically everyone in the cast. It's surpassing my expectations and making me think of nothing but Lobster Wednesday through Friday. I'm tempted to rewatch this episode which I've only done once before.

I was having a psychotic break headache yesterday, one that leaves me barely able to stand and makes me nauseous and just is extremely annoying. Lobster was able to distract me and helped the migraine lift.

Trust me when I say I freaking love this drama. I'm asking these questions and making these points to gather information for all Lobs beanies so we can avoid ruining the atmosphere in the next recap.

Peace and hope to continue discussing in next recap *cause it looks amazing*,
A fellow Lobs and ahgase/igot7

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MEMORY ERASER KISS what a great device for writers!!!!!!!!!!! Bad ratings this week? Lets just have the mermaid kiss Joon Jae and start all over again ;)))))))

I'm dreading a final episode where we have a kiss in the last 10 minutes and they forget everything they've put us through in the last weeks to have a final scene where they both look at each other and smile..... background voice..... "everything will be fine because we are just going to meet for the 10th time...." thank you for watching.......

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This reminds me of W and how they could reverse anything they wanted...

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I have the feeling that this drama is getting better and better :)

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i think his mother was a mermaid too, and she doesnt erase his memory, just the kiss take it away

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