[Alternate Endings] Surplus ending for Surplus Princess
by Guest Beanie
It wasn’t until Cheese in the Trap that I started re-writing disappointing endings in my head, and the one drama I always wished I could go back and re-write was Surplus Princess. I understand the episode cuts, but Ha-ni’s abrupt about-face to get with the male lead and the Evil Ex’s magical redemption and hint that she’ll get Chef-nim were like vinegar and blood in my mouth. Our mermaid deserved better, so this is what I wish the writers had done after they found out about the episode cut.
Hyun-myung sees our mermaid’s tail and staggers off, piecing together all of Ha-ni’s odd behavior. They still come up with the Shake It box idea the next morning, but when they return home, Hyun-myung corners Witch Ahn and reveals that he knows Ha-ni is a mermaid. Witch Ahn tells all. Hyun-myung is devastated about the 100-day curse and asks if there is any way around it. What is true love? Does it have to be reciprocated? What if someone loves you and makes a sacrifice? What if you find love yourself? Witch Ahn doesn’t know.
Meanwhile, Ha-ni goes on a date with Chef. They eat at a seafood restaurant, and she impresses him again with her discriminating taste and knowledge of fish. They talk about their dreams, and she admits she doesn’t really have one. She wants to get into JH Foods to see Chef, and other than that, what she likes to do is watch dramas. She says dramas introduced her to life on land, and Chef says maybe she should do something with dramas instead, although she’d also be welcome at JH Foods because of her great palate.
When they go outside, they pass someone throwing a bucket of dirty water, and she freaks out and hides behind Chef. She’s mortified that Chef is covered in dirty water and can only stammer out that she’s deathly afraid of being splashed. Chef says it’s okay and that everyone has their own secrets. To make her feel better, he admits that he has face blindness and that he’s had to cover up some pretty embarrassing behavior. Ha-ni realizes that this is why he didn’t recognize her from the underwater rescue and brightens up. She says they should work together to overcome their fears and secrets. They smile.
On the day of the presentation, Hyun-myung takes the calming pills and ends up fainting and going to the hospital. Ha-ni does an awesome job selling the Shake It box and when someone asks her how it relates to the globalization of Korean food, she says that the one-minute shaking time is exactly the amount of time it takes for an ad in between dramas. She says they can also partner with dramas and points out that product placement works. “Right, guys?” she says, as she turns back to her group. Big is sipping something and very obviously turns the can so the label shows. Computer guy is putting on man lip gloss and then blots his lips with a Subway napkin. They both nod.
Of course, they win the competition. Later, Chef meets with Ha-ni to congratulate her, and she excitedly tells him it was all because of him that she came up with that drama idea. She wishes she could do something to help him too, and at that, Chef’s smiling face turns serious, and the air between them is suddenly charged. He’s smitten by this magical girl who makes him happy and cares about him. He moves in for a kiss that mirrors the one they first shared. Tongues start wagging, and Chef’s eyes widen in recognition. He suddenly moves her hand to his butt, and it’s Ha-ni’s turn to open her eyes in surprise.
Chef remembers everything but wonders how she saved him underwater when she’s afraid of water. He suddenly takes out the scale and asks if that has anything to do with it. Cornered, she tells him everything, and his eyes go a bit dead. He wonders, does she like him for him or to get out of the curse? Ha-ni is crestfallen.
Everyone is excited to go to work the next day, but Ha-ni remains glum. She and Hyun-myung are the only ones in Chef’s department, and they find out there’s only one full-time spot available that they will have to compete for. Evil Ex gets in Ha-ni’s face and ends up throwing cake at her. They get into a fight a la Ex-Girlfriend Club. Chef and Hyun-myung come in to see them fighting and pull them apart. Ha-ni has scratches on her face, and Evil Ex looks at her bloody fingernails in horror.
Chef takes Ha-ni up to clean her wounds, and the atmosphere is a bit awkward. He tells her the company is moving ahead with her Shake It box drama collaboration and that she’ll be on the team to roll out the idea. Upon hearing that she’ll have access to drama scripts before they air, Ha-ni finally perks up. Evil Ex gets her redemption arc when Hyun-myung tells her he misses the old, nice her. She apologizes sincerely to Ha-ni, but surprisingly Ha-ni doesn’t care anymore.
In voiceover, Ha-ni narrates that for the rest of her 100 days, she was so engrossed in her new drama project that she didn’t have time to worry about the curse. There are scenes of her working hard with Chef, smiling, laughing, and getting close, but also being serious and turning him down to get more work done. On the 100th day, Witch Ahn calls her to see how she’s doing, and she tells him that there’s nothing she can do. You can’t force love in 100 days, and while she does love Chef, she found that she loves this work even more. Even if she turns into bubbles, she wants to do as much as she can to see this project succeed.
We see that Hyun-myung is there with another sad face. Earlier that day, he had handed in his resignation so that the full-time spot could go to Ha-ni. He hoped his self-sacrifice would count as an act of true love.
Who knows what the answer was, but at 12:01, our mermaid finds that she’s broken the curse. In the one-year epilogue, Ha-ni and Chef announce their engagement. Witch Ahn goes to Hyun-myung and tells him he’s sorry. He seems like a good guy, and if only there had been more time, he might have been able to be the male lead. Hyun-myung says, “It’s okay. There are other fish in the sea,” and Witch Ahn nods.
Suddenly, a Ha-ni lookalike stumbles onscreen dressed in an odd assortment of clothes. She cries out to Witch Ahn, “Witch Ahn! I heard Ha-ni unni broke the curse so I wanted to try too! She works with dramas, but I want to be an actress.” Then she notices Hyun-myung and says, “Oh, hello. Nice to meet you. I’m Jo Boa.” Hyun-myung breaks the fourth wall and smiles.
End chyron: No one is surplus. Everyone has a place. If someone tries to cut you down, keep standing tall. When you do your own thing, you attract others who like the same. Thank you to our audience! Fighting!!
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